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being admitted, thus announced his purpose: “I am come,” said he,“ by the order of Jesus Christ, to open your eyes, to enlighten your darkness, and to teach you the proper application of talents which you have so long abused.”—“Indeed, my good friend,” replied the dean, who knew the tailor, “ I am inclined to believe that you are commissioned by heaven, as you come so critically to relieve the perplexed state of my mind at this very instant.” The tailor already exulted in the certainty of success. “ You are well acquainted, no doubt,” continued Swift, “ with that passage in the tenth chapter of the Revelation of St. John, where he describes a mighty angel coming down from heaven, with a rainbow on his head, a book open in his hand, and setting his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth. I am quite at a loss how to calculate the extent of such a stride; but I know it immediately lies in the line of vour trade to tell me, how many yards of cloth would make a pair of breeches for that angel?”The tailor's confusion could only be equalled by the precipitancy of his retreat.
Light Reading at Leisure Hours, p. 296.
LORD EVELYN STUART, son of the earl of Bute, and an officer of the guards, wore long mustaches, and appeared thus in the house of commons, of which he was a member.
One day Mr C- y thus addressed him: “ My lord, now the war is over, won't you put your mustaches on the peace establishment ?"_“I do not exactly know whether I shall do that,” replied his lord
ship; “but, meanwhile, I would advise you to put your tongue on the civil list.”
The commons were at this time debating on the payment of the civil list.
Dutensiana, p. 277.
A traveller being come to Sparta for to see the citie, stood upright a long while upon one foot onely, and said unto a Laconian, I doe not think thou canst stand so long of one leg as I do: Not I indeed (quoth the other) but there is not a goose but can do as much.
Holland's Plutarch, p. 470.
Our mountain-wine comes from the mountains around Malaga. Tent is Tinto, tinged or red wine. Sherry from Xeres (the Spanish X is pronounced sh or ch), in the south of Spain, where the great battle was fought between the Christians and Saracens, that ended in the conquest of Spain by the latter.
Malmsey was from Malvasia in Peleponnesus. This rich wine was afterwards propogated at Alicant, the Canaries, and Madeira.
Walpoliana, v. 2, p. 83. ONE Mrs Mapp, a famous she bone-setter and mountebank, coming to town with a coach and six horses, on the Kentish road, was met by a rabble of people, who, seeing her very oddly and tawdrilly dressed, took her for a foreigner, and concluded she must be a certain great person's mistress. Upon this, they followed the coach, bawling out, No Hanover whore! No Hanoever whore! The
lady within the coach was much offended, let down the glass, and screamed louder than any of them, she was no Hanover whore-she was ar English one! Upon which they cried out, God bless your ladyship! quitted the pursuit, and wished her a good journey. Swiftiana, v. 1, p. 119.
An English penny placed out at compound interest, at the rate of 5 per cent. at the birth of Jesus Christ, would, in the year 1786, have produced the enormous sum of £. 290,991,000000, 000000,000000,000000,000000. sterling: which would make about 110 millions of our earth in solid gold. At single interest, it would have próduced only 7s. 6d.!
Dutensiana, p. 72.
Lewis XI. of France was as whimsical as he was cruel and arbitrary. The abbé de Baynes, a man of great wit, having invented many things relating to musical instruments, was introduced to Lewis, and retained by him in his service. One day the king, imagining the thing to be absolutely impossible, commanded the abbé to procure him harmonious sounds from the cries of hogs. The abbé, like a true courtier, did not seem surprised at the proposal; but said the matter was feasible, if a great deal of money were advanced to enable him to perform it. The king ordered the money demanded to be immediately paid him; and desired the abbé to set about it without delay: he did so, and effected the most surprising concert ever heard. He got together a number of hogs of different ages, and placed them in a tent or pavilion
covered with velvet, before which he fixed a wooden, painted table, representing the front of a large organ. He then contrived an instrument behind it, with a certain nomber of stops, so artfully made, that, when he touched the keys belonging to the stops, they answered to so many spikes, which pricking the hogs, that stood up behind within the tent in due order, made them produce such “a concord of sweet sounds," that the king was extremely delighted, and very amply rewarded the inventor of this singular piece of music.
Light Reading at Leisure Hours, p. 317. DESCRIPTION of a marriage-feast, given by a wealthy young man of Athens, during the reign of Trajan.
To this entertainment, persons of different sects, ages, and rank, friends and foes, had been invited; neither expence nor labour was spared, to fill the rooms, and cover the tables with the most dainty viands, and the choicest wines.
At the hour appointed, the guests assembled. It will not be necessary to describe their disputes for precedency, which occasioned considerable delay, and their reclining, it being their fashion to lie sideways instead of the more comfortable mode of sitting at table on a chair.
Soon after they had taken their places, a noisy and impudent cynic, throwing open the door, rudely marched in; the master of the house was considerably surprised and chagrined, but aware of the restive nature of the beast, endeavoured to sooth his surliness by gentle language, made him wel
come, and observing that it was friendly thus to drop in without the ceremony of an invitation, asked him to lie down at table.
“ Do you think I anı so effeminate," replied the brute, « that I cannot satisfy my appetite as I stand? If I feel inclined to eat, I can take my
dinner as I walk, or if I ehuse I can lie on the ground, which was thought soft enough by Hercules.” He at last condescended to pick with his fingers out of the dishes, any dạinty morsel that he liked, as he stalked up and down the room, exclaiming, between each mouthful, against the extravagance and gluttony of feasting.
Under a mistaken idea of keeping him quiet, the servants were ordered to serve him plentifully with the strongest wine, which rendered him outrageous and troublesome; the majority of the company
also began to be merry; songs, jokes, recitations, and droll stories, kept the table in a roar.
Buffoons were also introduced, who, by the preposterous singularity of their dress, words, and aetions, occasioned considerable laughter; the cynic, provoked that any one but himself should engage the attention of the company, stripped himself, and insisted on their fighting with him; tempted by thie odds of two to one, observing the intoxicated con-dition of the sans-culottes philosopher, and encouraged by the company, they accepted his challenge, closed in with and gave him a severe drubbing; in the agonies of drunkenness, pain, and disappointment, the intruder sunk on the floor; and remained for a short time quiet.
A young man, unannounced, now rushed into