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« whether it has pleased the Almighty to punish ME with blindness on account of my sins; but if my sufferings are to be attributed to this cause, think what must have been the crimes of your FATHER, whom the same Providence punished with death.” The unmanly railers were struck dumb: they sneaked away in confusion, and never after dared to pollute with their fou breath the atmosphere of conscious dignity.
Light Reading at Leisure Hours, p. 79.
MAXIMS. EVERY body loves vertuous persons whereas the vitious do scarce love one another.
I conceive it a fine study and worthy a gentleman to be a good botanique.
WHOSOEVER considers the study of anatomy, I believe will never be an atheist, the form of man's body and the coherence of his parts being so strange and paradoxal, that I hold it to be the greatest miracle of nature.
He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself, for every man hath need of forgiveness.
NOTHING ever gave my mind more ease than when I had forgiven my enemies.
It will be better for every man to prefer a wellfavoured whotesome woman,tho' with a tawny complexion, before a besmeared and painted face.
CICERO in my opinion is too long and tedious, and Quintilian too short and concise.
Ld. Herbert of Cherbury.
It requires great ability and a strong heart, to know when to tell truth and to dare to do it. Therefore it is the weaker'sort of politicians who are the greatest desemblers.
The empress once said to the duke de Braganza, “ The sight of this hall always effects me to such a degree, that I am sometimes ready to shed tears: a long time ago, a very interesting scene took place here." I asked the duke, the same night, what that event was; and he related to me the following circumstance :—When the empress queen was so closely pursued by her enemies, that there was hardly a city in Germany in which she could remain with safety, she retired to Presburg, and assembled her states. She was then
young, a fine figure, and of dazzling beauty. She appeared in the midst of the Palatines of Hungary in a black robe, but with all the splendour of her personal charms: her son, who was then two or three years old, was in her arms. When she had taken her place upon the throne, and the assembly had become silent, she rose; and giving her son to one of her ladies of honour, addressed them in the latin language (which she spoke extremely well) and represented to them in pathetic terms her unfortunate situation. She was so deeply affected while she was delivering this discourse, that she drew tears from the eyes of these brave nobles: but when she said that she had no resource except in their zeal, and that she had come to implore their help, the Palatines could restrain their feelings no longer; but without suffering her to conclude, they
all rose up at the same instant, and drawing their swords, cried out with an unanimous voice, “ Moriemur pro Rege nostra Maria Theresa.-We will die for our King Maria Theresa;"* and they immediately brought into the field an army which reestablished her upon the throne of her ancestors.
Dutens' Memoirs, v. 2, p. 231.
The avidity of Peter the Great, czar of Muscovy, to learn every thing useful, was often carried to the most ridiculous excess. Virtue itself has its stated limits, beyond which it ceases to be virtue. In the same manner, Peter's wisdom
may sort be said to have frequently degenerated into weakness and folly. Of this, the following instance will be a sufficient illustration.
It happened that a French dentist arrived at Petersburgh during the reign of this extraordinary savage, and obtained his permission to draw the teeth of the poor gratis in the market-place, which the quack performed with such wonderful dexterity, that the czar became his pupil.
After a very short apprenticeship, the, czar thought himself sufficiently instructed to act as a master tooth-drawer, and immediately tried his skill and dexterity upon some poor Russians, who were very liberally rewarded for indulging his foible, though it cost many a one the loss of a jaw. Not content with relieving the pains of his meanest subjects, the czar persuaded many noblemen
1 • This was the expression which the Palatines made use of, in spite of grammar; so strongly are they attached to the idea of being governed by kings.
permit him to operate on their teeth, when they had the tooth-ach.
Count Rousonmusky, son to the field-marshal of that name, had done something to incur his sovereign's displeasure; and the czar had vowed, if he came into his presence, to cane him very severely. As the czar had killed several Russians by punishing them in this manner, the old field-marshal sent every where in the environs of the court, to warn his son against appearing before his enraged sovereign; and the danger appeared so imminent, that a post-chaise and six was provided to carry
young count and his spouse to their estate in Lifand, there to wait till the czar could be prevailed upon to grant his pardon. Very late in the evening, the young count was found, and brought home to his father and spouse, who jointly used every argument and entreaty to persuade him to set off directly, in order to escape death. “You are mistaken, sir," said he to his father, “ when you think my life in such jeopardy-I shall act quite contrary to what you desire, and go instantly to the czar-I am persuaded I shall escape with a small punishment; for I know his weak side."
Thus resolved, away went young Rousonmusky to court. As soon as the czar saw him, he ran to get a large oak plant which he kept for such purposes, and would probably have killed the count; but perceiving him holding a handkerchief to his mouth, he asked him the reason. “ I am in great agony with the tooth-ach."--If that is the case, sit down on my chair, and I'll soon relieve you.'— Accordingly the count placed himself; and the
czar, having his apparatus at hand, drew a sound tooth, which the count pretended was the cause of his pain. The great Peter forgot his anger, on the count's acknowledging in how masterly a manner he had extracted the tooth; and young Rousonmusky was immediately re-established in his sovereign's favor, to the infinite surprise and satisfaction of his wife and his father, who had given him up for dead.
Light Reading at Leisure Hours, p. 319.
GEORGE I. was separated from his wife; and there was no queen in his reign. He had two mistresses. One was Miss Schulenberg, afterwards created duchess of Kendal, a tall, thin gawky. The other was the countess of Platen, who was created countess of Darlington; and who, for size, might have been compared to an elephant and castle. This couple of rabbits occasioned much jocularity on their first importation.
Walpoliana, c. 1, p. 59.
The following humourous anecdote is taken from Chassaneur.
When this gentleman was an advocate at Autun, the country swarmed with such multitudes of rats, that a famine was feared. Human means appeared insufficient, and resort was had to supernatural aid :—the grand vicar was required to excommunicate the rats.
Complaint aginst the rats was made by the Promoteur, and they were cummoned to appear. The time allowed being expired, a writ of default was