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i' 

^ HANDY-BOOK 

OP 

Literary Curiosities. 



WILLIAM S. ^ALSH, 

AtTTHOK OF "FAUST: THE POEM AND THE LEGSHD," 
" FAKADOXES OF A PKIUSTIHB," ETC. 



PHILADELPHIA: 

J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY, 
1909 



.d by Google 



3/U 
N3 

1101 



CopvwoHT, 189a, 
J. B. LlPPiNCOTT Company 



.d by Google 






PREFACE. 



pRiUARiLV the aim of this Handy-book is to entertain. Jf it suc- 
ceeds in instructing as well, there is no hann done. But a sugar coat- 
ing of grateful gust has been quite as much an object with the compiler 
ais the tonic which it may envelop. 

It is obvious that in so large a field as is afforded by the curiosities 
of literature the embarrassment has been mainly that of riches. No 
single volume nor a doien volumes of this size could exhaust the 
material. Nevertheless, if the compiler has been even approximately 
successful, if his gleanings from the rich harvesL-field have been fairly 
judicious, a gain in interest and even in value has been achieved by 
consulting the limitations of space. 

At one time he had thought of disarming a certain kind of criticism by 
calling this '" A Dictionary of Things Not Worth Knowing," the bulk 
of the matter herein contained being either in substance or in detail 
that which is deemed below the dignity of encyclopEcdias, dicdonaries, 
or literary manuals. However, we are gradually coming to learn that 
there is no great and no small in the achievements of the human in- 
telligence ; that what has ever interested men in the past must preserve 
an interest for the student of human nature at all times ; that the liter- 
ary trifling which pleased the keenest wits at particular periods of 
mental development has a distinct historical value in the retrospect; 
that the blunders of great minds are worth preserving as successive 
steps towards the altar of Knowledge ; that in proverbs is embodied the 
wisdom of many as well as the wit of one; and that the vagaries of slang 
are dignified by the fact that slang may become the scholarly language 
of the future, just as the slang of the past is nearly the richest and most 
idiomatic portion of the current speech of to-day. Even the tracing 
of hterary analogies, which is held in some disrepute by those who see 
in it merely a low detective cunning, a joy in convicting nobler minds 
of larceny and of discrediting the gifts of Nature's bounty, — even this 
is an exercise which, reverently conducted, is full of instrucdon and 
profit as well as curious interest. To learn that there is nothing new 
under the sun is to take to heart the lesson that the right direction 
of human achievement is to co-ordinate and harmonize the dis/ectt 



4 PREFACE. 

membra of the old and ever young, and thus arrive at the sum and 
essencci— the veiy heart of things. He is the poet, the creator, the 
mighty roan, who does (his, just as he is the great sculptor who liber- 
ates from ihe marble the image of all conceivable beauty that already 
resides therein. And, to run the analogy to the ground, one might 
trace the history of that block of marble up to its native quarry with 
nothing of invidious reflection on the sculptor. 

A certain proportion of the articles, long and short, which are here 
collected appeared in various periodicals, — in Uppincott's Magatme 
and the Atnerican Notei and Queriet of Philadelphia, in the Illus- 
trated American and Belford's Afagaxine of New York. This fact is 
mentioned not only as an acknowledgment of courteous penntssion 
to reproduce them, but also as affording an opportunity to remark 
that, in the last year or so, some of these articles have been pretty 
freely levied upon by makers of literary manuals, whose apparent 
priority of publication might confuse the unwary as to which was the 
follower and which the leader. The point is not worth insisting upon, 
however, for, in a less flagrant way, most of us compilers are indebted 
to our predecessors. As to myself (let us drop all awkward locutions), 
I honestly acknowledge that I have found great assistance in such 
books of reference as Bartlett's " Familiar Quotations," Bent's " Fa- 
mous Short Sayings," and Norton's "Political Americanisms," also 
in such collections of bibelots and curios as Brewer's " Dictionary of 
Phrase and Fable," Bombaugh's "Gleanings for the Curious," and 
Wm. T. Dobson's and Davenport Adams's various compilations. 
More than this, I have consulted the English Notes and Queriet with 
predatory aim, and have carried on a war of conquest amid the files 
of old periodicals. Where credit was possible, it has been given ; but 
where (as does happen occasionally) a particular article is almost a 
cento made up from a dozen different authorities, it is well-nigh impros- 
sible properly to apportion the credit. This general confession, there- 
fore, must suffice. 

In conclusion, I must record my indebtedness to Mr. Stephen Pfeil, 
who contributed the articles on "Epigrams," "Impromptus," and 
" Quodlibets," as well as a number of the shorter articles embodying 
political Americanisms, etc. And a special debt of graritude is due 
to Mr. Joseph McCreery , the scholarly proof-reader in the establishment 
of Messrs. J, B. Lippincott Co., whose corrections and suggestions went 
hx beyond the limits of mere proof-reading. 

Wh. S. Walsh. 



;i:v..G00^Ii: 



A TABLE OF THE LONGER ARTICLES. 



Bt uid CurlvQi 
AgoDir ColoDb ......... 

AlUtmdoD 

AlpbaMic Diveniou 

Anb^iUiiea 

AlUCAD, ........... 

Amocnptu ud Auusniih-Hiuii 

KUa, CuiDw 

B»4iiAlept 

BibKaiuiili 

Biadliig 

tvAplu* 

Bulk, 

Cpikcn 
Oalmu 
CoiDcUi 
CgUuba 
CaBpUi 

DdHcMi 

EdwVi 
EnUdudc, flcnnu 

Epjpwn 
£pjaplu 
Enm.Valfv 

Foisefia, LIuniT 

Fmbch u fthe la kpoke . . . 
HudwrWucuid Wrim . . 
BtRoiT, Tb( lacTMUbUUy of 



Literal SvoBB, In ii . 
La« Tmure* dT Ua 
Muannic Lhtnnin 



Mcmoria Techolca 698 

McM|i1»n, Mixed toS 

Mbukd at Aalhort 793 

Mooosylliblt ............. j$i 

Mynifiialion uid Impouun 760 

Naina, Ciulaillla of 778 

Nuia in FIctioD 766 

Nohkum, Verae and PtoM BoS 

Numben, Cnrindtia ct S14 

Oiitu ud Cunu S]i 

Filiodioiiifl .............. 851 

Fundoiei and Puola S;} 

PligUiiim ud Pla^ariiu B91 

Fosjc Ftoh , 903 



Quodlibd 

QuMUlon ud MliqDOIUIcin 
Real People La Flcllon . . 
Revlcfn, Cuiinilia oT . . 
Rhymea, Ecoeniricliiei oT , 

Self'ApprecluloD 

SpcHing, EcceauickLta of . 
TiuilaiwD, Carteaida of . 
TypognphkiU Enon . . . 



;i:,vG00gif 



..Google 



HANDY-BOOK 
LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 

A, the first kiter of the alphabet in alt languages which, like English, 
derive their alphabets directW or indirectly Ironi the Phaenician. It corre- 
■ponds to the aleph of the Phtcnician and old Hebrew and the alpha of the 
Gieek- Aleph means an ox, and the character is derived from the Egyp- 
tian hieratic symbol, in which the Phoenicians undoubtedly saw a rude re- 
semblance to the horned head of an ox. As a symbol A denotes the first of an 
actual or possible series : thus, in music it is the name of the lirsl note of the 
relative minor scale, the la of Italian, French, and Spanish musicians ; and in 
the mnemonic words of logic it stands for the universal affirmative proposi- 
tion, — e.g., all men are mortal ; while I stands for the particular affirmative 
(some men are mortal), E lor the universal negative ino men are mortal), 
and O (ur the particular negative (some men are not mortal). It is some- 
times contended that these symbols were of Greeli origin ; but the weight of 
authority makes them date from the thirteenth century, and it is not unlikely 
(hat they may have been taken from the l^tin AfTIrmo, I affirm, and nEgO, I 
deny. In the Greek form, a, alpha, this use of the letter as the first of a series 
is even more common. Thus, " I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and 
the ending, saith the Lord" {ftev. \. 8). "The a acid is converted by heat into 
the ^ actcT' ( Watt's Fowna's Chtmistry). The letter A standing by itself, es- 
pecully as a word, was formerly spelt in oral recitations A per se a, — that is, 
A standing by itself makes the word a, and this oral phrase committed to 
writing was gradually corrupted to A per C, Apersey, Apersie, and frequently 
used as a synonyme for first, chief, most excellent, — tg., "The floure and A 
per se of Troie and Grece" (Henrvson : Tatament ef Creiseidt, 1475). 

Al, popular slang, meaning first-rate, excellent, is borrowed from the 
ratings used in Llovtrs Register of Shipping. The higher classes of vessels 
sue snied A, and the figure 1 following the class letter shows that the equip- 
ment is complete and efficient. Hence "I am A i" means " I'm all right," and 
to say of another that "he or she is A i" is to pay one of the highest compli- 
nents in the slang repertoire. Thus, Shirley Brooks in " The Guardian Knot" 
makes one of his characters say, "She is A i ; in fact, the ayewunnest girl I 
erer taw." Curiously enough, the French have a similar commendatory ex- 
pression, " He is marked with an A" (" C'est un homme marque i I'A"), the 
money coined in Paris being formerly stamped with an A. 



;i:v,.G00gIf 



8 HANDY-BOOK OF 

A ontrance (not h rautra/Kt], a French expression, meaning much (he 
same as ihe English phrase " to the bitter end," originally applied to a conlesl 
between two antagunisls who were each determined to conquer or to die, but 
now more often uaed in the sense of " to excess," " to the utmost extent," and 
applied to any custom, habit, or fashion which is carried to an eiliavagant 

Ab ovo (literally, "from the egg," hence, from the beginning), an old Roman 
phrase, generally with allusion to the custom of beginning a meal with eggs, 
m this case forming the first part uf the phrase ai ova uiqui ad mala, from the 
egg to the apples, i.i., from beginning to end ; but aometi mes the allusion is to 
the poet mentioned by Horace (" Ars Poelica," 14;) who began the history of 
the Trojan war with the story of the egg tiom which Helen was fabled to have 
been born. Horace contrasts him unfavorably with Homer, who plunged at 
<mce into the midst of things, or in mtdias ris. 

AbaOOt,3 spurious word which by a remarkable series of blunders ha* 
gained a foothold in the dictionaries. It is usually defined as "a cap ofatate, 
wrought up into the shape of two crowns, worn formerly by English kings." 
Neither word nor thing has any real existence. In Hall's "Chronicles" the 
word bicBtkit (Old Fr. bittqutt, a sort of peaked cap or head-dress) happened 
to be misprinted lUxKocsit. Other writers copied the error. Then Holinahed 
improved the new word to abecockt, and Abraham Fleming to aioiel, and so it 
spun merrily along, a sort of rolling stone of philology, shaping itself by con- 
tinual attrition into something as diSerent ill sense as in sound from its first 
original, until Spelman landed Ihe prize in his "Glossarium," giving it Ihe 
definition quoted above. So through Bailey, Ash, and Todd it has been handed 
down (o our time, — a standing exemplar of the solidarity of diclionarles. and 
of the ponderous indolence with which philologers repeat without examining 
the errors of their predecessors. Nay, Ihe error has been amusingly accent- 
uated by calling in the aid of a sister art [hat has provided a rough wood-cut 
of the myth leal abacot, which in its turn has been servilely reproduced. 

Abilt,exCMMit,aTasit,«)^plt, a potent Latin phrase which loses all Iti 
virility in any possible English rendition {t-g.. He has fled, retreated, es- 
caped, broken forlh). It was used by Cicero al Ihe beginning of his second 
oration against Catiline to express by Ihe piling up of synonymous words the 
abrupt manner of the conspirator's escape from Rome. 

AboUtloniBt, in American politics, spedlically a member of the anli- 
slavery party, which dates from 1819, when a handful of enthusiasts rallied 
around the stalwart figure of William Lloyd Garrison in a fierce crusade 
against slave-owners as criminals. In 183T, Garrison founded the first Abo- 
litionist paper, Thf LibiratoT. In 1833 the New England Anti-Slavery Society 
was formed in Boston, and in 18^3 the growth uf abolition sentiment led to Ihe 
formation of the American Anii-Slavery Society in Philadelphia, with Beriah 
Green as its president and John G. Whittier as one of the secretaries. In 
18^ the Abolitionists divided into two wings, one favoring abolition through 
constitutional amendment, Ihe other, with Wendell Phillips as its chief spokes- 
man, denouncing the constitution as a bulwark of slavery. Anti-slavery senti- 
ment grew taster than the party which claimed to be its exponent. Before the 
war no large number of ciliiens, even in the North, were avowed Abolitionists, 
though after the war a majority of Norlbemers proudly insisted that they had 
always been Abolitionists. And in Iruth they could point back to the lact that 
Abolitionist was \ term of contempt which Ihe Democrats usually applied to all 
Rei>ublicans, and which the men of Ihe South applied indiscriminately to all 
Northerners who were not Democratt. The word itself even, in connectioo 



;i:,vG00gif 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES 9 

viih stave-«mancipation, was not a new one. In England and all her colonies 
it had been Euoiliarly applied to the anti-slaverv agitators ted by Wilberforce, 
and had been accepted by them. Thus, T, Clarltson says, " Many loohed upon 
the Abolitionists as monsters" {" Slave Trade," ii. 212, 1790), In America also 
the term had been in use to denote the opponents of slavery who began an 
inlermiltent protest even before the Revolution ; but as a party name it belongs 
distinctively to (he movement of which Garrison was the first apostle. 

Abraoadabra, a cabalistic word used in incantations, and supposed to 
possess mystic powers of healing, especially when written in this triangular 

ABRACADABRA 
ABRACADABR 
ABRACADAB 
ABRACADA 
A B R A C A D 
A B R A C A 
A B R A C 
A B R A 
A B R 
A B 
A 
The pai>er on which this was written was to be folded so as to corceaj the 
writing, stitched with while thread, and worn around the neck. It was a sov- 
ereign remedy for fever and ague. Possibly the virtue lay in the syllables 
Abra, which are twice repeated, and which are composed of the first letters of 
the Hebrew words signifying Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,— Ab, Ben, Rauch 
Acadosb. The earliest known occurrence of the word is in a poem of the 
second century, " Pracepta de Medicina," Iw Q. Serenus Sammonicus. It is 
now often used in the general sense o[« spell, or pretended conjuring, jargon, 
or gibberish. 

Abwnoe make* the lleart groir fonder. This line occurs in Thomas 
Haynes Bayly's song " Isle of Beauty." There is proverbial authority for this 
M well as for the contrary statement that absence kills love. But written 
literature is usually on Bayly's side. Charles Hopkins in his lines " To C. C" 

I Gad thU abiKnce HiU mcrcjuci Ion. 

Howel in bis " Familiar Letters" {i. I, No. 6) asserts, " Distance sometimej 

endears friendship, and absence sweeteneth it" Frederick W. Thomas, in a 

abort poem, " Alwence Conquers Love," boldly traverses the titular statement : 

'Til Hid thai nbKiio conquin Ion, 

Bnt.ofa, btllEVdlDOll 

I've lri*d, alul to pa wer to prove, 

Desdemona, in Olhtlle, i. 2, says, " I dote upon his very absence." Charles 
Lamb, in his " Dissertation on Roast Fig," punningly suggests a method by 
which the absent may keep their memory green: "Presents, I often say, 
erkdear absents." Bussy-Rabutin shows how b-ith statements may be recon- 

IE £ieifiL k pcili, ii ftJIdme k gruul. 
La Rochefoucauld says, "Friends agree best at a distance;" but this was a 
popular proverb before bis day, and a similar moral, is presented in the French 
adages, "To preserve friendship, a wall must be put between," and "Alittte 



Cooglf 



lO HANDY-BOOK OF 

■beence does much eood;" the German, "Love yoar neietibor, bat do not pull 
down the hedge ;" the Spanish, " Go to your brother's houae, but not ererj 
day ;" and the Scotch, " They are aye gude that are 6u- awa." But proverbs 
would not be proverlM if thev did not contradict one another. The \ialt quoted 
is directly traversed by the French, " The absent are always in the wrong," 
and " Alwent, none without fault ; present, none wilhout eicuse." And e*ery 
language furnishes examples to supporl this ; f.g., the Greek, " Friends living 
far away are no friends ;'' the Latin, " He that is absent will not be the heirj" 
the Spanish, " Absence is Juve's foe : &r from the eye*, &r from the heart," 
and " The dead and the absent have no friends." 

Absolnto WUdom. A sobriquet given (o Sir Matthew Wood, a stanch 
supporter of Queen Caroline in iSai, who, having been reproached far giving 
foolish advice to that unhappy queen, diEGdently admitted that his conduct 
might not be " absolute wisdom," and was unmercifully chaffed in consequence 
Inr (he wags of the period. He was made a baronet by Queen Victoria snortly 
after her accession, in acknowledgment, it was said, for pecuniary aid given to 
her father, the Duke of Kent, when greatly embarrassed, 

Aoddeat of as aoddent, a phrase first used by Lord Thnrlow. Dur- 
ing a debate on Lord Sandwich's administration of Greenwich Hospital, the 
Duke of Grafton taunted Thurlow, then Lord Chancellor, on hU humble 
origin. Thurlow rose from the woolsack, and, advancing towards the duke, 
declared he was amazed at his grace's speech. "The noble duke,"' he cried, 
in a burst of oratorical scorn, "cannot look before him, behind him, and on 
either side of him without seeing some noble peer who owes his scat in this 
House to his successful exertions in the profession to which I belong. Does 
he not feel that it is a* honorable to owe it to these as to being the acddeiU 
of an aecidetur' 

Aoro*B lots, in colloquial American, a short cut, as of one wbo leaves (he 

Cublic highway to find a nearer way across private property. The phrase 
as acquired especial prominence through Brigham Young's historic threat, 
" We'll send them [the Gentiles) to hell across Tots." 

AcroaUo {Gx. ixpoimxk ; dxpo, prefix, and arifof, nnc, order, line), a once 
favorite <orm of literary legerdemain. In its simplest and most usual form it 
consists of a copy of verses whose initial letters taken in order spell a word, 
a proper name, or a sentence. The following specimen is by Charles Lamb: 

Qo, llllle poein, and pmcnl 
RctpectfLiI imii« of compltmeni, 
A GfulJe Liidy bidj Ihtt ipuk ; 
CounciHU li Slu. Ihough Tlum be weak. 



A biminc pray. LonE, long may Uand, 
Nol tDocG-d by tlmt, Iht R>^cIorv bUlb*. 
No ETudgJDg cnuri dispute bla tiUK. 
Al Eiuter be Ihe oflcnnEi due 
With cheeriiil aptrU paiir £acb p«w 
Id decern order filt'd- No aotoe 



And iirkl hti ddici on Holy Pace. 

Salute and iiill point ddi the " Good Man 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES II 

apwird instead of doirnward ; sometimes (he final instead or the firat letters, 
and soroelimes both the final and the first letters, form an aciostic The latter 
is known as a double aaosiic, ur, more technically, a leleslich. An ingenious 
improvement requires that ihc double acrostic shall be Tormed of two words 
of the same lettCTS, yet of opposite meanings, i.g. : 

U.ni« Md untiF art UiE Bine-w uy yo-U ; 
N-OI Id wcdlnd^ 1 wru, hu lh< uali/bee-N ; 

T-o a new bcE would By— all ucepL you tmd I, 
E-ach Kcking u ulier the ifitl in ibcir kfh- E. 

Here is a bit of monastic verse of curious ingenuity. Not only do the first 
Lnd the final letters, but the middle initials also, form the word lesus. In 
technical words, the lines are at once acrostic, mesoatic, and telestic Nor is 
thai all. The observant reader will discern that in the centre of the verse is 
a cross tbrmed of the word Jesus, or lesus, read perpendicularly and hori< 
contally : 

Inter euncB mluu 1 snlii liden codl 

EipclUt tcHbraa E lolo Phoebui m orbE 

^cBcureowm JESUS cjUipDii unbraS 

VivlficaoiqiH lEmul V ero prwocdia motU 

SolemjiutW S cKprotntoKbaUS 

Poe has devised a peculiarly complicated form in his 



Thai mui be worn at beut. Seucb well tbe meunn — 

Tbc wcrdt— ibr trlliblu I Do not forget 

The triTulst poini, or you may lo« your laborl 

Aod y«l IbeR u b ibii no Gordian knot 

WUA one might not undo withonl a ubte, 

Eqwrktea upon th* \taS where now are peering 

Eyefl idiuillariag; ■oul. there lie perdu* 

Tkm ekqtitnl w«ds oh uttered Id the hearing 

Of poetl, by poeti— a( (he uiiie li a poet'i too. 

lu latun, allbough lunually lyioa 

Like tbe knlgbi Pinto— Mendci Ferdinaodo— 

SlUl fefin a lyDonym for Truth. — Ceue UTiua I 

Yon wHI not read tbe riddle, though you do the bat you can do. 

I liiie, the third letter of the ifaird line, ihe fourth of ihe faunh, and k 
Ik name Frnncei Sargent O^ood will then be iomed. 



Although acrostics are now relegated to (he nursery, they were anciently 
looked upon with high reverence. A rude form of acrostic may even be 
found in (he Scrip(ureR, — e.g., in (wetve of (he psalms, hence called the abece- 
darian psalms, — (he most notable being I^lm cxix. This is composed of 
twennr-two divisions or stanzas, corresponding to the twenty-two le((ers of 
the Hebrew alphabcL Each g(anzi consis(s oreigh( couplets. The first line 
of each couplet in (he first division besins with aleph, a, the first line of each 
couplet in the second division with beth, i, and so on to (he end. This pecu- 
liarity is not retained in the translation, but is indicated by the initial letter 
prefixed (o each division. The Greeks also cultivated Ihe acrostic, as may be 
seen in the specimens that survive in the Greek An(hologv, and so did their 
intellectual successors, (be Ladns. Cicero, in his " De Dlvinatione," (ells us 



J 2 HANDY-BOOK OF 

ihat " the v«rs«s of Ihe Sibyls are diEtinguished by that arrangement which 
the Greeks call acrostic ; where from the first letters of each verse in order 
words are formed which express some particular meaning ; as ia the case with 
some of Ennius's verses." In the year 316, Publius Porphyrius composed a 
poem, still eitaiit. in praise oE Constanline, the lines of which are acrostics. 
The early French poets, from the time of Francis I. to that of Louis XIV., 
were fond of this trifling. But it was Carried to its most wasteful and ridicu- 
lous excess by the Eliialiethan |)oets. Sir John Davies has a series of no less 
than twenty-six poems under the general heading of " Hymns to Astrza," 
every one of which is an acrostic on Ihe words Elisabctha Regina. Here is a 
single specimen : 

Lively ipring wbicfa mukci all nev, 
lolly ipriDgdaih tntex. 

Angry iged winler. 

filaju an mild uid Kma an cdiD, 

Every meadow 60*4 with balcn, 

HormoDioui birdi un^ luch a piatia 



vF fiwfl ipring) this nympfa or oun, 
al garlandi oT ihy flowen. 



After the Elizabethan age, : , ^ 

■GOrnfiilly bids the hero of his " MacRecknoe" 

L«ave writing plays, aad chooie for Ehy annrDand 
Some peacvTuJ provinct in acruiic Uod. 
And Addison gives the acrostic a high place among his examples of false wit 
A fashion that is nol quite extinct was introduced by the jeweilers of the 
last cenluiy, who placed precious stones in such an order that the initials of 
their names formed the name of (he recipient of (he gifL Thus, the Princess of 
Wales, on her marriage, presented her groom with a ring set with the follow- 
ing gems : 

Beryl, 
Emerild, 
Ruby, 
Turquoise, 
Iris, 

Emerald 
The initials, it will be seen, form the word Bertie, the name by which she 
prefers to call her spouse. 

Rachel, the French actress, when at the height of her popularity, received 
from her admirers a diadem with the following stones, whose name -initials 
not only spell her own name, Iiut present the name-initials of her most famous 
characters : 

Ruby, Roxana. 

Amethyst, Amenaide. 

Carnelian, Camille. 

Hematite, Hermione. 

Emerald, Emilie. 

I^pis-Laiuli, Ldodice. 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. \% 

One development of the acrostic that is apedally vital and electric consists 
in leading the iniiial letters of the words of a sentence as a single word, or, 
cwtverselVi in flashing in a single word the initials of a whole unutiered sen- 
tence. Thus, when the Italians outside of the Fiedinontese states did not dare 
■« ]pet openly to shout for Victor Emmanuel and Italian uuiiy, they managed 
the thing neatly and thrillingly by the short cry of Viva Vrrdi! Why the 
popalu' composer had suddenly become so iiery popular that all Italy should 
ID season and out of season be shouting bis name did not at first appear, 
except to those who knew that Verdi, letter (oi letter, slood for Viciorio 
Emannele R^ d'ltalia. Now, this at least was an acrostic with a soul in 
iL Similarly the word Nihil was by the Anti-Bonapartisls made to typify the 
Napoleon dynasty of kings in the following strangely prophetic acrostic: 
N-apoleon, the Emperor, 

toseph, Kine of Spain, 
-ieronymus (Jerome]. King of Westphalia, 
I-oachim, King of Naples, 
l^ouii. King of Holland. 
Anodter acrostic whose augury was justified by future events, in a pleasanter 
manner, however, than was anticipated, is mentioned by Bacon. " The trivial 
prophecy," he savs, ■■ which I heard when I was a child, and Queen Eliiabetb 
in the flower of net years, was, — 

Wh«B Hempc i> ipuD, 
England'* oodc \ 
whereby it was generally conceived that after the aovereigns had reigned, 
which had the letters of that word Hemps (which were Henry, Edward, Mary, 
Philip, Elisabeth), Ensland should come to utter confusion ; which, thanks be 
to God, is verified in the change of the name, for that the king's style is now 
no more of England, but of Britain." The most noteworthy of this species 
of acrostic, however, is the Creek word \x^.fitk, — formed from the initials of 
the sentence, I^irovc Spurd; 6ctiti Sloq Sur^fi. Jeaus Christ, the Son of God, the 
Savioui, — which was used as a veiled symbol for ChrisL I'he figure of a fish 
is frequently found carved on the monuments of the Roman catacombs to 
mark without revealing the burial-place of a Christian. 

Act of PMrUament, an English slang term fbi small beer, now almost 
obsolete. The allusion is to the tact that publicans were by act of Parliament 
forced to supply billeted soldiers, gratis, with Gvc pints of small beer daily. 

TIkr i> ■ uotv cucnnl antong the Cheln vetenm that ibe Dukt of Wdliuglon uw a 
■aUiemnDisa bit wtak REuiaSon b«r. Tht dulieHM, " Damn <hc belly tbM won'! wimn 
Act or PirUamnii I" The Kildier replied. " Damn the Act of PulianicDi I it voo'i Winn the 
tKlly."— BASntu AND Lblahii : Diclittiary ff Slang. 

Action, action, acUonl In his " Lives of the Ten Orators," Plutarch 

tells how i)emoslhenes when asked what made the perfect orator responded. 
" Action !" And Ihe second thing? " Action !" And the third thing? " Action I" 
The saying has often been imilaled. The Marshal de Trivulce. to the query 
■if L.011IS XI. as to what he needed to make war, promptly replied, "Three 
things : money, more money, always money" (" Trois choses : de I'argent. 
encore de I'argeiil, et toujours de I'argent"). Fifty years later the Impenalisl 
General von Schnssendi said precisely the same thing ; " Sind dreietlei Dinge 
notigi Geld, Geld, Geld." Danton rang another change upon the phrase ir. 
August, 1793, in a speech made before the National Assembly at the veiy 
moment when a discharge of cannon announced that the Reign of Terror had 
been inaugurated and the slaughter of royalist prisoners had begun. "The 
cannon which you hear." he cried to his dismayed auditors, " is not the signal 



14 HANDY-BOOK OF 

ot alarm : it is th« fiat de charge upon oar enemies. To conquer tbetn, to 
crush (hem, what is necessary f Boldness, more boldness, and always bold- 
ness, and France is saved" i"De I'audace, ei encore de I'audace, el loajoors 
de I'aadace, et la France est saovie"). Had Danton read Spenser as well as 
Plutarch f In the " Faerie Queene" (iii. 1 1, 54) are the following lines : 

Id behold 



St.-Just, who succeeded Danton in the Reign of Terror, put a similar sen- 
timent in less epigrammatic form when he exclaimed in the Convention, 
" Dare 1 that is the whole secret of revolutions." Gambetta, however, marked 
the dlRerence between the present republic and its predecessor bjr the follow- 
ing paraphrase : " Work, more work, and always work !" |" Du travail, encore 
du travail, et loujoura du travail I")— Speech at banquet to General Hoche, 
June 24, 1871. See also Agi tate, agitatb, agitate. 

Actiona apeak louder than vrords. An old saw, found in one form or 
anolhcr in all languages. ThuR, the French say, " From saying to doing is a 
long stretch," and " Great boasters, smali doers 1" the Italians, " Deeds are 
male, words are female" (" Fatti maschi, parole femine"J ; the Danes, " Big 
words seldom go with big deeds;" the Spaniards, "Words wili not do for 
my aunt, (or she does not trust even deeds," and " A long tongue betokens a 
short hand ;" while our own proverb is varied by the alternatives, " Words show 
the wit of a man, but actions his meaning ;" " Saying and not doing is cheap ;" 
and the Scotch, " Saying gangs cheap." In another sense the saw may be taken 
as an answer to the question of the relative value to the world of the man of 
thought and (he man of action \ a question which Walton slates thus in his 
" Angler," Part I. ch. i. : " In ancient times a debate hath risen. . . . whether 
the happiness of man in this world doth consist more In contemplation or 
action. He instances o\\ the one hand the opinion of " many cloisteral men 
of great learning and devotion," who prefer contemplation before action, 
because they hold ihal "God enjoys himself only by a contemplation of his 
own infiniteiiess, eternity, ]x>wer, and goodness, and the like," and on the other, 
the opinions of men of equal "authority and credit" who say that "action is 
doctrinal, and leaches both art and virtue, and is a mainuiner of human 
society ; and for these and other like reasons, to be preferred before contem- 
plalion." But he decides that Ihe ijuestion remains yet unresolved. In the 
present day the weight of authority is undoubtedly on the side of action, even 
the authority represented by the men of thoughL Kingsley's fine line, 

finds an echo in Emerson, " An action is Ihe perfection and publication of 
thought" i.Nat»ri\% in Lowell, "Everyman feels instinctively that all the 
beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action" 
(Rouiuau nitd l/u SentimetUaluts) ; in Beecher. "Action is the right outlet of 
emotion" (/Vnwrftr from Ptymimth Fulfit) ; in Jules Simon, " In the eyes 
of God there is not a prayer which is worth a good action ;" and in numer- 
ous sayings of Goethe and Carlyle. The other side of the question may be 
summed u]i in Owen Meredith's phrase, " Thought alone is immortal" {Ltitilt), 
and is prettily and poetically presented in Kemer's stanias, "Two Graves," 
— the first grave being that of a warrior, who sleeps forgotten and unrecorded, 
Ihe second that of a poet, whose songs slill float in the breezes above him. 
And this in turn recalls the famous saying of Themistocles, who being asked 
whether the historian were not greater than the hero, because without the 
historian the hero would be fbi^otten, Yankee-like turned on his questioner 



Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



Ad eondem (1-, "to the lame degree"), an English and Ametican uni- 
versity phrase. A graduate of one university is permitted to enjuy the same 
degree at another, and is said lo be admitted ad tumUia (graJum understood) 
at the sister university. A coach that used to run between Oilbrd and Cant- 
bridge was facetiously known to the undergraduates at both universiliet m the 
ad aauUm coach. 

Adam. There it 



from this te 

ture its earliest recorded appearance is in a poem by Richard RolTe de Ham- 
pole (Early English Text Society Reprints, No. 36, p. 79) : 

Wktn Adam daifi and Bm tfam. 

So ipir* if tbou may Apede, 
U^n KW Iktn tlutTidt of man 

Tbal DOW msm bli meedl 



Another tradition affirms Ibat when Maximilian, presumably the lirst of th* 
name, was pmeecuiing researches into his own pedigree, a wag pasted up on 
the doois of the palace Ibis couplet, which is identical with the English : 
Da Adam badil und Eva ipann, 

Maximilian promptly retorted, — 

Ich bin do Ma 

OoLy thai God hath i^veo honor 10 me." 
Ray, in his collection of proverbs, adds a second couplet which contains at 
answer to the first,—/.;. 

Upstart [upitartedl a churl and nlhered xood, 
Aod ihiDCC did ipi^iie our genlLe blood 

This seems lo be an after-thought of comparatively recent birth. 
Adam, the old. The unTceenerate part of man's nature, in allusion ic 
the doctrine of original sin. This phrase is used in the English Book of 
Common Prayer, — "Grant (hat the old Adam in these persons maybe sa 
buried, that the new man may be raised up in them" (Baptism of Aast tf 
Riftr Ytari). Shakespeare says of Henry V., — 
CondiWratiDB IDk ao aonl came 
And iriuppad ibt oStndmE Adam out of Um. 

KincHatryV.. i.i. 



I6 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Adam'a ale or wins, a humorous coltoquialisra for «ater, u being Adam's 
only beveta^e at the leeloial period when he flourished, occurs as &j back as 
Prynne's " Sovereign Power of Parliament," ii. 3a : " They have been shut up 
in prisons and dungeons, allowed only a poore pittance of Adam's ale, and 
scarce a penny bread a Jay to support Iheii lives," 

. spade. "There is no ancient gentlemen but eardener^ 

*"' hold up Adam's protession. He was the 

U Act v., Sc I). The term is rec<^ize<l 

cabulary. The sign of a spade ia much 

Addsi, Deaf aa an, a proverb common to most modern languages, and 
arising from the passage in Psalm Iviii. 4, where the wicked are compared to 
" the dj^af adder that sto]>peth her car : which will not hearken to the voice 
of charmers, charming never so wisely." Tliis is an allusion lo the supersti- 
tion, prevalent in the East from time immemorial, that some serpents Aeiy 
all the powers of the charmer, pressing one ear into the dust, while Ihey 
Slop the other with the tail. Zoologically, this is an absurdity, as serpents 
have no external ears. Shakespeare refers lo the superstition in Sonnet cxii. ; 
Id 10 profouod abysm I Ihrow all can 

Addition, DltflBloii, and BUenoe. In 1S73, William H. Kemble, then 
State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, was alleged to have vrrilten a letter of in- 
struction for G. O. Evans lo T. J. CoOey, of Washington, in which these 
words occur: "He understands addition, division, and silence." The New 
York Sitn, which lirst made ihe allegation public (March 15, 1872), interpreted 



the words as meaning that Evans joined all Ihe arts of the lobbyist 
1.!.. J -r ijgpg, (1,21 jg proverbially practised even by thieves. Kembie brougni: 
it against the Sun, and, though he asked only six cents damages, Ihe 



jury failed to agree. 

Admiral of tho Bine and Admiral of th« Rnd are properly naval 
terms, the former being applied to an admiral of the third class, who holds the 
rear in an engagement, the latter to one of the second class, who holds Ihe 
centre. In Enzlish slang an Admiral of Ihe Blue is a public- house keeper, in 
allusion to the blue aptun which is, or was, his usual nisignia, while Admiral 
of Ihe Red is a term applied 10 such of his customers as have developed a 
cheery, rubicund complexion, especially on the end of the nose. Admiral of 
Ihe Red, White, and Blue is a term similarly applied to beadles, hall-porters, 
and other functionaries when sparling the gorgeous liveries of their office. 

Adnllam, Cave ol John Bright, in the course of a B|jeech directed 
against Mr. Horsman and other UlKrals who disapproved of Ihe Reform 
' - ' d by Earl Russell's administration in 1866,— a bill that cr 



plated a sweeping reduction of Ihe elective franchise,— said, "The right hon- 
orable geiilleman is the first of Ihe new partv who has relired into wliat may 
lie called his political cave of Adullam. The reference was lo Ihe discon- 



and distressed who gathered around David in the cave of Adullam 
(/. Samuel, xxa. 1. 2), The retort was obvious, and was Instantly made by 
l.iird Elcho, who replied that the band in the cave was hourly increasing, and 
would succeed in delivering Ihe House from the tyranny of Saul (Mr. Glad- 
stone) and his armor-bearer (Mr. Bright). Adullamiic is now an accepted 
term for a member of any smalt clioue which tries to obstruct the parly with 
which Ihey habitually associate, and has some affiliation urith the American 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. I? 

AdTsnity. The poets uid the philosophers are fond of cheerful moralli- 
ings on Ihe advantages of adversity. First and foremost, Shakespeare's lines 
spring to (he minil : 

Svcel lire the UKi or adwnily, 

Whidi, like the uwd, usiy and venvniDiH, 

At Yn Lilu 11, Act <i., Sc. i. 
Carlyle admits that "adversity is sometimes hard upon a man, but." he 
adds, " for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will 
stand adversity" {^"■OM 3ni Nrro- IVonhip : Tkt Hero at Man ef Lrttm). 
Hazlitt had already said the same thing in his "Slietches and Essays." 
" Prosperity is a gieal teacher ; adversity ia a greater" \0n Ihe Cmaarsatiim 
of Lordi). And the arch- plagiarist Disraeli, in " Endymion." ch. lii., gives us 
Ihc aphorism, "There is no education like adversity," "Prosperity," says 
Bacon, "is the blessing of the Old Testament ; adversity is the blessing of 
the New;" and he quotes approvingly Irum Seneca a high speech alter the 
manner of the Stoics ; " The good things that lielong to prosperity are to he 
wished, bul the good things that tielong lo adversity are to be admired" 
{Euays: 0/ Adveriity), Aristotle found in education "an ornament in pros- 
perity and a refuge in adversity" {Diochnes Laektius : Uvti of Fam 

Fiiloiefkers). Butter, in " Hudibras," finds a reason for " ' 

adversity which is at wise as it is witty : 

He'dui aiam an &1i loWm. 

Pan 1., Canto j. 
Longfellow finds a refuge in patience and hope : 



Ahuibc Ihv darV duguUc- 

And Beaumont and Fletcher bid as assume that sorrow is not and it will 
not be; 

Unieu our weakneti ■pp/cbend It BO ; 
Wc ODDOl be moR bitUiil lo cunclva. 
In uytUnE thal'i manly, Iban Ul make 
III fotnue u codtEmptltile to ui 
Aa it makei Ul to otnen, 

Hanrit Man'i Ftrlum, Act 1,, Sc, i, 

AdvertiaiiiK Qtutlat and Coiioiu. The origin of advertising dates 
back to the birlh of the commercial spirit, when human lieingB began to teel 
the necessity for some means of communicating their wants and the business 
they had on hand. The ancient and medixval criers (called pntcoms in 
Rome) who, besides their public duties, announced Ihe time, the place, and the 
conditions of sales, the hawkers who cried their own goods, the libflli of the 
Romans (announcing Ihe sales of estates, and giving public notice of things 
lost or found, of absconding debtors, etc), and Ihe hand-bill or poster, whicTi, 
after the invention of printing, gradually superseded the town or private crier, 
— these are the various steps in the evolution of the modern advertisement 

The firal printed English newspaper, the Ctrtain Nfwti of this Prtstni 

Wat, issued in London in 1643, contained nothing but news. Not until ten 

years later, in the Mercuritu Politicui for January, 1652, do we tneet with a 

we II -authenticated advertisement This relates to a panegyrical poem on 

■ Cromwell's return from Ireland, and runs as follows : "Irenodia Gratulatoria, 

) so Heroick Poem; being a congratulatory panegjrick for my Lord General'! 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



But almost a century previous, on the continent of Europe, newspaperB 
and newspaper advertisements had been foreshadowed in small news pam- 
phlets printed at irregular intervals in Vienna and olher parts of Germany. 
The oldest newspaper paragraph approacliing (he modern advertisement that 
has ycl.been resuscitated was found in one of these early news-books, pre- 
served in the British Museum. The book is dated 1591, without any indica- 
tion as 10 the plan of issue. The advertisement is half in prose and half in 
verse, and, like its English successor which we have just quoted, is (he puS 
of a new publication. 

As newspapers grew apace, (he art of advertising developed with them. 
In May, 1657, one Newcombe issued a weekly newspaper, Tht Piditic Aiver- 
lii/r, which consisted almost wholly of advertisements of a miscellaneous 
character. Simultaneously other papers increased the number and the variety 
of their advertisements. Announcements of books still held a prominent 
position ; quack doctors began to discover the value of puffery; tradesmen 
praised (heir wares ; coffee-houses ei(olled (he virtues of those strange new 
drinks, "cophee" itself, chocolate, and (hat "excellent and by all Physicians 
approved, China drink, called by (he Chineans (cha, by other nations tav, alias 
tee." But the major part of (he advertisements related to fairs and cock- 
fights, burglaries and highway robberies, (he departure of coaches and stages, 
and (o what would now be classed together under the heading of " Lost, 
Strayed, or Stolen." The number of runaway apprentices, servants, and 
negro boys is especially noticeable in the advertising li(era(ure of (he seven* 
teen(h cen(ury. And how shall we account for (he extraordinary homeliness 
uf the rogues and rascals of that period? Hardly a criminal or a runaway 
but is described as "ugly as sin." They have ill-favored countenances, 
amutly com[>lexions, black, rotten teeth, flat wry noses, a hang -dog expression ; 
they are purblind, or deaf, or given to slabber in (heir speech. Our modern 
tough must be a beauty in comparison with (hese earlier wrong-doers. By 
the eighteenth century, advertising had become recognized as a means of 
communication, not only for the conveniences of trade, but for political pur- 
poses, for love-making, for fortune-hunting, for swindhng, and for all the other 
needs and desires ol a large community. By the commencement of the 
present century matters were very nearly as we find them now. The Lon- 
don Timet and the Morning Pott, started modestly enough in the last quartef 
of the eighteenth century, were beginning to make themselves felt as powers 
in the land. As they grew and developed, they depended more and more 
upon the revenues from Iheir adverlising columns. Meanwhile, (he benefils 
of advertising were becoming more and more appreciated by tradesmen and 
the general public. 

American newspapers profited bythe example of their British predecessors. 
The tiist newsi>a|*r that succeeded in establishing itself in North America 
was the Boston Neva Letttr. In its initial number, dated Monday, April 14, 
1704, it issued a bid for advertising in (his ungrammatical form : " All persons 
who have any houses, lands, tenements, farms, ships, vessels, goods, wares, or 
merchandise, elc,, to be sold or let, or servants run away, or goods stole 
or lost, ma^ have the same inserted a( the reasonable rale of twelve pence 
(n five shillings, and no( (o exceed." The first American daily journal, the 
IndepfniUtit Gattlle of New York, in its second year, 178S, contained as manv 
as thirty-four advertisements in a single issue. From that (imc on the growttl 
of advertising in America has been even more stupendous than in England. 

It is interesting to compare the advertising of (he pas( with that of the 



Coogk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 19 

pcecent The mind that is accustomed to read between the lines can trace, in 
tbeir various changes and developments, similar changes and developments in 
habits, customs, and methods of thinking ; can estimate the vast augmenta- 
tion in business and in industrial resources, and the mighty evolution of public 
and private enterprise. Let us go back through the columns of the news- 
pa|>er press for the last two centuries or so, gleaning those curious and eccen- 
tric advertisements which illustrate in the most amusing fashion the temper 
o( their respective periods and the mutations wrougiit by time. 

The class of advertise men ta now known as personals made an early appear- 
ance in newspaper literature. 

Bui there are i candor, a simplicity, and a tuuveU in the earlier specimens 
which are less apparent in Iheit successors of the present day. There is an 
opulence of phrase also which would indicate equal opulence of pocket, w~" 
personals ch "" ' " " ' " 

be iikely to 1 
serted this nmice 

Whcms, DD SuDday. April la, 1750, then wu ttto lo Chnpildc, betwKIi the boun of 
feoT and five in the aftcmoan, a youDg gculleman. droKd in a light-calDrtd cou, nilh a blue 
waiMccHt, (rimined with flilvtr lace, aWg with a young ladv in mounung, eoing lowud St. 
Hanin'i, near Aldengaie. Thii u, thenlbre, Lo aajtuiini ihe said grnLiFman (su ■ biend) id 
be IB evpedilioui u poHJble Id tb« affair, lot otherwiK he should unhappily mecl wiLh the 

has been blFly terved by the aforesaid young Uuly, who, al^r acouruhipf^theBeTour monihl 

^^ u could lxw<E^'beainie'a''gen'deimLD, lake ibis, sir" on!^ a'^endlyhini. 

Nor would the modern head of a family deem that it comported with his 
dignity to express hilarity at the disappearance of his wile in the public fashion 
adopted by this advertiser in the Essex (Mass.) (nneOr of September 17, 1771: 

Ran tw«v from Jtaiab Woodbury, Cooper, hii Houk Plague lor 7 loni yean, Maaury 
Old Moll, alias Trial of Ve>«eaD«. He that lost will never seeli her : he thai shall keep bet. 

Bid -Rialof VengeuKC. I ban ho^Tairtbe old Shoes I can 'find for Joy; and all* my 
Deiebbors reioke wiih me, A aood Riddance of bad Wan. Amen. 

JOSIAH WOODBI,... 

Mi»s Fisher inserts the following par^raph in the Public Advirtistr of 
March 30, 1759 : 



a blemli 




n prial-ibopt, and id vind up ihe 
n by thus pulkltcly 
C. FiSHBR. 

The above might seem to the hasty thinker curiously characteristic of time 
and place. Vet history repeats itself, as it always must. There is atavism 
even in adveitisements. Characteristics that seem to Iwlong to a past age 
will recur in the present Surely the Miss Fisher of the last century finds 
her legitimate successor, her modern double, in the Ellen Rose of Stamford, 
Connecticut, who in ittgo inserted Ihe following advertisement in all the 
newspapers of her native town : 

ToHV ScaHDauiiHG Fukhds,— I haf>e you do not call yourselves ChriidaDi.fbc you are 
■ dltgnce IS the Chvdi. You know nothing about me. I dsn'icanforyour lying longnei; 
1 wmdat ibat Ibey doii*l Ul out of yvnr tnaut b s. You aci like lence cms and flying terpeDts - 



> HANDY-BOOK OF 

lu have bevD tcry boiy about mt for the 1a» Dine yfan wiLb your meddling: p1w« td 

E a uukc io Lh« gtau. S«« if you un keep ii dp for nine yean Longer. 1 know injii I cu 



in Lhe ffrau. See if you un Iceep ii dp for nine yean Longer. 
; I should think Ilwl you would gel drva of ptayiiu uuiire all ihe 

■•■?.rji». 

Matrimonial adverlisenientsarenoworien roughly grouped under the head of 

,. ^ ..i_i>i... — Bpjper managers who lack the nicer perceptive quali"'— 

a department by themselves. They have a lileratuT 

their oi 



- - ;>i»yin« - - - , 

nething dinerent, you Kandaliilne impi 
Miss Ellbh feo 
Tier) roughly grouped under the he: 
"Personals" by newspaper managers who lack the nicer perceptive qualities. 
In truth, they form a department by themselves. They have a lilerature of 
their own. In recent years they have even developed journalistic organs of 
-"--^rown. 

n engaging feature of these would*be husbands and wives has ever been 
their freedom from bashfulness or mateuaisc hontt in the proclamation of their 
own charms. Theyareatmoet alwayshandsome, or beautiful, or disiinguished- 
loukiDg, sweet-tempered and accomplished, well born, well mannered, and 
well eoucated. They are often wealthy, or, at least, in possession of a com- 
foiiable income. One wonders how it is they have escaped Hymen so long, 
and still mote why they are obliged fo seek alien means of courting him. 

John Houghton, who in 1681 started a weekly entitled A CollfctUn Jor Iht 
Improvement of Husbandry and Trade, which proved one of the chief pro- 
mulers of early advertising, was the father of raaltimonial aimouncemcnta. 
In his issue of July 19, 1695, he inserted two advertisements of wishful bride- 
grooms. But the public was suspicious of the innovation, and a few weeks 
later the editor found it necessary 10 explain that the " proposals for matches" 
were genuine, promising, moreover, to manage all necessary negotiations 
*' with the utmost secrecie and prudence." Afier that he seems to have found 
custom. Imitators followed, and in 1775 a marriage bureau was even started 
in London, but it came to grief through an expoil of its very questionable 
metbodB in the Tewu and Ctamiry Magcaiiu of the next year. Nevertheless, 
matrimonial atlvertisements waxed apace. A very curious one appeared in 
Belft Wtekly Meuenger of May z%, \i<fj : 

Minhew Dawion, in Bolhwell, Cumberiand. tnlendi 10 be mamcd Bi Holm Chuich.on 
lhe Tliunday before Whimintidc ne<I,»henever Iha. mMV happen, and 10 relura 10 BoihweU 
10 dine. Mr. Reid give, a turkey to be roa.led : Ed OeoienwD givei a lat lamb to be 

B«ly Hodgwn.Mary Bmhley. Molly Fijher. Sarah Britcoe. and' Betly Ponhouje.gi.e e:.ch 
of Ihem a pound of butiei. The idvertiier will provide everjillling elie fcriofeMive anocca- 
■lon. And he hereby gives notice id all young women deiiroua of changing their condilion 
thai he ia al preaent diaeugagcd : and adviKi ihem to coiuider thai alihodgh thert be luck in 



what mad folly I 1 can't f 
a I effort. Dear tribe of nni 
lOt being an elderly gen Elemi 



ikirw aunelhing ne 
:orrigib)e tnitb-tell 



dainiy, highbred, restliil, joyoua. delighl to mind, pleature to eye, child of eaillijboni of 
l^^if.' where an IhouT Alas, in Spain only, MKxt.oti tontmil cIMeaux. 



s the following advertiser in the London Tlvai: 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



Da you Wakt a SuvAXTt NcRSily lirompu Ike qiinlion. 
in vanoiu^am of Ih/ world oJuld be ayailable, Could undcnake 

■uddlc-uid ; no objection -' ■'•- '■• '-—'J -jJl. 



of llie woiid, CouidatI 

ol of bii own mooey. Could acl as secretary or valel 

-j._'_- ^_ L^g^j |j^ lon^e» aiAft. dance » pJay, fence^ 

y, ridicruioui or sublimf, or do anylhiag, 



bom the cuiiiDB of a peruke to the storming of a cita 
Addrw, «c. 

Does the reader note Ihe nice condescension of this paragon in engaging 
never to excel his master i He will keep his multiforin accomplishments in 
check, so as not to overshadow his employer. 

Here are a few more " Wants" from various portions of the globe that («ll 
their own storjr and tell it joyuusly and well ; 

From the Clevedon (Hjig.) Mrrcury: 

Wanted— A nally plalu but eiperienced and efficient goTenicH for ihiee prli. eldest 10. 
Mnsic. Frcncb, and German required. BHIliancy of converaaiion, lascination oT manner, aitd 
ayonmelry of form objected 10, as Ibe bther is much at home and there are grown-up son*. 
Addm Mater, Pon-Oake, Clevedon. 

From Ihe Edinburgh Seottman: 

Serrant— Wanted. bya family living in an Edinburgh Bal, a geneni Krvanl, who win 
dndly superintend her mislieu in cooWIng and washmg, nursing the baby, etc. She will 
have every Sunday and two ni^is out in each weeL, and the use of the drawing'Toam for 
the teceplfcn or her Hends. Address A. F., &»/i»ifl» Office. 



nionn the proDuni 



The ingenuous reader may have imagined that piize-fighting and boxing 

^i !_i _.!_zi !.!._ "--'f of huma ■■ ' ' 

iry papers 
lislake. The following ts~by no means a solitary instance. It ap- 



especial privilegea of the Stronger half of humanitv. A |lanc 
:ntn-century papers will convince 



the advertising columns of Ihe e 

of his mistake. The following il _^ ^ _ _^ 

peaied in the Daily Post ol July 17, 171S, in the form of a challenge and 



boalng. for ten poi 


.rKld,ofS»l.e.Ne-lngton,. 

,iudi.^™">d^U;M;dqi 
ill oblige het to acknowledge 

Aes, of the city of London, h 

l«ol; bul i^Uhf'bmMsf^ 
, fdo assure her 1 will not &il 
licb I shaU preseni her with 1 


iSB-drivei-, well Vnown for 
in my way, having been 

avenot fought in thiswa 
line minutes, ud gained 

.meetingT,etforlhe«id 
rill be more difficult for h. 


ysinc 


■SSs 

proofs of ir 


Ibal the blow, wb 


dlr^metofighlh. 
>nni,anddonbtn< 
cr 10 digest than sh 



Bui it seems to have been discovered that even these degraded ci 
had not lost all the characteristics of their sex Some challenges provide 
that each woman shall hold half a crown in each hand, " the first woman that 
drop* the money to lose the battle." Evidently the feminine temptation to 
Bse the nails instead of the fists had to be |itovided against. 



Cookie 



MANDV-SOOk OJf 



Thlt ii lo ncqmini thi pubiic, ihai on Monday iht firn Lnsuni, being ihe Lodgi (ot 
monthly mHling) Night of ihe Vttf and Accepted Uaiod* or the 93d Regiment held At tne 

{wilb 9 poker) ihu lUd not been open for ume Eime paiE ; by which meaui ihe got Into AD 
«y^^^en( roonij made iwo hole* through the waLI, and, by lAAt itmlAeem, dUcovered Ihe 

Joulld ™i tht KOTl, BBllling to' m»l.e it known to all her sei. So BOy Itdy who U desirou. 
of lenming the lecreti of FreepiMonry, by sppljing to ihat well-leimed wonmn (Mn. Bell, 
IhAt lind GflMl yean in and •bout Kewgile) may^ io.tcucled In the lecnti of MlHory. 

Our advertising ancestors Irequently broke into verse. Here ia a fair sam- 
ple frotn the Salem (Mass.) Rigisttr of September 6, 1801, in which poelif 
and prose, remonstrance and business, are quaintly intermixed .- 

Tlie fbl^wing lineg were writien in the thop of the tubtcriber by ton of St- Crupin, 
viewing with conlempt ibe lyiaoniul and oppreuive diraoulion of a mu who hai (hnl- 

Satem, 9th Mo. 



Oh Shame I 
And only li. 



ed hiniKlf to keep an Oi fro'm hay. 



AldiD"SieRhy he did hii ^n°dain^ 



Twenty per cent. wa> muck off at one clip, fran those kind of ihoei which art mouly 
worn. It k <ifi«n moDlhi aince the Shoe War commeticed. 

J, MAmiULD, jrd. 

But it is tradesmen, quacks, theatrical managers, etc, people, in short, 
who wish to attract the public attention to their own pecuniaty profit, — it is 
this iwrtion of the race who have developed advertising, especially in the 
latter half of the present century, into an art that taxes all the creative facul- 
ties of the human mind. Their forerunners of past ages trusted merely to 
' » goi^eous vocabulary. They used up all the laudatory 



adjectives in the language, and there was an end on 't. Their 

n do something odd, biiatre, outrf, extiavagant,- 



tn-day know lietter. They understand such appeals are made only to the eye 
■ e immediately forgotten. It is necessary to arrest attention, to startle. 



sensational alKive everything. Such methods set people to wondering, 
thinking, and talking. The earliest appeals of this sort were made in the 
comparatively conventional direction of literature and art. Wit, poetry, and 
wood-engravmg were called into play. At first it was very poor wit, poor 
|H>etry, ()oor wood -engraving. When the novelty wore off it ceased to attract 
attention. Then advertisers began to turn themselves into Mxcenases. They 
patronized the skilful pen and the cunning pencil. The world would be 
astonished if it knew now many men now famous have written puffs for 
tradesmen. And two men, one in England and another in America, have won 
lame for themselves in the exclusive service of the advertiser. The first was 
George Robins, the English auctioneer, whose advertisements of estates for 
sale were, half a century ago, conned and studied with as much gusto as the 
latest poem or romance. His description of that terrestrial paradise whose 
only drawback was "the litter of the rose-leaves and the noise of the night- 
ingales" has become a classic The second is Mr. Powers, formerly of Wana- 
maker's Bazaar, in Philadelphia. He had a facility of phrase, a virile simplicity 
of style, a directness and an ingenuous candor, that indicated literary abilities 



LITERARY CURIOS/TIES. 23 

of a high order. When he wrote ihem, Wanamakec's advertisements won a 
national reputation. Many people turned to them first when they took up 
the moining papeis, sure of finding something fresh and interesting even if 
ihey had no desire 10 purchase. 

As to art. Ctuikshank was the first well-knuwn man to lend his pencil to 
the advertiser. His capital sketch, made for a blacking-establishment, oi the 
cat seeing herself reflected and spitting at the boot, is still in use after half a 
century's service. A London soap-firm recently purchased the tight of re- 
producing one of John Rogers's most famous little groups. And you have 
but to turn to the pages of any modern periodical to recogniie what excellent 
work, mostly unsigned and unacknowledged, but betraying the well-known 
charade rislics of eminent artists, is done for advertising purposes. Famous 
works of art, also, have been pressed ir" ■'■ ■ " — '■ — ' 



Hotels and bar-rooms attract custom hv hanging on their walls the authentic 
works i>f great masters, old and new. Cigarette -dealers and others reproduce 
uncopyrlghied masterpieces in miniature lorm, and give them away with (heir 

But as the spirit of journalism has invaded literature and art, so it has 
invaded the advertising business. The sensational methods of editors and 
reporters have been aped by the advertisers in near-by columns. Who does 
not remember the thrilling "reading notices," once so popular, which, after 
holding you breathless with the account of an accident, a love-story, a tale of 
adventure, finally landed you into a boi of pills or a bottle of castor oil } 
Then there was the enigmatical notice, not yet extinct, which arrested atten- 
tion and kept you in wondering suspense, until such time as the advertiser 
deemed ripe to spring the explanation, — the notice which cried, " In the name 
of the Prophet.'' and waited until you had pricked up your ears before it 
added, " figs." An early example of this occurred in l.ondoii some thirty 
years ago. One morning the good people woke up to find the interrogation 
"Who's Blank?" staring them everywhere in the face, — in the newspapers, <m 
the walls and hoardings of the town, even on the pavements. As day after 
day passed, the reiterated query set everybody to thinking. "Who indeed is 
Blank ?" So everylwdj' asked, but nol>ody knew. Presently the words " Fire I 
Fire J Thieves I Thieves I" following the query, deepened the mystery. At 
last the secret was out when the enterprising owner of a newly- paten led safe 

The mysterious statement, in large letters, "714 MoRf," which simulta- 
neously invaded the American press all over the country, carried wonder and 
even uneasiness to many an American household. One can imagine the whole 
family puzzling (heir brains over it for days. Finally, one morning. Young 
Hopeful bursts out breathlessly, " Pop ! 1 know what 724 More is I" " What 
is it i" cries every one, eijieclantly. " Pancakes I" And then it comes out 
that 724 more pancakes can be made out of Puff's Baking Powder than out 
of any other. 

Tricks of the type are a lower form of art, and have now lost much of their 
efficacy. It is onlv the uninventive mind that seeks to attract attention by 
italics, capitals, exclamation marks, and the use of strange and uncouth letters. 
Even the familiar trick of setting up announcements tn diagonal form, or 
of inverting the letters, palls upon a sated public. There is still great virtue, 
however, in large capitals and the force of iteration. If day in and day out 
the public have the name of any article pressed conspicuously upon their 
attention, that name is unconsciously fixed in the mind like a household word. 
And the effect is more certain if the name appears in some unlooked-for spot 
and in an unfamiliar environment. The knowledge of these facts has led 
advertisers to drop their lines in other places besides the daily pa[iers. 



Google 



34 HANDY-BOOK OF 

And »o it came around that bill-poslers stuck up flaring advertisements an 
walls, on fences, on bill-boards. Ihal the interiors of cars and omnibuses were 
decorated wilh signs, thai pavements were stencilled with trade notices, that 
peripatetic artists swaimed over the country painting the names of quack 
medicines on ihc palings of fences, the sides of houses and barns, on rocks, 
trees, and rirer.banks. 

Bill-posting was first used in connection with thr. drama. The very name 
indicates this. As ^ back as 1579, John Northbtooke, in his treatise against 
theatrical perfonnances, says, "They use to set up their bills upon posts, 
some certain days before, to admonish people to make resort to their thea- 
tres." Later, notices of houses to rent, of sales, auction, etc, were posted. 
Then followed all manner of advertisements. But not until Iwoscore years 
ago was bill-posting systematized into a business. Anciently the best bill- 
poster was the mighty man of brass and muscle, who, knowing nothing of law 
or license, tore down his rival's placard and set up his own in its stead. Some- 
limes the rival would show fight Sometimes the owner of the property 
would object to its desecration, and serve an injunction on the bill-poster. Un- 
daunted, however, the latter would lease out his contract to another man, who 
would slick up his tnlls before the court could issue a ikw injunction. At last 
■he system of leasing space sprang up. The owner leased his space to the 
bill-slicker, who could enforce the right as against his rival. This system 
dales from 1876. It has led to the establishment of large firms, many of whom 
control space throughout the entire Union, and can, at a moment's bidding, 
proclaim the merits of a Soap or a patent medicine throughout the land. 

Worst of all, the bill-poster has amalgamated with the peripatetic artist 
of the brush. When the latter first sprang into being, he was a distinct 
individuality and a most offensive one. Nothing in nature was too sacred for 
him, — indeed, the more sacred, the greater the advertisement The most 
magnificent scenery was profaned. The sign-painter often had to stand up to 
his neck in water, or climb apparently inaccessible peaks, 10 reach the most 
Striking locality for his "ad." He was hooted by the newspapers, and shot 
at by enraged worshippers of the beautiful. But no danger, no dilGculiy, 

The most remarkable of these early pioneers was the owner of a certain 
Plantation Bitlers. He devised an enigmatic inscription, "S. T. i860. X.," 
which shortly appeared in every newspaper and on every available fence, 
rock, tree, bill-board, or barn throughout the countiy, on wagons, railroad- 
cars, ships, and Steamers. One day all the exposed rocks in the Niagara 
rapids bloomed out with the mystic sign. Forest-trees along the lines of the 
Pennsylvania Railroad were hewn down to afford the passengers a dlimpse 
of the same announcement emblaioned in letters four hundred feet high on 
the mountain -side. Then the manufacturer's agents went abroad. Cheops' 
pyramid was not too sacred for him, nor the place on Mount Ararat where the 
Ark is said tO have landed. He even announced that he would discover the 
North Pole for the express purpose of decorating it with the cabalistic words. 
And what did the words mean? Many puzzled their heads over them in. 
vain. Not until the proprietor had retired wilh a fortune did he reveal the 
secret. "S. T. tS6o. X." meant, "Started trade in 1S60 with (10." 

But we have not yet exhausted all the arts of the advertiser. Something 
should be said about the sad-eyed sandwich-man, braced between two bill- 
boards and set adrift in the crowded streets ; something also of the various 
perambulalory advertisements which have been gradually evolved froi 

simple germ: of the negro genllt ■—•..-\. _— .j . . . 

huge standing collar, on which is p 
him ; of the army of tall men, all a 



Coo^k" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 

mnufaclurer of robber goods clad in long rubber coa 
and trade-mark, and ihen cast out on the highways and ^ 

olis \ or the countless numbers of men and boys bedecked in fantastic c< 
tumes and placed in (he streets tu distribute circulars. 

A quarter of a century ago. a London manager invented a new advertising 
scheme which has been the fruitful parent of many similar devices. A drama 
called "The Dead Heart" was being [flayed at his theatre. He ordered ten 
hundred Ihousand hearts to be printed in red, inscribed with the words Dead 
Heart, and bad Ihem posted everywhere, upon the pavements, upon the walls, 
upon the trees in the parks, upon the seats, and even u|>on the backs oi 
revellers who were returning home in a convivial but oblivious mood. 
Twenty years later, one of his imitators devised a still more startling scheme. 
He was manager of the melodrama "The Mystery of a Hansom Cab." 
Hiring a number of hansoms, he placed in each the dummy figure of a man 
in a dress suit, with btood-bespattered shirt, and had them driven through the 
principal streets. He succeeded even better than be had expected. The 
fjhaslly spectacle became the talk of all London, The newspapers denounced 
It as an atrocity. Il was said that nervous people had fainted, that children had 
screamed, and that ladies had gone olT in hysterics. Finally, the authorities 
gave the lucky manager an additional "ad." by ordering the hansoms back to 
the stables under pain of arrest 

Over in Vienna, a theatrical manager advertised for five thousand cats. 
The strange announcement attracted general attention. At the appointed day 
and hour the entrance to the theatre was blacked by a vast crowd of men, 
women, and children with bags, baskets, or coat-pockelB stuffed with cats. 
The manager bought them all, fixed labels around their necks announcing 
(he first performance of a grand pantomime in the following week, then 
turned Ihem loose, and let Ihem scamper off in all directions. Of course the 
manager did not depend merely on the labels. He knew that the novelty of 
the scheme would set press and public to talking, and he was right in his 
calculations. 

A story has recently gone the rounds of the press which is ouite good 
enough to be true. A poor clergyman wishing to buy hymn-books for his 
congregation at the lowest possible price, a London firm offered to supply 
him gratuitously with a line of books containing certain advertisements. The 
minister complied, thinking to himself that, when the books arrived, the ad- 
veriisementB could be removed, but, to his joy and surprise, he found no inter- 
leaved advertisements. On the first Sunday after the new books had been 
distributed, the congregation found themselves singing, — 

Hack \ Ihc hcnld angeli •ing. 
BHcham'i Pilli art juit ihr Ibiog; 
Fe«< on onb mxl inercv mild, 
Two foe man and dk lot cbitd." 



Advloe. An axiom of proverlnal as well as of written philosophy is 
■ammed up in this phrase of Hazlilt'si "Our friends are generallv readv 
verything for us except the very thing we wish them It 



„ . ,. . ) Johnson offers 

tl excellent reason both for the willingness on one side and the unwillingness 
■m the other ; "Advice, as it always gives a temporary appearance of superi. 
ority, can never be very grateful, even when it is most necessary or most 
joificions." IRamUfr, No. 87,) If this be true, then it evidently follows, to 
quote his own words again from a letter to Mrs. Pioui, "The advice that is 
wanted is generally unwelcome, and that which is not wanted is generally im- 
pertinent. Horace Smith, therefore, suggests quite the right attitude towards 



26 tiAI^DY.BOOK OP 

advice, and es|]ecia11y good advice : " Good advice is one of those injurlea 
which a guod man ought, if possible, lo forgive, but at all events to forgel at 
once." {Tht Tin Trumps: Aiioict.) The ingenuous few that occasionally 
seem to seek advice really want something else ; " We ask advice, but we 
mean ap[irobation." (CoLTON : Lacon.) Yet Benjamin Franklin has so little 
worldly wisdom as to say in his " Poor Richard's Almanac," "They that will 
not be counselled will not be helped," To be sure, he adds ahnost in the 
same breath, '■ We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct," — a thought, 
by the way, which he stole from La Rochefoucaald : " We give advice, but we 
cannot give the wisdom to profit by it." Saadi, in the " Gulistln," makes a 
sage remark when he says, " He who gives advice to a self- conceited man 
stands himself in need of counsel from another." (ch. viii., Fulei for Cmiiuct in 
tife.) But he fails lu recognize that all men in this sense are self-conceited. 
Yet, on the other hand, if Bailey be right, self-conceit should incline them to 
hearken : " The worst men often give the best advice." {Fislui. sc. A Villagi 
Feast.) In the face of all this human unwillingness, however, Alphon-iu the 
Wise of Castile was bold enough to say, " Had I been present at the Crea- 
lion, I would have given some useful hints for the belter ordering of the 



originally been used at the coronation of his , .. , ., .... 

Glaiiding for Albertus Eleclus Imperatot Optimus Vivat At his own coro- 
nation at Aix-ta-Chapelle in 1440, Frederick retained the initials, with Ihb 
altered meaning, Archidux Electus Imperalor Opiinie Virat It became a 
favorite pastime for learned and ingenious men to fit new readings to ihe 
motto. Frederick himself, in a manuscript referred lo by the librarian of 
Leopold I,, quoted a flattering German version, Aller Ehren Isi Oesterreich 
Voll, ("Austria is crowned with all honor,") but it is recorded that he had 
to remove an equally unflattering inscription in the Burg, Aller Erst Isl 
Oesterreich Verdorben. 

Rasch, organist of the Schottencloster, discovered no less than two hundred 
possible readings, which he gave to Ihe world about 1580. Three of these arc 
especially famous : Austria Eril In Orbe Ultima, " Austria will be the last in 
the world," and Auslriae Est lm|Wrare Orbi Univcrso, and Alles Erdreich 1st 
Oesterreich Unlerthan, the last being a free translation into German of the 
Latin of the second. The initial ingenuity of both is retained in the English 
equivalent ; Austria's Empire Is Over all Universal. 

, meaning a per- 
tally, spirilually, 

and physically, with one's self, that a higher law — a law' above all mere human 
codes and conventions, and, therefore, above Ihe seventh commandment, which 
was numbered among human ordinances — urged these twain to become one 
flesh. A complete life or destiny could be fulfilled, not by a single individual, 
but by a couple. Each must have its aflinily. The greater duty of life was 
to discover this alttr ego. It will be seen that this necessitated numerous ei- 
perimenls on the wav. The Free. Lovers were largely influenced by Goethe's 
"Elective Affinities,'' in which human beings are likened to chemical sub- 
stances that repel or attract one another by eternal laws. Only Goethe hesi- 
tates to say explicitly ihat this chemical force IhrusI upon man by the demoniac 
powers releases htm from personal responsibility. The Free-Lovers not only 
explicitly staled this, not only asserted thai man was excusable, but went fur- 
ther, and taueht thai it was his sacred duly to break through the iraditional 
code and satisfy his higher self. The sect became prominent ta i&^ and 



;i:v,.G00gk' 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 27 

established several communilies, the most famous being at Oneida, New York. 
Thej were a cunstaiit target for the humorists. Artemus Ward has an excel- 
lent hit of fuuhiig on the community at Berlin Heights, Ohio. He describes 
buw he set up his great moral show in the neighboibood, and how the Fcee- 
Lovers came fli>cking round the doors, among Iheni " a perfeckly orful-lookin' 
female," whose " gownd was skanderlusiy short and her trowsis was shameful 
to behold." 

" Surcclv," I Kd, vDdcv«rid lo git Look Arom her. But ihe diuue to n* and Hd '- 
■■Voo.iTn.yAffinm/\" 
" Wh>l upon anh b thatl" I ahoulcd, 
" Doit ihDU not kiioi**" 
'■ No. 1 dojitn. !■• 

■'LIhid. man, & I'll uU y*!" Kd Die utange (cmalc: "for yean I ha* ymmed !brlh«. 
1 knowd ihou wui in (he world, luaiwhara, iho 1 didn't know whan. My han led he 

O 'lit loo DUIch. loo mutch r'andiheiobbed agio. 

" Hail Ihou not yoaracd lor nwT" ihv yelled, liDgiti' her haods like a female play-actor, 
" Not a yearn \" I liellered at the lop of my voice, Ihrowin' her awciy from me.— j^rffntiu 
Ward. Hit Boak: Amtif !)i4 Frti-ljKtri. 

Agathoclaa' Pot A^athocles, the celebrated tyrant of Syracuse, was 
originally a potter: in his greatness he always affected extreme humility, 
haling an earthen pot placed beside him at table to remind him of his 
origin. 

A poor relalLoniilhe moat imlevant thing in nature, a piece ot impertinent conraponaency, 
... a dealhVllead at >Dur t>ai^uet, A^thocicl' pot, a Hurdecu Lu your gate, a Laums at 
yonrdoor, n lion in your path, . . . ihe ounce of aourin a pound of iweel. — Utmb'i EUa: 
fBtr RilMani. 

Agitate, agitate, agitate! This advice, which seems a reminiscence of 
Demosthenes's "Action, action, action I" |;. v.\ was given to the Irish people 
by the Marquis of Anglesea when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland under Ihe Duke 
of Wellington. O'Connell caught up the phrase and followed the advice it 
inculcated. Hence he was known as "the Irish Agitator." But Parnel! deemed 
that a better watchword was "Organize, organize, organize 1" 

AgnoatlO (Gr. k privative, and ^vucrof, knaaiing, knaan, inmiiaile). One 
who believes that the finite minil can comprehend only the finite world, and 
that Cod and the infinite and the causes that underlie appearances are neces- 
sarily unknown and unknowable. According to a letter from R. H. Hutton, 
quoted in the New English T}\cX\oraiy, tub voce, the word was "suggested by 
Prof. Huxley at a party held previous to the formation ol the now defunct 
Metaphysical Society, at Mr. James Knowles's house on Clajiham Common, 
one evening in 1S69, in niv hearing. He took it from SL Paul's mention of 
the altar to * the Unknown God.' " 

Since this letter appeared in print. Prof. Huxley has himself given ua the 
hintory uf Ihe word, in the Nineltcntk Century for February, iSSg. " When 
I reached intellectual maturity anil began to ask myself whether I was an 
atheist, a theist, or a pantheist, a materialisl or an iifealiol, a Christian or a ' 
free-thinker, I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready 
was the answer, until at last 1 came to the conclusion that I had neither art 
nor part with any of these denominations except the last. The one thing in 
wbifh most of these good jieople agreed was the one thing in wnich I differed 
from them. They were quite sure they had attained a cettain 'gnosis,' had 
more or less successfully solved the problem of existence ; while 1 was quite 
sure I had not, and bad a pretty strong conviction that Ihe problem was 
insoluble. . . . This was my situation when I had the good fortune to and a 



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aS HANDY-BOOK OF 

place among the membeis of that remarkable confraternity of aniuonists, 
long since deceased.but of green and pious memory, Ihe Melaphysical Society. 
Every variety of philosophical and theoli^ical opinion was tepresenled there, 
and expressed itself with entire openness ; most of my colleagues were ills of 
one sort or another ; and, however kind and friendly they might be, I, the man 
without a tag of a label lo cover himself with, coulo not bil to have some of 
the uneasy feelings which must have besel the historical fox when, after leaving 
the trap in which his tail remained, he piesented himself to his normally 
elongated companions, ^o I took thought, and invented what I conceived to 
be tlie appropriate title of ' agnostic' It came into my head as suggestivelv 
antithetic lo the 'Gnostic' of Church history who professed lo know so much 
about the very things of which I was ignorant, and I look the earliest oppor- 
tunity of parading it at our society, to show that I, too, had a tail like the 
Other foxes. To my great satisfaction, the term took ; and when the Spectator 
had stood godfather lo il, any suspicion in the minds of respectable people 
Ihat a knowledge of itu parentage might have awakened was, of course, com- 

Eletely lulled." (Reprinted in Christianity and Agnosticism: a Conlreveriy. 
lew York. 18S9.) 

Asonjr. To pile on the agooy, originally an Americanism, is now a 
common locution on both sides of the Atlantic, meaning louse harrowing 
details for the purpose of inlensifying a narrative or a statement. So far back 
as 1B57, Charlotte Bronte writes in a letter, " What climax there is does not 
come on till near the conclusion ; and even then I doubt whether (he regular 
novel -reader will consider the 'agony piled sufficiently high' (as the Ameri- 
cans say) or the colors dashed on to the canvas with the proper amount of 
daring.'' (Gaskell : Life of CharlolU Bronte, dh. Tav.) 

AgODy Colnnm. The name bmiliarly given lo the Mcond column of the 
lirst page of the London Times, containing advertisements similar to those 
which in American papers are grouped under Ihe head of Personals. But 
they often exhibit a frantic exuberance of capitals, exclamation -mar kH, and 
interjections, and make lurid exhibitions of private and personal matters 
which are well-nigh unknown to the advertising columns of cis-Allantic jour- 
nals. Sometimes they are written in cipher, or some mutually -agreed -on 
arrangement of words, and many a line that reads like the purest gibberish 
carries sorrow or gladness to Ihe eye Ihat reads Ihe secret. Yet even ciphers 
have been found dangerous. There are everywhere certain ingenious busy- 
bodies (/,<., bodies who have nothing to busy themselves with) that make a 
Study of Ihis column, and, finding a key to the cipher in which a clandestine 
correspondence is cariied on, insert a marplot advertisement, — sometimes for 
the mere fun of the thing, sometimes to stop an intrigue that is neatly ripe for 
execution. The agony column itself is evidence of this. For you often find 
the real agents in a correspondence notifying each other that such and such an 
advertisement was not inserted b^ authority. (See CtPHRR.) 

A large number of the advertisements relate 10 prodigal sons and truant 
husbands. Now, you and I have never run away and hid from our families ; 
probably no one in our set of acquaintances ever has. Yet the fact remains 
Ihat there is a certain percentage of the human race to whom the (emplalion 
to run away is irresistible. By a more or less happy dispensation, they seem 
In be blessed with relatives of exceptional clemency, who, instead of leaving 
Ihem alone like Bopcep's sheep, implore them through the Times and other 
papers lo come home lo a steaming banquet of veal. They frequently wind up 
by promising the fugitive that everything will be arranged t( '' 
which surely ought to prove - ' — ■■■■ — '•-'• '"' *" '•"— — 



;i:v,.G00gIi: 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. ag 

vaf^e. It is therefore encour^ng to run across an advertisement that deals 
with parliculars and not with glittering generalities, — t.g., as when on October 
2, 1851, a fugitive who is B|iolteii of as "The Minstrel Boy" (probably in a 
fine vein of sarcasm, for among the items of personal descripliun appears 
" no ear for music") is thus addressed : " Pray return to your disconsolate 
jiiends. All will be forgiven, and Charlie will give up (he froni room." 

Another favorite way of luring the victim back is to threaten that all sorts 
■« calamities will visit the family he has left behind. Thus, P. F. P. is im- 
plored for mercy's sake to write again r " If not, your wretched father will be 
a maniac, and your poor unhappy mother will die broken-hearted." Here is 
» still more pathetic appeal, ludicrous, however, in the very midst <ii its pathos : 
"To A , . . . If humanity has not entirely flown from your breast, returti. 
oh, return, ere it is too late, to the heart-broken, distracted wife you have 
forsaken, — ere the expression of those soft eyes that won you be lost in the 
bewildered stare of insanity, — ere they may gaze even on you and know you 
not ; write, tell her, oh 1 tell her where you are, that she may follow you — 'her 
own, her all—and die. See her once more." Here is an example that shifts 
with strange abruptness from entreaty to threats ; " I entreat you to keep to 
VDur word, or it may be fatal. Laws were made to bind the villains of society." 
The neat laconicism of the following has even more merit : 

Philip. Would Philip Uk« lo hiiroT Ma Mothir's Diatk! 

A sad little history is summed up in the following advertisements, the last 
two being, of course, an answer to the first : 

July 15, 18, 22, and 25, 1850. 

Thi Ohi-Wihgid Dovi muH dk unlets the Ckims nnuiu ta Ik a ti&Ai igalsM h« 

November aj, 1850. 

SoHBHSiT, S. B. Thh MATBof ttw DovB muii iak< wlnjftmvtr uoku > malirial diiiig* 

November 16, lS5a 
Thi Matb of the Dovk lxd> a tiual Faksvili.. Aduu iq the Briiish Iilei, alihouih Hich 
■ molniiaD cinun be accomplubed wiihaui pdgDul grief. W. 

Undoubtedly there is a romance also behind these three advertisements, 
which followed awe another at considerable intervals; but the reader vrill 
have to build one up to suit himself; 

March 24, 1849. 
No Doormat To-Nicht. 

March 38, 1850. 
DooauATuul Beaks To-Nicht, 

May 28. 1851. 

DOORHAT To-NlGBT. 

Was this a love-message ? Was Doormat the i^reed-upon symbol for a 
■trim Paterfamilias, a jealous husband ? Did the mice, anxious for play, ac- 
quaint each other in this fashion that the cat was or was not away? And 
what connection did Doormat have with Beans? Idle, idle questions I As 
irell ask ** what songs the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when 
he hid himself among women." 

A curious advertisement, that tells its own storv, appears on May 21, 1838 
The advertiser, who gives his real name and address, states that sotne years 
previous he had saved the life of an English nobleman by rescuing him from 
drowning, but that he withdrew himself, " not lo receive the unbounded thanks 
and generous reward of an English gentleman." Now, however, he intimates 
tliat a correspondence with the bmily might be pleasing to them and a source 



Goo^k" 



HANDY-BOOK OP 



and muiiey, — that is lo say, he wanted money pressed on him with many 
cxpiessions of gralilude. Very likely he deserved it. Certainly his way tu 

-ypielly. What could be more happy than the hint about 



the generous 

But the most extraordinary series of advertise men is that ever appeared in 
any paper, a series extending ovec a period of fifteen years and hinting at alt 
sorts of mystery, romance, criine, and even madness, was contributed mainly 
by a gentlenian whose real name, E, J. Wilson, is occasionally signed, while 
more frequently he masquerades under the initials E. W. or E. J. W., or 
under pseudonymes that would be baffling but for the unerring evideiKC of 
style. That he was a mau who had suQcred a good deal, and that his sorrows 
iiad unhinged his reason, is apparent enough, for the advertisements are 
coiiirhcti 111 precisely the language which seems impressive to people of de- 
ranged minds. Moreover, be has an insane belief in his own virtues, impor- 
tance, and abilities. " I claim to rank with Cobden, Bright, and Rowland 
Hill," iie says in one place, and elsewhere he asserts that he is the author of 
" the decimal system at Her Majesty's Customs which pours pure gold every 
day into (he coffers uf the nation." How far, therefore, his sorrows are the 
result of hallucination it is not possible to say. Nor is it possible to make a 
perfectly consistent and coherent whole out of the staccato story of his wrongs 
as revea'led in these advertisements. But the main outlines seem to be that 
he was a man of fortune with an important position in the Hritisb Customs 
USice, that he married a Hebrew lady, that bis family and friends quarrelled 
with him, apparently over some smuggling scheme of which he disapproved 
and in whose spoils he refused to participate, that his wife and his infant 
daughter were spirited away from him (he seems to hint that the wife eloped 
with a lover, but this she indignantly denies), and that he s])ent a large portion 
of his life, and lost fortune, place, and position, in the effort to regain the 
daughter. So much being premised, a few selections here and there from the 
voluminous communications ot Mr. Wilson and the rare answers of his wife 



ly be found interesting, — mav pique curiosity, at least, if not satisfy it. 

i^eie is almost the first of the series : 

rioHsiT, HOHsn AlixisI Whu a unngf coincideiicc t Bcmcivc the lul lyllablc, uid 
.b«rc WHAupcva mat inaD,oiwof trie *elf-<aii»tilutcd ucred racx^liDDwD by thai i:o^aipai, 
irliDQ» l-1Qr which, of cDUTK, t ihall never be IbrgtveD— IransforiDcd— »« f Intend In Ki-ve 
nuiy niDte— inio ■ city ipecire. HontH, bonat Al«i>l May ihii neoer be yourlaK. 
jBDdrpur would Ihen indeed be wronged- £. W. 

To tni.i frantic expostulation Alexis (very naturally) answers, " What are 
pu alluding to \ Send vour addkess. Uo it immediately. 1 was much 
lisappointed at not receiving it on Saturday, and have been in the greatest 
igoiiy ever since. You are freely forgiven ; extend your mercy to Alexis." 
vL W. seems to have preferred continuing the correspondence through the 
Lolumns of the Titms, On March 19 he explains that he was alluding (o 
" the customs," and adds, " You will only deceive the supetficial fools of the 

Alexia evidently gets very wroth, and fourdays later inserts the following : 

E. W., author of unonvmoiu comipondena, look >t home. Conirience doei not ■cCiue 

xvetsl r«n, until, iudglpg from your (iiii|>enied feetini, you m ai ^t tired that your 
Mil hu not uk<n. Have you icoDsdeocel Thl> ii doubled by tome, whilil olhenikink 
rmi h>vc. but thai i( dwelli tir beneath iu utual Kat. Aleiii IMdi you rareweU. 



ern sea, the blue -eyed r 



Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 3^ 

Impassable gale of dreary Scandinavia : Vou cost one great man his place, and 
will also cusi a gieai many more their place." Does Mr. Wilson refer to 
himseiras the great man? Not unlikely. In January his wife, who now 
appears to be in Hammersmith, England, conjures him to call on her. "A 
wilful error," she savs, " is maintained againM justice and truth 10 oppose my 
right Why not coine immediately V llul, instead of going, E. J. W. simply 
inserts the word SiLBNCE I in the Agony column for January 15, which leads 
to the following interchange of mysteries : 

January 18. 1853. 
January 19, 1853. 

WHUnl Hu my visioD been fiilAllcd, or <h» v>« pnv^l ! That li Ibe quollon. 
E. J. W. 

Same date, lower down. 

SiiJHCi. •THMir Wh^I "Silence in (he Mctropollir' Silence on ihe nilway li good, 
but '* Silence in the UetropoJiH" ii cxcenivdy beitei! 

Possibly there is a veiled allusion here to hia address. For on the 2lst. 
E. J. W., apparently in answer tu some communication by letter, inserts the 
word " Incorruftchle" with his initials. And on the zsth he celebrates his 
own incoiruplibitily in song ; 

"°" """ ' "'' ' Ino^piiUe'E J. W. 

More nonsense of a similar kind follows. Then, on February 8, the wife 
ap|>ears once more to be heard from ; "G — Arthur and E. J. W. ate inex- 
cusable in absenting themselves from the two indescri babies. Do nut leave 
under a wilful delusion. ... All communication is intercepted in England and 
abroad, and our reputations calumniated to render us homeless and friend- 
less. Deceit prevails." The plot has now thickened, and conjecture can 
make only the vaguest surmises. Nothing more appears until March 24, 
when E. J. W. says, " Fly by kicht has got the anchor. Corruption wins, 
and England's lost" On March 30 the tables appear to be tnrned : " ACHIL- 
■.ES has Gcrr the lbver. Corruption sinks, and virtue swims. E ). W." 
Again more nonsense follows, then an interval of silence. At last E J. W. 
cries OUT. ytveuxvoirmajUle: a little later (June 37. [S54), "I'll not touch 
the money. It's stolen property ;" and exactly a year later. " I tell you again 
I'll not touch the money. But where's my child T' It would almost seem 
that he was finally persuaded to reconsider his determination, whatever it was, 
for on September 29, 1855, he writes, — 

FiTV— ya. Tbc fuiare dF a builed heart and coiuciencc r ll n more than unreeling >o 
■«« ihe uoliappy hour of 9 weak and erring bean In influence it 10 vlolaie id whole naiure. 
abaoflon the ienderT4i ilea, and nuWe it Inrerer bankrupt oT every Ime and proper feeUng. 

On November i, 1855. he breaks out, — 

By IhaT bilier cup you have given, and T dranL to the drega ; ... by pfomian made to 
iboaenawnomore,! will tee you. Be true loyounelf and la me. Oh.M'y, M'yl 1 would 
aave you the pansi of errcc,— God forlud of cnme, — and though the paaiion. jealousy, hate, 
and nadnq* yon have excited be teamed and denied, when the Ktpent you foster » weaHed, 
"yea, even then, hen a your haven, when ail foraalie. 

Once more she insists, — 
ef happier days. Open to me a communication and a public inveitigBtioD. Mary, 

There is now a silence of many months. Then in July. 1857. advertise- 
ments again break out, hinting at Some myslerions money transactions under 
the headings, "Nicht eine Million," "Genuc f(Ir Alles," etc. They 
*eem to have resulted in F.. J. W. receiving back his daughter. But he retained 



0031c 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



and ia I retpeclcd the Un of hmruniiy ; and you tee Ihe rciurn— 1 h:>ve Uhi ny daughui 

He never siw her again, apparently, thougti he managed lo establish a cor- 
lespuiidence with her in French through the Agony culumn. Then this breaks 
off and anothei silence ensues, which is sufficiently explained by (his nolice, 
dated October IS, 1865: 

Thb HuiiT or Stone, FiDccn yean of Eloomkii depreuion. and lonf:, lad lioun of 
pain ajid aorrow, have made mc what I am ; but ihe idol or our muiual jiStcuon haTipg aoir 
paued into a belter lift, " Hfjrl of 5ioik" will nlcDI if " Martyr," liiih mcekneu and sub- 
miulon befittino her ■ett^adopled title, coDient* id the condition itated in A Ibrmer cammunl- 
calion to Mr. Pollaky, Prirate loqniiy Office, 13, FaddingtoB Gntn : nnlil then no meeting 






;, Heart of Stone 1 






plK* of DwetiDg. 

And SO the curtain falls on the couple. Whether they made mutual and 
satisfactorr explanations, whether they were happy ever after, we have no 
means of discovering. 

Agtfl«lllB to diffsr. This now familiar phrase dates back lo Sidney's 



"Arcadia," Book 1. : "Between these two persons [Dametas and Miso], n 
never aereed in any himiiir but in disagreeing, is issued forth Mistress Mopsa, 
10 partake of both their perfections." ^outhey, in his " Life of Wes. 



ley," has the ipsis^ma verba "agreed to differ," Tlie more antithetic phra: 

"agreeing to iliEagree" is now more common. 

So 1 have ulhed with Beltey, and Beuey baa lalked with me. 
And we ha« aj^reed logelhtr that we can't ne«r agree. 

Albt, a nickname which Shelley and his companions applied to Byron. It 
is a contraction of Albanese or Albaiieser, and is an allusion to the noble 
lord's fondness for that people, which he carried to so great an extent as to 
become their blood-brolhtr by adoption. This fact is made plain by the alter- • 

native form Albanesei appearing in a lettf- ' ct-ii— -- 1-:- —■'- — 

from Venice, August 23, iSiS. Vet critics 
■pent a deal of ingi 
AIIm! was formed fr 

it an abbreviation of Albemarle Street, whence the poems of Byron were 
issued. And a third, with a subtlety of roundalnut surmise that is worthy of 
all praise, finds an explanation in a romance by Mme. Coltin, entitled "Claire 
d'Albe." which Shelley admired so much that he encouraged his first wife lo 
translate it into English. Now, if Byron's Claire was ever dublied Claire 
d'Albe, Byriin himself might become Albe 1 

Albion Psiflde (F., " Perfidious Albion"). This ])hrase is generally at- 
tributed to Napoleon. Hut though he undoubtedly used it, the idea long ante- 
dated him. 'ITius, in Perlin's " IJescription des Royaulmes d'Anglelcrre et 
d'Ecosse"(i55S) : "Onemaysay of the English that in war they are not strong. 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 33 

and in peace they are not faithful. As the Spaniard says, Angleterre bonne 
terre mala gente (England, good country, bad people). On the other hand, 
Misson, in his "Travels" (1719). says, *' I cannot imagine what could occasion 
the notion I have frequently ot»efved in France that the English were treach- 
erous. It is certainly great injustice to reckon trAchery among (he vices 
fiuniliar to the English. 1'he following lines are said lo have lieen composed 
by I'hilip of Valuis on the occasion of Edward UI.'s invasion of France : 
Anetlui al Anglut cui nunqium Mm Ru est : 
Dum ubi dicet ave, licul ib^Diu Clx. 

Grouiliu « Guiuiiw, id HM. Fnnu. 

Aldine, a name given to the books that issued Irom the press of Aldus 
Manutius (LaliniKiTfurm o( Aldo Manuzio) and his family in Venice. These, 
frtrni their hiatoric interest in the annals of printing and iheir inlrinEic ex- 
cellence, have always been held in high repute by book-lover^.— ea|)ecially 
the publii^iions of Aldus hImseIC A generous love of classic liieratute was 
Aldus'g main motive when, in 1490, he founded the great house which, after 
revolutionizing the art of printing and book-making, went out of existence in 
1597. The Aldine publications consist ai editiontt priiidfes uf ancient classics 
and corrected texts of the more modern Italians, with grammars, philologies, 
and other works of erudition. They are even now reckoned with manuscripts 
among the critical apparatus of scholars. Aldus, or rather his engraver, 
Francesco of Bologna, invented what they called cursive tyjies (>>., italics), 
which vrere first used in the edition of Virgil published in 1501, a volume 
memorable, also, as the lirst octavo ever issued- Printing now became one of 
the fine arts. The success of the Aldine cdilions led lo piratical counterreils 
in Lyons and Florence, which even imitated the dolphin twined round an 
anchor, which was the Aldine trade-mark, and the alternative mottoes, " Fea- 
tina lente" or " Sudavit et alsiL" Aldus himseir'coin plained bitterly of these 
pirates: "The paper of these books is second-rate, and even smells badly." 
They remain to this day a puzzle and a despair In amateur book -col lectors, - 
but an expert can tell the genuine not only by the superior quality of the 
paper used, but by the fact that the consonants arc attached to the vowels as 
m writing, while in the counterfeits they stand apart. 

Alexauden at flve Bona a day. This is a phrase which Voltaire applied 
to soldiers. Is it the origin of the popular American locution for the shadow 
or imitator of a great original : A little Washington {or Blaine, or Cleveland, 
or what not) for a cent? Certainly in France it has given rise to a similar 
expression. For example, Emile Faguet (" Dii-huitiime Siicle," 1890, p. 193) 
Mys, "Voltaire n'a pas ixi artiste pour un obole" (" Voltaire was not an artist 
tir a cent"), or, in other words, was not at all an artist. 

Alezandeo' tli« Correotor, a title assumed by Alexander Cruden (1701- 
1770), the compiler of the famous Concordance of the Bible, who had been 
employed in various printing-offices as corrector of the press, but who used it 
in the higher sense of one divinely appointed lo correct the morals of the 
nation, with especial r»ard lo swearing and the neglect of Sabbatical obser- 
vance*. He petitioned Parliament for a formal appointment as a corrector 
for the reformation of the penple, and, being confined for a brief period in an 
insane asylum, published an account of his detention in " The Adventures of 
Alexander the Corrector." (See a review in GtiUleman's Magatiof, xxiv. 50.) 

Al«XBiidra limp. One of the absurdest fads of toadying 11 



slight timp. Immediately a 
l8lo>, ai ■■■'■- 



riage with the Prince or Wales (in i860), an epidemic of lameness broke out 
among the jietlicoated hangers-on of royalty, which soon spread through all 
the female world of England, until it was happily laughed 01 " ' "" 



Coogk" 



34 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Alive and kloklll(^ a cummon saying, meaning very much alive. The 
allusion is to a child in the womb after quickening. 

AU-firad, in English and American slang, inordinate, violent, immcMlcrate. 
Not unlikely it is a euphemistic corruption of " lielt-fired." 

rou."— T. HuoHBs; Tom BrmH al Oi/trd. 

All fotua, To go (» run on, a familiar expression, meaning to go on 
smoothly, successfully. Coke quotes it as an ancient saying ; " Hul no simile 
holds on everything, according to the ancient saying. Nullum simile fuiituor 
ftdAuj airrif. The saying is still a common form of comparison with law- 
yers to imply that t«ru things exactly agree. 

AUlteraUon. The repetition of some letter or sound at th< beginning of 
two or more words in close or inimedtate succession, as, — 

racleriies. In the hands of 
ce of metric effect ; in those 
of a bungler, it is a vexation to the spirit. The mete literary Irifler finds in 
it a medium for more or less astonishing yet entirely valueless tauri de farce. 
Alliteration is the parent of modern rhyme. In Icelandic and Gothic poetry 
il was reduced to a system which soon passed into our literature and hccame 
the metrical basis of early English poetry. Here ia an example from Piers 
Plowman ; 

By SjIdi AiuI, quolh /■crUo, 
V» jrofcr nnT.yr<. 

And (owe for lu twttic 
And Dlller /atnn do br Ihy Itm 

Al my Mt lymc. 
In n»ninl <tiat ihou Imm 

Holy Ky^c and iny>cl& 
Fro fwtErt and In a/yck«) men 

There in here an agreeable repetition of the same initial at the moM em- 
phalic pauses of the verse. As a rule, three such letters were allowed in 
every conplet, — two in the first member of the distich, the other in a prominent 
part of the second. Thus the attention was arrested and the structure of 
the verse indicated by a dominant letter which ruled like the key-note of a 
chant. With the modern as with the classical poets, alliteration is only brought 
in as an occasional ornament, — not as a structural |>art of the verse. Spenser, 
Shakespeare, Milton, Gray. Tennyson, are especially happy in their use of il. 
But these great artists are careful to place their alliterative words at some dis- 
tance, making them answer to one another at the bezinning and end of a |>eriod, 
or so arranging them that they mark the metre and become the key-words of 

Heard yc Ibe aiTow hunlc In ihe airt 
is tine, but the music would be ruined by a very slight transposition : 
Heard ye ihe hurtling arrow lo the air t 
In Ihe former case the ear i< 
It had just begun lo lose ; tn 
cession of another aspirant. 

Generally the repeated letter is found at Ihe beginning of words, though 
it may occur in the second iir final syllabic, but in cither case that syllabic 
must be the accented part of the word. e.g. .' 

That buihed in grim r*p<M expccti hii cvenlDg^Ry.— t^r^. 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



They checrlr chauni, nod rbymu il ranilam flung.— .^tfiiii 
The chuiHih chiding oT the winKr-i ii\tiA.-^t^aifiart. 
In maiden medluilan, &iicy b^.—Skalmfrtrt. 
God never made hii worli for man lo nuni.—Dr^n. 
The lair biwe blew, the white foam Sew, 
The ftirrow filioired Srce.—Culiti^i. 
The rapture of itrvte.—Bjrra,. 
Ns glfi beyond that bllter boon, our birth. —itfrn. 
The ferrenl underlip. and that above, 
Uried with lau^lcr or abashed -iih lore, 
Thine amoniui girdle, fiill of th« and &ir. 
And kivinp oC the Ulka Id Ihlne hair.— Jwwjunv. 
Dip down upon the Ncfflhem ihort, 



In the example Irom Swinburne, the sounds o( /, I, a 
Tennyson, ihe sounds of </, n, and /, are interlinked wi' 



But harmony is not Ihe only guerdon won by allilt 
,: ■■'■'- -neHect,' ' " 

high hill he t 



dissonance in heighlening an enect, in giving force lo a figure, in making the 
~" ""'"" """o ofthe sense, li. '-->--- j • ■• -> ^ . . .■ . 



sound an echo ofthe sense, has often been proved. In Pope's famous 

Up Ihe high hill he heaved the huge round BLone, 
the continuous halts called for by the repetition of the aspirate produce a very 
efiective idea of long-drawn effort Almost as good is Young's 

But the black blail blowt hard. 

The following, froin Alfred Austin's "Season," is less known, but b well 
worth quoting : 

Be dumb, yr dawdlen. whilit hie apelU CDnfimnd 
The gathered — ecauered— aymphonwa of sound; 
CyDiuU barbaric clang, cowed dutei complmln, 
Ae the iharp, cniel clarion de avej the itraln ; 
To dium, deaf-bowel led, drowning sob and wall. 
Seared visit ihrlek, that pity may prevail. 

It is not only in serious writing, however, thai alliteration has been found 
efiective. In mock-heroic verse, in burlesque, and even in humorous prose, it' 
frequently points a jest and sharpens an epigram. In Pope's line, — 

Pu9i, pDwden, palcha. Biblei, billet- douji. 
at once Ihe resemblanc* and the contrasts arc accentuated by the recurrent 
^s and j's. Sydney Smith's humor was greally assisted by his clever use of 
thin artifice. He thus ridicules Perceval's scheme to prevent the introduction 
of medicines inio France during a pestilence : " At whal period was Ihis 
great plan of conquest and constipation fulty developed ? In whose mind was 
Ihe idea of deslrt)ying the pride and the plasters of France first engendered f 
Without castor oil they mig[ht for some months, to be sure, have carried on 
the war, but can they do without bark 1 Depend upon it, the alwence of ihc 
materia medica will soon bring the'm to their senses, and the cry of BmriMi 
ani/ Solui burst forlh frcrni the Baltic lo the Mediterranean." And elsewhere 
he liliens Ihe poorer clergy to Lazarus, " doctored by dogs, and comforted 
with crumbs." Curran describes a politician as one who. " Inioyant by putre- 
faction, rise* as he rots." The anlithesis and aliiteralion of the last four words 



$6 HANDY-BOOK OF 

have a tremendous effecL Voliaire's farewell lo Holland U a classic : " Adieu, 
canauii, canards, canaille." Very good, loo, is the following from Mortimer 
Culliiia, characterizing a bishop in "The Princess Clarice" as one " who had 
the respect of reclors, the veneration of vicars, the admiration of archdeacons, 
and the cringing courtesy of curates." Grattan, denouncing the British mon- 
archy, said, " Their only means of government are the guinea and the gallows." 
One of Lord Salisbury's happiest phrases was, "The dreary drip ofdilatory 
declamation." Byron's lines also will recur to the memory : 

Bcwan, \al bluudtrinl Brouaham dal.oy Ihi ule. 

Turn b«b lo bannockj, canliaoo.» lo kail. 

fvfiKl B<iTdi and -xHeh Ktvitwirt. 
The following epigram upon Bishop Pretyman (afterwards known as Bishop 
Tomtine}haB merit; 

Prim Pruchn, Ptiucc of Prietu uu] PrlnCE'i Print, 

Pcubrobe'i pule pride in Flit't prsconlia placed, 

Thy iBciiu AxW all futuR mga Km, 

And Prina be Int In Pai»D PRtyaian. 
That the ear finds a natural comfort in this species of assonance is evidenced 
by the (act that many of our compound woriis are formed on this principle. 
1 here is no Other ground for saying milkmaid in lieu of milk-girl, or butcher- 
boy in lieu of bulcher-man. Kancy-free, hot-headed, browbeaten, heavy- 
handed, and the like, might also be instanced. Nay, the alliterative tendency is 
continued in our proverbs, which derive therefrom much of their pith and 

Biint : as, Where there is a will there is a way. Money makes the mare to go, 
any a mJckle makes a muckle. Love me little, love me long, etc The same 
trick is observable in Ihe proverbial literature of other countries. 

But alliteration becomes a defect when excessively and injudiciously em- 
ployed. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was allowed to run 
riot. Trapp's Commentary on Ihe Bible offers the following gems : " As 
empty stomachs can hardly sleep, so neither can graceless persons, till gorged 
and glutted with sweetmeats of sin, with murdering morsels of mischiev' and 
" Such a hoof is grown over some men's hearts as neither ministry, nor mir- 
acle, nor mercy can possibly moMily." 

About this lime, too, books were sent out into the world burdened with such 
curious alliterative titles as " Seven Sobs of a Sorrowful Soul for Sins," and 
" A Sigh of Sorrow for the Sinners of Zion." But, indeed, even Dr. Johnson 
published a pamphlet under the lille of "Taxation no Tyranny," — "a jingling 
alliteration, says Macaulay. " which he ought to have despised." 

It is in ridicule of this alliterative affectation that Shakespeare in " Love's 
Labor's Lost" makes Holofernes say, — 

I will tomelhing nffecl tbt lelta, for it wc^ia &dlily : 

Tbe pkyftil prinecu pierced md pricked a pielty, pleiilng; prickei. 

Of parody of this sort, however, Ihe most astonishing eiample may be found 
in a certain poetical skit, anonymous and unacknowledged, yet none the less 
the undoubted handiwork of Swinburne, and -therefore all the more notable, 
because Ihe author parodied is Swinburne himselfl 

Nepheudia. 
From Ihe depth of the dreamy decliDc of ibe dawn ihrough a notable nimbiu ornebutoui 

Pallid aad pink ai Ihe palm of Ihe flag-Rower that fltcken iiith fear el Iht fllei u they float, 



ThcK Itaal «e f«l In Ihe 


blood of oui 


btuthet Ihat Ihick 




ihiouah Ibe ihroai t 
T.ickenandlbrllluathe.U' 










appeal o( .a .cur'i 


appalled >Eitallofi. 


FalnLerwithharofthefin 


■ or the fata 


e than piile with Ihe 


pronU-eorprideinlbapan, 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 37 

SfolMu of fcvCT Uut nddau wiib nduiDcc of raihe recnuion, 
l^lmpicft Ihu ^«uii ihnugh lb« slooiii of ih4 gloooinc trhen 

Nay, for the nick or Ihr ilclcof the time ii alnmuloui touch oa (beltinplei oF Krror, 

BaJbcd Id ihE b^^"f benifiE^bUB, b^ilfi'c 'iudf bv butiudt" b^lh'. 

Sw™ii''ihc «™ " Jusp"nj'.ii.'p™n ih'aiVolS m Ih/MmbUnce ^"d"™d of a ligh : 

Wild ii Ihc mirk 9nd monoloaaiu mule of mrmory, mdodiouily muie u it may be, 
WUIc the hope Id Ibe bean of a ben li bniUed by ibe breach of meo'i laplen, reiiEncd u 

Made meek at a rnotber wboae boaom-beati bouod with the bliu-brinf jog bulk of a balm- 
brealhidl baby, 
Ai ibey pope uiTough the graveyard of crc«dt under ikiea gloving green at a groan Ibr the 

BUaklalhebookofhiibounty beholden of old, ^ndlta Undine ii blacker Iban bluer: 
Out of blue ints bUck ll the tctaenie of ibe skiei, and iheic dewi an ibe wine of ibe blood- 



idoflhinn; 

Tin IbadariilinEdeaire of delight aball be free as a b>n thai ii Ireed [ram the fang) that 

Tin the bean-beau of bell ahall be hu^ed by a hymn fn>m the burn that has harried ibe 

And this brings us (o all that class of triflera who have used alliteration 
not a« an ornament, but as an exercise of more or less misplaced ingenuity. 
Latin literature probabljr affords the Tery earliest instance in this line of 
Ennius : 

O Tlla, luu Tmti libi tanu linnno Inlliti. 
In more modem times we ate told of a monk named Hugbald who wrote an 
"Ecloga de Calvis," every word beginning with t, and of a certain "Publiuni 
Porduui, poetam," who au signed a Latin poem of one hundred lines, — to be 
found in the Nugae VenaCes. — every word of which begins with a p. Here is 
a single couplet : 

Prop4erea propcraai E^TDCODaul, popUH prono, 

Predpilam Plebem, pro patnun pace propoacit. 

We even hear of a more prodigious effort, extending (o one thousand lines. 

each word beginning with f.the "Christui Cruciflius" of Chrir*- '"■ — 



The Yimous English couplet on Cardinal Wolsey has somewhat mote than 
this mere verbal dexterity to recommend it : 

Begot by boicbexa, but by bbhopi bred. 
Hov bigh bla honor holds hla baughry head t 
Here the very uncoulhness in the persistent recurrence of similar sounds 
gives the effect of cumulative scorn and contempt No such allowance, how- 
ever, can be made for the eccentric traveller Liiheow, who wrote a poem in 
which every word begins with a /. Here are the mat two lines : 
GUnceglafltoiii Geneve, floapel-guiding gem. 
Great God gonni good Generc'a gbuily game. 
A curious little volume called " Songs of Singularity, by the London Hermit," 
published quite recently, contains the following ftwr deferee: 
A Serenade 

b M lit. Sung by Major Mumadukt Munlnbead 10 Uademiriiene Madeline Mendou 

My Madelbie I my Madeline I 

Mark my mdodioua midnight mnau. 
Much may my neldng music moan, 

Hgr modulated mooolonaa. 



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HANDY-BOOK OF 

Uy nundolln'i inlld mlniDdiy, 

My nx«i»1 DUk^c nugaiJiK^ 
My mouih. my mind, my memont, 

Miui mjngliag murmur " MaddllDt." 

Mtuccr 'mid uidnlghi majquer^c, 

Muk Mooiuh maldtfu, Dumu' mkii, 
'MoDgmt MuTcii'i miMi muniic maidi, 



ncholym 



lyouke 



Much laolUfitt my mind't nacbinc ; 
My mourn IbJneu'i mientiude 
Uclu— mako me merry. MiiMiMl 

Mxch-miking mB'i miy mach<MU, 
UaniEUviins mi»« me mliireeD ; 

Hell, mott me!UfluDiu melody, 

'Midit MurcU'e miily mount! msirlM, 
UHlmeby moouli(ht-miny me. 
Madonna miji I — Madeline. 
A famous example of allilerative poetry is the rollowjng, in which the initial 
letters of the lines are those of the alphabet in proper sequence, forming a 
■or! of acrostic. It is positively claimed for Alaric A. Walts by his suii. 
There are other claimaTiis, however : 



ieged Bdarade ; 

DeaLinf demuciion'i dcvuuting doi>m ; 
Every endenTor engineer* eisay 
For lanw, tor Ibrtune, fbrmliif furiout fray; 
Cauni gunnin grjpple, giviiic (uhei lood ; 
HeaTCi high hlihnd. hen iAinlllwia; 
Ibraham, ulam, Hmall, impt in ill. 



Oppoted, oppoaing^ o 



rchaWS, p 



v." 


nbh,' 




. Tkurynii 




•dom 




s-r- 


Xe 






Ve 


VT*. 


•y'i youth, ye yield yoi 


ur Touibrul 


Ze, 


iloml 


y, Zarin., iu1ou.ly ual'a vM. 



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LITER A RY CURIOSITIES. 



n fr^htened fiiir furbenntnci 
ng glad armli ' 



GWIuaaiad anilulatiaiii gsyly livni. 
Ho«, hcnldlag her happineu.TilKh Hcivm 

joyikicuDd, jufciKKcni joyi, love-Miil. 
Kini'* bubWi liDighu, Vidwpping klepud kid. 

MmiDS M^ccdb'i moDarch DKHitDhilly 

Near nodding luvQ numerously nigh. 

" O opu[eDI o'ertulcr, owned, obeyu, 

Piapltiau prove," Pelidei' princcu prajred. 

" Quench quaneilingi, quit quaking quafry't qucM, 

Receive rich nnfov, ravkahmenl rciiti-'* 

Snpreibely leLftth^ aiubborn kovereigD lOiHht 

To tvnumli* lIul limid trcmbLtr^i ihougbt, 

UbUT Ulyms, uodkiUTed, uncowed. 

Vindicdw vengeance vehemenity vowed, 

Wbtmi wnm vairior, wild wiih wonderment, 

■Xhiblih^ 'nren[ir->'itent, 

Yioldi ycnmiMly yc yoLemcitc youthlul yet, 

Zem-feuinl. Zeue-ubnlng, Zeui-^leui. 

Agein AchUict, trmed aeulntt aiuck, 

BdKid Briicii bluthingly broughi back. 

IDRESS TO THE AURORA. — An Alliterative Poem 
(Una written op ihiplwprd in ndd-oceanj 

CntailAg cold Canoi'e's celeatiat crown, 

Deep dnrte dwentUng dive delusive down. 

Entranced each eve Eurapa'l every eye 

Finn fixed fcnver buena Giilhtuily, 

Grecia golden guerdon glorioiuly grsnd; 

Hovbelv Henviai hoidi high hb IwIIdw hindt 

Ignoble UDDtance, Inapt Indeed^ 

Jean icttlngly iuil JupiLeT'i jened : 

Xnavlib KamKha<kan>, liniglilly Kurdimen know, 

Long Labrador'i llghi Iniire loominE low; 

Hiifil myriad mnliiindei majeiilc inlghl. 

Opal of Oiui or old Opbir's on. 
Pale pyrrhic pyrea priimatic purple poun,— 
QuicKeol qidverine, quickly, quaintly, queer, 
Klch. iDiy, rrgal rayi tetplendent t»r : 
Strange thooling *(r<:anien ttreaking AUrry t|(iea 
Trail their triumphant ireue>— tienibHng ii«. 

Veiled, 'vanqukhed—vabliy vying— vanlihelh ; 
Wild Woden, warning, watchful— whiipen wan 
Xanthilk X^re.. Xer>«, Xenopbon. 
Vet yidding yettemlghi vuIf'i yell yawnt 
Zcniih'i leEniic ligtag. Zodiac lonei. 

BuNKBR Hill Monument Celkbbation. 

Bcaide baiulion bold, bright beaatiea Mend 

Deieating dnpott, — daring detdt debate; 

Floarii^nE rnm far,- ran'^dam-a'flame. 

Coardl greeting giuida grown gray,— gu«t grcaling gi 



. Coo^If 



HANDY.BOOK OF 



Oft our oppii»iol» Bits 



PRhimpluoiu phncH, piuuDC pALnt»tl pued, 
QuKU quaiTcl queitiaf quDiu quondun quailed. 
Rebellion loiued, reTOlCmg nmparta rose. 
Sloui ipirlu, imidiig lervUe »oLdiea, iirovc. 
Theie ibrillioE ihemei, to ihouiandl Iruly lold, 



ll, vannlingi vainly veilfd. 

Where. _whilBii.ce, WeUier orulike Warren wailed. 

Yid^Jg''? aokiVy wi!™™ . ' 

Alms Mat«T [L., "fostering mather"). originally the lille given by the 
Romans to Cer«s, Cybele, and other goddesses, but in modern use applied 
by students to the college or seminary in which they have been educated. 
Th« student in his turn la frequently called an adopted aon. 

evidtDi ilui ihey betong lo ihe tame brood,— /Airvar^ Rtgitttr, p. 377. 



A Creole Village.) Yet, after all, as Farmer points out, this is merely an 
old friend with a new tace, for Ben ]unson used the term in its modern sense 
when speaking of money : 

Whilii thai for ohidi all •inue now [> uld. 
And almoH every rice, Almlghiic gold. 

EpiilU ta Eliatilh. Cnnlm tfRmUoJ. 
Alon*. Never lasa alone than when alone. Cicero originated 
this apt and striking paradox in his " Ue OfEciis," lib. iii. ch. i. ; " Nunquani 
ae minus otiosum esse, quam quum otiosus, nee minus solum, quam quum 
■olus esset." (" He is never less at leisure than when at leisure, nor less 
alone than when he is alone,") Gibbon in his " Memoirs," vol, !., page 1 17, 
has borrowed the eiptession : " t was never less alone than when by myselt" 
And Rogers has vereified it in " Human Life :" 

Then never leu alone Ihan when ilope 
Byron has slightly varied the phrase in " Childe Harold," stanza 90 ; 

Epictetus ("Discourses," ch, xiv.) may have had Cicero's words in mind 
when he wrote, " When you have shut your doors, and darkened your room, 
remember never to say that you are alone ; but God is within, and your genius 
is within, — and what need have they of light to see what you are doing V 

Alpbabetlc Dlverslona. The Iwenly-six letters of the alphabet may be 
transposed 630, 448,40 1, 73] ,339,4 {9,369,000 times. This should be good news 
lo all that class of people known as authors, whose business and profit it is to 
transpose these letters with more ur less brilliant and remunerative result. 
For all the inhabitants of the glolie could not in a thousand million of years 
write out ail the possible transpositions of the twenty-six letters, even sup- 
posing That each wrote forty paces daily, each page containing forty diSerent 
transpositions of the letters. Of course the transpositions possible to author- 



LITERARY CURIOSITfES. 41 

■hip — necessaiily limiied hj the Uws of gmnmar, rhetoric, aiid occasional 
common sense — are not so inexhaustible, NevertheleM, it is quite safe to 
say (hat «o long as language endures it will always be possible for the man of 

Senilis lo say an original thing. Vet it is strange to note how long it look the 
uman race to discover that a score oi so of orlhocpic symbols would suffice 
for all the needs of written speech. Nor was the discovery a sudden one. the 
independent inspiration of any race or period. It was the result of evolution 
taking place in accordance with lixed laws. All the known graphic syslems 
ori^nated in a picture-writing as rude as thai of the American Indian or the 
Afncan Bushman, and progressed by a alow and painful transition through 
the conventionalized hieroglyphs representing an idea or a word to the syllS' 
bary which denoted the phonetic value of syllables or portions of words, and 
thence lo the final perfection of the alphabet, denoting the elementary sounds 
into which all words and syllables could in the last analysis be reduced. And 
from the clearest and simplest of these early alphabets, which minimized the 
necessary symbols to the smallest passible quota, all modern systems of 
writing, — the Northern Kunes, the Roman alpliabet, which has now finally 
superseded its parent Greek, the stjuare Hebrew of the Jews, the elaborate 
Sanscrit, the Neskhi alphabet, — vehicle of (lie thoughts of Turk and Persian, 
as well as of all (he vast Arabic-speaking world, — all (hese have slowly 
diverged, in accordance with the necessities of various classes of languages. 
Utterly diverse as all (hesc alphabets are in their la(est form, scientific 
paleography has succeeded in bridging over the enormous intervals which 
separate them from one another, in ex|il^ning the transitions (hat lime and 
space have cflec(ed, and In showing that they are all but the manifold develop- 
ments of a single germ. 

And what was that germ ? Greek mylh credited the invention of the 
alphabet to Cadmus the Phtenician. The myth has a certain substratum 
of^ truth. Cadmus may never have lived. Certainly neither he nor any other 
Phixnician "invented" the alphabet. Il is not, indeed, an invention which 
would occur spontaneously to Ihc mind even of (he most creative genius. 
And the Phmnidans, though clever intermediaries, were not creative geniuses. 
Nevertheless, they did give the alphabel to the world. Its very name may 
be died in evidence, referring us, as it does, to alpha and beta, the names of 
the lirsl two letters of (he Greek alphabet, and these in turn (o the Phtenician 
a/eph indbelh (still the names of the first two letters in Hebrew), which signify 
" %ix" and " house." We may, therefore, assume that the Phcenicians saw some 
likeness between the letters so named by them and (he pictures of an ox and 
a house, and (hence we are easily led to the conclusion (hat they borrowed 
the symbols from some foreign system of writing which was still pictorial at 
the imie of the borrowing, ot else had once been so. Now, the most highly 
civilized nation with whom the Phcenicians came in contact was the Egyptian. 
It was by a system of selection, therefore, among Egyptian symbols that they 
developed ihe broad generalization of an alphabet No doubt the elegant 
scholars of the Nile, cabined and confined within (he traditions of ancient 
learning and the prejudices of early habit, looked down with scorn upon this 
species of short-hand, deeming it all well enough for ignorant merchants, but 
clearly unfit for educated people. Still, the Phtenidans calmly pursued their 
way, usinp the borrowed alphabet in all (heir mercantile transactions, and 
carrying it as an instrument of intercourse (o all the nations among whom 
they dealt In the end, Ihe universities were swept away, the hieroglyphic 
scribes were out of employment, and mankind was (aught lo write its lan- 
guage in the A B C of (he Phcenidan trader, while the hieroglyphic and syl- 
labic writings Sank into such black oblivion (ba( it (ook the life-work of several 
generations of scholars to recover them. 
4" 



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42 HANDY-BOOK OF 

It WM a wise ihough a lazy cleric whom Lulher menlions in his " Table- 
Talk," — Ihe monk who, instead of reciting his breviary, used to run over the 
alphabet and then say, " O my God, take this alphabet, and put it together how 
you will." For in the diveiae combinations of which those twenty-four symbols 
ate capable lies all that the human heart and intellect have ever conceived or 
ever can conceive of truth and beauty and reverence, — all possible schemes of 
philosophy, all possible masterpieces of prose or poetry, all law and science 
and order and religion. In these, and these alone, lie all the records of the 
past and all the possibilitieB of the future. An alphabet, one would say, is 
too aacted a thing to be treated other than reverently. Yet there have 
always been triflerB, even in this Holy of Holies. Some niiscreanla have 
taken the utmost imaginable pains to avoid a particular letter, and have com- 
posed poems, essays, and treatises witliout once raising the unmeaning taboo. 
Others have made inordinate use of some letter and insisled that it should 
form Ihe initial of every word. The first called their Procrustean method 
lipo^rammatizing 1 the latter, alliteration. Each is treated under its proper 
^»„>,nn n.i,-,,. T.™,;,. v,.„- '"und still other methods of conjuring with the 
' ' ' ' ic symbols ' " ' 

ms irifler has discovered that there is one verse in the Bible 
which contains all the letters in the alphabet : -" And I, even I, Artaxerxes 
the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, 
that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of Ihe law of Ihe God of heaven, 
shall require of you, it shall be dune speedily." {Etra vii. 31.) Of course it 
will be seen that J is left out ; but then J and I were originally Ihe same letter. 
It will further be seen that the letters are duplicated and reduplicated. Prof. 
De Morgan, who in his lucid momenta was a great nialhematidan, used to 
find an uisane pleasure in relieving his severer studies by composing inge- 
~--'is puzzles. He set himself to nnprove on Ezra. He would produc — 



sentence which would use all the twenty-six letters and use each only once. 
''"'"■'' ' 'ler many fruitless attempts, he de ' ' ' 

>nly admit tne licensee' 
the further license of looking on u and v as the same letter. 



Here, however, his wits failed him. After many fiuitlcss attempts, he 
" it tin ' , - ., 



compromise. He would not only admit tne license of using > for/, but 
ther liren ' ■ ■ ■ ■■ ....... 

follows : 



I quani pya who flini niuck beds. 
professor acknowledges that he did not at first grasp the full meaning 
mty of this sentence. He long thought [hat no human being could say 
r any circumstances. " At last I happened to be reading a religious 
as he thought himself, who threw aspersions on hia opponents thick 
eefold. Heyday I came into my head, this fellow flinea muck beds ; he 

. "t. 

sels into mud-holders, for the benefit of those who will not see what he sees." 
Thus heartened, he published his sentence in A'otri and Qutriii, and boldly 
threw down the gauntlet to all and sundry lo do belter if they could. The 
gauntlet was taken up by a number of correspondents. These were Ihe best 
of the results arrived at ; 

Dumpy quliflhlimcli foEi nexl. 



The professor magnanimously awards the palm to the last otie. "It is 

""'""''""' ' ' " " eipressed under the 

Marry: be cheerful; 



good advice," he explains, " lo a young u>an, verv well expressed under the 
' I more sober English, it would be, •"- - "^ - ■ ' ■ 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 43 

watch yonr biisinct*.' " It is doubtful, however, whether the young man would 
understand it without the accompanying gloss. 

Since that time many other people have tried their hands at the same kind 
(rf trifling. But the combined intellect of the world has produced nothing belter 
than this: 

Quii, Jack ; thy fioni vci.— G. D. Plumb. 



Now, at all events, this makes sense. But the arbitrary lugging in at a proper 
name made up for the occasion spoils its symmetry, and the reduiilication of 
the letter u throws it entirely out of court. Here is an effort still more in- 



telligible in itself: 

JoboT. Bnilygavc me k black wiliiui liojt ofqulic inult iIk, 

Here the name is a very common one, and consequently less offensive (o 
the finer instincts. But the continuous reduplication of letters relegates it to 
the class of which the Biblical specimen already quoted remains the best 
because unconscious exponent. 

Another scholar has diacovcied (hat ihere are only two words in the knglish 
language which contain all the vowels in their order. They are ■' abstemious" 
and " facetious." The following words each have them in irregular order : 
authoritative, disadvantageous, encouraging, efficacious, instantaneous, iin- 

Eirtunate, mendacious, nefarious, objectionable, precarious, pertinacious, sacri- 
gious, simultaneous, tenacious, unintentional, unequivocal, undiscoverable, 
Teiation*. 

We all know that " A was an Archer who shot at a frog," and have h.id our 
early thirst for knowledge stimulated by the descriptive verses of which this 
is the first line, and the accompanying pictures that showed an archer in the 
earlier stages of intoxication transfixing a cheerful — nay, an liiiarious — frog, 
followed by Butchers and Cows o( so alarming ari aspect that we have never 
been able to look at the letters B and C without conjuring up the hurrurs that 
disturbed our adolescent imaginations. These juvenite alphabets have lent 
dtemselvcs to numerous parodies. In that ponderous bit ofseini-facetiouancss, 
"The Doctor," — a book that always reminds one of a light'heartcd megalhe' 
rium. — Southey essays his hand at what may possibly be the earliest exani)>)e. 
Speaking of periodical literature, he declares that the Golden Age of Maga- 
arcs has passed away : 

" In those days A was an Antiquary, and wrote articles upon Altars artd 
Abbeys and A rchi lecture. B made a blunder, which C corrected. D demon- 
strated that E was in error, and that F was wrong in philology, and neither 



Philosopher nor Physician, though he affected to be both. 

gist : H was an Herald who helped him. I was an inquisi 

found reason for suspecting J to be a Jesuit M was a Malhematici 



N noted the weather. O observed the stars. P was a Poet who piddled in 
pastorals, and prayed Mr. Urban to print them. Q came in the corner of 
the page with his query. R arrogated to himself the right of reprehending 
every one who differed from him. S sighed and sued in song. T told an old 
tale, and when he vias wrong U used to set him right. V was a Virtuoso 
W warred against Warburlon. X excelled in algebra. Y yearned for im- 
mottalily in rhyme ; and Z in his zeal was always in a puzile.'' 

Probably the best, most consistent, and most coherent of these alphabets is 
b]P that true genius, C. S. Calverley : 

A ll u Ansel of bluihins clchKen ; 

Blilhg Ban when iheAnieTwu hkd: 

Dlilhe Dcuxlimps wLih Fnnkuf ibeGiunlii 
E it ho Et', kUlini >lo-lir bul ninly ; 



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HAND Y BOOK OF 



N M the rf«e ibe lurned up ax «4cb eLancc : 
Oi*lhcOIg><justihenla1u prlmeji 
P ii lb> ParlQcr who vouldn'lkKp lime; 

So. ■ Quadrille put Initnd of the Lancen ; 
Ihe Renianilranca made br Ibe duon : 
5 is the Supper when ai] wept !□ p^n ; 
T i> the Twaddle they ulLed on the itain • 
U ii the Uade who "^thouEhl we'd be gain' ;" 

W^tlK w'alle7, whoutupllir^ht; ° "' 

X li hii txa, not rigidly iinigni : 

Vi( tbe Viwnlngfit cauied by Ihe Ball^ 

Z lUndi for Zero, or nolhiii( at all. 

In one of the early numbers of Notes and Qiieriti, a coiilrtbulor sij^King him- 
self " Eighty-One" published a single rhymed alphabet, and threw out a chal- 
lenge to the English-speaking world to produce another equally good. Here 
i* " Eighty-One^" effort : 

A wu an Amy la lelde dliputei ; 

B w» a Bull, not Ibe miMeit of brutet : 

C wai 1 Qkoik, duly diawD upon Couiti , 

DwaiKiiwDairld, with barpt and with lulet; 

Ewuin Einperor, hulediriihuluiei: 

F wu a FuDeral, followed by mules ; 

I wa* JutliDlan hii luiiuita ; 
K waa a Keeper, who cominoDly ibooui 
L wai a LemOD, the loiireBt of irtilia ; 
tawui. UiDiitty— uy Lord Buit'i; 
N WM MchDliOD, buiDui on flutei ; 

?waia PODd.'rullorietcbeaaiidnewu; 

Swai a Quaker in whliy-brown luiu ; 
_ wa>aRea>on,whichPaleyrerule*! 

T™Ten'^rio"(If d'tiIlb"S™lal 
U wu UDCemmonlv bad cberooti : 

X anEl^kSS'drili'oui b^emulS^;" ' 
V h a Yawn ; then, the tail rhyme that iuh>, 
Z It tbe Zuyder Zee, dwelt in by coou. 

The challenge was taken up by a number or readers, insomuch that the office 
was floodeil (evidently the paper ciicutaleg among people of unbounded leis- 
ure), and only a small proportion of the answers could be published. As good 
as any was the following 1^ Mortimer Collins : 

Aiimy Amy. >oi 

B '• little Bel. whc 

C i> CDod Chaiiolt 

D LsTJlana. .he fe . 

E li plump Ellen, by Edward embraced 

FiipoorFanny.byrreclilei deuced; 

G l> GriMlda, unlafrly dligraced : 

H la Ibe Helen who llion effaced ; 

I <• fair Ida, Ibal princoa ilrail.lictd ; 

tto Ihe JudV Punch finda to hi> taile ; 
. Katy daiUnt, bybnd lonn chaaed 
L li L^uretle, In coquetry encaied ; 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 
N b ga^ Nofah» o'er hills who h>i need i 

P '• pntty PMiy, •» dainiily pared ^ 

aHMne uir Querul, in blue itookingi placed ; 
ll Inil B«e. from bee IriK Item dilpliced ; 



X IsXuitippe, for KoidiDf well braced^ 
Z ll ZcDobia,'!! puio^y ^Hd, 

.Alps. HIHb pMp o'er hllla, and Alps on AJpa arise. The concluding 
Hnc of a famous iimilL In Pope's " £«say on Criticism," II., 1. 32, whicti aima to 
illustrate the giowing labors of science and learning. Dr. Johnson has praised 
this simile as the mosl apl, Ihe most proper, the most sublime of any in the 
English languaee. "The comparison," he says, "of a sludenl's progress in 
ihc sciences Willi the journey of a Iraveller in the Alps is perhaps Ihe best thai 
English poetry can show. It has no useless parts, yel affords a striking picture 
by Itself; it makes Ihe foregoing position better understood, and enables it to 
take faster hold on the atlenlion ; it assists the apprehension and elevates the 
fancy." But Warton points out that the simile and consequenlly the panegyKc 
belong to Drummond : 

More bcif^ADefore him then he lefi behind. 
Whether Pope's or Drummond's, Ihe " Essay" was hardlv published before 
- "ind the Spectator making use of il : " We are complamir- -' •■•- -■- — 
of lile, and are yet perpetually hurrying over the parts oj 



we lind the Sptctatar making use of il : " We are complamtne of the short' 

m,. _..j ....I : .1 Is oTit, to arrive at 

_ , traveller upon the 

Alps, who should fancy that the lop of Ihe next hill must end his journey, 
because it lerminalcs his prospect ; bul he nosooner arrives at it than he sees 
new ground and other hills beyond it, and continues to travel on as before." 
No tkiubl the simile had passed through many more hands before it finally 
reached Rousseau, who, in the fourth book of " £mile," likens successful con. 

Suerors to " those inexperienced IraveNers who, finding themselves for ihe 
rst lime in ihe Alps, imagine that ihe]^ can clear them with every mountain, 
and, when Ihey have reached the summit, are discouraged to see higher muuit- 
tains in front of them." Few could hope lo vie with Jean Jacgues in turning 
an affiliated Idea lo honor and advantage. Among these few Sir Walter Scolt 
cannot be numbered. In his "Life of Napoleon" he compares Ihe great 
Emperor to " Ihe adventurous climber on Ihe Alps, to whom the surmounting 
the most dangerous precipices and ascending lo the mosi lowering peaks only 
■hows yet dizzier heights and higher points of elevation." What with indif- 
ferent English, and the notion misapplied, really the poet of Ihe Pelicans is 
not malerially worse : 

Onui bRBking from hii black lu^ncnesa 
Drowned in hit own fiupcpdout uproar all 

A war of mounutDs tagcd upon hit Burfacc ; 
New Alp* and Ands, fioin unfultointd viUtyi 

Quite in another spirit is the use made by Sir John Herschel of the same 
comparison: 



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HANDY-BOOK OF 

impleia grup oTaoy 

\ Iht milh in iD uJdnuie rccepUoD, act aa 
jHAiUvc aidl (o il» MtainmcDI by ■f<;iuiD1LDK faim with ihe sjinptoma of ui iiuecure footing 
in hii prDj[re»i. 'Uo Hach from ih? plain iab lofticK njininiu of jw Alpine CQiinlry, many 
inferior cmineoirq have v> be scaLod and rriinquiihed ; but the Iflbor ia no( Lo«- The T«gion 

betlor undenlood «nd Ihe more enjoyed li:^ the very misconcepiion in derail which il recd6et 

Altrulsni, from the Latin aittr, " another," formed on the same basis as ego- 
tism from cgs, to indicate unsellisliness, twnevulence, — in sl)ort, llie very oppo' 
site of egoliam. The altruist rejoices in his neighbor's welfare, and linds his 
highrst juy in advancing il ; the egotist strives only for himself. The word 
was Rrsl employed by Cumle. and has been welcomed by modern agnostics as 



. new code of morality, a new impetus to right 
leader of the English Posilivisis, even fool 
e for the Christian hope of pers< 



r. Fredeiic Harrison, the leader of the English Posilivisis, even looks 






Man will be immiiTlal not in himself but in his actions, and the c< 
of this jHisthiimous aolivity, [his living incorporation with Ihe glorious future 
of his race, "can give a patience and happiness equal to that of any martyr 
of theology." Once make this idea the basis of philosophy, the standard 
of right and wrong, and the centre of religion, and the conversion of the 
masses " will prove, perhapi^ an easier task than that of teaching Greeks and 
Romans, Syrians and Moors, to look forward to a life of careless psalmody in 
an immaterial heaven." George Eliot's finest poem — indeed, her only bit of 
verse that is truly poetry, and not merely fine thought thrown into metrical 
form, her lines beginning, "Oh, may I join the choir invisible" — gives magnifi- 
<xnt voice to this feeling. Here are Ihe concluding lines : 

The cup of Mnnslh in tome gnal aocny, 
Enkindit gencTQiu >rdDr. fe^ pun Tuve. 
Beget the smilei thai have no cruelty, 
Be Ihe tweet presence of a food dimued, 

Whfne muuc il the gtadneu of the worid. 

Of course the idea readily lends itself lo satire and caricature. In a review of 
this very poem {.AUatttk, xxxiv. 103), Mr. Howells neatly enough characlerizes il 
ai " the idea that we are to lealize our inborn longing for immortality in Ihe 
blessed perpetuity of man on earth ; Ihe supreme effort of Ihal craze which, 
having abolished God, asks a man to console himself when he shall be extinct 
with the reflection that somebody else is living on towards the annihilalion 
which he has reached." The whole of W. H. Mallock's " New Paul and 
Virginia, or Positivism on an Island," Is an admirable bit of fooling, i 
this doctrine of altruism as one of its chief targcLt. Here is an illusira 
example, where Ihe castaways — Virginia, the curate, and the agnostic pro- 
lessor — are sitting at lunch on the island ; 

" Yea. my dear cuntle," enid Ihe profeuor. " what 1 am enjoying ii the champagne thai 

t3u drink, and vhat you are enjoying \\ the champagne that I drink. Thit il altruiim : this 
I>eDeTOlence ; this ia Ihe lublime outcome of enlighlened modem thought. The i^eaHm 
of Ihe nble in ihemielves an Inw and beaaily onn; but IT we each of ut art only glad be- 
cause the Dthen an enjoying Ihem. they become holy and glorioui beyond deicription," 
" They do," cried the curate, raplurouily, " indeed they do. I will drink another bollle for 
J. aa l^e tD»ed off three giaHct. " tt n »ignilicani \" he 
Tdi me, my dear, do 1 look ugnilicaiit t" he added, u Ik 



ai he (jnishcd thnc more. * 
\ LD Vijxlnia, and suddenly t 



A familiar jest unconsciously embodies the same element of parody, "So 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES 47 

glad," "So glad you're glad," "So glad you're glad I'm glad," and so on 
ada^nihoK. But, indeed, no verbal Durlesque can exceed the burlesque in 
action which is afforded by the sad Tate or the Altruist Society of Si. Louis, 
thus recorded by the New York Nation, April lo, iSqo; 

TboH to whom viperimcatB Tor a remodellinB of >ociet]r HppeAl aiuit Ik saddened t>y tbt 



^■H bhjLke En die hJnDry of the Altruiit CommiiDiI 
■»ys.Mr. AJcutder Longlev, iu kte preudeni, in (b< 



£^^y''ipl»'e. ind ihc .uc™ of'^lr. clorac'E'^VW ^d i»S ^^n. W^i^^ho formed > 

w£ tiT^eib^ia y«r!fs he'd^^ ia ilie tommunliy uid*^ih°hv^lne 'cirHTfrauduOy In 
keeping the iwrord of the community u Kcrelary, nnd in tbe election of himself u preiideiu, 
■U of vhioh 1 hereby retrac:i end tpolcwiie for. Mr. Longley and Ihe remiuDiDg tnembcri 
of ibe pcntagoiul communiiy, eiceiK Min Tnvli. witbdrev wtten Mc. Wird'i jouiiuili>ii<: 

AmblgultlAs. Words are siippety things. They frequently refuse to do 
their master's bidditig, to eipreas the meaning that was in his mind. Oceans 
of blood have been spilled over the interpretation of disputed passages in 
tbe Bible. Oceans of ink have been spilled over similar attempts to gel at 
Ihe inner truth of some of Shakespeare's mystic phrases. There is no 
more piquant subject of conjecture than to think what would happen if 
Shakespeare were recalled fi'om his grave and set to reading that encellent 
Variorum Edition of his works which ironUins all the glosses of all the com- 
menlalorg. Perhaps he would forget his own meaning. That has often hap- 
pened lo authors. We all remember the story of how certain reverent pupils 
came lo Jacob Boehme on his deaih-bed, beggiJig that before he died he would 
explain to them a certain difficult passage in his work. "My dear cliildren," 
said Ihe mystic, after puzzling his nead to no purpose. " when I wrote this I 
nnderslood its meaning, and no doubt Ihe omniscient God did. He may still 
remember it, but I have forgotten." And he died with the secret unre- 
Tcaled. Klopstock's student admirers were more worldly wise, yet Ihey too 
were equally doomed to disappointment. They appealed to him, not on his 
dealb-bed, but in his hale and vigorous maturity. At Giittingen they had 
found one of his stanzas unintelligible, and they begged for more light Klop- 
stock read the stanza, then slowly reread it, while all stared agape. Finally 
the oracle spoke : " t cannot recollect what I meant when [ wrote it, but I 
do remember it was one of the finest things I ever wrote, and you cannot do 
better than to devote your lives to the discovery of its meaning." Cardinal 
Newman, in his old age, frankly acknowledged thai he could no> remember 
wbat he meant when he penned those fomous lines in his hymn " Lead, Kindly 
Light."— 

And vith the nam Ihoie ufel Auaa unile 

Whkh t halt loved Iode •ince and lott awhile. 
At a large reception in London a Mrs. Malaprop in pantaloons Mged his 
way up to Robert Browning and incontinently asked him to explain then and 
there a difficult passage in one of his poems, " Upon my woril, I don'' know 
wbat it means," said the poet, laughing, as he closed the volume thru<i into 
hia hands. "I advise yoa to aik Ihe Browning Society: they'll tell y<'u all 



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48 HANDY.BOOK OF 

Hawthorne wroie lo Fields on April 13, 1854, apropos of a new edition of 
his " Mosses from an Old Manae." " When I wrote (hose dreamy sketches, I 
liitle ihoughi ihai I should preface an edition for the press amidst the buS' 
tliiig life of a Liverpool consulate. Upon my honor, I am noi quite sure that 
I eiilitely comprehend niy own meaning in some of these blasted allegories; 
but I remember that I always had a meaning, or at least ihoughl I had," 
When Chamier asked Goldsmith if he meant tardiness of locoroolion by the 
word "slow" in the first line of the "Traveller," — 

Remote, unTiJended, melaDChotr, daw,— 
Goldstnith inconsiderately replied, " Yes." Johnson immediately cried out, 
" No, sir, you do not mean tardiness of locomotion ; you mean thai sluggish- 
ness of mmd which comes upon a man in solitude." 

If such be the experience of the great masters of language and literature, 
why should we wonder that the smaller men, who have command of a smaller 
vocabulary, and only an imperfect appreciation of the laws of rhetoric or 
even of grammar, should often find difficulty in rendering themselves intelligi- 
ble? That blunder known as tieglect of the antecedent may lead to the Ui- 
surdesl misapprehension. Here is a choice example, selected Irom the pro- 
ceedings of the New Vork Common Council, May iz, 1S69 1 " Raolvtd, That 
the Comptroller be and is hereby directed to draw a warrant in favor of David 
Sherrad lor the sum of (5^ to be in full compensation for loss sustained by rea- 
son of bis horse stepping mtoahole in. the pavement in South Street, at Ihe fool 
of Pine Street, on the 1 7lh of February, 1869, from the effects of which he died." 
Here are many astonishing statements. That David should have died from Ihe 
effects of his horse sleppmg into a hole is a notable fact in itself. That he 
could be compensated for his own death by the paltry sum of three hundred and 
fifty dollars pauses belief. Indeed, the very ahaurdity of Ihe passage is its own 
MKguard. We know what the writer meant, because what he said is so 
evidently nonsense. Advertisers are frequent sinners in this respecL Here 
is a sample which appeared in the London Timet in February, 1S61 : " Piano- 
forte, Collage, 7 Octaves — the property of a Lady leaving England in remark- 
ably elegant walnut case on carved supports. The lone is superb and eminently 
adapted for anyone requiring a first-class instrument." The Saturday Rmievi 
pounced upon this gem of Lnglish and commented upon it as follows : " We 
have heard of Arion riding on a dolphin, and of the Wise Men of Gotham who 
went to sea in a bowl ; we have heard of Helle on her ram, and of Europa on 
her bull ; but we never before heard of a lady designing to cross the Eiielish 
Channel in a remarkably elceani walnut case with carved supports. Indeed, 
we might go so far as to ask whether the carved supports are those of the 
walnut case or of the lady herself. In cither case, they would seem equally 
ill adapted to struggle with Ihe winds and the billows." 

This excellent lady finds a lit parallel in Ihe advertiser who wanted "a 
young man to look after a horse of Ihe Methodist persuasion," the Texan who 
applied for "a boss hand over jooo sheep that can speak Spanish fluently," 
the boarding- house-keeper who announced that she had "a cottage conlam- 
ing eight rooms and an acre of land," the maiden or widow lady, matrimoni- 
ally inclined, who advertised for a husband "with a Roman nose having 
strong religious tendencies" (did she wish those tendencies to l>e Roman 
also ?), or the horse-owner who signified his willingness to sell cheap " a splen- 
did gray horse, calculated for a charger or would carry a lady with a switch 
tail. A lady so favored by nature should certainly make the acquaintance 
of the owner of a certain mail phaeton announced for sale as " the |>roperty 
of a gentleman with a movable head as good as new." The latter may have 
been some reladon lo the boy who produced a fiddle of which his proud 

D,q,i,.cdbvGoogk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 49 

btber asserted thit "he hid made il out of hts own head and had wood 
enough left for another," or of the London match 'peddler who used to cry, 
" Bdv a penny-worth of matches &om a poor old man made of foreign 

There was something gruesome in (he furrier's announcement that he wal 

Ercpared to "maJie up capes, circulars, etc, for ladies out of their oitn sltins." 
ut he was more than equalled by the proprietor of a bone-mill who assured 
the public that " parties sending their own bones to be ground will be attended 
to with fidelity and despatch. And what shall we say to the drusgisl's 
printed request that "ttie gentleman who left his stomach for analysis will 
pleaK oil and get il together with the result" 1 

A horrid suspicion of cannibalism hangs about the advertisement of a 
St. Louis man .- " Wanted a good giri to cook, one who will make a good 
roast or broil and will stew well" Almost as barbarous is a farmer near 
Fnlton, New Vork, who posted this notice in his field : " If any man's or 
woman's cows or oxen gils in these oats, his or her head will be cut off, as 
the case may be." 

We are moved to gende and kindly mirth when under the head of Wanted 
we read that "a respectable young woman wants washing." But we have 
grown quite used to such journalistic English as " octagonal men's cassimere 
pantaloons," or "woollen children's milts," or "lerra-cotta ladies' gloves," so 
much so that we scarcely pause to smile at (he odd images they ought to raise 
in the mind that is grammatically constituted So also with advertisements 
lor such articles as "a keyless ladies' watch," "a green lady's parasol," or " a 
brown silk gentleman's umbrella." And in hastily running your eye over the 
papers you rarely pause to give its due meed of surprise to the appetite of a 
lady who wants " to take a gentleman for breakfast and dinner," the benevo- 
lence of a boarding- house -keeper who advertises that "single gentlemen are 
furnished with pleasant rooms, also one or two gentlemen with wives," or the 
audacity of a merchant who. in a free country, openly gives notice. " Wanted, 
a woman to sell on commission." But, indeed, anything is possible in an age 
where the sign " Families supplied t^ the quart or gallon" meets you at 
every turn. 

A quaint story is told of a member of the Savage Club in London. Stand- 
ing on the steps of the club-house, he was accosted by a stranger: " Does a 
gentleman belong to your club with one eye named Walker ?" " I don't 
know," was the reply. " What is the name of the other eye ?" 

The St. James Cosrftt chronicles the &Ct that a blind man who perambulates 
the Streets of Windsor playing sacred music on an accordion beats upon his 
breast a placard reading, " Blind from inflammation. Assisted by Her Majesty 
the Queen," He had once attracted the compassionate attention of the queen, 
who had given him a small donation. Il is satd that the public baths in I^ris 
originally bore the sign, " Bains i fond de bois pour dames i quatre sous." 
This was objected to because, strictly construed, it would mean " wooden-bot- 
tomed baths for fourpenny ladies." So the sign was changed to " Bains 1 
quatre sous pour dames il fond de Ixiis." But the hypercritics hilariously con- 
tended that this was even worse. And this reminds us of the advertisement 
of a school, which appeared in the London Times in March, 1838, and which 
promised that boys would, for twenty-five guineas, receive various benefits, 
and be "fundamentally instructed." This was in the days of Dolheboys Hall. 
There was an ominous sound about the adverb, and it is not to be wondered 
at that about this lime several advertisements appeared in the Agony column 
for "youths" and "young gentlemen" who had run away from home. 

A shocmakei hung out a sign, and then wondered why people found it so 
anmsing. This is bow it read ; " Don't go elsewhere to Ik cheated. Walk in 



50 HANDY-BOOK OF 

here." He «ras equalled by the London firm which warned everybody againit 
unscrupulous persons "who infringe our title (o deceive the public, and by 
Ihe Chatham Street establishmenl which requested the public " not (o confound 
this shop with that of another swindler who has established himself on the other 
side of the way." The Irish advertiser was more alarmingly frank when he 
inserted a "want" lur "agentleman to undertake the sale ot'^a Patent Medi- 
cine. The advertiser guarantees it will be protilable to the undertaker." 

A curious instance oT the difficulty of making a few words convey an explicit 
and definite meaning is furnished by the repealed bilures of postal aulhorilies 
who wished to inform the public that thev might write anything Ihey chose 
on one side of a postal card, but on Ihe other side must confine themselves 
to the tnetc address of the person. Uncle Sam tried six times, in as many 
diBerent issues, before he was satisfied with Ihe result : 

Nsthint; bui ihe addrss cao be plicedon ihii lide. 

Write only Ihe uddRn on Ibis gide. 

Write the ad<keA3 anijr on il>i> ^de, Ihe netfage od [heather. 
Write the addmi od Ihii tide, ihc meuage on the other. 
Thii lidt for addnH only. 

The first two were evidently rejected for their clumsiness. The third, fiiutlh, 
and fifth seem to limit the public to writing, and indirectly forbid priming or 
lithographing. The fourth, moreover, is hopelessly ambiguous. Accurately 
construed, it means that the address may be written on one side only. Any. 
thing else may be written on that side. Sul Ihe address must not be repeated 
on the other. 
Canada says : 

The addmi to be wrlites ou thii tide. 
Great Britain ; 

The addnu only la be irrlllen od Ihli ilde. 
Here the same difficulty appears in regard to printing or lithographing the 
address. They manage these things better in France : 

Ce dM nl eiduiirenMni lixrti 1 1'idieue. 
Vet Belgium is not satisfied. Apparently it thinks there is tautology in 
"exdu«veTy reserved," and drops the adverb: 
Ce cAt£ eit r^vert^ A Tjidreife. 
Zijde VOD hel idrei TDOrbehoudeD. 

Luxemburg, in a still more critical mood, holds that the French ought to 
write more correct French than Ihey do, and places " cxcluaivemcnt" after the 

Ce C6lt est niKryt eicluHTemeDI t I'ldreue. 

Diese Seite i*l aur nit die AdreiH tnlimml. 
Russia is of the same mind : 

CAt^ r^rv£ excliulTemeai i I'mdrcue. 
Italy uses no ambiguous word i 

5u quetta lata Don dcve scnTenl che It solo iadiritia. 
Chili's wish is stated with equal clearness : 

Amende Honoiable. In modern i 
ily apology and 

I as may be needed. But histoi 
different affair. It was in fact in ancienlFrench law a 
diagiaccful punishment, inflicted for Ihe most part on offenders against public 
decency. The offender was stripped to his shirt, when the hangman put a 



Googk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 51 

rope about bis neck and a taper in his liand, and then led him to the conrt, 
where the culprit asked pardon of God, of the king, and of the court. It 
was abolished in 1791, reintroduced in cases of sacrilege in 1S16, and finally 
abrogated in 1830. 

AnmiouL Who read* an Amarioui book? This hmous query 
was oii^nally propounded by Sydney Smith in a notice of Adam Seybeit's 
"Statistical Annals of the United Stales" {Edinburgh ^ni^ui. January, 1S20), 
included in Sydney Smith's collected Essajps. The query created a siorm 
of sufficiently humorous indignalion on this side of the Atlantic, and was 
quoted and requoted only to be furiously combated in every Yankee -doodle 
article that attero;)ted to Uamn forth the lilerair glories of the New World. 
Of recent years, since our literary men have really begun lo be a glory to the 
land of their birth, since the " American Wordsworth" and the " American 
Milltm" and the " American Goldsmith" have been succeeded by Amciican 
writers sufficiently native and original lo stand on their feet, and to be thcm- 
Belves, and not the fancied shadows of foreigner, — since that lime the query 
has been suffered to go the same road as Father Bouhours's equally memorable 
question, "Can a German have wit \april\ !" Here is Ihe full context of the 
question, which occurs at the conclusion of the article. It will be seen Ihal 
not only the literature but also Ihe arts and sciences of our forefathers are 
attacked. But il was chiefly the literary men who raised their voices in indig- 
nant protest ; 

■ympalhize. We hope be will Hlwaym CDDEinue lo wmlch Hnd tuBpecl hit Bovemmenl u he 
now don, — nmembenDH thai it U th* canuanl Itndency ofthcmt inlniftted wilh power lo con- 
ceive th4t they enjoy il by their own merits and for their own uk, and not by dejection And 



X bencRt of othen, Thui fv we ue tbe Iriends uid admirtr* of Juni 

cnLlEhlcned, and the moM moral peop 
of ihe Ail«niic.-»nd e- 



newftpapo* tciibblen 
« tt&ed, the mr- - 




^ .jj been exalted or tvfined by their lepubli 

of iheir Revolalwo, were bom and bnd siibiecu of the King of England,— wid not amoag the 

pendeal eiiiuBce, we would uk, Where are their Foiei. their Buriiei, Ihcir Sheiidaiu. their 
WiluUluu, tbeit HwMn, their WUbaforca!— where their Arkwrigbu, their Watu. their 
Davym!— fbdrRobenMini. Kun.Snllht, Slewatu, Paltyt.and MalihuKsr— Iheir Poraans. 
Pun. Bdmeyi. or BlomfieldiT— liielr Scoiu, CainpiiellB. Byrons. Moorei, oc Cnbbei?— their 
SddDIiKI, Xeublei, KeaiH. or O'Nelle !— their Wilkia. Launncei, Chantryit— or their 
- ■ ■ ■ the world 60m our little 



HANDY-BOOK OF 

Amiona Plato, sad inagiB amioa Teiltas (1,, " Plato is dear to me, 

bal truth is atill dearer"}. Thia phrase is a gradual evolution from a passage 
in the "Phaedo" or Plalo (ch. 91), where Socrates is reported as saying to hia 
disciples, " I would ask you lo be thinkine of ihe truth, and not of Socrates ; 
agree with me if I seem lo you to be speaking the truth 1 or, if not, withstand 
me might and main, that I may not deceive you as well as myself in my en- 
thusiasm.". Paraphrasing this sentiment, Aristulle was wont to say, " Socrates 
is dear to me, but the truth is still dearer," — this on the authority of his 
iHOgrapher Ammonius, who wrote in Latin, and whose Laliiiiied version became 
proverbial. But in course of time " Plato" was substituted for '■ Socrates," 
and so the phrase comes down lo us, Cicero docs not seem to have accepted 
Ihe lesson of the maxim, (or he expresslv says. "Errare malo cum Platone 
Huam cum islis vera sentire" (" I would ralhcr err with Plato than think 
rightly with these"!, — «■'■■ the Pythagoreans. And in this very saying, curi- 
ously enough, he endorsed a Pythagorean rather than a Platonic method. For 
while Plato evidently approved of Socrates's preference of tlie trulh over the 
individual, the disciples of Pythagoras adopted as their motto, "The master 
has said it." Cicero's sentiment was echoed m the modern line, — 
Bctict 10 CTT wllh Pope Ihan ihiDC wiih Pyc. 

Amperauid (also ampusand, ampersand, etc), an old name for &, for- 
merly &•, the contracted sign off/ = and. The name is a corruption of "and 
pir St and," — i.e., "& by itself— and," the old way of spelling and naming 
the character. Similarly, A, t, O, when representing words and not merely 
letters, were read in spelling-lessons, "A per se A" etc These were similarly 
corrupted into apersey, etc The amateur etymologist has done some ex- 
cellent guessing at the derivation of the word. Here is an example : " The 
sign & IS said to be properly called Empfror's hand, from having been first 
invented by some imperial personage, bul by whom deponent saith not." — 
Tlu MmUhly Poitel, vol. iii. p. 448. 

Anagyam {Gr. avaypofi/ia ; Am, up, or Sac*, and ypa/ifia, a Ittttr). A re- 
arrangement of Ihe letters of a name, a word, or a sentence. In order 10 be 
perfect, the result should be a word or words reacting upon Ihe original as a 
comment, a sarcasm, a definition, or a revelation. Thus, the pessimist re- 
joices to find that if llic component letters of live be committed lo Ihe 
smelting-pot of the anagram, they may reissue either as tvil ur vile : Ihe non- 
argumentative mind smiles calmly when logica (logic) yields aUiga (dattt- 
ness)i and the conservative is delighted to find the sinislerepithets/<nvdTrwit 
wrapped up in revolution and rare mad fro'M in radical hefokm. Those 
who attach themselves scrupulously lo the rules of the anagram uermit no 
change, omission, or addition of letters therein. Others, less timid, take an 
almost poetical license, and, besides occasionally omitting or adding a letter, 
think themselves justified in writing, when they find such a change desirable 
and that the resulting sense falls aptly, / for «. v for -w, s for i, t for i, and 
vice veria. Neverthclesa, Ihe orthodox an^rammatist frowns upon thit 
heretical license and characterizes its results as impure. 

Although the anagram has fallen upon evil days, and is now relegated to the 
children's column, along with the riddle, the enigma, and the rebus. It once 
boasted a high estate and taxed the reverence of the wise, the learned, and 
Ihe devout. The Hebrews held that there was something divine in this species 
nf word-torture. Nay, some Rabbins assert that Ihe esoteric law given to 
Hoses, to be handed down in the posterity of certain seventy men, and 



Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. S3 

theielbre cal1«d Cabbala, or Iradilional, was largely a volume of alpha- 
betary revolulion or anagrammatism. The Greeks, and especiall; (he scho- 
liasts of Ihe Middle Ages, echoed Ihc opinions of ihe Hebrews, believing that 
there was a mystic correspondence between things and their names, and that 
Inr the study of names, by the intense consideration and the turning inside-out 
of Ihe k'b aiid n's of which they aie composed, these coitespon deuces might 
be evolved and nature made to flash out her secrets. Men sought in one 
another's names, and in the names of things of high public import, (hose pvo- 

!>hetic indicatkins of character, of duty, or of destiny which might possibly 
urk in them. 

Lycophron, the father of the anagram in Greece, and one of the " Pleiads" 
of the coQit of Ptolemy Philadelphus, is said to have earned high favor with his 
prince by finding the words ttntl /ie?jTo( {oti/ of koney\ in the name Ilni^ipiZoc, 
■nd the words Iw "Hpor (majW efjutui) in 'Apai™;, Ihe name of Ptolemy's 
queen. Both these anagrams arc exact or pure, and, as such, are the earliest 
examples that have survived to our day. Another lanious historical anagram 
refers to the siege of Troy by Alexander. That monarch was about to aban- 
don the enterprise in despair, when he had a dream of a Salyr leaping before 
faim, whom eventually, after many elusions, he caughL This dream his 
■ages converted into a prophetic anagram: "'SJmff^" (Satyr), said they, 
"why, certainly, on Tipof" (Tyre is thine). This put heart in the Iting, and 
Tyre was taken. But, though good in its way, this is one of the iilegitimaie 
forms of anagram, arising not from the rearrangement or transposition ol 
letlert, but only from their redivision or resyllabification. Another instance 
is thai of Constantine III., son of the Emperor Heraclius, who on the eve 
of battle dreamed that he took the way through Thessalonica into Macedonia. 
Relating the dream to one of his courtiers, the latter divided Thessalonica 
into syllables, finding in it, " Leave the victory to another :" 

The emperor took no notice of the warning, and was badly beaten by the 
enemy. But this might rather be called a species of paronomasia or pun. 
Patriot resolved into Fat-riot is an even poorer instance. 

The Romans seem to have despised this sort of literary trifling, Latin 
anagiams are generally of modern origin. Vet among these are sonie of the 
best anagrams ever made, notably that admirable one which discovers in 
Pilate's question, QuiD EST VERITAS ? (What is truth 1) its own answer, Est vir 
qui adtst (It is Ihe man before you). A famous cento of Latin anagrams was 
made in honor of young Stanislaus Leczinski, afterwards King of Poland. On 
bis return from his travels, all the family of Leczinski assembled at Ussa, to 
celebrate his arrival with appropriate festivities. The most ingenious compli- 
ment of all was paid by Ihe College of Lissa. A heroic dance was presented 
by thirteen young warriors, each holding a shield on which was engraved one 
of the thirteen letters in the name Domus Lescinia. Tiie evolutions were so 
arranged that at each turn the row of bucklers formed different anagrams in 
tbe following order : 

First Domus Lescinia. 

Second. Ades incolumis. 

Third. Omnis es lucida. 

Fourth. Omne sis lucida. 

Fifth. Mane sidus loci. 

Sixth. Sis columna dei. 

Seventh. I, scande solium. 

ISAURATUS: 



54 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Art vivif annasa (M^arl will live long), and .4rj^ nmu nub (Behold ihe new 

art of ihe bard). 'I he Lalin language, indeed, lends itMlf readily to the ana- 
gram, lie ing free. from Ihe ugly assortmeni of /s, lo's, and jk's lliat disfigure 
most ni[>dern longuea and prove so great a slumbliiw-block in the way ofthe 
word-poser. No means so ready for writing up a friend or writing down an 
enemy ai that of turning Smilh into Smilhius and proving that ^milhius is 
the verbal equivalent either for spirit of health or goblin damned. Thus, 
Calvin, wrolh at the hearty licentiousness of Rabelais, anuratnmatiicd the 
Latin form RABEi..«sitis into Rabit Loan (Bitten-mad). This was raah in 
Calvin, for, □( all things on earth, to think of lighting Rabelais with his own 
weapoi>s, or, for that matter, with any weapons, must need* be the most hope- 
less. And so it proved. All Europe lay still and breathless waiting the sure 
response. 'Twas the calm before Ihe tliunderstutm. It came at last. ■• So / 
am Ri^e Laiut, Master John f And pray what ate you ? Let me see : Cal- 
vin ; Jan Cttt ; yes, that's about it 1" And over Europe rushed the jest, i« 
it had been a scavenger in Ihe sky ; and Calvin, we lancy, did not come out 
for a weeL 

Perhaps, even in the lime of the Reformation, when the anagram was 
largely laid under contribution for purposes of billingsgate and satire, no 
finer controversial use was ever found for it than in that example which sought 
to turn the very title of the Pope into a denial of his claims, as Ihue : Suprb- 
MtiS FUNTIFEX RuUAN[;s: O mm Super Fetram fixus {Q \ not founded upon 
Peter). 

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, anagrams were quite in fashitm 
a« pen-names. Thus, Calvinus (Calvin) became ..4 /(vijuu, FnANgotS RaBB- 
LAIS, ^/fo/r/iwj- jVffJMT", and Agos-iino Cai:it.\Ati\, Oiiilio Cmtaitgni. More 
tnoderD examples are Horace Walpole, Onaphris Muralto, Ihe very imperfect 
anagram under which he published his " Castle of Otranto," and the equally 
imperfect Bkyan VVallbr Fnucikr, Barty CormoaU, Potl. But the moel 
bmous case, and one in which the anagram has entirely overshadowed Ihe 
original name, ia furnished tiy Voltaire. This was not the family cognomen of 
the great Frenchman, but simply an anagram of his right name, Aruuet, with 
the two letters I. j. [Ic jeiiiu, i» " the younger") superadded, — an anagram 
concocted by himself in a freak or deliberately, and so familiarized by his use 
of it thai he was known thereafter universally as Voltaire, and will lie so for- 

One of the most amusing applications of Ihe anagram is that on Lady 
Eleanor Davies, wife of Sir John Uavies, Attorney -General in Ireland to 
King James I. This lady, a fanatic who Eancied herself possessed by the pro- 
phetic spirit of Daniel, grounded her belief on an anagram which she made 
on her name, viz., Eleanor Davies — Revtal, Danitll And though Ihe 
anagram had loo much by an / and loo little by an t, yet she found Daniel 
and Reveal in it, and that served her turn. Whereupon she pestered the 
world with her prophecies, gaining great repute among tlie unlearned by a 
lucky guess here and there, until a prediction of the Kppraaching death of 
Archbishop Ciud caused her arrest. When brought before the Court of 
High Commission, all appeals to reason and to Scripture proved futile. At 
last one of the deans seized a pen and hit upon this excellent anagram : Damk 
Eleanor Davies, Nevtr to mad a /adit. The unhappy woman, finding her 
own argument turned against her, renounced all claims to supernatural 

This story is related with much gusto by Heylrn in his "Cyprianas Angli- 
canus"(i7i9). Doubtless it is true in all essential features, but, as the device on 
which the lady founded her pretensions had been known for years, it seems 
more than likely that the acute lawyer invented the shell which blew up face 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 55 

ladyship in Ihe quiet of his own chamber, and chose Ihe most dramatic 
moment toT expliKliiiE it. 

Though the art of the anagrammalist may \x despised as puerile, none can 
deny its difficulij;. Where the Ictlera are few the field is indeed circumscribed 
within comparatively easy iimils of transposition ; but the possible clianges on 
a iarec series or letters exceed all but a mathematician's beliet 

A oare dozen of letters, for example, will admit of more than 739,000,000 
transpositions. Literally, it is mind on Ihe one hand against chaotic infinity 
on the other. The patience of Penelope herself would be exhausted in such 
assiduous doing and undoing as Ihe process seems to require. The vexation 
of oft-repeated effort and proximate Success resulting in fruitless labor is racilv 
expressed by Camden ; " Some have been seen to bite their pens, scratch 
tbeir heads, bend iheii brows, bite their lips, beat their board, tear their 
|Mper, when they were fair for somewhat and caught nothing herein." Ad- 
dUon, who numbers anagrams among his examples of false wit, tells with 
unnecessary jubilance the story of a lover who, having retired from the world 
to wrestle anagrammalically with his mistress's name, emerged after several 
months pale and worn, but triumphant. His chagrin, however, at finding 
that his lady's name was not what it appeared to be on the surface, not Chum- 
ley, in short, but Chulmondeley, was so great that he went mad on the 
spot, and finished in Bedlam what he had commenced in Bceotia. 

From all which it may readily be understood why it is that after centuries of 
endeavor so few really good anagrams have been rolled down to us. One 
may assert that all the really superb anagrams now extant might be contained 
in a pill-box. Such a pill-box we shall aim to present to our readers. And 
first we offer an alphabetical group of the aptest anagrams on places, things, 
aad persons in general : 

Asi'RONOUBks : Moan-Starers. 

Catalogues: Gi>t ai a due. 

CMRISTlANtrV ; / cry liat I lin. 

COHGRECATIONALIST : Got leant relipan. 

Ckinulink: Iniur coil, 

DbmoCKATICAL; ComUal trade. 

Determination : / mtan It rend it. 

Elbcant : Neat leg. 

French Rkvolution: Vi^ence run forth. 

Funeral: Real fun. 

GAtXANTKIES : All great sins. 

Impatient : Tim in a pet. 

Is Pity Love?: Pesitivily. 

La Sainte Alliancei La Sainte CanaiOe. 

Lawvers : Sly "ware. 

Matrimony : Into my arm. 

Melodrama : Made moral. 

MiciSHiPMAN : Mind kit map. 

MlSANTHNOPR.' Span him not. 

Old England : Ge'den Land. 

Paradise Lost : Reap sad toili. 

Paxisrioners ; / Aire partem. 



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56 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Penitentiary : Nay, / rtftat it. 
Poor House; O laur h^l 
Ptri-ENTATKS : Ttn Ttapoltt 
PresbvteKIaN : Bisl im frayer. 
Punishment; Nine thumpi. 
Soldiers : Lo! I dmt. 
Spanish Markiages : Rask garnet in Pm 
SUEGEON : Co, Nurii! 
SWBETHEAKT ; Tkeri we lai. 

Telegraphs: Great ktlpt. 

Universal Suffkage: Guess a fearjiil r. 
A well-susiained effort in this word 'Conjuring is the fulluwing s| 
"How much there ii in a word I tftnetlny.nyt I: whal, thai makaiui^ Xsw ; and 

And here, still in alphabetical order, are some of the beat and most liimous 
anagrams that have been made upon the names of celebrated individuals. 

presence, and SfuS' address. " Has any one," asks Southey, " who knows 
Johnny the bear, heard his name thus anagrammatizcd without a smile ? We 
may be sure he smiled and growled at the same time when he heard it 
himselt" 

Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Keeper : /i born and tint far a rich Speaktr. 
So it is usually given, as an anagram by one Tash. a contemporary or the 
great man, but, on testing it, we can make out only, ii born and elei for a ric 
tfiei, — the original being four letters shorL This shows the necessity for 
Terilying reputed anagrams. It is a sad thought that many may be passing 
unchallenged which are but impostures. In this case, however, deep and sus- 
tained investigation has enabled us to mend the anagram. It must have been 
given forth thus : SiR Francis Bacon, the Lord Keeper ; /i born and 
elect for rick SfeaJier. 

JoiinBunvan; NuhonyinaB. Execrable! one would naturally exclaim, 
but, as it is John's own work, we must be reverently dumk 

General Butler ; Gml. real brute. 

Thomas CarlYLe; Cry shame to all : or, Mercy, lash a let: or, A let cry, 
" Lash me I " Just after the death of the sage and prior to the publication of 
his Reminiscences, the anagram a calm, holy rat was hailed as admirably 
significant. An enemy hath found in the same letters, clearly lo sham. 

CAROI.US Rex ; Cras ero lux (To-morrow 1 shall be light). An anagram 
which Charles II. is said to have left written on one of the windows o( King's 
Newton Hall, in Derbyshire. 

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Walbs: P. C. Her august race it 
last, O fatal netosl An anagram in which British regret over (he decease of 
the Princess Charlotte enshrined itself. 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. S7 

Iaques Clement, the assissin of Heniy III. of France, ^xi til ce mal 
nft (Who is this ill-bom person?). Very good from the point of view of 
the believer in the divine right of kings, but Ihrown utterly in the shade by 
the superiority of iu corollary: FiitRE Jacques Clement: Ciil Fmfer qui 
m'a crU, (It was hell that created me), which may be taken as an answer to 
the firsL 

RiCfUKD COBDEN ; Sick cerHy bedadi 

Cmablbs Dickens : Ckttr tkk lands. 

DiSEAELl ; / liad, itr. A Tory anagram, of course. The Whi^s resolve 
the name into idit airs. But the latter found their best opportunity in the 
Alii title, DiSRAELF, Earl uF Bkacunsfibld: Self-/eoled,caH /u 6tar itt- 

John Dryuen: Rhino duty' d, — which was Glorious John's life-long com- 
plaint, in his own spelling, too. 

Phineas Fletcher: Hath Spetuer li/eT A very good anagram, for in 
the age alter Spenser's dcalh, Phineas Fletcher had more of his manner and 
spirit than almost any other poet. 

Gladstone; G leads not. So cried the exultant Tory in apt oppositioi 



the anagram he had coined out of the name of hin sreat rival : Disraeli ; 
/ Uad, sir. The Whie rather weakly remonstrated thai Gi-*dstone doesn't 
lag. But though the whig achieved small success with (he family cognomen, 



he reaped vast and varied results with Ihe full name, WiL . .. ._ 
Gladstone ; A man to vndd great wilts : or, Co, adminiilri/ti lieai wtll ; or. 
Til wastt no glad war-time ; or, C, a weird mun vie all liil le : or, finally, 
the dubious and perplexing statement, AHraiing me T. glad Erin wails. 

Sir EdmundburvGodfrev: I fynd murdered by ro/pui.anA By Rame'smdt 
Jitigf die. These anagrams, uncouth andi^imperfect as they are, were cir- 
culated shortly after the death of Godfrey, the magistrate who, it will be 
remembered, had taken Tilus Oates's deposition in regard to the pretended 
Popish plot, and on October 17, 1678, had been found murdered on Ihe south 
aide of Primrose Hill. 

Henev Hallam : Real manly M. H. 

Randle Holmes: Lot men's herald. This very apt anagram was prefixed 
to Holmes's well-known heraldic work, "The Academy of the Armory," |68S. 

Seuna, Countess of HtlNrtNiiooN : See ! sound faith clingt to no nun. 

Douglas JeerolD; Sure, a droll dng I 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Won half the New World's glory. 

Martin Luthbr: Lehrt in armuth [He teaches in poverty). The Latinized 
form of Ihe name yields even Diore remarkable results. For example, Mar- 
TINU3 Lin'HERUS, Vir mulla stmens (The man who builds up much), and Ter 
imatrii vulnui (Three wounds to the mother. — church is of course understood). 
D. Martinus Lin-HERUS : 67 turrii das lumen (Like a tower you give light). 
But most apt of all is Ihe form Doctor Martinus Lutherus: ORom.lu/her 
itt der Sekaan (O Rome, I.ulher is the Swan), an allusion to John Iluss'i 
prophecy that a swan should arise from the blood of the goose (Huss), 

Thomas Babington Macaulav: Ola big mouth, a manly Canlai's 

Marie ANTolNErrE: Tear it, men, I atone. 

Thomas Moore : Homo amor est (Man is love). 

Nafoleon. The anagrams made on or about the great Corsican are num- 
berless. Thus, when he came into power, the words La RivoLin'iON Fran- 
^iSKwere twisted into Vilol un Corn la firara. But in 1S15 party spir'i 



58 HANDY-BOOK OF 

discovered in Ihe same words, Ait La Franctvevll son Rmt The best ana- 

nam on Napoleon Bonaparte is the Laiin one, Bona rapia tens pent! 
'ou rascal, return your stolen goods t). Written in Greek letters, the same 



alToTds (he very best example 
ve anagram, thus: 


It' what is known a 

: : »r- 

. .the destroy 
. . a lion, 


"Z '. '. 


. . goes 

. . ibouL 



Every syllable tells a lale of rapine. 

HokATio Nelson : /ftwr a/ a Nile (Honor is from the Nile). This cele- 
brated anagraiii, put in circulation when the news of (he victory; of the Nile 
arrived in England, was the work of a clergyman, the Rev. William Holden, 
rector of Charteris. Very inferior is the English a ttatian't Hero. 

Florence NiCHTiNGALE : Flit on, ckteriHgoH^l. 

Noi'ES AND QtiBRlES; Eitquiriis on dala ; or, A qutstion-imdtri or, still 
better, O, tend in a requtil. 

William Nov: / moyl in lata. This anagram on the laborious Attorney- 
General of Charles I. made a great sensation at the time. Howell, in his 
Letters, says, "Wilh infinite pains and indefatigable study he came to his 
knowledge of the law ; but I never heard a more pertinent anagram than was 
made of his name." 

Lord Palmerston ; Se droll, pert man. 

Sir Robbkt Peel : TerriMe froie. 

Edgar Allan Foe: A long peal, read. 
■ Pilatre du Rosier : Tueifirsiederair{Voi> are (be prey of the air), pecu- 
liarly appropriate to the unfortunate aeronaut who fell from his balloon, June 
IS. I78|, but an omitted r and a redundant e rob the anagram of the higher 
meed of praise. The suggested amendment, Tati P. R.,Roide Pair (yoa xk 
P. R, King uf the Air), is puerile. 

John Ruskin : No ini-nah J! 

William Shakespeare: I ask me, has Will a peer t Though Shakespeare 
provided against the shaking up of his bones, he uttered no curse upon those 
who should disturb the letters of his name. At the hands of the rulhless 
anagrammatisis they have been made to yield strange and varied results. As 

J;ood as any is the above, though there is some virtue in / smear he ii Hit a 
amp. The alternative spelling William Shakspeare produces We praise 
Aim. asi all, which is somewhat forced and stilted. 

Robert Southev : Robust here yet. This is from the pen of an admirer. 
An enemy is tespousible for the following : Be thou Sour Tory. 

Maria Steuasta : feritai armata [aimed truth), evidently by an admirer 
of the unfuilunate Queen uf Scots. A more remarkable anagram mat! c feat is 
Marta SteUarDa, ScotOrum Rbgina: Trtaa vi re^is, morle amara cado 
(Thrust by force from my kingdoms, I fall by a bitter death). 

Charles James Stitart: He asserts a just claim. This anagram on the 
Pretender was highly popular wilh the Jacobites, who also found in the same 
name, claims Arthur's seat ; and in CtiARLES, Prince of Walks, Al France 
cries, O help us! Taylor, the Water Poet, had already found in CkarLcs 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 59 

Stuart (f>., Charles lOca/rfnw^n^, which illustraies the necessity of being 
«cquainied with the orlhugraphic licenses of the period to which an anagram 
belongs. But Taylor was a clumsy anagramroaliil at best. 

Jahks Stuart: j4yt(j/ MOftrr; a famous anagratn by the poel Sylvester in 
dedicating to James I. his translation of Du Bartas. 

Swedish Nighi'ingalh : Si'ig high, nwet Linda I a rather successful com- 
pliment to Jenny IJnd, under her subriquet. 

Alfred Tennyson : Fimy land aoln : ia,Faiisanelnidtrly. Slightly better 
is this: ALPkEDTcNNVsoN, POET LAUBEATe : Ntat smntl or dttp learfid [ay. 

George Thompson: On, iht negro'i Af. P. This excellent anagram on 
the name of the noted advucaie of negro emancipation derives additional 
interest from the fact that it was made by a friend al a time when I'hompson 
was hesitating whether to accept a seat in the House of Commons, and is said 
to have decided him to do so. 

Touchet, Harie (mistress of Charles IX.) : Je charme tout (I cliarm all). 

UNtTED States : In It Dtm slat (God sunds in thee), and, as a sort of 
corollary to this statement, ladi lull tins (hence thou Blandest safely). Other 
Latin anagrams, less excellent because their application is less immediately 
apparent, are the following : Dmiatus at (he has leeth, — lu evidently meaning 
Uncle Sam). Detiitt, nutal (hands off! it shakes), apt enough in 1861, when 
it was made, but not al pteaenL Siilr, Hudal It (slop 1 be strips thee). Et itta 
detttttt (those things aie also wanting), and A It dttittutti (Ihey keep off from 
thee). 

Victoria, Enci.and's Queen : Gevcmi a nict quitt land. Her majesty 
herself should be startled out of her babliual composute at the enigmatic 
result obtained h-om Hek Mosi' Gracious Majes-iy Alexanorina Vic- 
toria: Ah, my extnaiagant, jaco-striota radical ministtr '. 

Watt, Jakes : Wail, itiam, or A sttam wit. 

Art^IUR WellEsleY; Truljf ht'll ttt war : ai, Kulti the lair yell ,- ox. Rule 
earthly rwell (the latter expressing the opinion of those detractors who, while 
the duke was alive, accused him of bemg hard and worldly). But best is 
the fbllo*ing : Arthur Welleslet, Duke of Wellington : Lnwtll-fmrd 

Gam/ ttmrt thy rtnewn. 

A number of very clever burlesque anagrams were contributed to Mae- 
millaiit Magaane in lS6a by an anonymous hand. Some of these ate worth 
quoting,'-as, for example : ' 

Jebeuy Bentkam : The body of Jeremy Benthani never was buried. By 
his own diiections it was kept above ground, a wax fac-simile of his lace and 
head being fitted on to his skeleton, and his own silver hair, and the hat and 
dolhes he usually wore, being placed on the figure, so as to make an exact 
re presentation of him silting in his chair as when alive. Perhaps his notion 
was that his achool would last, and that he should be wheeled in to preside at 
their annual meetings in that ghastly form. At all events, the ligure was long 
kept by the late Dr. Southwood Smith, and is now in one of the London 
museums. No one can look at it without dii^usl at such an exhibition, — the 
loo literal fulfilment of the senile whim of an old man. His very name con- 
tains the punishment of the whim : Jeer my bent ham. 

Oliver Cromwell: More citrver. Will, — an anagram beautifully repre- 
senting Oliver's life when he was a quiet farmer and had a servant lad named 
William ; or, Weleomer r — I vid, which expresses the opinion of Olivet's ad- 
bercDts that be was a better first fiddle than the martjrr-monaich. Observe 



HANDY-BOOK OP 

SiK WiLLMM Hahjli'on : Thc anagram of the name of Ihis great meta- 
phfaician takes the form of a bit of dramatic dialogue ; 
L.L.L.: "I am I, am 1 not f 
H.: " ff (double ^ou), SirP' 

So profound an anagram as this mav require a little ^iplanaiion. L. L. L. is 
the Learned Logic Lecturer, Sir William himself. He is interrogating H., 
one of his hearers, and, lo try his powers of Ihiiiiiing. asks him in a personal 
foim a question of great metaphysical moment. The Hearer is evidently 
puzzled, and cannot grasp (he notion of Sir William. 1 and then I uain, or 
two Sir Williams at once. 

ES Mac 
laughed (o scorn the charge brought against bi 
which was a standing joke against Macpherson in the library of the House of 
Commons when he became a member. 

John Stuabt Mtll: JuiI marl oh hii .—i.e.. not only fair exchange, but 



of publicity ; or, O Ihrili, pat man. or, O man jut 
thrill, — expressing two opinions of the character of Mr. Mill's philosophy. 

Adam Suith : Admit hams, — it., apply the principle of dee trade first to 
one patlicular article, and mark the results. 

ThB Times: /trCAnnir/—>',ir., the whole planet and all that takes placeupon 
It; jW«//-*u,— a reference chiefly lo the advertisements in thc second culiimn ; 
and, finally, E. E. T. Smith. This last anagram we could not interpret for 
some time ; but we think we have it now. Ii seems to mean that the Ttma 
represents Smith, ot general English opinion, and yet not Smith absolutely 
and altogether, but rather Smith when he is well backed by capital. 

AnoMtor, I am 1117 own. When Andoche Junot, who had risen from 
the ranks, became Due d'Abrantis and an important figure at Napoleon's 
newly-formed court, a noblenian of the old r<!gmie asked him what was his 
ancestry. " Ah. ma foi 1" replied the stuidy soldier, "je n'en sais rien ; moi 
je suis mon anc^tre" {" Ah, sir, I know nothmg about it ; I am my own ances- 
tor"). Probably he had never heard of the similar remark made by Tiberius 
of Curtius Rufus : " Me seems to me (o be descended from himself." (Taci- 
tus, xi. 21, 16.) Napoleon's reply to the Emperor of Austria was in a 
kindred cein. The Austrian, when Napoleon became his prospective son-in- 
law, would fain have traced the Bonaparte lineage to some petty prince of 
Treviso. "1 am my own Rudolph of Hapsburg," said Napoleon. Under 
wmilai circumstances he silenced a genealogist : " Friend, my patent of no- 
Ulity dates from Montenotte," — his first great victory. When Iphicrates, 
the Athenian general, had it cast up in his face by a descendant of Harmo- 
dius that he was a shoemaker's son, he calmly replied, "The nobility of my 
family begins with me, yours ends with you." (PLtrTAKCH : Lift of Iphicrata.) 
Almost the same words were used by Alexander Dumas when asked if he 
It descended from an ape (a covert sneer at his negro grandmother) ; 



n literature. Here a 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 






• Wbal can ihey i« in Iht lowctl kingly line in Europe, uvt Itiat il mm badi to a luc. 
CCBvliil ioldicrt The man wha hai not anvihing ta boaiL of but hia iiluH'ioili anceatora il 
like a potato. — the ODJy ffood belonging lo bim ii under ground. — SiK Thomas OviaauRV : 

Anobor aa the Symbol of Hope, Among the ancients (he anchor, as 
the hope and resource of the sailor, came to be called "Ihe sacred anchor," 
and was made the emblem of hope. The early Christians adopted ihe anchor 
as an emblem of hope, and it is found engraved on rings and depicted on 
monuments and on (he walls of cemeteries in (he Catacombs. The anchor 
was associa(ed wi(h (he fish, the symbol cf the Saviour. The fact that the 
transverse bar of an anchor below (he ling forms a cross probably helped 
towards the choice of the anchor as a Christian symbol. 

Andrew^ 8t, Ctou. The Cross of St. Andrew is always represented 
in the shape of the letter X ; but (hat this is an error, ecclesiastical historians 
pruve by appealing to the cross itself on which he suffered, which St. Stephen 
of Burgundy gave to the convent uf St. Victor, near Marseilles, and which. 
like the CDrnmon cross, is rectangular. The cause of the error is thus ex- 
plaiaed ; when the apostle suffered, (he cross, instead of beiuE fixed upright, 
rested on its foot and arm, and in this posture he was faslenedlo it, his hands 
to one attn and the head, hia feet to the other arm and the foot, and his head 
in the air. 



VI 



AngeL To irilte like an, originally characIeriEcd, not literary style, but 
snmanship. So Disraeli tells us in his "Curiosities of Literature." Angelo 
'ergecio, a learned Greek, emigrated first to Italy, and afterwards, during the 
reign of Francis I., to France. His beautiful jicnniaiiship attracted universal 
admiration. Francis I. had a Greek font of type cast, modelled from his 
handwriting. Angelo's name became synonymous with exquisite calligraphy, 
and gave mrth to the familiar phrase " to write like an angel," which, by a 
natur^il extension of meaning, was applied to authors as well as mere pen- 
Hen li» Nollr GoldiRiiib. for aborlneu called Noll. 
GarHck. 
Angela «ltOgetli«r, a West Indian slang term applied to habitual drunk- 
ards. The sobriquet is said to have taken its rise in the following manner. A 
negro employed on a sugar -plantation on Ihe Ejst Coast, Demerara, applied 
for a Saturday holiday. His manager, knowing Quashie's reputation as a 
faatd drinker, chaffed him as follows; "John, you were drunk on Sunday?" 
" Yes, massa." " Monday, too ?" " Ves,'tnassa." And so on up to Frinay, 
eliciting the same response, " But, John," remonstrated the manager quietly, 
■*jon know you can't be an angel altogether." The story got abroad and 
pMWd into a proverbial phrase. 



;i:v,.G00gk" 



«2 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Angela, On th« aide of th«. In 1864, when Darwinism was an aston- 
ishing novelty, Disraeli neatly eipressed the indignant misapprehension of 
(he multitude in a speech before the Uiford Diocesan Society : " What is the 
question which is now placed before society, with the glib assurance which to 
me is most astounding / That question is (bis : la man an ape or an angel ? 
I am on the aide of the angels. \ repudiate, with indignation and abhorrence, 
(hose new-fangled theories." Carlyie was equally emphatic " I have no 
patience whatever," he cried, " with these gorilla damnilications of humanity." 
Disraeli lived to modily his views, Carlyie detested Darwinism firs( and last. 
The optimistic Kmeisun saw only hope in the new doctrine. " 1 would 
rather tjelieve," he said, " that we shall rise (o the state of (he angels (ban 
tha( we have fallen from it." 

AllS«I>' TWt>. One sf the m 
ture occurs in Thomas Campbell's 

Thissimile was highly praised for iis "originality." Huli((, in his "Lectures 
on the English Poets," was the first to point ou( a similar expression in Blair's 
"Grave." 

Like thote of iin£tli, short aod ttt between. 
" Mr. Campbell," adds Haslitt, " in altering the expression has spoilt it. 
' Few' and 'iar between' are the same thing." Elsewhere he notes that Camp- 
bell never forgave him this bit of detective worL But Blair himself was not 
original. He borrowed from John Norris of Bemerlon (1656-1711), who has 
the following lines in his poem " The Parting ;" 

How CuUn^ Alt [be joy* we dote upm \ 
like ippvuiop* seeD and Hone ; 
But thoK which KWDeat tmke (heir (light ', 
Are the moK exqubileuiduroikE: 

MoffUJily'i too wuk to bur lAcm long. 
Norris again returned to the image in a poem to the memory of his niece: 

Angelas (so named from (he opening words of the prayer: "Angelus 
Domini nunliavit Mariae," — " The Angel of the Lord announced unto Mary"), 
in the Roman Catholic Church, is a devotion in memory of the AnnundatioiL 
It consists of three of the scriptural texts relating to the mystery, recited 
alternately with the angelic salutadon, "Ave Maria," etc., and followed by a 
verside with prayer. The devotion was of gradual growth. So early as 1347 
we end the Council of Sens taking up an ordinance already passed by Pope 
John Xn. (1316-1314), which recommended the failhful to say the Ave Maria 
three times at (he hour of curfew (igniUgii\. The ordinance was approved, 
and its observance was made obligadiry. Church-bclls should be rung at 
the hour of curfcw, and all hearers should go down on their knees and recite 
the angel's salutadon to the glorious Virgin, thus gaining (en days' indul- 
;ence. In 1369 it was further ordained (hat at dawn there should be Ihree 
;ll-sttokes, and whoever at that signal said three aves and as many pater- 
nosters should obtain an indulgence for twenty days. The Angeius, as we 
know it. developed out of this beginning, and was substantially the present 
devotion, when, in 1416, a repetition of the Angeius three times a dav was 
nded at Breslau, the example being followed by Mains and Cologne 



gei 

be) 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 

in 1433. In 1472, Louis XI. obtained a 
Ang«1us in France, ' """ '-' - -"--- 
gcnce to the suppliai 

Angnr boTv, a term applied in the seventeentli century to the unruly 
" bloods of the day whose mad Trolics nightly made tbc streets a terror to 
sedate and peaceable citizens. 

Off br llie ansry boyi ftv iby coovenioD. 

BuuHaKTAHD Flktchu : Tlu Sctrn/ul Ladj. 

AnaoE UlrBbilis (I., " Wonderful year"). A term that may be applied 
to any year memorable in public or private history. Thus, one of Coleridge's 
critics oiled 1797 his annus mirainlii, as during that year the poet composed 
most of his finest works. And, again, 1871 has been called the anaui mira- 
UIu o( the Papacy, as the year in which Fius IX., first among all the succes- 
sors of St Peter, attained and passed the twenty-five years ofrule which are 
credited to Peter. But, specifically, the term is applied in English history to 
the year 1666. which was crowded thick with events, — the great fire of Lon' 
don, the defeat of the Dutch fleet, etc. This specific use of the word has 
been fixed and perpetuated by Dryden's poem " Annus Micabilis," which cel- 
ebrates these events. | 

Antiqiiitaa BeBOullJiiTeDttis mtmdi ( L,, " The antiquity of ages is the 
youth of the world"). Thi.^ phrase occurs as a quotation in Bacon's "Ad- 
vancement of Learning," book i. (1605). Bacon explains it thus: "These 
times are the ancient times, when the world is ancient, and not those which 
we account ancient srdau rttragrado, by computation backward from our- 
selves." Whewell has pointed out that the same thought occurs in Giordano 
Bruno's "Cenadi Cenere," published in 1584. Pascal, in the preface to his 
" Treatise on Vacuum," says, " For as old age is that period of life most 
remote from infancy, who does not sec that old age in this universal man 
ought not to be sought in the times nearest his birth, out in those most remote 
fi-om it ?" For a humorous, yet most effective, statement of the same axiom 
by Sydney Smith, see Wisdom op Our ANCErroRS. Gladstone has taken 
the words yuvenaa Atundi as a title for his book on the Homeric period. 

Anxloiu Benoh, or AhzIoiib 8«a^ a familiar Americanism, originally 
derived from the terminology of Methodist camp.meetings and other religious 
revivals. The aniious benches are seat-s set aside for anxious mourners, — />., 
for sinners who are conscious of their sin and desirous of conversion. After the 
ordinary services, an Anxious Meeting is held, where the mourners ate exhorted, 
and, after they have brought forth fruit meet for repentance, they are received 
into church membership. By extension, the phrase On the Anxious Bench 
means to be in a stale of great difficulty, doubt, or despondency. 

Any odier man, a bit of American slang which had a great run in 1860. 
When a man became prolix or used alternatives, such as Brown or Jones or 
Robinson, he was promptly called to order by the cry, " or any other man." 
The first use of the phrase in print was by Charles G. Iceland, in a comic 
sketch in the New Vork.Kwiiy Fair. A sort of forerunner has been discov- 
ered in ■' Waverley :" " Gif any man or any other man." 

Apaxtmailti to let^ a colloquial expression, indicating that the person 
referred to as having such apartments is a tool, an idiot. — i.e., that his skull 
has no tenant in the shape cri brains. The phrase may have orieinated with 
the famotis mal of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, when his son Thomas jest- 
ingly it^lared that he had no decided political principles, but would serve 



64 HANDY-BOOK OF 

whuever party paid him best, and that he had a mbd to put a placard on hia 
forehead, " To let" " Ail tiglit, Tom," was the answer, " but don't (orget to 
add 'unfurnished.'" 

Ape*. Iisadlng ap«« io b«U. This proverbial expression is supposed 
to describe the late of uroinen who die old maids, or who have otherwise 
avoided the tea pons ibility of bearing children. In this sense it occurs fre- 
quently in Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Thus, in the "Taming of 
the Shrew," Act iii. Sc i : 



1 muit diDcv bflrcfbot « 



wedding Jay 



A mote recent example is in Dibdin's song " Tack and Tack : " 
At ICDgib cried the, "I'll nurry ; vlut thould I uiry for? 
I may lead apa in hell forever." 

Hut it would seem that the expression had some other meaning before the 
seventeenth cenlniy, which it has now lost Stanihurst, in the dedication to 
bis " Description of Ireland," in Holinshed's "Chronicles," vol. ii. (1586-87), 
Mys, "Hersiles . . . seemed to stand in no better stead than to lead apes 
in hell." Here there is an allusion quite unconnected with maidenhood or 
childlessness. 

Apoatle OemB. According to Bristow's Glossary, the apostle gems a: 
as follows : Jasper, the symbol of St Peter 1 sapphire, St Andrew ; chi 
ceduny, St James ; emerald, St John ; sardonyx, St Philip ; carnelian, St 



as follows : Jasper, the symbol of St Peter 1 sapphire, St Andrew ; chal- 
cedony, St James; emerald, St John; sardonvx, St Philip; carnelian, 5" 
Bartholomew ; chtysolile, St Matthew ; beryl, St. Thomas ; chrysoprase, f 
Thaddeus ; topaz, St James the Less ; hyacinth, St Simeon ; amelhy; 
St Matthias. A white chalcedony with red spots is called " St Stephen 



A|KMt]« SpOOtia. Old-fashioned silver or silver.^lt spoons, whose handle 
termmated in the figure of one of the apostles. The souvenir spoons of 
to-day are their legitimate descendants. Apostle spoons were the usual 

C resents of sponsors at christenings. The rich gave a set of a dozen, those 
iss wealthy four, while the poor gave one. In " Henry Vllt ," Act v. Sc I, 
the king wishes Cianmer to stand gadfather to the Princess Elizabeth, and 
when (he prelate excuses himself, saying, — 



ApostlM, or The Twelvs Apoatles, in Cambridge University slang, 
"the clodhoppers of literature who have at last scrambled through the 
Senate House without being plucked, and have oblarned [he title of B.A. by 
a miracle. The last twelve names on the list of Bachelor of Arts— those a 
degree lower than the of iroUoi — are thus designated" {Gradui ad Cantabri- 
pam\. The very last on the list was known as St Paul, punningly corrupted into 
St Poll. — an allusian to 1 Cor. iv. 9 : " For 1 am the lea.st of the apostles, 
that am not meet to be called an apostle." In a fine burst of etymological 
inspiration, Hotten suggests that apostles is derived from /m/o/iiv, — (>., "after 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES, 65 

the others." But Ihe rcferEnce to Ibe Twelve Apostle* is cleu enough in 
itselt In Columbian College, Washington, D.C., the twelve last members of 
the B.A. list receive each the name of one of the apostles. 

Appetite. In Rabelais's "Garganlua," eh. v., occurs the famoua phrase 
" L'app^tit vient en mangeani" (" Appetite comes in eating"). The context 
is worth quoting : "The stone called asbestos is not mure i next iiiguiiih able 
than is the thirst of which I am the parent Appetite cumcs with eating, said 
Angeston ; but thirst goes away by drinking. Remedy for thirst p II is the 
opposite of that for the bite of a dog ; always tun after a dog, and he will 
never bile you ) always drink before thirst, and it will never come to you." 
The Angeston referred to is supposed to be Jerome de Hangest, a famous 
doctor of the Sorbonne, who SoDrished at t)ie beginiiing of (he sixteenth cen- 
But where or under what circumstances he used the phrase is unknown. 



Montaigne echoes Rabelais in his essay on " Vanity :" " My appetiK 
me while eating." But this is a mete aulobiogtaphical detail, 
original is probably in Ovid, who, speaking of Erysichthon, condemned by Ceres 
to an inextinguishable hunger, aays, " All food stimulates his desire (or other 
food." {M^ataarpheies, lib. viii.J The phrase is often used now in a meta- 
phorical sense, as, for example, in Shakespeare's paraphrase : 
Why, ibe would hing on him. 

Ai If iDCTCM* oT Appelitc bad arovD 

Bt what ll Ecd on. 

But eren in this sense a classical prototype may be found in Quinlus Curttus, 
who makes his Scythians say to Aleianiler, " Vou are the first in whom satiety 
has engendered hunger." 

Apple Jaok, in America, a bmiliar name for whiskey distilled from apples, 
known also as Jersey lightning, from (he fact that it is mainly a New jersey 
product. It may be interesting to recall John Philips's lines in " The Splendid 
Shilling :" 

HaluR, Johu Apple, Wit ih« daway peftch. 

But this is only a curious coincidence. The John Apple, or Apple John (so 
called because it is ripe about St. John's day), is a kind of apple said to keep 
for years, and to be in perfection when shrivelled and withered. Henc« 
Washington living's " Poor Jemmy, he is but a withered little apple-john," 
quoted m C. D. Warner's Ufe, p. 77. 

Apple of Diaoord. Something which causes si 
classical fable of Eiis, the goddess of hale, who thre ^ > ■, -^ 

her fellow- goddesses, with ihia inscription, "To the most beautiful." Here, 
Pallas, and Aphrodite (Juno, Minerva, and Venus) all three claimed (he prize, 
and referred their dispute to Paris, who decided in favor of the latter, — a 
decision that led to the Trojan war. 

"Angr^, indeed [" uy" Juno, gathering up her purple robes uid rayiO nineni. *' Soiry, 
ihe wdl-known AppSe cate hai jus! been ai^^ed vxd decided.) " Hurt, forfooth \ Do ytni 



avwrd of ludi ajudgc in favi 
nJk mwmy loeelher. Thil 19 
' ' - - DUiUty ; UH the) 

prmntlT. wUch ^de wUI Ibcy taket Many ] 



■ gttt lied Inr Do bnetiilty ; Dot they. They 

»_i J ...-V .,^ ^1 



66 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Hadei, HeciDr wDI perliti. poor old Prlam'i bald minuliun will be cncked. ind Tnr wm 
witlbuni,bec4UKPuupreKng^dcD'bwRd Veniu id DA-«yed Jimo and $ray-cy«d MiDcrvft.— 

Apple-pie order, complete, iharough oider. Plausibly conjectured to be 
acoriuptionof ta/ii-*jVorder(Fr. rf^/^./MM;)), wiih leference to the com- 
plete equipment of a soldier fully c»paiisoned from head to fool. The only 
objection to this theory is that no instance of the latter phrase appears. Per- 
haps the derivation suggested in Uarr^re and L,clatid's " Slang Dictionary" is 
the true one: "Order is an old word for a row. and a properly-made apple-pie 
had, of old, always an order or row of regularly-cut turrets, or an exactly 
divided border." Pies are rarely now made in this fashion in England, but 
quite frequently in America. An apple-pie bed, fatniliar lo school-boys, is 
a bed in which some practical joker hu folded (he sheets so that a person 
cannot get his legs down. 

Tbcchildrrn'tEvdRiii in ipplc-plc order. ^vrt.mLBCkliarfi Llfi.iiA. Iv. p. i3i,ed. 
1839 



the fable of the horse-dung floating down the river with a lot of apples. 

'•HowMipplaiwimr''H™AKTH"tf^p''L'(«i"iBjS.'vori?l. p'jfl'.' "™ ' " '"™' 
ApprentloeB and Salmon. A curious popular (tadilion, sli'll current in 
the valley of the Severn, asiterts (hat in ancient indentures masters bound 
themselves not lo feed their apprentices on salmon mure than thrice a week. 
A lively controversy on this subject in Neles and Qutrits ted to an offer by 
(he editor of that periodical of live pounds for the discovery of an indenture 
having this clause. The reward, however, was never claimed. 

AproD-abrtn^, To be tied to a iroroan'a. To be under petticoat gov- 
ernmenL To be ruled by a woman. There is an old le^al term, Apron-string 
hold, •- a tenure of property through one's wife, or dunng her tifelinie alone. 



I lliey heartily detpise 



S/ielalsT, No. ja6 <r 



Apropos da bottea (" apropos of boots"), a French expression which has 
been adopted into English, and means apropos of nothing. The saying is 
thus accounted for. A certain seigneur, having lost an important cause, told 
the king, Fran;ois I., that the court had unbooted him [ravait lUbBflfl. What 
he meant lo say was (hat (he court had decided against him [il avait M dHoulf) 
cf. med. Lai. Jibolarr). The king laughed, but reformed (he practice of 
pleading in Latin. The gendemen of the bar, feeling displeased at the change, 
said that it had been tnaAt ^ profM dt betUt. Hence Ihe application of tlie 
phrase lo anything that is done without motive. [Nota and Quiria, second 
series, ii. 14.) The explanation is plausible, and, as there is no direct historical 
evidence to confute it. may be accepted without mental slullitication. But it 
fails to support the burden of proof that legitimately rests on its shoulders. 

Aroadl*. in ancient geography, a pastoral district of the Peloponnesus 
in Greece, is used as a synonyme tor any Utopia of poetical simplicity and 
innocence. " Auch ich war m Arkadien geboren" (" I too was born in 
Arcadia"), sings Schiller in his poem " Resignation." Goethe adopts this 
famous phrase as Ihe motto of his Italian journeys. In Ihe l^tin form " Et 
ego in Arcadia" It appears in one of Poussin's landscapes in the Louvre, 



_k)Oglc 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 67 

inscribed on a tomb whereon a group of shepherds gaie with mingled curi- 
osity and afiright 

AxoUteot of bis 01m fortune. The Tamiliar proverb, Every man is 
ihe architect of his own furtune, is found in most modern languages. Accord' 
ine to Sallual, in his lirst oration (" De Republ. Ordinand.," i. 1), the phrase 
originated with Appius Claudius Ckcus, who held the ulHce of Censor in 
B.C. 313: " Sed res docent id verum esse, tjuod in carntiiiibus Appius ait: 
Fab-um esse ma giumque Jbrtuna" (" But Ihe thing teaches us that that is 
true which Caius says ni his poems, that every one is the architect or his own 
fortune"). A century later we find Plautus asserting that the wise man is the 
maker of his own fortune, and, unless he is a bungling workman, little can befall 
him which he would wish to change : 

Nun uplvu quldem pol ipse fincit fbrtiuum tibi 

Publius Sytushas, "His own character is the arbiter of everyone's fortune." 
(Ma^im 783.) ..,.,.. 

Bacon quotes Appiuss saying approvingly, puttmg it in the mihcalive 
instead of in the Jnhnitive mood, and possibly restoring it thereby to its origi' 
nal form : " It cannot be denied, but outward accidents conduce much to 
fortune ; bvor, opportunity, death of others, occasion -fit ting virtue. But 
chiefly the mould of a man's fortune is in his own hands: Fabtr est quiique 
/oriuna sua, saith the poet" 

In Cervantes the idea is presented in a different form : " Every man is the 
•on of his own works" {.Don QiiixoU, i. 4). Here arc some further variations 1 

Men u KHIF time art mulfn of Ihdr fitd : 
Tbc bull, dear Bnitiu, ia nol in our itsn, 
Bat in outdvEi, ilwl »e an uoderitnga. 

Tbe pK« wc catlluigc for aunelvu Is ^ven us. 
There does not live on euth the man » Hatiened 
That ] dctpise myHlf compared with him. 
Man is made great or lilUeW hil DWD »U1. 

CoLBRtDce: trans, of Schiller'a IValltiulanU Diatk. Iv. g, 77. 

AroUtoOttm 1> froseo moaia Schelling has this phrase twice in his 
" Pbilosophie der Kunst." At page 576 he says, " tt is music in space, as it 
were a froten music," and again at page 593, " Architecture in general is 

Madame de Slai*) undoubtedly had these phrases In mind when she wrote, 
"Thesight of such a monument is like a continuous and stable music" ("La 
*ue d'un tel monument est comme une musjque continuelle et lixee," Corinnt, 
Emerson, in his essay on " Quotation and Originality," says that 
ne de Stael "borrowed from Goethe's ' dumb music,' which is Vitru. 
's rule that ' the architect must not only understand drawing, but music.' " 
'Anr, a common sobriquet applied to the Cockney "sport! 
being the name Harry spelled aa "' ■....,,. 

shatfe above the toughs ; they ai , „ 

and load-mouthed, and on Sunday afternoons and hank holidays ai 
thdr 'Arriets in everyplace of public resort. Mr. Punch lakes particular 
pleaanre in showing up their harmless eccent 



i"- 3). 
Madami 



s they pronounce it The 'Arries are just a 
ire usually good.natured, but vulgar, flashy, 
ly afternoons and hank holidays are seen with 



'Attv smoke* a tva.pdiav 
Oh I I 



, M'Atry 
Airy apipe a enov 
Badboir 'Airyl 



;i:,vG00gk" 



HANDY-BOOK OF 

Tvihinlu 
Topoff i 
no ihe br 



■Ariv thiolu i , _. - - 
To paff hit cheap dgu 



"Whiic d^thTl^^ 

Cneirt-luai B^tai: Hm dt. ' Atry ' 
Mr. Muibev Arnold nuM hdp ut to define 'Arry; hr muH louj ut on* of hii fine old 

nrdloAiy feoiual man, very oirdinory and excesMvely KnBua]. Id "Arry, "the life of the 
seoH develop* ilKlf all round wllhoUL mil^VkDE;" hit Ckitiencc ii " coofideni, Ine/' and 

from punmng him lo hi« ttotat. Forihe world al lar^e 'Arty only cxi«U whrD he ii al large: 

at work, or in hia fumlly circle- . , ll u not easy to aee how (he »ocial initalotuiry il to do 
onecu And hitn alone and play on hia liner feelinn ; he ia ao dull that he woiSd not anempt 
Yahoo *J ' Any, the flowct of our earnest mechonica] civiliaation. By hil pleasum he it knowD, 

.87^"°"™ ,0 em. ur ay nuw. ugu. 9, 

Atb aat oelare artem (L., " Art lies in concealing an"), a phrase which 
probably rose oul of Ovid's line in the "Art of Love, ii. 311 : "Si lalet ars 
prodesl (" ir (he ail is concealed, it succeeils"). The meaninz, uf course, is 
ihal true ait must always appear natural and spi>ntaneous, ana give no evi- 
dence of the labor which perfected it. As Burte says, " An can never give 
Ihe rules that make an arL^' ( Tie Sublimt and Beauhfid, Part I., sec 9.) 

The contrary fault is indicated in Collins's lines,— 

Too nicely Joiuon knew ihe i;ridc'i pan ; 
Nature in hjm waa almoat Vat lit Art. 

On Sir TJummi Hanmtr'i EdHlM ^Shakti^trt. 



The original may be traced to the Greek of Hippocrates (" Apothegms," i.), 
who reverses the order : " Ufe is short and Ihe art long." He is cumplaining 
that the longest lite is only sufficient to acquire a moderate portion of knowl- 
edge in any art or science. But Seneca, who tells us "the greatest of doc- 
tors" used lo say, "Vilam brevem esse, longam artem," calls this an unjust 
accusation gainst Nature or Providence, though he allows thai not onl^ fools 
but the wise are too apt so to rail, and, among others, he quutcs Anstotte. 
Exactly when Seneca's version of Ihe phrase passed into (he neater and more 
logical " Ars longa, vita brevis est," it is impiMsible to say. Probably the first 
attempt to English i( was Chaucer's; 

The lyfe 10 than, the crafle so long to leroe, 
Th' atuy %o hard. lo ihaipe (he conquering. 

AiHiKtly ^Prmli, line 1. 

Jm Meis(er." h 

difficult, opportunity ti 

the proverb may be taken is indicated in these lines of Austin Dobson's : 



Art j>re«ervatlTe of all atta. The art of printing. This phrase fiitd 
its origin in an inscription on the house at Haarlem formerly occupied b 
Laurent Koster or Coster, one of the earliest printers in Holland, and, it 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 69 

deed, held by some enlhiuiutic lellow-countrymca to be the inventor of the 
art: 

Memoriz Sacrum 

Typographia 

Ars Artium Omnium 

Conservatrix 
Hie Primum invenia 
Circa Annum M.CCCCXL. 
("Sacred to the memory of Typography, the ari conservator of all art*. 
Here first invented about the year 1440.") The exact date when the inscrip- 
tion was pill up is uncertain, but it is known to have been in existence about 
1628. 

As In [M-feMntl peiAotiim fonnat In avl (I., " As in the present forms 
its^rfect in avi"). The first words of that part of the Eton Latin grammar 
which treats of the conjugation of verbs. That which treats of the genders 
of nouns begins, " Propria quz maribua," etc Hence a boy is said to be 
beginning his as in praartti. ox propria qua maribta, when he is acquiring the 
first rudiments of the Latin tongue. Bv extension, the same terms are ap- 
plied to beginners in all sorts of knowledge, bookish or worldly. 

A«> asoanda the laddar, Until the. A favorite expression among the 
Rabbins for that which can never, ur will never, lake place, — t.g., " Si ascen- 
dent asinus per Bcalas, invenietur scientia in mulieribus," — a proposition so 
uncomplimentary to the better sex that we leave it in Buxtorf's Latin. A 
similar phrase, with a similar meaning, is found In Pelrouius ; "asinus in 
tegulis" (" an ass on the house-top"). 

^"■— '"■ Que meBBlenra lea aaiaailna ootnmanoent (Fr., " Let the 
assassins, 01 the murderers, begin"). Alphonse Kan's famous reply to the plea 
for abolition of capital punishment. In the funeral address over Karr's body 
{October 4, 1890), M. Jean Aicard predicted thai even though all Ihegreat liter- 
ary monument* o( the present century should crumble and disappear, Iliere was 
still something that never would be lost, that some of the wisdom and the 
wit to which Alphonse Karr had given permanent form, in a language which 
is at once brilliant and solid, would be dug uj) again out of the ruins in 
time to come, as we dig up coins and medals in Greek or Roman soil. It 
is curious to note how closely Ihis corresponds with Karr's own estimate of 
himself: "There will remain of me," he said, "only two phrases : /Vui fa 
tkatige, plus c'fst la tahat ciaic, and On veul aMir la peine de mart, sail ; mail 
que maiieurs Us assassins unnntement." It is still more cnrious 10 discover 
that the latter phrase was not of Karr's own writing, but was borrowed, con- 
sciously or unconsciously, from the " Heliotropium" of the German Drexe- 
lius (1581-1638).' "Quondam fsex hominum, et furum, lave mi onum, effrac to- 
rum ampla societas libcllos supplicea porrexerunt judicibus, rogaruntque 
patibula el furcas aufertenl. . . . His a judicibus responsuni est, siquidem 
aniiquatum cupiant moiem patibutandi abrugari, piius ipsi consucludinem 
abrogent furandi, judices in mora non futuros, quod protinus ciuces lollant el 
patibula, modo ipsi prius cessaie jubeant furta" (book iv., ch. ii., s. 1). 

Athaiat " By night an atheist half believes a God." The 177th line in 
Young's " Night Thoughts," V. At the end of Night IV. he had already 

Ve daf ID muh ! pcnuc ihi 
And mul, for onc4, ■ propb 
" Men may liv* Tool*, oui fo 
Of coarse there is a reference here to Psalm xiv., " The fool hath said id 



7© HANDY-BOOK OF 

his heart, There is no God," One of Clough's most memorable poems, the 

Spirit's soliloquy iii " DIpsychus" (Part L Sc v.]> affords a parallel to Young's 
lines. Here aie the most pregnanl stanzas : 

" There 1> no God," ifae kicked uitfa. 



Intllno IQ ihink <heR li > God, 

AUloI Broao. Athol is a district in the northern part of Perthshire, 
Scotland. Brose is Scotch for "broth." Athol brose is a pottage or drink 
made originally in Athol by pouring boiling water on oatmeal and inlro- 
ducing a few condiments. Thai it is a pleasant compound appears from 
Hood s epigram : 

Cbarmed wilh a dKnk which Highlanders mtnpoK, 



The name "brose" or "broose" is also given lo a race at country wed- 
dings who shall iirsi reach Ihe bridegroom's house on returning from church, 
■he prize being a Smoking bowl of spice broth. In time Ihe name was trans- 
ferred from the prize lo ihe race itself. 

Audit ale, eltiplically, Atidit A kind of strone ale, brewed especially 
at Trinity College, Cambridge, and so called either because it is held lo be 
specially appropriate to Audit Day (the day on which students' accounts are 
audited), or because it was originally brewed on that day. Only a limited 
qVantity is nuw brewed once a year, professors and undeieraduales being 
allowed to purchase no more than a certain number of bottles. At Cambridge 
Ihe custom is al least two hundred years old. At other univeisilics it is a 



fiul where is do* ibe goodly audit ale T 

BVKO 

rf Ihebullcry^^^mAi'crow."/ A i'ltnr'irlirld 'im°BnJ. 
Audlay. To come Lord Andl«j over one, 
origin of the phrase is uncertain. It has been augeesti 
petpeluale the memory of a Wiltshire nobleman. Met 
Earl of Castlehiven in Itelanil, who was ha 

A case occurred recently at the DeviEefl police court, when a travcIluiK ftdor was chai^ei 
with having impoKd upon somt people in Lydeway by pretetidine to be the son and heir oi 
ihe landlady ^dcceBSed) of a public house at vhich he teenu to have called for rtfresbmen 

finding the pet>ple easily Eulled, he thouBhi he would come Lord Andley aver xiitm-^NeU 
aiit QurrUi. fifth seno, v. 

Audley, John. A purely mythical person, like Dickens's Mrs. Harris oi 
the American Tom Collins. When Richardson, the English theatrical show 
man, manager of a troupe of strolling actors, deemed that bit plijera hal 



. Cooglf 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 71 

miked long enough, ind saw Fresh audiences readj lo rush up the sieps, he 
used to put his head between the canvas and oUI out, " Is John Audley 
here?" at which the curtain soon fell, and the strollers began (o a nev 
crowd of hearers. "To John Audley a play," meaning 10 cut it down, still 
survives in iheairical circles. 

AoBtraliait flag. This is humorously said to be a shirt -tail,— an allusion 
lo the fact that Australian farmers and ranchers usually wear belts instead of 
braces, with the inevtiabie result that a great fold of shirt protrudes between 
trousers and waistcoat. 

Anto-da-tt (Port., literally, "act of faith") oriainally meant the sentence 
passed on convicted heretics by the courts of the Spanish Inquisition, but the 
phrase by extension grew to be applied to the public infliction of the penalties 
prescribed, and especially the severer ones of hanging and burning. 

Why, at theliM Auio-da-K.lB i8a< or 'as.or »onwwhe« lheii,-^l'> a tMveller'i Mory, bui ■ 
»ibey only Amif him in Bhogthuid painted all Dvo with aamul—HoLiiBs; Tkt PrBjtiwr 

Autographs and Autograph-Htuitera. "The tolerant universe," says 
Mr. Andrevt Lane, " perniils men, women, and children to be mighty auto- 
eraph-hunlers belorc the Lord." But the universe would not be so tolerant 
if it were mainly composed of auli^raph hunlees instead of hunters. One of 
the roost eminent of the former class, no less a person, indeed, than Alfred 
Tennyson, once told his neighbor, Mrs. Cameron, that he believed every crime 
and every vice in the world was connected with the passion for autographs and 
anecdotes and records (wab Taylor's "Autobiography"}. Another, Professor 
liuxley, wrote in a private letter, " I look upon autograph -hunters as the 
progeny of Cain, and treat their letters accordingly ; heaven forgive you if 
yuu arc only an unusually ingenuous specimen of the same race." The letter 
containing this passage was recently offered for sale in London, — a bit of 
audacity that might have made Cain blush for his progeny. 

Perhaps, in accordance with the larger charity of this age, it might be best 
to treat autograph-hunting as a disease rather than a vice. Once the mania 
has bitten a collector, be is no longer responsible. And the alarming feaiuie 
about the matter is the prevalence of the complaint. Sporadic cases are. 
indeed, recorded at a very high antiquity ; but it is only during the last two 
centuries that it has reached the epidemic stage. 

The first case ever recorded was that of a certain Atossa. Liltle is known 
about her, save that she was not the mother of Darius. But she may have 
been the mother of the autograph-collector. We find her described as the 
first who httoTQ^ avvrafya. Shall we translate this as the first who cbIIkUJ 

hei shame. But we really are no _ 

name of Cicero. We know that he had a collection, and a fine one, for he 
speaks of it with gratnlation. The fever, even in those early days, was con- 
tagious. 1[ spread to his contemporaries ; it raged with some violence among 
his immediate successors. Pliny mentions one Pompeius Secundus at whose 
house he had seen autographs of Cicero, Augustus, Virgil, and the Gracchi. 
Yet Pliny, who bows to Secundus as his superior, himself possessed a collec- 
tion valued at fi5,ooa Then came the irruplion of the barbarians, and 
good-by to the collector and his collections ! We do not meet him again 



until the beginning of the sixteenth century. Then he reappears in the persi 
of a certain Bohemian squire, who, about the year 1507 ' , - , 

which recorded his exploits of the chase, and in whici 



^2 HANDY-BOOK OF 

of the memory, he collected ihe signatures of his great banter friends. This 
he called his Albus Amicorum. probably in memory of the Roman Album, 
from albta, "white." a blank tablet for making entries. The custom soon ex- 
tended all over Germany, not merely with hunters, but more especially with 
travellers, who on returning from the grand lout would proudly exhibit their 
alba in pioof of the good cumpany Ihey had kept while on (he road. By the 
Bevenleenth century it had reached France, and evidently it was just beginning 
to be heard of by Englishmen anxious to emulate foreign fashions in 1642, 
when James Howel mcluded in his " Instructions fur Forrain Travel" this 
item : " Some do use lo have a small leger book fairly bound up table-bonk- 
wiil (table-book- wise], wlierein when they meet with any person of note and 
eminency, and journey or pension with him any time, Ihey desire him to write 
his name, with some short sentence which they call Ihe mot of remembrance 
the perusall whereof will fill one with no unplcasing Ihoughls of dancers ani 
accidents passed." Every one rememtiers how the peripatetic scholar in 
Goethe's tragedy tells Mephistopheles, masquerading in the professional robes 
of the learned Doctor Faust, " I cannot leave you without piesenlirg you with 
my album \ deign to honor it with a souvenir from your hand." "Gladly," 
says the Devil, and on the virgin page he writes, "Thou shall be like unle 
God, knowing the goudand Ihe evil." 

fosslbly the first autograph -col lector in the modern sense— that is, the first 
person who made it a bi^iness to gather together letters and documents not 
ibr their personal but for Iheii literary or historical associations — was Lomenie 
de Brtenne, ambassador of Henry IV., who died in 1638. His rich collec- 
tion was acquired by Louis XIV., who placed il in the royal library. And 
to-day the names of famous collectors can be counted by the hundreds, and the 
value of each individual collection frequently mounts up well into the thou- 
sands. Autograph -dealers pursue a lucrative business. Their catalogues 
throw a curious insight upon the sliding scale by which such memorials of the 
living and Ihe dead are appraised. In this list or roll-cal! of fame, this price- 
current of the great, Andrew Johnson is more highly valued than Lincoln, 
Jefferson, or even Washington ; one of the most insignificant of the signets of 
the Declaration is ranked above all his illustrious colleagues ; and Piron lords 
it over kings and conquerors. The inexorable law of supply and demand 
■leps in here as elsewhere, and r^ulales prices according to the scarcity 
which limits the supply, and Ihe inierest or eminence of Ihe subject which 
indies (he demand. The two rarest autographs of all are Shakespeare's and 
Holiire's. Of course these are the most expensive. Of Mnli^re's there are 
known to be five in existence. Of Shakespeare's il is claimed thai there are 
seven, three to his will, two to conveyances of property, one in a folio edition 
of the plays, possessed by Mr. Gunther, of Chicago, and one in Giovanni 
Florio's translation of Montaigne. The will is in the British Museum, and cost 
(1571. But Ihe folio signalnte is doubted, and two of the signatures to the will 
are thought to have been filled in by amanuenses. The largest of Moliire's is 
but six lines long, and is a receipt lot money, very queerly spelL Of the plays 
of both authors not a fragment is known to exisL 

Legitimate collectors limit theii 
thai are in the market. They 
beg signatures thai may be ha 

have brought the autt^raph-hunier into aisrepuie. 1 ney are a sore trial to 
the patience and the morality of statesmen and men of letters, who are apt to 
become ferociously and even blasphemously contemptuous. Daniel O'Con- 
nell, for example, once took up his pen and wrote as follows : 
Six,— rU be dunocd if 1 vrill fend you my auiofraph. 



■ir fad to these 


rious 


colle 


ction c 


if aulogr^iphs 


lok down with : 






1 Ihe s 


imaieurs who 


for the asking. 


It i 


s Ihe 


laltet, 


, indeed, who 



. Coo^If 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 1% 

Olheri, less hibernially hot-blooded, employ a secretary or (most exuper- 
atine of all) use a type -writer, refusing autographs Co all but the most cunning 
applicants. Huxley and Ruskin have each been obliged to prepare a printed 
circular, at once a remonstrance and an apology, which they slip into an 
envelope and send off to their begging correspondents. Mark Twain has 
follovred ibeir example in this type-written message : 

I ban I ihall Dot offend you ; I ihail ccRainLy uy nolUug wilh the inlemJon lo oSend you. 
I miut eiplain myielf, hsweva, and 1 wUl do ii u kindly u 1 cu. Wtui you k^ me id do 

One'i imptiisc is to frteiy cooKDt, buL onc't time and DcccniLry occupationt will not permit 
it. There u do way hut lo declmc in aiJ cases, making dq eicreptioDt ; and I with vt call 

man taito pleaumrt ip exercijlng hii trade at a paalime. WjiuDg it my trade, and 1 exercise 

vcuLpur, aiid there vomd be no Improptiety id ii, but if you asked either for a specimen of 
his trxde, liii handiwork, he woukj be juitiiwd in riainjE to ■ point of order, ll would never be 
lair to ask a doctor for one of bis corpses to remember tiim by. 

A rebuff is not always accepted by its objecL Danger and difficulty add 
test to the sport ; his persistence becomes malignant, his dodges subtle and 
inscrutable. The very fact that an autograph is denied to fair means will 
encourage foul. The hunter drops a note to his victim, asking him in what 

Sear he wrote his sweel poem of the Ancient Mariner (knowing very well that 
e never wrote it, but will be tickled by the ascription], or what was the 
middle name of his father, or explains that he is replenishing his library and 
wishes a full chronological list of the works of his favorite author. He knows 
in his heart (the sly dog) that an appeal to personal vanity will (etch an author 



MV. William Black has recorded a (ew < 


mt. 


of his < 


)wn experience 


which are 


amusing enough to quote : 












The BOS! pemileni 

bnntiog fiend, whose 




It whom <be w 




of books 






ways an dark 


and devious 


bey. 




riptiou. The dodges to whjch 




'be'f^^^hi 


his diahoLical 








M^horefor 


multitude pandit is to 


manvui honest tei 


Iterisnu 


nginlo(bew»Me-p 


'"^^^ 






uspicion that it 






L auiograph-huDier. 






evecheudof 






ntion of .friend of 


mine, who 






• of hi< youth. 


H 




, inter to each of i 




-hose autogrspb he ■ 


coveted, descr 


ibln« himseir 1 




cetiri;; 




rmi^n to 








°he MS addrauiS^ 




fatal oTp. N^ye^. 








old IJrlyLe had do suspici 


ioD, aDd, In 


:^.L'"in'^aX.i 


i'KSK' 


Sl? 


XI 


iha. the . 


;sL';£Kr 


1 after him 




yand charmii 








ivlng in one of the Souiheni 


™«!^TT,erdS^"l 
■hey informed mc,li.i 


«l their beaL 










Ihey were. 








ler frieni 






llUK withal ; and it ha 
of Ami^can hospiuJi 


d*oI:c^"'to 
ly so long as 


ES 


*ihe 


IS certain 


lo form a peifedjy falK idea 
.d callous North, would 1 Dot 














nigh, show 


me whai a rtal SouU 




™''iikri "T. 








and 1 was deKTilung 


it a long time 


afterwarda to 


Mr. 


Bret Ha 


?^whe"'hi''ji.'l^ 






on sornetljlng : 


likelhis!" H< 




[wihcie 


SI. TheldyUkinv 


italioD had 



A good story is told of the late Prince Albert Victor, eldest son of the 
Prince of Wales. When a small boy at school, finding himself "strapped," 
and knowing, perhaps, that his royal father was also in the same condition, 
he wrote to his grandmother for a loan of five shillings. Back came a letter 
full of grandmotherly reproof and advi[:e, and illostrating precept by thril^y 
example in witbholtfing the live shillings. Prince Albert promptly sold the 



74 HANDY-BOOK OF 

rascal, using various pseudonymes, such as Gabriel Vicaire, Soriano, Ludovic 
Picard, and others, wrote letters to many famous people of the day, asking for 
counsel, assistance, or encour^emenl. Somelimes he was an unhappy wife 
who had determined at all costs to fly from her uncongenial husband, some- 
times an Jcujiirt of the circus, sometimes a young artist, unsuccessful and 
templed to suicide. The great people responded like men — and women. Some 
were lengthy, some curt, some eloquent, some persuasive, some sarcastic : 
never mind, they all wrote. Then the clever young man hied him to a noted 
collector, and disposed of a tot of valuable auti^rapns from Lacotdaire, Heine, 
George Sand, AntoiKlli, Taglioni, Dickens, Abd-el-Kader. and heaven knows 
how many others. Not until the collector recognized the limited number 
of themes treated in his newly-acquired treasures did (he ingenuity of the 
scheme stand revealed. 

But ingenuity has raised up ingenuity to baffle it. The schemes of Ihi: 
hunter are met by counter-schemes of the intended victim. A gentleman — 
so described, at least, in the paper (Tit Boekmarl) from which this note is 
cribbed — laid a wager once that he would get an autograph out of l^rd Tenny- 
son, tie sat down and wrote a polite note, asking the noble lord which, m 
his opinion, was the best dictionary of the English language, — Webster's or 
Ogilvie's. That will fetch him, thought the man who set tlie trap. Did it? 
By the next post came a half-sheet of note-pa|>er, on which was carefully 
pasted the word "Ogilvie," cut out of the correspondent's own letter. 

A certain eminent American has a second -cuustn, so it is said, of the same 
name as his own. To this accommodating relative he turns over all requests 
for sentiments or signatures. The second -cousin answers the letters and signs 
bis own name. Thus all parties to the transaction are satisfied. A refine- 
ment of authorial ingenuity makes the hunter pay for his autograph. Kate 
Field, approached by a fiend, wrote in his album the significant information 



that he could subscribe tur her periodical at four dollars a year. What ci 
he do but take the hiiitf Jean Ingelow, pestered to death by importu nines, 
finally made a number of copies of her favorite poems, dated them, and placed 



them in the hands of her American publishers to be sold at two dollars api 
— the money to be devoted to a charitable purpose. 

Horace Greeley, in his " Kecollecticms of^a Busy Life," records the fact that 
■ gushing youth once wrote him to this efleci : 

Dkak Sir : AmoDg yvu liHnty ircuuro yon have daublleu teven] outograplu of oui 
lo nic and nceite (he ihanki of yoiui mily. 

Mr. Greeley promptly responded as follows ; 

taaa uroB Ihc back. Itc«« hk ciaclly tif-n (iDcludlng pn>i«tl, and y«i cu havt il Tor 
hair Ibu ■mouni. Vouci, ropKlTully. 



(Wrote .nd frMiy 
Gay< 10 GmlEy) 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERAR Y CURIOSITIES. 75 

Wben my pulMa like a koell 
Dimmed with dim and dying fayi 

O'er ihc dimeEeu. Lim«l^ days. 

When the UTty, drawn al ihicty, 

Seeming UiriTiy, yet (tie dijly 
Lncre of the nuurtict, waa Ihe motl thai I could raise T 

Av« Imperatorl morituil t« atdutaiit 1 (L., " Hail, O Emperor 1 we 
who are about to die salule tbee !") The cr]' wiili which the gladiators in the 
arena acknowledged ihe presence of the Cxsar before beginning their lights. 



Saluu 






le Rijmap populace. 

So sings Longfellow in his " Morituri Salulaniu<i," a poem recited al the 
^ftielh Anniversary of the class of 1S25 in IJowdoin College. Suetonius, in 
his life of Claudius, ch. ixi., relates how at a gladiatorial tight on Ihe Kucine 
Lake, the Emperor, instead of the usual valitt (" farewell"), replied, Aveit voi, 
a customary parting greeting, which the gladiators insisted on taking in itn 
literal sense of " Live I" ot " Long life to you !" and refused to lighL l!ut 
Claudius urged and compelled Ihem to proceed with the show. 
WtniDgteD and Napoleon I 1< i< a wonderful phenomenon ihat Ihe human mind caji, al Ihe 

in Ibdr eAtemal Appeaiajice. Weilin^on Ihe dumb ghosi, wi[h an ashy gray soul in a tmck- 
ram body, a wooden smile in his frecimg face— and by the side of that think of the figure of 
Napoleon, every inch a god I Thai figiut never disappears from my memory- 1 siill see lUm, 
hign on his sieed. with etonal eyes in his marble-like, imperial face, glancing calm as dealiny 
oa the guards deliiing pasr — he was then sending ibem 10 Russia, and the old grenadiers 

'Heinb: Engluh Fratmniti. 

Axe to grind. An. This phrase has frequently been attributed to Benja- 
min Franklin, but it really belongs 10 Charles Miner (1730-1S65), and occurs 
in an essay entitled " Who'll turn Ihe Grindstone ?' originally contributed to 
the IViliesiam Gleaner, a country newspaper in the interior of Pennsylvania, in 
iSl I. I'he author says that when he was a little l>oy he was accosted one cold 
winter morning by a man with an axe on his shoulder. " My pretty boy," said 
he, " has your father a grindstone V " Yes, sir," said I. " You are a fine little 
fellow," said he: "will you let me grind my axe upon it?" Pleased by the 
compliment of "line little fellow,". the gentleman's bidding was done by the 
boy, water being procured for him and the grindstone kept in motion until the 
buy's hands were blistered, the smiling gentleman keeping up his flattery 
meanwhile. Before the grinding was done, the school-bell rang, and after the 
ue had the proper edge on it Ihe man ungraciously exclaimed, " Nuw, you 
little rascal, you've played Ihe truant ; scud to school, or you'll rue it." The 
author says that he felt very much wounded and never forgot the incident, 
and ever afterward when he saw one person flattering another he said lo him- 
self, " That man has an axe to ^riiid." 

The essay, it will be seen, is imitated from Franklin's " Don't pay loo much 
for your whistle." To make the analogy more complete, the series to which 
it belonged was gathered up into a book under the title of " Essays from the 
Desk of Poor Robert the Scribe," Doylestown, 1815. 



.d by Google 



KANDY-BOOK OF 



B, the second letter of the English alphabet, as it was of the Phanidan 
and is in most of the alphabets borrowed from the Phcenidan, is the beta of 
the Greeks, the btth of (he PhtEtiicians. Beth means a " house." 

Babies In the eyeo, a common locution for the reflection of one's self in 
another's pupils. Thus, Herrick in "The Kiasj" 
It !• ui iciivc flamt DuH Ua 

Inasmuch as lovers are fond of gazing in one another's eyes, an obvious 



is sufficiently exemplined in the fotloiring passages ; 





* 


jmt babio in your cyo. my jBetiy >whi 


'','i\.LvtSMia 


So when ihou u*->I in ninms't utnnil 




SuILl tbail Xnighl laok'U babHS in her e 






4k.t.ndS,.Ua. 


S««-bm mils Cupid No ' 
Loaking bilria in the eya. 

DijkrroH 






Apdpictur«in«ir*>«lc.g« 




Wu lU our prnpiicuion. 








Think yc by guing on cu:h olhcT'i lyct 
To mufiiply your iSvily «l.al 





BaoluIieMh, an Oriental term for a present of money, a gratuity, a pour- 

TIicK uv DO* many words, wen among thoH of foreign «xiiacTion, of which ihe onhog- 
nphy OIToi no lest duo (hJrt«D oJlemaLivH. We have, however, (he aurhorily of Ihe 
great English dictionary now itsuing (very dclltKrately) from the CUrrndon preu, for tie- 
clariag Uul backsheesh is one of the few which enjoy this privilege. Originally of Penian 



^-ii frMly'''(I^lt'cHAsf^^l««, ii^l^. "whelEc^or'lio ih. ■™ " 

bad Ibis Deaning. it were difficuU Haw id deiennhie, but auuredly for many 



__ s| 

■Ignilled aomelbing very diflerenl. In what may be called it 



>d,t]ie la 
lips of the dusky Orienta 

r'j Magstint, August, 1S41. 



eward. Prot>at>1y no oiiier single vocable ma with such pe 
.- I. 1 .L. J...... r^— ,a|, 1, I, lii,, „hat the malbemalici^ 



:onstBjit quoniity, a ground discord which ondeHit 



of a subordinate to his employer, or of ai 

" Thai's exactly what 1 came here for this evening. Mist Mildred." 

The young man laid adde hii hat, cane, and gloves. 

" Thai's eiadly vluil I came for," he repeated, possessing himself ef her hand. " I wa« 

" You mighi have savod youndf ibe trouble. Mr, Fairball," exclaimed (be giri, taking her 
hand """"V- " 1 ihall never marry you.-| 

iweniy-five dollars."— a.rafp THhmr. ■"* " ™ " '" ''™ 

Backwaid. Looking. The superstition of the ill luck of looking back- 
ward, or returning, ia a very ancient one. originating doubtless from the story 
of IjM's wife, who " looked back from behind him" when he was led by an 



_^ooglc 



of Ihe southern countries 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 77 

uigel outside the doomed City of the Plain. In Robert's "Oriental Illustra- 
tions" il is stated to be " considered exceedingly unfortunate in Hindostan for 
men or women to look back when they leave their house. Accordingly, if a 
man goes out and leaves something behind him which his wife knows he will 
want, she does not call him to turn or look back, but takesor sends it after him ; 
and if some great emergency obliges him to look back, he will not then pro- 
ceed on the business he was about to transact." In this connection a curious 
Earallel between the Bible and ilesiod may be noted ; "No man having put 
is band to the plough and looking back is tit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 
tx. 6z), and " He who is intent upon his work, drawing the straight furrow, never 
looks back upon his friends, but keeps his mind upon his work" (Works and 
Days, ii. 6i-6z). 

Bacon, To save one's, a proverbial saying, meaning, in Biblical phrase, 
to escape by the skin of one's teelli. In keep one's self from harm by a narrow 
margin. Il Is not impossible that there is Some allusion here to the Dunmow 
flitch (a. v.). A man and his wife who slopped short when on the verge of a 
:1 might be said lo have just saved their bacon. An equally plau 
tion IS suggested by a correspondent of NiMts and Querits, li serie 

i«; "When '^ 

of Europe, a; 
ae dead pig 
of some nicely ; for loo much singeing would s 
makes perfect ; and by the aid of ignited slubb 
is effected. The bristles are all singed off, and the bacon remains intact. 
This operation is in Portugal called cliamuscar." Hence the phrase cieira a 
cMapiutca ("he smells of singeing"), which by extension was applied lo any 
suspected heretic, or lo one who was secretly a Jew, ihai is to say, " to one who 
tJeserved to be burnt, and acted in a way that was very likely to lead to it" 
(Moraes). [t readily follows that the man might be said to have ju.st saved his 
bacon who had narrowly escaped the penalty of being burned alive. The only 
fault with this ingenious theory is that it lacks illustrative examples to bridge 
over the chasm between a recognized metaphor and a chartered proverbial 
saying. Dr. Murray traces the use of the eipression in English as far bacli 
a* 1691 : "No, they'll conclude I do it to save my bacon."— Wwji/j, i. 5. 

Who, ba^ig bogs, yet witbed 10 Hve their bacon. 

Bad Oga> American slang for a rascal, a black sheep, a person whose 
reputation is odorous. 

Bag. Both as a verb and as a noun this word is put 10 many strange uses in 
current slang. As a verb il may mean lo secure, to obtain (an extension of 
the sporting phrase, meaning to put or enclose game in a bag), and hence to 
■teal, to taptnre. In sailors^ and printers' slane, bag as a noun means a pot 
of beer, and to get one's head in a bag is to driiiV. Other phrases in common 
colloquial use are to give the bag or sack, meaning to dismiss from one's 
tervicc ; to let the cat out of the bag ; lo give one the bag to hold, — to 
leave htm in the lurch, — and 10 put one in a bag, which latter phrase Fuller 
thus explains t "They [the Welsh) had a kind of pliie wherein the stronger 
who prevailed pal the weaker into a sack ; and hence we have borrowed our 
English by-word, to express such betwixt whom there is apparent odds of 
strength : He is able lo put him up in a bagge." — Wnrl/aii: CardigaH, ii. 579. 
7" 



0031c 



7H HANDY-BOOK OF 

Baggage-Snuuber. in American slang, a name humorously given to a 
lailway porter, because of his reckless way of handling luggage, also to a 
thief who hangs about railway-siaiions wailing for a chance to steal the 




AEiii«'yp'u't ba 

(wupp«u^. Id bis long uid di — „ ,, - — j ,-,_ ,.-, 

hoots off hia coiucLcnc«, nod Iherc is no rcmoise brave, fooHsh, or nckleu enough id tackle 
hb htan-iiiingi ud play on ihtm.— //.nii Hiftingt, Novtmbcr 3, iSeS. 

difficult task. In the old suetling-bookt 
syllables, and seemed an almost insuperable 
obstacle to the child who had encountered only words of one syllable. 

baker.— LoHCPHLijsw ; //m Emtlamd Tragtdui. 

Baker's Dozeo. Thirteen. The phrase Is oficn used colloquially (or good 
measure running over. In medixval limes bakers were kejn rigidly under 
the eye of the law, their vocation being one on which the public heallh and 
prosperity largely depended. Prom the time of King John, iheir profits were 
regulated by enactment, due allowance being made for labor, cost of fuel and 
law material, wear and tear of the oven, services of assistants, and expenses 
attending Ihe sale. Stringent peiiallies, changed by a law of Edward 11. from 
heavy lines to the pillory, were inflicted for offences against the required weight 
or quality of loaves. Hence there grew up a precautionary custom for bakers 
lo give a surplns loaf, called the in-uread or the vantage-loaf, to all purchasers 
of a doien. To a down of rolls (burieen were allowed. This custom is siill 
kept up in certain parts of Scotland, ^nd in Ihe wholesale bouk-lrade in 
England 10 this day a publisher's dozen is thirteen copies. Henry Hudson, 
when he discovered Ihe bay which bears his name (1610). gave lo a cluster of 
thirteen or fourteen islands on the east shore Ihe name of Baker's Dozen : 
these were given in D'Anville's French Alias under the title "La Douzaine 
du Boul anger." 

How baken thirteen knvei do give 

All for ■ ifailiinE, md thrive well ud live. 

TavloktmbWatsbPokt: Travili >/ Tvxivt Pntt. 



in, but tbcy >je as the ndvuiUEe loaf of brwl in 

HAKCARFr. DuCHBSS OF N|W< 



:: Nituril /-iV/Kfe (i6j6). 

Balaam, a bit of journalislic slang which was popularized by Biatiwood'i 
Maginint in the days of Christopher North, is defined by Liickharl as " Ihe 
cant njme for asinine paragraphs ahoul monstrous productions of nature and 
the like, kept standing in type lo be used whenever the real news of the 
day leave an awkward space that musi lie filled up somehow." {Lift n/Seait, 
bcjL 622 (1S42).) Of course it is an allusion lo Numbers xiii. 30, where 
Balaam's ass spoke "with man's voice." A balaam's box was a receptacle 
for old jokes, anecdotes, and other chestnuts which were editorially used to 
111) up space. It now survives in the sense of a waste-basket for rejected 
manuscripts. 

have twen coniieDed by the e^Ior to his baiaam basket. — Hall : Modtm Engtiih. 

Bald-headed Roir, in America, a humorous colloquialism For the front 
seals of the orchestra or parquet (Ihe English pit) in theatres, so named by 
the fun-maker* of the press, who assume that such seals are always taken aj 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 79 

old or middle-^ed respectability, anxious to get as close as possible to the 
&*oriies of the foot-lights. It is a pari of the assomption that the favorites 
in their turn reserve their choicest smiles for these anctenl admirers. Dr. 
Wm. Hammond, in a semi-jocose essay, "Will the coming man be baldf" 
(I^rum, No. t), makes indirect alluijion lo this popular lancy : "The |)rinci}>le 
of natural selection, though up to this lime an insigniScant influence in causmg 
baldness, is beginning lo add its great force Co the accomplish me ill of what 
is evidently an object of nature. Women, who in general, even within the 
knowledge of the present generalloii, did not take kindly to bald-headed men, 
are gradually ovei coming their prejudices, and see lA the bare head an element 
of manly beauty. Should this lendenn become wide-spread, the days of hair 
~n the head of men are numbered, and a few hundred years will see the end. 



Some nations, however, will reach this stage of development 



knowledge 



Ballads. Andrew Fletcher of Salloun is remembered in literature by a 
single phrase, and that phrase is not his own. Writing lo the Mnrquix of 
Montrose, he says, "I knew a very wise man thai believed that if a man 
were permitted 10 make all the ballads he need not care who should make 
the laws of a nation." Much ingenious conjecture has been wasted upon the 
identity of the wise man. As good a guess as any names John Selden, who was 
■ friend and contemporary of Fletcher's. 

The French proverb, "France is an absolute monarchy tempered by 
songs," emphasizes the important part which popular poetry may play in 
political matters. And Bcaumarchais's phrase, " 'I'oul finit par dea chansons" 
(" Everything ends with songs," Mariim de Figaro^, is a recognilion of Ihe fact 
that not only do Ihe French people liiid subjects for mirlh in Ihe most serious 
things, but also that the songs in which Ihey embody their mirth may have a 
grave significance. The truth of this was well exemplified when Soubise 
announced his defeat at Kossbach, in 1757, by writing lo I^uis XV., ''The 
rout of your army is complete. I cannot say "how many of your officers have 
been lulled, captured, or lost." The letter was greeted with a shout of 
iaughler. Here is one of the songs : 

SoublK dil, Ia Unteme k Im DLMin, 
J'al beau ctaercher o£l dutbl« eH mon unrfe ; 

Me I'a-I-co priae, ou raurai>-je Agar^f 

(Soabise, lantern in hand, cries, "I can't 
army is. Vet it was here yesterday morning, 
have I mislaid it ^") 

Duruy, in bis comment on this incident, says, ."The judge most Co be feared 
then was not the king, it was the public, upon whom everything began to 
depend, and who punished the incapacity of generals and the mistakes of 
ministers with biting satires." — History ofFratut, ii. 453. 

BnllooniiiK, an American slang (erm of no wide uupulariiy, meaning ex- 
aEgeraliog, indulging in buncombe, pulling the long bow. The origin of the 
phrase is attributed to a Yankee who boasted that he had fought a duel in a 
balloon and broughl down his adversary, balloon and att. Yet just such a duel 
was actually fought in Paris in 1808. A M. de Grandpri and a M. le Pique, 
having quarrelled alioul a lady, agreed to have it out in balloons, each parly lo 
fire at the other's Inlloon and try Co bring it down. A month was consumed 
in preparing the balloons, eiactly similar in siie and shape ; and on a fine day 
Ibe principals and their seconds ascended from the Tuileries Garden, armed 



So HANDY-BOOK OF 

wilh blunderbusses. When Ihejr were about half a mile up, and some eighty 
yards apart, the signal was given, and M. le Pique missed. M. de Grandpie, 
however, made a successful shot, and his opponent's balloon went down with 
tremendous rapidity, both principal and second being instantly killed, — much 
to the satisfaction of the spectators. 

BaubtUT BOint, a rigid, puritanical hypocrite. Even befoie the Puritan 
era, Banbury seems to have been noted fot the Phariseeism of its inhabj- 
-o that, according to a popular saying, men were in the habit uf hanging 



their cats on Monday ^ir qatchine mice on Sunday. In proof of the antiquity 
of the phrase, I>r. Hurray cites from a letter addressed by Latimer to Hetiry 
VIII., about 1528, the expression, "Their laws, customs, ceremonies, and 
Banbury glosses." Banbury cheese was a poor, thin cheese. Thus, Shake- 
speare, in " Merry Wives of Windsor," Act i, Sc 1., makes Bardolph com- 
pare Slender to a Banbury cheese, in ridicule of his eponymic slendciness. 

BoDyaii- or Banian-daya, a nautical phrase applied to those days on which 
sailors are allowed no flesh meat. The Kanians are a caste of Hindoo traders 
who entirely abstain from animal food. But it is also suggested that the term 
arises from those sanitary arrangements in tropical climates which counsel the 
substitution of banyans and other fruit on very hot days. 

They laid me thai on Mondiyi, Wcdsodayi. ind Pridiyi ihr tbip't cDoipuiy had na 
allowkDcv of meu, aod thai ilicK oiagre day« were cjilled BuiyaD-days, the reason of which 
Ihey did ncrt know, but 1 harclince learned Uiey take their deDominaUon from « l«ct of d«v^ 

BoTliinB np the irrotig tree, an American location applied to one who 
is at fault in his purpose or in the means to attain it. An allusion to the mistake 
made by dogs when ihey fancy they have "treed" the game, which has really 
escaped by leaping from one tree to another. 



Dtlrsit i-i-H Ptisi. October. iii». 

Barl. a stingy abbreviation of tl _^. 

In the spring of'^ 1S76, when the Democratic parly was selecting its delegates 
to the National Convention which subsequently nominaled Samuel J. Tilden 
for the Presidency, the Glebt DimiKrat of St. Louis alluded to that gentleman 
as the candidate with a bar'l, nieaning that he was able and willing to spend 
large sums to influence his election. The phrase was caught up all over the 
country, and bar'l became synonymous with wealth in the case of a political 
candidate. 

Bunaole gooaa, a species of maritime goose, known also as ihc Solan or 
Brant goose, and anciently called aves Hibernicse (•' Irish birds"), or, in the 
diminutive, Hiberniculae. The dropping of the tirst syllable of the latter 
word converted Iheni into Bernicula:, and at this eiymoiogical stage their 

or barnacles. Hence arose the myth thai the gonse was sprung from the 
barnacle, an extraordinary instance of the power of etymology. .So early as 
the twelfth century, Giraldus Cambrensi* says, in his "Topography of 
Ireland," — 



.d by Google 



bloD^lbe: 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES, 
i like muah-gecie, but tomewlul uiulkr, sad procluced Tr 



iS' 



1« Umber, BUTTDUaded by shellA, jn order id grow mora freely. Havrng 
j» proccau oT time, been doEfaed with 4 iirona coa( of feaiheis. xhey dihcr IhII hico the 

e^hore nx>m n pkce c>f limber, epclc4ed in ibeUi and nLmidy fonned.^^e^ do not 
r ofthe earth. Hence biihopt pod clergyiaen iq tame paru of Iraluid do not 



It a pl*^*> "^ 



On this he indulges in a lilile medixval speculation : 

But thoa an thin drawn into lin. For, if • man during Lent bad dined oS Adam, our firn 
dial wEiicb <• Bob. 

It is not necessary to call into question Giraldus's I ruth fulness, especially as 
his testimony is confinned by Holinshed and other witnesses of repute. The 
barnacle shelt-hsh do atlach themselves in great numbers to any floaling 
wreck or log, and their byssus or beard protruding to an extraordinary length 
through the opening of the shell bears a not remote resemblance to the pni- 
ions w a fledgling bird, while the process by which they attach themselves to 
the timber lu^esls a bealc These (acts, with the similarity of name, sug- 
gested their eventual development into the geese which frequent the coast in 
incredible numbers, and whose nests, built in remote and inaccessible rocks, 
were larely revealed to human search. 

Bath. Qo to Bath is a popular locution meaning. You are crazy, you are 
talking nonsense, — in allusion to the fact that physicians ordered invalids and 
the insane lu go to Bath, to drink the medicinal waters there. Bath was a 
famous resort from the early part of the sixteenth century. The miscellaneous 
character of the crowds who flocked there seems to have excited the scorn of 
the Eail of Rochester, who thus describes the place : 

re lays her naaty tall ; 
id pUfftimt thiihcT do retort, 
lease, for lechery and tport. 

Bath brick, Bath buns, and Bath chairs are all well known. But, strangest 
of all, Bath has provided the vocabulary of French argot with the adjective 
l»th or bate, = A l, or fiist-claas, used in phrases, "c'est bien bath," etc 
Towards 1S4S note-paper of a superior quality made in Bath was hawked about 
Paris streets at a low price. Hence papitr Balk became synonymous with 
eicellent paper. Eventually the quali^ing clause alone remained and received 
a general application. 

Batll of Blood, a name sometimes applied to the massacre of the Hugue- 
nots at Vassy, in France (1 563), at the command of the Uuke of Guise, and also 
to the murder, in 1530, of seventy Swedish nobles of Stockholm by command 
of Christian II. of Denmark. 

Batho*. This word, inthesensewhichhas now excluded all others, — that of 
an anticlimax, a ludicrous descent from the elevated to the commonplace, — 
was first made English by Pope, in his Essay on the Art of Sinking in Poetry. 
He inConns the reader that the essay is to be styled n^ jJoAivc, " Concerning 
Depth," as a f<ril to Longinus's irepi fyxfr, "Concerning Height," — i,t., the 
Sublime. " For true it is, that while a plain and direct road is paved to their 
e#0C or stiUime, no track has been j;et chalked out to arrive at our ^offof or 
profound; wherefore, considering, with no small grief, how many promising 

Finiuse* of this age are wandering (as I may say) in the dark without a guide, 
have tutidertaken this ardoona but necessary task to lead them a* it were by 
/ 



82 HANDY-BOOK OF 

(he hand, and step by step [he gentle down-hill way lu the bathos ; the bottom, 
the end, the central point, the tu>n pliu ultra of trtic modern poesy !" 

He collected a number of amusing instances of the " art of sinking," aa 
practised by bis contemporaries. 'I'hesc arc as good as any ; 

And ihou, DaJhoiuy, Ihf ertai god of Wiir, 

Lieuleniuil-coloDtl to th* Earl of M»r. 

Hera Argiu KSD mirtl 
Even though he HbiTBl 
To vHpe Tiu hundred ey 



I'he lords Above jire huDEry and talk big. 

The last quoted is Nat Lee's figurative description of thunder. It will be 
seen that the tirst of these is an unmistakable bit of the true bathos. Pope 
gives no credit for either this or the second one, and it is shrewdly Suspected 
that he wrote both of them himself, possibly in jest for the purpose of^using 
them in this burlesque, but more probably in all serious earnest in his juvenile 
epic of " Alcander," which he was too wise ever to publish as a whole. 

Horace Smith, in his "Tin Truin]>el," gives two stones that may appro- 
priately be quoted : 



m deck, klthoa^h iKe icmpcst had nou iocreaicd id tucb a frifhtful hutnciuM 
that II wai not without peat difficuLly I could hold up my parasol 1" 

Ai a worthy mmpamod lo this liltl? moreeau, wf copy the following atTecIing advenit? 
ipcnt frvm a London newspaper: "If ihia should meet the eye of Emnia D , wh*: 



irniniihed atfeclioD W her aiino« heart-hrollen paienfa. If nothinK 
I to their jtrin: appeaf, — should ihe be determined to bring their gniy 

jave,— should she never mean to revisit n home where she had passed 

so many happy years, — it IS at least expected, if she be not totally lost to all sense of propriety, 
that she will, without a motnent's furxher delay, send back Ihe key of the tea-caddy.'^' 

There is merit in Ihe rapturous exclamation of the Frenchman, " Siiperbe ! 
magnifique ! in short, ]>retly well t" But of all foreigners the East Indians are 
most given to this form of sinking. The following request for a holiday is 
from a native clerk in India: " Most Exalted Sir, — It is with must habitually 
ilevout expressions of my sensitive respect that I approach the clemency of 
your masterful position with the self-dispraising utterance of my esteeni, and 
the also forgolten-by -myself assurance that in my own mind I shall be freed 
from the assumption that I am asking unpardonable donations if I assert Ihal 
I desire a short respite from my exertions ; indeed, a fortnight's holiday, as I 
am suffering from three boils, as per margin. I have the honorable delightof 
subscribing myself your exalted reverence's servitor. (Signed) Jonabol Pan- 
jamjaub." In addition to the regalement of the ear from the charm of style 
10 his communication, the eye is gralilied by a rough but graphic illustration 
of the three boils. 

Courts of law fret]uently ofler excellent examples, especially the inferior 
tribunals, whose magistrates feel most keenly the glory of a little brief au- 
thority. A famous story is that of Ihe London " beak" who made this tre- 
mendous appeal lo a witness about lo lake the oath i " Remember that the 
eyes of Goil and of Her Majesty's police court are upon you." Equally famous 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 83 

is the exordium of another justice's charge to a jury in a case of larceny : 
" For forty centuries the thunders of Sinai have echoed through the world. 
Thou Shalt not steal. This is also a principle of tlie common law and a rule 
of equity." Almost as delightful, (hough eiiiiessed without the same literary 
■kill, is the sentence of a president ol a court-martial : " Prisoner, not only 
have you committed mutdet, but you have run a bayonet through the breeches 
of one of Her Majesty's uniforms." Perhaps, however, the best of all such 
judicial utterances ia (hat ascribed to a rural justice of the peace : " Prisoner, 
a bountiful Providence has endowed you with health and strength, instead of 
which you go about the country siealing hens." 

Bsuw. In America a fondness for pork and beans Is held to be a diitin- 
giiishing trait of the New-Englander, and especially the Kosloner. Boston 
baked beans is the name given to a special prepaiatiun which is indeed found 
in its highest stage of perfection in the New England Athens. Hence " to 
know beans" — a sly hit at Boston's claims to superior culture — means to be 
very smart, spry, or shrewd. Undoubtedly ihe success of the phrase has been 
influenced by the analogous English expression, "To know how many blue 
beans make five white ones." 1 nis is based on a familiar catch, put ni the 
form of a question, the answer being " Five, if ]ieelcd." 
Toow""™* " o* ■oMy ue 1 o ve, *LT. urti 

" Three blue beans in a blue bladder" is an absurd phrase of uncertain origin, 
used to characterize a noisy rattlepate. The most probable derivation is from 
a jester's bladder with beans or peas in it ; 

I'hal tniidiie nil bis wonls logcLfier, 
Tib thm brue bom in ji blue bladder. 

Pwoii; ^/»ia,i.Y.a5. 

Bean, in poker lingo, is often used as a synonyme for a chip. It has also 
meant a guinea in England, and a five-dollar gold-piece in America, probably 
from the French bUn, used in old cant as a synonyme for property or mo'ney. 



e guess. It has been shown 
pretty conclusively that bear has an origin very remote from its present appli- 
cation. Otigiinally the phrase ran "to sell the bear-skin before one has caught 
the bear," and was applied to all transactions on the stock exchange or else- 
where where there was no immediate transfer of goods, but onlv a payment to be 
made at some future period by one party or the other, according as the goods 
had advanced ur receded in price. The separation of the term from the rest of 
the phrase and its eventual application only to that parly who profiled by a 
fall were very gradual. In (719 we have from the "Anatomy of 'Change 
Alley," "Those who buy Exchange Alley bargains are styled buyers of bear- 
skins," and the 177S edition of Bailey's Dictionary informs us that " to sell a 
bear" is "to sell what one hath not." Vet in 1744 we find an allusion in the 
Lotidon Magatint to " bulls and bears," and in 1774 these terms are defined 
in ihcir modern sense by George Colman : 

My youDR nuuier Is ihv buil^Hnd Sir Chuld is ibe bear. He Agreed roruock^cxpvciineil 
ti>bc np AJ UtfTC Ivmdnd by (hi* Udm; bat, bdudity, sir, i1 baa been fiUliof ever luice. — Man 

Bttar-toadw, one who leads about a dancing bear for public exhibition ; 
bence, in English slang, a facetious term for a discreet person in charge of 
■ youth, a tutor or travelling-companion of a young gentleman or noblemant 



84 HANDY-BOOK OF 

employed by the parents to watch over him. When Johnson in his old age 
visited Scotland in company with James Boswell. the latter was styled the 
Bear-leader by the wits of Edinbui^h. The point of the joke was emphasized 
by the fact that Johnson was commonly known as Ursa Major. Henry Er- 
Bkine, to whom Hoswetl had introduced the great man, quietly slipped a guinea 
into the Bear-leader's hand, saying, "Take that, my good man ; that's for a 
sight of your bear." 

I DDdelwk ■ bear lo lead, 

Thiough HolluHiriuIy, and Fisnce 

I locdi my lure and left ih< nib 

kadm.— Tkjkkmiav: iWi^/sniii.cii. vii."" ^™"' «""*"«* 

Bean? Are you there with your, a common Knglisb greeting, ex- 
pressing surprise rather than welcome. Joe Miller explains it as theciclama- 
tion made by a church-goer who, disgusted with a iternion on tllisha and the 
bears, went next Sunday to another church, only to be confronted by the same 
preacher and the same sermon. The expression was very common in the 
seventeenth century, 

Anorhcr, when at (be racket-court be had a ball unck into bia baiard, he would e^er and 
BAoncry oui, Enea-vousU avn vos oun! which ia ridiculous in any olherUnauue but Ene- 
Li,h.— JombsHdwil; lntlrmclu»u/tr Furrain, TraBi//, Stc. 3. 

" Mairy come up — an you tbcn with your beant" muLiered (he dragon. — Scott ; T7tf 

Betira, BrinB on yotu, a common American challenge or defiance, the 
story running that a small boy in the wild West, having been much impressed 



passed the family log cabin, and shouted out, "Go up, thou 



with the story of Elisha and the bears, drew a bead on the next bald-headed 
gent ' ' ", „ 

bald head ! Now bring on your bears !" 

Beat the dog before the lion, an old English proverb, whose exact 
counterpart is found in the French " Batire le chien devani le lion," meaning 
to punish an inferior person in the presence and to the terror of a great one. — 
Ceigratie's Prmch DicHonaiy, s. v. Sal/rt. 

And for (o maken otfacr be war by me, 
Ai by (be whelp cluflited is (be leoun. 

Chauck" ; Sfmin'i Ta/r, Pan ii. 

lo IHght an imperioui lioc—OHri/s. ii. 3, 1/5.' 

Beat! poasldentee (L., "Blessed are those in possession"), the popular con- 
densation of an ancient legal maxim, " Beati in jure conscniur possidentes," 
which linds its English equivalent in the fiimiliar proverb, " Possession is nine 
points of the law." Buchmann plausibly suggests that the phrase may have 
been developed through a spirit of contradiction from the lines in Horace: 
Ndd pDuidentem nuha vocaverii 
Rectt btsuvm.—OJri, iv. 9, 45. 
("Not him who possesses many things can you rightly call happy.") 
This phrase was one of the few scraps of Latin known to Frederick the 
Great. Therefore it was all the more effective in the mouth of Bismarck, the 
real successor of Frederick the Great, when in 1877 he ofTered himself as the 
mediator between Russia and Turkej', defining his position as "the honest 
broker who really wanted to do eHective business." After the signing of the 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



e Darda- 
nelles, and a humanitarian solidtude for the lot oi the Christians in Turkey, 
" Germany had no material Interest in the Eastern question, except indeed her 
interest in preventing the outbreak of a general quarrel over the distribution 
of the spoil, which Russia might provolce by replying to Europe witli a btali 
foatidcniei." 

BeaUng the Boonds, a curious custom annuallv observed (either on Holy 
Thursday or on Ascension Day) in certain parisneB of London, when the 
workhouse boys, under the conduct of a beadle or other of&cer, walk through 
the parish from end to end, striking the boundaries with willow wands which 
(bey carry in their hands. This is a survival from the period before maps, when 
apprentices, school -children, and other parish lads were all marched out to 
learn an object-lesson in this way. It is now abandoned to the workhouse 
boys here and there, and is looked upon as a holiday occasion. 

B««ut7 !■ only skin-deep, a common saying that in one form or another 
may be found in the proverbial lore of all countries. It was a fovorite with 
the old Fathers, who loved to carry out the proposition to a minuteness of 
detail that would revolt the squeamish stomach of to-day. Here is one of 
the least unpleasant examples, but even this is slightly bowdlerized ; " When 
thou seest a fair and beautiful person, a brave Bonaroba . . . wringing thy 
soul and increa^ng thy concupiscence, bethink thee that it is but earth thou 
lovest, a mere excrement which so vexelh thee that thou so admirest, and thy 
raging soul will be at rest Take her skin Irom her face, and tliou shalt see 
all loathsomeness under it. that beauty is a superficial skin and bones, nerve, 
Mnews." (CHkVSOSTOM.) In general literature the following are early examples 
of its use. In "The Nosegay," by Thomas Becon (Parker Society Edition, 
p. 303), occurs the passage, "And to say the truth, is beauty any other thing 
than, as Ludovicus Vives saith. ' as [sic\ little skin well colored } If the in- 
ward parts,' saith he, 'could be seen, how great filthiness would there appear, 
even in the most beautiful person t' " The passage from Ludovicus Vives is, 
"In corpore ipso quid ibrma est? nempe cuticala 6fm lolorata,'" ^ic (Lod. 
Vivis. Valent Op., " Introd. ad Sap.," 61, torn. ii. cols. 72-3, Basil., 1555.) Sir 
Thomia Overbury, in his poem " A Wife," says, — 

And atl the cunal beuity of my wifi? 

SitdUrly Moliire says, — 

La beiuij du vjnge »t nn bfle onieinait, 
Uh 8«ur puiHltn;, lu <du d'uD maniEU, 
E( qui n'egt uucW qu'l U limple ^piderme 

Nevertheless, modem science recognizes in this skin-deep beauty one oi 
the most valuable motive powers of Nature, bringing into play the principle 
of sexual selection which insures the mating of the fittest. B»auly, we arc 
told, is one of the gifts which she lavishes on her pets, indicating to Ihosc 
whom that beauty attracts that here is a prize worth striving (or. Di. Holmes, 
ta " The Professor at the Breakfast Table," p. 39, says, " Beauty is the index 
of a larger fact than wisdom." And again, " Wisdom is the abstract of the 
past, but beantv is the promise of the future," And Schiller, in his '■ Essays, 
Asthetical ana Philosophical," " Physical beauty is the sign of an interior 
beauty, which is the basis, the principle, and the unity of the beautiful." 

BAohamal, Banoa. This simple cream preparation served with boiled 
fith wu invented (7 no less a person than Louis de B^hamel or Bechameil, 



86 HANDY-SOOK OF 

Marquis of Noinlet, who was famous not only as a gastronomer but as a 
financier and a beau. He was ma!lre-d'hatel, or steward, to Louis XIV., in 
whose reign Ihe glory of the French kitchen began. TIte noble, the brave, 
and ihe fair ginled on their aprons and stood over stew-pans with Ihe air of 
alchemists over alembics. The great Vatel flourished at this time, — Valel 
who, like the ancient Romau, fell upon his prolessiona] swotd because the 
cod had not arrived in time to be dressed for the king who was coming to 
dine with Vatel 's master, Cond^. Bechamel died in 1703. He was some- 
thing of an eccentric, and one of his manias was to resemble the Count de 
Gramont, who treated him one day, not as a Turk would a Mooi, but as a 
lord would a financier. Saint-Simon relates this circumstance in terms pecu- 
liar to himself. "The Count de Gramont," says he, "seeing Bechamel) walk- 
ing in the Tuileries, said 10 his companion, ' Will you bet thai I can give him 
a kick, and that he will think none ihe worse of me V " This was carried out 
to the letter. Bechamel, much astonished, turned, and the count made many 
excuses, saying that he took him for his nephew. B<^chamel was charmed, 
and Ihe two became more intimate than ever. Was Napoleon familiar with 
this anecdote when he characterized Talleyrand as a man who would preserve 
an uniuSled front while you kicked him from behind i 

B«d of Joatlce. This expression (lit dejmlice) literally denoted Ihe seat 
or throne upon which the King of France was accustomed to sit when per- 
sonally present in Parllamenl ; and from this original meaning the expression 
came in course of time to signify the Parliament itself. Under the ancient 
monarchy of France a bed of jusiice denoted a solemn session of the king in 
Parliament According to the principle of Ihe old French constitution, the 
authority of the Parliament, being derived entirety from the crown, ceased 
when the king was present ; consequently all ordinances enrolled at a bed of 
justice were acis of Ihe royal will, and of more authority than decisions of 
Parliament 

The last bed of justice was assembled by Louis XVL, at Versailles, on 
August 6, 17SS, at Ihe commencement of the French Revolution, and was in- 
tended to enforce upon the Parliament of Paris the adoption of the obnox- 
ious taxes which had ]ireviously been proposed by Calonne at the Assembly 
of Notables. The resistance to this measure led to ihe assembling of the 
Stales-General, and to Ihe Revolution. 

Bedpoat, Id tha twinkling of a, — i.e., immediately, at once. The 
original expression gave bedstaff in lieu of bedpost, a beastafT being (con- 
jeclurally) an upright peg fixed into the side of Ihe bedstead after the manner 
of a pin, projecting upward to keep the bedclothes in their place, and used 
also as a weapon of defence against intruders. Hence, " in the twinkling of 
a bedstaff," like the analogous phrase of to-day. "in the twinkling of a pike- 
Btafii" would mean as rapidly as a staff can be twinkled or turned. " Between 
you and me and the bedpost," or " you and me and the post," is a humorous 
lag to an assertion implying confidence, secrecy. 

Bee, in provincial New England and New York, an assemblage of people 
for a set purpose, and especially a meeting of neighbors to unite in working 
for an individual or a family. In the form of " spelling.bee," or spelling-match, 
Ihe word has extended over the whole country. Quilling -bees are attended 
by young women, who assemble around the frame of a bed-quilt and in one 
afternoon accomplish more than one person could in weeks. Refreshments 
and beaux help to render the meeting agreeable. Apple-bees are occasions 
where neighbors assemble to gather apples or cut Ihcm up for drying. Kusk- 
iog-bees, for husking corn, meet in bams. In some new districts, on tbe 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 87 

arrival of a new settler ihe neighboring farmers unite with their teams, cut the 
limber, and build him a 1i^ house in a single day ; these are termed raising- 
bees. The name may have come from the likeness of these gatherings lu the 
--ig of bulling bets. 



Bm in tbe Boimet, a fad. a craze, a hobby, an overruling fancy or desire : 
used especially in America in regard to a would-be candidate for the Presi- 
dency: "He has the Presidential bee in hia bonnet." In the form "ahead Tuii 
of bees" the expression can be traced back at least as tar as Gawin Douglas in 
bis translation of Virgil (1512-13. published 1553). 

Quhal ban be ibou in bed intb held full of b«>.— ^wij. viii,. Pnl. tB. 

An illustration as well as an indirect explanalion of Ihe term may be found 
in the " Faerie Queene," where, describing the human body, iipenser alludes to 
tbe bees and flies in the chamber of Fantasy ; 

And all ihe cbimber filled wu with fliei. 
Which buued about hlio . . . 



Bees were anciently imagined to have some connection with the soul. Ma- 
homet admits them alone of all insects into Paradise. The analogous French 
eipression is, " II a des rals dans la ifte." It is well known that the souls of 
the during frequently escape in the form of a rat or a mouse. Uean Swift says 
that It was the opinion of certain virtuosi that the brain is filled with little 
worms and maggots, and that thought is produced by these worms biting the 
nerves. Hence the expression " When the maggot biles" means when the 
bncy strikes us. 

Beef-eBt«ra. a familiar name for the Yeomen of the Guard, a corps organ- 
ized by Henry VII. for his own protection on Ihe day of his coronation, 
October 30, 1485, and which has served as a body-guard of the English sov- 
ereign ever since. The word is usually derived from baffctier, but the ety- 
mology is doubtful, as the Yeomen never had charge of the royal buffet or 
aideteard, Preston (" History of the Yeomen of Ihe Guard," 1S85) suggests 
that they may have received their name from a bird called beel-ealei, whose 
strong, Ihick bill bore some resemblance to their ]>artisan.<i. Indeed, Ihe 
Yeomen were often referred lo as "billmen," because they carried a weapon 
with a hook like the beak or bill of a bird. The Tower Wardens, an entirely 
different body of men, are uniformed like them, and popular parlance classifies 
them all as beef-eaters. 



Bsen tkere, an A me 
"He's been there," to indicate that the person so spoken 
ahrewd or eiperienced. 

Tha Japwuse uy, " A man ulcei I drink ; Iben Ihe drink ukn 
drink Bka ihe man." Evidently the JapuieK hive been ihere.— 



;,oogic 



88 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Baw and Blbl«, in English politics, a sobriquet applied to that branch 
of the Conserwaiive party which combated the attempt of the moderate 
Uberals in 1873 to place certain restrictions upon the sale of intoxicating 
liquors. The brcweta and the Licensed Victuallers' Association turned in to 
help their Conservative brethren, and, as the latter were mostly of High-Church 
tendencies, the alliance earned the title of the Beer and Btlde Association, 
their mouth-piece, the Momaig AttocrHstr, being called the Bar and BiHt 
Gaulle. By a singular coincidence, the latter nickname superseded another 
closely Eimilar, the Gin and Gosptl GasMe, which the paper had enjoyed for 
many years previous on account of its close juxtaposition of religious notices 
and brewers advertisements. 



establishments in London for one of the upjier servants, generally the steward, 
to supply the others with beer, charging the amount to the head of the house, 
while those who do not drink are allowed what is known as beer-money, in 
addition to their wages. The lUiutraUd Ameriean tells this story, which shows 
that English servants are inclined to abuse their privileges. " Among other 
expense-items presented to him, shortly after his accession to the family 
estate, the late Earl of Wicklow discovered 'dishing-up beer,' and, later on, 
' turning-down beer.* It was not in the least difhcult for him to guess that 
■dishing-up' applied to the liquid drunk by the cooks and the kitchen- and 
scullery-maids when serving dinner, but he was at a loss to understand what 
the 'turning-down' process might mean. In response to his interro^tions, 
the steward gravely replied, " It's the beer, my lord, wot the 'ousemaids 'ave 
when they go hup-stiirs to turn down the sheets at night." 

B«llBBiias, Give a penny to (L. "Date obolum Bclisarjo"). This 
proverb may be roughly paraphrased, " Do not kick a man when he is down." 
Bclisarius (A.D. S05-565), the general -in-chief of the army in the East under 
Justinian, being accused of a conspiracy gainst his master, forfeited his rank 
and his fortune. Tradition asserts further that he was deprived of sight and 
reduced to begsary, and, sitting at the gate of Rome, begged pennies of the 
passers-by. This story has been perpetuated by Marmontel in his historical 
romance of " Belisaiius." But modern historians agree with Gibbon, that it 
is "a fiction of later limes, which has obtained credit, ot rather bvor, as a 
strong example of the vicissitudes of fortune." (Dtctim and Fall, iv. 286, note.) 
Bacon, after his bll, said to James L, " 1 would live to study, and not study 
to live 1 yet I am prepared for dale aioluin Bcluario, and 1 that had borne a 
bag \i.e., that containing the great seal] can bear a wallet" 

B«ll, Book, and Candlo. The ancient mode of excommunication prac- 
tised in the Catholic Church. The closing lines of the formula were as fal- 
lows ! " Cursed be they from the crown of the head to the sole of the fooL 
Out be they taken from the book of lite (here the priest closed (he bookj, and 
as this candle is cast from (be sight of men, so be their souls cast from the 
sight of Ciod into the deepest pit of hell (here the attendant cast to the ground 
alighted candle he had held in his hand|. Amen." Then the bells were 
rung in haish dissonance, to signi^ the disorder and going out of grace in 
the souls of the persons excommunicated. 

11*6 caidiniU roM with ■ digDili«I look. 

He cilled (or hil cudli, hii Ull, and hi> book I 

In holy annr, and pioiu grid*. 

He utemnTy cunetf thai TUcaliy thief! 
He cuned him w. board, he cuned him in bed ; 
Proin the lale of hli taot to the cnmu of hil bead. 
He cuned blm in ilecpine, that every night 



. ilecpine, that e 



Coogk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 

»nad him in cttjoe, he cuned him in dhok 
•xffwtA hjm iti cougEin£, in Boeciini:, b wlbl 

:un«l him in nlkii«. in riding. 'in HyiDg;' 
nmed him living, he curitd him dying [ 
Never -u bard luch a LeniblE cune I 



Brad, Abovo one^ in American slang, means beyond one's capacity, and 
it the Nonbern equivalent for "above my huckleberry," or "a huckleberry 
above niT persimmon," phrases popular in the Southern Slates. It is not 
impossible thai the phrase is an old English survival, Acm/ being the Anglo- 
Saxon for a bond, letter, or contract : 

And briniE b«m Dul of bcBde. 

Above my bend, therefore, might mean more than I am bound or held to do. 

Baneflt of olergy. The word clergy here, like the word clerk (which is 
an abbreviation of tlericui), docs not refer exclusively to churchmen, but 
includes all who had any pretensions to learning. William Rufus. the second 
of the Norman kings of England, enacted an ordinance (1087) known by the 
above title, in accordance with which a man could save his life on his proving 
that he was not entirely ignorant of letters. The first verse of the mty-lirst 
Psalm was chosen as the reading-test, and hence got the name of " neck- 
verse." Readers of Sir Walter Scutt will remember that William of Delo- 
raine boasts of his inability to read a line even were it his "neck-verse at 
Haribee," — Haribee being the spot in Carlisle where Scottish moss-troopers 



and thieves were wont to be "justified," — Ce., hanged The statute in favor 
of " clergy" continued nominally in force till Queen Anne's reign, when it was 
repealed (1700), although long before that it had become a dead letter. See 
Neck- Verse. 

Better bail, a humorous colloquialism lor a wi 
in English literature in Sidney's "Arcadia" (iSisoj, ill. 200, « 
says to Farlhenia, " My deare, my bttter halfc, I lind I must nov 
Originally my better half — i.e., the more than half of my being — was said of a 
very cloftC and intimate friend : c£ Shakespeare. — 

When ihou art all the better put of mc f 
Whnt can my on prue to afaie own Mif bring. 

And whu Vl but mine ovn vhen 1 prvK th« T 

SmmH XXXIX. 
Yet there is a curious anticipation of the phrase in the Oriental story ofthe 
Bedouin Arab who, having blasphemed the name, the beaid, and tht honor 
of his chief, was sentenced to the bastinado. His wife pleaded in his behalf. 
** O great prince," she said to the sheik, " the blasphemy is horrible, I confess, 
and merits exemplary punishment : but il is not my whole husband who has 
thus rendered himself guilty towards thee." "Not thy whole husband?" 
echoed the startled sheik. "Nay," she continued, " it is but the half of him 
that has committed the insult ; for am I not the other half,— I who have never 
offended thee ? Now the guilty half places itself under the protection of ihe 
innocent half, and the latter cannot suffer the former to be punished." The 
sheik saw BO much wit in this reply that be pardoned the guilty husband. 



;i:v,.G00gIf 



9° HANDY-BOOK OF 

Berer or Beavftr (Laiin bibert, through ihe nld French iavrt], an obsolele 
English word for a snack or luncheon, especially une taken in Ihe afternoon 
belween mid-day dinner and supper. Hence, a term applied lo a frugal repast 
of bread and beer served out on summer afternoons in Eton, Winchester, and 
Westminster Colleges till a very recent period. 

" ti may be intemiing for all old EloniuH, and C« old Collcgcn !□ pulicular. la rad Ihe 
iii«iiuIioD in ifa^'bH uuDibs of Ihe £fi<>'p>//iz#^:(>-^i(/r. ^ougli The t^ cf Ih^ uiid'e 
wmd " tnMnsilti^T'li ii m j*oBT>L^I?U^w^^l°l^"y be'[m^MlDK°o'you' lu know ihar 
LoniuvuiYe il^dX'^li^Elonuin'ihtHild ido^' For Li^'i^iii^d'l^'Re^c^ Colleger! 

what lo vxpeci. The prophel'i eye mlttbl have seen ihnl the dayi of " Bever" alto wen DUin- 
bered, thai ihc *' link jyiltnii" of the piQU4 raiinder had " hod fheir day," and therefore had 
bcltcr"ceue lobe." " Bever" » gone, and we believe the aulborilin in 1ut»lJludaD intend 
lo allow each Colleger a mu£ of (oa9I.and'Walcr on Suodayi ihroughoui the year. It i> 
the day of ihe faddiu, and a vq^etarian dinner in Hoi] and eompulkory Dr. Jaeger'a under- 
clothiDE an looming like nifhtmam ibroiigh the mjiu of ttie fuiurt. — Saiun/ay ftfr/inv, 
June jf, .B90, 

Bible atattsticB. The following facts in regard lo the Authorized Version 
of the Bible are given by the indefatigable Dr. Home in his " Introduction lo 
Ibc Study of Ihe Scriptures." Their compilation is said to have occupied more 
than three years of the doctor's life : 

Old Nm, 

TnlamtHl. Tatamnl. Trtal. 

Book! 39 97 U 

Chiplen i}»i >6o 1,169 

Wonto »3.W3 i*",aS3 '??''}* 

Letun 9,738,100 8}S,3Bo j.jH^tSo 

Afucryflia. 

Booki, 14; chapter*, iBj^ venca, 6031 ; wordi, 135,165; letloa, 1,063,674. 

But the g»x)d doctor's work is entirely cast into the shade by the statistical 

exploit of some religious enthusiast (possibly a myth), who. as the result of 

several years' incarceration for conscience' sake, produced this astonishing 

monument of misapplied industry ; 

The hMc containa ft, booki. 11S9 chapter*. 3).iT3 venes. »3,^ wordi. and }.5S«,469 
lelten. The word " and" wxon 46,»J limM, the word " Lord'' 1855 times. " reverend" bul 
ODce, "girl" hutonce, JD third ebapier and ihhdvcrte of Joel; tht wwds " cverlatling lire" bal 
Iwice. and " everlaaling IJllpithnient" tjul once. The middle Ime ii Second Chronielea iv. rfi. 
The middle chapter and the ahoneal 1> Paalm civii. Tfae middle letH >1 the eighth *«K of 
Padm civiii. The Iwenly-firtt verae of the aeventh chapter of Kira conuini all the kllen in 
the alphabet, eicepi the leller " J." The lineit chapter 10 read il the iweniy-sllth chapter of 

chapter ol liaiah are alike. The iongeii vene ii the ninth vene of Ihc eiahih chapter of 
Esther, llieihorteu ii the ihiny-iiflh vene of ibeelevcDIh chapter of St. John, vir. ; "Jeaiu 
wepl." The eighlh. fifirentb, twenly-firat. and ihirty.liral vsaes of the lOTih Psalm are 
alike. Each vene of ihe i36ih iWm ends alike. There are no vorda of more than aii 
ayllablei. 

It is evident enough thai each of these tables is (he result of independent 
labor, as they do not a^ree with each other as lo the number of words and 
letters in the Bible. Probably tve shall have to wait until another enihuaiast 
is jugged before the figures are verified, 

Blbloa, Coiloiu, a general term given lo certain editions of Ihe Scrip- 
tures which are distinguished by peculiar errors of the printers, or SMue 



. Coo^If 



LITBkASY CURIOSITIES. 



"Then the eies of them bolh were opened, and they knew that they were 
naked, and ihcy sewed figgc tree leaves together and made Ihemseives 
breeches."— C««. iii. 7. Printed iii 1560. In the Authoriwd Version, pub- 
h'shed in 1611, this picturesque attire has been changed to "aprons." 



originally identical with bogii . 
"terror, the word substituted ii 



" Blessed are the pi ace- makers ; for Ihey shall be called the children of 
OaA."—Matt. v. 9. Printed in 1561-z. A version that should be in great 
request with practical politicians of all parties. 



This extraordinary name has been given to an edition of the Authorized 
Bible, printed in London by Robert Barker and Martin Lucas in 1631. The 
negative was left out of the seventh commandment, and William Kilbuine, 
willing in 1659, says that, owing to ihe zeal of Dr. Usher, the printer was lined 
^2000 or jf 3000. 

The same title has been given to the Bible which its publishers called the 
"Pearl Bible," from the size of the type used, which was published in 1653, 
and contained the following among other errata : 

NeiibcT yield ye youi memben u lOBtmmeDU of ri(hteaii>neu [for uiiiiglitei>iuuie»] unio 

These errata made the Wicked Bibles very popular among the liberlines of 
the period, who urged the texts as "pleas of jostilication" against the re- 
proof of the divines. 



Ihoriied Version which w 



byar 
sixteenth verse of the Epistle of Jude, where the word"mur- 
Is rendered "murderers." 



.d by Google 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



" Perjecuted him thai was born after Ihe spirit to remain, even so U is now. ' 
—GaJ. iv. 19. This typographical error, which was perpetuated in ihe first 8vo 
Bible printed fur the Bible Society, takes its chief importance from Ihe curious 
drctunslances under which it arose. A limo Bible was being printed at 
Cambridge in 1805, and the proof-reader, being in doubt as 10 whether or 
not he should remove a comma, applied to his superior, and the reply, pen- 
cilled on the tnargin, " to remain," was transferred to the body of Ihe text, and 
was repeated in ihe Bible -Society's Svo edition of 1805-6, and also in another 
i2mo edition of iSig. 

THU DISCHARGE BIBLE. 

"1 discharge thee before God."— 1 Tim. v. j;. Printed in 1806, 



wife alao,'' etc.— Zafe xiv. 2b. Printed in iSro. 



"And Rcbekah arose, and her camels." — Gen. xxW. 61, Printed in 1823. 

Though not technically ranked among "Curious Bibles," the most extraor- 
dinary bit of Biblical eccentricity is a New Testament issued by Ihe Rev. 
Edward Harwood, D.D., an eighteenth- century divine, whose happy thought 
it was " to clothe Ihe genuine ideas and doctrines of the aposlles with tbat 
propriety and perspicuity in which Ihey themselves, I apprehend, would have 
exhibited them, had Ihey now lived and written in our language." The good 
doctor, though pained that "the bald and barbarous language of Ihe old vul- 
gar version" had from long usage "acquired a venerable sacred ness," was 
not without a hope that an "attempt lo diffuse over the sacred page the ele- 
gance of modern English" might allure "men of cultivated and improved 
minds" lo a book " now, alas, loo generally neglected." 

Dr. Harwood, therefore, proceeded to make the New Testament an emi- 
nently genteel book. Every word thai had dropped out of vogue in polite 
circles was plucked away, the very plain-spoken warning lo Ihe Laodicean 
Church assuming in his version this form ; " Since, therefore, you are now in a 
slate of lukewarmness, a disagreeable nieiliiim between the Iwo extremes, I 
will, in no long time, eject yon from mvhearl with fastidious contempL" The 
sentence is cerlainly delicious ; but when we renicnil>er who the speaker is, 
we find we are laughing al something like blas|>hemy. We may, however, 
laugh with a clear conscience al Ihe description of Nicodemus as "this gen- 
tleman." of St. Paul's Athenian Convert Damans as "a lady of distincticHi," 
and of the daughter of Hcroilias as "a youn^ lady who danced with inim- 
itable grace and elegance." "Young lady, rise," are Ihe words addressed 
to the daughter of Jairus. The father of Ihe Prodigal is "a gentleman of 
splendid family ;" St Peter, on the Mount of Transtiguralion, exclaims, " Oh, 
■ir 1 what a delectable residence we might fix here." and Sl Paul is raised lo 
Ihe standard of Bristolian respectability by having a " portmanteau" conferred 



Google 



LITER ARY CURIOSITIES. 93 

s having been 
all die, but we 

shall all be changed," appears thus ; " We shall not all pay (he common debt 
of natuie, but we shall, by a soft transition, be changed from mortality to 
immortal ily." 

Even after reading these prodigious translations we are hardly |)repared for 
a meddling with the Magniiicat and the Nunc Dimiltis. But Dr. Harwood'a 
passion for elegance stuck at nothing, and the " men of cultivated and im- 
proved minds" must have Harwoudian versions of the two great hymns of 
Christendom. Here are the openings of both : 

" My soul with reverence adores roy Creator, and all my Taculties with 
transport j<Mn in celebrating the goodness of God, my Saviour, who hath in 
so signal a manner condescended to regard my poor and humble station. 
Transcendent goodness t every future age will now conjoin in celebrating my 
happiness." 

"O God X Ihy promise to me is amply fuliilled ! I now quit the post of 
human life with satisfaction and joy, since thou ha&t indulged mine eyes with 
GO divine a spectacle as the great Messiah." 

To use Dr. Haiwood's own words, this edition of the New Testament 
leaves the most exacting velleity without ground for quiritation. 

BibUoUept, a modern euphemism which softens the ugly word book-thief 
by shrouding it in the mystery of the Greek language. So the French say, 
not tvAwr, but ihipair dt livra. The true bibliomaniac cannot help teeling a 
tenderness for his J>et fad, even when carried to regrettable excesses. Perhaps 
he has often felt his own fingers tiiwle in view of a rare de Gtolier, a unique 
Elzevir, he knows the strength olthe temptation, he estimates rightly liis 
own weakness ; perhaps, if he carries self-ana lysis to the unflattering point which 
it rarely teaches, save in the sincerest and finesi spirits, he recognizes that his 
power of resistance is supplied not by virtue, but by feat, — fear of the police 
and of Mrs. Grundy. In his inner 6oul he admires the daring which risks all 
for the sake of a great passion. When a famous book -col lector was exhibiting 
his treasures to the Duke of Sussex. Queen Victoria's uncle, he apologized 
to his royal highness for having to unlock each case. '■ Oh, quite right, quite 
right," was the reassuring reply: "to tell the truth, I'm a terrible thief." 
There are not maLiy of us who are so honest. Nevertheless, the epidemic 
form which bibliokleptomania has assumed is recwnized in the motto which 
school-boys affix to Iheit books, warning honest friends not to steal them. 
"Honest'' may, of course, be a fine bit of sarca-sm. But one prefers to look 
upon it as indicating a subtle juvenile prescience thai the most honest and the 
most ftiendly will steal boolis. as the most honest will cheat their dearest 
friends in a matter of horseflesh. 

The roll of book-thieves, if it included all those who have prigged without 
detection or who have borrowed without returning, would doubtless include 
the most illustrious men of all ^es. But strike ft-om the list those whose 
thefts have been active and not passive, and admitting perforce only that 
probably small propi»tion whose active thieving has l^en discovered and 
proclaimed, a splendid array of names will still remain. It will include 
learned men, wise men, good men, — the highest dignitaries of church and 
State, even a pojie. And that [lope was no less a man than Innocent X. To 
be sure, he wis not pope, but plain Monsignor Pamphilio, when he stole a 
book from Du Mouslier, the painter, — his one detected crime. But who shall 
say it was his only crime ? Tci be sure, again, Du Moustier was something of 
a thief himself: he used to brag how he had prif^ed a book of which he had 
long been in search from a stall on the Pont-NeuT Neverihelcs.'^. he strenu- 
oiwqr objected to be stolen from. When, therefore, Monsignor Pamphilio, in 



94 HANDY-BOOK OF 

the train of Cardinal Barberini, paid a visit to the painter's studio in Parii 
and quietly slipped into his soutane a copy uf " L'Hisloire du Concile de 
Treiile," M. Du Muusliet, catching him in the act, furiously (old the cardinal 
that a holy man should not brine thieves and robbers in his train. With 
these and other words of a like libellous nature he recovered the History of 
the Council of Trent, and kicked out the future pontiE Historians date from 
this incident that hatted to the crown and the people of France which distin- 
guished iho pontifical reign of Innocent X. 

Among royal personages, the Ptolemies were book- thieves on a large scale. 
An entire deparlmeiit in the Alexandrian Library, significantly called " Books 
from the Ships," consisted of rare volumes taken from sea-voyagers who 
touched at the port True, the Ptolemies had a conscience. They were 
careful to have fair liaiiscripts made of these valuible manuscripts, which they 
presented to the visitors ; but, as Aristotle says, and, indeed, as is evident 
enough iu minds of far infetior compass, the exchange, being involuntary, 
could not readily be difi'erentialed from robbery. Branlfime tells us that 
Catherine de Medicis, when Marshal Strozzi died, seized upon his very valu- 
able library, promising some day to pay the value to his son, but (he promise 
was never kept. 

Perhaps the greatest of biblioklepts was Don Vincente, a friar of (hat 

Poblal convent whose library was piunderei" " "' """ "" -'-*-- -" — -' 

the monasteries during Ihe regency of Que 
Barcelona, he established himself in a gloomy den in the book-selling quarter 
of the town. Here he set up as a dealer, bu( fell so in love with his accu> 
mulaled purchases that only want tempted him (o sell them. Once at an 
auciion he was outbid for a copy of the "Ordinacions per los Gloriosos Keys 
de Arago," — a great rarity, perhaps a unique. Three days later the house of 
the successful rival was burned lo the ground, and his blackened body, pipe 
in band, was found in the ruins, lie had set the house on fire with his pipe, — 
that was the general verdict. A mysterious succession of murders followed. 
One bibliophile after another was found In the streets or the river, with a 
dagger in his heart. The shop of Don Vincente was searched. The " Or- 
dinacions" was discovered. How had it escaped the flames that had burned 
down (he purchaser's house? Then the Don confessed not only that murder 
bu( others. Most of his victims were customers who had purchased from hiin 
books he could not bear to part with. At the itial, counsel for the defence 
tried to discredit the confession, and when it was objected that the "Ordiiia. 
cioiis" was a unique copy, Ihey proved there was another in the Louvre, that, 
therefore, there might be still more, and that the defendant's might have been 
honestly procured. At this, Don Vincente, hitherto callous and silent, uttered 
a low cry, " Aha !" said the alcade, " you ate be{|inning to realize the enor- 
mity of your oftence !" " Ves," sobbed the penitent thlef^ " the copy waa 
not a unique, after all." 

A worthy successor (o this good Itiar was Count Guglielmt Libri Carucci, 
known by his uenullimale name Libri, which, curiously enough, means booki. 
He was a memlier of the French Institute, a professor in the College of France, 
a valued contributor to Ihe Rfvue dei Dmx AtanJei, and an inspector-general 
of French libraries under I^uis Philippe. Yet he succeeded in getting away 
with a large number of valuxble books and manuscripts belonging to the libra- 
ries he ■•inspected." His thefts were first brought to the notice of the Paris 
librarians by anonyinous leders, and then by articles in the Maniliur and the 
f/atimal. In 1S4S he was prosecuted and condemned by default lo ten years' 
imprisonment ; but even then his friends did not desert him. Prosper Meri- 
nWe, who defended him before the Senate, refused to believe in his guilt. 
When he fled to London, Sir Antonio Paniui received him with open anna, 



Goo^If 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES, 9S 

miintaintng thst he was a persecuted man, and gave him airit Matuht to 
wander about the Jibrary of the British Museum. Lord Ashbumham bought 
some or the stolen wares for j£8ooo. M. Delisle tiied to negotiate with 
young Lord Ashbumham in 1878, but without success. Finally, m 1S90, the 
stolen property was returned to the French library in exchange for Maness<i's 
rare collection of German poetry and the sum of jf 6000. 
or the lesser fry of biblioklepts there is no space to speak. In Paris alone 

^y as a hundred thieves of this kind have been prosecuted in a single 

Yet they are a small percentage of the total detectetL Jutes Janin 
ns a fellow-citiien whose first impulse when he saw a book was to put 
it in his pocket. So notorious was this failing that whenever a volume was 
missed at a public sale, the auctioneer duly announced it, and knocked it down 
to the enthusiast for a good price, which he never failed to pay. If he walked 
out before the sale was over, the detectives would crowd around him, asking 
if he did not have an Elzevit or an Aldine in his pockeL He would make a 
careful search. "Yes, yes, here it is," he would finally cry : "so much obliged 



many as 
ar. Vet 



ts bad. There the boi 
L^ist ;" " First, the book-snatcher marks his prey ; he finds iht 



In London it is just as bad. There the book-snatcher is a person well 
known to dealers. Mr. Besant has described him in his story "In Luck at 



taining the volume which is missing in his o 
himself with a volume which closely resembles the one he covets, and then, 
on pretence of turning over the leaves, he watches his opportunity to effect an 
exchange, and goes away lejoicing, his ael complete." 

Lockhart mentions, in his ■' Life of Scott," how at Holyrood he had placed 
some lines sent to Sir Walter by Lord Uyron, together with the accompanying 
present, in one of the rooms, but the lines mysteriously disappeared. He adds 
that he mentions this circumstance in the hope of depriving the thief of the 
pleasure of displaying his plunder. 

Bibliomania, a mild form of insanity which is obtaining wide prevalence. 
A bibliomaniac must be carefully distinguished from a bibliophile. The latter 
has not yet freed himself from the idea that books are meant to be read. The 
bibliomaniac has other uses for books ; he carries them about with him as 
talismans, he passes his time in the contemplation of their bindings, illustra- 
tions, and title-pages. Some say he even prostrates himself before them in 
silent adoration in that joss-house which he calls his library. Bibliomaniacs 
are not all alike. There are numerous sul>di visions. Some care only for 
nncnt copies, some only for books printed in black letter or in italics, some 
tea first editions, some for curious or famous bindings, while some make col- 
lections on special subjects. But all agree in this, — that the intrinsic merit of 
the book is a secondary consideration in comparison with its market value 
and exceptional scarcity. The Marquis d'Argenson. in his " Memoirs," has 
given an account of a true specimen. " I remember," he says, " once paying 
a visit to a well-known bibliomaniac who had just purchased an extremely 
scarce volume quoted at a fabulous ptice. Having been gradously pei ' ' ' 
by its owner to inspect the treasure, I ventured innocently to remark I 



had probably bought it with the philanthropic intention of having it reprinted. 
• Heaven forbid I' he exclaimed, in a horrified tone ; ' how cotikl yo 
me capable of such an act of fully P If I were, the book would be 



scarce, and would have no value whatever. Besides,' he added, ' I doubt, 
between ourselves, if it be worth reprinting.' 'In that case,' said 1, 'its 
rarity appears to be its only attraction.' 'Just so,' he complacently replied ; 
'and that is quite enough for me.'" 

There is a story of » wealthy English collector who long believed that a 
certain rare book ir "-' ' "■■ — '^-- "■ ■""' " 



90 HANDY-BOOK OF 

bitter blow. He learned Ihat there was another copy in Paris. Biil he soon 
Tallied, and, crossing over the Channel, he made his way to the rival's home. 
" You have such aitd such i book in your library V he asked, plungiiiE at 

oi\<:t in midiasm. "Yes." "Well, I want to buy il" "But, my dear afr " 

"I will give you a thousand francs for it." " But it isn't for sale ; I " "Two 

thousand !" "On my word, I don't care to dispose of it." "Ten thousand [" 
and HO on, till at last iwcnty-five thousand francs was offered, and the Parisian 
gentleman finally consented to part with his treasure. The Englishman 
counted out twenty'five thousand- franc bills, examined the purchase carefully, 
smiled with satisuction, and cast the book into the lire. " Are you crazy i" 
cried the Parisian, stooping over to rescue it. " Nay," said the fciiglishman, 
detaining his arm, " I am quite in my right mind. I, loo, possess a copy of 
that book. I deemed il a unique. I was mistaken. Now, however, thanks 
to your courtesy, I know it"ts a unique." The story may not be true, but it 
is quite true enough to point a moral with. 

In "Gilbert Gurney" Theodore Hook has painted the portrait of the true 
bibliomaniac in the person of Thomas Hull (otherwise Thomas Hill of per- 
ennial memory), who is represented as carrying home in triumph from the 
salc'rooms a Wack.ieller tract of 14S6, with five pages wanting out of the 
original seventeen, and two others damaged ; a genuine Caxton, however, the 
only copy extant except one in the British MuEicum, and secured by him for 
the trifling sum of seventy-two pounds ten shillings. When asked what was 
the subject of the treatise, he ingenuously owned thai he didn't " happen to 
know" lial, but believed it to be an essay lo prove that Edward the Fourth 
never had the toothache. " But," he added, " it is, as you see, in Latin, and I 
don't read Latin." 

" Horace," so runs the spiteful epigram upon some other Thomas Hull,— 

Honcc be hu by nuny dllT<mii lundi, 
Bui D« one Honcc Ihal be undentuidi. 

When a man is first touched with the fever of bibliomania he is bound lo 
make mistakes. He collects the wrong things, the things that have gone out 
of fashion, the bargains that are bargains only for him who sells. Probably 
he begins with Aldines. Anything with an anchor is good enough for him ; 
it is long before he discovers thai there are Aldines and Aldines, — that even 
the genuine works of the Aldi are not equally valuable, and thai there are 
Aldines which are not Aldines at all, but merely cunning contemporary 
coimterfells published at Lyons or at Florence. He is in ecstasies when for 
a few shillings he purchases a Juvenal or a Persius marked 1501, for the 
lext-books alTlell him that Aldus Manutius began the publication aUdUimtt 
firindfei in 1503. He carries his bargain to some bibliophile and exultantly 

Eroclaims that the text-books are in error. Then the bibliophile proves lo 
im that 1501 is a typographical error for l^ll, that the error has long ago 
been noted and pointed out, and from the heights of a superior erudition pro- 
claims that the book is worth less than a common Oxford lexl. Elzevirs have 
snares also for the unwary. An Elzevir Cxsar is hailed as a treasure, espe- 
cially if it be perfect in all respects. Yet. ten to one, the same bibliophile 
will point out that this very perfection destroys the value of the Elzevir, for 
the paging is correct, whereas that of the genuine Elzevir is incorrect ; and 
again the tyro reciunizes that he has the wrong sow by the ears. There is a 
valueless book' called " 1^ Cnmtesse d'Escarbagnas.' How can the tyro be 

' ■" " ' ' ■- ■ ■ ■ ■•- - the rare edition 

has purchased 
{- More likely 



expected to know that this valueless book is worth %zyi in the rare edition 
where Comlesse is misprinted Comteese } Perhaps, after he has purchased 
all this experience, the amateur grows weary of book-hunting- More likely 
be perseveres and becomes a <<<<- 



LITERARY CVRIOSZTIES. 97 

Even now there are all sorts of shoals and quicksands. The most expert 
tnbliomaniac can only know the present ; he cannot forecast the future. The 
canons which govern the buyers of books are as capricious atkd incalculable 
as those which govern the buyers of blue china or rococo bric-i-brac. Prob- 
ably the bouk-humer hinuelf would be puzzled to say why, at a time when 
the craze for first editions was at its height, certain authors were eagerly 
sought alter, and certain others, far their superiors, were comparalivelv neg- 
lected. No one would think of naming Charles Lever in the same breath 
with Sir Walter Scutt Yet first editions of Lever have brought a great 
deal more than first editions of Scott. And, to complete the paradox, it is 
the smaller and leiis important works of modern novelists thai lord it over 
their acknowledged masterpieces, — an original "Vanity Fair" or "Charles 
O'Malley" being looked upon as a trifle in comparison with the discovery of 
a "Second Funeral of Napoleon" or "Tales of the Trains." For a year or 
two the so-called Idiliims Jt luxe were in high favor ; to-day they are dis- 
credited, being voted too cumbersome for every-day reading. 

Let US take a famous anecdote to show how ^hion rules the price of books. 
In lSt2, at the dispersal of the Roxburghe Library, — described as the Waterloo 
of book-sates, — a copy of the " Valdarfer" Boccaccio, printed in Venii^e in 
~~ ~ up. Of this rare book only half a dozen copies ai ' 



of the realm, who bid in person against each other, while the crowd 

looked on agajie, — and the book was finally knocked down to the latter noble- 

for j£2z6cs up to that time the largest sum of money ever paid for a 



■ingle volume. Seven years later the library of the marquis himsell 

the market, and this identical volume became the property of Lord Spet 



for j£9t8, — a price less than one-half of what his formerly successful rival had 
paid. And in 1S90 another co|>y of the same edition found its way to Eng- 
land, and was knocked down for £230. To be sure, this copy had some slight 
imperfections. 

It is all very well to say that it is the rarity of a particular volume which 
makes it valuable. In a rough and ready way, that is true, of course. But 
tare books, possibly uniqiK copies, may every day be seen in old-book stores, 
lied up with a dozen other books and labelled "This lot for ten cents." It is 
all very well, again, to say that the book should be valuable as well as rare. 
Many valueless books are highly prized by bibliomaniacs. A limited supply 
must be conjoined to an active demand, there must be the pleasure and ex- 
citement of the chase, the subsequent calm satisfaction of possessing an envied 
rarity, or the book would be mere lumber. And the difficult problem to de- 
termine is why, at certain periods, all the hounds are out and all the horsemen 
off for one particular fox. It is certainty not because that fox is better than 
any other fox. It is certainly not because that fox is coruidered a nobler 
animal than other^inr mdura which would yield eqiuil pleasure in the chase. 

Of course there are many rare books which are intrinsically interesting, and 
are rendered valuable by the fact that many people, able to pay l»e prices for 
them, would rejoice to have them. There is the famous letter of Christopher 
Columbus announcing the discovery of the New World. A copy of the origi- 
nal edition in Spanish is in the possession of Mr. E. F. Buonaventure in 
Paris, and is priced in his catalogue at 65,000 francs, or 113.00a. Vet it is a 
mere pamphlet of tout quarto pages, thirly-fout lines to the page. This may 
be a mere "bluff" on the part of that excellent bibliophile, meant to keep the 
letter at a prohibitive price, so as to obtain the full value of the centennial 
boom given by the Chicago Fair to the memory of the great discoverer. Cer. 
tain it is that another copy of the same edition, or what purported to be such, 



Cooglf 



98 HANDY-BOOK OF 

was disp<Med of it Ihe Brayion Ives sale in New York (1891) for ^300. A 
year previous, al Ihe equally memorable Barlow sale, a copy of the Latin 
edition, published in 1493, had been purchased by the Boston Public Library 
for (2900. 

At this same Braylun Ives sale, the sum of ([4,goo was paid by Mr. W. E. 
Ellsworth, of Chicago, for a Gutenberg Bible, the first bookever printed from 
movable types. Here is an account of the purchase as it appeared in the New 
VorkJ««of March 6, 1891: 

WbcD the liuienberg Bible wu [cached there wu u clamung of huidi and ■ 
tacui of a eeDuine bmk-lova h'ii a^clian for Ibis lypognphicaf niDnuiiieiil 



ily, Ihe vui 



reivrv id utrUnd.ratveipvcul jndportaDce 
imile, it* fODdilion, faeigbl, purity of velliimr 



. . . , :f. Mr. 

i boudhi ii in Europe. Al his sale in ifltt* the lale Mr, Haiailton Cole piuxhased ' ' " 



MiT Quariich Tor £3500, and oSind'la Mr. lv» at li imali 



When 
" popped," waj piimhiued bv Mr. Quariich for £3500, and e 
■dvani.'c, he immeilialely decided la piircbue Mr. llole > copy, tl te 
Ihe lint book prioKd Hub type, and ii from the preu ai John Guleobeig about itjo. The 

W. £. Ellsworth became the purcbaier Ux tx^^oa. 

Is I his f 14,800 the highest price ever paid for a book F The French Bulimia 
di tlmprimirie says not. Indeed, it " sees" that sum and goes it better bv 
nearly )j5,[xx]. And it also claims that a still higher sum was once offered 
fur another book, and refused : 

What was the higheat price ever gjveD for any book T We may venture to lay that we know 
of one for which a sum of lUpDoofiancs (/lo.ooo) wat paid by lu preieni owner, Ihe Gennan 
govciDmenI That book it a miiHl, fonnerly given by Pope Leo X. to King Heniy VIII. 

lilleoT " Defender of iht Failh." borne ever since by English kings. Uiarlei It. made a 
pment of the missal 1Q the ancestor of the tamoui Duke of Hamihoo, irhoie eilensive and 
valuable library was lold some yean a^o by MeHTB. Sothebv, Wilkinson h, Hodge^ of Lon- 
don. The book which secured ihe highest ofrer wu a Hebnw Bible, In the ponesiion of Ihe 
Vatican. Id ijii the Jews of Venice proposed to Pope Julius II. to buy the Bible, and lupaj' 
for 11 Its weight in gold Ii was so heavy that it required two men to carry it. Indeed, it 
weifhad three hundred and iwenty-live pouada, thus repreaenling the value of half a. million 
of francs (j£»o,oool Though being much pressed for money, in order to keep up Ihe " Holy 
League" agaiost King Louis XII of France, Julius II. declined to pan wjifa the volume. 

Bigot. The amateur etymologist has always had tuts of fun with this 
wold. Firsl corncx old Camden, who relates that when Rollo, Duke of Nor- 
mandy, received Gisla, (he daughter of Charles Ihe Foolish, in marriage, he 
would nol submit to kiss Charles's fool ; and when his friends urged hiin by 
all means to comply with that ceremony, he made answer in the English 
tongue — Ne .se bv Gud, — i.e., Nol re by God. Upon which the king and his 
courtiers, deriding him, and corruptly repealing his answer, called him bigot, 
which was Ihe origin of the term. Cotgrave's Dictionary (i6ii) calls it "an 
old Norman word, signifying as much is 4e par Dim, or our 'for God's sake!' 
made good French, ami signifying an hypocrite, or one that seemelh much 
more holy than be is, also a scrujiulous and superstitious person." As we 
come down to the present, guesses come fast and furious. As giwd as any is 
Archbishop Trench's, who derives Ihe word from the Spanish "bigoie, a 
musiachto. " Hombre de bigoie" is indifferenlly a "la" vith a moustache or 
a man of resolution, " tener bigotes" is to stand firm, *■ and we all know ihal 
Spain is still the land proverbial for miislachiiBi and bigotry" {iVK^o/Jfiir^). 
Dr. Murray gives up the problem, and Ihe Century Diclionarv says, " Under 
Ihis form two or more inde|iendent words appear to have been confused, 
involving the etymology in a mass of fable and conjecture." 

BlUlngasato. One of the ancient gates of London and the adjacent &*b- 



;i:,vG00git: 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 99 

market were known as Billing's gate (presumably from a iiersonal name), 
which, in the modem form, as above, the market still retains. It has been 
celebrated in literature for the eilceme foulness of the language used by its 
denizens, especially the female ones. Hence to ihia duy fuul language is known 
as Billingsgate. 

JohnHmoDcenudaiibctwiihBDgvcUihHthe could so into ihe fiih-muh«i and put a Billing!. 
£ue ivooku itJ A pauioii wHhDut Hying t- void thai ^ne could undcrvund. llie docior com- 
mBHadbyiMmtlyindi c ali n g wiibhunoflc ihaiberluh had p&ued the bluc iu which h mui'a 
ol&ctaria couM enihiR their Haror. The EUImgs|[>ic lady made a vFtbal aUEck, commcm 
dHHlgll In ndj^ indancCr wbkh impugned [he clas&iiiciuioi] in natural hiBlory of the doctor's 

yoitneU^ jrou h^ mlibegottcD villain." " Vou art a noun, woman/' " Von — you — " siam. 
UBwl Ibe woBum, cbokine wilh lage at a list of tides she could not understand. " You aie a 
proaoun." The beMam ihoak her lilt in ipecchloa rage. " Vou are a verb— an adverb— an 

applyiud the harmiesa epithets at proper tnlervaU. 'Tbe ni&e pane of apeech com^^i 
quqed VK oid woman, and ihe dumped herself <)own in the mud, tryinff with ra^ 



iiuwi:^.— Akvihi : Encyelcfadia Jf Amtdelts. 

BUls. This would seem an unpromising subject. Yet a few specimens 
are worth filing among the brici-brac of literature. The trade-bills of Roger 
Payne, the great English bookbinder, are highly valued by cuiiosily-htinlers 
for the eccentric remarks with wKicli he adorned them. For example, on one 
for tunding a copy of Barry's " Wines of the Ancietita" he wrote, — 

Hotner, the bard who tuns in highest sErains, 

Had, festive gift, a gobiet [or his pain) ; 

Falemias gave Horace, Viigil file, 

And b»Hey-wine my British muse ibsplrt. 

Bailev-wiDe fint irom Egypt's learned shore, 

B« Ihu the gift ID me from Calven's ston. 

An Irish election-bill has decided merits. During a contested election 
in Meath, early in this century. Sir Mark Soinerville sent orders to the pro- 
prietor of the hotel in Trim to board and lodge all persons who should vole 
for him. In due course he received the following bill, which he had framed 
and preserved in Somerville House, County Meath. A copy of it was found 
in the month of April, 1826, among the papers of the deceased Very Rev. 
Archdeacon O'Connel], Vicar-General of the Diocese of Meath. It ran thus: 

MV BILL VoUR HONOUR. 
To eating ifi fieeholders above itaiia for Sir Mirkj at 33. 6d. 1 head is to me .... /i 13 o 

For ealliu 16 more below stairs and two Priats after supper is to me a 15 9 

To aia bed! tD one room and four in another at two guineas every bed and not more 

to be too pATticular It a to me at lout ........ ... - - 79 rs 9 

For ahavina and crappluc of the heada of the 41^ freeholder! fur Su- Marks at 13d. iw 

evD^ bead of them by my btolher who has a vote, is to me . - a 13 t 

wai Dot expected, it to me ten hogs,—] don'I mill of the Piper or for keeping 



The total ii £100 loa. ^., you may say Cta ; 10 your honor Sir Mark 

ercD hundred by Bryan himself, who and 1 prays for your success always in 

sd iti place of Jemmy Caji s wife. 



idred by Bryan 

*7- — J ^jj place 01 Jemmy v..aji"s wire, 

BRVAN X GARRATY 



. Coogk" 



■ Qyiag IcAp fi-nm Ibe vbJ1» of 
■e mouth* of two of ihe Aveu 



loo HANDY-BOOK OF 

The following is given as a true bill, made by an artist, Tor repairs and 
retouchings to a galleiy of paintings of an English lord in the ifear 1865 
To filUng up tbc chink in ibe Red Sea and repairing ihe damago of Phuaoh's hoil. 
To cicaning rix of the Apoilla and adding an <nsljnly nev Judas iKlriot, 

To an alteniion Id Ihe Bdicf, mending ihc CommandnieDU, and making a new Lord'i 

^i«rw vamiifaiDE Moms'j rod. 
To npairlng NebucbadnercaT'i beard. 
To mending the pilcher of Rebecca. 
To a pair i^ can for BaJaam and a new tongue for the ait. 

To nntwing the picnire of Samaon In the cbaracter of ■ fox-hunter and BUbstituting a whip 
for the liiebraad. 

>ome Scotch cwtje 10 Pharaoh't lean 
To "ea^^nS^J^ith" hMdi 

^'o planting a new city In the land of Nod. 

To Rpairing Solomon'a now and mahing a Den nail to hit middle finger. 
To an eiact repieteniation of Noah in the character of a general reviewing hb troopi 
pteparjuory to Iheir march, with tbe dove dreued at an aide-decamp. 
To paintmg Noah dreued in an adminl'i uniform. 
To painting Samton making a preieni of bi> jav-bone 10 Ibe propriflon of the Britiih 

Bindla|;. A ratnous tract entitled " De Bibliothecis Antedituvianis" pro- 
fessed to give information about the libraries of Seth and Enoch. Setting aside 
this inrormalion as not up to the requirements of modern historical criticism, it 
is fairly safe to assume that the earliest germ of bookbinding was to be found 
amoiiE the Assyrians, who wrote their books on terra-cotla tablets, and en- 
closed these tablets in clay receptacles which had to be broken before the 
contents could be reached. Tamil manuscripts of extreme antiquity are also 
extant, to which a rounded form has been given by the simple expedient of 
using larger leaves at the centre and adding others gradually shortened at 
each side. The circle is surrounded by a metal band, lightly fastened by a 
hook. How ia the Greeks improved upon these primitive methods it is 
difficult to say, as their literature ftimishcs no details on the sub)ec^ but there 
is a tradition that the Athenians raised a stattie to Phillatius, who invented a 

!;lue for fastening together leaves of parchment or papyrus. Nay, Suidas, who 
ived in the tenth century, contends that the Golden Fleece was only a book 
bound in sheepskin which lauRhl the art of making gnltL IMd the Romans, 
profiting by the invention of Phillatius, glue their papyrus leaves into book-t ? 
A pretty controversy might be raised over a passage in one of Cicero's letters 
to Atticus. He asks for a couple of librarians to glue (^utinare\ his books. 
Dibdin translates the word " conglutinate." That ftrst syllable is the bone of 
contention. Did Cicero mean to have his manuscripts made up in books, or 
did he only require the sheets to be fastened into rolls, in the usual Roman 
manner? Dibdin l>elicves the former. But it is an arricle of faith with the 
modern bibliophile that Dilidin made a tnislake wherever possible, and that 
mistakes were iKissible to him where they would have been impossible to any 
one else. Nevertheless, the papyrus rolls were in theit way handsome speci- 
mens of the art of bookbinding, with their leather covers, gold bosses, gold 
ir^inder, ^nd perfumed illuminated leaves. Mediicval bindings were gener- 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. loi 

alljr of carved ivory, metal, or wood, covered irith itamped leather, and 
fr«]iiently adorned vrilh bosses of gold, gems, and precious stones. Of course 
tbey could not be kept on shelves, like modem volumes; (hey would have 
scratched one another. Each had its embroidered silken case, or tkemitt, ant^ 
when especiallif valuable, its casket of gold. Books in libiatles, churches, 
and other public places were protected from theft by being chained lo shelves 
and reading-desks. When, as often happened, the volume was loo heavy to 
be lifted, the desk upon which it was chained was made to revolve. A print in 
La Croix's " Le Moyen Age et la Renaissance," representing the library in the 
University of Leyden, shows that this custom continued down to the seven- 
teenth century. Books so chained were called Catenati. With the ii 



of printing, regular bookbinding, in the modern sense of the word, began. 
Wixiden cavers and stamped pig-skin gradually gave way before the lighter 
styles introduced by the Italians and perfected by the French. Early in the 
sixteenth century morocco was introduced, the arts of the printer and the 
biitder were differentiated, and new decorai' ---'>-- 



of enerey thus attained and its direction into the right channel. The bindings 
aflectedby the great people of the court of France had a distinct individualily. 
Henri [I. and Diane de Poictient displayed the crescent, the how, and the 
quiver uf Diana, and the blended initials n. and D. Francis I. had his sala- 
manders. Marguerite the flower from which she derived her name. The pious 
Henri HI. rejoiced in figures of the Crucifixion, in counterfeit tears with long 
curly tails, and in various emblems of mortality. In tiie reign of Louis XIV. it 
became fashionable to emboss the owner's arms upon his books. Madame de 
Maintenon had her famous copy of the "De Imitatione Chrisli" so decorated, 
— the copy which contained the engraving of the lady saying her prayers at 
SL-Cyr, when the roof of the chapel opens and a t^vine voice says, "Tins is 
she in whose beauty the king is well pleased." But the engraving was 
thought indiscreet and suppressed. These blazons needed no special skill, 
and they do not improve the beauty of a volume, hut they are now valued at 
exorbitant prices if they evidence that the book belonged to some famous 
library or some exalted personage. In the eighteenth century, ornamental 
l^res of birds and flowers became common, together with mosaics of varinus- 
colored leather. The Revolution brought temporary ruin upon the an of 
bookbinding. Morocco was culpable luxury, and coats of arms were an insult 
to the Republic There is an oft-quoted story of the French literary man of 
'794t a great reader, who always stripped o5 the covers of his books and 
threw them out of his window. What had a citizen to do with morocco bind- 
ilh the gildings of Le Gascon or Derome, the trappings of an effete 
■ ftrh ' 



ing-man of any other guild, cannot use a gorgeously- bound book as one of the 
implements of his trade. He puts an inky pen into the leaves of one volume, 
be l^t another on its face, he uses the leg of a chair to keep a folio open and 



[ the pregnant passage. But there is a class of drones, of literary 
Toluptuariea and sybarites, who love to see their libraries well clothed. 

Perhaps the most unique binding in the world is in the Albert Memorial 
Exhibition in Exeter. England. It is a Tegg's edition of Milton (1S51). and, 
according to an affidavit pasted on the fly-leaf, (he binding is part of the skin 
of one George Cudmore, who was executed at Devon March 35, 1S30. The 
skin is dressed white, and looks something like pig-skin in grain and texture. 

Bird. A bird In Uie hand !• worth two In tbe bnab. Will Somers, 
the celebrated jester to Henry VIIL, happened to call on Lord Surrey, whom 
he had often, by a well-timed jest, saved from the king's displeasure, and 
whok consequently, was always glad to see him. He was on this occasion 
irthered into the aviary, where he fbtind my lord amusing himself with hli 
9" 



...Google 



loa HAND y-BOOK OF 

tririls. Somers happened to admire Ihc plumage or a kingfisher. "Bymj 
Lady, my prince of wits, 1 will give il to you." Will gkip|>cd about with de- 
light, and swore by the great Harry he was a moat noble genlleman. Awajf 
Weill Will wilh his kingfisher, telling all his acquaintances whom he met that 
his friend Surrey had just presented him with il. Now, il so happened that 
l.ord Northampton, who had seen Ihia bird the day previous, arrived al Lord 
Surrey's just as Will Somers had left, with the intention o( asking the bird of 
Surrey for a present lo a lady friend. Great was his chagrin on finding ihe 
bird gone. Surrey, however, consoled him with saying thai he knew .Somers 
would restore il if he (Surrey) promised him two some other day. Away 
weni a messenger to the prince of wits, whom he Found in rapturcH wilh bis 
bird, and to whom he delivered his lord's message. Great was Will's sur- 
prise, bul he was not to be bamboozled by even the monarch himselE "Sirrah," 
said Will, " tell your master Ihat I am much obliged for his liberal cifTer of Iwo 
for one, but Ihat I prefer one bird in hand to Iwo in Ihe bush." This is the 
good old story lold about the phrase, but, if true, Somers was quolinE rather 
than originating, as Ihe proverb antedates him. The analogous Fiencn saying 
is " Un tiens vaut deux tu I'auras." 

Bird. A littls bird told ms. An almost universal adage, based on Ihe 
popular idea that this apparently ubiquitous wanderer, from Ihe vantage- point 
of the upper air, spied out all strange and secret things, and revealed them to 
such as could undetsland. Thus, in Eccles, x. 20 1 "Curse not the king, no, 
not in thy Ihoughl 1 and curse not the rich in thy bed-chamber : for a bird of 
Ihe air shall carry the voice, and thai which hath wings shall tell the mailer." 
The Greek and Roman soothsayers not only drew auguries from Ihe flight of 
birds, but some pretended 10 a knowledge of their language which made Iheni 
privy to Ihe secrets they had to reveal. And how was Ihis knowledge 
attained ? There were various recipes. Pliny recommends a mixture of 
snake's and bird's blood. Melampus is more exacting. He says you must 
have your ears licked by a dragon; but then few of us have any social 
acquauilance wilh dragnns. Nevertheless, the art mu acquired by many. 
Solomon, according to ihe Koran, was lirsl informed by a lapwing of all the 
doings of the Queen uf Sheba. Mahomet himself was inslrucled by a pigeon, 
whicn whispered in his ear in presence uf the multitude. In the Mahabharata, 
King Nsinata is taught by a dove, which is the spirit uf God. In the old 
wood-cuts of Ihe " Golden Legends" Ihe Popes are distinguished by a dove 
whispering in their ear. In the Saga of Siegfried the hero understands bird- 
language, and receives advice from his feathered friends. And talking birds, 
as well as other animals, appear in the folk-lore of every country. Proverbial 
and popular literature also abound with allusions 10 the spying habits of birds, 
' n the old Greek saw, " None sees me but the bird thai flieth by," to the 
;e in the Nibelungen LJed, one of many, " No one hears us but God 
le forest bird." An eavesdropper is ever a gossip, so it is an easy tran- 
sition from listening to repealing what is heard. 
The verytastlinesof Shakespeare's "Henry [V., Part II." refer looursubjecii 
W< beu our dvU iwonli and nilivt lirt 
Ai fu u Fruce : I hard ■ Inrd u •ing. 
Wh«e mink: 10 my ihinking pluied Ifae kui(. 
Bla datqol olto dat {L, " He gives twice who gives quickly"), a proverb 
shortened from the 245lh sentence of Publius Syrus, " Innpi beneficium bis 
qui dat celetiler" (" He gives a double beneAt to the needy who gives 
kiy"). Even a prompt reiuaal, according to the same aulhotity. should be 
irompt : " Pars est beneficii quod petttur si cito neges" (" A prompt refusal 
las in part the grace of a favor granted"). And Shakespeare's lines are used 
o urge expedition in all things, good or evil : 



d*^e f 



"- X-, 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 

t ven done when Mi done, then 'tven weU 



QtuoiEIIj 



B9 dilatory eaough Lo tuits, of her own DHtirn ; and Ihe Lord lYcssura 









Bishop (Gr. hionoirof , " overlooker," " overseer"}- A curunis example of 
word-chanee. as effecled by (he genius of different toiigues, is furnished by 
the English biibi^ and the French hii^. Both are Trom the same root, 
furnishing, perhaps, the only example o( two words from a common slem so 
modifying themselves in huloruai times as not lo have a letter in common, 
(Of course many words from a &r-off Aryan slem are In Ihe same condition.) 
The English strikes off the initial and terminal syllables, leaving only piscop, 
which (he Saion preference for the softer labial and hissing sounds niodiSed 
into bishop. Evfgue (formerly evesque) merely softens (he / into v and 
drops (he last syllable. 

Biter Bit A proverbial phrase meaning that one is caught in one's own 
trap, that the (ables have been turned. Biter is an old word fnr sharper, and 
may be found with that meaning at least as fat back as 1680. But early in the 
eighteenth century the humorous diversion known as a bite was introduced 
into exalted circles. Swift, in a letter 10 Rev. Dr. Tisdall, December 16, 1703, 
describes it thus : " I'll teach you a way to outwit Mrs. Johnson ; it is a new- 
fashioned way of being witty, and they call it a bite. Vou must ask a banter- 
ing question, or tell some damned lie in a serious manner, and then she will 
answer or speak as if you were in earnest, and then err you, ' Madam, there's 
a bite I' 1 would not have you undervalue this, for it is the constant amuse- 
ment in court, and everywhere else among the great people ; and I let you 
know it. in order lo have it obtain among you, and leach you a new reiine- 
menL" Now, when the gudgeon refused to rise to the bait, one can well 
understand that Ihe biter might be said to be bit Another very plausible 
derivation of the phrase, which, even if not its actual origin, undoubtedly helped 
to establish it in popular favor, is thus suggested by a correspondent in Notes 
and Qutriei (siith series, iv. 544) : "A case came within my own knowledge 
not long ago, where the severe remedy was tried of biting a child who had 
contracted the habit of biting others, I have no doubt that il will be found 
to be a recognized part of old-liuhioned nursery discipline, which gave rise to 
the common expression, the biter bit." 

BlttM end, originally a nautical expression applied to the end of a ship's 
cable. Admiral Smyth s "Sailor's Word-Book" explains it as " that part of 
the cable which is abaft tha bitU," — two main pieces of timber to which a 
cable is fastened when a ship rides at anchor. When a chain or rope is paid 
out to the Utter end, no more remains to be let go, Il seems, therefore, that 
the phra.se "to the bitter end" was originally used as equivalent to the ex- 
treme end, bul the non-nautical mind (misinterpreting Ihe word titter) gradu- 
ally made il synonymous with to Ihe bitter dregs, to the death, in a severe or 
pitiless manner, from a fancied analogy to such expressions as a " bitter foe." 
"the biiier east wind," etc. 

Bitter Street in " As you Like It," Shakespeare makes his Jaques speak 
of "chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancies" (Act iv., Sc, ^), Some edi- 
tions would have us read food instead of cud, but the proverbial use of Ihe 
phrase discards all conjectural amendment, — the more so that in this case it is 
a distinct defilement of sense and sound. The close approximation of plea*- 



Googlc 



HANDY-BOOK OF 

authors, both before and since Martial 

EKffidlis, fmcilis, jucundid, Acobus n idem \ 

Quarles comes very close to the Shakespearian phrase in (he line^ 

Spenser says, — 

And here are a Tew more examples : 



Behind' Ihe Bepi?!^ n 
Appra.c1.ii.E comfort 


tcn'\a»At 


Ch«d«dby«bkr°'S"u 


inful iDife 
ny of life. 

Cll«Y. 


Under pain pleuure 
Uoder pItuuR pain 


ao«: ThtSfhinx. 


m.1. of pleuure i. .^m^ 


m>: J^ilTuaeUi. 



1 IweetneH m ^^^^^ 
, ,.... PuUnE is Buch nreet urroi 



Good-nifhl, gDod-nichl I PuUnf is Huch nreet urrow 
*" It 1 (lull ur Eood-Dight lill it be siocrow. 

SHjkKRSPSAXS : Rmit and yoliil, Acl U. 



In black and white is to preserve it in print or in writing. 
least as old as Ben Jonson's time : 

Ihiveitbenin black tBi -tflnlti/iaU eul l/it marranl) .—Eviry Maniu kit Humtur, 

There is a current phrase for a paradoiical or illogical reasoner, " He Would 
try to prove that blacit is white." Curiously enough, in the etymological sense 
black ii white. The word black (Aoglo-Saion Mac, Mate) is rundameii tally 
the same as the old German 6laeh, now only to be found in (wu r>r three com- 
pounds, — e^., Blach/tld, a level held. It meant originally level, bare, and was 
used to denote black, bare of color. But the nasalized form of black is blank, 
which also meant originally bare, and was used in the sense of while, because 
white is (apparently) bare of color. 

Black Box. When Charles II. was king and the Duke of York heir 
preiiumptive, a large parly of the common people wished to have llie Duke 
of Monmouth, Charles's putative son, recogniied as heir to the crown, and a 
legend was started that there eiisled somewhere a black boi containing a 
written marriage contract between the king and Monmouth's mother, the 
"bold, brown, and beautiful" Lucy Wallers. In '■ Lorna Doone," John Ridd 
says of his mother, " She often declared that it would be as famous in history 
at the Rye House, or the meat-lub, or (lie great black box, in which she was 



.d by Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. It>S 

Block Monday. The nams given to a memorable Easier Monday in ihe 
year 1351, which was very dark and mistv. A great deal of hail fell, and ihe 
cold in said to have been so inCenae that hundreds died from Jls effects. The 
name afterwards came to be applied to the Monday after Easier of each 
year. It is also a scbool-boy term for the Monday on which school reopens 
after vacation. 

Blaok IVBtob. The name by which the Forty-Second Highlanders ate 
bmiliatly known in the British army. Among the many deeds of daring per- 
ibrmed by them in recent wars three stand out pre-eminent. They were one 
of the three Highland regiments with which Sir Colin Campbell (afterwards 
Lord Clyde) br^e the Russian centre at the Alma, on Ihe 20th of Septem- 
ber, 1854. Thev formed pan of the immortal "Ihin red line tipped with 
steel" against which an overwhelming Kussian force shattered itself in the 
memoT^le attack upon Balaklava five weeks later. In the advance upon 
Coomassie during General Wolseley's Ashantee campaign, in January. 1874, 
the " Ulack Watch" bore the brunt of the great fight at Amoaful, suffering 
severe loss in carrying at the |H)int of the layonet a thick wood held by na- 
tive sharp-shooters. Indeed, they have fully obeyed the injunction with which 
their chief led them up (he Alma hill-side : " Now, my men, make me proud 
of the Highland Brigade." 

Blamay literally means a little field (Irish blama, diminutive of Mar, a 
"field"). Its popular signification of flattery, palavering rhodomontade, or 
wheedling eloquence may have originated in LordClancarly s frequent promises, 
when the prisoner of Sir George Care w, to surrender his strong castle of Blarney 
to the soldiers of the queen, and as nlien inventing some smooth and plausi- 



« for exonerating himself from his promise, tllaniey (. 
, osinic ruin, situated in the village ol Blarney, some ^ui . ... 

Cork, was buMt in the early part of the Gueenlh century by Cormac McCarthy, 



the Prince of Desmond. No one appears to know the exact origin of the 
famous Blarney Stone, or whence it derived its miraculous power of endowing 
those who kiss it with the gift of " blarney." In some way it found itself one 
day upon the very pinnacle of the castle tower with the date 1703 carved upon 
II It is now preserved and held in place by two iron girders between huge 
merlons of the northern projecting jiarapet, nearly a hundred feet above the 



feel degraded by following Ihe general example. Like the famous toe of St. 
Peter's statue in Rome, the lip-service of tourists is gradually wearing it 
away. The date has already been obHteraled, and the shape and size luve 
altered so much that people who visit it at long intervals find it difficult to 
believe it is the same slune. 

Biases, in English and American slang, a euphemism lor the infernal 
Tenons, from the (lames which theologians are wont to describe. This is 
evidently the meaning in expressions like "Go to blaies 1'' But in what looks 
at first sight like an identical expression, " Drunk as blazes," another ety- 
mology has been suggested, making it a corruption of Blai^ers or Blaizers, — 
£/., the mummers who took part in Ihe processions in honor of the good bishop 
and martyr St. Blaise, patron saint of English wool-COmbers. The uniform 
con vitality on these occasions made the simile an appropriate one. 

Bl«Bsins — Cmie. Walter Scott makes one of his characters desoibe 
Rob Roy as "o'er bad for blessing, and o'er good for banning." This same 
antithesis had already been put into proverbial verse Ibnn : 



Coogk" 



Io6 HAl^DY-BOOK OF 

Tw bad lor ■ blevdnc too Eood foi a cune^ 

I wlih is my loiil you «m btilet or wont. 

In the same way Corneille said of Richelieu, after his death, — 

II \ bli [rop dc nl^pour en dire ttu Inen! 

BUncUnaa'a Holiday, a humorous locution, Tormerly used more widely 
than at present, to deHJenate ihe lime )usl before the candles or lamps are 
lighted, when It Is too dark to work and one is obliged to rest, or "take a 
holiday." With the su|>erior readiness of gas and electricity, the holiday now 
need be of infinilesimal duration. The phrase is found as far back as 1599, 
in Nash's " Lenten Stuffe" \Harl. Mile., vi. 167) : " What will not blind Cupid 
do in the night, which is his blindman's holiday?" Swift's " Polite Conversa- 
tion," a mine of cmilemporary slang, does not overlook this phrase: " Indeed. 
madam, it is blindman's holiday ; we shall soon be all of a color." 



Blooka of Five, a phrase that became famous in American politics during 
the Harrison- Cleveland Presidential campaign (|83S). The Democratic man- 
agers made wide circulation of a letter alleged to have been written by Colonel 
W. W. Dudley. Treasurer of the Republican National Committee. Its most 
salient feature was a recommendation to secure " floaters in blocks of five." 
This was construed to mean the purchase of voters at wholesale rates. Colonel 
Dudley denied the letter, and instituted suits fur libel, which were abandoned 
after the election. 



c havehcn only a modlfiaitiop of jin old w 
Tbis phciK origiiuied Cram the praclicc 
pertons wiib ajob la carry ihrougb. uatd 
. Ihc accuser oTSocmtes, u.uailTbu ihe i' 



remariu. "doubtictt a jury nuib would r«l 
mUer confidrncc if hf knew he had nine olhen wiling by him who FiMcl been bribed." 

the Bibjtnrished^ by Colonel Dudley in hi)°lei«!re'hour» bef^'Se'neil elcokJJit^ld bi 
very gnteTully received.— M. H. MoKGAK, in i lener to N. Y. A'a/uH of November ii. i3«9. 

Blood is thicker than water.— 1>., a telation is dearer than a slran^er. 
This phrase is someiimes ascribed to Commodore Talnall, of the United 
Slates Navy, who assisted the English in Chinese waters, and, in his despatch 
to his government, justilied his interference in these words. Sometimes it is 
ascribed to Scott, who puts it in the mouth of Itailie Nicnl Jarvie in "Guy 
Mannering," ch, mvii. But Tatnall and Scciti were merely Quoting an old 
saw duly recorded in "Ray's Proverbs" (1671), which was probably in common 
use long before. Blood stands fur traceable, admitted consangumity ; water, 
for the chill and colorless Huid that flows through the veins of the rest of 
mankind, homiats hemini lupi, who take but cold interest in the happiness 
of a stranger. Water, too, in our early writers, was symbolic of looseness, 
inattachment, falsity. " Unstable as water" is the scriptural phrase. Thicker 
•ignifles greater consistency and substance, — hence closeness of attachment, 
adhesiveness. " As thick as thieves," = as close as bad men when banding for 
evil enterprise. Blood is alwavs thought binding. Conspirators have signed 
their bonds with their own blood, as martyrs have their attestation of the 
truth. " He cemented the union of the two families by marriage." is a stock 

Ehrase with historians. Quitting metaphor for physical fact, we find that the 
lood as well as the hair of oxen has been used to bind mortar togethir and 
give greater consistency than nierc water, as is reported of the White Tower 

The proverb may also allude to the spiritual relationship which, according 
to Ihe Roman Catholic Church, is created between the sponsor and the child 



Goo^If 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 107 

The relaiionship by blood would 

Bloody, a vulgar intensive used in a variety of ways, especially by London 
roDgha. Dr. Murray rejects all derivations which would imply any profane 
origin, such as 'sblood or the very absurd By'r Lady suggested by MaxO'Rell, 
He holds that there is good reason to think it was atTrst a rereteiice tu ihe 
habiO of the " bloods" or aristocratic rowdies of the end of (he seventeenth 
and ihe beginning of Ihe eiehleenlh century. Bloody drunk mu»l originally have 
meant as drunk as a blood ; thence the adjective was extended 10 kindred ex- 
pressions, its popularity being greatly enhanced by its sanguinary sound and 
Its affiliation with Ihe adjective in bloody murder, bloody buichei, etc 

Bloody chaam, To Bliake hands acrosB the. An American phrase 
which sprang up immediately after the civil war, among those peace-loving 
orators, writers, and speakers who were anxious I0 oblileiatc all memories o( 
the fratricidal struggle. People of an opposite temper were said to '■ wave Ihe 
bloody shirt," 

Bloody ahirt In American political slang, " (o wave the bloody shirt," 
sometimes euphemized into "the ensanguined garment," means lo keep up 
the sectional issues of Che civil war by appeals 10 pTejudice and passiun. 
A probable origin of the phrase may be found In a Cursican custom nearly, 
if not quite, o^olete. In (he days of (he fierce vmditli — (he feuds wliich 
divided Corsican family from family— bloodshed was a common occurrence. 
Before the burial of a murdered man \iitgridaia was celebrated. This word, 
which literally means a crying aloud, may be translated a " wake," The Ixidy 
of Ihe vlclim was laid upon a plank ; his useless tire-arms were placed near 
bis hand, and his blood-slained shirt was hung above his head. Around the 
rude bier Bat a circle of women, wrapped in their black mantles, who rocked 
themselves lo and fro wilh strange wailings. The men, relalivcs and friends 
of the murdered man, fully armed, Stood around (he room, mad with (hirsl 
(or revenge. Then one of the women — (he wife or mother or sister of the 
dead man — with a sharp scream would snatch the bloody shirt, and, waving 
it aloft, begin the wofm",— Ihe lamentation. Tliis rhythmic discourse was 
made up of allcmale expressions of love for Ihe dead and hatred of his 
enemies ; and its slaitling images and tremendous curses were echoed in the 
faces and muttcrings of the armed mourners. It was by a nol unnatural tran- 
sition that (he phrase "bloody shirt" became applied to demagogical utter. 
ances concerning [he Southern Rebellion. 

Bln« is a favorite adjective for ihe impossible In popular phrase and fable. 
The Blue Flower of the German tomanlicisis represented the ideal, the 
unattainable ; and in Prance Alphonse Karr has domesllcated the similar 
expression " blue roses." "Once In a blue moon" means never. "To blush 
like a blue dog." an expression (hat Is preserved In Swift's " Pullle Conver- 
sation," means not (o blush a( all. More than a century earlier, however, 
Stephen Gosson, in (he"Apologie for the School of Abuse" (1579), speaks 
with similar meaning of "blushing like a black dog." Sometimes blue is 
used as an Intensive. Thus, school-boys speak of "blue fear" and "blue 
funk," and the phrase lo "drink till all is blue" is a( least as old as Ford's 
"Lady's Trial" (1639). "Blue ruin" is a popular English eplthr( fur an 
Inferior sort of eln, and finds its analogue In the French "vin bleu" applied 
to thin sour wine. In French also, as in English, blue is a synmiyme for 
despondency. "To be in (he blues," " to have a fi( of the blue devils," has 
id Gallic equivalent In "en voir des bleues" — a variant of "en voir des 
grises" — and " en £(re bleu," " en res(er tout bleu," — all meaning to despair, to 



Io8 HANDY-BOOK OF 

meet with suffering or disappointment. In English slang "to talk blue" it 
ti) talk immodeslly. " Blue blazes" means hell, — probably from the sulphur 
associated with il. A "blue apron" is an amaleur statesman, from the blue 
apron once botiie by tradesmen generally,— now restricted to butchers, fish- 
mongers, poullerers, etc. 

BlUA Blood. This term comes from the Spanish eiptession sangre atal 
applied to Ihe aristocracy of Caslile and Atagon. After the Moors were 
driven oul of Spain, ihe aiistociacy was held to Consist of those who traced 
their lineage back to ihe time before the Moorish conquest, and especially to 
the fair -haired and light-complexiuned Goths. Their veins naturally appeared 
through their skin of a blue color, while the blood of the masses, contaminated 
by the Moorish infusion and lo lesser degree by miscegenation wilh negroes 
and Basques, showed dark upon Iheir bands and face^ So (he white Span- 
iards of old race came to declare that Iheir blond was blue, while that of the 
common people was black. Owing to inter marriage, there is very litlle 

genuine blue blood left In Spain ; but - "^ — ='- '-- -■ '- --' '-■ 

and purely Gothic, and holding positi 
in Yucatan at the present day. 

In England, however, it wa.1 anciently held that the thick and dark blood 
was the best. " Thin -blooded" or " pale- blooded" means weak and cowardly. 
Shakespeare never loaded words more heavily with significance thati when he 
made Lucio call Angelo, in " Measure for Measure," — 

The wuiion MJUgl and motioni of the ■«□«!. 

Blue Hen'a Chiokena, a nickname for the inhabitants of Delaware. The 
accepted origin is that one Capuin Caldwell, who commanded a Delaware 
regiment, was notorious for bis love of cock-fighting. He drilled his men 
admirably, and they were known in Ihe army as "Caldwell's game-cocks." 
The gallant captain held a peculiar theory that no cock Was really game unless 
il came from a blue ben ; and ibis led lo the subslilution of Blue Hen's 
Chickens as a nickname for his regiment After the Revolutionary war [he 
nickname was applied indiscriminately lo all Delawareans. 

Bins Ughta, an American political term. When the British fleet lay off 
New London, Connecticut, during the war of iSii, blue-lighis were frequently 
seen near Ihe shore. These Commodore Decatur, whose ships lay near by, 
attributed to traitors ; though, indeed, facts go to prove Ihat no American was 
ever discovered burning one. Goodrich, in his " Recollections," says, "Bine 
Lights, meaning treason on (he part of Coniieclicut Federalists during the 
war, is a standard word in the flasn dictionary of Democracy." Again, " Con- 
neclicul Blue Lights are Ihe grizzly monster wilh which the nursing fathers 
and mothers uf Democracy fnghlen Iheir children into obedience — just before 
elections." 

Blae Nose, a common nickname for a Nova-Scotian, sometimes explained 
as an allusion to the purple tinge not rarely seen on Ihe noses of Nova-Sco- 
lians, and presumably due to the coldness of Ihe winters ; sometimes derived 
from the Blue-nosC polato, a great favorite for its delicacy, Il is more jirob- 
able that Ibe name of the potato was based on the sobriquet, and not vice verso. 
Hence Blue-nose potato means a Nova Sculia polalu. 

Blna-a locking, a humc 
an authoress or a lady of a ^ 
altered standard of judgment as to female educ 
coniparaiive disuse. In the eighteenth century and the beginning of the 



/.ooglc 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. I09 

present it was v«ry common. The familiar explanation '\i (hat the term was 
first applied to a (emale colerie in Dt. Johnson's time. But it is a question 
whether it arose at Mrs. Montagu's or at Mrs, Vesey's receptions, or what 
was ihe exact reason of its adoption. One story states that a Mr. Stillingfleel 
was one of the males admitted lo Mrs. Montagu's evening ])arties, that his 
dress was rematliably plain, even to a pair uf blue worsted stockings in lieu 
of silk, but that his conversalion was so stimulating that in his absence the 
remark was frequently made, "We can do nothing without Ihe blue stock- 
ings." And thus by degrees the title was established. This version seems lo 
be supported by a passage in one of Mrs. Montagu's letlers dated 1757. where 
she observes that Mr. Slillingfleet "has left off his old friends and his blue 
stockings, and has taken lo frequenting operas and olher gay assemblies." 
But in the "Memoirs" of one of the greatest of all the 1)1 uc -stockings, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Carter herself (published in i3i6), it is said of Mrs. Vesey's literary 
parlies that "there was no ceremony, no cirds, and no supper. Even dresa 
was so little regarded that a foreign gentleman who was 10 go there with an 
acquaintance was told in jest that it was so little necessary that he might 
appear there, if he pleased, in blue stockings. This he understood in the 
literal setise, and, when he spoke of it in French, called it the Bas Dleu meet- 
ing. And this was the origin of the ludicrous appellation of the Hlue Stocking 
Club." Hannah More, also, in Ihe "advertisement" to her plea~ '"' 



poem "The Bas Bleu; u^. Conversation," writes, "The following Ititle o 
lis birth and name to the mistake of a foreigner of distinction, who gave 
literal title of the Bas Bleu to a small party of friends who have often been 



oiled, by way of pleasantry, the Blue -Stockings." Surely Hannah must have 
known sometning definite about the derivation of the title of her own beloved 
clique. She, too, slates that Ihe society used lo meet at Mrs. Vesey's, not at 
Urs. Montagu's. 

Bltto, Ana. The fancy thai blue was the color of truth, as green was of in- 
constancy, is a very anci'-nl one, dating back to the party distinctions in ancient 
Rome. In the factions of the Circus of Ihe Lower Empire the emperor Anas- 
lasius secretly favored the CrwM, Justinian openly protected the Blati: thence 
the former became the emblem of disaffectirm, and the latter of loyally. The 
idea appears very early in English literature. Thus, in the "Squiere's Tale" 
erf Chaucer, we read, — 

And by bin beddc'i bed she nude > mew, 



LoyDUdu foike (quod ihe) tlui kuele id blew. 
Id »Ip;H Ihey were Uld ever wil be due. 

"True blue" as tbe partisan color of the Covenanters, in opposition to Ihe 
•carlel badge of Charles I., was first adopted by Ihe soldiers of Lesley and 
Montrose in 1639, partly under the influence of the Mosaicat precepi, " Speak 
to the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in tbe 
borders of their garments, throughout their generations, and that they put 
upon the fringe of the borders a riband of blue" {/ifiimbcri xv. 38). The 
phrase true Hue now has a general application, and means stanch, loyal, firm 
m the laith. 

Bo«t^ To b« in the sam«. a ptovertHal expression, common lo many lan- 
guages, meaning to be embarked in the same enterprise, to be in Ihe same 
condition, espeaally if nnfortanale. The words "i»e are in the same boat" 



no HANDY-BOOK OF 

were DMd by Clement I., Bishop of Rome (circa a.d. 91 to too), in a letter 

)o the church of Cotinth un the occasiun of a dissension. The letter, which 
is still extant, is prized as an important memorial of the early Church. 

Hax yc pun, h likewiK [Mra bavt w*. 

For in one boju wc both embarked be. 

Hudson : yWrf*. iU. 1. aj. (158*). 

Boa^ To baT« an oai In aitotli«r'B. To meddle with other people's 

BoboUtlon, Bobolltioniat; derisive epithets for Abolition, Abolitionist, 
used by the enemies o( the emancipation muvemenl in its early days. A cor- 
respondent of the New York Nation remembered having seen the word bobo- 
lition at least as earlv as 1814 " on a bioadsheel containing what purported to 
be an account of a Iwbolilion celebration at Boston, July 14. At the lop uf 
the broadsheet was a grotesque procession of negroes. Among the toasts, or 
sentiments, were the lollowing : 

" Massa Wilberrorce, de brack man bery good friend ; may he nebbei want 
a bolish to he boot." 

" De Nited Stale ; de land ob libity, "cept he keep slave at de South. No 
cheer I Shake de head I" 

" Dis year de fourth ob July come on de fifth ; so, ob course, de fourteenth 
come on de fifteenib." 

Book beer, a corruption of "Eimbecker" beer, its original home being 
the little town of Eimbcck, Hanover. So famous was it all through the 
Middle Ages that no other beer, nor even the costliest wine, could compare 
with it in popularity. Attempts were soon made to produce it in other local- 
ities. Thus the remembrance of the original name was gradually losL " Eim- 
beck" became successively " Eimbock," " eio bock," and finally plain " bock." 
This popular word •transformation is already several hundred years old, for in 
the Land- und Poliieiordnung of 1616 a "bock meet" is referred to, which 
"should only be brewed to meet the necessities of the sicL" Popular ety> 
mology, of course, insists that bock beer means goat beer, bock being German 
for goat, and this fancy is perpetuated by the picture of a goat rampant, which 
usually appears on lavern.signs and olMfcr advertisements of the beer. Tra- 
dition even furnishes a myth to explain the phrase. Long ago, it is said, the 
devil appeared in the guise of a goat to a love-sick and rejected swain, and 
taught him the secret of making bock beer for the customary price of his soul. 
The people raved over the new decoction. The brewer prospered and married 
his sweetheart. At the end of the stipulated time the devil appeared to claim 
his own, but was skilfully inveigled into a bock beer intoxication, and when he 
awoke from his drunken stupor he was glad to sneak home without his priie. 
Bock beer, it may be added. ditTers from ordinary lager only in that an excess 
of malt is added to make it sweeter. It will not keep as long as lager. Brewed 
in January or February, it is placed on the market in April or May, and is in 
season for about a month. 

Bogus, American slang for counterfeit, spurious, fictitious, which has now 
passed into general circulation. The amateur etymologist has made many 
interesting guesses as to the origin of this word, but none have any philo- 
logical value. Here is the most amusing and the most widely current, 
copied (irom the Boston Daily Courier of June 11, 1857 \ 






ippijiing 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 

» nr Ihc Koulbwat with ■ vsit amounl of COUDK 
lut of the " forgetive 



mc Kicu Well and ponioDi or ihc Southwat with i 

»id '■ Bc»b1>=«-" T*" WmirD pwplt, who an n , . . 

ud ha bill*, and all oiber bilS of like cbanclu, wen univcnally itylcd bogus currency,™ 

The earliest use of the word bo far discovered is recorded in the " Nctr 
Enelish Dicliunaty" as occurring in the Painesville |0.) TtligrafA of July 6 
ancf Novembei 2, l?^l^. It is (here a substantive, applied lo an apparatus Tor 
coining false money. Dr. Murray has a sly hit at Ihe "bogus derivations 
circumatanlially given," but does not Commit himself to any. 

Boiled or Biled Bblrt, a white shirt, — especially when newly laundricd, — 
a termof mild derision, if not actual reproach, which sprang up among Ihe 
pioneer miners of the Western States, and is still more common in the West 
than in the East 

fiui they were rough id thote timet I If a man wujted a fighi on hla handi without any 
■bDoying delay, all nv had lo do was u> appear in public in a while shin or a stovepipe hat, 
Hid he would be accommodated. For those p«p]e hated ariitocratfl^ They had a pAt' 
licular and Eaallgnanl animosity toward what they called a bilcd shin.^ — Mark TwAir^; 

Boodla. There arc two American slang words spelt thus, each distinct in 
meaning and apparently of different origin and etymology. The firsl and 
elder word, which now appears more frequciitly in the intensified form caboo- 
dle, meaning a crowd, a company, is not impossibly derived from the old 
English ioOei, a bundle, and there is reason to believe that it is a survival of a 
Cormer English colloquialism. F. Markham, in his " Book of Honour," iv. z, 
speaks of "all the buddle and musse" of great men. The later and now 
more common word, meaning money, and especially money gained by gam- 
Uing. venality, at other dubious methods, or employed for corrupt political pur- 
poses, may be a form of the Dutch word btdJtl, which means " pocket" and 
also " purse." 

The Professor bu Wn (o see me. Came In, gloiloia, al sboul twelve o'clock, last nighl. 

cieatioD" in all its details &om ihal set of his. He would like to hhvc the whole bondk of 
tbem (I remonstrated afainat this word, but (he ProfeHor said it was a diabolish good word, 
and he would have no outer), with Lheit wives and childien, sbipvptecked on a remote isEaod, 
jusi Vt see how splendidly they would leoriEaniie society. — O. W. Holhbs : Anixrai eft/u 
Sriat/atI- TaiU, p. iio. 

Book. "The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a 
book about it." This saying has been attributed both to Beaconsfield and lo 
Archbishop Thomson. But before the lime of either, Lord Kames (1696- 
1782), according to Tytler's Life, had advised Sir Gilbert Elliot, whi> com- 
plained of a lack of information on a certain branch of political economy. 
" Shall I tell you, my friend, how you will come to understand it P Go and 
write a book upon it." And over in France one of Ijjtd Karnes's contempo- 
raries had given vent to exactljr the same idea ; •' The best way to become 
familiar with any given subject is to write a book upon it" But a far safer 
mle is that propounded by the Autocrat of the Breakftist-Table (p. 134), as 
applicable to writing as to speaking : " Don't I read up various matters to 
talk about at this table or elsewhere ? — No, that is the last thing I would 
do. I will tell you my rule. Talk about those things you have long had in 
vonr mind, and listen to what others say about subjects you have studied 
but recently. Knowledge and timber shouldn't be much used till they are 



Book, Beww* of tlw aum of one. A proverbial expression frequently 



Iia HANDY-BOOK OF 

quoted ill the Latin form, " Cave ab homiiie unius libri." The phrase is often 
attributed to Teretice, but is not to be found in his extant works. Probably 
it originated in the story of 8t. Thomas Aquinas, thus related by Jeremy 
Taylur : " Aquinas was once asked with what coinpeiidiuin a man might best 
become learned. He answered, By reading of one booh ; meaning that an 
understanding entertained with several objects is intent u|)on neither, and 

Southey, in "The Doctor," commenting on this passage, says, "The man 
of one book is, indeed, proverbially formidable to all conversational figu- 
rantes. Like your sharp-shooter, he knows his piece pcrfeclly and is sure of 
hit shot." And he quotes the following lines from Lope de Vega : 
Que a anidiuiw noublc 



^M^li 



^JT^ 



Johnson tells bow he once met the poet Collins, after the latter became 
deraiiged, carrying with him an English Testament. " I have but one book," 
Slid Collins, "but it is the best." This is alluded to in his epitaph in Chich- 
ester Cathedral : 

Sougbl on one book hit Iroubted mind Is ml. 

Sometimes the phrase is used in a derogatory sense. Thus, Edward Everett 
applies it " nut only lo the man of one book, but also to the man of one idea, 
in whom the sense of proportion is lacking, and who sees only that for which 

Book-plate. A label bearing a name, crest, monogram, or inscription 
pasted in a book to indicate its ownership, as well as its position in a library, 
etc Mr. Leicester Warren, in his treatise on " Book-Plates," complains that 
the word is clumsy and ambiguous, inasmuch as it might readily be inter- 
preted plates to illustrate books. Abroad the term used is cx-liirii, and he 
regreti that it cannot be domesticated. 

Book-plates arc at least as old as Albert I>iirer, who engraved several, the 
best-known being a wood cut designed for his friend Wilibald Pirckheimer, the 
Nuremberg jurist Other contemporary engravers executed them. Beham 
made one for the Archbishop Albert of Mentz, his patron, about 1534. An im- 
pression, believed to be unique, is in the Print-Room at the French Biblio- 
thique Nationale. In England the custom of using book-plates was uf much 
later date, the oldest yet identified bearing the date 166S and the name of 
Francis Hill. .The 68 is filled in with a pen. The whole number of book- 
plates in the seventeenth century is very small, amounting only to those of 
thirteen persons, some of whom, however, had two. As to the name "book- 
plate," that seems to be of still later date, and cannot be traced back farther 
than the jiear 1791, when it is used of some of Hogarth's early engravings 
by his biographer, Ireland; though, twenty yean earlier, Horace Walpole 
almost used it, — for he speaks of a " plate to put in Lady Orfurd's books" 
being engraved by George Virtue. Book-plates uf an artistic or non-heraldic 
character are comparatively modern, not to be found, perhaps, before the 
French Revolution. Men fond of books were contented then with the 
plain name, if they had no crest or did not care to incur the lax for show- 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. II3 

The interest of the pl»te is communicated to the book, and thai of (he book 
10 (he plate. But laderly an unrortuna[e fad has sprung up for book-platea 
alone, book-plates dismembered frotn (lie books which give them an intelli- 
gible value, and only leaving in (he holder's hand a beggarly engraving of a 
COM of arms, such as he migh( have obtained out of an ordinary ])eerage. 
True, not all plates are armorial. Some bear only a name and an inscripdon. 
The earliest of these latter is probably Pirckheimer's " Inicium Sapiencix 
Timor Domini." It is as(onishing how many l>ook-mot(oes are direcled 
against the cultivated seekers of wisdom from books not their own. ^ays a 
Saturday Reviewer, " We have in our possession a copy of Paley's 'Uuthic 
Architecture,' on which the name and the address of the pious Mary Anne 
Schimmelpenni nek having been given, we find averse from Psalm xixvii. 1 
'The wicked borroweth and payeth not again,' — a sentence which makes us 
hasten to affirm that we bought and did not borrow the book." The same 
te»( reappears in the Iwoks of other collectors. Another text frequently 
•elected as a motto is from the Parable of the Ten Virgins : " Go ye t; ■■" " 
to them that sell, and buy for yourselves." The following lines, of u" " 
parentage, are also great favorites : 

"^ N™ nrflnmu?™' " ™ 
These verses remind one of the English distich which school-boys are in 
the habit of scrawling in their tc;i(-books, not infrequendy illuminated with 
a picture of a man swinging from what appears like a rudimentary conception 
of a gallows : 

For fi^ iht''g»llo«wIll ^"ouTend.' 

it who used to put in all his books. 
In suave and gentlemanly contrast (a 
I the inscription which one of the famous Groliers 
is said to have inserted on the fly-leaf of his books : "Jo. Grolierii et Ami- 
corum," — Joseph Grolier and his Friends. Exactly (he same story is told of 
Michel Begon, and it is further related that when (hat gentleman was cau- 
tioned by his librarian against lending his books, for fear of losing them, he 
replied, " I would rather lose them than seem to disltust any honest man." 
A mild and palatable caution was this one used by Theodore Christopher 
Lilienthai (firm (750), who placed it under a picture of lilies surrounded by 
bees, — proljably an allusion (o his own name : 

Uten conccui), led nulUu ibuKR libra, 
Lilia noD macuUt Hd modo tjui^i mpu. 
And this was long before Darwin had promulgated his views as to the 
fertilUation of flowers by insects 1 

The following macaronic bit of geniality is from the fly-leaf of a copy of 
Virgil, 1582 : 

tfU liber pcrtLDCi. beue It well En mind, 

A pu» sempilenu, JcHuChiiil mtbriDge 



insects which feed upon the leaves of books : hence a term for a great reader, 
one who, in metaphorical language, " devours books." Probably this use of the 
word has been influenced by the directions which the angel gave to St. JohT 
m handing him the book with the seven seals I "Take it, and eat it up; and 



114 HANDY-BOOK OF 

t( shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be ii 
(Ret,. X. g). The Latin form, " Accipe Ubrum et 
used as an inscriptlnn on mediaeval book-plates. 



tne, and were cuncd by litnRTJaiu u iti/ia audax and fei 
kJ liiddi oi ihCK Ulile pUguq. One una a turt of dcatb-wj 



They wen dunilicd, like o ^ _ 

find thai ihclr dlgaiive pooen, viKurou u Ihty wen. quaiPbcfore the mutniili of^our 
Piodeni bo*^. ChiDA clay, plaaler ^ I'uu. and ocher unwliolesome AlimenlB have CDoquercd 
tiK fifties ckartarum^ They ligh uid ihnveL up. Peace ID the nienwry,fbr it it now hudly 
more Ihan a memory, of the Atilut nmiax, — Bofik^ofrm, vol. iv. 

Boom, in American slang, the eSective launching of anything with itlat 
on the market or on public attention. The " New English Dictionary" traces 
(his use of the word primarily (o a particular application of its meaning uf " a 
loud, deep sound with resonance," with reference not so much to the suund 
as lo "the suddenness and rash with which it is accompanied." But there is 
noted as possibly modifying (he meaning " asKociatiini original or subsequent 
with other senses of the word." The SL Louts Glete Dtmacrat oiaxna lohave 
originated the expression in 1879, when the Grant third-(< 
Slatted. 

'"""""°"™'":s.;: 

lan affaLn, BDd Its «pecial aigmticvicc in a palilicaL tense. L he word vaa fijsl applied 
Cjnill movcmenl, whii;h. on account of its ludden. nuhing characIeT, was aptly termed 

Ldually the word was taken iiuo &vot until all the papers were talking aboui the Oraut 

.nbi^.tL itE^Win.'lh^TUde'n boqin,an'!f ^yoihtU. Narlye^e^puWie 



implished by a 
!, tl«y mighi h. 



Borrowed Daya. The las 
rowed days." At the firesides 
days is given in this quaint ihy 

Manh uid 10 Apcrill, 

And if you'll l»d me dayea three. 

When the three days wen past andVane, 
The three ailty hoggt came hirplin' hame. 
Borrowing. Shakesjieare has summed up in lmmens« amount of wortdly 
wisdom in Polonius's advice to Laertes : 



..Googk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



^«. 

The Old Teslamenl recognizes that the position of a borrower is humiliat- 
ing r " The boriower is servant to the lender" (Prav. xxii. 7). " He that goes 
A-borrowing goes a-sorTowing," says Kraiiklin, in " Poor Richard's Almanac" 
fttf I7S7.— » phtase that he cribbed from Thomas Tusset : 

Who gcKtli ■-barrowiDfi 
G«tb l-VHTDwlllg. 



1, slang foi 



for nonsense, fudge ; originally a Turkish word ir 



appeared in England in iBW, when it * 



Morier's Oriental novel " Ayesha." It is probaUy derived from the Arabic 
mi-JUh, "there is no sucb thing." an expression much used in Yemen and 
Egypt for the single negative ruC, and in the Maghribi or Egyptian dialect 
corrupted to rnUsh, which by the simple interchange of m and l^becomes Mth, 
the Turkish word. 

BottlA-boIder, the second in a prize-fight, one of whose duties is to hold 
the water-bottle, while another assistant sponges the principal between the 
rounds : hence the term is sometimes extended to one who seconds or advises, 
or backs a person or a cause. In 1S51, Lord Falmerston told a deputation 
who waited upon hiro to congratulate him on the success of his effort to liber- 
ate Kossuth, that the past crisis was one which had required much generalship 
and judgment, and that a good deal of judicious bottle- holding was obliged to 
be brought into play. The London Tuiut made a furious onslaught on Pal- 
merston for thus using the phraseology of the pugilistic ring, and snottiy after- 
wards PutuA appeared with a cartoon representing the noble loid as the 
"Judicious Bottle- Holder," — a nickname that clung to him. 

Boab»-Tllll6* (Fr., literally, "rhymed ends"), a form of literary amusement 
in which rhymes being given the participants, they fill up the verses. Accord- 
ing to Manage, the notion of this frivolity was derived from a saying of the 
French poet IJuloI, whereby be accidentally let the cat out of the bag, or, to 
change the metaphor, let the public in behind the scenes. Complaining one 
day c^ the loss of three hundred sonnets, his hearers marvelled at his having 
abont him so large a collection of literary wares, whereupon he explained that 
they were not completed sonnets, but the unarticulaled skeletons, — in other 
words, their prearranged rhyming ends, drawn out in groups of fourteen. All 
Paris was in a roar next day over Dulol's lost sonnets. l)ouls*rim^s became 
the fashion in all the salons. Ladies imposed the task of making ibem upon 
their lovers ; the btaux-esfirils amused their leisure in the same way. Manage 
himself confesses that he had tried and failed. In vain Sarasin attempted to 
ridicule the fad in his " La D^faite des Bonls-Rim^s." It flourished apace in 
France ; it crossed the Channel in due course, and established itself in high 
fkvor with the more ponderous wits of Albion. 



There were public competitions of bouts-rim js at Bath, under the patronage 
of the blue-stocking Lady Millar, and all the rank, beauty, and fashion of the 
place — the beaux and belles, old dandies and reigning toasts — entered in 



contest, and the successful competitor was crowned with myrtle. Mr». De- 
lany, too, was addicted to bouts-rim^s, and very diflerent people — Dr, Priest- 
ley and Mrs. Barbauld (then Miss Aikin) — worked at them in the spare 
: — ^ (jf their Warrington Academy life. 



;i:,vG00gk" 



HANDY-BOOK OF 

n to some of Fanny Bumey's friends at the 
1 literature, numbers among them " Lady 
Millar, who kept a vase wherein fools were wont to put bad verses, and Jer- 
ninghani, who wrote verses lit to be put into the vase of Lady Miliar." Let 
us treat more liindly these kindly aflectations of the pasL Lady Millar's vase 
has a history that is not unentenainine. When on a tour in Italy with her 
husband. Sir John Millar, the excellent, though addle- pated, lady had procured 
the vase at Frascati. It was an admirable bit of antique ware, l^y Millar 
brought it home with her and placed it in her villa. Every Thursday she 
invited her friends to that temple of the Muses, where she officiated as high- 
priestess, and every one was expected to drop in the vase his or her version 
of the rhymes given out ihe preceding Thursday. Only one specimen of these 
effusions has survived, the composition of the then Duchess nf Norlhumber- 
land. The rhymes given were brarniith, itandish, patten, laliH, iJio. Jolis. 
puffing, muffin, Jiast on, Batktaston. It will be seen thai they were not very 
t,if.f to fill in, also that the rhymes are a little shaky. After all, making due 
allowances, the result was not so bad : 



The pen wbich 1 1 
Hu lolig lain UK 



d, 1^01 



r in piiw 



From bcM rKoproTlSSirfoUol °' 



V eu with MUlu u BMhtguton. 
In the "Correspondence of Mrs. Delany, 
to this amusement, and gives a specimen w 
words which had been sent her r 

WhcD fiiendihip «ich u youi 






y, in fiefdor 



No pliice can yield delight wllhoul ymir love. 
Not content with this, however, Mrs. Delany gave a second ver 



Auured of fkilbful Nanny's love. 

e was afforded by Horace Walpole o 



So prevalent had the amusement become that, in 1814, the " Musomanik 
Society" was established at Ansfrufher, in Fifeshire, Scotland, — the parent of 
numerous similar societies which cultivated this form of literature on a little 
oatmeal. These worthy gentlemen actually went so far as to publish a vol- 
ume made up of their improvised stanzas. Here are three efforts based on 
the voxAt fat, Kuffie, mtn, ruffit. They are neither better nor worse than the 



.d by Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



An cluly, hourly, in il 

But then we phjlo»phic i 

Hav« placid winpen a 

Lu( night I left my de*li 

»■« in ibe nreet 1 hev 

And there, lorn off by dr 

1 left my c«t-uilt and 

But the king of ail Bouts-Rimeurs was a . » 

tive of Albany, of Ihe name of Bogart Hin talent for improvisalloL. 

to have been very remarkable. On one occasion certain of his friends, in- 
cluding Colonel y B. Van Scbaick and Charles Fenno Hoffman, determined to 
put il to a crucial test Van Schaick took up a copy of "Childe Harold." 
"Now," he said, "the name of Lydia Kane" (a belle ol that period) "contains 
the same number of letters as a stanza of ' Childe Harold' has lines. Suppose 
you write them down in a column." 
Bogait did as he was told. 

" Now," continued the colonel. " I will open the poem at randum, and will 
dictate to you the rhymes of any stanza on which my finger happens to rest. 
See if you can, within ten minutes, make an acrostic on Lydia Kane whose 
rhymes willl be identical with those of Byron's stanza." 
The stanza happened to be the following : 

And mini ihey full, the jroung, the proud, the bnve, 

The rise of rapiiK ud the fsll d( Spiiii • 
Their doom, not heed the nippli»ni'. >pp«a t 

The VEUnn'i lUn.'youIhVlire, and muhaod'm heut of iteelT 

Bogart cleverly performed his task by producing the following verse within 
the stated time ; 

Ytfla chumi reaiMleu, macchJett ^A, ihall reiEn, 



.ffinnw. 
^ndlord, 
JVbr V Jot-, fire 



er hojdt her infant - ,._ _, 
A Love'i waim regiotu, urami, romaniic Spain. 
'--■ -"-ould your fate to court! your iiepe Drdun, 
would in vain to rcgil pomp a^^iea], 
d lordly hiihoH koeel Ic you in vain, 
- "-'—■- Ire/Love'. power, dot Churchman'! leal 
« Love-i (.Um^t ■/) untainiiheil ueel. 

These are a few specimens of acknowledged bouts-rimrfs. But suppose that 
all poets were as honest as Dulot, as willing lo yield up the secret of their 
inspiration. Do not the best of them have to seek for their rhymes? A 
thought, perchance, having arrived at or about its sonorous harbor from the 
sea, cannot gel in at first, but has to bob about outside till the little pilot-tug 
of some rhyme comes up with the steam up and the flag flying and takes it in 
tow to its moorings. Nay, may il not even occur, after one or two pilot-tugs have 
come up, a bargain cannot be made, or the bat is dangerous for Ihe tonnage, 
and the vessel makes for another port ? Are there not such things as rhymmg 
dictionaries (the ingenious reader will perceive that we have dropped meia- 

C' or for plain fact), and have we not the confessions of good poets — Byron, 
example— that they have used these helps, or that, in their absence, they 



Il8 HANDY-BOOK OF 

have been glad to revecl to a kind of mental substitute, chasing out a suitable 
rhyme lo the word same, for example, by tunning through the entire alphabet, 
aim, blame, came, dame, fame, etc ? Have they not even gone furtliet and 
allowed the rhymes to bring the thought into motion from the first? In her 
"Recollections of Literary Characters" (iSu) Mrs. Thomson tells us ex- 
pressly that this was Campbell's practice, and that he openly avowed he had 
written " Lochiel's Warning" as a sort of exercise in bouts - ri raes : "The 
rhymes were written first, and the lines filled in afterwards, the poet singing 
them to a son of cadence as he recited them to his wondering friend." One 
can imagine the scene and figure to one's self the poet shouting, — 

Lochid, Lochld, a>-£w-aw4 diy, 

Wftw^w, ow-ovr-^w, DW-dw, ow Ajriy. 

Leigh Hunt once had an article in the UbtrcU wherein he proposed that all 
poetry should be turned into a sort of bouts-rimes. A number of words, he 
insists, are so invested with connected clusters of associations that ihey form 
in themselves a sort of poetical short-hand, and the mere succession of them, 
arranged in rhyming pairs, or as the ends of rhyming slanias not yet in ex- 
istence, tells the story almost as well as if the blank couplets or stanzas were 
filled up. Take these words ; 

Repeat them slowly, with a pause after each, and a longer pause after each 
four. Can you not conjure up before your mind a |)asloral love-scene quite 
as effectively as if you had the five elegiac slanias which these ends suggest? 
Here is a short poem which is complete without any e»eicise of the imagi- 
nation. The rhymes need no precedent clauses ; they ate heads and tails at 
once. In their simple way Ihey tell the sad story of a common domestic 
tragedy : 

Boy, Gua 

Joy.' Boy ■ 

Fun. UuH. 

Here is a sonnet built up on the same plan by a modern French poet, M. J. 



Bowery Boy, the typical New York tough or a generation or two ago, 

named from the street which he chiefly affected, a well-known thoroughfare 
(Dutch bcmtitrij. from boinnen, to " till," lo "cultivate," the street having origi- . 
nallybcen cut through Governor Sluyvesar I 's farm). He rather prided himself 
on his uncoulbness. his ignorance, and his desperado leadinesa lo figtil, but he 
also loved to have attention called to his courage, his gallanlry to wi)men, his 
patriotic enthusiasm, and his innate tenderness of heart. A lire and a thrill- 
ing melodrama called out all his energies and emotions. 

When I ficH knew il, tmh the old Bomrv llieitrt and Ihe old Bootr^ boy wen in Itxit 

fbund tini Icanlnf onamf-hydmnl, And Accnudhimwiih, '^My friend, I »anl to go lo Broad- 

cigi^, " Wf ™fj ihe' "^'i yuu go.™™"''— "iifap. Tribm. "* "" "" " 

Bow-wow way, a colloquial expression 
powering, or grandiloquent manner. It seems to have originated 



Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



t appear 



111 his Diary (1832), speaking 
alenl for tlesc ' ■ -■- - 



9 laknl for describing the \\ 
ifordinarjr lite which is 10 me the most 
The big bow-wow strain I can du myself like an; 
-'le touch which tenders ordinary commonplace 
sting fmm the truth of the description and the 
IS denied to me." The Bow-wow theory is a nickname occasionally 
applied lo Ihe theory (hat human speech originated in the imitation of animal 
sounds. 

Boycott, a word much used by the Irish Land- leaguers, meaning a combi- 
nation that refuses to bold any relations, either public or private, business or 
social, with any person or persons on account of political or other differences. 
It arose in the autumn of l8Sa Captain Boycott, of Lough Mask, Conne- 
mara, was agent of Lord Eatne, an Irish land-owner. His severity made him 
unpopular with the tenants, who petitioned for bis removal. I^rd E^rne 
lamed a deaf ear lo all complaints. Then, in retaliation, the tenants and 
their sympathizers laid a taboo upon Boycott, refusing to work for him or to 
allow any one else lo do so. His servants and his farm-hands deserted him, 
and if anybody undertook to assist him in anj way, or even deal with him, that 
person was included in the taboo, his old friends cut him as an acquaintance 
and shunned him as a seller or a buyer. Boycott saw temporary ruin staring 
him in the face, when relief came in the shape of certain Ulster men, pro- 
tected by arn>ed troops, who husbanded the crops. But the system grew to 
be a teci^niied institution for harrying the enemies of ihr Land-league. 



arly as I>ecembeT, iSSo, the Daily Nms records, " Already the sloutest- 
nearted are yielding to the fear of being Boycotted." The word, usually spelt 
with a small i, is now applied to all forms uf'^inlimidation by tabna The thing. 



Na|ioleon strove to institute a gigantic boyco 
England on the part of continental Europe. In a pamphlet called "Th' 
Example of France," by A. Young (1793), loyal Englishmen are advised ti 
combine tn a resolution "against dealing with any sort of Jacobin ti ^ 
More primitive instances will be found in the ci— ' — '-' — 



•chili hiT in hii lien hi ichill dye— Ma1;n1]Evii.i.s : Trot 
Man iiuiiiot be advqUBiely defined u a BcycoLiing ■nioia 
•liij m. The herd proverbially BoycDtu iht Kricken den , ^•.■^y,, 

•Ddbeluve, to alter Bill Sybes'iproiu of hit dog," quile like llriih) 
BoycottulE flourithcft nou id lh>h uid " exclusive" circles ; but il 
tiou of prtmklvo men, vhoK whale life i« Gpeni in Boycott' 
pAit wfaich the imtitution plays in the Mc«uc law n veil kooi 



have been diechief uenl.oroneDf ibi 




babinuily uader the unctioD of terribly k 
caplul i>f^ce.-^»<fi)/'/;«'i'w, Mu( 

Btasil, Aa hardas. This, the .4£4<7t,nim tells us, is a common saying 01 
a great part, perhaps the whole, of England, but if you ask what Brazil is you 
commonly receive no satisfactory answer. A Shropshire peasant, it seems, 
cui furnish the information needed. There it means iron pyrites. It is well 
known by barrow -digge is and others interested in the remote past that frag- 



130 HANDY-BOOK OF 

ments of iron pyriles were formerly used for striking a lighl. uid therefore 
it would naturaJly become a symbol of hardness. The meaning of the word 
seems lo have been forgotten, or lo have become confounded with brass, for in 
one of Norden's surveys, made in Ihe reign of James 1., an entry occurs which 
has puzzled more than one accomplished aiilinuary. The place spoken of lies 
at a point where the oolite formation " puis in" above the liaa, and the sur- 
veyor lells us that at this place there is " one piece of waste lande Ihere to 
buylde a melting hows, for Iher halh bene sometimes a brass mine, as it 
seemelh." Copper was commonly called brass in those days, but it would be 
well-nigh miraculous if copper had been found in such a situation, (hough iron 
is at the present time worked in the immediate neighborhood. 

Brlo-A-brao. The " New English Dictionary," following Littr^, ascribes this 
word to a corruption of a^jnir^alr^iir, which Is analc^ous to the English 
"by hook or tw crook." Uke that, it probably owes its origin to assonance 
alone. Some fanciful etymolt^ists, however, claim that brie in old French was 
an ituttiument that shot arrows at birds, while brx is from the word brmattter, 
to exchange or sell, the root of which is Saxon and enters into the word 
broker. Originally bric-1-brac seems to have meant second-hand goods, but, 
as these are usually found in old curiosity shops, the word came to mean odd 
and curious articles prized by collectors. 

Bifok, in colloquial English, a Jolly good fellow. This tnt of slang can be 
traced to an historical origin. Plutarch, in his Life of Lycurgus, gives an 
account of the visit of an ambassador from Epirus to the city of Spatia, who 
•aw much to admire and praise. But he wondered greatly that Sparta was 
not a walled town, and asked Ihe explanation of its lack of defensive works. 
No answer was returned that day. Early the next morning, however, — for the 
Spartans rose at dawn, — the EpiTote was awakened and conducted to Ihe field 
of exercise outside the city, where the army of Sparta was drawn up in baltle- 
array. "There," said Lycurgus, "are tlie walls of Sparta, and every man is 

•ctET on which IhoKwho deal wiib him cu ufely build. Ii liuialogoui with the W«(«b 
the Nit.bMIinen on the Ohio uid MisiiHippi when ii'wu 'I"-" i-H.,nifi m >i. ilJ!rh«.i. ..r, 
rut. Th« idea of the phruv ii fomiulaHd Id the " fouj.j 



veloped Idio stalely vene by TouijrKm id hit ode on the Dulie of 
Oh t fallen at length tliat lower of ■treoelh, 

•a,^.■..^. J 1- II .i. ,^£ ^^ 

Nm yon 



to all the wIdiS that Uew. 

//fv York IffrlJ. 
Btldg«water Treatlaes. The name of these famous works is derived 



to be placed ai 

to the person or persons nominated by h _ _ 

when these persons were so selected they should be appointed to t 



and publish one thousand copies of a work "on the Power, Wisdom, and 
Goodness of God. as manifested in Ihe creation, illustrating each work by all 
reasonable arguments, as, for instance, the variety and ^rmation of God's 



IS of God. as manifested in Ihe creation, illustrating each work by all 
'~ arguments, as, for instance, the variety and ^rmation of God's 
n the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms ; the effects of di- 
gestion, and thereby of conversion ; the conslruction of the hand of man, and 
an infinite variety of other arguments ; as also by discoveries, ancient and 
modem, in Arts and Sciences and Ihe whole ealeni of Literature." David 
Gilbert was at that time the President of the Royal Society, and he, with Ihe 
advice of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the fibhop of London, appointed 



Goo^If 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. m 

the following eight persons, who accordingly wrole the Bridgewater Treatises : 
Dr. Chalmers, John Kidd. Rev. M. Wh«well. Sir Charles Bell, Peler Rogel, 
Rev. Dr. Buckfand. Rev. Wm. Kirby, and Wm, Prom. 

Brook of millioiu. A serious obstacle to the development of great in- 
dustries in Switzerland is the scarcity of coal in thai country ; but llie smaller 
industries, praAting by the streams and natural water-falls that abound, are the 
most numerous and active perhaps in the world. One little stream, the Aa, — 
a brook, indeed, about three yards wide, — supplies the motor Ibrce for thirty 
considerable manufactories within a limit of about four and a half miles, Its 
entire length, li rises in the Pfiiffiger-See, east of Zurich, and flows into the 
GreiHen-See, and the difierence between the level of the two lakes is only 
about three hundred feet. From the amount of wealth it has created. It is 
called Lt Ruiaiau da Milliata. 

Broth of a boy, a phrase much affected by the Irish, yet not utiknown 
ID England and America. As broth is the essence of beef, a broth of a boy 
is the essence of what a buy should be, the right sort of a boy ; 
Jium ms quite a brmh of A b^. 

Danfyan. viii. =4. 

Buckeye State, an American nickname for the State of Ohio, from its 
abundant supply of horse-chestnut-trees, commonly called buckeyes. 

Baoktail, a political nickname originally given to an order of the Tam- 
many Society, who wore in their hats, upon certain occasions, a portion of the 
tail of a deer. When De Witt Clinton was running his eventually successful 
campaign for the governorship of New York, the members of Tammany were 
generally inimical to him. Hence " Bucktail" came to be a nickname for all 

Bnokwbeat-oakea are usually supposed to be a New England invention, 
and indeed within the last quarter of a century the American visitors to Paris 
have made the fortune of a tplcutiiti di baikaikeat-cakes. But in very fact the 
cakes are of Fretich origin, and those who like them may eat them to-day in 
their primitive simplicity as galttUs dt sarraiin at almost any viliage west of 
the Seine in Normandy. 

travellers o . , 

Stale. If one living there were to refuse to eat buBs, he would, tike Poloiiiua 

soon be " not where he eats, but where he is eaten.'' 

Btigaboo, Bugbear, Bogle. When the bigoted royalist Maitland blas- 
phemously asserted that God was but a " bogie of the nursery." he unwillingly 
showed great philological acumen. To the eye of the etymologist, the bogie 
with which nurses are wont to terrify their infant ciiarKes is, when divested of 
its traditional meaning, identical with the -Slavonic BS^ and the Ba^ of the 
cuneiform inscriptions, both names for the Supreme Being, which, by gradual 
alterations and corruptions, have given rise to an infinite number of terms 

have the Icelandic ^uM or demon, the Gothic pukt, or spectre, the English 
Puck, etc., and, on the other, the familiar bug, bogie, bugbear, bugaboo, etc. 
"Such," says Prof. Fiske, "is the irony of fate towards a deposed deity I" 
From having figured as the unclouded sun and the chief of all the gods, the 
supreme majesty of deily is in English but the name of an ugly ludicrous 
fiend, a scarecrow, or, at the best, a harmless goblin. The Deity has, in very 
troth, become the bogie of the nursery. 



laa HANDY-BOOK OF 

Very early in ihe history of (he race molhers discovered the convenience 
of frightening their offspring into good behavior. Giblioii tells us Ibal 
"Narses was the formidable sound with which the Syrian mothers were 
accustomed lo terrify their infants." Speaking of Richard Cieur de Lion, 
the same writer says, "The memorjr of this lion-hearted prince, at Ihe dis- 
tance of sixty years, was celebrated in proverliial sayings by the grandsons of 
the Turks and Saracens against whom be bad fought ; his tremendous name 
was employed by the Syrian molhers (o silence their infants ; and if a horse 
suddenly started from the nay, his rider was wont to exclaim, ' Uost thou 
think King Richard is in that bush T " 

Still another name used for a similar pur]M>se is mentioned by Gibbon, — 
Huniades, titular King of Hungary in the middle of the fifteenth century : 
" By the Turks, who employed his name to frighten their perverse children. 
he was corruptly denominated ' Jancus Lain, or The Wicked.'" The intelli- 
gence, or want of intelligence, of English nurses has been productive of in- 
numerable bogies. To say nothing of the ancient Raw Head and Bloody 
Bones (which occurs in " Hudibras"), we may gather from the foilowing extract 
from Reginald Scot's " Discoverie of Witchcraft" the names of a few of the 
bogies used lo torment little children within the Elizabethan age. 

" In our childhood," says Scot, "our mothers' maids have so terrified us 
with an ugly devil having horns on his head, lire in his mouth, and a tail 
at his back, eyes like a basin, fangs like a dog, claws like a bear, a skin 
like a negro, and Voice roaring like a lion, whereby we start and are afraid 
when we hear one cry. Boh I and they have so frayed us with bull -beggars, 
spirits, witches, urchins, elves, hags, fairies, satyrs, pans, faunes, syTvans, 
Kitt-with -I he -candlestick, tritons, centaurs, dwarls, giants, imps, calcats, con- 
jurers, nymphs, changelings, incubus, Robin Guodfeliow, the spoorn, ihe 
man-in -the-oak, the hell-wain, the tire-drake, the puckle, Tom Thumb, Hob- 
goblin, Tom Tumbler, Boneless, and such other bugbears, that we are afraid 
of our own shadows." 

Sir Walter Scott, who quotes this passage in his "Demonotogy and 
Witchcraft," explains some of Ihese strange terms, bul leaves it tu a "belter 
demonologist than himself" to treat them more fully. In " Hudibras," liesides 
Raw Head and Bloody Bones, another b<^ie is mentioned as being in common 
use, — namely, Lunsford. This was Colonel Lunsford, or Luns^rt, the gov- 
ernor of the Tower, and a man noted for his sobriety, industry, and courage. 
Bul IJIburn and others of the same party gloried in maligning him in every 
possible way. Among other scandalous charges, they led the ignorant popu- 
lace to believe thai he ate children. 

The loyalists affected to laugh at this accusation, and in the " Collection of 
Loyal Songs" it is alluded lo thus; 

From FlddiiiK uid fnnin Vaiuour, 



So also Cleveland ; 

The pott Itial came tioin BanI 
He iwaRbt'uiTvben Limit 

But Ulburn was so far successful in his aim th 
ford's name became odious and was added ti 
bogies. 

According lo Banks's "Earl of Essex" (a play ridiculed by Fielding in his 



tlTERARV CURIOSITIES. lij 

'Tom Thumb the Great"), (hat noble lord was also osed as a bogie during 
hU own liletiiiv 



1i wai enough ht Hv, Hen 
And DUTKt ttiUed incir chi 



ildmi wilh ihefrighl. 



Fielding lubstituled the name of Tom Thumb, though, as we have seen, 
Reginald Kcol especially mentions Turn Thumb among (he b<^eB of child- 
hood, — a fact which takes the edge off the inlended satire. 

Napoleon — or Boney, as he was called in the nursery — has dune yeoman's 
service as a b<wie in England. Boneyparty is in itself a name with a good 
palpable English meaning attached to it. which can be undetsianded of the 
people. It seema to have a natural affinity to Raw Head and Bloody Bones, 
Boneless, and such other bugbears. Cnrmusly enough, the Duke of Wel- 
lington has never performed a like service in French nurseries, though he is 
the hero of certain English bogie rhymes. For example : 






Kotble ) 



In another, the same kind-hearled Rentleman is represented as being "tall 



■Tl; 



fhl as Rouen steeple," and dining and supping upon a never-failing 
"naughty people." 



is said that Jewish tnothers sometimes frighten their children with Ihe 
name of Lilith. According to the Talmudists,l.ililh was the wife of Adam 
before he married Eve. She refused to obey her husband, and left Paradise 
for the region of air. The legend is that her sceptre is still to be seen at 
ni^t, and that she is especially the enemy of young children. 

The "Encyclopxdia Met ropoli tana" boldly declares thai our word ''lullaby" 
is derived from " Lilith abi I" {Lilith, avaunt !) But the Inexrrable Professor 
Skeat, who destroys all (he charming old unreasonable and picturesque deriva- 
tions, will have nothing to say (o this, and gives an explanation too prosaic to 
be recorded here. Lilith was so bad that it was not unfitting her name should 
be used to frighten li(tle boys and girls. She furnishes one of the few instance* 
of a woman being udliied as a bogie. 

BnlL John, a hnmorotis personification of (he British people, which origi- 
nated wi(h ArbuthnoL He is represented as a bluff, stout, honest, red-faced, 
irascible rusdc, in leather breeches and top-boots, carrying a stout oaken 
cudgel in his hand and with a bull-dog at his heels. 

Tbu pcHiknl pcnomg« Job' 
A.gu'hbCerii, U._. .... _ , .... _.. .. _ . . , ..._... ___ 

te 1^ IDld-Und. what i>'mor<rte1,l> il^f— IhitV^ a mcrcTump of' pniuic'flcsh and'hTawi! 
Ihal ridicoloiu cukalim of nunclva ■long iriOi Guy Fawkn : bui meanwhile m can hardly 



■■addressed to provide board and lodging for the soldier bearing it. Hence 
the proverb means that only (hose are killed whose dea(h Providence has 
usigned. Napoleon was a firm lieliever in the superstition embodied in the 



ii brud Hhoulden ar 



laC tiANDY-BOOK OP 

iijing. Thus, he said once to an officer, " My friend, if Ihal ball were destined 
for you, it would be sure to find you, though you were to burrow a hundred 
feet under ground." And again at MoTiteteau, in I S 14, he refused to retire 
from an exposed position, saying, " Courage, my friends : the bail which is Id 
kill me is not yet cast." When Nelson was warned bv a lady not to expose 
himself needlessly in battle, he replied, "The bullet which hits me will have 
on it ' Horatio Nelson, his with speed.' " 



Mme. de S^vigni wro 
distinguish M, de Turen 
all eternity V 

BnUo, Irisli aod not Iriab. A bull \i 

Smith u "an apparent congruity and real i „ , 

covered." Cleyer, yet not quite so clever as Coleridge ; " A bull consists in a 
mental juxtaposition of incongruous ideas, with a sensation, but without the 
sense, of connection." Sydney Smith goes on lii point out that a bull is the 
very reverse of wit ; " for as wit discovers real relations that are not apparent, 
bulls admit apparent relations that are not real." He might have carried the 
idea still further, and shown that, while wit is acutely self-conscious, the bull, on 
the contrary, is born of a native humor, a coloring and rlistortiiig medium ab. 
■otutely unconscious of itself. Its perpetrator is fully possessed of his own 
meaning, but is unconscious of the literal and objective sense of his own 
words. When Thomas Carlyte said in his "Oliver Cromwell" that "some 
omissions will also appear in this edition," he knew what he meant, and so do 
we, — the understanding on both sides is identical, — but the recognition of the 
inadequacv of the words to convey thai meaning is with us atone. 

So much for definition. Now, what has etymology to say on the subject ? 
Very little, and that little not muth to the purpose. It was once the fashion 
to derive the term from one Obadiah Bull. an Irish lawyer residing in London 
in the reign of Henry VII.. whose blunders of the sort were notorious. But 
Chaucer uses the word " bole" (in our modern sense of a verbal mistake), and. 
as Chaucer died half a century before Henry VII. was born, that etymology must 
go by the board. And with it also must go the idea that a bull, either in 
etymology or in essence, has any inevitable connection with the Irish. Mr. 
Edge*orth indeed has written an essay On " Irish Bulls," which almost goes 
the length of asserting, first, that bulls are not Irish ; second, that there is 
no such thing as a buU. Without accompanying him to this extreme, we 
might readily allow that other nations err in the same delightful manner, and that 
many so-called bulls are really not bulls at ail, because they are conscious and 
often successful eRbrts to snatch a grace beyond the reach of art. And even 
the bulls that refuse to be classified under any more complimentary head fre- 
quently result not from dulnesa but from eilreme quickness iif apprehension, 
the mind leaping to its conclusion without passing through the intermediate 
stages of the process. 

when Shakespeare speaks of a custom " more honored in the breach than 
the observance," or of making " assurance doubly sure," when )c)hnson warns 
you not to "sell for gold what gold can never buy." they utter what looks like 
^n alisnrdity to the purely logical sense, but the higher faculties refuse to 
recognize the absurdity, and gratefully occupy themselves in admiration of 
their audacious aptness. The same may be said of these other much quoted 
lines and phrases : 



..Google 



IITERARY CURIOSITIES. 125 

Adun, the gDodticflt dud of Oden Biiic* bon 
Hlf Kint, the fairtu of ber duunhicn Eve. 

Tbe laTclieM paii 

Yea, get Ifat bellcr of Ihem. 

Shakbpsakb : Jm/iui Caiar, Act ii.. Sc. .. 
ever wrong Hve *i jui ™l«-^ 

None bul hinuelr can he hi< panllel. 

Thiobalk: -1*1 DimUi FaluKitJ. 
FoUfhl all bl> bitllei o'er (gllin. 
And ifarice he routed 0II hit loei, and Ihrke he >leir (be dun. 

Slukapeue hu not only thown human nalurt mt h ii. bw b* ii wouLd be fcund In iltu- 
Mkimtowhicli ]i cMinoi be opoMd.— Jhbnwn: Lnti b/ Iki PstU. 
pmine.—tiid. ""^P ""■ '"■ "'■ « ng » e« nguige 11 wi 

The last example is more prnpcrly a play upon wurds than a bull ; yet i( 
cannot be relegated to the degraded deep of punning, because there is a play 
on the idea as well as on the words. It is identical with Schiller's "To be 
immortal in art a thing must first be dead in life." 

On the other hand, wlien Dryden made his heroine sajr, — 

the phrase is not a bull, because it is a conscious effort at antithetical eRecL 
But as it falls short of its aim, as it is a step on the hither side of tht sublime, 
we call it merely ridiculous, and feel that Dryden was rightly rebuked when 
the Duke of Buckingham shouted from his box, — 

Then 'twould be gteaier if 'twin none « all. 

In his "Martinus Scriblerus" Pope supplies an instance of the "art of 

Mnbine," which is shrewdly suspected to be taken from his own juvenile epic 

of "Alonder." The poet is speaking of a frightened stag in full chase, who 

And {tan the bind Teel will o'enake the fore. 

But, again, one would not call this a bull. Here, however, are some nnmis 
takable examples of the true taurine, selected from various authors of repute : 

No DtK u yet had exhibited the Hructure of <he human kidneyi, Veiallui haviDg only 
enmmed them in dogh— Haluh : IMtralnri of Eartfi. 

UnKlTipaven, like the deities of Homer in the nr of Troy, wen leen ID mingle al every 
Hep with ibe tide of lubtunary aSain.—ALisoH : Rreiru of Guitol. 

It b CDrlau 10 obterve Ibe variou) iub>titute> for paper before its invention.— D'Iskabli : 
Curiaiiliai ^ Liuratiiri, 

it h^l noi 1^ it.-CoBHTT : Rural KiSti. 

hb pc^"t^.— WHHiiHnT''rio Th^MnJa Vtar. 

An unmiitakable bull (whose |lory, however, belongs to the translation and 
-"' '0 the original) occurs in Isaiah xr- 

forth, and smote in the camp of 
and five thousand : and when they arose early In the morning, behold, they 
were all dead corpAcs." 

Johnson quotes Goldsmith as complaining. " Whenever I write anything the 

Sblic makes a point to know nothing about it." Here is a true Hibernian 
11, which, after all, is the most perfect of Its kind. To the right perpetra- 
tkm of the bull there seems to go a kind of innocent and almost rollkking 



Coogk" 



136 HANDY-BOOK OF 

wrongheadedness, which has no real counterpart outside the Irish race. The 
Irish animal is lively, rampant, exhilarating, like the sprighllf hero of a Spanish 
bull-light, while English and other bulls are mere commonptace calves blun- 
dering along lo the shambles. When Sir Richud Steele wxs asked hov it 
happened that his com|iatriots made so many bulls, he imputed it to the effect 
of climate, and declared that if an Englishman were burn in Ireland lie would 
make just as many. Undoubtedly he was right, though, fbr sume unimagina- 
ble reason, the answer has itself been reckoned among Hiberuicisnis. Swift 
was a case in point. Like Wellington, he might have answered that he was 
not a horse because he was bom in a stable. Not a horse, undoubtedly, yet 
the influence of the stable made him the father of many excellent bulls. In 
his flist Drapier's Letter he says, "Therefore I do most earnestly exhort 
you, as men, as Christians, as parents, and as lovers of your country, to read' 
this paper with the utmost attention, or to get it read to you by others." Vet 
the bull was not new with Swift It finds analogues both in his native and in 
his adopted country. 

As Ferriar points out (" Illustrations of Sterne," i. 80), it is the jest-book 
story of the Templar over again, who left a note in the key-hole of his door 
directing the finder, " if unable to read, tu carry it to the stationer at the gate, 
now Messrs. I) utter worth's, to read it for him. Grose, in his " Olio," relates 
it for a fact that in May, 1784, a bill was sent from Ireland for the royal assent 
relating to franking. Une clause enacted that any member who, from illness 
or any other cause, should be unable to write, might authorize another to 
frank for him, provided that on the back of the letter so franked the member 
gave under his hand a full certificate of his inability to write. 

Let us apply the historical method to other great Hibernian masterpieces. 

Who does not remember the story of the Englishmau who wrote in his 
letter, "I would say more, but that there is a d — d tall Irishman looking 
over my shoulder and reading every word of this," whereupon the Hibernian 
excl^med, "Vou lie, you scoundrel t" Docs nut this story find its corollary 
in the anecdote of the German lady who. writing to borrow money of her 
sweetheart, added the following ingenuous postscript; "I am so thoroughly 
ashamed of my request that I sent after the bearer of this note to call him 
l)ack, but he had got already too far on the way." And is there not a kinship 
between both of these and the tale of the English lady who combated George 
ijelwyn's assertion that no woman could write a letter without adding a post- 
script, and next day sought to prove he was wrong by writing a letter and 
adding after her signature, — 

P.S.— Who li right now, you or I f 



1 letter home after the hour when all lights had been ordered 
oui, " Aoii this postscript," said the terrible martinet : " ' To-morrow morn- 
ing I shall be taken out and shot fbr disobedience of orders.'" 1'he aide-de- 
camp wrote it down, and the king kept his word. 

There is a story to!d of an Irish gentleman who wanted to learn of an emi- 
nent singing-master. He inquired the terms. 

" Two guineas for the flrst lesson," said the maestro ; " and for as many aa 
you please afterwards a guinea each." 

"Oh, bother the first lesson 1" said the inquirer: "let us begin with the 

Yet this may have been wit, — an excellent bit of fooling, not a bull. And, 
even if a bull, it is not a distinctively Irish bull. An analogue may be found 
in the story uf the Englishman dining with Porson and others, who, wishing 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. \^^ 

to conltibate his mile lo the conversation, asked the professor, " Was Cap- 
tain Cook killed on his first voyage P" 

" I believe he nas," said Porson ; " but he did not mind it much, but im- 
mediately entered on a second." 

Mr. John Dillon quite recently made a famous bull in the House of Com- 
mons, when, speaking of his friends, he said that " they had seen themselves 
filling paupeis' graves." This was an avatar of the remark made in the Irish 
House almost a century before by his great predecessor, Sir Boyle Roche: 
"Why, Mr. [Speaker, honorable members never come down to this House 
without expecting to find their mangled remuns lying on the table." It 
finds a compatriotic echo in this familiar story : " India, my boy," said an 
Irish officer to a friend on his arrival at Calcutta, "is the finest climate 
under the son ; but a lot of young fellows come out here, and they drink 
and they eat, and they drink and they die : and then they write home to 
their parents a pack of lies, and say it s the climate that has killed them." 

Yet precise^ the same confusion of terms exists in this sentence, tiuoted 
by the Paris Figaro (February, 1890) "from a recent essay on French home- 
life in the last century ;" 

FrvDch domoUct Kt jui evHmple of ibe eremat devcriioD. THert war many tven who 
TmLha xhrnn betny (bar maiten, allowed UicmKlvcB \o be guilLotiDcd in their place, and 
wbo, whcD happier d4v> r«niiiKd, lilenily and ropectfulty went back 10 (heir wwl- 

Not entirely dissimilar was the bull contained in this obituary notice in the 
London Timti: 

On Ihe i« Decenber, u j, Elgin Ctesceai, KenilDRDn Park. Col. Willism Buruey, K.N., 
Due of lbs very few Hirrivon of Ok PeninHila and Waterloo, in lii> 8Sth year. 

Here we have the dead man represented as a survivor. He must have 
borne some kindred to Johnson's hero : 



Nor yet percelri 

But Kill loughi < 



Sir Btiyle Roche repealed his own trope in a speech on the dangers of a 
French invasion: "The murderous marshal-law men {Marttillais) would 
break in, cut us to mince-meal, and throw our bleeding heads upon that table 
to slare us in the face." But, again, he was equalled, if not surpassed, by 
the contemporary orator quoted by Taine in his " French Kevolution." who 
informed a Parisian mob, "I would take my own head by the hair, cut it 
oQ and, presenting it to the despot, would say to him, 'Tyrant, behold the 
act of a free man.'" This surpasses the miracle of St. Denis, for, in Ihe 
original and more authentic form, that holy man merely thrust his head 
under his arm and walked a goodly distance with iL Careful hagiologists 
now reject the more recent elaborations that he kissed it on the way, or 
that he fncked it up with his teeth. 

A number of other Irish bulls hold a 
•ubject of death ; ihat of a Hibernian genllen 
the priesthood, "I hope I may live to hear you preach m 
of another who expressed the grateful sentiment. " May yuu iivc lu cai me 
chicken that scratches over your grave ;" of a physician who said oracularly of 
a murdered man, "This person was so ill, that if he had not been murdered 
be would have died a half an hour before," and of a lady who, in her will, or- 
dered that her body should be opened at her death, for fear she should be 
buried alive. A parallel to these ghastly jests may be found in the anecdote 
of James Smilhson, founder of the Smithsonian Institute. He had five 
doctorn, and they had been unable to discover his disease. Being told that 
Us case was hopeless, he called thero around him *nd Mtid, "My friends, I 



128 HANDY-BOOK OF 

desire that you will make a poat-mortem exammalion of me, and find out what 
ails me ( for really I am dying to know what my disease is myself." 

When Garrick conduled with an Irish gentleman upon the recent death 
of hia father, " It is what we must all come to if we nnly live long enough," 
said the Irishman. But the idea is no mure Irish than French, for when a 
Frenchman had built his chileau and completed the chapel to it, he called 
together his children and said, " I hoije we shall all be buried there, if God 
grants us life." And the London S^taior puts in an English claim ' 



when it quotes from the letter of an English clergyman sohciling a subscrip- 
tion towards the purchase of a burial-ground for his parish, which had grown 
:o the dimensions of a small town with 30,000 inhabitants. "It is deplorable 



I) think," said this clergyman, " of a parish where there ate 30,000 people 
living without Christian uurial." 

It was a Dublin paper which reported in 1S90 that "the health uf Mr. Pai- 
nell has lately taken a very serious turn, and fears of his recovery are enter- 
tained by his friends." But a number of English pa|>ers copied the statement 
without suspicion of the bull. And it was a London paper (the 7»nfi) which 
thus concluded a eulogium on Baron Dowse : " A great Irishman has passed 
away. God grant that many as great, and who shall as wisely love their 
country, may follow him." And il was another London paper (the TtUgrafih) 
which had this dubious sentence : " Earl Sydney's illness became very acute 
on Sunday. Prayers were offered on his behalf at the churches and places of 
worship at Sidcup, Foot's Cray, and ChiselhursL Lord Sydney, ktruKver, on 
Wednesday, appeared much improved." 



Here is a story which has many ramifications until it finally loses itself in 

' Hewins.' sa\- ., _.. 

, . . . - . ly!' says I: .... _ 

Faith, no more is mine Hewing,' saya ne. .So we looked at each 



Greek root : *' I was going," said an Irishman, " over Westminster Bridge the 
other day, and I met Pat Hewins. ' Hewins,' says I. ' how are vou ?' ' Pretlv 
well,* says he, 'thank you, Donnelly.' 'Donnellj 



other again, and sure it turned out to be nayther of us ; and where's the bull 
of that, now ?" 

A similar story is told of Sheridan Knowles, an Irishman by birth, an Eng- 
lishman by adoption. 

The names of Mark Lemon and Leman Rede used to puMle him severely, 
and, as both were frequently before the public as writers for the staf^e, he could 
never bring himself to understand which of the two was the subject of con- 

Sratulation when a dramatic success was achieved byeitherof them. At length 
e met \jcmin Rede and Mark Lemon walking arm in arm. "Ah," said 
Knowles, the moment he was close enough to accost ihem, " now I'm bothered 
entirely. Which of you is the other f" 

Are not the above identical with the query addressed to Thomas Sandby 
by Caullield. a pure-blooded Englishman: "My dear Sandby, I'm glad to 
see you. Ptay is it you or your brother ?" But the Same Story had been told 
by Hierocles, the Greek Joe Miller. 

Nevertheless, we cannot take back our assertion that the finest breed of 
bulls are those produced by the Emerald Isle. Here is a collection of speci- 
mens that have eicilcd the laughter of generations, and will continue to make 
chanticleers of our children : 

" Has your sister got a son or a daughter ?" asked an Irishman of a friend. 
" Upon my life," was the reply, " I don't know yet whether I'm an uncle or 

An equivocal compliment was that of the Irish youth who dropped on his 
knees before a new sweetheart, and said, " Darlin', 1 love y« as well as if I'd 
known ye for seven years — and a great deal bettber," 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. laj 

"My dear, come in and go to bed," said the wife of a yAXj ton of Erin who 
had just returned from the fair in a decidedly how-come 'Vou-so state ; "you 
must be dreadful tired, sure, with your long walh uf six miles." " Arrah, get 
away with your nonsense," said Pat ; "it wasn't the Imgik of the way at all 
that fatigued me : 'twas the briadih a! IL" 

A poor Irishman offered an old saucepan for sale. His children gathered 
around hhn and inquired why he partrd with it " Ah, me honeys," he 
answered, " I would not be aflher parting with it but (iir a little money to buy 
something to put in iL" 

A young Irishman who had married when about nineteen years of age, 
complaining of the difficulties to which his early marriage subjected him, said 
he would never marry so young again if he lived to he as uuld as Methuselah. 

An invalid, after returning from a southern tri]i, said to a friend, "Oh, 
shure, an' it's done me a wurruld o' good, goin' away. I've come back 
anethtr man alti^ether ; in bet, I'm quite mistlf agen." 

An eccentric lawyer thus questioned a client: "So your uncle, Dennis 
O'Flaherty, had no family?" " None at all, yer honor," responded the client. 
The lawyer made a memorandum of the reply, and then continued : " Very 
good. And your father, Patrick O'Flaherty, did hi have chick or child ?" 

In an Irish provincial paper is the following notice : " Whereas Patrick 
O'Connor lately left his lodgings, this is to give notice that if he does not 
return immediately and pay for the same, he will be advertised." 

Two Irishmen were working in a quarry, when one of them fell into a deep 
quarry-hole. The other, alarmed, came to the margin of the hole and called 
out, "Atrah, Pat. are ye killed intirely? If ye're dead, spake." Pat reas- 
sured him from the bottom by saying in answer, "No, Tim, I'm not dead, but 
I'm spacheless." 

At a crowded ctmcert a young lady, standing at the door of the hall, was 
addressed by an honest Hibernian who was in attendance on the occasion. 
" Indade, miss," said he, " I should be glad to give you a sate, but the empty 
ones are all full." 

"Gentlemen, is not one man as good as another?" "Uv course he is," 
shouted an eiciled Irish Chartist, "and a great deal betther." 

"Pal, do you understand French?" 

"Yis.if it'sshpokein Irish." 

An Irish hostler was sent to the stable to bring forth a traveller's horse. 
Not knowine which of the two strange horses in the stalls belonged to the 
traveller, and wishing to avoid the appearance of ignorance in his business, he 
saddled both animals and brought thera to the door. The traveller pointed 
out his own horse, saying, "Thai's my nag." 

" Certainly, yer honor ; I know that ; but I didn't know which one of them 

A domestic, newly engaged, presented to his master, one morning, a pair of 
boots, the leg of one of which was much longer than the other. 
" How comes it that these boots are not of the same length ?" 
** I raly don't know, sir ; but what bathers me the most is that the pair down- 

An Irishman, having feet of different sizes, ordered his boots to be made 
accordingly. His directions were olieyed, but as he tried the smallest boot 
on his largest foot, he exclaimed, petulantly, " Confound that fellow I I ordered 
him to make one larger than the other; and instead of that he has made cdo 
omaller than the other." 



.d by Google 



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Ihe supcTioriiy ol 

Gild any modem building tKat has luted so long at Ihe aqpent T' 

An Irish magislrale, cenBaring some boys for loitering in Ihe streets, argued, 
" If everybody were lo stand in the street, how could anybody gel by f 

Ad Irishman got oul of his carriage at a railway-station for refreshments, 
but the bell rang and the train left before he had finished his repast " Hould 
on I" cried Pal, as he ran like a madman after Ihe car, " hould on, ye inurther'n 
ould stame injin ; you've got a passenger on board that's left behind." 

" Ii U very sickly here," said one of the sons of the Emerald Isle to another. 

" Yes," replied his com))anion, " a great many have died this year that never 
died before." 

An old Dublin woman went lo Ihe chandler's for a farthing candle, and, 
being told it was raised to a halfpenny On account of the Russian war, " Bad 
luck to them I" she exclaimed, *'and do they fight by candlc'lighl V 

An Irish lover remarks that it is a great comfort to be alone, "especially 
when yer swateheart is wid ye." 

An eminent spirit- merchant in Dublin announced in one of Ihe Irish papers 
that he had still a small quantity of the whislcey OD sale vihkh mas drvnk fy 
Mis lair Majesty vihUt in Dublin. 

But the great protagonist of all bull -perpetrators was Sir Boyle Roche, who 
was elected memlier for Tralee in the Irish Parliament of 1775. Here, 
"through his pleasant interference, the most angry debates were Irequently 
concluded with peais of laughter." He was known upon one occasion, after 
a withering exposure or patriotic denunciation of government, lo say, with 
solemn gravity, " Mr. SpesKer, it is the duty of every true lover of his country 
to give Ills lasl guinea to save the remainder of his fortunes 1" Or, if the 
subject of debate was some national calamity, he would deliver himself thus: 
"Sir, single misfortunes never cume alone, and the greatest of all national 
calamities is generally followed by one much greater." When some one com- 
plained that the sergeant-at-arma should have stopped a man in the rear of 
the house while the set^eant was really engaged in trying to catch him in 
front, Roche considerately asked, " Do you think the sergeant 'al-arms can be, 
like a bird, in two places at once f Shocked at the Umpora it morts of Young 
Ireland, he broke out, "The prepress of the times, Mr. Speaker, is such that 



little children who can neither walk n< 

streets cursing tl - _ .,. 

pending the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland, " It would be better, Mr. Speaker 



g their Maker!" Arguing, u 



Sc^ji-g.: 



3nly a part, but. if necessary, even the whole 
Constitution, to preserve the remainder," One of his most famous meis was 
the imperious demand. " Why shuuld we put ourselves out of the way to do 
anything for posterity } for what has posterity done for us f' Supposing, from 
the roai of laughter which greeted this question, that the House had misun- 
derstood him, he explainea " that by posterity he did not at all mean our 
ancestors, but those who were to come immediately afler them." Upon hear- 
ing this explanation "it was impossible." Uarrington assures us. "In do any 
serious business for half an hour." A letler supposed to have been written 
by Sir Boyle Roche during the Irish rebellion of '9S gives an amusing collec- 
tion of his various blunders. Perhaps he never put quite so many un paper 
at a lime ; bui his peculiar turn fur " bulls" is here shown at one view. The 
letter was first printed in the Kerry Magaiiiu, now oul of print : 

Ds^a Si*, — Having nowmlilllepCftccKIld quiet. 1 lit down lo bUorm you if the buttle ud 
GOBAuion we uv in fnm Iht bloodihinty nbdi. iuD]r of wtiom an now, (tunk Ged, kilM 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 131 

whiskey. When v* fit down to dinner ire are abliged to lieep'balh handt anned. While I 

Ibe bcfiBDillg that Ihia vuuld be Ihe end ; and 1 am i^I. for i1 is not half aver yet. AC 

your leUer a fomu^ ago^hui I only received n iMfl momina, — indeed, hardly H mail anivct 
ufe withotkt being Tobhed. No Innser m^o than ye«(crdAy the iluUi-co4i:h from DubLin waa 
robbed neAT ihia town : tlie b*g4 bad iicvn very judiciouaiy ie1> behind. Tin' Teat of accident*, 
and. by ^Rat good luck, there vaa nobody in the coach eacept two outAide paaaengen^ who 

in full retre^ from Drogheda were advancing under Ibe Knnch »Landard : but they had no 
colon, HOT any drum* except b«gpip4- Immediately eve^ man in Ihe place, including women 
ud cbildiev, tan out to meet them. We aoon found our force a great deal too little, and were 



I«.ol..cutlaMe.,««lp 


^to the .word ;»»■ 


bog. In Dki, in a (bar 




™TfcC^TsrSd™.i 


hUnh Fte^ich commiH 


whidieactlytquuo^ 


yoon in haate. B, R. 


'Ts.-lfyondonol 



adfl. a parcel of eitlpiy bottles 
., filled up with IrMh names. 



And nov let us conclude with a hasty summary of famous bulls which are 
not Irish. 

It was a German oiitor who, warming with his subject, exclaimed, "There 
il no man or child in Ihts vast assembly who has arrived at the age of fifty 

tears that has not felt the truth uf this mighty subject thundering through 
is miT)d for centuries." Il was a Spaniard who remarked ingenuously that an 
author should always write his own index, let who will write the book. It was 
the Portuguese mayor of Estremadura who, in ofiering a reward for the recovery 
of the remains of a drowned man, enumerated among the recagniuble marks 
that the deceased had an impediment in his speech. 

Edgeworth relates the story of an Engli.th shopkeeper wh'> did pretty well 
in the direction of the bull proper when, to recommend Ihe diitabilitj of some 
bbric for a lady's dress, he said, " Madam, it will wear fotcver, and make 
you a petticoat anerwards." This is quite equal to Ihe Irishman's rope which 
had only one end, because the other bad been cut away. Take, again, the 
rhyming distich by Caul field on the Highland roads constructed by Marshal' 
Wade: 

If you bad »en ibete road> bclbn diey were made. 

You'd have lift op your eyea and blened Manhal Wade.— Gnosi. 

Il was Serjeant Arabin, a famous landon justice, whoonce offered a prisoner 
" a chance of redeeming a character that he had irrelrievably lost," and who 
told another culprit, " It is in my power to transport you for a period very 
considerably beyond the term of your natural life, but the court in its mercy 
will not go BO lar as it lawfully might go," When Psyne Knight committed 
nuicide, Ibe drug he had recourse to was Ihe strongest ptussic acid : " I under- 
stand," Rogers notes in his diary. " he was dead before il touched h 



The dri^ must have realiied Artemns Ward's injunction, "immediately if not 
sooner." Sir Boyle Roche himself coifld not have surpassed these parlia- 
mentary utterances of certain English legislators: "Mr. Speaker, I boldly 



Sir Boyle Roche himself coifld not have surpassed these parii 

utterances of certain English legislators: "Mr. S[ 

n the affirmative, — No," and, "Mr. Speaker, if I hav 
against the honorable member, it is in his ^vor." 

A btill that has won enviable notoriety is this American one, embodied in a 
set of resolutions said to have been passed by the Board of Councilmen in 
Canton, Mississippi: 

I. Reaolved, by this CiniKll, thai we build a new jail. 



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Admirable 1 The American eagle must have given a great cry of joy when 
Ireland was thus excelled in its own province. Bui, alas \ wisdom in its 
foolish way destroys the bliss of ignorance by showing that this was originally 
an Irish "chestnut." Grose, in his "Olio," 304, records that in the ordinance 
for pulling down the old Newgale al Dublin, employing Ihe old materials and 
rebuilding it on the same site, il was enacted that, lo avoid useless expense, 
the prisoners should remain in the old Newgale till ihe new one was finished. 
And this in turn has a remote affinity lo Ihe mistake of the party of Irishmen 
under James II., who, being detailed to fortify a pass against the advance of 
Ihe English troops, discovered, when the work was completed, thai Ihey had 
set up Ihe stockades the wrong way about, so as to secure the pass against 
themselves. P'erriar, who quotes this story from Ralph's " History of England," 



thinks this the most extraordinary of all blunders. Nevertheless, as a practi- 
■ ■ ' J8. V" ■" 

lecled a vast number of Ihe notes issued by his bank, and, with much shouting 



cal bull, it is more than rivalled ^ the action of the rebels uf 1798. Wishing 
1 testily Iheir abhorrence of the Hon. John Beresford, Ihey diligently col- 



and gloriti cation, burned Ihem publicly in a bonfire. Thai evening Ihe banker 
was heard praying fervently in the bank parlor for his enemies, who had done 
for him what his best friends had never thought of doing. 
And so OUT lasl examples are Irish, after all 

Btunmar. lliis is usually considered to be an Americanism. But, like 
many oilier Americanisms, it is simply a legilimale descendant of an old 
English word, bummaiee, which may be found in the " English Market By- 
Laws" of over two hundred years ago. In the London PtHlict InleUigtneer 
of the year 1660 it appears m several advertisements. Bummarcc meant a 
man who retails Gsh by peddling outside of the regular market. These per- 
sons were looked down upon and regarded as cheats by the established 
dealers, hence the name became one of conlempi for a dishonest person of 
irregular habits. The word first appeared in (he United States during Ihe 
'50's in California, and travelled eastward unlil during the dvil war it came 
into general use, meaning a camp-follower or straggler, especially as con- 
nected with General Sherman's march from Atlanta lo the sea. 

Bampw. One of the humors of etymolt^y is the derivation thai makes 
the bumper Ihe grace-cup in which good Roman Catholics, during the ascen- 
dency of their religion in England, used to drink the health of the ben ptre. 
Unfortunately, ihe pope was never known an bonfire, but as laaU piri. — kety 
father, rather ihan good father. Besides, drinking firom the grace-cup (a large 
vessel which went Ihc rounds of the company after every repast, the guests 
drinking from il one after another) implied nothing extraordinary, nor even 
intimated that Ihe glass was unusually full. Now, a bumper is atxive every- 
thing else a miehty draught, brimming over. Indeed, in the days of our 
grandfalhers a distinction was made between a brimmer and a bumper. If a 
small panicle of cork, dropped into the centre of a full wineglass, finals away 
to the edge of Ihe glass, this is a brimmer. Add a few drops of wine, and 
the same bit of cork, if dropped in again, will lake up a permanent position 
in the exact centre of Ihe convex circle, standing well up above Ihe level of 
the brim. This is the irue bumper. Muiray cautiously suggests, "perhaps 
from Bump, with notion of a 'bumping,' i.t., large, 'thumping' glass." 

BoDOO-Bteerer, in America, originally a sharper who "roped in" suckers 
for a gambling game called bunco, but now a generic name for all forms of 
conlidence-men. Their method of procedure is sufficiently well explained in 



LITERAR Y CURIOSITIES. 



considcTing you never set eyes on his face before, liow you have dined to- 
eelher in Cincinnali, or it may be Orleans, or perhaps Francisco, because he 
finds out where you came from lasL And he will shake hands with yuu, and 



he will propose a drink ; and he will pay for that drink, and presently he wilt 
lake you somewhere else, among his pals, and he will strip you so clean Ihat 
there won't be left the price of a four -cent paper to throw around your face 



and hide your blushes." 

A curious anlidpalion of the methods of the American bunco-sleeier n: 
be found in Moliire's " Monsieur de Pourceaugnac." Sbrigani and Erasle : 
both in league to " do" the honest country gentleman on his arrival in Pai 
Sbrigani has already scraped an acquaintance when Eraste arrives on I 



PmmiiuniBcI How deMghied I ai 
dlfficuJcy in recaEDLiiniE me I 
Pnr. Sir. I am ymu ur><uil. 



-- Pray, puilon me. \Asia 



I. ThERll 

.1 : I vitiied oQiy ihrm u itic i 

£r<u'. You don-l recollecl ^y 'ho 
Pnr. Ya,iiid«d. [7i«r//B«. 
Em. Vou don-l rtmember iMl I 



. I vitiled OQiy Ihrm U Ihc lime 1 wu tbere. and I bid tb 



. Mir. Wy.Mciuenit. lit, ^rittniA I don'l luiow who Ihit it. 
Erat. Whkl'l ihE iiaizie of thu iDnleeper u Umoga who glvs >uch good . 
Pamr. Pelil-I«n! 

Erat. Thu^ ihc nun I Wc gcnnlly weni ihcre UHciher ID enjoy oun 
the ouBc of that plan ju Limocu whor p«ople promanuet 
Aar. ThE ccmetsy of the Artno T 
Bras. pKcisdy. Tbu'i wherE I paued mcb pleajuil boun in EDJoylDg y* 



lia. Wli«'. 



Ptar. EicuH ne. I an begbmii^ to RineailMr. [ 7s Siritanl.] May ibe dtvkJ take me 
Str. {Aiidilo Pimrttantitac.] Tliere an a huodnd ihing* like (hat which pan out of a 
Erat. Tell oh all the newiabiHU ifae family. How b, hovit'^hEie! ihe one ihai'i luch 




d Ibe one who ii lUwiiyt to pwd-tempered — Itien 



r. Tlvat't wbam I onant.— the good lady yc 



him f A (all, finety-madc fellow ' 

Jl. 

12 

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Erat. Who i> your Dcphcw t 
/■™r. Yb. 

EriH. Sod of your brother and ^tert 

Era). Oman of ihe church of Now, whiil'i lh> Dunt tt Ihu church t 

P«,T. Si, Sttphen. 

Pnr.l Iq Str^i\ He n]enli<H^°ihe"'ha]e Sinily. 

And SO Ihe wily conspirators have (heir will. In England, loo, some of the 
fiuniliar confidence iricka were practised by sharps long before the present 
era. Here is corroborative evidence in the " London Guide" of 1816, which 
speaks as if (he tricks were then well-nigh obsolete; 

tt an aJDioii obsoleie pmciice. and Ju iwin cheal, ring-droppinf, nol leu disiucoT " Whal ix 
thil?" Mvs the dropper- "My wijcsyl ir thit Jft not ■ leather pune with money I Ha T ha! 
ha I Lei'i have a look ai il." WfaUii he uuTi^di iu conienii hii cuinpaiuun cono up aad 
claims a title lo a thare. " Not you, indeed I" repjiei Ihe Hader : " thii nDtienian waa nem 

hi* pnority, Ihe finder declaro Ivinue^ no chiul id the buainai, olTen lo divide it into ihree 
pans, aDd pdnii out a publlc-houie at which they may (hare the conienu and diink over their 

Ad old fHend coota in, wbon the finder can baiely reco^in. Uit remenbo? him by piece- 
meal. 1^ ba^telle, the draught-tuard, or cardi, eahibit the means of itakiDg the easily- 
acquired property, to lately found, but which they cannot divide Just now, for want of change. 
The countryman bets, and if he loses is tialted oD to pay ; if he wins It is atlded lo wbat it 
cominf 10 him out of ibe pune. If. after an experiaicni or two, they discover he bu Utile or 
no money, they nin off and leave liim to answer for the reckoning. 

, Baking for B 
s origin is thus given t Felix Walker, member of Congress for Bun- 
combe County, North Carolina, was once making a long-windcd speech, 
wheti, notiiHng the impatience of his listeners, he pausea long enough to 
inform them that he was not speaking for their Ixnelit, but for Buncombe. 
Though the story has become a classic, it seems pretty certain that bunkum, in 
the modern sense, was in use almost a century ago in New England, the pos- 
sible tierivation being from the Canadian French "II est buncum sa" ("II est 
bon comtne fa"), " It is good as it is." The phrase has crossed the Atlantic, 
and is as thoroughly accepted in England as in America. 



_ B Aab, a famous problem of the medlxval schoolmen, named 

after its lepuied auihoi, Dr. John Buridan, rector of the University of Paris 
in 1347. 'I'he story runs that Queen Joanna of France was in the habit 
of throwing her lovers into the Seine as a precaution against their blabbing ; 
bat she made an excejilion in Buridan's case, who, in gratitude, invented the 
problem. What il has lo do with the matter has never been explained. The 

Eroblem itself runs as follows. An ass is placed between two equidistant 
undies of hay. Will he feed of one or the other, or, entranced by their 
opposite attractions, find it impossible to choose, and so die of starvation ? 
It will be seen that the whole question of free-will is involved, for, if the ass 
eats at all. he must make a choice between alternatives of eiiuai force. Many 
of the schoolmen, however, were for making him die of indecision. Others 
denied Ihe possibility of the balance, — which wasnoansweratall. The problem 
anteilates Buridan. Dante thus states it in the " Divine Comedy ;" 



If diber he cculd bdag imto hto te«h. 



. Coogk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. I3S 

So would A lunb between tbe raveofaigi 

Of two fierce woJvfs vund rearing boUi ItUke ; 
Aod to would kUfid ft dog between two doet. 

PArAdiitt CuitD 4, LuMi 1-4, LoDfffeJlow'i tramUtioD, 
Dante died in 1^21, so he could not have taken the thought from Buridan. 
It is nearW as unlikely that a copy of Ihe " Conimedia" should have reached 
Paris and been read by a scholastic who would have looked down upon la 
liHgua volgare as a mere patois. Both were obviously indebted 10 some 
common original. 

Bnnit child fear* tiw fire, A, a proverb common to most modern Ian- 
pages. 

loDfua, A tulcwd dog feui cold water, \t better still. Outi doei but ejtpn» box ihtde 

with a ulck lA afraid i>r iu vhadow , 

the nnmy South, where the glancing but najulleu 111 

WboDI 4 ttrpoit has biltcD a lizard alanni. With a _ , . — _, _ 

rabbu had laid long before. One bitten by a aeqKDt l> afiAld of a rope'i end, even that 

But me no bnt«. This phrase may be found in Fielding's " Rape upon 
Rape," Act ii., St:, a, and in Aaron Hill's " Snake in the Gtaaa," Scene i. 
But analOEOOS expressions are frequent among the Eliubetlian dramatisls. 
Thus, Shakespeare says, " Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle" {Rich- 
ard II., Act ii., Sc 3I, and "Thank me no thanks, not proud me no prouds" 
{Rtmet>aHdyuiia.Aaui.,Sc 5); Ben Jonson, "O me no OV {TAi Cast h 
AlltnJ, Act v., Sc I); Beaumont and Fletcher, ■• Pol tne no pota" (The 
Km^ ej thi Burning Pettlt, Act ii., Sc S). and " Vow me no vows" ( Wit 
withsut Money, Act iv., Sc. 4); Ford, "Front me no fronts" iTht Lad/i 
?rHi/, Act ii. Sc I); Massinger, " End me no ends" (^ ;Vrto Wo^ to /"oy 0/,i 
ZM(f, Act v., Sc. I), and "Virgin me no virgitis" {Ibid., Act ilL, Sc 3); and 
Peele, " Parish me no parishes^' [ TX^ Old Wivi^ TaU). Dryden uses a siui- 
ilar expression twice in " The Wild Gallant :" " Midas me no Midas" (Act ii., 
Sc I), and "Madam me no madams" (Act ii., Sc 2). Fielding himself was 
fond of the locution. He has "Map me no maps" in the play already quoted 
from (Act i., Sc si, and " Petition me no petitions" in "Tom Thumb" (Act i., 
Sc a). Scott, in " Ivanhoe" (chapter ix.), has it " Clerk me no clerks ;" Bul- 
wer. in the *" Last Days of Pompeii" (Book iii., chap, vi.), makes one of his 
characters cry, " Fool me no fools ;" and Tennyson, in " Elaine," makes 
Launcelot tay, — 

No d<*niDPd( I Tot God-i love, a little air I 

Buttons, A aonl Rbore, a humorous phrase for one who is or bndes him- 
self superior to his actual employment, probably arises from an expression in 
George Colman's "Sylvester Daggerwood" (1808): "My father was an emi- 
nent button-maker, but I had a soul above buttons. 1 panted fur a liberal 
I»ofession." 



.d by Google 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



C, the third letter and the second consonant in the English alphabet, as in most 
alphabets derived from the Phcenician. But in the Phcenician, as in ihe Greeii, 
the value of the character was thai of hardf, — Ihc Greek f. The early Latins 
gave it also the k or Greek ■ sound, cepTesenling both sounds by the letter 
C, and ignoring the K character. When later they readopled the dislinctiun 
of sounds, Ihey retained C as the symbol of Ihe hard sound, and added a lag 
to the same character to represent the /sound. Thus Ihe C, when restored 
to its original and undilutea sound-sense, became our G. The Anglo-Saxon 
softened the C before e, i, and j- into the sound of f4, the French into that of r. 
Hence words in our language beginning with the soft sound of e are almost 
invariably of French, and those beginnnig with ch of Saxon, origin. Excep- 
tions like cinder (Saxon liiu/er) result from a corrupted misspelling. 

^a Ira, literally. " that will go," a French phrase nearly equivalent to our 
"it will all come righl in the end." Franklin applied it with great effect lo 
the cause of the American Revolution when he was the miiiisler of Ihe United 
Slates in Paris, and it subsequently acquired wide celebrity as the refrain of a 
popular song during Ihe French Revolution of 1791 : 



Hang ibe antiocnui to the lainp-po«. 

TImk words fell, u all irue pauiou Invc to nmcmbcr, rrom the Up* or Fnnklin in ihe tiy- 

iof limel of IIJJ. When the new! of the disastrous n;lre« through tJie Jeneyi and the 

Da» indeed all wu I0K. Bui Ihe (tout h^ of ^inklin never for a moment Hincbeil. "This 
—AcU/L^n-.nfi/Bry'i^UtPro/U^lUUHiltiiJ^ri^taLii.' "'' "* "" "°"' 



Qa Ta aalU dire, a ^miliar French 1i>cution, whose English equivalent 
might be '■ that is a matter of course," or " that may be taken for granted." 
But recently it has Iwcome the tendency lo translate it literally, ''that goes 
without saying," and these words, though originally uncouth and almtist 
unmeaning to the unpractised eat, ate gradually acquiring Ihc exact meaning 
of Ihe French. 

Cabal, a junto, a union of unscrupulous self-seekers lo promme ihejr own 
interests in church or state, possibly in allusion to the esoteric nature of the 
Jewish Cabbala. The name was given as a sobriquet to the English ministry 
after the Restoration. Thus, December 31, 1667, Pepys notes in his Diary, 
*' The Archbishop of Canterbury is called no more to the Cabal, nor, by the 
way, Sir W. Coventry, which I am sorry for, the Cabal at present being . ■ . 
the King and Duke of Buckingham, and Lord Keeper, the Duke of Albe- 
marle, and Privy Scale." Three years later, in 1670, a new ministry was 
foTnied, with the fullowing members : Sir Thomas Clifford, Lord AuMey, Ihe 
Duke of ^uckin^hain. Liird Arlington, and the Duke of Zaudetdale. It will 
be seen that the italicized initials turm the acri^tic "Cabal," a ' 



i:h led to the bllacv that the word Cabal crew out of the acrostic 
IS the first writer guilty of this etymological blunder, and he has been 
„ — J 1... _.i__ t:_.__! — ._j 1 — 1 — II .i_ lictionaries and 



closely followed by other historians, and by nearly all the dictionaries and 
works of reference. 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 137 

CeBOw's wife mn>t b« above Biupioioa. This phrase, according lo 
Suetonius and Pluiuch, oriBinaied with Cxsar under the rullowing ciicuni' 
ttances. His wife Pompeia had an intrigue with Publiua Ciodius, a member 
of one of the noblest ramilies of Rome and a brilliant and handsome proHi- 
gale. As he could not easiiy gain access to her, he took the opportunity, 
while she was celebrating the raysleriea of the Bona Uea ("Good GoddtsB," 
a dryad with whom the god Faunus had an amour), to cuter disguised in a 
woman's habit. Now, these mysteries were celebrated annually by women 
with the most profound secrecy at the house of the consul or prseior. The 

trcsence of a man was abideous pollution: even the pictures of male animals 
ad to be veiled in the room where these ceremonies were performed. While 
Ciodius was waiting in one of the apartments for Pompeia, he was discovered 
by a maid-servant of Cxsar's mother, who gave the alarm. He was driven 
out of the assembly with indignation. The news spread a general horror 
throughout the city. Pompeia was divorced by Cxs»r. But when Clo<lius 
came ap foi trial, Cxsar declared tlial he knew nothing of the affair, though 
his mother Aurelia and his sister Julia gave the court an exact account of 
all the circumstances. Being asked why, then, he had divorced Pompeia, 
" Because," answered Czsar, " my family should not only be free from guilt, 
but even from the suspicion nf it. (Suetonius.) Plutarch ^ives it, "Because 
1 would have the chastity of my wife clear even from suspicion," This was 
very well ; but Ctesar had no mind to exasperate a man like Ciodius, who 
might serve his ambitious projects. The judges were tampered with. Ciodius 
was acquitted. Cicero was enraged. "The judges," said he, "would not 
give any credit to Ciodius, but made him pay his money beforehand." This 
expression made an irreparable breach between Ciodius and Cicero, lo their 
mutual undoing. Ciodius succeeded in having a law passed fur Cicero's ban- 
ishment, demolished his house, and persecuted his wife and children. Ciodius, 
on his part, was impeached by Miio, the friend of Cicero. The latter was 
unsuccessful. But Milo and Ciodius met, shortly afterwards, on the Appian 
Way. The seivaiils of both engaged in a getieral fray, anti Milo's faction 
triumphed. Cludius took shelter in a neighboring tavern, but Milo had the 
house Btotmed and Ciodius draped out and slaiiu 

Cake, To tak« ths, an American colloquial expreauon, applied tooue who 
doe« a thing pre-eminently well, or, sarcaalically, and more usually, to one 
(ho fails conspicuously. It had its origin in the negro cake-walks common 
n the Southern States, and not unknown in the Notlhern. The waik usu 



who fails conspicuously. It had its origin in the negro cake-walks 
' " ulhern States, and not unknown in the Notlhern. The wail 

, a ball. Couples, drawn l>y tot, walk around a cake especially pre 
pared for the occasion, and the umpires award the prize to the couple who, in 
their opinion, walk must gracefully and are attired with the greatest taste. 
Hence they are said "to take the cake," — an expression which has attained its 
wide currency through the burlesques in the negro minstrel shows. 

Vet the negro cake-walk has respectable ancestry in the medixvat past.- 
Gerard'i " Heiball " (1G33) informs us that "in the springtime are made with 
the leaves hereof newly sprung up, and with egs, cakes or tansies, which be 
pleasant in taste, and good for the stomacke ;" and a contemporary, speaking 



of the Strictness of the Puritans, says, " All gan . . .. ^ . . . 

of loss are strictly forbidden ; not so much as a game of football for a tansy." 
According to Brand, in the Easter season foot-courses were run in the 
meadows, the victors carrying off each a cake, given to be run for by some 
better person in the neighborhood. In Ireland, at Easter and Whitsuntide, 
the lower classes used lo meet and dance for a cake raised on top of a pike 
decorated with flowers, the prize going to the couple who held out the longest ; 
and in some parts of England a custom prevailed of riding for the bride-cake. 
" This riding took place when the bride was brought to her new habitation. A 



138 HANDY-BOOIC OF 

pole, three or four feet high, was erected in Tront of ihe house and ihccakc pal 
on top of it. On the instant thai the bride set out from her old home, a com- 
pany of young men starlet! on horseback, and he who was fortunate enough to 
reach the pole tirst and knock the cake down with his stick received il from the 
hands of a damsel. This was called 'taking the cake.' The fortunate winner 
llien advanced Co meet the bride and her attendants." — Rev. A. MaCAULav ; 
Hiitary and AtttiquitUs ef Claybreek (1791). 

Gak«, 'Wily dont they eat? This is said to have been the reply made 
by some very young and very ingenuous princess — variously nominated by 
the authorities as Marie Antoinette, the E^incess de Lamballe, or some less- 
known person — when she was informed that there was a Famine among the 
poor, and that many were dying for want of bread. The Ameritan Nda and 
Qutrits (iv, 103) comes to the rescue of the maligned princess — whom il 
asserts to be Marie Antoinette — by explaining that what she really said was, 
" I would rather eat pie-crusl [croitimi) than starve." And allhough the 
courtiers giggled, the laughers, says this authority, "are on the aide of the 

?rinceas, tor what she said showed her good sense and knowledge of the 
'yrolese peasantry. Iii the Tyrol it was customary 10 prepare meat for 
cooking by lirsl rolling it up in a 'breading' composed of sawdust, with a 
small amount of flour to give it coherence. It was placed among the embers 
and left to cook slowly. When the meat was ready to be served, the crust 
was thrown away or fed to swine. Certainly crofitons might not have been 
suitable for a steady diet, but nevertheless the princess was wi.ser than those 
who tell the story in the ordinary form." 

Cahtt. Tau CMUlOt havft yonr oake ana eat It; a familiar English 
proverb, of obvious application. It appears in this form in Heywood'i 
" Proverbs :" 

Would v« both cat your cake and bavi your cake t 
And in Herbert's " The Siie :" 

Camel. " It is easier for a camel to go through Ihe eye of a needle, than for 
a rich man to enter into Ihe kingdom of God" {Afaa. xix. 14). This phrase 
has occasioned much controversy among commentators, many of whom have 
held thai it is hyperbolical, and wanting in that propriety which usually char- 
acleriies the metaphors employed by Jesus Christ Ongen aitdTheophylact 
leaned to Ihe opinion that cable should be substituted for camel, claiming that 
among the Hellenistic Jews n^ij^ meant indifferenllya Cable Or a camel. St. 
Anselm is said to have explained it thus : " At Jerusalem there was a Certain 
gale, called the needle's eye, through which a camel con'd not pass but upon 
Its bended knees and after its burden had been taken off; and so the rich man 
■ should not be able id pass alone ihe narrowway that leads to life till he had put 
off the burden of sin and of riches,— that is. bv ceasing to love them." (Gloesa 
apud S. Anselm. in Calma Aurea, vol. i. p. 676, Olf. trans., 1841.) St. Anselm 
might have gone further than this. It seems to be pretty well established that 
the term needle's eye was frequently applied to a small door or wicket in an 
Eastern town. Nay, such an application does nol seem unknown in the West. 
Danle [Purgattrit, Canlo xv. 16) speaks of himself and his conductor Vergil 
crawling through a cmna, — i.t., Ihe eye of a needle, meaning a narrow passage. 
Nevertheless the question cannot be considered as settled. Taking the saying 
in its most literal sense, il is scarcely more hyperbolical than that other utter- 
ance of our Lord, " Strain al a gnat and swallow a camel." In any event 
Christ was only making use of a proverbial expression, the comparison of any 
difficulty with thai of a camel or an elephant passing through the eye of a 



I.ITERARY CURIOSITIES. 139 

needie beiti^ a CLmlliar Minile to Oriental hearers. (Sec Nolit and Qutriti, 
fifth series, ix. 37a> 
Shakespeare constraed the passage in St. Anselm's sense when he said, — 



lit up a second, then a 
and so on till nineteen were cut up ; and as the nineteenth was eaten by the 
surviviiig ducic, it followed that this one had eaten his nineteen comrades in a 
wonderfully short space of time. This preposterous tale went the round of the 
newspapers in France and elsewhere, and so gave the word canard (" duck"), 
in the new sense of a hoax, first to the French language, and then to all civil- 
ized tongues. This story may have suggested to W. S. Gilbert his " Yarn of 
the Nancy BelT." 

OrdiUBl, from the Latin cardo, a binge, a name applied in earlier ages to 
priests and deacons in 3 mctropolilan cnucch who acted as a sort of council 
with the Ushop. It was never exclusively appropriated to members of the 
Sacred College at Rome until Pius V. so limited its use in 1567. thirty-three 
nam after the formal nullification by Parliament of the papal authority in 
Britain. Hence the title still lingers m the English Church, and to this day 
two members of the Coll ese of Minor Canons in Sl Paul's Cathedral, London, 
are styled " the Senior and Junior Cardinals of the Choir," their duties being 
to preserve order in the services, administer the Eucharist, and officiate at 
funerals. Thanks to the secularization of church properties, other traces still 
eiist in various parts of Protestant Euiope of the old hierarchical nomencla- 
ture—thus, Lonl Abbot of St. Mary's, at Newry, in Ireland. The nomination 
of one of the sons of George III., while in his cradle, to a Hanoverian bishop- 
ric gave point, it will be remembered, to a passage in one of Bunis's most 
characteristtc poems. "It once occurred to me." says a newspaper writer, 
" to be presented to the Htrr AH and the Frau AiCin al a secularized abbey 
in the duchy of Liineburg. The Htrr Ail was a friend and correspondent 
of Strauss, and the Enm Aitin waltzed remarkably well." 

Cards, Od Um. Roughly, this common locution may be deJined as in the 
Allure, in order, within the range of probability. Thus, Micawber, in " David 
Copperfield," says, " By way of going !n for anything that might be on the 
cards," etc Here the last part of the sentence is equivalent to his favorite 
location, "anything which may turn up." An earlier use of the same ex- 
pression occurs in Smollett's translation of "Gil Bias" (1749) : "They wanted 
to discern whether I played the villain on principle, 01 had some little practical 
d^erity, bat I showed them tricks which they did not know to \x on the 
lards, and yet acknowledged to be better than their own." Here the phrase 
is not yet divorced from its original connection with pisying-cards. 

CatptA. This is an old word for table-cloth, as tafia in French means both 
irpet and table-cloth. "On the - " -■ ■■ . ■ ., .... 

on the table for future consideration 

infronted with a person in hii 
It Ibu hb (on hail brcoi 



1(]eh'i!d3c^ 



I40 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Carpet Benight, — in allusion lo Ihe carpet on which mayors, lawyers, and 
other civilians kneel when receiving the honors of knighthood, — a person who 
has been knighted through court &vor, and not in recognition of services in 
battle. By extension the phrase is applied lo all persons who have gained 
without earning it. 



Qkr[KI knithis An HKhu hAve uudledlaw. pbysic,Droih«r otu or»i:i«DC4, whereby Ibcy 
have became TamoiB, and feeing Ibal Ihey are not linighEed aa iDldien, Ihey are nol ihenfon 

or " Knigbu of ihe Carpeiry, or " Knigbu ai ihc GneD Clotb," (o dJuinpiuh ihem from 
IhoK kn^hu tbal an dubbed aa lotdien !□ ihe field.— KjlKDLa HoLUU : AcaiUmf n/ Ar. 

Cany me out, an eiptession of incredulity or contempt, which seems to 
have originated in England about 1780. but is now less common there than in 
the United Stales. It is sometimes elaborated into " Carry me out and bury 
me decently," or, "and leave me in Ihe gutter." An American variant once 
very familiar, " Carry me out when Kirby dies," has a history of its own. 

Caatlea in tbe air, a proverbial phrase found ihraughoui English litera- 
ture, the firs! instance noted being in Sir Philip Sidney's ■■ Defence of Poesy," 
The metaphor is obvious enough. But the French equivalent, "chSleaui en 
Eapagne" ("castles in Spain"), requites explanation. M. Quitard tells us 
that the proverb dales from the latter part of the eleventh century. When 
Henry of Burgundy crossed the Pyrenees at the head of a great army of 
knights to win glory and plunder from the Infidels, Alfonso of Castile re- 
warded Henry's services with the hand of his daughter Theresa, and the 
county of Lusitania, — the latter becoming, under the issue of this marriage, 
Alfonso Henrique^, the kingdom of Portugal. So brilliant a success excited 
the emulation of other warlike French nobles, and set them lo dreaming of 
iie& won and castles built in Spain. In further eaplanation, il may be added 
that previous to the eleventh century lew castles had been built in Spain, 
and the new adventurers had lo build for themselves. 



With eaiint nu. 

« aick utd Hifferifv Chdativi 10 (he active wiry liiilt animal populaiiy nippoHd 10 tinve nioe 
Uvea, thai lareie abimal ia alJ but iarariably tick (in every ■enKoTl be Ak'oid} if raihly pennined 
ID/fl/Ihe m tucc«HfuUy enccuntered and killed. Hawiuange chai ihii Kcond line ihould 

powerful help of rhyme, lo keep il in remeniWDcet^Af/'f 4jvi/^j*erj^i, fourth icriea.ii. 541. 

Cat Th« oat lores Bah, bnt alie ia loath to ivet her feet This is 
the proverb that Lady Macbeth alludes to when she upbraids her husband for 
Irresolution : 

Letiiu " I dare not" wait upoo " 1 would," 
Lilie ifie poor cai ui ihe ada«e. 
Another old English proverb reminds you that " If you would have the hen's 
egg you must bear with her cackling," while the Portuguese say, " There's no 
catching trout with dry breeches." Of the same kind was the good woman's 
answer 10 her husband when he complained of Ihc exciseman's gallantry : 
"Such things must be if we sell ale." 

Cat, To bell the. To thwart or destroy a common enemy at great per- 
sonal risk. The phrase originated in .^op's fable of the colony of mice, who, 
having suffered greatly from the stealthy strategy of a cat, met together lo 
devise a remedy. A young mouse suggested that a bell should be hung from 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 141 

Grimalkin's neck. Thus due nolice of her approach would always be given. 
Greit applause greeled the suggeslion, until an old mouse put the pertinent 
question, "Who will bell the cat?" The phrase has acquired additional 
significance Ihrough an incident in Scotch history. James III. had greatly 
irritated Ihc old nobility by his friendship for arlisls, especially for one Coch. 
ran, an architect, whom he had created Earl of Mar. At a secret meeting of 
the nobles it was proposed to get rid of the favorite. Lord Gray, fearing that 
no practical result would be achieved, related the above fable. But when he 
asked, " Who will bell the cat f" Archibald, EatI of Angus, sprang op and 
cried, "twill bell the cat." He was as good as his word. He captured 
Cochran and had him hanged over (he bridge of Lauder. Afterwards he 
was always known as Bell-the'Cat 

Cat, To wUp the, a 

takes its rise, by a specie! 
practised on country louts. Grose (t7)S5) describes it as "the laying of a 
wager with them that they may be pulled through a pond by a cat ; the bet 
being made, a rope is fixed round the waist of the parly to be catted, and the 
end thrown across the pond, to which the cat is also fastened by a pack- 
thread, and three or four sturdy fellows are appointed to lead anil whip the 
cat ; these, on a signal given, seize the end of the cord, and, pretending to 
whip the cat, haul the astonished booby through the water." 

Cat, Tonch not the oat, but the glove. This is the motto of the Clan 
McPheraon (formerly and, it may be, yet in the Highlands, known as the Clan 
Chattan), and is liorne on the coat of arms of its chief, Cluny McPherson. 
The badge of the clan is the wild-cat, formerly common in the savage moun- 
tain coanlry amid which the clan has its home, where it is yet sometimes to 
be met will), and the motto is meant to indicate that it is as dangerous to 
meddle with the cat as with the Clan Chattan. The Scotch badge, the thistle, 
with its motto, Nemo mi impum lacasit, gives the same warning. 

Catob. This word is usually applied to what was formerly called a bite 
(sec under Biter Bri) and now frequently known as a sell, and also to any 
other tbrm of verbal trickery or jugglery whereby an unsophisticated person 
is brought to the blush or taken at an advantage. A very ancient form of the 
catch in action is afforded by the story of Dido's bargain with the aboriginal 
Africans, whereby she engaged for a sti])ulated sum to purchase as much land 
as could be compassed by a bull's hide, and, cutting the hide into thin strips, 
the wily queen secured enough ground to build thereon the great city at 
Carthage. A similar stoty is loMof William the Conqueror just before the 
battle of Hastings, and therefore, to be strictly accurate, before he had become 
the Conqueror and when he was sim])ly William the Shyster. He, too, under 
exactly the same conditions, made a bull's hide encircle several miles of land, — 
namely, from Bulverhythe (which the cunning elymologist would make synony- 
mous with Bull-hide) to Come-Hide-in- Battel, for thither (says the same au- 
Kttouiy) came lil hidr. The Bull Inn at Bulverhythe is extant to this day to 
corroborate the story. Therefore deny it at your peril. 

Catches of this sort have been familiarized to us by the swindling adver- 
tiser. For example, there is the story of the shrewd Englishman who offered 
to explain, for a very small consideration, how a good de^ of money might be 
saved ; and when the unwary had transmitted the fee he received the reply, 
" Never pay a boy to look after your shadow while you climb a tree to look 
into the middle of next week. Excellent advice, to be sure, but hardly 
applicable to every-day requirements- Another advertiser told his clients 
more succinctly, " Never answer an advcrtisctnent of this kind." If counsel 



14* HANDY-BOOK OF 

of this tort had been taken by the world at large, the eager agriculluiisl who 
enclosed a fee for information as to " How to raise beets" would have been 
spared the chagrin of receiving in return the recipe, "Take hold of the lops 
and pull." 

A well-known story is that of (he showman who had a big placard on his 
tent, announcing thai he was exhibiting a horse with his tail where his head 
o>Whl to be. The inquisitive paid thetr money, were admitlcd within, beheld 
> horse turned around so that his tail was in the oat-bin, laughed shame- 
facedly, and then lingered outside the tent to watch theit fellow -cream res gel 
victimized in the same way. 
The story of another genius is thus summed up in the Chicago Trtiatat: 
" His history is briefly told. After several days of thought he discovered a 
sure way of making money, and, like other men, be was in a hurry to try iL 
He made haste to insert an advertisement something like the following in 
several country weeklies ; 

" Then he hired a dray to bring his mail from the post-office, and had 10,000 
of his recipes printed. Inside of two weeks something like Gooo 01 7000 
farmers had contributed twenty two-cent stamps each for the printed lecipes. 
Then several hundred of Ihem bought clubs and railroad tickets and started 
out to interview the advertiser. At his office they were informed that he had 
left to attend to some business in Europe, and he was not expected back, All 
be had left was a package of 3000 or 4000 slips of paper, on which was 
printed the following : 

" Put your bug od a ihingle. Then bii li whh uoiher (hinglc." 

In the reign of Queen Anne the "bile" became a regular institution, and is 
frequently alluded 10 in contemporary atithote. 

Many of these "biles" were eiiremely coarse, if not actually indecent. A 
very famous one was known as "selling a bateain." It is described at full 
length by Swift, and the curious are also referred to a sufficiently ample ac- 
count in Farmer's "Slang and ils Analoguea," sub vKt "Bargain." The 
modern catch, familiar to bar-room loafers, is oflen a descendant of the gayer 
sort of bite. A few examples of ils more harmless kin may be admitted 
within the chaste pages of this compilation. 

Query : " How do you pronounce Caatoria ?" When the victim has glibly 
given what he holds tu be the true answer and is looking round (br applause, 
Tou quietly take the conceit out of him by saying, " Physicians pronounce it 

»ands Jt IJ, organdsorf 13?" ' 
n the fact that the innocent (supposing he be caught 
young enough) looks upon it as a purely grammatical question, and loses sight 
of the malhemalical aspect But the wary quealioner oflo-day, knowing that 



same way the questioner has a string in reserve when he twangs his bow to 
this effect ; " 1 lost a ring in the river. A week afterwards I cauahl a big 
salmon, and when it was served up to me what do you .«uppose I found on 
opening it V If the victim is forewarned and answers, " Bones," you quietly 
retort, "No; the ring." 

Query : " How do you pronounce the preposition t-o ?" Tbe victim answers 
correctly. You continue, "And the adverb t-o-o^' "And the numcial adjec- 



Coo^Ic 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. I43 

tive t-w-o V Both questions are answered correctly. Now is your chance t 
" And how do you pronounce ihe second day of the week T' There are a few 
people sdll left who will unwarily reply, "Tuesday." A pendant tu this is 
only capable of oral delivery, for reasons that will be apparent at once. Ask 
a man to write down the sentence " It is two miles to London." He does so 
readily enough. Then confound him by asking him to write down this sen- 
tence, — which can no more be printed than it can be written, and must there- 
f<»e be phonetically indicated, — "There are two Oi'a in that sentence." 

But enough of these puerilities. A task lietter befitting the masculine 
intellect is that of learning the current "catches," whereby a man may inge- 
niously obtain a drink without paying for iL Two very common ones must 
suffice. The thirsty but impecunious soul approaches the bat-tender with a 
reiiuest itx brandy, or what not. He takes a sip, pronounces it detestable, 
and oflers to change it for a glass of whiskey. The obliging bar-tender sub- 
stitutes the whiskey. The customer drinks, smacks his lips, and prepares tn 
depart. " Here," says the bar-tender, "you haven't paid for your whiskey." 
" No," is the innocent response ; " I gave you the brandy in exchange for it." 
"But TOU didn't pay for the brandy." "But I didn't drink iL" And while 
the publican intellect is vainly struggling with the mathematical puzzle involved, 
the puzzler makes good his escape. Another method h, said to lie common 
with a thirsty but moneyless crowd in Western bar-rooms. The spokesman 
bails a passer-l^ and asks him, " Do you know any German ?" " Very little," 
is the inodesi reply. "Well, can you translate Wiu wotltn lit AaiiHf" 
"Why, what will you havef" "Thanks ; make it a whiskey straight," bursts 
umultaneouslv from a dozen parched throats. And the man of polyglot 
information, it he have any sense of shame, will promptly acknowledge that 
the drinks are on him. 

A good instance of a common form of newspaper catch is chronicled in the 
following gleeful manner bv the New York Commerdal Advertiser (May 18, 
1SS9I, under the heading " "fat Sun Ceases to Shine ;" 

Our oIBcnied conHmpomy the .^>r 19 Doi yd nDe hundnd and (XUxa y«n old, bill 
fcemt ta luve lott its •ccvttonied brightnai when qiiolmg lh« faHowing hoax from tbe Sk- 
vabfuh JVnu, uid cutidiDa ii, cobuary lo all that liiheRln >ud," Ijved One Hundred and 
rift«o Yean wilhoui Tfnh /' 

" Then «u ■ Tery old Run from MoivnlKr In atloiduice nt Pike Superior Court lut 

bb aie. 'We[l,'heujd.'?iu7e lo lee'Februuy 31 I wUl be one hundred and firieen ycais 
old. Anudier rrmu-kablc bcl conn«ied wiih my coniiruolon ij ihat I haven't a tooth in my 



Doublleia when the 31K of Febnury comei round the Sun will know belter, or else ceue 

It is not anotual with editorial wags to confound a literary aspirant by tell- 
ing him that they have read every word of his poem, or what not. " Where ?" 
cries the indignant tyro. "In the dictionary." In the same wa;j Barnum 
tised to bring consternation into the hearts of his grocers by complaining that 
their pepper WM half peas. When they protested, he would quietly ask, "How 
do yon spell pepper f and the catch stood revealed. 

A number of catches have descended to us from an immemoiial antiquity 
in the form of question and answer. Probably the best.known are "Where 
was Moses when his candle went out f" and " Who was the father of Zcbedee's 
children f" We will not insult our readers' intelligence by printing the 
answers. (To be sure, in the second case it misht be objected that there 
is a quite unwarranted presumption that 2^bedee^ children were more than 
naoally wise But let this go.) Here are a few more "chestnuts." whos* 
whisken lue powibly of a less portentous growth : 



;i:,vG00gk" 



144 HANDY-BOOK OF 

What is the best way of making a coat lasl ? Make itie trousers and 
coal firsL 

What is that from which you may lake away the whole and yet have 
left? The word wholesome. 



Which would you rather, look a greater fool than you are, or be a greater 
tool than you look ? (Let the person choose, then say,) Thai's impossible. 

Which would you rather, that a lion ate you or a tiger ^ Undoubtedly, the 
supposilitious "you" would rather that the lion ale the tiger. But he does 
licit always " calch on," 

How do you spell blind pig in two letters ? P G without an I. 

When can donkey be spell with one letter ? When it's U. 

If I saw you riding on a donkey, what fruit should I be reniinded of^ A 
pair. 

Whatcomea aflcrcheese ? Rats! 

What question is that to which you positively must answer yes? What 
docs y-e-s spell ? 

Catohpenny. A now recogniied term for anything brought out for sale 
with a view to entrap unwary purchasers. It originated in the year 1824, just 
after the execution of Thunell for the murder of Weare, a murder that cre- 
ated a great sensalioii. Catnach, Ihe celebrated primer of Seven Dials, in 
Ij^ndon, made a large sum by the publication of Thunell's " last dying speech." 
When the sale of this speech began to fall off, Caliiach brought out a second 
edition, with the heading " WE ARE alive again 1" the words " we are" being 
printed wilh a very narrow space between ihem. These two words the people 
look for the name of the murdered man, reading it " WEARE alive again ;" 
and a large etiilion was rapidly cleared off. Some one called it a "catch- 
penny," and Ihe word rapidly spread, until Calnach'n productions were usu- 
ally so styled, and Ihe word was adopted into the language. 

Catberine, 8t "Elle a coiffee -Sainie- Catherine" (" She has dressed the 
hair of St. Catherine") is a faniiliar Fieiich proverb applied to an old maid. 
There is a superstition in some of ihe provinces of France that the maiden 
who dresses the bride's hair on her wedding-day will surely become a bride 
herself at some future lime. But, inasmuch as Saint Catherine was the patron 
aaini of virgins, the maiden who waited /our coifftr Sainie- Calheriae never had 
[he opportunity ; she was destined to die an old maid. 

A second and simpler explanation is to be found in Ihe custom of decorating 
Ihe heads of Ihe statues in churches. And inasmuch as only virgins would be 
selected to decorate the head of the patroness of virgins, it was natural to 
consider this office as in a measure [he function uf those who had grown to an 
age when marriage was no longer a possibility. A witty Frenchman says, ii: 
fixing this period, "II y a cetlames vteilles filles ty" — ' '- "- ■-■— 



CatB and Dogi, To rain. To rain profusely, lo rain pitchforks. This 
slang phrase first occurs in Dean Swift's " Polite Conversation" (173S) : " I 
know Sir John will go, though he was sure it would rain cats and dogs" [Dia- 
logue II.). Is he quoting a proverbial phrase ? Or is this an allusion to the 
Dean's own lines written in 1710? 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 1 45 

Drowned pupplo. Hmking ipiaa mil dnncb«d Id mud. 

DiKHpiian tfa City SAmtr. 

Cruciu, an American political lerm, meaning a secret conTetence of the 
leaders or legislators of any political party ii) regard to measures or candi- 
dates. The conclDsions arrived at by the caucus are considered binding on 
lb« memberB in all the public matters to which they refer. The usual etymon 
refers the term to a political club founded about 1714 by Henry Adams and 
bis friends, — most of whom were shipwrights, sea-captains, and persons other- 
wise connected with the shipping interest. Hence the institution was known 
as the Calkers' Clnb^ As its avowed object was 10 lay plans for introducing 
certain persons into places of trust and power, the word caucus may have 
grown out of a corruption of the name. Another less obvious but still plausi- 
ble derivation is suggested by Dr. Trumbull ("Transactions of the American 
Philological Association," 1372), who says its origin is the Indian cau-cau-as'n, 
which he defines as " one who advises, urges, encourages, etc." 

Cbom, Thoa Oreat First There is a line in Pope's " Universal Prayer"— 

which is penisiently attributed to Milton. Even Charles Lamb seems to have 
(alien into this misulie. if Crabb Robinson be right, who records in his Diary 
that when he received his first brief he called upon Lamb to tell him of it. 
" 1 suppose," said Lamb, " you addressed to it that line of Milton, — 
Thou gr^xjlril OHU, leut uudenloiid." 

Caveat emptor (L., " Let the purchaser beware," or " take care of him- 
self"), an ancient legal phrase. It was formerly held that a buyer must be 
bound by a bargain under al! circumstances. Chief-Justice Tindal, in giv- 
ing judgment in the case Brown vs. Edginglon (I Scott, N. R., 504), modified 
this ancient rule. He said, " If a man purchases goods of a tradesman with- 
out in any may relying uimn the skill and judgment of the vendor, the latter 
is not responsible for theit turning out contrary to his expectation ; but if the 
tradesnun be informed, at the time the order is given, of the purpose for 



which the article is wanted, the buyer relying upon the BCller's judgment, 
(be tatter impliedly warrants that the things furnished ' " * 
fit and proper for the purposes for which it is required" 



Caviare to the general, something above the intellectual reach of the 
crowd. Shakespeare makes Hamlet use the phrase ; " The play I remembered 
pleased not the million ; 'twas caviare to the general" (Act ii., Sc 2). Caviare, 
a preparation of sturgeons' toes, originated in Russia, and was at one lime a 
considerable article of commerce between that country and England. In 
and fashionable delicacy, relished only by 



title frequentty given to China. It is derived from 
loe Chinese words Tien Chan, — i.e.. Heavenly Dynasty, meaning the kingdom 
which the dynasty appointed by heaven rules over. The term Celestials is a 
nickname of ftK'eign manufacture, and S. Wells Williams, in "The Middle 
Kii^dom," informs ns that "the language could with difficulty be made to 
ezpreaa such a patronymic" 

Cant Kot irortb a. From a very early period the names of small coins 
have been used in popular speech and in literature to set a low estimate on 
some person 01 tbiog. Tlius, in the old epic " Huon de Bordeaux" the 
"amirtil" tell* the bero, — 



'3 



;i:,..G00gk" 



146 HANDY-BOOK OF 

which, translated into good American, would read, " A)t Ihe same, I won't do 
jl, nor do 1 care for your god worth a cent" The expression is continually 
met with both in Trouvire and in Troubadour lileralure. The Germans say, 
"I wouldn't give a red heller for it" (" Ich rilhe kelnen rolhen Heller dafiir"), a 
curious analogue to our "red cent." Eiiglishmen say, "not wurth a far- 
thing," and use "twopenny" as an adjective of eitreme contempt The still 
more common phrase " not worth a dam" is in ail probability of analogous 
origin. It was nrst used by Englishmen trading in the East, and is held to 
be an allusion lo the dim. a small brass coin current in Persia and in India, 
equivalent in value lo one-fortieth of a rupee, or about a cent. In England. 
owing to ignorance of itH origin and meaning, it suffered urthographicaT pro- 
fanation, and came lu signify a thing of so small account as not tn ix worth 
the waste of breath involved in damning it The American phrase " Not 
worth a continental dam" would be nonsense unless we recogniied that at 
the lime when lirsl used some faint memory of its original meaning slill 
clung to the word Aim. 

Cmrtam e«t quia impoaaiblle (L., " It is certain because it is impossi- 
ble"). This paradoxical declaration of an overruling faith occurs in Terlul- 
lian's treatise " De Carne Chrlsli," S * The coutcm is as follows : •• Nalus 
est Dei Alius ; non pudet, quia pudendum est El mortuus est Dei Hlius ; 
prorsus credibile est, quia ineptum est Et aepullus, resurreiil ; certum al, 
quia impNtibitt. Sed njEC quomodo in illo vera eiunl si i|)ai non fui( verus, 
si non vers babuit in se quod figerelur, quod niorerelur, quod sepelirelur el 
tarelur." Sir Thomas Browne was fond of quotin|; this expression. 
. n " Religio Medici," Part i., { 9, " I learned of Teriullian certum est quia 
impoisibile est I learned to exercise my faith in the ditlicultest point ; for 

■■ '* ' ,t Til- 

. . , , = '"hat 

ly find in themselves ; but I must freely acknowledge that I could 
never yet attain to thai bold and hardy degree of faith as to believe anything 
for this reason, because it was impossible. So thai I am very far from being 
of kit mind, that wanted, not only more difficulties, but even impossibilities, 
in (he Christian religion, to exercise his faith upon." Naturally the entire 
school of experimental philosophers, lo whom failh is synonymous with cre- 
dulity, condemn the saying. " When one thinks," says Huxley, " that such 
delicale questions as those involved fell into the hands of men like Papias 
(who believed in the famous miltenarian grape story) ; of Irenseus with his 
' reasons' for the- existence of only four gospels ; and of such calm and dis- 
passionate judges as Tertultian, with his Cnda quia imfoasiMe, the marvel is 
that the selection which constitutes oar New I'eslamenI is as free as it is from 
obvious objectionable matter." It will be seen Ihal Huxley substitutes credo 
for cirtum eti. The misquotation is very common. Even Sir Thomas 
Browne, who knew better, falls into it at least once. Another familiar error 
is the falhcting of the saying on St Augustine. 

ChBOan i son jgofit (Fr., " Every one lo his taste"), a ^miliar proverb 
embodying the Gallic equivalent for the old Ijlin maxim, " Uc guslibus non 
est dispulandum" ("There is no disputing about tastes"). 

h ii Hid ihal ihc Jcui arc Ihc Aottn peoi^e of Cod. Well, cAwKndtDHCfie/, Tbcy 

f)De would bv Bife ill wiigcHne dial uiy givoi public Idea it erroneous, for U hm bevn 

tkldcd ro ihe ci*mur of lh« nujority; uid thii luicdy philDAophicHJ, mllhcnieh HDiD^what 
RDch, uKTiioD bu cip«iiil bcuiQE upon the whal* rKce of wlutt uc lermM nuiximi aud 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 147 

ejrably rklK of tfaem b the uitique uAm^v, Dt gMUim mim tit A'iPuiandtim, -^tbat tiho^d 
DO dupDIioff iboul tkule. Hert (he idu dcajgned ra be conveyed i» thoi-uiy one penon 
haiu just rifhl to coiuidcr hii own (baic true hi hu mny one Dther,-MhAt UUC ludTin tborl, 
i»ukut)LtnuyHincthing,aincnHb1r lo do law, And meaturAbLt by no dcAnilc rules- — £.A.Pov. 

Chalks. To ^ralk ona'a ohaUu, to move awav, to run awav, "to cut 
one's stick." The origin is uncertain, but it is plausibly suggested that it may 
be found in the pTerogative once accorded to travelling royalty, whereby the 
marshal and eereeanl chamberlain designated by a chalk-mark the houses to 
be occupied by the retinue, and the inmates were expected to vacate at once. 
In 1638, when Man de MMicis came to England, Sieur de Labat was in- 
Hlrucied " lo mark all sorts of houses commodious to the reiiuue in Colchester." 
The apparently analogous phrase " to walk the chalk" haa a totally different 
origin and application. It is a reference to the ordeal on shipboard by which 
men suspected o( drunkenness were tried, — a straight line being drawn, along 
which they were to walk. 

Clurada, a form of amusement which consists in taking some word whose 
every component syllable forms a word in itself, then describing each syllable 
by a synonyme or a detinilion, reuniting the whole, describing that too in the 
e way, and asking the reader or listener to guess what the word is. An 



example is the following 1 



My lirK nuka conpuiy. 
My Kpond ihuns compuy. 



inbtw myielf wiltul; 

y whole, my whole't wonh noughl at 



Sydney Smith is very hard npon this innocuous amusemeni. Indeed, he 
calls charades "unpardonable trumpery," and insists that if ihey are made at 
all, they should be made without benefit of clergy, the offender should instantly 
be hurried off to execution, and be cut off in inc middle of his dulness, with- 
out being allowed to explain to the executioner why his tirst is like his second, 
or what is the resemblance between his fourth and his ninth. Yet some very 
clever men have condescended lo this trumpery, amone them Winthrop Mack- 
worth Praed, C. S. Calverley, R. H. Baiham, and ollierB. Here is Praed's 
brat, a really fine poem in itself; 

Come from my Flm, ly, come ; 
The batde dawn if niffh, 
And Ibe KRuning trump uid the tbuDderLag tlrum 

Fjf bt, Uljiy bdicT fought ; 
fSi m Iby fitber fell : 
Thy tJklk b taugbt. thy ihruud u wmught ; 
So FoTwum and fiucwell [ 



Toll ye my SecoDd toll : 
Ride high Ibe Bunbeau't ligbt ; 
id ling tEe hymn for ■ puled Bout 
Beneath the liLeiit night ; 

L.:,l,zi;i:,vG00gif 



HANDY-BOOK OP 

The tadm upoo ha baad, 

The croMupon hkbnAS, 

La Ibe pmyer be iwd, ud Uk lear \ 

Now uke Ud lo hit re« I 

Call ye ny Whole, go oil 

The lorded' lute udlir. 



Onihel 



f of a toldler'a nave I 
Cimp-beU (Campbell). 



H«T« are a number of charades which seem to have established themselves 

in popular Ikvor : 

My first begins with a B, my second begins with a B> and mjr whole is 
generally said of a Ba^By. — Hum-bug ! 

When you stole my first, I lost my second, and you are the ontj person lo 
give me my whole. — Heart's-ease 1 



My Uiird ef 



> ihc mdd'i beii half wiihln k. 



My 'ole you eata with munofKhma. 
_ . .. ..^.. (j^Q^ the cockney'a aDDoa i 

Mr firti bilet yoa. 
My HCODd fighu y«i. 



The form of riddle sometimes known as decapiui 
charade. A very few examples will have t( — '^-- 



Take away one letter from me, and I murder \ take away two. and I probably 
shall die, if my whole does not save me.— Ki 11^ II— skill. 



Cutoff my tuil.and plunil ] appear: 
Cut off mv head and tail. and. wondroui [act. 
Although my middle'i leTl, ihen'i nalhbl( ihae. 

In whoae tcanilucent dcplhi I feaileu play, 
Did. (The above haiaomeiiniabenialiijbuted ID Macauky.) 
There is a word of seven letters, take away five, a male remains, take away 
four, a female, take away three, you have a brave man, while the whole it \ 
brave woman. — He, her, hero, heroine. 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 149 

I am neither fish, flesh, nor Ibnl, yet I Irequentljr stand ii|K>n one leg, and 
if you -behead me I stand upon l«ro ; what is mote strange, if you agam de- 
capitate me I stand upon (bar, and I shall think you are related to me if you 
do not now recogniie me. — Glass — lass — ass. 

The last-quoted example reminds one of the famous story of Professor 
James S. Blackie, of Glasgow University. He had posted up a notice, " Pro- 
KssoT Blackie will meet his classes to-morrow." A humorous dog among the 
students rubbed out the c in classes. Tben Professor Blackie got even by 
rubbing out the /. 

Charlvart (a French word of uncertain origin), the n. 



impanied by shouts and cries, and the singing oiT rather low songs, under 
windows of the newly married, especially if they are advanced in vears 
ir have been married belore. Disapproval of unpopular persons 
,>ressed in the same way, and by exlen^on the name is now app 
tumultuous discord. The custom was bruughl over lo America by the French 



pressed in the same way, and by exlen^on the name is now applied lo an; 
tumultuous discord. The custom was bruughl over lo America by the French 
settlers <rf' Louisiana, Alabama, and the Cahadian provinces, and through 



them has been pretty generally diffused over the United States, where it still 

retains its hold mvarious rural coi 

of Uljr Uft, from PeDiuyli 



l^chJgaii, WiBCDDiln, mod I 



la frequemly pncliacd. 



coupJr 00 Iheir nuptial njfht, and CDuisUd or h Kr«iuid? Blade up of beadnK liD paiur btov- 
ins honu. ringilu Cow-belU, playing hortt- Addles, caierwaulmg. and, in fiut, of the use oT 
rvcry (Uugreeablf lound poHibte 10 make night hideous. This noibe was kept up obw, Ibf 



(Uugreeabl 



blank izar- 
11^ naatliwu. Immediately uf ' 



tiidnt ibrtvAh the wuidows, and af 

ofuyw^acou 

■Idy OB their bridal 



and boys, llieoldo' men of ihc commuDky 
protealvd aEalut it.utdall icfpectablc women utterly loaiJicd it. The decadence of this rough 
ibtfD of sport may be jueribed Arsl to the general dlflusJOD of educAtion ;*nd civiliEed customs 
' ubceDeoiuf ODoflateyenn.aad.seGDadly, Bo (be great Eeadency orpopuitkiion towards 
rn the itngWden away from the 



If pi^ officers, whose bu"sineis it is to {nterfer^ with sock jn^llws ol 

im touches our ■dyancidcivllilatia 
ami QurrirM, vol. i. p. i6] (tgSj). 



In tlie nod old city which has been immon 

acnlbHpn nigbt not havr been expected, werv united in the holy bonds of matrimony upo 
■be day which Folkiwed the lunenl a( the Brst nfe of the groom. The oouventional sense o 
pfopfietT iti the Deighboihood was ahrvked by tliia haste in furnishing forth the msuiiag 
Ublswltli the Aincml baked mcau. and upon the nighl ol the wedding a company of sons o 
BcHal gatbered thenuelres together and went 10 serenade the bridal pair with honid upioa 

The efauincl was at in height, and all the region was arouacd by the hideou noise, whe 
A* bride appvand darkly at the wiadow above tbe riotous orvwd, and with supreme feelin 
appealed to Ibcir delicacy. 

'■Ain'lyaiiaahamed.''shetTied,lnhat indignation, "to come here making a distnrbuK 
ttc ibU, irim we had ■ tincral only ycHerday T'—BialBM Cmriir. 

13" 



ISO HANDY-BOOK OF 

ChtutoTed UberUna. This phrase originated with Shakespeare, " Henn 
v.," Act i.. Sc I : 

The lir, 1 chulend'b^blc'urMni'. 



ville in 17S7 called h' 



againsl this opprobrious epithcL 

ChBilvli).CIiailTllliBm. The word " chauvinism," meaning a blatant thirsi 
for miliiarj' gloryi is of comparalively recent origin in France. "' 



"L^ Cocarde Tricolore," a comedy by two brothers, Th<!odore 
and Hippolrte Cogniard, first produced at the Folies Dramatiques on March 
19, 1831. The plot is laid in Africa, and treats of the conquest of Algiers. 



a young recruit, who talks a great deal, displays considerable cour- 
age, and is made to sing couplets with the refrain, — 
j'«iiiFniBfiii,rHi]>auuvbi.— 

J'up* Hit It Bedouin I 
The comedy was a great success in its day, and it is not unlikely that the word 
chattvinitmt originated in (he above couplet Nevenhelesa, a cuntributor to 
the Paris Figara, well known under the pseudonyme of Vieux Parisien, claimed 
that the dramatists were not the authors of the name. Me himself was per- 
sonally acquainted with one Nicholas Chauvin, an old Napoleonic soldier 
with a pension of two hundred francs, who, notwithstanding the many hard- 
ships he underwent while in active service, — he was wounded seventeen 
times, — talked of nothing but the glory of his Emperor. It was from him 
that the authors of " 1^ Cocarde Triculore'' gave the name of Chauvin to 
their young recruit The word ihnuviniime is not 10 be found in the edition 
of Molin's Diclionnaire, published in 1S42 ; but that it had by this time en- 
tered into common parlance is evidenced from liayard and Dumanoir's play 
"Les A ides-de-C amp," produced April 1, li^i. m which one of the charac- 
ters says. " VoD have left finance, but since your marriage you have entered 
into chauvinism, as they my" 

1 England and America, has 
, anslalion of the French C'ttI 
la those, as an appropriation of the Romany or gypsy word ehttst, meaning 
"thing" (cf. HiniloBlani cheei,chii, also meaning "thing"), or, more probably, 
as a corruption from the Anglo-Saxon word ceaan, to "choose." In the latter 
case, " that's the cheese" would mean " that's what 1 would choose." By way 
of illustration niighi be quoted Langland, " Now thou might cheese how thou 
counlesi to call me" {Viii<m a/ Fieri Plmaman), or Chaucer, "To chese 
whether she would marry or no." A story that is told lo explain how Ihe 
plirase arose is worth quoting, because il is sufficiently amusing in itself, but 
It has no philological value. It is said that an old woman in the north of 
Ireland had a grandson of voracious appetite. Once she had purchased a 
cake of brown soap, and laid it on the window-sill. A few hours afterwards 
she asked, " Paddy, Where's the soap ?" " Soap f — what soap i" " Why, the 
soap that was on the window-sill." "Oh, granny," said he, "that was the 
cheese." This was a standing joke on Paddy, and became a popular by- 
word ever after, so much so that the emittent comedian David Rees iniro- 



Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 151 

duccd il as a gag into Ihe play or "The Evil Eye." and made it bmous 
throughout England, 
"To get the cheese" means to receive a check or disap|)oi ■-■" 



■jr thereaneni. Beau Krummel, presuming on his iiiiiniacy w 
fonnal d 



the Prince Regent (afterwards George IV.), used lo take Ihe hberly of arrivii 
■ ■ and always expected that Ihe party would await h 



the Marquis of Laiisdowuc refused lo humor [his whim, and 
>i[ •> uaiiiiuci given by that nobleman the Beau was cieslfailen lo find when 
he appeared that the company were already far advanced wilh Ihe dinner. 
His discomfiture was completed when the ho9t blandly asked him if he 
would have some cheese, — a late course. 

Chelsaa, Dead as, signifies only dead so far as action and usefulness are 
concerned. Chelsea is the seat of the famous hospital for superannuated sol- 
diers built by Sir Christopher Wren in the reign of Charles II. A person 
who "gels Chelsea" — in other words, obtains the benefit of the institution — is 
virtually dead 10 the service and to the world at large. The expression "dead 
as Chelsea" is said to have been first made use of by a grenadier at Fontenoy 
on having his leg carried away by a cannon-ball. 

CbMtDTlt A familiar Americanism for an old story, a twice-told tale. Where 
an Englishman would cry, "Joe Miller 1" or a Frenchman, " Connu !" an Ameri- 
can says, " Chestnut 1" All are rude but effective methods of preventing a con- 
versation from degenerating into its anccdotage. The American word arose 

So when etymologists came lo trace its history they found themselves utterly 
at sea. Many conjectures were offered, — the most amazing being that it was 
a corruption of the words "jest noL" A less rococo explanation was that the 
dead chestnuts of last year, like Villon's snows of yester-year, suggested its 
origin. Any one who has prowled in the forests in spring-time knows how 
often a chestnut may be picked up which is fair to view, but which on exami- 
nation proves to be about as valuable as a Uead-Sea apple. Again, there was 
actually said to be a repealer of outworn jokes named Chestnut who had been 
indicted by the grand jury as a nuisance, "because nobody could stand his 
Stories." But the most plausible theory was that advanced by Joe Jefferson, 
who attributed the introduction of the word to William Warren, the famous 
Boston comedian ; 

' Mr. leffmoDuld to a reporter <A Ibe Philadelphia Frttt, " boi 
...._, 1,^ wTiUmi DiUon and t.tled ' The 6rok« 



pan of ' Pablo.' The capuin I9 a ton oC Bann MunchauKn, and in telling of hit e 
__.._ ., . .. ._ _.,■_„ ,. -'denl/ froai I be thick boughi ofa 



oCB) 

replid ibc cAptaIn, ' Booby, t aay ■ cork-tn 

Warten,wbohad often ptayed the part of' Pablo/ IraBal a ' 11 a^' ill oner two yean ago. when 
one of the eendemen present told a Biory of doulnful age and on^palily. ' A dwudut,' mur- 
mured Mr Warren, qtioting from tite play. ' 1 have heard you tell ihe bdeibcaeiwcnty-Beven 
(imea/ The appUcalioo of the line* pleaacd the leu of the table, and whea the pany broke 
Dp each helped id ipread the ilory and Mr. Wimn'* coinirenlary. And that, concluded 
Mr. JeSfnoD," laiihal t nally believe to be the origin of the word 'cheunut. ' 

ChlokVlU. Butler, in "Hudibras," ii 3, 913, has the lines, — 
To iwallow nidgeoni ere they're caiched 

. reckon l>eforehand on a 



1$^ HANDY-BOOK OF 

of the milkmaiti. SpecuUling what she would do with Ihe money for which 
she sold hec milk, she decided to put il into eggs, which, when hatched, would 
lead up by slow giaditions to fortune. But a sudden jar toppled ilie milk- 
pail off her bead, and away went her dream of raising chickens. 

Child !■ father of the nun. Wordsworth, in his exquisite little lyric 
" My Heart Leaps Up," has these lines ; 

The cMd b rulKT of the miui ; 

And I covJd wub my diyt ta Ix 

Bound each lo uch by luuunl play. 
The sentiment is a commonplace. But the epigrammatic force of the lines 
makes them Wordsworth's own. They are still his own, though Dryden had 
already said, — 

McD BR but childrcp of « Iotect growth, 

All/^ Lmt, Aci iv., Sc, i; 



PuraiUi Rigaintd, Book it., I. no; 
though Pope had said,— 

The bo)' and nun an indivldiul nuka ; 

though Lloyd bad said, — 

Ate childrai but of lujs ii» ; ' 
and thoi^h in France for two centuries the sentiment had been recognized,— 



"Tirocinium,"!. 149; 

Cnuld. Tls B wla« chUd tliat kncnrB hla atta father. An old prov- 
erb, one of the many ways in which the popular voice expresses its misogy- 
nism. The Latin form is well known : " Sapiens est filius Qui novit patreni," 
and, though these words onnot be traced back tu any classic source, the idea 
is found as ixi back as Homer's Odyssey, i. 215 : " My mother tells me that 
I am his son, but I know not, for no one knows his onn father." Shake- 
speare retains the meaning of the proverb, with a slight change in the order 
of Ihe words, when he makes his Lancelot say, " 'Tis a wise father that knows 
his own child" {Merchant ef Venice, ii, 2). Other forms of the same idea are, 
"The mother knows best if Ihe child be like the father" (English), and "The 
child names the father, the mother knows him" (Livonian). The French 
have a cheerful maxim for children who are not wise t "One is always some- 
body's child, and that is a comfort." 

In " Paradise Regained,' 

Whoradi 
iDceuanlly ind 10 bLi reiiding bringi not 

(And whai he bnngm what need be eliewbett s«dlT) 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



C^Se^ 



1, wonh ■ iponfe, — 



"Paradise Regained" was published in 1671. Sir David Brewster, in his 
" Memoirs of Sii Isaac Newton," vol. ii. p. 407, records that a few days befure 
bis death Newton uttered this memorable sentiment ; " I do not know what I 
nuy appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only tike a boy 
playine on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a 
smootiicc pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of 
tnith lay all undiscovered before me." Precisely the same simile may be found 
in Justus Upsius (see AW« aiui Queries, fourth series, viii. 311). May they 
not all be referred to the old story of SL Augustine and the boy on the sea- 
shore ? Seeing the latter trying to confine a little pool of sea-water within ■ 
mud-bank that was contii>ually being washed away by the ocean, the holy man 
found in this an object-lesson teaching that the finite intellect can never compass 
the infinite ocean of truth. 

Chlltorn Hondiecla, a range of chalk eminences separating the counties 
of Bedlord and Hertford, and passing through the middle of Bucks, to Henley 
in Oxfordshire. 'I'hey comprise the Hundreds of Bumham, Deaborough, and 
Slake. They were formerly much infested by robbert. To protect the 
inhabitants from these marauders, an officer of the crown was appointed, 
tinder the name of the ■ Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds.' The duties have 
long ceased, but the office — a sinecure with a nominal pay — is still retained. 
A member of the House of Commons cannot resign, but acceptance of office 
under the crown vacates his seat. Whenever, therefore, an M.P. wishes to 
retire, he applies for this office, which being granted as a matter of course, his 
seat in Parliament becomes vacanL He then immediately resigns the steward- 
ship, so that it may be vacant for the next applicant. In case of need the 
stewardship of the manors of East Hundred, Northshead, and Hempholini 



may be made to serve the same purpose. The custom dates from about the 
middle of the eighteenth century. Its strict legality has been called in uues- 
bon, on the ground that it is not an office of the kind ri 



seat ; but the custom is legitimated by a long line of precedence. Only once 
has the application for the Chiltern Hundreds been refused. This was in 
1843. Awlcward disclosures had been made before an investigating committee 
of the House of Commons in regard to corrupt compromises made with the 
object of avoiding inquiry into briberies practised in the elections at Reading 
and other boroughs. The member from Reading at once applied for the 
Chiltern Hundrecb. But the Chancellor refused, on the ground that he would 
be making himself a party to the questionable transactions. 

L, especially of the tedious 

" Vqu kc, oce of the boya hu puied Id bift checks, and we want to giw hjm ■ gocHJ send- 
off. Bod VD the ibinc I'm od now it to rouu out tomebody to jvrk a littk cbb-miibc for lu and 
wdu blm ibrouih budHimt."— Mam Twiih : JtnfAiv II, p. 333. 

Chip of the old block, one who reproduces his father's peculiarities or 
cbaracteriatica. The phrase may be found as far back as 1626, m a play called 
" Dick of Devonshire," reproduced in Bullen's " Old Plays" (ii. 60) : " Your 
&ther used to come home to my mother, and why may not I be a chippe of 
the Mme blocke, out of which you two were cutte ?" 

_ . . o gel the best o£ The terio 

g^^^ - n__ . ._ _ 



..Google 



tS4 NANDY-SOOK Of 

D. Whai do you think of met Ibw t un ■ chintuef 

Pact. WliU'ithiiT 

D. The Turk [who] wu htre. A> «h irould uy, doc yoo tUnkE I un ■ Tmkct 
The early editors of Ben Jonson note the likeness of this term to the Turkish 
word ckuaa, a " messenger." But it was not till tSi4 that Giffurd, in hia edi- 
tion of Ben Jonson, inserted a note to the effect that in 1609 Sir Robert Shir- 
ley sent a messenger, or a chiaut, to England " as his agent from the Grand 
tjignior and the Sophy to transact some preparatory business," and that thr 
agent turned out to be a rascal, who cheated the Turkish and Persian mer- 
chants in London out of some four thousand pounds and then fled before Sir 
Robert's arrival. Hence, "to chiaus" became synonymous with "to cheat." 
But Dr. Murray states that no trace of this incident has been found outside of 
Gifford's note, and he looks upon the etymon with suspicion. 

Chriatiaii can die, Hoir a. Shortly before his death Addison summoned 
his rakish step-son, Lord Warwick, to his sick-bed. "I have sent for you," 
said ihe invalid, " that you may see how 1 Christian can die." Tickeli alludes 
to this incident iti the famous lines,— 



dJt^MlS.™*''' '■"' ™- ■' 



On thi Otalh ^Aidiun. 

When Marshal Ney rallied a few of bis followers for the last despairing 
charge at Waterloo, he cried out, " Come and see how a marshal of France 
can die 1" (" Venei voir comment meutt un marichal de France 1") The Cin- 
cinnati Cammircial furnished another curious parallel in a story told by one 
Mrs. Wilcoi, an eye-witness 10 the death of Genei^ Andrew Jackson (1845). 
She describes it as a scene never to be forgotten. He bade them alt adieu in 
the tenderest terms, and enjoined them, old and young, white and black, to 
meet him in heaven. All were in tears, and when he had breathed his last 
the outburst of grief was irrepressible. The Congregation at Ihe little Pres- 
byterian church on the plantation, which the general had built to gratify his 
deceased wife, the morning service over, came flocking to the mansion as his 
eyes were closing and added their bewailment to the general sorrow. Shortly 
after this mournful event, Mrs. Wilcoi encountered an old servant in the kitchen 
who was sobbing as though her heart would break, "Ole missus is gone," 
ihe brokenly said to the child, "and now ole massa's gone, dey'a all gone, and 
dey was our best frens. An' ole massa, not satisfied teachin' us how ti> live, 
has now leached us how to die." The poor, unlettered creature did not know 
that she was paraphrasing oite of the most beautiful passages in Ticlcell's 
elegy upon the " Death of Addison." 

Ctlront>gTaiii. A species of literary trifling, which consists in an inscrip- 
tion whose numeral letters (printed or engraved in larger type than the others, 
in order to distinguish them) will form a date. Books, buildings, medals, etc, 
were formerly dated in this manner. Examples will render the prt>cess mt>re 
clear. In Aibury church is the following inscription : 

BEsVuGEN-r eX Isto PVLVehe qVI IhI sepVLtI DorMIVnt. 
Here the larger letters are all Roman numerals, and, added together, the 
result is 1646, This is the commonest and easiest form of chronogram. The 
only limitation is that every letter which has a numerical value must be counted. 
In Hebrew and Greek, however, where every letter of the alphabet has a 
numerical value, even this limitatiDn disappears, and the chronogrammatist may 
arbitrarily select and print in larger type the letters he needs for his purpose, 
A more difticult form of Latin chronogram is exemplified in the following on 
■ medal of Gustavus Adotphus : 



.d by Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 155 

ChrIstVs DVX eboo trIVMphans. 

Here, iflbe numerals are arranged in the order of their relative importance, 
we have MDCXVVVH, which is a clumsy indication of the date 1617, being 
the •jtv in whicli Guslavui won (he victory so commemorated. Far neater is 
this on Queen Elizabeth's death ; 

My Day Closed Is In Immortalily. 

This, indeed, is a rare example of what is known as a perfect chronogram. 
Its special features are that only initials are used, »nd that these initials, taken 
in their ordei, make the date .MDCIII, the exact Roman equivalent for t6o]. 
the year in which Queen Elizabeth died. To be sure, a carping critic might 
object thai there are other letters in the sentence whose numerical value is 
ignored. But if we didn't make believe a little bit, such a thing as a chrono- 
gram couldn't exist at all. An even greater curiosity is this example, at once 
a chronogram and an acrostic, in which the initial letters of each line taken in 
(heir order make 1805, tl " '' ' ' " 



But, at the best, chronograms are a puerile form of amusement. Hisloricai 
students have a constant dread of them. They crop up in the most awkward 
places. You have a sort of feeling, when you are looking for a dale and find 
only a chronogram, that it is something which will go off unexpectedly with a 
loud report And, however kindly your nature, you cannot help repoicine over 
the bte which overlook a certain offender,— Michael Slifelius, a Lutheran 
minister at Wiirlemberg. He thus chronogram malizeit a passage in John xix. 
37, "VIDebVnt In oVeM transflXerVnt" (''They shall look on him whom 
they pierced"), and, drawing therefrom the augury that the world would be 
destroyed in the year 1533, added quite arbitrarily and of his own motion 
the further information that this would happen on the 3d of October, at ten 
o'clock in the morning. But when the appointed time came and passed, the 
exciled parishioners pulled the prophet from his pulpit, dragged him through 
the mire, and then soundly thrashed him. 

The earliest known chronogram is a Hebrew one occurring in the ancient 
scriptural manuscript known as the " Codex Kennicotl 89," which was written 
by Jacob Halevy. Here the Hebrew letters of the word " Law" yield the date 
\x&. Another old codex, known as " De Rossi 826," is dated with the words 
"The Redeemer for ever," which give A.li. 118a In the East chronograms 
have, ever since the invention of the art, been assiduously cultivated, anoeven 



o this day they are largely and commonly used by Persian and Arabic s< 
■^- ■•- *- -' -^e poel Varaini f^ -- ' -- "-'^- "^ 



On the tomb of the poel Vamini there is a verse from Hafii chronograi 
cally giving the dale of his death. This has been cleverly translated by mr. 
Bichnell so as to retain the chronogram : 

1 hall, thee, halL thee : Into gLory CoMe. 
This yields 1254 (year of the Hegita), equal to Anno Domini (876. Of the 
Latin chronogram authentic instances do not dale from earlier than the 
fifteenth century, which we may uke to be about the lime when the chtono- 
gram was imported from the East to the Wesl. It flourished apace, especially 
among Ihe German Reformers, who dated most of their tracts in Ihis way, and 
the Jcsuils, to whose peculiar idiosyncrasy it commended itself. Perhaos the 
greatest of all chronogrammalists, however, was a certain Andrea del ^obre, 
one of the order of Friars Preachers, who published in 16S6 an extraordinary 



..Google 



1$6 HANDY-BOOK OF - 

bmr de force, a book of Lalin verses containing sixteen hundred and ninety 
difTereni anagrams on the words " Saiwator, Genelrix, Joseph," and the same 
number of chronograms, with heaven knows how many other ingenuities in 
the way of acrostics, word-squares, etc 

Mr. James Hilton, an enthusiastic Englishman, who has constituted himself 
the historian of chronograms in two bnlky vulumes issued respectively in iSSz 
and tSSj, speaks feelingly of " the limited extent of chronogram -ma king in this 
country at the time when scholars on the continent were much devoted to the 
art and carried it to such a state of excellence as was never reached in the 
universities or elsewhere In England." Perhaps Englishmen had something 
better to do. Mr. Hilton goes on to express an awful hope that his tomes 
will stimulate the art, and " make it as popular in our time as it was in 
lime past" And, what is worse, he gives us reasons for the hope. Since the 
appearance of his first volume, he tells us in the second, there has been a 
revival. Buildings have been dated in this way. One clergyman, who had 
erected a fernery out of the profits of his tracts on the deceased wife's sister 

ristion, dated that fernery in the following manner (it should be premised 
t the gentleman was a bachelor, and his initials were J. E. V.) ; 
Mv Late VVIfe's sIs.tkr bVILt thIs VVaLL 
bVt I In trVim 
neVer VVkD anv wife at aLL, 

NOB VVOt^T FORSOOTH, 
SAlTH J. E. V. 

Readers who will take the trouble to extract the Roman numerals out of the 
above, and add (hem together, will 6nd they amount to 1834, which is the 
desir»l date. 

Cbnroh alea, also known as Holy or Whitsun ales, were merry-meetings 
held in mediseval England, generally at Whitsuntide and under the shadow of 
the church, for the purpose of raising church funds. Some weeks prior to the 
festival the church -wardens brewed a large quantity of ale. On the appointed 
day all the people of the neighborhood gathered together. The village squire 
and his lady, sometimes accompanied by their jester, look part in the proceed- 
ings. Bull-bailing, bear-baiting, morris -dancing, game^ and songs were in- 
dulged in. In " Pericles," Shakespeare says of a song, — 

On Ember ev'^l^d h^iy^lin. 

iverb common to most modern languages 



.z who go to church," and the Spanish "The devil lurks behind the 

cross." Still another forni of the same root idea Is found in the proverb which 
Defoe has versified in the familiar lines, — 



I chmpcl Ihen ; 
_. .imumiMtion, 

u the UnEcst conercgmtioD, 

Thi Tr<u-Bsrn £-<glu»«tai. Part I. ; 



which b also found in Drummond : 

God ntver had ■ cluptl but their, n 
The devil i chspel halh niicd by to 



Coogk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



ForiAa God buill ■ chunh, dMn tba devil would ■!» build a dupd,— 7U/f Tk/l, 

and in Burton, Herbert, and many olhers. II is curious how the hotnelj 
sense of the proverb 6nds iu echo in Ihe m;sllc lines of Emerson, where 
Brahnu is represented as saying, — 

But Aou, meek Lover of itie good. 
Find me, ud Iiun thy buk on huvcD. 

Brahma. 

Cld«r, All bdk and na An American coJIoqnialism which finds its 
English equivalents in the proverbs " Much cry and little wool," " Much ado 
about nothing." Scheie de Vere suggests that it originated at a party in 
Budits County, Pennsylvania, which had assembled to tTrink a barrel of supe- 
rior ctder ; but, politics being introduced, speeches were made, and discussion 
ensued, till some malcontents withdrew on the plea that it was a trap into 
wbicb they had been lured, politics and not pleasure being the purpose of 
tbe meeting, or, is they called it, "all talk and no cider." [AmirKanisiiu, 
P- 59'-) 

Clgaf. Lillr^ derives this word from eigarra, the Spanish name for grass- 
hopper. When the Spaniards first introduced tobacco into Spain from the 
island of Cuba, in the sixteenth century, they cultivated the plant in their 
gardens, which in Spanish are called ngarrala. Each grew his tobacco in his 
dgarrat, and rolled it np for smoking, as he had learned from the Indians in 
tte West Indies. When one offered a smuke to a friend, he could say, " Ea 
de mi cigarral" ("It is from my garden"). Soon the expression came to be, 
"Este cigarroes de mi cigarral'' ("This cigar is from my garden"). And from 
this the word cigar spread over the world. The name fyurra/ for garden comes 
from eigarra, a grasshopper, thai insect being very common in Spain, and 
dgarral meaning the place where the eigarra sings. In this way (he word 
dgar comes from dgarra, Che insect, not because it resembles the body of the 
grasshopper, but because it was grown in the place it frequents. 

C^dm*, or CTTptognuna. The art of secret correspondence was prac- 
tised from a remote antiquity. Bui the earliest efforts were directed rather 
to concealing the message itself than to veiling its meaning. Among the 
andents, for example, a manuscript message was applied to a sore teg instead 
of a bandage ; thin leaves of lead after being written upon were rolled up 
and used as ear-rings ; a bladder inscribed with a message was placed in a 
bottle of oil so as to fill the bottle. Sometimes a slave was used both as 
wri ting-material and courier. His head was shaved, the message seared on 
bis head with a hot iron, and after the hair had grown again he was sent on 
his destination. There the head vras shaved once more, and the message 
became legible. The latter method had its advanUges. Intelligence might 
thus be conveyed upon a skull too thick for it to penetrate, and under cir- 
cumstances not very rare the absolute guarantee against penetration afforded 
by the medium would be recognized as its greatest merit. But its objections 
arc obvious. The chief point to be considered in a competitive examination 
for the post of courier would be the speedy growth of hair, and the test would 
necessarily be tedious for the examining board. Then, again, when a Slate is 
trembling in the political balance, and wire-pullers are anxiously awaiting 
information as to the disposal of the "sinews of politics," it would be, to 
say the least, dangerous to (he seiitng of a golden opportunity to call in the 
barber, force the growth of the hirsute bush, despatch the bristling Mercury, 
and then literally read his bumps with the aid of a second barber. 

The scytale of the Lacedemonians, so called from the staff employed in 



Goo^k" 



158 HANDY-BOOK OF 

constructing and deciphering the message, seems to have been the earliest 
approach to our modern cipher despatches. When ihe Spartan ephois wished 
to forward their orders to their commanders abroad, they wound slantwise 
a narrow strip of parchment upon Ihe scylale so that Ihe edges met close 
together, and Ihe message was then added in such a way that the centre of 
the line of writing was on Ihe edges of Ihe parchment when unwound, Ihe 
scroll consisted of broken letters, and in thai condition it was despatched to 
its destination, Ihe general lo whose hands it came deciphering it by means 
of a scylale exactly corres|>onding lo that used by the ephors. 

Other methods were gradually invented. By the fourth century before 
Chiist, iCneas Taclicus. a Greek writer on military tactics, is said by Polybius 
lo have collected some twenty different modes of writing, understood only by 
those in Ihe seciei. Among the Romans Julius Caesar made use of a cipher 
(still resorted to occasionally) which consists merely in the transposition of 
the ordinary letters of Ihe alphabet, — wriliiig d for d, e for J, and so on. fiut 
the plan was not original with him. It had already been In use, not only 
among the Romans, but by the Greeks, the Syracusans, ihe Carthaginians, 
and the Jews. Traces of it may even be found in the Scriptures. 'Ihus, in 
Jeremiah xiv. z6, the piophel. lo conceal the meaning of his prediction from 
all but the initiated, writes Sheshach instead of Uabel (Babylon) ; Ihat is, 
instead of using the second and twelfth letters of the Hebrew alphabet from 
the beginning, B, h, I, he uses Ihe second and twelfth from the end, Sh, 
sh, ck. 

Ill Ihe Middle Ages the aii of secret wriiing had developed to such an extent 
that almost every sovereign kept by him an eipen lo transmit his corres|>ond- 
ence and to decipher Ihe iiilercepted despatches of his enemies. In \tpo the 
first important book on cryptography was published by John Trilhemius. It 
is entitled " Polygraphia," and was undertaken at the desire of the Duke of 
Bavaria. It was not originally intended for publication, Trilhemius deeming 
that it would be contrary lo Ihe public interests to have the art generally 
understood. His objections were subsequently overruled. Cryptography by 
this time did not consist merely oF iranspased letters : these were early found 
too easy of solution. Figures and other characters were used as letters, and 
with Ihem ranges of numerals were combined as Ihe representatives of sylla- 
bles, parts of words, words themselves, and complete phrases. Under this 
head must be placed the despatches of Giovanni Micheli, Ihe Venetian am- 
bassador to England in the reign of Queen Mary, — documents which have 
only of late years been deciphered. Many of the private letters and papers 
from the pen of Charles 1. and his queen, who were adepts in Ihe use of 
ciphers, are of the same description. A favorite system of that monarch, used 
by him during the year 1646, was made up of an alphabet of twenty-four 
fellers, which were represented by four simple strokes, varied in length, slope, 
and position. An interest attaches to this cipher from Ihe fact that it was 
employed in the well-known teller addre!<sed by Ihe king to the Earl of Gla- 
morgan, In which Ihe former made concessions to the Roman Catholics of 
Ireland. Much of Charles's cipher correspondence fell into the hands of the 
Roundheads at Naseby, and Dr. John Waliis, Ihe famous mathematician, was 
employed lo decipher it 

But it was with Ihe Revolution of 1688 Ihat the art of cipher- writing was 
developed along the lines which have brought it to its preseni state of perfec- 

Afler Ihe expulsion of James If., ihe Jacobites racked their brains inces- 
santly in contriving the means of secret communication. They resorted lo 
sympathetic inks, by Ihe use of which the real writing remained invisible, 
while a complex cipher, written between the lines in black ink, but which had 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 

A made ute oi to perplex the decipher 
1 that was made um of by Mary of ' 
'hen she despatched her treasonable 
_n the buttons of her iwo spies. Fuller and Crone. Fuller, a 
Jacobites, carried his letters at once to William at Kensington. Ostensibly 
they contained nothing of importance \ but on the application of a testing 
liquid, words of the gravest import became legible. Crone was sought out, 
arrested, tried, and condemned to death. He only saved his life by a confes- 
sion which inculpated the guilty parties. 

Another device was that of writing in parables. I'his was playing the game 
of treason at a cheap rale ; because, though the purport of such letters might 
be easily guessed, the crime of the writer remained incapable of legal proof. 
Hacaulay, in his History, gives some samples of this kind of correspondence. 
One of the Icllers, couched in the "cant of the law," ran thus; 

Tfam ii hope ihai Mr. JackKD will toon Rcover ha uuw. The new iindlord a ■ hard 
™.' ^e o^oi^ii tht°bal coubIS wm'in Mr. \»^ "^"^ - .- " ° " ° P"P- 
<ns ibu be ilicMld himKir appeu- in Wounuuter H>IJ. 






ought ID be befOR 



The real significance of this is too obvious to escape recognition by the 
simplest reader ; yet it is not actionable in law. Mr. Jackson, of course, ts 

tames II. ; his estate is the kingdom ; the new landlord is William ; the free- 
olders are the men of property, and so on, the whole being an invitation to 
lames to make a descent on the coast with a French army (" a little matter") 
before the end of Easter. 

Another device of that time was one which confined the signilication uf 
a missive to certain letters, which could be discovered only by the person 
who had the key. Thus, if ii was required to inform a prisoner that his ac- 
complice, on being tried in court, had not betrayed him, it might be done by 
the following lines, inserted as the second or third paragrapli, according to 
agreement beforehand : 

1 have bat time for ■ few words. Rejoldnf that you are fto weU tiettlcd, I hope Id k^ 
^kUyou Htt better. Can you not write tooot even & word will be welcome (oyour poor wife. 
icMe with your friendi. If Sanh comei id Lon. 
a it D01 cenein. and may not taltc place. I know 

- live much lecluded. 1( Many were here, he, r 

le laai DJght, aud dewed id be ntnembered lo you ; if 
K couU HI you Cree, you would ioon be at Liberty. 
The secret information contained in the above paragraph is far more secure 
froro discovery than anything written in cipher. The governor of the jail, 
who had read it, would in most cases unhesitatingly pass it to his prisoner 
without suspicion ; but the prisoner, who knew the key, would also in a few 
minutes know, by simply reading and putting together every third letter after 
a stop, that his accomplice, ,?i»i«, joiif mu'jii^ on his trial that could impli- 
cate him, — a piece of information which the governor of the jail would, in case 
of treason, be the last person to impart. 

Then came the invention of the cipher, which its originators proudly termed 
the chiffrf imUckiffrabli, — the indecipherable cipher. It was an extension of 
the princi])le of substituting one letter of the alphabet by another. A new 
clement was introduced in the shape of a key-word that was known only to 
the seiKler and the recipient. When the latter (eceiverl tiie messaKe he 
wrote the key-word over the ciphers, and thus introduced new and bewildering 

But as the improvement in armor plates always led to new improvements in 
guns, so the cryptographical armor invariably met with more and more highly 
perfected ordnance to riddle iL The indecipherable cipher was decipher^ as 



covetme Ih 
To tAe i 



i6o HANDY-BOOK OF 

lU predeceuora had been. No matter how compleji the literary puzzle con* 
trived, men could be found who were always ready and able to translate it 
into decipherable language. The most notable instance of this great fact 
occurred in America during (he Presidential muddle of tS7& Cipher mea- 
sages transmitted by Mr. Tilden's agents to the disputed Stale of Uregon fell 
into the hands of Che New York Tril><int. Mr. John G. R. Hassard set him- 
•elf to master the problem. He discovered that the messages contained 
of bribery and corruption. The Tribnnt published the explanation, 
' directly to Mr. Tilden, but only 
reduce Mr. Tilden himself to a 

Another evidence of the dangers of dphei- writing is found in the Agony 
colamn of the London Times, Ingenious spoil-sports, or parties having some 
personal interest at stake, are continually employing their leisure time in dis- 
e the best-laid plans and in making them go agley. 

ingle instance ; On February ii, 1853, the following mad-looking 
t appeared in the Timti: 

iij-ng rd mtwy ni Xnfap n&j ywnj) jrt k*fri t> Jcaglitynu Km dii giy 
jxy uk yraf ywzj hfiju nx uy XEXiuhyjt ; nk ny nx Igg xylWDJx bn^ 

key is very si . 

for a, g for b, and so on in sequence. That the tey was found iiy an inleresTed 
third party is evidenced by the following advertisement which appeared three 
days later in the same column : 

CsHunrroLA. Until iny bean h tkk have 1 tried lo limm u eipUnaiion lor you, bui 
to Iht bollom. Do you Rincinba aar cou^'i Km prapouiion T Tlilnk of ■(. N pHb Dii. 

Now, this is simply a full translation of the first advetiisemenl (correcting 
obvious printers' errors), and the cryptogram at the close, unlocked by the 
same key. reveals " 1 know you." A bomb-shell in the camp this must have 
proved I The originals were silenced forever, so far as the Timts column 

Soes, though the curtain is not rung down there until the third patty has this 
nal shot, February 19 : 

CHniHTOLA. Whii oonKue < Vout oiuilo'i pKHKnilian iiaburd. Ihivcnnnan 
explRDatkin, — llie true one, — which bai perfectly Miianed boih parties, — a tliinjEwbicb wkuce 
never CDutd have effected. So no moR uch ahMrdiiy. 

Ciphers have their humors, as have all other lines of human effort A 
famous example was the mystification practised by George Canning in 1816 
opoi. Sit Charles Bagot, English minister lo King William I. of Holland. Can- 
ning was then Prenner, A treaty of commerce with Great Britain was pend- 
ing. Sir Charles received a despatch one dav at the Foreign Oflicc while he 
was with the king and the Dutch minister Fafk. He begged leave to open it. 
Leave was immediately granted, but he found that the letter was in cipher. As 
he had not the key with him, he could do nothing else than ask permission to 
retire. Going home, he made out the despatch as follows : 



(A CifluT^ 



1b mallen oT commeice, the fault oT Ibe Dutch 
ll oQeriog too littie and aflliing too moctu 
with eoul adyaoiage ihe French an conleat. 
So we'll dap on Dutch boltomi jvil twenty per cm 
OfTM.— Twnty per cent ; iweaiy pet cnu. 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



BnglUi— We'll cUpon Dulchboltoini jnii twnur percml. : 
Fimch— Voui Inppeni Filk kvcc t*CDiy per ant. 

I lu« BO olhei commandi (rom H<> Hajoty to convey lo Vour Etnllcncy UMlay. 1 an 
vltb ETcat tnth and ropccl, fir. Your Excelhncy'i didx otxdScar bumblv servant, 

(Siined) GaoRci Cahhihc. 

H. E. theRl. HoB'bl<SirCbulnBaK>l,G.CB..T)>eHaKue. 

Uticrif unable to make out what this could poasibljr mean, poor Sir Chatlei 
Bagot and his secretary uf legation worried over it for days, and got into a 
correspondence with Mr. Canning, who calmly refused to give them any light, 
until in a happy moment it dawned un>n Sir Charles that the liveliest of Pre- 
miers had tossed rSi a grave piece of fiscal diplomacy into facile verse of the 
sort which had made (he " Anti-Jacobin" lamous. 

But the greatest of all jokes, great because so sublimely unconscious, is the 
"Great Cryptogram" which Ignatius Donnelly claimed to have discovered in 
the works of bhakespeare, proving that ShaJiespeaie did not write Shake- 
speare, and that the real author had laboriously woven into the text, through 
a complicated cipher, the true facts of the case in good nineteenth -century 



English modified by a sufficient sprinkling of recent Americanisms. 

The game was much like that which used to be played with the numocr oi 
the Beasl, of which Macaulay said, " If I leave out T in Thomas, B in Bab. 



Cryptq 
in the ] 



. and M in Macaulay, and then spell my name in Arabic, I 
the slightest doubt that I can prove rnyself conclusively to be the BeasL" It 
finds another parallel in the fifth fit ofthe " Hunting of the Sn ark," where the 
Butcher, even before Mr. Donnelly had published his book, described to the 
Beaver the chief features of the Ikinnelly system in the following lines : 

We add Seven and Ten, and Iben mullkily oiu 
Br One ThsuHnd diminnhed by Eisbi. 

By Nine H^imdted and Ninen and Two,' 
Ejuctly and perfectly true. 

Among the many good skits to which "The Great Cryptogram" gave ti»e 
the best was poduced by J. G. Pyle, author of a pamphlet called " The Little 

yplc^raiii, who, by the application of Donnelly's own system, discovered 
le play of " Hamlet" the following prophetic words : 

DonnOJ be, ibc mnthor, polkLciau, and mouDUbank, will worii odi the lecret of tbbpUy. 

To conclude. Here is a puule which was inscribed over the tables of (he 

Decalogue in a country church and is said to have remained undiscovered for 

two hundred years. But any reader, who teels (hat he can conscientiously 

expend dme on such an ob}ec(, may solve it at his leisure. It runs thus ; 

Pravryprtctnuvrkptluprcputn . 

We will only drop the friendly hint that a vowel, and the sane vowel in 
every case, is to be inserted between every consonant. 

Clromiutuioea over vrhloh I hava no oontroL According to George 
Augustus Sala (" Echoes of the Week." Letidon Illmtrattd JVnoi, Augast 33, 
1S84). this phrase, "one of (he most familiar in modern English," was first 
used by the Duke of Wellington " with reference to some buamess complica- 
tions in which his son was mixed up, about 1S39 or 1840 : > F. M. the Duke 

of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr. , and declines to interfere 

in circumstances over which he has no control.' " Charles Dickens gave 
freuer currency to the eipression by putting it into the mouth of Wilkins 



l62, HANDY-BOOK OF 

Micawber : " Circumstances beyond my individual control have, for a consid- 
erable time, effected i sevetiiice of that intimacy," etc. — David Cafferjieid, 
ch. XX. (1849). 

Citizan of the world, — i.f., a cosmopolite, one who says with William 
Lloyd Garrison, " My country is the world ; my counlrymen are mankind." 
The term, which Goldsmith has taken as the title of a famous series of papers 
feigned to be written by an imaginary traveller of cosmopolitan views, dates 
back to Socrates, who claimed that " he was not an Athenian or a Greek, but 
a citizen of the world" (Plutakch; Oh Banishment). Diogenes Laerlius 
Rttributes the same phrase to his namesake Diogenes. Thomas Paine, in 
" Rights of Man," chap, v., anticipated" Garrison's phrase. " My country," he 
lays, " is the world, and my religion is to do good." The hisloiy of man 
fhowa the gradual evolution of society from the family to the tribe, the tribe 
to the city, the dty to the nation, and with the growth of man's sympathies 
and intellectual range he may eventually realize the dream of Tennyson : 

Saw (heVi^on dT the world, ind ill the wonder Ihal would bt ; 

TUl ihe war-drum throbbed DO longer, ud the buIleHu* woe (uiled 
Id Ihe PuHkmeni of man, the Fcthniion of Ihe world. 

Locksliy Halt. 

Civls Romaniw auiu (L., " I am a Roman citizen"). The proud boast of 
ttia enfranchised citizens of Rome. Caracalla in a-D. Z13 destroyed lis special 
m.'aning by extending the privileges of citizenship (0 all the subjects of Kome. 
There is a famous passage in Cicero's sinth oration against Veires. where he 
instances the case of Publius Gavius, whom Verres had caused lo be lieatcn 
with rods in the forum of Messina : " No groan was heard, nu cry amid all hi* 
pain and between the sound of Ihe blows, except the words, ' I am a Roman 
citizen.' " A memorable application of Ihe phrase in modern times was made 
by Li./d Palmerstiin in the House of Commons, June 25, 1B5D. The foreign 
pulicy of Lord John Russell's administration was under discussion. Palmer- 
Eton, Ihen Secretary of Foreign Affairs, upheld that jiolicy, especially in re- 
gard to the protection affurded to Hritish subjects abroad, and challenged the 
verdict of the House on the question "whether, as the Roman in days of old 
held himself free from indignity when he Could say, Crvis Romania tutn, so 
also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that 
Ihe watchful eye and strong arm of England will protect him against injustice 
and wrong " 

ClEdmaiita, Uteraiy. Every now and then the world is entertained or 
perplexed by a controversy over the authorship of some literary performance. 
It may be a single poem or a novel that has shot into prominence and is 
fought for by a dozen claimants in the present, or it may be a great literary 
reputation of the past that is assailed by hardy explorers who imagine Ihey 
have discovered that the owner of that reputation was an impostor or even a 
myth. Homer has been assailed as a myth, Shakes|>eare as an impostor. 
But the controversies on these (wo subjects are too well known lo need more 
than the merest reference. One cannot even do more than call passing atten- 
tion to the very clever skits in which, by reasoning clonely analogous to that of 
the Baconists, Swinburne proved that Darwin wa.<i Ihe real aulhor of Tenny- 
son's poems, and an anonymous contributor to Blackaxiod's Magaziia demon- 
strated that Herbert Spencer wrote the novels attributed to Dickens. 

In the year 1856 a now-forgotten controversy on the origin of (he Wavertey 
Novels occupied the attention of the literary world- A certain Mr- William 
John Fitz- Patrick contributed io Nottt and Queria, and afterwards republished 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 163 

in pamphlet form, a labored aitempi to prove thai not Sir Walter Scott but 
his brother Thomas (assisied by Mrs. Thomas) was the author of ihe major 
part of them, and that Waller's lask had been mainly lo lick Ihem ialo 

He baled his theory on the following facts. That the rapidity with which 
these novels were issued from the piess, especially taken in connection with 
the tact that Sir Wallet was conlempoTaneously engaged in other literary 
work, is destructive of the hypothesis that they were written by Scott alone ; 
that " Guy Mannering," for example, could never have been written, though 
it might have been transcribed, in a fortnight ; that Thomas's comrades in the 
army (he was paymaster of the Seventieth Regiment, then stationed in Canada) 
agreed that they had often seen the wriling>desks of both Mr. and Mrs. Thomas 
Scolt littered with manuscripts of their own composition ; that the minds of 
both were stored with old Scotch traditions, anecdotes, and historical reroj- 
; and that the Quebec Herald of July 15, iSlo, publisi 



from Ihe correspondence of a literacy gentleman in Canada (unnamed), among 
which appeared Ihe following paragraph : " With respect 10 these new publi- 
cations, ' Rob Roy,' etc, I have no hesitation in saying 1 believe them to be 
the prodaction of the Scoita. I say the Scotts, because Mr. Thomas Scott 
(who wrote the principal part of them) was often assisted by Mis. Scolt ; and 
the works were generally revised by his brother Walter before Kping lu press. 
'The AntiqnaiV I can answer for particularly, because Mr. Thomas Scott 
told me himself that he wrote it, a very few days after it appeared in this 
countrj." To leil Ihe truth, Ihe case was flimsy enough. Bui William John 
backed it up by referring Ihe reader to Ihe following passage in a letter from 
Sir Walter Scolt to his brother, written during the autumn of 1814 : 

Beod me a dDvd, intcnnixuiB your Hubennt and narurd humor wifh any incidtnu and 
dqcriptLcHV of tceoeiy you nuv te«,-^panlculajly wlih chitmcicn and iraits of manocn. 
I urilL five il alJ the cohblinf rhnt » neceuary, and, if you do but tuert yourKlT. I have 
but (he leatt doubt ll wiJl be woith jfjoo; uid. 10 eocourafie you. you may, when youaend 
the nuDuacriu, draw on me for j^i« at Afiy cUyi' aighi, u thai your ]ab<^n will a1 any rate 
oDi be quilt tbrown away. You haie mote fun and deicripilve talent than mo>[ people : 
and all that you waoi— i.*., ihe mere pimciice of composition— I cm lupply, ot Ihe devil'i ID il. 
Keep ihb mailer a dead Kcret. 

But, after all, the evidence of the letter amounts lo this : that Sir Waller 
bad pressed his brother to write a novel. Indeed, he says as much in the 
general prebce to his works, where he takes note of this very rumor "as- 
cribit^ aereal part, or the whole, of these novels to the late Thomas Scoll," 
characlerizes it as one that was as unfounded as various olher rumors, yet 
which "had, nevertheless, some alliance to probability, and indeed micht 
have proved in some degree true." He then tells how he proposed that his 
brother should write a novel, and how the laiier had even sent him a sketch 
of Ihe plot, but had been forced by ill health to abandon the enterprise. 
" He never, I believe, wrote a single line of the i)rojected work." 

This statement ought to be conclusive. Indeed, the world has accepted il 
as such. Mr. William John Fili- Pat rick's aitempi lo calumniate Ihe memory 
of one of the most frank and genuine men who ever breathed proved a nine 
days' wonder, and was forgotten in a fortnight. 

A prepoaterous claim was made by George Cruikshank that he was Ihe real 
originator of "Oliver Twist," that he had worked out the main plot in a series 
of etchings, and that Dickens had illustrated him, and not he Dickens. This 
story 6rst appeared in print in R. Shelioii Mackenzie's " Ufe of Dickens," a 
catchpenny work published in Philadelphia, and was alluded 10 in the flrsi 
volume of Forsler a hioffraDhv as "a wonderful storv oriirinallv nromulvnlef 



i64 HANDY-BOOK OF 

might have raised the reputation of Sir Benjamin Backbite. . 

tinguished artist whom it calumniates bf fatherir ~ '~- '' 

eilner not conscious of it or not caring to defend I 
fended from the slander." Then Cruikshank rose in his wrath, and came to 
the defence of Dr. Mackeniie in a letter to the London Timti, avowing that 
ever since the publication of " Oliver Twist," and even when it was in progress, 
he had, in private society when conversing upon such matters, always explained 
that the original ideas and characters emanated from him. Yet, after all, his 
whole slalement was simply that he had described the character of F^n to 
Dickens, who took it up and made what we see of il. But the whole merit of 
the character, no matter where the hint was received, depends upon the way id 
which it was made lo move, and talk, and act, by the novelist. It is not ihe 
mere outline, which would have done equally well in any hands, but (he tilling 
up of Ihe outline, which gives to il all that is really interesting. The theme 
might have been treated by a hundred different writers, and the result would 
have varied in merit from the merest lay-iigurc up to the most complete and 
admirable embodiment of genius. But, in fact, (he excellent Cruikshank 
allowed his vanity lo urge him into all sorts of harmless absurdities. In "A 
Popgun fired off by George Cruikshank," he even insisted that he had origi- 
nated the pattern of a military hat worn by Ihe Russian soldiers. Having 
described his own model, lie adds, " The Russian soldiers, I find, wear a hat 
aomelhing of this shape now ; and no doubl Ihey saw my pattern and stole 

A mote plausible claim to (he real authorship of Dumas's most famous 
works, includina " Monte -Crislo" and "The Three Guardsmen," was put 
forward by one M, Auguate Maquet, who was avowedly one of Dumas's assist- 
ants, and undoubtedly had a share in iheir composiiion. But, like the other 
assistants, he simply worked under the direclion of the creative and governing 
mind. When any of these underling attempted original work they produced 
only the most mediocre of novels. It is monsUous to pretend that men dull 
in their own works, and brilliant only in his, have a righ( to share in the fame 
of the great story-ielier, however much they may have helped him of con- 
tributed to his success. It is inconceivable that the deprivation of all personal 
honor or reward should have inspired or elevated genius which slackened Its 
wings a( once when the question became personal. But (his ques(ion is con- 
sidered more a( length under the head of Collaboration. 

While the "Scenes of Clerical Ufe" were passing through BltukaeotTi 
MapaintxaA drawing a(tention to the fact that in "George Eliot'' a new 
genius had arisen, the inhabitants of Nuneaton and its neighborhood were 
perplexed and astonished to find unmistakable por(rai(s of (heir own town- 
people in Amos Barton, in Mr. Pilgrim, and in other characters. Clearly, none 
but a native could have hit off these likenesses. A table-rapper, being appealed 
to, spelt out the name of the great unknown as Liggers. There was no Ltggers 
in the town, but there was a Ltggins, a broken-down gentleman of some small 
literary pretensions. Though at first he was somewhat coy, he did not reject 
the honors thrust upon him. At last he boldly accepted them. With the 
appearance of "Adam Bede" his fame waxed greater than ever. A deputation 
of dissenting paraons went out to see him, and found him washing his slop- 
basin at the pump. To explain his indigent circumstances in the very hour 
of his prosperily, he declared that he got no profit out of his works, but Ireely 
gave ihem \a BlailoBoed. Tliis was voted a shame. He was lioniied in the 
town, ISted at parties ; a subscription was started for him. Then the real 
George Eliot deemed it was time lo interfere, and sent a letter to Ihe Timt) 
denying Mr. Liggins's authorship. But it was some lime before the myth was 
killed. There are several references to Mr. Uggini in George Eliot's Life 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 165 

by CroBS. Here is one a\ the most interesting, the more so lh>l it terera to a 
subject we have already broached : "I dare say some ' invesligatoi' of the 
Braccbridge order will arise after I am dead and revive the story, and perhaps 
poslcrily will believe in Liggiiis. Why not? A man a little while ago wrote 
a pamphlet to prove that the Waverley Novels were chiefly written, not by 
Walter Scolt, but by Thomas Scott and his wife Elisabeth,— the main evi- 
dence being thai several people thought Thomas cleverer than Walter, and 
that in the list of the Canadian regiment of Scots to which Thomas belonged 
many of the Monei of the Waverley Novels occurred, — among the test Mimk, 
— and in ' Woodstock' there is a General Moitk /" 

A more successful impersonator, because she remained undiscovered until 
her death by the neighborhood on which she had imposed, was a certain Mrs. 
S. S. Harris (aus|>icious name I), who in 1S75 established herself in the little 
tuwn of Hudson, Wisconsin. She claimed to have come from New York, and 
to be the Mrs. Sidney Harris who liad written " Ruttedge," " Sutherlanda," and 
other novels. She was very eccentric, affected sporting tastes, and liked to 
drive Cut horses; but these traits were probably looked upon as the natural 
accmnpaniments of genius, and she easily established for herself a good social 
•landing, and in fact was lioniied as a literal^ celebrity. One day when 
out driving with some friends she suddenly died of heart-disease, and the 
publication of her obituary in the local paper exposed the fraud. 

The would-be lilchers of others' laurels seem, indeed, to flourish apace in 
America. Whenever a new poem achieves any great popularity in this 
country it raises a host of claimants, especially if it be |iublished anony- 
mously. Mrs. Akets Allen's "Rock me to Sleep, Mother," William Allen 
Butler's " Nothing to Wear," Dr. Muhlenberg's " 1 would not Live Alway," 
J. L. McCteety's "There is no Death," Will Carleton's "Betsey and I are 
out," Homer Greene's " What my Lover said," and J. W. Watson's " Beauti- 
ful Snow," have all been the subjects of fierce controversy. The last-named 
was fought for. either in person or vicariously, by a dozen people. The friends 
or admirers of Elizabeth Akets Allen, Dora Thorne, and Henry Faxon per- 
■isteotly brought forward their names as claimants, in spite of their equal 
peraiBlence in denial. Nay, an unknown dead woman, evidently a suicide, 
whose body was Ibund in the Ohio River with a copy of the poem printed but 
nnsiimed upon her person, was promptly baptized "The Beautiful Floater in 
the Ohio" and heralded throughout the country as the real author of " Hean- 
tiful Snow." Of the active claimants the most energetic and irrepressible was 
one Richard H. Chandler, whose story ran that Mr. Watson had tilched the 
poem from him in revenge for a practical joke, and had published it in Har- 
ftr'i WttUy. (It did, in fact, make its first known appearance in that paper 
on November S, 1858.) He naively added that the reason he had never pub- 
lished any other poem akin to " Beautiful Snow" was because " the publishers 
sent 'em all back to him." A certain William Allen Silloway insisted that he 
had published the poem in a New England journal four years prior to its 
appearance in Harper't ifetily, but that the files of that paper were inacces- 
sible. He had been inspired to its composition by the degradation through 
drink of his wife, who was " a niece of Millard Fillmore," and who was found 
dead by a policeman in a snow-dtift in Leonard Street in the winter of 1S54. 

William Cullen Bryant, who made a careful examination into all the evidence 
■Itainablei came to the conclusion that Mr. Watson was the true author, and 
the world has generally abided by his verdict 

The most eager of the claimants who disputed with Mrs. Allen the author- 
ship of " Rock me to Sleep, Mother," was one Alexander M. W. Ball. His 
Betensions were summed up in a pamphlet, nominally written by O. W. 
one, of Cherry Valley, New York, which was published in 1867. Tbe 



. Google 



i66 HANDY-BOOK OF 

pamphlet was reviewed with much humor by W. D. Howells in the Atlantk 
for August of that year : 

" It apijears from this and other sources," Biys the reviewer, " that Mr. Ball 
is a person of independent prOjieTty, and a member of the New Jersey Legis- 
lature, who has written a great quaiilily uf verses tirst and last, but has become 
all but ' proverbial' in his native State for his carelessness of his own poetry : 
so that we suppose people say there of a negligent parent, ' His children are 
ns unkempt as the Hun. Alexander M. W. Ball's poems,' or of a heartless 
husband, ' His wife is about as well provided Tor as Mr. Ball's muse.' Still, 
Mr. Hall is nol altogether lost to natural teeling, and he has not thrown away 
all his poetry, but has even so far shown himself alive to its clainu upon him 
as to read it now and Ihen to friends, who have keenly reproached him with 
his indifference to fame. To such accidents we owe the preservation in this 
pamphlet of several Christmas carols and other lyrics, tending to prove that 
Mr. Ball could have written ' Rock me to Sleep' if he had wished, and the 
much more important letters declaring that he did write it and that the sub- 
scribers of the letters heard him read it nearly three years before its publica- 
tion by Mrs. Akers. . . . We do nol think that (he writers of these letters 
intend deceit ; but we know the rauture with which people listen to poets 
who read their own verses aloud, and we suspect that these listeners to Mr. 
Ball were carried too fat away by their feelings ever to get back to their facts. 
They are good folks, but not critical, we judge, and might eaiiily mistake Mr. 
Ball B persistent assertion lor an actual recollection of their own. We think 
them one and all in error, and we do not believe that any living soul heard 
Mr. Ball read the disputed poem before 1S60, for two reasons : Mrs. Akers 
did not write it before that time, and Mr. Ball could never have written it 
after any number of trials. . . . The verses given in this pamphlet would 
invalidate Mr. Ball's claim to the authorship of Mrs. Akers's poem, even though 
the Seven Sleepers swore that he rocked them to sleep with it in the time of 
the Dedan peraecuiion." 



Clometu da Haio, an old Norman custom which s 
the abbret 
been instituted by Duke Rollo 



English island of Jersey. Haro is held to be the abbreviation of the words 
"All Rullo," -"■--- - --■J -- ^--- '---- ' -•■ - "> • " ■ '■ 



of Normandy, who gave to his people a personal appeal to himself and h 
successors in certain cases of wrong. William the Conqueror brought the 
custom over to England. To this day in Jersey if there l>e a question of en- 
croachment on the rights of property, the mjured person may make his appeal 
on the spot by falling on his Knees m the presence of witnesses and exclaim- 
ing, " Haro 1 Harol i I'aide, mon prince, on me bit tori." The alleged 
trespassers must immediately cease and await the judgment of the court. If 
the person thus appealing is found to have been in the wrong, he is fined l>y 
the court for having without just cause called on the name of Kollo. 

the ConqiKror, and MCoumt f« the iccne hi t»phic»lly told Iw Mr. Frecmui, ihouch he 

vide a ilu (or the great bUkv of St. Slephcn at Own, the Cenqueror had akea the propcnr 
iif «evcTal penonk, one of wftom CbinpLaincd ihu he had not btta ctHnpemaud for hii inter. 
e<t. Til* ion of ihii person, AKdiB, obKrvlng ihat the arm of Willinin mi du| on Ih> 
very spot where hh fuher** Ivoiue had been iliiiaied, went boldly ioio the aikmbly collected 
al the grave for the funenl. and, nialcing hit appeal to RoUo, futud* fiinherprocefdinn aniil 
hbclaini of right wu decided. He addreu.-iT the comiuny in theie void. ^ "Hewlio liu 
oppFCned kingdoni by hit nrmy hai h«n my opprcuor all'), and h^ Utpi mc under a con- 
liiiiul fearof deHlh StDCe I have pullivtd nin who injured me, I mean not (o acqull him 
now he it dead, 't'hc gioDnd wherein you are goJiig (o lay ihlt man ii mine: and I affirm 
Ihat none may in AiLUre huiy their dead In grouiHl which belongs 10 another. IT after he 'n 

1 under and &lhCT of our natktn, who, though dead, live* in hil lawi. 1 calie refuge in 











bnhaiDm>»p 


ToniKd r< 


dulyburiid. Mr 








tmn B diipuw of righl, »nd 


iDui.lhe funeral c 








oho tuuj 


RninB. 






1 ia n«: 


duced Ihb phn 




Journal (F=btu 


aiy 12. 



UTBRARY CUKWSITIES. 

.ihority abcjvc (hem." This bnve tpet..., ,— .^ 
riDcc Htnry, aflerwardi Hcnrr 1., wrouahl iu cAe 



iv= ipeeth, delii 
.etwardi Hcnnr 1-, wrouah" ■' " "' 



aiue of (be ^ound occupied by ihe p^ve, 



ci"m™y,-?°SMAW-Wm'il,^in ;P*r<«t*('ir 



ct to godlineas. John Wesley seems to have inlro- 

etature. In his sermon on " Dress," aiul again in his 
I77J), he has the words, "Cleanrintss is indeed next to 
godliiietis," in quolaliuii- marks. Evidently he is quoting a current proverb. 
Long before Wesley, Bacon had put much the same idea into other words : 
"Cleanliness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to 
God." But a closer parallel is found still farther back, in Aristotle : " Clean- 
liness is a half virtue {" and before Aristotle, in the Jewish Talnmd ; " The 
doctrines of religion are resolved Into carefulness ; carefulness Into vigorous- 
ness ; vigorousness into guiltlessness ; guiltlessness into abstemiousness ; ab- 
stemiousness- into cleanliness ; cleanliness into godliness." A mure literal 
translation would sutntitote "next to" fur "resolved into," and so obtain the 
exact letter with only slight violation of the spirit. 

The passion for cleanliness is a comparatively recent one with the Anglo- 
Saxon race. In times as near to the present as Queen Elizabeth's, Spenser 
has the line, — 

V'lunV Cxerw, Book iv.. Outo xi., V. 47: 
i.1., for I special day of rejoicing. 

We may all devoutly echo Thackeray's thanksgiving : " Of all the ad- 
vances towards civilization which our nation has made, and of most of which 
Hr. Macaulay treats so elotiuenllv in his lately- published History, there ia 
none which ought to give a priilanlnro[iist mure pleasure than to remark the 
great and increasing demand for bath-tubs at the ironmongers': zinc institu- 
tions, of which our ancestors had a lamentable ignorance. And I hope that 
these institutions will be universal in our country before long, and that every 
decent man in England will be a Companion oi the Most Hononrable Order 
of the Bath."— Jfcfr^J and TVirvda in London. 

Cloud. ElT«ty olond has a sliver lining, — a familiar proverb, mean- 
ing that the worst misfortunes have their compensation or their promise of 
amelioration in the future. It may be a reminiscence of the lines (zai, zzz) 
in Milton's " Comus," — 

Wu 1 deceived, or did a ubie cloud 

TuinfoKh her silver lining la ihenighlT 

La Rochefoucauld says (Maxim 49), " We are never so happy or so un- 
happy as we think ourselves." 

Lady 5 Ikt Lakt,t»mo\i.,%a.avit. 
See also Darkest Hour bEFORB the Dawn. 

Clover, Foor-Leavsd. This plant derived its signilicance from the fact 
that its four leaves are arranged in the form of a cross. Moreover, its com- 
parative rarity and its very abnormality (if one may so express itl made it seem 
noteworthy or remarkable. If a person shall wear a bit of this plant he can 
delect the presence of evil spirits. It also brings a good fortune. 

With a (6ar4eavcd clover, 4 douhle-teaved >ah, and a grf«n-Iopped leave [nuh]. 






. Coo^If 



i68 HANDY-BOOK OP 

A A(W-leiv«d cIdtct enables a maid to see her Ailme lover. The four- 
leaved grass (Iriie-love, one-berry, herb-parU, or leopard's bane) is another 
mystical crosS'leaved plant concerning which much might be said. The 
quaint St. Andrew's cross (Auyntm cntx-Andna\ is a very interesting plant 
of our oirn country, with cross-like (lowers. Strangely enough, it appears to 
have no folk-lore attached to iL 

Coala of flra. The expression, to heap coals of fire on somebody's head, 
meaning to return good for evil, is an Old Testament expression, as the lat- 
ter is a New, and marks the difference in spirit between Old and New, for it 
flatters the immanent vindictiveness that frequently underlies forgiveness by 
suggesting that you will make the enemy vastly uncomfortable. To be sure, 
the phrase occurs in Romans lii. io,as well as in Proverbs xxv. 3 1 , 23, but in the 
former case it appears as a quotation from the Proverbs. The context, which 
is slightly condensed in the New Testament version, appears thus in the Old : 
" If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat ; and if he be thirsty, give 
him water to drink ; for thou shall heap coals of fire upon his head, and the 
Lord shall reward thee." 

If to tore^ve be heapiDg ccwl* of fire — 

As God Gu ipDkea — on the h«d> OS Toei, 

Mine Bhoqld be a voicuio uid rite higtber 

Thu o'er the Tiuu crtiihed Olymgiiu fat. 

Or fvboi goan, or blaiinE Eua ilow< : 

True, tbey who tiujw were creepiUK ihiagi ; b"> »><*> 



Thu fcrpenlt' Iceiblnflicu inlh doidlier throat 

Eiclct— No, I 



The Lion may be corded by the Giui. 
AlioHiclulhdluin&Rr'tbloodl The 



According to a note in Murray's edition of the "Poetical Works of Lord 
Byron," this stanza was originally intended to go between stanias cxuiv. and 
cxixvi, of the fourth canto of " Childe Harold," It was suppressed in proof 
by John Wilson Croker, who saw the book through the press and may have 
thought the stanza blasphemous. Evidently Croker'a appetite for gnats had 
been ruined by a bellyful of camels. 

Coat Cut yoni coat aooordlng to your oloth, — 1>., let your expen- 
diture be proportioned to your means. An old English proverb, which is 
probably a survival from the old sumptuary laws. One of its earliest appear- 
ances in literature is in Heywood's " Proverbs," ch. ii. : 

etch his leg according to his coverlet ;" 
n be the bloodletting." 
Cook and Bull Btory. The most probable explanation of this term as 
applied to preposterous tales related in private life is that which refers it to 
the old ^bles in which cocks, bulls, and other animals are represented as 
endowed with speech. Matthew Ivor's " Riddle on Beauty" closes with 
these lines ; 

or each laul iuit,. ud flulei ud fiddlo, 
or Ult lain ud rooLiah riddlei. 

One of Cowpet's fables commences as follows : 

I (hdl not uk Je«. Jacque. Rou»e.u 
If biid> conbtxilue oi no ; 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 169 

Cooksde, Tb» Blaok (a star-like piece of black leather, usually sar- 
moDnled by a fan, which ia oflen seen on the hats of liveried servants), was 
unknown in Britain until the accession of the house of Hanover, and was 
then introduced by George I. from his German dominions. It seems to be 
understood that the right to use it belongs to naval and military officers, and 
the holders of some offices of dignity under the crown, such as privy coun- 
cillors, officers of stale, supreme judges, ett:. But it is somewhat difficult to 
draw the line, as the privilege is one of which the law takes no coeniiance. 
Naval cockades have no Ian-shaped appendage, and do not project above the 
top of the hat. 

Cookai, Aooordlng to, and Aooordlns to Qiinter, are slang expres- 
sions current in England and to a less extent in America, meaning "according 
to the best authority or highest standard" Edward Cocker, who died about 
1675, had a great f^me as a mathematician; but the celebrated "Cocker's 
Arithmetic" was a forgery. It has been proved that Cocker had nothing 
whatever to do with this once vastly popular text-book which was published in 
his name. Edmund Gumcr (1581-1626) was also a noted English mathema- 
tician. He invented Gunter's chain, still used fur measuring land ; Gunter's 
scale (called by mariners " the Gunter"), much used in navigation ; Gunter's 
line, a sort of mechanical logarithmic table, a quadrant, etc 

Coaklea of the heart, a colloquialism found in such expressions as 
"that will warm the very cockles of your heart," and supposed to have taken 
its rise from an expression made use of by Lovrer, the anatomist, who in his 
"Tractatus de Corde" (1^^) refers to the muscular fibres of the ventricles as 
cxhlia. The ventricles of the heart, therefore, would be cochlea eerdii, which 
"cockles of the hearL" But the 

Cockney, a common sobriquet for a native of London. The "New 
English Dictionary" is at great pains to trace the history of this word. It 
quotesfromMinsheu's" Ductor," published in t6t7, the memorable "chestnut" 
on the subject : "The tearme came first out of this tale : I'hatacittizen's Sonne 
riding with his bther . . . into the country . . . asked, when he heard a 
horse neigh, what the horse did ; his father answered. The horse doth neigh ; 
riding farther, he heard a cocke crow, and said, Doth the cocke neigh too? 
and therefore Cockney or Cocknie, by inversion thus : iitcxt, f. incoclui — 1>., 
raw or unripe in Country-men's affaires." This does not satisfy Dr. Murray 
and his assistants. A cockney was originally a cockered child, one suckled 
too long, a mother's darling, one tenderly brought up, — hence a squeamish or 
efleminate liellaw, a milksop. The word is often used in the last sense by 
Elizabethan and earlier writers. On Childermas- Day (December 28) the 
students of Lincoln's Inn chose a " King of Cockneys' to be Master of the 
Revels. The word ome to be applied derisively to a townsman, as the type 
of effeminacy, in contrast to the hardier inhabitants of the country. Then it 
was localized to mean one born in the city of London, "particularly to 
cormote the characteristics in which the born Londoner ia supposed to 
be inferior to other Englishmen." The townsman had his revenge t^ the use 
he made of "clown." The original of "clown" in the Teutonic languages 
means a clod, clump, clot. — hence a clumsy lout, a lumpish fellow. Then it 
was applied to a countryman as the clown for ixctllmet, the man without 
refinement or culture, the ignorant, rude, uncouth, ill-bred man. 

Coglto, argo anm (I.. " I think, therefore I am"), the famous proposition 
upon which Descartes founded his philosophical scheme. He starts from the 
tosii of um'versat sceptitusin. He recognizes that the philosophic mind ma; 



I70 HANDY BOOK OF 

doubt tbe existence of the external world, ri God, even qf itself. Mind, mat 
t«r, science, experience, all is or may be delusion ; nothing remains bul doubl. 
" Huw, then, can we find a fresh starting-point? Evidently in the fact of 
doubt alone. What is doubt } A state dt condition, — in lact, a judgment ; 
and how can there be a judenient without some one to judge? Doubt, then, 
JH an act of thinking. Thitiking is inconceivable without a person to think. 
llius, doubt implies the menial existence of a doubter. Cii^lo, ergo turn" 
(Maiiaffv: Dacartes.) Though the applicaliuu of the phrase is Descartes's, 
it has some verbal kindred with St. Angus*'"- ■" " "- ""■• 

faTlOT." "'■ '""" ' ""'" **"' "'"' *' ' " '^"^ "' 

CobMlve power of public pltmdor. This excellent phrase is a popu- 
lar misquotation that adds furce and cunciHenesa to the original, which runs 
as follows ; 

=7.i8j^ vtpow«-o e. .up-" . ohx . *mouN. «. ^y 

Cotnoidenoea. We are losing our picturesque superaiitinna. The ccitnci- 
dences in which uur ancestors would have delected a miraculous intervention 
now only amuse and interest us. We reasun sagely about them. We recog- 
nUe wilh Mr. Proctor that although some coincidences appear extraordinary, 
yet it would be still more extraordinary if in )he whirl and tusa uf events such 
coincidences did not occasionally hap|>en. Take the case of a lutlery with a 
thousand tickets and but one prize. It is exceedingly unlikely that any [ar- 
ticular ticket-holder will obtam the prize : the odds are, in fact, 999 to 1 
against him. Hut suppose he had one ticket in each of a million different 
lolleries all giving the same chance of success. Then it would not be sur- 
prising for him to draw a priM ; on the contrary, it would be a most remark, 
able coincidence if he did not draw one. The same event — the drawing of a 
priie — which in one case must be regarded as highly improbable becomes 
m the oihcr case highly probable. So it is with coincidences which appear 
Utterly iniprobable. It would be a most wonderful thing if such coincidences 
did not occur, and occur pretty frequently, iu Ihe experience of every man, 

against the occurrence of any particular instance. 

Mr. Proctor cites the case of Dr. Thomas Young as surpassing in strange- 
ness all the coincidences he had ever heard nf. Dr. Young was busily 
engaged in Ihe attempted decijihering of the Roselta Slone. fie had obtained 
a parcel of ancient manuscripts brought from Egypt by a man named Casati, 
among others a papyrus containing amid its balHing hieroglyphics three names 
in Greek letters, Apollonius, Antigonus, and Antimachus. A few days later 
a friend had placed in his hands several fine specimens of writing in papyrus 
which he had purchased from an Arab at Thebes in iSza Dr. Young turned 
with a sense of relief from his Egyptian puzzles to a plain Greek manuscript 
of Mr. Grey's. He could scarcely Believe that he was alive and in hts sober 
senses when the words Antimachus Antigenis [lit) struck his eyes, and, a 
few lines farther back, Portis Apollonii. It was a Greek translation of the 
*ery mannsctipt he had been poring overt "A most extraordinary chance," 
says Dr. Young, "had brought into my possession a document which was not 
very likely, in the first place, ever 10 have existed, still less to have been ])re. 
■erved uninjured, for my inlormation. through a period of near two thousand 
years ; but that this very extraordinary translation should have been brought 
ufely to Eurripe, to England, and to me, at the very moment when it was ntoU 



Goo^If 



LITERARy CURIOSITIES. \^X 

of alt desirable to me to possess it, as the illustration of an original which 1 
was then studying, but without any other reasonable hope of comprehending 
it, — this combination would, in other times, have been considered as afTording 
ample evidence of my having become an ^yplian sorcerer." 

Indeed, the author of "The Ruins of Sacred and Historic Lands," who 
probably credits himself with a reflective mind, is good enough to say that " it 
seems to the reflective mind that the appointed lime had at length arrived 
when the secrets of Egyptian history were at length to be revealed, and In east 
their reflective light on the darker pages of sacred and jirofaiie history. The 
incident in the Tabors of Dr. Young might be deemed providential, if not 
miraculous." 

Professor E>e Morgan has a budget of curious coincidences to exploit. One 
was an event in his own life. " In August, lS6t," he says, " M, Senarmont, 
of the French Institute, wrote to me lo the effect that Fresnel had sent to 
England in, or shortly after, 1S24 a paper for translation and insertion in the 
European Review, which shortly after expired. The question was what had 
become of the paper. I examined the Review at the Museum, found no trace 
of the paper, and wrote back (o that effect, at the Museum, adding that every- 
thing now depended on ascertaining the name of the editor and tr.idng hi.'« 
papers: of this I thought there was no chance. I posted the letter on my 
way home, al a post-ofGce in the Hamintead Road, at (he junction with Ed- 
ward Street, on the opposite side of which is a bookstall. Lounging for a 
moment over the exposed \xi(fis,ticut meui est men, I saw, within a few minutes 
of the postine of the letter, a little catchpenny book of anecdotes of Macaulay, 
which I bouant, and ran over for a minute. My eye was soon caught 1^ Ihi.s 
sentence: 'One of the young fellows immediately wrote to the editor (Mr. 
Walker) of the European Revievr.' I thus got the clue by which I ascertained 
that there was no chance of recovering Fresnel's paper. Of the mention of 
current Reviews not one In a thousand names the editor." It will be noticed 
that there was a double coincidence in this case. It was aulticiently remark- 
able that the first mention of a Review, after the difliculty had been recognized, 
should relate to the European, and give the name of the editor ; but it was 
even more remarkable that the occurrence should be timed !io strangely as 
was actually (he case. 

The following curious coincidences have been collated from history by 
patient investigators. 

Among many superstitions peculiar to the Napoleons is that of regarding 
the letter M as ominous of good or evil. The following catalogue of men, 
things, and events, the names of which begin with M, shows uiat the two 
emperors of Fiance have had some cause for considering this letter a red or 
a black one, according lo circumstances. Marlxeuf was the first to recognize 
the genius of the great Napoleon at the Military College. Marengo was the 
first great battle won by General Bonaparte, and Melas matle room for him in 
Italy. Mortier was one of his best generals, Moreau l>etrayed him, and Murat 
was the first martyr to his cause. Marie Louise shared his highest fortunes. 
Moscow was the abyss of ruin into which he fell. Metlernich vanquished him 
in the field of diplomacy. Six marshals (Mass^na, Mortier, Marmont, Mac- 
donald, Murat, Moncey) and tv>enty-six generals of division under Najiuleon 
I. bad the letter M for their initial. Maret, Duke of Bassano, was his most 
(rusted counsellor. His first battle was (hat of Mon(enotte, his las( Mont St. 
jean, as the French term Waterloo ; he won the battles of Millesimo, Mun- 
devi, Montmirail, and Monlereau ; then came the storming of Montmarlre. 
Milan was the first enemy's capital, and Moscow the last, into which he 
marched victorious. He lost Egypt through Mennu. and em)>toyed Miotlis 
(o take E^us VH. prisoner. Mallet conspired against lijm ; Murat was (he 



1 7a HANDY-BOOK OF 

first to desert him, then Marmont Three of his ministers were Maret, Mon 
talivel, and Moliien ; his firsl chamberlain was Montesquieu. His last halting- 
place in France was Malmaisun. He surrendered to Captain Maitland of (he 
Bellerophon, and hja companions in St. Helena were Moiitholon and his valet 
Marchand. If we turn to (he career of his nephew, Napoleon IIL, we lind 
the same lelter no less prominent. He was born April 30, igo8, which in 
Corsica is (he last day of the feast-week of Machreal. His early military 
instructions were given him by Moreith of Monttflimar. His empress was the 
Countess Monlijo; his greatest friend was Murny. The taking of the Mala- 
kofT and the Mameton-vert were the greatest feats of the French arms in the 
Crimean war. He planned his first battle of (he I(alian campaign at Marengo, 
although it was not foughl until alier the engagement of Montebello ; at 
Magenta, MacMahon, for his important services in this battle, was named Duke 
of Magenta, as PJligsier had for a similar merit received (he title or Duke of 
MalakoH Napoleon III. (hen made his en(ty into Milan, and drove the 
Auslrians out of Marignano. After (he great victory of Solferino, fouglit on 
the banks and in (he waters of the MIncio, he turned back before the walls of 
Mantua. Thus up to 1S60, after which the letter M would seem to have been 
ominous of evil. Passing over Mexico and Maximilian, we see how vain 
were his hopes founded on the three M's of the Franco- Prussian war, — Mar- 
shal MacMahon, Count Montauban, and Mitrailleuse I Mayence was to have 
been the basis for (he fur(her operations of the French army, but, pushed 
back first to (he Moselle. i(s doom was sealed on the Maas, at Sedan. Then 
followed (he capitulation of Metz ; and all the subsequent disasters were dne 
to the superior skill and s(ra(eEy of ano(her M, — Moltke. Ano(her strange 
coincidence noted in regard to (he Third Napoleon was that he died at Chisel- 
hurst at la45 A.M., — precisely the hour when (he grea( clock of the Tuitcries 
stopped after the palace was set on tire by the Commune. 

Numbers as well as letlera have piavea strange tricks with the Napoleonic 
dynasty. As thus : Napoleon I, was bom in 1768. He abolished the Direc- 
tory and took the supreme power in 1799. Now add these dates together in 
the following manner, — 

1799 



iSzi 
and the sum represents the date of his death. Try the s 
poleon III., bom 1808, became emperor i8$3 : 

18s. 



which, (hough not absolutely the date when he was dethroned. Is the date of 
the last year of his leign, and anyhow completes (he cycle of one hundred 
years from the Urth of the Firs( Napoleon. 

A still more eitraordinary circumstance is that if you add in the same way 
to (he da(e of the Third Napoleon's coronation that of his wife's birth (1816), 
or of their marriage (1853], the mystic result is still 1869. Then, again. 



„i,zcdb. Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 173 

Loui( Philippe began to reign in 1830. Add to tliie in the old ^miliar manner 
eillier 1773, the dale of his own birth, itSi, tbe dale ofQucen A m^l it's birth, 
or 1809, the dat« of Iheir marriage, and the result in each case is 1E4S, the 
year in which Napoleon III. superseded him. 

Another noteworthy coincidence is the following. ' Here are the figures of 
the pKlnacile : 

7119796/1119000 
The line divides the majority on the right from the minority oh the left. Now 
copy this, omitting the three noughts and slightly humoring the ligures, and 
hold the result with its face to the light ; the reverse will read very much like 
the word tmptreur. Of course not every one's handwriting will exactly com- 
pass this. The tail of the c|'s must be shortened and curved, the 7's made 
angular. Then the final 9 will represent the initial c, the next three figures 
make a not impossible m, the dividing line and the 6 together a fairly %aQA p, 
the 9 next lo it an e again, the 7 an inebriate r, the 9 an ^again, the next two 
figures a plausible u, and the final 7 a boon companion of the other. 

...... J .. . .1 . . .1 _r ._..!_ iuTT _ jirologer had pi 

always had a dread of 
any date wherein that number appeared. He would never hold a royal sitting 
on the zist of a month. His dread seems to have been justified by events, for 
many of the disasteis of his reign occurred on that day. His marriage, which 
might be looked upon as one chief cause of his eventual troubles, took place 
on tlie ZTSI of April, 1770, and on the same day a violent storm arose and 
raged with devastating violence. His entry into Paris was made on the suc- 
ceeding 31st of June, when a panic occurred in the crowd and lifleen hundred 
people were trampled to death ; the flight to Varennes was on June 21, 1791 ; 
royally was abolished September 31, 1792; Louis himself was condemned 
to dealh by twenty-one votes (the authority for this statement, however, ie 
confessedly meagre), and on the 2ist of January, 1793, he was guillotined. 

In the royal family of Belgium January has always been looked upon as an 
unlucky month. When, on January I, iSqo, the palace of Laeken, with all 
its magnificent treasures, was destroyed 1^ fire, the Queen of the Belgians 
exclaimed, " All our disasters come in January I" It was in January that her 
uster -in-law, Carlotta of Mexico, had lost her reason ; in January, 1869, that 
her son died, leaving the heirship to her nephew. Prince Baldwm, who also 
died in January (1891); in January (iSSi) that the palace of the Empress 
Charlotte was consumed by tire, and in January (1889) that Archduke Rudolph, 
her son-in-law, committed suicide. 

A German statistician has discovered that the number t has played an 
important part in Prince Bismarck's life. The family coat or*^arms bears over 
the motto, "In Trinitate Robur." three clover and three oak leaves. Carica- 
turists of tbe ex-Chancellor have for years represented him with three hairs 
<sa his head. He has three children and three estates ; he fought in three 
wars, and signed three treaties of peace. He arranged the .meeting of the 
three Emperors, and ori^nated the Triple Alliance. He had under him the 
three great political parties (Conservatives, National Liberals, and Ultramon- 
tanes), and served three German emperors. 

The death, in 1S93, of the Duke of Clarence, eldest son of the Prince of 
Wales, called renewed attention to the old superstition as to the unluckiness 
of that title. Five dukes have borne it in English history. None transmitted 
it to his heir. The first duke died in t368, leaving no male issue. The title 
was revived in 141 1, when Henry IV. conferred it on his second son, Thomas 
Planlagenet, who was killed ten years later at the battle of Beangi, leaving 
no issue. In 1461, Edward IV. conferred it on his brother George, who was 
murdered in 1477 and his title attainted. He was the only Duke of Clarence 



174 HANDY-BOOK OF 

to leave a male heir, and that heir, known as Edward, Earl of Warwick, wu 
. Iieheaded in the Tower in 1499, where, lifly years Uler, the onl^ daughter 
of the house, the aged and uiiforlunale Margaret, Countess ai Salisbury, suf- 
fered the same penalty as her brother. In 17JJ9 a fourth eSort was made to 
resuscitate the title in the person of the third son of George III., afterwards 
William IV., who died without legitimate issue. In Itigo, one hundred years 
later, the title was renewed for the last lime in the person of the young prince, 
who died two years later, on the very eve of his marriage. 

But the superstitious noted that the death of Prince Albert Victor on a 
Thursday broke a remarkable spell or curse which had hung over the present 
royal family of England for more than a century and three-quarters, — bringing 
about the death of all the prominent memliers of that family on Saturdays. 
William III. died Saturday, March iS, 17021 Queen Anne died Saturday, 
- " ; I, d ■ --- " .... 



Saturday, October 25. 1760; George III. died Saturday, January 29, i)J2o: 
George IV. died Saturday, June 36, 1S301 the Duchess of Kent died Sati 
day, March 16, 1861 ; the Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria a 



grandfather of the recent deceased Prince Albert Victor, died Saturday, De- 
cember 14, 1861 : Princess Alice of Kesse-Uarmstadt, Victoria's second 
daughter, and sister of Albert, died Saturday, December 14, 1878. The 
shadows which overhung the late prince's life are said to have been dark- 
ened by a superstitious fear which caused him to keep close in-doors on 
Saturdays. 

There is not a more curious coincidence than that concerning Richard 
Wagner, the composer, anil his famous 13's. To begin with, it takes 13 let- 
ters to spell Richard Wagner. He was born in tStj. Add the figures to- 
gether, thus, i-S-1-3, and you have another 13. The letters in his name and 
the sum of the tigures in the year of his birth equal twice 13. He composed 
exactly 13 great works, and always declared that he "set his head" oti his 
after-career on (he I3lh of the munth. "Tanhauser" was completed on April 
13. 1845 ; it '"" ii's' performed at Paris, March 13, i&6t. He left Hnyreiith 
Septemlier 13, 1S61. September is the ninth month ; write 9-13 and aild the 
three figures together, thus, 9-I-3, and you have 13. Finally, lie died on Kcb- 
niarv 13, 1883. 

The attention of many earnest students has been directed towards collecting 
instances of famous men having died on the anniversary of their birth. First 
of all comes Moses, who, according to the Talmud, " died on the seventh day of 
Adar, the same day of the same month on which he was born, his age being ex- 
actly one hundred and twenty years." Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564, 
and died April 33, 1616. Raphael, the artist, was born on Good Friday, 14S3, 
and died on Good Friday. Ijio, aged thirty-seven. As Good Friday is a mov- 
able least, it does not follow that the day of the month was identical in each 
case, but the coincidence has eicilcd much astonishment. Sir Thomas Browne, 
author of " Religio Medici." was born October 19. 1605 ; died October 19, :682. 
Timothy Swan, composer, was born July 21, 1758; died July 13, 1S41. General 
McLeanTaylor, a nephew of President Taylor, was born November 21. 1828; 
died November 21, 1875. Si. John of God, one of the most eminent of the 
Portuguese saints, and founder of the Order of Charity, was born March 8, 
1495 ; died March 8, I Sjo. John SolMCski, the king of Poland who delivered 
Vienna from the Turks, was born June 17, 1629; difd Tune 17, 1696. 

Attention has been drawn to the fact that M, which is the lirsi letter of 
Melody and Music, is also the initial in the names of a great number of com- 
posers, ancient and modern : Matcello, Monslgny, M^hul, Mozart, Martini, 
Metcadante, Meyerbeei; Malibran, Mayseder, Mine, Musard. Mendelasohiv 
Moscheles, etc 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 17S 

Cold Day. The humor 
when I gel left," meaning m _ „ . , 

eailj in the tnoruing eo gel Ihe best uf me," — this recent Americanism prob- 
ably sprang bora Ihe game of " freeze-uut" poker. Each player buys a certain 
stipulated amount ai chips, and when he loses them can buy no more, but is 
"frozen," or, more idiomatically, "froze out," and so Ihe game continues lill 
one man has all tile chips. The "froze-outs" would naturally be Ihe subjecl 
of fiicelious inquiry as to the stale of Ihe thermometer, and the winner's glee 
would take some such form as ihis 1 " (t may be a cold day for you fellows, but 
il would have to be a good deal colder before I get left. A correspondent 
of the AmtrUan Notes and Queriei, vol. ii. p. J13, strives, however, to give 
Ihe phrase an old English origin. In ihe ballad of "Gil Moiice" he mids 
these lines: 

\a. [ will me your bUcke crtau]. 

Though i. be 10 your com ; 
Sen jieGy mt will lue Ik wantd, 
'Id it ye salt Aod Fro«i- 
This is ingenious, but has no other merit. 

Cold Shoulder, To turn the, to treat one with hauUiir, to cut. The 
phrase seems to have been first used in "The Antiquary" (i$i6), ch. xxxiii. : 
"The countess's dislike didna gang larthet at lirsl than just showmg o' the 
cauld shoulder." In the glossary Scott explains it as meaning " to appear cold 
and reserved." In an appreciative article on this subject the Saturday Retricvi 
says, "The graceful use of the cold shoulder fairly deserves to be ranked among 
Ihe tine arts 1 while, on the contrary, nothing could be more ungainly than ils 
awkward application. When a tactless man meets Ihe object of his delesla- 
tion he looks nervously self-conscious, and seems undecided whether lo Cut 
or merely slight his enemy. After blushing in a foolish manner, he gives an 
awkward bow. which, intended to be gracefril, is in reality ludicrously clumsy. 



A casual observer might attribule his singular behavior toshyiie 
hatred. The most successful hand at cold-shouldering is the heartless and list- 
less man, who can put his victim completely out of his mind, and forget his pres- 
ence, if not his existence., as soon as he has accorded him the coldest of recog- 
nitions. Without insinuating that women are more heartless and listless than 
men, we may observe that they are far greater adepts in this art than the opposite 
sex. Most men seem more or less ill at ease when they know that they are 
giving pain to others, but this is by no means invariably the case with women. 
We might even go so far as to say that ladies sometimes too evidently derive 
■atisbction from the annoyance of others. They understand the secret of 
freezing others while preserving their own caloric ; but men cannot obtain a 
like result without first becoming icicles themselves. The lords of the creation, 
moreover, when wishing to appear dignified, are apt to assume an air of vacant 
stupidity. They are, in (act, l>ad actors, and when a man would tike 10 knock 
anotherdown,hBiintlsitaneffortto treat him with cold politeness." — November 
16, 1878. 

Collaboration, partnership in literature, the coming together of two or 
more minds in the production of a single work. The thing is at least as old 
as the Elizabethan drama, when nearly all the leaders worked more or less 
in partnership, and Shakespeare himself did not disdain to revamp the work 
of an inferior hand to lit it for the stage. Racine, Coriieitle, and Mdi^re 
in France, Cervantes, Calderon, and Lope de Vega in Spain, all had partners 



176 HANDY-BOOK OF 

In some one or more of their numerous productions. Beaumont and Fletcher's 
Is the earliest instance of a partnership that endured for a lengthy period 
and during all that period produced notable irork. One cannot say that con- 
glomerate authorship has usually been a success. It might, indeed, appear 
that a richer orchestration would lesuil from an harmonious union of several 
good instruments ; but ei(]>rrience seems to teach that the French journalist 
was right who said that collaboration was never successful save when it was 
not coTlaboration. What he meant was that one of the collaborators should 
do all the work, the other only listen and advise. Two friends live together 
and pass Iheir evenings side by side in front of a common hearth, a cup of 
coffee beside them, a cigar between their teeth. One has a fertile imagina- 
tion, the other has made a study of the stage and stage business. Conversa- 
tion falls upon the subject of a drama. One composes and writes, the other 
commends or blames, corrects, gives ideas, throws new light on the subject 
Thai is (he ideal collaboration. 

Take the case of Labiche. He is a farmer who dakes more pride in his 
carelully-husbanded crops than in (he wild oats he has sown on (he stage. 
His happiest hours are spent on his farm at La Solange, where he practises 
patriarchal hospitality, when he determines (o write a vaudeville, his col- 
laborator is summoned to (his rural paradise. For several evenings the plot 
of the proposed play is discussed at table. The arc of the collaborator con- 
sists in making Labiche talk, in exciting him, in goading him on. Occasion- 
ally, of course, he must ed^ in a reply, furnish a metaphorical spring-board 
for his wit, his invention, his ispril. Lalnche abandons himself (o his natural 
genius. He invents scenes and incidents ; he makes doni-moti. Scene hrst 
IS complete before (he appearance of the erttrla. When (he cheese arrives 
the act is finished. The collaborator goes up-stairs to his room, writes down 
all he has heard, and arranges it in orderly sequence. Ne;it day, just before 
dinner, perhaps with the preparatory glass of abeinthe, he reads it all over. 
Labiche suggests improvements. After soup has been served, he begins 
again. In a few davs the vaudeville is practically finished : the authors leave 
to the friction of rehearsals the smoothing of all rough edges. 

Or (here ii Aleundre Dumas j{£t. He has no os(ensible collaborator. 
But it is said of him that in very fact he has as many collaboiators as he has 
friends. When a comedy is on the stocks, he lakes twenty or thirty people 
into his confidence, makes them familiar with the scene that embarrasses him, 
the situation which seems inextricable, leads everybody he meets to talk about 
it, listens (o fresh ideas, and turns them to account. 

Not unlike (his method is the one proposed by Mr. BesanI, the surviving 
partner of the famous firm of Bcsant and Rice. Ke recommends it very 
strongly to every young literary workman. 

» frimd!— cou»int.»iiKn-.» glri idielli(™i,iYini>«- 
lim hvr ur, \\*\KTt Mj hit plot, noa ducuu hii chanc- 



icrt. '^e tliouldbc I pilofquickiRuginiiiDn. 

DiHnf Hich gtrls. Whtn he hat ccmfided 10 ho hig chorvclert jjl in lh# rough, « 

tttcy have 10 play all in the rough, he nuy reckon on preaeDily getting «![ twc 

and drojfd for the »tige. Merely by lalkiog with thii girt, evtrytfiing that wl 
Allien into order; the tharacten. dim and (hipeleu, have bei:oine alive, foil -g id 
Aa Id every-day life, bd in imHgiDalivr work, woman is nian'f best partner, — ll 
out, the least eiaciing, the most certain never lo qnarrel over her tharfi of 
thsR of (he glory, her than of the pay. 

It is no(eworthy that Bulwer Lytton recomr 
plan, only he advises that the woman should be 



'^^'Jtll 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. t-Tl 

Now, as Mr. BesanI was himself a member of a successful partnership, his 

Sinions are worth lisleninK lo. Let us hear further from him. He believes 
at the presentment of the story must seem to be by one man. No one 
would listen to two men telling it together. " We must hear, or think we hear, 
one voice." Therefore one man must finally revise, or even write, the whole 
work. And he conceives that the rock on which literary partnership gets 
wrecked is that each member conceives he must write as much as the other. 






e, there wu KDI lo me Ibe cHher (by ■ nianuKllpl iv 



•■cnlice a whole dsy Lo the tiuk of mahinB 1"^ li(c-loPH enemlvB, The authors «f ihii work 
(which haa pot yet teen the Light} had arnJogcd ihelr fable and their cliarpcteTt. But unlbr. 
OT"wajB0lm"helMj'iEre"he"IJle%°fili ■°^-'-'"-'---™-"---'!''"?:- - -"-■ ' ..*''""' 

baire l>eeD more gmctquc, nothing more ^ .__..__..._. 

Bvo voicet aikd iwo bnuDi ; ihe ihjDg wm a horrid DighlnuFe, 

rcviaioD cj ihe work or ihc vriting of the wnrlr. 

Can, then, the other man, who has contributed only rough draughts here and 
there, or even perhaps nothing at all in writing, be called a collaborator t 
Most certainly he can. Indeed, Mr. Besant explodes into hearty laughter at 
the general notion of collaboration, — that it is carried on by each man con- 
tributing every other word, every other pa^^e, ur every other chapter. 

Doctors disagree, why not literary men 7 Mr. Justin McCarthy and Mrs. 
Campbell Fraed use precisely the method scorned by Mr. Besant. Mrs. Fraed 
has herself told how this is done : " We talk the matter over first, and make 
a scheme. Then we sketch out chapter by chapter. I write ihe bones of the 
chapters I think I can do the most easily, and Mr. McCarthy does the same. 
Every sentence is joint work. I really don't know which is which, and now 
I wouldn't work in any other way- You see, our lives are so entireljr dlHerent 
that we look at things differently-" Mr. McCarthy has always lielieved that 
two heads were belter than one in novel-wrtltn^, provided the two heads 
represented the two sexes. There's a man's point of view and a woman's 

Eint of view, and, in studying humanity, he contends that, to get at nature, 
th views should be taken. 

Scribe's method, as explained to Hetr von Pulilz in an interview, was a 
combination of all the others. Here is how a partnership vaudeville is pro- 
duced ; " One author brings Ihe idea, and the scauolding of the piece (iharfxnlc\ 
is then built up by the authors in common, after which the various scenes are 
distributed among them according to their special qualifications. Often the 
whole play is written by one author, who afterwards makes alterations in it 
according to the suggestions of his collaborator. It also frequently happens 
that the songs in the piece are written by'a third man. who has nothing to do 
with the plot or the dialogue." It is much more difficult. Scribe went on to 
explain, for two or more authors to join in writing a longer piece. In such 
cases they have to consult together about the whole of the pla^, down to the 
smallest details. When an agreement is arrived at, the eiecutron of the idea 
is comparatively easy, although it often happens that in Ihe writing of a play 
things occur which render it necessary to alter the whole plan of the piece. 
This was the case in writing the " Contes de la Reine de Navarre." " My 
idea was to make the piece a graceful comedy; hut my assistant, Legouv^, 
took up a very serious tone in the second act, and in writing the fifth act he 
gave the play a tragical catastrophe, which was quite contrary 

■ d,T>UtWe- " >.r_ .L__ j__-j.j 



I protested, out we could not agree. We then decided each ti 
act and read them to the actors, who would determine by a majc 
which of the two should be accepted. The actors voted almost 



178 HANDY-BOOK OF 

mously in m; favor, and my friend Legauv^, far from showing any ill humor 
at the decision, readily assisted me in compleling the piece." 

Scribe was reproached unfairly— -for most ofiiis best plays were written 
alone — with an inability 10 stand without help, and when he was received into 
the French Academy a malicious wit suggested, when he took his seat, that 
the thirty-nine other chairs ought to ^x given up to his collaborators. But 
Scribe was proud of his partnerships, and dedicated the collected edition of 
his plays lo his collaborators. 

Among French novelists the most successful instance of a long-continued 
partnership is that between Erckmann and Chatrian, — a partnership which 
lasted more than thirtv years, and then, just before the death of M. Chatrian, 
was suddenly and sadly ruptured. They worked much on the plan advocated 
by Mr. Besant. An outline was arranged. Each was permitted to write all 
that he thought or felt ; but his companion afterwards struck out and rewrote 
at will. Although the lirst collaborator was then given an opportunity for 
further correction or change, he was to some extent bound not to introduce 
again those things which had been rejected from the first draught. 

The most successful single novel ever produced by collaboration was "tA 
Croix de Berny," in which Madame de Girardin, Gautier, Sandeau, and Joseph 
Mery all took a hand. Their plan was one which, instead of mei^ing the 
individuality of each, called for its distinct expression. For the story is cast 
in the form of letters between the four characters. Elach character was 
assumed by some one writer. Gautier and Madame de Girardin, as might be 
expected, bore off the honors, but the other rSUs were well carried out, and 
the whole affair, while unfolding a situation of strong interest and passion, 
never loses the engaging element of personally. A similar experiment made 
in England by nine Englishwomen, including Charlotte M. Yonge. Frances M. 
Feard, and Chrislabel Roe Coleridge, proved a lailure. Here, also, the novel 
was cast In epistolary form, and the nineteen characters were divided among 
the nine authors. But the result is only that we meet with nineteen very dull 
people. 

In placing the Etckmann-Chatrian firm at the head of all French partner- 
ships for the production of fiction, we have not forgotten the Goncnurls, who 
were almost their equals, nor the great establishment founded by Alexander 
Dumas the elder. But Dumas's shop was, properly speaking, not a firm. He 
had no partners, but only clerks and assistants. He might not have been able 
to carry on the immense tnisiness he transacted without the aid of these auxili- 
aries, but the creative hand and brain are always his. Jules Janin, a severe 
critic on other points, acknowledges so much. " Dumas's books," says Janin. 
"show the mark of the lion's paw, and, good, bad, and indifferent, bear 
unmistakable evidences of having issued from the smoky flame of Alexander 
Dumas." Who does not remember Thackeray's charming defence of his 
favorite novelist f — 

They »y>l>" "lithe works bearing Duoiai'i Dane are pol written by him. Wtllt Doc* 
not iht cbkf cook have aidrtvnia himt Did not Ruben .'i pupilm poini on hii canvus T 
Had not LawRuce awninu for lib backgrDundi I For nwlt, being alio </■ mitiir, 1 Con- 
or my novel! : and on hii urinl, at eleven a'clock, wwld uy. ■' Mr. Jonn, ir you pleaK, 
lb« Archbithop muiL die this nominB in Hbout five pages. Turn to article * Dropsy' {or 
whii you will) in Eocyclopiedia. Take care there are no medical blunder* In bis Jeatb. 



. ._ . _ _ . le place. Color in 

H^L^.K fe« temuu!'^ k> Inigbrbe^dc^otd anbbUho'pd^paning ih>( liE:. When 
I come luck to dress for dioner, Ihe Archbishop is d^ad on my laWe in five pages; Bkedicine, 
topognphy, theology, all right ; and Jones has gone bane 10 UiEaooily some koun. ^Cbrit- 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 179 

loplHr ii ih* uchiwct of St. Ful'i. //r hu ooi laid the itodci or carried up the mortu. 
Tben t> ■ mm. ikal of urpcDIcr'i Bod joino-'i ■otk in novel> whith lunly a uuan profet- 
IfOnal hajul B^ght lupply. AimaTI profeuionaL hand! 1 give you my word, (here Kem to 
nKDutior Donli— 1« 01 aay iht loit-making, iht ■■botiotM, the villain in th< cupboard, 
aod » lonb — nrhLch 1 aboula liite to order John Footman id take in tiand, pa I deairc him to 
htjni ih* coda indpoliah the bpou. Aak ■» indeed to |>opa mbberandera bed; to hide a 

lially whcp my buaineaa abliE« mo to do ttio lotfc-paaugea, 1 bluih lo, though qiUie akipe in 
my andy, thai you wouid tancy 1 wm fomg off in an apoplexy. 

This is all very good. Yel it is doubtful if Thackeray could have worked 
wilh either an assistant or a collaborator. Hii genius was too individual, his 
personality too marked. The modern Anglu-Saxon, moreover, is too shy, too 
reticent, to unbosom bimseif even to a single confidant with the unreserve 
which collaboration calls Tor. Hence in Eneland we have nut many instances 
of successful collaboiation since the time of Queen ElJiabelh. 

There are, however, a few notable ones in dramatic literatnie, besiiks the 
one afforded by Besant and Rice in fiction. The first successful English bur- 
lesque, and the longest-lived of its tribe, was "The Rehearsal," written by 
the Duke of Buckingham, with more or less assistance from Sprat, arierwards 
Bishop of Rochester, Martin Clifford, and Hudibras Butler. Colman and 
Garrick combined to produce one of the most popular of English plays, 
"The Clandestine Marriage." Elach, however, claimed altnost the entire 
credit of the production. Colman's story was thafGartlck composed two 
acts, which he sent to me, desiring me to put them loeether, or do what I 
would with them. I did put them lugcthei. for I put ihem in the (ire, and 
wrote the play myself." Garrick, however, was able to produce the first 
draught of the comedy, showing that the plot was almost entirely his own, and 
be forced Colman to acknowledge that the character of Lord Ogleby was 
Garrick's, as well as the levee scene and the whole of the fifth act. 

Pope, in his "Essay on Man," is repotted by Lord Bathurst, apud Hugh 
Blair, to have "merely turned into verse a prose essay furnished him by Boling- 
broke. The latter is further said to have openly laughed at the poet for 
adopting and advocating principles at variance with his known cor 
When Pope's " Iliad" came up, an epigram found its way into print,- 
Pope cune off clean with Homer, but they uy 
Bnwma went hriore and kindly iwepi tiK way. 

But this is not true of the " Iliad ;" what Broome did for that work was 
merely to supply a portion of the notes. With the " Odyssey" it was differ- 
ent. Pope, encouraged by the overwhelming success of the former work, 
determined to take fortune at the Rood. Learning that Broome and Fenton 
were at work on a version of the " Odyssey," he prevailed on them to join 
him, and the town was informed that Mr. Pope haJ undertaken a translation, 
and had engaged the two friends to help him. His " mercenaries," as Johnso 
--■-'- --"s tVre ■---■ ■- ' ■-— '- -■- ' "— '■" 



mdely calls them, had a much larger share In the performance than " 
Pope the undertaker" allowed the world to suspect. 

The Irterarjr partnership of Addison and Steele was hardiv more than a 
Joint editorship of the first of weekly journals, save in the character of Sir 
Rwer de Coverley, a production whose genesis has been thus summed up : 
" llie outlines were imagined and partlv traced by Steele ; the coloring and 
more prominent lineaments elaborated by Joseph Addismi ; some of the 
background put in by Eustace Budgell ; and the portrait defaced by either 
Stcefe or Ticliell with a deformity which Addison repudiated." 



l8o HANDY-BOOK OF 

popularity of their wares aiid the consequent extent of theii business, subse- 
quently caught up and applied humorously, as in the extract, — 

A borvC'iDckfy in AcooiIaDk Connty, Miine, rcpenled of hu ihorp pndica, joined Ihfi 
church, ■nd onnoUDced ihat if he hul tiikai unfair pdvajiuge of uiy oue iu a hone-tnde he 
would be gimd lo sqiiart Ihiogs hy p^yiog the diSerence io taah. It wu uarcely daylishl ihc 

the nevly-convcrted jockey, midr hit »ppe«raD« ai i>iv Ucier'i door, jtvuking tlui ne had 
" come nrly id avoid the niah/' The jockey promptly Milled the caae, — A'- K J>l«- 

Come offl This bit of American slang, used imperatively and meaning 
" Desist 1" or " Cease !" is relatively new Io modern use. It is startling, there- 
fore, to find that it occurs in Chaucer's " Parliament of Fowles" (v. 494) in 
exactly the modem sense. The birds grow lired of listening (o a long dis- 
cussion among Ihe young eagles ; and so at last, — 

" Come of!" they crydt,"alluT you wilt ui ihende!" 

ComloK ercnta oaat tli«lT ahadofra bofors. This line in " Lochid's 
Warning, by Thomas Campbell, has some kinship with a sentiment in 
Schiller^ " Wallenslein," thus translated by Coleridge : 

Of Ereat evenn airide on before ihe events. 

And in to-day ainady walks to-morrow. 

Actv.,Sc. .. 
Shelley in his " Defence of Poetry" also has a very similar thought : " Poets 
are ihe hierophanls of an unapprehended inspiralion ; the mirrors of the 
gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the presenL" Cicero in his 
"Divinalio" had already said. "Thus, in the beginning the world was so 
made that certain signs come before certain events" {lib. i. caji. 52}. Mr, H. H. 
Breen in his "Modem English Uteralure" thinks that Campbell had in mind 
Leibnitz's remark, "Le pr^ntest gros de I'avenii," and ihe comments made 
thereupon t^ Isaac DTsraeli. The latler, referring tu l^ibnilz's words, says, 
"The multitude live only among the shadows of things in the lyiiiearances of 
(he present." And in another passage he couples ihe word shadow with the 
word piecuisor in such a manner (so thinks Mr. Breen) as Io express in the 
clearest language the whole thought attributed to Campbell. The ordinary 
relation of a shadow Io the substance by which it is formed is that of a fof- 



£ovy will Dient u a thade punue, 
Bui.liVe the shadow, pcovea the lul 



very ingenious bit of reasoning, but it does n 

islical powers than to his critical inlegrily. Campbell, in shorl, with Ihe fine 

alchemy of genius, touched a commonplace and turned ii into poelry. 

Company. A man la kno^vn by th« company he keapa, a familiar 
English proverb which finds its analogue in must other languages. lis prob- 
able original is in Euripides : " Every man is like the company he is woni 
to keep" {Phaniii., Fragment 809). Cervantes has il in Ibis form ; "Tell me 
Ihy company, and 1 will tell ihee what thou an" {Dim Quiiotr, Pari ii., ch. 
(xiii.). Goethe says, " Tell me your companions, and t will tell yuu whal you 
are ; lell me what you busy yourself about, I will tell you whai may be ex' 
pectedofyou" (Rbimer.' Toilt-TaH). The French proverb is, "Dis-moi qui 
In hatiles, je (e dirai qui lu es." And Ihe German, — 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. i8l 

The effects of association are pointed out in the familiar proTerb, "Evil 
communications corrupt good manners," and its Enripidean corollary, * The 
company of just and lighleous men is better than wealth and a rich estate." 
(M^HS, Fragment 7.) 

Compailaiiiis are odious, a proverb found in the fcilk-liieraiure of most 
European nations. Thai it was in common use at Ihc time of Shakespeare 
is evident from Dogberry's maiapropiam (to coin a much-needed Word) in 
"Much Ado About Nothing" (1600), "Comparisons are odorous." The (un 
of this sentence would be lost upon an audience Ihal was uol familiar with 
the adage. In English literature proper the phrase has been traced back as 
far as Lyly's "Euphues" (1579), although it is evident it was in common use 
long behire Lyly's time, since Sir John Fortescue (who died about 14S5), in 
his " De Laudilnis Legum Anglix' (fol. 42, ed. 161 6), compariiig the common 
and the civil law of the realm, says, "ComparatioiMS vcro, Princeps, u( te 
atiquando dixisse recolo odiosse reputantur." John Lydgate (r375-i46i), in 
his "Bochaa" (Book iit. ch. viii.), says, "Comparisons do oftlimc great griev- 
ance." Cervantes, in " Don Quixote" (Part ii., ch. xxiii.), says, " Va sabe que 
loda comparacion es odiosa." The second pari of " Don Quixote" was not 
published till lifteen years after " Much Ado About Nothing," but Cervantes 
seems to be quoting a well-known proverb ; and. in bet, the " Dictionary of 
Proverbs" of the Spanish Academy (iSoj) gives "Toda comparacion es odi- 
osa" as a proverb quoted by Cervantes, and " probably nut original with him." 
The Italians and the French have similar sayings. The antiquity of the 
Spanish and Italian proverbs U unknown, but the French undoubtedly goes 
back as far as the thirteenth century, for Leruux de Lincy, in " Le Livre des 
Proverbes Fraiifais" (vol. i. p. 376), says Ihal in a manuscript collection of 
that dale he found these: " Com para isons sonl haineusea," "Comparaison 



. „iiied by all n..._ 
of ihe world. We are told that Canute rebuked his courtiers for their flat- 
tery, but it is not written that he punished them. Probably hp secretly re- 
warded those who pictured him as an anticipatory Mrs. Partington, and who, 
in spile of the evidence, held on to their belief that he was mure Ihan a match 
for Ihe Atlantic Ocean. The stomach of kings has never proved queasy under 
any load of flattery, however indigestible it might appear to his rivals. 
Bacon, indeed, held that princes ought in courtesy to be praised without 
regard to their deservings. since by investing them with all possible virtues 
their panegyrists showed them what they should be. But, alas \ we should 
be flattering the flatterers did we attribute to them motives so ni>l)le. 

To look back upon the compliments showered upon Elizabeth, James 1.. 
and Charles II.— the most berhymed and bepraised of English sovereigns- 
is to be filled with nausea. It is humiliating to Rnd even Spenser and Shake- 
speare bending their lordly knees to that terrible virago known as Good Queen 
Bess. Spenser applied the epithet " angel face" to her strong, masculine, 
but unattractive face." -Shakespeare praised her chastity, — the chastity of 
one whose reputation had at least been questioned, — and spoke of her who 
was always having some httle affair with a man as walking 

Both were outdone by Drayton : 

<X ^Itct wu her foKbeu] hjgh : 
Her bn« iwo bowi of ibony. 

Frizfled and fin* In fringed gold. 

L.:,l,zi;i:,vG00gk" 



l82 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Two Ups wrought out of niby rock, 

Aj portal door lo priocea' cbkobcr, 
A eoldcD IDDEUC in mouth of ainbv. 
Her eya, God wot, wbii Huff ihcy in I 

Tb« pilot In hi* wiaur tidv ; 
and bjr Sir John Davies, who rang Ihe changes upon hiB queen'« beauty, wis- 
dom, wit, virtue, justice, and magnanimity in six-and-twent; spedmens of 
acrostic verse, declaring in one of his hymns to Astraea, — 

Ri(lii glad 101 1 thai I now live. 



No dDubl I ihould my binhdiy KOtn, 
Admiring your (WMIIOiy I 

James I. was informed that he was as upright as David, u wise as Scdomon, 
and as godly as losiah. When he returned on a shot! visit lo Scotland, the 
deputy-clerlt of Edinburgh assured him that the very hilU and groves, accus- 
tomed to be refreshed with the dew of his presence, had, in his absence, re- 
fused to put on their wonted apparel, and with pale looks bespoke their 
misery at his departure from the land. But the "wisest fool in Christen- 
dom" was not always caught by this sort of chaff! In a Shrewsbury address 
to Tames I., his h>yal subjects expressed a wish that he might reign over them 
as long as sun, moon, and stars should endure. " I suppose, then," observed 
the monarch, "they mean my successor to reign by candlc-tight." 

Ben Jonson alliteratively styled the First Charles the best oimonarchs, mas- 
ters, and men. That seems to go pretty far. But it was nothing to the 
cumplimeniB which the courtiers and flatterers of the Restoration paid to 
Charles 11. That Merry Monarch was frequently informed that he was 
God's pattern to mankind, — indeed, so excellent an understudy for the Deity 
that while he blessed the earth there was small need iif the great Protago- 
nist. There is an exquisite but unconscious satire in some verges by a 
gentleman named Duke, written when this paragon had duwn to heaven, lo be 
Wricontd by ill kind tpiriu and uJnu ibov<. 
Wbo •« ihimulvei in Aim, ind Ibeir own likcnen love I 

Here is another gem from the same poem : 

Good Tini< could, but ChiHn could never uy. 

Of ill bit royal life b> loit a day. 
Over in Prance it was even worse. The very clergy played the sycophantic 
courtier. Ftom the pulpit members of that holy profession were not ashamed 
to load the royal profligate with panegyrics. They knew, and they knew that 
their hearers knew, of the scandals of his court, but no one raised a syllable 
of protest when the most godlike qualities were attributed to the Grand 
Monarque, when he was described as the one object upon which the eyes of 
the visible and invisible world were alike bent with approving wonder. Not 
only the universe, but heaven and the angels were assumed lo be mainly 
occupied in watching the triumphs and m^nanimily of Lnuis and his generals. 
We have all of us laughed at the storyof Baron Th^nard, who, while giving 
a chemical lecture before Charles X., said, " These pases are going to have 
the honor of combining before your majesty." A still more snobbish phrase 
occurs in one of De Bussy-Rabu tin's letters. St.-Aignan had lost one of his 
sons. To console him, I-ouis XIV, granted him some favor. Thereupon 
De Bussy-Rabutin wrote, "The favors accorded you by the king show me that 
his majesty is worthy of the service of all the earth- It is only near him that a 
parent can lind tomt fileanre \qurlque Jeucair] in losing his children." 



Coogk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 183 

From the ciulle to the grave, indeed, Louis XIV, was surrounded by flat- 
terers. In the Imperial Library of SL Petersburg there is a sheet of paper, 
on which as a boy he had transcribed souk half a dozen times, in a large 
unformed hand, a lesson set by his mister, " Homage is due to kings ; they do 
what they tike." And in his old age, complaining at dinner of the incon- 
venience of having no teeth. " Teeth ?" cried the Cardinal d'Estr^es : " who 
has any T' When he asked Mignard, who was painting his portrait for the 
tenth time, whether he did not look older, the artist adroitly said, " Sire, it is 
true that I see some more victories on the forehead of your majesty." 

Then there is the sublime mtit of the Abb^ de Polignac, when the king 
kitidly expressed his fears that the courtier was being soaked through. "Sire," 
replied the abbi!, " the rain of Marly does not wet I" but the story is some- 
tiines told in another way, and the phrase put into the mouth of the king him- 
self as a rebuke to a cardinal who followed him grudgingly through a shower. 

Madame de R^musat tells us in her M<^moires that though she found no one 
sufficiently courtier-like to maintain that it did not rain when Napoleon pre- 
sented the eagles at the Champ de Mars, shortly after his coronation, she 
met innumerable people who declared that they had not been wetted. She 
neglects, however, to record Napoleon's philosophic comment to his Minister 
of Finance, as the rain came pouring down in barrels, reducing silks and 
velvets to pulp ; ■■ There's work for the weavers of Lyons !" 

When the Grand Monarque asked what time it was (" Quelle heure est-il ?"), 
he was answered, " Whatever time your majesty desires" (" I] est I'heure que 
Votre Majesti desire"). 

A very curious modern parallel to this lamous phrase occurs, by the way, in 
Jiiget's "Travels in the Philippines" (1875) : 

C«lo«iiihrM-qujmcnoran(imiifoiih.in(al. In a minutt or two twelve o'clock •mj'ck : 

BouA be long paU tw«LVc, ai ihe Scbor Padre wai bungry. " II eii I'heure que votre 
■ujetlf dinR, — P. iij. 

Even children adopted the language of the courts. What could be belter 
than the answer of the young Uuc de Maine, the son of Louis, when his royal 
father chid him for not making better progress in his studies ? " Sire, I do not 
learn more because my tutor gives me a holiday for each victory of your 
nMesty r' 

Louis himself, the much -com pitmen ted, knew how to compliment. " Sire, I 
crave your majesty's pardon if I keep you waiting," said the gouty old warrior 
the Prince de Conde. "My cousin,' replied Louis, "do not hurry. It is 
impossible to move quickly when one is loaded with laurels." 

Of famous compliments paid to the fair sex, the supply Is so large and daz- 
zling that it is a matter of no small diflicully to pick out the brightest gems ; 
but if the following one was unlooked for, it certainly deserves a place among 
the beat Fontenelle, when ninety years old, passed by Madame Helvetius 
without perceiving her. "Ahl" cried the lady, "is thai your gallanttyf 
To pass belote me without even looking at me I Now, that was a very neat 
way of reminding him of her presence without alluding to the semi -blindness 
that afllicted him. But he proved himself more than her matclu " If I had 
looked at you, madame," replied the old beau, " 1 could never have passed 
you at all." As neat a mat was uttered by General Romaine. Meeting 
Lady de Bricntz, whom he had known and admired in the loveliness of her 
Tontn, he commenced complimenting her, " Vou forget that I am an old 
woman," she said at length. " Madame," returned the gallant soldier, " when 



i84 HANDY-BOOK OF 

tyai ejrcB are duilerl by a diamond, it never occurs to u» to ub a mineral oeist 
for its hiitoiy." It is an old reproach against Orttntals that they are unable 
\o say pretty things to ladies ; but a daughter of Louis XIV., tlte Princess de 
Conti, inspired a Moorish ambassador with as gracefully turned a compliment 
as can be imagined. She had rafled against the Mohammedan custom of 
polygamy, when the Moor thus defended the practice. "Madame," he said, 
" a plurality of trives is allowed among us because, in our cuuntry, we must 
seek in several women the charming qualities which are here lo Ik found in 
one." The poet Moore, who never let slip an opportunity of complimenting 
the fair aei, was in the present instance hardly bind to the husband. Being 
one day in the company of a beautiful woman, who wore on her bosom a 
miniature likeness of her spouse, who was the reverse of handsome, he was 
asked by her "whom he thought the portrait resembled," "1 think," said 
ihe poet, " it is like the Saracen's Head on Snowhill." 

A bold stroke (o obtain liberty by means of a compliment was that made 
by M. de Mauperluis. A prisoner in Austria during the Seven Years' War, 
he was presented to the Empress, who said 10 him, "You know Ihe Queen 
of Sweden, sister to the King of Prussia f" " Yes, madame." " I am told 
that she is the most beautiful princess in Ibe World." " Madame," replied 
the cunning prisoner, " I always thought so until to-day." This was as diplo- 
matic as Ihe words and action of the Marquis Medina, a Spanish nobleman. 
Queen Elizabeth, admiring his elegance, and complimenting him thereon, 
begged to know who possessed the heait of so accomplished a cavalier. 
"Madame," said he, "a lover risks loo much on such an occasion ; but youi 
majesty's will is law. Excuse me. however. If I fear to name her, but re- 
quest your majesty's acceptance of her portrait." He sent her a looking-glass. 

Talleyrand was a master of Ihe art of gallantry. He knew how lo ealricalc 
himself very gracefully from Ihe most embarrassing dilemuiaa. Once Madame 
de Slai-l, wild with iealousy al the dominion which his future wife, Madame 
Gram, was establishing over his mind, flew al him, overwhelmed him with 
reproaches, and concluded with, " So you don't love me any more f" " But," 
he insisted, " I do love you." " Non I non !" she cried, and then, as if to 
lesl Ihe truth of Ihe assertion, suddenly exclaimed. "You love ine? Come, 
now ; If Madame Grant and I both fell into the water, which would you 
save V " Ah, madame. nw know how to swim," was the wily answer. 

In England, fiew men have ever surpassed Sydney Smith in ihe art of deli- 
cate flattery. On meeting two pretty women, Mrs. Tighe and Mrs. Cuife. he 
gallantly exclaimed, " Ah, there you are, — Ihe ni^thal every one would wear, 
the tie thai no one would loose. A beautiful girl walking in his garden ex- 
claimed, on noticing a plant which was in some way injured, " Oh. Mr. Smith, 
this pea will never come lo perfection 1" " Permit me, then," said the host, 
taking her hand, "to lead Perfection lo the pea." 

Very graceful, too, was his acceptance of an invitation from Dickens : 

Mt DSAii UicKEHs,— I luxept your obliging lovliuiop coDdiliouiUr. If I mil Invlied by 

Bui this letter finds its parallel in the compliment paid by Lord Clarendon 
to Sir Matthew Hate. Handing to Sir Matthew the commission for Ihe chief- 
justiceship. Clarendon very gracefully told him thai " if the king could have 
found out an honesler and fitter man for that employment, he would not have 
advanced him to it." 

A sarcasm may often wear the garb of a compliment, and be taken for one 
by the simple- wilted. The Abbi Voiscnon once made a complaint thai he 
was unduly charged wilh the absurd sayings of otheis. " Monsieur I'Abbti," 
replied D'Alembett, "on ne pr£le qu'aui iichea." 



;i:,vG00git: 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. iSj 

Loiui XIV., who, like many humbler rhymesiers, somewhat overrated his 
poetical powers, showed a copy of verses 10 Boileau, and asked his candid 
opinion of them. " Ah, sire," said the poel, "I am more convinced than e' "~ 



(hat nothing is impossible to your majesly : you dcsiiei) lo write some poor 
rhymes, and you have succeeded in making ihem positively detestable I" 
Bui the sarcasm is often unjnlenlional, as in the case of the gentleman who 



was complimenting Madame Denis on her acting a^ Vgaite. " Nay," Said the 
lady, " an actress, to play the part well, should be young and beautiful." " Oh, 
no; you are a pioof to the contrary." Equally awkward and equally well 
meant was the remark of M. Lalande when seated at dinner between Madame 
lUcamiei and Madame de Slael. " How happy I am to find myself seated 
between wit and beauty !" " And without possessing either," was the Htael's 
smart rejoinder, A similar remark under similar circumstances is attributed 
to the Due de Laval, but in this story the retort from Corinne is said lo have 
been, "That is the first compliment ever paid lo my face !' 
~ ' - ■ ■ (1 or Easl-Int 



The following story is told in illustration of East-Indian politeness. A 
judge, who was a very bad shol, had been oul for a day's sport, and on his 
return the man who went with him was asked, ■' Well, how did the judge 
shoot to-day V " Oh," he replied, " the judge shoot beautifully, but heaven 
was very merciful to the birds 1" 

The interchanged compliments between the members of mutual admiration 
societies have frequently pointed the pens of the satirists. One does not know 



whether the old fratricidal strife among authors was not preferable ti 
present more or less hypocritical toe-roffing. A single instance must si 
When Bulwer and Dickens, on July 29, 1S65, celebrated at Knebworlh the 



establishment of the short-lived Guild of Literature and Art, the Saturday 
Rrtiiem characterized the proceedings as "a wonderful match of mutual 
admiration and laudation." Bulwer called Dickens "a resplendent ornament 
of literature." Dickens replied that Bulwer was "the brightest ornament uf 
the literary class." Bulwer congratulated the county of Herts on the honur 
of entertaining so distinguished a visitor. Dickens congratulated himself on 
being in the house of so great a man, and averred that the county was " already 
the envy of every other county in England" in possessing that nian. The 
author of " Pelham" eulogized the author of " Pickwick" as one "who has 
united an unrivalled mastery over the laughter and the tears of millions with 
as genial and sweet a philosophy as ever made the passions move at the com- 
mand of virtne." But the author of " Pickwick" would not be distanced in 
the noble and dignified contest. "Ladies and gentlemen, you know very 
well that when the health, life, and beauty now overflowing these halls shall 
have fled, crowds of people will come to see the place where our distinguished 
host lived and wrote." The comment of the Saturday Rtvitw is a vcrv seii- 
siUe one. "This," it says, "is what comes of 'brmging men of letters 
more familiarly together.' One writer actually reports that Mr. Dickens made 
a few graceful anddignified remarks. How a man is to be envied who can . 
find only grace and dignity in such 'an outpouring of rancid adulation I And 
no doubt the minnows make a few graceful and dignified remarks to one 
another, just as the Tritons do. So that a Guild of Literature and Ait 
means an institution where, on paying your subscription punctually, you are 
entitled lo be called bv the others who have also paid their subscriptions 'a 
resplendent ornament,' or any other complimentary name 10 which you have 

Conoatanatlon, or otuda verse, a form of poetic ingenuity in which the 
last word or phrase in each line forms the opening of the succeeding line. 
Its invention is ascribed to the French poet Lasphrige. The following is from 



HANDY-BOOK OF 

FiHoil-ilqiHleddiber 

Arrive uu »up^n de quejque ime Knentive, 
Atlcnrive A vouloir noiu •urprrDdn iLjm deUK. 
n anonymous English example, neither better nor ir 
The longs life, II 




Whcnfon, come. Death, ■ 



In German, Koerner's magnificent " Sword Song" makes a modified use oT 

concalcnalion at the beginning and end of every stanza. 

n order to cheat him. One or the earliest fonns of the trick, and probably 
ihe one from which il got its name, is that of inviting tbe victim, a perfect 
stranger, to come and have a drink, over which the swindler waxes eloquent 
in praise of his new- found rrtend, expresses the utmost confidence in him, and, 
to prove his sincerity, intrusts him with pretended valuables, claiming in re- 
turn a similar mark of coniidence. Of course in the end the sharper walks 
off with the real valuables of hts new-found (Tiend,and the old ones he leaves 
behind turn out lo be bogus. The term confidence-man applied to one who 
played this game has now been largely superseded by the kindred tern 

ConBoionoe. In Shakespeare's " Richard III.," Act v.. Scene 3, occurs 

O comrd couciaicc, how dot! iKou afflict mt 1 
and a little lower down in the same speech, — 

II is only in Colley Gibber's altered version that Richard, regaining his 
manhood, oie* out, — 



111 Richard'! himielfaciinl 

In " Hamlet," Shakespeare says, — 

" " "" Ai:llfi.,Sc. I 

a line which may or may not be a reminiscence of Pilpay's 
£ible of "The Prince and his Minister," "Guilty consciences 



/.oogic 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 187 

people cowards," or of Fublius Syrus's maxiiD (617), " A guiltv coiucienoe 
never feels secure," which »re echoed also in the popular proverbs " A piillT 
coDscience needs no accuser," and "Touch a galled horse and he'll wince" 
(c£ " Hamlel," " Lei Ihe galled jade wince, our withers are unsiiung"). Sub- 
stantially the saitie idea is expressed in the Biblical words, "The wicked flee 
when no man pursuelh: but the righteous are bold as a lion" [/VrowAi ixviii. 1). 
" A clear conscience is a sure card," says Lyly, in " Euphues and his EnglatlQ," 
p. 907; and Shakespeare calls it, — 

A pence abovt jUI cartfalr dignitiet, 



y l'!J/.,Aaai.,Sc.t. 
And again, — 

What lUDDgcr breaxpUle thim a Itcmn imuinted I 
Thrice i> he arcoed tfau hath hn quarrd juu. 
And he bul naked, Ihoueh Inclied up in Heel 
Whose coiHcience with mjlutke il comiHed. 

//niy VI., Pan tl.. Act ill.. Sc. ■. 
Evidently imitated from Marlowe, — 

I'm umed wilb mere Uuui complete iteeJ, — 
The jutfice of m^ qiuml. 

Lml'i Dtminitn, Act iii,, Sc. 4. 
And in ils turn imitated by Pope : 

"Trust that man in nothing," says Sterne, " who has not a conscience in 
everything" {Sermen XXVII.). C^eorge Washington in one of his school-boy 
c(q>y-boob wrote or transcribed Ihe commonplace, hence become famous, 
"Labor to keep alive in your breast that'litlle spark of celestial file — con. 
science." Numerous citations from poetry and prose would support the gen- 
eral view that conscience is the voice of nature or of God speaking 10 Ihe 
heart, so long as il is not utterly corrupt. Montaigne, however, asserts that 
" Ihe laws of conscience, which we pretend to be derived from nature, pro- 
ceed from cn»tom" {Esiays : 0/ Cmltim) ; perhaps the first assertion of Ihe 
doctnne of the eipcrimenlal philosophers, which in its latest form assumes 
that conscience represents the accumulated experiences of the race inherited 
in the form of an mslinct 

ConMdons 'watst aavr its Ood Bud bliiah«d. There is a story, told 
sometimes of Dryden when a school-boy at Westminster, sometimes of an 
anonymous "school-boy at Eton," that, being required to make a verse on the 
miracle of Cana, he handed up the single line, — 

Tbe OHUciaui wmler uir iu God ■nd blu^cd. 

But Ihe story has no foundation. The author of Ihe sentiment was Richard 
Crashaw in his Latin epigram on the miracle. Here are the Latin lines and 
a translation by Aaron Hill : 

Undc rubor vesiHa, d Hon iiu purpura, lymphis? 

Quae ID»* mitantM lam nova muUT uuu ? 

Nympha pudica Drum vidit ci crtibuii. 
When Chriit. at Cann'i f^aM. by power divine. 
Inipind cold wiler wilb the wirmlb of wine, 
" See," cried Uiey, while in reddening tide it guftbed, 
■■ Tbe buhrul HTeiin hath hcd lis God. and bluihed." 
It will be seen that Hill's line differs from the familiar quotation, and does 
not difler for ihe belter. The line in its present form may De found in one of 
Heber's poems, without either credit or acknowledgment, and he may have 
first Englished it in ihis wajr. A somewhat simitar metaphor is used in an 



_^ooglc 



I88 HANDY-BOOK OF 

anon)[inous poem feigned lo have been presented, with a white lose, by a 
Yorkist to a lady of the Lancastrian faction : 

IF ihii lur nne offend thy light, 

Jl on Iby botom wear ; 
'TwUL bliuh lo fiDd jtKlf Leu white. 
And lum Luicasuian then. 
* Bui If thy ruby lip It tpy. 

And Varkif t turn agviD, 
CoiulstenCT'B a jewel, a popular saving which cannot be attributed to 

find the followii^ among other 



anj particular author. The pro' 

is full of comparisons between virtue and jewels. In Shakespear 



M^ ivfvtt ./ W 



OIkilh. 



In 1867 some wag- attempted to impose on the public the information that 
this line was from a ballad called Jolly Robin Roughead, in " Murtagh's ' Col- 
lection of Ballads' (1754)." The poet bewails the extravagance of dress, 
which be considers trie enormity of the day, and makes Kuliin say to his wife, — 



But both the ballad and the book turned out to be ingenious figments. 

Coiupiouoiu by it! absenoa, a phrase made popular in England by 
Lord John Russell. In his " Address to the Electors of the City of London,'' 

Eublisned April 6, 1859, he said of Lord Derby's Reform Hill, which had just 
ten defeated, " Among the defects of the bill, which ate numerous, one pro- 
vision is conspicuous Dy its presence, and another by its absence." The 
expression was sharply criticised, and nine days later, in a s|ieech at London 
Tavern, he justified it thus : " It has Ijcen thought that by a misnomer, or a 
'bull.' on niy part, I alluded to a provision as conspicuous by its absence, — a 
turn of phraseoli^y which is not an original expression of mme, but is taken 
liom one of the greatest historians of antiquity." This great historian is 
Tacitus. In his "Annales," lib. iii. cap. 76, describing the funeral of Junia, 
he thus alludes to the absence of the images of her Mmous liinsmen Brutus 
and Cassius : " Sed prxfulRcbanl Cassius alque Brutus eo ipso, quod effigies 
eorum non videbantur" (" But Cassius and Brutus were the most conspicuous, 
for the ver_y reason that their effigies were not seen"). 

J. Ch)!nier, in his tragedy of "Tiberius" (Act i. Scene 1). translating the 
expression into French, gave it the form which is familiar in English, — 



namesof Pascal and Arnauld from Perraull's ■• History of Illusltious Men." It 
was revived, too, in Talleyrand's observation when some one called his atten- 
tion to the fact that Lord Castlereagh at the Congress of Vienna wore no 
decorations: "Ma foi, c'est bien dislingu^." The latter story, however, i.« 
doubted by historians, and the late Prince Paul Galliuin received from his 
iuide,>member of the Congress, quite amither version, — namely, thai Gal lilii a 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 189 

and Castlerea^h entered the council -chamber ti^elher, and Ihe latler, noticing 
a gentleman in plain dress, inquired who he was, and, on being lold, " * ~ 



IImv low. they tiHIc. and yel (hey know not why ; 

The antithesis is a very familiar one, both in prose and in 
a feo parallel examples : 

Fickle in cvcrythlur die, ihe French have been blihrul in one thing 
(hang*.— Alisom-s HiiUrj ^ Eurnfi. 



liidy to dl 



uene of change*, ai 



ryday 



And whmt wav ever uiding, ihat doih onely itay. 

E. Benlowbs: Iranilalioik irom Janus Vitalis. 

Cool of the erening;. A nickname given to Richard* Monckton Milnes, 
afkerwards Lord Houghlon. The story of Its origin is lold in various ways, 
and the inventor of the nickname is sometimes Sydney Smith, sometimes Bar- 
ham, and sometimes Count D'Orsay. The most usual story refers it to the 
latter wag, and ritns as follows. Voting Milnes was at his club late one after- 
noon in company with the cotiiit, when some one proposed a call on Lady 
Blessington. " Oh, yes. let's call," chimed in the poet, " I'll go with you. 
" Indeed," responded Count D'Orsay, loftily : "are you acquainted with her 
ladyship?" "No, but that's of no CDoaequence. I'll accom|>any you. my 
dear fellow." "So you shall, so you shall," retorted irOrsay, "and Til intro- 
duce you as the Cool of the Evening." 

In a letter to Lord Houghton from Sydney Smith, quoted below, the latter 
expressly denies having ever used the phrase, and the fact that Houghton 
had addressed a remonstrance to the clerical wit shows the falsity of all the 
stories which represent him as having received the rebuke in perseni ; 

BiAJt Mjlus^, — Never lofc your good lempeT, which ii one of jour ben qunllilcs, and 
whidi hat eanied you hliheno safely through your ilartHng ecceulrlcillei. If yon lum 

J . — 1 — I— _^_ w ^ *-tnft the defecu of oppothe charac- 

\unnnce.-.nd"in-BoJoBei" 



B of "Cool of the ETening," 
my word, not mine. They ai 



Goo^k" 



I have Uughed .... 

bodr bu iDon Ecadjiy ukd more eajDcitly 



190 HANDY-BOOK OF 

ityou for iho«ibll •-• 

udjly Ukl more eajaatly aliened IhHI you are ■ very kfneablc^ Elever 

^ood h«an, uDlmp«achibk in a11 the retntiom of life, «Dd Ihiit yoa unpty 

ncn uDKiHiwu Lu our cold ud phleEmi^ic people. J Itmnk you for erhu you uy of my 
Eoodmlllte. Lord Dudley, wheo J took leave of him, maid Lome," Vou have been HU^ng 

pleaKd me. Ever youn, 

SvD»«v Smith. 

Coon, a common abbrevliiion for raccoon, U also a slane lerm for a negio, 
owing, perhaps, to his fbndnMs for the animal. In American politics, coon 
was a nickname lor a Whie, first applied during the Presidential campaign 
of 1836. Martin Van Buren had been styled an old fox by the Whigs. The 
Democrats retaliated by calling Henry Clay " (hat same old coon," and (ace- 
tiously insinuated that he had been treed by the old fox. The Whigs caught 
up the epithet and adopted the raccoon as their emblem, painting its [Hclure 
on their banners and carrying live specimens in their processions. 

Coon, A BODB- One who is utterly ruined, e^ihauslcd, or done fur ; one 
who is placed in a hopeless difficulty. Captain Marryat records the following 
explanation in his " Diary" (1839), which was gravely loM him by a Yankee 
acquaintance. "There is a Captain Martin Scott in the United butes army 
who is a remarkable shot with his rifle. He was raised in VermonL His 
U-mt was so considerable throughout the -State that even the animals were 
aware of it. He went out one morning with his rifle, and. spying a raccoon 
upon the upper branches of a high tree, brought his gun up to his shoulder, 
when the raccoon, perceiving it, raised his paw up for a parley. ' I beg your 
pardon, mister,' sata the raccoon, very politely, 'but may 1 ask if your name 
isScottP 'Ves,'Teplied the captain. 'MarHn Scott?' continued the rac- 
coon. 'Yes,' replied the captain. 'Captain Martin Scott?* still continued 
IheanimaL 'Yes,' replied the captain; 'Captain Martin Scott.' 'Oh, then,' 
says the animal, ' I may just as well come down, for I'm a goiu coon' " 

Another eaplanalion gives the phrase a Revolutionary origin. An American 
scout dressed himself in a raccoon-skin and ascended a tree to reconnoitre 
the enemy. While thus engaged, he was surprised by a British soldier, out 
hunting, and the latter, mistaking him for a genuine coon, levelled hts gun to 
fire. " Hold on I" cried the startled spy ; " il yoil won't shoot, I'll come down. 
I am a gone coon I" The Englishman, however, was so terrified that he 
dropped his gun and (led. 

C mUM tbink of lomtlhtng elK u ilie awake, or, like that (agiirioui uLmai io the Untied 
Suiei wbo tecDgoized ihe coloDeJ v^ was such a dead ahoi. I am a gtiu saen. — DlCHBHS i 
RtpriHlill PUcis, Lfiit AmJu. 

Coon, Go tho whole, an American equivalent for " go the whole hc^." 
Coon'a age, a long period of time, the coon being popularly supposed to 

Cop or Copp«r (from the slang verb tocepnx seize, Latin eafU, or Heb. 



cot, a "hand" or "palm"), a slang word for a policeman. The term copper, 

»ne. li _ . 

policeman they will, to Innoy him, exhibit a copper coin, which i: 



sc, has- nothing to do with the metal, nevertheless "the professor 
slang, having coined the word, assodale that with the metal, and as they pass 



o calling the officer coffer." {Afancheiter Courier, June 13, 1864.) 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 19T 

rattlesnake, it gives no warning of its approach. Hence It is often known aa 
the dumb rattlesnake. Tlie word has been caught up as a nickname for noi- 
some and noiseless enemies, and applied first to the Indians, next to the Dutch 
colonists (see Irving's " Knickerbocker"), and lastly and more permanently to 
the ami-war Democrats who resided in the North and sympathized more or 
less secretly with the South during the civil war. 

He livid 10 i:ut mdviniTOK Ibr OcDEn] Jaclucm, imd hi> ton. the 6nJ Dr. Mulbridgc, 
civil war, ai a lolimKd eopperiiind.— W. D. HowmiiS : Dr, Brm'i Praelicr, Ai. Li, 

CopTTight. Under the existing law of the United States, copyright is 
granted for twenty. eight years, with the right of extensitm lor fourteen more; 
in all, forty-two years. The term of copynght in other countries is as followsi 

Mexico, Guatemala, and Venezuela, in perpetuity. 

Colombia, author's life and eighty years after. 

Spain, author's life and eighty years after. 

Belgium, author's life and fifty years alter. 

Ecuador, author's life and fifty years after. 

Norway, author's life and fifty years after. 

Peiii, author's life and fifW years afler. 

Russia, author's life and fifty years after. 

Tunis, author's life and fifty years after. 

Italy, author's life and lorty years after ; the ftill term to be eighty years In 

France, author's life and thirty years after. 

Germany, author's life and thir^ years after. 

Austria, author's life and thirty years after. 

Switzerland, author's life and thirty years aAer. 

Hayti, author's life, widow's life, children's lives, and twenty years after the 
close of the latest period. 

Braul, author's life and ten years after. 

Sweden, author's lifi; and ten years after. 

Roumania, author's life and ten years after. 

Great Britain, author's life and seven years after his decease ; to be forty- 
two years in any event. 

Bolivia, full term of author's life. 

Denmark and Holland, fifty years. 

Japan, author's life and five years after. 

South Africa, author's life ; fifty years in any event 

Cordon bl«tl. Henry III. of France was elected King of Poland on 
the day of the Pentecost, and upon the same day, by the death of Charles IX.. 
he succeeded to the throne of Prance. In token of his gratitude he instituted 
the order of the Saint-Esprit, limiting the number of knights to a hundred, 
exclusive of the officers of the order. The collar worn by members of the 
order upon slate occasions was fornied of fleur-de-lis in gold, and suspended 
to it was a cross of eight points, with a dove in the centre ; upon the reverse 
of the cross was a design representing Si Michael slaying the dr^on. When 
the collar was not donned, the cross was worn suspended to a piece of blue 
silk, called the cardm Meu. As time went on, it became the custom to call 
any one who had achieved eminence in his profession a cordBn Mcu, Finally 
it came to be applied only to cooks, M. Litlr^ remarks that the blue apron 
formerly worn by cooks may have helped to earn for them this flattering 

pwlut. Tbit slang phrase is in use in the theatres as a sfnonyme lor a 



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ff ANDY-BOOK OF 

who corks or bottles up another actor's eflects, and in (he world 
' ' ' unusually li 
a question. 
The Crown Ptinct'i lunch-biU wu raihcr a csrktr: 
No wooder hit HlglnKH rcTuscd for lo pAy. 
" Do you love him, Mabel T" 

There waa ao uonuttaluble nng of triumph in [he pf«itd falher'i voice u he uldnued the 
queBlion to ihe bemuEifu], queenly eitI whoilood with davocut eyea beTore hiio, 
i; Vei." the Bnawaed toTily^ Ihe rich blood maatlimr her cheeli and brow. 

daughler," he continued, "thai in gaining Ihe love of i young man lilie Harold flill more 'yon 
have nude a conqueil (liat emiliea my pride at a talher and commends luelf lo myjud^nienl 
aaamiin. HeiBOf good family, upnghl. honoEablerhigb-minded, tlie pouessorDT a campe. 
lence, iuid in all reapeciB [he one whom above all olhen [ ihouid have choten at ihe guardian 
of my only daUHhier't happitieu." 

■■ Vet, papa, she repfied, her fMe lighling up wiih a smile, " he's a corker r^CliK,^ 

Corn, I aoknowledge tho, a colloquial Aniericanism, meaning " I give 
in," '• I retract," usually in regard to some special point not involving the 
whole question at issue. Many explanations, more or less obviously manii- 
factuied, have been given as to the origin of tlie phrase. The following, how- 
ever, has an air o( plausibility and may be authentic. In 1S2S, Andrew Stewart, 
a member of Congress, said in a speech that Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana 
sent their ha^-stacks, cornfields, and fodder to New Vork and Philadelphia 
for sale. Wicklitfe, of Kentucky, called him to order, declaring that those 
Stales did not send hay-stacks or cornfields to New Vork for sale. " Well, 
what do you send ?" asked Stewart. " Why, horses, mules, cattle, and hogs." 
" Well, what makes your horses, mulct, cattle, and hogs ? You feed one hun- 
dred dollars' worth of hay to a horse. Vou just animate and gel upon the top 
of vout hay-stack and ride off to market. How is it with your cattle? You 
make one of them carry fifty dollars' worth of hay and grass lo Ihe Eastern 
market. How much corn does it uke, at thirty-three cents a bushel, lo 
fatten a hog f" "Why, [hirly bushels." "Then you put that thirty bushels 
into the shape of a hog, and make it walk off to the Eastern market." Then 
Mr. WickliBe jumped up and said, " Mr, Speaker, I acknowledge the corn." 



Lord Thurlowsubiiequeiitly paraphrased this maxim 
You never expected justice from a corporation, did 
' a soul to lose nor a body to kick." 

Conaptla optiml peaalma {L. " Corruption in Ihe best is the worst cor- 
ruption"), a phrase much used by the early Latin Fathers of the Church. 
They applied it originally to bad priests ; afterwards il was extended to de- 
scribe the sins of all who had received grace and were offcndine against the 
light ; and now it is a general expression, meaning, the belter the thing the 
worse its abuse. And the most curious part of the whole matter is, that in 
so broadening its application it has really eone round the circle and come 
back lo its .star ting. point. For there is Utile doubt Ihat the phrase of the 
Fathers originated with Aristotle in his " Ethics of Nicomachus" (Book viii., 
ch, X.), where, in speaking of governments, he says that "Tyranny being Ihe 
corruption of the best form \i-€.. of kingly government) is therefore Ihe worsL" 
Elsewhere he uses Ihe same expression in other connections. The idea, of 
course, is a commonplace that appears in many olber fornu in literature, — Lf. .' 



Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. i 

Pot (urot thinn erov foolal by TduI deeds ; 
LUia Ihu fcHer imell fu wane ibu wccdk 



I thai Kin nothing, not y«i thu uc ■U ; 

On my Bpeckltd bide ; nm you, the pride 
Of the ihy. my awin, that B lint fleck'l fail 



^Ksvvwfi: TktWoTttef It. 
Cotton to, meaning to like, lo take (o, lo agiee with, is olten looked upon 
aa a vtilgarism, aometimes even as a modern American ism. Barllell includes 
it in hia Dictionary. But this common coll uquiat ism, slill in use on both 
aidea of the Atlantic, is a survival of a respectable English word. It is 
fi>und occasionally in (he Elizabethan writers, but the earliest exam)>le in 
literature ia probably the following, from Thomas Dianl's translation of 
Horace (1567) : 

So feyneth be. ibhlei tnie and false 

So alwayi nlnileih he, 
TbU firw with nud«. and midit with lui. 

Cotton Is King. This famous ante'bellum cry, with which the Southern 
slave-holders answered the arguments of ihe AtioHtionisls, originated with 
David Christy as the litie of his book " Cotton is King ; or. Slavery in the 
Light of Political Economy" (1855), James Henry Hammond quoted the 
phrase in the United Slates Senale, March, iSsS, and it at once became a 
popular by-word. 

Cotmtiy, Iiove o£ Dr. Johnson, as reported by Boswell, held that patri- 
otism was the last refuge of a scoundrel. Some of the advanced thinkers of 
to-day (as may be seen t. v. Citizen of the World) are inclined to look 
a|>on it as a provincial virtue, now tightly obsolescent in Ihe larger sympathies 
that crave to encloae Ihe world. Nevertheless, none deny that in Ihe past 
it has been an effective factor in civilization, and has inspired Ihe true 
heroic in thought and deetL Goldsmith, in his story of Assan, draws an ideal 
lubberland where there are no vices, and consequently where the love of 
country ia stigmatized on account of its correlative hatred or contempt of Ihe 
stranger. But he describes it only lo condemn, 
in the patriot's boast, — 

Sucb li the patrioi't boaH, where'er we roun, — 
Hia fini, bqt country ever is at home. 

Tkt TraviUtr, I. 73. 

Nor did Shakespeare, who makes his Coriolanus say, — 

Mudui, I bad niber elcvcD die oobly ft" their coustry Ihan one voluptuously aurfeii 01 

and puts in Wolsey's mouth the advice, — 

Lei all Ihe endi Ihoa alm'u at be Iby conDliy'i. 

Tby Cod'i, and ttulb'i ; then if ibou foll'it, O CiDinweU, 

ThoD lall'ii a bleued nianTr I 

tiiitiy VIII., Act iii., Sc. a. 
Probably here is a reminiscence of Horace's 

Dnlce et deeDrnm e« pn> patria mod, — 

which in its turn was a reminiscence of Homer, thus rendered by Pope: 

And for our country 'ti> a bUia la die. 

/f/rxf, Bookir.,1. ]S]. 



Coogk" 



194 HANDY-BOOK OB 

So Addison's Cato : 

Whu ■ pity !• It 
Tlut we CMD die blU DbCe ID save our conntry ] 

Though the evolutionist looks forward to the lioK when love of country 
■hall hive been merged in a world-love, the United States has been found 
in the present time as large an entity as the average citizen could compass. 
Indeed, the dream of the enthusiast of a country which shall Lnow no North, 
no South, no West, no East, is still little more than a dream. Utterances 
like the two following, from Robert C. Winthrop, represent rather the nn- 
attained ideal than the actual practice of the majority : 

Our CDUDiry, — arbHber boun<Sed by [h« Sl John'i and Ihe Sathae, or bowovcr olhenriBe 
bounded or de*cribed, and be Ihe meAiuremeDU more or Je», — »UI1 our CouDlry, to be cber. 
ubed ID aJL ouj hcaru, id be defended by all ouj handa.^ 7<wj^ ai Fantuii HaU on Uu 

Qtmmtrcial aid in iSt^. 

A famous patriotic sentiment, embodying a principle whose virtue might be 
casuislically questioned, was the following, given at Norfolk, Virginia, April, 
1S16, by Stephen Decatur : 

Our country 1 In her intercoune with ronigu naliont may ibv alwayi be ia the ri^l : but 
our counlry, nghl or wroDg. 

There may be a reminiscence here of Cowper ; 

England, wilh al{ thy faulu I love thee ■till, 

as in Cowper there is an undotibled reminisceiicc of Churchill : 

Be England what the will, 

Wilh S\ ha Ikulu, ihe ii my cotmiry nilL 

Tit Farimll, \. 17. 

CoontiT. We left onr ooontry for onr ooantry's good. When 

~he Reveng " ' 

George Bai 
e famous li 

Though not wilh much jclal or heat of di 



The idea was anticipated by George Faiquhar in "The Beaux' Stratagem," 
written some ninety years before Bairinglon's prologue. Gibbet, the high- 
wayman, in answer to Aimwell's question, "You have served abroad, sirf 
says, " Yes, sir, in the plantations ; 'Iwas my lot lo be Sent into the worst of 

service. I would have quitted it, indeed, but a man of honor, you know 

Besides, 'twas for the good of my country that I should be abroad. Anything 
for the good of one's countiy ; I'm a Roman for that." Both Farquhar and 
Barringtun, it will be seen, have euphemistic reference to transportation, but 
Ihe lines are now so frequently applied to any departure from one's native 
land, whether voluntary or involuntary, that it may be doubted whether the 
original meaning has not been as completely superseded as the form of pun- 
ishmtnt to which it obliquely refers. In a complimentary sense the phrase 
hadalteady been applied to Sir Francis Drake by Charles Fitzgeffry.ftmi 1596. 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERACY CURIOSITIES. 195 

Covsntrr, To Mnd one to, to taboo, to ostradie, to boycott,— a colloquial 
phrase used mainly by English schooi-boya. Coventry may be a corruption 
uf Quarantine through Cointrie, the ancient form for Coventry. The exjires- 
siun "To send to Quarantine" is Tound in Swift, but no earlier exemplar of the 
modern phrase is to be found than 17851 in Grose's "Dictionary of the Vulgar 
Tongue." 

Coir wltb the iron tall, a humnrous colioquialism for a pump, in allu- 
sion to the current jest thus alluded to by Dr. flolmes in " The Professor at 
the Break^t-Table ;" "It is a common saying of a jockey that he is all 
horse, and I have often fancied that milkmen get a stin upper carriage and 
an angular movement that reminds one of a pump and the working of a 

Cradl*. Th« hand that rooka the cradle rales the world. This 
English expression is anticipated in the story laid by Plularch o( Themislocles, 
who called his son the most powerful person in Greece. "For the Athenians 
govern Greece, I the Athenians, my wife me, and my son my wife." In the 
"Percy Anecdotes" the same story is moderniied. A nobleman accosted a 
lame school-master and asked him his name. " I am R. T,," was the answer, 
" and the master of this parish." " Why, how sc) ?" " 1 am the master of 
the children of the parish, the children are masters of the mothers, the mothers 
are the rulers of the fathers, and consequently I am the master of the whole 
parish." There is another sense, of course, in which the proverb may be 
taken, — a sense beautifully expressed in the Spanish analogue, "What is 
sucked in with the mother's milk runs out with the shroud." 

In his "Nighl Thoughts," 

Our birth IsDotfajng bill Durdcalh beguD. 
Long before Voung Bishop Hale had said, — 
Death bordot dpDik our birth, uid oar cncU« uands in the g^vt.-^EfixtUt, Dec. Ut 



Is sll tbe proud and miehiy have 

BctweeJi die ovdle snd die crave, 

Gmngar Hill. 
Crank. It is said that Donn Piatt claimed lo have invented this familiar 
Americanism, and lo have applied it originally to Horace Greeley. — the com- 
parison being lu the crank of a hand-organ, which is continually engaged in 
grinding out the same old tunes. Ai present Ihe word has a much wider 
application, and means nol merely a man with a hobby, but more especially an 
eccentric character just hovering on the border-line between sanity and in- 
sanity. The word was brought nilo newspaper prominence al the trial of 
Gaitean, Garfield's assassin, the most terrible instance of the crank in modern 
history. A good second was Henry 1. Norcross, who, in 1891, killed himself 
and wrecked Russell Sage's office with a bomb. 

wilhin thr pa« ten ye»i», eicepl (iuileiii. mu <hu of J«oie» M. Dougheny, who loved the 

He »DDDycd her for B long time before he wm taken care of by the ■uthorillct. Hi* *»» 
ihe Hine ol^ crank trouble of pcrtecutioD and exalted ided». He aumd me that he could 
ha*e married ladle* of rank and fonuue. He wrote a Ions tmioe lo enplain all natural phe- 
nDmcnM, ihecremtionandalllbeidHices. HeieDi Pttsidenl Geveland > ' ' 



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HANDY-BOOK OF 

lovm ■!] over Lhit coimtr>r jud Europe, ud buiste 
cd la bim jdone- He carried n big rcvolvcT with hi 
lleviie he gave me a lutemeni lo be publbhed ia ih 

PIQUED. 

IN VlSin THIS COUHTRV OH THI SlV TO Sn D 

ROSALIND ON THE RAMPAGE. 



Though IhtH expRiiJans wen cDoimon, Doughenv't »Stc 

umted, eiamined. and lenl lo Ihe Flubuih Inune Aiylum, h 

believe lhb^oleaale^illir» w^uld be'ju>T"e^^ HiT^Kd Lis the Innilulioll, you XM 
' ... l,iiredDr.GMrgeW,IJoyd.lhei 



imeHoffeiiiive 
r^ixi. lokilt fifl' 

d D?. Gfc _ 
jtfc ■o°SlKt'?S>" 



C^edat JndBBua Apella (L., "The Jew Apella may believe ihis"), a 
famous phrase in Horace's " Satires," i. ^. 96), slill in fiequenl use as an eipres- 
sioii of incredulity. Horace is describing a journey. " At Gnatia," he Says, 
" they strove to persuade us thai incense would melt upon the sacred threshold 
without the aid of fire. The Jew A^iella may believe this, not I, for [ have 
learned that the gods live in tranquillity, and if any wonderful thing happens 
it is nut sent by them from the lotly vault of heaven." Apella was a common 
name among the Jews, whom the Romans regarded as a credulous and supersti- 
tious race. Renan, however, explains that it is not ctedulily which is most 
Btiilcing in theTalmudisl Jew: "The credulous Jew, the lover of the marvellous, 
known to the Latin satirists, is not the Jew of Jerusalem ; it is the Hellenized 
Jew, at Ihe same time very religious and very ill informed, consequently very 
superstitious. Neither the hali-sceptical Sadducee nor the rigorous Pharisee 
could have been much impressed by the theurgy which was so popular in the 
apostolic circle. Uut Ihe Judxus Apella, at whom the Epicurean Horace 
smiled, was there to believe." {Lis Apdtres, ch. vi.) 

f sing (hcluiiron, uineihin|,'l'''aibci*iMDk! ■bo'°e leeUliiivc co^pet7t,«'ihai ^, ih°>i*th'n 

liiwiphic tynod. C'idAt who will— ccruinly not Jndttui AttU».—Bv»r.t : RtJUclicm sn 

Crlobton, tbo Admimble, a name given lo James Crichlon, a youthful 
prodigy who was the wonder of his contemporaries. Born in Scotland in 1560, 
he took Ihe degree of Bachelor of Arts when he was only twelve, and of 
Master of Arts when he was fourteen. Al the age of seventeen we find him 
ill Paris, challenging all Ihe most famous scholars and philosophers lo a public 
discussion, at which he held himself ready to answer any question in theology, 
jurisprudence, medicine, logic, mathematics, or any other science, in any one 
of Ihe following twelve languages, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Syrian, 
Slavonic, Frenciv English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, or Flemish, either in verse 
or in prose as might De desired. He succeeded in carrying out his boast, lo 
the astonishment of every one, and it was then [hat Ihe title of Admirable was 
bestowed upon him. In Rome, in Venice, and in Padua he earned similar 
triumphs. Nor was he simply distingubhed as a scholar ; he was an accom- 
plished dancer, fencer, rider, musician, painlcr, and actor, was handsome in 



LITERARY CURIOS/TJES. 197 

person, engaging in his manners, and a ihorough man or the world. This 
prodigj was, in 1582, secured by Ihe Duke of Manlua as a tulor for his son, a 
dissipated and worlhless young man. In the year 1583, Crichloii, one carni- 
val night, was assailed by three niaslied men. He succeeded in disarming and 
unmasking the principal une among Ihem, when, finding that it was his pupil, 
Ihe duke's son, he knelt duwn and presented him with his own swotd. The 
unmanly prince at once ran it through Crichton's body. 

Crime, — Blunder. '• It is worse than a crime,— il is a blunder" (" C'eal 
plus qu'un crime, — c'est une Taute"), a phrase attributed (o Talleyrand, and 
characterizing the political murder of the Due d'Enghien, who was shot by 
Napoleon's order, March, 1304. But Jacob Fouche, in his Memoires, claims 
the phrase for himself in the Torm, ** It is mote (ban a crime. — it is a political 
faulL" There is a certain appositeness in the Tact that phrases should be 
iiilcrchangeably attributed to Fouch^ and Talleyrand, inasmuch as Napoleon 
found a great likeness between them. " Foucb^," said (he dethroned monarch 
at Sr. Helena, "was the Talleyrand of the clubs, and Talleyrand was the 
Fouchi of the drawing-rooms." 

Ciitloiain. Cnrtosltlea o£ If the world at large and if critics themselves 
would only accept Mr. Andrew Lang's definition of criticism as a more or less 
agreeable way of airing one's personal preferences, there might be less heart- 
burning in the literary guild. Criticism has never been an exact art, and can 
never hccome so. The critics have their say, and then we (urn round and 
criticise Ihe Critics. One age reverses the verdict of its predecessor. Nay. 
even these temporary verdicts are but (he clash of opposing opinions. The 
strongest hand carries (he dayfor the moment.and (hen night comes and a 
new day brings in new conditions. The critic by profession has always been 
an object of authorial hatred. The envy of (he unsuccessful agains( the suc- 
cessful has been described as the motive power of criticism from the days of 
the Greek Callimachus (o the English Disraeli. Vet when (he author tries his 
hand at amateur criticism he makes no better fist of l( than the professional. 
If Quindlian fell foul of Seneca, if Athensus treated Socrates as illiletale, if 
Dionyiius of Halicarnassus picked flaws in the style of Xenophon. let us not 
forget (hat poets and historians have also misprized and reviled each other, 
that Horace had no relish for the coarse humor of Plautus, that if (he critics 
of Callimachus were unjust, he too was a critic accused of injustice. Indeed, 
in Greece the quarrels between poets themselves had become proverbial, and 
when Plato quotes the lines about " poets hating poets, and potters, potters." 
he lifts the tnirtain on a scene of internecine strife. 

Take the greatest figure in modern literature. The civilization of th« 
Western world has by a majority vote conferred that distinction upon Shake- 
speare. But (here is still a small bu( respec(able minority who refuse to yield 
to his spell. In (he past (here was frequently a rcspec(able majority arrayed 
against him. And whether a majority or minority, Ihe list was mainly com- 
posed of fellow-poets, or at least of authors who were not professional critics. 

The earliest voice raised against Shakespeare was (hat of his contemporary 
Robert Greene, a dramatist like himself: >■ Here is an upstart crow, lieautiRed 
with our feathers, that supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank 
verse as the test of ycu, and being an al)so)ule Johannes factotum, is. in his 
own conceit, the only shake-scene in the country." But i( may lie urged that 
Greene was poor and old when he penned this, and so had turned critic for 
the nonce under (he rasping inHuence of jealousy. Well, (hen, (here is Dry- 
den. Shakespeare had been dead (oolong to be considered as a dangerous 
rival. Dryden himself, (hough he wro(e cridcisms. was only secondarily a 
cri(tc ; be had not failed in literature, but had made a most brilliant and en- 
■7" 



198 HANDY-BOOK OF 

during success. Yet he finds ii 
solecism uf speech, or some not 
lameness of bis ploU, "made up of some ridiculous incoherenl Glory. ... I 
suppose I need not name ' Pericles, Prince of Tyre,' or the historical plays of 
lihakespeare ; iKsides many of the rest, as the ' Winter's Tale,' ' Love's 
Labor's Lost,' 'Measure for Measure,' which were cither grounded on im- 
possibilities, or at least bo meanly written that the comedy neither caused your 
mirth, nor the serious part your concernment." These gems of thought may 
be found in his "Defence of the Ejiilogue," a postscript to his tragedy of the 
" Conquest of Granada." Elsewhere he says that Shakespeare " writes in many 
places below the dullest writers of our or of any precedent age. Never did 
any author precipitate himself from such heights of thought to so low expres- 
sions as he often does. He is the very Janus of poets ; he wears almost 
everywhere two faces ; and you have scarce begun to admire the one ere you 
despise the other." Of the Elizabethan audiences he writes, "They knew no 
better, and therefore were satisfied with what Ihev brought Those who called 
theirs the Golden Age of Poetry have only this reason for it : that they 
were then conleni with acorns before (hey knew the use of bread." 
The "majestic Ucnham" placed Fletcher above both Jonson and Shake- 

Their gnca bolb appeu. 

That indefatigable play-goet, Samuel Pepys, accounted " Romeo and Juliet" 
the worst play that ever he heard ; " Othello," a mean thing in comparison 
with Tuke's " Adventures of Five Hours ;■ "Twelfih Night," a silly play, not 
atall relating to the name or day, while with "A Midsummer Night's Uream" 
he was so dissatisfied that he would never see it again, " for it is the most 
insipid, ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life." Evidently he deemed it 
even worse than " Romeo and Jidiet." 

But Pepys only reflected the taste of his time. The critical authority of 
(hat epoch, Mr. Thomas Rymer, thought that "in the neighing of a horse or in 
the growling of a niaslifT there is a meaning, there is a lively expression, and 
I may say more humanity, than in the tragical flights of Shakespeare." Of 
that great scene between Brutusand Cassius which aroused Macaulay's enthu- 
siasm, Rymer says, "They are put there 10 play the bully and the buffoon, to 
show theit activity of face and muscles. They are to play for a prize, a trial 
of skill and hugging and swaggering, like two drunken Hectors for a two- 
penny reckoning.'' And his successor on the critical throne. Mr. John Dennis, 
says that Shakespeare "is utterly void of celestial fire," and his verses are 
frequently harsh and unmusical. These, of course, were the opinions of mere 
critics. Hut Shaftesbury echoes them when he speaks of Shakespeare's " rude, 
unpolished style, and antiquated form of wit." And Pope, in spite of his 
hatred for Dennis, evidently agrees with these verdicts when he sneers at 
Shakapmre (whom you 4nd every play.hooK bill 
Slyle the divine, the maichlen, whu you »ill), 
and protests against the extravagance of his worshippers : 

And «w«r all iludK it 1o«i in Gcorge't jt^e ! 
Addison, too, must have shared that opinion, at least in his early days, for 
he left Shakespeare unnamed in his " Account of the Greatest English Poets" 
which he addressed to Sachcverell. Hume called Shakespeare "a disptopcr- 
tioned and misshapen giant," and though he is willing to allow that "as a man 
born in a rude age and educated in the lowest manner" he might be accounted 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. »99 

a prodigy, yet "if repiesenlcd as a poet, capable of furnishing a proper en- 
tertainment to a reAned or intelligent audience, ve must abate much of this 
eulogy." It is said that 'Hume'a attack was originally much more vigorous 
than tn its printed form. Lord Kames persuaded him to toi^e it down, fearing, 
M BoBweil tellit us, that the historian " would have been disgraced byconfess- 
ing total insensibililjr (O what the English nation has so long and so justly 
■dmired." 

Voltaire, lioirevei, was lettered by no such fears. He unhesitatingly styles 
Shakespeare " a drunken savage," and " Hamlet" a piece so efoss and barbar- 
ous that it would not be endured by the vilest population in France and Italy. 
A country bumpkin at a fait, he observed, would express himself with more 
decency and in nobler language than Hamlet in the famous soliloquy begin- 
ingi— 

Oh thai tliii IDO, (Do *o)ld fleab would melt. 

Goldsmith attacked another famous soliloquy, that beginning. 
To be at not id be, ay, ihen'i llie quenloD.— 
and, afier a good deal of foolish hyperciiiidsm, scores one good point where 
he shows the al)surdity of the phrase, "that bouin from which no traveller 
returns," in the mouth of Hamlet just after an interview with his father's 
ghost come piping hot from hell. 

" Shakespeare and Milton," said ityron, " have had Iheii rise, and they will 
have their decline." Again, he sneers at 

Samuel Kogers, the veteran poet, was well known to have had lillle real 
admiration for Shakespeare. He would frequently read aloud from Ben 
Jonson's "Discoveries" the passage referring to the players who boasted that 
the poet never "blotted out a line," and on the concluding sentence of Jon- 
son's, " Wotild he had blotted out a thousand 1" he always laid a strong em- 
phasis. He one morning challenged the company to pioduce a passage from 
Shakespeare which would not have been improved by blotting, and he was 
with difficulty silenced, after picking many beautiful specimens to pieces, by 
the one commencing, — 

How iweR (be inooDlJgh( kleept (jpon thi> baoh. 

The most notable of recent Shakespeare traducers is Sardou. He directs 
all the thunders of his artillery against Hamlet, "an empty wind-bag hero," 
whom Shakespeare has clothed m a dramatic fog, and wbom the German 
critics have stuffed with all their cloudy concepts, with all their uncertain 
lUssertations, with all the smoke in Ibeir pipes, with all the besotted obscu- 
rity of their beer-cellars. The Ghost is simply ridiculous. He appears to 
everybody save his wife. Why is he visible to Horatio, to Bernardo, to a lot 
of indifferent people, and never to the wife who murdered him ? What a 
comic scene is that of the oath 1 Horatio and Marcellus swear never to 
o? Or, 
„ „ t has forgotten 

..is posthumous visits to the sentinels of the castle. " As to the philosophy, 
I find it no better than the plot. People go into ecstasies over the famous 
soliloiiuy 'To be or not to be.' I cannot myself know if our souls are anni- 
hilated after death or not. But if any one is well informed upon that point, 
it is Hamlet, who talks every day with his defunct father. I declare, and I 
repeat, that there is nothing good in the play, in my opinion, except the scene 
with (he actors, the idea of causing to be played before the king and queen a 
murder similar to that which they had committed, in order i<> surprise their 
tecteL As to the duet at the end, and the exchange of foils which btinga 



900 HANDYBOOK OF 

abbut ihe cataitrophe. Ihe weakest )i1iywright of to-day would not dare to 
employ such a method to end his piece. 

Milton aa well as Shakespeare has found his detractors among many of 
the most eminent of his contemporaries and successois. Waller contemptu- 
ously wrote of his greatest work, " The blind old school-master hath published 
a tedious poem on the Tall of man ; if its length be not considered a merit it 
hath no other." Winstanley, who wrote the " Lives of the Must Famous 
English Poets." notes that "his fame is gone out like a candle in a snutf, and 
his memory wilt always stink ;" truly a pleasant and genial ligure of speech. 
Johnson abused the sonnets, and declared that he would hang a dog who should 
read " Lycidas" twice. So Boswell tells us. What Ursa Major said in print 
was to the same effect He declared that no man could have fancied that he 
read " Lycidas" with pleasure had he not known the author : " The diction is 
harsh, the rhymes uncertain, and the numbers unpleasing. ... Its form is 
that of a pastoral, easy, vulgar, and therefore disgusting ; whatever images 
it can supply are long ago exhausted, and its inherent iinprubability always 
forces dissatisfaction on the mind." Pope wrote, — 

WilriHi'B ptTDOE piDLOD Dow n«ri bc^vcn can bound, 
Now, terpeDi.ukc, ■□ prov he »w«pi ibc fround ; 

And Uod ihcT^s lunt a school divine. 

But, as Coleridge said. Pope was hardly the man to criticise Milton. Nor 
was Voltaire, who in " Candide" calls Milton " the barbarian who constructed 
a long commentary on ihe first chapter of Genesis in ten books of harsh 
verse," and winds up his diatribe b^ declaring, "This obscure, eccentric, and 
disgusting poem was despised at its birth : and I treat it to-day as it was 
treated in lis own country by its contemporaries." Perhaps it may be objected 
that Voltaire is only speaking dramatically in the person of Pococurante. 
Thai the sentiments, however, were generally considered his own is evident 
from Madame du Defland's congratulations on this very passage. " I hale 
devils mortally," she writes to Voltaire, " and I cannot tell you the pleasure I 
have experienced in finding in 'Candide' all the evil you have spoken of 
Milton. It seemed to me that the whole was my own thought, for I always 
detested him." 

Coleridge saw no good in Sir Waller Scott. "Wretched abortions" is the 
phrase he flung at " Ivanhoe" and " ' The Bride of Ravensmuir,' or whatever 
Its name may be." The poems as well as the novels supply, he thinks, " both 
instance and solution of the present conditions and components of popularity, 
viz., to amuse without requiring any eRort of thought and without exciting 
any emotion." Does this explain why, a little later, he said that when he 
was very ill indeed, Scott's novels were almost the only books that he could 
read ? Or is there evidence here of a change of heart ? Towards Ihe poetry 
he never relaxed. Not twenty lines of it, he said, would ever reach posterity, 
for it had relation to nothing. This opinion was heartily shared by Laiiitor, 
who called Scott an ile-house writer, and said of his verse, " It is not to be 
sung or danceti, it is to be jumped," Thomas L. Peacock coni]>ared Ihe 
Waverley series to the pantomimes of the stage, with Ihis difference, that the 
latter were told in music and action, the olher in Ihe worst dialects of Ihe 
English language. " As to any sentence worth remembering, any moral or 
politi<:al truth, anything having a tendency, however remote, to make men 
wiser or better, to make them think, to make them even think of thinking, — 
they were both alike." 

Johnson could never see anything in Gray. He attacked him in print and 
In his private conversation. " A dull fellow," he said to Ituswell ; and when 
the latter remonstrated, — " lie might be dull in company, but surely he was 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 20) 

not dull in poetiy," — Johnson continued, "Sir, he was dull in company, dull 
in his closet, dull everywhere. He was dull in a new way, and that made 
many people call him gieai." Of Churchill he remarked, *' I called the fellow 
a blockhead at first,) and I call liim a blockhead still." Fielding also was a 
"blockhead," and upon Bowy's venturing to express "astonishment at so 
strange an aSKrtion," Johnaon was good enough to explain, "What I mean 
by hig being a blockhead is, that he is a barren rascal." Over and over again 
he showed his contempt of Swift. Dining once in. Ihe company of some 
friends, the doctor said, dogmatically, " Swift was a shallow fellow, a ven' shal- 
low fellow." Sheridan, with whom Swift was a favorite, dissented : " Pardon 
ine for difiering from you, but I have always thought Ihe Dean a very dear 
writer." Said Johnson, triumphantly, " All shallows are clear." 

Horace Walpole, an acute man and fond of books, was as bitter and preju- 
diced as Johnson himself. Perhaps that was one reason why be hated John- 
son and found nothing better to say of him than that he was a babbling old 
" Prejudice and bigotry, and pride and presumption, and arrogan 



and pedantry, are the hags that brew his ink, though wages alone supply 
bis bread." Boswell's book he curtly dismisses as the sloiy of a mountebank 
and his cany. Of Horace Walpole in his turn, and of his "Mystei 



Mother," — which Ryron praised so extravagantly as "a tragedy of the 
highest order, and not a puling love-plav," — Coleridge remarkea that it 
is "the most disgusting, vile, detestable composition that ever came 
from the hand of man. No one with a spark of true manliness, of which 
Horace Walpole had none, could have written it." Coleridge accused 
Gibbon of "sacrificing all truth and reality," called his style detestable, 
and added. " His Style is not the worst thing about him. His history has 
proved an effectual bar (o all real familiarity with the temper and habits of 
imperial Rome." In Landor's view Gibbon was an old dressed-up fop, 
keeping up the same sneering glin from one end of his history to Ihe other 
with incredible fixity. Of Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner," even his friend 
Southey said, ■' It is the clumsiest attempt at German simplicity I ever saw." 
Mrs. Barbauld rather grotesquely found fault with the same poem, because it 
was " improbable and had no moral." Coleridge thought il had loo much 
moral. Byron called Spenser a dull fellow, Chaucer obscene and contemplibtt, 
and scornfully characteriied Wordsworth's masterpiece as 
A duniy, fn>w2y poem called Tht EjrcuniDP, 

But Wordsworth could be equally unjust Dryden's "Ode on St. Cecilia's 
Day" seemed to him a " drunken song, and Itums's " Scots wha hac wi' Wal- 
lace bled" was " trash I stuff ! miserable inanity ! without a thought, without 
an image I" 

Horace Walpole called Dante "extravagant, absurd, disgusting : in short, 
a Methodist parson in Bedlam." Voltaire characterized the "Divina Corn- 
media" as stupidly extravagant and barbarous," and said of its author thai 
" his reputation will now continually be growing greater and greater, because 
there is now nobody who reads him." That is, indeed, Ihe fate of all the 
immortals, to become classics, or, in other words, books which are much 
praised and little read because the people who praise them find them unread- 
able. 

In his "Philosophy of Ihe Human Mind" Dr. Thomas Brown has some 
shrewd remarks about the number of people who willingly join in expressing 
Teoeraiion for works which they would think it a heavy burden to read from 
beginning to end. 

"What will you say," writes Lord Chesterfield, "when I letl you that I 
cannot possibly read our countryman, Milton, through V He seems to be in 



ao3 HANDY-BOOK OF 

something of a funk about it. "Keep [he secret for rae," he begs, "fot if it 
should be knovrn, 1 should be abused by every tasteless pedant and every 
solid divine in Europe;" Even the great A. K. H. B. candidly acknowledges 
that be would rather read Mr. Helps than Milton. 

Tom Moore declared that he found Chaucer unreadable. Lord Lansdowne 
acknowledged that he was secretly of the same opinion, but did not dare to 
speak of it. Charlotte Bronte in her list of Itgttula notes, " For history, 
read Hume, Rullin, and the > Universal History,' if you can: I never did." 
Lord Ellenborough, after prolonged and conscientious effort, gave up the 
"Wealth of Nations" as "impossible to read." "Can you read Voltaire's 
' Henriade' f" asked Mr. Senior of M. de Tocqueville. " No, nor can any 
one else," was the prompt reply. Once at AbbMsford some one remarked in 
Scott's presence that he had never known any one who had read the " Henri- 
ade" through. " I have read it and live," replied Sir Walter ; " but, indeed, 
in my vouth I read everything." 

Professor Masson, lecturing on Sidney's " Arcadia," acknowledges that no- 
body not absolutely Sidney-smitten could possibly read it through, and in 
another lecture on Boyle s " Parthenissa" he boldly and candidly owns 
that he had not been able to penetrate more than a few pages bevond the 
introductory sentence, and anon, referring to various old-world worlnies who 
are brought into the story, he adds, "how they came into the story, or what 
the story is, I cannot tell you, nor will any mortal know, any more than I do, 
between this and doomsday." Macaulay was an omnivorous reader. Yel 
Macaulay finds in the " Faerie Queene" one unpardonable fault, the fault of 
tediousness. "Very lew and very weary are those who arc in al the death of 
the Blatant BeasL" Macaulay himself was not of those few, or he would have 
known that the Blatant Beast does not die at all, though lamed for the time by 
Calydore. The last stanza tells us that 

Now he raungelh (hrou^h the world HgAme, 
And ragcth »r in uch decree and «*», 

Lessing's epigram is worth quoting : 

KlopUDck ii ercat, iut>liiiw, the GcraiAa Hiibm : 
An pniK Ilie turd, Ixu will Uwy rcsd hint—No, 

[f you will RAd, we'll ki your pralta go. 
As the great of the past are often overrated, so the great of the present ve 
as often underrated. 

Heine, in his " Essay on the German Romantic School," points out the error 
of supposing that Goethe's early fame bore any due comparison with his 
deserts. He was indeed praised for " Werler" and " Gneli von Berlichingen," 
but the romances of August Lafontaine were in equal demand, and the latter, 
being a voluminous author, was much more in men's mouths. The poets of 
the period were Wielaiid and Ramler, and Kotzebue and IIBand ruled the 
stage. And when Goethe had established himselT in his own country, it was 
a much harder tight to obtain recognition abroad. In England, Jeffrey thought 
that he was nogenlleman, and denounced " Wilhelm MeiKler" in the Edinburgh 
Revitw. Coleridge called " Faust" a series of magic- lantern pictures, and said 
that much of it " is vulgar, licentious, and blasphemous." Ue Quincey was 
even more emphatic : " Not the basest of Egyptian superstition, not Titania 
under enchantment, not Caliban in drunkenness, ever shaped to themselves 
an idol more weak or hollow than modern Germany has set up fur its worship 
in the person of Goethe." "'Wilhelm Meister'" is "a puny fabric of baby- 
houses," "totally without interest as a novel," and abounding with "ovei- 



Coogk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



whom indiceclly h« owed so much, 
a brute ; he never wtole anvthing wurlh reading except *The Robbers,'" cried 
Hugo one day (o a crowd of admirers. Somebody murmured that "The 
Robbers" was written not by Goeihe but by Schilier. " And even thai is 
Schiller's," continued the poet, without any apparent notice of the interruption. 
" It is easy," lays Colonel Higginson, "for older men (o recall when Thack- 
eray and Dickens were in some measure obscured by now-forgolteii conleni' 
poraries, like Harrison Ainsworlh and G. P. R. James, and when one wiu 
gravely asked whether he preferred Tennyson to Millies or Sterling or Trench 
or Allord or Fabet. It is to me one of the most vivid reminiscences of my 
college graduation that, having rashly ventured upon a commencement oration 
whose theme was 'Poetry in an Unpoetical Age,' I closed with an urgent 
appeal to young poets to 'lay down their Spenser and Tennyson' and look 
'"□ life for themselves. Professor Edvrard T. Channing, then the highes' 

_ ...c __•... -.......- ..__ 1 .. . J ■ laiement, with uplifted pencil, 

,' he said, 'that ihcy should 



lilerary authority in New England, paused in amazement, with uplifted pencil. 
over this combination of names. ' Vou mean,' he said, 'that ihcy should 
neither defer to the highest authority nor be influenced by the lowest f When 
1 persisted, with the leal of seventeen, that \ had no such meaning, but 
tenrded them both as among the gods, he said, good-naturedly, ' Ah ! that is 
a different thing. I wish you to say what you think, I regard Tennyson as a 
great calf; but you are entitled to your own opinion.' The oration met with 
oitich applause at certain passages, including this one ; and the applause was 
just, for these passages were written by my eldest sister, who had indeed 
suf^ested the subject of the whole address. But I fear that its only value to 
posterity will consist in the remark it elicited from the worthy professor ; this 
comment affording certainly an eicelient milestone for Tennyson's early 
reputation." 

Carlyle was denounced as a mountebank, and his style characterized as a 
travesty of English. Ruskin is now looked upon as one of the great maslers 
of English style, yet he, too, was at first greeted with unmeasured ridicule. 
"When Browning published his first poem, 'Pauline,'" so Archdeacon Farrar 
says, "some critic or other called htm 'verbose.' Unfortunately, — as he has 
told us, — he paid loo much attention to the remark, and, in his desire to use no 
superfluous word, studied an elliptic concentration of style which told fatally 
against the ready intelligibility of ' Sordello' and other later poems." And the 
archdeacon concludes that "as a general rule an author of any merit or serious- 
ness could not possibly do a mote foolish thing than take their advice." Vet 
one would like to advise him to drop such a pleonasm as "a eeneral rule." 

The praise of the critics is frequently as amusing as theic blame. "There 
are," says Gautier, in the preface to " Les Grotesques," "strange fluctuations 
in reputations, and aureoles change heads. After death, illuminated foreheads 
are extinguished and obscure browsgrow bright." Who, he asks, would 
to-day believe that the now- forgotten Chapelain passed for long years as the 
neatest poet not alone of France but of the whole world, and that nobody 
less potent than the Duchesse de Longueville would have dared to go to sleep 
over his poem of " La Fucelle" ? Vet this was in the time of Corneille, Ra- 
cine, Holiire, and La Fontaine. Locke endorsed the opinion of his friend 
Molyneux, that, Milton excepted, all English poets were mere ballad-makers 
beside "everlasting Blackmore." Rimer set Crowley's forgotten epic above 
Tasso's "Jerusalem." Goldsmith says that the work he would select as the 
most perlect example of English genius would be the " Rape of the Lock." 
Hobbes told Sir William Davenant (hat his poem " Gondibert" would last as 
long as the Iliad. Vet "Gondibert" is as obsolete as Darwin's 'Botanic 
Garden," which Walpole thought the most delicious poem upon earth. Dr. 



HANDY-BOOK OF 






The doctor was n 



« Walpole Ihoughl that Mason was a poet " if ever there was one," 
and ex|>re»!ied a desire for his acquaintance and that of Christopher Ansley, 
author of "The New Bath Guide." He had no thiral, he added, to knowlhe 
rest of his contemporaries, " Crom the absurd bombast of Dr. Johnson down 
to the silly Dr. Goldsmith; though the latter changeling has had bright 
gleams of parts, and the former had sense till he changed ii for words and 
sold it for a pension." Byron crowned Scoll as the monarch of the contem- 
porary Parnassus, which was not so very tar out of the way, but the pyramid 
of poets whereof Scott was the apex was oddly enough constructed. IJireCtly 
below came Kogera, then Moore and Campbell together, and la.st of all at the 
widened base "Souihey and Wordsworth and Coleridge, the rest oi iroAAoi." 
His respect for Rogers was inordinate. He called him the "Tllhonua of 
Poetry, immortal already," and condemned himself and all the revolutionary 
school in comparison with that very faded Tilhonus, and the much stronger, 
but scarcely immortal, Crabbe. And he thought thai tlorace Walpole was 
"surely worthy of a higher place than any living author, be he who he may." 
Hannah More wrote ofjohn Langhorne, — 

And^Uftiu't^ fronn™< «niM ^, * ' 

And another literary blue, the once famous Anna Seward, predicted that 
"Madoc" would outlive "Paradise Lust." 

We may laugh at all the examples, both of praise and of blame, that are 
here collected. Yet, at least, they are inflnilely more valuable than the par- 
rot-like judgments of what are known as cultivated people, — mere echoes of 
the accepted opinions of the day. The profound and often unconscious in- 
sincerity of the people who admire whatever they are told to admire is one 
of the stumbling-blocks in the way of righllv estimating the value of any 

!;reat man's work in the world. Shakespeare has delighted many high intel- 
igences, he has offended others. The crowd at various times has thuught it 
was offended or delighted. Is .Shakespeare really a great man, or a mighty 
imposition thrust upon the world ? It is not the scholar to whom we Can 
■p|ieal. His books have biassed him. The unfeigned delight of the god in 
the gallery is more valuable, because more genuine. Vet even that is not 
final. The god puts "Othello" and " Hamlet" on a par with "Spattacus," 
and is as much pleased with the last burlesque as with " The TempesL" (See, 
also, Sklf- Appreciation and Reviewehs) 

Ctitioa. Lord Aldegonde, in Disraeli's " Lothair." propounds the famous 
question and answer, "You know who the critics are ? I'he men who have 
failed ill Literature and Art I" The phrase was hailed with public rejoicing, 
for critics never were a popular class. But the critics had their revenge. 
They showed that the saying was a plagiarism, that it had been anticipated by 
a shoal of writers. The closest and most recent parallel was found in Balzai 's 
"Cousin Hette," 1S46; " Enfin il passa critique, comme lous les impnisitan'.s 
qui manquent \ leurs debuts" (" At last he became a critic, like all impnients 
Who fail at their dibut"). The earliest was in Dtyden : "III writers are 
usually the sharpest censors, for they (as the best poet and the best patron 



e liilJ perfKlian of decay, 
ar vaa comt aiiiklii 10 pwy. 

L.:,l,zi;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



and Balzac may be quuted ; 



. arc usually people who would have been poels, hlvoriani, biographen, if they 
have tiled ihclr lalenii at one or the other, and have failed ; therefore they (Um 
SRitKi : Lrcluni im ShaJuifiarr and M:Uan. 



old superstition that tl 

and moans like a persoti in distress. In poit)t of fact, crocodiles do emit loiia 

and plaintive cries, not unlike the mournftit howlitie of dogs. Early and 

begtin, the sttpenttiticn would be rcidilf propagated Both in Ijtin and in 
Greek the expression was a conitnt>n une in proverbial literature. Polydure 
Virgil, in his " Adagiorum Liber" (1498), says that the crocodile "wept at the 
sieht of a man," and, causing him in this way to approach, devouied him. 
Hence the proverb, crocodile's tears (lacrymie cnxodUi), applied to those who 
falsely arouse the pity and charity of men. Erasmus, in his " Adagia," 
quotes both the Latin and the Greek form of the proverb, and in his " Col- 
loquy on Friendship" gives a story from lEIian's "De Animalium Natura" 
(early part of the third century) to the effect that the crocodile 511s his mouth 
with water and ejects it in order I0 make the path slip|iery for his expected 
prey. In the " Adagia" he explains that the crocodile macerates the skulls 
of his victims with his tears that he may soften them before eating. Sir John 
Maundeville, in his " Voiage" (1356), among other wonderful things, relates 
that "in a certain counlree" long serpents called crocodiles slew men and 
ate them, weeping. The same fable is repeated in the account of Sir John 
Hawkins's vovage (1565), and malodorous comparisons are there made between 



Qcodile and the tears of n 
Spenser, in his " Faerie Queene," says, — 



.niDulhed NUe, 



Doth meele a iru^cnnie crocodile. 



irneTull plight, 19 swallowed uj 



Crofla-maik; which persons who cannot write are required to make in lieu 
of their signatures, was not always a sign of illiteracy. Among the Saxons 
the mark of the cross as an attestation of the good faith of the person sign- 
ing was required to be attached to the signature of those who could wnte, as 
well as to take the place of the signature of those who could not. It was, in 
&ct, the symbol of an oath from its holy associations, and was generally 
known as Iht mark. " God save the mark 1 an expression that may be found 



2o6 HANDY-BOOK OF 

in Shikespore, and is slil) in carrenl use, wis originally a form of ejacolation 

approicbing to tlie cllaract«r of an oath. 

Ctom TOir oT CiUa-oroBB lom, the name pupulaily given to the alphabet, 
becauae in the ancient tiornbooks a lude piciuic of a cross preceded the letter 
A. The explanation that the alphabet used to be arranged in the form of a 
cross is now derided. 

The aucnloD thai ihc alphabet w» written or primed in hombiwlit in the form of ■ 
ctymologiiu. Chrill'l cnw wi< crucir»nn, th<! alphabet wai callrd Chii«'t crcnt.— Ih* 

pendicular, the vowela the shorter tiaiuvener Q- E D, Vei all it itnatlnaEloii, aitd ihv 
fact Ihai the crosa iiDinineDced thv alphabetic raw ii wholly ignored 1 aay " itni^iulktn," 
lot 1, iike lome of your coi^cNpundrnta, doubt uiremr^y wbi^ihtr auch an (CCtpInc atrraDac- 

bur they weTT pnctiCHl, and nol faddiila; they ■cidom, too, moved out <jf ■ sroove. In 
addldod lo the exatnplcs of hornbooks quoted or repracoiatioiu ihat 1 have «eeD, 1 would 
uvetlHse: Minjheu,.6i7,liaa"The diiUK<io«(imdChrf.l'mcra.) Row.or ABCr- 
CMgrave " La crolide par Dicu,The Chriii-.-crou row. or the hombooli wherein ■ child 
karri il; »llil« Sherwood ayoonymlie! the crom-row with " La croii," etc., ud with 
" ('Alphabet," Ihli lut word btlni omiilsd b]t CotKiave. Again, Th. Cooper, i;}4, and 
HoljnHn'a " Rider" apcali under " Alphabeium" and '* Abece Lurius" not of the '* crua 
towa" lun- of ihe " cruu/' but of " toc cro^" ai tyTionymou* wiih the alphabet ; and 
Thonuuiua, 1594, aaya, " The cm* row, or A B C"— AWri and Qwrriri. 

Crovr, Batlug. Cti>w is an unpalatable bird, and "eating crow" is one of 
the popular phrases lo iixlicate the enforced doing of some unpleasant thing, 
especially the enforced confessiun of error, and is analogous to "eating ytiur 
own vords." "eating humble-pie," "eating dirt," etc Indeed. some wiseacres 
would derive it from the French "manger iaciott" (eating dirt oi refuse), crott 
(pronounced cro) being Ihe old spelling, thus: "The dirt and crott ol Paris 
may be smelt miles off" (Howcl's " lyindinopolis," 1657). But Ihe Amer- 
ican phrase is sufficiently intelligible as it stands, without any far'fetchcd Ibrcign 
derivation. 

Two stories, good enough to become classic, have entwined themselves 
around this phrase and profess 10 give its origin. Both are probably apoc- 
ryphal, but both are worth preserving. 

The first appeared in the KnUkerbocktr Md^atim half a century ^t>, and 
concerns a thrifty boarding-house-lteeper on the Hudson and an indigent 
patron. Whenever the latter remonstrated at the food he was told he was 
"too panikler." "/ kin eat anything," asserted the autocrat of the table, 
with a proud consciousness of superiority ; " I kin eat crow." The constant 
repetition of these words wearied the boarder. Finally he resolved lo test the 
old man. Taking his gun with him, he succeeded- in bagging a fine, fat old 
crow. By dint of soft words and filthy lucre he induced the cook to prepare 
that crow (or the table. The cook was a Scotcliwoman, and used snutt He 
borrowed all she had, and sprinkled it liberally over the crow, gave it an 
extra (urn, and brought it before Ihe host, saying, as he set it down, " Now, 
my dear sir, you have said a thousand times, if you have said it once, that you 
can eat crow ; here is one very carefully cooked." The old man turned pale 
for a moment, but, bracing himself against (he l)3ck of his chair, and with, "I 
kin eat crow," he began cutting a good mouthful. He swallowed it, and, pre- 
paring for a second onslaught, looked his boarder straight in the eye, and 
ejaculated, " I've eat crow," and took a second portion. He lifled his hands 
mechanically, as if (or a (hird attack, but dropped (hem quickly over the 
region of his stomach, and, rising hurriedly and unsteadily, re(reated for th« 
door, muttering, as he went, " but dang me if I hanker atter il" 



Cookie 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



ring the civil 

ired private, having shot a tame croir on the 
planter's ground, was discovered by the owner wiLh ihe bird in his possession. 
Seizing the private's musket, which lay on the ground, the irate planter cried, 
" As you've killed my crow, you've got to eat ii." There was no escape, and 
the private had to eat. After a few mouthfuls, the planter asked, with > grin, — 

"How do you like crow ?" 

"Well," was Ihe reply, "I kin eat it, but I don't hanker arler it." 

"All right," said the plattter; "you've done pretty well. Here, take your 
gun and gel aS." 

But no sooner was Ihe gun in the soldier's hands than he pointed it at the 
planter, saying, "Now you've got to eat your share of crow." 

And the planter, swearing and spluttering, was forced to obey. Next day 
the planter came into camp and reported to Ihe colonel that he had been 
insulted by a Federal soldier. Strict orders had been issued against insulting 
or injuring residents. The planter's description served to bring Ihe soldier 
before the impromptu tribunal. 

" Did you ever see this gentleman before ?" asked the colonel. 

"Oh,ya-as," drawled the soldier; "we— ah — we dined together yesterday." 

Croir, To plnck, puU, or pick a. This English phrase, standing alone, 
meantsimply tobusy one's self about a matter of no importance, to take trouble 
for nothing, a crow being a valueless bird. To jiluck a crow with one — i.e., 
to have a q^uarrel with him — seems to be a natural outgrowth of the older 
phrase, equivalent lo " I have a little affair to settle with him." The unpopular 
character of the bird would add to ihe force of the threat An attempt has 
been unsuccessfully made to prove that the word crow is a corruption of eroc, 
pronounced ere, a French word sometimes used for whiskers. So Ihe phrase 
would mean, " I will pull whiskers with him." From the strictly humorous 
point of view this etymon has merit In Ireland, as well as in some parts of 
America, it seems the proper thing for the threatened parly to answer, " And 
I've got a bag to hold the feathers." 

IT not, molve before we bd 

Tbiu van ind t muu puIJi cnw. 

BiTTLU : Hndiim. 

We'll phick It crow tcgetber. 

Qniudy n/Emrt, Ka. III. 

Crtwlt? bl olamenoj. Hamlet was not the first person who said,— 



] most be cruel or 



CI 111., : 



The Italians have a proverb, " Sometimes clemency is cruelly and cruelty 
is clemency," which has been made memorable over all similar allocutions 
because Catherine de M^dicis quoted it to still the scruples of her son and 
nerve him far Ihe massacre of St. Bartholomew. 



Qry\a% at Birth. In the Wisdom of Solomon, vii. 3, occurs this wi 
known verse : " When I was born, I drew in Ihe common air, and fell up 
the etuih, which is of like nature, and the first voice which I uttered 1 
crying, aa all others do." Lucretius has a parallel passage which may il 
be translated : 

Tbe Enbnt, u viao u Nature with snai pangs of tmvail halh Kni li A>nh from Ihe wo 
sT in mcxlieT Into the regioui of llgbl,^, likf k i^ar cut out from Ihe waves, naked Uj 
ibc canh, in duct wuii and hclplcHDcu, and filii every place arouikd with mournful wailii 



3oS HANDY-BOOK OF 

ud [HMOIU UnHDIiUiou, u l> nuiinl fur one who hu u muy UI> of life in u 

muy evili irhkh he miul pan through ud \aSts.~Di Rtmm Naiura, v. n 

Shakespeare may have had Lucretius in mind vhen he wrote,— 

When Be art born, wc ciy. ihu wo are comt 



But the thought is loo common to allow the building of any argument on 
the very slight resemblance. The last line, by the way, occuta in the form, 

Not to be bom, or, beiog ban, lo die, 
both in Drummond and in Bishop King. Sir William Jones has translated 
from the Persian a fine quotation in which the lame thought is made to point 
a noble moral : 

On puent Laeei, a naked iKv-txirD cbdd. 

Wnping thou VU'tl. while nil nround tbeeunlled; 

So live, thai, linking In ihy lut long deep, 

Clklni ihou may'al wnile, while all around ihec weep. 

On the other hand, Sir Thomas Browne, quoting from Aristotle on " Animals" 
in bis commonplace books, has the query, — 

Unh, Ihougb Iheir heada be nii of ibe womb T 

In the same connection he notes that children, accorjjing to the same 
authority. " though they cry, weep not till after forty days, or, as Scaliger 
expresseth it, vagiunt sed oculis siccls." 

Cnl bono? This Ijlin phrase, which really means 'Who gains by itr 
"Towhose advantage is it T is constantly misapplied in ihe sense of "What's 
the good of it ^ and in this sense has become authorized by the usage of the 
best writers and speakers. The origin of the expression was as follows. 
When Lucius Cassius, a man of stern severity, sal as quaestor iudicii in a 
murder trial, he always instructed the judices, or jurymen, to seek for a motive 
by asking, Cui bono? ((*.;.. Cui bono fuertt ?) "Who was benefiled ?" by the 
crime. The maxim passed into a proverb, and was immortalized by Cicero, who 
quoted it in the Second Philippic and in the orations for Milo and Rosdus. 

Cup. Tbero'i toouy a slip twixt tlie cup and tbe Up. In one form 
or other this proverb is found in the folk-sayings of most European coun- 
tries, and it was current among the Latins and the Greeks. Lycophron tells 
this story of its origin. Anca:us, son of Poseidon and Alta, was a king of the 
Leleges in Samos, who look eS|iecial pleasure in the cultivation of the gra|ie 
and prided himself upon his numerous vinevards. In his eagerness he un- 
mercifully overlazed the slaves who worked there. A seer announced that 
for his cruelly he would not live to taste the wine from his gra|>es. The 
harvest passed safely, and then the wine-making, and Anccus, holding in his 
hand a cup containing the lirKt tuby drops, mocked at the seer's prophecy. 
But the prophet replied, " Many things happen between the cup and the lip." 
Just then a cry was raised that a wild boar had broken into the vineyard, and 
the king, setting down his untasted cup, hurried off to direct the cWe, but 
was himself slam by the boar. 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 209 

Cnpar. There is a ^miliar Scotch saving, " He that will to Capar maun 
to Cupar" (quoted in Scolt's " Antiquary ), equivalent to " A wilful man vill 
have his way." Cupai being the head-quarters of all the judicial business of 
Fife County, all disputes were carried there to be settled, and the proverb was 
applied to the headstrong who would go to law against ihe advice of ciders. 
There is a story of two men convicted of horse- 01 shcep-slealing ; one was 
caught and condemned to death ; the other escaped arrest till his curiosity led 
him to go to Cupai to see his friend eieculed, where he was identified and 
shared the same fate. The above proverb ma^ have arisen from this incident 
Cupar had an eaccssive number of lawyers in proportion lo its population, 
and litigation seems to have been its chief industry. "Cupar justice" was 
sometimes used as synonymous with Jeddart justice \q. v.). 

Cnpa that obeer bnt not inebriate, — usually misquoted in the singular. 
The phrase occurs in Cowper's " Task :" 

And whilE tbe bubbling ucl loud-biuing urn 
Throws ap it ftotiay column, and the cuh 
Tint chcci but iiai iDcbriiie vail on cacb, 
So letiu welcome peaceful evening in. 

■niWtmttr Evnmf, Book I*., 1. 34. 
Btsbop Berkeley had already applied the epithet to his favorite tai-waler, 
which he describes as " of a nature so mild and benign and proportioned to 
Ihe human constitution as to warm without heating, to cheer but not inebriate." 
{Sirit. par. 317.) 

Wbu a deUcau ipecuUtktD k b, tSba drinldng whole (obleu of lea,— 
Tbe cop* tbu cheer but not inehriut. 
and letUng Ibo fiimct aKcnd into the brain, to ^t couideriDg whmi we tlull have for iupper,— 
epp aibd a ntber, or rabbit imothcRd In onlou, or an exceileiu vca] cutlet |.— UA£urT ; On 
Grinft 3<ntnuy. 

Cnifoir- It seems little short of heresy to question the tradition that 
curfew (Fr. ci)inrre-/iru) came into England with William the Conqueror, or to 
combat the good old definition sanctioned by so many authorities, "The 
rin^ng of an evening bell, originally a signal lo the inhabitants to cover lires, 
eitinguish lights, and retire to rest, instituted by William the Conqueror." 

The nursery historian has waxed sentimental over the wrongs of Ihe con- 
quered Saxon, and has conjured up pii:tures that must be balm to the down- 
trodden CelL Even Thomson lellis us, — 

The ihiveilnE wnscho u the cuifcw found 
Dejected Junk iato their »rdjd bcdB. 

But tbe £mnire-/hi was known before William's time, both in England and 
on the Continent. He did, indeed, issue an edict on the subject ; andalthough 
this edict may incidentally have helped to put down Ihe Saxon beer -clubs, which 
were hotbeds of political conspiracies, its primary aim was as a precaution 
against fire. TAat danger was an evcr-prcscnt one in days of chitnneyless 
wooden houses. The ancient city ordinances of London abound in stringent 
lire regulations. None of them, however, were more effective than the " cover- 
. fire" deII, which as far back as the lime of King Alfred was rung in certain 

S laces in England. William's edict rendered compulsory an ancient custom. 
ut it was a wise legislative act, and not a bit of arbitrary tyranny. We find 
plenty of early traces of the custom or its equivalent, as, for instance, the 
Mowing of a horn at the market-place, in Continental Europe. 

It is a curious instance of the conservative tendency of ihe rural mind in 
England that the custom of ringing the curlew should have so long survived 
its orinnaJ ligiiifiouice. 
CurKw M still religioiwtj tolled in many hundreds of towns and villages. 



210 HANDY-BOOfC OF 

either all the year round, or — which is still more usual — from September to 
April. No part of the kingdom can claim it as a special proof of its adhe- 
rence to a primitive simplicjl; . Geographically considered, its survivals are b« 
no means uninstiuclive. ll lolls Trom the Isle of Wight in the south, through 
Kent and Surrey, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincoln, York, Durham, and 
Northumberland, and even across the border, in the Scotch lowlands. And 
it can be traced again through Cumberland and Lancashire, Cheshire, Derby- 
shire, Stafford, Notts, Leicestershire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Hertford- 
shire, Monmouthshire, down to Devon and Dorset. It is, in short, perpetu- 
ated all over the kingdom. Here and there it has become identified with 
local customs. At Newcastle, until it was discontinued, it was the signal for 
shutting the shops. At Durham, again (where it is tolled at nine o'cTock), it 
heralds the closing of the college gates ; while in many Cheshire and York- 
shire villages it has for centuries warned farmers to lock up their cattle for the 
night. The almost universal hour at which it is tolled is eight o'clock in the 
evening, although here and there it is rung instead at seven and nine o'clock. 
In some places, too, there is a morning curfew, a curious variation. At Stow, 
for instance, it is, or was lately, rung as early as four a.m., and at Tamworth 
at the more reasonable hour of six. At Waltham in the Wolds, again, a 
grateful farmer, who was lost in the snow and found his way home 1^ its 
sound, left a field tu endow a tive-o'clock curfew forever. 
The facts, indeed, plainly show that the custom has kept Its hold on the 

Eopular sympathies through all the ages. The Pilgrims and the Puritans 
rought it over with them to New England, where the curfew bell is still rung 
in many towns and villages. In the " Bells of Lynn," Longfellow appeals to 
the " curfew of the setting sun" as heard at Nahant ; and other allusions arc 
freely found in our native poets. 

Ctupldor. It has been suggested that this word was invented by the 
manufacturers of a new style of^spiltoon who are credited with a classic wit. 
The Latin verb cuspida means to sharpen, to point, and seems to give no clue 
to cuspidor. But there is a noun mspis from the same root, which means a 
sharp-pointed weapon, a lance, a spit ; and here we find the punning origin 
of the word : thus, cuipii, a spit ; cuspido, the thing which points the spit. 
This seems rather far fetched, the more so that there is a Portuguese verb 
(uspir, to Spit, and the nouns from the same toot are cuipo. spittle ; cuspidor, a 
spitler, a spitting man ; and ruipidrira, spitting-box. The Spanish equivalent 
is acupidor, a spitting man. But both the Spanish and the Portuguese words 
must be referred to the I^tin conspueri, to spit. 

Cat on«'B Btlok, to make ofi; to leave, to escape. This common ex- 
pression is thought to refer to the cutting of a staff from a hedge or tree on 
the occasion of a journey. A Latin equivalent is the "Colliee sarcinulas" 
("Collect the bags") of Juvenal, while a curious though accidental parallel 
occurs in Zechariah zi. 10, where the cutting of a stick is described as the 
symbol of breaking a friendly covenant. The phrase ii 
ously elaborated into " to amputate one's mahogany." 
" Cm down ibt bloody horde I" 
Cried Mugher of ihc iword 
" Thii conduct would dijgnice tB-g blukainan 

Of hii riiDoui baHlc-l>Ud« 
Wu to cut fan own itick froin ihc Shunon ih' 



:r their shoulders. 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



D. 

D, the fourth letter of the English, as of the Latin, Greek, and PhDcnician 
alphabets, — the delta of the Greeks, the daleth. " door," of the Phofnicians. As 
the inilial of the Latin denaiius, the original name also of the English penny, </. 
(lower-case and almost invariably in italic) is used as the sign fur penny or 
pence ; /.r.. ^ i. J., = pounds, shillings, and pence. The triangular shape 
of the Greek capital & gained the name of delta for many triangular spaces 
or surfaces, and especially for triangular islands or alluvial tracts enclosed 
within the diverging branches of a river, as the Delta of the Nile, etc 

Dafgw Soene in the HouM of Commons. During the French Revo- 
lution, Burke created a dire sensation by suddenly throwing a dagger upon 
the floor of the House of Commons, vociferating, "There is French frater- 
nity for you 1 Such is th« poniard which French Jacobins would plunge in 
the heart of our sovereign. This theatrical exhibition startled the House 
for a moment, then raised a litter, which expanded into a roar when Sheridan 
said, "The gentleman has brought his knife with him ; but ■uiheri't IhcfurkV 
Twiss, in his " Life of Lord Eldon," says that '■ The dagger had been sent to 
a manufacturer at Birmingham as a patleYn, with an order to make a large 
quantity like it. At that time the order seemed so suspicious thai, iniitead 
of executing it, he came to London and called on my father al the Secretary 
of State's office to inform him of it and ask his advice, and he left the pat- 
tern with him. Just after, Mr. Burke called, on his way to the House of 
Commons, and upon my father mentioning the subject lo him, he borrowed 
the dagger to show in the House. They walked down to the House tt^ether, 
and when Mr. Burke had made his speech, my father took the dagger again 
and kept it as a curiosity." 

Dago- This word, now generally applied to Italians all over the United 
States, origtruted in Louisiana, where it at first denoted people of Spanish 
birth or parentage, but was gradually extended so as to appW to Italians and 
Portuguese also. It is undoubtedly a corruption of Diego (James), a common 
name among Spaniards, San Diego being thetr patron saint. 



Hy dear Copperfield, the daisies of the field ai 



DuoD viih Udi prake, a 



WUinKto 



'oimd, ud ja ■Umld id uiike, 
■dIi, and hsluig dulilu. 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



So mumh wl 

Tiu ParfU hlanJ, Cmo vii. 
DIatUlAcL Robert Hall, according to his biographer, Cireg- 
orf, Dcin^ once asked for a glass of brandy and water, indignanlly replied, 
"Call things by their Tight names! Glass of brandy and walei 1 That la the 
current, but not the appropriaie name ; ask fur a glass of liquid fire and dis- 
tilled damnation !" Was he thinking of Pythagoras, of whom Diogenes Laer- 
lius said, " He calls drunkenness an expression identical with ruin" t Or ol 
Cyril Toumeur in " The Revenger's Tragedy" f 

A dnmlord cl*sp Ills (eelh lad not imdo 'em 
To luflcr wet dKmnaUoii lo nin tlirough 'cm. 
DanuMd to VTeilasUng fiime. In Pope's " Essay on Man," Epistle 
it., are the much-quoted liives, — 

U puis ullun th«, Ihink how Buod diined 

Or, ravBh«l with Lhc whiHhiu of a name, 
Si^ CroDiwd], damned lo ev^uiing fame I 
The third line is taken from Cowper's rendition of a line in Virgil, 

Chuined with the fooluh whJHtlIng of h name, 

Gtsr^la, Book li. 



AU cnwd who rbremiw miy be dunned to Tune. 
It may also be found in Savage : 

w, thoiq[h Ute, redeem ihy iudh 



And ^or^i 



'hat elK Is damned to 

Characltro/ Fiattf 



Danes. To danoa attandauoa, lu wall upon another, to be at his beck 
and call, to be servile or unduly obsequious. The reference is to the ancient 
custom at marriages when the bride was forced to dance with all who asked 
her : "Then must the poore btyde kepe foots with all dauncers, and refuse 
none, how scabbed, foule. droncken, rude, and shameless soever he be" 
(Chbisi'EN : Slate of Matrimony, 1543). 

I had Ihou^ 

Tliey bad parted » much faoneitv among them 

(Ai leui, «>od mnnnenl k> not thix to nilTer 

A^nanofhlapUice, and BO near our favor, 

To dance attendance on their lordfUp'i pleaiura. 

Mnry VItl.,Ka.y.,^.t. 
"To lead one a |iretiy dance," said especially of a Biddy or uncongenial 
wife, lo make one enjoy what is known as "a patrol ana monkey lime,'— the 
allusion being to the complicated dances of the past, when alt fallowed the 
leader through a mate of evolutions. I'o make another dance lo one's music 
or at one's bidding, meaning to have him under your thumb, is a reference to 
the myths and legends of magic rods or musical msttumenls, which set all the 
bystanders or listeners to dancing whether they wished it or not. It is said 
that shortly before Bismarck's retirement, the Emperor William II. found him 
in the royal nursery fiddling with great glee, while the tiltle princes and prin- 
cesses were dancing. " That is the fourth generation of Hohenzollems whom 
you have made dance to your music," was William's dry commenL 

Danoe of Torcbea, a dance performed at the royal palace in Berlin on all 
weddings in the royal family of Prussia, the torch-bearers being the ministers 
of slate and the highest court ihargli. Here is a description of the dance as 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 213 

perloTmed >t Ihe marriage feativities of the Piince of Prutsia with the Prin- 
cess of Bavaria, December 1, iSai. The musicians having first been placed on 
thestageof solid silver, in the White Hall, the newly- married pair, preceded by 
ail lieutenant-generals and six ministers of stale, two by two, all holding while 
torches, made (he lour of the hall, saluting the company as they went The 
princess then gave her hand to the king or emperor, the prince to the queen. 
the king lo the queen -mother, and the reigning queen to Prince Henry, and 
the princes and princesses following, led up the dance in like professional 
manner. Then followed another curious ceremony, the distribution among 
the guests of the bride's garter. Of course Ibe real garter is usually not 
sufficient 10 give more than a shred of a fibre of the material composing 
the garter, and instead of it, pieces of silk, three inches long, woven in the 
colors of the bride's hose, stamped with her monogram and a crown and 
iringed with silver, are distributed. 

Dantdug Amj* bis over. A popular locution, meaning that youlh and its 
follies and pleasures are over. It occurs in Beaumont and Fletcher and in 
Shakespeare : 

My danclnf day* an done. 

'nu Sciv'JuI LaJj, Ad v., Sc. 3. 

" '^ *" Rmo tnJJmllil, An. 1., Sc. 5. 



Dan not do an 111 tblng. Plutarch, in his essay " Of Bashfulness," tells 
Dl that Xenophanes said, " I confess myself the greatest coward in the world, 
for I dare not do an ill diing." Was this in Macbeth's mind when he said 
(Act i., Sc 7),— 

E du« do all (hat Duy becomfi ■ mao ; . 

and agun, in Act iii., Sc. 4, addressing Banquo's Ghost, — 
Whu miD dart, I dare ; 

Apprfwcb Ihou like the ntgwA RiisiiMn bear, 
llie armed ihiiiiicem. or iGe Hyrcui ligCT, 
Take any ituipc but ihu, and my firm aerva 
Shall never trenible. 

Pope has a fine line in his translation of the " Odyssey" (Bk. ii., I. 305),— 

And whet he greatly thought, he aobly dared j 

which Lowell has imitated: 

And what (hey dan 10 dream of, dare lo do. 

CtmM.mcra>iMt Odt. 

Dara, To taka a. A colloquial expression, meaning to receive a challenge 
without accepting It, still surviving in the Middle Stales, and locally in other 
parts of the United Slates and in England, It has good literary authority at 
Its back, as the verb to dare, or lo give the dare, in the sense of to challenge. 




ot ccABOtiant with ibe hooor of tucb a 
m anodwr aiptriiu hero he had (bughi 
um to " tlve ■ i6m" to ib« ™ioc- of 



ai4 HANDV-BOOIC Ofi 

Dark Ages, a vague and misleading title applied to those ages of which 
Coleridge hapiitly says thai we arc in the dark. Though the degtee or intelli- 
gence wa« differenl at diflcrcnt points of the Middle Ages, no one who has 
studied (hat epuch with any attention could assert that there was thionghout 
Western Europe a dead level either of intellectual life ot of the absence of 
inlellectnal life in an; given century. 

He (Tiylar] Hill calli the MIiUIe Ago. dimD( which noHy ill the invenliain wid tocwl 
imrilutxpna whereby we yet live as civiliicd iqenwaeoHguuiied Drpcifected^H MUlenniuni of 
DuluaB on the tkith of cenaib IdB£ put Pedams, who reckoned everything bunD became 
Chrytolorti had n« ya tome, uid no Greek roou grew Ihete.—CAiLvu, on Ttfltt', Smrvn 
a/ GfrmaK Pnlr J, oriiitiMy publiihed in 1B31. 

Dark borae, an unforeseen or compromise candiilate in a political contesL 
The term is borrowed from the turC There is a custom among racing-men 
of training a horse in secret, or " keeping him dark," so that his powers map 
be unknown to the betting world until the very dap of the race. Hence 
jockeys frequently say that "the dark horse will win the race." It is not a 
mr cry from ]ockeydom to the world of politics. 

The hilt Ehvorile wu never heard of: the second favorite waa never Ktn after the dia- 
laiKe poet, all the len-io^ne* weit in the reu-, and a dark horte which had never been 
thouglil of niahed paH the grand-itand jn eweeping triuloph.— DlutAEU : Thj YouMg Dukt. 

Darkaat hour U jnat before dairn, an old English proverb which ex- 
presses more poetically the homelier adages, " When things are at the worst 
they soonest mend," " When bale is highest, boot is nighest," "The longest 
day will have an end," "After a storm comes a calm," and finds an equiva- 
lent in other languages, as In French, " By dint of going wrong all will come 
right ;" in Italian, ■•III ij the eve of well;" in Persian, " It is at the narrowest 
part of the defile thai the valley begins to open," and in Hebrew, " When the 
Ule of bricks is doubled, Moses comes." That the nights, as a rule, are 
darkest just before dawn is doubtless true, for the moon has then reached far 
on to the western horizon, while the sun is still below the eastern horizon. 

Cowper says, — 

Be we at deipente aiepi : the darkcH da*. 
Live till lo-momw. wiU have put away. 

-nu NndUa Alarm. 
And Shakespeare, — 

Time And (be hour nuu Ihrougb the rouaheai day. 

^if«rr:t,Acti., Sc. 3. 
Similar testimonies to the curative power of time abound in literature. 

DarkneM vlaible. Milton successfully uses a daring phrase in "Para> 
dise Lost" (Bk. i., 1. 6z),— 

Yet fram IhoH flamei 
No ligbt, but nther duVnta viiible. 
This has been often imitated, notably by Browning: 

The evU ii duU, ia noiiglH, i« sitence implyuig touad. 
Tbfophile de Viau. a contemporary of Milton, has the line, — 

C One hears nothing but silence, one si 
close a parallel to the Millonic phrase 
coincidence. 
Daab It I This expletive, which looks as if it might be a fellow -euphemism 

with blank it, or a substitute for it, literally means Confound it I from the 

now obsolescent sense of to dash — to confound, to abash. The interjection 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



Tlui ruliih hii own neu. 

Th. Onl anJ Iki NifkiiiiiaU. 
The verb wis still u»cd in this sense in (he time of Pope : 
Dash thv proud uoena in his nlded cir, 

Imilali^ ^H*r»». II., i. lOT. 

Oaapbio of France. This tide was given lu the eldest son of the King 
<rf France under the Valois and Bourljon dynasties. The Counts of Ailjon 
and Grenoble assumed the title of Counts of Vienne, of whom Guy VIII. la 
said to have been sumamed Le Dauphin, because he wore a dolphin as an 
embtcni on his helmet or shield. The surname remained to his descendants, 
who vere styled Dauphins, and the country which they governed was called 
Daupbini. Humbert U. de la Tout de Pisa, the last of the Dauphin dynasty, 
gave uu his sovereignty by treaty to King Philippe de Valois in 1349. From 
that lime the eldest son of the King of France was styled Dauphin. Since 
the dethronement of the elder bianch of the Bourbons in 1S30 the title of 
Dauphin has been disused. The last who bore it was the Duke of Angnu- 
Ifme, son of Charles X. 

Day aftex the faii, an English proverbial ei|)re$sion (recorded by Hey- 
wood, "Proverbs," Pan I., ch. viii.), mcanine too late.- Collins, the poet, was 
once in love, and as the lady was a day older than himself, he used to say, 
jestingly, that " he came into the world a day after the fair." 



Day. Better the da; better the deed, an English proverb, finding it 
analogue in (he French " Bon jour, bon ceuvre," or less concisely, " Aux ban 
jours lea bonnes Auvres." The evident meaning is that the goodness of 

5ood deed is enhanced by its being done on a good day, — i.i., a Sunday 01 
oly day. But it is often jestingly perverted to mean that a bad or question 



>n application for discharge out of custody of a prisoner taken on a Sunday : 
"The judges of the Common Fleas are of another opinion, but I cannot 
satisfy myself with their reasons. I think the better day the be(ter deed." 
Uatthew Henry, a pruneunred Sabbatarian, paraphrases the proverb, "The 
better day, the worse deed," in his Commentaries: Genesis iii. 

D», I have loet a (1., " Diem perdidi I"). This was the exclamation of 
the Emperoi Titus (known to his admirers as the "Delight of Mankind"), 
which, Suetonius tells us, was made one night at supper, on reflecting that he 
had done nothing for any one that day. 

S^a\N:cU Tkm^ldt. 11., I. ». 
In the preface to Nichol's work on " Autographs," among other albums 
noticed by him as being in the British Museum is that of David Krieg, with 
Jacob Bobart's autograph and the verses, — 

** Think (Hut day lost wbiHC docendiDg lun 

Bobart died about 1736. He was a son of the celebrated botanist of that 
name. But the quotation-marks In which the lines are enclosed indicate that 
they were copied and not original. In Staniford's " Art of Reading," third 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



Aotlhy fclEoD done. 



The precept of Pliny, " Nulla dies sine linea" (" No day without a line"), 
applies the ume sentiment to literary workers. Chamroct gays, "The most 
completely lost of all days is that on which one has not laughed." 

Dead num. or Dead marino, a colloquialism for an empty bottle, pos- 
sibly in humorous tecoenilion of the (act thai the spirits have departed. But 
the French also have the same phrase, un corfs mori, a dead body, for which 
there can be no punning pretext. A ^muos old drinking-song has this 

Down amcing the dead nun In ^im lie. 



"What does your Highness mean by maiinef" was the slightly indigna... 
query. " I mean by marine," replied the prince, with ready tact and courtesy, 
"a good fellow who has done his duly and is prepared to do it again." 

Dead IBMI'b shOM, a common locution for property which can unly be 
claimed after the present owner's death. Waiting for dead men's shoes means 
looking forward for an inheritance. 









I fml^ a common metaphor for hollow and unsatisfactory 
pleasures. The refeience is to the apple of Sodum, the fiimiliar name of a 
■pedes of yellow fruit which grows on the borders of the Dead Sea. It is 
extremely beautifnl (o the eye, but bitter to the tasle and full of small black 
grains, not unlike ashes. Hence a wide-spread, though erroneous, belief that 
nothing can flourish in the neighborhood of the Dead Sea, a belief at least as 
ancient as Tacitus r " Whatever the earth produces, whether by the prolific 
vigor of nature or the cultivation of man, nothing ripens lo perfection. The 
herbage may shoot up and the trees may put forth their blossoms \ they mav 
even attain the usual appearance of maturity, but, with this florid outside, ail 
within turns black and moulders into dosL" {History, v. 7.) 
Cncdilv they plucked 

Tbe fruiLaEC, falrlD ilghL, like that which grew 

K«u that ^lummoutuUcc where Sodom unicd; 

DecdvEd ; iliey fond^ ihinkin); la allay 

Cbewed biitei uhe>, wh'lch Ih' oflcndtd lane 
Wilh Bpoltering naiie rejecled. 

Miltoh: ParaAiaLnl. 
Like 10 the ippla on tb* Deod-Sea thore. 
All aiba U> the uue, 

Btroh: CkOd4H»rtld.XA.y^ 
Like Dad-Sea Itniu that lempt the e^ 
But turn (o aahet on tbc lipl. 

Moona: Z*/ii^«M. Thi Fin-Wmkifftn. 

isibly de- 



...CKV^IC 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



t aUM.—Ya, Railiu [I 



Deatli. An inieresting collection might be made of the eupheniisms which 
poets and philosophers have invented to cover up the ugly fact of death. 
"Jam viiissc" (" He has lived"), aaid Cicero. And another favuiite Koman 

Enrase of unknown parentage was ■' Abiit ad plures" or " ad majores" (" He 
as gone to the majority"). {See MAJORITY.) " Not lost, but gone before," 
vas Seneca's phrase, which has been transferred literally by Matthew Henry 
to his "Commentaries; Matthew ii.," and adopted with (light change 1^ 
Samuel Rc^rs : 

TboK (biLt be loved to long and sea do iqare, 
Lov«d and uill lovet, — not dead, bul gone WDre,— 
He ntfaen rouikd bim. 

So Thackeray in the " Roundabout Papera :" 






Nancy Priest Wakefield has,— 



K IQ the fiuiha aide. 



The idea of a river it, of course, a survival of the pagan myth of the river 
Styx, which divided the dead from the living, — " He has crossed the Styx" 
being another famous classical euphemism. Bunyan adapts the old myth to 
Christian uses when he makes his Pilgrim cross the river. Horace calls 
death the supreme journey, "supremum iter" {Cannina, It., xvii.) ; and the 
general idea of journeying hence is expressed in the following locutions from 
various sources, sacred and profane : 

To dxput.—PiUl^. i. >3. 

To go hence ud be do aott.—Pialm iiiii. 13. 

1 fball eo the ny wbcDci I thall sot msm.— /oJ ivl. «. 
Nkmlit. "" ""^ ™ " uni 00 V er . hak u. 

Tbdr going htnce.—SKAKRsrKAas: KiMf Ltar. 

"Slept with his fathers" occurs thirty-five times in the Old Testament. 
The comparison of sleep with death is, in fact, a universal one from its very 
obviousness. " To fall asleep," " to fall on sleep," is frequently met with in 
the New Testament " Longa quies et ferreus somnus," says Virgil. Here 
are a handful of similar examples from the moderns : 

Dotb ii u eunul sleep.— /•wrt^ruHi nkickjmtfk Fsiieht caHadldrHattd naatlu 



Coogk" 



ai8 HANDY-BOOK OF 

And here, grouped ir^elher, are a few miscellaneous euphemisms ; 

Pui off tbii ubemade.— 3 P,l. 1. 14. 

ShuSnl off Ihli mortid coil.— Shjikbspuh : Hamlti. 

Tht ufe ton. ibc peaceful, lilent shotc.— SoAH JlMTHs. 
[did the lilenl Umd.— J. C. VON Saus. 
Fleetli u ■ ibxlow.— y^ liv. >. 

Death b the •hadow of Ute.-^TwHVWH ; LtM mad Dtalk. 
Fufferc mb umbnu [10 flee under the ihadDmJ — ViirciL. 
The idea of Ihe equality of death, 11 may here be inteijected, is c 
property. A few instances will suffice : 



it Quimt, II,, Ciuila I., 59. 



The pallu of glory lead b 


ullatbe 


gravt.- 


-Giuiy: EUi 








i.u. equals 


To goo 


daiMJba 


d, thee 


omiroD In of 


But 10 go on with our e 


«mpl« = 




That dari. inn, the g™»=. 


-Sc™> 


■.Ltrd^lk.!.!.,,' 


Tl« dark hou«.-M*<:*u 


.ijt:£. 


u^t. 




llK long home.— £[c/. xi 








Gathered UDiohla people. 


-C«.. 


lix. 33. 




Cave up the gfaoit —Jahn 


».,JO. 






Ai the aowei or the giui 


helhail 


paaiao 


*y.-/-««l 




-/«*. X 






Popular proverbs of 


this s. 


irt usually have 


them,— *.^. ; 








ToKmchiheteg. 








To Uck the bucket. 








To so'o kingdom come. 









I grotesque 6ippancy about 



To pau in your checki {a poker term). 

It would seem that the Homeric phrase li " itoAj, which, with varit 
inflections, occurs both in the " Iliad" and in the " Odyssey," is exactly equi' 
lent to the English euphemism "if anything should happen to him, us 



" Up the Home -throwed up the .ponge, yo. 
" Thrown up (he tpooge T 
■; Vee ; kicked Ihe WEo." 

Why. pvd, he'i 1 



" Yea, I underatand." 

"Yea,— death hM." 

Death, Call DO man happy tmtil hla. This sentence is said to have 
been uttered by Solon to Crcesus. King of L^dia (Herodotus: Clh, 32), 
which CrtBsua repeated when he was on the funeral pyre (S7), and Iherel^ 



Coogk" 



LITERARY CVklOSlTlES. 



Death, One of the ne«r torrOTs o£ Arbuthnot writine to 
date January 13, 173J, apropos of the dealh of [heit mutual Iriend Gay, says, 
" Curll (who is one of Ihe new leiiors of dealh) has been writing letters to 
everybody for memoirs of his Jife." Cuill was in the habil of issuing catch- 
penny " Uvea" or " Remains" on the decease of any eminent person. The 
phrase was resurrected or hit upon independently by Sir Charles Wetherell at 
a banquet given by the Benchers of the Inner Temple to the King of Holland. 
In describing the guests, he said of I^rd CamplJell, author of '-The Lives of 
the Chancellors." " Then there is our noble and biographical friend who has 
added a new terror to death" (so quoted in Lord St, Leonard's printed Cor. 
rections to Campbell's '-Uvcs," 1869). Curiously enough, Campbell (vol. vii. 
p. 163) ascribes the phrase to Brougham ; "Brougham delivered a very warm 
panegyric upon the ex-chancellor, and expressed a hope that he would malte 
a good end. although to an expiring chancellor dealh was now armed with a 
new terror." Brougham must have been plagiarizing, for he himself ascribed 
the Kutf to WelherelT. A more complimentary phrase is allributed to Erskine. 
"My lord," said Dr. Parr to Erskine, whose conversation had delighted him, 
"should you die first, I mean to write your epitaph." " Dr. Parr," was the 
reply, " it is a temptation to commit suicide," 

Death or OIOT7, the motto of an English regiment, the Seventeenth Lan- 
cers. On the saddle-ckiths and sabre-laches of its officers is borne the pirat- 
teal symbol of a skull and cross-bones, w 

one of the German campaigns of 

IS surprised by a sudden attack of French cavalry. It was early n! 
ing, and the men were engaged in erooming their horses. There was no time 
to saddle them. Mounting bareback at a moment's notice, the regiment 
charged and repulsed the enemy, the colonel leading the onset with the cry, 
" Death or glory 1" Then it was they assumed the motto and symbol. The 
regiment look part in the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava, and on 
their colors are the names " Alma," " Balaklava," " Inkerman," " Sevastopol." 



Thera il no doth t Whal >«iiii hi i> Innution : 
Thii UTe t£ monil brsih 

'whwpoiui we «U Duih!^ 
The last line is a reminiscence of the Ijlin phrase "Mors ianua vit«" 
("Life is the gate of Death"). A poem persistently attributed to Bulwer 
Lytton, but really written by J. U McCreery and first published in Arlhut't 
litmt Magwtint for July, 1S63, begins as follows : 

TlKTC b no Death I The am go down 

They •hin'^ fo. ™m^ "°"™ 
In these extracts we have the Christian view of death as the beginning of 
immortality. The more subtle and mystic view of the Oriental dreamers is 
faithfully mirrtired in Emerson's " Brahma :" 

If the TTd tUyer think he aUy«^ 



lliey know am well 
I to^, and p<u 






;i:,vG00gk" 



aiO HANDY-BOOf! OF 

The caulious and tenlilive oullook of pagan philosophy finds expression in a 
fr^ment a( Euripides quoted by Diogenes Laertius ; 

Who knows bul thu Ihis life is TcaUy death. 

That was a very comfortable phase of mind into which Thales, one of the 
Seven Wise Men of Greece, had argued himself. He held thai there was no 
diHerence between life and death. " Why, then," said a friend, " do you nol 
die T' " Because it ifofs make no difference." 



Ii a iho^Lvuid dealhs in fcAiJiig or 
of Shakespeare ; 



' tlmca before thdt deaifa ; 

mbered Massinger : 



Though this in turn is imitated Ttoid the more appalling 
Death hub tea ihouund Hvenl doon 
To lei out IkTe. 

Wbbstbh: Datitu iif Mu/fi. 
Beaumont and Fletcher are more modest even than Massinger : 
Death b«h » muy ionn la Let oul life. 

Cmlama/lkt Cimnlry, Act ii., Sc ». 

Debt to Nature. This euphemism for death is very common on the tomb- 
stones of the early part of this century. An early appearance in literature is 
in Francis Quarles ; 

The slender debt lo Nulurr'j quickly paid, 
LHlchUEed, perchance, with Ereater eav (ban made. 

EmbUm., Book ii. 

Fuller has words nearly similar in his sermon •' Life out of Death :" " What 
is thy disease, — a consumpiion ? indeed a certain messenger of death : but 
know, that of all the bailiffs sent to ariest us for the debt of nature, none 
useth his prisoners with more civility and courlesie." Gay caught a faint echo 
of the sentiment, and annexed it lo Macheath's song before the noble captain 
was about lo go to Tyburn : 

.thel..ven. 

, _ . . _.d..lenitleil. 
diimayed, for deal' ' ' ' 

DAdiofttloiis. The practice of dedicating books is obsolescent. It has 
now little meaning ; at best it is only a tribute of respect or affection either lo 
a private friend or a public character. In its origin il meant far mote Ihaii 
this. When readers were few, writers trusted to the patronage of some great 
perton, and the dedication was the means of recommending a book to his 
protection, or of expressing that gratitude which was a lively sense of lavors 
to come. Antoine Furetiire, the French lexicographer, said that the inventor 
of dedications must certainly have been a beggar; and Young agrees with 

All «her tnda demud,— rene-maken beg : 

tr ^mrtal Pttun, Sitiie 4, 1. 191 



le charge is 



Goo^If 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. aar 

That inventor's name, however, is 

Romans — Horace, Virgil, Cicero, _ .. ..__ 

sume friend or patron. He, in relurn, was expected tu render some equivalent 
■ ■- irkind. The practice of Augustus (naturally a vi ' - j-j- 



catee) was sometimes a little less than kind. If he thought the verses good, 
he rewarded the writer ; if not, he returned the com|]liment made him with 
some verses of his awn. He must have rated hia poetical powers very low ! 
With the revival of learning the practice ol dedications was revived. But 
at Unt it does not seem that any interested motives underlay them. The 
dedications of the great Aldus, (or example, in his iditiones prindpa of the 
classics, are models of simplicity, dignity, and self-respect. Caxloii's are more 
florid and eulogistic Thus, he addreyses the Duchess of Somerset as " right 
noble pnyssant and excellent pryiicesse my redoubted lady my tady Margarete 
duchesse of Somercete, moder unto our naturel and soverayn lord and most 
crysten Kynge henry ye seuenlh." 

Bui those were the days when royalty and nobility commanded adulation, 
which was given and received with a simple and touching faith on both sides. 
Many authors, especially in Spain and in Italy, showed that they were not in 
search of treasures, this side of heaven at least, by dedicaline their l>ooks to 
the Almighty or some spedal member of the Trinity, or to the Virgin Mary 
or a patron sainL This example was sparingly imitated in England, the most 
notable instance being thai of James I., who dedicated a book (his answer to 
Conrad Vorslius's treatise on the nature and attributes of God) tu our Saviour 
in the fallowing terms ; 

To Hx Honour al our Lord and SivJDur Te«u Cfaibl ihe Elcina] Sonne of At Eternal 
Fllher (be oncly »GANePDI10I. Medialour und Rrcoociler sT Mankind, [n ligce of 
Tlianltcfulnai, Hit moil tavmble and mctt obliged Servant, jamo, by iht Grace c? God. 
KinC of Grcuc Britaiw, Franco and iRlaod, Defender of the Faith, Doelh dedicate and 

There is an odd story that the printer, knowing the chronic impecuniosily 
of the monarch, reftised to print his book unless he first got his money down. 
He had been less cautious, perhaps, if some opulent earthly magii.tte had be;n 
chosen as the patron. 

Gradually the advantages to lie gained by persistent flattery of the great 
and the wealthy appealed to the business aide of the great poetic heart 
Rich and titled fools were pleased to earn the fame of a Mzcenas, and will- 
ingly paid the trumpeter of their virtues, though rather according to the loud- 
instrument were gold or brass. Not always, however. For when Arioslo 
rang a blast in honor of Cardinal Ippolite of Este on the same horn which 
had produced the golden melodies of his "Orlando Furioso," and hastened 
to lay the book and the dedication at his patron's feet, the only reward he got 
was the slighting query, " Dove diavolo, Messer Ludovico, avete pigliato tante 
coglonierer" ("Where in the devil, Messer Ludovico, did you pick up so 
much rubbish V) Ariosto had hts revenge, indeed. The cardinal's query 
has surTived, its winged words have borne his name down to the contempt of 
posterity as a mean and stingy soul who had no relish for the good, the true, 
and the beautiful. Perhaps be saw the great truth which Bishop Hurd after- 
wards emphasized when he likened authors to the architect of the tower of 
Pharos, who inscribed his name on the marble, but had it encrusted over with 
stucco, and on that stucco placed the name of the reigning prince. 

Sometimes patrons became active seekers for dedicatory tally in lieu of 

passive recipients. Erasmus, in his " Praise of Folly," is not unduly severe 

upon certain "seemingly great and wise men, who, with a new-laahioncd 

modesty, employ some paltry orator or scribbling poet to flatter them with 

19» 



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3»Z HANDY-BOOK OF 

lies and shams, and yel the persons thus extolled shall bristle up and pea- 
cock-like bespread their plumes, while the impudeni parasite magnifies the 
pour wretch lo the skies, and proposes him as complete pattern of all virtues, 
from each of which he is yet as far distant as heaven itself from hell." 

Oldmixon, complaining of the same thing, notes as a further reason for 
annoyance that (his practice led to a strange choice of patrons, without regard 
to their character or capacity. Ttius, " we often find a Discourse of Politicks 
addressed to a Fnx-hunter. a Treatise of Gardening lo a Citizen of London, a 
piece of Divinity to a General of the Army, a Poem to a Judge, and a Play 
to a Stockjobber." James I., according to his own account in (he dedication 
of his " Meditation on the 1 Jird's Prayer," made a great point of the appro- 
priateness of his choice. For this present work he can find no one more fit 
than the Duke of Buckingham ; " For it is made upon a very short and plaine 
prayer, and therefore (he fitter for a courtier : For courtiers, for the must 
pari, are thought neither to have list nor leesure to say long prayers, liking 
best <Burli mtise and im^ diimr. But (o confess the truth now in earnest, it 
is the fitter for you tha( it is both short and plaine." 

So Erasmus ingeniously found something apposite in dedicating his 
" Praise of Folly" to Sir lliomas More ; " Huw I what maggot, say you. put 
this in your head? Why, the first hint, sir, was your own surname of More, 
which comes as near the literal sound of the word [/"-f)''!] as you yourself 
are distant from the signification of it, and that, in all men's judgments, is 
vastly wide." 

In spite of protest and example, however, the slavish adulation of seven- 
teen (h-century dedications, especially after the period of the Restoration, 
cannot be looked back upon without shame and astonishment. Even so 
fine a gentleman as John Evetyn, dedicating a translation of Frearl's book on 
architecture to Charles II, (1664)1 indulges in a stream of outrageous rhap- 
sody, in the course of which he likens the Merry Monarch to "the Divine 
Architect," informs him that he was "designed of God for a blessing lo 
this nation," and predicts Ihat his name " will be famous to posterity, and 
when those materials fail, the benefits that are engraven in our hearts will 
outlast those of marble." 

- - o task by Samuel 

_ . . ^ ^ raples among his 

predecessors or companions amone his contemporaries, the sturdy old moralist 
msists that " in the meanness and servility of hyperliolical adulation I know 
not whether since the days in which (he Roman emperors were deified he has 
ever been equalled, except by Aphra Hehn in an address to Eleanor Gwyn." 

Here is the concluding portion of (he dedicadon (o "The Indian Emperor" 
addressed (0 Anne, Duchess of Monmou(h : 

round (be wny by ad untainird preKrvadon of your honour 10 make ihar peruhable good nioR 
bming: And if UMuiy. Iik« wines, could be prqervrd by bting mined and embodied by oi ben 
of their own unim. then your Grace's would be immonaf, since no pan o! Enrope can 
alTcvd a parallel 10 your noble lord in mascuUne beauty and in goodlineu of shape. To receive 
the blessiEWi and prayejl of mankind you peed only to be seen tojfelhei : We ace ready to 
ctmclude that ycHj are a pur of angelt Hmf below to make vinue amiable in your penons or to 



e than a match for Dryden 

elf dilTen only from ihe divine pann In thia 1 

if vou. whilst thev accept the will alone. , . . 

Ml tongue, ud the gnat- 



Google 



LITER A R Y CURIOSITIES. 3 33 

diuffected cui Aude do uuk or rcAsoD to wuh you leu. 

It was in ridicule of this and similar adulations al ihe king's misiress that 
Wfcherley dedicated his " Plain Dealer" to one Mother B — -— , a famous (or 
infamous) woman of the ta»a 

The author was often put lo strange shifls if he quarrelled with his 
patron, or, especially, if that patron came to public grief while the work was 
passing through the press. The squally times of the Revolution made it an 
especially difficult task for Ihe time-server to trim his sails. Samuel Fepys 
has a delightful passage in his Diary where he pictures himself making his 
way with all haste to St. Paul's Church-yaiil, " to cause the title of my Eng- 
lish ■ Mare Clausum' lo be changed, and the new title, dedicated to the king, 
to be put to it, because I am ashamed lo have the other seen dedicated to 
the Commonweal I h." Bishop Walton was equally astute, but, as befitted his 
exalted tank in the Church, was betrayed into ni> unscenily or undignified 
haste. His Polyglot Bible had been dedicated to Croniwell. When Charles 
II. ascsuded the throne, the praises of Ihe grateful author were calmly and 
quietly transferred to the ruling sovereign. 

As authors grew more slavish, they exacted a higher price for selling them- 
selves into bondage. Whereas literary men of the Elizabethan era had been 
glad to get two pounds for a dedication, the booktneu of the Restoration 
expected and received from twenty to fifty guineas, and the dramatists from 
five to twenty guineas, according to the rank and liberality of the patron. 
Nay, cunning plans were resorted to fur multiplying patrons and fees alike, 
by aSxing a different dedication to every division of the work. So Thomson's 
"Season^' has a dedication for each Season. A strange lack of business 
acumen, to divide the year into seasons instead of months or days ! Almost 
otw might suspect that he lived in (he epoch celebrated by Emerson : 
Or ever lite wild Time coiMd iDcir 

Young's " Nighl Thou[;hts," again, had a dedication for seven out of Ihe 
nine Nights. This was piling it on. Nevertheless it was aboveboard. What 
shall we say of one Thomas Jordan, who prefixed hi^h-flown iledications lo 
his books with blanks for Ihe name, the blanks bemg separately and sur. 
replitiously filled in by a hand-press, so that there was a special dedicatee for 
every copy and multitudinous fees for the whole edition i Nay, it is recorded 
that Mr. Jordan found an avatar in very recent years, — thai a decade or so 
a^o a Berlin sharper dedii^led two thousand copies of an historical compila- 
tion to as many diSerent tradesmen, sent each his special copy, and had no 
trouble in collecting a small sum from each. 

Pope ttas the credit of having put an end to Ihe old abject dedication and 
inaugurated a better reign ; but it should not be lorgotten that Pope had 
found a more profitable system of patronage, by getting lordly and wealthy 
subscrit)ers for his bonks, who helped him to build up his Twickenham House 
and his Grotto, lo lay out his Quincunx and plant his vines, — from which 
palatial retiremenl he ever afterwards sneered at literary hacks and learned 
want. Were Ihe subscriptions always voluntary ? We all remember Rogers's 
joke when asked if he were reading the table of contents of a volume he held 
In his hand: "No; Ihe table of discontents." showing the list of subscribers. 
Nevertheless, the inde|>cndence of literature begins from Pope's time. Utway 
bad formerly boasted thai he was the first to make an epistle dedicatory to his 
bookseller, — adding that it was just, "for he paid honestly for (he copy." 
Johnson subsetjuenlly gave his tribute to booksellers aa "generous, libera] 



3^4 HANDY-BOOK OF 

men," and Bosw«1l, in an oft-quoted passage, adds that "he considered them 
as the true patrons oi lileralure,"— only a hair-trutli, aher all, Tor they caii 
claim, and ihey pretend lo claim, no more than Olway's bookseller, — " to pay 
honestly for the copy." The financial partner in an enterprise need not be 
made ridiculous by the title of patron. 

The revolution started by Pope was a ecadual one. Traces of the old 
system still lingered in Sterne's time, to add point to the dedicatory jesl in 
his " Tristram Shandy," where the accustomed page was left blank but for 
the inscription " To Ik let or sold for fifty guineas. Indeed, so recently as 
1S15 a Perthshire author, to a book that passed through at least three editions, 
piefiied a dedication as grovelling and abject as the worst example in the very 
worst periods of authorial servility ; 

To the Right HmDnMe ihc Eari of BrHdilbanc. May >> pisiH your lonlship, wjih ovcr- 
powcriAg Kncimvnu of the mosl profound humili^ 1 prostiMe myiclf ai your mblc feet, 
while 1 offer 10 your iDrdihip'i hi^ coDftidfTAiion ihoK very feeble ttttempu 10 describe the 

lumid eoiDIioM of heart-diilendiQf pride» atid with ferve«en( feeling of fralitude, 1 beg leave 
10 acknowledge the honor 1 have to wrve ao noble a master, and the many advaolagei which 

lihenlily. Tbal your lonWiip may long jhine with refuleeni briUiancy in the eullediuiion 
(o whkb PiOvLdeoce haa raned you, and that your noble laniilv, like a bright conalcllation, 
may diffiBe a splendor and glury through the high sphere of their Ulraclion, \i the fovenl 

In losing their grossness dedicatioos have lost most of their picturesque 
inleretL It is not often (hat a modern dedication arrests the attention. Yet 



B inscribed to the Earl of Carlisle 
from "his' obliged ward and affectionate kinsman, the author." This is the 
gentleman who in the first edition of " English Bards and Scotch Reviewers" 
IS thus alluded to: 

On one alone Apollo deigns 10 smile. 

And crowns a new Roscommon in Cartisle- 

But, alas 1 between the fast and the second edition the affectionate kinsmen 
had fallen out. The new Roscommon was deposed from his pedestal and put 
m the pillory : 

The paralytic puling of Carbsie. 
The inscription of "The Corsair" to Thomas Moore, of "The Prophecy of 
Dante" lo the Countess of Guiccioli, and of " Sardanapalos" lo Goclhe, are 
especially noteworthy among Byron's dedications for gallantry or dignified 
courtesy. But the seventeen stanzas dedicating "Don Juan to Southey, 
sUnias originailv suppressed, but now restored lo a place in Byron's works, 
are thoroughly discreditable to his taste and his judgment 

Shelley's poetical dedication of "The Revolt of Islam" lo his second wife, 
Maiy Wollstonecraft Shelley, is a nobte bit of verse, and ranks with Brown- 
ing's dedication of his " Men and Women" (" One Word More"), and Tenny. 
son's inscription to the Queen, pre&jced to his " Idylls," as the linesl efforts of 
*Jlis kind in the language. 

Dickens was sumeiimes very happy, as in the dedication of "Master 
Humphrey's Clock" lo the poet Rogers i 

feeling, and to a man whose daily life {as all the woHd doei not know! Is one of active sympathy 
with Hie poor and humblest of bis kind. 

Bui there is something more than a mere well-turned complimeni in the 
few lines which Sir William Napier prefixes to b»" History of the Peninsular 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 3*5 

To Fitld-MuihoJ Ihe Duxi of Willthgtdti. Thn hiiKvy I dedicue lo ironr Ona 
Lk^nv wen alLBched lo Czbkj. 

There is a deep palhos in Sir William Stirling Maxurell's dedication of ihe 
" Annals of the ArlisU of Spain :" " These pages,-which 1 had hoped 10 dedi- 
cate lo my fallier, are now inscribed in affeclionale homage to his memory." 

Equally pathetic, but too lone to quote enlire, is J. Stuart Mill's dedica- 
tion of his " Liberty :" " To the belosred and deplored memory of her who was 
the inspirer and in part the author of all that is best in my writings, — the 
friend and wife whose exalted sense of truth and right was my strongest incite- 
ment, and whose approbation was my chief reward." 

Coventry Patmore's dedication of his " Angel in Ihe House" is the beat 
thing in the book : 

ThiiP«n 
ii Inscribed 



Thackeray dedicated his " Paris Sketch-Book" to a tailor who had lent blm 
money, and " Pendennis" to Dr. John EUiotson, the Dr. Goodenougb of the 
novel itself, who during its composition had saved the author from a serious 
sickness, and " would take no other fee but thanks." 

A notable dedication was that of Landor's " Hellenics" to Pope Pius IK. 
in 1E47, inspired by the liberal and progressive attitude of that sovereign 
during the first years of his reign. But Landor in succeeding years lost his 
admiration for Pius. 



I^utarch credits to Democrilus the saying, " Words are but the shadows of 
actions" [Of the Training of Children). In closing a 'sermon on "Good 
Works vs. Good Words" in the parish church of St Andrews, on August 35, 
1871. Dean Stanley quoted Ihe following lines, explaining that it was doubtful 
if they were written by one of the earliest deans of Westminster or by one of 
the earliest Scotch Reformers : 

Sly wcJ ii good, bol da well la better ; 

Do well Kema ibe spunt, uy well is the Inter: 

Say well b godly aod helps to ploue. 

But do »ell i» godly lod pivet the world cue; 



Then fill WFR dene, all were won, and gotteo were gftlo. 

See, also. Actions sfeak louder than Words. 

BoUbentM. The woman tliat deUberntM la lost This line occnri 
in Addison's " Cato," Act iv., Sc 1 r 

When lore once pleads admis^oD to our heart 

^n >|dle of all Ihe vinue we on boui). 

The womin tkat dellbenles i* lou. 
(Dr. Holme* humorously paraphrases this, "The woman who eaWlatet is 



226 HANDY-BOOK OF 

lost," — explaining that Ihe iulkized word is ** a vulgarism of language which, 
I grieve to say, is sometimes heaid even from female lips.") Perhaps Addison 
had In mind the French proverb, " Chlleau qui parle, lemme qui icoute, sont 
pr£ts i ae rendre*' (" The castle thai parleys and the wonian who listens are 
ready to surrender"). 

Another change on Ihe same idea is thus rung by Lady Mary Worlley Mon- 
tagu in her poem "The Lady's Resolve," written on a window-pane soon 
after her marriage, in 17(3 : 

While VAia CDquntH aflecl Ed b« pursued. 
And ikiiak they're viiluoiu if niM grossly lewd. 
Lei this ere« muLm be my virtue^ • guide,— 
Id put flhe a xo blame ttut hat been tried. 

This, however, is a bald plagiarism from Sir Thomas Overburr: 

Thin i> th«r No I That fttiriv dolh deny 
Wiihout denying. Thmhy ktpt ihey die 
Safe even Jron hope- In furt (o blame it ihe 
Which hiih withiHU conieni beoi only tried. 
He come* uw nev tlul comei v> be denied. 

A »v"'.". ys- 

The line 

She hair conienu trfao lilently denies, 
which occurs in Dryden and Mulgrave's translation of Ovid's " Helen to 
Paris," seems also to be a reminiscence of Overbury. 

Delia Cruaoans, or D*lla Craaoa Scbool, the sobriquet given to a 
certain school of English poelastets which, during the poetical interregnum 
at the end of the eijnieenth century, persuaded the world fi>r a brief period 
thai it had a divine right to rule. The school originated in 1784 in Florence. 
An English bachelor of thirty, Robert Merry by name, whose pretensions (o 
literature had secured his admission into the Italian Accademia della Crusca 
(Academy of the Sieve), started a son of mutual admiration society among 
the English residents uf Florence. They styled themselves the "Oziosi 
(colloquially, the lazybones), and did their little best to earn the title. The 
leading spirits, besides Merry himself, were Mrs. Pioui, who had been driven 
from England by the impertinent and unmerited obloquy that followed her 
second marriage, and Messrs. William Parsons and Bertie Greathead, one a 
flirtatious bachelor. Ihe other the recenlly-vreddeit husband uf a beautiful 
wife. They all wrote verses, largely consisting of an interchange of compli- 
ments, and kept an album in which the verses were preserved. A selection 
baptized Ihe "Arno Miscellany," and printed for private distribution, was 
wilhin the circle uf that privacy received so rapturously that a subsequent col- 
lection called "The Florence Miscellany" was kindly given to the worlil at 
large in 1785. Here is a sample from a poem contributed by Mr. Merry at 
his essay in a friendly competition to produce something " thai should excite 
horror by description :" 



Then laiHd hit doltful >Dice. Uke wdIvo Ibal roar 

and so on. Such as it wan, however, the book proved a success. Readers 
shuddered, laughed, or thrilled as they were bidden, the leading magazines 
copied the gems of the collection, the eyes of liierary England were turned 
upon Florence. A year or two later the society broke up, and its members 



LITBRAHy CURIOSITIES. 217 

reiuriied to their native shores. Here Mr. Mercy continued his literary labors 
by publishing, Tune, 1787, a poem called " The Adieu and Recall to Love" in 
the columns aiTkt World. The poem was signed '* Uella Crusca," partly as a 
proud reminder of his connection with the Florentine Academy, partly, per- 
haps, as a gentle hint that he strove to make his verses all wheat and iiochaK 
This poem, which after all was not so very bad, but only strained and arti- 
ficial, attracted the attention of Mrs. Hannah Cowley, famous as the author 
of "The Belle's Stratagem," a play that deservedly retains its hold upon the 
stage. She shall tell the story herself: "The beautiful lines of the ' Adieu 
and Recall to Love' struck her so forcibly that, without rising from the table 
at which she read, she answered them [the answer, it may be interjected, was 
printed in Tht World under the signature Anna Matilda]. Delia Crusca's 
elegant reply surprised her into another, and thus the correspondence most 
unexpectedly became settled. Anna Matilda's share in it had little to boast ; 
but she has one claim of which she is proud, that of having been the lirst to 
point out the excellence of Uella Crusca, — if there can be merit in discerning 
what is so very ubviuus." This explanation appears in tlie preface to her 
collected poems. Now let us summon a witness on the other side. Mr. 
William Gifford, of whom more anon, thus succinctly gives the story of Delia 
Crusca's poetical liaison with Laura Matilda. ''While the epidemic malady 
was spreading from fool to fool, Delia Crusca came over and immediately 
announced himself by a sonnet to Love (it was not a sonnet, by the way], 
Anna Matilda wrote an incomparable piece of nonsense in praise of it ; and 
the two great luminaries of the age, as Mr. Bell calls them, fell desper- 
ately in love with each other. From that period not a day passed without an 
amatory epistle, fraught with lightning and thunder, tl quicquid kabent tela- 
nan amvanttttaria cali. The fever turned to freniy, Laura, Maria, Carlos, 
Orlando, Adelaide, and a thousand nameless names, caught the infection, and 
from one end of the kingdom to another all was nonsense and Delia Crusca." 
The Mr, Bell alluded to was the publisher whom these authors mainly affected, 
and who also issueH a selection, entitled first "The Poetry of the World," 
and afterwards "The British Album," which tan through several editions. 
Here is the publisher's advertisement : 

Two baaiifbl nlama Ihii day publiihcd, cmbdllihx] with (enuiiH ponrsiu of the real 

DndfF ihc 1111"! " t he BHilih i'b^.^bc'ini 'il'^c&i'aii, n^d and'cu^wd by ihcli 
I»(Kctive Biilhon, of Ihe cclebriMd pocmJ of Dtlla Cnnca. Anna Malilda. Ariiy. L.ura, 
Benedici, and iht cicgani CEuiio,"thE Alrican Boy:" ind oihen, ilenid Tht Bard, by 
Mr. IcmlnEham ; Gcnml Canvay'i cicn 01 Miii i:-. Campbell • Manilla uf Townshcnd'i 
rem on MiiB CardiDcr; Lord Dcrby'i lin« on Miu Farren'l ponnit. 

The only pseudonyme in the list which it is of much interest to decipher 
still remains a m3istery. It is to " Arley" that we owe the admittedly excellent 
ballad of " Wapping Old Stairs," which first appeared in Tht World for 
November 39, 17S7, and shines, a solitary pearl, in the pages of the " British 
Album." 

The reviews, magazines, and newspapers all greeted the book with wild ap- 
plause. One critic said that Anastasia's poem on the "Nightingale" was 
superior to Milton. Greathead equalled Shakespeare. Cesariu outdid Pupe. 
Este was "incomparable," — the comparisons having all been exhausted by the 
others. Yet the very titles of many of the poems were enough to condemn 
them. A certain Mr. Vaughan, under the alluring name of " Edwin," wrote 
melancholy poems on the death of a bug, the flight of an earwig, the mis- 
fbrlunea of a cockchafer. Another expended pathos and fancy in celebrating 
the demixe of a tame mouse, " which belonged to a lady who saved its life, 
constantly led it, and wept at its approaching death. The mouse's eyes dropped 



HAHDYBOOK OF 




And hei« ii how the 



While the Delia Crnscan mania was at its height, William Giffurd, then a 
youne and unifnown man, came out with a satire upon it called " The Baviad." 
It had some sarcastic vigot and more Billineseale [actnesi. At all events it 
captured the town, and with itaauccessor, "The Mxviad," proved a heavy blow 
to ihe delinquents. Perhaps Gifford, with a not unnatural vani^, believed 
its effect was greater than it really was. He notes that Bell, the printer, 
accused him of bespatterinz nearly all the poetical eminence of the day. 
" But on the whole," he continues, " the clamor against me was not loud, and 
was lost by insensible degrees in the applause of such aa I was truly ambitious 
to please. Thus supported, the good effects of the satire {giuriose loquarl) 
were not long in manifesting themselves. Delia Crusca appeared no more in 
■The Oracle,' and if any of his followers ventured to treat the town with a 
soft sonnet, it was not, as before, introduced by a pompous preface. Pope and 
Milton resumed Iheir superiority, and Este and his coadjutors silently acqui- 
esced in the growing opinion of their incompetency and showed some sense 
of shame." Giffurd s judgment has been accepted oy posterity. Yet it is not 
quite In accordance with contemporary testimony, beven years after Ihe pub- 
lication ol the " Baviad," Malhias remarks that "even the Bavian drops from 
Mr. Gtfford's pen have fallen off like oils from the plumage of the Florence 
and Cruscan geese. I am told that Mr. Grealhead and Mr. Merry yet write 
and speak, and Mr. Jemingham (poor man 1) still continues 'sillier than his 
sheep.'" Indeed, I jura Matilda's dirge in the " Rejected Addresses" is a 
sunding monument of Ihe vitality of Delia Cruscanism more Ihan twenty 
jfears after its supposed death-Uow. The serpent was scotched, not killed ; 
]| finally died b natural but lingering death. 

Deluge, After na the ;Fr., " Apr^ nous le deluge"). This nonchalant ex- 
pression, which has become historical partlyfrom its truth, partly from its vivid 
expression of the sellishness and recklessness of Ihe epoch when it was uttered, 
is attributed to Madame de Pompadour. "In the midst of the contemptible 
deceptions and frivolities of the court of Louis XV.," aa3rs bainte-Beuve, "a 
vague and sinister foreboding haunted the king, like anticipated remorse. 
'After us the deluge,' said the marquise. 'Things will last our time,' rejoined 
Ihe careless king." A very similar expression, " After me Ihe deluge." has 
been ascribed to Prince Metternich, but here there is a notable distinction of 
meaning, the Austrian diplomat making a mournful, if egotistic, prophecy of 
great political and social evils, against wliich he considered his own [lolicy to 
be Ihe only possible barrier ; while the Pompadour meant " Let us make the 
most of our chances, for an awful reaction is at hand." The French Revolution 
was the answer to Madame. Horace's "Carpe diem" ("Enjoy the present 
day," Qdtt, I., xi. 8), and Isaiah's scornful " Let us eat and dniik, for lo-mor- 
row we aball die" (uii 13), are phnaea of the same order ; but a much doter 



LITERARY CURTOSITIES. 229 

naXogf may be (bund in [he line of an unknown Greek poet frequently quoted 
t^ Tiberius : " After my death, perish the world by fire." " Nay," said his 
successor, Nero, " let it happen in my lifetime ;" and he laid Rome in ashes. 

DetiOA. This term. In the expression " the Deuce !" Le., the Devil, comes, 
like the latter word, from (he same root as the Latin Dim, God (see Bucaboo), 
and as the sjmonyme for two, in cards and other games, liom the Latin duo, 
through the French dtux (old Fr. daa). It is doubly strange that the com- 
mon superstition should imagine there is luck under a deuce, not only because 
of the modern association with the fiend which has OTerridden the root-meaning, 
but because two has always been looked upon as an unlucky number, as the 
first of the series of even numbers. The Pythagoreans regarded the unit ai 
the good principle, the dtmd as the evil one. 

God hua the diull DumbeT. beitig IcDowa 



I>«Vil, A oaodle to th«. The French have the familiar phra^ , 
die to God [or to St Michael) and another to the deviL" Did it sprihg from 



suggest that famous picture executed, as Brantfime tells us, by order 
-t de la Marck. which represented SL Michael triumphing over Satan, 
with Robert himself kneeling before them, a candle in each nand, and a 



scroll issuing from his mouth, " If God will not aid me, the devil surely will 
not bil me"7 More likely the proverb is older than the picture, as it is a 
Christian recrudescence of Virgil's line, — 

Flecure li Dcqueo Hipcm. Achenjuta movvbo,— 
fcft, " If I cannot bend the celestials to my purpose. I will move hell." On 
the same principle a discreet gentleman in the early days of Christianitjr 
always took care to salute the statue of Jupiter, never knowing, as he ex- 

Elained, when he might come into power again. So, also, the Spaniard on 
is death-bed, when his confessor spoke of the torments wherewith the devil 
afflicted the lost, feebly remonstrated, " I trust his lordship is not so cruel." 
The holy nian was shocked. " Excuse me," said the penitent, " but I know 
not into what hands I may fall ; and if I happen into his, I hope he will use 
me the better for giving him good words." The Scotch say, " It's gude to 
hae friends in heaven and hell." The Scotch and the Irish alike are careful 
to call the fairies, even the malignant ones, " the good people," or " the men of 
peace," so as to conciliate their good will- The ancients also avoided any 
expressions which might prove obnoxious to the unseen powers of evil. Thus, 
they spoke of the Furies as Eumcnides, or benign goddesses, and the stormy 
Black Sea was called the Euiine, or the hospitable. 

DovU and tlie deep ■««, Betweon the, a sort of rough-and-ready 
equivalent ioi the old classic saying, " Between Scylla and Chaiybdis." which 
is at least as old as the early part of the seventeenth century. It is used, for 
example, by Colonel Munro in bis "Expedition with Mackay's Regiment" 
(■637)- In an eng;^ment at Werben, between the forces of Gustavus Adol- . 
phus and the Austnans, Munro, serving on the Swedish side, found his men 
exposed to the fire of Swedish gunners who had not given their pieces the 
proper elevation. In hii own phrase, they were " betwixt the devil and the 
deep sea," — i^., exposed to danger from friends as well as foes So an officer 
was sent to the batteries with a request that the guns should be raised. 
There is a passage in Shakespeare which seeiDS to have reference la bokm 
eaflier form of the same phrase : 



Google 



230 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Tliou'dil ihun > beu : 

Thou'dM'iiiHi ihelMt i- ihc mam^' *"* 

A>V L^r, Act iU., Sc. <. 
There is just a possibility that the expression may originally have been a 
nautical one (cf. Devil to Pay, in/ra), in which case a choice between " the 
devil" and the deep sea might indeed be an awkward one. 
Devil o. 
- 3). Elsewhere Shakespeare has put the same thought in other words : 



Mrrtkant tf Vtnici. ka iii.. Sc. >. 
Devil has all the good tnnea. When, in 1740, Charles Wesley wanted 
airs for some of his peculiar metres, he pertinently asked, " Why should the 
devil have all the good lunes?" and straightway appropriated a number Tor 
hymnal purposes. But at that lime the divergence between sacred and secu- 
lar music was not so great as il is now. The most popular airs were in a 
■uUrious and even funereal sound, 
ords of merriment, or buffoonery, or 
even downright obsceiiiiy, Ihey added Ihc spice of contrast, to which the grave 
faces and tones of the singers pungcnlly contributed. 

Devil overlooMug Liuooln. a familiar English proverb of i 
origin. It is applied to a jealous critic or backbiter. 

Some fetch the origino] of thJj proverb from a Hooe picture of ihe Devil . whL< 
Utcly did oveHoDk Lincoln Colledse. Truelytli 



tboueh beholder* have since applied those uj 
»pai(y -A Iheir Beighbon. ... To return u o 

.%. — ...i . .r .L i i coltedgn, though the Mconduy k 






thereof jjgitted not untuppiiy, and (hat it rdated origiiudiy to the Catbedrat 

Devil's Own, the nickname of the Temple Company, a London militia 
company, 

. When the " Temirie CompiBiei" had 



Geoise III, «a in high health and 
defiled before him, Hi> Majaly iom 



iired of Eiiidne^ 



, lion of that conn. " Tfiey are all lawyer*, lire," aaid Enliine, 

" What I whu I" exclaimed the King. " all lawyenl ill lawyen* (j>ll ibem ' The Devii't 
Own,'— call Ibem ■ The Devil'j Own,' " And -'The Devil'. Own" they were called accord- 
ingly. Even at iIk preHnI day ibta appellation has not wholly died away, Yel^ notwith. 
•landing the ro^al p^vntage of Ihii pleaiantry, I mu.t own that \ ereaily prefer lo it another 

of the legal companiei, " Relained for the DelcDce."'— E«iiL STANKOn: Lift ^Pill. 

Devil to pay and no pltoh ho^ a slang phrase for a condition of great 
embarrassment and confusion, an emergency for which no preparation has 
been made, appears to be a conuplion of the nautical expression, " Hell's to 
pay," etc., full being in this case a portion of the hold of a smack left parity 
free of access to sea-water, in which freshly-caught fish are thrown and thus 
kept alive. It is, of course, highly important that ibe bulkheads, etc, about 
"hell" should be kept water-tight, and this is dune by calking with oakum 
and "paying" with hot pitch, as in the outer seams of the vessel. 

a famous distich frequently held to be a trans- 



la well, Ibe devil a monk wu hi 



. Coogk" 



LITERAR V CURIOSITIES. 231 

Though il docs occur in Urquhart and Mottcux's transTalion of "Garganlua" 
(Boukiv.ch. xxiv.). it is an interpolation. All tliat Rabelais does is to quote 
the Italian proverb " Passato il pericolo, gabbato il santo" (" When the danger 
is [lassed the saint is mocked"). The English lines have been dubiously traced 
to an anonymous Latin couplet, — 

which is not half so pilhj as the English, and iheTefoie suggesis i translation 
rather than an original. The same moral isenrorced in Clotigh's lines quoted 
under Atheism; in the English proverb "The chamber of sickness is the 
chapel of devotion ;" and in the anonymous quatrain, — 

God and the D(ki« ve alike idore. 

Bui only when in danger, not before ; 

Tlie duJEer o'er, both ue alike requited. 

Cod li rorgoiten ud the Doclor illghied. 
This is a liee rendering of the Latin epigram, — 

"En Deu«" jtut ^' cuKO* angelus" agcr alL 

Cum pwil medJcitt pi^inin, " Vade Suan I 

JoHH Owm or Oxrom (queued) ; 
which has been imitated also by Quarles : 

Our God and »]dier we alike adore 
~ 101 before; 

'■ illghied. 

ZHoUonaiy. Bailef, a dictionary maker himseir, tells as that Julius Scali- 
ger, in certain fits of prmcely contempt fur his calling as a philulciger. was tised 
to thank God that he had put it intu the hearts of some men to make dtclion- 
aries. This was what Arlemus Ward would call sarkkasm. What Scaliger 
reall]' thought, or what he really thought he thought, is shown b^ those well- 

■■ — rn lines wherein he declares that when r .:-..i— i- -. :_;_.i 

.0 be disposed of he should be set at w 

Leiica conteitt ; nam ( cg tga quid momon T) omnea 

P go an un &ci^ hie Labor nbiu halxt. 

a thoroughly reasonable one if taken seriously. 
uport were written in all good faith over the 
dictionaries in Oxford in the sixteenth century, when lexicons were chained in 
the school -houses as Bibles were in the churches, by reason of their costliness 
and rarity. And most of us would re-echo the thanksgiving with equal good 
bith. 

The history of dictionaries may seetn an unproiitable subject. Vet it is full 
of gtailsome mterest and of the vitalizing spirit of humor. Before dictionaries 
were, letters had their small diffusion vita vott. Saul, come to grief over a 
verbal stumbling-block in a manuscript, asked Gamaliel for the short interpre- 
tatitm that should clear the wav. By the lip was solved the mystery proceed- 
ing from the lip; for within the portico or academe, in the cloister or under 
the shade of the hill, sat Pedagogus amid his disciples, and the lip was near. 
At length some scholastic of broader mind than common bethought htm, 
during the absence of his flock, of lightening the labors of both. Going care- 
fully over his treasured manuscript, probamy of his own copying, be would 
single out the hard words and write above them the meaning, the exposition, 
(be^iw. At the very Arst word which this pioneer of the old world so 
^oned the teed wai town of the new-world dictioiurie* ; and there has beett 



332 HANDY.BOOK OF 

no stop to the growth of this seed til] the lt«« fcom it has spread its thick and 
nide branches as Taras they have spread and are still spreading to this very day. 

But such glosses, even when traced in beautiful red inl( over the difficult 
words, defaced the skilled beautv ai goodly manuscripts. Gradually it grew 
(o be a habit to place the glosseo words in a separate list at the end. Soon 
the glasses of this or that man grew to have special value, and were re-copied 
on a special manuscript Then, as rival glosses had their separate and distinct 
charm, a number of glosses were pieced together, adding the glory and Ihe 
occasional bewilderment of variety. The glosses now became known as glos- 
saries, or lexicons, and, like the Glossary of Varro, dedicated to hi* contempo- 
rary Cicero, or the Lexicon of Apullonius the Sophist, in the first century, 
elucidating the Iliad and the Odyssey, represented the labors of many pred- 
ecessors reduced to order by one master-mind. Here was the manner and 
form of the modem dictionary. Taking great leaps, and making no note of 
the intermediate progress, we come to the Lexicon of Suidas, compiled in the 
tenth century, where the plan was first used of giving extracts from the poets 
and historians it explained to explain them still furtlier, and next to the Dic- 
tionary of Johannes Creslonus, in Greek and Latin, printed in 1483, a further 
development. And now the subject becomes so large and varied that we must 
confine ourselves to one branch, — the history of the English dictionary. 

The first English dictionary proper was a thick folio volume published by 
Richard Hutoet in 1552. Other dictionaries had been issued before, but they 
were of the Latin, French, or other alien tongues. This was the first diction- 
ary to give English definitions to English words, though it added thereto the 
Latin and French synonymes, unless, indeed, the French is not in good 
Richard's knowledge, when it is incontinently omitted. Here is his manner : 
" Pickers or thieves (hat go by into chambers, making as though they sought 
something. Dixtarii. Ulpian. Larrons qui montent jusques aux chambres, 
faisant semblanl de chercher quelque chose." 

A similar plan was followed in the first edition of John Baret's " Alvearie, 
or Triple Diclionarie in Englyshe, Latin and French,^' first issued in 1573, and 
seven years later reprinted, with the addition of Greek, as a Quadruple Dic- 
tionarie. The title of this second edition stated, quaintly enough, that it was 
<' newlie enriched with vatielie of Wordes, Phrases, Proverbs, and diuers light- 
■ome obseruations of Grammar." In the Greek portion, however, Ihe book 
labored under some disadvantages, thus naively set forth by Baret himself: 
"As fi>r Greeke, I could not ioyne it with every Latin word, for lacke uf fit 
Greeke letters, the printer not having leasure to provide the same." 

It was probably this dictionary which was alluded to in the records of the 



<n shall serve." 

The first dictionary confined entirely to the English language was Robert 
Cawdrey's " Table Alphabetical!, conleyning and teaching the true writing and 
understanding of hard usuall English Wordes." It is a thin little volume 
because confined to one language, and limited, as indeed were all its prede- 
cessors, to hard words. Cawdrcy evidently had little faith in the intelligence of 
his reader, for he thus innocently instructs him in the use of his book : " If 
thou be desirous (gentle reader) rightly and readily to understand and to 
profit by this table, and such like, then thou must learn the alphabet, to 
wit, the order of the letters as they stand, perfectly without book, and where 
every letter standeth : as (A) neete the beginning, (n) about the middesl, and 
if) toward the end." 

Cotgrave's " French and English Dictionary," published in r6i 1, made man; 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



h« calls it, in a fatherly, fondling fashion, and tells his reader, "I (who am 
no God or angel) have caused such overslips as have ]>et occurred to mine 
e^e or andcistanding to be placed neere the forbead of (his Verball Crealaie." 
bee how his fertile brain worked : Atter is defined as " To goe, waike, wende. 



march, pace, tread, proceed, journey, travell, depart," with twoscore picturesque 
il lustrations, as " Aller i S. Bezel, To rest in no place ; continuallyto troU ead. 
wander up and down." " Tout le monde s'en va i la moustarde, — Tis i 



rulgar. Divulged all the world over (said of a book). Wast paper is made of it. 
Mustard-pots are stopped with it (so much the world esteems it)." 

Henry Cockeram's " English Dictionaiie," ifoj, is full of fiin. It is primaril j 
a dictionary of current vernacular, and the author somewhat apologetically ei- 
plains that he imMined " Ladies and Genllewomen, young schollers, darkes, 
merchants," etc., desirous of a rclined and elegant speech, would like an ex- 
positor of "vulgar words, mocke words, fustian lermes ridiculously used in 
our laneuage," so as to gather therefrom " the exact and ample word" which 
would fit them to shine. So he tells them that rude is vulgar, and allows them 
the alternative of agresticall. rusticall, or iramorigerous ; that To weede is 
vulgar, the choice word being To sarculate, To diruncinate, or To averuncate ; 
that the phrase To knock one's legs together is vulgar, and should be called, 
choicely. To intetfeere. 

Among the successors of Cockeram may be briefly mentioned Blount's 
•' Glossographie," 1656; Edward Phillips's "New World of Words," 165S 
(Phillips, by the way, was a nephew of John Milton) ; Bailey's " Universal 
Etymological English Dictionary," 1711, notable as the first attempt to present 
all words, easy as well as " hard," slang as well as euphemistic, current as well 
as obsolete; the anonymous "GazophylaciumAnglicanum," in l6S9> Thomas 
Dyche's Dictionary, in 1733 ; and John Wesley's little Dictionary, in 1753. 

Though John Wesley modestly mformed the reader on his title-page that 
he considered he had produced "the best English Dictionary in the wotldi" 
and adds, " many are the mistakes in all the other English dictiunariei which 
I have yet seen, whereas I can truly say I know of none in this," — nevertheless, 
it was only two years later, in 1755, that the first really valuable lexicon t^ the 
language appeared, in Dr. Samuel Johnson's bmous Dictionary, and threw all 
its predecessors and rivals into the shade. 

Of course, even Dr. Johnson's work is valueless in these days, save as a 
landmark in English literature. Its definitions are often inadequate, and some- 
times erroneous. They have no present use as philology, though the m 
' '■ "' ■■■ ■■ ' . The etymo" 

5 -clothes will- 
more value might 

The value of the historical methnd in philo- 
logical research is a recent discovery. The ancient lexicographers used 
cumly to jump at the conclusion that any word or words in a foreign language 
which remotely suggested an English word was the parent of the latter. 

Thus, the author of the " Gazophylacium Anglicanum" derives hassock firom 
"the Teutonic haie, an hare, and socht, because hare-skins are sometimes 
woven into socks, to keep the fiiet warm in winter." " Haslenut," with equal 
acumen, is derived from the word haitt, "because it is ripe before wall-nuts 
and chestnuts." The author says of his work that " the chief reason why t 
busied myself herein, was to save my time from being worse employed." 

Johnson himself was fond of similar exploits. He derives motley from 
20» 



334 HANDY-BOOK OF 

molh-like, "or, of v: 
dor, — the insect iha 
famous story about the derivation of curmudgeon ^ Johnson received from 
some unknown source a letter deriring the word from caur mkiani, at wicked 
heart, — a wild enough guess, which pleased the doctor so much (hat he 
adopted it, giving due credit to "unknown correspondent." Twenty years 
later. Dr. Ash, preparing a dictionary of his uwi), was struck by this Rem, and 
transferred tt to his own pages. ])ut, wishing all the glory of th« discovery 
for himself, he gave no credit to Johnson, and informed a wondering world 
that curmudgeon was formed from tour, "unknown," and miehant, "corre- 

The Rev. Frederick Barlow, iit his "Complete English Dictionary," pub- 
lished in two volumes in 177X, suggests that "pageant" is derived from 
"fiayen e/aitt, Fr., a pagan giant, a representation of triumph used at the 
return from holy wars ; of which the Saracen's head seems to Ik a reltque." 
In the same book "sash" is sagely derived from "tfaaar, Fi., to know, be 
cause worn for tite sake of distinction." 

But Rev. G. W. Lemon, master of Norwich Grammar 'School, who in 17S3 

Eublished " A Derivative Dictionary of the English Language," carries off the 
onors as a philological humorist. He referred everything to the Greek, even 
such common, every-day words as " scratch -can die," " link-boy," and "crutched 
friars." A story ifi at was currciil in the mnulha of contemporary jesters is 
_. iij u.,-i„. ../fcT._ .-_i. J gentle- 



he coined the following etymology forobesi^ : " The eiclamation of people who 
see a certain Norwich Alderman: 'Oh Beasley I oh beastly 1 1 o-besitylll'" 
The story added that the alderman was informed of this liljel in time, obtained 
an injunction against its publication, and so the sheet was cancelled. 

A very wise man was Rev. Thomas I>yche, who e«:hew3 all etymologies, 
because, in the first place, they are very often so uncertain, and, secondly, they 
are useless to " those persons that these sort of books are most useful to." 

There is much humorous interest of a quiet and ruminative sort to be 
gleaned from the definitions as well as the etymologies of the early dictionaries. 

Henry Cockeram defines " pole" as " the end of the a^le-tiee whereon the 

"swinker;" and "a herclick" is sketched more rouiidaljoully. bul with a 
clear assertion of the right of private opinion, as "he which maketh choice 
of himselle what poynis or religion he will believe and what he will noL" 
Then, from classic times, the " Olympic games" are " solemn games of activ- 
ity," and " Amphitrile" is not, as usual, the goddess of the sea, but the "sea" 
itself. 

Still funnier arc the natural history definitions. A baboon is said to be "a 
beast like an ape, but &rie bigger ;*' a lyni is " a spotted beast — it hath a 
most perfect sight, insomuch aa it is said that it can see ihorow a wall." The 
account of the salamander reads like an elaborate joke ; " A small, venomous 
beast, with foure feet and a short tatle : it lives in the lire, and at length, bv 
his extreme cold, puts out the fire.' An ignarus is a still quainter zoological 
curiosity, inasmuch as at night-time " it singeth six kinds of notes, one after 
another, as, la-sol -me-fa-me-re-ut." 

Dictionaries, indeed, embody many curious superstitions about animals. 
Richard Huloct gravely describes the cockatrice as "a serpent, called the 
Kynge of Serpentes, whose nature is to kyll wylh hyssynge only." "The 
Barbie," says Henry Cockeram. is " a Fish that will not meddle with the 
baite untill with her taile she have iiiihooked it from the hooke." Bullokar, 
after a column and a half descriptive of the crocodile, ventures the Airthei 



. Coogk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 335 

mfarmalion thai "he will w««pe over a man's head when he halh devoured 
the bodjr, and then will eat up the head too. ... 1 saw once one at these 
beasts in London, brought thilher dead, but in perfect forme, of about 3 yards 
long," a detail of personal experience which shows what was tolerated and 
even expected in a dictionary 3I thai lime. Bailey continues his predecessor's 
natural history with ihe same delightful simplicity. The Unicorn Whale is 
"a lish eighteen foot lung, having a head like a horse and scales as big as a 
crown piece, six large fins like the end of a galley oar, and a horn issuing out 
of the forehead nine feci long, so sharpe as [0 pierce the hardest bodies, and 
the Loriot ur Golden Oriole "a bird [hat, being looLed upon bjr one wl 1 
has the yellow jaundice, cures the person and dies himself." Feniiing, who is 
more conservative, defines Loriot merely as " a kind of bird," which is only an 
example among many of the eminently satisfying nature of Ihe information 
these old dictionaries often supply. 

In many cases the explanations given by our dictionary -makers are pure 
blunders. Edward Phillips defines a gallon as "a measure containing two 
quarts ;" and again, a quaver is staled to be " a measure of lime in musick, 
being the half of a crotchet, as a crotchet ihe half of quaver." Dr. Johnson's 
original definition of paitrrn as " the knee of a horse" was a remarkable 
blunder. When questioned on the point, he candidly attributed it lo the 
right cause, — ignorance. It was corrected in subsequent editions. ]}r. Ash, 
in his Dictionary oli 1775, under "esoteric" explains it as merely an incor- 
rect spelling for "exoteric'' But Johnson had neither exoteric nor esoteric. 
Another of Ash's amazing entries was ■' Bihovac, rather an incorrect spell- 
ing fiir bivoac," while the right word. Bivouac, is left out altogether. His 
gewraphy also was weak, for he stales that "A^hrim ts a town in Ireland, 
in the County of Wicklow, and Province of I.einsler." Tu<ld's edition of, 
Johitson, excellent worli as it is, is not entirely free from blunders. He oddly 
explains "coaxation" as *'the art of coaxing." instead of the croaking of 
ftcgs. Webster, in his first issue, has some curious mistakes in cricketing 
terms. The wicket-keeper, he says, is " the plaver in cricket who stands with 
a bat to protect the wicket from the ball," and a long-atop is " one who is 
sent to stop balls sent a long distance." 

Remarkable also is Ihe personal animus which is apparent in most of these 
old dictionaries. Their authors rejoiced if they could belabor an adversary 
or laud their own fads or ridicule some pet aversion while pretending to 
define a word. 

Thus, Wesley defines Methodist as " one that lives according to the method 
laid down in Ihe Bible ;" and a " Swaddler is a nickname given by the Papists 
in Ireland lo true Protestants." And who are true Protestants f Methodists, 



unliimiliar with Ihe gospel, thought Ihe words " swaddling-clothes" extremely 
ridiculous, and so coined the epithet " swaddler" for the preacher. 

Richelel, author of an early French dictionary (169S) which also has much 
of this enriching flavor of personality, remarks under the head of Spicier, or 
grocer, that " these people wrap some of their merchandise in gray paper, or 
in a few sheets of wretched books, which one sells to Ihem because one has 
been unable to sell Ihem to others. The translation of Tacitus by the little 
man d'Ablancourt has had this misfortune." Richelet is cautious enough In 
express this lexicographic remark as follows : " Le Toe. du fetii A. a tu ec 

Dr. Johnson defines oats as "a grain which in England is generally given 
to horses, but in Scotland supports the people." A Puritan is "a sectary 
pretending 10 eminent puriiy of religion." A Whig is "Ihe name o( a fac- 



336 HANDV-BOOK OF 

tion," but I Toij' is " one who adheres to the antient cotulllurion of (he stale 

and the apostolical hieiarchy of the Church of England, opposed to a Whig." 
Pensioner is "a slave of slate, hired by a stipend to obey his master" (this 
definition was recalled with much glee by (he doctor's enemies when he him- 
self became a pensioner of the state). An excise ia "a hateful tax levied 
upon commodilies, and adjudged not by the common judges of properly, but 
by wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid," 

The commissioners of excise were very indignant at being charicteriied as 
wretches, and consulted with the attorney-general whether an action for libel 
would lie. He decided it would, but deemed it advisable that they should let 

After nil, Ur. Johnson, who in the same dictionary defined lexicographer as 
" a writer of diclionories \ a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing 
the origin and detailing the signi&calion of words," — Dr. Johnson was q^uile 
willing to turn the tables against himself. But why diclionories ? the captious 
might ask. Only another error, — one of thousands, misprints, misslatements, 
slips of the pen and of the memory, which Johnson with all hia patience and 
learning could not avoid, and some of which, such is the solidarity of diction- 
aries, have been copied with rare patience and pertinacity by his successors. 
Thus, down to 1S90, al least, almost every dictionary repealed Johnson's 
amusing misprint of advenline for adventive. 

Some of his deSnitions are remarkable Tor the Johnsonian ponderosity with 
which he obscures a subject while attempting to elucidate it. The champion 
instance is net-work, which runs as follows : " Anything relicnlued or decus- 
sated at equal distances, with interstices between the intersections." 

Definitions that sound equally humorous to the layman almund, of course, 
in technical works. When one learns that a boil is "a circumscribed subcu- 
taneous inflammation, suppurating, with a central core, a furunculus," one is 
either amused or alarmed ; and when one find out that a kiss ia " the anatomi- 
cal juxtaposition of two orbicularis oris muaclea in a slate of contraction," one 
realiies with the New Paul of Mr. Mallock the solemnity of human pleasures. 

But the most famous definition in philological histoiy (to be Hibernian) is 
one that never appealed. When the Forty Immortals were engaged upon 
the Dictionary of the French Academy the word crab (or, as some authorities 
fsserl, lobster) came up for a gloss. The following was offered by one of the 
number ; " A little red fish that walks backward. Furetiire, a dictionary- 
maker himself, objected. "Gentlemen," he said, "the definition is no doubt 
a very clever one. But it is open to three objections. In the first place, th« 
animal is not a fish ; in the second place, it is not red until boiled ; in the 
third place, it does not walk "backward," The objection was sustained. An 
ingenious but rather casuistical effort, however, has been made to rehabilitate 
it in public esteem. The climax of the crab's life, it has been urged, is only 
reached when he is red, — for only after cooking do most of our race know 
him ; he is purified and made whole by fire. Theologians recognize him as a 
fish, and he ia eaten aa such, on Fridays, by the devouleat Catholics. Even 
the ichthyoloBically learned must admit that if he is not scientifically a fish, a 
scale-fish, with the flesh outside and the bones inside, he is a sort of fish, a 
■' variation," aa science terms him, a shell-fish which, in hia eccentric but kindly 
nature, prefers to wear the bones outside and keep the flesh nicely packed 
away for the convenience of the epicure. And aa to his mode of progression, 
so great and fishy an authority as the melancholy Dane says, "If, like a crab, 
you could walk Kickward," 

A joke might appear to be the last thing one would seek in a dictionary. 
Yet Johnson's definition of lexicographer, already given, might be classed as 
such. And bis skit at his fineixC whose real name was Malloch, but wbo 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 237 

de»red to be known as Mallet, had a wicked spice of humor in iL DtfininK 
aliat, he says, " A Latin word, ajgnj^ng otherwise ; as Mallei, idiai Malloui 
— that is. otherwise Maltoch." 

Even puns, and very bad puns, have found their way into the most ponder- 
ous lexicons. Nothing could be worse than the entry in Adam Littleton's 
Latin Dictionary ; " Concuiro, to run with others ; to run tt^elher ; . . to 
con-<«r, oun-dog." But Ibis has sometimes been explained as a clerical 
blunder. LJttlelon was dictating the definition to his secretary, who, a little 



testily, adding "con-dog" as a further explanation, and the secretary, scared, 
perhaps, by the tempest he had raised, meekly put down both the word and 
the pun by which its meaning was emphasized. Even the ponderous Liddell 
and Scott run Mr. Littleton a hard race when they say, under sycophant 
(literally, an informer against those who exported y^), "The literal sense is 
not found in any ancient writer, and is perhaps a mere tigmenL" 

To the credit of Liddell and Scott, this ghastly attempt at a joke appeared 
only in four editions, when, yielding to the pressure of public opinion, the 
word figment was changed to mvention. 

An unconscious joke of a belter quality occurs in the Century Dictionary, 
under the heading "Question, to pop the. See Pop," which has the additional 
merit of being eicellent advice. 

Die in the last ditota. When William, Prince of Orange (afterwards 



pending o 
by which 



ith England and France, 
he did not see ruin ira- 



is asked by the Duke of Buckingham whether he 
ng over his country. " Nay," he answered. " there is one ceriam means 
by which I can be sure never to see my country's ruin. I will die in the last 
ditch." (Hume. ch. Ixv.) And, rejecting all terms of peace, he checked the 
invasion of the French by opening the sluices and flooding large tracts of 
land, drove them from Holland in 1674, made honorable leinis with England, 
and Unally, after varying fortunes, brought the war to a successful close by a 
treaty with France in 1678. 

Olgito monatroil (U, "To be pointed out by the finger"), a familiar 
phrase from Persiua's " Satires," i. z8, the context being, " It is a fine thing 
to be pointed out with the linger, and hear it said, That is he I" Haililt. in 
his essay *'On the Disadvantages of Intellectual Superiority," after telling 
how some of his friends failed to relish hia very best things and other people 
condemned him altogether, goes on to ask. " Shall I confess a weakness ? 
The only tet'off I know to these rebufis and mortifications is sometimes in 
an accidental notice or involuntary mark of distinction from a stranger. 1 feel 
the force of Horace's di^ta mamlrari, — 1 like to be pointed out in the street, 
or to hear people ask in Mr. Powell's court. Which is Mr. Haililt? This is 
to me a pleasing extension of one's personal identity. Your name so re- 
peated leaves an echo like music on the ear : it stirs the blood like the sound 
of a trumpet." Was he wrong in his reference (the context seems to indicate 
this), or was he thinking of that passage in Horace's " Ode to Melpomene," 
"That I am pointed out by the fingers of passers-by [Quod monstror digilo 
prxtereunlium] as the stringer of the Roman lyre is entirely thy gift : that I 
breathe and give pleasure, if I do give pleasure, is thine"? — a sentiment which 
Thomas Moore has paraphrased : 

If ih? pulx dT the pilriDt, soldier, or laver 
Have Uirubbed ax oar lay. 'lit ihv gloi^ hLduc : 

™d all Ihc witTsv^eu^I valud vu t^' own. 

Dear harf tfmji Ctimlry, 



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23B HANDY-BOOK OF 

Diner-ont of the highest Instie. This epigram matical description 
(frequently misquoted "of the first water"), which has been turned against 
Sydney Smith himself, was applied by the witty divine to George Canning, 
who wa« at the time secretary of stale for foreign affairs, "Providence has 
made him a tight, jesting, paragraph- writing man, and that he will remain to 
his dying day. When he is jocular he is strung ; when he ia serious he is like 
Samson in a wig, — any ordinary person is a malcli for him. Call him a leeis- 
lator, a reasoncr, and the conductor of the affairs of a great nation, and it 
seems to me as absurd as if a butlertly were to teach bees lo make honey. 
That he is an extraordinary writer of small poetry and a diner-out of the 
highest lustre, I do most readily admit liut you may as well feed me with 
decayed potatoes as console me for the miseries of Ireland by the resources 
of his stnsi and his diicretion. It is only the public situation which this gen- 
tleman holds which entitles me or induces me to say so much about him. 
He is a fly in amber ; nobody cares about the fly, the only question is, How 



of Royalty." The^»« 

Dlnoer-beU. A sobriquet which hiH fellow -parliamentarians bestowed on 
Burke, whose eloquence on great occasions was hardly more extraordinary 
than his indefatigable energy and interest in all matters before the House. In 
the days when he wearied everybody with details, and, as Goldsmith happily 

Too deep foe hit hcann, uUl «ent on ^fining. 

And thought of convincing while thty IhouEht of dining. — 

a large number of the members actually did betake themselves to that occu- 
pation, which circumstance earned for the ^reat orator the title of "The 
Dinner-Bell." A member, who was just going into the House on one of 
these occasions, meeting Selwyn and some others coming out, inquired, ",Is 
the House up ?" " No," replied Selwyn ; " but Burke is." 

Dirty linen. In a furious speech made to the Chamber of Deputies 
during the crisis which followed the disasters of 1814, Napoleon said, " Ifyou 
have complaints to make, take another occasion, when, with my counsellors 
and myself, we may discuss your grievances and see if they have any founda- 
tion. But this explanation must be in private ; for dirty linen should be 
washed at home, not in public" {"car c'est en famille, ce n'est pas en public, 
qu'on lave son linge sale"). These very words, however, had been addtessed 
by Voltaire to the Encyclopidisis. An equally famous use of the term 
"dirty linen," though with another application, occurred in a letter (1751) 
from Voltaire to General Manstein, who had asked him to revise some papers 
he had written on Russia : "The king [Frederick] has sent me some of his 
dirty linen to wash; I will wash vours another time" ("Voili le roi qui 
m'envoit son linge i blanchir ; je blancliitais le v6lre une autre fois"). The 
reference was to some poema which Frederick had submitted to Voltaire for 
critical emendation. Frederick used to excuse all his own mistakes of grant- 
mar and rhetoric by saying, " We must leave him the pleasure of finding 
Dome fault." But he was not magnanimous enough to forgive the cruel phrase 
of Voltaire, [u repetition at court was one of the main causes which threw 
the French philosopher into dislavor. Napoleon's phrase is identical in ipiril 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 239 

with the English proverb " Il's an ill bird that Touls its own nett," a provcTb 

■hat was old even in the lime of old John Skellon ; 

Old proverbe Hyi, 

Tlut byn] y> DOC facnaL 

Tbu rylEIh hii owh hch. 

fetmt at'lml Carntikt. 
Dlaoord, a harmony not underatood. This definition occurs in Pope's 
"Essay on Mm," and embodies a very familiar thought In one Torm or 
another it may be found in all literature, ancient as well as modern. Here 
are a few illustrative examples : 

IWhal ibE diuonluii humony o( circunutucH would and could Effect.) 

HoKA«;i>«W*/..ii. 19. 
DiKord <A In raulc aaka Ibt twttta lay— Snusm. 
Hie world b kepi id order by ditcord, and every pan of it ii a more pulicuUj coiDpoted 
jv. And in all these ■( m^ei greally for (he Muler'i t\owy thai fluch an adminbJe hu-mony 
(boaM be produced ooi of xicb an iDHDiie dlicord — Filthah : Urtn/vti. 
For discords maVe the sweetest aits, 

™™' ' ''" Biritaa : HnJiirai. 

Wisely she knew the harmony of thinn, 
A> wdl as thai of sounds, from discora spriiun, 

DiNHAK : Ctafn'i HiU. 
TUl jarriwE iDlerests of Ibenuelvcs create 
Tb' accordkg music it a well-miied state. 
Socb is the world's ereat harmony thai sptingi 

' '° ' "pori: £ii!^^M'a>>,Ep.UI., 1.993. 

It Is from conDarisa that Ihe harmony of the world results. — SAiirT-PiaHiia : Eludn lU U 
Kmtnr,. 

Yon had Ibat action and counteraction which, in the natural and the political world, Irom 
ibe RCiTncal Slrus^e of dlacordanl powera, draws OUI the harmony of the universe.-- 
BintKa : Rifltclism m tkt Frinch Fncliilisn. 

Apropos of the quotation from Burke. Henry H. Breen, in his " Modem 
English Ulerature, says, "This remarkable thought Alison, the historian, 
has turned to good account ; it occtirs so often in his disquisitions that he 
sectns to have made it Ihe staple of all wisdom and the basis of every truth." 
He tnight have said substantially the same of Carlyle. 

Dlaoretlon to the bottw ^irt of v«Ior. This proverbial phrase is 
merely a misquotation of FalslafTa phrase, "The better part of valor is dis- 
cretion" {Henry IV., Part I., Act iv., Sc 2). The first edition of this play was 
published in IS9S. Beaumont and Fletcher, in "A King and No King" {161 1 ), 
Act iv., Sc 3, have, " It showed discretion, the best part of valor." But they 
were arrant plagiarists and frequently stole from Shakespeare. The conclu- 
jion of Bacon's essay on " Boldness" may be taken in illustration of Ihe aenli- 
ment in its better form : " Boldness is ever blind, for it seeth not dangers and 
inconveniences ; therefore it is ill in counsel, good in execution," etc In its 
more questionable form take the familiar quatrain, — 

He that fighn and nine away 

May nun and light anolher day ; 

Bui he that Is in battle slalo 

WiU never rise 10 light again. 

A curious story anenl the above quotation is told in Collet's " Relics of 
literature" (iSlo) ; "These lines are almost universally supposed to form a 
pari of ' Hudibras;' and so confident have even scholars been on the sub- 
ject that in 1784 a wager was made at Boolle's of twenty to one thai they 
were to be found in that inimitable poem. Dodsley was referred to as the 



240 HANDY-BOOK OF 

arbitrator, vhen he ridiculed (he idea of consulting him on the Bubjcct, say- 
ing, ' Everjr fool knows they are in " Hudibras." ' George Selwyn, who was 
present, said to Dodslejr, ' Pray, sir, will you be good enough, then, to inrocm 
an old fool, who is at the same lime your wise worship's very humble servant, 
in what canto they are to be found T Dodsley took down the volume, but 



t lind the passage ; the next day came, with no better s 
and the sage bibliopole was obliged to confess ' that a man might be ignorant 
of the author of this well-known couplet without being absolutely a fool !'" 



Indeed, the nearest approach to the couplet in " Hudibras" it in Book iL 
Canto 3! 

For thoH that fly miv fichl agun. 
Which ht can Kvn do ilut'i ilalD. 
The sense, of course, is embodied here. But then the sense is not Butler's 
alone, but is shared bv a long series of predecessors, dating all the way back 
to the Greek, 'Kvkf a ^^rfjv luH mi^ /loj^cnu (" He who flees will fight 
again"), which is ascribed to Meiiander. In its Latin lorrn, " Qui fugiebal, 
rursus proeliabilur," it is quoted b;^ Tertullian in his boolt on ■"Persecution" 
(ch. X.), which contains an answer in the negative to the question of his friend 
Pabius, " Is it right to avoid persecution by flight or britwry f A paraphrase 
of this imputed saying ol Mcnander's is found in Archilochus, Fragment 6, 
quoted by Plutarch in "Customs of the Lacedaemonians." It has Men thus 
translated i 

L« vho will boait ihclr nmnit In the field. 






,n«'..law«n,u«;W: 



EuSHus: Afntkiimi, ij+i (traulaicd by Udatl). 
Soovant caloy qm damcure 

Est CailK de MB aiMieC ' 
Cclny qui liilt da boom bcurr 



Ray, in his " History of the Rebellion" (1752), and Goldsmith, in "The Art 
of Poetry on a New Plan" (I76r), quotr "^ " ' ■ ----'- 

above, the second in the slightly diflerei 

Forbt 

May I 

Buili. 

Can Kver riaa and Gthl afaln. 
But the authorship is unknown. 

DlatMiO« lend* enohantment to tbe view. This hmiliar ejtpresKioii 
occurs at the opening of Campbell's " Pleasures of Hope ;" 

Wtaw funbtlght lunmli ininglei with the i^yl 
Afid robca (he mouDtaln hi iLi azure hoe. 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



Ab ycm Aammiti, uR uid mir, 
ClAd ia coLon of (be air, 

BkjTcD» brown, and rough appear. 
But, indeed, the idea ma^ be traced through a Buccewion of poets all the way 
back to Diogenes Laerlius : " The mountains, too, at a distance appear airy 
masses and smooth, but when beheld close they are roi^h" (Pyrrho). Heie 
are a lew of the intermediate links : 



It charmnl wiih dinant vlewi i^ happineH, 

Valdkm : AgatHst Emjtyment. 



IT Hascil ; 0* Ltvt. 



A goodly prcxrHKi, I 
The height dtlbhti I 
Looks hautifuTbeo 



There is alio a passage in Cotlins's " Ode 
■mind the effect attributed by Campbell to sight : 

Pale Heluchalyiat ^laR, 

And from ber wild scqueaterBd toat. 

In DDlea by dlaiance oinde eodr awcet. 

Poured ihnagh (be mellow horn her pemlvc tool. 

Dlvld* 0t Impora (!>, " Divide and rule," — i.t., create dissensions among 
Tour sutijects, set one against the other, and you assure yourself the sovereignly). 
This was the motto of [/^uis XI. 



^ b)r the lordfl and commom what mJdhl be a principal motive for 

.. :eBi JD Parllameni, It wae aniwered, "£ri(i> luupcnbiloflr gi fuerlilA 

uuepvahUc*. Evploaum efl( iUud diverbium ; divide et impera, ci-^ -^" — "-- ' " ■- 

obe^thim coueuu lata innt" [■' You wiU be luupeiable^ you I 



Divide and rale, the polltkian criei ; 
Unite and lend, ii walchwocd of the win. 

GosTHi : ^riUkwirllick. 

DItIim right of Iringa, specifically, the doctrine of the Stuarts and their 
legal or clerical advisers, that the king was such by special dispensation of 
Providence, and that treason or disloyalty was consequently an offence not 
only against him but against God Almighty. This, of course, is merely a 
•nrvival of the primev^ superstition that kings were gods. The principle 
as enunciated by the Stuarts was never generally acknowledged by Enelish- 
meik James I. found it a useful argument to sapplement a notorious defect 
of hereditary title, which he was unwilline to strengthen by an acknowledg- 
metll that he owed his throne to election by the nation. He found the Tory 
or conservative element eager to endorse him in his most extravagant clainis. 
Indeed, the Tadors had already found the loyalty of this class quite willing 
to tolerate the fiction that they were the Lord's anointed. But there had 
always been a robust undercurrent of feeling, in the middle classes especially, 



;i:,vG00gif 



243 HANDY-BOOK OF 

which resisted the encroachments of royiU* and upheld the right of revola- 
tion in eitreme cases. The Plantageneti bad never gone so far as the Tudora, 
and the Tudors had never gone so far as the Stuarts. The extreote doctrilM 
of divine right which Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Richard II. is an 
anachronism : 

NdI kll Lhc waten io th« w;dc rough tea 

The bKkth ai oorli^y men unnol dcpoK 
Ths deputy clcclcd by the Lord. 

These words belong not to the fourteenth century, but in germ, perhaps, to 
the closing years ol the sixteenth and the commencement of the seventeenth. 
It is noticeable aJso that it is the mere fact of kingship, and not hereditary 
right, which is insisted upon. So, in " Hamlet," the usurper and murderer. 
Claudius, holds himself secure, for that 

ThcR'i Bidi ctl<4iriiy doih hedR a king, 

Thit treuoo CUD but peep to Aal it would. 



it identi^ divine right with hereditary title, in which both E 
and James I. were lacking. The revolutions against Charles I, and James II. 
were the practical answer to their claims, and with the linal expulsion of the 
Stuarts, and the establishment of a Whig king in William III., the doctrine 
died a natural death. In the reign of Queen Anne we lind it turned into 
ridicule by Pope in the well-known line, which sums up all its absurdity with 
rare epigrammatic force, — 

The tight diviiK of kion Io Eovcm wrong. 

DMiuiad,'&x't\i.,\. iBS. 
The befinnlogi of this ctabn to Divine Right go back ago bvyond the " Zcua-nurlurcd 

aac««tor-wonhip. Modvo anthropology hai made it guite clear to ua ihat ali over the 
world, whatever great pidi Bay !« worabipped u well, the imajler godl of every iribc and 
(very bmily an ita own dead anceiton. But while each tamily McnGm to in pariiinilar 



and the U% 



Iter pro^niton^— the tribe ai : 



dtea out very ilowiy. It i> Chrutiaiiiaed and uaDirbnued. but not dealroyed. The King of 
Obbo, who catia hb people (ogether in litnca of drought, and demands aoaia and corn of them 



_., . ....Klnaof Obbohaahu^ couoleipa'n in liie*SiU'rt _ 

fell upon the people ai a puniihmeni Ibr their pariiclpatkin in the i 
iBODicaJ power of eariy chleftaiu over demoru and diKihi turvived la 
b ue practice of touching lor iiing'a evil. The (acred peraon of I 
aacred to Ihb day belbre the Engiiih law. And if the Egyptiatu and 
Pharaohi or thdr Incu to be incarnate deitiea it waa in the age of 
BsaHiel llared diltinctl)' to lay, " Kinga are godl, and ihare In a de 
pendance." Tbcie an not mere fcrapa and lau of coiLttly aduladi 
wadaya to believe ; the cioaer one looki at ' 



It' they are actually inrvlraja of thought I 
ility the li.-' ■■ — " -■- — ' ' ' 



, ._ s living god, and the god waa in reality the dead lung.-.GBAi'T Au-ak, in ijrnkm 

Doctor* disagree. Pope's lines are well known, — 
Who aball decide when docion dliagice. 

And ttmuirv caiuiau doubt like you and me t 

Mural Eiiayi, Ep. lii. 

In the first line Pop« is simply versifying a common proverb. CuthbertBede 
wriles to NoUt and Queriei (March 10^ 1S83), " In a manuscript on a theologi- 
cal subject, apparently written about a ranlury ago, I came upon another vei* 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



Ferluipa Ibis variation may be woiih noting." 

Dog. QiT« a dog ao ill nuna and hang him. This s«cms to be a 
more modern veraion of the provecb given by Ray in the foim, " He that 
would hang his dog gives out tirst (hat he is mad," and explained thus; " He 
that is about to do anything disingenuous, unwoilhy, and of evil fame first 
bethinks him of some pfaosiue pretence." The Spanish proverb corresponds 
exactly with Ray's, " Quien i su perro quiere matar labia le ha de levantar ;" 
and so does the Italian " Qui vuol ammazar il suo cane, basta che dica di' k 
arrabbiato," and the French "Qui veut noyer son chien, I'accuse de la rage." 
The German " Wenn man den Hnnd schlagen will, findet man bald ein 
Stecken" has its exact equivalent in that other English proverb, " It is easy 
to find a Slick if you want to beat a Anf,." But the saving which heads this 
article has modified its meaning into " As well hang a dug as give him a bad 
name," and, indeeti, is not unknown in that verbal dress. The same sentiment 
reappears in the English " He that hath an ill name is half hanged," and the 
more daring French " Rumor hangs the man" (" Le bruit pend l^omme"). 

Do^ Tha under. The phraj 
be a modem one, and may have 1 
by David Barker, which ran as ibllovrs : 

The Under Doc in tkb Fight. 

I Imov thtt the world, dutr the gmt big woHd, 

From tlic peuul up to the kino, 
Hu > difleiail tile from the lale I lell, 

And a dJOercDt ■ong w HDg. 

Bui for me.—ud I cue not a tlnele fig 

If iber lay I un wnm* or un right,— 
I khall kJway* go in for ibe weaker dog, 

For the under dog lu the light. 

I know that ihc world, that (he great big world. 

To ■« ^^h'lW m^ be°m the fault, 
But will shout fCFT the dog on top. 



Bu with hian and with glui filled chock to the brim, 
Here b lock lo the under dog ( 
The song, il will be seen, though excellent in sentiment, is hardly what one 
would call a poetical gem. Vet il is worth saving as a curiosity and as the 

Canmable original <M a common phrase. Of course the song might have 
n written to fit the phrase. An edition of Mr. Barker's poems was pub- 
lished in 1S76 by Samuel S. Smith & Son, of Bangor, Maine. 

Doloe far ntento. This phrase, freouent enough in English literature, 
does not seem 10 occur in any Italian author of note. Huwells says that he 
tbiind it current among Neapolitan lazxaroni, but it is not included in any col* 



244 HANDY.BOOK OF 

several Latin cipresBions 
ir'lew remote descendant. Thus : 

DvlceeM doipenin loco (" ll ii •grceibleta revel oni fit occuioa").— Hchack: Odtt. 
A writer in the English Notts aid Queriei (liflh series, vul. x. p. 44S) suggests 
that (he phrase is an incorrect Ibrm fur " II dolce non far niente," — ur, " The 
amiable man does nothing." — which, though not convincing, is pcwsible. The 
ptuverbial literature of every country is full of sayings in which amiability is 
rightly classed among the vices. 



a dollar. 

the name. It is not a distinctive American word. One may find it duly 
entered in Bailey's Dictionary of 1745. Nay, it may be traced farther back 
than Bailey's time. Shakespeare uses it repeatedly. In " Macbeth," for 
example, are these lines: 

Nor imuld n deign him burial »( hk men 

TUl be dbbunM u Si. CalnH't Inch, 

In Shakespeare's time there was no English coin known ai a dollar. 
Numismatists are aware that an Eng)ish dollar was struck off for the first and 
the last time in 1804. It is known as the Bank of England dollar. Where, 
then, did Shakespeare find the word dollar ? It is merely a corruption of the 
German thaler. That, in lis turn, originally meant something belonging to or 
coning from a vale or valley, — the first Ihilcrs having been coined about 1486 
In the Bohemian valley of Joachimsthal. Thcv corresponded quite closely 
to (he modern American dollar. Under Charfcs V., Emperor uf Germany, 
King of Spain, and Lord of Spanish America, the German thaler became the 
coin of the worliL 

The origin of (he dollar-mark is not quite so easy of solution. Indeed, it 
cannot be said that it has yet been satisfactorily solved. Many explanations 
have been ofleted. All are plausible, none are convincing- The most usual 
one claims Ihal the mark comes from the letters U. S., which used to be pre- 
fixed lo the Federal currency, and which afterwards in the hurry of writing 
were run into each other. Another explanation makes it a corrupted form 
of the notation |, denoting a piece of eight reals, or, as the do)lar was formerly 
called, a piece of eight. A more learned and ingenious explanation traces the 
dollar-mark all the way back (o primeval antiquity. From prehistoric limes 
pillars have been used to signify strength and soverei^n(y. In ancien( Tyre 
they were reverenced as sacred symlrols. Tyrlan coma bore (wo pillars as 
supporters of the general device. When Mcleanthus, the Tyrian explorer, 
founded (he ci(y known in mudern limes as Cadiz, he planted there the Tyrian 
symbols of sovereignty, and built over them a temple to Hercules. In due 
course as Cadiz gained power and wealth the pillars of Hercules became her 
metropolitan emblem, and the name acquired further bme from being given (o 
(he two mountains that stand at the entrance to the Mediterranean. 

When Charles V. was crowned Emperor of Germany he incorporated the 
Imperial and Spanish arms, the pillars of Hercules being made supporters of 
the device. The standard piastre coined in (he Imperial mint at Seville gained 
the name of " colonnato," or '■ pillar piece," from the pillars prominent in its 



LITERAR Y CURIOSITIES. 845 

dollv-mark is a tesuscitalion of an old Spanish symbol, and thai in its 
turn was Ihe revival of an older cusiom. For ihoi^h Ihe Tyrians were not 
the fiisi lo coin money, tbey were foremost in giving it general circulation ; 
their coinage was ilie currency of ihe world. Hud its device ihe recognized 
money symbol. The pillar pieces of Charles V. were Ihe legilimalc descend- 
ants of the pillar pieces of the Tynans. Another curious, though accidental, 
analogy between the Spanish and the American dollar is suggested by the ' 
name which (he former gave to their coin, — ■fiaitrt. Now, this means a plaster, 
and the word plaster or shinplaster is a well-known slang lerm for a paper 
dollar, used especially during the Revolutionary and civil wars. 

DoUar would go fortber la ttioae day*. When William M. Evaits 
was Secretary of State he aci^ompanied Lord Coleridge on an excursion to 
Mount Vernon. Coleridge remarlied that he had heard it said (hat Washing- 
ton, standing on ihe lawn, could Ihrow a dollar clear across the Polomac Mr. 
Evarts explained that a dollar would go further in those days than now. 
Shirley Brooks, however, had anticlpaied Evarts, in (he following/m d'lsprit: 
li Keos ihal ihe Scou 
Turn oul much belter fhott 
At lon^ diUKDce ihui niDBi of [be Engtubmen art : 



Sfiufiu c. 

IS made almost one hundred years before by 
leaving the Bedford colfee-house (oge(her, 
wnen oarncK oroppen a guinea. " Where can it have gone ?" said Foo(e, 
after they had humed for 1 1 awhile. "Gone lothedevil,! think," said Gar- 
riclt, impatiently. " Well said, David I" cried Foote ; " let you alone for 
making a guinea go further than anybody else I" Foote was continually gird- 
ing at Garrick for his parsimony. — unjustly, as Johnson insisted. "Garncl^" 
said Foote, "walked out with the intention of doing a generous action, but, 
turning the corner of a street, he met the ghost of a halfpenny, which 
iiightened him." When once asked how he could place Gatrick's bust on 
his bureau, Foote replied, " I allow him to be so near my gold because he has 
no hands." 

Dont HA It. In Stone's " Life of Sir William Johnson," iL 337, it is 
stated that a distingaished Mohawk Indian, Abraham, at the treaty at Fort 
Stanwix, in 1770, said 10 Sir William, " You told us that we should pass our 
time in peace, and travel in securitv ; tbal trade should flourish, and goods 
abound, and that tbey should be sold to us cheap. This would have endeared 
all the English to us j iutwt do iMtitf it." This is apparently (he first use of 
Ibil now familiar phrase. 

Doubl* antondl*, a word or phrase with a double meaning, one of which 
is indelicale or at least obscure. The expression has been coined nut of two 
French words, dmibit, " double." and entendre, " lo hear." But it is not French, 
for it is unknown in France, and sounds as absurd to a French ear as (he literal 
"double to hear" would to an English ear. The nearest Gallic equivalent 
would be iM nml d double entaile, " a word with a double meaning ;" but even 
that would not have the ulterior sense which we have read in(o the manu- 
factured phrase. And although (he expression has been domesticated in 
English, has been used by good writers, and may be found in good dictionaries, 
it is so gross a blunder that one cannot help hoping the common usage which 

has sanctioned it so Cu' will eventually yield to reason and cr 

31» 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



In Mrmariam, xcvl. u. j. 

Donghfaoa*. A tenn of contempt applied by the Aboliiiunista to the 
' Northern Democrats who sympatbited with slavery- It was afterwards 
merged into the more expressive term " Copperheads.^' In (be " Memoirs of 
Thurlow Weed," ii. 417, it is staled that this term was originally applied to 
that Wnch or the Ijemocrai^ who lived in Ihe North and yet ap])Toved 
of the caucDs measure passed in 183S which required all bills pertaining to 
the holding of staves to be laid on the table without debate. This measure 
identified the party as it then existed with the slave-holding interest 

John Randolph is also quoted as having called the " baser sort of Northem 
demagogues" doughfaces. Randolph, however, spelled (he word d-o-e, ia 
allusion to the timid animal that shrinks from seeing its own face in the 
water. {Mfmoruil 0/ Gftrrgc Bradbum, Boston, 1883.) 

Dovralng Street, famous in London as (he street whereon stands the official 
residence of the First Lord of the Treasutv, was, strangely enough, named 
after a na(ive American. Geoi^e Downing, Wn in Boston. Massachusetts, in 
1614, graduated at Harvard College in 1642. and soon after went (o England 
and became chaplain to Okev's regiment of the Parliamentary army. Oliver 
Cromwell, taking a fancy to the young man, made him residen( minister at the 
Hague, where he ingratiated himself with (he exited Stuarts, After Ihe 
Restoration, he was made a baronet in 1663, and in 1667 Secretary to the 
Treasury, building himself a fine house in what Strype calls a "pretty open 
place, having a pleasant prospect inio St. James's Park, with a Tarras-walk." 
He subsequently built other houses (here, and thus made Ihe street, which is 
only a New York "block" in length. In 16S4 he died, and his baronetcy 
eiipired with his grandson in (764. Lee, I^rd Lichfield, bought one ot 
Downing's houses, and forfeited it (o the crown when he tied from England 
with James II. in i6Sg. George I. gave it to the Hanoverian minister, &Ton 
Bothmar, for life, and on (he latter's death George II. offered it (o Sir Robert 
Walpole, who would accept it only as an oHicial residence, to be forever 
atUched to the office of First Lord of the Treasury. As the First Lord of 
the Treasury has usually been Prime Minister as well, Downing Street is 
often figuratively spoken of as the English government. Thus, Hillard says, 
"Let but a hand of violence be laid upon an English subject, and Ihe great 
British lion which lies couchant in Downing Street begins to ulter menacing 
growls and shake his invisible locks." 

TttSW. This word, from its muKiplicity of meanings, has been a boon (o 
the punster. Thus, when Charles Mathews was asked what he was going (o 
do with his son, who had been destined for an architect, " Why," answered 
the comedian, "he is going to draw houses, like his father." A similar joke, 
credited to various wags, represents each as asked, when informed that some 
one drew very well, " Can he draw an inference f" Below a few more instances 
are collated : 

1 could dm* on wood w a vciy lender ■a:e. When a nwir clitid I once drew ■ iBuU cut- 
toad of niniipA over a wooden Lmdtfe. The people of tbe vLlla)^ noticed me. I drew thdr 
•innikui.-C. F. Biiiwhi: ArUmui IVar/i LicIht,. 

To A Rich Lady. 

TTie iimefti] ivory k^ : 
Aa quite fofficc for n«. 



;i:,vG00gk" 



UTERAR Y CURIOSITIES. 



Punch. 

- Vou didn't Imov 1 dnv ! I louDl U ichwl." 
" Pcrhftpi you only luimi lo draw your swordT" 



of ihiug-— And ihoufh I diA« il mild, 
-haw [ R«w I— tluit nuy he aJled my /&r«." 
iihinlLyou'llgo 



YKIlul- 

"Ohfiot ,- 

For nuking such a heap c( focAaii muuV 
"Why, lo the Punjaub, 1 ihuuld ihlnk— haw 



JO ,y . c. ]. Cailki: Lat Afftreat. 

Droit d« grenonllle. When the loid in France had s son and heir barn, 

the peasants irere obliged to watch all night beating the ponds, so that the 
frogs should not disturb the baby ; this was called droit dt tUtnct dti grenouiiUs. 
Dickens tnakes mention of it in his "Tale of Two Cities," where the dying 
peasanl-t>oy denounces (he nobles ; " Vou know, doctor, that it is among the 
rights of these nobles to harness us common dogs to carts and drive us. . . . 
Vou know that il is among their rights to keep us in their grounds all njs'i'i 
quieting the fri^s, in order that Iheir noble sle^p may not be disturbed. They 
kept him out in the unwholesome mists at night, and ordered him back into his 
harness in the day." 

DnokB and drak«« is, in the words of an old author quoted by Brand, 
" a kind of sport or play with an oister-shell or stone thrown into the water, 
and making arcles yer it sinke." If the stone emerges once it is a duclc, and 
faicteases in the following order : 

1, a, A duck and a drake, 

3 And a halfpenny cake. 

4 And a penny id pay the dM taker ; 



From this game probably originated the phrase "making ducks and drakes 
with OTte's money," — i.e., throwing it away heedlessly. An early instance of 
the use of the phrase may be found in Strode's " Floating Island," Sig. C. iv. 
Butler, in " Hudibras" [Canto iii. line 30), makes it one ofthe important quali- 
fications of his conjurer to tell 

What lieuxed »lata are beU to make 

On wai'iy lurface di'ck or diake. 

among the Romans, and is alluded to 









Jf London 1« 




■ghty 


louid never 


''b^" 


ablei 


ID >pend il. , 


TOUld uiually 1 


inake 








boys are w< 


int to do with 












thevaibiui' 


'be. 




hoe 




jmedy— Hi 


imi 


(PK»I 


:tu.»: Tlul 


VcrU>'/~Pf> 


IV.' 



or. A CoMlirM la Kitf tlsnty, Lond 

Dad« (feminine, Dudlue or Dndette), in American slang, a swell or 
masher, the personification of cloifaes and nothing else. The term probably 
aroee from the colloquial English duds or dudes (Scotch duddies), meaning 
dolhes. Thus, Thackeray says, " Her dresses were wonderful, her bonnets 
marvellous. Few women could boast such dudes." Shakespeare, in "The 



248 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Merry Wives of Windsor," Act iii., Sc 5, tpeaks of » " bucke of dudes," — i.e., 

a bucket-shaped ba~'~~~ ' "~- -'—■-— — ■- • — — -■ — -' 

the New York Evti 
" In the ' Eunuchus 



which litetally ttansUied into English would read, ' He seemed a dude, 
because he was decked oul in a vest of many colors.'" In sober lact, the 
eailiest lileiary appearance of (he word dud or dude as applied 10 a person is 
in Putnani'i Magatine for February, 1876: "Think of her? I think she is 
dressed like a dud ; can't say how she would look in the costume of the pres- 
ent century." This would seem to dispose of Ihe claims put forward by the 
ftiends of Mr. Hermann Oelrichs, of New York, that one day silting at the 
Union Club window he saw a much overdressed youth with a mincing gajt 

Brading along FiAh Avenue, whereupon one of the clubmen in concert with 
r. Oelrichs began humming an accompaniment to the step, thus; " Du da, 
de, du-du, du, de, du." "That's good I" said Mr. Oelrichs j "it ought to be 
called a dude." And dude it has been called ever since. 



I Thay'r* both ditia.'-Cltiaifa Liflil. 
Dumb Ox, or SioUlan O^ or Ofeat Dninb SioUlaa Ox, a nickname 
given to St. Thomas Aquinas by his companions in the monastety at Cologne, 

because of his Pythagorean taciturnity, his sleek corpulence, and his plodding 
industry. His master, Albertus Magnus, not knowing himself what to think, 
took occasion one day befote a large assemblage >o interrogate him on very 
profound questions, to which the disciple replied with so penetrating a sagacity 
that Albert turned towards the youths who surrounded his chair, and said, 
" You call brother Thomas a ' dumb ox,' but be assured that one day the noise 
of Us doctrines will be heard all over the world." 

Lmci/tr. Of ■ trulh It almou makci dm liugfa 
To »« mol teaviu tha eolclen niUOj 
To galba in pllu Ois plitful chaff 
Thu old Peter Loinbvd ihiufaed wiih h>9 bniD, 
To tiAY< it ckiuht up and loued tnln 
Od Ibe benu 3 Ibc Dumb Oi o( Coliwiie. 

More complimentary titles which the saint won in later days, or posthumously, 
were Doctor Angelicas (" Angelic Doctor"), Doctor Mirabilis (" Wonderful 
Doctor"), the Father of Moral Philosophy, the Fifth Doctor of the Church, 
and the Second Augustine, — all tributes to his learning, eloquence, and logic 

Dun is a word now wh< 
the English language, fi „ „ 

England oamed John Dun became celebrated as a (irst-class collector of bad 
accounts. When others would fail to collect a bad debt, Dun would be sure 
to get it out of the debtor, It soon passed into a current phrase that when a 
person owed money and did not pay when asked, he would have to be 
" Dunned." Hence it soon became common in such cases to say, " You will 
have to Dun So-and-so if you wish to collect your money." 

Donmow Flltob. At the church of Dunraow, in Essei County, England, 
a flitch of bacon used to be given to any married couple who after a twelve- 
month of matrimony would come forward and make oath that during that 
time they had lived in perfect harmony and fideNty. The origin of the custom 
it lost in the mitt* of antiquity. By some it ■• dubiously referred to Robert 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 349 

Fitnralter, a bvorite of King John, who revived the Dunmow Priory at Ihe 
beginning of Ihe thirteenth cenEary; but it seems quite aa iikely that the 
good fathers themselves, rejoicing in their celibacy, instituted the custom as 
a jest upon their less fortunate jeliovrs. The earliest recorded case of the 
awarding of the flitch is in 1445, when Rictiard Wright, of Badbury, Norfolk, 
a laborer, claimed and obtained it But that there had been earlier cases of 
similar success is clearly evidenced by this couplet in Chaucer's " Wife of 
Bath :" 

The bacon wu n« lei f« ibem, 1 Irow, 

Thw fame men have id Enei u Duumow. 
The custom seems to have lapsed and been revived from lime to time at con- 
siderable intervals until 1763. when the lord of Ihe manor discountenanced it, 
and removed what were known as the "swearing-stones," upon which Ihe 
couple knelt to Cake Ihe requisite oaths. In 1S55, however, Harrison Ains- 
worth, Ihe novelist, himself the author of a story called "TheDunntow 
Flitch," resolved to revive the custom, and a couple of tlilches were in thai 
year given away with much burlesque ceremony. But the popular interest 
coula not be reawakened, and though in 1877 and in tS8o the flitch was again 
contested for, the contemporary reports tells us that "Ihe attendance was 
poor and the true joyous spirit nas absent" The custom of awarding a prize 
of this sort for wedded faithfulness is not peculiar to Dunmow. For a cen- 
tury the abbots of St Meleine, in Bretagne, gave the flilch ; and a like trophy, 
with a gift of meal or corn, was enjoined to be given by the charter of the 
manor of Whichenouvre, in Stafford, granted in the time of Edward IH. 
The manors of Whichenouvre, Scirescot, Kedware, Nethetlun, and Cowler 
were held of the earls of Lancaster by Sir Philip de Somerville on condition 



' should maintain and sustain one bacon flyke to be given to every 
" ■' ' " ^ ' -■ ■ marriage were past, provided 

ong to reprint. Ad 
the whole charter in the Spectator, No. 607, October 15, 1714. 



could subscribe 



in after the day and year of their marriage were past, provided they 



At Danmow the form of the oath as it has come down lo us, evidently re- 
cut by a comparatively modem hand, is as follows : 

Tbal you nver mod* any nuplial Dussreuian, 

SliKc you were muiied to your wife. 

By iwdkchold bnwl or contenllous itiite ; 

Or •ince ike ptiUi dak Kiid (men 

WikMl yonrieir Btmuriect >(*lii ; 

Or Ibr ■ i ii»l nm oiHh ud ■ day 

Repenied not, in ihonchi, any way ; 

Bui coatiniied true and in deabe 

Aa when you joined hands Ln boly choir; 

If to ihOH condilioDs, wElhouE aay fear, 

Of your own accord, you will frwy iwear, 

And t>ear it home wiih love and good ieave, 
Tlie ipoii 1> oun, the bacou'i your own. 
It is said that at the conclusion of the first year of Queen Victoria's reign 
the flitch was sent her in recognition of her rightful claims, but was returned 
on the grounds that it " was not an article in use in her majesty's kitchen." — 
Notetand Queries, seventh series, x. 234. 

Doraaoe vile. This phrase is lo be found in Burns's " Epistle from Esopus 
to Maria :" 

But the same expression was used by W. Kenrick In his " FaliilafT's Wed- 



»SO HANDY-BOOK OF 

ding," pablUhed in 1766. Il ii also to be found in Barlce's "Thoughts on 
the Cause or the Recent Discontents," published in 1773 : " It will not be 
amiss to lake a view of the effects of this loyal servitude and durance rile." 
Before either of these, however, Shakespeare, in the " Second Part of King 
Henry IV,," Act v., Sc 4, makes Pistol say, " In base durance and conta- 
gious (irison ;" and in " King John," Act iii., Sc. 4, occurs the phrase " In the 
vile prison," 

Dnat, A slang t< 

the term may have . . .— - - — 

philosophers call dross. " l>uwn with the dust" is an old equivalent for " Hand 
out your money." Dean Swift, so the story runs, once preached a charily 
sermon at St. Patrick's, Dublin, the length of which disgusted many of his 
auditors ; which coming to his knowledge, and it falling to his lot soon after 
to preach another sermon of the like kind in the same place, be look special 
care to avoid falling into the former error. His text <x\ the second occasion 
was, " He (hat hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord, and that which 
be hath given will he pay him agam." The Dean, after repeating his text in 
a more than commonly emphattial lone, added, " Now, my beloved brethren, 
you hear the terms of this loan; if you like the security, down with your 
dusL" 

Dust In the syea, To tiirow, to bewilder, to conhise with specious a^u- 
raenL The metaphor is so obvious thai it might seem futile to trace it to any 
particular source. Yel it is not improbable that it was first used with special 
reference to the common militaiy expedient resorted to among others by 
Epaminondas. Wishing to steal a march upon the Liacedxmonians near 
Tegea and seize the heights behind (hem, he made sixteen hundred of his 
cavalry move on in front and ride about in such manner as to raise a great 
cloud of dust, which the wind carried into the eyes of (he enemy, under cover 
whereof he execuled a successful flank movement and carried his point 
(PuLYANUS : Slralagaia,vi. 3, 14). The same authority mentions that Caesar 
wrested Dyrrachium from Pompeyin a similar manner. And Plutarch credits 
the stratagem (o Sertorius. 

Ontoh (loarage, artificial courage inspired by intoxicating drink, the ad- 
jective Dutch being a play upon the name " hollands," or Holland gin. 

PuLL away ml the luquebnigh, nuD. and Bwallow Dutch cDimic, ■Incc ihinc Engluh Is 
ooied vmvf. — Kihcslbv : Wtttumrd ilo I cb. xi. 

a sham tlefence, probably influenced by the bet that 



opibe nnitoa vi 

Dateb nnolo, To talk like a, a proverbial phrase, meaning to talk 
severely, to reprove sharply. The Dutch were held to be unusually severe 
in their military discipline, and an uncle, from the time of the Roman patnmt, 
like a stepfather, has always been held to be a sorry substitute for a deati 
&(hei. Horace, in his third Ode, lii. 3, has the phrase " dreading the castiga- 
tions of an uncle's tongue" (" metuentes palrux verbera linguK"). But there 
may also be some etymological connection with (he phrase " Dutch cousin," a 
humorous perversion of "cousin.geiman." 



Coogk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. sgi 

ts mainly used to indicate an impoisible contingency. It is thus explained by 
Luke (he miller to Maggie Tulliver in " The Mill on the Floss" : " Nay. miss. 
I'n no opinion o' Dutchmen. My old master, as war a knowin' man, used to 
say, says he, ' if e'er I sow my wheat wi'out brinin', I'm a Dutchman,' says he ; 
and that war as much as to say as a Dutchman war a fool, or next door." 
1 hcfvby ^Tc Doiicv that 



«^' 


'^J«& 


«.JS 


u pay more to oihitn, I find, UiM to 
t Ydlcwplu^h. i ihall wrilE no more 








,hMi^iidwith»dw»inB 












mply 




in.ohk 


Kill, my d 


utyloar»k°-°°BSdl?hJ 




com rib 






inc. and ought to be paid 
orlhe Bill. Fti«.. fata 








iihiy Dune, 


■Ai; 


Litttr 


It Jam 


«j >■«.«■, 


frtfriilir tf FraMt"! 



B, Ihe fifth letter and second vowel in Ihe English alphabet In PhtEnician 
the name of the sign was Ju (doubtfully explained as meaning " window"), and 
it was used simply as an aspirate ; in Greeli il was first utilized for a vowel 
aound, otiginally as either lung or short. Later (he double value was aban- 
doned, and e was restricted to denoting the short sound, as In English met 
The double value was restored in Latin, and has been retained in most modern 
alphabets. In English the letter does duty for a larger variety of sounds 
than in any other language, and is, moreover, used as an orthographic auxiliary 
to modi^ other sounds while its own value is suppressed, — e.g., in such words 
as lilu, mutf, etc, where it governs the sound of /and tr, and as manag^ble, 
where it preserves Ihe soft sound of the^. etc It is, consequently, the most 
overworked letter in Ihe alphabet. Decipherers of cryptograms, for instance, 
have discovered that when Ihe cryptogram is a simple one, the first step is to 
look upon the sign oi symbol which makes its appearance most frequently as 
standing for e. 

Bploilbiu nntunC One from many"), the Latin motto on American crniia 
and on the obverse of the great seal of the United States. The motto was 
originally proposed on August to, 1776, by the committee of three — Benjamin 
Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson — who had been appointed to 
prepare a device for Ihe seal. Bui the device itself being rejected, it was not 
until June to, 1782, that the motto was adopted as pari of Ihe second and suc- 
cessful device submitted by Charles Thomson, Secretary of Congress. (See 
Seal.) In 1796, Congress further ordained that the legend shouldappear on 
one side of certain specified coins. Both on the seal and on the coins it is in- 
scribed upon a scroll issuing from an eagle's month. The phrase " E pluribus 
una" or "unus" Is found in various classical authors. In "Morelum," a 
poem ascribed to Virgil, the species of pottage which forms at once the title 
and the subject is described as being made of various materials which the 
peasant grinds up in a pestle. Then, says the |>nel, — 
It mpDui io gynim ; paullatim lineulA vires 

Horace asks (Epistle ii. 2, 212), "Quid te exempta juvat spinis de pluribus 
ana?" Juvenal has a like locution. For nearly half a century before our 
Union, English magaiines had carried Ihe motto " E pluribus ununi" or 
"tuta," by way of noting that the new publicatiim was Ibe work of manj 



;i:,vG00gk" 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



Statu, 



B, ID Amtman NtUn a 
bumDmn. Oaclrai 
toy Rcpublici. Sutc 



. nuDv. Tbit i<. one Suic or Nuion— one Kederat Republic 
.. 0[ Naiiooi.— Albxandeh H. fiTEPHnNS: War tilntn llu 

B poi ■! mnove (It., " Nevertheless it does move"). This Tamous phrase, 
pul into the mouth of Galileo, is an unduubted fabricaliun. The good old 
story, in its integrity, ran, thai Galileo was thrown into the dungeonH of the 
Inquisition for teaching that "the sun is the centre of the world, and im- 
movable, and that the earth moves, and also with a diurnal motion," that he 
was tortured and his eyes put out, and that he was forced to recant in a hair 
shirt, but as he rose from the kneeling posture in which he had signed his 
recantation he whiaiiered to a friend, " E pur si muovc." The facts in the 
case as now generally accepted arc, that Galileo was held in detention in the 
palace of the Inquisition for doctrines uttered in 163Z, that ihoiagh he just!]' 
resented the curtailment of his liberty he was handsomely lodged and treated 
with the utmost consideration, that in 1&33 the council decided that Galileo be 
absolved from all the penalties due to his heresies provided he first solemnly 
abjured them, that but seven of the ten cardinals composing the council 
signed this sentence, and that Galileo humbly professed his recantation, where- 
upon Urban VIII. exchanged imprisonment for temporary banishment near 
Rome, and afterwards to Siena. The famous phrase "E pur si muuve" was 
never uttered, — though it may very well be assumed to be a representation in 
words of what must nave been Galileo's thoughts at the time. Its first ap- 
pearance in print has been traced to the "Lehrbuch der phtlosophischen 
G«schichtc," published at Wiirzburgin 1774; "Galileo was neither sufficiently 
in earnest nor steadfast with his recantation ; fur the moment he roue up, when 
his conscience told him that he had sworn falsely, he cast his eyes on the ground, 
stamped with his foot, and exclaimed, '£ pur si muove.'" 

In conclusion, it may be added that Catholics claim, with Bergier, that 
Galileo was not persecuted as a good aslrnnomer, but as a bad theologian : 
" il ne Tut point persi^cute comme bon astronome, mais comme mauvais 
th^logien" [Dictiotituiire Tkiglogiqut, 17S9). Protestants, however, and others 
who are loath to lose such polemical capital as is still afforded by the story, 
claim thai the sentence on Galileo included a statement that his views were 
philosophically false. Into the merits of this controversy it would be useless 

XUgle as an amblom. From ancl 
has been looked upon as the symbol of royal or imperial power. 
ensign of the Babylonish, Persian, and Etruscan kings, as well as of the 
Ptolemies and the Seleucides. It was also adopted by the Roman Republic in 
B.C. 87, when a silver eagle poised on a sjwar, with a thuuder-bolt in its claws, 
was placed on the military standards borne at the head of the legions. The 
emperors retained the symbol, Hadrian changing the metal from silver to 
gold. An eagle was always let fly from the funeral pyre of ?.n emperor, to 
Bear his soul up to Olympus. Hence the eagle has become esjjecially associ- 
ated with imperialism, and when Napoleon dreamed of universal conquest he 
revived the golden eagle of his Roman predecessors on his standard Dis- 
continued under the Bourbons, it was restored by a decree of l^auis Napoleon 
in iStl. A two-headed eagle, as a sign of double empire, was first used by 
the Byiantine Caesars to denote their control both of the East and of the 
West The double eagle of Kiuaia came into being with the marriage fA 
Ivan I. to a Greek princess of the Eastern Empire, and that of Austria wbui 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 253 

the Emperor of Getmany took the title of Roman Emperor. FrussJa and 

Poland also have each an eagle, the one black, (he other white. 

Tbe American eagle is the native bald eagle, and was first adopted on the 
seal of the United Slates (see Shal) on June 30, 17SZ, against the bitter op- 
position of Franklin. The latter looked upon it »s a Cxsarean emUem, and 
wanled to know what was the matter with the wild turkey, as being more dis- 
tinctly American and a bird suiaofris. Nevertheless, the eaele was accepted 
not only on Ihc seal but on the first coin issued by the United States in 1795, 
and on a majority of the sulwequcnt coins. He usually looks inebriated but 
defiant, often wears a shield for a chest- protector, and sometimes shakes in 
his beak what looks like a ring of nice country sausages. Franklin was 
always fond of poking fun at this ornithological monstrosity, as in the following 
extract, refeTrine (o the eagle borne on a bai^e which had been presented to 
the Society of the Cincinnati ; 

Olhtn object lo th<? laid figle as looking loo much like the djndDn, or lurkcy. For my 

^«„»™ j„. .„. .5..., ^_^„ "iJ^;^'- ^: ?■"'■■ i" !-'^-' f 

_ _,. He w thoclDK by lit r--r- - 

brave and hopcBi CiDcinnalJ of America, who have driven all the kiD£-blr(U fnm ourcounirv. 

more like a turkey. For, Ln ttulh, Ihe uirkey ii la companion a much more mpeclabie turd, 

but ml the wene imbleoi lor ihat). a bird oF courage, and would not heihale 10 attack a (ren- 

Nevertheless, the e»le had things all its own way, and is still rapturously 
hailed as Ihe "national bird" and "the bird of freedom" by the school of ora- 
tors who indulge in what is familiarly known as spread-eagleism or buncombe. 

In Christian iconography the eagle is the syoibol of St. John the Evancellsl, 
who is often represented on its back soaring up to heaven and gazing unblink- 
ingly at the sun. We And Ihe eagle grouped with the 01, the symbol of St. 
Luke, the lion of St. Mark, and the angel, or human form, of St. Matthew, in 
frescos. Illuminations, carving, and sculpture, from the (ifth century onward. 
St. Jerome, in ihe fourth century, in his commenlaiy 011 the vision of the 
prophet Ezekiel {1. 5), declares the four winged creatures mentioned by the 
prophet, and also by St. John in Revelation (iv. 7), to be the symbols of the 
four evangelists. By the seventh century their use as Christian symbols had 
become universal in East and West. 

It became the custom quite eatty to represent the four symbols of Ihe evan. 
gelists supporting the arnion, from which the deacon reads the gospels, the acts 
of the martyrs, etc., and later the pulpit and lecturn, which developed out of 
the ambon. In many cases Ihe place of honor, immediately under the desk. 



c eagle, Ihe emblem of St. John, soaring above all others, 
old Latin veri 



according 

The outspread wings of the eagle naturally supported the reading.desk : 
thus, when the lecturn took Ihe place of the amion, (here was room for (he 
eagle only, and he retains his place on the ledums in Catholic and Anglican 
churches.' 

BujU, So tbe ■truck. The eagle struck with the dart winded with his 
own feathers is a familiar fisure in lileraturc. Rynin has it, m "English 
Baids and Scotch Reviewers," in the lines commemorative of Kirke White: 

L r. ;i:,. Google 



354 HANDY-BOOJC OF 

So tb« nruck eule, umched upon tbe pUfn, 
No von tliTDUKD TDlling clcwdi la war uud. 
Viewed hb OWD fuiber on the Ikul dan, 
And winged the ilui) that qiuvered in biA hean ; 

He nuned the pinion which impelled the Heel, 
While the ume plumage thai had wnnned hii not 
Dnjalc the Usl liJe-drop uf hii bleeding bruAt, 

On llu Dtalk of KirlH » 

Waller says, in his " LJnes to a L^iiy singing a Song of his 
poaing."— 

Tbe Fule't Isle uid mine ue one. 
Which on the ihaft that made him die 

Whaewith he'd wont to tomi go hi^. 

Moore uses the same Ggute : 

Like ■ young eagle who haa lent hb pinme 

To Bedge the thaii by which he nteu hli doom. 

See their own [ealhen plucked tn wing the dan 

lEachylus has it ihus : 

Said, when he jaw the fashion of (he ihift, 

Tkr ifyrmidtni. Fragment 113. Plumpln'j tn 

opted as his arnis the Ggi 
w leathered with his own plumes {firofiriii configimur 

Bht, In at one, and ont of ttie othsr, a colloquial saying, denoting 
inattention, heedlessness of good advice, in which sense it is most virulently 
applied in the speech a( older people to younger who have failed to profit 1^ 
their admonitions ; children particularly are supposed to have a vacuum be- 
tween the ears, permitting the free passage of a great deal of useful knowledge 
and wise counsel, without creating the desired impression, in which cases the 
phrase vents the chagrin of the Ititor or counsellor. Nevertheless, after the 
manner of proverbs and wise saws, which ever hunt tn couples lor their victim, 
the couples being generally of opposite, often of flatly contradictory, nature, 
even so the feebleness of the retentive (acuity of the very young person is, 
proverbially speaking, made up for by the acutenesa and capacity of the re- 
ceptive, as the saying is, " Little pitchers have big ears," or " Small pitchers 
have wyde eares," as in Heywood's " Proverbs." 

Chulet Lamb ui next Is Kme challcrtng woman at dinner, Obierving that he did doi 

inMI,*for°it ilcame ib'u one e^ au'd'™! out lit the oth«/^£-"jK^i<ni °/ mr ' "' 

Bai, Wrong sow by tbe. This forcible if inelegant mat has a venerable 
»nti<)uity. It is in the " Proverbs" of John Heywood, 11I46, from which we 
can mter this "eliectuall proverbe" was then long familiar to the English 
longne. Ben Jonson uses it in " Every Man in his Humor," Act ii., Sc t, 
"m has the wrong sow by the ear," in the sense of "he reckons without his 
host," which is the accepted and ordinary significance of the phrase. They 
have the same phrase in Spain. When the valiant Don Quixote makes his 
ferocious charge into what he believes to be a mighty army with neighing 
horses and blaring trumpets, but which Sancho Panza clearly enough per- 
ceives to be only a flock of bleating sb«ep, the latter calls to the knight in th« 
midst of his furious onset, — 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



You ucu 



While all England was discussing the effort of King llenty VIII. lo induce 
Clement VII. to grant him a divorce (rom his wife, Catherine of Aragon, 
Thomas Cranmer, who wis then a docliii of divinity at Cambridge, auggesled 
that the question of the legality of a marriage with a deceased brother's wife 
should be submitted to (he universities of Europe. When the king heard of 
the suggestion he is said lo have exclaimed, " He has got the right sow by Ihe 
ear I" and caused him to be sent (or and made his emissary to the universities. 

The Romans had a proverbial expression somewhat similar in form, which 
occurs in Terence : 

Ai the MTiBg b, I lure got ■ wolf by Ihe can. 

FMrrmif, Act iii., Sc. s. 



lis meaning, however, as is apparent, was entirely different, it being a proverb 
for a position of extreme danger or difficulty, like our " catching a Tartar ;" 
accordingly, as Suetonius relates, it was used by Tiberius, who, ^om the fear 



hrealcning him at all hands, affected to refuse the imperial 
power, and when urged thereto would reply, "I have got a wolf by the 

Baily to b«d, early to riae. Proverbial philosophy is full of the benefits 
and advantages to be derived from early rising. One of the best-known forms 
which this proverbial wisdom has taken is the couplet, — 

: Pi-or'sicliatil !ai 17JS, 
who may have got it from Clarke, " Panemiologia" (1639). 

The Muses love the morning, as does the goddess Copia, and "To rise 
with the lark" at "Ihe breeiy call of incense .breathing morn," "sweet with 
charm of earliest birds," is coupled wilh all manner of benefits, material and 
intellectual (thus, "The early bird catches the worm") ; on the contrary, rising 
late is followed by disadvantages innumerable, — i.g. : 

He ihU tiiei tUe muU oat all Dmy. and ihall icme overtake his GnaiDeu M night.— /bur 
RuliardSoTi-}^. 



The " serving' man" is not quite so sure of all this wisdom, who declares,- 
Hy hour U ddhi o'doch, (boueh il u jui infallible rule, " Saoai, ujictificBt, ei ditat, surgere 

DUDe" (" That he may be healthy, happy, and wise, ler him rise early"). — A Htatik to tkr 

Gtntli Prt/titin «/SjTviiiiMlw, IJ9S (rEprlnied in the Saxiurtht l.i(raT)i).-p, Tii. 

And Sancho ?anza is quite sure the philosophers are wrong : 

Heaven'! help ii belter that! early riling,— Z^eii Quiistr, Pan II,. ch. laiiv. 

■he early bird thai pidu up Ihe worm." " Ab." leplled the ion, " but the wonn geti up'eariier 
than (he 'baA."—Jtil-Brai. 

Bua bnming. In his "Vulgar Errors" Sir Thomas Browne tells us, 
"When our cheek bnrnelh or ear tingleth, we usually say that somebody is 
talking of us, which is an ancient conceit, and ranked among superstitious 
opinions by Pliny." He supposes it to have proceeded from the nolion of a 
"signifying genius or universal Mercury (hat conducted sounds lo (heir distant 



356 HANDY-BOOK OF 

sobjecw, and taught us to hwr by touch." According to an old English 
proverb, vhose second line is slightly ambiguoas, the sign is, — 

\jA for love ud right for spile : 

Left or right, good u night. 
Ill case it be the right ear, the sufferer to this day is advised to pinch it, when 
the |)crsoii speaking despitefully will immediately bile his or her tongue. In 
Wiltshire it is customary to cross the ear with the fore&nger, and to say, — 

If VDu're ipeakiDg well or me 

Bu if vou'r ipeiJiiDg ill of me 
J wiib you'll bile your tongue. 

Allusions (o the superstition are common in English literature : 
I Buppoie that day her ears migbl well glow. 
For all Ihe iowd talked of ber.^igb udlDW. 

Hbywhod: Prmrii. 
Tiuil I da credit give unia tbe laying old, 
WUch il, wheiui Ihe eaio doe bunie. (ametbiug on thee is told. 

Tk4 OuItU ,f Cimriau, 158*. 
What fire ii id my ein % 

Muck Ada Aieul NeOUng, Act iU., Sc. i. 
Ooe ear tingles ; Ktmt there be 

tit ingnowa "^'^^^ij.^. ^^j^,.^j 

As to the third example, Ihe exclamation uttered by Beatiice after a vet heating 
the conversation in the bower between Hero and Ursula, there is a dispute 
unonE the authorities, Schmidt and a few others huldine that no allusion is 
intended to the proverbial saying, but that Beatrice simply means, " What lire 
pervades me by what I have heard )" 

BartlL Of tbe eartb, eaitbj. From St. Paul's First Episile to tbe 
Corinthians : 

For u in Adam all die, even to in Chiiit ihall all be made alive. Ii Car. av, 11.) The 
firai man it of ibe earth, eanhy : the Kcoud man u the Lord from heaven. As it the earthy, 
mch arc they also that are earthy : and aa is the heavenly, auch are they alio that arc heavenly. 
And ai we have bome Ihe ioaEe of the earthy, we shall alio bear the image of the heavenly. 
{Ibia. ,?-49 i"-^!.) 

Alva, when asked by Charles V. about an eclipse of the sun which occurred 
in IU7> during the battle of Muhlberg, replied, " I had too much to do on 
earth to trouble myself with the heavens." The phrase has come to be used 
adjectively to denote grossness, or want of refinement, but it is also used in its 



literal sense : 


My heact would heai hec and Uai, 
Were il eailh in an eaithv bed. 


Earth ■ hall. If Bkln& or 
misery or torment. 
Shakespeare has. — 


H«U on earth, a life 01 

to chooie love by anolher's eye 




Mairiage ia a matter of mote 
Than u be dealt in by alloni 


worth 
«,yrt.ip. 




For what i 
An age of 


i. wedlock fawcU 1* 


i«t' 



condition of extreme 



/ftiWT Vl., Ptrt I.. Act T., Se. 1. 

Coo^If 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



Who bai Dol tijtpeiiRbut in h» poatcbion ; 
Who nuH u> her hit dear Hcnd'i kcku icU ; 
Who diBufa > «unim IMUR wone than hell. 

tyna nw« the phrase to describe the joyless life of self-deprivation ol' the 
ucetic or bennit : 

Daep in yon can Honoriua loni did dwell, 

CItildt Hanid, Canlo 1., Soinn xz. 
The dialwne between Paustui and Mephislopheles is an earlj illustration 
of the tise of the term hell to describe a condition rather than a place : 
Fatal. WhEic ut vou dunDed r 
Mtpk. In hell. 

Fauil. Hqw gduh Ii, ihco, thit thou an oat of bell T 
M>M. Why, ifali la hell, nor am I out of it ; 

Tbink'M ihou that I, who aaw the &« of God, 
Am not tormented with ten ihouaand hella 
In being deprived of cveriaaling Uiut 

M*hiowb: FmntttH. 

Moore has almoet the identical thought : 



And so has Milton : 

One ncfi no more t 

Parajiii Lett, Booliiv.,1, it. 
The mind li Ita own place, and In liitir 
C^ make a heaven of belt, a hell of hea>en. 

Ibiil., Book ;., 1. 15*. 

The last with reminiscences of Sir Edward Dyer's " My mind to me a king- 

A place of vice is called a hell, — i.g., gambling-hell. 

Buth, He mmti tha, a slangy colloquialism, applied to one making 
unreasonable or impertinent demands ; also, as an adjective, denoting intense 
greed or selfishness. 

" Want tomeihing, air f " the gnnning ueward cried 

" Oh, Ltqd," the aea-aick paaaenger replied, 
" 1 only want the eanh.'' 

At the last even the moat arrogant must content themselves with the al- 
lotted six feet, even though they be not driven to the extremity of craving it 
as a boon, like Wolsey. who. 



"^" 






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3S8 HAt/DY-BOOK OF 

And these quotations bring to mind the curious verbal analogy between the 

Americanism and the old saying, slill tocallY cxtani in England, when an 

nnbuTied corpse becomes offensive, that il is " calling out loudly for the 

earth." The phrase was evidently in Shakespeare's mind when he wrote, — 

Thai ibii foul deed ihill imcll ibovr tbc eanh 

«mon min groinmg or _^^^_^ Ottar. Acl iii., Sc. i. 

Base in mltiii^ except it be undentood as that ease and flow of style 
which is the perfection of art, is probably a pleasant fiction, or is a notion born 
of roily or affectation. 

Piger icnbendi ftm liboRm ; 



;;at 



ej from him 4 hlol Id hi» papers. — Hgkjk(;r AMD CoNDKLL; Addreu to tfu grtat 
■ly a/KtatUri, in tbc Km foUa Shikupein, 1613. 
Often lum ihe Hyle [ccwrtcl with caro] if you eipecl to wrile anythlnc wgnhy of being 

For ihoUEh ihc Pod'i malKr, Niiucc be. 
His An dolb give ihe fashion. And Ihat he. 

Upon <b( MuKi anvjk ; lun the iime, 
(And hlmwUe with It) Ih« he ihinka to fiame ; 
OtIbrtlHkwtell, he mnygaine ■ srome, 
For s lood Poei'* made, u 

Bin Joibo..: Lin., (.. .. 

Pom ; Eimf an CrUkhm, Pan «., I. 161. 

K™ ; Ima-Uum «? Htraci. Book u., Ep, i., 1. tog. 
Vou write with eue to >how your bnedJng, 
But eaiy wiiting't cur» hud reading- 

Sheridah: CU^^PnUa. 
To be iwell-favond tnu it a gift of fonune, but (o write uid read camei by nature. Writ* 
me down anau.—DocBiRHV. 

Charles Lamb was shown by Richman one of Chalterton'g forgeries. In 
the manuscript there were seventeen different kinds of f's. " Oh," said Lamb, 
"that must have been written by one of the 



surroundings. The emigrant dubs the men and things thai he approves of 
"about east," — i.e., "about ri^ht," — and looks upon that as the highest term of 
approval. Major Jack Downing's famous phrase, " I'd go east of sunrise any 
day 10 see sich a place," has frequentiv been cited as an evidence of the 
--■'■ --astic {though quaintly exaggerated) love borne the East by its Sons. 

le Mr. Horace Mann. In one of hii public addmKi.coniiiienled at imn- length on 
Ity and moral ilgoificance oi the French phrau I'trUilir, and calird on hll 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 159 

Easy aoooaaton, a once Tannous phraw in American politics, based on the 

ciistom obsetved in the early history of Ihe country for a newly-elected Preai- 

1 to hand the purtfolio of Slate to the neil most prominent man in his 



Madison, and John Quincy Adams Monroe. But after a quarter of a century 
the people and the politicians began to murmur at what had come to be known 
as the "easy accession," One of Ihe evidences of this discontent was the 
charge made againsl Henry Clay that he had obtained Ihe office of Secretary 
of State under John Quincy Adams by bargain and corruption. Insteai^ 
therefore, of finding the position a stepping-stone to the Presidency, it proved 
a stumbling-block to Clay. Though he received Ihe nomination, he was 
defeated by Andrew Jackson, and Ihe practice dubbed the easy acceswon came 

Bat to liT« ; Uv« to «at. " Meal, please your majesly, is half a penny a 
peck at Athens, and waler I can gel for nothing," replied Socrales to Kmg 
Archelaus's invitation to leave the dirty streets of his native city and come live 
with him at his sumptuous courL 

" We eat to live : not live to eat" This last remark is attributed to Socrales 
by Diogenes Laerlius and Athenxus, both of whom quote it. According to 
Plutarch, what Socrates said was, " Bad men live that they may eat and drink, 
whereas gotnl men eat and drink that they may live." 

Moliire has the same expression in " L'Avare:" "According to the saying 
of the philosopher of old, il faut manger pour vivre, et non pas vivre pour 
manger" (Act lii., Sc ^). 

Socrates, however, is not with the majority. 

Fielding, in "The Miser," Act Hi., 80.3. renders the phrase from "L'Avare" 
incorrectly, and probably with malice prepense, — 

leans to the side of the sybarites : 



This material enjoyment, however, is at Ihe cost of the spiritual : 

To be in badi worldl lult 
Il more ihu God was, who wa* bimgry bCR ; 
WouJdH tbou Hii laws of futiog disHwul t 



Lay ouiihy joy, yrt hope loiaveiiT 
Wouldsl lliou bolh eat iby calie and h«»o ilt 

Gkohcii HaiiMi: Tlu Tnoflt : TIUSlmi. 

Byron, fallowing Arrian, gives this version of a supposed inscription of the 
Assyrian king 1 

SmrdaHafaim. Aa 1., 5c. 1. 
We conclude with an extract from Burns and one front Owen Meredith 1 



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HANDY-BOOK OF 




Bating one's heart, a sirong but unpleasant expression for ihe self-coi- 
roding mental and moral disquiet which seeks no relief in disburdening itself. 
Bacon, in his essay " Of Friendship," refers the phrase to Pythagoras : " The 
parable of Pythagoras is dark, but true : Car ne edito, — eat not the heart 
Certainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase, those that want friends to 
open themselves unto are cannibals of their own hearts." Bacon's authority 
is proba1>ly Plutarch, who. In " D« Educalitme Puerorum," 17, ascribes the 
" parable" to Pythagoras, eipluning it as a prohibition " to afflict our souls 
and waste them with vexatious cares." 

Spenser, in " Mother Hubberds Tale," has the lines. 

Full little knawai tbau ilui hul mx tridt, 

Whu bell ii i> in tuing tang to bide : 

ToBU thy bevie with comfortieiic dilpuna; 

and Bryant in his •' Iliad," Book i., I. 319,— 

To eu hl> heut IWKy. 

The humorous phrases "lo cat one's 
no real analogy with the sterner phraj 
something impossible of achlc 



or dM.B'1 wart ■■ ere "/V 






len, ifierw'urdl, if A 




asSfcJ.iT'",:, 


r:'Sr.; 










beTog'o^'of™!;, 


4ie>I 1 


£S ETiSi-'^-'ftCS'arr 


iiThU 


.1 lat brought the 
ju'tbeQiuieTie««, 


^'' 


nud. me believe the Huff wo 
■'niealmyhsiil." Thii 


uld mh."— R. 


h'-B<J31 


..ioAW„W0-, 


■ia.t, 


wutbebudBit 


le Offer. 


rith ^ich Mr.Grimwii bmt 


firmed ne«|y e«ry u«mor 


1 he mwlti and 






&I1 c 


even >d«<ii<[n(. Tor the »k< 
tverbroa(bltSth.if>u>wh 


ri'SfSSt; 


'^10' 


'^il^'J^'hitd irSTe'; 


«dHpo.ed,Mr. Grimwii'. 1 
B.«..1i« could h«dly enter 




lunicul 


»rty l>rgt OIK thit 


the ». 


ufn t^^oC b^ins abl. 


= .0 get through it 






. «ry ihicli oai 




.-der.— 0;rt»r Tmi 





Bobo Tanea. These are verses constructed so that the last syllable or 
syllables of each line, being given back as it were by an echo, form a reply lo 
the line itself or a comment upon it. In one of hia very amusing papers on 
" False Wit," Addison has some hard words for this fornt of literary trifling, 
" I find likewise," he says, " in ancient limes the conceit of makine an Echo 
talk sensibly and give rational answers. If this could be excusable in any 
writer, it would be in Ovid, where he introduces the echo as a nymph, before 
she was worn awav into nothing but a voice {Mtlamorfhauj, tii. 379). The 
learned Erasmus, though a man of wit and genius, has composed a dialogue 
apon this silly kind of device, and made use of an echo who seems to have been 
an extraordinary linguist, for she answers the person she talks with in Latin, 
Greek, and Hebrew, accordini; as she found the syllables which she was to 
repeat in any of those learnecl languages. Kudibras, in ridicule of this false 



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LITER ARY CURIOSITIES. a6l 

kind of wit, has described Bruin bewailing ihe loss of his bear lo a aulitaty 
echo, who is of great use to Ihe poet in several dislichs, as she does not only 
repeat after him, but helps out his verse and furnishes him with rhymes." 
The verses alluded to as in " Hudibras" run as follows : 

Th(I Echo, 6viD Ihi hollogr gi^und. 

Man wiitftdly, by many lima, 

QuoIh'Si' " O -hiihw^-ncked bmST^ 
Anthoufledt lomy"— Echo, "Jtiuii." 
" I ihoughl thou 'adsl Kortied to budge m itep 
Fot t«r?' Ouinh Echo. "Mirrv aiut." 



So ^cn in tby quuiel bled ? 
Nor did 1 ever wince or midge it 
Fonhy deuHlu." Quolh ihe. "Musi Jii^A" 
" To run from Ihote thou hadtl o'trcome 
* Thiu connUy." Quoth Echo, "Mui/" 
" Ya ihime and hoooi mighl prevail 

Fof who would grudHe id ipeod bk blood id 
Hiihonor'jcauwt- Quolh ihc-M/MV-V/" 
In spite iif Butler, however, in spite of Addison (who himself, by the way, 
cstnposed an Echo song of indifierent merit), the practice is not unamusing, 
and it has h.id the sanction of many great names in the past. It is even said 
that in the lust tragedy of "Andromeda" the great Eunpidei condescended 
to trifling of this kind. Certainly the Greek Anthology reveals some speci- 
mens, notably an epigram of Leonidas (Book iii. 6) and a short poem com- 
mencing, — 

" "Ax*" ¥^ l™ ovyMfaiHiFW fi— P ri ; 

("Echol IJove: adviKinooDewhal.— Whatr") 

Martial has an epigram on the practice, which shows it was known among 

Ihe Romans, though the einant Latin examples are all of modern date, as, for 

instance, the noted Latin distich made in England after the meeting of the 

Synod of Dort, in l6lS: 

Dordrecbti lynodus, nodus \ chonu inienr, sger ; 
Convennii, vennu ; ■euio lUmmeD.-amen. 

In France, from Ihe time of Joachim Dubellav lo that of Victor Hugo, 
echo verses have been written by men of light and leading. Here are a few 
lines from Ihe famous dialogue lielween Echo and a lover, written by the 
former, which has been the model for numerous similar efforts in other 
languages : 

Qu|*IDij-jt »™> d'enlrer ™ ce puMge*— Sage. 

oli-nDrqudie oTc'lle pour qui J^dunl—Du^! 
Senl^eile tien la douleur qui me point '-Poinl. 



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IIANDY-BOOK OF 





Heaven. 


O who VUI ihoW DU ihoK cklichU DO Ufh 


Thou, Echo 


Ilou ut moiul, iJI mcD lir 




Etiu-Va. 


W« thDU n« 


bom »mong the u« and Ici 






Andirclhen 


u>y leva thai «ill .hide! 




£c*^Bld.. 


Wh« lava 






«etheyt Jn.p«ld«mjJttr 


Arebolyh. 


» Ac Echo. ■'"^J^^f 


Thtn ull mc 


whu li Uul npnin ddighl 




'Ifijl^^h. 


Llghiuthc 


nind^ »h>i ihill Ihc will ajo 




JKAt-Joy. 



, joy. Ml euun ^ti.J'E™"*' 

The fallowing dialogue may not be a better poem than Herbert's, but it Is 
far more apt and ingeiiiuus as question and answer. It is taken from a 
curious volume entitled " Hygiasticun : or the Right Coarse of PreserrinK 
Life and Health unto exlream old Age ; t<^elheT with Soundnesse and 
Integritic of the Senses, Judgement, and Memorie. Written in Laline bf 
Leonaid Lessius, and now done into Englishe. 34mo, Cambridge, 1634." 

Dialogue between a Glutton and Echo. 



Gl. Who cutbi bte appnlie'i 1 

Ci. I'do not like ihii ibiilnavi 

Eelu. 

CI. My joy'i ■ ftui, my will) 



CI. Wlul r Echo, ihou ilut taadkn 1 voice 
Ech,. A yoke. 

Gl. May I mt. Echo, cat my fill T 
Ec/u. Ill 

Gl. WiU'i hun mc if I drisk 100 much T 
Eelu. Much. 

Gl. Thou mock'M ne, nymph ; I'll nol belie 
EcJu. Brfieve'l. 

CI. Do« Ihoo condemn. Ukd. nhu I do I 
Eck,. I do. 

Gl. I ftuil It doth exhaiul the pune. 
Eck,. Wone. 

Gl. Ii't tliil which duJli ihe ihanieil «ll t 

Gl. la't this vhleh bria^itjfirmltietT 

Gl. Whither will'l bKng my laull oilll lell 
Eclu,. T'hell. 

Gl, Do«t Ihou no gialtofu vinuoui klHwF 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 

Gi. Shall 1 ihcniD findc cue uid plaMim t 
Etiu. _ Ya, Hire. 

£iAff. Il briHAt. 

at. To mini] or body t oclaboUiT 
&A». To hoth. 

Ct. Will It my lift CQ unb pnlooiT 
«c*B. dliionel 

<7/, WiU'i mftlu iDB vigoctma uudl dcKih T 
£i-A«. TiU dtwh. 

CI. WiU'i bting OK to eurul UIk T 
£c*a. Yet. 

Gl. Then, •wMoi Tempenuce. I'U Icni tbec 
£i:Aff. 1 love tbec 

CV. TbEti, iwiniiti Clunoolc, I'll late (ba>. 
£r*>>. I'll lave Hm. 

C/. I'll be ■ beUy-god DO mon. 



Here w a Royalist effort (o make Echo throw her voice on the side of 
Charles t. during his struggle with the Parliamentarians : 

Whu nmeM ikon, thit than in in tliia ind uklDg T 
What Qude him £m nmove horn hu raiding f 
Did uiy hen deny faim HUiafuIionT 
Tetl me wbereii Ibt HRDgih of faaim Uet T 
Wbu didii ihDU when ibe IiinE leA hi> Firilimeol t 

WImi wouldu thou do if bere tbou mlghut bebold him T 

Hold him. 
Bui woiddu ihou uve bim »iib iby ben ende»»or t 

"""* ' Un^e, 

Echo shows herself even more fiercely anti-Puritan in the following, which 
D'Israeli tells us wat recited at the end of a comedy played by the scholars of 
Trinity College, Cambridge, in March, 1641 : 



Bu[ ihey la li(e m Imown id be ibe holy. 
Oliel 

Come (bey from any univenir let 
Citie. 
e«nimg m m^ eec™ 

Yei tbey preKod (bat they do edkfie ; 

What do yog call It, then, to livcliry t 

Whu church hive they, ud wbit pulplul 

Fiul 
Bm do* In chuoben the ConTenticle : 

Tickle I 



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HANDY-BOOK OF 

TbE godly linsi ihnwilly uc bditd. 
The goilly number ihen will »0D nuuoi 
Al JW the tcmpleaj (hey with leki cmhrK 



All. 
Nor wUI Ihey lavt w miuy censmonia, 

Moniei. 
Miul evcD Rll^oD down fv uiirfiictkip. 

How Hull they afiecled lo the ^ovenunenl dvll 

Btil to the king Ihey uy Ihey ue moH loyal. 

Then God keep king ud State boat tfacK une 

The following are ftotn nt> less a hantj than Dean Swili : 
A Grntlk Echo on Wouan. 

Stuplurd. Echo, 1 veen, will in ihe wowli miy. 



1 iryj 

Slu*. What miiH wc do OUT puuDn to eipnuf ' 

.S4r/.' How (hiUI I pleue her who nt'er loved bef^I 
Etke. Be fore. 

5^4*, What moat motea women when we Ibem addma ? 
EcL. A dnta. 

Sktt. Say, whu can keep her cbaMe whom I adoie T 

Sluf'. If muaic aiiheBi rocka, love lunea my lyre. 
Eiht. LIv. 

^11*. Then teach me, Echo, how (hall I come by hert 
Eilu. Bny ber. 

&IM. When boiwht, no queation I ahaU be her 3eu. 
Etf^. Her deer. 

^11*. Bui deer have homa: how nual I keep ber underl 







Eclu. 






Ham Pheebe Dol a heavenly browT 






Eckt. 




Lmr. 


Hereyea! Wa. ever Hu:b a purl 




An the Han brighlet Iban they are? 


Eckt. 




L^ptr. 


Echo, thou lie«, but can 'I deceive n 




Her eyea eclipae ibe Han, believe m 


Eekt. 




Z««-. 


Bui come, tbou »ucy pert romance 




Who is aa fair aa Fba:^>e I an.wer I 



A tragic story ia connected with the next example on onr lisL It formed a 
pari of (hat " treasonable" pampblel, " Germany in its Deepest Humiliation," 
which the Nuremberg bookseller Palm published in the spring of 1806. The 
treason consisted in criticisms on the policy of Napoleon, then at the height 
of his power. Palm was arrested, coiiveyea lo Brunau, iried by court-martial 
on August j6, condemned without being allowed the ptiviteae of pleading his 
own cause either in person or by attorney, sentenced to death, and shot on the 
day of his trial. Subsequently, at St. Helena, Napoleon sought to palliate 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 265 

(his high-handed outrage and throw the blame on other ahouldcra : " All that 
I recollect is, that Palm was arrested, by order of Davousi, I believe, tried, 
Condemiied, and shot, for having, while the country was in possession oF the 
French and under military occupation, not only excited rebellion among the 
inhabitants, and urged them to rise and massacre the soldiers, but also M- 
tempted to instigate the soldiers themselves to refuse obediei 



a translation of the Echo poem : 

BONAPARTK AND THE ECHO. 
Bonafttrtt, Alone, J am in Iha wqucKcrcd tpot not otcriieard. 
Eclu. Hardt 
B*m. S ~ 

Eila. 



SdesUil Wbo uuwen nu t What Im 

Ask. 
KnDiKBL thou vbether London will bciicefbrth coo 

Whether Vieoiu ud other c 




Sid Echo, bosooe 



enbe, thit 1 think myKlt Inmonalf 
1> filled with Ibeglonror nyDamc, you Imowl 
luck Ihii vail globe wlih leriDr. 
] grow ialuriue 1 1 die 1 



Whu wUI lu uuwer be, 1 wonder T 

Btkt — 1 iHHidet. 

O woudioua Echo, tell me, hUtti, 
Am I for lurnBAV or celibacy T 

£»&— SUly Beay. 



Shall 1 1 

If uellheT being grave 



Sclu—K proper lla. 



Bcie— Try m 
to gala her heart, 



and ihe'll cotdpl^n then T 
EcA* — Come plain, lb«& 



Coogk" 



HANDY.BOOK OP 

pkue ber meat, pcitHip* 'di baM 
£fdi0— Conut 






i«'U clwnn, for Love'i no ukUer, 



Eckr-?M ber. 



Ego and Echo. 

Jred of Echa, t'olber day, 

i^oM words an Jew BOd oftoi Amny, 

At (o A qucHion ihe should uy 

If courtjibip, love, uld DUtrinany. 

Qu«b bcbo, pTunly, " Matter o' money." 




Qiuxh Echo, very coolly, " Lei bi 

What if. in >(du of ber diidain, 
I find my heut ealwincd about 

With Cupid-> dear, delicioiu chain 
So cloKly thai I con'I nl ouiT 

Quodi Echo, lau^iiiigly, " Gel ou 

id wilb beauty bleit. 



j( Death ahaU overtake bert 

Vuoih Ciibo {fittt voh), " Take bar.' 



> pure and fair u 

'^eaih abau overtake berT 
m {laUt voh), " Take bar." 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



We will cloK oar list with a handful oijeux d'etprit The first appeared 
in the Suiuli^ Times in 1S36, when the Orpheus of Mnuc was charniing all 



London at exorbitant t; 

Whu an duy who pay Ihrtt guluei* 
TabavatiuHor Piganlni'it 

EcW-P«k D' amnlc 

The second, which appeared in 1SS6, ii attributed to an echo that haunts the 
Snltan'B palace at Constantinople. Abdul llamid is supposed (o question it 
■a to the intentions of the European powers and his oirn resources : 
L'Ah^ctcfTcf 



ikciputiiT 
OMs. 



UaPuhuT 
EtSdcimuI 
The other two tell their own story : 

I'd foin pniM your poeu, bui tcU me, how a it, 
Wheo 1 ay «i(, " ^iquuiu," Echo aiia, " Quit il I" 
Whu muit be done to conducl ■ uwipapa rl^t T— WrlH. 

What would glH a blind nuui Ihc gnueU dcliihi T—Usfai. 

WhUHtbebeHcoiuudgivcnby ajuKiaof tbepeacel— Pcue, 

Who commit the zmial abDminaiioni r-Nilioiu 

Whu or il Ihc greatal tenifist-rin. 

What UB lOBM Komoi-i chirf eicrcsc I— Sigh*. 

Bolipaa first, tiie rest nowhere, the bmous declaration made t^ Captain 
O'Kellejpat Epsom, May 3, 1769, when the horse Eclipse distanced the field. 
It has passed into a familiar illustration. 

Homer h »( marc diddedtvlbc Ant of hemic poeti,Sh>k«jKuc ii not more decidedly 
the fint of drumaiUtii, Demoeibenea la not more decidedly llw Bnl of onion, than Boiwell 
im the fint of blDgraph«ft. He has disUnced all compeilton to decidedly ihat it i> not worth 
while loplace Ibem. Edipneiifint.iindlfaeTetinowliert.— MjuzAVLar: Sm'nr^Cretir'i 
Xvtmiiri Jeimm . 

o adopted hj 

t u Cud nlwsyi uid, " Such ii 
■rt. June =j, ,760. 

Explaining the meaning of his term more definitely, — 

] w«DL you to cmth the inranous thing, that !■ the nuin pDlnt, It l> ncceuary lo reduce it 
ID the Mate ia which it is b Eugiaud ; and you cut kucceed in tikli if yoq will. — /tiit. 

Furthermore he writes, — 

By Ibc I'n/itmt yen will undenlADd that I mtui aiipcntitioo ; ■■ for relieion, I iove and 
iMncI it u you do (" Vuua peuaei bien que je ne paiie que de ia lupentltion : car pour ia 

A quotation from a letter of D'Alembert to Voltaire, May 4, 1762, shows 
that inMwu was understood by them to be of the feminine gender, agreeing 
with ticit understood : 



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368 HANDY-BOOK OF 

fezmcz I'inSmc, mc rtpdici-voui mu cok. Ah. mon ban EHcu, Lilnct-la k pridphec 
Bll«-in£ine, dte y court |^ui viic que voui uc penier. 

Ai lh« fight CTVW hotter and the combaunlt morv Dumtrous, Iw Klllod upon iefoitM 
rtn/imt at ihe bMttk-cry of the fjulhTuI, He rsng aIJ (he chanen upon ihcac wordl. Some- 
[iims ha Died them in jnt : oAeo wEih pauUtDale vebenbence. Not unfrequeDllVp tn Iho hute 
iT liniihing ha Itnir.lic would abbRviaw the word* lo £cr. I'luf.. and tomdiaie he wuuld 



panapljed about ftwn danfcroui aiiack by a vplendor oT repuutlon and priqcelv opulence 

^ich aniwer. The 'ln/imi of Vojuure wu nol religion, nor ihe ChriHiui rdigion, nor ihe 
Romui Cuhcilic Chunh. It uw rtlvi" clmmmg luftmalMral tutktritt.and in/nrcing 
thai claim ^liaiHi and pintllin. . . . It wai themoU ■ndenlBudpowertuloTallallianca. 

Paktoh : ^t ^y^irt. vid. \^-^- ^1- "' "" '"*'°' '" "'''' """" " 

DtUnda est Carthage {" Carthage muai be deslroyed"), ihe words referred to 
above by Voltaire, are Ihe words with which the elder Calo always ended his 
(peeches, whatever the subject tnight be, and thus incited the Romans to the 
third Punic war. 

He drapk great quantities of abiinihe oT a norulng, tmoked inceuantly. played loulelte 

aleevei. FiAne and Cloribr. young millineti uT the itudeni}' dl^lricl. had punctured ihii 
terrible moita on hii manly right arm.— Thackuav ; THr tiraxcmri, vol. i. lAap. jijtiii. 

Bdel^«iaa means " noble whiteness" or " noble purity ;" its tender star- 
shaped flowers are familiar to ail Alpine tourists. The plant is scarce and 
very partial. It is Tound in the Engadine, seldtiin in the Bernese Oberland, 
and has particular corners and mountains that it affects. This scarcity and 
partiality [tave to the edelweiss a somewhat unhealthy notoriety. The rarer 
II became, the more ambitious was ihe tourist to possess it. Every cockney 
hat was adorned with the curious bloom, purchased, nol by laliorjous and 

Srilous enterprise, btit fur a lew centimes. Edelweiss was sold by the hand- 
I at Inlerlaken, Chamouni, and Grindelwald. Guides, porlers, and boys 
were templed lo rifle the mountain of its peerless Howers. When the rage 
for " art greens" broke out in England, jestheiic young ladies crowned them- 
selves wilh wreaths of these soft petals, or even appeared at fancy balls in 
the character of TAi Alps, smothered in edelweiss. At last Ihe Swiss gov- 
eniment determined to put down by law the wholesale deslruclion of this 
popular flower. It was rapidly disappearing from Ihe country, when an en- 
actment made it penal lo lake a plant up by the roots. The dignity and im- 
portance of legislation gave a new impetus lo Ihe interest that was attached 
to Ihe plant, and going ni search of Ihe edelweiss has again become as attrac- 
tive a source of danger as any to be found in Swilzerlatid. 

Ildg«-tOola, Tbore's no jestinB wltb. The line is from Heaumont and 
Fleieher's "The Little French Lawyer," Act iv., Sii 7. Tennyson has a 
similar phrase ; 



The wisdom thus embodied has found other modes of expression. — t^.. Don't 
monkey with the buzz-saw, a rather slangy but forcible American collo- 

&Mllt4, a sobriquet popularly given to Philip. Duke of Orleanti. father of 
Louis Hiilippe, because he sided with the revolutionary parly and was fond 
of quoting their motto, " Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Nevertheless tbe 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 269 

Bg^ Dr. Dc Moigan holds that ihc proverb " As sure as eggs is e^gs" 
(always quoted in this ungrammaiical form) is a corruption of the logician's 
announcement of identity, "A" ia .*." "From the sublime to the ridiculous 
is but a step, from X 10 iggi hardly so much." {Notts and Quiries, third series, 
vi. 203.) 

BgTp^ a sobriquet applied to the southern portion of the State of Illinois, 
— a figurative allusion to the Egifptian darkness of ignorance and immorality 
that was anciently credited to this section. Itut a more honorable explanation 
is that the extreme fertility of the soil made it the only portion of Illinoi 

^orn-famine of 1B35, whenc" ''•--<-•■--- ■■- -i-> >- --!---- - 

IS of old they went down ir 

Blepbant, Ta ue tb«, American slang, to see life, to see the world, 
eipecially the underside of life and the world. There is at least a very inter- 
__.- :_|| bji^^gn [his ptirase and an East Indian custom mentioned 



by Mo 



. ^ntaigne. Quoting from Arrian's " History of India," ch. xvii., he tells 
US that, though chastily was held in high esteem in India, a married woman 
was allowed to part with her honor in exchange for an elephant, and indeed 
gloried in the fact that she was so highly estimated. Barrire and Leiand 
mention as another possible origin for the phrase an old ballad of a brmer, 
who while driving his mare along the highway met with a showman's elephant. 



« 



B)s«Tira, the general name ^iven to the productions of Ihc famous printing- 
house founded by Lewis Elzevir in Leyden, his first publication bearing date 
--"- By an interesting coincidence, the last of the Aldines is dated 1583. 
the new house obscurely arose just when their great predecessor was 
declining. Aldiues and Elievirs are always linked together as the two chiefest 
glories of the bibliojihile. Yet there are notable conlrasis in the histories of 
the two great houses and in iheir publications. Aldus was a member of a 
great femily, with a princelv love of learning for its own sake. The Elievirs 
were merely successful tradesmen, — crafty money -grabbers, who pilfered and 
pirated whenever they had a chance. And even Heinsius, the scholar who 
supplied what Aldus itad and the Elzevirs lacked, a knowledge of letters, was 
a distinctly unlovable character, full of malice and all uncharitableness. The 
Dutch house, therefore, has none of the picturesque interest of the Venetian. 
Nevertheless their editions are lyix^raphlcally as well as intrinsically beautiful. 
They have always run a very close race with the Aldines, and at certain 
moments have even distanced them in the favor of bibliomaniacs. 

There were fourteen Elzevirs in all. The first was Lewis. His sixth son, 
Bonaventure, struck out in the line which has given the Elzevirs their peculiar 
eminence when, in 1639, he commenced the publication of cheap and neat 
editions of the classics in duodecimo. After the death of Daniel Elzevir, in 
168a, at Amsterdam, the firm rapidly degenerated in the hands of Abraham 
(the second), great-grandson of the founder of the house, and came 10 an 
inglorious end at his death, in 171a. 

There are Elzevirs and Elzevirs, as the beginner in bibliography soon 
learns to hia cost And then there are Elzevirs which are not Elzevirs. Not 



ajo HANDY-BOOK OF 

only arc nwny of the genuine publications of Ihe house practically worthleu 
(the "good dates" range only liain about ]6z6 to 1680, aiid not all Ihe "good 
date&" are borne by valuable examples}, but it comlbrtelh the soul to know 
that these pirates were themselves pirated. Spurious Elievjrs are as thick as 
blackberries. More than one hundred and fifty are known to experts. There 
are many little niceties also about the editions which no one could intuitively 
know unless he were afflicted with some form of hereditary bibliomania. Thus, 
the most desirable of all Elzevir rarities is the C^sar of 163S, the acknowl- 
edged masterpiece of the house, Hookmen grow rapturous over the type, 
the ornaments, the paper, the priming, Ihe puiity of the lest. Now, there 
were three impressions of this masterpiece issued in the one year, 1635. 
The last two correct the only imperfection in the first issue, where pages 149, 
335, and 475 are by mistake printed as 1 53, 345, and 37S respectively. These 
are worth comparatively little. The right Cxsar with the Wrong pages IS 
worth anywhere from twenty to fifty pounds. Another anomaly : (he CKSar 
is the acknowledged masterpiece of the Elzevirs, therefore it is the most highly 
prized ? Not a bit of it : at least not by bibliomaniacs. An entirely valueless 

in 1665, sold some years ago for foi 
book in the sense that it is extremely s 
copies are known to exist. 

Bmber-days (in Latin, yejawi quatuor Itmpera, " the four fasting sea- 
sons"), the English name for the periods of fasting and prayer which the Catholic 
and other liturgical Churches have appointed to be observed respectively in 
the four seasons of the year. They are the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturdajr 
after the first Sunday in Lent, after Whit-Sunday, afler September 14, and after 
December tj. The weeks in which these days fall are called Ember-weeks. 
Never was a term better contrived for an etymological pitfall than this. Bailey, 
rushing in with that cheerful alacrity which affords its quota of merriment to 
the more fearsome philological angel of to-day, derives it "from a custom 
anciently of putting Askts on their heads on those Days, in Token of Hu- 
mility." But no such custom ever existed. It is a pure invention to account 
for the name. Others assert that the Ember-days are so called because they 
occur in Elec-ember and Sept-ember, forgetting that they occur also in months 
that have no such convenient endine. A still more ancient authority, Tarllon, 
in " Newes out of Pui^aiorie," describes how in his imaginary place of 
torture "One pope sat with a smock sleeve about his necke, and that was he 
that made the imbering weckes, in honour of his faire and tieautiful curtizen 
Imbra" (p. 64 ;n Shakespeare Society reprint). Dr. Murray, who thinks it 
not wholly impossible that the word may have been due to popular etymology 
working upon some vulgar Latin corrujition of quatuor tempara (cf. German 
Quattmbcr, Ember-tide), prefers the derivation from the Old English ymirytu, 
period, revolution of lime. No doubt a fancied connection with dust and 
ashes has influenced the modern form. 

Emblematio, Ftgtirate, or Sliaped Poems. There is pity, or even 
foreiveness, for all forms of human tolly, imbecility, error, and crime. Vet the 
makers of what are known by any one of the alrave titles strain the divinity 
of forgiveness to an almost diabolic tension. A famous saint, variously spea- 
fied by various hagioiogists, used to say, "There, but for the grace of God, 
goes Anthony of Padua," or what not, when he saw a Ihief^ a murderer, or 
other malefactor brought to the bar of Justice. But no one has ever said, 
" There, but for the grace of God, goes Brown," or Junes, or Kolrinson, when 
some addle -pated versifier has been caught red-handed liithe act of "shaping" 
a poem. Nu one, Mve a hardened criminal of this type, has ever been willing 



Cookie 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 271 

to admit that his heart, however untei^nerate, however anaided from above, 
would stray naturally into these devious paths at dulness. Though one's 
better self may revolt at the grotesque honors of the mediaival hell, one leels 
that not even the theolt^ica! mind has ever conceived of a punishment severe 
enoD^h to castigate these trespassers on our patience. And as oe must 
long in vain for a new Dante to consign them to some as yet unimagined 
deep of deeps, one rejoices at the castigalioii, severe in itself, yet mild in 
comparison, which the critics have occasionally inflicted. Our heart goes out 
with a great leap of joy to honest Samuel Butler when he takes Edward 
Benlowes, formerly known as " the eicellenlly learned," places him across his 
paternal knee, and trounces him in the following fashion : " There is no feat 
of activity, nor gambol of wit, thai ever was performed by man, from him that 
vaults on Pegasus to him that tumbles through the hoop of an anagram, but 
Benlowes has got the mastery of it, whether it be high-rope wit or low-rope 
wit. He has all sorts of echoes, rebuses, chronograms, etc. As for altars and 
pyramids in poetry, he has outdone all men that way ; for he has made a 
gridiron and a frying-pan in verse, that besides the likeness in shape, the very 
tone and sound of the words did perfectly represent the noise that is made by 
these ntenuls. When be was a captain, be made all the furniture of his horse, 
fiwn the bit to the crupper, in the beaten poetry, every verse being lilted to 
the proportion of the thing ; as the bridle of msdtration, the saddlt of canlatt, 
and the erufftr ef eomtamy ; so that the same thii^g was both epigram and 
emblem, even as the mule u both horse and ass." {Character of a Small Pott.) 

Rare Ben Jonson too has his fling at these pattern-cutting poets, who he 
aays coold mhion 

A pair of KiiKin and 1 comb in vox. 
Dryden has scoSed at them, and Addison has gibbeted tbem above all other 
offenders on the pillory which he constructed for the manufacturers of false 
wit But what is the method of this oflence 1 It consists in pieces of verse 
so constructed, by due arrangements of short and long lines, as to exhibit the 
shapes of certain physical objects, such as bottles, glasses, axes, fans, hearts, 
eggs, saddles, a pair of gloves, a pair of pot-hooks, a pair of spectacles. And, 
alu that we must acknowledge ic, in spite of the degradation of the offence, ' 
great names in the past, great names even in the immediate present, must be 
gronped among the offenders. Indeed, so highly was it thought of at one lime 
that the very name of the reputed inventor has been preserved to us. Let 
OS hasten to place it beside that of the rash youth who fired the Ephesian 
dome. Simmias of Rhodes (flourished about h.c. 324), — how dues that look 
on the same line as Erostratus ? 

He has left us three good-sized poems cast in these Procrustean moulds, 
"The Wings," "The Egg," and "The Hatchet." The shape of every slania 
in each poem corresponds with its title. So greatly were these esteemed in 
the seventeenth century that an Italian named Fortunio IJceli compiled an 
encyclopaedia (published in Paris, 1635) whose contents were entirely devoted 
to the exploitation of their beauties. 

Classic antiquity has left us other evidences of the fact that these oulraffes 
had a certain vogue even at the most flourishing jieriod of Greek poetry. To 
the honor of the Augustan age of the Romans it should be added that the 
Latin specimetis that have come down to us belong to the decadence of the 
Empire or to medizval times. The only portion of the globe where em- 
blematic verses still survive is in the East, especially in China and Japan, 
where we are told that they are still held in high esteem, so that poems are 
stilJ fashioned in the form of men's faces or the bodies of cows or other 
animals. The following curious specimen is given by Mr. W. R, Alger as an 
effort of Hindoo bgennity. The lines of this erotic triplet are so arranged 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



s (tring, the third an arrow aimed 



/■ 



y 



'^■. 



Xhote chAnni ta win, wilh til Dy empire ] vrould gUdly put. 
The sixtcenih and seventeenth centuriei were the golden age of emblem- 
atical poetry in Europe. And heading the Iibi of Enelish word-torturers 
stands so good and great a man as George Herbeti. We quote two speci- 
mens, and then pass on with our eyes veiled, lo avoid gazing loo intently on 
a good man's shame : 

The Altar. 




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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 




IS eflbn «xp1dns itsdf to the vjt at 
Thb Ckoss. 



Tile w-y of nntb : 
To lli«iB the ucrcd Scrlpturu do* dlipUjr 
Chrlit u ihe ddIv true Hid Living way. 
Hkft predoum blood OD CaIvst^ wu glvei 
To mue ihem bdn of endlcit blmlDheavoi; 
And c'es OB eutli ihc diild of God am bikc 
Tbd glofiou* Uculngs of hia Saviour'' gracflp 



Tikat Hd Ufe-a Ion 
Ml(hl be Ibelr hId. 
Tmb haau lo chaoM 



Tba Lord Ih* baait. 
Lm> He dKkn, 



■, iriio OB Calvaiy Jod^ 



Coogk" 



274 HANDY-BOOK OF 

The following appears to us, on the whole, the bdl In the langnage i 
Ode to an Old Violin, 

Bwl. 

ChiU]Rii\iliDC, 



Wlih fwind too. 
CDnK. then, my fiddle. 

Me i«e<i Si^gh tnnsicnl vaI 
Thy polishrd neck Jn chae e 

WheDo'crlhyilnngildrAvm; 



There on Fincy'i wiiun I fooi 
HeedlenDllhedu nut door 

'iDuialll 1 feel my won no 
Bui ikip o'er iha ilrinn 
Ai ny old fiddle (ino, 
"Cheerily, O merrily gol 

You "very well 'know'' 
I will find mutic, 
Ifyou will find bow. 



Lie^ prottrnie. vanquished, by tlie melllfltuitB ai 

More and mare plainiivegrown, my eye* wiib leano'i 

And Reilnaiian mild loon unoalbi my wrinkled 1 

Reedy Hiuthay may ujiieak. viA\-% Fbuio may iqi 

The SerfKDt may giunt and the l^rombooe may bai 

But tl»u my oid Fiddle, an prloce of them a 

Could e'en Dryden reiura Iby pralie ID reheanc 

Hia Ode lo l^eciilA would Hem nidged verae^ 



Now lo thy caie, 



lo pipe thy ■! 



HcTC, as an nfljet, we give a specimen where all the rules of the game, 
such as (hey are, are violated. The sole ingenuity in this form of literary 
trifling consists in so adjusting the length of poetical lines that the printer by 
merely following " copy will produce the desired emblem or ligure. But the 
Bubjorncd example is simply prose arbitrarily broken ugi into appropriate 
lengths, the whole ingenuity being on the part of the printer. Vet sacb 
•peciment are not ancommon in Eneland. 



England. 

D,q,i,.cd by Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 
The WtNBCLASS. 

Wbahuhwi 
huhconui 

wiiboui &_ __. ._ .. 

ef cyol Tber >b<K u-ny !<>»( 
al the wind Ibey Ihal 

Look not tbou npDn ths 



biKIh like ■ aerpi 
ud idnscrh LUie hd b 



printed in do other shape withoat violating its poetical integiitj : 



1 P«iUc, 

MouHe» fit bdlle 
'hCjiu qui rend 



Qudie douci 



^<a» cnnme U £ii 



L'on T voit HIT *a Hon cMiu . 
Nagn l'idi(e<™» U lo rii. 

A rhomboidil dirge, by George Wither, ia good enough of its kind t 

Farcveli, 

You hiUi ^t^likc^tdnll 

And ail you humble vakei, adlcij 1 

Yon wanton bmol:! and foUUiir rocki. 

My dear contpankiu all. and you, my lendcd floclu T 

DcUetaled opr the faireAt dandt^ nympbi upon ibe platna. 

Yon diKonlenu, wboK deep and over-deadly iDwrt 

" ■■•- ' --y Imle the lnie.t heart. 



S** 



1^1 e 



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376 HANDY'BOOK OF 

The last exunple on oar list is this reinatkabic triumph of ingenuity on the 
subject or the CTucifiiion. Mr. Bombaugh fives i< in his ■' Gleanings for the 
Curious," and oils it a curious piece of intiquiiy. Bui the stractare of the 
Terse, the luetre, and the rhythm indicate thai it is not earlier than the last 
half of the seventeenth oentury, and may be much more recent : 




...D thieves. On the top and down the middle cross is oar Saviour's 

eipiession, " My God I Mjr God I why hast thou forsaken me V and on the 
top of the cross is the Latin inscription "INRI," — Jesus Naiarenus Rex 
Judxorum, — i.t., Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jens. Upon the cross on 
the right hand is the prayer of one of the thieves. — " Lord I remember me 
when thou comest into thy kingdom." On the left-hand cross is the saying, 
or reproach, of the other, — " If thou beest the Christ, save thyself and us." 
The versification begins at the lop of the middle cross, — ■' My God I Mv 
God ! In rivers of my lears." The whole is a piece of tolerable verse, which 
ii to be read across all the columns, making as many lines m ihere we letlen 
iD the alpli^ieL Tiie aatbonbip is unknoiro. 

L.;,::;i:,..C00^If 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 277 

1, ConjeoniiaL The wajrs of the critic, espedalljr when 
commenling on s difficult passage in his bvorite author, are full of insiraction 
to Ihe learned, of gladsome delight to the curious. Sometimes he insists on 
reading all sorts of subtle meanings into this or that line, and then stands 
aghast with admiration it the greatness of the mind thai could think the 
things he himself has invented for it. Sometimes he gives it up in despair, 
and decides that the author never did say what has been attributed to him, 
but that the mistake of an amanuensis or a printer has been allowed to go 
forth to the world unchallcnsed. Then he sets himself the task of discover- 
ing what it was that the autnor did say. Occasionally, it must be owned, he 
suggests a felicitous alteration. The author may or may not have said this, 
but the alternative proposed ia what the author ought to have said. There is 
DO liner instance than the passage "'a babbled of green Gelds" in the descrip- 
tion of Falslaff's death {Henry K, Act iL, Sc 3). The folio has "a table 
of green fields," which is mere nonsense in spile of all efforts to elucidate iL 
Pope conjectured that this was a stage direction addressed (o a ptopertv-inan 
named Greenfields which had somehow got mixed uj) wilh the lext This is 
not a joke ; indeed, it imposed upon Johnson. It was Theobald who made 
sense and poetry out of the passage by turning " a table" into " 'a babbled." 

But mote frequently the shoe has shifted, — the commentator has put his 
foot into iL A note in Bell's edition of Dryden's " Absalom and Achitophcl," 
Part I., supplies an instance. The editor'* ear is offended by the line 

By palml ioHinct fhey rlunge tbcLr lord. 
This, be says, is the only line in which the melody is flattened into prole. 
He suggests that a slight alteration would redeem the metre: 
Haw (hey by ulura] IsMind chuige Iheit lord. 

The silliness of (his note is e<iualled only by its impertinence. The line 
is ittetrically perfect as it stands. Natural has its three full syllables, and in- 
stinct is accented on its second syllable, the usual method in Dryden's time, as 
in Shakespeare's. 

The champion instance, however, is supplied by Dr. Bcntley's famous (or 
blamolis) edition of Milton. It was issued in 1733, and contained no less 
than a thousand conjectural emendations of Ihe texL The word euundations 
should be pronounced with a distinct sarcastic emphasis which can be only 
faintly indicated by italics. Bcntley's premiss, his original proposition, was as 
follows. Milton, as every one knows, was blind when he produced the " Para- 
dise LosL" lie dictated it to an amanuensis. Now, it is obvious thai through 
mistake or Inadvertence the amanuensis might frequently have set down a 
word similar in sound to that dictated by the poet, but ol very different sig- 
nification. So far we can follow the argument with a clear conscience. But 
when the doctor goes on to urge further that the amanuensis may have inter- 
polated whole verges of his own composition into the poem without Ihe poet's 
being any Ihe wiser, we can only reply that the bare fact is a possibility, but 
that there is no evidence, intrinsic or extrinsic, to support it. And when, 
accepting this wild possibility as a fact, he goes on to imagine what it was that 
Hilton really did say, and substitutes those imaginings in lieu of the lines as 
they stand in the book, we cry out at this marvellous exhibition of editorial 
vanity and impertinence. And the trouble is increased when we find the 
doctor putting his clumsy hoof into the very choicest parterre of Millonic 
tancj and trampling the flowers into a tangled mess of absurdity. Nor are our 
outraged feelings soothed by Ihe extraordinary mixture of effrontery and 
vanity in the stalemeni that, in the absence of manuscripts to collate, he must 
rely on his own " B^adty" and " happy conjecture." 



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MiUiotja of Auvuu^ iwordi» diawb Trom ihc thigha 

AgilDU ihe Highcu : iwd Race »lih giupM umi 
CElthed DD thc& lauDding iliiddl Ihc Sin at «r, 
Hurlljic deJiujc* toward th« VHidc of HeaveD. 

A forciUe and splendid passage. Not a word but carries exactly the right 
sound and the tight sense. Not an epithet could be changed witliout lou. 
'I'he doctor, however, thinks otherwise. In the second line he substitutes 
Hades for cwBrds, in the fifth laxtrds for arms, in the siKlh walls for vaidt. The 
first and second emendations are bad enough, the third utterly ruins a noble 
conception. 

But worse remains behind. One of the finest lines in Milton is this : 
No li^t, but nthcT durimen vliiblc. 
This expression shacks the doctor, who brings his sagacity to bear upon it 
and produces this happy conjecture: 

No liititp but nuher a truupicuous ^oom. 

The seventy- fourth line. of the same book offends the nice critical taste of 
this iconoclast : 

His ear rebels at what he considers a "vicious verse." He would awajr with 
it altogether and in its stead insert the following line of his own composition : 
Dinnncc which lo expnu all motsurc bul>. 
In the second book there is this fine phrase : 

Our tarinenu iiIk may in length of lilBC 

One can hardlv understand the densely prosaic structure of the mind which 
would seek to destroy every particle of poetry by changing the first line thus : 

One other instance must suffice. It is as flagrant as any, and is supported 
by a curious tut of reasoning which should be commended to the careful 
attention of all emendators. 
At the conclusion of Adam's interview with the angel, Milton says, — 
So pATted theV' di^ uigcl up to heaven 
From the thick (hade ; ud Adam to bii bower. 



Now for the doctor's argument; "After the conversation between Adam 
and the angel in the bower, it ma^ be well presumed that our first parent 
waited on his heavenly guest at his departure to some little distance from 
it, till he began to take his flight towards heaven." Thtreftn the poet could 
not with propriety say that the angel parted from the thick shade — i.e., the 
bower — to go to heaven. And ifi on the other hand, Adam attended the 
anael no fetlhet than the door or entrance of the bower, then " how could 
Adam return to his Iwwer if he never left it f By a happy conjecture the 
doctor succeeils not only in vindicating the grand dd gardener's respect 
for the sodal amenities, but in securing the logical integrity of the verse. 

So parted Ibey, (he aiq[ei up lo bekven, 
Adam to nindute on pa« i&Kvuvt. 



_^ooglc 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 279 

where ontjr Ihe delvers in forgotten curios have disturbed it. The following 
efugratn was of contemporary origin : 

On Milton's Executioner. 

Did HillDD-i proH, O Chjirlo I >hy death defend t 

On MlliDo'i vsK doci Btcilty conusant know 

While hi wciuld Kctn his luihoi'i fuMrfa hmba, 
Tl« munheroui eridc ha» Bveiiged ihy maitfaeT. 

Pope's tines are better known : 



Bentlejr was not the only person who sought to amend Milton. Atterbury 
was congratulated on "a happy teading which vindicated Milton from degrading 
his style by a very vile pun -. 

And broughl hlto tbli woHd (■ world of woe) ; 

the happy reading consisting in the parentheses, which utterlv destroy the 
meaning of the line. What German critic was it who amended Shakespeare 
at follows f— 

S<i7non» in boold^ tad £aod in tverylhlng. 
One of the finest hymns in the English language Is Cardinal Newman's 
" Lead, Kindly Light." Bui comparatively Tew people know it in its integrity. 
Properly, it consists of three verses. A fourth, which may be found in most 
ProtesUnt Episcopal hymnals, was added by Dr. Bickersteth, the author of 
" Yesterday, To- Day, and P'orever." The genuine verses, moreover, have in 



npilations been tinkered out of shape and harn 



Below will be found Ihe correct and the incorrect versions, the 
being printed in italics: 



Le*d, kindly Light, amid (he eadrcljog liDom, 

.■- J... ,. nAiaiKtdtktiiKircluviltcm, 

\.e>d Thou neon; 



StiHUmJlf 

The lu^I ia dju-k, HJjd [ am Ear fr 



> iia*l it ila'li, 
Le«l 
Uan 



Lead Thou me a 

Uad Thn mi „ 

K«p Thou my ( 



houldK lead n>e oo ; 
k-mldil tiad mtiml 

\miiiiit liftii, and tfill ^'fiari 



So loDg Tfay power haa bled me, lU 
S» ttat 'nufrwir kmlk hliiiidmi 
Wai lead nie on 
•TmaiUmdmuM 



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HAWDY.BOOK OF 



The uighi li gcmc, 

And trilk Ou mtm Itatt a^tt/acti tmiU 
Which I hive land l<Hig linn, und loM awhile. 
Wkick f Itatrt lovtd lm!g liMci, amd iMl amkiU. 

Dr. Charlea S. Robmion, who 6rsi printed Ihe incorrect version in hii cot- 
lection originallj (1862) known as " Songs of the Church," but since re- 
baptized " Songs of the Sanctuary," has been blamed for all the emendationi. 
But in a letter to the CoHgregatianaOil shortly after Newman's death. Dr. 
Robinson pleads guilty only to the change of the first line : " Who changed 
that second line to 'And lead me on ;' who put 'day's dazzling light' in the 
place of 'the garish day;' who leii off the two commas before and after 
'light,' so beginning the word without a capital to personify it; who con- 
cluded that ' surely still 'Twill' was any better than ' sure it still Will ;' who 
ingeniously got rid of ' moor and fen.' or 'crag and torrent,' and smoothed 
down everything to the traditional ' dreary douh' and the ordinary ' pain and 
sorrow,' — 1 am sure I cannot conjecture. None of that ' tinkering;' was done 
in our shop." The copy of the hymn as it first came into his haii^ contained 
all these changes. It had been sent to him with a package of other clippings 
by "one of the highest authorities in the Church," who invited his special 
attention to this above all the others, but could give hPm no infurmation as to 
the authorship. Dr. Robinson's friend then went on to remark that when he 
found it the piece had evidently been much obscured by a printer's mistake 
concerning one word in what must have been sent to him in manuscript " I 
recall his look as, in his characteristic and ^tidiously tasteful way," says Dr. 
Robinson in the Cangr^aHenalut, "he proceeded to point out that in writing 
the letter L many persons formed it veiT much like an S ; then also the 
letter n when closed up at the top resembled an a ; go the compositor had 
most likely missed the significance, for as a &ct the line began with what 
destroyed the whole meaning, — > Lead, kindly Light, amid.' This would have 
to be corrected so that it might read, ' Send kindly light amid the encircling 
gloom 1' then something might be made of it for a hymn, and it could be put 
in the portion of the book br the choir to set to music I thought the piece 
was very beautiful ; nobody over this side of the water had ever told us who 
composed the poetry. This was nearly a whole generation ago. I put it joy- 
ously into mv book, and eventually, doing the best I could with a very awkward 
metre, had it set to a simple chant, and it became popular with the leading 
singers around town. All this lime (he Rev. John Henry Newman, who put 
it into Lyra Apostolica, was living in Birmingham at peace, in ignorance of 
nw blunder. Very likely he died in utter obliviousness of any 'impertinence' 
of an American compiler who took his three verses wandering around name- 

The mistake made by Dr. Rolnnson and his friend was, after all, a jnrdon- 
able one. For in the version as they received it the first line made nonsense 
in connection with the second : 

Lead, kiddLy Lighl, smid ih« encbcilnf gtoom, 



Testament exposition has taught that it was the second ^wrson of the Trinity 
who led Israel through the wilderness in the form of a pillar of cloud bv day 
and a pillar of Grc by night. That by Light Cardinal Newman meant Chiisl 
if further evidenced by the stanus in another of his hymn* : 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 
Mow thil itae nn b ^twnliig M^, 



Our (Ua, Ulcagucnd by ihe Ibc, 
The B»l« o( every leuK. 

An excellenlKitite on critical emendation ii contained in Franklin's tlotr of 
how he was applied to far an inscription b^ otw John Thompson, just selling 
op in business as a batter. Franklin compoaed the following sign : "John 
Thompson, halter, makes and sells hats tor readv money." Bal one friend 
said, " It is too long ; noi>od]r will slop to read it ; besides, it is lautologj, because 
a person who makes a hat is a halter." Out came the word haOer. The next 
friend appealed to objected, " If you Hay for ready money, very lew people will 
enter foar shop." The objection was sustained and the uffending words elided. 
** Nay," cried a third critic, " nobody will care a farthing who makes the hats, 
so long as they are good." So the words tnaiei and were crossed ouL "John 
Thompson sells hat&" reoiained. The last friend said, " It is ridiculous to tell 
people you sell hats, for nobody will think you such a fool as to give them 
away." Finally nothing was left but "Juhn Thompson." In conclusion, 
Franklin remarks that this experience decided him never again to wriie any- 
thing that would be subjected to the rcvisioii of others. 

"Who was that silly body," asked the Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, 
"that wanted Bninslo allcT 'Scots wha hae,' so as to lengthen the last line, 
thus?— 



And in bis homorous way he goes on to injent an appropriate anecdote. H« 
bad been applied to for a poem to be read at a certain celebration. Under- 
standing that it was to be a festive and convivial occasion, he had ordered 
himself accordingly. But it seems that the president for the occasion was 
what is called a teetotaler. So back came the poem, corrected and amended, 
with Ihe following letter : 

Deili Sn,— Your poem ^vagDod ulillutiDD 1o ihe coBlniitlee. Theientimeiiueipreited 
iKlh nfcfence to Liquor ue noi, bowever, thcrte geoeraUy oncTtained by this communiiy. I 
have Lberdbfe CDDAUled the cleTgymuiorihifplHce, who has nude w>iiieBUghi change*, wliich 
be thiaki will remove all objections, and keep the valuable pcnlou of the poem. PieaK la 
inlonn ne ot youi charge for bid poem. Ovr meana are Limited, etc., etc.. 



Here it is, with the slight alterations : 




hkllBibeal 

mble-boT* anujking tong-nij 



Coogk" 



HANDY.BOOK OF 



li«»g l i ii« l l ii fy IH U M H i I m liiiglii fw <ill» 
In the recent editions of ihe " Autocrat" Dr. Holmes mentions a British 
Reviewer who was quite indignant at the treatnienl this " convivial sung" had 
received. No committee, he thought, would dare to treat a Scotch author in 
that way. " 1 could not help being reminded of Sydney Smith, and of the 
surgical operation he proposed in order to put a pleasantry into the head of a 
North Briton." 

Elm«nld U*. This epithet was first applied to Ireland bj Dr. William 
Drennan, in the following lines : 

Wben Erin fim roK ^m Iht duV^wdling flt»d, 

God l>]eued ihc ra«o jduid ; he uw it wu good. 

Tue Eniaild of EuroH. Ii ipuklcd, il shone, 

Arm of Etid, prove fliroDe ; but be goillc u bnve, 
Aod, oplifled lo urike. nill U nady lo uve : 
Nor one feeling of veDgeaDce_prefuiiie (o dfifile 
The cauM or iLe men of the &nen]d lile. 

Suoa on Erin ia GlndallBek, and allur Pmmi, 
The allusion is lo Ihe brilliant green of the herbage and foliage of Ireland. 
L The term is first used by Milton, who has, — 
High on a ihrone oT royal Mate, which fir 
OulalHiiie iIh wealth of Onnui and of lad. 



Parailiit Ltil, Book U. 

note that while Satan b 
eminence frr a ia su 

Ceonre ii the lax ■ iud p>T> "> the puhlk lor lieiDg emiotsl,— Swm : TluuekU tn 
Vnrim SmkitcU. 

Empire Sbita. This popular name for the State of New York was 
not, as has been fancied, assumed bv its citizens out of State pride or vanity. 
It was inferentially given to it by General Washington. In his reply lo the 
address of the Common Council of New York City, signed by "James 
Duane, Mayor," and bearing dale December a. 1784, he says, "I pray that 
Heaven bestow ila choicest blessiiigs on your city ; that a well-regulated and 
beneficial commerce may enrich your citizens, and that your State (at present 
the seat of Empire) may set such examples of wisdom and liberality as shall 
have a tendency to strengthen and give a permanency to Ihe Union at home, 
and credit and respeciabilily abroati" 

Lo 1 tiK Empire Stale li likaklng 

Tbt ibadde* ftvD b*r huidi 
With Ihe niued Nonh b waking 
The niggod nuuel land I 

J. G. WHtmn. 

Bnd, Hie begUmiiiK of the, the answer ascribed to Talleyrand when 
atked by Napoleon, alter the battle of Leipsic, what was his opinion of (he 
state of (hings. " It seenu to me, Sire, that this is the beginning of Ibe eitcT 



Cooglf 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 383 

("II Die panlt, Sire, que c'est 1e commencement de la fin"). Those who are 
nol disposed 10 believe that this cynical remark was made to his sovereign, 

whose fuclunes were beginning to wane, may be inclined to think that a cur- 
rent 0|iini(in during the Hundred Days was fastened on Talleyrand, who, 
on his part, while often astonished at these compliments tu his genius, never 
refused the paternity of a bon-miK when it was found apt and just — after the 
event The phrase, however, han been attributed also to Lally-Tollendal and 
to Marshal Augereau, who is said to have used it when the French army 
started from Moscow on that disastrous retreat in which he bore himself so 
gallantly. Shakespeare has a curious coincidence of expression, though not 
of thought : 

Thai li iht (lut bcginninl of our «ih1. 

Midtummir N^kfl Driam, Act v , Sc I. 

" End," here, seems to Ik used in the sense of " aim." But as the line occurs 
in the burlesque prologue, whose humor consists in its intentional mispunclua- 
tion, scholars are not quite at one as to the precise reading of the passage. 
Here is the context, mispunctuaiion and all : 

If we oflind li it wlih oui good will. 

Tbil you ilwuld ibinli, wc come not to offend, 
fiui with Eood will. To itioir our ilin^ ikill. 

That to the uue tM«iaiiin( of our end. 
Comidu then we come l»t in delplte. 

with the verbal resemblance to Talleyrand 



The very commencement of our finite life, according to Bacon, is the begin' 
ning or the end laee, also. Cradle) : 

IT life, u we luTe 

'no ■ ■ 
earth, are part of on 

_..• irell. All's well that, a proverb common to all languages, which 
has been made especially famous as the title of one of Shakespeare's plays. 
Probably its first appearance is the Latin " Si finis bonus est, tolum bonum 
erit" ("If the end be well, alt is well") of the "GesU Romanorum," first 
printed about 1463. In fleywood's " Proverbs" (1546) we have the modem 

All ia well ibxende* well. 
besides two contradictory phrases, which, taken together, at least emphasize 

'' ' i . - ■ .. imparison with the end : 

maknh ■ good tndiDg, 
Of e good beginning coineth ■ good ending. 
Gower had previously endorsed the latter saying : 

'llie lUlter a good code he winneth. 

Ci»lfiui<l AmtMlil. 

Blt«mT. " Nobody's enemy but his own," or " Himself his worst enemy," 
is a phrase now generally used to describe an amiable but not impressive 
personality, — the kindly ne'er-do-well who never willingly injures his neighbor, 
but whose faults react pattly on himself and more largely upon his umily. 
He often degctierates into that still lower type known as "everybody's friend," 



a84 ffAUDYBOOJC OF 

who by endeavoring to pleue ever^ one pleases no one. The phrase seemt 
lo have ori^nated with Anacharsis the Scythian, who gave it a very wide 
application. Being asked what animal he esteemed most hostile to man, he 
replied that he thought every man his own worst enemy. Anacharsia, a 
brother of King Saulius of Thrace, was a wise and learned prince, who came 
to Athens while Solon was framing his laws, and acquired such repute for 
sagacity that he is sometimes enumerated among the seven &ages of Greece. 
He it was who, being asked why he had no children, replied that he loved 
children too mudi, ami who being reviled as a barbarian said, " By race, per- 
haps, but not by breeding." 

A mend to «11 maakind — cjicepl blDuelf. 

J.MB Wt«5DAt.: Efil^k « himul/. 

BnglDe. The history of this word is a philologic*! curiosity. From Greek 
pgnert, " lo begei," and Latin ingenium, " engine meant, ill mediaeval English, 
and occasioiully indeed down lo the eighleciilh century, simply molher-wii or 
native talenL Thus Chaucer, " If man hath sapiences ihre, memorle, engin, 
and intellect also" (IJS9I ; Fullenham, " Such . . . made most of their works 
by translation . . . (cw or none of their own engine." Then it meant natural 
disposition, temper, as in Fairfax's Tasso, " His fell ingine his grauer age did 
somewhat mitigate." It had contemporaneously the sense of ^ill in contro- 
versy, ingenuity ; also, in a bad sense, artfulness, cunning, trickery. From this 
it came to mean the product of ingenuity, an artifice, contrivance, device ; and 
the transition thence to a mechanical contrivance, machine, implement, tool, 
was easy. The tH'iginal engine, as a machine, was usually something used in 
watlare or in torture, as the rack, or in hunting, as a snare, net, trap, etc 
The invention of the sleam-engine has specialized the word and rendered 
obsolete all previous uses. 

BoglBiid ezp«otB everr aaa to do hia dntj, Nelson's signal lo the 
fleet Before Ihe battle of Trafalgar, October 21, 1305. The story ha$ been 
told in various ways. Pasco's version may be accepted as the truest. He 
was Nelson's flag- lieutenant on the Victoiy. Nelson came to him on the 
poop, and, after ordering certain signals to be flown, gave these further direC' 
tions : " Mr. Pasco, I wish to say to the fleet, ' England confides that every 
man will do his duty.' " And he added, "You must be quick, for I have one 
more to make, which is fur close action." Pasco replied. "If your lordship 
will permit me to substitute ixfati for cenfiiiei, the signal will soon be com- 
pleted, because the word txptcU is in the vocabulary and etmfidea must be 
spelt" Nelson, hastily, but with an air of satisfaction, said, " That will do, 
Pasco ; make it directly." James, however. In his " Naval History," vol. iii. p. 
393, says the signal Rrsl ortlered by Nelson was, " Nelson expects every man 
to do his duty. He quotes Captain Blackwood, who commanded the Elury- 
aluB during the engagemenL As It stands, the sentiment is a pretty enough 
bit of patriotic boinb^t Dickens's humorous comment was, that if England 
expects every man to do his duty "she is Ihe most sanguine and most disap- 
pointed countiy in the world." 

Bnglaud la tlie puadiM of women, the pargateiir of aetrvauU, 
and the bell of none*, an ancient Italian proverb. Sometimes ihe 
further epithet "a prison for men" is added. Gmse, In the collection nf 
proverbs added lo the iSii edition of his "Provincial Glossary," thus dis- 
courses on the saw : " The liberty allowed lo women in England, the portion 
Hsigned by law lo widows oat of their husbands' goods and chattels, and Ibe 
poUtcDcw with which all denoroiuttioDS of that sex are in geoetal treated 



Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



join to eilablish the trnth of this part of the proverb The liirioua manner 
in which people ride on the road, horse-radng, hunting, the cmeltiea of pos- 
tilions, Etue -coachmen, and cai-men, with the absurd mutilations practised 
on that noble and useful animal, all but too much prove the truth of this part 
of the adage. But that this country is the purgatory ai servants I deny ; at 
leaat, if it ever was it is not so at present ; I fear they are rather the cause of 
brining many a man to that legal purgatory, the gaol." 

Bagland. nia air of Bngland la too pnie for a Blava, words at- 
tributed to Lord Mansfield by Lord Campbell in his "Lives of the Chief 
Justices :" " Lord Mansfield first ealablished the grand doctrine that the air of 
England is too pure to be brealhed by a slave" (vol. ii. p. 41S). He refers to 
Lord Mansfield s decision in the case of James Somerset, a negro slave from 
Jamaica, who, coming to England in the company of his master, claimed his 
freedom, and was brought into court on a writ of habeas corpus. It was 
decided in that case that a slave could not exist in England, and that the 
moment he touched English soil he was a free man, and the negro was set at 
liberty. No words such as those attributed, however, occur in the report of 
the decision in Che case (see Loflt's Reports, p. i\. 

In the account of the hearing g;iven_in the "State Trials," Mansfield it 
made to say, — 



Emy BU wfao camet inta Engluid i> entitlKl ID Uk prMcction of (he Eni 



of (he Enclnh liiw, wbiit- 
may bt at colur of hit 



It was Hargrave who, in his areumeni in the case. May 14, 1771, spoke of 
England as "a soil whose air is deemed too pure for slaves to breathe in." 
Cowpet has versified the phrase in his lines, — 

SEavuoiiDOibrcaihtinEailud: If tbeir lung> 
Rcccin OUT air, thai nionicDi itacy an fns I 
They touch oar CDunlry aod their ihickkl tall. 

Th4 roit, BooV ii. : Tht rimifMi.\.vi. 

The same l^al doctrine was applied to France by Bodinus, a French jurist 
boTD in the first years of the sixteenth century : 

Scrri pcRpini, 111 pHmiiin Gallic fiocfl petieLraverunt eodem momeclc llbetl audi. 
C Peni(a aim, aa aaon ai ihey come vithia the limiu of France, aie Fne.") 

In the celebrated case of Dred Scott, however, a negro slave who had been 
carried by his master from Missouri into Illinois, thence to the Territory of 
Wisconsin, and back again to Missouri, and to whose case it was endeavored 



ited States, asserted that 

I anlury befait Ihe Declaruien oT Independence Ibe negroa 
of an Jnlerior order, and allogether unfit la aaaociale with the w 
pdillcal niadotu, and 10 (ar iuferior thai Ihcy had no tighli 1 



rcnnScd u boinEi of an iidcrior order, and ailogethei 
whiMma 

PncH"*' as she Is mpoke. In the year 1S82 there was published in 
England a little book under this title, which contained selections from a certain 
gem of literature, originally published at Paris in i86z as " O Novo Guia em 
Portagoez e Inglea" ("The New Guide to Poriugnese and English"). Simul- 
taneously Mark Twain republished in America a new edition of the complete 
work, with prefatory notes. The book had long been out of print. Ihniigh 
known to book-collectors and firequently referred to in magaiines. lis many 
■nd obviou meiita were now for the first time made known to the public at 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



The unique chaiacter ai ihe work consists in the fact that its author, who 
openly proclaimed himself ai Joie de Konseca, had manufactured it by securing 
a book of French dialogues, which, with the aid of a dictionary, he put word by 
word into English. Of thai tongue he knew nothing, and, what is more aston- 
ishing, learned nothing, even dunne the progress of his labor*. There resulted 
a farrago of mistakes, a jumble of English and Portuguese const ructions, over 
which the beaming self-conceit of the author spreads, lo borrow from Cirlyle, 
"like sunshine on the deep sea." Never was linguist in belter humor with 
himself. In his very prelace he begins by comparing his book, to its own 
great advantage, with. all its predecessors in the same line: "The Wsrlu 
which we were confering for this labour, find use us for nothing ; but those 
what were publishing to Portugal, or out They were almost all composed fof 
some foreign, or for some national little acquainted in the spirit of both lan- 
guages. It was resulting from thai corelessness lo rest these Worki fill of 
imperfections and anomalies of style ; in spite of the infinite typographical 
bults which sometimes invert the sense of the periods. It increase not to 
contain any of those Works the figured pronunciation of the english words, 
nor the prosodical accent in the ponugese ; indispensable object whom wish 
to speak the english and Portuguese languages correctly." 

Consequently the author felt that " A choice of familiar dialogues, clean of 
gallicisms and despoiled phrases, it was missing yet to studious porlueuese 
and brazilian Youth ; and also to persons of other lUlions that wish to fcnow 
the Portuguese language." 

And having set himself the task of filling this long-felt want, having 
avoided all the distressing faults and imperfections of his predecessors, he 
confidently anticipates the approbation of the public : " We expect then who 
the little book (for the care what we wrote him, and for her typographical 
correction) that may be worth the acceptance of the studiout persons, and 
especially of the Youth, at which we dedicate him particularly." 

To begin with the vocabulary, among the " Defects of the Body" arc enu- 
merated "a blind," "a lame," "a squint-eyed," and so on. The process here 
is intelligible, however. The professor of languages has simply followed the 
French idiom, and used nouns as adjectives. But such '■ Degrees of Kin- 
dred" as "gossip mistress," "the quarter -gran dial her," and " quarter- grand- 
mother" require elucidation, as also do such nice differentiations of meaning 
as are implied in the terms "a relation, an relation, a guardian, an guardian. 
We give up the first batch ; in the second Senhor Fonseca possibly reads a as 
the masculine, an as the feminine, of the indefinite article. Under the head 
of " Eatings," one's appetite is scarcely stimulated by such a menu as "some 
wigs," "some marchpanes," "a little mine," "an amelet," even with such 
" Seasonings" as " some pinions," " some verjuice," or " some hog's lard," and 
washed down wilh such " Drinkings" as "some paltry wine." A devout Cath- 
olic would be shocked to find hitnself set down to a maigrt diet of such " Fishes 
and Shellfishes" as " Hedgehc^," " Snail," " Wolf," and " Torpedo." 

Pass we on now to the Familiar Phrases. Almost at the outset we ire met 
with the pertinent query, " Have you understand thai he says ?" and when, a 
line or two farther down, we meet the mysterious direction, "Sing an area," 
we confess that we have not understand. A few mote examples must suffice : 

Thla CIrl han * bcMity «tn. 

It 01011 Dcnr to Uugh of ihe unhappiH. 

Probably noL The conversationalist is evidently one of the unhappies, for 



UTERAliY CURIOSITIES. 



H< hu tcntcb the &ca with tacn ndli. 
Tben, thanks be to heaven, the tables are tumei), and the veiy next entry 
informs us, — 

He bonu on't kIF the bnlu ; 
which is reassuring when you reflect that it is a literal rendition of " II se 
brflle la cervelle." Yet the slain knows not that he is slain. A little lower 
down the tale of bloodshed and sudden death is resumed : 



H« wu Gghuid in dual. 
Tbcy ighi one's kIEi inin <Ili le butcDI a 
Hs do nnl » tell (II rauiqiw dt lomber). 
He w» wuiini lobckUkd. 



Tikei 

One is glad to know that the conversationalist survives alt these dangers. In 
Ibe ** Familiar Dialogues" one accompanies him on " The walk." He is some- 
thing of a poet, a lover of nature. " You hear the birds gurgling ^" he asks, 
and then rapturously exclaims, '* Which pleasure t which charm t The field 
has In me a thousand charms." He visits his tailor and jaanlily asks, " Will 
you do me a coat?" The tailor, not a bit taken aback, replies in the Socratic 
bshion, " What cloth wilt you do to ?" That little matter is arranged. The 
tailor engages to bring the coat *' the rather that be possible." But evidently 
he procrastinates. For when at last it is delivered the messenger is met with 
the stern rebuke, " You have me done to eitpeci too," a bold version of " Vous 
m'avei fait trap aitendrc." The tailor makes excuse, " I did can't to come 
rather." When the conversationalist goes " Foi to ride a horse" we detect 
in him the same carping spirit " Here is a horae who have a bad looks. He 
not sail know to marsh, he is pursy, he is foundered. Don't you ate ashamed 
to give me a jade like this i He is undshoed, he is with nails up ; it want to 
lead to the farrier.'* Nevertheless he mounts. And then trouUe begins. 
" Never," screams the rider, " never I was seen a so bad beast ; she will not 
nor Id Iwing forward, neither put back." The stableman, evidently agitated, 
begins a running tire of advice. " Strek him the bridle," he cries. " Hold him 
the reins shartcrs. Pique stron gly, make to maish him." " I have pricked 
him enough. But I can't make him to marsh," replies the indignant client. 
"Go down, I shall make marsh," says the dealer scornfully, and the incensed 
equestrian rejoins, "Take care that he not give you a foot kicks." For aught 

we know, I hi ""' ^" 

surrejoinder, 

hii," which brings to an inglorious end our conversationalist's attempt for to 

Tide a horse. 

The pupil, having by this time acquired a choice slock of phrases, with a 

•elect and wetl-we^ed vocabulary, is next taught lo practise the epistolary 

style after the best models. And who are these models ? Madam of Sevigne 

and Madam of Maintenon. One specimen from the former lady must suffice : 

Madam op SevionA at their Dauohter. 

I wriuyou tvcry day : il b a jar which give mc m«I favourable al ill who btc m* tome 
shall baEivait>yH. D . Idon'i know u he li ctllEd: £iit at laMll teahooeu miui.whiil 



HANDY-BOOK OF 
■ fund of entertaining anecdotes, so ingeniotuly worded (ha( 



J ■ ■ ■ ■ 

On tnis head the Portuguese compiler has a good story to tell, and he tells it 
in his own idiomatic wa]( : 

A phyricUs cighiT ynn of ic lud cnjcued of ■ hudth luultmble. Tkein friendi did 

mm. What you maVt Ihen for u bear ysu u veil t" "Iiball Icll you It, gealicmen," h« 
wu auweRd tfaem : " uid I uhon you in laoK time u to IbiUnr by ciunple. 1 li¥e oT 
Ibe product of my ordcripg, withom tuc uiy rtmtdy who 1 conuouid Ic my ilcki," 

Where all are good ii seems a worlt of supcrerogHtton to sclecL But space 
is limited, and we must confine ourselves to a few : 

liuk« dogi ud little moDltetei aud who waa caireuigD tlicm too icnderly wu uk, with so 
many great dealRaaon, whether the women oT her country don't had loauchildnDt 

A lady, which wai to dine, chid to her aervuil that she had not uaed butttr «noagh. Thia 
giri, In the eacnae him lelTil, waa biini a litUe cat on her hand, aud told that ihe came lo 
take him io the crime, finiihing to rat ihe two poutidi From buiier who remaia. The ladv 
took liUAediuely the at, was put into the balaucea, it had not weighed thest me an half 

Two (rieDdi who fiom long they Aot wen leen meet oae'i ieli»a for hanrd. " How do it 
.■• ._,. . .>._ . — <. .. .. ,. ._[j j[,^ other, "and i am mairiedfrom that I 



"Not quit becauK 1 had 1 
:h great deal wone ; becauae her dower wai from two iboiuaod 

deada oT the rol." " That ii indeed very torry." " Not hj 



A tUag it lell, aoolhcr ia nuke. 

The waltt have heaniy. 

Spoken <A Ihe woir one aeet the tail. 

Tliexe ll not any nilo- without ■ exception. 

He it like the fiih [mo the water. 

To come back at their mutlona. 

He ia not ID devil at he it black. 

What come in lo me for an cv yet ont for another. 

The none aa mlli not heap up not foam. 

Hdp thy that God will aid thee. 

It want to take the occaaion for the baira- 

idiomatlc as the originals which tbejr 

Senhor Fonseca alone who has subjected the English language 

" Here ihey spike the English," an announcement that actually appeared in 
a Parts shop'window, might oe taken as an appropriate motto for many strange 
and murderous onslaughts on the English tongue. English was badly spiked 
bj the baker in the Palais Royal who announced, "Maccaroni not baked 
sooner ready," and by the barber in the Rue St-Honor^ ivho made an 
attempt lo attract foreign custom by the statement, " Hear to cut off hare, 
in English fashion." K. Oliver, a French conjurer, was another desperate 
offender. In his programme he offers "to perform an tntinily of Legerde- 
main*," such a* " the cat and burnt handketchleve who shall take up their 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 289 

primitiTa forms ; the watch thrown et nailed against the wall bf a pistol shot, 
the enchanted glass wine, the handsome Elsina in her trunclc, some tow 
automatons who will dance upon a rope and sail do all the most difficul 
tricks," the whole to conclude with " a PLantaamagoiy disposed in a manner 
as not to frighten (he ladies." 

" Articulation without swipe" is the puzzling commendation that accom- 
panies the description of a weighing-machine, and of a bathing-girdle the 
awful statement is made thai "the person, the bathing-tub, and the machine 
are forming one inseparable piece." 

A certain M. Hercelle-Lerusle recently put forth a highly mysterious drcu- 
lar. It aims to describe the virtues of the " unparalleled balhing-rooro, dress- 
ing-rooms and of showers-baths, united system Hercelle-Leruste." Despite 
the assistance of a rudimentary illustration of the improved bath-room, it is 
doubtful whether the full merits of the system will ever be comprehended 
iTom the circular. However, it is dimly apparent that the invention is in the 
lulure of what is known here as a geyser, or instantaneous water-heater, and 
that improved ventilation is a special feature. So much being premised, 
we can follow the sense, though withholding our approval from the literary 
form of the sentence promising "a foot-bath, sitting-bath, and any one else 
bath, healing itself in a minute, without which smoke spread itself over 
room, thing which has never existed." Still intelligible, ihough still weak in 
accidence, is M. Hercelle-Lerusle's eiplanalion of huw " persons having some 
bathing- rooms" may alter said rooms for the reception of his apparatus, even 
iu the case of a person "residing in house which be not the properly of her." 
" I will construct this room," the inventor continues, " to make remove when 
she will wish all (he objects same the invisible pipes and reservoirs, all to 
make remove." 

One is tempted to ask, why this partiality for the feminine set? Why, oh, 
why does not this benefactor of his kind tJiBer his services also to the poor 
male householder residing in house which be not (he propern of him ^ why 
may not he loo enjoy a fool-bath, sitling-bath, or any one else bath ? But 
then we remember Ihal persoini in the chivalrous French tongue is feminine, 
and that the good Hercelle-Leruste. with nice grammatical discernment, is 
gallantly attempting to make the English pronominal adjective agree with its 
antecedent. And now follows a financial paragraph, from whose obscurity we 
can see no escape by conjectural emendation or otherwise ; " All is foreteen 
it and cheaply, because this elegant room can do il from seven hundred francs 
including reservoirs, as much as len thousand francs if one desire it, since one 
eat now a daysmake, all scenes and to bay there he desired draperies." 

Hany and curious are the personal advantages and the comforts that attach 
to a bath filled by this water-heater. For example, " We undress ones self 
afresh without to be seen of some persons that are in this room," and we can 
" be served in this room egally without be seen." Best of all, it is a sort of 
enchanted room, where everything comes of itself. " Being there for bath or 
something else, being undressed and having forgotten of linen or any one 
else, yon ask them without any inconvenience with a speaking-trumpet, these 
objects come to you yon take them and nobody seen jpou." 

Be there any sceptics ^ M. Hercelle-Lerusle invites verification. "Gone 
at niT residence." — this is the engaging form in which he issues his invitation, 
— "There you will can see work 11. 

Baths and bathing -establishments seem indeed to prompt to tortuous Eng- 
lish. The card of an old inn at Paris announces, " Salines baths at every 
o'clock," and a bath-keeper at Basle informs his English visitors that "in his 
newly-creeled establishment, which the ouner recommends best to all for- 
eigners, ate to have ordinary and artful baths, Russia and sulphury bagntna. 



..oogic 



ago HANDY-BOOK OF 

pumping*, artful mineral waters, guaze iemonades furnished apartmentl for 
patients." 

It seems to be inevitable that whenever a foreign word has a double mean- 
ing the foreigner seeking its English equivalent will stumble on the wrong 
alternative and thus produce delicious confusion. Il is staggering at first to 
find an English advertisement in a French paper which reads, " Castle to 
pcaise presently," and yuu do not recover from your surprise until you re- 
membec that the French verb Imttr means either to praise or to let. The 
literal rendition of chiitau, by "castle," and the Hubslitullon of ])rc$cntiy for 
immediately, are minor errors that lend an artistic and fullf -rounded complete- 
ness to the whole sentence. In a similar way, when an Amsterdam refresh- 
meni-house announces "upright ginger beer," you read the adieclive back 
into the original Dutch and find that opregl means genuine as well as upright. 

A dentist at Honlleur "renders himself to the habitalions of these wich 
honor him with their confidence and executes all wich coiiceinB his profes- 
sion with skill and vivacity." A vivacious dentist would not necessarily invite 
the confidence of his patients. 

The '' Proliferous Top," whatever that may be, is accompanied by this set 
of instructions: 



cable puttimc, Mun 






> Amsterdam," published in Holland, claims li 
an. Here is how this pseudo-Englishman 
liis own language. Me is speaking of the customs of the inhabitants 
days and holidays : 

They go lo witk oubidc ihc Km caia ; after Ihii walk Ihey hasen w (lee puklr 
gankiH, when wine. thu. clc. ii (sliT Nellher ihe mobility renuina Idle M thoe 
uiDmenu. Every one invltei hli diauel. and joycutly Ihey enler pliy (inleiii ef i 
leu brilliancy dun ihe former. There al the ciyini Kund of an ioiuuiiieiii thai th 
ear. accompanied by the dellghtlii] handlc-oriaiu and the nullc triancle, ibeir devoi 
paid to TeipiKboK. Enrywbere a omililude of lalniK; the daidng outdoea n 



satisfaction. — . -j„_,— — — - 

sun hiro rise a horn will be blowed." That announcement sufficiently pre- 
pares the visitor for the following entry in the wine list : " In this hotel the 
wines leave the traveller nothing to hope for." The style of the following is 
legal in its precision : " It is clearly understood that the combustion of every 
kind of wooden work which belongs to the entity of the shelter is strongly 
forbidden, so that if il happened to be caused damage of any kind from the 
part of the travellers or guides, the latter one will be made responsible. At 
this purpose every one is requested to nott^ those eventual damages made on 
the shelter huts and in the same time if it is possible." As Polonius says, 
"entity of the shelter" and "eventual damages" are good. 

The following is copied from a card for English visitors prepared by the 
host of an establishment in the neighborhood of Pompeii. It will reveal the 
secret of its meaning to no casual reader : 

linen : for the eiaclne» of Ihe terrice and ibr ihe eiceilence of Ihe true French cooliery. 
Iteing iltuated at a prrximLiy of that rcfeneirailoD, it vllL be propltioua lo receive ^miliaa 



;i:v..G00^IC 



LITER A R V CURIOSITIES. 




The darkest poriion of the above is that which refers tu the tardy and ex- 
pensive contour of the iron wa]'. The mystery is partly cleared up, however, 
when one discovers that the iron way is literal English for cknnin dc fer, the 
railroad. 

Jajian and China yield some remaikable specimens. The following are >l 



tjiv. tHtdi a — _, . 

Tnmcnt *rc prohlibi 



The tmt cuitlDe, birdi and btuu killiDE, and a 
J L-i : .V -ohlbiltd. 



(Signed) Osaka Fu. 
■maker, named Veck Chee, published the accompanying no- 

.- .ill formerly ibr sold b^ Like iBerthanlof Loaoqua dur 
quo ii DP je^vc a iTuiL b«coaii« he wat dcccairul and Jom of the i aymtDi, hereaner for lale 
Ihe cotle ncD io lupcct the unden^ntdl Whoever ihould be m lata ken to the counlir^^il 
Ne^Menbaat it Veck Chee. 

But the garden-spot of the world for. ciolic Enpliah is Suiely India. The 

conjoine 

Lady 
gentleman addressed her by letter as " Honored Enc 

One man dating an eiatnination was told to write an essay upon the horse, 
which he did in the following brief item r "The horse is a vejy noble animal, 
but when irritated he ceases (o do so." " ProEiess and Poverty" was thus 
outlined by another essayisi : " The rich man welleis on crimson velvet, while 
(he poor man snorts on fiinU" It is a Punjab school-master who gives us this 
sample of epistolary English : 

in m sate of ixiumph. Tbe ^LLmmie is very ffood and piaves uphesUthy. Nu deputy cotDDiia- 



X addressed to the English 1 
e, manager of Ihe Pe' " " '^' 
n at Nayeghat, Benares. It is loo long to quote ei 
room for the reasons which actuated him to appeal to their " lordships" of the 
House of Common! as follows : 

Tbe atnliuDt believei thai as deiire cu oriilnate wllhin ui if lu hilfillmenl ia not de- 
abed by PtovUIbkc atid to Iutc further pxiwf which can be uiuvcrHliy acknowledffed is that 
ike whole world when In lla infancy w«iid iwl have called for iMurlshment if the ati-wise 
CoDBinr had sol ■mmged for ao palpable and nounihing a diet. The jppikani would 
atrlTC to tUa coaduaion (hu tbii iHenac deaire ol aaking IroDi the government what be- 
looa ID bin muat bave ariacB owing Io iti fiilfillincnt being decided by the AlDighty. The 
»nb b called ibe noiber e( all ifainga, doi because ihe pmduces. bui became the munuina 
aod nuraes what itat pnduca. Her Moat Gnicioua Maj«Iy, the Empteas of India, being 
unacd aa Queen Uotbei, voold ncrer like to act like Eaop'i eunh, which would not "una 
the fdant Di aiHnbcr grvund, alibougb never ao mnch impmved by maaon thai plant w 
tf ka ov ■■ — ■— 



;i:,vG00gk" 



»9* HANDY-BOOK OF 

Their "lordships" must have been highly astonished to find themselves 
described as "endowed with all the perfections and blessings of nature." 
A notice posted in a Lahore hotel has a very truculent sound : 

and if ihey ihould uy bironband thit'thFy an going oul lo bTjllirait*or"diDncr, an If II^ 
•ay that they not tun anylhiDg Is ut, (h<y «iiL \x charged, and If not to, they will be 
chiirgcd. Dr. unl«ft thry bHng it to th« notice of lil« manager, and ibould they want to aay 
anything, they mutt order the maiuger for, and tioi any one eJK, and unleu they Dot btiiu 
it (O the DDtice of the manager, they wtii be charged for the ieadl thinn according to hotd 
rate, and no flis^ wlU be allowed a/ierward about it- Should any gentleman take wall-lamp 

HonlhJjr gentkmeni vill bave to pay my ^Bcd rate nude with them at the lime, and ■honJd 
1 take from Ibcm leu rate than my u»ual rate of monthly charges. 

But (he Bnest specimen of Hindoo English — unsurpassed and uttsurpass- 
"'"'" """" ~ir of Onoocool Chunder Moorkerjee, judge of the High 



At the verj start we scent the rich treat that is in store for us. Our hearts 
warm within us as we read that this admirable man, " by dim of wide energy 
■nd perseverance, erected a vant^e ground above the common level of his 
countrymen, — nay, stood with the rare, barring few on the same level with 
him, and sat arrayed in majestic glory, viewing with unparalleled and mute 
rapture his friends and admirers lifting up their hands with heartfelt glee and 
laudation for his success in life." 

[lis lather died when Onoocool was very young, and " unfortunate blind 
bargains and speculations" by an elder brother soon reduced the bmily to 
so tow an ebb that "it was threatened with Barmecide feasts." Thereupon 
"Onoocool Chunder was pressed by his mother lo search for an employment 
' All love the womb that their first beings bred,' and Justice Moorkerjee was 
not out of the pale of it There cannot lie a greater instance of self.denial 
than a mother endures during the whole existence of her ofcpring. Nothing 
in the world can make her facetious when her child is not so, and nothing in 
the world can make her lugubrious when her child is not s>i. Ergo, on the 
contrary, a mother is loved and respected in every age." 

Ergo, on the conlraiy, the filial Onoocool determined lo obey his mother. 
He was successful in finding employment He was eventually admitted to 
the bar. His power of arguing a question with " capacious, strong, and laud- 
able ratiocination and eloquence" soon brought him in an income, which he 
used "to eWticale his family from the difficulties in which it had lalely been 
enwrapped, and lo restore happiness and sunshine to those sweet and well- 
beloved faces on which he had not seen the soft and bscinaling beams of a 
simper for many a griiD-visaged year." 

It is pleasant lo follow this brilliant career. In 1870, Choonder accepted a 
seal in (he Legislative Council of Ben^l, his selection for this honor being 
characleriied as " most judicious and tip-lop." Within the year he resigned 
from the council to accept a judgeship. " His elevation created a catholic 
ravishment throughout the dominion under the benign and fostering sceplre 
of great Albion." But, alas 1 he did nol live long lo enjoy his success. Eight 
months later, while delivering a judicial opinion, he left a slight headache. 
'■ which gradually aggravated and became So uncontrollable that he fell like a 
toad under a harrow." " All the well known doctors of Calcutta did what 
they could, with their puissance and knack of medical knowledge, bul it 
proved after all as if to milk the ram t His wife and children had nol the 
mournful consolation lo hear his last words, he remained settovoa for a few 
boius and then went lo God at about 6 f.u." With one graphic stroke the 



LITESARY CURIOSITIES. 293 

Uograpber i^ctiiTM the despair of the famitj^i "The house presented a 
second Babel ot a pretly kettle of fish." Nor was the mourning confined to 
the bouse. " All wept for bim, and whole Bengal was in lachrymation — and 
more I shall say, that even the learned judges of the High Court heaved 
sighs and closed it on its Appellate and Original Sides." 

Here is a pleasing description of the judge's personal appearance : " When 
a boy he was filamentous ; but gradually he became plump as a partridge. 
>lis dress was unaffected— ~he used lu wear Dhotee and Chadur on all occa- 
sions except when going to court, office, or to see any European gentleman, 
or attending any European parly. And even on going to iiee a Nautch or 
something of the like I have never seen him in a dress fine as a carrot fresh 
scraped, but ttte perfetuum in Pantaloon and in satin or btuad-clotb Chapkan, 
with a Toopee well quadrate to the dress." He was a faithful Hindoo, and 
chariuble withal, but judicious in his charities. "The Hon'ble Mookerjee 
did bleed freely, but he was not a leviathan on the ocean of liberality ; the 
mode of assignment of his charities was to sncb men as we truly wish, and 
/eoommend, and exsuscitate enthusiastically. He used to give monthly 
■omething to many relicts who bad no hobbotdy-hoy even to support them, 
and bad no other source of sustenance left to them by their consorL" 

WnjH.li Tbe Klug'a, 01 Queen's, an epithet first used in connection with 
some verb, as to abuse, tleface, or murder the king's English, and apparently 
suggested by phrases like "to delace the king's coin." The term has been 
traced no further back than "The Merry Wives of Windsor" (1598), where ii 
is pul in the mouth of mistress Quickly : 

I pnj th« n to the C4acmai( pod ice if you c*n ie« mv mAater, Doctor Caiui, comiBg : 
fa'hr do, L' faith, and lind anybody la the faoiue, here vlU be an old abusing of God'a tHlicDCc 
and the kinc'i Engliih.— Act i., Be. 4. 

Dr. Caius, the Frenchman in the play, and Evans the Welshman, "Gallia 
et Gnallia," succeed pretty well in their efforts to murder the language. In 
"Love's Labor's Lost," Costard comments on the wortderful Mnguistic feats 
of Holofcrnes and Sir Nathaniel, the pedantic school-master and preacher, and 
the faolaslic Spaniard Annado : 

They huT* bevD at ■ great feaat of Isikgusfet and Hoten lt» icrapi.— Act v.,Sc 1. 
Per emara, Spenser speaks of 

Dan CbaucFT, well of Engllib nndetyled, 

Fatrit Qmrn, Book W., Canto IL, Sl 33 : 
and of hit fnend Goldsmith, Dr. Johnson says, — 

A Poet, NatoraLiat, atid UiiloHan, 
Who kft Karcely any ityle of writing uolouched, 

[Nibll ledgit quod son onuvil.] 

EHIafk m GaliUmitk. 

HnlpW* <Gt. iHviyiia, a " riddle" or " dark saying ;" from dvat, a " fable," 
a " sajing"), the earliest form of the riddle, which has since burgeoned out so 
luxananily into [he ct^nale forms of charades, rebuses, conundrums, etc The 
eni|^a has been diflcrenlialed from these other flora of the recondite by the 
definition which makes it adescriplion, perfectly true in itself, but so ingeniously 
couched in metaphorical language that the sense is not obvious, so that when 
put in the form of a question it shall stimulate the curiosity and yet baffle the 
would-be inter[»eler. In the great majority of cases it might in fact be 
called a metaphor or a poetical similitude reversed. Primeval poetry, — 
the sagas in the North, Hesiod's epics in the South,— poetry in which it was 
a pmnt of honor lo call nothing by its right name, illustrates this premiss 
ntoct eflectively. The ship, for example, is the sea-horse. Now, reverse the 
13* 



994 HANDY-BOOK OF 

process. Instead o> calling the ship the s' 

carries men over the sea. There yuu havi 

live poems the two processes are wedded, and The 

form of an enigma, which is immediately answered. A he'autiful eiample is 

furnished in the opening of the Servian " Hassan Aga," which Goethe has 

resuBcilaled : 

Whml while form ll •himineiiiig DD yon la T 



'Til Ibc lenl of Huun An thlsiag. 

Makuh : TrmulatidfrBm CbiIIu. 
Again, there is a ^miliar enigma which is common, in one form or another, 
to all primitive nations : " What runs faster than a horse, crosses waler, and is 
not wet?" The sun. Now, this is identical with one of the most famous 
metaphors in literature, a metaphor whose many avatars in the pa^es of 
poets, philosophers, and divines will be found duty chronicled under SUN. 
To repeat a single instance, it is thus expressed by Bacon : " The sun, which 
passeth through pollutions, and itself remains as pure as before." 

Samson's riddle was an enigma : so was ihat of the Sphinx. Though Sam- 
son afterwards became a judge, one cannot hold thai his riddle was a Tair 
one : " Out of the eater came forth meal, and oul of the strong came forlh 
sweetness." This referred, as all will remenibei, to a dead lion in whose 
mouth certain bees had made their honey. Now, it refjuired for its solution 
too large a knowledge of antecedent circumstances. No wonder his wife's 
people could not in three days expound the riddle. 'I'he Sphinx really played 
fairer : " What is that animal which in the morning goes on four feet, at noon 
on two, and in the evening on three V Answer, Man. Here morning, noon, 
and evening are metaphors of infancy, manhood, and age, and there is a 
further metaphorical use of the word feet, which is applied in one place to 
the hands, and in another to a staif. used for support and progress. 

The ancient Greelis were veiy fond of riddles of this sore One Clesbu- 
lina, nicknamed Eumetis. the wise woman, was especially famous in her day, 
insomuch that a comedy was named after her, "The Clesbulinas." One can- 
not help breathing a sigh over the disappearance of what must have been a 
magnificent collection of classical chestnuts. Clesbulina's enigma about the 
cupping-glass, or rather cup]>ing-brass, won her especial renown : 
HW a mm^m^ ,h"tSS '™'' 

Toffelherfttw 

Thai you would lay 

One blood wen Ihn. 
Now Rul my riddle if you cu. 
Another ancient riddle is credited to Cleobolus, one of the Seven Wise 
Men of Greece : " A father had twelve children, and each child had thirnt sons 
and daughters, the sons being white and the daughters black, and one ot these 
died every day, and yet became immortal," Is not this identical with the 
riddle which Necbalano, King of Egypt, proposed to Lycerua, King of Baby- 
lon, in that war of riddles which Planudes has celebrated ? The Babylonish 
monarch had always been a winner in these contests, because he had Msap at 
his court, and j&op was mote than a match for his adversary. But at last 
Necbatano conceived he had a clincher. " There is a ^rand temple," he said, 
" which rests upon a single column, which column is encircled by twelve 
cities ; every city has against its walls thirty flying buttresses, and each buUress 
has Iwo women, one white and one black, thai go round ■" 



LITERAR Y CURIOSITIES. 



\t old friend in anoltier form ; 



Hgv Dvy All this togelJuj' fruDlc f 

And ill a more recent " Recueil de Calembours" published in France, the si 
recondite jesi inakts once more iU perennial appearance : 



The Abb^ Hoilat has described some ensagini; traits of the Wo1ols,a simple 
but jocular race who inhabit Senegal. It is their nightly custom to sit in the 
moonlight or fire-light, propounding aboriginal enigmas to one another, amid 
peals of laughter. If a riddle is guessed a shout goes up, " He has told the 
truth I" If not, the Wulof method of giving it up is to grasp the chin and 
cry, " III the name of the God of truth," And this is the snle of riddle pro- 
pounded : " What runs long in the sun and casts no shallow V Does the 
reader grasp his chin ? Do we hear an appeal to the eternal verities ? We 
leap to his assistance with the answer, — The road. Again, " Who are the 
comrades thai fight all day and never hurl each other f The tongue and the 
teeth. One cannot help envying the capacity for merriment which can exiort 
laughter out of such elementary epigrams. Vet the country- folk everywhere, 
the jroung barbarians in our nurseries, nay, our polished ancestors, and the 
classical ancients, have or had an equally rudimentary sense of humor. Many 
of the riddles still current are just as primitive as any we have quoted. No 
doubt our arboreal ancestors shook their sides and wagged their prehistoric 
tails over precisely the same jests, — after the megatherium and the dodo had 
done with them. Indeed, some of Shakespeare's quibbles belong to the same 
class. (Dues not Ruskin wistfully marvel at the readiness of Elizabethan 
audiences to be amused ?] All seem to proceed from the wondering child- 
like intellect, just awakened to recognition of the fact that there are analogies 
in nature, and giving the ready guerdon of admiration or laughter to the more 
■paciotis intellects among them who had shown that human relations mi^hl 
be predicated of inanimate things, either in jest or earnest. The mind with 

a humorous bias made enigmas, the serious mind made metaphors,- '■--- ^ 

'^'--te is a leeend that the Father of Poetry was don 

further ilTuslialion of the close connection between the two 



o^iTt 



say, poems. There is a leeend that the Father of Poetry was done to death 

1 ; ^ further ilTuslialion of the close connection between the two 

Lure. Asking some fishers of los what luck they had had, the 
wandering minstrel was told, "What we caught we threw away, what we could 
not catch we kept" Fleas, not fishes, had been the quest of these merry men 
on that particular day. Homer puzzled himself into some classic form of 
paresis, and finally gave up both the riddle and the ghost. But the riddle 
survived to puzile posterity, Symposius, in the seventh century, put it 
into Latin verse. Pierre Grognet diti it into old French: 



is the following : " He 



agfi HANDY'BOOK OF 

laves her ; she has a repugnance to him, and vet she tries to catch him ; and 

ir she succeeds, she will be the death of him.*' 

Aulus Gellius, in his twelfih book of " Noctea Atticz," goes into ecstasies 
over a snrpia, or what the Gieeks call an aragwia, " which 1 lately foand ; 
ancient, by Hercules 1 and exceedingly crafty, comjHised in three iambic verses." 
It is really worth quoting for its utlei inanity ; 

Jovi ipf i Rgi DoLuh conccdcre, 

t' I Imaw Dot wbohv it wu once Isn, or twice Iss. or both the Iut«r addtd tocnbtr, who. 
ooa heard, wu imwiUiot lo yield even to King Jax hlmHlf.") 

" I leave this unanswered," says Gellius, " lo sharpen the conjectures of my 
readers in their investigations," — probably the earliest instance of a fashion 
now much in vogue in journals and magaztnes of leaving the solution to the 
next number. But Gcliius is merciful. " He who is tired of investigating," he 
adds. " may lind the answer in the second book of M. Varro to Marcellus on 
the Latin language." 

The answer is Terminus {ter-minus). Ovid declares that all the crowd of 
gods gave place to Jove, except Terminus, who held his ground. So the 
author of the riddle doubts whether it was once less, or twice less, or ihrice 
less (ler-minus, — (>., the two latter added together), who, as he once heard, 
was unwilling to yield to King Jove himselC I'he force of tathos could no 
further go. 

There have been epochs when enigmas and other forms of riddles were 
especially in vogue. Always these epochs marked a recurring season of 
intellectual awakening. Such an epoch there was at the first glimmeting of 
new dawn towards ihe close of the seventh century and the beginning of Ihe 
eighth. This was probably the ageofSymposius, author of a collection of Latin 
riddles, as it certainly was of Aldlielm, Bishop of Sherborne, and of Tatwine, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, both of whom fallowed in the footsteps of Sym- 



Aldhelm yields this upon the alphabet; 
chadRn of Iron, by iron we die. bni children too of the bird'a wing thai Ilia » hl^ : three 

That is lo say, seventeen consonants and six vowels : made wilh iron style 
and erased wiiti the same, or else made with a bird's quill ; whatever Ihe 
inslrumenl, three fingers are the agents ; and we can convey answer without 
delay even in situations where it would be inconvenient to speak. 

And lastly, here b Taurine on an " E^le-leclum," — in almost literal Iran*- 

Angelic food to folk 1 oft dupenH, 

Wlult KtlDdt majeUic fill Itteniive emrm. 

Vet neither voice hjtve 1 nor toikgue for ip*«h. 

Id btav? equipment of two wings T abine. 

But wingt wiiboDKD any iliili to By : 

One fool I have to itand. but not ■ rwH to (o. 

It is probably to this epoch also [though some would claim a mucli higher 
anIiquiM that the most famous of all enigmas is to be referred, the "i^lia Laelia 
Crispis, an inscription preserved at ^l™"i« — lii<.li li»« ™.t.i*h tk> oiiHt 
twails, and has finally been given up as ii 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



. ,rT»mldum, Deque •epuLchnua^ 



:pi. nnue 



S«d cixUver idem en, et kepukhnim dbL 
ijr be Tendered u follows ; 

£UA L.CLIA Crispis, 
NeidiermAik, nor womiin, nor bfnniiphrodlte ; 
Ntkhti girl, DC ' 



NeiiBwbulal 

ButiV 

troyfidvdlhcr 1 

Uv nnlka Id bea^ 



De*troy«d Ddlhcr by buDKer, Dor 



Ludui AAtho PrUctu. 



Tbk b ■ tomb hi._, ,._ . 

Thk H ■ corpK biilL( do lomb wlthoin ll ; 

' Various interpretations have been oBered, some better than othera, bat 
none good. It has even been shrewdly saspccted that (here is no inierpreta- 
tion, — that the puule is a mere hoax. Rain-water, the so-called materia 
medica, the philosopher's stone, a dissected person, a shadow, an embryo, — 
these and other sugeested explanations all fall to the ground. There seems 
to be some color of reason to Professor Schwartz's «ug»B(ion that the 
Christian religion is the trae answer, referring, in proof, to GaJatians ill. 28: 
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is 
neither male nor female ; for we are all one in Christ Jestis." But after the 
superficial likeness to the text has been acknowledged, it is hard work to find 
the other analogies. 

Better remember the fate of tlomer, and desist from any further cudgelling 
of the brain. 

The period of the Renaissance was a great era for the enigma. Numerous 
collections of all forms of riddles were put forth in the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries. Some were eclectic, some ostensibly original. Among the 
latter the efforts of the Abb<! Cotin are especially famous. In England, at a later 
period, Swift and others followed Cotin's example in acknowledging their 
bantlings. The majority of riddles before Cotin's time had been anonjnnous. 

Among these anenymx, however, ate some that have won for themselves 
the glory of perennial quotation. Sometimes they are only fair, sometimes 
they are very bad. Never mind : they are classics, and not the most cursory 
history of the enigma would be complete without them. 

Let us dip into that celebrated book of riddles already mentioned as spoken 



HAtfDY-BOOK OF 



called, with t 

of antique titl-_, ...._., . „ . , >. 

tions and Witly Proverba to make uleasanl pastime ; no less useful than be- 
hooverull for any yong man or child, to know if he be quickwitted or no." 

Do you want to find out if you be quick-witted ? Then unriddle me this, 
an it please you : 

Two leg* tat upoD thrcfi lep aad had one 1^ in her hand ; then Id came Ibim legi aad 
bare away od« leg ; then up nan two l«£i and threw three legB at foun Icgi, and brought 

The answer is full of picturesque detail, and runs u follows : 
That it, a woman with two legi •■( on a itoole with three legi, and had a leg of munoB 
in her hand ; (hen came a dog that hath fourt legi, and bare away the lee it omlton : tlwB 
up naned the wodud and threw the uoole with three kg> at ihc dog with fbure legi, aad 

Would you prefer a poetical riddle P Vour taste shall be gratified : 

•oodaodcati^lit. 



He I 

Liue he could DOC finde it, 
le with hi En he brought it. 

DoTfol^ 



Because he could DOl findl 
Home with hi En he brough 



Ah there, old trueiienny t You see it has turned up once more, — the same 
old jest that worried Homer into a premature grave. 

Here are some famous biis of inanity preserved in Halliwell'* "Nursery 
Rhymes of England :" 

Loiu: leg*, crooked thJEha, 

" ' "'(K'^^ti toog..) 
Thiny while honea upon a red hill. 
Now they cbamp, now they tnuop, now thev itand allL 

(THth and guDis.) 
Old mother Twicbell had but one aye. 



Whai'i (hat whkh all love more Ihaa Ula. 
Pear more than death or monal wrife t— 

The poor poaaeat, the rich require. 
The miHT ipendi, the ipendthrift uvea, 
Dien carry (0 '^^^^^j 

In a speech on the embargo which lohn Adams delivered in CongreM ii 
1806, he made apt use of "an old riddle on a coffin, which I presuuM we al 
learned when we were boys :" 



There wai a man beipoke a ihlDg, 
Which when the malier home did btiBg, 
lliat lame maker did nhiae it, 
The man that ipoke for It did not uaa It, 
Aod he who had It did not koow 
Whether he had it, ya or DO. 

L.:,l,zi;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 299 

Mr. Adams considered this " an perfea a re premutation of the origin, prog- 
ress, and present state of Ihia thing called non-iiilercourse as it is possibTe 
to be conceived." True, if u on -intercourse be established, the similitude 
would Tail in one particular. The tenant of the coffin did not know his state, 
;• But the people of the United States will be lilcrally buried alive in non- 
intercourse, and realize ihe grave closing on themselves and on their hopes, 
with a full and cruel consciousness of all the horrors of their condition." 

The constituents of the alphabet have supplied an inexhaustible fund of 
material for enigma-composers. An early instance is this by Swift on the 
Vowels: 



Two hmous eiam|jles, — masterpieces in their kind, — each depending on 
the power of a single letter in the construction of syllables and words, were 
atliibated in a vague way to Lord Byron, — a well-deserved tribute to their 
elegance and skill in versification. Both were afterwards shown to be the 
composition of Miss Catherine Fanshawe. She penned them in an album 
tome lime in the year 1S14, while visiting at Deepdene, the beautiful seat of 
" Anastasius" Hope, where Disraeli wrote "Coningsby." The first is on the 
letter H : 

'T»iu whiipered in heaven, 'twu mDCIcnd in hell. 

And «ho caugh. fiintly the »und n il fdl : 

On the CDnfinei of earth 'Iwu permitted to rest, 



I> the prep of hit houK and ihe >^0<1 > 
ln,the ^eaps of the iiii«!r ii hoarded t 
But is lUre to be lo«I in hit prodi^l h 
Jl bcsiu every hope, every wish it mv 

But woe to die wretch who eipels it Tr 

'Tslll lofien the heut. but. thougli di 
It will nuke it acutely and iniiantly bi 
But in <bon, lei it tetl like a delicaie i 
Oh, breathe on ii loMy, ft diei in an 1 



J alwa^ am greateat alone. 

I'm Dot bi the earth, nor tfaeHon, nor the uioon : 
Yoti may Kanzfa all the iky. I'm not ihere : 

Vou nay plainly pen:eive m'e, for, like a baUAB 
I am uwa^a utipetided Id alT, 



Coogk" 



300 HANDY-BOOK OF 

TtuHcfa diKue DiAy pDuw ni«, uid lEckiwH, mud palM^ 

THough in wLi aiul in wiadoui 1 eduUy rtign, 
I'm tEvhean of »U lUi.jtndhAvc lone lived ia vjiiq. 
Yet I ne'er ibnlL be (oaad in like lonb. 

There ia a fiimous entCTna, which is attribuieii somelimes lo Lord CheMer- 
field, and sometiines lo Miss Anna S«ward. the once fiimous Swan of Lich- 
field. It is even added that the latter lady left by will the snra of one thou- 
sand pounds 10 any who should guess it One form of il is in twenty-two 
lines, another in fourteen. The longer runs thus : 

The DDbleil gbjeci in the woilu of ul, 

Tbe briehtest Kenea which nature can impvl ; 

The wdl'kDown tlnul In the line of pcue, 

Tbe urmer'a comfon u be drives ibe ploufb, 
A eoldier'* duEy. and ■ lover't vow ; 
A CDDDul Bude before ihe niiptL^ tie. 



A prue th4t meril Dever yet hai won ; 
A [oh which prudence t^dav can retrieWfl 
The deuh oT Judu. end ibe fell of Eve; 
A put between Ihe inkk end iht knee, 

A miler'i idnl, mnd the l»dge of Jewv 
If now your happy ^niui cut divine 

By the Sm letter plainly nay be fnnnd 
An encieni dUy thai ia mucli rennwDed. 

Three or four attempted solutions of this are extant, but none i* qnite utls> 
Here is a rather pretty lancy by no less a man than Schiller : 

A bridge weavea ha arcb vith pearla 



lla apan, unbounded, free. 
"be talleit ihipa with iwelLitlg aall 



(Tbe tminbnw.) 

Cowper the poet, in a letter to so grave and dignified a gentleman u the 
Rev. John Newton, propounds the following enigma : 

And Ihe parent ^ numbcn that cannot b* told : 

I am lawful, unlawfiil, a duty, a fault ; 

1 am oA«n aold dear, kchhI for nnthlnft when twughi; 

And y^ded with pleaauie when taken by foice'. 



And If Ihe oka it aiain I crievc dm. 
Charles Jamet Foi wu not averse to lightening the carei of stateimaniUp 



..oogic 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 301 

■ one of (he riddlet that have 



vord there Ls oT pluni numlH 



PlunU i» plun] DOW no DtoR, 

Butangllng AlUanoa*. This phrase originated with Thomas Jefierton, 

The anxious avoidance of "entangling alliances" has been the characteristic 
or the foreign policy of the United Slates throughout iheit political history. 

Equkl ADd ejiact juuice lo all men of whaurer luie or pcnuaBion, lelii^Diu or pelitlckl ; 
pace, conunerce^ and honcu friendihip with >]] DAIioDf. — catJtDEllDg j H h Tn ca* with WHW; 

Ih* •oppon of SUK goveniineDti la all tbtir riihtt. u (be moii compeunt &' ~ 

for our dometlic concrma, and ihe imct buln/tu a^alntt fnli-republicKD U 
pRservaiiolt of ibc general BDvemmenf in LIS whole conilituLional vigor, u tb 

bwdoai t£ p«r«an under the pntieciion of Ibe h^ibcflt corput ; ud trial by juriq imwIiaUy 
■elected, — tbeie priociplefl ft»rm Ibe brighl coitBteUation which hai |oQe 1>dare oi, Hud gidikd 
our iteu through an age of revolution and refonnaiioD, — jKFFnKSON : Firxt Inan^raJ Aa- 

Bnteote Cordiale (Fr, " A friendly or cordial understanding ;" but the 
French phrase is not only neater but heartier in its meaning), an expression 
which seems to have been coined by Louis Philippe, or at least was &rsC made 
proverlHat by his use of it in a speech from the throne in January, 1843, to 
express the triendly relations existing between France and England. A com- 
pliment was implied to Gulzot, who had been sent as ambassador to Enirland 
m 1840, and was now minister of foreign affairs. Douglas Jertold': 
on the phrase was, "The best thing I know between France and I 
the sea." {Tkt A ngia- French Allianee.) 

Tberr waa not only no origioalitv )iul no desbe lor il— perhapt ei 
thiac thU wouUI brenk the nUH/f f#r<f£B^ of placid mutuaL ai 

BnvelopM. Before Sir Rowland Hill introduced the penny. post, enve- 
lopes were sparingly used in England, as double postage was charged for one 
piece of paper enclosed in another, however thin each might be, and however 
light the letter. Even the smallest clipping from a newspaper, enclosed in a 
letter, implied a double charKc. So soon as this rule came into operation, 
and so lone as it continued in force, only franked letters were enveloped, 
although it had formerly been regarded as a mark of respect to use an enve- 
lope, and a mark of etiquette in writing to a superior. 

The penny-post was established January 10, 1840. and the use of envelopes 
became common after May 6 of thai year, when stamped and adhesive en- 
veloi)e3 were issued by the post-office. The first envelope-making machine 
was invented by Edwin Hill, brother of Rowland. His and De la Rue's 
machine for folding envelopes was patented March 17, 184^. 

So &T at is known, the idea of post-paid envelopes ortgmated early in the 

fB%n of Louis XIV. of France, with M. de Valuer, who, in 1653, established 

3« 



30» HANDY-BOOK OF 

a private post with royal approval, and placed boxes at the corners of streets 
for the reception oF letters enclosed in envelopes which wete sold at offices 
established for that purpose. Valfyer had also artificial /ormei dc biltil, ax 
notes applicable to ordinary business communications, with blanks to be filled 
up by pen with such special matter as the writer desired. One such MUd has, 
by a fortunate misapplication, been preserved to our time. Felisson, the 
friend of Madame de Sevigne (and ul whom she said that "be abused man's 
privilege of being UEly"J, was tickled by this skeleton form of corre!<pondeni;e, 
and filled up the blanks uf such ^ forme wAh a letter to Mademoiselle de 
Scudery, addressing her, according to the [>edanlic fashion of the time, as 
" Sappho," and signing himself " Pisandie." This billet is still citant, and 
is probably the oldest existing example of a prepaid envelope. 

In the English State Paper Office is a letter addressed to the Right Hon. 
Sir William Trumbull, Secretary of Slate, by Sir James Ogilvie, and dated 
May 16, 1696. It is now attached to its envelope, ^\ x -; inches, cut nearlv 
the same as out modern ones. 'ITie next known example is an autograph 
letter (in an envelope) of Louis XIV. to his son by Madame de Monlespan, 
the Comte de Toulouse, Admiral of the Fleet at the siege of Barcelona. It 
is dated Versailles, April 29, 1706, and written, sealed, and addressed by 
the royal hand. Le Sage, in his "Gil Bias" (Book iv., ch. v.), published 1715, 
in describing the epistolary correspondence of Aurora de Guzman, makes 
one uf his characters say that, after taking two billets, " elle les cacheta lous 
deux, y mit une /mv/0/)/^, el me donna te paquel." In the British Museum 
there is an envelope, exactly like those now in use, with an ornamental bor- 
der, bearing date 1760, from Madame de Pompadour to the Ouchesse d'Aigui- 
llon, and a letter from Frederick of Prussia, addressed to an English general 
in his service, dated at Poisdam, 1766, folded in an envelope of coarse Ger- 
paper similar in form to modern ones, except that it opens at the end, 
those used by lawyers fur deeds instead of at the top. 

f\n early allusion to envelopes in English literature is to be found in Swift's 
"Advice to Grub Street Verse-Writers," 1726, wherein he playfully twits 
Pope for his small economies, which betimes led him to write his verses on 
bits of paper left blank or written on only one side. He tells them to have 
their verses printed with viide margins, and then 



man pap 



non°<Slght. 



It has, however, been conjectured that thit did not refiiT to anything resein- 
bling our modem envelope, which could have been of little use to Pope, but 
to a naif-sheet of paper used as a cover. Be that as it may, an old family in 
Yorkshire preserves an envelope exactly like the square modern pattern, sent 
from Geneva in 1750. In the Centlfman' s Atagauiu, May, iSil, is a copy of 
a letter born Fattier O'Leary, of which it is said. " the envelope being lost, 
the exact address cannot be ascertained ;" and Charles Lamb writes to Ber- 
nard Barton, March 10, 18:6, " When I write to a great man at the Court 
End, he opens with surprise a naked note such as Whilechapel people inter- 
change, with no sweet degrees of envelope. I never enclosed one bit of 
paper in another, nor understood the rationale of it. Once only I sealed 
with a borrowed seal, to set Waller Scott a-wondering, signed with the im- 
perial quartered arms of England, which my friend Field bears in compliment 
to his descent in the female line from Oliver Cromwell. It must have set his 
«ily upon ' 



mile 



Coogk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 303 

ard's " Life and Literary Remains of L. E. L." (died iSiSJ, the poetew asks 
tohavesent her "slate-pencils, a quire or so of small colored note-paper, and 
a pasteboard pattern of leiler envelopes." 

1 include Ihe vast mulli- 
r another have been honored with 
the tide of epigram, and precise enough (o exclude all others, would be hope- 
lee). In sttid accordance with its Greek etvmology from hartea^cv, '■ to in- 
scribe," it originally was a commemorative allusion to some remarkable event 
or individual, or ine accompaniment to votive offerings. Such composilions 
were termed epigrams, — i.i., inscriptions, indicating simply the purpose for 
which they were intended, — viz., to be inscribed or engraved on monument, 
statue, or building ; Ihey were generally poetically worded. Such a composi- 
tion, from Ihe very nature of the maletial on which the eulogy was to be 
engraved, must necessarily be brief, and the reslrainu attendani upon its 
publication concurred witli the simplicity of Greek lasle in prescribing con- 
ciseness of expression, pregnancy of meaning, purity of diction, and single- 
ness of thought, as Ihe indispensable conditions of excellence in the epigram- 
matic style. The transition in the use of the term was easy from this, its 
original application, to verses never intended for such a purpose, but assuming 
for artistic reasons Ihe epigraphical form, and giving utterance to thoughts 
which might have served as inscriptions. Thence to verses expressing, with 
some of the terseness and precision of an inscription, a striking, delicate, or 
ingenious thought, was but another step. 

Of epigrams in the first sense the lines of Simonides, commemorative of 
Leonidaa and his army, engraved on Ihe pillars set up at Thermopytse at the 
command of the Amphiciyonic Council, are a famous example, with their 
union of chaste simplicity and perfect beauty : 

Go Kll the SputuiB, Itaou tlut puHi by, 

TliM here, ntedieni 10 her lam, -hk Ue. 

Here ia one uptm Ladas, a femous runner, of whose swiftness the most 
extravagant accounts were given ; 

IT Lidu TU or Rdi, in tliu Uit ncc. 
Who knoinf — 'twKB HKh a devil of a pace 

To this another couplet was added ; 

Scarce wu ihe ftanme-iope wkhdrswn, when there 
IjfUi kcmmI crowDod, yet bad ocm tuned e hair- 
Coming now to Ihe non-monumental epigrammatic poems, here are a few 

of Ihe more strictly epigraphic in form : 

HinuelT he ilev, when he the foe would Hy— 
What DudneH itiu. Tor feu of desib 10 die I 

MASTtAL. 

I cunol Idl thee vbo tlei buried ben : 



The iculpuv^ an gave her 10 btealh 



ba — but Id vain ; 



And this by Antipaler of Siilon on the Messenian Arislomenes, a brave 
and determined enemy nf Sparta, whose life, it is said, was saved by an eagle 
when the Spartans had thrown him into a piL The opening lines are ad- 
dressed to the eagle, who replies, — 



.d by Google 



304 HANDY-BOOK OF 

" U^odc bin] 1 u pnnid and ftam, 

Why lowir'M ihaa o'u dut wuiioc'* bauwr' 

" 1 kLI CAch ftodlUw cvthly liinc, 

Fv u o'er birdi of evoy wing 

Stiprtnie the lordly eagle wl*, 

Creu AiMUMnaia piirtili. 

La dmJd dots, wbb pUintivc cry, 

Coo o'er the gnvs vfacn connu lie \ 

'Til o'er llK diuDllcu hoo'i breul 

•nn kingly e.glt lOTB ID ren." 

Ufitm; Tnatlmtum. 

But, having gone thus Cat, fuither classification or what the anc 

admit as epigrams is as hopeless an effort as the attempt a 

A them it is one of the most catholic of iiterarv for 

it lends itself to the ei 



ice and beauty boldi tbe priie 
Tbdr contest fbnnt ihe maichleu haj-QiDDV, 

which is markcdlr distinct from an idyl in the cohereitce or the several parts, 
and in a singular converging of all to a common point, the expression of the 
idea of harmony in apparent contention. Here is one by an unknown hand, 
descriptive of the statue of a dancing Bacchante : 

She 1 gained Ihc Ihrohold l' Slop her, nt ibe'i gone. 



The epigram may be an elegy, a si 
nbodiment of the wisdom of the ag 



llie cvA, low^babbling uwtm 
'Hid quincHTOtet deep^ 

Abd gently nuuing lenvct, 
Briog ooioA ileep. 

kir Durble, tell lo iiiturc dayv 
Tlwl here Iwo vinin lUlen lii 

WhoH dcub gave teen lo cyi 



Soi^h!.... 
Thaldenth 



Salurday Km 



My fair uve, the no ipou 

Wimld wed, though Jove 

Sbe uy* ft, but I d«Di 



Whv Kcoy, av lovely mnidt 
Wby of ue » niBch afrudt 
Your cb^i like luei to the fif 
And my hair as liliee while ; 
Id love a gnriuid, we'll nppovc 
MelbelilVryouIbcKae. 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 305 

O Bnuciu, ccAK OUT acbing t%i\ \a ycx 
With thy Loud niling W (he BoFter w ; 

Tbiu oscc > womiiD did givt binh to ihae. 

Th« broBd hi^wHy to poverty ud need 

or this, which suggests Ben Jonson's song, " Dr[nk to me only with thine 
•ye*:" 

Tht wine-cup ii gUd \ Dcu Zenaptdli'i lip 

It boasts ID have touched when mhv iloopvd dowo 10 ilp. 

H*ppy wtae-cup ! I wish th«, with lipi jointd lo niiiM, 

e perfect of its Icind 



or Ihte, b; the Syrian, Meleager ai Gada, which has been often imitated; 

A hue end cry for Love I Tbt wild Du'l Bed I 

SIM now u diws he left his ray bed. 
lib -9 his IDDguc ; the lul shedi ptrlty teul ; 
Fleet is his foot, his heart unknown to TeAn. 
Around his XTPiVK a duh of acorn he AiuAS ; 

Nowh^ il he a b™ n'e^^ilt^w^^' 
Pochance «'ca hcrt for heatia he lava hli uan. 
Va;ihen-ghisiuDbu>lil Mark him where ht Ilal 
Arcber, I apy theein you maiden's eyesi 

AM of thete ezqnisite thoughta. expreased in such chaste and elegant lan- 
guage, would have to be covered by any definition of the epigram as under- 
stood by the collectors of that string of gems — literally, that posy of flowers — 
which has come down to us known as the Greek Anthology, from which, indeed, 
mo«t of the preceding are culled. 

Its catholicity included even anagrams, and probably would find a place for 
this ingenious curiosity, a parody on the noted grammatical line BifroHs atqtu 
Ciutas, Bos, Fur, Sat, aique Saeerdot. The author, curiously enough, was a 
Canterboiy clergyman : 



Boe among hit neighbors' wiv 
Ft,.lnga3.erin^hi.lid,e., 



No leu would it for the following lines from ibe Aratnc: 
Two puts of life: and weH the tbemo 

The (Otu^j^'iteriiS 1 ' 
knd no leu for these from the Persian, by Sir William Jones : 

We^nC [bou'ut'M, whilst aJI uoimd'ibee smUed : 

So live, (bat, sinkine In (by Uh long flc«p. 

Calm thou uuy'u soiDc, w^ile all around thee weep,— 

one of the oldest epigrams in existence, as it is also one of (he n 



HANDY-BOOK OF 

beiuliral. It U true that they do not agree in all poioti iritli the well-known 

Ab cpiffiu ifaoald be, if righi, 
01. ._ .. — *4 pajai«L keen. Bad brijchi. — 
ilvbnUtUHl 



A UTdv bnU thuH I 
Uke w«p whh upCT bodr, baund 



Bnt this is « modern definition, according to which an epigram must be a little 
poem whose bum, charming as it docs the ear, must, like 



Drmw venoin fonh thu drive 
end with that peculiar sting which is now looked for in a French or English 
epigram ; the want of this in the old Greek compositions doubtless has caused 
thetn to be looked upon as tame or tasteless. The true or the best form of 
arlv Greek epigram does not aim at wit or seek to produce surprise, and 
"" ■'"" "' 's present in some, it was not, as now, deemed an essen- 



le early Gre. 
though this 






chants the Latin poet, or, as he has been felicitously rendered into English,— 



of the old Roman tyivtitrit animiu, and forget the freedom of the early Fes- 
cennine license, and hence loo much of what they have left behind is vilialed 
In brutality and obscenity. On the subsequent history of the epigram, indeed. 
Martial has exercised an influence as baneful as it is extensive, and he may be 
counted as the far-off progenitor of a host of verses the sctirrilitj of which 
would put himself to blush. Nevertheless, among much that is simply coarse 
and brutal, there may be found in Martial many epigrams wbich for polish and 
rapier-pointed, if malicious, pungency are unsurpassed ; 

P«U GcmeUni nuptlu MironillE, 
E( cupLi, ct Duut, « precjtiur, n ooou. 
Adeoov pulcbn arT Imo fcrdiu* nil val. 
Quid sso ui U1> petilur el placet ? Tuidl. 



The effect of this efngram lies in the sudden Aitnf ("she coughs"), which 
Stops the hurried questions, bringing them down as with a pistoI-shoL The 
rendering of the wm'e by G. H. Lewes happily preserves the effect .■ 



yMironU 
Sight, ogles, prayv »nd will not be pui off. 
liiheiolovelvT HldeDuiuScriial 
Wlui Duku bin 0£ie, ugh, end prmyT Her CDU^ I 

And here b another, with the genuine waspish characteristic of the stinging 

tail: 

WUIe in ibt duk w Ihy ion bud I bung. 
And bevd ibe lempilag •Ires In Ihy uniEue, 
Wbu Ouaei, wbu daru. whii anguiih leridurtd I 



;i:v..G00^Ii: 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 

Mupv «t DMdiinu. nunc est rai^llo Dlibiu ; 

which probably inspited Bnleau to write the delidous couplet, — 
ri viviii jidk 1 FlonDce UD irMedii, 
S*TU1 lublcut, dil-OD, tt ciltbri uiuxin. 
reproving 

If brevity is the soul of wit, the following monoslich mast be deemed perfect : 

Paupo vidui vult Ciuus— « eil pauper. 

(•' Cinwi prelmdi lo bi poor— anil a «h«I he pmend./') 

But the happiest conceit of Martial is thai contained in the following. Fxtus, 

condemned to die and ordered by the empcTor to slay bimsell^ the heroic wife, 

Arria, having aeized the knife and stabbed hecself, even in death feels no other 

pain than that which Pxtus is now about to inflict upon himself: 

When Ama from ber wounded Bide 

To Peiui gave the neking Ked, 

" I r«1 not what I've do^e/'ihe cried; 

"Whal Pstiu iito do—/ feell"— 

which Gray probably had in mind when he composed the " Epitaph on Vba. 
Clark :" 

Id taony to deMh reaigncd, 

SbeTell (be wouud ihe left behind. 

Scaliger, in the third book of his " Poetics," divides epigrams into five 
classes ; the first lakes its name from nwf, or honey, and consists of adula- 
tory specimens; the second from^, or gall ; the third from atehim, or vine- 
gar ; and the foucth from jal, or salt ; while the fiAh is styled the condensed, 
or multiplex. The cUssificalioii is bnciful and of no practical value. Of 
the exceedingly numerous specimens of this style of composition, the most 
numerous are the variety which might be arranged under the rubric salt, with 
more or less admixture of gail and vinegar. Such, for instance, would be 
Scaliger's own 

Which may a man tbf gieat«« druakard call T 



ng tiero colli 
Now/iM and now fiatr. 

Bm when, pnpuHl ibe worn lo bran 
(Aa acdaa thai duie pain ua). 

Qmca Didp bhmi him uitae cave. 
Ha dnha Urn dmx TntantH, 

And wall ha changia thui Ibe word 



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3o8 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Of the "salt" and "vinegar" epigram Ihe French are doubtless the be»l 
cullivatora, and tnanv of iheir best authors have cained no small celebrity h 
this deparlroent Ttie French language lends itseir more readily than any 

other to the neat and sparkling eipiession of thought : for instance, — 

mn i'aii ton v^^,' « ■» b&^ K> V™ '. 
Fi^rt It viti^ is to paint ; hence the point of Lcbrun's couplet does not come 
out distinctly in the translation : 

For bul two faulu our faij poet Egl^ (be wone b: 

Lebrun alone, notwithstanding Rapin's dictum, that a man ought to be con- 
tent if he succeeded in writing one really good epigram, is the author of up- 
wards of six hundred, and a very fair proportion of them would pass muster 
with Rapin himself. 

Piron, who said of himself, in the mock-epitaph composed when he failed 
of admission to the " Acad^mie," that he was nothing, — not rutn an " Acade- 

Ci-gl.Pi™i,quc«fti.ri™: 

Pu mime AcuUmidoi^ 

<" Here lis Piron, i miui of no potUiunj 

was, according to Grimm, " une machine k saillies, it ifpigrammes et bon- 
" " He had been the life-lone satirist of the French Academy, He had 

pm " rhp invulidit nf wiE." had Heiu^rihed Ihrm 3s. "fnrlv willi the wit 



called them " the invalids of wit, had described them as "forty with Ihe wi 

" " ■ ' jhl to be elected to a - "" - 

I, he replied, "Only ihi 



of four." Yet in 1750 he sought to be elected (□ a vacancy. Wben asked 
If successful, he - •*-' ■'" ' - ' ■-'- ' 



gentlemen,' and they will answer, ' Ii is not worth mentioning' " (" II n'y a pas 
at quoi"). He failed, and consoled himself with Ihe thought, "I could not 
make thtrly-nine think as 1 do, still less could I think as thirty-nine do." 
Three years later be was elected, but Louis XV., through Ihe influence of 
Madame de Pompadour, atinulled the election, and substituted a pension of 
one thousand louis. Thereupon Piron sent his will to the Academy, with the 
well-known epitaph inscribed upon it. 

Voltaire, among his myriad many-pointed things, wrote nothing happier 
than this little verse on " Killing Time," where " Time" is supposed to speak : 




Which not only has a point, but plajrs upon it 



Perhaps more than elsewhere has the epigram been recognized in Prance 
OS the weapon of political and literary warlare. Victor Hugo's first thought, 
when in exile, was to score his betrayer in verse ; and from the publication of 
his terrible " Chllimenls." Ihe empire of the perjured saviour of society, of 
the Dutch champion of the Latin race, was. to Ihe literary men whom Hugo 
left behind, a despotism tempered by epigrams. 

There is less sail than vinegar in Ihe epigram on Charles IL, — 

Who nevct uld ■ foolub thioc, ' 



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LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 309 

•nd he betra)^ a good deal of equanimity ind good sense when ht very 
wiiiily turned it by saying, "Thai is veiy icue, for my words are my own, my 
actions are my ministiv's." Neither ia (here much Atlic flavor in the " deadly 
thrust" of Young at Voltaire, when, the latter having in Young's presence 
decried Milton's genius, and rid'culed particularly the personification in " Para- 
dise Lost" of Death, Sin, and Satan, the Englishman retorted,— 

Thou ut la wiity, widud, (Dd » Ihin, 

llHiu an m once ibe DcvU, Dcub, ud Sin. 



In the bright keen intellect of Lesein^ According to Les»ng, it is not enough 
that a poetn be terse, short, illuminaling in a flash a single point or thought ; it 
must be characterized by the cpigrapbic form : " A true epigram should con- 
sist of two parts ; first, that which raises out expectation, and secondly, the 
satishing fulfilment. For example, in the distich of Piron above quoted, the 
first fine raises our expectation. Why should Piron tell us that he is nobody f 
And if he is nobody, what then t But the second tine makes the willy wtiler's 
meaning clear, and we are pleased and salislied as by an inscriplion. 

Now^c'i u*i«»?Bnil » an°l \"\ ' 

BOILUD. 

Here, too, the curiowly is excited in the same manner. Of course it is re- 
poceliil for the Kt>od woman to lie there ; why should he be at the pains of 
telling m that r but the words "et pour le mien" give an unexpected and 
happy turn to the matter ; they come with the efTect of the unexpected, and 
answer oar curiosity, raised by the telling us such an evident thing. And 
good for hU own repose, tool We laugh and are satisfied. The epigram 
need not be in the nature of an epiiaph 1 any other mailer will do, so it has the 
requisite formal elements, — the expectation raised and satisfied by a striking 
or pleasing answer. We quote one of Lessing's " Sinngedichie," on the 
shoemaker who forsook the last and turned to making poems : 
El hat ([« Schuxer Fiui nim Dichler dch CDIrilckl, 
UdiI wu cr frOhrr thil, du thut cr nixzh— cr Sickf t 

which may be roughly rendered, — 

OM cobbler Wu, ifac p«u he would miurh ; 
He chuged hii trmde, uid yet kept on — lo pilch. 

The flower of the epigram came late into the garden of English literature, 
and there remain* much to be done in the way of cultivation before it will be 
brought to fall bloom ; although it is true there are a few good epigrams in the 
language. Henrv Parrot, in " Springes 10 catch Woodcocks" (1613), likened 
the epigram lo cheese, in the simile, — 

T eplBratuiim, 11 men ui(e cbeae, 

ji n^ In the lu( bnwtll ; 

For if it proipen, none dm cull il vnuon. 
John Owen, a Welshman, an Oxonian and poor country school -master, was 
prolific, if not always happy. Among his Latm epigrams, published in l6zo, 
was one which gained for his book a place on the Index, and lost him a 



.d by Google 



HANDY.BOQK OF 



(" ir Pcur CVS <nu U Rome, 
Hu nva been ^puiel.-') 



Ben Jonson in his " Underwoods" has many small genu which might be 
classed as epigrams in the wider sense of ihe word. There aie a (cw Bimilar 
in Spenser, and many in Herrick. Cowley, Waller, Dcjrden, Young, and 
Goldsmith are occasionally successful, in a way, in their epigrammatical 
attempts. Swift's bludgeon was too heavy. It la all gall and rinegar with 
him, as in this on his own deafness ; 

Dc^, giddy, belplcM, left tloDe, 
To ill mv Menda ■ burdeo ETDwn ; 
No inore I hear ay chuich-. bell 
Tfau if ll rug oul fu my knell ; 

TluB u Ibe nimUipi of ■ cm ; 

No more I hear a wooun'i cUdu 
Than Pope, whose name is identified with the epigrammatical spirit in oor 
literature, none has proved himself more (o the manner born. His anti- 
thetical couplets ate a veritable siring of epigrams, but too often have too 
much the characteristic of the hornet rather than Ihe bee, and he confounded 
wit and scurrility. His epitaph on Sir Isaac Newton, however, is worthy of 
inclusion in the niost select collection : 



I Latin prototype in his paraphrase tA Ihe 

Thou'rt ntch a louchy. lory, plcuuii ^low, 

Hui lo mucb wit ud miRh and spleen atnul (h«e, 

Tbeie ll OD ililDg with tbee, oor wllbani Ibee. 

The singular death of Moliire, who, while playing the rSUoi -a dying man in 

one of his own comedies, was seized with a mortal illness, and, being carried 

off the stage, died in a few hours, is commemorated in the following quaint 

WkUiip (his meluichaly tomb confitied. 



The numberof lampooning epigrammatic verses directed against Ibe common 
foibles, the painting women and the soporific parson, the rascally lawyer and 
the quack doctor, the miser and the pluiarist, are legion, and these topics 
have been worn threadbare with them. Very few are worth quoting. Here 
is one by Samuel Bishop which is above the average : 

A fool and Vnave, wilb dlHerent riewm. 

For Julia'i hand apply ; 
The kUTe to mend bu igRuue •»», 



;i:,vG00git: 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 

AlL you how Jnlii will bduTct— 

Dipcnd <sb\ for a lulc. 
If ilK-t > feed, ifat'll wed ihc kuve, 

ITlbe'xknuve.lhiloal: 

and one on a cerUtn ponderous gcnIlemaTi with heavy tread : 
Whsi Edwurdi wdlu ihc kihu, the pavion cry, 
" God UcH you. ^r I" ud lay Itaeir nmmen by. 

Here are a few more on the most divene subjects : 

MAkRIAGK IN HkAVIN. 

Cria Sylrta id i ntetad dtu, 

" Whu lauon cu be giTci. 

Wb^'JhS^ none in^avmt" 
"Tlieremrino women." Ik replmL 

She quick muriu tbe je«,— 
" Wamen tberv mxt bul I'm afraid 

Tbcy cumoi find a pricu." 

DODSLKV. 

When AdiLD, waiting, lint his Itdi unfold* 
In Eden'a grOTci. bealde him he hefaoldi 
Bone of his bone. Aetb of bis f1«h. and know* 
Bit oiHiew ileep baa proved hii laai Rpoie. 

Quid Pro Quo. 

'* MarrilLge. not mirage. Jane, here m your letter : 
With your education, you urely knou bener," 

'*Tiaqtdn'cS™*ThfmaiV^ei-U«ch°iin°lllu»ioo.'' 

On thb Picture of a Loquacious Senator. 

A lord of lenaloTial lunc 

For to tike painter played hit (tune. 



Tn lurely not the worae for thai. 

Terminer sans Oyer. 

" Call lileDce :" the judge lo the officer criet ; 

"Tbil hobbub and taft. wfll il nerer be doni 
Tboae people ihia morning have made tuch a d 

We're decided ten coutet without bearing od 

Abundance of Fools. 

The world of foob bat locb a note 
That he who would not tee an att 



""Ia Mohm 



The following epigram, composed in his eighteenth year, on liis gtand- 
molher'a beard, coal Coleridge i legacy of fifty pounds, for "she had the 
'barbarity* to avenge it by sinking me out of her will," wtMe the poet : 



;i:v,.G00gk" 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



'Dked th« dupe Ibu on 



•o provoked ui« di 



engih of DA^ 



cu you fint thould ihave yonr beud 

^••Omniana;' *r Semlit}t and Ci^nidf (i 

Lord Erikine proved himself an episrammatiBt of no mean order when, a 



■Ultn^Caltrulttbia: 

ly andCid 

.f no me> 
the removal of a distinguished counsellar from a house in Red Lion Square, 
and an ironmonger's becoming its occupant, he wrote the following epigram 
on the change : 

Tliii houie, vhcre once m lawyer dwdi. 



For N.lim, ihu lo ihem give ™W. 
To lu gave only lout. 
John Gibson Lockhart produced the following epigram upon Lord Robert- 
son, belter known as " Peter" or Patrick Robertson : 

Mere liti Ihe OmiiiaD, jiuUe, md po« Peter, 
Who broke IheUwi of GDd,uid mui.uid metre. 

This he sent to his friend as part of a review, printed though never published, 
on the learned lord's poem entitled " Italy." The second line effectively de- 
molishes all the pretensions put forth in the first. But Lockhart meant only* 
jest, and as such, after a little preliminary alarm, it was accepted by its good- 
natured victim. 
Thomas Moore is responsible for the following : 

Of nil •jKCDlniioDi ibe DuiVei holdi fonh, 

The beat that I knoir, for the lover of pelf, 
li lo buy Mamu up m the price he a wonb, 
And lell him et \ha oblch he Mil on himielf. 
Byron thought Samuel Rivera's epigram on Ward (Lord Dudlejr) unsur- 

Wud hu no heul, Ihey uy ; but 1 deny k. 
Ke kAi ■ bean, and get* hit tpeeches by It. 
With these may be classed the epigram " on a lady who kept her bank-notea 
in her Bible :" 



good 
badv 



ily Ibe n 
company." I'he first is on a lady who published ■ volume of shocluDg 



UnraRUDKelady.ho* 
Your Hngleu are red, ; 
the other is on a parvenu : 



E> doth Shoddy kacn 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. y.% 

which is not only a very excellent epigram of the satirical variety, but is a 
very good bilingual pun as well. To appreciate it one must understand that 
ill the French culinary art "fptgramma" is the name fur chops, and that 
hence " jpigianimes dagneau" means lamb-chops, as well as epigrams of 

In surveying the true requisites which a developed literary taste demands 
in the modern epigram, it must be admitted, much contrary criticism non ioh- 
ilal, that besides Sie " little mite of a body" and the " honey" it must have a 
point, a climax ; in other words, the " sting." The common error, however, is 
that the " sling" must be biting, malicious, or sarcastic ; and in their anxiety to 
provide their efforts with this termination most of the epigrammatists have 
quite forgotten the " honey." The sting, while demanded by the canons of the 
art, need not be malicious nor sarcastic ; it need not even be witty. 

If this definition of the epigram excludes from the category such exquisite 
bits as the lines addressed ov SL-Evremond, who could itili see charms in the 
gifted Ninon de I'Enclos in tier later years, — 

No, no,— the leuoB id bupiic 

Bat ihu df glowiiix with ihc fiic 
At long u life will lul,— 
or this in another vein, which is given as " a nearly perfect niiKteenth-century 
specimen of the fine old form of Greek epigram, which did not depend upon 
any particular point in one part, but is point all over :" it is a distich on one 
of the Eton Fellows, — one Bethell, — a well-meaning, loud, not very solid 
preacher, who was bnrsar of the college, — 

The bui«r%IheU bellomllke i bull,— 

Hathiws: Wii and Hnmari 
aitd while we may have to give up l^ndor's 

Od love, oD arlef, do every human lUng, 

and possibly even this, — 

These lamida tuve iidea 

BuKI from ■ ucuUed bnul : 

Rutly &ODI one u rat, — 
yet we can still cite as examples which satisfy all requirements the following 
charming four-line epigram by Aaron Hill, a now ail-but forgotten seven- 
teenlh -century poet i 

MoDBsrv. 



\3 lampfl bUTik Bileni, with UDcroaiclouft M^i, 
k> modesl cue in beAUTy shlnei most iHUhi ; 
Jiulmiug duTDU with ed|e refllldcH fall. 



DS no DiMhief, dati il all: 
or these liigitive lines of Coleridge ; 

Acquiinumce many, uil conquunUuice few, 
The friend I've wepi wilh, imd ihe mud I woo. 

The following, which we are proud to claim as Americait, appetired in 
the A&uiiit Mtutldy for 1891 : 

DlffTlNCTION. 
When put Olslivian'i pile the •Aanag upUIttS, 



Seek w> tbe ihide u 



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HANDY-BOOK OF 
A RHYn OF Lira. 

Tb( Miue bom oldattimeEu liokad with " » 

Thi Dkreuct. 

Ht dftfti nlooc u hb loM Ceoiiu IkcIu, 



Nodding Critics, 

YDUHWgoodKgiDerDodl Buluvvou; 

Ailccp you wen % (Scrnu wy thu I ilipt, loo.) 
In presenting them, Ihe author, warning the neophyte of the difBcullJet to 
be met and oTcrcome in composing a perfect epigram, and the care he must 
exetcise to get iU ingredients into the composition in their due proportion, 
says, " For tlie ' honey" without the ' sting" results in a diminutive lyric, while 
the 'sting* without the 'honey' produces a mere philippic in two lines. If 
the present adventurer shall be found simpiv to have been tossed from one 
alternate danger to the other, at least he begs to covet his retreat under an 
old, serviceable, and ingenious borrowing in which none of the three requisites 
is laclting ; ' Video meliora, proboque ; aeteriora sequor,' " 

He is probably too modest, for at least one of the examples given, which we 
have reserved to the last, scetns the ultimate perfection, the very sublimilion 
of the epigrammatic muse : here are Spartan brevity, Attic »alt, a little body, 
sweet honey, and a sting in the " laugh :" 

At) AirroGRAFH. 



A linlt «n 






Bpftapba, CtulCMltiM o£ The oldest extant epitaphs arc the Egyptian, 
written on the sarcophagi. But they are brief and pointless. They give only 
Ihe name and rank of the deceased, and a prayer to Osiris or Anubis. The 
Greek and Roman epitaphs are much more interesting. The former are the 
finest in Ihe world. In connection with the inferior Roman they have furnished 
the germ idea of most of the mortuary inscriptions of modern times. Thus, 
the fines of Leonidas of Tarentum, which, after commemorating Crethon's 
wealth and power, conclude with the reflection. — 

ThiimiD. 

have been the fhiitful parent of infinite variations of the same theme, M, for 
example, in the lines from Henty Il.'s epitaph : 

Te mc, who iboughl the euth'i «xKoI I» uull 

Now iishi poor ha. a duii>w •pice, i» >]I. 

Or take one of Meleager's epitaphs, which has been thus versified by S. H. 
Merivale : 

Hill,iiiiiTcna]iiiciilier1 UgbllyTHt 



Martial has imitated this; and either to Martial or Mcleuer ate referable 
the many modem variations on the same theme, thus parodied in the mock 
tnKtIption (o Sir John Vanbmgh, architect as well as playwright ; 
LtebcftTyod him.rajlh, for he 



;i:,vG00gk" 



tlTBRARV CURIOSITIES. 



Id holy ilnp : tbe good m 

The last uclion of (he second line has been copied and recopied on tomb- 
slone after tombstone, until it may almost rank with such a perennial bvorite 
as "Afflictions sore long time he bore." Sometimes the whole epitaph is 
copied, with a change of name. It is carved, foi example, on Bishop Madan's 
tomb, with " pious bishop" in lieu of " Acanthian Saon." As to the reiterated 
conceit in memorials to inlants, that if death cuts short their joys it also cuts 
short their sorrows, it has its germ in an epitaph by Lucian, 

" Thou art not dead, but gone to a better laud," from a Greek epitaph (bund 
in Rome, is out "Not dead, but gone before." On the other hand, the 
sceptical " I was noL 1 am not I grieve nut," reminds one of the epitaphs 
which Professor William K. Clifford composed for himself; and nothing in 
any modern infidel is more sweeping than this i 

ThteIK pu* doi bf ihit lucripdon, bui >uiid. ud hear, ud lam laiuediiiig bcTon you 
IBM an, Ttinr is no boat to Haaci, na bounun Chiron, no do( Ccrbcrui, bul all Ihc d«d 

A Roman husband, after mentioning the years, months, days, and even 
hours that he and his depaileil wife had lived together, concludes, "On the 
day of her death I gave the greatest thanks before God and men." Is not 
this the direct ancestor of the much-quoted epitaph in Fire- la- Chaise ? — 
Ct-gll ma frminc : ah I que c'CM biea 



n all literature, that In which Shakespeare 

in undisturbed, — 

B1ett?le ^ lun ™%iin* Iha none*. 

even this is bul a mild echo of the terrible denunciations which Roman 
epitaphs frequently pronounced upon those who violated the sanctity of the 
tomb, t^. : 

I give 10 lta> Godl below Ibb tomb to keep, id Pluto, and to Demeter, and Penepbane, 
ud the ErinBya, ud ail (he Godl beli»>. If any one >hall diifigUR thii tcpulcbre, oc ihall 
open it. or move anyibing froin il. lo him let there be no eanh to walk, no sea to lail, but may 
be be rooted out with all liia race. May he [eel all diieaaa, •hudderinf. and fEvtr, and mad- 

Such is the conservative tendency of the epitaph-maker that even old sepul- 
chral forms were retained long after they had lost their significance, such as 
the initials D. M. {Diis Manibus), or the ejaculation Sisie, viator, " Stop, pas- 
senger," which constituted an integral part of all Latin epitaphs. The latter 
lost its approprialeness out of Rome, where private burial-places were usually 
ranged along the side of the public roads, so that travellers tu and from the 
Eternal City passed for miles through an almost uninterrupted succession of 
tombstones. 

For a long time, also, the Roman language remained the proper mortuanr 
language both in England and in Continental Europe. The few British epi- 
taphs that suivive from the eleventh and twelfth centuries are in Latin. 
Between laoo and 1400. French epitaphs are not uncommon. The oldest 
epitaph in English, found in a church-yard in Oxfordshire, dates from the year 
1370. To modern readers il would be unintelligible, not only from its antique 
typography but from its obsolete language. The first two lines run as follows. 

atid Ibey may be taken as a sample of the whole ; " Man com & se how schal 



ii6 HANDY-BOOK OF 

alle ded< be : «en yow comes bad ft bare ; noth hav ven *e away fare : all ya 
werines vt ve for care." The modern reading would be, " Man come and see 

how shall all dead be : when you come poor and bare : nothing have when we 
away fare ; all is weariness that we for caie." 

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth the eiiilaph lirsl began to assume a dis- 
tincl literary character. But the [irejudice in Tavor of a dead language still 
survived. In a conservative mind like that of Dr. Johnson it was so deeply 
intrenched, that when Reynolds, Sheridan, Warton, and others petitioned 
him to write an English inscription for Goldsmith's tomb, he indignantly 
replied, " he would never consent to disgrace the walls of Westminster Abbey 
with an English inscription." 

It must be acknowledged that (here is no small poverty of thought in the 
mass o£ modern epitaph -writers. Only a meagre proportion make contribu- 
tions to literature. Among these, two by Ben Jonson stand pre-eminenL They 
are constantly misquoted. In his collected works they appear in endless 
variants. But this is exactly how they read on the tombs ; 

On the Countess Doivagbr up Pembroke, sisi'ek to Sir Puilip 

Undemcaih lhi< nurblehunc 

SidiHr's liBter, Pembroke'i inodicr. 
Datli, crc (faiHi hu( Iclll'd uother, 
WiH Md virtuauj, good ■> she. 

On Eli ea BETH L . 



WUch. in life, did harbor glvs 
To more virlue ihan doch Uvo. 

L«*ve h buri«d in Ibii vault ; 

Tb' olbtr l« it iIhp witb dealb i 

Filter when It died la lell, 

Tbui that it lived H all.— Furevel 

ily admired. 

rhaps the best is 

» mild ; 



Elto M Urt. KiUitrn, 






Lit Iricndihip might dividi 



The last line Is derived from a phrase so familiar in Latin epitaphs that finally 
it grew, like R. I. P., to be indicated stenc^raphically. thus : De Qua N. U. A. 
N. Mortis, — ((V., De qua nullum dolorem accept nisi mortis, — " who never 
grieved me except by her death"). 

Excellent in its way is the following by Sir Henry Wotton on Sir Albertiu 
Horeton and his wife ; 



He firu deceued ; ibe roc ■ lilUe Iri 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



And l!ie following anonynioii 



It lines have a picturesque vigor. 
ton church-yard, dated 1419: 
Hoc ha« who ly« here 



y Yid logaihci f 



A later version is quoled in Addition's " Si 
be found all over tif'—"* i~— -i"!- —— t. 
But they, 100, come 



island. Cariyte was lond of quoting the'lasi three li 
^om (he Latin : 



Garrick's epitaph on Quin, in the Abbey Church al Bath, has been copied 
oftener than it has been exceeded. Few are entitled to rank in a higher 



And duuned the publi. 




ao«d^.ho«.?a,. 




Which .p-ktbd-oratSt 
Cold i> ihml hSDd wtiici 


,'evT™ 






HmllnjA«asQu,N] 


-D=in,., 


WiMW'er Iby tirenglh of body.fo 
In Ninrc-ihappKsi mould hon 


To Ihii coinpleiioD iho 





The last line is especially famous. It has frequentty been quoted as from 
Sbaketpeare. Indeed, Webster's Dictionary atinbuied it to him. Bui though 
Hamlet's phrase is analogous, it Is not quite the same : "Now get you to my 
lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, (o this favor she must 

In an essay on epitaphs which Dr. Johnson wrote for the GaidtmaiCt Miig- 
aiiiu (1740)1 he especially recommends brevity and simplicity. The same 
advice is hinted at in the anonymous epigram, — 

Friend, in your cplupha I'm grieved 
So very much u sud : 

"O Rare Ben Jonson," in Westminster Abbey, ts quaint, as well as simple 
and brieC "E-xi/ Burbage,'' over the grave of that celebrated actor, is shorter 
still, and profession ally cliaracleiislic. " Miserrimiis," on the tomb of a name- 
less occupant in Worcester Cathedral, is even more terse and expressive. On 
a mouldering stone in an oliscure country church-yaid in the south of England 
may be deciphered the abrupt monosyllable of three letters, " Fui," — » con- 
densed memorial which cannot be paralleled. The small word of such mo- 
mentous meaning comprises a volume of wretchedness, if the use of the 
preter- perfect tense Is intended to imply that the desponding writer lies there, 
resolving into parent dust, without hope of resurrection or futurity. 



3i8 HANDY-BOOK OF 

In the epitaph of Cardinal Onuphrio at Rome there bieathes ■ solemn, 
almost a bitter, conviction of the vanity of earthly grandeur : " Hie jacet umbra, 
cinis — nihil" (" Here lies a shadow — aahes — nothing"). 

Many of the monkish inscriptions of the ao-called dark ages are especially 
simple and effective. Lord Byron copied two of a very touching character 
which he found in the Certoea Cemetery at Ferrara ; " Martini Luigi imptora 
pace," "Lucreiia Pacini implora eterna quiete." These short sentences, 
so musica! in Italian pronunciation, contain doubt, hope, and humility. The 
dead were satiated with life, and weary of the turmoil of existence. All the* 
wanted, all they asked for, was rest. Here is another Italian inscription of 
much meaning compressed into few words ; " !>tavu bene ; per star m^Ko, (to 
qui" (" I was well, I would be belter, and here I am"). A certain Lelio aunM 
up the hi>toi7 of a lifetime in this couplet : 

Ulio lU Kpohoqui : 



e similarly summed up in the 






it did bdidi blm, 
tnu noiuai men may lie bc*i<k htm. 
On the tombstone of Dr. Walker, author of a work on " British Particles," is 
biscTibed 

Hm l<e> Wilkcr'i Pulidc*. 
Dr. Fuller's reads,— 

Hen li« Fuller'! Eimh. 

It was this Fuller who remarked of Dr. Caius, founder of the college that 
bears his name, " few men might have had a longer, none ever had a shorter 
epitaph :" 

("l™oIii..") 
But Mr. Maginnis tan him a hard race : 
Flsli 

Douglas Jerrold suggested an admirable epitaph for Charles Knight; 

Good Knlghl I 
For Camden, the title of his chief work has been proposed : 
CundED'i Reiuiiu. 



.mple from the French. It is on a 



iriginalily nc 
tioiu of (amiirar plalilutles, or when original in sentiment ttre merely ludicrous. 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 319 

A good collection of cpiUphs forms one of the moit arouBin^ chapters in the 
htoloiy q{ human vanity, spite, vulgarity, and genera! eccentricity. 
The laudatory, and especially the self-laudatory, epitaphs have a perennial 



They began very early. Here is one liom a slab of marble found at 
Athens : 

irtlKR4V«rwHftftthdrough]ygiKKlwDii»n, l&ca the — b«h id jdenncc to ri^tcDumcH bacI 
IfLAlLothcrwmyB. Boi, being Hcb, I E« no ju« mum, peflberfrom Uine from whom I expected 

■faoai wbat jfTKtiiude they ehov^ mr Not thty but my loni provided for aac. 

The high praise which this unfortunate lady is represented as claiming for 
herself leads us to hope thai the epitaph was not her own composition, but 
the work of her sorrowing (liends, perhaps of those sons " who had provided 

Agun, where an Athenian youth assures the reader of his epitaph that he 
was a sculptor not inferior to Praxiteles, we may wonder whether that was 
the young gentleman's estimate of himself or the partial judgment of his fond 

But the epitaph of Przcilius, a banker at Cirta, was at least endorsed by its 
objecL He informs us that it was got ready in his own lifetime, and there it 
a remarkable mixture of self-salUbction and something like gratitude in what 
be says of himself; 

" I was alwavs wonderfully trustworthy and entirely truthful," he remarks. 
" I was sympathetic to everybody : whom have I not pitied anywhere ?" Then 
he slates that he had a meriy life, and a long one : " I celebrated a hundred 
bappy birthdays ; good fortune never left me. 

For lofty bombast nothing has ever surpassed the epitaph in Shipley Church, 
Derbyshire, England, in memory of Sit Thomas Cai^ll : 




the three nouns have to be n 
which they govern : thus, " 
deedes," etc 

But the epitaph which celebrates the virtues and the talents of Lady O'Looney 
is the greatest thing of its sorl in literature. Who does not know it t Who 
is not always willing to read il over again t It is a thing of beauty, — a joy 



Gitu-Dlece of Burke, < 

"aiio .h' " 



a L«dy O'Loont; 



And KU Kvenl picmra 10 ibe Eihi^iLon. 

She mi fim ccHuiD or Udy Jonei, 

And c^ nich u Ibe kiaj[doiD oi HesTcn : 

—namely, of bland, passionate, and deeply religious ladies, of artists and 
exhiUtors in water-colors, of cousins to Lady Jones and grand-nieces to 
Burke. Under these circumstances heaven might be a picturesque but could 
hardly bf a desirable abode. 



Goo^k" 



330 HANDY-BOOK OF 

There is a faint, a very &int, anlldpation of the great and only Ladjr 
O'Looney and her epitaph in the church of Ighlham, near Sevenoaks, Kent 
A mural monnment is adorned with the bust of a lady who was famous Irir 
her needlework, and was traditionally reported to have written the letter to 
Lord Monteule which resulted in the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot The 
following is the inscription : 

D. Q. D. 

To tbc pRtiom niini ud honour oT Dame Dotolhy Sclhy, Rdcl •>( 

Sir WlUum Sdby, Kl. , the oul v daughter ud heire al Charlo Bonhui, E*4. 

She WAS 4 Dorcai. 

Of ihk leud world Into ihc aoldcD ue ; 

WfaoK poi of U«l and tilkn inck cnroLLcd 

TV UU oC Jonah in records of gold ; 

WboK ant diKloKd that ploi. which, had it taktD, 

Rone had triumplMd. and Briiain'i walls had ghahen. 



Who put (HI j in the y«r 1 PiteriDUfe, (a. 
imnumallty \ o( her J Redeemer, 1641. 

In Silton, Dorsetshire, is the following : 



Be UKd In heaven when God 
ahall feed the juil. 

Bat this epitaph, printed in three lines, appears in the poems of Robert 
Wilde, D.D, (one of the ejected ministers in 1662), whence it seems to have 
been calmly conveyed. It is there called " An EpiUph for a Godly Man's 
Tomb," and had a com pan ion- piece entitled " An Epitaph for a Wicked 
Man's Tomb:" 

Doomed 10 be nuled tor the Devil'i dinDtr.— 
which apparently has not been appropriated to any tombstone. 
A curious use of a familiar quotation for laudatory purposes is this : 

In thii cue he bad it. 
A very humble-minded gentleman, a certain Rev. Dr. Greenwood, had a 
proportionately high admiration for his wile, which he thus expresMS on ber 
tomb in Solihull chuich-yard, Warwickshire : 

Made her prefer me, a Doctor in Ditb)ilv : 
: Which heroic action. joilKd 10 all (he reu, 

Made her 10 be etleemed Ihe Phfcnia of heriex : 
And like that bird, a youne afae did create 
To comfon thoK her li>u had made disconaolatc 
My grief for her wat so aore 

Forthiiand all other good women's take. 

Neiet let bllHen be applied 10 a ]ying-is wotnas'i back. 

) the vocal powers and incidentally to the agreeaUa 



Coogk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 331 

Hon lis John Queliecci, pnxesiaT to Mt Laid the Kibb. WIkh he li idQiitted <o tbe 
duiir of angEli. whose lociely he aill embelllih, and where he nill diilbiguith hlnuelf by his 
powers of wng, God ihall lay 10 ihe ongeb^ " CcBse^ ye calvea 1 mod lei me heu- John Que- 
beCGH, the preceniDT of My Lord (he Kiogl" 

It is in remembrance uf such fulsume complimentB as these that (he ghastly 
j'esl was maile, that skulls grin at thought of the epitaphs above them. But 
the giiii must 1>e on the wrung side of Mary Bond's skull if she has any cog- 
niuince uf the inscription on her tomb. Here it is, as it still may be seen on 
a monument in Horsley Down Church, Cumberland, England : 







iddom kqowD lopiabe ot commeod ; 

The uilenu in which <b« principiilly ciulled 
Were difference of o^^on (nd^ovainE 

Impofectiont. 

She »u u adnlnble ecaaomiu, 
And, wilham ptodignllty, 

She Himelima mide her huiband 

Much more FFequently miserable with her 

Imcmucb thai in thirty yem' cohnbltulon. 
He often huneoted that. 
Maugieallhervuluei, 

Of murimoiSiU comEn. "" '""" 

FlDdliw ilie hid loti the il^ealon of h« hu- 

bout4, family disputes ' 



rfT^fontj 



She died of Teiuion. July >o. 176S, 
Aged 46 years. 

and two days, and departed (his Vlt 

Novembei «.!«», 

Ed the Mlh year of bis axe. 

Wniiam Bond, tuolher Id the dnzeaied. 

Erected this none ai a 

WeiUv monilor to Ihe wivei of this parish, 

~hat [bey nuy avoid Ihe Infaaiy of liaT)B( 



;i:,vG00gk" 



HANDY-BOOK OF 

n Philadelphia, with nothing 



Far more famous is the epigram which he composed npon himself, at thoage 
of twenty-three, when a journeyman printer ; 
TlieBodv 

(Like the cover of an old book. 

And lOipi of in Isnerini mi gilifng,) 

Yn tiM work iucir ihall Dot'lK kw. 
For i> wiU [u he lielieTed] ippeu once nun. 

And more b«utii^ cdldoB, 



But this epitaph is not original. It Is plagiarized from one Benjamin Wood- 
bridge, and Woodbrklge was only one in a long line of successive imitator*. 
This gentleman was a member of th« Srst graduating class of Harvard Uni- 
versity, 1643. The epitaph he made upon himself is thus quoted in Cotton 
Mather's "Ma^alia Christj Americana," a bouk with which Franklin waa 
admittedly familiar: 

A living, bmitblDg Hble : ubia wben 

Both Coveiuoa u large engnven wen. 

G^Hpel Hod law m 'h beart, bad each iu column ; 

Hit bead an index 10 tbc Hcnd ToLume ; 

His very name a UUe-page ; and, ncKI, 

O what a monnmeni of elotioui worth, 




Davii, in his " Travels in America," finds another source in a Latin epitaph 
on the London bookseller Jacob Tonson. published with an English translation 
in the CtnUemmfi Magatttu for February, 1736. This is its concluMon: 

When Heaven reviewed tb' frifin*l Uxt, 

■Twaa wich rrralai fe* perplend ; 

Plsued wllh the itfr '>*» alUUd, 

And u a bnier ble Iraitilalid. 

But let lo lUe thit tuffltMint 

Be primed on tby nmuim/. 

Lett (MJlrtlftiet ef Jtmti ibouM b^ 

Gfcal ofiwr, a iUm* w Aee: 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 



Should out ssr titU for ilili gn 
SUT. piiTn Mr, And drop ■ uu 
Hm Ha ■ noud BoDluetlR : 



'/(*>,hedi " " 
Tb« litMt imitation 



To KU. lllU wlWD be fuuDcT dEbocd 

Uli Jiw( m' /M, he died »iih Erief: 
Y« he, bf cme lud lenuiiK belief. 



HENRY STEVENS, 
Lover of Boolu, 

The TOlumeof ■*« '^' ' "*' 
Euthlv libour wu daKd- 
In Londoa, Ftbniir>' A, iBSfi, In the 



Pftlolen aiul henlik, hy your kave. 

Hen lie Ae booa of Muihew Prior, 
The ton of Adun and of Eve :— 

Let fiouiboD or Nuuu go higher ] 
Priiv borTowed his lines from the following very andent epitaph upon a lomb- 
itone in Scotland : 

John Ca nM EJe lice here, 

DeMepded from Adgm asd En ; 
If uy an haul of a pedigree blghei. 

He vill villingly give them lave. 

Here it one of Ihe most remarkable epitaphs in literature, l>i>th intrinaicallf 
for it* strange audacity, and on account of its wide diffusion and its ancient 
pedigree. It it onlj one example chosen at hap-hazard fiom a thousand 
variants, in England, in Scotland, in the United States, and in this special 
instance is copied from a cliurch-yard in Aberdeen, Scotland : 



on my iomJ, gude 
uve^ 1 wen G< 
«MutlD Elmrod 



G«orgc Macdonald dies this epitaph in his novel ** David Elginbrod," with 
lligbtljr- varying phraseology : 

Htreliel, MuIinElnDhrodde; 
Hne mercy o' my loiil. Lord Cod, 
At 1 nd do vere 1 Lad God. 
And ye mn Mutin El^tirodde. 
Now, in Howel's Letters is found the following quatrain, the versification of 
a pauage in St Ai^ostine : 

__ heGod^'n.- 

I't poHible that Love more a 

Even vet, however, we have not come to the germ of the phrase. In its 
origin it IS not Western, but Eastern ; not centuries, but xont old. Il occurs 
over and over again in the Kig-V«da and other sacred books of the Orient, 



;i:,.. Google 



334 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Wen ihou, Agni, ■ morul^ ud wen I an iminaiul ind ui iDvoknl^M 



W« I ihou. Agni, ind wen thou I, this ui»mion >h<n>l<9 be (vM\\ni.-UiJ. 
The difficulty of tracing an epitaph to its true origin, even when reference* 
are given by the aulltorilies, is shown by the following story told by a writer in 
the English Noirs and Queries: 

All mea (/,«.,■ great many) have heard of Mrs, Manha, or Mitrgarel,GiryiiD,cdebimted in 
■n cpitapb which linay give u foUon : 

Here lie the bonei of Mutha Cwynn, 
Who was » very pure wilhln^ 

And thence whs hatched a Chenjbin. 
Being dcsimus to find the tnje form and also the place of (his epitaph. 1 lately searched for 
and fbuDd it id three published coLlecrions each of which giva a lent difleting tram the other 
liro. For the place of it one collector, Mr. Augustus Hare, savs Cambridgeshire. Had be 
laid England he would have commliied hlmielf to leu, and the lefctence would have been 
about equally uteTul. Another more definitely assigns it to St, Albani, Hens. By the belp 
of a friend I was etiabled [o Icnm with sumethlae like certain ly that It is not to be (bund there. 

naiuhly Nell^y may have been sisters. But, unhappily fot her 
' appeaif that Manha G^-ynn eilber never had any existence al all, or, if she 

aulay's phnuc. trolen. and marred in the stealing. ] hav< 



>ff[Martha the immaculate : 

'L'he'j" ve H» 

reca^^he? myihitS^bSng. "l 1 iTan^Staph in'T^dingwS Chi^h, Bedtordrt^ire mu- 
tioncd and partly quoted b>' Lyvons (" Magna Britannia") ui his description of that cbtirch. 
1 ...- .1- ^qJ aflectaiioD. It has some liietar^ merit, and at least preaenta samething 



ind closer in though' 
■• Here it is in full: 
ia Wentninti illwlrli Tbc 



le flabby ai 



,vii f— ] Januar. aiK Dnj. MDCXXXll., nal. 
And bcie y* pretitKis dust is laytle 
Whose purcbe temper'd clay was ma< 
So fine that it y* guest betray'd. 
Else the settle grew to faKe wlthiD, 

And soe WIS balch'd a Cbenibin, 
In hei^t it soar'd to God above, 
In depth It did ID Icnowledge move. 
And spread m breadth to gencralle ]o< 
B^on a ploua duty ahind. 
To Parent! curteale behind, 
On either side an etitia] mlnde. 
Good to y poore, tn Itindrcd dearv, 
To servants Idnde, to friendship clear 
To nothing but herself severe. 
See though a Viigin :rel a BHde 
To everie grace, the juslilied 
A chaste Pollgamie, and dyed. 

innd in Chiswick chDrch-yaril, close to I 



She led and left her cloeg behind 

° Mayyeai,'ijj8" °'' 
Inlbajothyearof h^age. 

And this in its (um w singularly like an in»cripiion on the door o( the cell id 
which Ettore VUconii is buried in a standing poiition in MonE!> ^ 
This ikeietoD foruerly contained the soul at 
Ealore [nc] Viaceod. 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 

The business-like epitaphs combining pu& with pathoa deserve a plac 
tliemselves. A famous example is said to have been inscribed by a son t 
d father somewhere in Willshiie, England : 

BoHUh Ihii HODe, id hop« of Zion, 



An equally afleding inscription is said to be tound in the cemetery of Pire- 
la-Chaise on the tom^tone of one Fiene Cabochaid, a grocer. It closes as 
follows : 

Hi> incontolubfe widow 

dediCHta ihim monbiaeni lo his memory, 

4Pd coatiniHi tbc fviic businaa ■( the 

old lund, 167 Rue Mouffeurd. 

In the year 186S a Parisian newspaper told this curious stoiy anent the 

lAo lud noticed th* above inKiipiion w»i led by ciirioilty ID call Bl Ibe 
" "" ■ " "ow Ciboduud, hi 



Having eipTCHed bis 
«u ihe obi. 






EC the widow Cabochud, ^," 

HJe lo the relici of tbc Uile Piem Caboctaard, v 
■DDOIiiiiciit I nauced yolerday at the Pire-la-Ctaaiie." 

b a mylb) and diereTore never had a wife. The toinb 

But possibly monumeiit and story were both "faked" by this esteemed co 
temporary. This is the more likely Ihal the monument in question figures 
various collections of epitaphs, with so many changes of name and venue 111 
one is inclined to look upon it u a myth. 

The following probably belong lo the same category. The first com 
from California; the second is English, and is said to be in memory of o 
Jonathan Thompson ; 

Hen liea tbe body of Jeemea Humbricti who was accidentally' sbol on ibe bank of I 
Puns River by a yooDi nu. He was acddaujly shot with ou cf the large Coil's levolvi 

And of snch Is Ibe kingdom of heavea. 



A good HusL , _ 

whose diacoDBDlale Widow and Orphans 
coniioue la caiTv on Ibe Tripe and Trolier buslnesa 

Iamb, in one of his Letters, says, " I have seen in Islington church-yard an 
epitaph to an infant who died alalia four months, with this seasonable inscrip- 
tion appended : 'Honour thy father and thy mother, thai thy days may be 
long in the land,' etc-" But this is not so bad as the quotation from Shake- 
speare, "She never told her love," placed over another infant of about the 
same age. 

Un intent 
since grav< , 

suspicion that they are loo good to be true, but he who has any experience 
monumental stupidity wilt hesitate to put limits to the stupidity it may display. 

There are dt par It mamie a number of epitaphs the absurdity of which 
consists in the substitution of a wrong name for the deceased person, to 
■ccommodaie the exigencies of the poet. One of them runs thus : 
18 



Coogk" 



3j6 handy-book of 

oiiihiiD Blue. 



Undoseuh Ihli u 

Lie |1» nrniiu oT IodmIu 

Hb UDK «u BlicL, but tl 



UDdemath ihii Mone, uad IhreocoK uid Hn, 

Ue IhE nUMliu of Wiiliun Woad-hen. 

{Ar H<D, rAi>< Cock— Cock WDuldn'i coiu In ifaynu) ; 

and tlill a third: 

Hen Ue> John Bium, 

Who wuVillnl by,! gun. 

But Wood wouldn't rttyme witb Giran, to I tbought Bunn would. 
VTe confess w« ate sceptical about the authenticity oT these rarious leadings, 

as »1so of the epitaph on the architect Trotlope ; 

Here lid Williim Trollopc 

Whm doth took hi°i"^ up"'' ' 
Hit body filled Ihli hole up. 

No doubts, however, attach to the sweet agricultural Mmplidt; wbich 
breathes through the following : 

Hen E Jiei, uid no WDodcr I'm dcu]» 
For ibe wboel of ■ w*sod wont o*er my bead. 
A facetious story is told in some quarters of a pauper who, having died in 
a workhouse, was to be buried in the most economical fashion. The master 
proposed to inscribe over his tombstone,— 

Thomu Thorpi. 

The gtiardians at the next meeting of the board indignantly forbade inch a 
profligate expenditure of the rates, and ordered the epitaph to be curtailed 
thus : 



In the church-yard of St John, Worcester, there is an epitaph which, if 
brevity be the soul of wit, has high claim to that character. 'The arrange* 
ment of the verb is, at all events, original. It reads thus ; 

Honat John 

's dead and gone. 
Here aie some miscelbneous grotesques : 

In Ch[ij>wall Fauish, Englanix 
Here lid me and my three daughten, 
Brought here by uiing ChelleDAAm nun. 
If ire lud uuck to Epiom ulU 
We wouldu'l be Id tbcK ben nulH. 

Fkou a New Hampshire Chi;rch-Yard. 

To all my Mendi 1 bid idieu, 

Ai I wu leading ibe old nun to driuk, 
She kkktd, and killed me qukker'n ■ wink. 

On an Eact Tbnnrssbb Ladv. 

She Und ■ life of Tlnue, and dird of the cholen norbiu, caused by ealing gnu (hik, In 
hoee tt *. Ueued iniinan^iiy, u the euiy age of ii yean, ; moulu, and 16 day*. Reaott, 
" Go thou ud do likevlM." 



;i:,vG00gk" 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 
From Thetford Church- Yard. 

tijr ftudblhs ni bnrud facn, 

Hy couin Juu, uid two unclet dear 

My fiubv p(rab*d wilh infiammalLan in the thiflii, 

And ny ■!■!« dropped down dead in :he Minona; 

But tb« RAHQ vhy I'm hen anumd, ftccording to my >h<nV4nj 

li owing to my good ILviug uid hanl drinking. 

IT, tbcidcRi good Chnstian*. you wiab to hve long. 

Don't drii^ too aucb wiofl, brudy, ^, dt Hnytbing itrong. 

At Augusta, Maine, 

—After LUe'i Scurin Fera 

From Cornwall, England. 

Hen liei the body of G.briei John, 
Wbo died in the veir one ihouundimdone; 
Pny for the toul of Gabriel John, 
Yon m.y, if yon pleue. or let il .lone. 

For Jt'i all on* 

To Gmbriel John, 
Who died in the yeu one ihouund and one. 

From Portburv Church-Yard, nsar Bristol. 

Hy loive and anvil an rtcUned, 
My beHon they have loft thdr vind. 
My ahop and hanmer art docayed, 
And in the duit my vice i> laid. 
My fire'i eiiLna. 

My coal i. son.. 
My nail, are arove. 
My work ii done. 
Bntb are not at all infrequent on tombstonea. Here is one thai reappears 

in to many difierent ways Ihat one cannot helj ' ' ■-- 

mana^cinred. This particular instance is cre 
New York : 

Oix in Inland, and the oiber hen. 
Here are a few, a very few, of its many variants. The first, which il un- 
doubtedly genuine, msy be the parent of all the others : 
At Bbltubbbt, Irklanii. 

Hare 11» John Blgley. whoK father and mother wen 

djowDed \a tbdj pauace from America. 

Hud they both lived, they would have been buried here. 

UNIDEKTII'IBD. 

Here lia the body of John Mound, 

At Llanvmvnech, Montoombrvshire. 

Here ll« John Thomai 
Two buried at Oiwettry, 

In Oxfordshire. 

Hen Uci the body of John Eldnd, 
At leas he wUl be here wben he b dead : 
But now at thb lime he ia alive. 
The I<lh of Augnit, '^ily-live. 

The following look Irish, but, tike those just quoled, are of Sucon origin : 
Ab, crwl Death I why » unkind. 
To take her, and leave dk behlndT 
BmIB to have Uken both or Dolber. 
It WDold haire been more kind to the lurrivoc E 



Coogk" 






3^8 HANDY-BOOK OF 

At St. Andkew's, Plymouth. 

Here Uei the body of Juma VmoD, Esq., only aurvlviiic kd of Admlnl VenioD : died 
tjd July, 1753. 

At Momtrosk, 1757. 

Here lyo tht Bodeyi of GmiE Young ud lubel Guihilc, ud ill thdr PoMcrily for mon 
tllAD liity yeu« backnrds- 

Occasionally ii has happened that priies haie been offered for epitaphs lo 
be mitten to order. They have never been known to yield any satisfactory 
results. A German paper once canvassed in this way for an appropriate in- 
scription to BismarcL But all the essays sen! in were rejected. A com- 
Ctition of the same sort, having General Wolfe as its subject, is remem- 
red to-day only because, among others, it brought out this astonishing 
quatrain : 

He muched vithout dreid or Fevi 
Sx the head <A hu bald gnoadivn, 
_.L_. L.-Li. . .^ MuticuUr— 

The eccentric Slernhold Oakes offered a reward for the best epitaph for hit 
own grave. Several tried for the prize, but they Haltered him too much, he 
thou^t. At last he undertook it himself; and the following was the result : 

Hen llei the body at Slcmhold Oakn, 

Who lived >pd died liVe other Iblki. 

That was satisfactory, and the old gentleman claimed and received his own 
prize. 
The following was composed by three Scotch liriends, to whom the person 

COmmemoiated h--" ''- ' ' ■■"•■■ ■■■- "■ -" •"--* •'■— '-" 

honor him by sor . _ 

liiK which naturally opened the epitaph,- 

PraiMl P«H Putenoo vu Frovou of DiiDd«. 
The second added, — 

ProTDU F«er Puienon, lieit lia be. 

The third could suggest no other conclusion than, — 

Hillelujihl Hilleliijeel 

Intentional drolleries frequently lake the forms of pniti. Among tbcM 
should rank the epitaph on Mr. Foote, of Norwich ! 

For Death huh now one fool wilhio (ha fiiTt ; 
and the one on Mr. Boa ; 

Ihe one of mwd was very good, 

also the &mous one of Sir John Strange : 

Here lieg on hoiMM Uwy«r, 

Thu li Smngcl 
A " happy conceit" it was doubtless thought. In 1640, lo write over a member 
of Parliament named White, — 

Hoe lie* II JohD, m huming, vfainine ll^t, 
WboH ume, lUe, iniou, all alike «r Whiu I 
The following is by Swift on the Earl of Kildare: 

Who killed KUdatcT Wbo dared KJIdan to kiU I 
Death lulled Kildare— who dare kiU whom he wUI. 

Here are a few miscellaneous examples, the first on a Mr. Fish 1 

re bdt for liab ; but hert'i ■ mdden cbaace 1 



*a i;[nil|>uscu ujr tiiicc .jLuitri iiienu», to wpuni Itic |K4auii 

d left a legacy, with the hope expressed thai they would 
e record oi their regrets. The first friend cmniiosed the 
y opened ihe epitaph, — 



;i:,vG00gk" 



tITERAR Y CURIOSITIES. 

On William Button, in a church-yard near Sanbur; : 
Ovun, UDoii.stui, KUdye cckuU pokil 
Are |frtv«t» then, dwindled van Butwn'bokmT 



Dtalh look him off, wko iiwic off ill tbe wodd. 
TeagiK O'Urien's epitaph on hicnself in Ballyporeen church-jrard has a rol> 
licking w>rt of humor i 

Here I il length repooe, 



nd the poiDt of 



The following, " On a woman who bad an iuue in her leg," ii unoMng, 
though probably apocryphal : 

Here lieih Margutt^ Dtbenrlie Meg, 

StmiEe woidaa waA ihe and exceedingly cuanil^^ 

For while one leg Mood Mill, the other »u niniuDg. * 

This pleasing tribule to departed worth is credited to a South Carolina 
graveyard: 

Heit lie* the body </ Robert Goiditi, 

Houlh klmighty and teelb accordln' : 

Stnnger, Uead llghlly OTer Ihli wonder, 

ir he open hii inoutn, yen uregone.by Ihaiulnt 

Another grossly personal attack is English : 

Reader! whoe'er tboulx, oh. Irtadnoi hard. 
Foe Tadlo* Ilea all oia ihii church yard. 

The allusion, of course, is to the dead man's unusual obesitr. The following, 
which has a curioits verbal analogy, must be taken in a totally different sense, 
as a fling at a noble profession : 

Hen lid the corp<e of Dr. Chard, 

Who Ailed the half of this church-yard. 

Here is a still more unpardonable attack on a lady, possibly of those loqua- 
cious tendencies too often harshly attributed to her sex : 

Miaa Arabella YouDg, 
Who on Ihe iiR of May 
Began to bold her tongue. 

'' This is as bad as the unkind hint conveyed in the following, in a church- 
yard near Newmarket : 

Here Ua the body of Saiah Seaua, 

Who never did anght to vex one. 

A special malignity is attributable to the last line by the explanation that 
the lady under the next stone was the first wife of Thomas Sextan, and Sarah 
was his second. 

The following attacks the reputation of a whole parish. Il is in SL George's 
chnrch-yard, Somerset : 

Hera liev poor Chwiottc, 
Who died DO hailM, 
But in her vhrginity. 

Though jnsi tvned nineteen, 
Which within thii vicinity 
ti bard to be Ibund angaacit, 

a8» 



;i:v,.G00gk" 



330 HANDY-BOOK OF 

Domestic troubles have been Ixid bare on (he tombstone fron the tine of 
the Greeks and Romans. Kere is a piece oi atiocious doggerel to be •een in 
Selbj' church-yard, in Yorkshire : 

HcR \\a m> vlfc, ■ ud •Unen ami • thnw . 
If I uid 1 ncrcltcd bcr t >h«i1d lie u». 
The fotloiring, which frequently appi 
credited to any locality, and may be n 
Diisogynism : 



Sleep on— I've goi unalhei wifs i 
Foe 1 miui ID ind live witb >hc. ' 
My wift'i dead, and here ihe liei. 

When ihe'i sone. ar how >he Ikrel, 
Nobody knowi, and Dobody cam. 
* Ken lla my poor vUe, wllhaui bed or blaokel, 

Bui dead a> ■ door^ufl, and God be thanldt. 
In the following (he tables are turned : 

Hen liei ihe body of Man Ford, 
WhoK Kul, we trail, i> with ibe Lord: 
Bui K for hell ihe'l i:hanaed ikk life, 
-Hi beiKt than bring John Ford'i wifc. 
Is the satire in Ihe following examples intentional t 
Maila Brown, wife of Timaihy Biown, aged ETghn rean. She Uved with 
Gdy yean, and died In the conlldeni hope oTa better life. 

Here lie* Benwd Lightfoot, who wu accidenially kiUed In Ibe iony-filth y< 



a tombstone in Ots^o 



To conclude : In many portions of England people whose relalives were 
too poor to purchase monumental space within the church itself were fte- 
quently buried oulside the door. The fallowing epitaph was a favorite with 
this class of corpses : 

Here I Lie ai the church door, 
W^l* "" amooor- 



I rue M Ihe Ju^ment Day, 

detected the latent ambiguity in thii e[Mt4plv 

D,q,i,.cd by Google 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 33J 

From a Spirit Within. 

"Hi true, old iLniict, then you ll«, 

Bui» RctlcH ipirit, why fontdl 
Thai whai Tou rac you U lo to H— I 

An anilogous story is that of the gravestone bearing the Mmple inscription, — 

My Jlltle Jahnny )ua gone to kcKven ; 

which one morning was found tagged with Ibe irreverent addition, — 
Your™^ Jahat^rat) h»E gone 'id H— . 

&a of Good FeelloK a phrase which originated with Benjamin Russell, 
editor of the Batten Centinel, on the occastnn of President James Monroe's 
visit to Boston in 1E17, the &rst year of his administration. It was caught 
up by the press generally, and has passed into hislory as characterizing the 
entire epoch of eight years during which Monioc was chief magistrate. But 
the good feeling was rather apparent than teaL The animosities and eidle- 
menls of (he war of l8l2 had now subsided, and the internal dissensions in 
the then Republican parly, which eventually culminated in the split between 
Jaclisoniles and Adamsiles, had not as yel disturbed the stirlace of the political 
maelstrom. 

Bria go Bragll (" Erin forever"), the andent war-cry of the Irish. 

War-orla, joeuil oriffiiuUly to keep the fighling-meii nwve of the place of Ibeir own ctui in 

by tlie Anglo-NDriDui poblcioul of coniidenlion for Iheir Gaelic teuinen. ilie CDminoDtK 

filled for Ibe clamor oT a band oT fighLen, being at once more muaica] and Itu wcarvinB to 
the 'oice than our -- humh." llie Kildan relaCien cried, " Crom aboo :" in honor <^ Crom 
CauJe, a ciudel is Umetick County, orieinally a jtronghold of ihe O'Donuvuif which one 
ftf the inmt^vc Ceraldine familiei^ named after the lown of KLldare. occtipied white lUrDLUd 
, The 0'Neil!i ciiedoui," La«T daicg aboo I" btcaUK the Lawvdareg, or Red Hand, 



I the badge at , . 

ol" or^^lroOB Hand abool" The Itanilaior of Geolfrey Kea^, _ , _. 

i" nugeiti aalhe meaning of "abcm" Ihe Iriah word" booa," victory ; but a&alogy w< 



'SlTDilK Hand i 
iti aa ihe meanii 

tt Ibe French alirli ! and ciw / A parallel 



J'beolha" aciually conlaina.ainceihe lallet ij the Celtic eq^uivalcnt o[ Greet 
WhOe CO Ihii topic it may be iDteieslin^ to aair ihat this Itish word, or iu Welsh ectuiraleni'. 

Whai ia ihe obia:! of ajt eovemcaenL? The object of all ooverameni ii rcia«E miLrrnn nnrn. 
flbfc. an honest jualice, a clear highva 
^11 about the Green I>le, the lileof tl 

^wilhoulToE in lheS!'l-SvD«;v sSi™" ™ 

Bilpnlt ccelo fnlmen, mceptrumque tyraiuils (L., " He snatched the 
lightning from heaven and their sceptre from tyrants"), the epigraph written 
tnTnrgot for Houdon's bust of Franklin. It may be an alteration from the 
me oot of the " Anti- Lucretius" of Cardinal de Polignac, i. v. 96, — 

or may have been suggested by the " Asttonomica" of Manilius, a Latin poet 

ODDUmporary with Virgil, — 

Eripuji Jovj IbJincD vb^Hiue looaniEL, — 

il tn«y, a* is more likely, have been original, and suegesled only by the 

-— — ' Franklin and the historic facta of his life. This is all the mote 



;i:v..G00^IC 



HANDY-BOOK OF 



The authorship of ihe epigraph has been claimed for Baron Treiick by ft 
writer in Garttalaubi fur 1863, in a paper on the last hours of that stales- 
man. He stales that the baron asserted at his trial before the Revoluliun- 
ary Tribunal of Paris, July 9, 1794, that he made Franklin's acquaintance in 
England in 1774, and thai the lines usually attributed to Turgot were in fact 
his. Baron Trenck, however, says nothing of this in his memoirs. 

The Terse was translated into French (" II 6te au del le foudre et le sceptre 
aoi tyrans") bv a poor creature named Felix Nogaret, an almanac-poet, who 
sent it to Franklin with much adulatory commentary, asking his opinion of the 
translation. In his reply, which may be found in Fournier's " L'Esprit des 
Autres," Franklin claimed (o be too liiile of a connoisseur of the subtleties 



of the French tongue to sit in judgment on the "po<!sie qui doit se trouve. 
dans ce vers" (a very subtle phrase, which might be interpreted either as " the 
poetry which is 10 be" or as " the poetry which iwA/ to be found ii 
verse"). However, as to the original l^lin. he wished to call •■t.-ii™ . 



When the death of Franklin was announced in the French National 
Assembly, Mirabeau, in moving that the Assembly go into mourning out 
of respect for hia memory, spoke of him as a benefactor of the human race. 
He declared. — 

Andquity would hflvF raiud altim 10 this mighty nniui, who, 10 (he Advmtn^ <fi mitD- 

A humorous play upon the words of Ihe inscription is contained in the fol- 

We know whu » BogeLog ii, but what love ii. no one hu found oui. Some n«unU philca- 
Dphen have nuinulDed (bat ii i* ■ kind of electricity. Thai i> pouible, for ai Ihe mamenl '^ 
faUing in love we feel «■ if an electrical spark had tuddenly penetrated our heart rnjin Ibe eye 

rods whieh would eonduci the £vadfu] fire elaewhere. 1 fcaj. huwrver. that IJitie Amor 
cannDT be aa easily roblKd oT biA ajtowa ai Jupiter of hia tightning or ihe lyraBU of (b^ 
•ceptn.— HuKB : Riiitiadir: Dii BMirvm Lucca. 

Kotlc Bohool, 3 name applied (circa 18SS) by American newspaper 
critics to a group of writers who consciously 01 unconsciously rebelled against 
ihe rigid conventionalities established by the Mrs. Grundys of literature. 
Such rebellion had been in the air long before their adveni ; indeed, in Eng- 
land it had already taken formal shape m the poems and novels of the Fleshly 
School I;. v.\ and its successors. That school was a practical indorsement 
(^ the protest made by Thackeray, and after him by Henry James, by Ouida, 
and by others, thai arl was foolishly fettered and limited through too eager 
deference to the assumed ingenuous ignorance of the Young Person. " Since 
the author of Tom Jones was buried," such are Thackeray's words, " no writer 
of fiction among us has been permitted to depict to his utmost power a Man. 
We must drape him and give him a certain conventional simper. Sociely will 
not tolerate the Natural in our art" Perhaps in Seeking for the Natural, the 
Fleshly School went too far. Perhaps Wall Whitman, Ihe first American 
exponent of the theory, went too far. Il is part of the folly of ihe unlrulli 
which lies in luppression, thai ii provokes the untruth of overstatement, that 



Goo^If 



LITERARY CURIOSITIES. 333 

hypocrisy may beget open shameleagness. But the Erotic School in America, 
rave among certain vulgar and now forgotten mercenaries who followed the 
lead of the leaders when they fancied it gave them a chance for booty and 
notoriety, — the Erotic School in America never imitated the fiercer vagaries 
of the English School. They only claimed the privilege of art to paint life as 
they saw it Am^lie Rives, Edgar Saltus, Gertrude Atherton, and, on a lower 
level, Ella Wheeler Wilcoi, all of whom have been roughly grouped together 
under the convenient heading, are persons of sincere aim. With varying 
d^rees of genius or talent, they ^ave established a precedent which must 
eventually be accepted. 

BtrorB, Iik« stiaws, npOD the snriaoa floir. From the Prologue to 
Dryden's " All for Love :" 

EiTon, like ilnvg, upon ihc Hufice 6ow : 



it of^ learning. Bacon says, — 
Another «Tor 11 i concett thai . , , th« b«i hu niW pKvailcd snd Buppreued ihv Ttrt : 
to «I, if A man ihtnild trt^n the labor of a new search, he were but like ID \^h\ upon eoEoe- 
what (brmetly i^ecLed. url by rtjfctioit brought into obiiviaoj «« if the mullUude.or Ibv 
wiseil fur the multitude'i lake, were Dot ready 1o give pauj^e rather to thai which ia popu. 
lar aod luptriicial, than to thai which k iuhsianii.<l and piulound : Sot Ihc milh It, thai time 
tcemelh 10 he of the nature of a riyer or siream, which cairielh down lo ui that which n light 
and btowQ up, and tinlcelb and drtwneih ibal which It weigbty tad tolid.— ^ifBuiefnit^fr^ ^ 
Ltanii^, Hobh 1. 

An amnsing variant of the idea is the jest of Home Tooke. To his brother, 
who had been more prosperous than himself, John Home Tooke remarked 
that they had reversed the natural order of things, for "yvit have risai by yintr 
grmii^: I have sunk by tny levity." 

Thsugh Hine iraVc light of libcU, jrel you may t« by Ihcoi hov Ihc wind tin: u cake a 
■traw. and Ihrow it up into the air. you thai! see by ihal which way the wind u, which you 
ihaH DOi Ut> by casting up a noue. More eolid ihlugt do n« thtiw the compLcaku of the ilnic 
•owd] ai ballad! and hbeli.— Silden: TailfTaik.- I.Htli. 

valuable iloki 10 Ihc bonom, and li tost fonva.—Lelirrt ^Juriiiu. 

Xbron, Vulgar. One of the most delightful books ever written is that 
which its author styled " Pseudoiia Epidemica," but which is more usually 
known as " Browne's Vulgar Errors," — a rather misleading title, as the errors 
which it treats of are the public's, and not iitr Thomas Browne's. The good 
knight, who was still sulficiently conservative to believe in witches, goes seri- 
ously to work to deny the existence of the phcenii, the chimera, and the grifiin, 
and to expose such fallacies as that man has one less rib than woman ; that 
Mahomet s tomb is suspended in air between loadstones artfully contrived 
above and below ; that storks will only live in republics and free states ; that 
a salamander lives in the lire ; that children would naturally speak Hebrew ; 
veigh more before meat than after, and dead than alive ; that Friar 



Bacon made a brazen head which spoke ; that Hannibal ate through the Alps 

Saled. Some of these errors 
7 names in science and the- 



with vinegar ; that crystal is ice strongly congealed. Some ol 



ology had onci . . , - 

Augustine, St. Gregory, and St. Jerome are ail advocates for the ice-theory of 

irystals, though it is only fair to add that Pliny and others denied iL 

Once upon a time a professor of electricity, we are told, was demonstrating 
before an audience and failed to produce the expected resulL " Ladies and 
gentlemen," he thereupon remarked, "every experiment, if oroperly made, 
proves something; if it doesn't prove what you intended, it proves the oppo- 



334 HANDY-BOOK OP 

Eit«." This great truth, obvious as it seems, is, after all, of lery recent dis- 
covery. It is astonishing how readily the philosophers of old accepted state- 
ments which might at once have been proved or disproved by the test of 
experiment 

Thus, Aristotle took it for granted that a pot full of ashes will contain as 
much water as it would without them, and nobody seems to have questioned 
the statement until Sir Thomas Browne seriously made repeated tests which 
proved it to be untrue. The reader will doubtless remember, in this connec- 
tion, the old story told sometimes of James I. and someliines of other mon- 
archs, that he called together a council of philosophers to discuss the question, 
" Why is it that a vase will contain as much water if a herring be placed 
therein as it would without the herring ?" and after the learned men had given 
sundry ingenious answers to the query, he bade them try if indeed it were so, 
and, lo 1 a herring placed in a vase (uil of water made it overflow. 

Pliny asserted that the diamond wilt prevent the attraction of the loadstone 
if placed between it and a piece of iron ; and although the problem was one 
capable of ready solution by experiment, he went on lo ascribe the same 
quality to the garlic The loadstone, indeed, attracted towards itself the 
most preposterous fables, which it was left for Sir Thomas ttrowne to expose. 
Thus, it was asserted that when burnt it gives oS an intolerable stench ; that 
if preserved in certain salts it has the power of attracting gold, even out of 
the deepest wells ; that some kinds of loadstone attract only by night ; that 
one ounce of iron and ten ounces of loadstone produce a total weight of only 
ten ounces. A learned Jesuit named Eusebius Nieicmbeigius believed that 
the body of man is magnetical, and if placed in a boat " the vessel will never 
rest until the head respecteth the north." Sir Thomas warily characterizes 
this theory as " improbable and something singular," and suggests that " the 
verily hereof might easily be tried in Wales, where there are portable boats, 
and made of leather, which would convert upon the impulsion of any ver- 
ticity." 

But, ader all, the errors of the early philosophers were too nrmly intrenched 
10 yield before the evidence of experimenL For when Camerarius,to disprove 
the common assertion that a lion was afraid of a cock, cited the case of one 
which sprang into a farm-yard and devoured all the poultry, he was silenced 
by Alexander Ross's assertion that that lion was mad. 

Not can it be said that all the errors which Sir Thomas combated are dead 
<ven now. We still hear, not indeed from philosophers, but from people of 
£lit intelligence, that the chameleon feeds upon air ; that a bear licks her cube 
into shape \ that swans sing just before their death ; that a pigeon has no 
gall. It is no longer asserted that the ostrich can digest iron ; nevertheless 
astonishing and quite as baseless stories are still told concerning its assimi- 
lative powers, and not everv one has learned the falsity of the fable that a 
bunted ostrich will try to hide itself by sticking its head [nto the sand. And, 
indeed, why should we outsiders discredit the slory when it originated among 
the denizens of Africa, who were familiar for ages with the ostrich and its 
habits } 

The verb "lo ape" has crept into our language as an outgrowth of the 
popular fallacy that monkeys have a passion for imitating the actions <rf men, 
as parrots have for imitating Iheir language. Nothing can be further from 
the truth. Indeed, if monkeys could talk ihey ought to introduce into their 
vocabularies a correlative veib "lo man," lor according to all theories of 
creation or evolution the monkey came first, and it is wc who are hii follow, 
ers and imitalora. It is not the monkeys who have human traits, but we who 
have monkey traits. Monkeys can be trained, like other animals, in various 
manly arts, but they are acul«ly cousdoos of the degiadatJon ; they are tbe 



;,oogic 



LI