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Full text of "The Percy anecdotes. Original and select"

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THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



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OUTHERN BRANCH 

: 17Y OF CALiFURNlA, 

^ LIBRARY, 

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. 




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AW.Vt FEB.18Z3.BYT«f*».7l-'^^'ATE Hill 



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j^FKmcrr Mmmci^y>TM^ 



i 
UioTHERS or Tiir. EE>..EDICT15^E MOXASTE^ 

MOIN'T BE2sGER. 



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PRINTED FOR T.BOXS.XrDGAa'li HILI. 



1822, 



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JOHN FARQUHAR, ESQ. 



%mtiM^tt^ of StrenttiritB 



RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED, 

CY HIS 

MOST OBEDIENT 
AND MOST HUMBLE SERVANTS, 




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IHtm Slnrcirotf 0» 



ANECDOTES OF ECCENTRICITY. 



" Chimeras all, and more absurd or less." 

DRYDEN. 

PERPETUAL MOTION SEEKER. 

Mr. Stukeley was a gentleman of fortune bred to 
the law, but relinquished the profession, and retired 
into the country, tilled with the project of disco- 
vering the perpetual motion. During a period of 
thirty years, he never went abroad but once, which 
was when he was obliged to take the oath of alle- 
giance to King George the First; this was also the 
only time he changed his shirt and clothes, or shaved 
himself, during the whole time of his retirement. 

Mr. Stukeley was at once the dirtiest and the 
cleanliest of men, washing his hands twenty times a 
day, but his hands only. His family consisted of two 
female servants, one of whom lived in the house, and 
the other out of it. He never had his bed made. After 
E 2 



4 PERCY ANtCDOTL.S. 

he relinqiiislied the project of the perpetual motion, 
he devoted himself to observing the works and eco- 
nomy of ants, and stocked the town so plcnteously 
with that insect, that the fruits in tlie gardens were 
devoured by them. 

During the reign of Queen Anne, whenever the 
Dulte of Marlborough opened the trenches against a 
city in Flanders, he broke ground at the extremity 
of a floor in his house, made with lime and sand, 
according to the custom of the country, and ad- 
vanced in his approaches regularly with his pick-axe, 
gaining work after work, cl)alked out on the ground 
according to the intelligence in the gazette; by which 
he took the town in the middle of the floor at Bide- 
ford, the same day the duke was master of it in 
Flanders : thus every city cost him a new floor. 
Sterne no doubt had Mr. Stukeley in his eye, when 
he drew the character of My Uncle Toby. 

Mr. Stukeley never sat on a chair, and when he 
chose to warm himself, he made a pit before the fire, 
into which he leapt, and thus sat on the floor. He 
suffered no one to see him, but the heir of his estate, 
his brother, and sister ; the first never but when he 
sent for him, and that very rarely ; the others some- 
times once a year, and sometimes seldomer, when he 
was cheerful, talkative, and a lover of the tittle-tattle 
of the tow!i. Notwithstanding his apparent avarice, 
he was by no means covetous of money ; for, during 
his seclusion, he never received nor asked for any 
rent from many of his tenants ; those who brought 
l)im money, he would often keep at an inn more 
than a week, and then pay all their expenses, and 
dismiss them without receiving a shilling. He lived 



ECCliNTKlCITY 5 

well in his house, frequently gave to the poor, always 
ate from large joints of meat ; never saw any thing 
twice at table ; and at Christmas divided a certain 
sum of money amongst the necessitous of tlie town. 
He seemed to be afraid of two things only ; one, 
being killed for his riches ; tlie other, being infected 
witli disease ; for which reasons he would send his 
maid sometimes to borrow a half crown from his 
neighbours, to hint he was poor ; and always re- 
ceived the money which was paid liirn, in a bason of 
water, to prevent taking infection from those who 
paid him. He did not keej) his money locked up, 
but piled it on the shelves before the plates in his 
kitchen. In his chamber, into which no servant had 
entered during the time of his remaining at home, 
he had two thousand guineas on the top of a 
low chest of drawers covered with dust, and five 
hundred on the floor, where it lay five and twenty' 
years; this last sura a child, which he was fond of 
playing with, had thrown down, by oversetting a table 
that stood upon one foot ; the table continued in 
the same situation also : through this money he had 
made two paths, by kicking the pieces on one side, 
one of which led from the door to the window, the 
other from the window to the bed. When he quitted 
the Temple in London, he left an old portmanteau 
over the portal of the antirchamber, where it had 
continued many years, during which time, the cham- 
bers had passed through several hands ; at length a 
gentleman who possessed tliem, ordered his servant 
to pull it down ; 'it broke, being rotten, and out fell 
four or five hundred pieces of gold, which were found 
to belong to Mr. Stukeley, from the papers enclosed. 
B 3 



* PllllCY ANECDOTES. 

It was gGiierally supposed at his death, that lie had 
put large sums in the hands of a banker, or lent them 
to some tradesman in London, without taking any 
memorandum ; all wliich were lost to his heirs, as 
he would never say to whom he lent them. He was 
afraid, perhaps, lest he should hear it was lost; for 
there are some that can bear to suspect, though not 
to know positively, that their riches have taken to 
tlieroselvcs wings. After more than thirty years living 
a recluse, he was at last found dead in his bed, at 
the age of seventy. 

The gentleman who accompanied liim to the 
Town Hall, when he went to take the oath of alle- 
giance, talked with him on every subject he could 
recollect, without discovering in him the least tinc- 
ture of madness. He rallied himself on the per- 
petual motion, laughed at the folly of confining 
himself in-doors, and said he believed he should, 
some time or other, come abroad again, like other 
men. He was always esteemed a person of good 
understanding, before his shutting himself up. At 
the time of his death, he was building a house, the 
walls of which were seven feet thick. 



RESPECTABLE MISANTHROPE. 

A house in Grub Street had long been noted as 
the residence of a solitary gentleman, whom nobody 
could ever catch a glimpse of, and who permitted 
nobody to see him, except an old maid servant, and 
her only in some cases of great necessity. Three 
rooms of the house he reserved for his exclusive 
use: one for eating in ; a second as a study ; and a 



ECCENTRICITY, 7 

third as a bed -room. His time was spent in reading, 
meditation, and prayer. His diet was constantly 
bread, water gruel, milk, and vegetables; and when 
he indulged himself most, the yolk of an egg. No 
Carthusian monk was ever more rigid and constant 
in his abstinence. He seemed, notwitlistanding, in 
no want of money to have purchased every luxury 
of life. He bought all the new books that were 
published, although there was seldom one which, on 
a slight examination, he did not throw aside. He 
expended large sums, too, in acts of charity ; and 
was very inquisitive after proper objects. He died 
the :29th of October, 1639, in the eighty-fourth year 
of his age, and lies buried in St. Giles's Church, 
near Cripplegate. The old maid servant died but 
six days before her master. 

Henry Welby, for such was the name of this sin- 
gular recluse, was a native of Lincolnshire, where 
he had an estate of about a thousand pounds a year. 
He possessed, in an eminent degree, the qualifica- 
tions of a gentleman. Having been a competent 
time at the University and the inns of court, he com- 
pleted his education by making the tour of Europe. 
He was happy in the love and esteem of his friends, 
and indeed of all that knew him, as his heart was 
warm, and the virtues of it were displaced in nu- 
merous acts of humanity, benevolence, and charity. 
When he was about forty years of age, his brother, 
an abandoned profligate, made an attempt upon his 
life, with a pistol, which not going oft', he wrested 
it from his hands, and found it to be double charged 
with bullets. The event filled him with such horror, 
such a disgust, for the society of men, that he re- 



8 I'EKCY ANECDOTES. 

solved to seclude himself from it for ever ; and so 
strictly did lie adhere to this resolution, that although 
he had a very amiable daughter, who was married 
to Sir Cljristopher Hilliard, a Yorkshire gentleman, 
neither she, nor any of her family, ever saw her 
father after his retirement. 

A SCHOLAR'S BURIAL. 

Mr. John L^uderwood, of Nalhngton, who died in 
1733, and was buried at Whittlesea, left six thou- 
sand pounds to his sister, on condition of her bury- 
ing him in the following eccentric manner. Wlien 
tlie grave was filled up, and covered with the turf, 
six gentlemen, who were appointed to follow him, 
and to whom he left ten guineas each, with orders 
not to wear black, sung the last stanza of the 20th 
ode of the second book of Horace. No bell was 
tolled ; no one was invited but these six gentlemen ; 
and no relation followed the corpse. The coffin 
was painted green, according to ids direction ; and 
he was buried with all his clotlies on. Under his 
head was placed Sanadon's Horace ; at his feet, 
Bcntley's Milton; in his right hand, a small Greek 
Testament, with an inscription in gold letters ; 
in his left hand a pocket edition of Horace, witli 
this inscription, Musis Amicus, J. U. ; aiid under 
him, Bentley's Horace. After the ceremony 
was over, the parties attending it returned to his 
iiouse, where his sister had provided a very good 
supper ; and when the cloth was removed, they 
sung the 31st ode of the first book of Horace, drank 
a cheerful glass, and then went home. 



ECCENTRICITY. 9 

All this was in strict consonance to his will, wliich, 
after giving very minute directions, thus concluded : 
" Which done, I would have them take a cheerful 
glass, and think no more of John Underwood." 



MEZERAY. 

The French historian, Mezeray, was a man sub- 
ject to strange humours ; extremely negligent in his 
person ; and so careless in his dress, that he might 
have passed for a beggar, rather tlian what he was. 
He used to study and write by candle-light, even at 
noon day in the summer ; and, as if there had been 
no sun in the world, always waited upon his com- 
pany to the door with a candle in his hand. He 
was secretary of the French Academy ; and it was 
a constant way with him, when candidates oflered 
themselves for vacant places in the academy, to 
throw in a black ball, instead of a white one. 
When his friends asked him the reason of this 
unkind procedure, he answered, that " it was to 
leave to posterity a monument of the freedom of 
elections in the academy." 



AN INDEPENDENT FAMILY. 
Sir Philip Cravenleigh, a gentleman of good for- 
tune in Shropshire, built a house, which contained 
every thing that other persons usually erect offices 
for, viz., barns, granary, stables, cow-house, piggery, 
pigeon-house, sitting, drawing, and bed rooms, all 
surrounded by one great court. His own bed- 
chamber was next to the barn, because he liked the 



10 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

noise of the Hail at five o'clock in the nwrning. 
His great amusement was farming ; keeping a thou- 
sand acres of land in liis own management, the 
whole produce of which was consumed by his own 
fannly. He would not sutler a single penny to be 
laid out for any article the farm produced ; such as 
wheat, malt, hops, meat, butter, milk, cheese, cider, 
^c. He extended this rigid rule to wine j but after 
bringing his son up as a gardener, sent him to France 
to learn the art of planting and dressing vines. On 
his return home, he had a vineyard planted, and 
drank the wine produced from it, whether it was 
good or bad. He used honey instead of sugar, 
which he would never permit, any more than tea, to 
enter his house. 

His family, from a wasteful extravagance, were 
once two months without bread ; but still he would 
not permit a single loaf to be bought, but lived him- 
self, and made all his family live, upon potatoes. 
Sir Philip was kind, nay, charitable, and much be- 
loved. He was good-natured, unless any one of- 
fered to contradict his humour ; in which case, he 
became angry and inflexible. He governed a family 
of a hundred persons like a stern but sensible bashaw ; 
and never had any freaks of ill-nature, either with his 
family or servants. 

EXTRAORDINARY BEQUESTS. 

The late Mr. Peter Isaac Thelluson, whose name 
is immortalized by one of the most extraordinary 
testimentary deeds on record, was a native of France. 
Early in life, he settled as a merchant in London, 



ECCENTRICITY. U 

and made there that immense fortune which became 
the subject of his will. It amounted to about seven 
hundred thousand pounds. To his wife and children, 
he left o£lOO,000. The residue he bequeathed to 
certain trustees, who were to lay it out in the pur- 
chase of estates in England, and to lay out all the 
accumulating proceeds from these estates in the same 
manner, until all the male children of his sons and 
grandsons should be dead. If at that remote period 
there should be any of his lineal descendants alive, 
the whole of the Thelluson property is to be theirs, 
on condition that if they are of a different name, 
they shall assume that of their magnificent bene- 
factor. Before this can happen, however, it is esti- 
mated that from ninety to one hundred and twenty 
years must elapse. If the succession should open at 
the first of these periods, the property will amount to 
about thirty-five millions ; if not till the last, to one 
hundred and forty millions! Should there, how- 
ever, be none of the line of Thelluson existing at 
the demise of all the male children of his sons and 
grandsons, then the whole of the estates are to be 
sold, and the money applied to the sinking fund, 
under the direction of Parliament. 

Mr. Thelluson's heirs at law instituted a process 
in the Court of Chancery, to set aside the will ; 
but after many long and leanied arguments, it was 
pronounced to be a good and valid disposal of 
property. 

It is an old saying, that they manage these matters 
better in France ; and some persons may think the 
adage confirmed by the following case in point, 
which we meet with in the judicial records of that 



12 I'EUCY ANUCDOIES. 

country. M. Boursauit had, like Mr. Tliellusou, 
acquired great ■wealth in trade, and his only relative 
at his death, was a niece. By a will which he 
made, he directed that two hundred lonis d'ors, being 
the sum he made the first year lie began business, 
should be buried in his grave, as he thought no one 
worthy to inherit the first fruits of his toil. The rest 
of his fortune he bequeathed in this manner ; one 
tenth to be paid to his niece, in ten years, and 
another tenth in twenty years. The other eight 
tenths were to be ])aid to her children, if she had 
any ; and in case of the death of his niece without 
children, the money was to go to the Hotel Dieu. 

M. Boursault's heiress at law, was as little 
pleased as the heirs of Mr. Thelluson, and com- 
plained to the parliament of Paris ; who judging 
difterently from our Court of Chancery, pronounced 
the will to be the act of a madman, and gave the 
whole property to the niece. 



THE SADLER'S DAUGHTER. 
A rich Sadler, whose daughter was afterwards 
married to Dunk, the celebrated Eail of Halifax, 
ordered in his will, that she should lose the whole 
of her fortune, if she did not marry a sadler. The 
young Earl of Halifax, in order to win the bride, 
actually served an a])prenticeship of seven years to 
a Sadler, and afterwards bound himself to the rich 
Sadler's daughter for life. 



ECCENTRICITY. 13 



PETER BIG BROGUES. 

A 3'oung Irishraan of the county of Meath, naraed 
Peter Gaynor, resolved to go to the West Indies, to 
make, as the saying is, his fortune. On the day he 
set out on his travels, he had on a pair of slices 
of such enormous size, that his friends and acquaint- 
ance, who had assembled in great numbers to wish 
him long life and good luck, unanimously dubbed him 
with the name of Peter Big Brogues. Peter, with a 
great deal of eccentricity, was shrewd, industrious, 
persevering, and obliging ; in the course of years, lie 
acquired a large fortune, and lived to see his only- 
child married to Sir George Colebrook, chairman 
to the East India Company, and a banker in London, 
to whom Big Brogues gave with his daughter two 
hundred thousand pounds. 

PETER BIG BROGUES' NEPHEW. 

Big Brogues had a nephew of the name of Augus- 
tine Pentheney, who was very early in life encou- 
raged to make a voyage to the West Indies, to follow 
his trade of a cooper, under the patronage of his 
uncle, and acquired, like him, an immense fortune. 
He became, indeed, the richer, though not the bet- 
ter, man of the two ; he accumulated at least 
£^300,000, but used it in a way that was a disgrace to 
human nature. He was a miser of the most perfect 
drawing, perhaps, that nature has given to the world. 
Mr. A. Pentheney saw mankind through one me- 
dium only ; his vital powers were so diverted from 
c 



M rrilCY ANhCDOTES. 

generous or social subjects, by tlie i)revailiiig passion 
of gold, that he could discover no worth in any cha- 
racter, however venerable or respectable, that was 
not seconded by riclies ; in fact, any one that was 
not rich, he considered only as an inferior animal, 
neither worthy of notice, nor safe to be admitted into 
society. This extraordinary feeling he extended to 
the female sex, and, if possible, with a greater degree 
of disgust. A woman he considered only as an in- 
cumbrance on a man of property, and therefore he 
never could be prevailed upon to admit one into 
his confidence. As to wedlock, he utterly and uni- 
formly rejected tlie idea of it. His wife was the 
public funds, and his children, guineas ; and no parent 
or husband paid more deference or care to the com- 
forts of his family. He was never known to separate 
his immense hoard, by rewarding a generous action, 
or alleviating an accidental misfortune, by the appli- 
cation of one shilling to such purposes. It could 
scarcely be expected, indeed, that a man who was 
so niggardly of comforts to himself, would bestow 
charity upon others. The evening before he died, 
some busy friend sent a respectable physician to 
him ; the old miser did not show any apparent 
dislike to the visit, until he recollected the doctor 
might expect a fee ; this alarmed him, and im- 
mediately raising himself in the bed, he addressed^ 
the Irish Esculapius in the following words : " Doc- 
tor, I am a strong man, and know my disorder, and 
could cure myself ; but as Mr. Nangle has sent you 
to my assistance, I shall not exchange you for any 
other person, if we can come to an understanding : in 
fact, I wish to know what you will charge for your 



ECCKNTIUCITY. 15 

attendance till I am recovered." The doctor an- 
swered, eight guineas. " Ah, sir," said the old man, 
" if you knew niv disorder, you would not be exorbi- 
tant : but to put au end to this discussion, 1 will 
give you six guineas and a half." The doctor as- 
sented, and the patient held out his arm with the fee, 
to have his pulse considered, and then laid himself 
down again. His relations were numerous, but not 
being, in his opinion, qualified, from want of experience 
in the management of money, to nurse his wealth, he 
bequeathed the whole of it to a rich family in the 
West Indies, with ihe generous sum of ^4 annually to 
afaithfulservant,who lived with him twenty-four years. 
In the will, he expresses great kindness for poor John, 
and says he bequeathed the ^4 for his kind ser- 
vices, that his latter days may be spent in com- 
fortable independence ! Like Thelluson, he would 
not allow his fortune to pass to his heirs immediately, 
as he directed that the whole should be funded for four- 
teen years, and then, in its improved state, be at the 
disposal of the heirs he had chosen. For the regu- 
lation of his last will and testament, he appointed 
Walter Nangle, Esq., and Major O'Farrell, of the 
Austrian army, his executors, and tlie Right Hon. 
David La Toucbe, and Lord Fingal, trustees. 

A NEWS' PROVIDER. 

Mr. Samuel Crisp, who died about the year 1784, 
was a stock-broker, and retired from business with 
au easy competency. His daily amusement for the 
last fourteen years of his life, was in throwing into the 
letter-box of the several newspapers, slips of paper, 
2 



16 I'liKCY ANliCDOl lis. 

containing short hints and broken sentences. And 
to gather materials for these, he travelled in the 
stage frora London to Greenwich, and back again, 
in the same coach, every day. The owner ot" the 
Greenwich stage never anticipating that he would 
have so constant a customer, had agreed to carry 
him at all times for ^£27 a year ; but he refused 
at last to stand by his agreement, and this, with 
some other mortifications fruni tlie newspaper editors, 
who did not value his favours at quite so high a 
rate as he thought he merited, put an end to poor 
Mr. Crisp's life. 



EPICURISM. 

Mr. Rogerson, the son of a gentleman of large for- 
tune in Gloucestershire, after receiving an excellent 
education, was sent abroad to make the grand tuur. 
In this journey, young Rogerson attended to nothing 
but the various modes of cookery, and the methods 
of eating and drinking luxuriously. Before his re- 
turn, his father died, wlien he entered into the pos- 
session of a very large fortune, and a small landed 
estate. He was now able to look over his notes of 
epicurism, and to discover where the most exquisite 
dishes were to be had, and the best cooks to be pro- 
cured. He had no other servants in his house but 
men cooks, for his footman, butler, housekeeper, 
coachman, and grooms, were all cooks. Amongst 
those that were more professionally so, were three 
cooks from Italy, one from Florence, another frora 
Sienna, and another from \'iterbo, who was em- 
ployed for the special purpose of dressing one par- 



ECCEMKfClTV. 17 

ticular dish only, the docce piccante of Florence. He 
had also a German cook for dressing the livers of 
turkies, and the rest were all French. 

Mr. Rogerson had a messenger constantly tra- 
velling between Brittany and London, to bring him 
the eggs of a certain sort of plover near St. Malo ; 
and so extravagant was he, that he has ate a single 
dinner which, though consisting of two dishes only, 
cost him upwards of fifty guineas. He counted the 
minutes between his meals, and was wholly ab- 
sorbed in devising means to indulge his appetite. 

In the course of nine years, he found his table 
dreadfully abridged by the ruin of his fortune, and 
he was verging fast to poverty. When he had spent 
a fortune of a hundred and fifty thousand pounds, and 
was totally ruined, a friend gave him a guinea to 
keep him from starving ; but a short time after, he 
was found dressing an ortolan for himself. A few 
days afterwards he died by his own hands. 

SAUCY ARRANGEMExMS. 

Mr. John Langley, an Englishman, who settled in 
Ireland, where he died, left the following extraor- 
dinary will : 

" I, John Langley, born at Wincanton in Somer- 
setshire, and settled in Ireland in the year 1651, now 
in my right mind and wits, do make my will in my 
own hand-writing. I do leave all my house goods, 
and farm of Black Kettle, of two hundred and fifty- 
three acres, to my son, commonly called Stubborn 
Jack ; to him and his heirs for ever, provided he 
marries a Protestant woman, but not Alice Kendrick, 
c 3 



18 PliKCY ANECnOTIlS. 

who called me Oliver's whelp. My new buck-skin 
breeches, and luy silver tobacco-stopper, with J. h. 
on the top, 1 give to Ricliard Kicljanis, njy comrade, 
who helped me ofl' at the storming of Cloiime II, when 
1 was shot through the leg. JVIy said son John sliall 
keep my body above ground six days and six nights 
after I am deatl ; and Grace Kendrick shall lay nie 
out, who shall Imve for so doing five shillings. JMy 
body shall be put upon the oak table, in the brown 
roon), and fifty Irishmen shall be invited to my wake, 
and every one shall have two quarts of the best aqua 
vitte, and each one a skein, dish, and knife laid before 
him ; and when the licjuor is out, nail uj) my coffin, 
and commit me to earth, whence I came. Tljis is 
my will. Witness my hand, this third of March, 
1674. 

JOHN lANGLEY." 

Some of Mr. Laugley's friends asked him why he 
would be at such expense in treating the Irishmen 
whom he hated ? He replied, that if they got drunk 
at his wake, they would probably get to fighting and 
kill one another, wiiich would do something towards 
lessening the breed. 

SIR GEORGE HASTINGS. 

The estate of Woodlands, in Dorset, belonged some 
ages ago to Sir George Hastings, whose father, brother, 
and nephew, were all Earls of Huntingdon. At 
Winborne St. Giles, there is a whole length picture 
of Sir George. He is dressed in a stiti-skirted, lead 
coloured, coat, with knots or tags at his girdle, a white 
round hat, large band, gieat boots wjth long turned- 



ECCENTKICITY. l9 

down tops, and spurs, with a great piece of leather in 
front, a liuntinp pole in his right liand, and his f'Joves 
in his left. Under the {)ictiire is the following ac- 
count of hira, drawn bj Shafteiijury, the noble author 
of the Characteristics. 

*' He was, paradvcnture, an original in our age, or 
rather the copy of our ancitnt nobility in hunting, 
not in warlike times. He was low, very strong, and 
very active; of reddish flaxen hair; his clothes 
always green cloth, and never worth, when new, five 
pounds. His house was perfectly of the old fa'shion, 
in the midst of a large park, well stocked with deer ; 
and near the house, rabbits for his kitchen ; many 
fish ponds; great store of wood and timber ; a bowluig 
green, long, but narrow, full of high ridges, it 
being never levelled since it was ploughed ; they used 
round sand bowls, and it had a large banquetting 
house, like a stand, built in a tree. He kept all 
manner of sport hounds, that run buck, fox, hare, 
otter, and badger ; and hawks, long and short winged. 
He had a walk in the forest, and the manor of 
Christchurch ; this last supplied him with red deer ; 
sea and river fish ; and indeed all his neighbours' 
grounds, and royalties, were free to him, who be- 
stowed all his time on these sports, but what he bor- 
rowed to caress his tenants' wives and daughters, there 
being not a woman in all his walks, of the degree of a 
yeoman's wife, or under, and under the age of fortj', 
but it was her own fault if he was not intimately ac- 
quainted with her. This made him very po|)ular, 
always speaking kindly to the husband, brother, or 
father, who was, to boot, very welcome in his house. 
Whenever he came there, he found beef, pudding, and 



20 I'EUCY ANLCDOTES. 

small beer, in great plenty; the house not so neatly 
kept as to sliame him, or dirty his shoes ; the great 
hall strewed with marrow bones, full of imwks, paches, 
hounds, spaniels, and terriers ; the upper side of the 
hall hung with fox skins of this and the last year's 
killing ; here and there a polecat, intermixed with 
game keepers' and hunters' poles in great abundance. 
The parlour was a large room, as properly furnished. 
On a great hearth, paved with brick, lay some terriers, 
and the choicest hounds and spaniels. Seldom but 
two of the great chairs had litters of cats in them, 
which were not to be disturbed, he always having 
three or four attending him at dinner, and a little 
white stick of fourteen inches long, lying by his 
trencher, that he might defend such meat as he had 
no mind to part with to them. The windows, which 
were very large, served for places to lay his arrows, 
cross bows, and stone bows, and such like accoutre- 
ments ; the corners of the rooms full of the best chosen 
hunting poles ; his oyster table at the lower end, 
which was in constant use twice a day, all the year 
round, for he never failed to eat oysters both dinner 
and supper, at all seasons ; tlis neighbouring town of 
Poole supplied him with them. The upper part of 
the room had two small tables and a desk, on one 
side of which there was a church Bible, and on the 
other side the Book of Martyrs ; on the tables were 
hawks, hoods, bells, and such like ; two or tiireeold 
green hats with the crown thrust in, so as to hold ten 
or a dozen eggs, which were of the pheasant kind of 
poultry ; these lie took much care of, and fed himself. 
Tables, dice, cards, and books, were not wanting. In 
the hole of the desk, were a store of tobacco-pipcb thai 



ECCENTKICITY. 21 

liad been used. On one side of this end of the room, 
was the door of the closet, wherein stood the strong 
beer, and the wine, wliich never came from thence 
but in single glasses, that being the rule of the house 
exactly observed, for he never exceeded in drink, or 
permitted it. On the other side was the door of an 
old chapel, not used for devotion ; the pulpit, as the 
safest place, was never wanting of a cold chine of 
beef, venison pasty, gammon of bacon, or a great 
apt^'s pie, vvith thick crust, extremely baked. His 
table cost him not much, though it was good to eat 
at. His sports supplied all but beef or mutton, ex- 
cept on Fridays, when he had the best of salt fish, as 
well as any other fish he could get : and this was the 
day his neighbours of best quality visited him. He 
never wanted a London pudding, and always sang it 
in ; ' With my part lyes therein a'. ' He drank a 
glass or two of wine at meals, very often put syrup of 
gilly flowers in his sack, and had always a tun glass 
without feet, stood before him, holding a pint of small 
beer, which he often stirred with rosemary. He was 
well natured, but soon angry. 

******** 

'* He lived to be an hundred, and never lost his eye- 
sight, but always wrote and read withotit spectacles, 
and got on horseback without help. Until past four- 
score, he rode to the death of a slag as well as any." 

ADMONITIOX AND THANKS. 
Mr. Cox, who was parish-clerk of St. Clement 
Danes in the early part of last century, once lent a 
luau fifty shillings, which he kept liim out of for several 



22 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

years. When Cox called at his house, he could never 
find him at home, though he always went to church 
on Sunday, where he confronted his creditor in the 
middle aisle. Cox was much mortilicd at this as- 
surance, and resolved one way or another to remind 
him of his obligation ; and that too while labouring 
in his proper vocation. One Sunday, when his old 
antagonist was seated, and bidding defiance to all 
pecuniary claims. Cox, looking him full in the face, 
repeated the nist lines of two staves he had selected, 
commencing — 

" The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again." 

This admonition had the desired effect, for the 
next da}' the man called and paid him tiie money. 

Mr. Cox, who was a facetious old man, and loved 
his pipe and glass, had some difficulty of getting out 
from his wife, who was soujewhat of a termagant. 
At length she died, and it was observed, that on the 
evening she was buried, the old clerk gave out the 
psalm beginning — 

" This is a joyful day indeed," 



VANDRAMINI, THE PAINTER. 

Some years ago, when artists were more scarce than 
they are at present, Vandramini, the painter, was 
taken into Yorkshire by Mr. Aislaby, of Studley 
Park, to paint him some pictures ; but he com- 
mitted such excesses, that he was at length turned 
put of doors. Under those circumstances, he went 
to a draper at York, where he had frequently bee n 



ECCENTRICITY. 23 

with his patron, and took goods for clothing on 
credit, and as, in conversation, he discovered that the 
man liad saved one or two hundred pounds, he persuaded 
hira to part with it, by tlie promise of five per cent, 
interest; then getting a tailor recommended to make 
the clothes, he decamped in a hurry. It was some 
months before Mr. Aislaby had occasion to go to 
York, and when he called on tlie draper, the latter 
ventured to ask after his friend, when the other ex- 
claimed, be had turned the rascal out of doors for his 
drunkenness and dissolute conduct. An explanation 
took place, and the man was advised to get a picture 
for his money, as the painter was no further off than 
Scarborough. The advice was followed, and he found 
the artist ; who, after a bottle, painted before he left 
hira a larg? head of Satan after the Fail. This was 
exhibited gratis at the draper's house at York, and 
by the company it attracted, amply repaid him. The 
poor tailor, who lived opposite, and had made the 
clothes, being mortified at his neighbour's success, 
determined to walk over to Scarborough, to see if 
he also could obtain a picture. On being intro- 
duced to Vandramini, with many bows and scrapes, 
begged, as the artist had painted a picture for his 
neighbour that was like to make his fortune, he would 
likewise paint one for him ; but as his account was 
not so great as the draper's, he observed that he could 
not expect so large a picture ; if he would be so good, 
iiowever, as to paint him a llltle devil, he should be 
much obliged. The whim took ; he got a small pic- 
ture, and returned to York, where both pieces were 
'exhibited with great eclat. 



24 l»tUCY ANECDOTES. 



DUKE OF NEWCASTLE. 

The eccentric Duke of Newcastle kept the most 
princely table, and the greatest number of domestics, 
of any nobleman in the three kingdoms. He would 
never sutler any one of them, during a series of years, 
to dispose of any part of their old liveries, but made 
this usual i)erc}uisite u|) to them in money, and the 
cast-olF clothes were carefully deposited in a large 
store room, apropriated to that purpose, where they 
remained until after his grace's decease, when they 
were sold. The number of suits had so accumulated, 
thaton their dispersion, and for a year or two after, there 
was scarcely a carter, coachman, drayman, chairman, 
or porter, in London, but wore the Newcastle livery. 

The duke is known repeatedly to have had thirty 
legs of mutton cut up in one day, merely to take out 
the pope's eye. 

The part which his grace acted at the funeral of 
George the Second, is thus pleasantly described by 
Horace Walpole. " The serious part of this grave 
scene," he says, " was fully contrasted by the bur- 
lesque Duke of Newcastle. He fell into a fit of 
crying the moment he came into the chapel, and flung 
himself back in a stall, the archbishop hovering over 
him with a smelling boUle ; but in two minutes his 
curiosity got the better of his h^'pocrisy, and he ran 
about the chapel with his glass, to spy who was, or 
was not, there, spying with one hand, and mopping 
his eyes with the other. Then returned the fear of 
catching cold; and the Duke of Cumberland, who 
was sinking with heat, felt himself weighed down, 



ECCENTRICITY. 25 

aud turning round, found it was the Duke of N. 

standing upon liis train, to avoid tlie chill of the 
marble." 



GETTING A PRIZE. 

Mr. Lenthall, whowas descended from the Speaker 
of that name, while he lived atBurford, had a very 
good butler, who one morning came to him with a 
letter in his hand, and rubbing his forehead in that 
indescribable manner, which is an introduction to some- 
thing which the person does not well know how to 
communicate, he told Mr. Lenthall, that he was very 
sorry to be obliged to quit his service. " Why, 
what is the matter, John? has any body offended 
you? — I thought you were as happy as any man 
could be in your situation." — " Yes, please your 
honour, that's not the thing, but I have just got a 
prize in the lottery of ^£3000, and I have all my 
life had a wish to live for one twelvemonth like a 
man of two or three thousand a 3 ear ; and all I ask of 
your honour is, that when I have spent the money, 
you will take me back again into your service."— 
** That is a promise," said Mr. Lenthall, " w hich I 
believe I may safely make, as there is very little pro- 
bability of your wishing to return to be a butler after 
having lived as a gentleman." 

Mr. Lenthall was, however, mistaken. John spent 
nearly the amount of his ticket in less than a year. 
He had previously bought himself a small annuity to 
provide for his old age ; when he had spent all the 
rest of his money, he actually returned to the service 
of Mr. Lenthall, with whom he lived many years. 

D 



*2fi PERCY ANECDOTES. 



FORTUNATE VENTURE. 

In the year 1774, the following singular letter was 
reatl at a Board of Directors of the East India Com- 
pany. 

" GENTLEMEN, 

** I am a clergyman of Ely, in the County of 
Cambridge. I have a parcel of fine boys, but not 
much cash to provide for them. My eldest son I 
intended for a pillar of the church ; witli this view, 
I gave him a suitable education at school, and after- 
wards entered him at Cambridge ; wliere he resided 
the u^ual time, and last Christmas took his degree, 
with some reputation to himself; but I must at the 
same time add, that he is more likely to kick a church 
down, than to support one. He is of a very eccen- 
tric genius ; he had no notion of restraint to chapel 
gates, lectures, &c., for want of obedience to their 
rules : he treated them in the contemptible light of 
not being gentlemen, and seemed to intimate that he 
should call them to an account, as in an affair of 
honour. This soon disconcerted all my plans for him ; 
and on talking with him the other day, and asking 
him what road his honour would choose to pursue in 
future life, he told me that his plan was to go into 
the India service. Upon being interrogated, whether 
he had any reasonable expectation from that quarter ? 
he looked small, and said. No. Now, gentlemen, I 
know no more of you than you do of me, and there- 
fore it is not unlikely, but that you will look upon 
me to be as chimerical a roan as my son, in making 



ECCENTRICITY. 27 

tliis application to you ; but you will remember, that 
lie is my son, and that reflection, I hope, will be 
deemed a sufficient apology. I want your advice, 
and not knowing any individual amongst you, I apply 
to you publicly as a body. If he will suit your ser- 
vice, and you can help me, do. He is now about 
twenty, near six feet high, well made, stout, and very 
active, and is as bold and intrepid as a lion. He is 
of a Wtlsli extraction for many generations ; and 1 
think, as my first-born, has not degenerated. If you 
like to look at him, you shall see him, and judge for 
yourselves. You nmy leave word with your clerk. 
I shall call again shortly to hear what you say ; and 
remain, in the meantime, 

" Gentlemen, your's, &:c. (in haste) 

" TUOMAS JONES. '^ 

" Black Bull Inn, Bishopsgate Street, 
March 3, 1774." 

" P.S. If you like him, I will equip him." 

The Board of Directors, pleased with the blunt 
simplicity of this letter, ordered an appointment to 
be made out for the young man as a cadet. 



SWIFT AT THOMAS-TOWN. 

Dean Swift had heard much of the hospitable festi- 
vities of Thomas-town, tiie seat of Mr. Matl-.ew 
(See Anecdotes of Convivialiti^), from his friend. 
Dr. Sheridan ; who had often been a welcome guest, 
both on account of his convivial qualities, and' as 
l)eing the preceptor of the nephew of Mr. Matbew. 
V 2 



28 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

He at lengtli became desirous of ascertaining with 
bis own eyes, the truth of a report, which he could 
not forbear considering as greatly exaggerated. On 
receiving an intimation of this from Sheridan, Mr. 
Mathew wrote a polite letter to the dean, requesting 
the honour of a visit, in conipany with the doctor, 
at his next school vacation. They accordingly set 
out on horseback, attended by a gentleman who was 
a near relation to Mr. Matliew. 

They had scarcely reached the inn where they 
intended to pass the first night, and which, like most 
of the Irish inns, at that time, aflorded but miserable 
entertainment, when they were surprised by the 
arrival of a coach and six horses, sent to convey them 
the remainder of the journey to Thomas-town ; and 
at the same time, bringing a i>upply of the choicest 
viands, wines, and otlier liquors, for their refresh- 
ment. Swift was highly pleased with this uncommon 
mark of attention paid him ; and tlie coach proved 
particularly acceptable, as he had been a good deal 
fatigued with his day's journey. 

When they came in sight of the house, the dean, 
astonished at its magnitude, cried out, " What, in 
the name of God, can be the use of such a vast 
building ?" " Why, Mr. Dean," replied the fellow- 
traveller before mentioned, " there are no less than 
forty apartments for guests in that house, and all 
of them probably occupied at this time, except what 
are reserved for us." Swift, in his usual manner, 
called out to the coachman, to stop, and drive him 
back to Dublin, for he could not think of mixing 
with such a crowd. " Well," said he, immediately 
afterwards, " there is no remedy, I must submit, 
but T have lost a fortnight of ray life." 



ECCENTRICITY. 29 

Mr. Matliew received liiru' at the door with un- 
common marks of respect; and then conducting Lira 
to his apartments, after some comj)liments, made his 
usual speech, acquainting him with the customs of 
the house, and retired, leaving him in possession 
of his castle. Soon after, the cook appeared with 
his bill of fare, to receive his directions about supper ; 
and the butler at the same time, with a list of wines, 
and other liquors. "And is all this really so?" said 
Swift, " and may I command here, as in ray own 
house ?" His companion assured him he might, and 
that nothing could be more agreeable to the owner 
of the mansion, than that all under his roof, should 
live conformably to their own inclinations, without 
the least restraint. " Well then," said Swift, " I 
invite you and Dr. Sheridan to be my guests, while 
1 stay ; for I think I shall scarcely be tempted to 
mix with the mob below." 

Three days were passed in riding over the demesne, 
and viewing the various improvements, without ever 
seeing Mr. Mathew, or any of the guests ; nor were 
the company below much concerned at the dean's 
absence, as his very name usually inspired those 
who did not know him, with awe ; and they were 
afraid that his presence would put an end to the 
ease and cheerfulness which reigned among them. 
On the fourth day. Swift entered the room, where 
the company were assembled before dinner, and 
addressed Mr. iMathew, in a strain of the highest 
compliment, expatiating on all the beauties of his 
improvements, with all the skill of an artist, and 
with the taste of a connoisseur. Such an address 
from a man of Swift's character, could not fail of 
D 3 



30 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

being pleasing to the owner, who was, at the same 
time, the planner of these improvements ; and so 
fine an eulogiura from one, wlio was supposed to 
deal more largely in satire, than panegyric, was 
likely to remove the prejudice entertained against 
his character, and prepossessed the rest of the com- 
pany in his favour. He concluded his speech, by 
saying : " And now, ladies and gentlemen, 1 am 
come to live among you, and it shall be no fault of 
mine, if we do not pass our time agreeably." 

In a short time, all restraint on his account dis- 
appeared. He entered readily into all the little 
schemes for promoting mirth ; and every day, with 
the assistance of his coadjutor, produced some new 
one, which afforded a good deal of sport and merri- 
ment. In short, never were such joyous scenes 
known at Thomas-town before. When the time 
came, which obliged Sheridan to return to his school, 
the company were so delighted with the dean, that 
they earnestly entreated him to remain there some 4 
time longer ; and Mr. Mathew himself for once broke 
through a rule which he observed, of never soliciting 
the stay of any guest. Swift found himself so liappy, 
that he readily yielded to their solicitations ; and 
instead of a fortnight, passed four months there, much 
to his own satisfaction, and that of all those who 
visited the place during that time. 

DISCOUNTING A LEGACY. 

Mr. Taylor, the stock-jobber, who died worth one 
hundred thousand pounds, consols, was so penurious, 
that he scarcely allowed himself the common neces- 



ECCENJIUCITY. 31 

saries of life. A few days before Lis decease, the 
officers of the parish in which he resided, waited upon 
him at liis request ; they found the old man on a 
wretched bed in a garret, making his dinner on 
a thin rasher of bacon and a potatoe, of which he 
asked them to partake. One of them accepted the 
otFer ; upon this, the miser desired his cook to 
broil him another ; but finding the larder was totally 
empty, he harshly rebuked her for not having it well 
supplied with a quarter of a pound, to cut out in 
rashers whenever it was wanted for company. He 
then informed the overseers of the poor, that he had 
left by his will of'lOOO, sterling, fur their relief, and 
eagerly enquired if they would not allow him dis- 
count, for prompt payment ; this being assented to, 
apparently much delighted, he immediately gave 
them a cheque on his banker for ^950 ! and soon 
after breatlied his last. 



ECONOMICAL SPORTSMAN. 

Some years ago, there lived in London a very- 
extraordinary sportsman, a Mr. Osbaldiston, who 
was clerk to an attorney. He was the younger son 
of a gentleman of good family in the North of 
England ; and having imprudently married one of 
his father's servants, was turned out of doors, with 
no other fortune than a southern hound, big with 
pup, and whose offspring from that time, became a 
source of amusement to him. With half a dozen 
children, as many couple of hounds, and two hunters, 
did Mr. Osbaldestou keep himself, family, dogs, and 



3^ I'EKCY AJECDOTIiS. 

horses, upon an income of sixty pounds per annum. 
This, too, was etFected in LondoTi, without running 
into debt, or ever wanting a pood coat on his back. 
To explain this seeming iropossibility, it should be 
remarked, that after the expiration of the office hours, 
he acted as an accountant for the butchers of Clare 
Market, who paid him in oflal : the cleanest morsels 
of this, he selected for himself and family ; and 
with the rest, he fed his hounds, which were kept 
in the garret. His horses were lodged in his cellar, 
and fed on grains from a neighbouring brewhouse, 
and on damaged corn, with which he was supplied 
by a corn-chandler, whose books he kept. Once or 
twice in the season, he hunted ; and by giving a hare 
now and then to the farmers, over whose grounds he 
sported, he secured their good will and j)ermission ; 
and several gentlemen knowing the economy of his 
hunting establishment, connived at his sporting over 
their manors. 



MELANCHOLY DELUSION. 

Simon Southward was a miller at Boxgrove, near 
Chichester, and followed the occupation with indus- 
try and attention, until the year 1766 ; when, from a 
strange species of insanity, he fancied himself Earl 
of Derby, King of Man ; assumed those titles, ne- 
glected his business, and became extremely trouble- 
some to his neighbours. In February, 1767, he was 
arrested for a small debt, at the suit of the Duke of 
Riclimond, and was conveyed to the old gaol at 
Horsliam. From this he was removed to the present 
gaol, and after a captivity of forty-three years, four 



ECCENTRICITY. 33 

months, and eight days, was at length released by the 
hand of deatli, in 1810 ! Simon Southward had a 
commanding countenance; his manners were gene- 
rally affable, and his deportment polite ; he was, 
however, when offended, exceedingly wrath, and 
with difficulty pacified, particularly when its ire had 
been occasioned by doubts about his assumed dig- 
nity. He stipposed himself a state prisoner, and 
would accept of no money or clothes, which were 
not presented to him as coming from the king, his 
cousin. His dress was generally a drab coat, of a 
very ancient cut, and a cocked hat with a black 
cockade. Simon was always addressed, as well by 
the governors of the gaol, as by his fellow prisonere 
and visitors, by the style of " My lord !" and to 
no other denomination would he ever reply. He 
had been supported for a number of years, by a 
weekly stipend from the ])aris]i of Boxgrove, which 
he expended on necessaries with the strictest eco- 
nomy ; but could scarcely be ever prevailed upon 
to receive a meal or other favour, except under the 
deception above stated. 



DR. MONSEY. 

Dr. Messinger Monsey, who was many years 
physician to Chelsea College, and known all over 
the metropolis for his eccentricities, used, by way of 
ridiculing family pride, to say, that the first of his 
ancestors, of any note, was a baker, and dealer in 
hops; a trade which enabled him with some diffi- 
culty to support a large family. To procure a 



34 PEIiCY ANECDOTES. 

present sum of raouey, he robbed the feather beds 
of their contents ; and supplied the deficiency with 
unsaleable hops. In a few years, a severe blight 
universally prevailing, hops became very scarce, 
and enormously dear ; the hoarded treasure was 
lipped out, and a good sum procured for hops, which, 
in a plentiful season, would not have been saleable : 
" And thus," the doctor used to add, " our family 
hopped from obscurity." 

The doctor enjoyed the office of physician to 
Chelsea Hospital for so long a period, for he lived 
to the great age of ninetv-six, that the reversion of 
the place was successively promised to many persons, 
who never lived to see it vacant. The gentleman 
for whom it was last intended, having gone out 
to Chelsea, to take a view of his land of promise, 
the doctor saw him from his window examining very 
curiously the house and gardens ; and guessing tlie 
purpose of his visit, he Meut out, and thus accosted 
him : " Well, sir, I see you are examining your 
house and gardens that are to be ; and 1 can assure 
you they are both very pleasant, and very convenient : 
but I must tell you one circumstance ; you are the 
fifth man that has had the reversion of the place, and 
I have buried them all ; and what is more, there is 
something in your face, that tells me I shall bury 
you too!" Not only was the doctor's prediction 
verified ; but of such bad omen did the reversion 
to the physicianship of Chelsea, become at last, that 
nobody would accept of it; and at the doctor's death, 
there was no one who had the promise of the 
situation. 

Although the doctor was a man of great whimss- 



ECCENTRICITY. 25 

cality, he possessed a very comprehensive uoder- 
standiug, and no small share of wit and genius. He 
numbered among bis most intimate friends, some of 
the greatest men of his time, and among others, 
that great statesman, Lord Godolphin. Of Monsej's 
skill in his professional capacity, the proofs on 
record are not so satisfactory. He is said to have 
adopted a very singular mode of drawing his own 
teeth : it consisted in fastening a strong piece of 
catgut firmly round the affected tooth ; the other 
end was fixed to a perforated bullet : with this a 
pistol was charged, and when he.'d in a proper 
direction, by touching the trigger, a troublesome 
companion, and tedious operation, were got rid of. A 
person whom the doctor fancied he had persuaded 
to adopt this new mode of operation, went so 
far as to let him fasten the catgut to the tooth; his 
resolution then failed, and he loudly cried out, that 
he had altered his mind. " But I have not," said 
Monsey, holding fast the string, and giving it a 
smart pull, " you are a fool and a coward for your 
pains." 

The doctor had a taste for mechanics ; and to this, 
his mode of tooth-drawing may with probability be 
ascribed. An apartment of his house he had con- 
verted into a workshop, and filled with a con- 
fused collection of wheels, pendulums, nails, saws, 
hammers, chisels, and other instruments of handi- 
craft. As long as age and eye-sight permitted, he 
would arouse himself here the whole day long, and 
took particular pleasure in executing all sorts of 
joiners* work, either for himself, or any of his 
friends. 



30 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

In Lis habits, the doctor was j)enurious and saving \ 
and like all misers, one of his chief cares was the 
care of his treasures ; he was often at a loss to 
know wliicli place was the safest to deposit his cash 
in ; for bureaus and strong boxes, he knew were not 
always secure. Previous to a journey into Norfolk, 
oue summer, he selected the fire-place of his sitting 
room, for his treasury ; and placed the bank notes 
and cash, under the cinders and shavings. On his 
return, after a month's absence, he found his old 
woman preparing to treat a friend or two with tea, 
and in order to show the more respect to her guests, 
the parlour fire-place was selected for boiling the 
kettle, as she never expected her master until she 
saw him. The fire had just been lighted, when the 
doctor arrived at the critical moment; he rushed, 
without speaking, to the pump, where luckily a pail 
of water was standing : he threw the whole over the 
fire, and the poor old woman, wlto was diligently 
employed in removing it. His money was safe ; for 
although some of the notes were partially burnt, 
sufficient fragments remained to enable the doctor, 
with some official trouble, to get paid at the Bank. 

COUNT DE BUCKEBOURG. 

Count Scliaumbourg Lippe, better known by the 
title of the Count de Buckebourg, was as singular in 
his appearance as he was in his manners. [See Cam-p 
Dinner, Anecdotes of Conviviality.'] When he com- 
manded the Portugueze army against the Spaniards, 
the generals of the latter, when reconnoitring with 
their telescopes, and observing the couut, exclaimed^ 



ECCENTRICITY. 37 

with one voice, " Are the Portuguezo commauded 
by Don Quixote ?" Indeed, liis heroic countenance 
and flowing hair, his tall and meagre figure, and 
above all, the extraordinary length of his visage, 
might well bring back the recollection of the Knight 
of La Mancha. 

The count, who was born in London, was fond of 
contending with the English in every thing. He 
once laid a wager, that he would ride a horse from 
London to Edinburgh backwards ; and in this man- 
ner he actually travelled through several counties in 
England. He also travelled the greatest part of the 
kingdom on foot, and in company with a German 
prince, made a tour through several counties as a 
common beggar. 

The count, being informed that part of the current 
of the Danube above Regensburgh, was so strong and 
rapid, that no person had even dared to swim across it, 
he made the attempt, and swam so far, that it was 
with difficulty he saved his life. 

BRITISH TliMON. 

Mr. Gossling, an old gentleman who lived in 
Wych Street, about the year 1737, was called the 
British Tiraon, or woman-hater, on account of his 
never employing a woman to do any thing about 
him. He occupied two rooms, lighted his own fire, 
cooked his own victuals, made his own bed, and 
washed his own stockings and handkerchiefs, the 
only washable articles of his dress, for he wore no 
shirt, nor had he any sheets on his bed. His dress, 
which was remarkable and antiquated, was preserved 

E 



38 PtllCY ANECDOTES, 

with the utmost care ; and he used to strew over 
such of his clothes as he did not wear constantly, 
cedar saw-dust and shavings : he used the same 
process with his bedding. 

TARS TREATING AN OLD 
ACQUAINTANCE. 

As a party of sailors were going to Highgate, on 
passing a farrier's shed, one of them chanced to ob- 
serve a little white pony standing at the door. 
He instantly vociferated to his companions, that 
it was the pony that Prince William (the Duke 
of Clarence, then a midshipman) used to ride upon 
in Jamaica. These words were no sooner uttered, 
than the eyes of the whole party were turned 
on the pony ; and almost in the same moment, 
they one and all sprung forward to pour forth 
their congratulations on so unexpected a meeting. 
The first transport of joy being over, they, without 
enquiring to whom the pony belonged, took it up 
in their arms, carried it in triumph to a neighbour- 
ing public house, into which they wished to carry 
him J but Boniface persuaded tliem to deposit him at 
the door. Some of them ran into the house, and 
soon afterwards returned with a quartern loaf, and a 
couple of pots of porter. The bread was hastily 
broken into bits, which, with the porter, were thrown 
into a large earthen dish, and the foaming mess pre- 
sented to the little favourite, who greedily devoured it, 
to the no small diversion of those boisterous sons of 
good humour, whose obstreperous mirth brought a 
crowd to the door. 



ECCENTRICITY. 39 

One of the honest tars, eager to show a greater 
share of zeal for his prince, or affection for tlie little 
animal, of whose appetite and enjoyments he pro- 
bably judged from his own, threw into the dish half 
a pint of gin. This produced three cheers, and ap- 
peared so gratifying, that they all drank bumpers of 
the same liquor, to the health of the royal midship- 
man, and his little white pony. They then threw 
down some silver, without counting it, conducted the 
pony back to the farrier's shop, and proceeded on 
their journey. 

JOURNEYMAN MISER. 

In 1803, there died in Clare Market, one Tom 
Pett, a journeyman butcher, who had worked there 
forty-two years, and though his wages were small, had, 
by dint of mere saving, amassed the sum of ^2475 
in the 3 per cents. For the last thirty-five years 
of his life, he lodged in a gloomy back room on a 
second floor, which was never brightened up with 
coal, candle-light, or the countenance of a visitor. 
Eveiy article of his dress was second-hand, nor was 
he clioice in the colour or quality ; jocosely observ- 
ing, when he was twitted on his garb, that, according 
to Solomon, there was nothing new under the sun ; 
and that, as to colour, it was a mere matter of fancy ; 
and that that was the best, which stuck longest to its 
integrity. Then, as to washing, he used to say, a man 
did not deserve a shirt that would not wash it him- 
self ; and that the only fault he had to find with 
Lord North, was the duty he imposed on soap. There 
was one expense, however, that lay heavy on his 
E 2 



40 PEUCY ANECDOTES. 

mind, and robbed him of many a night's sleep, and 
that was, shaving ; he often lamented that he had not 
learned to shave himself 5 but used to console him- 
self by hoping, that beards would one day be in 
fashion, and that even the Bond Street loungers 
would be driven to wear artificial ones. He made 
a promise one night, when he was very thirsty, that as 
soon as be had accumulated a thousand pounds, he 
would treat himself to a pint of porter every Sa- 
turday. Fortune soon put it in his power to perform 
this promise, and he continued to observe it till tl)e 
additional duty was laid on porter ; he then sunk to 
Ijalf a pint, as he thought that sufficient for any man 
that did not wish to get drunk, and, of course, die 
in a workhouse. If he heard of an auction in the 
neighbourhood, he was sure to run for a catalogue, 
and when he had collected a number together, he 
used to sell them for waste paper. When he was 
first told that the Bank was restricted from paying 
in specie, he shook loudly, as Klopstock the poet 
says, took to his bed, and could not be prevailed on 
to taste a morsel, or wet his lips, till lie was assured 
that all was right. On Sundays, after dinner, he 
used to lock himself up in his room, and amuse 
himself with reading an old newspaper, or writing 
rhymes, many of which he left behind him on slipsof 
paper. The following epigram will serve as a spe- 
cimen of his talents in this way. It was written on 
hearing that small-beer was raised. 

" They've raised the price of table drink ; 
What is the reason, do you think ? 
The tax on malt, the cause I hear : 
But what has malt to do with table-beer ?"' 



ECCENT-RICITV. 41 

He was never known, even in the depth of tlie 
coldest winter, to light a fire in his room, or to go to 
bed by candle-light. 

He was a great friend to good cheer at the ex- 
pense of another. "Every man, "said he,"ouglittoeat 
when he can get it — an empty sack cannot stand." 

If his thirst at any time got the better of his 
avarice, and water was not at hand, he would some- 
times venture to step into a public house, and call for 
a pennyworth of beer. On those trying occasions, 
]ie was always sure to sit in the darkest corner of the 
tap-room, in order that he might drink in every thing 
that was said with thirsty ear. He was seldom or 
ever known to utter a word, unless Bonaparte or a 
parish dinner were mentioned ; and then he would 
draw a short contrast between French kickshaws and 
the roast beef and plum-pudding of Old England, 
which he called the staple commodity of life. Once 
on a time, he was prompted to purchase a pin of 
small beer ; but the moment he locked it up in his 
closet, he repented, tore the hair oat of his wig, and 
threw the key out of the window, lest he should be 
tempted, in some unlucky moment, to make too free 
with it. 

For the last twenty years of his life, his pulse rose 
and fell with the funds ; he never laid down or rose, that 
he did not bless the first inventor of compound interest. 

About three days before his dissolution, he was 
pressed by his mistress to make his will, which he at 
last reluctantly assented to, observing, as he signed 
his name, that it was a hard thing that a man should 
sign away all his property with a stroke of a pen. 

He left all he was possessed of to distant re- 
E 3 



42 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

Utions, not one of whom he had ever seen or cor- 
responded with. 

WHIMSICAL TASTES. 

A few years ago a young lady was livhig near 
Exeter, whose eccentric sympathies and antipathies, 
were the talk of the whole neighbourhood. She had 
a mortal aversion to all colours, except green, yellow, 
or white, in one of which she always dressed. She has 
been known to swoon away at the sight of a soldier, 
and a funeral never failed to throw her into a violent 
perspiration. She would not eat or drink out of any 
thing but queen's ware or pewter; and was as pecu- 
liar in what she ate or drank, preferring the muddy 
water of the Thames, to the clearest spring, and 
meat which had been kept too long, to that which 
was fresh. She preferred the sound of the Jews*^ 
harp to the most delicious music, and had in every 
tbiog a taste peculiarly her own. 

AN OLD MAID'S WILL. 

A maiden lady, who died in London in 1786, 
left the following singular legacies in lier will. 

" hem. I leave to my dear entertaining Jackoo (a 
monkey), ^10 per annum during his natural life, to 
be expended yearly for his support." 

" Item. To Shock and Tib (a lapdog and a cat), 
o£'5 each for their annual subsistence during life ; but 
should it so happen that Shock die before Tib, or 
Tib before Shock, then, and in that case, the survivor 
to have the whole." 

The legacies in remainder, were bequeathed to her 
niece. 



ECCENTKICITY. 43 



LADY LEWSOX. 
It is not raauy years since a very remarkable per- 
sonage, known to all her neighbours by the name of 
Lady Lewson, used almost daily to perambulate 
Cold Batli Square, the house. No. 12, wherein she 
resided for the better part of a century. So partial 
was this ancient dame to the fashions that prevailed 
in her youthful days, that she never changed the 
manner of her dress from that worn in the reign of 
George the First. She always wore powder, with a 
large tete, made of horse liair, near half a foot high, 
over which her hair was turned up ; over that again, 
was a cap, which knotted under her chin, and three or 
four curls hanging down her neck. She generally 
w'ore silk gowns, and the train long, witli a deep 
flounce all round ; a verj' long waste, and very tightly 
laced up to her neck, round which was a ruff, or 
frill. The sleeves of her gown came below the 
elbow, from each of wliich, four or five large cuffs 
were attached ; a large straw bonnet, quite Hat, high 
heeled shoes, a large black silk cloak, trimmed round 
with lace, and a gold-headed cane, completed lier 
every day costume. 

Lady, or, in plainer plirase, Mrs. Jane Lewson, 
for her title was but a popular tribute to the state- 
liness of her manners, was bom in the year 1700, 
during the reign of William and Mary, and was 
married at an early age to a wealthy gentleman 
of tlie name of Lewson. She became a widow 
at the age of twenty-six, having only one daughter 
living at the time. Mrs, Lewson being left by 



44 I'EIICY ANECDOTES. 

her husband in affluent circumstances, preferred 
to continue single, and remained so, although 
she had many suitors. When her daughter married, 
being left alone, she became fond of retirement, 
and rarely went abroad, or permitted the visits of 
any person. For the last thirty years of her life, 
she kept no servant, except one old female, who was 
succeeded by her granddaughter, and she by an old 
man who attended the different houses in the square 
to go on errands, clean shoes, &c. Mrs. Lewson 
took this man into her house, and he acted as her 
steward, butler, cook, and housemaid, and with the 
exception of two old lap-dogs and a cat, he was her 
only companion. The house she occupied was large and 
elegantly furnished, but very ancient ; the beds were 
kept constantly made, although they had not been 
slept in for fifty years. Her apartment being only 
occasionally swept out, but never washed, the win- 
dows M'crc so crusted with dirt, that they hardly ad- 
mitted a ray of light. A large garden in the rear of 
her house, was the only thing she paid attention to ; 
this was always kept in good order ; and here, when 
the weather permitted, she enjoyed the air, or some- 
times sat and read, of which she was particularly 
fond ; or else chatted on past times with any of the 
few remaining acquaintances whose visits she per- 
mitted. She seldom visited herself, except at Mr. 
Jones's, a grocer in the square, with whom she dealt. 
She had for many years survived every individual 
of her relatives within many degrees of kindred, and 
died at last at the great age of one hundred and 
eighteen. She always enjoyed an excellent state of 
health, assisted in regulating her house, and never 



ECCENTIUCITY. 45 

had, until a little previous to her decease, an hour's 
illness. She cut two new teeth at the age of eighty- 
seven, and never lost one in her life, nor was she 
ever troubled with the tooth-ache. 



KINGLY WANTS. 

Peter Pindar relates the following story in one 
of his notes. The cry of " More money," brings to re- 
collection a little dialogue amongst the many that 
happened between the King of the Mosquitoes and 
myself in the Government-house at Jamaica, during 
the administration of the late Sir William Trelawney. 
His majesty was a very stout black man, exceed- 
ingly ignorant, nevertheless possessed of the sub- 
liraest ideas of royally : very riotous, and griev- 
ously inclined to get drunk. He came to me one 
day, with a voice more like that of a bullock than a 
king, roaring, " Mo drink for king— mo drink for 
king?"— Peter Pindar---" King, you are drunk al- 
ready."— A^'ino- — " No, no ; king no drunk — king no 
drunk— -Mo drink fur king ! — Broder George 
love drink"— (meaning the King of England.)— 
Peter Pindar — "Broder George does not love drink : 
he is a sober man."— King— " But King of Mosquito 
love drink— me will have rao drink—me love drink 
like devil— me drink whole ocean !" 

KEEPING ACCOUNTS. 

An old tradesman in the town of Sterlinc, tised 
to keep his accounts in a singular manner. He hung 



46 PEIICY ANECDOTES. 

up two boots, one on each side of the chimney ; and 
in one, he put all the money he received; and in the 
other, all the receipts and vouchers for the money he 
paid ; at the end of the year, or whenever he wanted 
to make up his accounts, he emptied the boots, and 
by counting their several and respective contents, he 
was enabled to make a balance perhaps with as much 
regularity, and as little trouble, as any book-keeper 
in the country. 

ISAAC AMBROSE. 

Few works have been more popular with all ranks 
of people, than those of honest Isaac Ambrose, the 
nonconformist. His thoughts had every year what 
he called a musing time. It was his regular custom 
to retire for a month, every summer, to a little hut 
in a wood, where he shunned all society, and gavd 
himself up entirely to contemplation. When death 
came to put an end to his labours, he had so strong 
a presentiment of its approach, that he went round 
to all his friends, at their own houses, to bid them 
farewell ; and after sending his last finished com- 
position, " A Discourse concerning Angels," to the 
press, he shut himself up in his parlour to die, and 
there he was next day found expiring, in the seventy- 
second year of his age. 

DUKE OF WHARTON. 
The Duke of Wharton, so famed for his many ec- 
centricities, making a call one morning on Mr. G , 

his lawyer, who had chambers in the Temple, found 
him under the hands of his barber. Throwing him- 



ECCENTRICITY. 47 

self, therefore, into a chair, he took a pamphlet 
which lay on the table before him, and amused him- 
self with skimming the pages of it, till Strap had 
finished his operation on Mr. G.'s face. The 
duke then having laid down his pamphlet, and 
stroked his chin, started up, and said to Strap, 
*' Come, friend, get your things ready to shave me." 

He accordingly obeyed the duke witli alacrity 
(being no stranger to his grace's person), and shaved 
him to his satisfaction. The duke then, having 
wiped Ids face, and replaced liis wig before the glass, 
put his hand into his pocket ; but drawing it out 
again hastily, expressed no small uneasiness that he 
had no money to pay for the removal of his beard. 

" Oh, and please your grace," said Strap, sim- 
pering, " it is no matter, your grace is very wel- 
come." '* Yes, but it is, though," replied the duke ; 
" 1 hate to be in debt ; therefore, come— sit down in 
that chair, and I will shave you, and then we shall 
be even (winking at the same time to Mr. G.). 

Strap looked rather foolish, and made some awk- 
ward speeches, but they were of no service to him : 
the duke was peremptory, so down be sat. 

The duke went to work with much mock solemnity, 
and having shaved the poor fellow, in a style not 
amiss for a duke, he exclaimed, " There, friend, 1 
am out of debt," and ran down stairs, laughing most 
heartily. 



A " KING'S MESSENGER." 
Attached to the King's Printing Office, there was 
for many years a singular character of the name of 



48 PEllCY ANliCDOTES. 

John Smith, in the capacity of messenger, who died 
in 1818, at the advanced age of nhiety-iiine years. 

During a period of eighty years, did this honest 
creature fill tlie humble station of errand carrier at 
His Majesty's Printing Office. But what was accounted 
humble, became in liis hands important ; and the 
" King's Messenger," as he alwa^'s styled himself, 
yielded to none of his majesty's ministers in the concep- 
tion of the dignity of his office, when entrusted with 
king's speeches, addresses, bills, and other papers of 
state. At the offices of the secretaries of stale, when 
loaded with parcels of this description, lie would throw 
open every chamber without ceremony; the Treasury 
and Exchequer doors could not oppose him, and even 
the study of archbishops has often been invaded by this 
important messenger of the press. His antiquated 
and greasy garb, corresponded with his wizard-like 
shape, and his immense cocked hat was continually in 
motion, to assist him in the bows of the old school ; 
the recognition and nods of great men in office, were 
his delight. But he imagined that this courtesy was 
due to his character, as being identified with the 
state ; and the chancellor and the speaker, were con- 
sidered by him in no other view, than persons filling 
departments in common with himself, for the seals of 
the one, and the mace of the other, did not, in his 
estimation, distinguish them more than the bag used 
by himself in the transmission of the despatches en- 
trusted to his care. The imperfect intellect given to 
him, seemed only to fit him for the situation he filled. 
Take him out of it, he was as lielpless as a child, and 
easily became a dupe to those who were disposed to 
imixjse upon him. With a high opinion of his own 



ECCENTRICITY. 49 

judgment, however, he diverted himself, and others, 
by mimicking the voice and manner of his superiors, 
wiicn lie thought he perceived any assumption of cha- 
racter. John could imitate the strut and swell of the 
great man, and even the frivolity of a fop. His early 
friends report of him, that he was dutiful to an 
ancient mother, and sacrificed his own comforts for a 
parent's support ; but it was not known that he ever 
felt the tender passion of love. It was now John's 
fate, at fourscore and ten, to discover himself to be a 
son of Adam. Female warmth melted the seals set 
on his thrifty bags, and the soothings of a daughter of 
Eve, turned the raiser to a spendthrift ; the fair one 
having spent his all, left him. The poor fellow, though 
a great man, was honest, and the liberal establish- 
ment to which he belonged, adhered to him to his last 
moments. Like the leaves of autumn, generations of 
men are swept away and are soon forgotten ; and 
though this singular being was comparatively known 
to few, yet as his hand has conveyed papers of state 
to most of the great statesmen of the last and present 
century ; when, considering him ministering with 
fidelity in this way from the days of Sir Robert Wal- 
pole, beyond the time of William Pitt the Second, 
bearing on his back the mighty results of their labours, 
poor old John, who was as important in his own con- 
ceils as anj' statesman in his time, may lay in his claim 
also for his share of renown. 



SIR DAVID DUNDAS. 
In a review at Weymouth some years ago, before 
his late majesty, General Dundas's horse fell with 

F 



50 PURCY ANECDOTES, 

him. The attending officer immediately dismounted 
to assist the general, and was much concerned to learn 
that his leg was broken. " I will try to get jour 
boot off," said the officer. ** " Do, mon, do," re- 
plied the general. A knife was instantly produced. 
—"Hoot, awa', mon, what are you aboot ?"---" I 
am going to cut your boot off." " Hold, mon; yc 
shan't do ony such thing : no, sir, I bought them just 
before I came to the camp, and 1 gi'ed six-and-thirty 
shillings for them— pull it oft', sir, pull it off." It 
was represented to him, that it was impossible, under 
his present suffering ; but nothing would do — " the 
boot should not be cut to pieces in that manner." At 
this moment King George the Third arrived at the 
spot, and anxiously enquired what had happened ? 
The circumstance was explained. " What! what! 
not cut off the boot ? pooh, pooh, stuff," said the 
king : " cut it off, cut it off." " No, no," replied 
the general ; "they are new boots, your majesty ; and 
I command him at his peril to cut the boot — he can 
pull it off." Remonstrance was in vain. The 
Prince of Wales (his present majesty) arrived during 
the squabble ; and on learning the cause of the ap- 
parent dispute, added his persuasion to the king's, 
to have the boot dismembered. The only reply of 
the general was, " No, no, it shan't be cut off — 
they cost me six-and-thirty shillings." The attempt 
was then made to draw oft" the boot, and at length 
accomplished, though the agony of the sufferer was 
feelingly pourtrayed by the perspiration dropping 
from his forehead. A surgeon had, in the meantime, 
been sent for, and now arrived : on examination, he 
ascertained that the limb was not broken, but dread- 



ECCENTIUCITY. 51 

fully bruised; on which, the king immediately de- 
spatched H messenger for one of his carriages, then on 
the ground, and tiie general was conveyed to Wey- 
mouth, inwardly exulting that he had saved his boot ; 
the prince rejoicing that the accident was no worse, 
and congratulating him on saving ins six-and-thirty 
shillings. 

Some time after, on another day of exercise, when 
the general had recovered, he solicited the king to 
witness a new manoeuvre he had adopted ; and as 
they were proceeding to the spot marked out, he 
wished the king to take the upper ground. "No, 
no," replied his majesty, " I'm not fond of opodel- 
doc ; but if I were to get a fall, 1 would sacrifice roy 
boot to save ray leg." The same day, after the re- 
view, the general met the officer who had assisted him 
in his accident on the Esplanade, and requested him to 
join two friends to dinner that day. The officer was 
surprised, and mentioned the circumstance to Lord 
Harrington. "What! in-.ited to dine with Dundas?" 
said his lordship. " Well, well, as he has asked you 
to dinner, I ask you to supper, and will give orders 
to have an additional cover." His lordship was a 
true prophet ; his anticipations were realized : the 
dinner consisted of an immense overgrown target 
of lamb, snflScient in quantity, but very inferior in 
quality ; it was the best jo'mt he could procure. An 
apple-pie formed the remove. One bottle of, what 
should have been, Sherry, procured from an adjoining 
tavern, proverbial for recommending cheap liqueurs ; 
and, after the cloth was removed, one bottle of excellent 
port from the same mart, constituted the extraordinary 
repast ; [the general remarking, as he emptied tlie 



52 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

decanter in his own glass, and looking through the 
blinds at the same moment, " Ha, ha, I see the king 
is taking his evening walk on the Esplanade — we 
raaun all go and make our boo to his majesty :" and 
at the same time rising from the table, took leave of 
his highly gratified guests. The anecdote was re- 
peated in the evening, to the gratification of a numer- 
ous assemblage of brother officers, at the hospitable 
supper table of Lord Harrington. 

SHERIDAN. 

Mr. Sheridan always lived and acted without any 
regular system for the government of his conduct ; 
the consequence was, as might have been expected, 
that he became the sport of capricious friendship, and 
when the winter of his days approached, he expe- 
rienced the mutability of political connexions, and the 
folly of neglecting those resources which can alone 
support the mind in every exigency, and minister to 
its comfort in the dreariness of solitude. Home, 
though the abode of domestic virtue and affection, was 
no longer safe to a man so long known and so much 
courted by numerous applicants, to avoid whose 
troublesome enquiries, and to gain a respite from 
anxiety, he passed much of his time in coffee-houses 
and taverns. Frequent inebriety was the result of 
such a course of life ; and the eti'ects of it upon his 
constitution, which had been naturally a very robust 
one, soon appeared in his countenance and his man- 
ners. Yet, sinking as he now was into the lowest 
state of human declension, occasional sallies of 
humour escaped hinij even when he was unable to 



ECCENTRfCITY. 53 

stand, or scarcely to articulate. Coming very late 
one night out of a tavern, he fell, and being too 
much overtaken with liquor to recover his feel, he 
wa3 raised by some passengers, who asked his name, 
and place of abode ; to which he replied, by referring 
to a cotlee-house, and hlccuping that lie waa Mr. 
Wil-ber-force, 

THE PALAGONIAN MADNESS. 

When Goethe was at Palermo in 1787, and joking 
with a tradesman in the great street of the city, a 
tall well-dressed footman came up hastily, and pre- 
sented a silver plate, on which lay several pieces of 
copper, and a few of silver coin. " As I did not 
know what it meant," says Goethe, " I shrugged my 
shoulders, nodding ray head, the usual sign by which 
one excuses one's-self, whether one does not, or will 
not, understand the proposal or question. He was 
gone as quickly as he came, and I now saw his com- 
rade on the other side of the street, employed in the 
same manner. 

" What does that mean ? said I to the tradesman, 
who, with an expressive mien, and, as it were, by 
stealth, pointed to a tall thin man, who, in a court- 
dress, walked with much gravity and composure 
over the dirt. With his hair frizzled and powdered, 
his hat under his arm, in a silk dress, a sword at his 
^ide, neat shoes with diamond buckles, the old man 
walked gravely and calmly forward ; all eyes were 
fixed upon him. 

"'That is the Prince of Palagonia,' said the 
iradesman, ' who from time to time goes through the 
F 3 



^4 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

city, and collects money to ransom the slaves cap- 
tured by the Barbary pirates. It is true this collec- 
tion never produces much ; but the subject is called 
to mind, and those who give nothing when living, 
often bequeath handsome sums for this purpose. The 
prince has been many years at the head of this insti- 
tution, and has done infinite good.' 

" Instead of squandering such large sums, ex- 
claimed I, on the follies of his pnlace, he should 
have employed them to this end. No prince in the 
world would have performed more. 

" * Ah !' said the tradesman, ' that is the way 
with us all ; for our follies, we are willing enough 
to pay ourselves ; others must furnish the money 
to defray the expense of our virtues.' " 

The Prince of Palagonia, of the follies of whose 
palace Goethe here speaks, was one of the most 
extraordinary j^atrons of the absurd and ridiculous 
that perhaps ever existed. The following is the 
account given by Goethe of the origin and progress 
of the Palagonian madness, as he justly styles it : 

" When a country-house in these parts lies more 
or less in the middle of the whole estate, and in order 
to reach the mansion, one has to drive through culti- 
vated fields, kitchen gardens, &c., the people show 
themselves more economical than the inhabitants of 
the north, who often employ a large extent of good 
ground for a park, in order to please the eye with 
unfruitful shrubs. Here, in the south, they build 
two walls, between which you go to the mansion, 
without any prospect either to the right or the left. 
This road generally begins with a great portal, ])er- 
haps with an arched-way, and cn^s in the court- 



liCCENTRICITY. 55 

yard of the raausion. But that they may not be 
wholly without entertainment between these walls, 
they are scolloped out at the top, and ornamented 
with scrolls and pedestals, upon which, perhaps, 
there stands a vase here and there. The plain parts 
are divided into compartments, and painted. The 
court-yard is surrounded with a circle of buildings, 
of one story, inhabited by the servants and workmen 3 
the square-formed mansion rises above all. 

" This is the nature of the arrangement, as it pro- 
bably existed till the father of the prince built the 
mansion, not indeed in the most excellent, but in a 
tolerable, style. But the present owner, without 
departing from those general principles, gives full 
scope to his passion for deformed absurd images ; 
and it is doing him far too much honour to allow him 
a spark of imagination. 

" We enter the great hall, whicJi begins at the 
boundary of the estate, and find an octagon, very 
liigh in proportion to its breath. Four enormous 
giants, with modern tight-buttoned gaiters, support 
the cornice, on which, directly opposite the entrance, 
there is the Holy Trinity. 

" The way to the mansion is broader than usual; 
the wall is converted into a continued high casement, 
upon which, raised pedestals bear strange groups ; 
in the intervals between whicli, several vases are 
placed. 

* * * 

" I just now said groups, and used a false expres- 
sion, improper in this place ; for those are not placed 
together in consequence of any reflectioD, or even 



50 PEUCY ANECDOTliS. 

design ; they are, as it were, thrown together at 
random. 

* « • * 

"That we may fully record the elements of the 
madness of the Prince of Palagonia, we give the 
following catalogue : 

" Of the human race: beggars, both men and women, 
Spaniards of both sexes, Turks, Moors, hunchbacks, all 
kinds of cripples or deformed persons, dwarfs, musi- 
cians, puuchinellos, soldiers in ancient costume, gods, 
goddesses, people in the old French costume, soldiers 
with cartouch-boxes and gaiters, mythological cha- 
racters witli ridiculous additions. Achilles and 
Chiron with Punchinello. Animals: only parts of 
them ; horses with human hands ; horses' heads and 
human bodies, disfigured apes, many dragons and 
serpents, all kinds of paws to figures of all kinds ; 
changes of the heads. Vases : all kinds of monsters 
and caprices, which terminate below In the bodies 
and feet of vases. 

" Conceive, now, hundreds of such figures, formed 
without sense or meaning, put together without taste 
or design ; conceive this base, these pedestals and 
monsters in endless perspective ; you will feel the 
unpleasant sensation which every one must expe- 
rience, who has to run this gauntlet of Insanity. 

" We approach the mansion, and come to a semi* 
circular fore-court ; the main wall opposite, in which 
is the gate-way, is like the wall of a fortress. Here 
we find an Egyptian figure fixed in the wall, a foun- 
tain without water, a monument, vases lying scat- 
tered about, and statues purposely laid with the face 



ECCENTRICITY. 67 

downwards. We enter the court-yard, and find the 
usual circle surrounded with building, built out into 
several half-circles, that there may be no want of 
variety. 

" The ground is for the most part overgrown with ^ 
grass. Here, as in a dilapidated church-yard, there 
are shapely ornamented marble vases, from the father's 
time ; dwarfs, and other deformities of the new 
epoch, all thrown together in confusion, no place 
having yet been found for them. There is even a 
building quite full of old vases, and other carved 
stone. 

" The folly of such an absurd way of thinking is 
shown in the highest degree in this circumstance, 
that the cornices of the little buildings are all awry, 
declining obliquely to one side or the other : the 
line of the roofs is set with hydras and busts, with 
choruses of monkeys playing on musical instruments, 
and similar follies. Dragons standing alternately 
with gods, and an Atlas bearing a wine-barrel 
instead of a globe. 

" If you think to escape all this by retreating to 
the palace, which was built by the father, and has 
comparatively a reasonable appearance on the out- 
side, you find, not far from llie door, the laurel- 
crowned head of a Roman emperor, on a dwarf's 
body, which sits upon a dolphin. 

" In the palace itself, whose exterior leads you to 
expect a tolerable interior, the fever of the prince 
again begins to rage. The feet of the chairs are 
sawn of unequal length, so that nobody can sit down 
upon them ; and the porter warns you against the 
chairs on which you might sit, because pins arc stuck 



58 PEUCY ANECDOTES. 

under their velvet seats. Candelabras, of ' Chinese 
porcelain, stand in the corners, which, on a nearer 
examination, are found to be composed of single 
dishes, cups, and saucers, cemented together. Even 
the incomparable view over the cape to the sea, is 
spoiled by coloured panes of glass, wliich, by a false 
tone, make the scene appear either cold or iiery. I 
must mention one cabinet, the walls of which are 
composed of old gilt frames, cut to pieces, and nailed 
close together. The carving of a hundred different 
patterns ; ail the various stages of ancient or more 
modern gilding, more or less dusty and damaged, 
cover here all the walls, and give the idea of a 
broker's lumber-room. 

" It would take a volume to describe the chapel 
alone* Here we find the key to the whole madness, 
which could not branch out to this extent in any 
other than a bigotted mind. 

• • ♦ . 

" As for the rest of the palace, it is not finished : 
a large saloon, which the father had begun to orna- 
ment in a rich and diversified, but not unpleasing, 
style, has remained in statu quo, as the boundless in- 
sanity of the owner cannot come to a conclusion witli 
his follies. 

" Our friend Kniep, whose feelings as an artist 
were driven to despair in this mad-house, was for 
the first time impatient ; he hurried me on while I 
was trying to analyze and methodize the elements of 
of this mis-creation. At last he good-naturedlj 
sketched one of the groups, which made a kind of a 
composition. It represents a female centaur sitting 
on a seat, playing cards opposite to a cavalier, dressed 



ECCENTRICITY. 59 

ill antique costume, with the head of a very old man, 
bearing a crown and a large wig ; and calls to mind 
the arms of the house of Palagonia, which, after all 
tliis madness, are remarkable ; a satyr holds a look- 
ing-glass to a woman, wlio has the head of a horse." 



FELIX M'CARTHY. 

Mr. M'Carthy, so long well known in every circle 
of the metropolis for his eccentricity and benevolence, 
was a native of Cork, and served in the French army 
before the revolution. He came afterwards to 
London, where he lived about twenty years, in si- 
tuations very ditFerent, and often on the chances of 
the day. He was occasionally an usher in different 
schools, which he generally quitted on the first re- 
ceipt of his salary ; he was sometimes a collector of 
intelligence for newspapers ; at others, an agent for 
money lenders or borrowers ; and was once in the 
confidence of the Earl of Moira, at which time he 
had a house in St. James's Place, an elegant equi- 
page, and though he had been released from prison 
by two different insolvent acts, was started a candi- 
date for Leicester, in opposition to Mr. Babington, 
and polled nearly two hundred voters. After this, 
Felix M'Carthy's sun of splendour set to rise no 
more ; he lost the confidence of his noble patron, 
sunk into extreme distress, and at length died in the 
King's Bench prison. 

Mr. M'Carthy was remarkable for bis great stature 
and strength, which being united with a courage no 
less singular, rendered him extremely formidable 



60 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

when provoked by insult ; though, like most men so 
gifted, he was, by his natural disposition, extremely 
placid, good-humoured, and forbearing. Many ex- 
traordinary feats are told by those who shared his 
intimacy in his prime of life, of the punishment, no 
less severe than singular, which he inflicted on the 
petulance of those who were so silly and so mistaken, 
as to fasten quarrels upon him. 

The most celebrated of tliese affairs, was a ren- 
contre with the celebrated iMendoza, at Vauxhall, 
during the period when that hero of the fist held 
the proud station of what is called, " The Cham- 
pion of England." Mendoza was taken to Vaux- 
hall for a freak, by a party of amateurs, who 
selected Mr. JM'Carthy, from his size and apparent 
strength, as the object upon whom Mendoza might 
most conspicuously display his science, to the surprise 
and admiration of the surrounding assemblage. A 
quarrel was accordingly provoked between Mendoza 
and Mr. M'Carthy, in which Dan had the advantage, 
but without making any material impression on his 
robust and hardy opponent. The gentlemen, who 
ran from all parts of the garden, on hearing of the 
affray, at length recognized Mendoza, and thinking 
it unfair to suffer any one, of whatsoever apparent 
strength, unless a professed pugUist, to be involved 
in a contest with him, separated the combatants. 
When Mr. M'Carthy, enraged by the blows he 
had received, pressed for the renewal of the combat, 
they endeavoured to quiet him, by telling him, that 
his antagonist was the " invincible pugilist Mendoza, 
the Champion of England !" This information, 
however, had a very different effect upon Mr. 



ECCENTKlClTY. Gl 

M'Carlhj, from what it was intended and expected 
to produce. With a fury which it was impossible to 
restrain, he burst through the circle which surrounded 
him, and rushing upon Dan, in defiance of all efforts 
of art, he seized him in his arms, and carried him, 
struggling in vain to disengage himself, to the bar- 
rier at the entrance, over which he threw him with 
a force whicli asionished the beholders, to a consi- 
derable distance among the crowd, exclaiming all 
the time against his impudence, for presuming to ob- 
trude himself into a respectable place of amusement, 
and to insult gentlemen, and enforce quarrels with 
them, when he did get in. Mendoza's friends, it 
may be supposed, did not complain of the chastise- 
ment he had received nor were those who intro- 
duced him, forward to resent or notice tlie animad- 
versions made upon their conduct, not only by Mr. 
M'Carlhy, but by the company in general. Vaux- 
hall has, in consequence, remained free from the 
annoyance of professed bruizers, ever since, al- 
though the science has so far spread into general 
practice, as to become a nuisance in almost every 
other public place. 

Mr. M'Carthy, although he had been absent from 
Ireland about thirty years, during the earlier part of 
which he resided on the continent, always retained 
a sincere and ardent affection for his country. He 
was accordingly sought after by multitudes of hi» 
distressed countrymen, with whom he never failed 
to share his purse, while he had any thing in it, and. 
his heart, when it was the only treasure he possessed. 



62 PERCY ANECDOTHS. 



PLAGUING THE DOCTORS. 
Mr. Cooke, the miser of Pentonville, as he was 
called, was a great annoyance to gentlemen of the 
faculty. He used to put on ragged clothes, and go 
as a pauper to Mr. Saunders and other gentlemen, 
to have gratuitous advice for his eyes ; get a letter for 
the dispensary, and attend there as a decayed trades- 
man, for several weeks, until detected. Having a 
wound in his leg, he employed a Mr. Pigeon, who 
lived nearly opposite to him, in White Liou Street, 
Pentonville, to cure it. " How long do you think 
it will be before you can cure it ?" " A month." 
*' And how much must I give you ?" Mr. Pigeon, 
who saw the wound was not of any great importance, 
answered, " A guinea." " Very well," replied 
Cooke ; " but mark this ; a guinea is an immense 
sum of money, and when I agree upon sums of such 
magnitude, I go upon the system of no cure no pay ; 
so, if I am not cured by the expiration of the 
month, I pay you nothing." This was agreed to. 
After diligent attention, the wound was so near 
being healed, that Cooke expressed himself satis- 
fied,' and would not let Pigeon see it any more. 
However, within two or three days of the month 
being completed, the old fellow got some sort of 
plaister, with cuphorbium on it, from a farrier, and 
made a new wound on the place where the former 
had been ; and sending for Pigeon the last day of 
the month, showed him that his leg was not well, 
and that of course the guinea he had agreed for was 
forfeited. Tliis story the old fellow used to tell of 



ECCIiNTRlClTY. 6^5 

himself with great satisfaction, and call it " plucking 
a Pigeon." When on his death bed, he sent for 
several medical men ; some of them would not attend ; 
but among others who went to see him, was Mr. Al- 
dridge, of Pentonville. At one of the interviews, 
he earnestly entreated Mr. Aldridge to tell him can- 
didly how long he thought he might live. The an- 
swer was, he might probably live six days. Cooke, 
collecting all his strength, and starting up in bed, 
exclaimed, " And are you not a dishonest man, a 
rogue, and a robber, to serve me so ?" " How so ?" 
asked Mr. Aldridge, with surprise. " Why, sir, 
you are no better than a pickpocket, to go to rob rae 
of my gold, by sending in two draughts a day, to a 
man that all your physic will not keep alive above 
six days ! Get out of my house, and never come 
near me again." 

BIRD FANCIER. 

Lady Reade, of Shipton in Oxfordshire, when ad- 
vanced in years, devoted ail her time, and a consider- 
able portion of her property, to her aviary, which was 
the most extensive and the most diversified of any in 
this country. When she travelled between London 
and Shipton, she attracted almost as much attention as 
monarchy itself. At the inns where she stopped, the 
gates were usually shut, to allord her an opportunity 
of disembarking, and landing her cargo of parrots, 
monkies, and other living attendants, who were stowed 
in and about her carriages. 



64 I'EIICY ANECDOTES. 



LOSING ONE'S HEAD, AND GETTING 
A NEW ONE. 

A famous watchmaker of Paris, infatuated for a 
long time with the chimera of the perpetual motion, be- 
came violently insane, from tlie overwlielming terror 
Avhich the storms of the revolution excited. The de- 
rangement of liis reason was marked with a singular 
trait. He was persuaded that he had lost his head 
on the scaffold, and that it was put in a heap witb 
those of many other victims ; but that the judges, by 
a ratlier too late retraction of their cruel decree, had 
ordered the heads to be resumed, and to be rejoined to 
their respective bodies. He, however, conceived, that 
by a curious kind of mistake, he had the head of one 
of his companions placed on his shoulders. He was 
admitted into the Bicelre, where he was continually 
complaining of his misfortune, and lamenting the fine 
teeth and wholesome breath he had exchanged for 
those of very different qualities. In a little time the 
hopes of discovering the perpetual motion returned, 
and he was rather encouraged than restrained in his 
endeavours to effect his object. When he conceived 
that he had accom|)lished it, and was in an ecstasy 
of joy, the sudden confusion of a failure removed his 
inclination even to resume the subject. He was 
still, however, possessed with the idea that his head 
was not his own ; but from this notion he was diverted 
by a repartee made to him when he happened to be 
defending the possibility of the miracle of St. Denis, 
who, it is said, was in the liabit of walking with his 
head between his hands, and in that position con* 



ECCENIRICITY. 65 

tinuall^ kissing it. " What a fool you are to believe 
such a story," it was replied, with a burst of laughter. 
" How could St. Denis kiss liis head ? — Was it with 
Ijis heels ?" This unanswerable and unexpected re- 
tort, struck and confounded the madman so much, that 
it prevented him from saying any thing farther on 
the subject. He again took himself to business, and 
entirely regained his intellects. 



BY AND BY. 

Mr. John Robinson, who died at Kendal in 1818, 
at the age of eighty-five, had formerly been a mer- 
chant at Liverpool, but failing in business, retired to 
Kendal, where he led a very singular life. 

He was very covetous, but his love of money, in 
many instances, gave way to his predilection for 
whim and eccentricity. He had a horse on keep 
many years, at the Angel Inn, Kendal, but never 
rode il ; for if he went a journey, which was frequently 
the case, he led the animal the whole way. When 
asked why he did not mount it, his answer in- 
variably was, that he meant to do so " by and by." 
If asked by any acquaintance for a loan of his Ro- 
sinante, his answer was, " I have no time to go with 
thee to lead it." The horse was killed by the 
humanity of his master, for he literally died from 
want of exercise. Mr. Robinson kept also several 
pointer dogs, bought up every gun that had the 
character of a good one, and annually took out a 
license ; but his plan of future operations in this, as 
in all other cases, remained unrealized to the day of 
his death, for he never went out shooting, although he 



6G Pl.UCY ANECDOTES, 

•was always going " by and b}'." The idea of 
commencing sportsman, bad not left him at the age of 
eighty-five; for a few weeks before be died, be procured 
a number of new jtjags, proper for bringing home the 
game he should iTdl that season. The humanity with 
which Mr. Robinson treated his horse, and his per- 
severing determination to maintain bis dogs in idle- 
ness, exhibit him in the cliaracter of a Pythagorean 
philanthropist : but nevertheless, one of his principal 
pleasures was teasing bis own species, for he was al- 
most a constant attendant at sales by auction of 
household goods, and rarely hesitated to give any 
price for a book or article of furnituie which he per- 
ceived another person had set his mind upon. In 
consequence of this invidious and unsociable dis- 
position, be left many rooms in different parts of the 
town occupied by articles both of convenience and 
literature, which he never used. 



OSTERVALD. 

M. Osten'ald, the son of the celebrated minister 
of that name, at Neufchatel, went in iiis youth to 
Hamburgh, where he was at first employed merely as 
a clerk in a banking-house. His habits, however, 
were parsimonious, and he soon began to save 
money. His first great acquisition, indeed, was not 
wholly the fruits of savings. He used to go every 
evening to an obscure ale house, to drink his beer, 
which was the only supper he allowed himself, and 
never failed to carry away the cork of the bottle, as 
well as every cork which he could lay hold of. 
These, when he came home, he threw into a large 



ECCENTRICITY. 67 

cask. At the end of seven or eight jears, these 
corks produced him a hundred crowns, which 
formed the foundation of his future wealth. 

M. Obtervald afterwards went to Paris, where he 
accumulated a large fortune, but lived for five and 
twenty jears in a furnished lodging, in order to avoid 
contributing to the public taxes. His meals, or ra- 
ther his only meal, which he took constantly at an 
obscure tavern, never cost him more than a shilling. 

In his last illness, it was the gTeatest torment to 
him, to be obliged to reimburse and give up the 
pavvHs and contracts upon which he had lent money ; 
and his anxiety on this subject, suggested a thousand 
precautions, which he continued to practi>e when he 
was unable to read, or even to support himself. 
When just expiring, he refused to pay a livie for 
soup for his support ; and yet, under his pillow were 
found eight hundred thousand livres of assignats ; and 
to relations whom he had, probably, never seen, 
he left, in all, about two millions and a half of 
livres. 



WHERE AM I ? 

Henry Topham, the strong man of Islington, who 
could break ropes of two inches in circumference, and 
bend kitchen pokers on his arm, or his neck, was on 
bis way home one night, when, finding a watchman 
fast asleep in his box, he took the whole on his 
shoulders, and carried the load with the greatest 
ease. When he reached Bunhill Fields burying 
ground, he dropped the poor fellow and his dormi- 
tory over the wall. The watchman awaking, was 



68 PERCY ANIiCDOTES. 

for some tirac doubtful whether or not he was in the 
land of the living ; and on recovering from his fright, 
seeraed to be only waiting for the opening of the 
graves around him. 

RIDICULOUS SITUATIONS. 

Marville, in his Melange d'Histcire, mentions a few 
instances of verj ridiculous situations in which great 
men have been placed. One of them must have been 
peculiarly so. The celebrated Constable Anne de 
Montmorency, a man whose valour and military skill 
were only exceeded by his pride, his cruelty, and bi- 
gotry, was ordered by Francis I. of France, to carry 
on his shoulders, or in any other way he could con- 
trive, his niece, the Princess of Navarre, to the altar, 
where, against her will, she was to be married to the 
Duke of Cloves. This was a hard task, as the little 
lady was so loaded with jewels and rich brocade of 
gold and silver, that she could scarcely walk. The 
whole court was amazed at the king's command ; the 
Queen of Navarre was pleased, as she wished her 
daughter to be humbled, on account of her having 
imbibed Lutheran principles ; but the constable was 
excessively hurt, as it exposed him to the ridicule of 
the world. " It is henceforth over with me ;" said he, 
" my favour at court is passed away." The constable 
judged rightly, for he was dismissed as soon as the 
wedding was over. 

The following instance with which M. Marville 
was probably unacquainted, is not less singular. 

The Duke of Newcastle, who was at the head of 
the Treasury, frequently differed with his colleague in 



ECCENTRICITY. 65> 

office, Mr. Pitt, the first Earl of Chatham, but the 
latter, bj his firmness, always prevailed. A curious 
scene occurred at one of their interviews. It had 
been proposed to send Admiral Hawke to sea, in 
pursuit of M. Con flans. The season was unfa- 
vourable, and even dangerous for a fleet to sail, being 
in the month of November. Mr. Pitt was at that 
time confined to his bed by the gout, and was 
obliged to receive ail visitors in his chamber, in which 
he could not bear to have a fire. The Duke of New- 
castle waited upon him in this situation, to discuss 
the affair of this fleet, which he was of opinion ought 
not to sail insucli a stormj^ season. Scarcely had he 
entered the chamber, when shivering with cold, he 
said, " What, have 30U no fire?" " No," replied 
Mr. Pitt, " I can never bear a fire when I have the 
gout." The duke sat dov/n by the side of the in- 
valid, wrapt up in his cloak, and began to enter upon 
the subject of his visit. Tliere was a second bed in 
the room, and the duke, unable to endure the cold, at 
length f-aid, " With your leave, I'll warm myself 
in this other bed ;" and without taking oft his cloak, 
he actually got into Lady Esther Pitt's bed, and re- 
sumed the debate. Tiie duke was entirely against 
exposiug the fleet to hazard in the month of Novem- 
ber, and Mr. Pitt was as positively determined it 
should put to sea. " The fleet must absolutely sail," 
said Mr. Pitt, accompanying his words with the most 
animating gestures. " It is impossible," said the 
duke, making a thousand contortions, " it will cer- 
tainly be lost." Sir Charles Frederick, of the ord- 
nance department, arriving just at that time, found 
thera botli in this laughable posture ; and had the 



70 PERCY ANliCDOTES. 

greatest difficulty in the world to preserve bis gra- 
vity, at seeing two ministers of state deliberating 
upon a subject so important, in such a ludicrous si- 
tuation. 

AVOIDING THE COLD. 
The following account of a Mr. Tallis, who lived at 
the Crown at Burcott, near Droitwich, and kept his 
bed eight and twenty years, in order to keep himself 
warm, was written in 1753, by a gentleman who 
visited him. The old gentleman was then seventy- 
two years of age, and so hearty in his appetite, that a 
double quantity of victuals was always sent up to 
him : he was cheerful in conversation, and in coun- 
tenance lively and intelligent. As warmth was his 
object, in keeping his bed, he had no lack of clothing. 
*' His night-cap," says his biographer, " consists of 
the following particulars ; nearest his head, is a cap 
made of two yards of flannel, doubled and quilted, 
over which he has eight njore of the same sort, 
amounting in the whole to eighteen yards. Over 
these he has two linen caps, of the like quality and 
size. Next comes what he calls his crown, which is 
forty yards of flaimel ; and to crown this, he has ten 
single linen caps, and as many flannel ; so that the 
full contents of his night-cap are eighty-four yards : 
and it is, including his head, as large as a bce-Iiive. 
Upon his breast, there lays a piece of flannel strained 
upon a light square wooden frame, which lie lays over his 
face when he is going to sleep. He has two stoppers 
of cork fitted to his nostrils, but these he uses only in 
the winter ; and it is remarkable, that though he takes 



ECCENTRICITY. 71 

SO much pains to keep himself warm in bed, he will 
never, in the coldest season, suffer a fire in his room. 
His sheets are lined with flannel, and quilted ; when 
tliey make his bed, he turns from one side to the 
other, and is never moved out of it but once a year, 
when they draw another bed close to the side of that 
in which he lies, and he tumbles, or is tumbled, into 
it. He changes his bed-clothes and bedding, and his 
night-cap, once a year. The reason for so eccentric 
a mode of life, he readily narrated to his friend. He 
stated, that when he was young, and had the care of 
his father's farm, he discovered an old woman who 
was in the constant habit of stealing sticks from the 
hedges. She had got a bundle, which he ordered 
her immediately to lay down. She did so, then 
falling on her knees, with uplifted hands, she prayed 
that he might never more be warm, and never know 
the warmth of a fire. ' Immediately,' said he, in re- 
lating the circumstance, ' 1 began to feel myself 
chilly, and I have been growing colder and colder 
ever since.' He began first to wear two shirts, then 
three, and soon doubling coats, waistcoats, &c., until, 
at length, he was unable to drag them about, and 
was, therefore, obliged to take to his bed, which was 
not, however, until twenty years after his encounter 
with the old woman." 



TAILOR LIGHT HORSE. 
When Queen Elizabeth was urged to assist the 
Dutch, in the M-ar of the Low Countries, she re- 
fused for some time, and declared she would neither 
send man nor horse to their assistance. The re- 
presentations of her council, at length, so far prevailed, 



7'i PtRCV ANECDOTES. 

that she consented to raise a regiment of light-horse 
The commission was gi\'en to a general, with secre 
orders from the queen to enlist none but tailors, and 
to mount them all on mares. The regiment was soon 
completed, and sent to the Low Countries. In an 
action with the Spaniards, this corps was cut off from 
the main arm3', and the whole taken prisoners. 
When the news of this disaster reached the queen, 
her majesty, who never appeared dejected at any 
reverse of her arms, turned to the Earl of Leicester, 
and said, " The Spaniards have no cause of triumph 
on this occasion, for though they may vainly boast 
that they have cut off an English regiment, I can say 
with truth, that I have not on this occasion lost either 
man or horse." 

Notwithstanding the queen's joke on this occasion, 
tailors have proved themselves men ; and history re- 
cords many distinguished warriors who were of that 
trade. It may be sufficient to mention, that General 
Elliot, the intrepid defender of Gibraltar, though 
descended from a family much distinguished by their 
military exploits, was, when a boy, apprenticed to the 
trade of a tailor. 



SELF TORMENTOR. 
In the reign of Elizabeth, there was born in Lon- 
don, a man of the name of John Martin. In the 
tenth year of his age he was kidnapped by a Portu- 
guese merchant, apparently for the purpose of pre- 
serving him in the Cathulic faith ; and this merchant, 
seven years afterwards^ took him to Brazil, where 
being placed under the care of the Jesuits, he soon 



ECCENTRICITY. 73 

afterhecame a member of that fraternity, bj? the name of 
Joara de Almeida. Anchietawas his superior, then an 
oldman, broken down with exertion and austerities, and 
subject to frequent faintings. Almeida used to rub 
his feet at sucli times ; in reference to which, he was 
accustomed to say, that whatever virtue there might 
be in his hands, he had taken it from the feet of his 
master. No voluptuary ever invented so many de- 
vices for pampering the senses, as Joara de Almeida 
did for mortifying them. He looked upon his body 
as a rebellious slave, who, dwelling within his doors, 
eating at his table, and sleeping in his bed, was con- 
tinually laying snares for his destruction ; he, there- 
fore, regarded it with the deepest hatred, and, as a 
matter of justice and self-defence, persecuted, flogged, 
and punished it in every imaginable way. For this 
purpose, he had a choice assortment of scourges ; 
some of whipcord, some of cat-gut, some of leathern 
thongs, and some of wire. He had cilices of vdre 
for his arras, thighs, and legs, one of which fastened 
round the body with seven chains ; and another, 
which he called his good sack, was an under- 
waistcoat of tlie roughest hair, having, on the inside, 
seven crosses made of iron, the surface of which was 
covered with sharp points, like a coarse rasp, or a 
nutmeg-grater. It is recorded among his other vir- 
tues, that whatever exercise he might take in that hot 
climate, he never changed his shirt more than once 
a week ; and that on his journies, he put pebbles 
or grains of^ maize in his shoes. 

His daily course of life was regulated in confor- 
mity to a paper drawn up by himself, and consisted 



74 VtKCY ANECDOTES. 

of al)stinence, sometimes relieved by bread and water, 

and flyflapping the poor l>€ast, as lie called his body, 
with scourges. The great object of liis most thankful 
meditations, was to think, that having been born in 
England, and in London, in the very seat and heart 
of heresy, he had been led to this liappy way of 
life. 

In this extraordinary course of self-torment, F.Joani 
de Almeida attained the great age of eighty-two : and 
when the cilices and scourges were taken from him, 
lest they should accelerate his death, he was ob- 
served to lose his strength, as if his constitution was 
thereby injured. During his last illness, the convent 
was crowded with persons who were desirous to behold 
the death of a saint. Scraps of his writing, rags of 
his garments, were sought for with the utmost eager- 
ness ; and wlien he was bled during his last illness, 
every drop of his blood was carefully received upon 
cloths, wliich were divided as relics among those who 
had the most interest in the college. Such were the 
extravagant lengths to which the Catlnjlic supersti- 
tion was once carried in Brazil. 



SAILOR ON SHORE. 

Soon after the conclusion of the war in 1815, a 
sailor, who had lately been })aid off, and who had 
been riding in a coach about the streets, with a fidler 
playing, strolled into Covent Garden Market, when 
lie was asked by one of tlie basket-women if 
he wanted any thing carried for him ? He replied, 



ECCENTKICIiV. 75 

that he wished to be carried himself to a place where 
he could get sotoe breakfast. The woraan, who 
wanted to go home to her lodging in St. Giles's, 
agreed to take him in her basket to a cofFee- 
sliop at the corner of High Street ; the sailor, after 
getting his pipe lighted, took his scat in the woraa'i's 
basket, which was set upon her head by others of her 
own fraternity, and off she went, followed by a great 
concourse of spectators of every description. Without 
once resting, the poor creature took her load to its 
destination, when the sailor rewarded her with a pint 
of rum and a ^1 note. 

EARL OF MARCHMONT. 

Frederick Mickelson, a celebrated surgeon den- 
tist, who lived for upwards of forty years in Coventry 
Street, used to relate the following anecdote of the 
late Lord Marchmont, who was very parsimonious. 

A strange person had called on him many years, 
whom he always supposed to be a tailor, and was, 
on that account, extremely moderate in his cliarp.es ; 
nor did the person ever attempt to undeceive him, 
but always found fault with his demand. This per- 
son he, by accident, discovered to be Lord March- 
mont. The next time he called, a sudden alteration 
took place in his charges, and what had been two 
guineas to the poor tailor, was now twenty to the 
Earl of Marchmont. 



76 HEKCY ANECDOTES. 



HONOURABLE HUMILITY. 

General Bauer, who commanded the Russiau 
cavalry in Holstein, was a soldier of fortune, whose 
family and country were unknown to every one. 
When encamped near Husum, he took a mode of 
discovering himself, as novel as it was amiable. 
He invited all his field officers, and some others, to 
dine with him, and sent his adjutant to bring a miller 
and his wife, who lived in the neighbourhood, to the 
entertainment. The poor couple came, very much 
afraid of the summons, and quite confused when 
they appeared before the Muscovite general. Bauer 
seeing this, bade them be quite easy, for he only in- 
tended to show them kindness, and had sent for 
them to dine with him that day : at the same time, 
he conversed familiarly with tliera about the country. 
At dinner, the general placed the miller and his wife 
one on each hand, and nearest to him, and paid par- 
ticular attention to them. In the course of the en- 
tertainment, he asked the miller many questions about 
his family and relations. The miller stated, that he 
was the eldest son of his father, who left the mill he 
then possessed, and that he had two brothers and one 
sister. " Have you no other brother?" said the 
general. " No," replied the miller ; " I had once 
another brother, but he went away with the soldiers 
when he was very young, and must have long ago 
been killed in tlie wars." 

Tlie general observing the company much sur- 
prised at his conversation with the miller, said to 
them, " Brother soldiers, you have always been 



ECCENTRICITY. 77 

curious to know who I was, and whence I 
came. I now inform you, that this is the place of 
mj nativity, and you have heard from this miller, who 
ismy elder brother, what my family is." Thentuming 
to the astonished miller and his wife, the general em- 
braced them, saying that he was the brother they had 
supposed dead. The general then invited the 
whole of the company to meet him next day at the 
mill, where a plentiful entertainment was provided ; 
the general pointing out to his brothers in arms, the 
room in which he was born, with as much evident 
joy, as if he had been showing them the place where 
he had gained a victory. 

PETERSBURGH MISER. 

A Russian merchant, who was so mmensely 
rich, that on one occasion he lent the Empress 
Catherine the Second, a million of rubles, used to 
live in a small obscure room at St. Petersburgh, 
with scarcely any fire, furniture, or attendance, 
though his house was larger than many palaces. 
He buried his money in casks in the cellar, and was 
so great a miser, that he barely allowed himself the 
common necessaries of life. He placed his prin- 
cipal security in a large dog of singular fierceness, 
which used to protect the premises by barking 
nearly the whole of the night. At length the dog 
died ; when the master, either prevented by his avarice 
from buying another dog, or fearing that he might not 
meet with one which he could so well depen«l 
on, adopted the singular method of performing the 
canine service himself, by going his rounds every 
II 3 



78 PERCY ANILCDOrCS. 

evening, cind barking as well aud as loud as he 
could, in imitation of his faithful sentinel. 



MARLBOROUGH. 

The Great Duke of Marlborough, some years 
before his death, retired occasionally to Bath, and 
often amused himself with cards, though he seldom 
ventured to play high. One night he was engaged 
at piquet with Dean Jones, from whom he won six- 
pence, and exacted the payment. The dean de- 
clared he had no silver ; but the duke saying he 
wanted it to pay for his chair, he borrowed the 
money, and gave it to him. The dean knowing the 
avarice of liis grace, watched him, and saw him 
walking home, in order to save the sixpence. Dean 
Swift, alluding to this weakness in the duke, says, 
" That in all his campaigns he never lost his bag- 
gage '," and Pope speaks of him as one who would 

" Now save a kingdom, and now save a groat." 

One day as the duke was looking over some papers 
in his scrutoire with Lord Cadogan, he opened one 
of the drawers, took out a green purse, and turned 
some broad pieces out of it, and after viewing them 
for some time with a satisfaction that appeared very 
visible in his face, " Cadogan," says he, " observe 
these pieces well; they deserve to be observed. 
There are just forty of them ; it is the very first sum 
I ever got in my life, and I have kept it always un- 
broken from that very time to this day." *' This 
shows," observed Pope to Mr. Spence, " how early 
and how strong tliis passion must have been upon him." 



ECCENTUlCirV. 79 



LA FONTAINE. 

La Fontaine is recorded to have been one of the 
most absent of men ; and Furetiere relates a circum- 
stance, which, if true, is one of the most singular dis- 
tractions possible. La Fontaine attended the burial 
of one of his friends, and some time afterwards he 
called to visit him. At first he was shocked at the 
information of his death ; but recovering from his 
surprise, he observed—" It is true enough, for now I 
recollect I went to his burial." 



A QUEER SHAVER. 

A few years ago a man of the name of Walton, 
from Luzerne county, entered the Court House of Sun- 
bury, in the state of New York, took a seat at the 
council table, produced a shaving apparatus, and was 
about commencing the operation of shaving his 
beard, which had not been taken off for upwards of 
three years, and was nearly a foot in length. His 
strange appearance attracted the attention of the 
court, and every person present. The court, to pre- 
vent interruption, ordered the man to be taken 
away. He resisted, and at length was indulged by 
the court. He said he had been commanded by his 
Maker to do it, on that very day, in presence of the 
court, and with tiie same razor which he produced. 
Warm water was provided, and he soon disencum- 
bered himself of his beard, put up his shaving 
utensils, thanked the court for their indulgence, 
and walked away seemingly much pleased. 



%0 PLUCY ANECDOTES. 



HORNE TOOKE. 

Among the singularities of Home Tooke, was 
that of superintending the erection of a tomb for 
himself in his garden at Wimbledon, and writing 
his own epitaph. This tomb consisted of a brick 
vault, placed on tiie top of a tumulus in his kitchen 
garden. The slab tliat covered the top of the ceno- 
taph, was a piece of black Irish marble, on which he 
had caused to be cut the following inscription : 

JOHN UOnNE TOOKE, 

Late proprietor, 

And now occupier, of tliis spot, 

was 

Born in June, 1736, 

and 

Died 

In the year of his age, 

Contented and grateful. 

It is remarkable, that in superintending the erec- 
tion of his tomb, he actually became so ill in con- 
sequence of exposure to the cold air, that it was 
feared he would accelerate the event for whicli he 
had been preparing. He, however, recovered from 
his illness ; but his wish to be buried in the tomb 
which he had constructed for himself, was nut com- 
plied with by his executors. 



ECCENTIUCITY. 81 

SILENT BEGGAR. 
In 1805, a raan, well known by the name of Old 
Harry, died at Lytliam, in Lancashire. Upwards of 
twenty years had elapsed since his first appearance 
at that place, and during an uninterrupted residence 
till his death, no account of his parentage, place of 
nativity, or occupation, could ever be obtained from 
him. He was never known to crave charity, other- 
wise than by the silent roode of exposing himself to 
the view of such of the inhabitants as were accus- 
tomed to relieve his wants. His reason seemed to 
have received a shock, from some cause or other, for 
at intervals he evinced a sound state of mind, both 
by his conversation, and his accurate display of 
writing and arithmetic ; while at other times, he showed 
evident marks of a disordered imagination. He said 
he was born in the year 1730, and would often gra- 
tify himself with talking about going to Beverly mar- 
ket. His dialect evidently seemed to have been col- 
lected from that part of Yorkshire. He called him- 
self Henry Stephenson, and said he was a married 
man; but here he would end his discourse; his re- 
flection seemed to recoil at every question relating to 
the connexions of his youthful days, the endearing ties 
of conjugal affection, or the pleasing and domestic 
scenes which must have attended him in early life. 

AN AQUATIC. 

John Monro, who for upwards of sixty years has 

been Town Crier of Glenarie, a small village about 

six miles from Inverary, and who, in 1822, was still 

living, had a peculiar fondness for water, so much 



82 PLllCY ANECDOTES. 

SO, that he may almost be deemed amphibious. 
Though at the advanced age of ninety-five, lie makes 
it a regular rule to walk, daily, for the sake of re- 
creation, the six miles betwixt his residence and In- 
verary, or to the top of Tullich-hili, which is very 
steep, and distant about two miles. Should the rain 
pour in torrents, so much the better, and with the 
greater pleasure does he perambulate the summit of 
the hill for hours in the midst of the storm. Whether 
it is natural to this man, or whether it is the effect 
of habit, cannot be said ; but it is well known he can- 
not endure to remain any length of time with his 
body in a dry state. During summer, and when the 
weather is dry, he regularly pays a daily visit to the 
river Area, and plunges himself headlong in with 
bis clothes on ; and should they get perfectly 
dry early in the day, so irksome and disagreeable 
does his situation become, that, like a fish out of wa- 
ter, he finds it necessary to repeat the luxury. He 
delights in rainy weather, and when the sky lowers, 
and the clouds threaten, and other men seek shelter ; 
then is the time that this man chooses for enjo^ ing his 
natural element in the highest perfection. He never 
bends his way homewards till he is completely 
drenched ; and on these occasions, that a drop may 
not be lost, his bonnet is carried in his hand, and his 
head left bare to the pattering of the wind and rain. 
He enjoys excellent health ; and, notwithstanding 
bis habits, has been wonderfully fortunate in escaping 
colds, a complaint ver^' common in this moist climate ; 
but when he is attacked, whether in dry weather or 
wet weather, whether in summer or winter, his raode 
of cure is not more singular than it is specific. In- 
stead of confining himself, and indulging in the 



ECCENTRJCITY. 83 

arde«t sweating potions so higlilj- extolled among tlie 
gossips of his country, he repairs to his favourite ele- 
ment, the pure streams of the Area, and takes one of 
his usual headlong dips, with his clothes on. He 
then walks about for a few miles, till they become 
dry, when the plan pursued never fails to check the 
progress of his disorder. 

On one occasion, when he was supposed to be 
dangerously ill, and his aged partner recommended 
hiui, for the first time, to have medical advice, he re- 
fused, and said he must have his old remedy, though 
he was sorry he could not take it in his old way. He 
then begged his wife to throw a pail of water on him 
in bed. The good woman, though she had no ob- 
jections to give John a ducking, would not consent 
to it in this way ; but with some assistance, placed 
the old man on the floor, and there drenched him 
to his heart's content. He was then put to bed again, 
where he slept soundly, and awakened quite refreshed 
next morning, ready to ci»mmence his usual perambu- 
lations. 

Honest John has another propensity, but in which 
he does not stand single among his hardy country- 
men. He has no objections, whilst his back is en- 
joying the mountain streams, that his stomach should 
be regaled with a drop of " mountain dew." It often 
happens that the latter proves an overdose, and poor 
John in the morning finds that he is not exempted 
from paying the usual debt to intemperance, in the 
form of headaches and lassitude. He does not, how- 
ever, apply for relief in the ordinary way, by 
" taking a hair o' the dog that bit him." His wife is 
called on to administer the never-failing restorative — 



84 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

John starts from his couch, and gets a few gallons of 
the Area thrown over his person, and alwaj-s with the 
desired effect. 



KNILL'S FOLLY. 

Near Mount's Bay, in Cornwall, there is an arti- 
ficial excavation in the rock, which has been long 
known by the name of " Knill's Folly." It de- 
rived its name from the late John Knill, Esq., of ec- 
centric memory, by whose orders it was made, for 
the purpose of holding his remains, when his mortal 
career should be at an end. Mr. Knill was a native 
of Cornwall, but resided in Gray's Inn, London, 
where he died in 1811, in the seventy- eighth year of 
his age. Although singular in his manners, he was 
a gentleman of great worth, and excellent under- 
standing. He had a large circle of friends, by 
whom he was held in the highest esteem, and who 
would have been glad to contribute in any way to 
his gratification ; but Mr. Knill had so profound an 
esteem for the superior comforts of that bachelors' 
best home, a tavern, that he invariably refused every 
invitation to dine, or sup, in private. For many 
years before his death, it was his daily custom to 
leave his chambers at noon, to walk for two or 
three hours about the town, make passing calls at 
the houses of his particular friends, and end the day's 
perambulation at Dolly's Chop House, where he 
dined, and delighted to make merry. The connubial 
state must be allowed to stand supreme in its joys ; 
bat where is the bachelor, who may not take comfort 
from the contemplation of such single blessedness as 
that of John Knill's P 



ECCENTRICITY. 85 



TAX ON OLD BACHELORS. 

A bill having been brought into the House of Le- 
gislature of New York, to lay a tax upon all 
bachelors above the age of twenty-eight, for the en- 
couragement of literature among females, a meeting 
of upwards of two hundred old bachelors, and others 
approximating to that state, was held, to take the 
measure info consideration. After a good deal of 
fine speaking, and many witty observations, the 
oldest bachelor in the room was called to the chair, 
when the following recital and resolutions were 
offered, and passed unanimously. 

" Whereas it appears by the public papers, that a 
bill has been introduced into the legislature of this 
state, to lay a tax upon bachelors, &c. In what 
manner the funds are to be applied, whether for the 
endowment of a seminary, in which old maids are to 
be employed as instructors, or whether to educate old 
maids in some of the useful and polite branches of 
literature, that they ma^'^ be enabled to get a living 
without an helpmate, is unknown to us, not having 
seen the said bill, or its provisions ; but whatever 
may be the provisions of the said bill, we conceive 
it unconstitutional to lay a specific tax upon old ba- 
chelors, and calculated to produce much mischief in 
the community ; because it will drive from the state 
many good citizens who prefer a life of celibacy : it 
will tend to increase bachelors, inasmuch as when 
women find they can be maintained in a single state, 
many will prefer that mode of life, and refuse all 
offers of matrimony : it will cause many bachelors to 



8fJ PKKCY ANIiCDOTES. 

conceal their ages, and thereby lead them to tell 
untrutlis, which otherwise they never would have 
thought of: it will cause old maids to be ten times more 
intolerable than tliey usually are, by making them in- 
dependent of husbands for a livelihood : it will have 
the ellect to destroy that exquisite sensibility in men, 
who having lost their sweethearts by ' hook or crook,* 
liave made pledge to do penance all their lives by 
living in a single state : it will lead many a man to 
enter into the holy bands of wedlock, without being 
guided by that bewitching and delectable passion, 
love (so tssentiaily necessary to connubial felicity), 
and huny them to marry, merely to save the tax, 
and consequently produce many unhappy matches; 
for no marriage can be productive of happiness, with- 
out love. 

Love is a curious thing you know. 

It makes one feel all over so. 
*' It will excite to a retaliation on the part of ba- 
chelors, and cause them to use their influence to get a 
tax upon old maids ; thereby bringing on a civil war 
between old maids and bachelors, to the entire de- 
struction of the peace of society, and there will be 
nothing to attend to but 

Hear the pretty ladies talk. 
Tittle tattle, tittle tattle. 
" Therefore resolved. That we will use our most 
earnest exertions to prevent the passing of the above 
named bill, which we consider unconstitutional, and 
fraught with the most alarming consequences to the 
peace and happiness of society. 

"Resolved, That a committee be appointed lo draft 
a memorial to the legislature, praying that the bill 



ECCENl'RICI TY. 87 

may never be passed, and to obtain the signatures of 
all persons who are opposed to its" j?ass?ige. 

" Resolved, That should the said bill be thrown 
under the table, we pledge ourselves to unite in the 
holy bands of marriage, as soon as we can find pretty 
creatures that will have us. 

" Resolved, That we deeply commiserate the un- 
fortunate situation in which many old maids are 
placed, though we are sensible that some of them are 
like 

Jeremiah's figs— The good are very good ; 
The bad, too sour to give the pigs. 

*• Resolved, That it be recommended to establish 
a House of Industry for old maids, and that old 
bachelors contribute toward their support, by giving 
them their linen to make, and their stockings to darn. 

"Resolved, That the thanks of the meeting be 
given to the landlord for the use of the room. 

" It was moved and carried. That a committee of 
five gentlemen be appointed to draft a memorial to 
the legislature. 

" It was also moved and carried, That the pro- 
ceedings of the meeting be published in all the papers 
that will consent to do it without charge. 

A. WoLKERK, Chairman. 
D. K. T. Smytue, Sec." 

The bill was withdrawn. 

FUNERAL DIRECTIONS. 

Diogenes said one day to his disciples, " That 
he desired when he died, not to be buried, as the sun 
and rain would the sooner consume him." His di»- 
1 2 



88 I'ERCY ANLCDOTFS. 

ciples remarked, thai " If he remained above groiuid, 
he would be devoured by dogs." " Then," replied 
Diogenes, "you must put a stick in luy hands, that 
I may drive them away." "But," resumed his 
followers, " when dead, you will neither see nor 
feel any thing." " You see," said Diogenes, " what 
fools you are ; for if that be the case, what sig- 
uities by what 1 am devoured, or what becomes of 
me, as I shall be insensible to every thing." 

Among the modems, few have exhibited more of 
the same feeling with Diogenes, in this respect, 
than George Buchanan. When dying, he called 
for his servant, and asked him " how much money 
he had remaining ?" Finding that it would not be 
sufficient to defray the expenses of his interment, 
he desired that it should be distributed among the 
poor. " But who then," said the servant, " will be 
at the expense of the funeral ?" Buchanan replied, 
'* That he was very indifferent about that ; for if he 
were once dead, if they would not bury him, they 
might let him lie where lie was, or throw his corpse 
where they pleased." 

Lieutenant-General Henry Hawley, who died 
March 24, 1759, appears to have rivalled these 
cynics in their indilference to funeral honours. It 
is thus that he gives directions on the subject in his 
will : " First, 1 direct and order, that (as there is now 
peace, and 1 may die the common way) my carcase 
may be put any where ; it is equal to me, but I will 
have no more expense or ridiculous shew, than if a 
poor soldier (who is as good a man^ was to be 
buried from the hospital. The priest, I conclude, 
will have his fee — let the puppy have it. — Pay the 
carpenter for the carcase-box." 



ECCENTRICITY. 



THE BEST OF FROLICS. 

The profligate Duke of Wharton being one day 
in company with Swift, recounted several extra- 
vagances he had run through. Swift kindly ob- 
served to him, " You have had your frolics, my lord, 
let me recommend one more to you ; take a frolic to 
be virtuous : take my word for it, that one will do 
you more honour, than all the other frolics of you 
whole life." 



LENGLET DU FRESNO V. 

The talents and services of the French writer, 
Nicholas Lenglet du Fresnoy, acquired him many 
powerful patrons, who were well disposed to serve 
liim in every possible way ; yet from a wayward- 
ness in his conduct, his life was one continued 
scries of adventures and misfortunes. His ruling 
passion was to live, think, act, and write, with a 
kind of cynical freedom ; and though badly lodged, 
clothed, and fed, he was still satisfied, while at 
liberty to say and to write what he pleased. This 
liberty, however, he carried to so great an extreme, 
and, in fact, so much abused, that he was sent to the 
Bastile no less than ten or twelve times. Lenglet 
bore all this, however, without murmuring, and no 
sooner found himself out of prison, than he set to 
work to get in again. At lait, the Bastile became 
so familiar to him, tliat whenever Tapin, one of the 
life guards, who was usually commissioned to con- 
duct him thither, entered his chamber, he would 
i3 



UO PERCY ANECDOTES. 

instantly hail him with an "Ah! M. Tapin, good 
iiiorning ;" and then turning to the woman who 
waited upon him, he would tell her " to bring his 
little bundle of linen and snuff directly." When 
tliese were brought him ; " Now, M. Tapin," he 
would say, with the gayest air imaginable, " let us 
march." This spirit of freedom and indifterence, 
never left him ; and to the last, he chose rather to live 
in a mean garret, than with a rich sister ; at whose 
house he might have commanded every accommo- 
dation and luxury. Poor Lenglet ; his end was 
melancholy ! Retuniing home one evening, after 
dining with his sister, he sat down to read a new 
book, fell asleep over it, and dropping into the 
fire, was so much scorched, that he died before 
moruinc!:. 



NAUGHTY BOOKS. 

The enthusiast, Nicolas Ferrar, three days before 
his death, ordered a place to be marked out for his 
grave ; and when this had been done, he requested 
his brother, before all the family, to take out of his 
study three large hampers full of books, which had 
been packed up there for many years. " They are," 
continued he, " comedies, tragedies, heroic poems, 
and romances ; let them be immediately burnt upon 
the place marked out for my grave ; and when you 
have so done, come and inform me.'^ When infor- 
mation was brought to him that they were all con- 
sumed, he desired that this act might be considered 
as a testunony of his disapprobation of all such 
productions, conceiving that they tend only to cor- 



ECCENTRICITY. 91 

rupt the mind of man, and are improper or any 
good Christian to read. On La Motte being told of 
this vagary, " Aye," said he, calmly, " as the tes- 
timony of Nicolas Ferrar's disapprobation, let it be 
considered." 



BLAISE PASCAL. 

When the celebrated Blaise Pascal was about 
thirty years of age, imbibing certain peculiar senti- 
ments of religion, he determined to abandon all 
farther thoughts of literary composition, and to 
forego every gratification in life. He resolved to 
spend the remainder of his days in retirement and 
pious meditation, and with this view he broke otF 
ail his former connexions, changed his habitation, 
and in his new abode became so perfect a recluse, 
that he would scarcely speak to any body, not even 
to his own servants, whom he rarely admitted 
into his room. Although bred up with delicacy, 
and in opulence, he refused the assistance of a ser- 
■vant in the performance of every thirg wliich he 
■could possibly do for himself. He made his own 
bed, brought liis dinner from the kitchen, and carried 
back the plates and dishes in the evening ; so that 
he left nothing for the servants to do, but to go to 
market and cook for liim. Although his conti- 
liual infirmities made it of the utmost consequence 
that he should be choice in his food, and tliough 
his servants observed great care in providing only 
what was excellent, he seemed never to relish what 
he ate, and absolutely indifterent whether it was 
good or bad. He eat only to satbfy the importu- 



92 Pl-RCY ANECDOTES. 

nate cravings of hunger. In his chamber, nothing 
was lo be seen but two or three chairs, a table, a 
bed, and a few books.' It had no kind of ornament 
whatever ; neither caq)eting nor curtains. He re- 
ceived in it, nevertheless, the visits of some par- 
ticular friends, and when they would express sur- 
prise at seeing him thus meanly lodged, he would 
reply, that he had all that was necessary, and that 
to have more than was necessary, would be unworthy 
of a wise man. He employed his time in reading 
the scriptures, in prayer, and in conmiitting to paper 
such pious thoughts as occurred to him. His reason 
became at length in some degree affected by his 
austere mode of life. At one time, he imagined 
that he always saw on one side of him a deep abyss, 
and would never sit down till a chair was placed 
there to secure him from the ap])relKnded danger. 
At another time, he was full of an extraordinary 
vision, with which he said he had been favoured, the 
particulars of wliich he committed to writing, and 
preserved during the remainder of his life, sewed 
up between the cloth and lining of his coat. Every 
day he grew more and more chimerical and super- 
stitious ; till at length, in the thirty-ninth year of 
his age, death put an end to his miseries. 



FRANKLIN. 

"Friend Franklin," said Myers Fisher, a cele- 
brated quaker lawyer of Philadelphia, one day 
** thee knows almost every thing ; can thee tell me 
how I an) to preserve my small beer in the back- 



ECCENTRICITY. 93 

yard ? my neighbours are ofteu tapping it of 
nights ?" 

'* Put a barrel of old Madeira by the side of it," 
replied the doctor ; " let them but get a taste of the 
Madeira, and I'll engage they will never trouble thy 
mall beer any more." 



DREAD OF BEING FORGOTTEN. 

An eccentric inhabitant of Hallaton, in Leicester- 
shire, ambitious that his memory should be pre- 
served by some means or other, bequeatlied a piece 
of land to the rector of the town for the time being, 
in trust, for providing " Two hare pies, a quantity of 
ale, and two dozen penny loaves, to be scrambled for 
on Easter Monday, annually." Tlieland, before the en- 
closure system came into operation, was called, " Hare- 
crop Leys;" axid at the time of dividing the fields, in 
1770, a piece was allotted to the rector in lieu of the 
said leys. The custom is still continued ; but in- 
stead of hare, the rector provides two large pies 
made of veal and bacon ; these are divided into 
parts, and put into a sack ; and about two gallons of 
ale in two wooden bottles without handles or strings, 
are also put into a sack ; the penny loaves are cut 
into quarters, and put in a basket. Thus prepared, 
the men leave the rectory, and are soon joined by 
the women and children, who march to a place 
called " Hare-pie bank," aboitt a quarter of a mile 
south of the town. In the course of this journey, 
the pieces of bread are occasionally thrown for 
scrambling ; but the pies and ale are carried to the 
grand rustic theatre of confusion. This, in olden 



94 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

time (though not upon so great a scale, or destined 
for such bloody feats, as the Roman amphitheatres), 
consisted of a bank with a small trench round it, 
and a circular hole in the centre. Into this the pies 
and ale are promiscuously thrown, and every frolic- 
some athletic youth, who is fond of the sport, rushes 
forward to seize a bit, or bear away a bottle. Con- 
fusion ensues, and what began in puerile sport, has 
occasionally terminated in a boxing match. Of late 
years, however, peace and hilarity have prevailed. 

INDOLENCE, AND ITS REWARDS. 

Thomas Rennell, the Devonshire artist, was a 
man of most extensive acquirements ; he was not 
only an excellent painter, but a good chemist, and 
prepared most of his own colours ; a tasteful per- 
former and a fine composer of music ; an inge- 
nious mechanic, and no mean poet; but withal, 
excessively indolent. When settled at Plymouth, 
the Duke and Duchess of Kingston were so much 
struck with some of his paintings, that tliey endea- 
voured to draw him from his obscurity by a promise 
of a residence in their house in Londcm, and the 
exertion of their interest in his favour ; but he refused 
their olfer. From Plymouth he went to Portsmouth, 
where he l^ved, or rather existed, for nearly twenty 
years, in great poverty. He has sometimes 
lain in bed for a whole week, in very cold weather, 
without any other subsistence than a cake and 
water, being in want of almost every necessary of 
life. 

Although at times Rennell would paint, yet he 



ECCENTRICITY. 95 

was generally negligent and improvident ; his art 
had only its turn with his other amusements, and if 
a picture was completed in twelve months, it wp.i 
thought very expeditious. Rennell, like many 
other great geniuses, was an entire stranger to fru- 
gality; no sooner was he in possession of a few 
pounds, but every strange object that presented 
Itself, and was within the compass of his pocket, 
was bought immediately. 

The blunt sincerity of Rennell, rendered his 
manners unpleasing to the rich and powerful, whom 
he would never flatter, but whose vices and follies 
were often the object of his satire. 

SWIFT'S LAST LINES. 
In one of those lucid intervals which varied the 
course of Swift's unhappy lunacy, his guardians, or 
physicians, took him out to give him an airing. 
When they came to the Phoenix park. Swift remarked 
a new building which he had never seen, and asked 
what it was designed for ? Dr. Kingsbury answered, 
"That, Mr. Dean, is the magazine for arms and 
powder, for the security of the city." " Oh ! oh!" 
says the dean, pulling out his pocket-book, " let me 
take an item of that. This is worth remarking ; my 
tablets, as Hamlet says, my tablets — memory, put 
down that." He then produced the following lines, 
being the last he ever wrote : 

Behold ! a proof of Irish sense ! 

Here Irish wit is seen. 
When nothing's left for our defence. 
We build a magazine. 



96 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

The Dean then put up his pocket-book, laughing 
heartily at the conceit, and clenching it uith, " After 
the steed's stolen, shut the stable door." 



A GENEALOGY HUNTER. 

Frederic of Saxony, suniained the Sage, rendered 
his claim to this title doubtful, by his attention to the 
descent of his family. A celebrated genealogist 
had told him, that a coj)y of his pedigree was pre- 
served in Noali's ark. To substantiate this account, 
the prince neglected all affairs of state, to the great 
regret of his ministers, who remonstrated with him 
on the absurdity, but all to no ])urpose. At 
length his cook, who was his favourite buffoon, de- 
sired an audience of him, when he told the emperor, 
that this curiosity to know his origin was neither 
useful nor honourable. " At present," said the 
jester, " I look upon you as subordinate only to the 
Deity ; but if you search into Noah's ark, perhaps 
I shall discover that you and I are cousins, as we 
have all had our relations there." What the serious 
advice of his ministers could not effect, was per- 
formed by the emperor's cook. 



JEDEDIAH BUXTON. 

This extraordinary man, whose skill with respect 
to calculations excited so much curiosity about the 
middle of the last century, was so neglected in his 
education, that he was never taught to write ; and with 
respect to any other knowledge but that of numbers, 



ECCENTIUCITY. 97 

was always as ignorant as a child. How be came 
first to know the relative proportions of numbers, 
and their progressive denominations, he did not re- 
member ; but to tliis he employed the whole force 
of his mind ; and his attention was so constantly 
fixed on the subject, that he frequently took no 
notice of external objects. Though ignorant of the 
common rules of arithmetic, as taught in the schools, 
yet if any s.pace of time was mentioned, he would, 
without the use of pen, pencil, or chalk, and by mere 
mental calculation, tell you how many minutes it 
contained. Mention but a distance, and l.e would 
assign the number of hairs' breadths, without any 
question being asked, or any calculation expected, 
by the company. 

Jedediah would pace a piece of land, or a field, 
and ascertain the contents almost as exactly as if 
measured by a chain. In this manner he measured 
the whole lordship of Elmton, of some thousand 
acres, belonging to Sir John Rhodes, to whom he 
presented the aggregate contents, not only in acres, 
roods, and perches, but even in square inches. After 
this, for his own amusement, he reduced the whole 
into hair breadths. His memory was so great, that 
while solving a question, he could leave off, and re- 
sume the operation next morning, a week, a month, 
or even several months, afterwards, until com- 
pleted. 

When he went to church, he never could recollect 
one word of the sermon, or of the text, but occupied 
himself with some calculation. This extraordinary 
person lived in laborious poverty ; time with him, 
changed nothing but his age ; he was a farmer's la- 



98 PERCY ANECDOTtS. 

bourer from his 3'outh, and such he died. In 1754, 
he visited London, and exliibited his extraordinary 
powers before the Royal Society, who dismissed him 
with a handsome gratuity. During his residence 
in London, be was taken to Drury Lane Theatre, to 
see Richard III. performed ; and it was expected 
that the novelty and splendour of the show would 
have fixed him in astonishment, and kept his imagi- 
nation in a continual hurry; or that his passions would 
in some degree have been touched by the power of 
Garrick's acting. But Jedediah's mind was em- 
ployed in tlie theatre, as it was in every other place. 
During the dance, he fixed his attention on the num- 
ber of steps ; and as to the music, he only regretted 
that it perplexed him so much, that lie could not cal- 
culate the innumerable sounds produced by the in- 
struments. Even Garrick was only listened to in 
order that he might count the number of words he 
uttered, and in which he perfectly succeeded. Je- 
dediah returned to his labours in the country, un- 
contaminated by town manners, and still continued 
to prefer a slice of rusty bacon,, to the luxuries of the 
epicure. 

MAGLIABECHL 

Magliabechi, the celebrated librarian of Florence, 
lived, ate, drank, and slept among his books ; he 
lived in the most sequestered and ]-hilosophical 
manner, scarcely ever leaving the city. His house 
was but one continued pile of books ; his lower 
rooms were crowded with them, not only along the 
^ainscot, but in piles to a considerable height, and 



ECCENTUICITY. 99 

so spread on the floor, that there was not tlie least 
place for sitting down, ruuch K ss for walking, except 
a long narrow passage, leading from one room to the 
other. The porch of his liouse was, in the same 
manner, every where stulFed wiih books, as far as the 
projecting awning would secure them from rain. 
The staircase was lined all the way up with this 
library furniture, as were all the upper rooms. 

JMagliabechi generally shut himself up all the day, 
and opened his doors in the evening to the men of 
letters who came to converse with him. His atten- 
tion was so absorbed witli his studies, tliat he often 
forgot the calls of nature. He was negligent in his. 
person; and was usually dressed inblack, witli a waist- 
coat reaching to his knees. His cloak, which was 
also black, served hira for a morning gown in the 
day, and for bed clothes at niglit ; it was generally 
much patched, in consequence (;f tlie holes he burnt 
in it. He wore a large hat, and a Florentine band 
round his neck. On one arm, he carried a pan, in 
which was a constant fire for warming his hands, and 
his clothes bore evidence of tlieir being often too 
nearly connected with it. His linen he usually wore 
until it fell to pieces. He always slept on his books; 
bound volumes served hira for a mattress, those in 
boards for a pillow, and he covered himself with 
such as were merely stitched, throwing his cloak 
over all. His sole diet was eggs, bread, and 
water. 

The Grand Duke of Florence, Cosmo II., to wliom 

Magliabechi was librarian, once prevailed, on him to 

take up his residence in the Ducal Palace ; but he 

quitted it four months afterwards, and returned to 

K 2 



100 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

his own house ; indeed, thougli he rarely stirred out, 
yet he had such an aversion to every thing that looked 
like restraint, that the grand duke dispensed with 
his personal attendance, and always sent him his 
orders in writing. 

PILGRIMAGE TO JERUSALEM. 
Mr. Wlialey, whose volatile disposition made him 
sacrifice a fine estate in a few years, resided some 
time in Dublin, where he lived in the most expen- 
sive manner. Soon getting tired of the insipid 
tameness of this mode of life, he determined to 
revisit the continent. Wbile lie was hesitating as 
to the exact place of destination, some friends with 
whom he was dining, and who had heard that he 
intended to go abroad, enquired whither he was 
going ? He hastily answered, " to Jerusalem." 
Being convinced that he had no such intention, they 
offered to lay him a considerable wager that he would 
not walk tliither. Although when he gave the 
answer to their enquiries, he had not the most distant 
idea of such a pilgrimage, yet, stimulated by the 
offers made to him, he accepted bets to the amount 
of ^15,000. A few days served to complete his 
arrangements ; he set out, accomplished his journey, 
and returned to Dublin within the time to which 
he was limited, when he received from his antagonists, 
the reward of his unexpected exploit. 



ECCENTRICITY. 101 



"WILL WITH THE GOLDEN WHISKERS." 
The Rev. William Hollings of St. Omer Street, 
Hereford, who died in 1820, officiated inanj years 
as curate of Ulingswick, but left the situation in dis- 
gust, vowing that he would never resume liis clerical 
functions. This resolution, which he strictly adhered 
to during the remainder of his life, originated in the 
refusal of his patron to appoint him to the vacant 
benefice in 1789, although recommended by the 
parishioners. 

From that time he became avaricious and eccentric. 
His dress was shabby, and his appearance extremely 
grotesque. The capacity of the pockets seemed to 
be the principal object in the construction of his coat ; 
it was formed of cloth of the coarsest texture, originally 
of a black colour, but the etFect of time had strongly 
tinged it with the Verde antique so valuable in the eye 
of the antiquary ; his waistcoat was of similar mate- 
rials, and being prudently fitted witli long pockets, 
in compliment to his coat, was met above his knees 
by a pair of worsted boot-stockings ; his hat was 
round and shallow : his hair was sandy ; and despising 
the vain controul of a black and bushy wig, it ac- 
quired for him the title of " Wilt with the golden 
ichiskers." The mother of Mr. H. lived with hiio to 
the time of her death, which occurred about thirty 
years before that of her son ; she left a set of chemises 
nearly new, and the circumstance of her son's wearing 
and washing them afterwards, might be concealed from 
history, had he not often been observed to place 
K 3 



102 FEUCY ANECDOTES. 

them on the drj'ing line in liis garden. Otlier [)arts 
of the wardrobe of his father and mother, which even 
Mr. Hollings's ingenuity could not adapt to his own 
personal uses, were found in the house at his death, 
and afford no bad specimens of the costume which 
prevailed in the reign of George II. 

His house and furniture strictly corresponded with 
his own appearance ; no domestics of any description 
were admitted within his walls, lest they should rob 
bim ; and every office, whether culinary or otherwise, 
was performed b^' himself. His diet was cheap and 
homely ; three-penny-worth of tripe, and a quart of 
water, in which it had been boiled, occasionally con- 
stituted, with the aid of a six-penny loaf, two meals 
of more than usual indulgence. The cooking on 
these occasions was simple : it consisted in soaking 
the crumb, hollowed out from the loaf, in the liquor 
of the tripe, for one day's repast ; and in placing the 
tripe itself in the cavity of the loaf, for the next day's 
junket. A steak was a luxury. 

Mr. Hollings's gun, and his fishing rod, afforded a 
casual supply of provision ; but his principal reliance 
was on the bounty of his relatives, or the donations of 
the numerous friends, who, from their own assiduities, 
or his professions, considered themselves reasonable 
expectants of his property. He used to leave his bed 
at the earliest hour, in pursuit of some kind of game 
or other : if he was observed in a wood, his gun was 
his excuse ; if near a river, his rod, while the fishing 
basket on his back answered the double purpose of 
ctmtaining plunder, and concealing the hole in his 
coat. On one of these marauding expeditions (when 
hares were often mistaken for rabbits, ai»d tame ducks 



ECCENTUICITY. 103 

for wild ones), he had the good fortune to discover, 
in his favourite walk on the bank of the river Lugg, 
the mutilated remains of a large-sized pike, which, 
after glutting the appetite of the otter, was destined 
to be the prey of our liero, and supplied him with at 
least half a score dinners of unusual splendour. On 
another occasion of a sinjilar nature, he was appre- 
hended whilst sitting near the confines of a wood, and 
watching for game within the circuit of the adjoining 
field, which he had marked out by sticks placed in 
the ground to show the distances at which he might 
depend on the effects of his gun, with the least pos- 
sible risk of discharging it to no purpose. The game- 
keepers conducted him in custody to the lord of the 
preserve ; mutual congratulations ensued, on the ap- 
prehension of the grand poacher, who had so long 
eluded their vigilance ; and his capacious and dis- 
tended pockets were unloaded before the part\". 
Great, however, Avere their surprise and disappoint- 
ment, when, instead of the game expected, these 
ample pockets were found to contain merely a mis- 
cellaneous collection of potatoes, sticks, turni|)s, glass 
phials, and hogshead bungs, all of which he had pur- 
loined from a neighbouring cottage,inwhich he obtained 
shelter from a storm. Thus, if feather, and fur, and 
fishes failed, his resources were still unexhausted ; the 
turnip fields, or the hedges, could always assist 
him. On his removal from one house to another, he 
filled three hogsheads with broken sticks, which he 
had thus acquired, and he nearly preserved that quan- 
tity in his garret, to his death, by almost daily, or 
ratlier nightly, supplies. 

In his usual walks, he formed many intimacies with 



104 PliUCY ANECDOTES, 

the cottagers of the district, and under pretence of 
remembering them in his will, he often put tiiem to 
the expense of maintaining him for a week. From 
his more able friends, lie frequently solicited the gift 
of a hare, which he turned to pood account, by fixing 
a long residence with some other friend, to whom he 
presented it. An unpleasant rebuli once accorop;inied 
an application of this kind. A gentleman of Hinton 
made it an indispensable condition of a compliance 
with his request, that the applicant should prove, that 
on some one occasion of his life, he had given away 
any thing which cost him the value of the hare. It 
is superfluous to add, that the condition was imprac- 
ticable. 

Mr. HoUings's garden contained a pear tree of 
unusual merit; and to prevent any loss from com- 
plying with the wishes of his friends for a supply of 
its gifts, he regularly procured at the proper season, 
a large bough from some other and inferior stock, and 
substituted its branches for those of the favourite tree. 
He once possessed more extensive property in land, 
which being situated in the centre of a worthy 
baronet's demesne, was purchased at a price nearly 
double its worth ; but Mr. H. long repented the sale, 
from an idea that under all tlie circumstances of the 
case, a still greater price might possibly have been 
extorted. 

Mr. Hollings was never married ; butnotwitiistand- 
ing all his eccentricities, he had the merit of great 
devotion to the female sex ; and the faithless pro- 
mise of bis mother's black silk cloak, has in- 
duced many a fair damsel to indulge hitu with her 
society. 



ECCENTRICITY. 106 

About six weeks before Lis death, be abruptly, 
and hastily, pressed immediate payment of interest 
and principal, from a tradesman who liad joined 
with another person in giving security for o£l^^0 
for the use of the latter. The interest was paid, and 
an acknowledgment given on unstamped paper. 
The party feeling himself aggrieved, laid an infor- 
mation against him, and the penalty of ^b was 
exacted. This was his death-blow : in his own words, 
from that moment, he " could neither eat, nor drink, 
nor sleep." Under this mental depression he lin- 
gered about five weeks, gradually declining in health 
and spirits, until the morning of the 26th of March ; 
when, after forcing the street door, he was found dead 
in a miserable bouse, in a njiserable room, and on 
a miserable bed ; without an attendant, without fire, 
without sheets, without curtains, and without any 
other visible comfort. The scene which succeeded, 
bids defiance to description ; none but those wlio have 
witnessed the efiects of a London hoax, filling all the 
streets with applicants of all descriptions, can form an 
idea of what occurred. Wives, widows, and maids, 
urged the promises they had received ; parsons and 
proctors, lawyers and doctors, assembled on the spot ; 
one person required remuneration for drugs, another 
for drams, a third for dinners, and a fourth for cider : 
in short, the demands, the expectations, and the con- 
fusion, seemed universal ; and on unfulding his will, 
it appeared that, with the exception of a few trifling 
legacies, liis relatives were wholly excluded, his ex- 
pectants disappointed, and a property of about ^£3000 
was divided, to their great surprise, between a re- 
spectable yeoman in the county, and a gentleman 



106 PERCY ANECDOlliS. 

who managed his pecuniary concerns in the city. Of 
the liospitalities of the former, he had occasionally 
partaken ; and the latter had excited his particular 
favour, by returning a ^6 note, which Mr. HoHings 
had j)laced in his hands, beyond the deposit lie in- 
tended to have made. On this occasion, Mr. H. 
emphatically exclaimed-— "t/icn there is one honest man 
in the world .'" 

Thus lived, and thus died, the Rev. William Rol- 
lings. He was buried at "\Vithin<:ton, under the 
salute of a merry peal of bells, as directed by his will, 
and ordered to be repeated on a suitable endowment, 
during twelve hours, on every anniversary of hts 
funeral. 



HEDGEHOG TAMER. 
An old man, who called hiniself William Pinslow, 
Esquire, died at Ludlow in the year 1809. He was 
well known to many persons besides his neighbours, 
for having, some years ago, so tamed two hedge-hogs, 
as to make them perambulate the streets with him, in 
a degree of discipline and subjection which astonished 
all beholders. In the early part of his life he was 
a soldier, and served under " the old Cock of the 
Rock," during its siege by the Spaniards. In his 
latter years, he was chiefly supported by the bounty 
of his opulent and benevolent neighbours. Though 
in the utmost degree of penury and wretchedness, he 
would never submit to receive parochial relief; and 
having saved J,7 , he deposited it in the hands of a 
friend, for the express purpose of defraying his funeral 
expenses, that even his interment might not be charge- 



ECCENTRICITY. 107 

able to the parish funds. Of this sum, three-fourths 
remained untouched at the day of his death. During 
several years, rheumatic lameness, occasioned and con- 
firmed by his iiard manner of living, compelled tiim 
to go upon crutches. In principle, he was strictly 
honest ; in manners, civil and inoffensive, except 
when inebriated, as he often was, by the donations 
of travellers and military otficers ; on which occasions 
he was frequently conveyed home in a single- wheeled 
chariot, to the no small amusement of boys and 
children of a larger growth. 

LOTTERY SPECULATION. 

Mr. Christopher Bartholomew, who was proprietor 
of White Conduit House Tea Gardens, and the Angel 
Inn, at the top of the City Road, exhibited a singu- 
lar instance of attachment to speculating in the lottery, 
amidst all the fluctuations of fortune. He rented 
land to the amount of ^200 a year, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Islington and Holloway ; and was re- 
markable for having the greatest quantity of hay-stacks 
of any grower in the neiglibourhood of London. At 
that time, he is believed to have been worth ^50,000; 
kept his carriage and servants in livery ; and upon 
one occasion, having been unusually successful at in- 
suring in the lottery, gave a public breakfast at his 
tea gardens, " to commemorate the smiles of fortune," 
as it was expressed upon the tickets of admission 
to this fete champetre. He had at times some 
fortunate hits in the lottery ; which, perhaps, tended 
to encrease the mania which hurried him to his 
Tuin. He has been known to spend upwards of two 



108 I'ERCY ANECDOTES. 

thousand guineas in a day for insurance, to raise 
which, stack after stack of his immense crops of hay- 
have been cut down, and hurried to market, as the 
readiest way to obtain the supplies necessary for 
these extraordinary outgoings. Having at last been 
obliged to part with his house, from accumulated dif- 
ficulties and enibarrassments, he passed the last thir* 
teen years of his life in great poverty, subsisting by 
the cliarity of those who knew his better days, and 
the emolument he received as a juryman of the 
SheritFs' Court for (he County. Still his propensity 
to be engaged in this ruinous pursuit, never forsook 
him: and meeting one day, in the year 1807, with 
an old acquaintance, he related to him a strong pre- 
sentiment he entertained, that if he could purchase a 
particular number in the ensuing lottery (which he 
was not then in a situation to accomplish), it would 
prove successful. His friend, after remonstrating 
with him on the impropriety of persevering in a prac- 
tice that had been already attended with such evil 
consequences, was at last persuaded to go halves with 
him in a sixteenth part of the favourite number, 
which being procured, was most fortunately drawn a 
prize of o£20,000. With the money arising from 
this extraordinary turn of fortune, he was prevailed 
upon, by his friends, to purchase an annuity of ^60 
per annum; yet fatally addicted to the pernicious 
habit of insurance, he disposed of it, and lost it all. 
He has been known frequently to apply to those per- 
sons who had been served by him in his prosperity, 
for an old coat, or some other article of cast-off ap- 
parel ; and not many days before he died, he solicited 
a few shillings to save him from starving. 



ECCExNTRlCITY. 109 



A PLATONIST. 

Foote is said, in tlie characters of Dr. Last and 
Johnny Macpherion, to have caricatured a pliysician 
of his acquaintance, of the name of Leeds, and a 
teacher of languages, named Jolin Franshara, with 
whom the doctor privately endeavoured to make up 
the deficiencies of a neglected education. Fransham 
was, indeed, an extraordinary original. His phy- 
siognomy reminded one of the portrait of Erasmus, 
and it had this in common with the busts of Plato, 
that there were two tips to the nose. His coun- 
tenance was sedate, and expressive of great intellect; 
his complexion dusky ; his grey hair hung loose 
about his shoulders, and gave a high air of the antique 
to his bust. For clothes, he wore a short green 
jacket, drab-coloured breeches, worsted stockings, 
and large shoes ; and seldom, if ever, did he vary 
his attire. The history of this oddity was curious. 
He was (he son of the clerk of St. George's parish, 
Norwich. At the age of fifteen, he was bound an 
apprentice to a cooper at Wyraondhara ; but in less 
than two years after, a legacy of twenty-five pounds 
having fallen to him, he deserted the employment, 
and resolved to devote himself to literary pursuits. 
He had already acquired the elements of reading, 
writing, and cyphering; as also the rudiments of 
Latin. He now applied to the study of mathematics ; 
and under tiie tuition of ]Mr. Hcrnmingway, a land- 
surveyor, attained to great proficiency in this science-. 
His twenty -five pounds, however, were soon ex- 
hausted ; and his parents not being in circumstances 



110 I'EKCY ANliCDOTLS. 

to maintain liim in learned idU-ness, he was obliged 
to give lip his plan of constant study, and to devote 
a great portion of his lime to tlie copying of law 
papers, as a means of subsistence. He did not, how- 
ever, submit to tliis drudgery long ; for in 1748, be- 
ing then in Iiis eighteentli year, he again broke loose. 
He strolled to Yarmouth, and embarJied fur Nortli 
Shields, intending to make a tour of the Scottish 
Highlands, and to know by personal inspection, a 
people of whom he had heard much to excite his 
curiosity and wonder. Wiien lie reached Newcastle, 
he formed an acquaintance there with some soldiers 
belonging to the regiment of Old Buffs ; and tempted, 
probably, by the prospect of leisure which a military 
life presented, he enlisted in that corps. On exa- 
mining, liowever, this philosophical recruit, it was 
discovered that he was too bandy-legged for a sol- 
dier, and he was, therefore, not accepted. The 
gaiety of his new associates had, in the mean time, 
made such inroads on his pecuniary resources, tliat 
he found himself obliged to abandon his intention of 
visiting Scotland, and turned his face again towards 
the south. With great difficulty, he managed to reach 
Norwich, with a residue of only three half-pence ; 
and, having no other resource, was obliged to return 
to the spiritless occupation of copying fur attorneys. 
What time he could spare from this employment, he 
devoted to study ; perfecting himself in the Latin 
and mathematics, and soaring often into the loftiest 
regions of metaphysical science. Plato, Cicero, 
Shaftesbury, Middleton, and Hume, became his fa- 
vourite authors ; and fur the last, especially, he con- 
ceived so profound an admiration, that he styled him 



ECCENTRICITY. Ill 

tlie " Prince of Philosophers," and became a convert 
to all his principles. So thoroughly sceptical was he 
now, that scarcely a sentence could be uttered in his 
hearing, or any information communicated in his 
presence, witliout his rejoining, " Are you sure that 
is true? On what do you ground your belief?" 
Franshara found, at length, a patron in the head of 
the Chute family, with whom his sister lived as 
housekeeper. He was allowed to reside in their house 
at Norwich, and the free use of the library. He had 
not, however, long enjoyed this philosophical repose, 
when one night in bed, he imagined that his patron, 
who was ill at Pickenham, would not live to return 
to Norwich, and related his ideal terror to the servants. 
Mr. Chute actually died that night ; and Fransham 
always described this as an act of divination, as if 
lie were no less favoured than the seers of antiquity. 
After the loss of this patron, Fransham hired a garret 
in Norwich, kept a scliool there, and was attended 
by fifteen or twenty scholars. His confiner.ient was 
now close, and bis income barely sutficient for wants 
narrowed to monastic privation. His health suffered ; 
he took rapid solitary walks during the morning and 
twilight, wrapped in a tartan plaid, which he had 
bought for his Scotch excursion, with a broad hat 
slouched over his eyes, and his hands behind him. 
His usual stroll was to Mosswold Heath, and it was 
supposed that he often stopped there the whole night. 
"When wet weather prevented him from stirring abroad, 
he would exercise himself by beating a drun), blowing 
a hautboy, or playing at marbles. Being in want of 
fuel, on one occasion, to boil his kettle, he was under 
the necessity of burning his hautboy, and was never 



H2 I'EUCY ANl'CDGTES. 

able to buy a new one. He supplied the place of I'c, 
however, by a cane chair, on which he used to rattle 
his drum sticks with as much ardour, as if he had been 
beating a charge in battle. Franshara became, at 
last, himself an author. In 1769, he gave to the 
press, his " (Estrum of Orpheus," a book in which be 
showed hira^-elf to have imbibed a large share of the 
Platonic oj)inions. Having rejected the religion of 
his fathers, and confining liis studies almost exclu- 
sivelj' to the ancient writers, Fransham's mind in- 
sensibly filled up the blank occasioned by the elFace- 
ment of hereditary notions, with ideas derived from 
Greek mythology. Like the Platonists of Alexandria, 
he endeavoured to give an allegorical turn to the fa- 
bles of Paganism, which miglit enable him, without 
inveracity, to speak of them as truths. Such euphem- 
isms abounded in his conversation. Having been 
advised to take chicken broth for the head-ache, he 
called it sacrificing a cock to Esculapius. He lost 
for a time, through inflammation, the siglit of one eye, 
which recovered on a change of (he weather from 
warm to cold. This incident he described as a mi- 
racle ; said that he had prayed for relief to Juno (the 
power presiding over the atmosphere) ; and that she 
had given it. In the year 1770, a stranger undertook 
to publish, every Tuesday, in Norwich, a satirical paper, 
called " Robin Snap," which was modelled after the 
Tatler, and sold at one penny. The editor engaged 
Franshnni's assistance, and obtained from him several 
contributions; but the work soon expired of neglect. 
Fransliam, however, was so pleased with the task, 
that he continued to provide his paper weekly, long 
after the publication had ceased. In 1771, the gadfly. 



ECCENTRICITY. H3 

to use an expression of his own, slung iiim again, 
Witli the little accumulations of his pedagogic 
industry, Fransliara suddenly set off for London, and 
established hinjself near Hyde Park Corner. One of 
his chief objects, was the publication of several ma- 
nuscripts which he had prepared with that view ; 
among which, was a Life of Lycurgus, the Scheme 
of a Perfect Government, and a Synopsis of Classi- 
cal Philosophy. But being unable to meet with any 
bookseller who would risk the expense of publishing 
them, he was obliged again to have recourse to pri- 
vate tuition. It was now that he became acquainted 
with Dr. Leeds, and through hira, with Foote, who 
made him pay the penalty of public ridicule, fur the 
honour of his notice. 

In 1772, Fransham returned to Norwich, where 
he passed the rest of his days, occupied alternately 
in teaching and writing. He used to calculate that 
the average pay of his pupils, was threepence an 
hour ; and the average income of his life, eight shil- 
lings a week ; yet with these narrow means, so severe 
was his frugality, that he progressively bettered his 
condition. He practised, and exacted, a punctilious 
pecuniary probity, and could not bear that the loan of 
a penny should go unpaid. 

A friend of Fransham's, who died in 1796, Mr. 
Thomas Goff, left orders by his willjthat his headshould 
be separated from his body before his interment; some 
persons whom he knew having recovered in their 
coffins. The uncertainty of the signs of death, pro- 
bably through Mr. GotTs conversation, had also left 
a strong impression on the mind of Fransham. Afraid 
of being buried alive, he repeatedly desired that his 
l3 



U4 PERCY ANHCDOTES. 

body should be laid before a fire, that wine should be 
oftered to his lips, and the arms of a woman clasped 
about his neck, before he was given up as irrecover- 
able. When he became conscious of the approach 
of death, he encountered it with fortitude. On the 
1st of February, 1810, he expired, calmly and 
gently ; leaving, besides his books, and several arti- 
cles of furniture, a hoard of ninety-six guineas to his 
sister. 

Fransham, says the writer of a memoir of this ec- 
centric individual, was one who thought as he pleased, 
spoke as he thought, did as lie liked, and counte- 
nanced in others a similar idiosyncrasy. His con- 
versation was interesting by its singularity, by its 
studiously Socratic character, by its carrying back 
the imagination to the porticoes of the Scrapeum, by 
its disdain of transient topics, and by its courageous 
antipathy to prejudice and superstition ; yet it de- 
pended latterly, at least, rather on remembered, than 
on immediate, resources, and drew from the cistern 
more than the well. 



CHAPELLE AND BOILEAU. 

The well known French writer, Chapelle, was a 
man of rare character. He was learned, but hated 
pedantry in his conversation; he abounded in 
drollery, was fond of society, and his couipany was 
universally coveted. It was his misfortune, however, 
to be too fond ofliqut^r, and his friends were anxious 
to cure him of so pernicious a habit. Boileau, who 
entertained a sincere affection for him, undertook ta 
preach him out of it. One day he met him in the 



ECCENTRICITY. Ii5 

streets of Paris, and imraediately began bis lecture ; 
be talked so powerful!}', that Chapelle listened to 
him with great attention. As they walked on, 
Chapelle observed that they were just opposite to a 
tavern. "Come," says he, "let us just step into 
this house, that I may hear what you have to say, at 
leisure, and without disturbance ; for upon ray word, 
nay dear friend, you have moved me greatly." A 
bottle of wine was called for ; then another, and after 
that, another, for Boileau thought it best to press the 
argument while his penitent was warm, and under 
conviction. In short, llie converter, and converted, 
took so hearty a dose, that the tavern-keeper thought 
proper to have them both carried home to their beds. 



POLITE APOLOGY. 

In October, 1747, his majesty's ship Dartmoutli. 
of fifty guns, commanded by Captain James Hamilton, 
beiug closely engaged off Cape St. Vincent with the 
Glorioso Spanish man of war, blew up, and all the 
crew, amounting to three hundred men, perished, ex- 
cept seventeen, who were taken up by the boats of 
the Prince Frederick and Duke privateers, then in 
company. Of these, none was of any rank, except 
Mr. O'Brien, a young gentleman of Ireland, one of 
the lieutenants. He was taken up, floating on the 
carriage of a gun, on which he had been blown out 
of the ship into the water, and speedily recovered bis 
senses. He was a gentleman of easy behaviour, and 
great readiness of wit. On seeing the captain of the 
Prince Frederick, his first words to him were these : 
" Sir, you must excuse the unfitness of my dress to 



lU) PERCY ANIiCDOTES. 

come aboard a stranger sfiip ; but really 1 left my 
own in such a liurry, that 1 had not time to stay for 
a change of apparel." 



THE EMPEROR JOSEPH. 

The Emperor Joseph II., when at Paris, amused 
himself daily, by mixing with the people, and oflen 
going into the coftee-houses incognito. On one of 
these occasions, he met with a person, with whom he 
played at chess. The emperor lost the game, and 
wished to play another ; but the gentleman desired 
to be excused, saying, he must go to the Opera to 
see the emperor. " What do you expect to see in 
the emperor ?" said Joseph, " there is nothing worth 
seeing in him ; I can assure you, he is just like any 
other man." " No matter," said the gentleman, " I 
have long had an irresistible curiosity to see him ; he 
is a very great man, and I will not be disappointed." 
" And is that really yonr only motive," said the 
emperor, " for going to the Opera ?" " It really 
is," replied the gentleman. " Well, then," said the 
emperor, "if that is the case, we may as well play 
another game now, for you see him before you." 



MR. OLDYS. 

The historian Oldys having been for several years in 
the Fleet Prison, had contracted such habits and con- 
nexions, that when he was at length enlarged, he made 
it a frequent practice to spend his evenings there, and 
lodge witli some friends all night. Knocking at the 
gate of the Fleet Prison, one night rather late, the 



ECCENTUICITY. 117 

keeper reprimanded him for giving him such constant 
trouble, adding, that though he had a great regard 
for him, yet if he kept such hours in future, he must 
be under the necessity of locking him out. 



STOPPING THE MOUTH. 

The phrase oi stopping a person's mouth, who from 
being a professed enemy, is brouglit over to our 
interest, first came into vogue in the reign of James 
the First. It is said to have originated in the fol- 
lowing laughable incident: 

Gondemar, the Spanish minister, had dealt out his 
bribes to the ladies as well as the gentlemen of the 
court, in order to make them speak favourably of ti;e 
match between Prince Charles and the Infanta of 
Spain. The nation, in general, were against the 
marriage. Gondemar applied his master's treasure, 
to remove the prejudices of the ct)urticrs of each sex. 
He became, through this means, so great a favourite 
with the ladies, that as he passed in his litter to the 
court, they would approach the balconies, or windows, 
to pay him their compliments. 

Lady Jacobs had a house in Drury Lane, which 
was at that time a fashionable part of the tov.n. 
Gondemar passing one day by the house of Lady 
Jacobs, her ladyship approached the window: Gon- 
demar bowed most profoundly : the lady returned the 
compliment only with a gape. Gondemar ascribed 
this to a sudden fit of 3'awning ; but yet he tltuught 
she might have expressed some token of respectful 
salutation. He was resolved to try her the next day, 
and accoidiugly ordered his coachman to drive by her 



118 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

house. Lady Jacobs appeared at the window ; 
Goiidcmar stopped, and bowed with all the gracious- 
ness imaginable. His civilities were relumed only 
with an extended mouth ; she even opened her mouth 
wider than she had done on the preceding day. 
Gondemar was now satisfied that this must be some- 
thing more than a fit of yawning : he sent one of liis 
gentlemen to Lady Jacobs, to know the reason of her 
conduct, as he had not been accustomed to experience 
such atlronts from the ladies of England. Lady 
Jacobs said, " It was very true that Gondemar had 
purchased some of their favours at a dear rate, but he 
should consider, that she had a mouth to be stopped, 
as v/ell as the rest of her countrywomen." 

Gondemar taking the hint, sent her a handsome 
present, which cured her of her gaping disorder ; and 
whenever he afterwards passed by her house, she 
was sure to drop him a most becoming curtsey. 

SIR RICHARD HILL. 

One of the amiable eccentricities of Sir Richard 
Hill, was his great consideration for his servants and 
his horses ; and it is a fact, that after being set down 
at the House of Commons, which he very regularly 
attended, if the weather threatened to be bad, he 
would direct the coachman to return immediately, and 
rather than keep his domestics, and horses, exposed 
to its vicissitudes, he would himself brave its incle- 
mency, at all hours, in a walk from Westminster to 
his house in Harley Street. 

Acting on this principle, he supported Mr. Dent's 
bill, in 1802, for preventing bull-baiting, and begged 



ECCENTRICITY. 119 

leave " to speak in behalf of a race of poor friendless 
beings, who certainly could not speak for themselves." 
After quoting several apposite passages from the 
Proverbs of Solomon, and the writings of Sir Matthew 
Hale, in opposition to cruelty to brute beasts, he 
jocularly observed, " that as the gentlemen of Ire- 
land had been so favourable to their own hulls, he 
was sure th.ey would be no less indulgent to ours." 



LORD ROKEBY. 

Lord Rokeby, among many other singularities, 
suffered his beard to grow for niany years, during 
which time, it attained a most patriarchal length. 
He was very fond of sea bathing, and built a hut on 
the beach near Hythe, about three miles from his 
own house, whither he repaired almost every day. 
He was generally accompanied in these excursions 
by a carriage, and a favourite servant ; but his lord- 
ship always went on foot, with his hat under his 
arm. If it happened to rain, he would make the 
attendants get into the carriage, observing, that as 
they were gaudily dressed, and not inured to wet, 
the rain would spoil their clothes, and give thera 
cold. So fond was his lordship of bathing, that he 
lived a considerable portion of his time in water, 
tempered by the rays of the sun. For this purpose, 
he had a bathing house of considerable extent, glazed 
in front, to a south-eastern aspect, and thatched at 
the top. It was so large, that he gould run round 
it and dry himself, and the lloor was boarded and 
matted. 

Lord Rokeby had a great abhorrence of fires in 



]20 l'i:UCY ANECDOTES. 

!iis rooms ; atul even in winter, generally sat with iiis 
windows open. In his diet, he was singular and ab- 
stemious ; his principal food was beef tea, wliich 
was always ready for hira on the sideboard ; he drank 
no wine, and had a great aversion to every thing 
that was exotic, it being his maxim, that this island 
produced sufficient food for the nourishment of 
man. 

In his park, he kept no deer, but had it plenti- 
fully stocked with black cattle, which had full liberty 
to range over the domain uninterruptedly. TJiougli 
no infidel, he never went to church, the path to 
whicli, from his house, was grown over, and his pew 
left to the same decay as his family coach, which he 
never entered. This circumstance once occasioned 
him some embarrassment. 

The Archbishop of Armagh, who was cousin to 
Lord Rokeby, paid him a visit a short time before 
his death, at his seat in Kent. The archbishop gave 
him notice on the Saturday, that he would dine with 
him on the following Saturday. "I gave orders," 
says his lordship, in relating this anecdote, " for 
dinner and so forth, for my cousin, the archbishop, 
but I never thought, till he came, that the next day 
was Sunday. What was I to do? here was my 
cousin, the archbishop, and he must go to church, 
and there was no way to it ; the chancel door, too, 
had been locked up these thirty years, and my pew 
was certainly not fit for his grace. I sent off imme- 
diately to Hythe, for the carpenters, and the joiners, 
and the drapers ; and into the village for the la- 
bourers, the mowers, and tlie gravel carters. All 
went to work : the path was mowed ; tlie gravel was 



ECCf-;NTiiicrrv. 121 

ihrowi! on and rolled ; a gate made for tiie cJiurcli- 
yard ; a uew pew set up, well lined and cushioiied ; 
and the next day, I walked by the side of my cousin, 
the archbishop, to church, who found every thing 
right and proper." 

With all his eccentricities, Lord Rokeby was a 
good landlord, a kind friend, and an amiable and 
hospitable man. 



BISHOP THOMAS. 

Dr. Thomas, Bishop of Salisbury, made a party 
once with three friends to go and dine at Windsor. 
The doctor was celebrated for his absence of mind, 
and his companions all of nearly as dreaming a turn 
as himself. When they were in the coach, they be- 
gan to dispute about some points of philosophy, with 
which they became so much engrossed, that they were 
juitable to observe, that after about two hours driving, 
the horses begau to travel at a much slower pace than 
before. M. Desruaiseaux, who was one of the party, 
put his head out of the door, and cried to the coach- 
man, /l//t)/is done I allons done! The man thought he 
said, A London, a London, and replied, turning his 
horses about, "As you please, gentlemen." The debate 
continuing, tiiese four learned absentees never per- 
ceived that the}' were going back, till they came to 
the turnpike gate that leads into London; when they 
found that instead of being at Windsor, where their 
dinner waited for them, they were very near the place 
whence they set off. 

Many other whimsical instances are recorded of 
this absence of mind in the worthy bishop. It is 



122 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

said, that one day, while he was talking, a gnat bit 
his leg severely ; the doctor stooped, and scratched 
a gentleman's leg that stood next to him, wlio smiling 
at tlie mistake, never interrupted the doctor, while 
tlie gnat all the time kept biting on. At another 
time, lie forgot the day on which he was to be mar- 
ried, and might have lost his bride, had not his ser- 
vant put him in mind of the appointment, by bringing 
him a new coat, and a finely powdered wig, bespoke 
for the occasion. The disposition to forget appoint- 
ments of this sort, appears, by the bye, to be a very 
common failing with gentlemen of this cast of mind. 



MR. JENNINGS. 

Henry Constantine Jennings, whose character, dress, 
manners, and pursuits, were as singular as his fate, 
underwent the ever varying ebbs or flows of fortune, 
with philosophical inditFerencc. At an early period 
of his life, he repaired to Italy, to pay his devotions 
at the shrine of taste ; and after keeping company 
with foreign princes and princesses, he returned to 
associate with the nobility of his native country. 
A fatal reverse plunged him into difliculties, and he 
passed some years in gaol for debt. Recovering 
from his embarrassments, he threw another fortune 
aaay at Newmarket. These reverses occurred fre- 
quently, until at length he died in prison for debt. 

His life, and a considerable portion of his fortune, 
were devoted to forming a collection of articles of 
vertu, w'hich he commenced at Rome, by purchasing 
a fine marble statue of the dog of Alcibiades, whence 
he was afterwards called "Dog Jennings," and by 
some of his friends, "Alcibiades." 



ECCENTRICITY. 123 

When Mr. Jennings had finished his career at the 
turf, by the loss of his fortune, lie settled at Chelsea. 
His mansion, which had formerly been the residence 
of the Earl of Buckinghamshire, was singularly fur- 
nished. In the front parlour, was an immense arctic 
bear, of a white colour, and a winged animal, much 
injured by time, but which appeared to have been 
an eagle. His garden bore no marks of the spade, 
or the pruning knife ; the shrubs were allowed to 
grow wildly luxuriant, while the wliole exhibited 
every mark of neglect or desolation. 

Mr. Jennings was a great advocate for exercise, and 
practised it to a degree scarcely credible, for up- 
wards of half a century. He possessed a long and 
ponderous wooden instrument, capped with lead at 
both ends, in the management of which, he was such 
au adept, that he boasted of having disarmed the 
best small swordsman in Italy. Every night, before 
bed time, he exercised himself with this ponderous 
weapon, until he acquired a comfortable warmth, 
which enabled him to retire to rest with a general 
glow. " In the morning," says he, " I fiourisli 
my broadsword exactly three hundred times ; I then 
mount my chaise horse, composed of leather, and in- 
flated with wind like a pair of bellows, on which 1 
take exactly a thousand gallops." His breakfast 
was served at a late hour, and on a dirty table clotli; 
his tea service, vvhich was of beautiful porcelain, he 
always washed and wiped himself. His bread and 
butter were regularly brought up on wooden platters ; 
and instead of a silver trowel, he used a clasp knife, 
a large and vulgar instrtinient he used to carry in liis 
pocket, and which consisted of a piece of pointed 
M 2 



124 PERCY A >; EC DOTES. 

iron, tliat folded into a liorn handle, and seei.ied to 
have descended to him, as an lieir loom, from the 
time of William Rufus. 

His dinner was generally very economical ; and in 
tlie afternoon, he used to drink a few cups of hyson, 
ont of a very small China cup. 

Air. Jennings Avas very suspiciou*, and would not 
trust his servants to clean out his rooms. It was this 
that made his drawing-room a den, which abounded 
in dirt, which rendered it impossible to sit down 
without spoiling your clothes. His chairs, pictures, 
and even the very cabinets that contained his pre- 
cious gems, jewels, and shells, were all covered and 
besmeared with smoke and dust. The ashes were 
never emptied from his grate, until it became so full, 
that the operation was one of absolute necessity. 

Pie was very particular in regard to his candles ; 
the very idea of tallow, disgusted him, and he 
burnt nothing but wax candles. The clothes of Mr. 
Jennings were very antiquated, and his coat was set 
with silver buttons, nearly as large as a dollar. His 
stockings were of yarn ; while his shoes, or rather 
lialf boots, exhibited the original colour which they 
had at first assumed in the tan-pit. Through the long 
period of thirty-eight years, they had been kept 
sacred from tiie pollution of the blacking brush. 

Among all the articles of value and curiosity that 
he possessed, Mr. Jennings prized a statue of Venus 
above ail others ; and for the first six months after 
obtaining possession of htr, she was constantly seated 
during dinner at the head of his table, with two foot- 
men in laced liveries behind, while the most costly 
viands were placed in succession before her, by way 
of oblation. 



ECCENTRICITY. 126 

Death, which puts an end to all singularities, is 
not always unaccompanied by them. Mr. Jennings 
abhorred the idea of his corpse being consigned to 
the cold earth, and resolved to have recourse to the 
ancient rite of cremation. This intention was so 
well known, that his neighbours supposed he had an 
oven within his house for the express purpose of re- 
ducing his body to ashes. Having fixed on a gentle- 
man in the vicinity, on whom he thought he could de- 
pend, for seeing this last act of friendship faithfully 
executed, he unfolded to him his intention, and de- 
manded if he had courage enough, despising all 
vulgar prejudices, to stand by and see his body con- 
sumed by fire ? " Yes," replied his neighbour, " I 
will burn your corpse on the centre arch of Battersca 
Bridge, if you so desire; and that too in spite and in 
sight of all the proprietors." " How is that possible?" 
enquired Mr. Jennings. " jSTothing more easy," re- 
joined the other ; " it is only placing your corpse in 
a car, dressed in a pitched shirt, and surrounded by 
combustibles. I myself shall apply the match soon 
after the body leaves the place of your present abode; 
and when you arrive midway between the two toll 
houses, I intend to pull out the linch pins. You can 
then consume at leisure, and without danger, not- 
withstanding it is a wooden bridge." 

This whimsical proposition was instantly agreed to, 
in the presence of a third gentleman, and Mr. Jen- 
nings's favourite Venus was to be the reward. A cool- 
ness between the parties afterwards ensued, and Mr. 
Jennings then broke oil' the agreement. Indeed it 
would have been difficult for him to have fulfilled his 



126 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

part of it, as the Venus was taken in execution, and 
sold, and its owner died in the King's Bench Prison. 



COUNT DE BRANCAS. 

The Count de Brancas was walking in the street, 
and the Duke de la Rochefoucault crossed the waj 
to speak to him. " God bless tiiee, poor man !" ex- 
claimed the count. Rochefoucault smiled, and was 
beginning to address him. " Is it not enough," cried 
the count, interrupting him, and somewhat in a pas- 
sion ; *'is it not enough that I have said, at first, 
I have nothing for you ? Such lazy beggars as you 
liinder a gentleman from walking in the streets." 
Rochefoucault burst into a loud laugh, and awaken- 
ing the absent man from his lethargy, he was not a 
little surprised, himself, that he should have taken his 
friend for an importunate mendicant. 

CARDAN. 

Few men have been more remarkable for a strange 
inequality of behaviour, than the mathematician,. 
Cardan, llis life was a scries of odd adventures- 
■which he has committed to writing with a simplicity 
or rather a freedom, that is seldom to be met wit 
among the learned ; for, in truth, it seems as if he 
had written the history of his life for no other pur- 
pose, but to give the public an amazing instance, that 
a person may be endued with a great genius, yet be 
a fool at the same time. He makes an ingenioua 
confession of his good and bad qualities. He seems 
to have sacrificed every other consideration to a de- 



ECCENTRICITY. 127 

sire of being sincere, and this sincerity being often 
misplaced, has greatly tarnished his reputation. He 
paid luniself congratulatory compliments for not 
having a friend in this world ; but boasted, that in 
requital, he was attended by an aerial spirit, partly 
emanated from Saturn, and partly from Mercury, that 
was the constant guide of bis actions, and teacher of 
every duty to which he was bound. He declared, 
too, that he was so irregular in his manner of walking 
the streets, as to induce all beholders to point at him 
as a fool. Sometimes he walked very slowly, like a 
man absorbed in a profound meditation ; then all on 
a sudden quickened his steps, accompanying them 
with very absurd attitudes. In Bologna, his delight 
was to be drawn about in a very mean vehicle, with 
three wheels. The liveliest picture that can be given 
of this very singular philosopher, is couched in the 
following verses of Horace, which, indeed, Cardan 
confessed agreed peifectly well with his character. 

" Nil ajquale horaini fuit illi," &c. 

" Where find a semblance for inconstancy ? 
Now quick of speed, as if from foes he fled ; 
Now slow he moves, and with a solemn air. 
As if great Juno's altar he'd approach ; 
Now with attendants crowded, tiow alone." 

"When nature did not visit him with any bodily 
pain, he would procure to himself that disagreeable 
sensation, by biting his lips so wantonly, or pulling 
his fingers to such a vehement degree, as sometimes 
to force the tears from his eyes ; and the reason he 
assigned for so doing, was, that he wished to mode- 



128 PKRCY ANtCDOTES. 

rate ctrtaiii iuipe'iuous sallies of the mind, whose 
violence was by far more insupportable to him than 
pain itself ; and that the sure consequence of such a 
severe practice, was his better enjoying the pleasure 
of health. 

Cardan makes no scruple of owning tliat he was 
revengeful, envious, treacherous, a dealer in the 
black art, a backbiter, a calumniator, and unre- 
servedly addicted to all the foul and detestable 
excesses that can be imagined ; yet notwithstanding 
(as one should think) so humbling a declaration, 
there was never, perhaps, a vainer mortal, or a man 
that with less ceremony expressed the high opinion 
he had of himself. " I have been admired," 
says he, " by many nations ; an almost infinite 
number of panegyrics, in prose and verse, have 
been composed to celebrate my fame. I was 
born to release the world from the manifold errors 
under which it groaned," &c. 

The same capriciousness which distinguished 
Cardan's moral conduct, is observable in the com- 
position of his works. The reader is stopped every 
moment by digressions from the subject in point. 
In a work on arithmetic, he has discourses on the 
motion of the planets, on the creation, and on the 
tovver of Babel. In a book on the dialectic art, of 
which he used to boast that it cont^ned " neither a 
superfluous letter, nor one deficient,'" he has sundry 
ingenious disquisitions on tlie writing of history and 
epistles. The apology he makes for tlie frequency 
of his digressions, is, that they were purposely in- 
troduced, in order that he might the sooner fill up 
the sheet, his bargain with the bookseller being at 



ECCENTRICITY. 129 

so much per sheet. He worked, as he would say, 
as much for his daily support, as for tlie acciuisition 
of glory. 

It was Cardan who revived, in later times, all the 
secret philosophy of the Cabela and Cabalists, which 
filled the world with spirits, a likeuess to whom, as he 
asserted, we might attain by purifying ourselves with 
phiiosopliy. jS'otwithstandiug all his extravatjances, 
however, he chose for himself a noble niotto, Teinpus 
mea possessio, tenipus mens ager. " 'i'iuie is my only 
possession, the only fund 1 have to improve." 

CLOUGH AND SHUTER. 

Mr. Clough, the actor, had a very peculiar idea 
of amusement. '^ihe most diverting thing in the 
world, to him, was a public execution ; and he would 
sooner fail in being at the phy house on the night 
he was to act, than omit attending the unfortunate 
culprits to Tyburn, and be a spectator of the hor- 
rors of death, in their last moments. He was one 
night at a coftee-bouse, when hearing the clock 
strike eleven, he abruptly rose and paid his reckoning: 
an acquaintance of his, sitting by him, asked, 
" What is the matter, Clough, your hour is not come 
yet, you never stir till oner" "Aye," replied 
Clough, "but do not you know there is business to 
be done to-morrbw, and Ned Shuter and 1 am to 
attend r" Ned, who had been up all night in a 
joyous party, was only in his first sleep when 
Clough called upon hiui, and could not be prevailed 
upon to rise ; Clough set olf for the scene of pleasure 
by himself, vociferating loudly, " Was there ever 



130 I'l-RCY ANECDOTES. 

such a fellow? He has no more taste than a 
Hottentot !" 

" SOLYMAN THE MAGNIFICENT." 

Charles Jennens, Esq., of Gopsal, in Leicester- 
shire, was ambitious of literary fame, but had too 
much vanity to ac(juire it. Associating with men 
every way inferior to himself, he lost all oppor- 
tunities of improvement, but gained what he pre- 
ferred to the highest gratification of wisdom — ex- 
treme flattery. In his youth he was so remarkable 
for the number of his servants, the splendour of his 
equipages, and the profusion of his table, tliat from 
liis excess of pomp, he acquired the title of "Solyman 
tlie Magnificent." Indeed, so enamoured was he of 
the ostentatious display of his state, tliat if he only 
had occasion to go from his house in Great Ormond 
Street, Bloomsbury, to Mr. Bowyer's, the printer, in 
Red LioiL Passage, Fleet Street, he always travelled 
with four horses to his carriage, and sometimes as 
many servants behind it. In his passage up the 
paved court, a footman usually preceded him, to 
kick oyster-shells and otlier impediments out of the 
way. 

But though proud, and in some degree over- 
bearing, Mr. Jennens was as benevolent as he was 
rich, and indigent merit always found in him a 
patron and a friend. 



ECCENTKICITY. 131 



COMPLAINING TO THE KING. 

Ill tlie time of Frederick the Great, a student of 
divinity went from Thuringia, his native country, to 
Berlin, to gain a subsistence by teaching young 
people. He had quitted his country, rather than 
accept a curacy, on the condition of marrying a 
woman whom he did not like. His whole fortune 
amounted to about four hundred crowns, which he 
canied with him in pieces of money of his own 
countr)', called batzes. When his baggage was 
examined at the Custom House at Berlin, they took 
from him his batzes as contraband, because they had 
been some years before prohibited by the king. He 
excused himself by saying that he was ignorant of 
the law : but they paid no attention to what he 
said, and kept the money. 

After many fruitless attempts, he was advised to 
address himself to the king ; and the following is 
the student's own relation of this matter : • 

" I drew up a memorial, made a fair copy of it, 
and set out for Potsdam, recommending myself to 
God, and without having a farthing in my pocket. 
It was there I had, for the first time, the happiness 
of seeing this great monarch. He was on the 
parade before the palace, employed in exercising 
his soldiers. When the exercise was over, he went 
into the garden, and the soldiers retired to their 
quarters. Four officers remained on the parade, 
where they walked up and dovvn. 

" I was so troubled, that I knew not how to act. 
At last, I ti.'ok my papers cut of my pocket, which 



13*2 FliRCY ANECnOTRS. 

were luy n)t'niorials, two attestations, and a pass- 
port from Tliuringia. The officers perceiving these 
papers, and lu^' uneasiness, came to me, and asked 
me wliat letters I had there. I communicated the 
contents of them with a great deal of pleasure, 
to tJiese gentlemen ; and, after the^: had read them, 
tliey told me they would give me the best advice. 
" The king is to-day (said they) in a very good 
humour ; follow him into the garden, and you will 
not repent of taking our advice." 

" 1 could not consent to it; but one took me by 
the arm, and the other by the shoulder, and forced 
me along, saying, " Come ! come into the garden !" 
As soon as we had entered, they sought for the 
king. He was talking to the gardeners, and stooping, 
with his back towards us, to look at some plants. 
The officers then ordered me to stop, and made me 
perform the following exercise : 

" ' Put your hat under your left arm. 

Advance your right foot. 

Thrust out your chest. 

Hold up your head. 

Take your papers out of your pocket. 

Raise them with the right hand. 

Continue in that attitude.' 

" They then left me, turning about frequently t'.> 
see if I kept ray position. I clearly perceived, tliat 
they meant to make themselves merry at my ex- 
pense ; but I was so much frightened, that I re- 
mained immoveable as a statue. The officers had 
proceeded but a little way in the garden, when the 
king turned round, and perceived my immoveable 



KCCENTKICITY. l;33 

ligure. He cast a look at me, which seemed like 
the rays of the sun. He sent a gardener to take wy 
papers, and when he received them, he struck into 
another walk, and I lost sight of him. 

" A few moments after, he again appeared with 
the papers open in liis left hand, and he made a 
sign for me to approach him. I took courage, and 
advanced towards him. Oh ! witli what kindness 
did he speak to me ! 

'* * My dear Thuringian (said he to me ), you are 
come to Berlin to seek a livelihood by teaching 
young people, and the Custom House officers have 
taken from you all your Thuringian money. It is 
true, that the batze-i are forbidden in my dominions ; 
but the Custom House officers should have said to 
you, * You are a stranger, and ignorant of the 
prohibition. We are going to seal up your little 
bag; take it back, and get other money for it in 
Thuringia ;' but it was ill done in them to take it. 
Make yourself easy, you shall have your money 
returned, with interest. Yet, my friend, it is bad to 
be out of bread in Berlin, for the Berliners give 
nothing. Before you have made proper acquaint- 
ances, your money will be all gone.' 

" I was so troubled, that it was some moments 
before my words could find utterance. The king 
walked on a few steps, and then made a sign for 
me to follow him. I approached, and having re- 
covered myself a little, I was able to answer him 
such questions as he put to me. He then asked nie 
where I was educated, what had been the nature of 
ray studies, and who were my masters. I gave him 
such answers as seemed perfectly to satisfy him. 



134 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

" We continued to converse in the most familiar 
manner till the clock struck one, when the king said, 
* I must go ; tliey wait for me at dinner.' In 
going out of the garden, 1 saw nothing more of the 
four officers, nor were they on the j)arade ; but had 
joined the king. I remained on the parade. It 
was twenty-seven hours since I liad eaten any thing, 
and I had not even a half-penny to buy me a piece 
of bread, after having walked eight leagues on foot, 
over sands, in very hot weather. 

** I was in this sorrowful situation, wlien a hussar 
came upon the parade, and asked me if I were not 
the person who had that morning spoken to the king 
in the garden ? I informed hira 1 was ; when he con- 
ducted me into a large room, in which were pages, 
footmen, and hussars. My conductor then led me 
to a table well served, and a cover for me. He 
presented me with a chair, and said, ' The king has 
ordered you this dinner, and has bidden me to tell 
you to eat licartily, without taking notice of any 
one. 1 liave also orders to attend you." 

" I knew not what to tliink of all this ; I was 
unwilling that the king's hussar should wait on me, 
and I entreated him to sit down hy me ; but finding 
that I could not persuade him, I took my resolution, 
and began my meal wit!) a good appetite. After 
the dessert, the hussar took what remained on the 
plates, wrapped them up in paper, and made me put 
them into my pocket. 

" When n)y little cover was removed, I saw a se- 
cretary enter, who returned me my ])fipers, with a 
Jettcr addres'sed to the Custom Ilouse, and who 
couiUcd me down on the table, five ducats and a 



ECCENTRICITY. 13i> 

louis d'or, which the king gave me to take rae back 
to Berlin. The secretary tlieu conducted rae to the 
door of the castle, where I saw a chariot and six 
horses. He made rae get into it, and then said to 
the drivers, ' The king orders you to conduct this 
young man to Berlin, and to take nothing of hiin, if 
he should ofFer you money to drink.' I thanked the 
secretary, and oil' I went. 

" When we were arrived at Berlin, my first and 
most pressing business was to carry my letter to the 
"Custom House officers, who had treated lue so un- 
civilly. The principal opened it, reddened, then 
grew pale, and said not a word, but gave it to 
another, who put on his spectacles, read the letter, 
and gave it to a third, without pronouncing a single 
word. At length, the third person told me to ap- 
proach, and write a receipt, purporting that I had 
received the money without any deduction, amounting 
to four hundred crowns of Bradenburgli specie, for 
my baizes of Thuringi-i. The sum was counted out 
to me, and a servant was then called, who was or- 
dered to follow me to the sign of the Swan, the inn 
at which I had lodged, and there pay whatever 
I owed. They gave him twenty-four crowns for 
that purpose, ordering him to return for more, should 
he not find that sufficient. Thus it was tliat the king 
returned me, as he had graciously promised, my 
money, with interest." 

THE AMATEUR MOURNER. 
Mr. L. was a gentleman of an independent for- 
tune, which 1m? exhausted in tl>e course of a fev 
N 2 



136 PERCY ANBCDOTES. 

years, in gratifying one of the oddest whims tiiat 
could enter tlie mind of a rational being. His sole 
enjoyment was tlie attending of funerals. When 
he heard of the death of any great man, through the 
channel of the papers, he iunucdiately made the cir- 
cuit of the whole town, to know who had the job, 
and then prepared to accompany it. Me has often 
been to York, and the confines of Scotland, to be 
present at tlie interment of a nobleman or gentle- 
man ; and in this respect he was no way biassed by 
party, or religion ; it was the same to l:im if he was 
Whig or Tory, out or in ; whetlier a Roman Catholic, 
or a Protestant ; a Jew, or a Presbyterian : they 
eqnally commanded his respect and attention, pro- 
vided the funeral was magnificent. His highest am- 
bition was to obtain one of the little escutcheons, 
which he considered as so many trophies of his glory , 
and being known to most of the undertakers, and 
their constant companion in their peregrinations, they 
seldom or ever refused him this request. Being en- 
tirely inattentive to his own affairs, he found him- 
self in a state of distress, when he did not expect it ; 
yet, though reduced to almost the want of th3 common 
necessaries of life, his passion for death-hunting still 
prevailed ; and when he could not ride, he walked 
on foot. But whenever the journey was of any 
length, he bribed the hearse-driver to let him be an 
inside passenger with the corpse. In this doleful 
state he traversed England more than once : but un- 
fortunately fell a martyr, at length, to his strange 
whim. Being an inside passenger, on one of these 
solemn occasions, in very hot weather, and there 
being no air hole, as there usually is, in the hearse. 



ECCENTIUCITV. 137 

wheu iLiey took out the corpse, they fotmd poor 
Mr. L. dead from suffocatiou. 



DR. O'LEARY. 

Dr. O'Lcarj, though with great talents for a con- 
troversialist, always sedulously avoided the angry 
theme of religious disputation. Once, however, not- 
withstanding his declared aversion to polemics, he 
was led into a controversy. Wlille he was at Cork, 
he received a letter through the Post Office, the 
writer of which, in terms expressive of the utmost 
anxiety, stated that he was a clergyman of the 
established church, on whose mind impressions fa- 
vourable to the Catholic creed had been made by 
some of O'Leary's sermons. The writer then pro- 
fessing his enmity to angry controversy, wished to 
seek further information on some articles of the 
Catholic creed. His name he forbore to reveal. 
O'Leary, anxious to propogate the doctrine of his 
church, replied in a manner perfectly satisfactory to 
liis anonymous correspondent Other doubts were 
expressed, and dissipated, until the correspondence 
had extended to eight or ten long letters. 

O'Leary, in joy at his supposed triumph, whispered 
the important secret to a few ecclesiastical confidents ; 
among whom was his bosom friend, the Kev. Law- 
rence Callanau, a Franciscan friar, of Cork. Their 
congratulations, and approbation, were not wanting, 
to urge forward the champion of orthodoxy. His 
arguments bore all before them ; even the obstacles 
arisin<^ from family and legal notions, were disre- 
garded by the enthusiastic convert, and he besought 



\3S I'ERCY ANECDOTES. 

O'Leary to name a lime, and place, at which he might 
lift the mysterious vizor by which he had hitherto 
been concealed ; and above all, have an opportunity 
of expressing his gratitude to his friend and teacher. 
The appointed hour arrived. O'Leary arranged 
his orthodox wig, put on his Sunday suit of sable, and 
sallied forth with all the collected gravity of a man 
fully conscious of the novelty and responsibility of 
the atl'air in which he was engaged. He arrived at the 
appointed place of meeting some minutes after the 
fixed time, and was told that a respectable clergyman 
awaited his arrival in an adjoining parlour. O'Leary 
enters the room, where he finds, sitting at the table, 
with the whole correspondence before him, his 
brother friar, Lawrence Callanan, who, either from an 
eccentric freak, or from a wish to call O'Leary 's con- 
troversial powers into action, had thus drawn him 
into a lengthened correspondence. The joke, in 
O'Leary's opinion, however, was carried too far, and 
it required the sacrifice of the correspondence, and the 
interference of mutual friends, to effect a recon- 
ciliation. 

Dr. O'Leary once conceived a great desire to see 
the notorious miser, Daniel Dancer, who lived, and 
died, in the utmost wretchedness, at Harrow Weald 
Common, in 1794, though leaving properly to the 
amount of ^£3000 a year. The retired habits, and 
low cautious avarice, of Dancer, rendered an intro- 
duction to him difficult ; and an intimacy of any con- 
tinuance, a matter almost out of the range of possi- 
bility. The obstacles to both, were overcome by 
O'Leary, who, during a visit to the neighbourhood of 
Dancer's house, found means to gain admittance into 



ECCENTRICITY. 139 

the ruined dwelling where the miser passed his life. 
Some strange communication, which he contrived to 
have conveyed to tlie object of his search, procured him 
admittance into a filthy apartment, where the haggard 
lord of useless thousands, anxiously aw aited iiis arrival . 
O'Leary introduced himself as a relation of the 
Dancer family, and in a most amusing manner, de- 
tailed the origin of the name and the exploits of the 
early founders of the family. From David, who 
danced before the Israelites, lie traced the progress of 
their descent, to the collateral branches, the Welsh 
Jumpers, then contemporaries of dancing notoriety. 
His wit triumphed ; for a moment the sallow brow of 
avarice became illumined by the indications of a 
delighted mind, and Dancer had courage enough to 
invite his visitor to partake of a glass of wine, which 
he said he would procure for his refreshment. A 
cordial shake of the hand, was the return made for 
O'Leary's polite refusal of so expensive a compli- 
ment, and he quilted the house, followed by its 
strange tenant ; who, to the amusement of O'Leary, 
and the astonishment of the only other person who 
witnessed the scene, solicited the favour of another 
visit. 



A PRODIGY. 

When the Duke of Sully, in 1603, set out on an 
embassy for the court of England, he was attended 
by a numerous retinue of the principal men in 
France ; among the rest, M. Servin presented his 
young son to him, at the same time earnestly beg- 
ging the duke, that he would use his best endea- 



HO PEUCY ANECDOTES, 

voiirs to make him an lionest man. This request 
gave Sully a great curiosity to search into his cha- 
racter ; and he gives the following striking account 
of him. 

" His genius," says he, " Avas so lively, that 
nothing could escape his penetration ; his appre- 
hension was so quick, that he understood every 
thing in an instant ; and his memory so prodigious, 
that he never forgot any tl;ing. He was master of 
all the branches of philosophy, the matliematics, 
particularly fortification and designing : nay, he 
was so thoroughly acquainted with divinity, that he 
was an excellent preachei when he pleased, and 
could manage the controvejsy for or against the Pro- 
testant religion with the greatest ability. He not 
only understood the Greek, Hebrew, and other 
learned languages, but all the jargons of the mo- 
derns. He entered so exactly into their pronun- 
ciation and accent, to which he joined such a perfect 
imitation of their air and manner, that not only the 
p€ople of the different nations in Europe, but the 
several provinces of France, would have taken him 
for a native of the country. Pie applied his talent 
to imitate all sorts of peisons, which he performed 
with wonderful dexterity ; and was accounted the 
best comedian in the world. He was a good poet, 
an excellent musician, and sung with equal art and 
sweetness. He said mass, for he would do every 
thing, as well as know every thing. His body was 
perfectly j)roportioned to his mind. He was well 
made, vigorous, and agile ; formed for all sorts of 
exercises. He rode a horse well, and was admired 
fox dancing, leaping, and wrestling. He was ac- 



ECCENTRICITY. 141 

quainled with all kinds of sports and diversions, and 
could practice in most of ilie mathematical arts. 
Reverse the medal," says Sully ; " he was a liar, 
false, treacherous, cruel, and cowardly; a sharper, 
drunkard, and glutton. He was a gamester, an 
abandoned debauchee, a blasphemer, and atheist ; in 
a word, he was possessed of every vice, contrary to 
nature, to honour, to religion, and society : he per- 
sisted in his vices to the last, and fell a sacrifice to 
his debaucheries, in the flower of his age." 

GETTING A PLACE. 

When Sir Robert Walpole was premier, a Mr 
Moor, who represented Bishop's Castle in Parlia- 
ment, was, like most candidates, very liberal of his 
promises to voters on the approach of an election, 
and very unmindful of them afterwards. Among 
the rest, he engaged to provide for a low mechanic 
who had a vote. The man was not long in remind- 
ing him of his promise, that he would speak 
to Sir Robert Walpole for a place for him. The 
member said, he had applied to Sir Robert, but that 
he could not procure him one. The man insisted 
that Mr. Moor promised him a place. Mr. Moor, 
somewhat irritated, said, " What would you have 
me do ? I have asked Sir Robert, and have been un- 
successful ; would you go to Sir Robert yourself ?" 
" If you please, sir," said the countryman, and 
away he trudged to London. 

When he reached town, and stated his errand, 
some person advised him to go to some public house 
near the premier's residence, and to treat his ser- 



142 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

vants, who would soon put him in a way of getting 
what he wanted. Following this advice, he went to 
the Axe and Gate public house, at the corner of 
Downing Street. The servants of Sir Robert, willing to 
humour what they considered a good joke, told the 
countryman, that he would be sure of having a place 
if he would speak to Sir Robert himself, which he 
might easily do by stationing himself close to the 
chariot door as the minister was slippini; into it. 

The next da}' the countryman took his ])ost as he 
liad been advised, and waited until Sir Robert should 
go out. He then placed himself between the chariot 
and the premier, whom he thus addressed : " Sir, 
did not you promise Mr. Moor to give me a place ?" 
" Aye," says Sir Robert, " are you Mr. Moor's 
friend ?" " Yes, an't please your honour." " Well, 
call on me another day." " Yes, an't please your 
honour, I'll call on ye every day till I have it." The 
man was as good as his word ; and every morn- 
ing as the chariot drove up, he fixed himself at the 
door, bowing, or rather knocking, his head against 
Sir Robert's breast, until, at llie end of a fortnight, the 
minister, wearied with his singular and blunt impor- 
tunity, gave him a tide-waiter's place at the Custom 
House. 

ARCHBISHOP AT A BALL. 

M. de la Motte d 'Orleans, was a prelate of the 
most distinguished merit, and the UKist exemplary 
life. Vice itself did homage to his virtues. To a 
piety truly angelic, and austere manners, tb.is good 
prelate joined a gaiety of mind and amenity of 



ECCENTUICITY. 143 

-character, which won Iiim all hearts. One day his 
purse, which was truly tliat of the poor, being ex- -■ 
Iiausted, he learned that the Intendant of Amiens 
was to give a superb ball to llie ladies of the city ; 
his industrious charity availed itself of tliat circum- 
stance to replenish it. Instead of retiring to rest at 
ten o'clock in the evening, he orders the horses to 
his carriage, gets into it, and bids his servants drive 
him to the hotel of the Intendant. The ball was 
cororaenced when the bishop arrived ;. at his sight the 
women, ail superbly dressed, fled on all sides, to 
different parts of the hotel. To stop this disarrange- 
ment, the Intendant intreated the bishop to step into 
another apartment, to settle the matters which 
brought him there. " I have no business to treat on," 
said the good man. " I am eighty years of age, and 
have never seen a ball ; I am come, therefore, to 
yours ^ 90 I beg you will reassemble the ladies." 
The dispersed and astonished troop are collected 
w ith trouble. At last they surround the bishop ; his 
gaiety encourages them; he is invited to dance. "You 
dance, ladies," sayshe, "and I rejoice at it ; but in the 
mean while, my poor are without bread, and drowned 
in tears. It is for those who divert ihcmselves, to dry 
up their griefs ; behold their purse," says the worthy 
bishop, " you see it is empty." "We will fill it, my 
lord," reply the ladies, " but on condition that you 
dance." "Willingly," cries the prelate. The collection 
goes round, and the subscriptions were considerable : 
the bishop is summoned to tlie dance. " It is true," 
says he, " that I have prnniiscd, but I forgot to telJ 
you, that there are two days in the week that 1 can- 
not dance ; let me see what day this is." " Tuesday, 



144 PERCY ANECDOTES, 

my lord." " Indeed, I am very sorry, but that is pre- 
cisely one of my excepted days ; 1 must, therefore, 
put off ray engagement ; but pursue yours, and I wish 
you good night." 



A REASON FOR SINGULARITY. 

Alcibiades being blamed by ali his friends for 
cutting the tail of his dog, which was admired by 
every one for its beauty, told them, he did so, that 
the Athenians might amuse themselves by blaming 
him for that, and that by this means he might 
escape a worse censure. 



BARON NOLKIN. 

Of all the absent men (says Count Tessein, in his 
memoirs) that I ever knew in Sweden, the most re- 
markable was the late chancellor. Baron Nolkin. 
Two instances deserve to be related. Once, when 
he had to read to His Royal Highness Prince Adol- 
phus Frederick (afterwards king), a report of the privy 
council, he very gravely took out of his pocket the 
lease of his house, which he had nearly read to the 
end, till the remarks of the prince, at last, made him 
sensible of his mistake. Another time, he came 
into his Royal Highness's anti-chamber, where I was 
with several officers, and asked for Count Tessein. I 
answered him myself ; but he went out in a very 
great hurry, and came back and said, the officer in 
waiting affirms that he is in the room. I answered, 
" Your lordship will believe me, I hope, for I have 
myself seen the count go out of the room." Nolkin 



ECCliNTIUCITY. 145 

out a second time, and came back again with a new- 
assurance of the officer in waiting ; on which, a general 
laugh ensued, which waked him out of his dream. 

SERGEANT HILL. 

Sergeant Hill, wlio was much celebrated as a 
lawyer, and eminently qualified to find out a case 
in point on any disputed question, was somewhat re- 
markable for absence of mind, the result of that 
earnestness with which he devoted himself to his 
professional duties. 

On the very day \\hen he was married, he had an 
intricate case in his mind, and forgot his engagement, 
until reminded of his waiting bride, and that the 
legal time of performing the ceremony had nearly 
elapsed. He then quitted law for love ; but at the 
usual hour in the evening, the sergeant relumed to his 
books and his papers, liaving forgotten the cause he 
had been engaged in during the morning, until re- 
minded by his clerk that a fair client awaited a con- 
sultation. 

Being once on circuit, and having occasion to 
refer to a law authority, he had recourse, as usual, to 
liis bag; but, to the astonishment of the court,instead 
of a volume of A'^iner's abridgment, he took out a 
specimen candlestick, the property of a Birmingham 
traveller, whose bag the learned sergeant had brought 
into court by mistake. 

During the long vacation, the sergeant usually re- 
tired to his country seat at Rowell in Northampton- 
shire. It happened, during one autumn, that some 
of the neighbouring sportsmen, among whom was the 



146 riiUCY ANIICDOTES. 

present Earl Speucer, being in pursuit of a fox, Rey- 
nard, who was hard pressed, took refuge in the court 
yard of this venerable sage. At this moment the 
sergeant was reading a case in point, which decided 
that in a trespass of this kind, the owners of the 
ground had a right to inflict the punishment of death. 
Mr. Hill accordingly gave orders for punishing the 
fox, as an original trespasser ; which was done in- 
stantly. 

The hunters now arrived with the hounds in full 
cry, and the foremost horsen)an, who anticipated the 
glory of possessing the brush, was the first to behold 
his victim stretched lifeless on the ground, pinioned 
to the earth by plebeian pitchforks. The hunters 
were very anxious to discover the daring culprit who 
liad presumed to deprive the field and the pack of 
their prey ; when the venerable sergeant made his ap- 
pearance, with his book in his hand, and offered to 
convince them that execution had taken place ac- 
cording to legal authority'. The sportsmen got out- 
rageous, but the learned sergeant was not intimidated ; 
he knew the force of his authorities, and gravely in- 
vited the attention of his auditory to a case from one 
of the old reporters, tiiat would have puzzled a whole 
bar of modern practitioners to controvert. The eifect 
was ludicrous ; the extraordinary appearance of the 
worthy sergeant, not in his bargown, but in what 
these adventurous mortals called a mere bedgown ; 
the qualntness of liis manner, the singularity of the 
occurrence, and the novelty of the incident, threw 
them completely out. 



ECCENTKICITY. 147 



CALF STEALING. 



A few years ago, a butcher who had purchabed a 
calf not far from Lewes, in Sussex, sat witli it on a 
horse at a pubiic-house door; a shoemaker, remark- 
able for his drollery, knowing that tlie butcher had to 
pass through a wood, offered to the landlord to carry oil' 
the calf, provided he would treat liim with sixpenny- 
worth of grog. The landlord agreed ; and the shoe- 
maker setting oti', dropped one new shoe in the path 
near the middle of the wood, and another near aquarlei 
of a mile from it. The butcher saw the first shoe, but 
did not think it worth getting down for ; however, 
when he discovered the second, he thought the pair 
would be an acquisition, and accordingly dismounted, 
tied his horse to the hedge, and walked back to 
where he had seen the first shoe. I'be shoemaker, iu 
tiie mean time, unstrapped the calf, and carried it 
across the fields to the landlord, who put it in his 
barn. The butcher missing his calf, went back to 
the inn, and told his misfortune ; at the same time 
observing, that he must have another calf, cost what 
it would, as the veal was bespoke. The landlord 
told him he had a calf iu the barn, which he would 
sell him^ the butcher looked at it, and asked the 
price. The landlord replied, " Give me the same 
as you did for the calf you lost ; as this, I think, is 
full as large." The butcher would by no means allow 
the calf to he so good, but agreed to give him within 
six shillings of what the other cost, and accordingly 
put the calf a second time on his horse. Crispin, 
elated with his success, undertook to steal the calf 
o '2 



148 PERCY ANECDOTIiS. 

again tor another sixpenny worth j which being agreed 
on, lie posted to ti)e wood, and there hid himself. Wlien 
the butcher came along, he bellowed so like a calf, 
that the butcher, conceiving it to be the one lie had 
lost, cried out in joy, " Ah ! are you there? Have I 
found you at last ?" and immediately dismounting, 
ran into the wood. Ciispin taking advantage of 
the butcher's absence, unstrapped the calf, and ac- 
tually got back with it to the publican, before the 
butcher arrived to tell the mournful tale, who at- 
tributed tlie whole to witchcraft. The publican 
unravelled the mystery ; and the butcher, after paying 
for, and partaking of, a crown's-worth of punch, 
laughed heartily at the joke. 

DUKE OF MONTAGUE. 

The last Duke of Montague, whose eccentricities 
were generally amiable, once invited to a dinner 
the famous bon viiant Dartneuf, whose fame for 
loving pie, Pope has rendered immortal. The dinner 
hour was fixed at four o'clock ; the epicure was punc- 
tual, but his grace wishing to tantalize him, said " he 
had mistaken the time, for the cloth was removed." 
Dartneuf could obtain nothing but a beef steak for 
his dinner, which unfortunately was none of the best. 
There seemed no alternative, and the mortified 
Dartneuf had reconciled himself to his fate, when 
the duke reminding him how necessary it was for a 
person to accommodate himself to circumstances, and 
particularly with regard to the appetite, ushered him 
and the rest of the company into another room, 
where a splendid dinner waspiovided. 



ECCENTRICITY. 149 



A. FRANK CANDIDATE. 

A few years ago, a candidate for the shrievalty in 
one of the provinces in the United States of America, 
solicited the suffrages of the electors, by the following 
honest but singular address. 

" Gentleiceu, I offer myself a candidate for 
sheriff; I have been a revolutionary officer; fought 
many bloody battles ; suffered hunger, toil, heat ; 
got honourable scars, but little pay. I will tell you 
plainly how I shall discharge ray duty, should 1 be 
so happy as to obtain a majority of your suffrages. 
If writs are put into my hands against any of you, I 
will take you if I can, and, unless you can get bail, 
I will deliver you over to the keeper of the gaoJ. 
Secondly, if judgments are found against you, and 
executions directed to me, I will sell your property 
as the law directs, without favour or affection ; and 
if there be any surplus money, I will punctually 
remit it. Thirdly, if any of you should commit a 
crime (which God forbid), that requires capital 
punishment, according to law, I will hang you up by 
the neck till you are dead." 



COURTOIS. 

John Courtois, who died in 1819, worth a quarter 
of a million of money, was a hair-dresser, and a 
native of France. He came to England in the capacity 
of a gentleman's valet ; and after living with several 
persons of respectability, set up shop as a hair-dresser. 
Here he earned on the business of a peruke-maker and 
o 3 



160 PI- lie Y ANECDOTES. 

hair-dresser, on a respectable footing, niau;y years : 
but lie added to his profession another, which proved 
more lucrative : having a very extensive acquaintance 
with the servants in genteel families, his shop became 
the resort of persons of that description, particularly 
those who were out of place. These he instructed 
in the art of hair-dressing, gave them temporary em- 
ployment, and never failed in procuring them situ- 
ations ; for all which, he expected a handsome ac- 
knowledgment ; and if they refused to comply with 
his terms, he was sure to make them feel the effects 
of his resentment. By these means, and the most 
penurious habits, he soon made money, which he 
very carefully placed out upon public security ; where 
interest reduplicating upon itself with continued ad- 
ditions to the principal, multiplied to a large capital 
in the course of a few years. 

The late Lord Gage one day met Courtois at the 
East India House, where a sharp contest for the di- 
rection was pending ; and being rather surprised, he 
accosted him thus :— " Ah, Courtois, what brings 
you here?" " To give ray votes, my lord," was 
the answer. " What, are you a proprietor?" "Most 
certainly." " And more votes than one ?" •' Yes, 
my lord, I have^bur." " Aye, indeed ! why, then, 
before you take the book, be kind enough to pin up 
ray curls." With this demand, the proprietor of 
four votes, amounting in the whole to ten thousand 
pounds, immediately complied. Let it be observed, 
however, in justice to this eccentric nobleman, that 
Courtois was actually the regular attendant upon his 
lordship, as his friseur, at this very time. 

It should be observed of Courtois, that he was 



ECCENTRICIXy. 151 

scrupulously honest in bis dealings, and faithful to 
his engagements. The tax-gatherers had never to 
call upon hira twice ; for if he was not at home, and 
they left their bill, he made it a point, the same or 
the next day, to wait upon them with the amount of 
their demand. His appearance was quite of the last 
age ; his chapeau being such as was worn forty or 
fifty years ago, and his coat invariably of a fawn or 
morone colour, though sufficiently threadbare to de- 
note the carefulness of the wearer. 



SPLEXDID MISER. 

Dich?eus Dichaeanus, was a splendid miser, who 
united the opposite characters of great parsimony 
and magnificent appearance, which he thought him- 
self bound to maintain, as he claimed a descent 
from the Byzantine emperors. His table was spread 
twice a day, as if for grand entertainments ; and 
tlie servants sent out with silver dishes and covers, 
which, after passing a few streets, they brought back 
empty as they went out, while their master was din- 
ing on cheap vegetables, or perhaps a morsel of 
pork or mutton. His supper, though splendidly 
arrayed, was an egg, or a few olives with a gill of 
sour wine. 

When he went out, his servants attended him in 
rich liveries ; but on their return, they were ordered 
to resume their own clothes. In the winter, no fire 
was permitted in any part of his house, except the 
kitchen. His servants were ordered to wash in the 
sun ; or if the sky was cloudy, to run races, or draw 
water from a deep well, that they might be warmed 



152 PlillCY ANECDOTES. 

without the expense of fire. He himself was sl)ut 
up in his bed-room over a miserable spark, sustained 
by all the dirty and waste paper which he had care- 
fully collected during the other seasons of the year. 
During his last sickness, when he was puzzled to 
whom he should bequeath his property, a letter carae 
from a relation written on an inch of paper. Instead 
of being enraged at such disrespect, his avarice got 
the better of his pride, and he declared the writer 
his heir, esteeming him, by this instance, well worthy 
of being his successor in parsimony. 



SHUT THE DOOR. 
Dean Swift, though a good master, was very rigid 
uith his servants. The task of hiring Iheai was 
always entrusted to his housekeeper; but the only two 
positive commands he had for them, he generally de- 
livered himself ; these weie, to shut the door when- 
ever they came into, or went out of, a room. One 
of his maid servants one day asked permission to go 
to her sister's wedding, at a place about ten miles 
distant. Swift not only consented, but lent her one 
of his own horses, and ordered his servant to ride 
before her. The girl, in the ardour of her joy for 
this favour, forgot to shut tlie door after her, when she 
left the room. In about a quarter of an hour after- 
wards, the Dean sent a servant after her, to order her 
immediate return ; the poor girl complied, and entering 
his presence, begged to know in what she olFended, 
or what her master wished. " Only shut the door/* 
said the Dean, " and then resume your journey." 



ECCENTRICITY. 153 

SINGULAR DOWRIES. 

About 1770, there was living in London, a trades- 
man, who had disposed of eleven daughters in mar- 
riage, with each of whom he gave their weight in 
halfpence, as a fortune. The young ladies must have 
been bulky, for the lightest of them weiglied fifty 
pounds, two shillings, and eight pence. 

ROYALIST CLERGYMAN. 

On the death of Charles the First, the first Earl 
of Orrery retired to a seat at Marston, which his 
father had purchased from Sir John Hippesley, The 
parish church of Marston was very near to the man- 
sion house, and his lordship was a regular attendant 
every Sunday. On one occasion, the minister, from 
some cause or other, did not make his appearance ; 
and the earl, after sitting in his pew for some time, 
was preparing to return home, when his servants told 
him, that there was a person in the church who of- 
fered to preach. His lordship, though he looked 
upon the proposal as that of some vain enthusiast, 
gave permission ; and was most agreeably' surprised 
to hear a sermon replete with learning, sense, and 
piety. The earl would not sutFer the preacher to 
escape unknown, but invited him to dine at the mau- 
sion J and on requesting to know his name and cir- 
cumstances in life, received this answer : " My lord, 
my name is Ashberry ; I am a clergyman of the 
Church of England, and a loyal subject to the king; 
I have lived three years in a poor cottage under your 



154 rUKCY ANECDOTLS. 

warren wall, within a few paces of your lordship's 
house. JM)' son lives with me, and we read and dig 
hjf turns. I have a little money, and some few books, 
and I submit cheerfully to the will of Providence." 

This worthy and learned man, for such Lord 
Orrery always called him, died at Marston some years 
after, l)ut not till his lordship liad obtained an allow- 
ance of _£30 per annum for him, without any obli- 
gation of taking the covenant. 

The cottage in which the reverend nonconformist 
lived, and the field wh.ieh he used to dig, iiave been 
since taken into the gardens of Marston House ; but 
the cottage, consisting of only two rooms, has, in 
memory of its ancient occupant, been preserved in 
its original form, and furnished in a style of equal 
antiquity, with all sorts of useful furniture, books, 
prints, &c. 

DUKE OF QUEENSBERRY. 

The Duke of Queensberry, of sporting memory, 
used to say, that he read but two publications, the 
newspaper, and an almanack. During the latter 
years of his life, after eating his breakfast, he was 
placed on a sofa facing one of his parlour windows 
in Piccadilly. Behind him stood a nomenclaior, 
during the wliole forenoon, to announce the names 
of such of his friends as might pass by, to whom he 
frequently sent out messages, invitations, «5cc. This 
was so common, that many of them, when in haste, 
avoided walking that way. One of his grooms was 
constantly on horseback to convey letters. He had 
a report of all the police cases, daily, from Bow 



ECCENTRICITY. 155 

Street; and Aaron Graham, Esq., called on hira every 
Sunday with a summary. So uniform was his grace 
in attendance, during certain fixed liours, in his 
drawing room or his balcony, tliat a gentleman, who 
set out for India in quest of a fortune, and ten years 
afterwards returned, actually found the duke in tbe 
same spot, and engaged in a similar pursuit, as when 
he left him. 

The Duke of Queensberry was a keen and an ec- 
centric sportsman [see Anecdotes of Paatime^. Among 
the singular bets that he made, was one, that he would 
cause a pig to run a mile without stopping, and with- 
out being driven or led. To do this, he got a young 
pig, which he placed in a sty, with a trough just 
outside, to which it was regularly let out ; next day 
the trough was removed a few yards further from the 
sty, and the distance encreased gradually, until it 
was at length placed a mile from it. Six weeks were 
taken thus to train up the pig; and he always, as 
soon as let out of the sty, ran forward to the trough, 
and thus, on the day of trial, won the Duke of 
Queensberry two thousand guineas. 

THE RULING PASSIOX. 

M. de la Mothe le Vayer, a Parisian counsellor of 
state, was extremely fond of the relation of voyagers, 
and of every information from foreign countries. 
This propensity he retained to the latest moments of 
his life. The last words he uttered to a friend, wlio 
attended him on his death bed, were, "Have you, 
ray dear sir, heard any news from the Great Mogul ?" 



156 PEIICY ANKCDOTRS. 



ROYAL NIMROD. 

Charles the Third of Spain was much more at- 
tached to the sports of the field, than the splendours 
of the monarchy. His dress was usually a large hat, 
a plain grey Segovia frock, a but}" waistcoat, a small 
dagger, black breeches, and worsted stockings. On 
court days, a fine suit was liung upon his slioulders ; 
but as he always had an eye to Jiis afternoon's sport, 
and was a great economist of his time, he always 
retained the lower part of his robe, even on gala 
days. 

There were but three days in the whole year that 
he spent without going out shooting, and these were 
noted with the blackest mark in the Calendar. No 
storm, heat, or cold, could keep him at home ; and 
if he heard of a wolf having been seen, he accounted 
all distance as nothing, and would drive over half 
tlie kingdom, rather than miss an opportunity of firing 
at his favourite game. Besides a most nuuierous re- 
tinue of persons belonging to his hunting establish- 
ment, several times a year, all the idle fellows in and 
about Madrid were hired to scour the neighbouring 
country, and drive the wild boars, deer, and hares 
into a ring, where they passed before tlic royal 
family. 

LAUGH AND GROW FAT. 

Whe!i Foote was in Scotland, he travelled from 
Dumfries to Edinburgh, in a stage coach, in com- 
pany with a country gentleman of enormous size. 



ECCENTUICITY. 157 

Becoming by tlie way pretty familiar with liis com- 
panion, Foote asked him in what employment he was, 
or if he was in any ? Tlie gentleman replied, that 
he was a land owner. Foote enquired how much 
that might yield him a year ? " From fifty to seventy 
pounds." "What!" exclaimed Foote, affecting the 
utmost amazement ; " and is it possible so small an 
income can ever maintain so immense a man as you 
are? Ah, my good friend, how I pity you. Here," 
pulling out of his pocket some half a dozen guineas, 
" there, take them, my honest fellow ; they are all I 
have at present ; I wish, for your sake, they were 
more ; but few as they are, they will be a help to a 
gentleman in your melancholy circumstances." The 
stranger, who was luckily a man of sense as well as 
bulk, laughed heartily at this sally of his fellow tra- 
veller, but assured him, that in his country, it was 
not the custom for men to grow fat on the charity of 
others. " But how then," said Foote, " do you con- 
trive it ?" " Oh I" replied the gentleman, " I'll tell 
you ; there's an old saying, laugh and grow fat— And 
do you know," continued he, " that though I have 
laughed a great deal to be as fat as I am, I am on my 
way now to Edinburgh to have some more laughing. 

There's one Foote " " Now sitting opposite to 

you," whispered the English Aristophanes, " who is 
delighted to find, that though you won't accept his 
gxiineas, he nriay yet help you in anotlier way, by 
making you laugh to your heart's content." 



158 I'EilCY ANliCDOTES. 



TASTE. 



A gentleman calling one morning upon Mr. Ryan, 
the comedian, at Lis lodgings in a lane near West- 
minster market, expressed his astonishment at his 
choosing to bury himself in so unpleasant a situation. 
" Why !" added he, "you have no prosj)ect what- 
ever." " No prospect!" rejoined Ryan,jum})ing up 
to the window ; " come here, my boy, and I'll show 
you a most delightful prospect." Ryan then pointed 
to two butchers' shops, with a whole range of fresh 
killed carcases. "There," continued he, "there's 
a prospect for you, to which no language can do 
justice." 

MR. CLARK, OF EXETER CHANGE. 

Mr. Thomas Clark, the well known proprietor of 
Exeter Change, where he amassed as large a fortune 
as was perhaps ever gained by a single individual, 
in the way of retail trade, was one of the most sin- 
gular individuals of his day. Selling nothing but 
what was of the best quality, being content to sell at 
a small profit, and always asking at once the lowest 
price he would take, he acquired an extent of retail 
custom unrivalled in the metropolis ; and his coffers 
lillc-d rapidly witli the fruits of fair industry. But 
what perhaps served not less to promote his fortune, 
was the frugal, or rather penurious, mode of life, 
which, to his latest hour, he observed. The cost of 
liis dinner, on six days of the week, seldom exceeded 
ninepence ; he took it on the bare board, in a small 



ECCENTRICITY. 159 

closet adjoining liis range of shops ; and after he had 
finished, would step across to tlie public house op- 
posite to the west of the Change, take a glass of gin 
and water, wl;ich cost him an additional twopence, 
and tiien immediately return to resume the business 
of the day. Such was the even, undeviating tenor 
of his way, till he approached his eightieth year, 
when he expired, after a short illness. So large were 
the profits of Mr. Clark's trade, that wiien the in- 
come tax vvas imposed, he returned tliem at ^6,000. 
The tax collector conceiving that he had, by mistake, 
returned, and overrated too, his whole stock, in- 
stead of his income, sent back to Mr. Clark his 
schedule for correction. Mr. Clark added another 
thousand, and begged to assure the collector, that he 
had now stated the utmost amount. '* Aye, but," 
said the other, " I want your income, not your pro- 
perty." " Will you be content to take it as ray in- 
come ?" "Oh, yes." "So will I," replied the 
old merchant, and wished the astonished collector a 
good morning. The fortune which ]Mr. Clark left to 
his family, is supposed to have amounted to neaily 
half a million. 

ALEXANDER CRUDEN. 

Alexander Cruden, the eccentric autlior of " tlie 
Concordance," was very intimate with the famous Dr. 
Bradbury, a zealous dissenting clergyman. The 
doctor had one evening prepared an excellent supper 
for several friends ; at the moment it w as served on 
the table, Mr. Cruden made I'.is appearance in the 
room, heated with walking. The doctor's favourite 



160 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

dish, a turkey, was smoking at one end of the 
table, and before the company could be; seated, 
Cruden advanced, put back liis wig, and with both 
liands plunged in the gravy, he calmly washed his 
hands and liis face over the bird, to the no small 
mortification of the doctor and his company. 



SAILORS. 

The eccentricity of British sailors is proverbial, 
and displays itself in the heat of action, and the 
calm of peace. How many interesting anecdotes are 
already related of these bulwarks of Britain ; and how 
many more a close observer in one of our sea ports 
might record ! After the battle of Campfcrdown, in 
which the plan of breaking the line was adopted so 
successfully, it became a favourite amusement with 
the sailors, who came on shore, to hire coaches, or 
post chaises, and mounting the roofs, form a line, 
and cross each other in the streets. The top of a 
coach, is the post of honour with a British tar. A 
sailor in his way to town some years ago, rode on the 
top of a post chaise, until a heavy rain induced him 
to go inside. He overtook a marine, who asked him 
to give him a lift. " That I will," said the sailor, 
getting out, and again mounting the mof of the 
coach, " go down below, but shiver my splinters if 
any marine shall ever board a vessel I am in." 

Careless of danger, an English sailor sees nothing 
but victory and prize money in an engagement. 
" There," said a British tar, when his captain did 
not deem it advisable to attack a Spanish vessel undei 



ECCENTRICITY. 161 

large convoy, " there goes fifty pounds of my money 
for ever." 

Ever jealous, and ever proud, of his country, a 
British sailor will not see it second in any thing. 
After a severe engagement with the Dutch fleet, 
under De Ruyter, which was a drawn battle, the 
vessels of each fleet lay along side each other, inca- 
pable of further hostility. A Dutchraaji, anxious 
to show his agility, run up to the top of the main- 
mast, and stood on his head on the summit. A 
British sailor, jealous for the honour of his country, 
mounted his mast with equal agility, but in attempt- 
ing to invert his position, he fell, the ropes broke his 
fall, and he reached the decks without receiving any 
injury. Turning to the Dutchmen who had been 
witnessing his exploit, he said, " there, mynheers, do 
that if you can." 

During the campaign in Egypt, some sailors in the 
harbour of Alexandria, took it into their heads that 
they would go and drink a bowl of punch on the top of 
Pompey's pillar. How to get there, was, however, a 
matter of some difficulty, but not too great for a sailor 
to surmount. A paper kite was made to fly di- 
rectly over the pillar. A two inch rope was then 
tied to one end of the string, and drawn over the 
pillar by the end to which the kite was affixed. By 
this rope, one of the seamen ascended to the top, and 
in less than an hour, a kind of shroud was con- 
structed, by which the whole company went up and 
drank their punch, amidst the shouts of the asto- 
nished multitude who had collected round the spot. 
The sailors, eight in number, left the initials of their 
names inscribed on the pillar. They discovered 
p 3 



l(J2 PliKCY AN LCD OILS. 

what was not before known, that there had formerly 
been a statue on the pillar, the foot and ancle of 
which are still remaining. 



A LINGUIST. 

Among the singular characters which nature sorac- 
tiraes produces, and which display a diversity from 
mankind in general, few have been more remarkable 
than Richard Robert Jones, of Aberdaron, in Car- 
narvonshire, who, although an excellent linguist, is, 
in almost every other respect, an idiot. From what 
cause he imbibed a taste for the acquisition of lan- 
guages, is not known. Born of humble parents, he 
had few advantages of education ; and it was not 
until he was nine years of age, that he was enabled 
to read the Bible in his native language. He then 
attempted to acquire the English, but found it very 
difficult. 

At the age of fifteen, Richard began to study the 
Latin, by the assistance of a boy in the parish school, 
and by getting into the school room while the boys 
were absent, and using their books. When nine- 
teen years of age, he purchased a Greek Grammar, 
and soon was enabled to read that language. 

In some excursions from his native place, which 
the severity of his father, on account of his indolence, 
induced him to make, he procured some classical 
elementary works, and attracted the notice of the 
Bishop of Bangor, who took him into his house, 
where he remained but a short time. During a 
temporary residence at Anglesea, he became ac- 
quainted with some French refugees, who supplied 



KCCENTlllCITY. 163. 

him with a grammar of that lauguage, of which Ijc 
soon acquired so good a knowledge, as to speak it 
correctly. He next mastered Italian, which he spoke 
with great ease and fluency. The next excursion 
Richard made, was to Liverpool, where he had once 
before accompanied his father. His person and 
dress at this time were extremely singular. To an 
immense shock of black hair, he united a bushy 
beard of the same colour. His clothing consisted 
of several coarse and ragged vestments, the spaces 
between which, were filled with books, surrounding 
him in successive layers, so that he was literally a 
walking library. These books all occupied their 
proper stations, being placed higher or lower, ac- 
cording as their sizes suited the conformation of his 
body ; so that he was acquainted with the situation 
of each, and could bring it out, when wanted, with- 
out difficulty. When introduced into a room, he 
had not the least idea of any thing that surrounded 
him ; and when he took his departure, he appeared 
to have forgotten the entrance. Absorbed in his 
studies, he had continually a book in Jiis hand, to 
which he frequently referred, as if to communicate 
or receive information, and apparently under a con- 
eviction that every person he met with, was as much 
interested in such studies as himself. His sight was 
imperfect, his voice sharp and dissonant ; and, upon 
the whole, his appearance and manners grotesque in 
the highest degree ; yet, under all these disadvan- 
tages, there was a gleam in his countenance, which 
marked intelligence, and an unaffected simplicity in 
his behaviour, which conciliated regard. 

Soon after his arrival at Liverpool, an attempt 



164 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

was made by sonic of his friends to obtain for him a 
suitable cnijiloyment ; but before tliat could be ex- 
pected, it was necessary that he should be rendered 
more decent in his person, and provided with better 
clothes. Being then asked to what employment he 
had been brought up, he answered, to that of a 
sawyer. A recommendation was, therefore, given 
him to a person who employed many hands in sawing, 
and Richard was put down in the saw-pit. He accord- 
ingly commenced his labours, and proceeded for some 
lime with a fair prospect of success. It was not long, 
however, before his efforts relaxed, and grew fainter 
and fainter : till at length he fell on his face, and lay 
extended at the bottom of the pit, calling out loudly 
for help. On raising him up, and enquiring into the 
cause of his disaster, it appeared that he had la- 
boured to the full extent of his arms' length, when, 
not being aware that it was necessar}' he should also 
move his feet forwards, and being quite breathless 
and exhausted, he was found in the situation de- 
scribed. As soon as he had recovered himself, he 
returned to the person who sent him, and complained 
loudl}? of the treatment he had received, and of his 
being put down under ground. On being asked why 
he had represented himself as a sawyer, he replied, 
that he had never been employed in any other kind 
of sawing, tlian cross cutting the branches of timber 
trees when fallen in the woods in Wales." 

As there was little prospect of instructing Richard 
in any useful occupation, he was placed in a situation 
at Liverpool, where he might pursue his studies with 
greater advantages ; but after remaining there about 
six months, he returned home, until a new quarrel 



ECCIiNTlllClTY. 163 

with his father again made him travel. He went 
back to Liverpool, where he was obliged to part 
with a Hebrew Bible, with points, a.-iJ Masoretic va- 
rious Headings ; a sacrifice which he regretted so 
deeply, that he resolved to undertake a journey to 
Loudon, for the purpose of buying another, and at 
the same time of obtaining some instruction in the 
Chaldean and Syriac languages. 

In the summer of 1807, Richard accordingly set 
out from Liverpool, furnished with a small packet 
on his back, a long pole in his hand, round which 
was rolled a map of the roads, and his few remain- 
ing books deposited in the various foldings of his 
dress. This journey did not, however, answer the 
purposes intended ; and, what was still worse, he 
could neither find any employment, nor obtain as- 
sistance " by any means whatever." 

From London, Richard made his way to Dover, 
probably not without some intention of obtaining a 
passage to the continent. But here his ill -fortune 
seems to have changed, and lie was engaged in sifting 
ashes in the king's dock-yard, under the direction of 
the superintendent, who benevolently allowed him 
his breakfast in a morning, and furnished him with 
a chest to keep his books, and also paid him two 
shillings and fourpence per day as wages. From 
this income, Richard was not only enabled to pro- 
vide for his personal wants, but also to pay 
the Rabbi Nathan, a celebrated proficient in Hebrew, 
for instruction in that language, and for the books 
requisite for tlie purpose. In this situation he con- 
tinued for nearly three years, which seem to have 
been passed more happily than any other period of 
his life; nor can it be denied, that the circumstance 



IGG PERCY ANECDOTES, 

of a person in his forlorn and destitute situation, 
labouring for his daily subsistence, and applying a 
part of his humble earnings to acquire a knowledge 
of the ancient languages, forms as singular an object 
as the annals of literature can produce. 

In 1810, Illchard returned to London, wiiere he 
was reduced to tlic utmost distress, and compelled 
to sell all his books to prevent his being starved to 
death ; the Welsh Bardic Society, liowevcr, on 
learning his destitute condition, furnislied him with 
the means of returning to his native country. 

In the perusal of the numerous works that have 
engaged the attention of this singular individual, his 
thief pleasure is not derived from the facts or the 
information they contain, but from the mere investi- 
gation of tlie words, and the grammatical constitution 
of the languages. 

Richard's studies are diversified by some eccen- 
tricities, which show that he is not wholly incapable 
of other acquirements. At one time in particular, he 
was highly delighted with blowing a ram's horn, 
which he did in such a manner, as rendered him no 
inconsiderable nuisance to the neigiibourhood. Hav- 
ing had a present made to him of a handsome French 
horn, he threw aside his former instrument, and, by 
constant assiduity, qualified himself to play a few 
tunes in a manner more remarkable for its noise than 
its accuracy, Thus accomj)lished, he paid a visit to 
Chester during tiie election of 1818 ; and arriving 
there at the precise time when the baud of General 
Grosvenor were celebrating his leturu, he placed 
himself in the midst of ihcra — 



ECCENTlllCITY. 167 

" and blew a blast so loud and dread, 

Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of vfoe." 

Tile derangement thus occasioned, induced the 
general to call him up to him ; when, after a few 
words, he made hira a handsome present, and gave 
him his permission to blow his horn as long as he 
pleased. 

Another of his peculiarities is a partiality for the 
whole race of cats, which he seems to regard with 
great affection, and to re>ent any injury done to 
them with the utmost indignation. This singular 
predilection has led hira to adorn the numerous books 
on grammar, which he has himself written, with 
prints of cats, cut from old ballads, or wherever else 
he can discover them ; and to copy every thing that 
has been written and strikes his fancy respecting 
them ; amongst which is " The Auction of Cats in 
Cateaton Street," the well-known production of one 
of the most celebrated wits of the present day. 

The principal residence of Richard for some years 
has been at Liverpool, where he may be seen at 
times walking with a book under his arm, without 
noticing or speaking to any one, unless he be first 
spoken to ; when he ansv\ers in any language in 
which he is addressed, with great readiness and 
civility. If any gratuity be offered to him (iox he 
never solicits it), he receives it with a degree of 
hesitation, generally using the words — "I am 
not worth}'." To any ridicule to which his dress 
and appearance may give rise, he is totally iusen- 
jiible. At one time he chose to tie up his hair with 
a large piece of green ferret, which gave him lie 



168 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

most ludicrous appearance possible. Some time 
since, one of his friends gave lam a light-liorseman's 
jacket, of blue and silver, •\%hich lie immediately put 
on, and continued to wear ; and which, contrasted 
with his hair and beard, gave him the appearance of 
a Jewish warrior, as represented in old prints, and 
consequently attracted after him a crowd of children. 
In liis present appearance, he strongly resembles 
some of the beggars of Rembraridt ; and if he had 
lived in the time of tliat great artist, might have af- 
forded a good subject for his immortal pencil. 

M. VANDILLE. 

At the beginning of the cighttenth century, the 
chief magistrate at Boulogne, was M. Vandille, 
who, by mere saving, had amassed a large fortune. 
His usual diet was bread and milk ; and it was gene- 
rally thought, that it was to save the price of this 
milk, that he sought and obtained his judicial office. 
He now took upon himself to be milk-taster general, 
at the public market : " It was a cruel thing," he said, 
" that the inhabitants should be imposed on in an 
article of such necessity ; and he was resolved, for 
their sakes, to try, himself, the quality of all the milk 
brought into the town." Every morning and evening, 
after eating his loaf at home, he would take his walk 
among the milk- women, and by taking a sip from each 
pail, was enabled, without a farthing of expense to him- 
self, to indulge to any extent in his favourite beverage. 
His wealth, which accumulated rapidly, was all invested 
in the public funds ; and becoming by this means 
favourably known in the capital, M. Vandille was at 



ECCENTRICITY. 169 

length invited to take apart in the magistracy of Paris. 
He hesitated, at first, about accepting the promotion, 
for he did not know how lie should be otf for milk 
at Paris, and the expenses of the journey thither 
must be enormous. Reflecting, however, that the 
metropolis was a vast field for a man of his inge- 
nuity ; and consoling himself with the probability of 
being able, in some way or other, to make up for the 
great sacrifices iie must make ; be decided on sub- 
mitting to the honour which, as he declared, had 
been thrust upon him. After converting every thing 
he possessed in the world, into money, he remitted 
the whole to Paris ; reserving only wherewith to 
defray tlie expenses of his journey ; but that, in 
these expenses, he might not be seduced into any 
irrecoverable extravagance, the sura reserved was 
only threepence, though tlie journey is one of a 
hundred and thirty miles. With so light a purse, 
riding was of course out of the question. M. Van- 
dille resolved to walk ; but even that he could not 
have accomplished, had he not, at the same time, 
very prudently assumed the disguise of a mendicant 
priest : in which character he received benefactions 
from the pious persons whom he met by the way, that 
more than trebled his scanty store. How M. Van- 
dilje succeeded in Paris, all the ways he took to 
acquire and save money, it would be tedious to 
relate ; suflice it to state, that by the year 1735, 
when he had reached his seventy-eighth year, he had 
amassed a fortune of not less than eight hundred thou- 
sand pounds. He was still a hale old man, and 
had the prospect of living many years longer ; but 
was suddenly cut oft", in the great attempt of saving 

Q 



170 PERCY AM-CDOTliS. 

a sixpence ; the expenditure of wliicli, might have 
saved his life. Being seized with some indanimatory 
systems, in consequence of over-heating liiniself, he 
sent for a surgeon to bleed him. TJie surgeon asking 
half a livre for the operation, was at once turned 
about his business. An apothecary was then sent 
for ; but though of humbler rank, he disdained to 
accept of less than his neighbour. Vandille then 
sent for a poor barber, who undertook to open a vein 
for threepence a time, " Aye, but," said this worthy 
economist, " how often, friend, will it be necessary 
to bleed ?" " Three times." " And what quantity 
of blood do you intend to take each time?" " Eight 
ounces." " Well, but why can't you take the wliole 
twenty-four ounces at once ? You want to make a 
job of me, you scoundrel. Here, sir; there is your 
threepence, and take the twenty-four ounces immedi- 
ately." Tlie barber was generous enough to obey ; M. 
Vandille lost t'le twenty-four ounces of blood, and 
died in a few days, leaving all his vast treasures to 
the king, whom he made his sole heir. 



WALKING STEWART. 

John Stewart, better known by the name of 
Walking Stewart, from his having performed a pe- 
destrian tour through the principal countries of the 
known worlds in order, as he said, " to discover the 
])oIarity of moral truth," returned to London, and pa- 
raded the streets in an Armenian dress, in order, as be 
said, to attract attention. Recovering a sum of money, 
on the liquidation of the debts of the Nabob of Arcot, 
for his services in Ifdia, he comnienced a series of 



ECCENTRICITY. 171 

entertainments. Every evening, a conversazione was 
held at his house, which was further enlivened by 
nmslc On Sundays, he gave dinners to a select 
parly, when lie usually treated his friends with a 
philosophical discourse, and sacred music froui 
Handel's compositions, to which he was very partial, 
particularly the dead march in Saul, which was the 
signal for his visitors' marching od', as it generally 
concluded the evening. AVhen advanced in years, 
he was still everj' day to be found, either silting on a 
bench in St. James's Park, or in one of the recesses 
of Westminster Bridge, where he was still in search 
of the •' polarity of moral truth ;" and he seldom 
suffered any person, whether a friend or a stranger, 
to sit near him, without introducing his favourite sub- 
ject : though it is believed he never met with one who 
could understand him. [See Anecdotes of TraveUing.l 



IMPRESSMENT. 

During the time of the American war, when the 
impressment was very severe in London, the gang 
stopped a gentleman's carriage, with two footmen behind 
it, and securing one of them, began to carry him off. 
The man remonstrated to tlie lieutenant on the hardship' 
of taking him in preference to his fellow servant. 
" Avast there," said the otiicer to his men, " the fel- 
low's right, they shall both pitch for their beef alike." 
He then took a shilling, and bade the father servant, 
who remained behind the carriage, call head or tail, 
as he tossed it up. "Head." says the servant. 
"No, its a t-iil," exclaimed the lieutenant, " so unship 
yourself, and let your messmate come aboard in your 
Q 2 



172 PERCY ANI'TDOTliS. 

room ;" wliicli the poor fellow was compelled to do, 

and was instantly inarched olV. 



HUME. 

Hurae was once crossing a temporary bridge, 
which connected the new with the old town of 
Edinburgh, wlien it unfortunately gave way, and he 
fell into the swamp. He called loudly for assistance, 
when an old woman hastened to the spot ; but per- 
ceiving who it was that thus invoked aid, she re- 
fused to give him any assistance, on the ground that 
he was an Atheist. " Oh no, no," said the phi- 
losopher, " I am no Atheist, I assure you, good 
woman, you are quite mistaken." " If you are not 
an Atheist," returned she, " you can say your belief; 
and if you cannot do that, I will be no aid to save an 
infidel." Mr. Hume finding no other person ap- 
proaching to his assistance, distinctly repeated the 
apostles' creed, and having convinced the good 
woman of his Christian education at least, was 
charitably afforded that relief, which otherwise she 
would have thought it a duty of religion to deny 
him. 



ROUSSEAU. 

Rousseau lived long on his fifth lloor in Paris, en- 
tirely forgotten by the world, which he alfected to 
despise, and from affectation, really shunned ; when 
an accident that happened to him, in one of his 
solitary walks, brought him once more, for a single 
moment, on the stage of the public. He was met in 



ECCENTRICITY. 173 

a narrow part of the street, by Monsieur de Fargeaii, 
driving very fast in his carriage, and in his attempt 
to get out of the way, was pushed by a large Danish 
dog running before the horses, and thrown down iii 
the road. Monsieur de St. Fargeau immediately 
stopped his coach, and liastened to assist the per- 
son M hom liis dog had thus knocked down ; but as 
soon as he recognized the author of Erailius, he 
redoubled liis apologies and his attentions, and 
pressed him, in the most polite manner possible, to 
allow him the happiness of conveying him back to 
his lodgings. The philosopher was inexorable, and 
returned alone, and on foot. Next morning, Monsieur 
de St. Fargeau sent to enquire for liim. '* Tell your 
master to chain up his dog," was bis only answer. 

WINDSOR FARMER. 

His late majesty was very fond of tench, and 
gentlemen in the neighbourhood of Windsor used 
frequently to send presents of that fish to the castle. 
Among others, a plain, but honest farmer, brought 
a brace of tench in a basket. A servant offered to 
take them, but the farmer would not deliver them to 
any person but the king ; who, being apprized of it, 
came out, and seeing the tench remarkably fine, sent 
for the queen to see them. His majesty tlien offered 
the farmer five guineas, but he refused it, telling the 
king, that if be would only call on him at his farm, 
he would drag the pond, and get some njore ; his 
majesty took the address, and in about a fortnight 
called on the farmer, whose servants being absent, 
harvesting, the king helped to drag the pond, and 
Q 3 



174 I'EKCY ANIiCDOTES. 

j^ot some fme fisli, and gave ten guineas to the 
farmer's children. 

JOSEPH SANFORD. 

When Joseph Sanford, of Baliol College, Oxford, 
so well known for his learning and singularity in 
dress, applied to the hishop for ordination, he was 
introduced to the chaplain, to whom he was a stranger, 
and who, as usual, said he must examine him. The 
first question proposed, was " Quid JidesV to which 
Sanford replied, in a loud voice, " Quod 7ion vides." 
The second question was " Quid spes ?" to which 
Sanford answered, in a still louder tone, ** Futura 
res." The third was, " Quid caritas ?" to which he 
roared out, " In mundo raritas.'' On this the chap- 
lain, finding tliat he had an extraordinary character 
to deal with, left hira, and went to inform the 
bishop what had passed below, with a person he 
knew not what to make of, who had given in his 
name, Joseph Sanford, of Baliol ; this made the 
bishop laugh, and exclaim, " You examine him ! 
Why he is able to examine you and our whole bench. 
Pray desire hira to walk up." The bishop made 
an apology for the chaplain, and said he was 
sorry Mr. Sanford had not applied to him in the first 
instance. 

In an evening, it was the constant practice of Mr. 
Sanford to walk a mile up and down the shop of Mr. 
Fletcher, tlie bookseller ; and every Friday, let the 
weather be fair or foul, he never omitted Avalking to 
some house four or five miles from Oxford, on the 
banks of the Cherwell, where he used to dine on fish. 



ECCENTKICITY. 175 



MR. FARQUHAll. 

The world, which is ever judging of men by ap- 
pearances, is for ever forming most erroneous notions 
of their characters. A gentleman who is possessed of un- 
told thousands, must make a great show of his wealth 
in every thing about him • he must dress splendidly, 
and live sumptuously ; never sit down to a meal 
without a dozen servants to wait on him ; nor go 
abroad to take the air without a mob in iivery at his 
heels ; he must have his horses, and carriages, and 
hounds ; his town house, and his country house ; his 
marine villa, and his sporting box : and to all 
these superfluities, he must add a few very super- 
fluous vices, which go by the tender name of follies ; 
otherwise he is set down as a man on whom fortune 
has showered unmerited blessings, a sordid miser, 
whose sole delight consists in counting and turning 
over the treasures he has amassed. It is the way, 
indeed, of the rich to launch into such extravagances; 
but it is taking a very false view of things, to imagine 
that there is in all this any thing of a just sense of 
the true value of riches. With by far the greater 
number, the ruling motive is nothing but sheer vanity, 
or a silly compliance with what they are told the 
world expects from them. Some willingly make 
themselves a spectacle for the world to gaze atj 
others reluctantly consent, for fashion's sake, to en- 
slave themselves to a thousand thhigs they would 
much rather be without. " I have ten servants," 
said an honourable baronet, once in the House of 
Commons, " at least, ten persons who call themselves 



17G PKRCY ANECDOTES- 

my servants, tliougli, in reality, it is 1 who am the 
servant to them." Your rational man of wealth, is 
one who in all points ditiers from tlie generality of 
his class. He is the comet of his sphere, and his 
eccentricity consists in doing only what good sense 
and good feeling dictate. He dresses plainly, be- 
cause it is to his taste ; he lives frugally, for he wishes 
to live long ; lie has no more servants than are abso- 
lutely necessary to his wants ; keeps not a single 
house, nor horse, nor hound, nor carriage, that he has 
no use for ; he has his pleasures, but such as are to 
be traced neither in the destruction of innocence, 
nor in tlie spoliations of the gaming table ; it is in 
pursuits of science, literature, and virtue, in study 
while at home, and in actsof beneficence while abroad, 
that his great and sole delight consists. Such a man 
of wealth, we believe the respectable individual to 
be, to whom these Anecdotes of EccENxniciTY 
are inscribed. The world resounds with the fame of 
Mr. Farquhar's vast wealth, and many are the ex- 
clamations of surprise at his obscure habits ; but 
there arc acts of Mr. F. unknown as yet to fame (for 
it is one of his peculiarities, to love to do good in 
secret), which show that he makes a noble use of the 
fortJine, which, by his talents and industry, and not 
by his mere savings, he has acquired. 

A highly respectable individual was in want of 
a temporary accommodation ; he applied to Mr. 
Farquhar for his assistance, and tendered tlie most 
ample securities for any advance he might make. 
Mr. F. having ascertained the amount requisite to 
remedy the inconvenience, immediately, in the most 
Laudsome manner, presented the gentleman with tea 



ECCENTRICITY. 17? 

thousand pounds, a sum which formed a considerable 
surplus of his necessities, and would not accept or 
hear of even an acknowledgment for it. 

On another occasion, as he was taking bis daily 
airing on foot, and in that garb very probably which 
has caused him, at times, to be regarded as a reduced 
gentleman, meriting patrician compassion, he observed 
a gentleman eyeing very wistfully a liouse belonging 
to him, at the west end of the town, which was 
then to let. Mr. Farquhar, accosting him, begged to 
know if he wished for such a house ? The stranger, 
indicating by his looks some surprise at a question 
like this, from one who seemed to have so very little 
to do with property of any kind ; Mr. F. added, that 
" because if he did, he was the owner of the house, 
and would be glad to show it to him." The gentle- 
man observed, that " it seemed indeed a fine house, 
but it was needless for him to look at it, as he was 
afraid it was far above his means." "Well, but 
there will be no harm in your just taking a view of 
it ; you can see how you would like it, and we 
will talk afterwards about terms." Into the house 
they went, and all over it ; the stranger was loud 
in its praises ; he " would be happy," he thought, 
if he had such an one to live in ; but, indeed, it 
was impossible he could pay the rent that must be 
expected for it. Mr. Farquhar, who had taken one 
of those likings at first sight, which some people 
have the good luck to inspire, enquired with deli- 
cacy, into the state of the gentleman's circum- 
tances, and prolonged the conversation by various 
pleasant digressions, with the view, as it seemed, of 



178 



EIICY ANECDOTES. 



drawing out a display of his new acquaintance's 
character. We will not say what grounds Mr. Far- 
quhar had to be ])lea6ed with the stranger, but they 
were such, that at parting it was in these words : 
" You say you like the house, sir, and think you 
would be happy in it ; now, sir, .as 1 think you are 
a worthy man, wlio deserves to he happy, I make 
you a present of the house, that you may be so. 
Have the goodness to call at Mr. 's, my soli- 
citor, to-morrow, when you will find a conveyance 
of it made out in your favour." 

Such is I\Ir. Farquhar, a man whose " avarice," 
we are told, " may be considered as a disease whicii 
he cannot control !" 




INDEX. 



ANECDOTES OF ECCENTRICITY. 



Admonition and Thiinks .... 21 

Amateur Mourner, the 135 

Ambrose, Isaac -le 

Aquatic, an 81 

Archbishop at a Ball 142 

Avoiding the Cold 70 

&e?gar, silent 81 

Bequests, Extraordinary .... 10 

P-€Stof Frolic^s 69 

Bi? Brogues, Peter 13 

's NephcA 13 



Bird Fancier 

Brancas, Count de !26 

British Timon 37 

Bukeboiirg, Count de 36 

By and By 65 

Calf Stealing' 147 

Candidate, a fraak 149 

Cardan 12«3 

Chapelleaiid Poile.iu 114 

Clark, Mr., of Exeter Change 158 

Clonzh and Shnter .'.. 129 

Comidiinin^to the King .... 131 

Courtois _I40 

Cruden, Alexander,. T59 

Discounting a Leiacy 30 

Drea;l of bein;^ Forgotten .. i,'3 
Dundas, Sir David 49 

Economical Sportsman 31 

Epicurism 16 



Family, an Independent .. 

Fortuiiate Venture 

Franklin 

Funeral Directions 



Genealogy Hunter 96 

Getting aPrlze 25 

Place Ul 

Hastinirs, Sir Gcorire IS 

Hedsehosr Tamer ~ 106 

Hill,'Sir Rich.ird :i8 

, Sergeant ..< 145 



Honourable Humility. 
Hume ...•■ 



impressment 

Indolence and its Rewards. 

Jedediah Buxton 

Jennings, Mr 

Joseph, the Emperor 

Journev man Miser 



Keeping Accounts. 
Kindly '.Vants .... 
King's Messenger 
Kuills' Folly 



La Fontaine 

Lau^h and grow Fat 

Lenglet du Fresnoy 

Le•^son, Lady 

Lin2Uist, a ..'. 

Losing one's Head, and getiin; 

a new One 

Lottery Speculation 



Ma-liabechi 

Marchiiiont, Earl of 

Marlborough 

M'Canhv. Felix 

Melancholy Delusion 

Mezeray ..' 

Misanthrope, respectable. 

Miser, splendid 

^lonsev, Dr 

Montague, Dukeof 

Nauglitv Books 

NewcasUe, Duke of 

News Provider, a 

Noltin. Baron 

o'Learv, Dr 

Otdys.Mr 

Old Maid's Will, an 

Ostervald 



7o 
172 

171 
94 
96 
122 
116 
39 

45 
45 
47 

. 84 

79 
155 
89 
4Z 
162 

' 64 
107 

75 
78 
59 
32 
3 
6 
151 
33 
148 



Pala^onian Madness 

Pascal Blaisa 

Perpetual Motiou Seeker , 



INDEX. 



Peicrsburgli Miser 77 

Filjjrimasreto Jcrniialem .... lOo 

>Masain? the Doctor 62 

Platonist.a 109 

Folitr Apology 115 

Prodigy.a 139 

Queensberi7, Duke of 154 

Queer Shaver, a , 7 

Reason for Singularity 144 

itidiculoue Situations 68 

Rokeby, Lord 119 

Rousseau 172 

Royal Nimrod 156 

Royalist Clcrpynian 15'( 

RuUiig t'assion, tiie 135 

Sadler's Daughter, the 12 

Sailor on Shore 74 

Sailors ., 160 

Sanford, Joseph 174 

Saaev Arranfrenuuts 152 

Scholar'*. Durial, a 8 

Self Tormentor 72 

Sheridan . , 52 



Shut the Door 152 

Singular Dowries ISS 

" Solvman the MairnKicenl".. 130 

Stoppinpr the Month 117 

Switt at Thomas Town 27 

'sLastLlnes &-> 

Tailor Lijht Horse 71 

Tars tnatiiig an 01<1 Ao- 

quintxnce 38 

Taste 158 

Tax on Old Bachelors 85 

Thomas. Bishop 121 

Tooke, Home 60 



Vandramini, the Painter 
Vanrtillf, M 



Walking' Stewart 170 

Wharton, Duke of 46 

Where am 1 1 67 

Whimsical Tastes 42 

" Will vfiih the Golden Whisk- 
ers" 101 

Windsor Farmer 173 



London: D. Cartwiight, Printer, 91, D artholoinew Close. 



^ 




^A 






1 



-^, - 



FTTBLISHED MARCUl.i&^A. ST T BOY^ .7 LTTDOATnC WIX.. 



1 

IWoTRKKS or TUr. BEXF.DTCTINK MoXASTKin" 

MONT BENGER. 



QJ^tM 



ifj'PTiDor^:. 



PRIXTKl) FOR "T. BOir«, LrUCATK HILL 

1622, 



THE MEMORY 

OF HER ROYAL HIGHNESS 
CHARLOTTE, 

DAUGHTBR OF HIS MAJESTY GEORGE THE FOURTH, 
AND PRINCESS OF WALES AND 8AXE COBOUnO, 

THESE 

^mtiiott^ of IBomt^Ut itifr 

A H E 

RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED, 

BY 






lUvtn ^nttiiou^. 



ANECDOTES OF DOMESTIC LIFE. 



*' Whenever we step out of domestic life, in 
search of felicity, we come back again disappointed, 
tired, and chagrined. One day passed under our 
own roof, with our friends and our family, is wortli 
a thousand in another place. "^ 

EAHL OF ORRERY. 



SLAVERY^ OF MOTHERS IN THE EARLY 
AGES. 

In the early ages of society, tlie women of a family 
were usually treated as the servants or slaves of the 
men. Nothing could exceed the dependance and 
subjection in which they were kept, or the toil and 
drudgery which they were forced to undergo. They 
were forced to labour without intermission, in 
digging roots, in drawing water, in carrying wood, 
in milking the cattle, in dressing the victuals, in 
rearing the children, and in those other kinds of 
work, which their situation had taught them to 
perform. The husband, when he was not engaged 
in some warlike exercise, indulged himself in idle- 



4 PEKCY ANECDOTES. 

iiess ; and upon his wife devolved the whole 
burden of his domestic affairs. He disdained to 
assist her in any of these servile employments ; she 
slept in a different bed, and was seldom permitted 
to have any conversation or correspondence with 
liiiu. 

Among the negroes, on the slave coast, the wife 
is never allowed to appear before the husband, 
or to receive any thing from his hands, without 
putting herself into a kneeling posture. 

In the empire of Congo, and among the greater 
part of those nations which inhabit tlie southern 
coast of Africa, the women of a family are seldom 
permitted to eat along with the men. The husband 
sits alone at table, and his wife commonly stands at 
his back, to guard him from the flies, to serve him 
with his victuals, or to furnish him with his pipe and 
his tobacco. After he has finished his meal, she is 
allowed to eat what remains, but without sitting 
down, which it seems would be inconsistent with 
the inferiority and submission that is thought suit- 
able to her sex. When a Hottentot and his wife 
have come into the service of an European, and are 
entertained under the same roof, the master is 
undey the necessity of assigning to each of them a 
distinct portion of victuals^ which, out of regard to 
the general usage of their country, they always 
eal at a distance from one another. 

In the account which has been given by Commo- 
dore Byron, of the Indians of South America, we 
are told that " the men exercise a most despotic 
authority over their wives, whom they consider in 
the same view as they do any other part of their 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 5 

property, and dispose of them accordingly : even 
their common treatment of them is cruel ; for 
the toil and hazard of procuring food, lies entirely 
upon the women, yet they are not suffered to touch 
any part of it, till the husband is satisfied, and then 
he assigns them their portion, which is generally 
very scanty, and such as he has not a stomach for 
himself." The same author informs us, that he has 
observed a like arbitrary behaviour among many 
other nations of savages, with whom he has since 
been acquainted. 

From the servile condition of the fair sex, in 
barbarous countries, they are rendered in a great 
measure incapable of property, and are supposed to 
Lave no share in the estate of that particular family 
in which they reside. Whatever has been ac- 
quired by her labour, is under the sole adminis- 
tration and disposal of those male relations and 
friends, by whom they are protected, and from 
whom they receive a precarious subsistence. Upon 
the death of a proprietor, the estate is continued in 
possession of his sons, or transmitted to his oilier 
male relations ; and his daughters are so far from 
being entitled to a share of the succession, that 
they are even considered as a part of the inheritance ; 
which the heir is at liberty to dispose of, according 
to his pleasure. 

At the Cape of Good Hope, in the kingdom of 
Benin, and in general upon the whole southern and 
western coasts of Africa, no female is ever admitted 
to the succession of any estate, either real or 
j>er.sonal. 

The same custom is said to be observed among 



6 I'EllCY ANliCDOTLS. 

the Tartars : and there is sonjc reason to believe it 
was formerly established among all the inhabitants of 
Chaldea and Arabia. 

ORIGIN OF SOME NUPTIAL 
CEREMONIES. 

The nuptial usages and phrases in use amongst 
the moderns, are chiefly of Roman origin. It was 
a rule among the Romans, tliat the bride should be 
brought to her husband with a covering or veil cast 
over her head ; and lience the ceremony was 
called nuptia;, from nubu, to veil. 

The bridegroom gave to the bride a ring, which 
she was to wear ever after upon tlie fourth finger of 
her left hand. The Romans had an idea that there 
was a small artery which ran from that finger to the 
heart ; and the wearing of the ring upori it was 
designed as an emblem of hearts united. The 
discoveries of the moderns in anatomy, have shown 
this supposition to be erroneous ; but the custom of 
wedding with the ring, and wearing it on the fourth 
finger of the left hand, still survives. 

When the woman was brought home to the house 
of her husband, she was preceded by five torches, 
which were intended to signify the need which 
married persons have of five deities — Jupiter, 
Juno, Venus, Suada, and Diana, or Luchia. When 
the woman was thus brought to the door, she 
then anointed the posts with oil ; and from this 
ceremony obtained thereafter the name of unxor, or 
for the sake of euphony, nxor, whence our term 
uxorious. 



DOMliSriC LIFli. 



A HAPPY COUPLE. 

Pliny was one of the best husbands in llie whole 
Kouian empire j and if we may credit his descrip- 
tions, he had one of the best of women for his wife. 
He did uot think it beneath him to treat his wife as 
a friend and counsellor, as well as a compauion. 
In his letters to his wife, Calphuruia, wiien absent 
from her, he breathes <*ie most ardent, and at the 
same time the most delicate, affection. How much 
he really loved his wife, we find, as far as words 
can ex]:)ress it, in the following letter to her aunt, 
Hispulla ; 

" As I remember the great affection which was be- 
tween you and your excellent brother, and know you 
love his daughter as your own, so as not only to express 
the tenderness of the best of aunts, but even to 
supply that of the best of fathers, I am sure it will give 
you pleasure to hear that she proves worthy of lier 
father, w^orthy of you, and of your and her ancestors. 
Her ingenuity is admirable ; her frugality is extra- 
ordinary. She loves me, the surest pledge of 
her virtue ; and adds to this a wonderful disposition 
to learning, which she has acquired from her affec- 
tion to me. She reads my writings, studies them, 
and even gets them by heart. You would smile to 
see the concern she is in, when I have a cause to 
plead ; and the joy she shows when it is over. She 
finds means to have the first news brought her of 
the success I meet with in court, how I am heard, 
and what decree is made. If 1 recite any thing in 
public, she cannot refrain from placing herself 



8 I'RRCY ANECDOTES. 

privately in some comer, to hear : wliero, with tlie 
utmost delight, she feasts upon my applauses : 
sometimes she sings my verses, and accompanies 
them with the lute, without any master, except love, 
the best of instructors. From these instances 1 
take the most certain omens of our perpetual and 
increasing happiness, since her affection is not 
founded on my youth or person, which must 
gradually decay ; but she is in love with the im- 
mortal part of me — my glory and reputation. Nor 
indeed could less be expected from one who had the 
happiness to receive her education from you, who, in 
your house, was accustomed to every thing that was 
virtuous and decent, and even began to love me on 
your recommendation. For as you had always the 
greatest respect for my mother, ypu were pleased, 
from my infancy, to form me, to commend me, and 
kindly to presage that I should be one day what mj 
wife fancies I am : accept, therefore, our united 
thanks ; mine, that you have bestowed her on me ; 
and hers, that you have given me to her as a mutual 
grant of joy and felicity." 

TOMB OF THE TWO LOVERS. 

At Tarentum, there was to be seen, in the time of 
Valerius JMaximus, a sepulchre, which was known 
by the name of the Tomb of the Two Lovers. It 
contained the remains of M. Plautius and his wife, 
Orestilla. Plautius had been sent by the senate of 
Rome, to conduct into Asia, a fleet of sixty ships, 
belonging to the confederates ; he put on shore at 
Tarentum, where his wife, Orestilla, had agreed to 



DOMESTIC LJFE. 

to meet him. While there, Orestiila took ill, and 
died. Her remains were placed on the fuueral pile 
to be consumed, according to the manner of the 
Romans, and it only remained that the last ofHces 
should be performed, of anointing the dead body, 
and giving it a valedictory kiss. But this last adieu, 
Plautius was unable to take ; preferring to have his 
ashes mingled with hei's, to the pain of surviving 
her, he fell on his sword, and expired. His friends 
lifted him up, dressed as he was, and laying his 
body by that of his wife, burnt ihera together. 

FOND FATHERS. 

The warlike Agesilaus was, witliin the walls of 
his own house, one of the most tender and playful 
of men. He used to join with his children in all 
their innocent gambols, and was once discovered by 
a friend, showing them how to ride upon a hobby- 
horse. When his friend expressed some surprise at 
beholding the great Agesilaus so employed, " Wait," 
said the hero, " till you are yourself a father, and 
if you then blame me, I give you liberty to proclaim 
this act of mine to all the world." 

The grave Socrates was once surprised in 
nearly a similar situation by Alcibiades, and made 
nearly the same answer to the scofts of that gay 
patrician. " You have not," said he, " such 
reason as you imagine to laugh so, at a father 
playing with his child. You know nothing of that 
affection which parents have to their children ; re- 
strain your mirth till you have children of your own, 
when you will, perhaps, be found as ridiculous as 1 
now seem to yuii to be." 



10 PERCY ANKCDOTES. 

The elder Cato, in the busiest periods of his life, 
always found lime to be present at the bathing and 
dressing of his son ; and when he grew up, would 
not sutler him to have any other master than himself. 
Being once advised to resign the boy to the care of 
some learned servant, he replied, that " He could 
not bear that any servant should pull his son by the 
ears, or that his son should be indebted for his 
learning and education to any other than himself." 

Charles the Great was so fond a father, that he 
never dined nor supped without his children at 
table ; he went no where, but he took them along 
with him ; and when he was asked why he did not 
marry his daughters, and send his sons abroad to see 
the world, his reply was, " That he was sure he 
could not be able to bear their absence." 



MATERNAL JOY. 

Some people admire the fortitude of the Spartan 
mothers, who could hear the news of the death of 
their children, slain in battle, not only without tears, 
but even with a kind of joy and satisfaction. " For 
my part," says RoUin, and most persons we think 
will agree with him, " I should think it much 
better that nature should show herself more on such 
an occasion, and that the love of one's country should 
not utterly extinguish the sentiments of maternal 
tenderness." The Roman mothers, though of as 
warlike a race as the Spartans, did not aflect any 
such stoicism. When the Romans were ovcrcom 
by Hannibal, at the battle of Thrasymene, and th 
news of that calamity was brought to Rome, th 



DOMESTIC LITE. U 

anxious multitude, men, as well as women, flocked to 
tJie gates to learn the first tidings of their respective 
friends; and we are assured, by Valerius Maxiraus, tliat 
both the sorrow and joy of the women far exceeded 
that of the men. " Here it was," says lie, " that 
one woman meeting at the gate with her son, ia 
safety, whom she had given up for dead, died of joy 
in his arms, as she embraced him. Another, having 
been erroneously informed that her son was slain, 
retired to her home overwhelmed with sorrow, and 
when, unexpectedly, she saw him come in, such was 
the transition of her feelings to excessive joy, that 
she fell down and died." 

MOTHER OF THE GRACCHI. 

Two snakes found their way into the house of 
Titus Gracchus. The augurs pronounced that one 
of them must be killed, and the other allowed to 
escape ; and that should the male be the one suffered 
to escape, it would be a sure sign that Cornelia, the 
wife of Gracchus, would die before him ; while, if 
the female was spared, it would indicate that 
Gracchus should die first Never was there a more 
affectionate husband than Gracchus, and without a 
moment's hesitation, he decided the fate of the 
snake« in the way favourable to the fate of his 
Cornelia. It happened that the prediction of the 
augurs was fulfilled. Cornelia was left a widow, 
with a family of twelve children, to the nurture and 
education of whom, she devoted herself with an 
ardour that has acquired her the name of " Hlus- 
trious," amono mothers. Such was her affection for 



12 PEKCY ANECDOTES. 

them, and the reverence in whicli she held the 
memory of their father, that slie refused every offer of 
a second matrimonial alliance, and rejected the hand 
even of Ptolemy, King of Egypt. -"The buried 
ashes of lier husband," says Valerius Maximus, very 
elegantly, " seemed to lay so cold at her heart, that 
the splendour of a diadem, and all tlie pomp of a 
ricli kingdom, were not able to warm it, so as to 
make it capable of receiving the impression of a 
new love." 

Only three out of her numerous family, lived to 
years of maturity ; one daughter, Sempronia, whom 
she married to the second Scipio Africanus ; and 
two sons, Tiberius and Caius. 

FILIAL PIETY. 

The great law of nature has implanted in every 
human breast, a disposition to love and revere those 
to whom we have been taught from our earliest 
infancy, to look up for every comfort, convenience, 
and pleasure in life. While we remain in a state 
of dependence on them, this impression continues in 
its full force ; but certain it is, that it has a tendency 
to wear ofl', as we become masters of ourselves ; and 
hence the propriety of those laws by which, in the 
institutions of different nations, it has been at- 
tempted to guard against a degeneracy into filial 
ingratitude and disobedience. 

"Honour thy father and thy mother," was the 
command of the Divine Author of the Jewish 
dispensation. " Tliat thy days may be long in the 
land," is the peculiar reward which he })romises to 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 13 

those who obey the soleran injunction. And as he 
has been pleased to express his approbation of a 
steady adherence to this law, by singular marks of 
favour, so also did he punish the breach of it by 
exemplary displeasure ; — death was the only expia- 
tion for this offence. 

Nor have the Jews been the only nation who have 
looked upon disobedience to parents, as worthy of 
capital punishment. 

In China, let a son become ever so rich, and a 
father ever so poor, there is no submission, no point 
of obedience, that the latter cannot command, or 
that the former can refuse. The father is not only 
absolute master of his son's estate, but also of his 
children, who, whenever they displease him, he may 
sell to strangers. When a father accuses his son before 
a mandarin, there needs no proof of his guilt, for 
they cannot believe that any father can be so unna- 
ttiral as to bring a false accusation against his own 
son. But should a son be so insolent as to mock his 
father, or arrive at such a pitch of wickedness as to 
strike him, all the province where this shameful act 
of violence is committed, is alarmed; it even 
becomes the concern of the whole empire ; the 
emperor himself judges the criminal. All the man- 
darins near the place, are turned out of their posts, 
especially those in the town where he lived, for 
liaving been so negligent in their instructions ; and 
all the neighbours are reprimanded for neglecting, by 
former punishments, to put a stop to the wickedness 
of the criminal, before it arrived at such flagitious- 
ness. With respect to the unhappy wretch him- 
self, tliey cut hira to a thousand pieces, bum his 
c 



14 PLUCV ANECDOTES. 

bones, raze the house in which he lived, as well as 
those houses that stand near it, and sow tlie ground 
with salt, as supposing that there must be some 
hopeless depravity* of manners in a community to 
which such a monster belonged. 

The filial duty is the same with the prince and 
the peasant in China ; and the emperor, every New 
Year's Day, pays a particular homage to his mother, 
in the palace, at which ceremony all the great officers 
of the state assist. 

The Persians, according to Herodotus, held the 
crime of domestic rebellion, in nearly as much 
detestation as the Chinese, but they treated it 
after a more refined manner. They looked on the 
striking or slaying of a father, as an impossible offence ; 
and when an action of the kind happened, adjudged 
that the offender could not be the son of the party 
injured or slain, but must have been superstitiously 
imposed on him as such. 

Cicero observes, that Solon, the wise legislator of 
Athens, had provided no law against parricide ; and 
that being asked why he had not ? he answered, 
" That to make laws against, and ordain punish- 
ments for, a crime that had been never known or 
heard of, was the way to introduce it, rather than 
prevent it." 

In Rome, no less than six hundred years, from 
the building of the city, had elapsed, before so much 
as a name for the crime of parricide was known 
amongst them. The punishment ordained for the 
first who stained his hands with the blood of the 
author of his being, was, that he should be scourged 
till he was flayed, then sown up in a sack, together 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 15 

•with a dog, a cock, a viper, and an ape, and so 
Uirowu headlong to the boltom of the sea. 

It is a great stain on the character of the more 
recent ages of the world, that the crime should ever 
have become of less rare occurrence ; yd in nothing, 
perhaps, have tlie ways of God to man, been more 
signally justified, than in the punishment which has 
sooner or later followed all deviations from filial love 
and duty. So proverbial, indeed, has this become, 
as to make any particular illustration of the fact, 
wholly unnecessary. Be ours, therefore, the more 
pleasing task to record a few of the far more nume- 
rous instances, in which sons have done honour to 
human nature, by the honour which they have paid 
to the authors of their being. 

The exploit which procured for Eneas, the title of 
the Pious, is known to all who have read of the 
siege of Troy ; that of the brothers Anapias and 
Amph.inomus, which was altogether similar, is of 
less notoriety. In the 477th year before the Chris- 
tian era, an eruption took place of iMount Etna, 
and the inhabitants of its vicinity were in the most 
Imminent danger. Every one hastened to load him- 
self with what he valued most, and to fly from the 
spot. One aged couple alone, were too old and 
infirm to move ; but Providence had blessed them 
with two affectionate sons, Anapias and Ampliinomus, 
who conceiving justly, that they could save no more 
precious treasure than the lives of Iheir parer:ts, took 
them upon their sliouldcrs, the one tb.e father, and 
the other the mother, and so carried them beyond the 
reach of danger. What Camerarins adds, par- 
takes exceedingly of the niarvt llous ; but though 
2 



16 PF.UCY ANECDOTES. 

there is no occasion for believing it, it iias enough of 
good feeling in it, to please the reader : " It is an 
admirable thing," he sajs, " that God, in consi- 
deration of this piety, though in Pagans, did a 
miracle ; for the monuments of all aritiquity witness 
that the devouring flames stopped at the spectacle ; 
and the fjre wasting and broiling all about them, the 
only way through which these two good sons passed, 
was tapestried with fresh verdure, and called after- 
wards, by posterity, the " Field of the Pious." 

Epaminondas, the Tlieban general, being asked 
what was the most pleasant thing that had happened 
to liim in the course of his whole life, replied, " that 
he remembered nothing more pleasant than that lie 
had achieved the Leuctrian victory, wliile his father 
and mother were yet alive to be pleased with the 
glory of their son." 

Pomponius Atticus, in making the funeral oration 
over the remains of his mother, protested that 
though he had lived, with her sixty-seven years, he 
liad never been reconciled to her." The audience 
seemed struck with surprise, at such a declaration 
from one who was famed for his attachment to his 
mother. " No," continued Atticus, " for in all that 
time there never happened the least jar betwixt us, 
that needed reconciliation." 

The gallant Sertorius, though fond of a military 
life, and though in a situation as general in Spain, 
which promised him a noble harvest of laurels, 
solicited permission from the senate, to return home, 
that he might once more enjoy the society of his 
mother. Before he could receive an answer to this 
application, news was brought to him that his mother 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 17 

was no more. Sertorius was so afBicted with the 
tidings, tliat he shut himself up in his tent for seven 
dajs, during all which time, he lay on the ground, 
lamenting, and would not suffer even his most fami- 
liar friends to break in upon his sorrow. 

The first gilded statue that ever was erected, either 
in Rome, or in any part of Italy, was one by a son 
to the honour of a father; by iVl. Acilius Glabrio, a 
knight, in memory of the triumph wliich his father 
liad achieved over Antiochus, at the straits of 
Thermopylae. It was erected in the Temple of 
Piety. 

When our Edward the First was in the Holy 
Land, he received, successively, the news of the 
death of his only son, and of his father, Henry the 
Third. He took the first loss resignedly ; but on 
the second, he was quite comfortless and dejected. 
When Charles, King of Sicily, expressed his sur- 
prise at this dirt'erence, Edward replied, "God may 
send me more sons ; but the death of a father is 
irrecoverable." 

RESPECT TO AGE. 

" Dost thou not sec, O Gaul," says Morni, in 
one of the poems of Ossian, " how the steps of my 
age are honoured ? Morni moves forth, and the 
young meet him with reverence, and turn their eyes 
with silent joy on his course." 

The obligation to reverence old age, is a neces- 
sary emanation from that duty which we owe to our 
parents. The youth who pays due honour to his 
c 3 



18 I'LKCY ANLCIJOTES. 

own father, will uever treat despitefully tlie grey 
hairs of those who pass by liis father's door, or enter 
within his thresljold. 

Tlie Jewish lawgiver has made this duty the sub- 
ject of a particular precept : " See that thou rise 
up before the hoary man, and honour the face of the 
old man." " I am young," says tlie son of Bara- 
chel, " and ye are very old ; wherefore I was afraid, 
and durst not sliow you mine opinion. I find days 
should speak, and multitude of years teach wis- 
dom." 

Among the Chinese, neither birth, nor riclies, nor 
honours, nor dignities, can make a man forget that 
reverence which is due to grey hairs ; and we are 
told, that the sovereign himself never fails to re- 
spect old age, even in persons of the lowest con- 
dition. 

Many of our readers are doubtless acquainted 
witli the name of the Swiss doctor, Michael Scliup- 
pach, of Lengnau, in the Emmenthal, who was 
highly celebrated, and much in vogue in the last 
century. He is mentioned by Archdeacon Coxe, 
in his Travels in Switzerland, who himself con- 
sulted him. There was a time when people of dis- 
tinction and fortune came to him, particularly from 
France and Germany, and even from more distant 
countries ; and innumerable are the cures which he 
performed upon patients given up by the regular 
physicians. There were once assembled in Michael 
Schuppach's laboratory, a great many distinguished 
persons from all parts of the world, partly to con- 
sult him, and partly out of curiosity : and among 



DOMESllC LIFE. 19 

theiu, many French Jadies and gentlemen, and a 
Rfissian prince, with his daughter, whose singular 
beauty attracted general attention. A young French 
marquess attempted, for the amusement of the ladies, 
to display his v/it on the miraculous doctor ; but the 
latter, though not much acquainted with the French 
language, answered so pertinently, that the marquess 
had not the laugh on his side. During this con- 
versation, there entered an old peasant, meanly- 
dressed, with a snow white beard, a neighbour of 
Schuppach's. Schuppach directly turned away from 
his great company, to his old neighbour, and hearing 
that his wife was ill, set about preparing the neces- 
sary medicine for her, without paying much attention 
to his more exalted guests, whose business he did 
not think so pressing. The marquess was now de- 
prived of one subject of his wit, and therefore chose 
for his butt the old man, who was waiting while his 
neighbour Michael was preparing something for his 
old Mary. After many silly jokes on his long white 
beard, he offered a wager of twelve louis d'ors, that 
«one of tlie ladies would kiss the old dirty looking 
fellow. The Russian princess hearing these words, 
made a sign to her attendant, who brought her a 
plate. The princess put twelve louis d'ors on it, 
and had it carried to the marquess, who of course 
could not decline adding twelve others. Then the 
fair Russian went up to the old peasant with the 
long beard, and said, " Permit me, venerable father, 
to salute you after the fashion of my country." 
Saying this, she embraced him, and gave him a kiss. 
She then presented him the gold which was on the 
plate, with these words : " Take this as a remem- 



20 PllllCY ANECDOTES. 

braiice of me, and as a sign tliat the lUissinn giih 
lliink it tlieir duty to honour old age." 



RESPECT TO INSTRUCTORS. 

The Emperor Theodosius used frequently to sit by 
his children, Arcadius and Honorius, whilst Arsenius 
taught (hem. He commanded them to show the 
same respect to their master, as they would to him- 
self ; and surprising them once silting, whilst Arse- 
nius was standing, he took from tliem their princely 
robes, and did not restore them till a long time after, 
nor even tlien till after much entreaty. 

Burton, in his " Anatomy of Melancholy," says, 
that it was reported of Magdalene, Queen of J^ouis 
tlie Eleventh of I'rance, that taking a walk one 
evening v/ith her ladies, she espied M. Alanus, one 
of the king's chaplains, an old hard favoured man, 
lying fast asleep in an arbour. She went to him, 
and gently kissed him. When the young ladies 
laughed at her for it, she replied, " that it was not 
his person that she had shown that mark of respect 
for, but the divine beauty of his soul." 



DIRECTING THE AFFECTIONS. 

In that polite age, when Greece was in all her 
glory, there lived at Athens a noble citizen, named 
Democrltus, whom affluence of fortune, generosity 
of temper, and extent of knowledge, made the de- 
light of the poor, an examj)le to the rich, a bene- 
factor to the distressed, and an ornament to hh 



DOMESilC LIFE. 21 

country. But amidst all the blessings power and 
virtue could bestow, he was suddenly rendered ihe 
most miserable of men, by the death of his wife, 
Aspasia, who, dying in childbed, left him tlie conso- 
lation alone of being father to an iniant, which was 
a living image of its deceased mother. It was a 
long time before his philosophy could get the better 
of his immoderate grief; but his passion being al- 
layed by degrees, he resumed the man, and sub- 
mitted again to the dictates of reason. His thoughts 
now wholly turned to the education of his son 
Euphemion (for so he called the boy^, whose very 
dawn of infancy promised the greatest splendour ; 
but considering that the vivacity of his temper would 
greatly expose him to the seductions of the world, 
he would often, as the child sat playing upon his 
lap, mix an anxious tear with the smiles of paternal 
pleasure. 

When Euphemion was past his childhood, the 
prudent Democritus thought of an expedient to make 
pleasure the passage to virtue, as virtue was the only 
one to real pleasure : for knowing, from his own past 
conduct, tlie propensity of youth to voluptuousness, 
he made that the enforcement of his precepts, which 
generally is the bane of all morality. As they were 
walking together in a gallery of pictures, " Behold, 
my son," said the father, " that representation of 
perfect beauty, embracing, with no small ecstacy, a 
young man who kneels before her." " Methinks," 
said Euphemion, interrupting him, " I can read in 
the painting the greatest transport of soul ; and sure 
he has sufficient reason to appear enraptured, when 
the master-piece of heaven is in his possession." 



22 PLUCY ANECDOTES. 

" You s])eak," continued Democritus, " as if you 
envied his situation, and with too much warmth and 
enthusiasm, of objects which are so easy to be ob- 
tained." " To be obtained !" replied Euphemion ; 
" by what means, and by whom ? If it is in my 
power, O tell me tlie way! for it will make your son 
the liappiest of mortals." " Alas !" said the father, 
sighing, "I am afraid the impatience of your temper 
will never suffer you to undergo the self denial and 
delay that is requisite, before you can arrive at such 
a height of felicity." The boy still urging the re- 
quest with more vehemence than ever, Democritus 
addressed him in the following words : " Since you 
press me so earnestly to instruct you in a mystery, 
which, if observed, will procure you an original, 
equal to that representation, you must be cautious, 
when once you are initiated, not to deviate in the 
least from the divine institution, nor to ciivulge the 
secret, for the delinquent, in such cases, is always 
punished with death, by the deity to whom the 
temple of those rites are dedicated. The story, 
then, which never is told to any but those who are 
resolved to follow the great example, is this. The 
young man j^ou sec here, is a native of Cyprus, who 
fell desperately in love with an ideal beauty, the 
offspring of his own imagination. As he was sitting 
one day by the side of a fountain, sighing for the 
visionary object of his desires, he fell asleep, and 
dreamt that Diana descended to him from a cloud, 
and promised him the actual enjoyment of his wishes, 
provided he retired immediately to Ephesus, and 
during the space of four years, lived in cliastity, 
and applied himself (o the cultivation of his mind, 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 23 

according to the precepts of philosoplij. The vision 
seemed so strong to the young lover, that lie com- 
plied with the celestial admonition, and banishing 
from his thoughts, as soon as possible, all voluptuous 
desires, he repaired to the place to which the god- 
dess commanded him to go. At the end of four 
years, when he had faithfully completed tbe proba- 
tionary state, he was transported back again in his 
sleep, to the fountain where he lirst saw the deity, 
and awaking suddenly, found, to his no small sur- 
prise, that beautiful virgin, the reward of his la- 
bours, embracing him in the manner described by the 
artist. This, my son, afterwards became a religious 
mystery, and is (since you are acquainted with the 
rise of it) a test which you must inevitably undergo. 
Divest yourself, therefore, for a while, of all the 
atfections which you have hitherto conceived, and 
vie with the resolute Cyprian, that you may partake 
of his bliss." 

Euphemion, who was all this time attentive to 
what his father said, could not help expressing some 
concern at so severe an injunction. Recollecting, 
however, that he was only to curb his passion for 
the present, in order to give a greater loose to it 
hereafter, he resolved, from tliat hour, to begin the 
trial. Accordingly, at the age of fifteen, he retired 
from all objects that might in the least tend to 
divert his mind from philosophy. The first year was 
spent in continual struggles between passion and 
reason ; the second made his solitary life somewhat 
more agreeable ; the third afiorded real pleasure in 
the pursuit, exclusive of the object pursued ; and 
the fourth completed the happy delusion, by rendering 



24 J'LRCY ANECDOTES. 

Iilm, by habitual study, entirely master of himself. 
At tlie expiration of the term, lie seemed very little 
solicitous about the original inducement ; but recol- 
lecting some circumstances of the promised fair, he 
enquired of his father one day, in a jocular man- 
ner, when he should possess the nymj)h in reward 
of his labours ? Democritus replied, " My son, the 
account I gave you of the Cyprian, as you seem 
already to understand, was entirely fabulous ; the 
whole picture is an ingenious allegory. I used this 
device to lead you, imperceptibly, into the patiis of 
true pleasure, and to make your life an explanation 
of these two figures. The one 1 supposed to be 
Happiness, the daughter of Virtue and Moderation; 
tlie other, the emblem of a man courting her 
embrace, whom she never fails to caress with n 
mutual alFection, when conducted b3'^ her celestial 
parents. You expected only a fugitive pleasure, as 
the recompense of your perseverance ; but are now 
in possession of a permanent one, that will attend 
you through life with unchangeable fidelity." 

RIVAL BROTHERS. 

Schiller, who relates the following affecting anec- 
dote, vouches for its truth. 

Two brothers, Barons of W , were in love 

with a young and excellent lady, and neither was 
acquainted with the passion of the other. The af- 
fection of both was tender and vehement ; it was 
their first love : the maiden was beautiful, and formed 
of sensibility. They suffered their inclinations to en- 
crease to tlie utmost bounds, for the danirer the most 



DOMILSTIC LITE. 25 

drqadtul to tlieir hearts, was unknown to them — to 
have a brother for a rival. Each forbore an early 
explanation with the lady, and thus were both de- 
ceived, until an unexpected occurrence discovered 
the whole secret of their sentiments. 

Their love had already risen to its ntmost height : 
that most unhappy passion, which has caused almost 
as cruel ravages as its dreadful counterpart, had 
taken such complete possession of their hearts, as to 
render a sacrifice on either side impossible. The 
fair one, full of commiseration for the unhappy situ- 
ation of these two unfortunates, would not decide 
upon the exclusion of either, but submitted her own 
feelings to the decision of their brotherly love. 

Conqueror in this doubtful strife betwixt duty 
and sentiment, which our philosophers are always 
so ready to decide, but which the practical man 
undertakes so slowly, the elder brother said to the 
younger, " I know thou lovest the maiden as vehe- 
ment as myself. 1 will not ask for which of us a 
priority of right should determine. Do thou remain 
here, whilst I seek the wide world. I am willing 
to die, that I may forget her. If such be my fate, 
brother, then is she thine, and may heaven bless thy 
love ! Should I not meet with death, do thou set 
out, and follow my example." 

He left Germany, and hastened to Holland ; but 
the form of his beloved still followed him. Far from 
the climate which she inhabited, banished from the 
spot Avhich contained the whole felicity of his heart, 
in which alone he was able to exist, the unhappy 
youth sickened, as the plant withers which is ravished 
from its matcrnnl bed in Asia, by the powerful 



2G PLKCY ANliCDOlES. 

European, and forced from its more clement sun, 
into a remote and rougher soil. He reached Am- 
sterdam in a desponding condition, where he fell ill 
of a violent and darigerous fever. The form of her 
he loved, predominated in his frantic dreams ; his 
health depended on her possession. The physicians 
wrre in doubt of his life, and nothing but the assu- 
rance of being restored again to lier, rescued him 
from the arms of death. He arrived in his native 
city, changed to a skeleton, the most dreadful image 
of consuming grief; and with tottering steps, reached 
the door of his beloved— of his brother. 

" Brother, behold me once again. Heaven knows 
how 1 have striven to subdue the emotions of my 
heart. I can do no more." He sunk senseless into 
the lady's arms. 

The younger brother was no less determined. In 
a few weeks, he was ready to set out. 

" Brother, tliou hast carried thy grief with thee to 
Holland. I will endeavour to bear mine farther. 
Lead not the maiden to the altar till I write to thee. 
Fraternal love alone permits such a stipulation. 
Should I be more fortunate than thou wert, let her 
be thine, and may heaven prosper thy union. 
Should I not, may the Almighty in that case judge 
further between us ! Farewell. Take this sealed 
packet ; do not open it till 1 am far from hence. I 
am going to Batavia." 

He then sprung into the coach. The other re- 
mained motionless, and absorbed in grief, for his 
brother had surpassed him in generosity. Love, and 
at the same time, the losing such a man, rushed for- 
cibly upon his mind. The noise of the flying vehicle 
pierced liim to the heart j his life was feared. 



DOMKSTIC LIFE. 27 

Tlic packet was opened. It contained a complete 
assignment of all his German possessions to his 
brother, in the event of fortune being favourable to 
the fugitive in Batavia. Tlie latter, subduer of 
himself, sailed with some Dutcli merchants, and ar- 
rived safelj at that place. A few weeks after, he 
sent his brother the following lines : 

" Here, where I return tlianks to the Almighty, 
here, in another world, do 1 think of thee, and of 
our loves, with all the joy of a martyr. New scenes 
and events have expanded my soul, and God has 
given me strength to offer the greatest sacrifice to 
friendship. Tlie maiden— here a tear doth fall— 
the last I have conquered— the maiden is thine. 
Brother, it was not ordained that I should possess 
her ; she would not have been happy with me. If 
the thought should ever come to Ikt, that she would 
have been—Brother ! brother ! with difficulty do I 
tear her from my soul. Do not forget how hard the 
attainment of her has been to thee. Treat her always 
as thy youthful passion at present teaches thee. 
Treat her always as the dear legacy of a brother, 
whom tliy arms will never more enfold. Farewell ! 
Do not write to me when thou celebrates t thy mar- 
riage-'-my wounds still "bleed. AVrite to me that 
thou art happy. My deed is a surety to me, tliat 
God v/ill not forsake me in a foreign world." 

The nuptials were celebrated. The most feli- 
citous of marriages lasted a year. At the end of 
that period, the lady died. In her expiring moments, 
she acknowledged to her most intimate friend, the 
unhappy secret of her bosom— that the exiled brother 
she had loved the strongest. 
D 2 



9.H I'l.llCY ANECDOTES. 

Both brothers still Jive. The elder upon liis 
estates in German}', where he has married again. 
The younger remains in Batavia, and has become a 
fortunate and shining character. He made a vow 
never to marry, and has kept it. 



WIFE OF POLYXENUS. 

Polyxcnus, Dionysius's brother-in-law, who had 
married his sister Tliesta, having joined in a con- 
spiracy against him, fled to Sicily, to avoid falling 
into the tyrant's hands. Dionysius sent for his 
sister, and reproached her very much for not ap- 
prising hiiu of her husband's intended flight, as she 
could not, he observed, be ignorant of it. She re- 
plied, without expressing the least surprise or fear, 
" Have I then appeared so bad a wife to you, and of 
so mean a soul, as to have abandoned my husband 
in his flight, and not to have desired to share in his 
dangers and misfortunes ? No ! I knew nothing of 
it ; for I should be much happier in being called the 
wife of Polyxenus in exile, in the most remote corner 
of the World ; than, in Syracuse, the sister of the 
f.yratit!" Dionysius could not but admire an an- 
swer so full of spirit and generosity ; and tiic Syra- 
cusans, in general, were so charmed with her magna- 
nimity, that, after the tyranny was suppressed, the 
same honours, equipage, and train of a queen, v.hlch 
she had before, were continued to her during her 
life ; and, after her death, the people numerously 
attended her body to the tomb. 



DOMHSTIC LIFE. 29 



ALEXANDER THE GREAT. 

Olympias, the mother of Alexander, was of so 
unhappy a disposition, that he would never allow 
her to liave any concern in the alTairs of government. 
Olympias used frequently to make very severe com- 
plaints on this account, but Alexander submitted to 
her ill humour Avith great mildness and jiaticncc. 
Antipater, one of his friends, having one day written 
a long letter against her fo the king, the monarch, 
on reading it, said, " Antipator does not know that 
one single tear slied by a mother, will obliterate ten 
thousand sucli letters as this." 



BENEFITS OF EXPECTANCY. 

An eminent trader at Lyons, who liad acquired 
an easy fortune, had two handsome daughters, 
between whom, on their marriage, he divided all his 
property, on condition tliat he should pass tlie 
summer with one, and tlie winter with the otlier. 
Before the end of the first year, be found sufficient 
ground to conclude, that he was not a very accept- 
able guest to eiiher ; of this, however, lie took no 
notice, but hired a handsome lodging, in which he 
resided a few weeks; he then applied to a friend, 
and told him the truth of the matter, desiring the 
gift of two hundred livres, and the loan of fifty 
thousand, in ready money, for a few hours. His 
friend very readily complied with liis request ; and 
the next day the old gentleman made a very splendid 
entertainment, to \^hich his dau<rh!cis and tlicir hus- 
D 3 



30 PliKCY ANECDOTIiS. 

bands wt'ie invited. Just as dinner was over, his 
friend came in a great hurry ; told liim of an unex- 
pected demand upon hira, and desired to knew 
whether he could lend him fifty thousand livres. 
The old man told him, without any emotion, that 
twice as much was at his service, if he wanted it ; 
and going into the next room, brouglit him the 
money. After this, he was not suffered to stay any 
longer in lodgings ; his daughters were jealous if he 
stayed a day more in one house than the other; and 
after three or four years spent with them, he died ; 
when, upon examining his cabinet, instead of livres, 
there was found a note containing these words : "He 
who has suffered by his virtues, has a right to avail 
Jiiraself of the vices of those by whom he has been 
injured ; and a father ought never to be so fond of 
his children, as to forget what is due to himself." 

MAGNANIMOUS HUSBAND. 

Philip, surnamed the Good, the founder of that 
greatness to which the House of Burgundy latterly 
attained, was, at an early age, married to the 
Princess i*lichelea, brother to Charles the Dauphin. 
The father of Philip was afterwards slain through 
the villany and periidiousness of Charles ; and on 
the news being brought to Pliilip, full of grief and 
anger, he rushed into the chamber of his wife. 
•* Alas !" said he, " my Mlchelea, thy brother has 
murdered my father." The princess, who loved her 
husband most tenderly, broke out into the most 
affecting cries and lamentations ; and fearful lest 
this accident should lose her the atlections of her 



DOMLSriC LIIL. 31 

Spouse, refused all cuinfort. Pliilip, tlie geod Philip, 
however, assured her she should not be the less 
dear to liim on that account ; tliat the deed was her 
brother's, and none of her's. "Take courage, my 
life," said he, " and seek comfort in a husband that 
will be faitliful and constant to thee for ever." 
Michelea was revived by these tender assurances ; 
nor during the -three years longer which she lived, 
had she occasion to suspect the smallest diminution 
of Philip's affection and respect. 

DEMETRIUS. 

Demetrius, the King of Blacedon, was remarkable 
both for his filial and his parental affection. His 
father, Antigonus, after giving audience one day to 
Ptolemy and Lysimachus, tlie ambassadors of Cas- 
sander, called them back, because his son, Demetrius, 
coming in warm from hunting, went into his father's 
apartment, saluted him, and then sat down with his 
javelin in his hand. When the ambassadors de- 
manded what his pleasure was? he replied, " Tell 
your masters upon what terms my son and I live." 

When Demetrius bad succeeded to the throne, 
and was imprisoned by Seleucus, he wrote a letter 
to his son Antigonus, entrusting to Imn the ma- 
nagement of his affairs in Greece. He exhorted 
him to govern his subjects justly, to act with mode- 
ration, and to look upon his father as dead ; and 
conjuring him never to part with a single city, in 
ord-er to procure his liberation. Such a letter as 
this, might, in the cold policy of statesmen, have 
exculpated Antigonus for making the best terms he 



$2 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

could, without any consideration for his father ; but 
his filial affection at once overcame all questions of 
state policy, and he immediately offered to his 
enemy, Seleucus, not only all the cities and pro- 
vinces that he held in Greece, but liis own person, 
as a hostage for his father's liberty. 

This was refused by Seleucus ; but Antigonus 
still continued to solicit it by the most pressing im- 
portunities and offers, as long as his father lived. He 
even went into deep mourning, during the whole of 
his father's captivity of three years, and never once, 
during the whole of tliat time, partook of any feasts 
or diversions. When Antigonus was informed of 
the death of his father, and that liis ashes were on 
the way from Syria, he sailed with a noble fleet to 
the Archipelago to meet them. He deposited the 
ashes of his father in a golden urn, which, when he 
entered the harbour of Corinth, he placed in the 
poop of the royal galley. He placed his crown 
upon it, and covered it with a canopy of purple ; 
sitting by it all the time, clothed in deep mourning. 



THE CHILDREN OF DARIUS. 

Darius, King of Persia, had three sons by his 
first wife, the daughter of Gabrias, all three born 
before their father came to the crown ; and four more 
by Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus, who were all born 
after their faffier's accession to the throne. Arta- 
bazanes, called by Justin, Artimenes, was the eldest 
of the former, and Xerxes of the latter. Artabazanes 
alleged, in his own behalf, tiiat the right of sue- 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 33 

cession, according to the custom and practice of all 
nations, belonged to him preferably from all the 
rest. Xerxes's argument for succeeding his father 
was, that as he was the son of Atossa, the daughter 
of Cyrus, who founded the Persian empire, it was 
more just that the crown of Cyrus should devolve 
upon one of his descendants, than upon one that 
was not. Demaratus, a Spartan king, at that time 
at the court of Persia, secretly suggested to Xerxes 
another argument to support his pretensions ; that 
Artabazanes was indeed the eldest son of Darius; 
but he, Xerxes, was the eldest son of the king ; and 
therefore Artabazanes being born when his father was 
but a private person, all he could pretend to, on 
account of his seniority, was only to inherit his 
private estate ; but that he, Xerxes, being the first 
born son of the king, had the best right to succeed 
to the crown. He further supported this argument 
by the example of the Lacedemonians, who ad- 
mitted none to inherit the kingdom, but those children 
that were born after their father's accession. The 
right of succeeding was accordingly determined in 
favour of Xerxes. Both Justin and Plutarch take 
notice of the prudent conduct of these two brothers 
on so nice an occasion. According to their luanner 
of relating this fact, Artabazanes was absent when 
the king died; and Xerxes immediately assumed all 
the marks, and exercised all the functions, of tlie 
sovereignt^"^. But upon his brother's returning home, 
he quitted the diadem, and the tiara, which he wore 
in such a manner as only suited the kijig; went out 
to meet him, and showed him all imaginable respect. 
They agreed to n)ake their uncle, Arlabanes, the 



34 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

arbiirator of their difference ; and, without anj 
further appeal, to acquiesce in his decision. 

All the while this dispute lasted, the two brothers 
showed one another all the demonstrations of a truly 
fraternal affection, by keeping up a continual inter- 
course of presents and entertainments ; whence their 
mutual esteem and confidence for each other banished 
all fears and suspicions on both sides, and intro- 
duced an unconstrained cheerfulness, and a perfect 
security. 



A SECOND MARRIAGE. 

The widow of Sir Walter Long, of Draycot, in 
Wiltshire, made her husband a solemn promise, 
when lie was on his death-bed, that she would not 
marry after his decease ; but he had not long been 
interred, when Sir Stephen Fox gained her affections, 
and she married him. The nuptial ceremony was 
performed at South Wraxall, where the picture of Sir 
Walter happened to hang over the parlour door. As 
Sir Stephen was leading his bride by the hand, into 
the parlour, after returning from church, the picture 
of Sir Walter Long, the late liusband of his bride, 
which hung over the parlour door, fell on her shoulder, 
and being painted on wood, broke in the fall. This 
accident was considered by the bride as a provi- 
dential warning, reminding her of her promise, and 
embittered the remainder of her days. 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 35 



EARL AND COUNTESS OF SUTHERLAND. 

The death of William, the twtnty-first Earl of Suther- 
land, and his countess, in tlie year 1766, was par- 
ticularly affecting. This amiable pair exhibited a 
delightful picture of domestic life, and their con- 
jugal love was even proverbial. Tlie loss of au 
only son, lay so heavy on their spirits, that they 
determined to try whether the jjjaiefy of Bath would 
dispel the gloom. They had been there a few weeks 
only, when the earl was taken ill of a violent fever, 
during which the countess devoted herself so entirely 
to the care of her lord, that it is asserted she attended 
him for twenty-one days and nights, without ever 
leaving him or going to bed ; and the apprehensions 
of his danger so affected her spirits and appetite, 
that her stomach refused all sustenance, and she 
died, at the early age of twenty-six, perfectly worn 
out with fatigue and watching. Iler husband only 
survived her a few days, and died at the age of 
thirty-one. They were both interred at the same 
time ; and thus loving in their lives, in death they 
were not parted. 

CRIME WITHOUT GUILT. 

At the York Assizes, in the summer of J 812, a 
respectable looking woman, named Jane Hardy, was 
placed at the bar to receive sentence. She had been 
convicted of conveying some files and hand-saws 
into the castlo to her hubband, who was under sen- 
tence of death, in order to facilitate his escape. On 



3C) FEECY ANECDOTES. 

her (rial, slie requested to be transported, in order to 
join her husband. His lordship novv observed, the 
law had provided a special punishment for this 
offence, and that no discretionary power was lodged 
in his hands. He tlien, after reading an extract from 
tlie 16th Geo. III., sentenced her to be transported 
for seven years ; when the prisoner, with her eyes 
glistening with tears, said, "Thank you, my lord, 
you have done mc a very great service, to send me 
to my husband." 

CORNEILLE. 

A young man to whom Corneilie had granted his 
daughter in marriage, by sudden misfortunes, being 
obliged to break off the match, came one morning, 
and getting into the poet's closet, related to him t)ie 
motives of his conduct. " WelJ, sir," said Cor- 
neilie, " could you not have spoken all that to my 
wife, without disturbing me ? Go up to her cham- 
ber, J understand nothing of those affairs." 



MOTHER AND WOLF. 

In the summer of 1B9.^2, a poor women in the envi- 
rons of Oneille, in the Duchy of Genoa, of the 
name of Marie Pittaluga, was in a field with three 
young children, one of whom was at the breast. 
Suddenly a ferocious wolf, of an enormous size, 
sprang upon her, and attempted to tear the infant 
from her arms ; the mother at first repelled the furious 
animal, and immediately placing the infant in the 
cradle, and tlie two other children between her legs, 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 37 

•she sustained a contest with her terrible assailant, 
and after having been bitten several times, she at 
length succeeded in grasping the wolf firmly hy the 
throat, and preventing hira from doing the least in- 
jury to the children. The husband of this intrepid 
female, drawn by her cries, and those of the children, 
hastened to her assistance ; but on his appearance, 
the wolf made an effort, disengaged himself from the 
woman's grasp, and took to flight. 

SHREWS. 

Socrates used to say to his friends, that his wife 
was his greatest blessing, since she was a never- 
ceasing monitor of patience, from whom he learned 
so much within his own door, that all the crosses that 
he met with elsewhere, were light to him. 

Pittacus, who was as blessed in this respect as 
Socrates, but was famous chiefly for his valour, 
wisdom, and justice, invited, upon one occasion, a 
party of friends to his house, who had never had the 
pleasuie of feasting at his table before. It was in- 
tended to be a sort of bachelor's party ; but in the 
midst of the dinner, his wife, angry probably at her 
exclusion, rushed into the room, and in a great fury, 
kicked over the table, and tumbled every thing upon 
it on the floor. The guests did not know hov/ to look, 
or what to say, on the occasion ; but Pittacus re- 
lieved them from their confusion, by observing, 
" There is not one of us all but hath his cross, and 
one thing or other wherewith to exercise his patience; 
and for my own part, this is the only thing that 

E 



38 PtRCY ANECDOTES. 

checkelh ray felicity, for were it not for tids shrew, 

my wife, I were the happiest man in the world." 

" But before these," says the author of Reflections 
on Modern Marriages, " commend me to that glorious 
instance of resolution in an English wife. This lady 
(^who had been a widow), when her new husband, 
blessed before with peace and plenty, with all the 
affluence heaven could give, told her, he married her 
to teach him patience, and carry him that way to 
heaven, well knowing that she was greater than Xan- 
tippe as a scold, resolutely answered him, * 1 will 
let you know, that whatever 1 have been, I scorn to 
be any man's pack-horse.' She accordingly became 
tlie most peaceable, calm, and tractable of all English 
^vives, for her whole life afterwards." 



AN IRISH CABIN. 

A recent traveller in Ireland, gives the follov^ang 
vivid picture of domestic life, as he experienced it 
among the humbler classes of society in that country. 

" I had occasion," says he, " to travel often in 
Ireland, from the year 1797, till about the year 1808; 
in the eariy part of that period, I met with an instance 
of generous hospitality in a poor peasant, that de- 
serves to be known, particularly as my experience, 
during the whole time of my acquaintance with the 
country, proved that the same feeling existed every 
where. 

" I was returning on a winter's evening from a 
town on the sea coast, when I was overtaken at the 
foot of a mountain, by a storm, as violent as I ever 
encountered, accompanied with torrents of rain. I 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 39 

rode for shelter to a poor-looking cabin, wbere I was 
received with a true Irish welcome. The inmates, a 
labourer, and a wife, with a large family, were at a 
supper of potatoes and milk, to which 1 was invited, 
and of which I partook heartily. My horse was 
placed in a snug corner, and seemed as welcome as 
its master. I was then pressed to take up my lodging 
for the night, and the man prepared to brave the 
storm for the wants of my horse. However, finding 
the rain not likely to abate, and wishing to get to the 
end of my journey, I determined to go on, in spile 
of the solicitations of my host. Accordingly, after 
offering some money, which was peremptorily refused, 
I got my horse to the door, when a new struggle 
co.Tiraenced; 1 had no greatcoat. A fine new ratteen 
coat was produced, and nothing could induce ray 
host to suffer me, a perfect stranger, to depart with- 
out putting it on ; and thus equipped, protected by, 
perhaps, a uhole year's earnings, I set off"." 



CHOICE OF A HUSBAND. 

An Athenian, who was hesitating whether to give 
his daughter in marriage to a man of worth witli a 
small fortune, or to a rich man, who had no oilier 
recommendation, went to consult Themislocles on the 
subject. " I would bestow my daughter,'' said The- 
mislocles, " upon a man without money, rather thaa 
upon money without a man." 



E 2 



40 PEKCY ANECDOTES. 



THE ROCK OF THE MOTHER. 

Near the confluence of the Atabapo and the 
Rio Terni, there is a granite hummock that rises on 
the western bank, near the mouth of the Guasacari, 
it is called the Rock of the Guahiba Woman, or the 
Rock of the Mother, Piedra de la Madre. This name 
was given to it from a singular event, which is re- 
lated by Humboldt, in his "Travels to the Equinoctial 
Regions of the New Continent." 

" If," says this enterprising traveller, " in these 
solitary scenes, man scarcely leaves behind him any 
trace of his existence, it is doubly humiliating for a 
European to see perpetuated by the name of a rock, 
by one of those imperishable monuments of nature, 
the remembrance of the moral degradation of our 
species, and tlie contrast between the virtue of a 
savage, and the barbarism of civilized man ! 

"In 1797, the missionary of San Fernando had 
led his Indians to the mouth of the Rio Guaviare, 
on one of those hostile incursions, which are prohi- 
bited alike by religion and the Spanish laws. They 
found in an Italian hut, a Guahiba mother with three 
children, two of whom were still infants. They 
were occupied in preparing the flour of Cassava. 
Resistance was impossible ; the father was gone to 
fish, and the mother tried in vain to flee with her 
children. Scarcely had she reached the savannah, 
when she was seized by the Indians of the mission, 
who go to hunt men, like the Whites and the Negroes 
in Africa. The mother and her children were 
found, and dragged to the bank of the rivor. Th^- 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 41 

monk, seated in his boat, waited the issue of an ex- 
pedition, of which he partook not the danger. Plad 
the mother made too violent a resistance, the Indians 
would have killed her, for every thing is permitted 
when they go to the conquest of souls (a la conquista 
espiritual), and it is children in particular they seek 
to capture, in order to treat them, in the mission, as 
poitos, or slaves of the Christians. Tiie prisoners 
were carried to San Fernando, in the hope that the 
mother would be unable to find her way back to her 
home, by land. Far from those children who had 
accompanied their father on the day on which she 
had been carried off, this unhappy woman showed 
signs of the deepest despair. She attempted to take 
back to her family the children v/h) had been 
snatched away by the missionary, aiid iled with them 
repeatedly from the village of San Fernando, but 
the Indians never failed to seize her anew ; and t!ie 
missionary, after having caused her to be mercilessly 
beaten, took the cruel resolution of separating the 
mother from the two children who had been carried 
off with her. She was conveyed alone toward the 
missions of the Rio Negro, going up to the Atabapo. 
Slightly bound, she was seated at the bow of the 
boat, ignorant of the fate that awaited her ; but she 
judged, by the direction of the sun, that she was 
removed farther and farther from her hut and her 
native country. She succeeded in breaking her 
bonds, threw herself into the water, and swam to the 
left bank of the Atabapo. The current carried her to a 
shelf of rock, which bears her name to this day. She 
landed, and took shelter in the woods ; but the presi- 
dent of the missions ordered the Indians to row to 
e3 



42 PERCY ANECDOrtS. 

the shore, and follow the traces of the Guahiha. In 
the evening, she was brought back. Stretched upon 
the rock, la Piedra de la Madre, a cruel punishment 
■was inflicted oh her with those straps of manatee 
leather, which serve for whips in that country, and 
with which the alcades are always furnished. This 
unhappy woman, her hands tied behind her back 
with strong stalks of mavaciire, was then dragged to 
the mission of Javita. 

" She was there thrown into one of the caravan- 
seras, that are called Casa del Rey. It was the rainy 
season, and night was profoundly dark. Forests, 
till then believed to be impenetrable, separated the 
mission of Javita from that of San Fernando, which 
was twenty -five leagues distant in a straight line. 
No other part is known than that of tbe rivers ; no 
man ever attempted to go by land from one village 
to another, were they only a few leagues apart. 
But such difficulties do not stop a mother, who is 
separated from her children. Her children are at 
Sau Fernando de Atabapo ; she must find tliem 
again, sh.e must execute her project of delivering 
tiiem from the hands of the Christians, of bringing 
them back to their father on the banks of the 
Guaviare. The Guahiba was carelessly guarded in 
the caravansera. Her arras being wounded, the 
Indians of Javita had loosened her bonds, unknown 
to the missionary and the alcades. She succeeded, 
by tlie help of her teeth, in breaking them entirely j 
disappeared during the night; and at the fourth rising 
sun, was seen at the mission of San Fernando, 
hovering around the hut where her children were 
confined. ' What the woman performed,' added 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 43 

the missionary, who gave us this sad narrative, ' the 
most robust Indian would not have ventured to 
undertake. She traversed the woods at a season 
when the sky is constantly covered with clouds, and 
the sun, during whole days, appears but for a few 
minutes. Did the course of the waters direct her 
way ? The inundations of the rivers forced her to 
go far from the banks of the main stream, through 
the midst of woods, where the movement of the 
waters is almost imperceptible. How often must 
she have been stopped by the thoniy lianas, that 
form a network around the trunks they entwine ? 
How often must she have swam across the rivulets 
that run into the Atabapo ? This unfortunate woman 
was asked how she had sustained herself during the 
four days? She said, 'That, exhausted with fatigue, 
she could find no other nourishment than those great 
black ants called vachacos, which climb the trees in 
long bands, to suspend on them their resinous nests.' ' 
We pressed the missionary to tell us, whether the 
Guahiba had peacefully enjoyed the happiness of 
remaining with her children ; and if any repentance 
had followed this excess of cruelty. He would not 
satisfy our curiosity ; but at our return from the Rio 
Negro, we learnt that the Indian mother was not 
allowed time to cure her wounds, but was again 
separated from her children, and sent to one of tJie 
missions of the Upper Oroonoko. There she died, 
refusing all kind of nourishment, as the savages do 
in great calamities. 

" Such is the remembrance annexed to this fatal 
rock, to Piedra de la Madre." 



4\ PEKCV ANliCOOTES. 



EXTRAORDINARY COINCIDENCES. 

William Douglas, of Lanark, in Scotland, married 
a wife who was born on the same day and hour as 
himself; and they were baptized in the same church. 
At the age of nineteen, they were married, with the 
consent of their relations, in the church where they 
were baptized. During the course of a long life, 
they experienced no infirmity, and died at the age 
of a hundred years, on the same day ; reposing toge- 
ther on the old marriage-bed. They were interred 
in the same grave, beneath the baptismal font, where 
they had presented themselves together in the pre- 
ceding century. 

Mrs. Jay and Mrs. Gilbert, of Uxbridge, were twin 
sisters. They were born within half an hour of each 
other, were both married on one day, were both left 
widows, died much about the same time, in 1776, 
and were both buried in one grave. 



FRATERNAL DEVOTION. 

In the commencement of the dynasty of Tang, in 
China, Loutao-tsong, who was disaffected to the 
government, being accused of a crime which affected 
his life, obtained leave from those who had him in 
custody, to perform the duties of tlie Tao to one of 
his deceased friends. He escaped from his keepers, 
and fled to the hotise of Lou Nan-kin, with whom 
he was on terms of friendship, and there concealed 
himself. Lou Nan-kin, notwithstanding the strict 



DOMtSTlC LIFE. 45 

search that was made, and the severity of the court 
against those who conceal prisoners that have 
escaped, would not betray his friend. The circum- 
stance was at length discovered; and Lou Nan-kin 
was imprisoned. The court was just on the point of 
proceeding against him, when his younger brother 
presenting himself before the judge, said, " It is I, 
sir, who have concealed the prisoner ; it is I who 
ought to sutfer, and not my elder brother." The 
eldest, on the contrary, maintained that his younger 
brother accused himself wrongfully, and was not in 
the least culpable. The judge, who was a person of 
great discernment, examined both parties so minutely, 
that he not only discovered that the younger brother 
was innocent, but even made him confess so himself. 
" It is true, sir," said the younger, suifused in 
tears, " it is true, I have accused myself falsely ; 
but I have strong reasons for so doing. My mother 
has been dead for some time, and she is yet un- 
buried : I have a sister also who is marriageable, but 
is not yet dispos-ed of. These are affairs which my 
brother is capable of managing, but I am not ; and 
tlierefore desire to die in his stead. \''ouchsafe, 
therefore, to receive my testimony, and to admit that 
I am the culprit." The judge would not decide, 
but laid the case before the emperor ; who, after mi- 
nutely examining into all the circumstances of tlia 
case, had the magnanimity to pardon the criminaU 



46 FERCY ANECDOTES. 



fAMlLV OF THE SUNS. 

The Natches, who formerly inhabited 4 vast extent 
of country to the westward of the Missisippi, were 
under the dominion of one grand chief, called the 
Great Sun; and of some hundreds of superior chiefs, 
or suns, all related to the Great Sun. When any 
of the Suns died, their wives were obliged to accom- 
pany them to the Land of Spirits; and the law also 
condemned every Natches to death who liad married 
a girl of the blood of the Suns, should he happen to 
survive her. 

A young Indian called Etteactcal, heedless of the 
peril he run, married a girl of the blood of the 
Suns. Not long after, she fell sick ; and Etleacteal 
seeing the hour of trial at hand, suddenly lost all 
wish for dying on her funeral pile. As soon, there- 
fore, as he saw his wife at the point of death, he 
took to flight, embarked in a piragua on the Missi- 
sippi, and came to New Orleans. He put himself 
under the protection of M. de Bienville, the then 
governor, and offered to be his huntsman. Tlie 
governor accepted his services, and interested him- 
self for him with the Natches, who declared that he 
had nothing more to fear, the ceremony being 
past, and he was accordingly no longer a lawful 
prize. 

Etteacteal, being thus assured, ventured to return 
to his nation ; and, without settling among them, 
he made several voyages thither : he happened to 
be there, when the sun, called the Stung Serpent, 
brother to the Grand Sun, died : he was a relation 
of the late wife of Etteacteal ; and they resolved 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 47 

to make him now pay his debt. M. de Bienville had 
been recalled to France, and the sovereign of the 
Natches thought that the jjrotector's absence had 
annulled the reprieve granted to the protected 
person, and accordingly caused him to be arrested. 
As soon as the poor fellow found himself in the hut 
of the grand cliief of war, together with the other 
victims destined to be sacrificed to the Stung Ser- 
pent, he gave vent to the excess of his grief. The 
favourite wife of the late Sun, who was also to be 
sacrificed, and who saw the preparations for her 
death with firmness, and seemed impatient to rejoin 
her husband, hearing Etteacteal's complaints and 
groans, said to him : " Art thou no warrior?" He 
answered, "Yes, I am one." "However," said 
she, " thou criest, life is dear to thee ; and as that 
is the case, it is not fit that thou shouldst go along 
with us, go witli the women." Etteacteal replied, 
" True, life is dear to me; it would be well, if I 
walked yet on earth till the death of the Great Sun, 
and I would die with him." " Go thy way," said 
the favourite ; " it is not fit that thou shouldst die 
with us, and that thy heart should remain behind on 
earth ; once more get away, and let me see thee 
no more." 

Etteacteal did not stay to hear this again repeated 
to him ; he disappeared like lightning. Three old 
women, however, two of whom were his relations, 
offered to pay his debt ; their age and their infirmi- 
ties had disgusted them with life ; neither of them 
had been able to use their legs for a long while. 
They were despatched in the evening, one at the 
door of the Stung Serpent, and the other two upon 
the place before the temple. 



48 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

The rooming after this execution, they made every 
tiling ready for the convoy of the Stung Serpent to 
the Land of Spirits ; and the hour being conie, the 
great master of the ceremonies appeared at the door 
of the hut, adorned suitable to his quality; the 
victims who were to accompany the deceased prince 
to the mansion of spirits, now came forth ; tliey 
consisted of the favourite wife of the deceased, of 
his second wife, his cliancellor, his physician, his 
liired roan ; that is, his first servant, and some old 
women. 

The favourite went to tlie Great Sun, with wliom 
tliere were several Frenchmen, to take leave of him ; 
she gave orders for the Suns of both sexes, that were 
her children, to appear; and spoke to the following 
effect : 

•' Children, this is the day on which I am to tear 
myself from your arms, and to follow your father's 
steps ; who waits for me in the Country of Spirits : 
if I were to yield to your tears, I would injure my 
love, and fail in my duty. I have done enough for 
you, by bearing you next ray heart, and by suckling 
you with my breasts. You that are descended of 
his blood, and fed by my milk ; ought you to shed 
tears ? Rejoice rather that you are Suns and war- 
riors ; you are bound to give examples of firmness 
and valour to the whole nation : go, my children, 
I have provided for all your wants, by procuring 
you friends; my friends, and tliose of your father, 
are your's too ; I leave you amidst them ; they are 
the French, tliey are tender-hearted, and generous ; 
make yourseh'es worthy of their esteem, not degene- 
rating from your race ; always act openly with them, 
and never implore the» with meanness." 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 49 

** Are you Frenchmen ?" said she, turning herself 
towards our officers; "I recommend my orphan chil- 
dren to you ; they will know no other fatliers but 
you, you ought to protect them." 

After that, she got up, and followed by her 
troop, returned to her husband's hut, with a sur- 
prising firmness. 

A noble woman came to join herself to the 
victims, of her own accord ; being engaged by the 
friendship she bore the Stung Serpent, to follow 
him into the other world. The Europeans called 
her the haughty lady, on account of her majestic 
deportment, and her proud air ; and because she 
only frequented tlie company of the most distin- 
guished Frenchmen ; they regretted her much, be- 
cause she had the knowledge of several simples, 
with which she had saved the lives of many of their 
sick. This moving sight filled them with grief 
and horror. The favourite wife of the deceased, 
rose up and spoke to them with a smiling counte- 
nance. "I die without fear," said she; "grief 
does not embitter my last hours ; I recommend my 
children to you ; whenever you see them, noble 
Frenchmen, remember that you have loved their 
father ; and that he was, till death, a true and 
sincere friend of your nation, whom he loved more 
than himself. The Disposer of Life has been pleased 
to call him, and I shall soon go and join him ; I 
shall tell him that I have seen your hearts moved at 
the sight of his corpse ; do not be grieved, we shall 
be longer friends in the Land of Spirits than here, 
because we do not die there again." 

At the hour intended for the ceremony, they made 

F 



50 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

the victims swallow little balls, or pills of tobacco' 
in order to make them giddy ; and, as it were, to 
take the sensation of pain from them ; after that, 
they were all strangled, and. put uj)on mats ; the 
favourite upon the right, the other wife on the left; 
and the others according to their rank. 



RETURNING FROM SLAVERY. 

" The records of slavery," says the writer of a 
letter from Free Town, Sierra Leone, of recent date, 
" have produced few cases like that which we are about 
to relate. An African, who was carried olF as a 
slave from the banks of the Senegal, above thirty 
years since, has recently returned to Goree from the 
Havannah, with a very numerous family of children 
and grand-children, daugliters and sons-in-law, all 
free. The patriarch of this family was very laborious 
and industrious ; and, by the earnings of Jidditional 
labour beyond that required of him as a tradesman- 
slave, he realized enough to purchase his freedom, 
according to the Spanish custom. He also redeemed 
those of his family and connexions who were in 
bondage ; and, being desirous to finish his days in 
the land of his fathers, and to bring his descendants 
with him, he has reached Goree with the whole', but 
there the younger branches stop. The sons, who 
know no other country but the Havannah, and who 
are Spaniards in language, habits, and modes of 
living, were very much disinclined to the voyage, 
and they refuse absolutely to pass from Goree into 
the interior." 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 61 



SINGULAR MARRIAGE CEREMONY. 

Among tlie Liburnians, a singular custom prevails 
at their weddings. Before the dinner is over, the 
bride and ail the guests rise from the '.ible ; she has 
then to throw over the roof of the bridegroom's 
house, a cake, called kolarh, made of coarse dough. 
The higher she tbrows it, the happier, according to 
their notion, tlie union will make a good housewife ; 
and as the houses are very low, and the cake as hard 
as a stone, the bride seldom fails in ensuring the 
lucky omen. Two men attend the bride, and are 
expected to present her with new shoes and stockings : 
she does not put them on till after her dance, and 
gives two or three old handkerchiefs in return. 

SWEDISH CHILDREN. 

Mr. M'Donald, in his Travels through Sweden, 
says : " Young children, from the age of one, to that 
of eighteen mouths, are wrapped up in bandages, 
like cylindrical wicker baskets ; which are contrived 
so as to keep their bodies straight, without inter- 
fering much with their growth. They are suspended 
from pegs in the wall, or laid in any convenient 
part of the room, without much nicety, where they 
exist in great silence and good humour. I have not 
heard the cries of a child since I came to Sweden." 



T 2 



52 PEllCY ANECDOTES. 



POOR JACK. 

The child of a drunken sailor asked him for 
bread. Irritated by his request, the dissolute father 
spurned him from liim with his foot, and the child 
fell in the sea, from the beach. Nothincr could be 
done from the shore, and the child soon disappeared ; 
but the arm of Providence was extended over him, 
and by clinging to an oar, or raft, that he came near, 
he floated, till picked up by a vessel then under 
weigh. The child could only tell them his name was 
Jack, but the humanity of the crew led them to take 
care of him. Poor Jack, as he grew up, was pro- 
moted to wait on the officers, received instruction 
easily, was quick and steady, and served in some 
actions. In the last, he had obtained so much pro- 
motion, that he was appointed to the care of the 
wounded seamen. He observed one with a Bible 
under his head, and showed !jim so much attention, 
that the man, when he was near dying, requested 
Jack to accept this Bible, which had been the means 
of reclaiming him from the ways of sin. By some 
circumstances. Poor Jack recognized, in the penitent 
sailor, his once cruel father. 

Such was tlie affecting story, as related at a 
meeting of the Brighton Bible Society, by a stranger, 
who requested permission to address the company. 
It made a powerful impression on all present; which 
was not lessened, when the speaker added, with a 
modest bow, " And, ladies and gentlemen, I am 
poor Jack." 



DOMliSriC LIFE. 53 



APriUS AND HIS SON. 

During tlie proscription of the second triumvirate 
in Rome, young Appius followed the example of 
j^neas, and witli the like succes?. His father, 
Appius, aged and infirm, seeing himself proscribed, 
did not think the remainder of a languishing life 
worth the pains of preserving, and was willing to 
wait for the murderers quietly at his own house. 
He could not, however, resist the pressing entreaty 
and zeal of his son, who took him ou his shoulders, 
and loaded with this precious burden, went through 
the city unknown to some, and commanding the 
respect of others, by so commendable and generous 
an action. As soon as they got out of Rome, the 
son, sometimes assisting his father to walk, and some- 
times carrying him, when the fatigue was too great, 
conducted him to the sea, and conveyed him safe 
into Sicily. The people preserved the remembrance 
of this aifectionate conduct, and on the return of 
Appius to Rome, after the triumvirs had put a stop 
to the proscription, the tribes unanimously con- 
curred in raising him to the aedileship. But the 
goods of his father having been confiscated, he had 
not money to defray the expenses of the shows 
belonging to that office. On this account, the arti- 
ficers charged nothing for their labour, and the 
people taxing themselves willingly, each, according 
to his ability, not only enabled him to defray the 
expense of the usual sports, but to purchase an 
estate twice the Talue of that which he had lost. 



64 PERCY ANECDOTES. 



GERMAN EXILES. 

Michael Koster was one of those unfortunate 
subjects of Hesse Cassel, who were bought by the 
English government to fight their battles in America. 
He was taken prisoner at Trenton ; and after various 
A'icissitudes, took the first favourable opportunity that 
presented, to make liis escape into the interior, 
where he remained until the conclusion of the 
struggle which secured the independence of America. 
Like most of his countrymen, he was frugal and 
industrious ; in the course of a few years, he took up 
a tract of land from the state ; cleared a few acres ; 
built a log hut; sowed his first crop, and began to 
think seriously of getting a wife. This last afiair he 
found to be most difficult, justly considering with the 
immortal bard of Avon, that 

"Marriage is a matter of more worth, 
Than to be dealt in by attorneyship." 

" At length, '^ said he, " I met with mine Kate, at 
an hopsesaw. We danced together ; talked over 
farm atfairs, and I accompanied her home. Every 
thing looked neat and clean about her mother's 
dwelling, and as she was a goodlooking girl, 1 soon 
made up my mind. The next time we met, I took 
an opportunity to confess my attachment, found it 
was reciprocal, and we were finally married." 
Every thing conspired to render him happy ; his 
wife proved herself worthy of his attachment, 
managed his dairy, made his butler and cheese ; and 
presented him with several sturdy little children, as 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 65 

pledges of their affection. His land repaid their 
industry, and his wealth increased in proportion. 
One circumstance alone clouded his felicity ; it was 
the fate of his parents. Of their welfare he heard 
not a single word ; of his fate they must of neces- 
sity be ignorant. The village in which they resided, 
had been demolished by the French ; and the idea of 
their destruction, in some measure marred his felicity. 
The arrival of a vessel filled with German rederap- 
tioners, opened to his mind an avenue of hope. He 
repaired to Philadelphia, and went on board the 
vessel, in hopes of obtaining some information on 
the subject of his errand. His endeavours, however, 
were fruitless ; one old man alone, appeared to 
possess the requisite information ; but he was distant 
and repulsive in his manner : every question seemed 
to open some galling wound, and awaken some un- 
pleasant sensation. Michael ftit (to use his own 
words) " sore upon his heart," and determined to buy 
the poor man's time. He did so ; and they pro- 
ceeded to liave the indentures made out in form. A 
similarity of name caused an enquiry on the part of 
the magistrate, and the honest farmer, to his inex- 
pressible delight, discovered his long-lost father ! : 

The old man lived to enjoy the happiness of ease 
and tranquillity but a few years; the recollection of 
a wife and children murdered before his eyes, could 
never be effaced; his joy at meeting with a son 
whom he had ceased to consider as living, combined 
with his own bodily sufferings, formed such an 
agitated complication of feelings, as eventually 
destroyed his health ; it was one of his son's most 
pleasing reflections, that he had solaced bis declining 
years, and smoothed his passage to the tomb. 



5G PERCY ANECDOIUS. 



METELLUS AND HIS SON. 

While; Octavius was at Sainos, after the battle of 
Actium, which made him master of the universe, he 
held a council to examine the prisoners who had 
been engaged in Antony's party. Among the rest, 
there was brought before liira an old man, Metellus, 
oppressed with years and infirmities, disfigured with 
a long beard, a neglected head of hair, and tattered 
clothes. The son of this Metellus, was one of the 
judges ; but it was with great difficulty he knew his 
father in the deplorable condition in which he saw 
him. At last, however, having recollected his fea- 
tures, instead of being ashamed to own hira, he ran 
to embrace him. Then turning towards the tribunal, 
be said, " Caesar, my father has been your enemy, 
and I your officer; he deserves to be punished, and 
I to be rewarded. One favour I desire of you ; it is 
either to save hira on ray account, or order me to be 
put to death with hira." All the judges were 
touched with compassion at this aftecting scene ; 
Octavius himself relented, and granted to old Metellus 
his life and liberty. 

INSEPARABLE BROTHERS. 
The King of Cucho had three sons, and being 
most attached to the youngest, declared him his 
successor. As such an act was contrary to the laws 
of the kingdom, the people thought, that after the 
king's death, they might raise the eldest son to the 
throne ; but he rejected the offer, and taking the 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 57 

crown, placed it on the Lead of Lis youngest brother, 
publicly declaring, tLat Le renounced it, and thought 
himself unworthy of the throne, since his father had 
excluded him from it. The youngest brother, af- 
fected with such generous conduct, entreated him 
not to oppose the v/ishes of the people, who desired 
him for their ruler. He urged that the eldest son was 
lawful successor to the crown, and that though his 
father, by an excessive fondness, had declared him 
his successor, yet he could not infringe the laws 
of the kingdom. No reasoning or entreaty, however, 
could induce the eldest brother to accept the crown. 
A glorious contest, not for a crown, but to refuse it, 
ensued between the princes, who, perceiving that the 
dispute could not easily be adjusted, retired from 
court, and leaving the kingdom to another brother, 
terminated their days together, in peaceful solitude. 

AN OLD SERVANT. 

Lady Creraorne had a female servant who lived 
with her forty-eight years ; during the latter half of 
which time, she was her ladyship's housekeeper. 
This excellent servant, whose name was Elizabeth 
Palfrey, so regulated the household of the family, 
that during the whole time she lived with Lady 
Cremorne at Chelsea, not one of the female servants 
was ever known to be disorderly in her conduct, or 
to have left her place, except on account of marriage 
or bad health. 



58 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

AFFECTING RECOGNITION. 

A boy, a native of Lerwick, who was captured in 
(he early part of the French rerohitionary war, and 
had grown into roanliood in a French prison, on 
being released, returned to England. In his way 
towards his home, he became so much distressed, that 
he applied to the captain of the Don schooner, for 
employment. The captain said, he was sorry that 
he was not in want of any additional hands, as his 
crew was fully adequate to discharge tlie cargo. The 
young man urged the captain to suffer him to work 
only for his meat, as he was literally starving for 
want of food. Commiserating the youth's unhappy 
situation, the captain complied, and the young man 
went cheerfully to work in the hold, among the 
crew. Observing, on the second day, the eager 
assiduity of the stranger to discharge his duty, the 
captain asked liim of what place he was a native f 
" Lerwick," he replied. " Lerwick — Lerwick ! and 
what is your name ?" " James Work." " Have 
you a brother?" "I had," said he, "but it is a 
long time since I saw him." " What is his name ?" 
" Laurence Work." " Then you must have had 
letters from your brother ?" " Oh ! yes, sir." 
" Come, come along with me," said the captain, 
hastily, and immediately hurried him into the cabin. 
An ecclaircissement ensued ; when each exclaimed, 
" Brother !" Instantaneously they rushed into 
each other's arras, and for several minutes their 
feelings were so overpowered with the warmth of 
their affections, that neither of them could speak, 
till tears came to their relief. 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 59 



MARRYING YOUTH AND AGE. 

Gumilla relates, in the History of the River 
Orinoco, that there is one nation which marries old 
men to girls, and old women to youths, that age may 
correct the petulance of youth. For, they say, tliat 
to join young persons equal in youth and imprudence 
in wedlock together, is to join one fool to another. 
The marriage of young men with old women is how- 
ever only a kind of apprenticeship, for after they have 
served for some months, they are permitted to marry 
women of their own age. 



FATAL DETENTION. 

Some years ago, a young woman of the name of 
Wilson, who lived near Philadelphia, was capitally 
convicted of a crime, committed in the hope of con- 
cealing her shame, and condemned to die. The day 
of execution was appointed. In the meantime, her 
brother used his utmost efforts to obtain a pardon 
from the governor. He at length succeeded, and 
hastened to save his sister; his horse foamed and 
bled as he spurred him on, and there was no doubt 
of his succeeding, but an unpropitious rain had 
swelled the stream ; he was compelled to pace the 
bank, while his heart was ready to break, as he 
gazed upon the rushing waters that threatened to 
blast his only hope. The very moment that a ford 
was at all practicable, he dashed through the river, 
and arrived at the place of execution ; but, alas ! he 



60 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

was too late, and could only witness the last struggles 
of his sister, on the fatal scaffold. 

This was a fatal blow to the brother, who from that 
moment quitted society, and endeavoured to be a 
solitary recluse, as much as was possible. He retired 
into the hills of Dauphin County, in Pennsylvania, 
where he lived much respected for his calm and 
tranquil life, and for the ardent affection which had 
estranged hira from the world. 



GALLANT DAUGHTER. 

Sir John Cochrane, who was engaged in Argyle's 
rebellion against James the Second, was taken 
prisoner, after a desperate resistance, and con- 
demned to be hanged. His daughter, having notice 
that the death-warrant was expected from London, 
attired herself in men's clothes, and twice attacked 
and robbed the mails between Belfor and Berwick, 
The execution was by this means delayed, till Sir 
John Cochrane's father, the Earl of Dundonald, 
succeeded in making interest with Father Peter, a 
Jesuit, King James's confessor, who, for the sum of 
five thousand pounds, interceded with his royal 
master, in favour of Sir John Cochrane, and pro- 
. cured his pardon. 



THE JUST CALIPH. 

Omar Ben Alkhattab, succeeded Aboubekr, the 
son-in-law of Mahomet, in the year 13 of the 
Hegira, and 634 of the Christian era. He reigned 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 61 

for ten years and a half; during which time, the 
Arabs bore the terror of their arms into distan t countries, 
and forced the nations which they had subjugated, 
to embrace the religion of Mahomet. In the library 
of the King of France, there is in manuscript an 
historical anecdote of this prince, which bears so 
strong a resemblance to a story which is told of 
Bonaparte in the Desart, as to justify a suspicion, 
that the latter is a mere fable, formed on this basis. 
The narrator of the anecdote-, is Abol Allah Ben 
Abbas, the son of Omar, who affirms that it was related 
to him by his father himself. 

" I walked out one dark evening, with the inten- 
tion of visiting Omar Ben Alkhattab, the Emir of 
the Faitliful. I had not proceeded far, when a 
Bedouin Arab came up to me, and pulling me by the 
sleeve, said, ' Abbas, come with me.' I turned to 
look upon the Bedouin Arab. \Vhat was my sur- 
prise, when I recognized the Emir of the Faithful 
thus alone, on foot, and in disguise ! I saluted him 
with respect, and said, 'Where are you going, and 
what is your intention, O Emir of the Faithful ?' 'I 
am going,' replied he, ' on this cold and dark night, to 
visit the different tribes of Arabs.' I followed hira, 
and proceeded towards the tents, which were spread 
out upon the desert : he examined them all with the 
utmost attention. 

" We had finished our round, and were on the 
point of returning homeward, when we suddenly saw 
a tent, in which was an old woman, surrounded by 
a number of children, who were crying bitterly. 
Beside the old woman, were three stones, surmounted 

G 



62 PERCY ANECDOTES, 

by a kettle, under which a few chips of wood were 
burning. ' Be patient, my children,' said she, * in 
a few moments jour repast will be ready.' We 
stopped to observe this scene, and the eyes of Omar 
were riveted upon the old woman and the children. 
At length, tired of remaining in one motionless 
position, I said, * Emir of the Faithful, why do we 
tarry here ?' * T swear,' said he, * not to return 
home, until I see this old woman distribute food to 
the children.' We accordingly remained on the 
spot some time longer : the old woman still ad- 
dressed tl)e same language to the children, and they 
continued to weep and sob without intermission. 
* Abbas,' said Omar, 'let us enter the tent, and ques- 
tion this woman.' We entered, and saluted her. 
' Good mother,' said Omar, with a gentle and 
smiling air, ' what ails these children ? why do they 
thus sob and complain ?' * Alas !' replied she, 
' because they are hungry.' ' And why,' said Omar, 
' do you not give them some of the food which is in 
that kettle ?' * There is nothing there,' replied the 
old woman ; * it is merely a device, by which I hope 
to divert them, until they are tired of crying, and 
fall to sleep ; for I have not a morsel in the world 
to give them.' When the ohi woman had uttered 
these words, Omar advanced towards the kettle, and 
saw a number of Hints in the boiling water. What 
means this ?' he exclaimed. ' I told them,' replied 
the woman, ' that I was preparing food, and when 
they saw the water boil up between the stones, they 
believed what I said. Thus I am compelled to 
deceive them until sleep overpowers their senses ; 
for I can give them nothing to satisfy their hunger.' 



DOMESTIC LIFE. G3 

' How,' enquired Omar, ' have you been reduced to 
this state of misery?' 'Alas!' replied she, 'I aiu 
an unhappy forsaken woraan ; I have neither father, 
mother, nor any relation.' ' Why,' interrupted Omar, 

* do you not make known your situation to the Emir 
of the Faithful, Omar Ben Alkhattab? He would 
not hesitate to grant you relief from his own treasury.' 

* May heaven pour down curses on Omar,' exclaimed 
the woman ; ' may his standards be levelled to the 
dust ! How cruelly he treats me !' 

"At these words, Omar trembled, and seemed to 
be seized with mortal fear. ' With v/nat act of 
cruelty do you reproach Omar ?' said he. ' I call the 
Almighty God to witness,' replied the woman, * that 
his cruelty is horrible. Has not heaven ordained that 
Emirs, the pastors of the people, should minutely 
enquire into the situation of all their subjects ? Wlien 
they find wretches like me, reduced to misery, and 
burthened with children, without succour, and without 
hope, ought they not to obey the mandate of heaven, 
by relieving the wants of misfortune ?' ' But how,' 
said Omar, * can the Emir of the Faithful know your 
poverty, and the number of children 3'ou have to 
maintain ? You should present yourself before him, 
and inform him of your miserable lot.' * No,' replied 
the woman ; * it is more the duty of Omar to enquire 
into the distresses of his subjects, than it is mine to 
provide for the maintenance of myself and my chil- 
dren. Poverty is more timid than power. And 
besides, the needy sometimes feel a kind of shame, 
which prevents them from exposing their extreme 
misery. But the just and compassionate sovereign 
shows more attachment to the poor than to the rich. 
G t> 



64 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

Such is the law of God. Wliosoever transgresses it, 
is unjust.' 

" The woman had no sooner pronounced these last 
words, than Omar prostrated himself before the 
Supreme God, and said: ' Indeed, good mother, you 
are in the right; but continue to deceive your children 
for a short time, and I will bring something to satisfy 
their craving.' We quitted the tent, covered with the 
shades of night. The dogs thronged from every side, 
barking at us, and it was with great difficulty I suc- 
ceeded in driving them away. At length we arrived 
at the magazine of provisions. Omar himself opened 
the door. We entered ; he looked around )iim, and 
approached a sack, containing about one hundred and 
fifty pounds of flour. ' Abbas,' said he, * place this 
sack of flour upon my back, and take thou this jar 
filled with butter.' I placed the sack upon his 
shoulders, and took up the jar to which he pointed. 
We quitted the magazine : he closed the door, and 
we proceeded back to the desert. But we had 
scarcely completed one half of our journey, wlien 
he felt fatigued by the weight of his burden ; the 
flour dropped upon his eyes, upon his beard, and his 
whole countenance was soon covered with it. ' In 
the name of my father ! in the name of my mother ! 
O Prince of the faithful !' I exclaimed, ' suffer me, I 
entreat you, to bear tlie burden in my turn.' * No, 
you shall not,' he replied ; ' I could bear mountains 
of brass more easily than the least injustice. How 
then could I endure to see the old woman deceive 
her children with flints ? Come, let us advance more 
speedily, that we may arrive before the children cry 
themselves to sleep.' We continued our journe^^ ; 



DOiMESTlC LIFE. ^'^ 

Omar was ready to sink beneath his burden. Having 
arrived at the old woman's tent, he laid down the 
sack of flour, and I placed beside it the jar filled 
with butter. Omar, instead of resting after his 
fatigue, threw away the flints and water, and put a 
piece of butter into the pot ; then perceiving that 
the fire was almost out, 'Have you any wood ?' said 
he to the woman. * Here is some,' she said. He 
rose, gathered together a few sticks, and placed them 
on the fire ; then setting the kettle on its trevet, he 
knelt down on the ground, and blew the fire with his 
mouth. Yes, these eyes beheld the Prince of the 
Faithful stooping down to revive the extinguishing 
sparks. His thick beard, which swept the dust, was 
sometimes concealed amidst torrents of smoke, and 
he never quitted his humble position until the fire 
blazed again. The butter being melted, Omar 
stirred it round with a stick which he held in one 
hand, whilst with the other he threw some flour into 
the pot. The children, who thronged round him, 
still continued to weep and complain. Omar then 
asked the old woman for a spoon, took one of (he 
children on his knee, and placing the others near 
him, divided among them the food which he had 
prepared. The children being thus satisfied, joy- 
fully arose, and having spent a short time in play, fell 
asleep. Omar then turned towards the old woman, 
and said, ' Will you, good woman, sell to me your 
right of complaining of Omar's injustice ? I oifer 
you one hundred dinars.' I willingly accept your 
proposal,' replied she. ' Well,' said Omar, ' give 
me your consent in writing.' * Alas! I cannot write 
well enough,' replied the woman. ' No matter,' said 
G 3 



66 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

Omar, ' I will write for you.' The old woman 
having given her consent, I went," continues Abbas, 
" in search of witnesses, and to procure the hun- 
dred dinars. On my return, Omar himself wrote 
down the contract, of which the following is the 
tenor : 

" ' In the name of the most clement and mswciful 
God ! May heaven shower down blessings on 
Mahommed and his holy race ! 

" * The agreement made by — the daughter— in the 
presence of two witnesses. She hath pardoned 
Omar ^Ben Alkhattab^ for the injustice of which he 
was guilty in neglecting to enquire into her situation, 
and relieve her misfortunes, which is the duty of 
every shepherd towards the flock entrusted to his care. 
Omar hath given her in return the sum of one hun- 
dred dinars, so that she hath no longer any demand 
upon him ; she hath therefore, of her own accord, 
agreed to the present contract.' 

" The contract being written, Omar folded it up, 
and put it in his bosom. He then rose, saluted the 
old woman, and withdrew. * Abbas,' said he, when 
we departed from the tent, ' when I saw that old 
woman deceiving her children with flints, I fancied 
that a huge mountain had fallen upon me, and that I 
was crushed beneath its weight. Seized with terror, 
I hastened to do that which thou hast witnessed, 
when I gradually felt the weight of the mountain 
diminish, and I again breathed at liberty.' 

" On his return home, Omar called liis children 
together, and said to them, 'Take, my children, this 
writing, and preserve it carefully. When heaven 
shall be pleased to close my eyes from the light of 
the day, do not forget to deposit it in my coffin. 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 67 

" Having delivered these words, Omar sent for tlie 
old woman and her children, to whom he assigned 
a pension from his treasury." 

HUMBLE HEIRESS. 
A French soldier, of the name of Hensis, who 
was a blacksmith by trade, married at Lemburgh, 
in Poland, a young woman, who cautiously concealed 
from him, her name and family. She accompanied 
him to France, where they lived happily, but in 
poverty, for some years ; when she received a letter, 
which, she said, required that she should leave her 
husband for a few days. She had, by the death of a 
relation, become heiress to a large fortune, consisting 
of several estates ; two castles, two market-towns, 
and seven villages, with their dependencies ; as well 
as to the title of Baroness of the Empire. Uncon- 
taminated by such a change of fortune, the lady 
returned to her husband and young family, to share 
with them the blessings of ease and plenty. 

PRINCESS CHARLOTTE. 

The marriage of the lamented Princess Charlotte, 
with the Prince Leopold, is universally known to 
have been one of affection, in the most enlarged 
sense of the term. The elegant person, and graceful 
manners, of his royal highness, first attracted the 
regards of the young princess : a generous father 
gave his sanction to the rising inclination of her 
heart, and a more intimate acquaintance with its 
favoured object, ripened prepossession into love, the 



68 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

most ardeut and sincere. After the nuptials of the 
young pair, and their retirement to Claremont, their 
time was spent in the happiest enjoyments of retired 
private life; they were seldom asunder; they rode 
together ; visited the neighbouring villages, and 
relieved the peasantry together; and seemed made 
and prepared for the truest, and most unchanging, 
happiness of wedded life. Thty seldom left Clare- 
mont, and never came to London, but on those 
public occasions which required their presence ; but 
at home they were busy in all the pursuits of 
diligent and accomplished minds. The morning 
was chiefly given to exercise and occupation in the 
open air. After dinner, the prince studied English, 
or assisted the princess in her sketches from the 
surrounding country ; the evenings generally closed 
with music ; and thus glided away the hours which, 
with the inferior multitude, of the great, and gay, 
and profligate, were laying up remorse, poverty, and 
shame, for years to come. 

Although their time together on this earth, was 
but short, it abounded with acts of beneficence, alike 
distinguished for their liberality and judiciousness. 
Their bounty was invariably preceded by enquiry, and 
never, with their knowledge, did it fall but on merit 
and virtue. Her royal highness carried this habit of 
discrimination even into the choice of her tradesmen. 
More than one or two of these, were indebted for 
tlie preference they obtained, to tlie honourable 
anxiety of the princess to indemnify them for losses 
which they had sustained through otlier less opulent 
branches of the royal family. In the majority of 
cases, hewever, the motive for selection was of a 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 69 

more unmixed kind 3 the pure desire of doing the 
most good with the money wliich they expended. 
One memorable proof of tliis, may suffice. 

Finding that all who had applied for the honour 
of serving her household with meat, were opulent, 
her royal highness enquired if there were no other 
butcliers in Esher. The steward at first replied, 
he believed there w as no other ; but on recollection, 
he said, there was one man, but that he was in such 
low circumstances, that it would be impossible for 
him to undertake the contract. " I sliould like 
to see this man," said the princess. He was, of 
course, though very unexpectedly, summoned to 
Clareraoiit ; when he candidly confessed, that his 
poverty was such, as to make it impossible for him 
to send in such meat as he would v/ish to supply to 
the royal household, that he never even thought of 
offering himself as a candidate for the contract. 
" What sum," enquired the princess, " would be 
necessary to enable you to go to the market upon 
equal terras with your more opulent fellow tradesmen r" 
The poor man was quite embarrassed at such a 
prospect before him, and overwhelmed with the 
royal condescension. At length, he named a sum. 
" You shall have it," said the amiable princess, 
" and shall henceforth supply my household." 

This noble act of generosity, rescued a deserving 
man from the struggles of poverty, and enabled 
him to make a comfortable provision for his family. 

Over the scene of woe which soon put a period to 
the felicity of this amiable couple, and to the hopes 
which the nation had entertained from an union of 
free will, so rare amongst the great, affliction bids 



70 PERCY ANECDOriiS. 

us draw the veil. At a public nieetiug held about a 
year after the princess's death, to solerauize the 
opening of wliat is called the Royal Kent School, at 
Oxshott, in Surrey, for the education of the children 
of the poor in the neighbourhood of Claremont, 
Prince Leopold, who presided, after expatiating on 
the advantages of education, adverted, in a very 
feeling manner, to the strength and comfort he had 
derived from the principles of religion on the death 
of his beloved princess. While referring to this 
melancholy event, he burst into tears, and for some 
minutes, was unable to proceed : at length he said, 
" You all know ray distresses, and will judge 
whether I have not ample reason, from personal expe- 
rience, to speak highly of the power and eflicacy of 
religion, without which, I might have sunk under 
ray irreparable loss; and to give my support to 
every scheme, which has religion for its basis, and 
the moral and intellectual improvement of man for 
its object r" 



SAVING FROM FIRE. 

In 1813, a wealthy farmer, residing near Tuain, 
who was left a widower, with three helpless children, 
on his return home about midnight, from the fair of 
Clare, found his house all in a blaze. His first ex- 
clamation was, " Where are my children ? I must 
relieve them, or we must periih tugether." He lau 
to the yard, where fortunately there hajipcned to be 
a ladder, which he applied to the wall, rushed into 
the flames, and succeeded in penetrating into the 
room where the little children were in bed ; he had 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 71 

already taken two of them in his arms, when a third, 
the youngest, a beautiful girl, cried out, " Sure, 
father, you will not leave your own littie Hannah in 
the fire." The distracted parent took up the little 
innocent, wrapped in her night clothes, in his teeth, 
and providentially escaped without any material in- 
jury to himself or to his precious burden. The house, 
with all the furniture, fell a prey to the flames. 

GRATEFUL MOTHER. 

Among the persons liberated by the Emperor 
Alexander of Russia, on his ascending the throne, 
was a British sailor of the name of John Duncan. 
His mother, a poor woman in Scotland, thinking it 
her duty to acknowledge this act of justice on the 
part of his imperial majesty, sent him the following 
artless epistle : 

*' Unto the most excellent Alexander, Emprore of 
that grat dominion of Russia, and the teratorys there 
unto belonging, &c. &c. &c. 

" Your must humble servant most humbly beges 
your most gracious pardon for my boldness in ap- 
proching your most dreed sovring for your clemency 
at this time. 

" My sovring, the candour of this freedom is on 
account of your sovring's goodness in the serving 
and inlarging of my son, whose name is John 
Duncan, aged twenty-six years, who was on a pren- 
tice, who was prisioner with Robert Spittle, his 
master, Captaen of the Han, Spittle, of Alloa, at the 
time of the British embargo in your sovring's domi- 
nions in Russia, who is the only seport of me, his 



72 PEUCY ANECDOTES. 

mother, and besaid, 1 have no other freend for ray 
seport ; and on the account of your gracious bene- 
vallence, be pleased to accept of this small present 
from your ever well-wisher, whilst I have breath. 

" The small present, is three pairs of stockings, 
for going on when your sovring gos out a hunting ; I 
would a have sent your sovring silk stockings, if that 
ray son could go in search for it, but the press being 
so hot at this time, that he cannot go for fear of 
being pressed. 

" If your sovrin will be pleased to axcept of this, 
and faveour me with an ansueur of this, by the 
bearer, and let me kno what famely of children your 
sovrin has, I will send slockir\gs for thera for the 
winter, before winter comes on, as also what sons 
and what daughters you might have. 

" Most dreed sovring, I ara your most obedient 
and humble servant, till death, 

" EITZEABETH WILCOX. 

" St. Neunsous, by Sterling, April 2d, 1804. 
" Please to direct to me, to the care of Robert 
Raunce, in St. Neunsous, by Sterling." 

So far was his imperial majesty from despising the 
humble token of the gratitude of the writer, that he 
ordered her a remittance of oflOO, which was paid 
her through the Russian ambassador in London. Un- 
fortunately, some busy man of letters took upon 
himself to correct her second letter to the emperor, 
and has robbed it of that originality, which renders 
the preceding specimen so truly piquant. 



DOMESTIC LIFE 73 



DR. LOWTH. 



The learned and pious Dr. Lowtli, as a Iiusbaiid, a 
father, and master of a family, was as nearly faultless 
as the imperfections of humanity will easily per- 
mit. Few men, however, have combined in tlieir lives 
so much external prosperity, with so many private 
misfortunes. His eldest son, of whom he had 
reason to entertain the highest expectations, died 
in the bloom of youth. His eldest and favourite 
daughter, Maria, died at the early age of thirteen ; 
and in an epitaph for her tomb, which is one of 
the finest compositions of the kind from a British 
pen, he has left a memorable testimony to her 
svorth. It is in Latin, but has been thus translated 
hj Mr. Duncorabe : 

" Dearer than daughter, parallel'd by few 
In genius, goodness, modesty, — adieu ! 
Adieu ! Maria—'till that day more blest. 
When, if deserving, I with thee shall rest. 
Come, then, thy sire will cry, in joyful strain, 
O ! come to my paternal arras again." 

The doctor's second daughter died as she was pre- 
siding at the tea table, just as she was about to place 
a cup of coti'ee on a salver. ** Take this," she said, 
" to the Bishop of Bristol ;" she had scarcely ut- 
tered the words, v/hcn the cup and her hand fell to- 
gether upon the salver, and she instantly expired. 



I'EKCY ANliCDOTF.: 



DAUGHTER'S CHOICE. 

Among the families who fell victims to popular 
fury, in the revolt of the Cossack, Pugatchef, was 
an old man, his wife, and daughters. The servants 
endeavoured to protect the youngest, aged only 
seventeen years, and who was universally beloved 
for the sweetness of her disposition, from the assassins. 
They di^sguised her in the dress of a peasant, and 
she might have escaped with the greatest ease ; but 
being deeply aflected by the cruelties she saw com- 
mitted on her father and mother, she would not sur- 
vive them. She tore herself from the arms of the 
domestics, and in the fulness of her despair, threw 
herself on the bodies of iier unfortunate parents, her 
eyes streaming with tears, and her hands raised to 
heaven, fervently imploring God to put an end to her 
suffering. The murderers were for an instant soft- 
ened by her youth and beauty. "Go, go," said they 
to her, " we will not kill you ;" but her grief xvas 
so poignant, that she did not listen to them. She 
exclaimed, " I cannot survive these horrors ! Can I 
forsake my dear relatives ? Let me die with them. 
I seek not to exist longer, since you have robbed me 
of all that attached me to life I" and again she bent 
over them, imploring the divine mercy. One of the 
monsters then struck her on the head witli a club ; 
but she was not entirely stunned. Raising her clasped 
hands, she prayed to God to have pity on her family. 
She was instantly despatched; and thus terminated a 
life of innocence. 



DOMESTIC LIFE, 75 



PATRIOT MOTHER. 

In the revolution of South America, the females of 
Caraccas took a considerable share, by their influence 
over their husbands and children. One of these, 
Madame IMontilia, a lady of noble family, had three 
sons in the array ; the eldest retired to North Anae- 
rica, in disgust at the conduct of Miranda, who he 
foresaw would be the ruin of his country. The second 
son, Pablo, was induced, by the arts of a step-brother, 
to desert over to Monteverde, when on his way to 
Caraccas. The mother was so incensed at his con- 
duct, that in a formal manner, she disinlierited him. 

After Monteverde had got possession of Caraccas, 
he waited upon her, and expostulated with her on 
what he called the rash step she had taken ; hinting, 
that if she would alter her will, and revoke her senti- 
ments against Pablo, her other son, Thomas, who was 
then in chains in a dungeon in Laguira, should be 
released. Indignant at such a proposal, she ex- 
claimed, with all the pride and firmness of a Roman 
matron, " I glory in what I have done ; and while 
ray son Pablo may descend to the grave with the 
curses of his mother on his head, I shall exult in my 
sou Thomas expiring in chains, a martyr to liberty 
and his country, rather tlian he should have his 
freedom on such dishonourable conditions." The 
general departed in confusion at this display of 
female patriotism, and was compelled to respect, 
where he could not punish. 



11 2 



7(5 PUllCY ANECDOTES. 



PARENTAL SACRIFICE. 

A vessel with several passengers, in descending 
the Wolga, in Russia, was upset b^ a violent tempest, 
and the greatest portion of the persons on board 
were drowned. A father with his son, and another 
man, got upon one of tlie timbers ; but as it was noi 
capable of sustaining all the three, and the violence 
of the wind and waves continued, the father said to 
his son, " My child, you are young ; may heaven 
bless you ; I am old, and have lived long enough ; 
it is right that 1 should save your life." He made 
the sign of the cross, and plunged into the water, 
without the son being able to prevent him, though he 
exerted all his remaining strength for that purpose. 

FAMILY CROSSES. 

A few years ago, a person of tiie name of Har- 
rison, went from London to Canada, with an in- 
tention to settle there, and soon after, wrote to his 
wife to follow him. Owing to the sickness and 
death of a child, she did not go so soon as he ex- 
pected. He fell sick, but succeeded in reaching 
New York, and sailed for London, apparently in the 
last stage of consumption. On this voyage, he 
quite recovered his health ; and on his arrival, found 
that his wife had sailed for Quebec, where she ar- 
rived, and learned he had gone to New York. She 
followed him to that city, but did not reach it till 
fourteen days after he had sailed. Destitute of friends 
and money, she appealed to the best feelings of some 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 77 

gentlemen there, who furnished her with the means 
to pay her passage to London ; where she arrived, and 
found that her anxious husband had remained but 
one da^"^ there, having sailed for New York. His 
wife immediately made the necessary arrangements to 
return to New York ; btH it was not until they had 
each crossed the Atlantic three times in search of 
each other, that they were destined to meet. 

" THE WHITE WOMAN." 

A few weeks after the evacuation of Fort du 
Quesne, in 1758, a party of Indians carried otF from 
Marsh Creek, in Pennsylvania, a whole family of the 
name of Jamieson, consisting of the father, mother, 
two sons, and two daughters, and hurried wiUi t'lera 
into the wilderness. On the third day of Iheir cap- 
tivity, the Indians received intelligence that many 
white people were in pursuit of them ; and rather 
than yield up their prisoners alive, they slew the 
whole family, with the exception of the youngest 
daughter, Mary Jamieson, a girl of the age of 
thirteen. The last words which the mother of this 
unfortunate creature spoke to her, before the fatal 
weapon released her from the sorrows of life, were, 
" Not at present to attempt to run away, not to for- 
get her English, not to forget her God." The Indians 
carried her first to the vicinity of Little Beaver Creek, 
and afterwards to a Shawnee town, far below, where 
their expedition terminated. Here the captive girl 
lived till she attained to womanhood, when she mar- 
ried an Indian, by whom she had several children. 
Once she attempted to desert the place, and make 
n 3 



78 I'FJICY ANECDOTES. 

her escape to tlie while people, and had proceeded 
through the pathless wood many miles, when the fond 
yearnings of a mother, induced her to return to her 
children ; and slie never afterwards felt a disposition 
to leave them. Her husband dying, she removed to 
Genessee, where she found a second protector in the 
person of Kottam, a chief, wlio w as so proud of her 
for a wife, as to assume her name. By this chief, 
she had six or seven children. On his death, the 
youngest of three sons, who survived him, being am- 
bitious of the honour of filling his fallier's situation 
in the tribe, had recourse to murder, to pave his way 
to the sacheradon. He accordingly watched for an 
opportunity, when one of his brothers little suspected 
what was in his heart, and slew him. This was 
overlooked. Some time after, his murderous hand 
j)lunged a dagger into the breast of the surviving 
brother. The chiefs in council then resolved that lie 
should atone for the repeated outrage upon the rights 
of humanity, with his own life. The mother went 
forward to plead for him, stating, that he was the 
only son slie had left, and entieated tliat he might 
Jiot be taken from her. In tenderness to the old 
woman, the chiefs granted her a lease of her son's 
iife, during her continuance in the world, with the 
understanding, that, on her decease, the sentence 
already pronounced, should be carried into execution. 
Not long after, this young Romulus was killed by 
some of his countrymen, in a drunken frolic. 

In 1820, the Eev. Timothy Alden, President of 
Alleghany College, being then on a mission among 
the Senccas and IMunscos, paid a visit to Mary 
Jamieson, who was now known far and near, by the 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 79 

name of " the White Woruau j" and it is thus lie 
speaks of her in his report. 

" She lives in a comfortable Indian st^le, on one of 
the fertile bottoms of the Genessee, flanked b^ high, 
abrupt, and romantic banks. I found her able to 
converse intelligibly in English, but showing, at first, 
that reserve which is a common trait in the character 
of the Senecas. Slie, however, at length became 
agreeably communicative, and gave an history of her 
life. 

" She had been taught to read, and, if she could 
have had books, she thought that she could not have 
forgotten ; but now her sight was impaired. She 
had learned the Assembly's Catechism, and was 
early made acquainted, by tite care of her parents, 
with the duties founded on the word of God ; and 
has probably often communicated the amount of her 
knowledge to the Indians. I remarked to her, that, 
as she had greater advantages than the people among 
whom she had spent lier life, it must have been in her 
power to have otlered them very important instruction, 
as to the duties we all owe to the great God and 
Saviour of the world. She said, she used to teach 
the children when they were young. Pursuing my 
remarks on the bene&t which she might still afford to 
the natives, whom she frequently sees, by speaking 
to them on the things of religion, slie replied with a 
quick articulation, and considerable feeling, * The 
Indians know what is right well enough j but they 
won't do it; they won't do it.' " 



80 ri-KCY ANliCDOTKS. 



BEREAVED FATHER. 

" I have now done with the world," said the 
amiable Dr. Beattie, as he looked for the last time 
on the dead body of that son, who had been the 
pride and stay of his declining years ; and ever after, 
he acted as if he indeed thought so. He withdrew 
from all society, and brooded in solitude over the 
sorrows of his family, till his mind sunk into a state 
of the most melancholy bewilderment. He would 
frequently not recollect what had become of his son ; 
and after searching every room in the house for hira, 
would say to his niece, " You may think it strange, 
but 1 must ask you if I have a son, and where he is?" 
When the niece, on these occasions, felt it necessary 
to remind hira of his son's illness, his sufferings, his 
death ; he would evince, by a new flood of tears, the 
returning memory of his loss. His mind would then 
wander in search of some topic of consolation ; and 
in allusion to the insanity with which Mrs. Beattie 
was afflicted, and which he supposed might have 
descended to her children, he would express his 
thankfulness that he had no sons. " How could I 
have borne," he would say, " to have seen their ele- 
gant minds mangled with madness ?" Year after 
year passed away in this state of hopeless affliction, 
till at length his constitution siink under the grief 
which preyed upon it, and two strokes of the palsy 
terminated his useful and honourable life. 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 8l 

UNFORTUNATE SCHOOLMASTER. 

In the year i800, a native schoolmaster, accora- 
panied by twenty of liis scholars, was passing a 
branch of the Pallar river, not far from Wallajahbad 
in the East Indies. The bed of the river was nearly 
dry, and they consequently expected to pass it with- 
out the smallest danger ; the heavy rains, however, 
had accumulated in^o a large and extensive body of 
water above the pass, which suddenly breaking through 
its embankment, rushed impetuously down, and over- 
whelmed the unsuspecting schoolmaster, and the 
objects of his care, with instant destruction. Two 
boys, with their master, alone reached the opposite 
bank of the river; but one of them was so exhausted, 
that he died in a few minutes after he had reached 
the shore. 

The poor schoolmaster stood upon the bank of the 
river, gazing upon his dying pupils, in all the agonies 
of despair. " And who," said he, " shall tell this 
dreadful tale to the fathers and to the mothers of 
these children ? I never can." After this pathetic 
exclamation, he stood a few moments, a speechless 
figure of unutterable grief, then plunged into the 
flood, and instantly perished. 

The surviving boy soon recovered, and carried the 
afflicting tale to the house of the schoolmaster ; when 
his wife, with that desperation which sometimes marks 
the otherwise mild character of the Asiatic, threw 
herself into a deep well, and was drowned before any 
assistance could be given. 



82 l'L!;CY AN LCI) or IS. 



MALSHERBES. 

When the venerable Malsherbes was committed 
to the prison of Port Libre, during the reign of 
terror in France, he was accompanied to prison by 
tl»e whole of his family, which was by no means a 
small one ; it consisted of Mr. Pelletier de Rosambo, 
formerly a counsellor of the Parliament of Paris, 
who had married his only daughter, and his four 
children, tliree of whom were females, and had their 
husbands with them ; so that, with the addition of 
Mr. Rosambo, the son, they formed the most nume- 
rous family party at Port Libre. 

jNIr. Maisherbes was, in the full sense of the term, 
what the French call n/j aimable vieiUard : so far from 
possessing that morose and peevish manner, so fre- 
quently met with in old age, and so repulsive to 
youth, he was never so happy and good-humoured 
as wjien in the company of young people ; and on 
these occasions, with a pleasant allusion to his own 
form, which was rather dimhiutive and distorted, he 
would liken himself to ^^sop surrounded by his 
beasts. Certainly, young people could no where 
else iind a companion, of his age, so pleasing and 
instructive; not a subject could be started, on which 
he liad not an appropriate anecdote to relate ; nor a 
question put to Jiim, which he could not resolve in 
a satisfactory manner. 

The younger Rosambo was the constant com- 
panion of his grandfather; they slept in the same 
room, and were to be seen, on most occasions, 
together. So fond was Mr. Malsherbes of him, that 



DOMRSTIC LIFE. b?, 

he would never suffer him to take upon himself any 
of those little offices that the prisoners themselves 
were obliged to perform; such as sweeping their 
rooms, making their beds, and others of the same 
nature ; these different tasks, he himself would 
regularly execute. It was an interesting siglit to see 
the old gentleman, at six o'clock every morning, 
after having dressed himself in the most quiet manner, 
so as not to disturb his grandson's repose, come on 
tip-toe out of his chamber, with a large earthen 
pitcher in his hand, and go down to till it at the 
prison pump ; and then, though he bent beneath its 
weight, carry it back, up a double flight of stairs, 
steadily refusing every kind of assistance. When 
his friends would remonstrate with him on this head, 
and advise him to leave so laborious a task to his 
grandson, who was young and vigorous, he would 
reply, that young people, after the exercise of the 
day, had more occasion for sleep than those whom 
age had unfitted for those toils which exhaust the 
bodily frame. 

When sentence of death w aspassed on Malsherbes 
and his family, that manly fortitude which he had 
displayed in every stage of his personal sufferings, 
seemed for a time overpowered by grief for the fate 
of his children. When he saw, however, the calm- 
ness and resolution with which all of them prepared 
to meet their fate, his courage revived ; and the few 
hours that intervened between the sentence and 
execution, were spent in fortifying their minds to 
meet the awful event with dignity and composure. 
One of his daughters, on taking leave of her fellow 
prisoner, Mademoiselle Sombreuil, who had been 



84 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

tlie means of saving her father's life, observed to her, 
" You have had the happiness to preserve your 
fatlier ; I shall have the consolation of dying with 
mine" As they were on their way to the fatal cart, 
Malsherbes happening to make a false step at the 
thres])oid of the prison, observed, with a smile, 
"This is a bad oraen ! a Roman would have gone 
back again." 



HIGHLAND HONOUR. 

The son of a chieftain of the Macgregors, residing 
on his freehold at Glenorchy, went in the shooting 
season, with a party of young associates, to the moors 
in the braes of the country. They met with a young 
gentleman of the name of Lamont, from Cowal, who, 
attended by a servant, was going to Fort William. 
They all went to a sort of inn that was in the 
place, and took refreshment together. While there, 
a quarrel unfortunately arose between Lamont and 
young Macgregor. Dirks were drawn, and before 
friends could interfere, Macgregor fell, mortally 
wounded. In the confusion, Lamont escaped ; and 
though pursued, under the cover of night got securely to 
the house of Macgregor, which happened to be the first 
habitation wliich met his eye at the dawn of morning. 
The chieftain had got up, and was standing at the 
door. " Save my life !" said the stranger," for men 
are in pursuit of me to take it away." " Whoever 
you are," says Macgregor, " liere you are safe." 

Laraont was but just brought to an inner apart- 
■n^cnt, and introtluccd to the family, when a loud 
cn(iuiry was made at the door, if a stranger had 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 86 

entered the house ? " He has," says Macgregor, 
" and what is your business with him ?" " In a 
scuffle," cried the pursuers," lie has killed your son ; 
deliver him up, that we may instantly revenge the 
deed." Macgregor's lady and his two daughters 
filled the house with their cries and lamentations. 
*' Be quiet," says the chief, with his eyes streaming 
with tears, " and let no man presume to touch the 
youth, for he has Macgregor's word and honour for 
his safety ; and as God lives, he shall be safe and 
secure whilst in my house." 

In a little, after Laraont had experienced the most 
kind and hospitable treatment, the chieftain accom- 
panied him, with twelve men under arms, to luverary, 
and having landed him in safety on the other side of 
Lochfine, took him by the hand, and thus addressed 
hira^: '* Lament, now you are safe ; no longer can I, 
or will I, protect you; keep out of the way of my 
clan. May God forgive and bless you !" 

This happened some short time before the severe 
act of proscription against the clan Gregor, in 1633, 
when, to the discredit of justice, a weak government 
sacrificed a whole people for the atrocities of a few. 
Macgregor lost his property, and was hunted for his 
life, in consequence of this iniquitous act. He took 
shelter in the house of this very Lament, noted for 
his urbanity, and his deep contrition for the misfor- 
tune of his younger years ; and who, by every act 
of kindness to his venerable guest, and some branches 
of his family, revered the Providence which had thus 
put it in his power to repay to the family of his 
benefactor, in some measure, the loss he bad occa- 
sioned them in the death of a son. 



86 Percy anlcdotes. 



MARRIAGE PORTIONS. 

It was one of the laws of Lycurgus, that no por- 
tions should be given with young women in marriage. 
When this great lawgiver was called upon to justify 
this enactment, he observed, "That in the choice of 
a wife, merit only should be considered ; and that 
the law was nmde to prevent young women being 
chosen for their riches, or neglected for their 
])ovcrty." 

A FEMALE IMPROVER. 

The sixth Earl of Haddington, like too many men 
of fashion, devoted himself, in early life, to the 
most frivolous amusements ; but became afterwards, 
through the example and exhortations of an amiable 
wife, one of the most usefully industrious noblemen 
of his age. In a treatise which he has left the world, 
" On Forest Trees," he says, " When I came to live 
here (Tyningham, near Berwick), there was not 
above fourteen acres set with trees. I believe that 
it was a received notion, that no tree would grow 
here on account of the sea air and the north-east 
wind ; so that the rest of our family, w ho had lived 
here, either believed the common opinion, or did not 
delight in planting. I had no pleasure," he con- 
tinues, " in planting, but delighted in horses and 
dogs, and the sports of the field; btit ray wife did 
what she could to engage me to it, but in vain. At 
last, she asked leave to go about it herself j which she 
(lid, and 1 was much [)leascd with some little iliings 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 87 

which were well laid out and executed. These 
attracted my notice ; aud the Earl of Mar, the 
Marquess of Tweedale, and others, admired the 
beauty of the work, and the enterprise of the lady." 
After her ladyship had succeeded in rearing several 
ornamental clumps, sLe proposed to enclose and 
plant the moor of Tyningliara, a waste common of 
about three hundred Scotch acres. The earl agreed 
to her making the experiment ; and, to tlie surprise of 
every one, the moor was speedily covered with a 
thriving plantation, which received the name of Bin- 
ningwood. His lordship was himself tempted, by 
the success of these trials, to enter with great eager- 
ness into the plan of sheltering and enriching the 
family estate by plantations. He planted several 
other pieces of waste land, enclosed and divided his 
cultivated fields with stripes of wood, and even made 
a tract along the sea shore, called the East Links, 
which had been always regarded as a barren sand, 
productive of the finest firs. " And thus," says Mr. 
M'Wiiliam, in his ingenious and useful "Essay on the 
Dry Rot and Cultivation of Forest Trees*," " did 
her ladyship, to the honour of her sex, and benefit of 
her lord and her country, overcome the prejudices of 
the sea and the barren moor being pernicious ; and 
of horses and dogs being the best amusement for a 
nobleman; converting a dashing son of Nimrod into 
an industrious planter; a thoughtless spendthrift into 
a frugal patriot. 

"Thus can good wives, when wise, in every station, 
On man work miracles of reformation ; 

1 2 



88 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

And were such wives more comraon, their husbands 

would endure it ; 
However great the malady, a loving wife can cure it : 
And niucli their aid is wanted; we hope they'll use 

it fairish, 
While barren ground, where wood should be, appears 

in every parish." 

SERVANTS. 

The celebrated Earl of Chesterfield left, by his 
will, legacies to all his menial servants, equal to two 
years wages each, considering them " as his unfor- 
tunate friends, equal by birth, and only inferior by 
fortune." 

The venerable and godly John Claude, when on his 
dying bed, thus addressed his son, who, with an old 
servant, was kneeling before him : ** Be mindful of 
this domestic ; as you value my blessing, take care 
that she want nothing as long as she lives." 

A PERSIAN'S IDEA OF AN ENGLISH 
HOME. 

The Mirza Aboul Hassan, late Persian ambassador 
to the British court, sent, one Sunday evening, a 
message to Mrs. Morier, requesting that she would 
permit him to pay her a visit. " He shortly after," 
says Lord Radstock, '* made his appearance, and 
remained with her, and her family, and myself, 
nearly two hours. On enquiring what were the 
books he saw upon the table, he was informed they 
were the Bible, and some books of sermons. He 



DOMCSTIC LIFE. 8'J 

then desiied to have explaiued to Lini tlie nature of 
the latter, and seemed to approve much the study of 
such books, on days set apart for devotion. The 
Misses Morier then sung a hymn to him, without 
telling him the nature of the music. When they 
liad ended, he thanked them, adding, ' I am sure 
that must be sacred music, it affected me so much.' 

"I never beheld him in such higli spirits, and so 
merry, as he was during the whole evening. Every 
thing seemed to conspire to please )iim ; tlie smallness 
and neatness of the house, gave him an idea of com- 
fort he had never experienced before. He repeated, 
more than once, * What could any person in the 
world wish for more than you have here ?' Mrs. 
Morier showed him a miniature of one of her 
daughters, when a child. This delighted him so 
much, that Mrs. M. begged he would accept it. He 
was so pleased with this present, that he would not 
part with it for a moment during the rest of the 
evening, but kept stroking it with his hand, as if it 
had been some favourite little animal. He is uncom- 
monly fond of children, and the younger they are, 
the more he likes them. The first time he saw my 
youngest daughter, who is eleven years of age, he 
seemed quite enchanted with her, and made her sit 
by him the whole evening, when she was not dancing. 
He afterwards saw a little girl of Mr. Elliot's, who is 
not ytt six years of age, and he seemed still more 
delighted with her, if possible, than he was with my 
daugiiter. I asked him at what age girls were 
married in Persia? He said, ' about sixteen.' I re- 
marked, that in India they married at a much younger 
agej he replied, 'it was true, but in Persia thej 
I 3 



90 rEUCY ANKCnOTKS. 

liked cliildren as cliildreu, but women as wives.' He 
has but one wife, which he sajs is enough for any 
man, adding, ' (liat there can be no good or use in 
having more.' " 

SPIRITED BRIDE. 

A couple were going to be married, and had pro- 
ceeded as far as the churcli door ; tlie gentleman 
then stopped his intended bride, and thus unex- 
pectedly addressed her : " My dear Eliza, during 
our courtship I have told you most of my njind, but 
I have not told you the whole ; when we are married, 
I shall insist upon three things." " Wliatare they ?" 
asked the lady. •' In the first place," said the 
bridegroom, "I shall sleep alone, I shall eat alone, 
and find fault when there is no occasion ; can you 
submit to these conditions ?" " O yes, sir, very 
easily," was tlie reply, " for if you sleep alone, I 
shall not ; if you eat alone, I shall eat first; and as 
to your finding fault without occasion, that I think 
may be prevented, for I will take care you shall 
never want occasion." The conditions being thus 
adjusted, they proceeded to the altar, and the cere- 
mony was performed. 

OLD HABITS. 

The Duke de Nivemois was acquainted with the 
Countess de Rochefort, and never omitted going to 
see her a single evening. As she was a widow, and 
he a widower, one of liis friends observed to hira, 
it would be more convenient for him to marry that 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 91 

lad^y. " I have often thouglit so," said lie, " but 
one tiling prevents nie ; in that case, where should 
I spend my eveningsV 

A GHOST SECRET. 

A Highland chieftain, whose large estates were 
forfeited in the rebellion of 1715, when in refuge at 
St. Germains, received intelligence that the govern- 
ment had consented to restore the lands to his son, 
on condition of paying a certain sum, and an 
annual feu duty. To restore his estates to his son, 
and to ensure a good provision for his wife and ten 
younger children, there was no sacrifice that he 
was not ready to make. He made every exertion 
to raise the money necessary to redeem his estate, 
and the exiled prince even contributed something 
towards it. Lest the money thus raised, should 
miscarry, he resolved to venture his liberty and his 
life, in order to convey it securely to his wife, whom 
he appointed to meet him at Edinburgh, in the 
house of a chairman in the Luckenbooths. The lady 
set out on horseback, unattended, leaving her chil- 
dren to the care of her mother-in-law. In those 
times, such a journey was more formidable than now 
appears an overland progress to India. To the lady 
it would have cost many fears, even if her palfrey- 
was surrounded by running footmen, as formerly, 
when feudal state pertained to her husband : but she 
would not place in competition with his safety, an 
exemption from danger or discomfort to herself. He 
had by two days preceded her at Edinburgh, and 
bore the disguise of an aged mendicant, deaf and 



[J'2 PERCY ANECDOTMS. 

dumb. His stature, above tlie coinmoii height, and 
majestic mien, were humbled to the semblance of 
bending under a load of years and infirmity ; his 
raven locks, and even his eye-brows, were shaven ; 
his head was enveloped by an old grisly wig and 
tattered night-cap ; the remnant of a handkerchief 
over his chin, hid the sable beard, which, to elude 
detection, was further covered by a plaister. His 
garments corresponded to his squalid head-gear. 

The chieftain explained his motive for asking the 
lady to make her abode in a chairman's house. 
Besides his tried fidelity, the old tenement con- 
tained a secret passage for escape, in case of need ; 
and he showed her, behind a screen, hung with wet 
linens, a door in the panelling, the hinges of which 
were so oiled, that he could glide away with noise- 
less movement. If it was his misfortune to be under 
such necessity, the lady must seem to faint, and 
throw the screen against the panel, while he 
secured the bolt on which depended his evasion. 
The chieftain gave his cash to the lady, urging her 
not to delay paying the amount to redeem the estate. 
She complied, but checked all enquiry how the 
money came into her hands. The rights of the 
estate \veie restored to her, and three gentlemen of 
high respectability, affixed their signatures to a bond, 
promising for the young chief, that whenever he 
came of age, he would bind himself and his heirs to 
pay the feu duty. The records were duly deposited 
in a public office, and the lady hastened back to lier 
lodgings. The chieftain soon issued from behind the 
screen, and the lady was minutely detailing how her 
business had been settled, when stealthy steps in the 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 93 

passage warned the proscribed to disappear j and the 
iady sinking to the ground, dashed the screen against 
the panelling. The common door was locked, but 
it was soon burst open by a party of soldiers led by 
an officer. The lady's swoon was now no counterfeit. 
A surgeon was called. She revived, and being interro- 
gated, replied, that no human being had been with her. 
She confessed, however, that an apparition had endea- 
voured to persuade her, that it was commissioned 
to impart tidings of her husband ; but the soldiers 
had interrupted thera before the spirit could deliver 
the subject of its mission. Every part of the house 
had been searched while the lady lay insensible, and 
as no discovery ensued, the tale she related passed 
current at Edinburgh, and spread over the lowlands 
and highlands. It was not until the lady had a 
certainty of her husband's decease in a foreign land, 
that she told her own daughters how successfully she 
had imposed on their enemies. 

GEORGE THE THIRD. 

The following anecdote was introduced by a very 
popular Scottish minister on a Sunday, near the end 
of his discourse, whilst inculcating the duty of 
masters to their servants : it was communicated to him, 
as he said, from a near relation of one of the parties 
mentioned. His majesty having observed one of his 
domestic servants to be unusually dejected for some 
time, one day said to him, " Thomas, wliat is the 
matter with you ; I have observed you very melan- 
choly of late ? Are you happy in my family, or has 
any tljing occurred to vex you ?" To ail these 



94 PtRCY ANECDOTES. 

questions he answered, that he was pleased with his 
service, and lived at peace with all his fellow- 
servants. His majesty desisted for the present ; 
but borae days afterwards, still observing him de- 
jected, he said to him, " Thomas, it is the state of 
your soul that troubles you !" The man acknow- 
ledged that it was a deep sense of sin on his con- 
science, which grieved hirn. Plis majesty then said, 
"Can you finJ no comfort from the gospel in St. 
George's (the Chapel at Windsor) ?" The man 
answered, that he could find no comfort in what he 
heard there. His majesty then feelingly advised 
liim to attend a worthy Independent minister in 
Datchett (a small village on the other side of the 
Thames), observing, " that he would not be angry if 
he never saw him at Chapel (St. George's) again." 

SISTERLY AFFECTION. 

Some years ago, an Indian female, who had an 
only brother confined for debt at Bopal, enlisted 
as a common soldier, and exposed her person to all 
the dangers and diflSculties of a military life, for the 
generous purpose of raising money sufhcient to pro- 
cure his liberation. She entered into Scindia's array, 
where she served for two or three years, without the 
slightest imputation on her character, or a doubt as 
to her sex ; when the secret was at length known, 
it produced but increased respect and attention from 
her comrades, and not a single individual presumed 
to utter a word that might insult her delicacy, or hurt 
her feelings. When Scindia learned the affectionate 
cause which caused her to embrace the military pro- 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 95 

fession, lie ordered her discharge to be made out, and 
furnished her with a letter tn the Nabob of Bopal, 
warmly recommending both herself and her brother 
to his favourable notice and protection. 



MARTYRED MOTHER. 

In the commencement of Cardinal Beaton's per- 
secuiion of the Protestants in Scotland, four men 
were condemned to the stake at Perth ; and the wife 
of one of them to be drowned, because, when in the 
agony of labour, she had refused to invoke the 
Virgin Mary, affirming that she would pray to God 
alone, in tlie name of Jesus Christ. Tlie circum- 
stances attending the last scene of this unfortunate 
woman's life, must move every heart from which the 
best feelings of our nature have not been eradicated. 
Warmly attached to her husband, with whom she had 
enjoyed some years of uninterrupted domestic hap- 
piness, she implored that they might die together. 
This affecting request having been barbarously re- 
fused, she soothed, by the most impressive conso- 
lations, his departing moments ; and after witnessing 
his execution, prepared for her own. The tender- 
ness of a parent agitated her mind. She beseeched 
her neighbours to show humanity to her children, 
and resigned into their hands tlie infant whom she 
suckled at her bosom. An agonizing separation! Her 
faith, notwithstanding, rose superior to her sufferings, 
and she died with courage and with comfort. 



96 PEUCY ANECDOTES. 



INFANT ADMIRATION. 

A boy of three years of age, hearing a visitor of 
his father's make use of the popular saying, that 
" an honest man is the noblest work of God ;" made 
this innocent annotation upon it : " No, sir, my 
mamma is the noblest work of God." 



MADAME ROVERE. 

When the Jacobins regained their power by the 
eighteenth Fructidor (September, 1797), they con- 
demned sixteen deputies of the Council of Elders at 
Paris, to be banished to Cayenne. Among these, 
was Rovere, the Marquess de Fontville. His wife 
had pleaded a divorce against him ; and at a time when 
divorces were very easily obtained, she obtained a 
separation. No sooner, however, did she hear of 
his being condemned to transportation, than she 
forgot every cause of complaint which had alienated 
her from him. Conjugal affection revived with all 
its force, and she resolved to follow him in his mis- 
fortunes, and endeavour to console hira under them. 
Learning that he was sent to Rochefort, she hastened 
thither; but only arrived just as the corvette which 
was to carry him, and his fellow sufferers, into banish- 
ment, had sailed. The vessel was still in sight, and 
gladly would she have hired a boat, and endeavoured 
to overtake it ; but this was peremptorily forbidden. 
She then flew to Paris ; but no entreaties could pre- 
vail on those by whom her iiusband had been banished, 
to tell her the pface of his exile. By accident, she 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 97 

learned thb, and no other country but Guiana Ijad 
from that moment any charms for her. Her entho- 
siasm inspired those around her ; and two female 
servants, with an old man servant, who had been long 
attached to her family, all entreated to be permitted 
to accompany her. She wrote to Rovere, to an- 
nounce her intention, and set sail the first opportunity 
that presented itself, with her three attendants and 
two children. The vessel in which she sailed, was 
taken on its passage by an English man of war ; but 
when the captain was informed of her errand, he not 
only did not detain her, but offered to facilitate her 
arrival at the place of her destination. She accordingly 
set sail again with a fair wind, and every prospect 
of the happy accomplishment of her purpose. 

Rovere, in the meantime, who had suffered much 
from the hardships inflicted on the whole party in 
their voyage to Guiana, and whose health had been 
very bad for several weeks after his arrival, was 
beginning somewhat to amend, when he received his 
wife's letter, announcing that she was on the eve of 
her departure to join hira. The mingled sensations 
of joy at receiving this proof of her renewed at- 
tachment, and anxiety for the consequence to herself 
of what she had undertaken, occasioned a relapse in 
his health ; but notwithstanding, he applied for, and 
obtained, by great interest, permission to go where 
she was to land, in order to meet her. He was 
carried on board the vessel, being unable to walk, 
and after beating about for two or three days, the 
corvette was unable to proceed, on account of the 
bad weather, and he was re-landed. He was re- 
moved on shore in a state of extreme debility, and 

K 



98 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

expired a few days after, incessantly calling on his 
■wife, and haunted with the idea of all that she would 
have to encounter on her arrival. She reached the 
destined port, but was deeply affected at finding 
that all her efforts were of no avail to console the 
object for whose sake they had been undertaken. 
Having now no motive for remaining in so inhos- 
pitable a country, she took the first opportunity that 
offered to return to France. 



STEELE AMONG HIS CHILDREN. 
It is a common remark, that literary men make 
but indifferent fathers of families. We see few 
Melancthons among them, who will rock the cradle, 
and write, or read, at the same time ; few, indeed, 
who can bear to have any thing to do with nursery 
cares, or frolics, in their hours of study, or contem- 
plation. A letter which is extant of Sir Richard 
Steele's to his wife, shows him to have been, in this 
respect, a splendid exception to his class. Seldom 
have parental affection, and good nature, been more 
pleasingly exemplified, than in tlie family picture 
wiiich he here presents to us : " Your son," says he, 
" at the present writing, is mighty well employed, 
in tumbling on the floor in the room, and sweeping 
the sand with a feather. He grows a most delightful 
child, and very full of play and spirit ; he is also 
a very great scholar ; he can read ids primer, and I 
have brought down my Virgil; he makes more 
shrewd remarks upon the pictures. We are very 
intimate friends and play -fellows. My dear wife, 
preserve yourself for him that sincerely loves you, 



DOMKSTIC LIFE. SW 

and to be an example to your little ones, of religion 
and virtue. Your daughter Bess gives her duty to 
you, and says she will be your comfort j but she is very 
sorry you are afflicted with tlie gout. The brats, luy 
girls, stand on each side the table; and Molly says, 
that what I am writing now, is about the new coat. 
Bess is with me, till she has new clothes. Miss 
Moll has taken upon her to hold the sand-box, and 
is so impertinent in her office, that I cannot write 
more." What a subject for a VVilkie ! 



JOSHUA BARNES. 
A lady, who was a great admirer of Joshua 
Barnes, the Professor of Greek at Cambridge, re- 
quested leave to settle an hundred a year upon bim, 
after her death. The professor, however, politely 
declined the otFer, unless she would condescend to 
make him happy in her person, which was none of 
the most engaging. The lady replied, that she 
" could refuse nothing to Joshua, for whom the sun 
stood still ;" and they were accordingly soon after 
married. 

ROYAL FAMILY CIRCLE. 

To those who look upon royal life as invariably 
a scene of unmixed indulgence, the following de- 
scription of the family circle of the King of Prussia, 
father to the great Frederick, may convey some 
instruction. It has been gathered from the accounts 
left us by his own daughter, the Princess Royal, 
afterwaids Margravine of Barelth. "His children," 
K 2 



100 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

she tells us, " were all obliged to be in his apartment 
hy nine o'clock every raorning, and durst not leave his 
presence till night, upon any account. He was too 
restless to lie in bed, and being troubled with the gout, 
sat up in a large arm-chair, which was provided with 
castors, that he might be rolled about all over the palace, 
and be able to pursue any of the family who might 
chance to require a drubbing. His regular employment, 
during the whole day, was to abuse and torment 
young Frederick and the princess ; the former getting 
no other name than le coquin de Fritz, and the latter, 
la canaille Anglaise (from the project to unite her to 
our Prince of Wales). This was not, however, the 
worst of it. His majesty, as well from a motive of 
economy, as from a spirit of maliciousness, pretended 
to be a disciple of the good old system of starving ; 
ordered soup for his children, made of salt and water; 
and as he always himself performed the office of carver, 
made a point of helping every other person at table, 
except them. At times, however, he would pretend 
to give them a festival ; and then would force them 
to eat and drink such disgusting and unwholesome 
things : Ce qui nous obligoit quelquefois de rendre en 
sa presence tout ce que nous avians dans le corps. 
Once his daughter Frederica ventured to murmur a 
little at this way of living ; which put his majesty 
into so furious a rage, that he threw the plates at 
their heads, and fell a brandishing his crutches about 
him in the most death-like style; and when the 
affrighted flock took to their heels, pursued them 
in his rolling car as long as one of them was to be 
seen." 

After the marriage of the Princess Royal to the 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 101 

young JMargrave of Bareith, she paid her father a 
visit, in company with her hushand; and it is thus 
she describes the treatment she experienced : The 
queen receives her will) the most insulting coldness, 
and orders all the ladies of the household to treat 
her with rudeness and disdain. The king, too, is 
greatly changed. "Ha, ha!" said he, "you are 
there ; I am very glad to see you," examining her 
with a light. " You are much changed," he con- 
tinued ; "I pity you." He went on, after hearing 
the answer of the princess, in this cutting manner. 
" You had not bread to eat ; and without me, you 
would be obliged to beg ! I am but a poor man myself, 
and unable to give you much ; I shall do what I 
can ; I shall give you daily ten or twelve florins, as 
my atfairs will enable me, and that will always 
alleviate your poverty. And you, raadarae," speak- 
ing to the queen, " you must sometimes make her 
a present of a dress, for the poor girl has not a 
chemise to her back." The same sort of language 
was repeated the following day, in tlie hearing of all 
at table ; when tlie prince, her husband, who was 
covered with blushes, silenced his majesty, by re- 
marking, in a very significant manner, that " a 
prince who possessed such a country as his, could 
never be reckoned a beggar; that his father was the 
sole cause of his distressed situation, who would give 
him nothing ; following in that, the example of too 
many others." 



K 3 



102 PERCY ANECDOTES. 



FORCE OF HABIT. 



" The most extraordinary instance of the force of 
liabit, I ever witnessed," says Mr. Curwen, M. P., 
" was about forty years ago, on a visit to the Isle of 
Man. On stopping at the Calf of Man, a small islet 
on its south-western extremity, I found that the 
warrener's cot, the only human abode on the islet, 
was kept by his sister. For several months in the 
year, these two persons were completely isolated j 
and never even heard the sound of a third human 
voice, unless when the intervals of the raging storm 
conveyed the unavailing cries of the shipwrecked 
mariner. To support such an existence, seemed to 
require, in a rational being, nerves of supernatural 
strength, or the influence of habit from the earliest 
period of life. Curious to ascertain how she could 
endure so desolate a life, and such complete banish- 
ment from all human intercourse, I enquired if she 
were not very miserable — if she had always been 
accustomed to dwell in tliat dreary abode ? To 
the first, I was answered in the negative; to the 
last, my surprise was converted into perfect astonish- 
ment, when I understood that, in the outset of her 
life, she had passed six-and-twenty years in St 
James's-street. This communication excited still 
more my wonder, and made what 1 then saw and 
heard, incomprehensible." 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 103 



COUNT UGOLINO AND HIS CHILDREN. 

Ugolino, a Florentine count, with his four chil- 
dren, was thrown into a dungeon by the Archbishop 
Ruggieri. The horrors which he was here doomed 
to encounter, have given a melancholy celebrity to 
his name. "The hour," says he, " approached, 
when we expected to have something brought us to 
eat; but instead of seeing any food appear, I heard 
the door of that horrible dungeon more closely 
barred. I beheld ray little children in silence, and 
could not weep : my heart was petrified. The little 
wretches wept; and my dear Anselrao said, ' JFather, 
you look on us ! what ails you ?' I could neither 
weep, nor answer ; and continued swallowed up in 
silent agony all that day, and the following night ; 
even till the dawn of day. As soon as a glimmering 
ray darted through the doleful prison, that I could 
view again those four faces in which my own image 
was impressed, I gnawed both my hands with grief 
and rage. My children believing I did this through 
eagerness to eat, raising themselves suddenly up, 
said to me : * My father, our torments would be 
less, if you would allay the rage of your hunger 
upon us.' I restrained myself, that I might not 
encrease their misery. We were all mute that day, 
and the following. The fourth day being come, 
Gouldo falling extended at my feet, cried, ' My 
father ! why do you not help me?' and died. The 
other three expired one after another, between the 
fifth and sixth day, famished, as thou seest me now ! 
3nd I, being seized with blindness, began to go 



104 I'EUCY ANtCDOTES. 

groping upon them with iny hands and feetj and 
continued calling tlieiu bj tlitir names, three days 
after they were dead ; then hunger vanquished my 
grief." 

GENEROUS MASTER. 

A young man, who was clerk to Mr. Cuthbert, a 
merchant in the East Indies, being taken very ill, 
became unusually thoughtful and melancholy. Mr. 
Cuthbert enquired tiie cause of his uneasiness : the 
young man replied, that he was not afraid to die ; 
but he had a mother, and two sisters, in England, to 
whom he had been accustomed to send o£lOO every 
year ; and his only regret at dying, was, that they 
would be left destitute. Mr. Cuthbert begged him 
to make his mind perfectly easy on that account, as 
he would take care of his mother and sisters. He 
was as good as his word, for he instantly went to 
his attorney, and executed a deed, granting an 
annuity of ^£100 a year, in favour of the mother 
and her two daughters, during their joint lives; and 
with the benefit of survivorship. He then sent the 
bond to his clerk, who, clasping it in his hands, 
exclaimed, " Now I can die in peace ; ray mother 
and sisters are saved;" and almost instantly expired. 

FATAL OBSTINACY. 

In the year 1771, there was one of the greatest 
inundations of the rivers Tyne, Wear, and Tees, 
ever known. A person who occupied one of the 
houses, built after the old fashion, on the bridge of 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 105 

Newcastle, being alarmed by the excessive noise of 
the water, took the resolution of leaving the house, 
with the whole of his family ; and in the confusion 
which naturally accompanies persons who think 
themselves in imminent danger, ran over to the 
Durham side, where they had the whole bridge to 
pass along, except one arch, instead of coming to 
Newcastle. However, they got safe off the bridge ; 
but some time after getting admittance into a friend's 
house, the servant-girl recollecting that her all was 
upon her, in case the house should fall, insisted upon 
returning to save her clothes. In vain did her master 
and mistress argue against so desperate an attempt ; 
the girl would not be dissuaded from it, and the 
master ceasing his opposition, generously resolved 
to accompany her. The mistress would not stay 
behind her husband, and a son and daughter of the 
gentleman to whose house they had fled, went along 
with them. They all got safe to the house ; and the 
girl having taken away her clothes, and the others 
what was readiest at hand, they again set off for the 
house they had left. The mistress and the two young 
people, running foremost, were alarmed by a violent 
noise before them, which determined them to venture 
no farther, but to turn back ; when they very soon 
met the master and maid, to whom they communicated 
their fears, and earnestly entreated them to return 
to Newcastle. Their entreaties, unhappily, had not 
the desired effect. The unfortunate husband attri- 
buted the terrors of his wife, to the hideous noise 
the water was making, which had by that time got 
above the under part of the arches, and therefore 
resolved to proceed, begging her and the children to 



106 FERCY ANKCDOTES. 

follow with all the expedition in their power. He 
and the raaid, however, had gone but a little way, 
when they discovered the occasion of the noise 
before recounted to them — one of the arches had 
fallen ! They directly turned, and screamed out to 
the wife and children to run back. This summons 
v/as immediately obeyed ; but soon after was suc- 
ceeded by a noise resembling a clap of thunder, 
which so terrified the unhapp}' woman, that she fell 
on her face; and being raised by the children, set 
up most lamentable shrieks for her husband. But, 
alas ! there w as no husband to afford her comfort ! 
The noise whi(*h bad so frightened her, was the 
downfall of the arch on which her husband and the 
maid then were, both of whom unhappily peribhed. 

SHA.RP WORK. 

Mr. Jeremy White, one of Oliver CronnveH's 
domestic chaplains, was so ambitious as to make 
his addresses to Cromwell's youngest daughter, the 
Lady fiances. The young lady did not discourage 
him ; but in so religious a court, this gallantry could 
not be carried on without being discovered. The 
Protector was told of it, and was much concerned 
thereat ; he ordered the person who told him, to 
keep a strict look-out, promising, if he could give 
him any positive proofs, he should be well rewarded. 
The spy followed his business so closely, that in a 
little time he dogged Jerry White (as he was gene- 
rally called) to the lady's chamber, and ran imme- 
diately to the Protector, to acquaint him that they 
were together. Oliver, in a rage, repaired to the 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 107 

chamber ; and, going in hastily, found Jerry on his 
knees, either kissing the lady's hand, or having 
kissed it. Croraweli in a fury asked what was the 
meaning of that posture before his daughter Frances ? 
White, with great presence of mind, said, " May it 
please your highness, I have a long time courted 
that young gentlewoman, ray lady's woman, and 
cannot prevail ; I was therefore praying her ladyship 
to intercede for me." The Protector, turning to the 
young woman, exclaimed, " What is the meaning of 
this, hussy ? why do you refuse Mr. White the 
honour he would do you? he is ray friend, and I 
expect you would treat him as such." My lady's 
woman, with a very low curlsey, replied, " If Mr. 
White intends me that honour, I shall not be against 
him." " Say'st thou so, my lass ?" cried Croraweli. 
" Call Goodwin ; this business sliall be done before 
I go out of the room." Mr. While had gone too 
far to retract : his brother parson came ; and Jerry 
and the lady's w^oraan were married in the presence 
of the Protector, who gave her ^500 ; which, with 
the money she had saved, made Mr. White easy in 
his circumstances, except ttiat he never loved his 
wife, nor she him, although they lived together 
nearly fifty years. 

FILIAL DEVOTION. 

A woman of Japan was left a widow with three 
sons, and with no other wealth than what could 
be procured bj' their joint labour. Work be- 
came scarce, and the sons saw their mother ready 
to perish. With the most ardent attachment to their 



108 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

mother, and unable to relieve her, they formed a 
desperate resolution. An edict had a short time 
before been issued, promising a large recompense for 
whoever apprehended a thief, and brought him to 
justice. The three brothers determined to draw lots, 
which of them should personate a thief, and be 
brought before a magistrate, in order that the others 
might obtain the reward. The lot fell upon the 
youngest, who confessed to a fact of which he was 
not guilty ; and his brothers received the money. 
The anxiety visible in their countenances, and the 
tears which involuntarily forced themselves into their 
eyes, struck the magistrate, who ordered his servant 
to follow and watch them. They returned to their 
mother, and threw the money into her lap : when she 
learnt how it had been obtained, she refused to touch 
this " price of blood." This being told the judge, 
he sent for the prisoner, and again interrogated him 
concerning the supposed robbery ; but he still per- 
sisted that he was guilty. Struck with the filial af- 
fection and fortitude of the youth, tiie magistrate 
laid the case before his sovereign, who sent for the 
three brothers and their mother, loaded them with 
favours, and gave an annuity of five hundred crowns 
to the two eldest, and fifteen hundred to the 
youngest. 

HAPPY TEMPER. 

Firmin Abauzit, who lived to the advanced age 
of eighty-seven years, was a person of such a serene 
disposition, that he was not known to have been 
out of temper during the whole ef his long life. 



DOMESTIC LlFli. 109 

Some persons doubting the possibility of such a 
meek disposition, applied to a female who liad kept 
his house for thirty years, to try to provoke him, on 
the promise of money if slie succeeded. Knowing 
that her master was very fond of having his bed 
comfortably made, she neglected it. Next morning, 
Abaijzit reminded her of the neglect. She said, she 
had forgotten it ; and nothing more was said. Tiie 
ensuing night, the bed was again unmade ; and the 
woman being reminded of it, made some frivolous 
excuse. At length, on the third morning, her 
master said, " You have not yet made my bed ; it 
is evident you are determined not to do it; well, 
I suppose you find the job troublesome; but it 
is of little consequence, for I begin to be used to 
it already." Moved by such kindness, and goodness 
of temper, the servant discontinued the experiment 
she had been prevailed upon to make, and was again 
forgiven. 



TAKING ADVICE. 

Sir John Danvers once sent an invitation to Sir 
Richard Onslow, and Sir Anthony Asldey Cooper 
(afterwards Eari of Shaftesbury), to dine with him 
at Chelsea ; he requested they would come early, 
as he had affairs of moment to communicate to 
them. Wlien they arrived, and had taken their 
seats, Sir John opened the business, by saying, that 
he had made choice of them both, on account of 
their correct judgment, and particular friendship for 
him, in order to consult them on a subject of the 
utmost consequence to himself. He liad, he said, 

L 



110 I'l-RCY ANECDOTES. 

been a widower many years, and he began to want 
some person to relieve him of tlie trouble of house- 
keeping, as well as to take some care of him, under 
the gro-wing infirmities of age. For this purpose, 
he had thought of a suitable person, who was well 
known to him ; this was, in short, his housekeeper. 

The gentlemen knowing the woman very well, 
and thinking it by no means a suitable match, parti- 
cularly as Sir John had sons and daughters marriage- 
able, to whom it would be mortifying, were much 
against it. Sir Richard Onslow frankly began to 
point out to Sir John the impropriety of a person, 
of his age, marrying ; and particularly such a woman. 
He was going to enter upon a description of her 
person, and to set her out in such colours, as could 
not have pleased any man in a wife ; when Sir 
Antliony interrupting him, said, " Give me leave, 
Sir Richard, to ask our friend one question before 
you proceed ;" so addressing himself to Sir John, 
*' Tell me truly. Sir John," said he, "are you not 
already married ?" Sir John, after a short pause, 
answered with a smile, " Yes, truly I was yester- 
day." " Well, then," replied Sir Anthony, " there 
is no more need of our advice ; pra3' let us have 
the honour to see my lady, and wish her joy, 
and so to dinner." As they were returning to 
London in their coach, "I am obliged to you," said 
Sir Richard, "for jireventing me running into a 
description which I am sure could never have been 
forgiven me. But how could it enter into your head 
to ask a man who had solemnly invited us on j)urpose 
to have our advice about a marriage he intended, 
and gravely proposed the woman to us, and suffered 



DOMESTIC LIFE. Ill 

us seriously to enter into the debate ; I say, Sir 
Anthony, how could you ask him, after all this, 
wliether he were already married, or not ?" " The 
man, and the manner," replied Sir Anthony, " gave 
me a suspicion, that having done a foolish tiling, he 
wanted to cover liimself with the authority of our 
advice." 



DR. JOHNSON. 
" It is very true," observes Miss Seward, in one 
of her letters, " that Johnson appears much more 
amiable as a domestic man in his letters to Mrs. 
Thrale, than in any other memorial which has been 
given us of his life and manner ; but that was owing 
to the care with whicli Mrs. Piozzi weeded them 
of the prejudiced and malevolent passages on 
characters ; perhaps much more essentially worthy 
tlian himself, vvere they to be tried by the rules of 
Christian charity. I do not think with you, that his 
ungrateful virulence against Mrs. Thrale, in marrying 
Piozzi, arose from his indignation against heron his 
deceased friend's account Mr. Boswell told me 
Johnson wished, and expected, to have married her 
himself. You ask who the Molly Aston was, whom 
those letters mention with such passionate tender- 
ness ? Mr. VValmesley, my father's predecessor in 
this house, was, as you have heard, Johnson's 
MecEsnas ; and this lady, his wife's sister, a daugliter 
of Sir Thomas Aston, a wit, a beauty, and a toast. 
Johnson was always fancying himself in love with 
some princess or another. His wife's daughter, Lucy 
Porter, sooften mentioned in those letters, was his first 
L 'i 



112 IMiRCY ANECDOTES. 

Jove when lie was a schoolboy, under my grandfather, 
a clergyman. Vicar of St. Mary's, and Master of the 
Free School, which by his scholastic ability was high 
in fame, and thronged witli pupils from some of the 
first gentlemen's families in this and the adjoining 
coanties. To the Free School, the boys of the city had 
a right to come, but every body knows how superficial 
in general is unpaid instruction. However, ray grand- 
father, aware of Johnson's genius, took the highest 
pains, though his parents were mean in their station, 
keeping market stalls as battledore booksellers. 
Johnson has not had the gratitude once to mention 
his generous master, in any of his writings ; but all 
this is foreign to your enquiries, who Miss Molly 
Aston was, and at what period his flame for her 
commenced ? It was during those school days, 
when the reputation of Johnson's talent, and rapid 
progress in the classics, induced the noble-minded 
Walmesley to endure at his table, the low-bom 
squalid youth — here that he suffered him and Garrick 
to 'imp their eagle wings,' a delighted spectator 
and auditor of their efforts. It was here that Miss 
Molly Aston was frequently a visitor in the family 
of her brother-in-law, and probably amused herself 
with the uncouth adorations of the learned, thougli 
dirty, stripling, whose moan appearance was over- 
looked, because of the genius and knowledge that 
blazed through him ; though with 'ambered flames,' 
through constitutional melancholy and spleen. Lacy 
Porter, whose visit to Litchfield had been but for 
a few weeks, was then gone back to her parents at 
Birmingham ; and the brighter Molly Aston, became 
the Laura of our Petrarch. Fired, however, at length 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 1 10 

xvitli ideal love, and incapable of inspiring mutual 
inclinations in the young and lively, he married, at 
twenty-three, the mother of his Lucy, and went to 
seek his fortune in London. She had borne an in- 
different character, during the life of her first husband . 
He died insolvent, leaving his tliree grown up children 
dependant on the bounty of his rich bachelor brother 
in London, who left them largely, but would never 
do any thing for the wortliless widow, who had 
married ihe ' literary cub,' as he used to call hira. 
She lived thirty years with Johnson, if shuddering, 
half famished, in an author's garret, could be called 
liviug." 



A BRIDAL NIGHT. 

In the hurricane which desolated Barbadoes, in 1675, 
neither mansion nor cot,neitherhousenor tree, escaped 
its ravages, except the few which were sheltered by 
some neighbouring hill or clift. In Speight's Town, 
every house was either blown down, or materially 
injured. Several families were buried in the ruins 
of their fallen habitations, and there was scarcely 
one but lamented some relation, friend, or acquaint- 
ance, swept to an untimely grave. Amidst this 
scene of ruin and misery, the fate of Major Streate 
and his fair bride, deserves to be remembered for its 
whimsical singularity. They had been married that 
evening, at the plantation called Anderson's ; but the 
pitiless storm, regardless of the sanctity of the mar- 
riage bed, blew them from their bridal chamber ; and, 
with relentless fury, lodged them in a pirapjoe hedge. 
In this bed of thorns, they were found the next 
L 3 



114 ri.UCY ANEcnOTlS. 

morning, incapable of noanifesting tliose tender at- 
tentions which their new-formed relation demanded, 
or affording each other the assistance wliich their 
comfortless condition required. 



DEATH FROM GRIEF. 

On the 5tli of June, 1770, Miss Elizabeth Wca- 
therly, daughter of the Rev. Mr. John Weatherly, 
died at Ilackne}'. She had been the joy and pride 
of her parents ; and on the melanchol)' tidings being 
conveyed to Mrs. W., that she had no longer a 
daughter, she sunk back in her chair, closed her eyes, 
and in an instant after, expired. 

FAMILY IN THE WOODS. 

In the back setllements of America, a poor emi- 
grant Highlander left his wife and five children, to 
go five days' journey, in the hopes of seeing some 
people lately arrived from his dear mother country. 
On ilie night of his return, two wandering savages 
having discovered she was unprotected, came to the 
door, and asked for admittance. She had fortu- 
nately been accustomed to secure her door and 
window very carefully, and replied, she was ill, and 
could not get up to offer them hospitality, and lier 
children were too young to be able to draw the bolt. 
They said they would come down the chimney, for 
they must have some brandy, \\ hich they were sure 
she could give them. She immediately thought of 
making a great smoke with the feathers in her bolster, 
and in that manner kept off the assailants, till, pro- 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 1 15 

videntially, her liusband and throe of liis country- 
men arrived, and the Indians decamped. 



IRISH PEASANTRY. 

Among the virtues wliich distinguish the Irish 
peasantry, there is none which shines with more 
brilliancy than their filial pietj-. No nation, not 
even the Chinese, can pay more respectful attention, 
and implicit obedience, to their parents. As there 
are no parish workhouses in Ireland, except in 
some of the principal towns, the country would 
abound with destitute old people, were it not 
for the gratitude of their progeny. The Irish pea- 
sant, especially the mountaineer, protects his parents 
in the decline of their years. The mothers assist in 
nursing, carding, or spinning ; the fathers hobble 
about the farms, directing the young men at their 
work. At night, the best and easiest seat is ap- 
propriated to the ancient father and mother ; and 
the most nutritious food in the house, is served up to 
them. '• It is really," says a traveller, who had 
seen much of the habits of this people, an " edifying 
and lovely sight, to behold the respectful attention 
paid by those peasants to their aged parents ; while 
the grand-children are taught to address them in the 
most endearing language, nay, to crave their blessing, 
and supplicate the Deity for them in prayer." 

Nor does the filial love of the Irish mountaineer 
expire with his parents. He closes their eyes, 
attends their remains to the tomb with grateful sor- 
row, and occasionally visits tlie grave of those who 
gave him being, and bedews it with his tears. From 



116 I'EUCY ANECDOTES. 

such a disposition, what cxceileut virtues might be 
produced with proper cultivation. 



MAKING A CURATE HAPPY. 

Dr. Brown, wlio was raany years Bishop of Cork and 
Koss, observing one day, at a visitation, a stout country 
parson in the consistory, with a tattered gown and an 
old wig, particularly examined him as to the state of 
religion in the parish in which he officiated. The 
clergyman, who felt that honest poverty was no dis- 
grace, answered the bishop's questions with good 
sense and modesty ; and said, that he was a curate 
of about forty pounds a year, for wiiich he did the 
duty of two churches ; that he had a family of eight 
children, and not being able to all'ord a horse, he 
walked every year up to the visitation, a distance of 
thirty miles. He added, that if it were not for the 
additional labour of his own hands, with those of 
his wife, and eldest son, they must want the neces- 
saries of life. 

The bishop heard this artless story with much at- 
tention, and praising the conduct of the clergyman, 
said he would lake tlie first opportunity that occurred 
to him to better his situation. With the Bisliop of 
Cork, to fulfd a jjromise, was a point of duty, and 
not a matter of convenience ; and in less than three 
months, he presented the curate of two parishes with 
a living worth between four and five hundred pounds 
a year. The poor curate, on receiving this intelli- 
gence, hastened to town with the whole of bis 
family, to thank his generous benefactor ; the bishop 
was pleased with so unsophisticated a mark of gra- 



DOMF.STIC LIFE. 117 

titude, entertained the whole family with great hos- 
pitality, and when they took their leave, presented 
each with some domestic gift. 



THE HAPPY SON. 

Mr. Brown, a merchant of Cork, intending that 
his son should follow the same profession, sent him to 
Holland, at an early age, to qualify himself in such 
branches of commerce as he could not acquire in his 
native country. When he had remained in the 
Netherlands about three or four years, his father sent 
for him home, for the double purpose of settling him 
in marriage ami in business. Arriving at Cork on a 
Sunday morning, at the time when the congregation 
was coming out of Christ Church, and suspecting, 
from the time he had been absent, that he would, not 
be recognized, he placed himself near the path that 
led from the church. He beheld the various groupes 
that passed by, with inditference, until he saw one, 
" whose fairy form was ne'er ,to be forgot." He 
followed her, and ascertained her residence, deter- 
mining that as soon as he had paid his respects to 
his parents, he would declare himself to the young 
lady. 

The next morning his father bade him prepare 
liimself to visit a lady upon whom he had fixed for 
his bride. He obeyed reluctantly, and was con- 
ducted by his father to the same house where he had 
traced the fair object on the preceding day. He 
hoped, and yet scarcely dared to hope, that his 
father's choice was hisj and when he found that 
such was really the case, that the young lady on 



118 PERCY ANECDOTtS. 

whom his heart had centered, was really to he his 
bride, he was ahnost speechless with joy and asto- 
nishment. In a few weeks the parties were married ; 
and the first fruit of this liap[)y union, was the 
amiable Dr. Jemraet Brown, afterwards Bishop of 
Cork. 



FORTUNATE DISCOVERY. 

In 1776, the Emperor Joseph the Second, accom- 
panied by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, on paying a 
visit to one of the hospitals in Vienna, perceived a 
little door in a dark corner, which he ordered to be 
opened; but he was obeyed with so much reluctance, 
tJiat it raised his curiosity. Upon entering, he de- 
scended into a kind of dungeon, where he found a 
female, rather young and handsome, covered with 
rags, and laid upon straw. 

The compassionate monarch was very much sur- 
prised and affected with this sight ; and upon inter- 
rogating the unfortunate person, she answered with a 
noble air, of which her misfortunes and hardships 
could not deprive her, " Sire, I am a woman of 
family, and have the lionour to be your subject. I 
have long suffered shame and misery in this place, f 
without deserving that double punishment. 

" When I was twenty years of age, I had the 
misfortune to please the Baron de B. We were 
married, and 1 brought him three children, to whose 
fortunes I am a stranger. Before I was placed here, 
I heard that he was in Moravia, w here he had married 
another wife, but I would not complain. This new 
lady, uneasy and suspicious, persuaded him to sacri- 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 119 

fice me to her chagrin. I was secured accordingly 
one night, and confined here, where I have remained 
during several years. I perceive jour majesty in- 
tends to interest yourself in my behalf, and will loose 
my fetters ; but, sire, I have three sons, and if the 
shameful conduct of my husband should be made 
public, it must retort upon them ; let me, therefore, 
beseech you to spare him for their sakes, and if I 
may request one more favour, deign to insure me an 
asylum in some convent, and that I may again press 
to my bosom those children I suckled." The 
emperor willingly granted the lady her request ; 
enquired after the young barons, and took them 
under his own care. But his justice did not stop 
here. He punished the second wife of the baron, 
with perpetual imprisonment ; banished the baron 
himself, and forfeited all his estates to his children. 

HINDOO AVIDOWS. 

A more mistaken idea of conjugal duty, or a more 
severe and painful test of conjugal aflection, cannot 
be conceived, than that of the Hindoo widow, who 
disdaining to live after her husband, voluntarily 
mounts the funeral pile on which his dead body is 
placed ; an amiable victim of a barbarous faith. 

Considerable pains has been taken by the British 
government to stop these horrid rites, but withoiit 
effect ; indeed it seems that so far from the custom 
having been diminished, it has encreased. It ap- 
pears from a return made to Parliament, on this 
subject, in 1821, that the number of Hindoo widows 
who were burnt or buried alive with their husbands. 



120 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

in the same number of districts, was, in 1815, 378 
in 1816, 442 ; in 1817, 707 ; and in 1818, 839 ! 

An Hindoo widow who resolves thus to devote 
herself, abstains from food as soon as her husband is 
dead ; chewing betel, and invoking, without ceasing, 
the God of her husband's sect. When the fatal hour 
arrives, she adorns herself with her jewels, and puts 
on her most costly attire, as if she were going to a 
festival. Slic is accompanied by her relatives and 
friends, and by the music of drums and trumpets. 
The victim aflectionately embraces her friends and 
relations, among whom she distributes part of lier 
jewels and ornaments ; she comforts them, while they 
bless her, and entreat her prayers to God, to grant 
them the fortitude she manifests in similar circum- 
stances. The widows generally meet dcatli with 
lieroic firmness and constancy ; convinced that in 
thus burning themselves from conjugal attachment, 
they shall by the sacrifice deliver their husbands 
from the torments of the next life, whatever crimes 
he may have committed in this. 

Mr. Holwell, well known as having been one of 
the wretched prisoners in the Black Hole of Calcutta, 
gives an account of one Hindoo widow, who being 
told of the pain she must suifer, with a view to dis- 
suade her from her intention, put her finger into the 
fire, and held it there for a considerable time ; after 
which, she put fire on the palm of her hand, laid 
incense upon it, and fumigated the Bramins who 
were present. 

Bernier, who has an interesting article on this 
subject in the Harleian Collection, speaking of the 
undaunted resolution which a widow at Surat exhi- 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 121 

bited, says, " I cannot do justice to the noble serenity 
with which she marched to the scene of suffering j 
the confidence with which she looked on us European 
spectators, and met the view of her little cabin, 
made up of dried millet straw and small wood, pre- 
pared for the catastrophe. The remembrance of the 
impressive manner in which she entered this fecep- 
tacle, sat down upon the pile, and took her husband's 
hand into her lap, will never desert me ; nor can 
time ever efface the recollection of ray feelings, 
when I saw her calmly take a torch, and with her 
own hand kindle the reeds within, whilst I know not 
how many Bramins without were doing the same 
thing. I can at present scarcely think the scene 
possible, though it is but a few days since I 
beheld it." 

Mr. Forbes, in his Oriental Memoirs, mentions the 
case of a female whose husband had amply provided 
for her, and what is very unusual among Hindoos, 
made her totally independent of his family. All 
was of no avail ; she persisted in her determination 
to accompany him to a better world, and suffered not 
the tears or supplications of an aged mother, and 
three helpless infants, to divert her from her purpose. 
The funeral pyre was erected ; an immense con- 
course of people of all ranks assembled, and a band 
of music accompanied the Bramins, who super- 
intended the ceremony. The bower of death, en- 
wreathed with sacred flowers, was erected over a 
pile of sandal wood and spices, on which lay the 
body of the deceased. After various ceremonies, 
the music ceased, and the crowd in solemn silence 
awaited the arrival of the heroine. She approached, 

M 



122 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

attended by lier motlier and tliree lovelv children, 
arrayed in rich atlire, and wearing tlje hynuncaJ 
crown, an ornament peculiar to an Hindoo bride at 
lier marriage. After a few religious ceremonies, the 
attendants took olV her jewels, anointed her dishe- 
velled hair with consecrated ghee, as also the skirts of 
her ilowing robe of yellow muslin (the colour of 
nuptial bliss). Two lisping infants clung around her 
knees, to dissuade her from the fatal purpose ; the 
last pledge of conjugal love, was taken from her 
bosom by an aged parent in speechless agony. 
Freed from these heart-piercing mourners, the lovely- 
widow, witli an air of solemn majesty, received a 
lighted torch from the Bramins, with which she 
walked seven times round the pyre. Sioj)ping near 
the entrance of the bower, for the last time, she 
addressed the fire, and worshipped tiie other deities, 
as prescribed in the siittee-ved ; then setting fire to 
her hair, and the skirts of her robe, to render herself 
the only brand worthy of illuminating the sacred 
pile, she threw away the torch, rushed into the 
bower, and embracing her husband, thus commu- 
nicated the flames to the surrounding branches. The 
musicians immediately struck up the loudest strains, 
to drown the cries of the victim, should her courage 
have forsaken her; but several of the spectators 
declared that the serenity of her countenance, and 
the dignity of her behaviour, surpassed all the sacri- 
fices of a similar nature they had ever witnessed. 

As polygamy is allowed among the Hindoos, it 
frequently happens that more than one widow immo- 
lates herself with the dead body of the husband. 
In 1807, a Koolin Bramin (the purest of all the 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 123 

Bramins, and who are privileged to marry as many 
wives as they please) died at the advanced age of 
ninety-two. He had twelve wives, three of whom 
were burned alive, with his dead body. Or>e of 
these was an aged and venerable female, who being 
unable to walk, was carried in a palanquin to the 
funeral pile. 

In the year 1799, twenty-two females were burnt 
alive with the remains of Ununtu, a Koolin Bramin, 
of Bagruiparu, who had more than a hundred wives. 
At the first kindling of the fire, only three of these 
wives had arrived. The fire was kept kindled three 
days. When one or more arrived, the ceremonies 
were gone through, and tliey threw themselves on 
the blazing pile. On the first day, three were burnedj 
and on the second and third, nineteen more. Among 
these women, some were forty years old, and others 
as young as sixteen. 

In 1812, another Koolin Bramin died at Chuna- 
kuli, near Calcutta, who had married twenty-five 
women, thirteen of whom died during his lifetime; 
the remaining twelve perished with him on the 
funeral pile, leaving thirty children to deplore the 
effects of this horrid S3-stera. 

Some years previous to this, eighteen women, the 
only survivors of the forty wives of another Koolin 
Bramin, who died at Soukachura, three miles east of 
Serampore, sacrificed tliemselves in the usual way. 
On this occasion, a fire, extending ten or twelve 
yards in lengtli, was prepared, into which the re- 
maining eighteen threw themselves, leaving more 
than forty children. It is, however, an indisputable 
article in the Hindoo laws, that " the mother of an 
M 8 



124 FEKCY ANECDOTES. 

infant child may not relinquish the care of her infant 
to ascend the funeral pile." 

In some cases, widows sacrifice themselves several 
years after tlie deatli of their husbands, after being 
earlier prevented ; or if voluntarily avoiding it, they 
afterwards entertain a superstitious apprehension that 
they have not done their duty. In the Parliamentary 
report to which we have alluded, it is stated, that 
in November, 1817, Mussummaut Rammosa, aged 
eighty, whose husband had been absent from his 
home fifteen years, being assured of his death, re- 
solved to sacrifice herself : but as, in such cases, the 
body of the husband is wanting, the widow gene- 
rally takes some article that belonged to him, with 
which she mounts the funeral pile. 

There are not a few cases in which, when children 
have been betrothed, and the males died before any 
consummation of the marriage, the female waits 
until she lias reached womanhood, and then sacrifices 
herself. An instance of this sort occurred in 1819, 
when a young woman in her fifteenth year, resolved, 
to perform the ceremony, the person to whom she had 
been betrothed, having died when she was only six 
years of age ; she requested a fiddle wliich had 
belonged to her husband to be given to her, and not- 
withstanding the remonstrances of her friends, immo- 
lated herself to his manes. 

In tlie same year, another Bramin, who had been 
married at seven years of age, and whose husband 
died the year after, determined to become a suttee ; 
she was now nineteen years of age, and it was eleven 
years since the death of her husband, yet nothing 
could dissuade her from the horrid ceremony. When 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 125 

•i-emonstrated with on the subject, she said, " My 
husband's death was not occasioned by old age, and 
he had not attained eternal bliss ; I have lived until 
now, in order to procure this blessing from him. 
Give rae no advice ; 1 am determined to become a 
suttee ; my future happiness depends upon my 
becoming one." 

For four days previous to her burning herself on 
the funeral pile, she refused every kind of sus- 
tenance. 

THE PROUD DUKE OF SOMERSET. 

One of the most imperious lords in domestic life, 
that history records, was Charles Seymour, the proud 
Duke of Somerset. Ills second duchess once familiarly 
tapping him on the shoulder with a fan, he turned 
round, and with a look of marked displeasure, said, 
** My first duohess was a Percy, madam, and she 
never took sucii a liberty." His children were 
taught to obey his injunctions with the most pro- 
found respect. The two youngest of his daughters 
were accustomed to stand and watch him alternately, 
whilst he slept in the afternoon. On one occasion. 
Lady Charlotte feeling herself fatigued, sat down. 
The duke awoke suddenly, and expressing his sur- 
prise at her disobedience, declared he would punish 
her want of obedience in his will. He was cruel 
enough to keep his promise, and absolutely left 
Lady Charlotte ofSOjOOO less than her sister. 



12G PERCY ANECDOTES. 

GEORGE THE SECOND. 

Notwithstanding the publicity, and at one time 
the apparent truth, of tlie accusations against Sophia 
of Zell, the repudiated wife of George the First, 
her son, afterwards George the Second, was fully 
convinced of her innocence, and posterity has con- 
firmed the correctness of his judgment. This prince 
once made an attempt to see his mother, and even 
crossed the Allcr on horseback, opposite to the 
castle of Alden, where she was confined ; but was 
prevented from having an interview with her by 
the Baron de Bulow, to whose care the elector, her 
husband, had committed her. Had she survived his 
accession, he intended to restore her to liberty, 
and to acknowledge lier as queen dowager. Her 
memory was so dear to him, that he secretly kept 
her portrait in his possession ; and the morning after 
the news of the death of George the First had 
reached London, Mrs. Howard observed (in the anti- 
chamber of the king's apartment) a picture of a 
woman in the electoral robes, which proved to be that 
of Sophia. 

QUEEN CAROLINE. 

With the exception of their late venerated majesties, 
whose domestic life has been amply portrayed in the 
Anecdotes of George the Third and his Family, there 
never perhaps was a royal pair more happy than George 
the Second and Queen Caroline. Her majesty was so 
jealous of the honour and character of her husband. 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 127 

and so watchful over his interests and happiness, that 
she well deserved the utmost kindness and respect. 
Her submission to the king's will was unbounded, 
her sense much superior, and his honour and interest 
always took place of her own. She was ambitious, 
too, of fame ; but shackled by her devotion to the 
king, she seldom could pursue that object. She 
wished to be a patroness of learned men ; but George 
had no respect for them or their works ; and her 
majesty's own taste was not very exquisite, nor did 
he allow her tirae to cultivate any studies. Her 
generosity would have displayed itself, for she valued 
money but as the instrument of her good purposes ; 
but he stinted her alike in almost all her passions ; 
and though she wished for nothing more than to be 
liberal, she bore the imputation of his avarice, as she 
did of others of his faults. Often when she had 
made prudent and proper promises of preferment, 
and could not persuade the king to comply, she 
suffered the blame to fall on herself, rather than 
on him. 

Though for many years labouring under a dreadful 
malady, she made it so invariable a rule not to re- 
fuse a desire of the king, that she never neglected to 
accompany him in his lung walks at Richmond ; and 
more than once, when she had the gout in her 
foot, she dipped her whole leg in cold water, to 
be ready to attend him. The pain, her corpulence, 
and the violence of the exercise, threw her into 
such fits of perspiration, as vented the gout ; but those 
exertions hastened the crisis of Jier distemper, and 
she fell at length a victim to her attentions to her 
husband. 



128 PERCY ANECDOTES. 



FAITHFUL AMAZON. 

Brunoro, a warrior of Parma, in the fifteenth 
century, chancing to see a young woman of the 
name of Bonna, in the most humble state of rus- 
ticity, was so smitten witli her noble countenance, 
and gigantic form, that lie determined to marry her. 
Motives of policy required that she should conceal 
her sex ; and, therefore, dressed in the habit of a man, 
she accompanied him every where; she soon became 
an accomplished politician, and gained such an as- 
cendancy over the nobles of Venice, that they ap- 
pointed her husband, Brunoro, general of their 
troops, with a large salary. Sincerely attached to 
her husband, and thinking it her duty to share with 
hira the dangers to which she had introduced him, 
in obtaining for him the command of the Venetian 
troops, she fought by his side at their head, stormed 
the strongest fortresses, and seconded him with vigour 
and success in the defence of Negropont against 
the Mahoramedans. This heroine died in 1446, 
leaving behind her a reputation as distinguished for 
conjugal aO'ection, as it-was for bravery. 

LOUIS XVI. AND HIS FAMILY. 

A more affecting instance of domestic calamity 
has seldom been exhibited, than that of the royal 
family of France. When, in the French revolulicn, 
they were placed under confinement, it was not the 
mere restraint put upon the persons of Louis XVI. 
and his faniily, or the continued dread of becoming 



DOMESTIC LIFE. \20 

victims to revolutionary fury, that rendered their 
condition so wretched ; but their imprisonment was 
aggravated by the daring insults of the lowest rabble, 
and the ears of the amiable Marie Antoinette, 
Madame Elizabetb, and the children, were continually 
assailed with the grossest ribaldry. 

It is in times of suffering that the domestic aflfec - 
lions are put to their strongest test, and gain their 
greatest triumphs ; and Louis XVI., who for many 
years after his marriage treated his wife as a child, or 
a part of the state pageant, found, in his misfortunes, 
that the affections of his wife and his children were 
his only solace. Clery, the faithful attendant of this 
unfortunate family, in all their reverses, gives a most 
affecting picture of their last interview, when tlie 
death of Louis XVI. had been decreed. " At half 
past eight," says he, " the door opened. The queen 
came first, leadhig her son by the hand ; Madame 
Royale and Madame Elizabeth followed. They all 
threw themselves into the arms of the king. A me- 
lancholy silence prevailed for some minutes, and it 
was only broken by sighs and sobs. The queen made 
an inclination towards his majesty's chamber. * No,' 
said the king, ' let us go into this room, I can see you 
only there.' They went in, and I shut the glass- 
door. The king sat down ; the queen was on his 
left hand, Madame Royale nearly opposite, and the 
young prince stood between his legs ; all were leaning 
on the king, and often pressed him in their embraces. 
This scene of sorrow lasted an hour and three quarters, 
during which it was impossible to hear any thing. 
It could, however, be seen, that after every sentence 
uttered by the king, the agitation of the queen and 



130 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

princesses encreased, lasted some minutes, and tlien 
the king began to speak again. It was plain, from 
their gestures, that they received from himself the 
first intelligence of liis condemnation. 

"At a quarter past ten, the king rose first; they 
all followed. I opened the door. The queen held 
the king by his right arm ; their majesties gave each 
a hand to the dauphin. Madame Royale, on the 
king's left, had ])cr arms round his body ; and behind 
her, Madame Elizabeth, on the same side, had taken 
his arm. They advanced some steps towards the 
entry door, breaking out into the most agonizing la- 
mentations. * I assure you,' said the king, ' that I 
will see you again to-morrow morning, at eight 
o'clock.' • You promise ?' said tliey, all together. 
' Yes, I promise.' ' \Vhy not at seven o'clock ?* 
said the queen. ' Well ! yes, at seven,' replied the 
king; 'farewell!' Pie pronounced 'farewell' in so 
impressive a manner, that their sobs were renewed, 
and Madame Ixoyale fainted at the feet of the king, 
round whom she had clung. I raised her, and as- 
sisted Madame Elizabeth to support her. The king, 
willing to put an end to this agonizing scene, once 
more embraced them all most tenderly, and had the 
resolution to tear himself from their arras. ' Fare- 
well ! farewell !' said he, and went into his chamber. 

" The queen, princesses, and dauphin, returned to 
their own apartments. I attempted to continue sup- 
porting Madame Royale ; but the municipal officers 
stopped me before I had gone up two steps, and com- 
pelled me to go in. Though both the doors were 
shut, the screams and lamentations of the queen and 
princesses were heard for some time on the stairs. 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 131 

The king returned to bis confessor in the turret 
closet." 

" The ntxt morning at seven o'clock," continues 
M. Cierv, " the king coming out of his closet, called 
to me, and taking me wiihin the recess of tiie window, 
said, ' Yuu will give this seal to my son ; this ring 
to the queen, and assure her that it is with pain I part 
«it]i it ; this little packet contains the hair of all nij 
familv, you will give her that too. Tell the queen, 
my dear children, and my sister, that although I pro- 
mised to see them this morning, I have resolved to 
spare them the pangs of so cruel a separation ; tell 
them how much it cost me to go without receiving 
their embraces once more!' He wiped away some 
tears ; then added, in the most mournful accent, ' I 
charge you to bear them my last farewell !' " 

MELANCHOLY MISTAKES. 

A few years ago, a fire took place in Whitechapel, 
in some houses principally occupied by lodgers. So 
rapid were the flames, that it was with the utmost 
ditficulty that the wretched inhabitants could be res- 
cued. A poor woman, with a large family, who had 
just escaped, was kneeling, with her children around 
licr, to return God thanks for their preservation, when 
she found that her youngest child, an infant, was still 
missing. With a courage and desperation which 
maternal aftection, heightened by despair, alone 
could have prompted, she flew, half naked as she 
was, up the blazing staircase, flew into the room, 
snatched the babe from the cradle, and bore it in 
triumph to her family group ; a triumph, alas ! short- 



132 PEUCY ANECDOTES. 

lived, for the child was not her own. Misled b^? tlie 
smoke which filled the building, she had entered a 
wrong apartment, and rescued the child of one of lier 
neighbours, instead of her own. She hastened back, 
but by this time, the whole building had fallen in, 
when she sunk senseless on the ground, and died in a 
few hours. 

A somewhat similar, though not so distressing, an 
event, occurred during the rejoicings at Paris, on the 
marriage festivities of the Daupliin, afterwards the 
unfortunate Louis XVI. In the Place Louis XV., 
there were very brilliant fireworks prepared ; but by 
some accident, the scaflolding prepared for them took 
fire ; the rush of the crowd, and the crash of coaches, 
was such, that several persons were trampled to death 
under the horses' feet, and others were killed by the 
pressure. 

One man, of the name of Pierre Dubois, who went 
to see the promised amusements, took with him a 
young woman, to whom be was next day to have 
been married. When the disaster of the scaffolds 
caused every person to seek his safety in immediate 
escape, Pierre and his mistress hastened from the 
fatal scene, and being strong and athletic, he was en- 
abled for some time to protect her from the most im- 
mediate pressure of the crowd ; but the danger and 
the terror encreased, and she exclaimed, " Oh ! I am 
falling, I can go no farther." " Courage !" cried the 
lover, " I can still save thee, if thou wilt but get 
upon ray shoulders." He soon found that his shoulders 
had received their burden, and animated by new 
courage, he forced his way through the crowd, and 
reaching a place of safety, he set down his precious 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 133 

burden, expecting, in the smile that would greet liira, 
an ample recompense for all his toih Half intoxi- 
cated, with joy at his having rescued lus beloved, he 
turned round to receive her embrace, when, alas ! he 
found that it was a different person, who had taken 
advantage of his recommendation, and that his own 
Henrietta had been left to perish in the crowd. 



FEMALE INFLUENCE. 

A remarkable instance of the influence of the 
female sex oVer minds little likely to be swayed by 
it, occurred in the case of John Banier, an tieve of 
tlie great Gustavus Adolphns, and one of the greatest 
generals Europe ever produced. This brave man 
owed much of his glory to his first wife, and tarnished 
it by his second. While the wife whom he brought 
from Sweden lived, he was successful in every under- 
taking ; she accompanied him in every campaign, 
and was always found to console and cheer him in 
every danger and difiBculty, and to urge him onward 
wherever glory was to be gained. After her death, 
Banier became smitten with a lovely young German 
princess, whom he married ; this circumstance proved 
the grave of all his military fame, for she soon ren- 
dered him as etfeminate as herself; and six weeks 
after his marriage, he died of grief at having tar- 
nished his fame as a general, by a gross neglect of his 
military duties. 



131 I'ERCY ANtCDOTCS. 



FAMILY SYMPATHY. 

In the reign of James the First, and when the 
Earl of Huntingdon was Lieutenant of tlie county of 
Leicester, a labourer's son was jiressed to serve in the 
army destined to go into Bohemia with Count Mans- 
field. The poor fatlier waited on the earl, requesting 
that his son might be discharged, as being the only 
staff of his age, who, by his own industry, main- 
tained both his parents. The earl enquired his name, 
■which the old man was long before he would confess, 
fearing that it might be deemed presumptuous to avow 
the same name as the nobleman he addressed ; at 
length he said his name was Hastings. " Cousin 
Hastings !" said the earl, " we cannot all be top 
branches of the tree, though we all spring from the 
same root. Your son, my kinsman, shall not be 
pressed." 

REVOLUTIONARY VICTIMS. 

During the French revolution, when the crowded 
prisons were only thinned by the axe of the guillotine, 
and when every person in confinement expected to 
be the next victim, an officer proceeded to one of 
the prisons, to summon a person in confinement of 
the name of Loiselles. The father and son of this 
name were both in the same prison, and no sooner 
was the name called out, than the father stepped for- 
ward. He was told that it was his son that was called. 
He replied, " I am far advanced in years, and cannot 
expect to live long ; my son is young, and may sur- 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 135 

vive tliese troubles ; let me, therefore, make the only 
sacrifice in my power, in devoting myself for his 
sake ;" the officer yielded to liis request : the father 
pressed his son to his bosom, and gave him a parting 
blessing ; then accompanied the officer to the tribunal, 
from which, to the guillotine, was but one step, and 
suffered with fortitude, and even cheerfulness. 

A Lieutenant Angraiid d'Alleray, distinguislied for 
his integrity and humanity, was arretted, and conducted, 
before the revolutionary tribunal, when they produced 
a letter which he had written to his sons, who had 
emigrated, in which he announced, that be had trans- 
mitted them some pecuniary assistance. " Do you 
not know that there is a law against sending money 
to emigrants?" said the judge, sternly. "I know 
one law," replied d'Alleray, " more sacred and more 
ancient than yours; it is the law of nature, which 
ordains that a father shall support his children." 
This answer was deemed sufficient guilt, and this vir- 
tuous old man was led at once to the scaffold. 

M. Sallier, counsellor of the Parliament of Paris, 
and one of the individuals who signed a protest against 
the excesses of the French revolution, was obliged to 
make his escape so suddenly, in order to avoid certain 
. death, that he had no opportunity of informing any 
of his friends of the circumstance. His father, igno- 
rant that he was out of the toils of his pursuers, was 
arrested. The officers showed him the signature to 
the protest. Anxious to save his son, he said that it 
was his own, and that he had nothing to reproach 
himself with in thus following the dictates of his con- 
science. This was suff.cient, and the Bged M. Sallier 
fell the victim of paternal love. 
>. 2 



13G PERCY ANECDOTliS. 



HEROISM AND HUMANITY 

In the year ]813, during a dreadful snow storm, 
a poor sailor and his wife were discovered, near 
Burbage Brook, exhausted with fatigue, and unable 
to proceed on their journey : the poor man liad sunk 
under his exertions to support his wife, and was nearly 
dead. The young man who found thera, took the 
sailor upon his back, and carried him to the only 
house he could find, which was nearly a mile off; he 
then returned, and in the like manner bore the 
woman, who was unable to walk, to the same dwelling. 
He Jiad no sooner performed this act of humanity, 
than he found himself again called on for assistance. 
The coach from Manchester was overturned, and 
nearly buried in the snow ; a mother, with her child, 
about two years old, were amongst the passengers, 
the whole of whom were females : the child he bore 
to Hathersage ; the mother attempted to follow, but 
was soon unable to proceed. On his return, he 
found her in a drift of snow, from which all het 
efforts to extricate herself were unavailing. He 
restored her to her child, and in the same way he re- 
leased the two remaining ladies from their perilous 
situation. They offered him money as a compen- 
sation for his services, which he did not decline ac- 
cepting ; but he immediately transferred it to tlie 
poor sailor and his wife, to solace and comfort them 
on their journey. 



DOMKSTIC LIFE. i3< 



EAGLE AND CHILD. 

A servant maid at Munich, being in a garden 
v.ith a child nine months old, set it down on the 
ground, when suddenly an eagle darted from the air, 
to seize upon it as a prey. The servant, who was 
fortunately close by, with the greatest courage, and 
presence of mind, threw a shawl at the bird, which 
covering his eyes, not only prevented him from 
seizing the infant, but even from escaping. She 
boldly caught hold of the robber, and in spite of his 
struggles, held him fast till some persons came to 
her assistance. His majesty amply rewarded the 
heroine, who received some wounds in the contest, 
and sent the prisoner to the menagerie at Nym- 
phenburg. 



SIR ROBERT TAYLOR. 
When the celebrated architect. Sir Robert Taylor, 
was a young man, and studying at Rome, he received 
intelligence of his father having been taken danger- 
ously ill. He immediately resolved to hurry home ; 
but as there was a war on the continent, and pass- 
ports were not to be procured, he thought of cir- 
cumventing the risk he could not hope to overcome. 
Assuming the apparel of a Franciscan Friar, he 
joined another of the order, and with him passed un- 
molested through the hostile camps, and reached his 
native country. The disguise which had been of such 
importance to him on this occasion, Sir Robert care- 
N 3 



138 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

fully preserved, aud, as a memorial of liis filial piety, 
it still remains among the most treasured relics of bis 
family. A dutiful and affectionate son, he proved a 
kind and indulgent father. He was not insensible to 
the value of money, but it did not weigh with him at 
all, when opposed to the claims of affection. When 
his son, the present Michael Angcio Taylor, Esq., came 
out in life, he transferred to him at once o£20,000 j 
and when he was brouglit into Parliament, encreased 
this provision to ^£2000 a year. 

THE FAMILY COMPACT. 

Two brothers of the name of Arragon, who 
jointly occupied an extensive farm near Marseilles, 
were distinguished for the warmth and sincerity of 
their friendship. After living many years together 
in uninterrupted tranquillity, they married, and each 
brought his wife to the farm ; nor did this encrease 
of family^, for some time, disturb their harmony. 

In the course of eight or nine years, the wife of 
the eldest brother had ten children ; while the 
wife of the youngest had not one. These circum- 
stances created some uneasiness, particularly as the 
brothers and their families had all lived out of the 
produce of the farm, without each having a separate 
purse, and without dividing the profits. At length 
the wives quarrelled, and determined on a division 
of the property. The husbands were compelled to 
submit, and accordingly repaired to their landlord, 
M. de Pastoret, a magistrate of Marseilles, who, 
willing to retain them as tenants, suggested that on» 
brother should divide the farm into equal lots, and 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 139 

that the other should have the clioice. The elder 
brother made the division, in the presence of the 
landlord, the two wives, and his ten children. The 
scene was interesiing : a tear stole down their 
cheeks, and a mournful, but expressive, silence bore 
testimony to the sorrow which wrung the heart of 
the father. The younger brother, with a trembling 
band, made his choice, saying, " I take this part 5 
but, brother, it is not complete." " It is com- 
plete, ray friend," said the elder brother, " and you 
know it is." " I know, and I see," replied the 
other, " that it is not equal, and that it wants the 
part which I prize most. What ! do you think 
that I, who have no children, will agree to make a 
division of your property, without participating in 
your family r I choose five of these children— five 
of the youngest, because tlie eldest may be useful to 
you. I demand this, and my wife seconds me." 
The tone in which this was delivered, and the im- 
pression which it made on tlie countenances of the 
assembly, suddenly changed the whole into the most 
delicious scene. Tlie nephews, the nieces, the 
brothers, and the wives, all flew into one another's 
arms ; and that instant restored complete union and 
felicity to this once more united and now insepar- 
able family. 

MAHOMMEDAN SIRDAR. 

At the siege of Tellicherry, Sirdar Cawn, the 
Mahommedan general, after a spirited resistance, 
threw himself, with many of liis bravest and most 
faithful followers, into a fortified house formed in 



140 PERCY ANtCDOTES. 

the cavity of a rock at Coricliee, the mansion of his 
women, and the repository of his treasures. He de- 
termined not to survive the disgrace of a defeat, but 
to defend himself to the last extremity. Tliis strong 
hold was, at length, set on fire ; and the sirdar and 
his followers were compelled to surrender, or perish 
in tlie ilaraes. At the first breaking out of the con- 
flagration, many of the sirdar's family, fearful of a 
worse fate, began to drop down from the walls, 
amidst the fire of tlie seapoys. Among these were 
seven of the finest women of the East, who com- 
posed the sirdar's seraglio. Captain Christie, who 
happened to pass by the spot at the moment they 
were preparing to throw themselves from the battle- 
ments, stopped the firing at the hazard of his life, 
ran up to their assistance, and received them one 
after another in his arms. Lieutenant Hawkes, of 
the artillery, came up to lend his assistance in this 
generous act of gallantry, and the fair captives were 
conducted by the two officers, in safety, to their com- 
manding officer. The general, like another Scipio, 
ordered them to be given up to their lord, who had 
testified the most agonizing anxiety concerning their 
fate. "When they came into his presence, he looked 
sternly in tlieir faces, and manifested symptoms of 
trouble, anguish, and despair. But after be had con- 
versed with them for some time, his face became 
suffused with tears of joy, and he expressed the 
strongest emotions of gratitude, for the delicate 
manner in which the women had been treated by the 
British ofl!icers. " You," said he, " enjoy the fortune 
of this day, and you deserve it. Go therefore to the 
room (describing one in the fortified house), and you 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 141 

will find for your reward, two lacks of rupees." 
Above ^S;0,000 were accordingly divided among tlie 
army. 

The sirdar, when he was taken prisoner, had ex- 
pected iraniediale death ; he enquired wliy it was 
delayed, and regarded the humanity of the English 
in suaring him, with astonishment. " If you mean," 
said he to the officers into whose hands he fell, " to 
save ray life, restore my wives and ray children." 
The joy that filled his mind, on receiving tliis pledge 
of the merciful intentions of the English, was not 
lasting. He died soon after of grief and agony of 
mind, desiring as a last favour from Major Abington, 
that his faraily might be sent to Seringapatam. His 
request was readily granted, and punctually per- 
formed. 



EMPRESS CATHARINE. 

An envoy extraordinary from Poland, to the 
Court of Russia, returning to Dresden, stopped at 
an inn in Courland, where he was witness to a quarrel 
between the ostler and some of the stable keepers, 
who were inebriated. One of them swore much, and 
threatened, in a bold tone of voice, to make his anta- 
gonists repent of their insolence. The minister, in- 
terested by the superior air with which the man spoke, 
asked his name and past condition. He was told 
that he was an unfortunate Polander, named Charles 
Scorowski, whose father, supposed to have been a 
gentleman of Lithuania, died early, and had left his 
son in a miserable situation, with a daughter, who had 
been for some time lost. The minister thought he 



142 PliRCY ANECDOTES. 

perceived in Scorowski, a resemblance to the noble 
features of the Empress Catharine ; and having, as 
all the world have done, heard of the obscurity which 
hung over the origin of the empress, he took a fancy 
into his head, that there might be some relationship 
between them. He accordingly wrote an account of 
the adventure tea friend attlie Russian Court, through 
whom, by some means or other, it found its way to 
the Czar Peter, 'i'he empress had always pretended 
to the czar, to be perfectly ignorant of her family; 
she affected to remember only that she had a brother, 
but to be ignorant uhnt had become of him. Peter, 
imagining that he had now got a clue to the solution 
of the mystery, sent an order to Prince Ressnin, 
Goverhor of Riga, to discover Charles Scorowski; io 
entice him to Riga, under some fair pretence ; to seize 
him, without otlering the smallest insult ; and to send 
him under a strong guard to the chamber of jjolice, 
which he had ordered to revise a decree passed 
against this imaginary prisoner. The order was 
punctually executed ; Charles was brought, and tlie 
chamber pretended to proceed against him, with all 
the forms of law, as against a quarreler and promoter 
of strife. He was afterwards forwarded to the capital, 
with the supposed informations, which substantiated 
the offence t>f which he had been accused. 

Scorowski, under great apprehension for his fate, 
though he believed himself to be perfectly innocent, 
was presented to the judge, who lengthened out the 
proofs, in order that he might more easily examine the 
prisoner, whom he had orders to sound thoroughly. 
The better to succeed in this design, he kept sj)ies 
around him, to catch any marked word that migl;t 
escape; and private enquiries were made in Courland, 



DOMtSTiC LIFE. 143 

which proved most clearlj that Sco^ow^ki was really 
the brother of the empress. 

The czar, convinced of the reality of the relation- 
ship, caused it to be intimated to Scorowski, that 
as the judge was not disposed to treat liim with much 
indulgence, he could do nothing better than present 
a petition to his sovereign ; and that the means of 
doing this would be rendered easy, as not only access 
to the throne would be procured for him, but also pro- 
tectors sufficiently powerful, to ensure the success of 
his requests. Peter, who had artfully contrived every 
thing for a scene amusing to himself, but humiliating 
to the pride and haughtiness of Catharine, sent \\ord 
that on a certain day he would go privately to dine 
with Chapelow, the steward of his household, and 
that after dinner he would give an audience to 
Scorowski. 

When the appointed time arrived, the rustic did 
not appear intimidated by the majesty of the monarch, 
but boldly presented his petition. The czar asked 
him a number of questions ; the answers to which, 
all served to confirm him in the belief that it was the 
brother of his empress who stood before him. Ne- 
vertheless, to remove all doubt on the subject, Peter 
dismissed him abruptly, desiring that he would return 
next day, at the same hour ; accompanying his order 
with a hint, that, in all probability, he would have 
no cause to be displeased with his decision. 

The czar, supping with the empress that same 
evening, said to her, " I dined to day with Chapelow, 
and made a most excellent repast ; I must take 
you thither some day." "Why not to-morrow?" 
she replied. " Well, then," rejoined the czar, " be 4,t 



144 I'tllCY ANECDOTES, 

so ; but we must do as I did to day, surprise him 
when he is about to sit down to dinner, and dispense 
with all attendants." 

Next day, Peter and Catharine, being accordingly 
at dinner with Chapelow, the petitioner was intro- 
duced, wlio aj)proached with more timidity than lie 
had shewn before. The czar atlected to have forgot 
the subject of Scorowski's petition, and repeated all 
the questions of tlie day preceding. He received, 
however, precisely the same answers. Catharine, 
reclining on a sofa, listened with the greatest atten- 
tion; every word from Scorowski vibrated on her 
ear ; and the czar still more roused her, by saying, 
in a tone which indicated that he was interested in 
the conversation, " Catharine, attend to that, do not 
you comprehend ?" Catharine, on this, changed 
colour, her voice faltered, she could scarcely reply. 
" But," added the czar, with emotion, " if you do 
not comprehend, I do ; in a word, this man is your 
brother. Come," said he to Scorowski, " kiss the 
border of her robe, and her hand, in quality of 
empress ; after which, embrace her as thy sister." At 
these words, Catliarine grew quite pale ; the power 
of speech forsook her, and she was for some time 
in a state of insensibility. When she recovered, 
Peter affectionately said, " What great harm then is 
there in this adventure? I have found a brother-in- 
law ; if he is a man of merit, and has any abilities, 
we shall make something of him. Console yourself, 
then, I beg of you ; for 1 see nothing in all this, that 
ought to give you a moment's uneasiness. We are 
now informed of an affair which has cost us many 
enquiries. Let us depart." 



DOMESTIC LIFE. J45 

Catharine, rising up, requested to embrace her 
brother, and begged the czar to continue his kind- 
ness, both to liim and his sister. The emperor as- 
signed Scorowski a house, and a pension ; but lie was 
requested to keep himself quiet, and to enjoy his 
good fortune in private. 

CONSIDERATE FRIENDSHIP. 

When the attempt was made upon the life of his 
late majesty, by Margaret Nicholson, as he was 
going to St. James's to hold a levee, a council was 
ordered to be held as soon as the levee was over. 
The Marquess del Campo, the Spanish ambassador, 
being apprized of that circumstance, and knowing 
that the council would detain the king in town 
three or four hours beyond tl/e usual time, took 
post horses, and set off for Windsor. Alighting 
at the castle, he called upon a lady there with 
whom he was acquainted. The queen, finding that 
the king did not return at the usual time, and un- 
derstanding that the marquess was in the palace, sent 
to ask him if he had been at the levee. He replied 
that he had, and that he had left his majesty in per- 
fect health, going to council. When the king ar- 
rived, he, of course, told her majesty the extraor- 
dinary occurrence of the morning. The queen ex- 
pressed great surprise that the Marquess del Carapo, 
who had been nearly three hours in the palace, had 
not mentioned the subject to her ; he was then sent 
for, when he told their majesties, tliat finding upon 
liis arrival at the castle, that no rumour of the attempt 
o 



146 PERCY ANtCDOTES. 

upon the life of his majesty had reached the queen, 
he did not think it expedient to apprize her of it, 
till his majesty's arrival gave full assurance of his 
safety ; but, at the same time, fearing that some in- 
correct and alarming reports might be brought down, 
he deemed it right to remain in the palace, in order, 
in that case, to be able to remove all apprehensions 
from her majesty's mind, by acquainting her with 
the real facts. 'J"he king took the ambassador gra- 
ciously by the hand, and assured hitn, that he 
scarcely knew a man in the world to whom he was so 
much obliged. 

FAMILY MAN'S ANSWER TO A 
CHALLENGE. 

Two friends liappening to quarrel at a tavern, one 
of ihem, a man of hasty disposition, insisted on the 
other's fighting him next morning. Tlie challenge 
was accepted, on condition that they should break- 
fast together previous to their going to the field, at 
the house of the person challenged. When the 
challenger arrived next morning, according to ap- 
pointment, he found every preparation made for 
breakfast, and his friend, his wife and children, all 
ready to receive him. Their repast being over, and 
the family withdrawn, witliout the slightest hint of 
their fatal purpose having transpired, the challenger 
asked the other if he was ready to attend ? " No, sir," 
replied he, " not until we are upon a par ; that 
amiable woman, and those six innocent children, who 
just now breakfasted with us, depend solely upon 
my life for their subsistence ; and until you can 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 147 

stake something equal, in my estimation, to the 
welfare of seven persons, dearer to nie than my right 
hand, or my right eye, I cannot think we are equally 
matched." " We are not indeed !" replied the 
other, giving him his hand ; and tliey became, from 
this time, firmer friends than before. 



FAMILY NECESSITY. 

An aged couple in Xew York, were, in the severe 
winter of 1783, reduced to their last stick of wood. 
Their only daughter, by whose industry alone they 
had long been supported, had no means of procuring 
her parents fuel or food. In this distressing 
emergency, she thought of the expedient of going to 
a dentist, with the resolution of disposing of her 
fore-teeth, knowing that he had advertised to give 
three guineas for every sound fore- tooth, provided 
only that he was allowed to extract it himself. On 
her amval,she made known the circumstances which 
induced her to make the sacrifice ; which so afifected 
the dentist, that he could not forbear shedding tears. 
He made her a j)resent of ten guineas ; with which, 
with heart full of joy, she hastened home to relieve 
her parents. 

NOT TAKING A WIFE TO THE SHOW. 

ITie Emperor Joseph II. travelling towards Ostend, 
for the purpose of presiding at the ceremony of 
declaring it a free port, was attracted by the appear- 
o 2 



148 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

aiice of a poor woman at the door of a cottage, \\h& 
seemeil to discover in her appearance much dejection 
iiXid disappoiiitiiKnt. The emperor, who, as usual, 
was in advance of his train, dismounted to hear the 
poor woman's story. She, unconscious of the dignity 
of the person she addressed, stated that she had been 
earnestly entreating her husband for permission to 
accompany him to Ostend, to which place he had just 
gone, in order to see the emperor ; but that all lier 
supplications had been unavailing. She urged the 
peculiar unkindness of this refusal in the strongest 
terms, observing that lier husband was but an alien, 
and could not be supposed to love lier royal master 
with the same spirit of ardent loyalty which glowed 
in her bosom, as she was descended from a family 
which had, through successive generations, resided 
five hundred years in the same neighbourhood, and 
had alwaj's been particularly distinguished for its 
attachment to their sovereign. She concluded with as- 
serting how largely she inherited the family loyalty, 
and that she would cheerfully undergo the severest 
hardships, and think herself amply requited, if she 
could but obtain a sight of lier sovereign. 

The emperor was so much struck with the zeal of 
the poor cottager, that he immediately took a snuff- 
box from his pocket, most splendidly decorated with 
diamonds, which surrounded a picture of himself, 
and gave it to her, saying, that if the brutality of 
her Jiusband had prevented her from seeing the 
original, her loyalty and feeling deserved at least to 
be rewarded by a portrait of the sovereign she so 
much revered. The likeness of the picture was so 
exact, that the woman immediately perceived to 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 14y 

whom she had been so freely communicating her 
sentiments, and fell on her knees with every token of 
love and veneration. The emperor only remained to 
enquire the name of her husband, and where he was 
most likely to be found in Ostend ; this done, he 
departed. A messenger was instantly sent forward, 
with the directions for finding the man, and com- 
mitting him to prison. 

The poor fellow enquired the cause of his arrest, 
but could obtain no answer ; he was, however, most 
sumptuously entertained for three days in prison, and 
then set at liberty', just in time to learn that the 
emperor had left Ostend, and that the only chance 
he had of obtaining a sight of His Imperial Ma- 
jesty, was by following him to Vienna. When he 
returned home, the story of the snuff-box revealed 
the mystery of his imprisonment, and consoled him 
for the loss of that sight, which his wife had so 
advantageously enjoyed. 

THE NUPTIAL FUNERAL. 

The onl)? living representative of an illustrious 
family, the young Count of Dachau, was about to 
be allied to the Countess of Walfartliausen, a 
near relation, with a large dowry. The most 
magnificent preparations were made to celebrate 
the nuptials at the festival of Christmas. All the 
noble chevaliers and ladies of the adjacent country, 
were invited to the ceremony. To the esquires and 
pages were given new liveries, on which were em- 
broidered the arms of the two families. 
o3 



160 PLRCY ANECDOTES. 

The preparations being completed, the Count of 
Dachau, inhis nuptial dress, and accompanied by a train 
of attendants, quitted his ancient castle on the moun- 
tain, and descended into (lie valley to meet his bride j 
but the slow progress of his train, ill suiting his 
youthful ardour and impatience, the young count 
set spurs to his noble courser, and was soon so far 
advanced into the wood, that it was not possible for 
his attendants to hear his voice. He had not pro- 
ceeded far, when he was suddenly attacked by a 
band of robbers ; and afler a brave but useless resist- 
ance, was wounded and disarmed. In vain did he 
offer every thing valuable that he possessed, if they 
would spare his life. Deaf to all his entreaties, the 
cruel robbers added murder to their crime, and 
stripped him of his rich dress and costly jewels. 
An emerald ring, the first pledge which he had re- 
ceived from his mistress, when she promised to 
become his bride, not being easily taken from his 
finger, the barbarians cut off his hand, then covering 
the body with a little earth, carried away the horse 
of the ill-fated count. 

In the meantime, the intended bride, accom- 
j)anied by her two brothers, and followed by a 
splendid cavalcade, arrived, by another route, at the 
ancient castle of the Count of Dachau, where a 
numerous company were assembled. Mutual con- 
gratulations passed on the auspicious occasion of 
their meeting. The mother of the Count of Dachau, 
the only remaining member of his family, alone was 
melancholy and uneasy at not seeing her son, whom 
she every minute expected with inipatience. She 
sent out the esquires and pages to seek him j and 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 151 

while tliey were gone, the supper was served up in 
the great hall. The chevaliers and ladies took their 
seats ; but instead of gaiety and cheerfulness, a 
melancholj silence bespoke the sad presentiments 
that pervaded every bosom. 

Tlie solemn silence was at length disturbed by the 
sound of a horn ; the drawbridge was lowered, and 
the esquires and pages entered precipitately, as if 
pursued by the phantoms of the night. A plaintive 
cry attracted their attention at the door, when a 
dog, who had been a great favourite with the young 
count, ran up to the mother of his master, and 
dropped something bloody at her feet. Alas ! it 
was the hand of the count, which the assassins had 
cut off, and dropped in their flight. The mother — 
the bride, perceived the emerald ring on one of the 
fingers, and sunk lifeless on the floor. 

At this horrible sight, all the gentlemen took to 
arms, and followed by the domestics, entered the 
wood, and traversed it on every side. The faithful 
dog ran before them, tracing the footsteps of his 
murdered master ; after an hour spent in wandering, 
the animal stojjped at a heap of earth, which he 
began to scratch up. The gentlemen and attendants 
being attracted to the spot, cleared the earth away 
with their swords, when they discovered the naked 
and mangled body of the Count of Dachau. The 
chevaliers took off their mantles, and wrapped up 
the body ; they placed it on one of their horses ; 
and then taking the plumes from their hats, and the 
esquires and pages tearing from their clotlies the 
ribands and other nuptial ornaments of the day, they 
sorrowfullv resumed their road to the castle. .Not a 



152 PERCY ANliCDOTES. 

voice was heard ; not a sound to interrupt the 
silence of the melancholy procession. 

The company that had seen the nuptial train of 
the late happy bride, now beheld from the lofty 
towers of tiie castle the funeral cavalcade approach. 
The priests descended to the foot of the mountain, to 
receive with due solemnity, the body of tlielr lord, 
who was interred in the vaults of the church in 
which his ancestors reposed ; and witli him became 
extinct the ancient family of Dachau. 

The childless mother, and the widowed bride, 
wrapped in mourning, and prostrate at tlie foot of 
the altar, made a solemn vow to renounce the world 
for ever, and to devote their whole estate to the 
founding of a monastery of the order of St. Bene- 
dict. 

In course of time, the whole of the assassins were 
taken and executed ; and the Count Palatine of 
Bavaria, to whom the fief reverted, erected a 
chapel on the spot where the horrible murder was 
committed. 

LOVE'S EXERTIONS. 

M. Prcmierslane, a young Swiss of good family 
and fortune, was sent by his father to finish his 
education by a year's residence in Paris. Here he 
fell in love with a young lady, the daughter of a 
great planter in the Mauritius. He asked his father's 
consent to marry her, stating that her fortune would 
be considerable ; but the old Swiss, proud of his 
ancient fauiily, considered such an union as beneath 
him, and refused his consent. The son, however, 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 163 

married, and set off with his hride to the Mauritius ; 
when the ship arrived there, he found his wife's father 
dead, a son in possession of the plantation, and his 
wife utterly destitute of the slightest provision. In 
this dreadful dilemma, he had nothing to do but 
either to settle in the island, or immediately to return 
to France, and brook the anger cf a father, whose 
rage would be redoubled on finding that he had not 
only disobeyed him, but had obtained no fortune to 
excuse it. He determined, therefore, to settle on 
this island : he got a patent of a piece of waste 
land from the governor, and obtaining a little as- 
sistance from persons who had become acquainted 
with his case, established a small plantation. By 
great care, industry, and attention, it flourished, and 
M. le Premicrslane lived so happily with his wife, 
that he envied not those who were richer. In a few 
years he visited France, and found that his father 
had totally disinherited him. Disgusted with the 
news, and wishing for nothing but to terminate his 
days with his dear wife, and her young family, he 
re-embarked immediately, and arrived safe at the 
Mauritius, where his wrongs gave a spur to his zeal, 
and in a few years he became the richest planter iu 
the island. 

INDUSTRY REWARDED. 

In the year 1805, the Society for the Encourage- 
ment of Arts, awarded their silver medal, and fifteen 
guineas, as a reward of virtuous and distinguished 
industry in humble life, to a poor, but deserving. 



154 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

man, who had exerted his humble talents in im- 
proving some acres of barren land, and brought up 
a large family on the most scanty earnings, without 
the slightest aid from the parish. Lieutenant 
Humphries, of the royal navy, who laid the poor 
man's case before the society, gives the following 
worthy example of honest industry, as exemplified 
by this worthy peasant. 

" I yesterday took a walk of about two miles 
from this station, to satisfy myself respecting a re- 
markable instance of persevering and indefatigable 
industry, which I found as follows :-~Twelve acres 
of barren downs had been taken from the common, 
seven or eight of which were in a high state of cul- 
tivation, and the remainder in a very forward state 
of improvement. This space was divided into eight 
fields, separated by seventeen stone fences, put to- 
gether in a masterly manner. The fields are inter- 
sected with various drains, which empty themselves 
into the ditches that have been obliged to be dug 
round the margin of each field, both for this purpose, 
and in order to give greater height to the fences. 
On each side of every bank, ditches are dug, and in 
the gateways, bridges are made, able to support a 
loaded cart, tliat the water may run freely ofi^. The 
land produced, in 1803, ten Cornish bushels of barley, 
nine trusses of hay, two hogsheads of oats, and ten 
bushels of wheat, besides pasture for cattle. This 
has been the labour of eighteen years, by one inde- 
fatigable man, who began it in the fiftieth year of 
liis age. I have to add, that his dwelling-house, 
and out-buildings, including the turf-walls of which 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 1;';5 

they are composed, the laying of the rafters, and the 
thatching, are all executed by himself, though he 
was only bred to husbandry. 

•' This deserving character is William Pearce, 
near Helston, Cornwall, who, when he began his 
improvements, was possessed only of one mare, and 
the shilling per day which he earned by hard labour. 
He has brought up seven children, of whom the sons 
volunteered into tiie service of their country ; two 
were killed in the last war, and two were still em- 
ployed in the same service, when tliis account was 
received." 



VICISSITUDES. 
Mr. John Shepperton, who was heir to a good 
estate in Leicestershire, which he held for many 
years, lost it by a vexatious lawsuit that was brought 
against him by a richer neighbour. Mr. Shepperton 
had a wife and ten children, who were thus at once 
plunged from affluence to poverty, and that not by 
any extravagance or imprudence on his part, but by 
the decision of the law. Being a person much 
esteemed, great interest was exerted to procure him 
a situation under government, but without efl'ect : 
at last, after suffering so much from poverty, that he 
became disgusted with life, a trifling pension of o£50 
per annum was granted to him, by Queen Anne, out 
of her privy purse. With this little annuity, Mr. 
Shepperton, and the whole of his family, retired into 
Switzerland, near the Alps, and hired a little raouu- 
tain farm, which he managed, with the assistance of 
his sons ; while the girls watched the sheep, milked 



156 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

the cows, and did all those menial offices for the 

family, for which they v/ere too i»oor to pay. 

After residing here for many years, in all the hap- 
piness that rural life, and the domestic afFectious, 
could impart to a family that had to bear the re- 
trospect of former days, an English gentleman of 
fortune, who had known the family in the time of 
affluence, crossing the Alps, stopped at the hurahle 
cottage of Mr. Shepperton ; recognized, to his great 
surprise, his old friend ; and became so enamoured of 
the eldest daughter, that he married her. He offered 
to take the whole family to England, and fix them 
more eligibly ; but they were too liappy to return to 
the scene of their former reverses. 



BRITISH SAILORS. 

At the conclusion of the war in 1814, three 
hundred British sailors, who had been prisoners, were 
assembled on the coast of Britanny, to embark for 
England. Being severally billetted on the inhabi- 
tants for some days before they were embarked, 
one of them requested permission to see the super- 
intendant, jMonsieur Keamie ; which being granted, 
the British tar, in the fulness of a feeling heart, 
thus addresed him :— ** And please your honour, I 
don't come to trouble you with any bother about 
ourselves ; we are all as well treated as Christians 
can be ; but there is one thing that makes my food 
sit heavy on ray stomach, and tliat of my two mess- 
mates."—" What is it, my brave fellow?" replied the 
superiutendant, " the persons on whom you are 
quartered, don't grudge it you?"— "No, your 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 157 

lionour ; if lliey did, that would not vex us."— 
" What then would you complain of ?" — *' Only, 
your lionour, it is, that the poor folk cheerfully lay 
their scanty allowance before us, for our ruess ; and 
we have just found out that they have hardly touched 
a mouthful themselves, or their six babes, for the 
last two days ; and this we take to be a greater 
hardship than any we found in prison 1" — M. 
Kearnie told tliera, that from this hardship they 
should all be relieved : he instantly ordered the 
billets to be withdrawn, and rewarded all parties 
for their humanity, so compassionately exercised, 
and interchanged. 



ANGLO-SAXON FATHER. 

One of the principal pleasures of Alfred the 
Great, was that of visiting all classes cf his subjects. 
In one of these excursions, accompanied by Ethel- 
bert, he repaired to the castle of Albanac, a chief 
of great rank and power, who received his royal 
master with every mark of joy ; he presented lo the 
prince, his wife and three daughters, who were ex- 
tremely beautiful ; but Ethelwitha eclipsed her sisters 
by the dignity of her deportment, and the grace and 
elegance of her person. At supper, she had the 
honour of attending Alfred, who was smitten with 
the blaze of her charms, and lavish in praise of her 
beauty. The impression made on Alfred was too 
visible to escape the penetrating eye of Albanac, who 
communicated to his wife his inquietude at the circum- 
stance. He was not deceived in his conjectures, for 
Alfred bad confided the secret of his passion to Ethcl- 

V 



158 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

bert, who was too much of a courtier not to praise 
his roaster's choice. 

Early in the morning, Albanac knocked at the 
door of the king's apartment, and desired imme- 
diate admittance. Alfred recollecting that it was 
the voice of his host, ordered him to enter, when he 
was struck with the appearance of Albanac, holding 
a drawn sword in one hand ; and in the other, his 
three daughters, in deep mourning, and in the most 
poignant distress. " What is this I see ?" exclaimed 
the king. '* A father," answered Albanac, " whose 
honour is more dear to him than life itself. My 
motive for this proceeding is easily explained. You 
are my king, and I am your subject, but not your 
slave. You are well acquainted with my illus- 
trious ancestors, and it is now proper that you should 
know my sentiments. I may possibly be deceived — 
but I thought last night that you discovered a par- 
ticular attention to my daughters. If you have con- 
ceived the idea of dishonouring my house, you see 
the sword that shall in an instant sacrifice these 
unhappy, but willing, victims ; but if a pure flame 
is kindled in your breast, my alliance will not be 
deemed unworthy of royalty ; choose, therefore, 
and name her that is born to such distinguished 
honour." 

The king, struck with the noble but daring cou- 
rage of Albanac, gave his hand to Ethelwitha, who 
was afterwards proclaimed queen. 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 151> 



FORTUNATE SUPPLICANT. 

In the inclement part of the winter of 178*J, a 
poor girl stood curtseying at the kitchen window 
of an elderly gentleman, in the environs of the me- 
tropolis, who observing the distressed object, and 
the severe weather to which she was exposed, or- 
dered her to be taken into the kitchen, to be well 
warmed and fed. When she was going away, the 
weather was so stormy, that the gentleman ordered 
a bed to be made up for her. Next morning, by 
the master's directions, the servants put her into 
decent clothing, and she was sent into the parlour, 
to thank and take her leave of her kind benefactor. 
The gentleman made some enquiries respecting her, 
and found that she was of a respectable family, 
with which, in early life, he had some acquaintance ; 
and finding her willing to go to service, agreed to 
take her into his house. 

Here, by industry, and good behaviour, in a few 
years she rose from the office of kitchen maid, to 
that of housekeeper, when the old gentleman was 
taken dangerously ill. Her gratitude then redoubled 
her attentions towards him, and he became so at- 
tached to her, that he would not suiFer any other 
person to nurse him. Finding himself grow worse, 
he made his will ; and, with the exception of a few 
trifling legacies, left lier tlie whole of his property, 
amounting to several thousand pounds, plate, fur- 
niture, &c. She afterwards married a gentleman of 
fortune. 



r 2 



160 I'EllCY ANECDOTES, 

THE FORGIVING FATHER. 

Some years ago, a Kentish heiress eloped with a 
young marine, and accompanied by a confidential 
friend to London, the parties were married. The 
next day, the happy pair were surprised at perceiving 
the carriage of the lady's father drive up to the 
house. The old gentleman soon entered their apart- 
ment. " My children," said he, " I come not to 
upbraid you. I opposed your union from no selfish 
motives. My daughter's happiness was all that I 
had in view ; and as I once thought (erroneously I 
hope) that I could no better promote it than by re- 
fusing my consent to your marriage ; so I am now 
convinced, that I could not more eflfcctually destroy 
it than by continuing my resentment." How many 
foul blots in the page of domestic life would have 
been avoided, if all parents had acted with the same 
kindness and prudence as this Kentish squire. 

NAPOLEON'S NIECE. 

Ferdinand VII. of Spain carried his obsequious- 
ness to Napoleon so far, as to ask one of the members 
of his family for a wife. The eldest daughter of 
Lucien Bonaparte was fixed upon, and the match 
was proposed to her when she was on a visit at the 
emperor's court, during the disgrace and exile of her 
father ; but although she was alone, and subjected 
to the solicitations of the whole court, and at last 
assailed by the menaces of Napoleon himself, she 
had the firmness and courage to adhere to her reso- 



DOMF.STIC LIFE. 161 

lution. A friend of hers asking her if she did not 
feel afraid of the consequences of irritating her 
uncie by a refusal, she replied, " 0, que non ! on 
craint pea celiii qu'on n'estime pas." 



EARTHQUAKE AT MESSINA. 

During the dreadful earthquake in Sicily, in 1782, 
the Marchioness de Spadara, at Messina, fainted at 
the instant the earthquake happened, and was carried 
by her husband to tlie fort ; but while he was pre- 
paring a boat for their departure, the lady recovered 
from her fit ; when perceiving that her infant son was 
left behind, she ran away to her house, which was 
still standing, and proceeding to the room where 
the child lay, snatched it up from the cradle. When 
she attempted to return, she found that tlie staircase 
had fallen in. She then ran from one part of the 
house to another, till the whole building was 
destroyed, except a balcony, to which she flew, and 
with the infant in her arras, implored assistance from 
the multitude ; but no one came to her relief, and the 
whole building fell, burying the tender mother and 
her infant in the ruins. 



BISHOPS' WIVES. 

It is not a little remarkable, that although arch- 
bishops and bishops, in some cases, take precedence 
of British lay peers, yet their wives have only the 
plain title of "Mrs." Tliis anomaly was keenly felt 
by the wives of the bishops, in the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth, who feeling tlie great disproportion be- 
p 3 



1G2 DOMESTIC LIFE. 

tween their own rank, and that of tlieir husbandsj 
prevailed on their spouses to petition the queen, to 
place them on a more equal footing. The bishops 
well knew her majesty's temper, and fearing to ex- 
press the wishes of their wives too freely, put their 
request in the form of an interrogation, the substance 
of which was, that ** seeing her majesty had been 
graciously pleased to make them lords, and grant 
them the permission of sitting in the great council 
of the nation, they wished to know what they should 
do with their wives ?" To this request her majesty 
gave the following laconic answer : " What did 
you do with your wives, my lords, before the reform- 
ation ? Why put them behind the doors." 

VICTIM OF DUELLING. 

M. de Walsh, a French officer in the king's 
regiment, only sixteen years of age, who was a 
relation of the Due de la Rochefoucault, had but 
just married a most accomplished lady about his own 
age, when he was called upon to join his regiment. 
He joined, but soon obtained leave of absence, when 
he returned to Paris. He had but just reached his 
hotel, and was cordially embracing his lady, when 
he received a letter that made him instantly change 
colour, and show such confusion, as spoke fearful 
things to his affectionate wife. The officer, however, i 
to relieve her anxiety, burnt the letter, and assured 
her that it contained nothing of importance ; he en- 
treated her not to be alarmed, and led her into the 
adjoining room, where dinner was waiting for them. 
Almost immediately after dinner, M. de Walsh told 



DOMESTIC LIFE. l63 

his lady, that he had forgotten some pa])ers of cou- 
sequence at Fontaiiiebleau, and that the weather 
being fine, he would go in his cabriolet, with only 
his footboy, to fetch thera. He set out almost im- 
mediately, and leaving tlie carriage with the servant 
at ^' illejuif, where he wrote four letters to his friends, 
including one to his wife, he entered the forest 
alone, where a few hours after he was found dead, 
killed, as is supposed, in a duel, though with whom 
for ever remained a secret. 



THE DOUBLE ELOPEMENT. 

The gallant Admiral Rodney had two elopements 
in his family at one time. His second son had long 
courted Lady Catheriiie Nugent, and though he 
had the good fortune to succeed in the favourable 
opinion of the lady, yet he could make no impression 
on the mind of the eccentric and facetious Earl 
Nugent, her father. The young parties therefore 
determined on a trip to Scotland, where a Vulcan 
is always found ready to forge the chains of 
Hymen. While these lovers were in pursuit of the 
completion of their wishes, the second daughter of 
Lord Rodney was prevailed on to follow the example 
of her brother, and in a few days afterwards set out 
on the san.'e journey-, stimulated by the same motives, 
with Captain Chambers of the Guards, son of Sir 
William Chambers, the architect. They had not 
proceeded far on their journey, when they met Mr. 
Rodney and his lady, returning to town, from Gretna 
Green. The rencontre much disconcerted both parties ; 
an explanation, however, soon took place. Mr. 



164 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

Roduey declared he would notinterrupt their journey, 
and doubted not but that a reconciliation with his 
father would soon be eflfected. The news of the 
double elopement reached Lord Rodney at the same 
time J and he was soon reconciled, observing that 
his own family was the only crew that he had been 
unable to govern, and expressing a hope that his 
daughter would never mutiny under her new com- 
mander. 

PETER THE GREAT. 

The joy which Peter the Great felt at the birth of 
his first son, by the Empress Catharine, was only 
equalled by his affliction on the death of the child, 
at the age of two years. On the birth of the infant, 
whom Peter, in a letter to Field Marshal Scheremeteff, 
called a recruit sent from God, he ordered the whole 
army to rejoice. When the child died, the czar 
burst into tears, and abandoned himself to a despair 
from which tlie most fearful consequences were ap- 
prehended, until they were averted by the care and 
unremitted attentions of Catharine, and the ingenuity 
and firmness of the patriotic senator Dolgorucki. 

The czar had shut himself up for three days and 
three nights in his closet, without seeing any person, 
not even his beloved Catharine. He lay on his camp 
bed, took neither victuals nor drink, nor could he 
be diverted from his grief, to attend to the most im- 
portant affairs. The course of justice was suspended, 
the dispatches of ambassadors and generals were un- 
answered, and the most important operations of war 
were at a stand ; the functions of the senate, the 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 1G5 

admiralty, and the college of war, were all suspeude J ; 
and a solemn stillness, accompanied with terror and 
suspense, reigned at court. 

No person, however, was so much to be pitied as 
the Empress Catharine, who besides the loss of her 
son, seemed threatened with that of her husband, 
who gave her no answer, let her knock at his door, 
or call as loud as she could. She sent in the night to 
the senator Dolgorucki, of whose fidelity and favour 
with the czar, she had already had so many proofs, en- 
treating hira to think of some means of drawing tlie 
czar from his retreat, and extricating the empire from 
the danger it was m. Dolgorucki gave her assurance, 
that things should change the next day, and the czar 
be restored to his people. 

The next morning Dolgorucki sent letters to every 
senator, commanding his attendance at court, by order 
of the czarina, to assist in recovering the czar from 
his grief. The senate accordingly assembled at the 
palace, and marched to the door of the room in which 
the czar was lying. Dolgorucki knocked loudly at 
the door of the apartment, without receiving any 
answer : at length he called to the czar, that 
he must open the door, for that he was attended by 
the assembled senate, to lay before his majesty matters 
of the utmost consequence to the interests of the 
empire. The czar now rose, and approached the 
door, but still made uo answer ; on which Dolgorucki 
cried out, " The business, sire, admits of no delay, 
and your majesty must v^pfu the door immediately, 
or we shall be obliged to break it open, and force 
your majesty to exertion, to save the throne and the 
empire.'' 



166 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

When the czar heard this, he opened his door, 
came out, and looking the senators in the face, then 
turned away from them muttering. " What is it 
that causes this disturbance of my rest?" " It is, 
sire," replied Dolgorucki, " that through your won- 
derful absence from us, and through your long and 
useless lamentations over a child, whose life is fied, 
and cannot be recalled, that the whole kingdom is 
falling into confusion ; all the aflfairs of the state 
stand still ; the most favourable operations of 
our arms, both by sea and land, are suspended; 
trade and commerce languish ; and your so 
often depressed enemies, resume spirits from your 
having relinquished the cares of the government : so 
that unless you resume those cares, the states of the 
empire must of necessity elect another monarch." 

This remonstrance brought the czar to his wonted 
presence of mind, and he promised the senate that 
he would rouse himself, and meet them on the next 
day. He then went immediately to the czarina, and 
embracing her very kindly, said, " Now, Catharine, 
it is enough, and we will no longer complain of 
what we ought never to have forgotten was the will 
of God." 

The emperor detained the whole of the senate to 
dinner, and joined so freely in the conversation, as 
gradually to disperse that air of grief, in which his 
face was shrouded. In the afternoon he received 
company, and the next day presided in the senate 
and at the admiralty, as usual. 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 16^ 



GENERAL ST. AMOUR. 

General St. Amour, who distinguished himself in 
the imperial service, was the son of a poor Pied- 
montese peasant. On his obtaining a regiment, the 
officers, who prided themselves on their birth, so 
highly resented his appointment, that four of his 
captains successively challenged him, all of whom he 
fought and conquered. On his dispatching the last 
of the four, he said, there are now only eight left. 
The remaining eight, however, had the prudence to 
smother their unmanly resentment. 

St. Amour, though ready to resent any affront 
that might be put upon him, never forgot his humble 
extraction. While the army was in Piedmont, he 
invited his principal officers to an entertainment, when 
his father happened to arrive just as they were sitting 
down to table. This being announced to the general, 
he immediately arose, and stated to his guests his 
father's arrival ; he said he knew the respect he owed 
to them, but at the same time he hoped they would 
excuse him if he withdrew, and dined with his father 
in another room. The guests begged that the father 
might be introduced, assuring him that they should 
be happy to see one so nearly related to him ; but 
he replied, "Ah, no, gentlemen, my father would 
find himself so embarrassed in company so unsuited to 
his rank, that it would deprive us botli of the only 
pleasure of the interview, the unrestrained inter- 
course of a parent and his son." He then retired, 
and passed the evening with his father. 



168 PEUCY ANECDOTES. 



ARCHBISHOP MOORE. 

The father of Dr. Moore, the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, was a butcher at Gloucester. The 
doctor, when early in life, became private tutor in 
the family of the Duke of Marlborough, to whose 
influence and patronage, he was indebted for his 
clerical elevation. While tutor in this family, his 
father failed in business, and became much distressed ; 
but no sooner was the generous son made acquainted 
with his father's situation, than he allowed him, out 
of his stipend as a tutor, an annual sum sufficient to 
support him decently and comfortably. This allow- 
ance he regularly enlarged on every new preferment 
he obtained ; and when he was made a bishop, he en- 
creased it to (^SOO a year. 

Mr. Watts, a plumber at Brackley, in Northamp- 
tonshire, who had a comfortable independence, kept 
an open table on market days, for the neighbouring 
gentlemen and clergy. Among his guests, was a 
Mr. Moore, then a poor curate, who ceasing to be 
so frequent in his visits as formerly, was asked the 
reason by Mr. Walts, to whom he candidly confessed, 
that as he owed him ten pounds, which he was un- 
able to pay, he felt some delicacy in intruding 'on 
his hospitable table. Mr. Watts begged that this 
circumstance would not prevent him, and offered 
him twenty pounds more. 

In the course of their subsequent lives« Mr. Watts 
fell into decayed circumstances ; and the poor curate 
became Archbishop of Canterbury. In this elevated 
rank, the primate of all England did not forget his 



DOMESTIC LI IE. 169 

generous host, but rendered bis latter years confort- 
able, besides settling an annuity on Mrs. Watt, which 
was regularly paid by the archbishop's executors, 
loncj after his death. 



ANN YEARSLEY'S FAMILY. 

A gentleman of Bristol dining at Clifton, the lady 
of tlie house, in the course of conversation, men- 
tioned that her milk-woman was frequently writing 
verses on the servants, and had lately written an 
acrostic on one of her daughters. The company ex- 
pressing a desire to see the production, it was read, 
and struck the gentleman by its poetical imagery, 
and a peculiar turn of thought. He enquired the 
residence of the milk-woman, and while the party 
sat down to cards, he set out to visit her. He found 
her in a poor hut, destitute of furniture, which had 
been sold to give bread to her family as long as it 
lasted. Her mother, and four little children, were 
sitting on the floor around her ; and all resources 
being exhausted, this melancholy group were as- 
sembled to die together. When the gentleman 
opened the door, they were almost senseless with cold 
and hunger, having had neither food nor fire for two 
or three days. Overcome with a spectacle so truly 
affecting, the humane visitor went home, and sent a 
man with a horse, loaded with every thing that 
could give comfort in their melancholy situation. 
To the family it was an essential relief ; but the poor 
mother was too far exhausted ; the weak state of her 
body and mind, would not permit her to support her 
excess of joy at seeing so providential a deliverance 

Q 



J70 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

of her family, and she expired, without being able to 
partake of the bounty. 

FAMILY PRIDE OF THE ROMANS. 

The modern Romans retain little of the character of 
their ancestors, but their pride, which is still preserved 
with scrupulous dignity, even among the lowest classes 
of society. A few years ago, a wealthy and respect- 
able German paid his addresses to the daughter of a 
barber in Rome ; but notwithstanding the superior 
rank and circumstances of the lover, he received a 
rude and positive refusal from the mother of the 
girl. An English gentleman, who lodged in the 
barber's house at the time, much surprised at this 
behaviour, asked the mother why she acted so im- 
prudently ? " Your daughter," said he, "is wholly 
unprovided for ; surely then you ought to rejoice in 
an opportunity of uniting her to a rich and worthy 
man." " Rejoice in uniting her to a foreigner — a 
barbarian!" exclaimed the woman. "No: and 
were my daughter capable of cherishing so dis- 
graceful an idea, I should not scruple to plunge a 
dagger into her heart." 

AFFECTION'S VICTIM. 

When the unfortunate Louis XVI. and his family 
were attacked by a furious mob, in the palace of 
the Thuilleries, on the memorable 10th of August, 
1792, and while the infuriated populace were dragging 
away a dead body, a lady, with dishevelled hair, and 
a countenance of wild distraction, forced through 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 171 

the crowd. She came to seek a murdered husband ! 
The body was mangled and disfigured ; but it re- 
sembled the adored object she sought. She seized 
the right hand, and found her wedding ring, which 
she had given hira to wear as a token of their mutual 
love. She instantly sunk on the beloved corpse, 
clung round it, and became senseless and motionless. 
Horror struck, the spectators stared, and resolved to 
tear her from the dreadful sight. They did indeed 
separate her from the body of her husband, but she 
had died in the embrace. 

REASONS FOR MARRYING. 

A country justice of the peace, when upwards of 
seventy years of age, married a girl about nineteen, 
and being well aware that he was likely to be rallied 
on the subject, he resolved to be prepared. Accord- 
ingly, when any of his intimate friends called upon 
him, after the first salutations were passed, he was 
sure to begin the conversation, by saying, he be- 
lieved he could tell them news ; they naturally en- 
quired what news ? " Why," says he, " I have 
married my tailor's daughter." If he was asked 
why he did so? the old gentleman replied, "Why, 
the father suited me so well for forty years past, that 
1 thought his daughter might suit me as well for 
forty years to come." 

THE WIFE AND MOTHER. 

While Ca;cinna Pa?tus, the husband of the cele- 
brated Arria, was very dangerously ill, their son, 
«* 2 



172 PEUCY ANECDOTES. 

•who was sick at the same time, died. He was a 
youth of uncommon accomplishments, and fondly 
beloved by bis parents. Arria, fearing that the news 
of his death might endanger the life of her husband, 
prepared and conducted his funeral in such a manner, 
that her husband remained entirely ignorant of the 
mournful event which occasioned that soleratiity. 
Paetus often enquired with anxiety about his son, to 
whom his faithful and affectionate wife cheerfully 
replied, that he had slept well, and was easy ; but if 
her tears, too long restrained, were bursting forth, 
she instantly retired to give vent to her grief. When 
again composed, she would return to Partus with dry 
eyes, and a placid countenance, quitting, as it were, 
all the tender feelings of a mother, at the threshold 
of her sick husband's chamber. 



CHINESE REGRETS. 

A Chinese of forty years of age, who had a very 
passionate mother, frequently received from her a 
sound beating, which he always bore with exem- 
plary patience. A friend, who knew the life the 
poor fellow led, calling on him one day just after he 
had received a severe drubbing from his mother, 
found him dissolved in tears, and quite inconsolable. 
" What," said the friend, " can be the cause of this 
immoderate grief ?" " Ah !" replied the poor fellow, 
** my dear mother did not thrash me half so soundly 
to day as she used to do. Poor creature I her strength 
is fast declining ; I am much afraid that I shall soon 
lose her." 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 173 



HYDER ALLY AND HIS MOTHER. 

Soon after Hyder Ally had been defeated at 
Trhicomalee, his mother, for whom he always enter- 
tained the sincerest alFection, and who, in quality 
of queen-mother, had the right of commanding in the 
seraglio and palace, having received information of 
the check her son had received, and supposing it 
to be greater than it really was, she set out from Hyder 
Nagar to visit her son and his army, notwithstanding 
the Inconvenience of travelling an hundred and fifty 
leagues in the rainy season. She made long journies, 
and arrived at the camp in a few days. When the 
Nabob, who had been apprized of thequeen's departure, 
was informed of her approach, he left the camp, with 
his whole army in parade. The army met the head 
of the queen's retinue at a league distance from the 
camp, at which place they halted, and Hyder and his 
son advanced alone on horseback, till they had joined 
the palanquin of their mother, which was close, and 
covered with muslin. They both bowed as low as 
they could upon their horses, and placing themselves 
on the right and left of the palanquin, the lady con- 
tinued her journey, guarded by her son and grandson, 
and followed by the whole retinue of Hyder. She 
passed through the centre of Hyder's army, who sa- 
luted her as if she had been the prince himself. 

The retinue of Hyder's mother consisted of about 
two hundred ladies, mounted on horses and oxen : 
they were enveloped in large pieces cf thick muslin, 
which prevented even the smallest part of their 
clothes from being seen. They all went before the 
q3 



174 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

palanquin of the queen-mother, which was followed 
by eight garris, or small Indian carriages, covered 
with scarlet cloth, and drawn by large oxen. 
There were likewise ten elephants, and a number of 
camels and beasts of burden. Some European horse- 
men preceded the women, and marched on one side. 
All the retinue was surrounded by about six hundred 
lancers, having feathers and bells to their lances : 
and the horsemen who preceded and followed the 
retinue, were about four hundred in number. 

When the queen-raother was conducted into her 
tent, and Hyder enquired what could induce her to 
make so long a journey, especially at a time when 
the continual rains rendered the roads almost im- 
passible ? " I was anxious, my son," she replied, 
" to see how yon bear the ill fortune you have 
sustained." The prince said, if heaven should put 
him to no greater trial, he should find no difficulty in 
supporting it." " Very well, then," said the mother, 
" since that is the case, I give thanks to God, and 
shall immediately return, that I may be no impedi- 
ment to your operations." 

Two days afterwards, the queen-mother, having 
wished her son every kind of prosperity, departed, 
accompanied by her son and grandson to the place 
where they had met her ; when, after mutual embraces, 
they took their leave. 

THE SWISS SHEPHERDS. 

The shepherds' life in Sanenland, in the canton of 
Berne, holds a middle rank between that of culti- 
vators, and wandering Tartars, or Arabs. Five or 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 175 

six times a year each family changes its habitation j 
and every week one meets the father of his house- 
liolJ, with his wife and children; and preceding 
their herds with some wooden utensils, &c., travel 
like an ancient patriarch in search of a new re- 
sidence. 

In no country are to be seen so many moveable 
cots and houses. When there are buildings erected 
for the cows, eveiy man in moderate circumstances 
prides himself on having a separate house; which, in 
order to guard against the fatal effects of an inundation, 
is so constructed, that it can be taken to pieces. When 
their winter forage is finished, they betake themselves to 
the lowest parts of the mountains, and having there 
consumed all their stock, proceed with" their flocks 
towards the summits. Their march begins with the 
most pleasing solemnity. First goes the most 
beautiful cow of the herd, priding herself in a mag- 
nificent collar and belt : by her side, walks the 
master of the family. Then follow his attendants, 
with the rest of the flocks. Shepherds and cattle 
are all bedecked with garlands of flowers ; every 
part resounds with the jingling of bells, lowing of 
cows, and the cheerful notes of the herdsmen. The 
smallest flocks follow, and the wife and children 
close the procession. Towards the end of August, 
they again descend to the lowest parts ; and as winter 
approaches, return to their warm retreats in the vale, 
to wait the return of spring, and the same circle of 
pleasure. 

While we cannot but admire this innocent and 
happy life of the shepherds of Sanenland, we must 
not forget that it favours no invention ; for it is the 



176 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

wants which the passions and riches of mankind have 
created, that have ever been the mother of arts j and 
the extended societies of men, that have favoured 
the discoveries and researches of genius. 



AFFECTIONATE DAUGHTERS. 

In the sanguinary scenes which took place in Paris 
on the 2nd and 3rd of September, 1792, there was 
an almost general massacre of all the persons con- 
fined in the capital. Cazotte was in the prison of the 
Abbaye. When the assassins were approaching him, 
his daughter placed herself before him, and shielding 
him with her body, exclaimed," You shall not reach the 
heart of my father, until you have first pierced mine." 
The weapons for once fell from the hands of the assassins 
bloodless ; they felt some pity and admiration for the 
Jieroic and affectionate daughter, and conducted her 
and her father in triumph to their house. But their 
respite, alas ! was short. Cazotte was arrested a 
second time, and conducted before the revolutionary 
tribunal ; was condemned to death ; and his daughter, 
who never for a moment quitted the tribunal, was 
consigned to prison, until her father was executed, 
lest she should again excite compassion in his 
favour. 

During the reign of terror in France, M. de Som- 
breuil was calmly awaiting tlie stroke of death, and 
the assassins had raised their daggers to despatch 
him, when a young woman darted forward into the 
midst of them, crying out, ** Stop, barbarians ; this 
is my fatlier !" She then fell on her knees, kissed 
the bloody hand of the premeditated assassin of her 



DOMESTIC LIFE. 177 

parent, prayed, entreated, and oflfered herself a 
sacrifice for her father ; at length she rose, and 
shielding him in her arms, thought she perceived 
tliat the rage of the assassins was subdued, and that 
her prayers had disarmed them. The monsters agreed 
to save her fatlier's life, if she would drink a glass 
of blood. At such a proposal, the heroine shrunk 
with liorror ; slie drew back, and turned pale ; but 
recollecting that it was the only means of saving a 
father's life, she submitted to the sacrifice, and pre- 
served the life of her father ; thougli it had nearly 
cost her own, for she was seized with severe convul- 
sions, from which she with difficulty recovered. 

M. Dellegran was arrested at Lyons, but an order 
arriving to transfer him to the prison of the Conciergerie 
in Paris, his daughter asked permission to accompany 
him in the voiture in which he was conducted. This 
favour being refused. Mademoiselle Dellegran fol- 
lowed the carriage from Lyons to Paris ; and some- 
times at tlie difterent posts where it rested, she was 
able to interchange a look, or a word of affection and 
consolation, with her much loved parent. When they 
arrived in Paris, she was compelled to separate from 
him, and she trembled to think that the separation 
might be permanent. During three months, she 
never ceased to solicit from every person she 
thought had the least power or influence, an inter- 
ference in behalf of her father. Day after day she 
attended at the gate of tlie prison, in the hope that 
the iron-hearted gaoler might be softened, to admit 
her to an interview with her father, but in vain. At 
length, after innumerable solicitations, she had the 
good fortune to obtain an order fur her father's libe- 



178 PERCY ANECDOTES. 

ration. Furnished with this order, she flew to the 
prison, and throwing herself into the arras of her 
father, announced to him the happy intelligence. 
Released from his chains, she conducted him back 
in triumph towards Lyons, but did not live to witness 
the joy of his arrival in the midst of his family. 
The mental and bodily fatigue she had undergone, 
which had been kept under while her father's life was 
in jeopardy, were now found to have made fatal 
inroads on her constitution ; and notwithstanding the 
aid of medical skill, she died on their route to Lyons, 
leaving a father inconsolable for the loss of so virtuous 
and affectionate a daughter. 




INDEX. 



ANECDOTES OF DOMESTIC LIFE. 



Admiration, Infant 96 

Affections, direcrin» the .... 20 

Alexander Ihe Great 29 

Amazon, faithful Ij8 

Amour, General St. J67 

Appiiis and hisSon 53 



Barnes, Joshua 

Benefits of Expectancv. 

Bereaved Father '. . 

Bishops' Wives 

Brilifh Sailors 

Bridal Nii;ht,a 

Bride, spirited, a 



Caliph, the Just 

Caroline, Qnctnof George 1 1. 
Catharine, Empress . 
Ceremony, singular Marriage 

Charlotte, Princess 

Chinese Regrets 

Choice of a Husband 

Coincidences, extraordinary. 
Corneille 



Conple, happy 

Crime without Gailt 
Crosses, family 



Darius, children of. 
Daughter, gallant . 
•s Choice 



.. 60 

.. 74 

Daughters, affectionate .... 176 

Death from Grief 114 

Demetrius 3! 

Detention, fatal 59 

Easle and Child 137 

Earthquake at Messina 161 

Elopement, the double 163 

Exiles, German 54 

Family Compact 136 

^oflheSuns 46 

in the Woods 114 

Man's Answer to a 

Challenge M6 

Necessity 14" 



Family Pride of the Romans. 

Fatal Obstinacy 

Father, Anglo-Saxon 

, forgiving, the 

Fathers, fond 

Female Improver 

Influence 

Filial Piety 

Devotion 

Forceof Habit 

Fortunate Discovery 

Supplicant 

Fraternal Devotion 

Friendship, consideiate .... 

George II 

^111 

Ghost Secret, a 

Gracchi, mother ot the 

Happv Temper 

^"-Son-..^ 

Heiress, humble 

Heroism and H uraanity 

Hindoo Widows 

Home, a Persian's idea of an 

English 

Honour, Highland 

Husband, magnanimous .... 
Hyder Ally and his Mother .. 

Indu8tr\- Rewarded 

Inseparable Brothers 

Irisii Cabin, a 

Peasantry 

Johnson, Dr 

Louis XVI. and his Family .. 

Love's Exertions 

Lowth, Dr 



170 

:o4 

157 

160 

9 

86 

133 

12 

107 

102 

118 

159 

44 

145 

126 

93 

91 



Mahommedan Sirdar 

Miking a Curate Happy 

Malsherbe* 

.Marriage, a Second .... 
-•• Portions 



Marrying, reasons for 



153 
56 
58 
115 
111 

128 
152 
73 

139 
116 
62 
34 
86 
171 



INDEX. 



Master, generous 

MaternalJov 

Melancholy Mistakes. 
Metellus and his Son. 
Moore, Archbishop... 

Mother and Wclf 

, GratetuI ... 

, Maityred ... 



Schoolmaster, unfortunate.. 
I j Servant, an Old 



Napoleon's Niece 

Not taking a Wife to the Show 
Nuptial Funeral, the 

Cereniouie:*, onjjinof 6 

Old Habits 90 



Patriot Mother.. 
Peter the Great 
Poor Jack 



75 

164 

52 

Recognition, affecting: 58 

Respect to Age \ 17 

Instructors 20 

Returning from Slavery .... 50 

Revolutionary Victims 134 

Rival Brothers 24 

Rock of the Mother, the .... 40 

Rovere, Madame 96 

Royal Family Circle S9 

Sacrifice, parental 76 

Saving from Fire 70 



Sharp Work 

Shrews 

Sisterly Aftectioi! 

Slavery of Mothers in early 



Somerset, proud Duke of.... 
Steele aniona: his Children .. 
Sutherland, Earl and Countess 

Swedish Children 

Swiss Shepherds, the 

Sympathy, family 

Taking Advice 

Taylor, Sir Robert 

Tomb of the two Lovers .... 



Ugolino and his Children.... 103 

Vicissitudes 155 

Victim of Duelling 162 

, affection's 170 

W^fe of Polyxenu* 28 

and Molher,the I71 

Woman, the White 77 

Youthand Age, marrying .. 59 

Yearsiey's, Ann, Family .... 169 



London : D. Cartvvright, Printer, 91, Baitholomew Close. 



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