Imagini ale paginilor

by the modern system of sermon-reading. Surely, the heads of the men are as sound, and the Masters of Arts more numerous, than they were fifty years ago—and yet,' How are we fallen!'

In this Museum stands also another relic of important events-" Jenny Geddes's Stool." Jenny kept a stall in the High Street of Edinburgh, about the year 1660. At this period, Charles the Second attempted, in opposition to public opinion, to establish Episcopacy in Scotland. The Sabbath-day arrived, when, in obedience to the king's proclamation, prayers were to be read in all the churches. Jenny sat, as usual, on her stool, immediately under the reading-desk. The organ thundered a solo : Jenny sent forth a heavy groan. The bishop arose, with his white surplice, black gown, powdered wig, white band, and all. She thought it was auld Antichrist himsel'. He called upon the Dean to read the collect for the day. This was too much for Jenny's orthodoxy. Up she jumped, exclaiming, in her broad Scotch dialect, The muckle De'il colic the wame o' ye! Will ye say mass in ma face?' She concluded by flinging the stool violently at his head; and thus commenced an insurrection which continued for twenty-eight years, and finally terminated in the overthrow of the Stewarts, by the Revolution of 1688, which placed the present family on the throne of Britain. In the same room hangs a blue silk flag, taken from the Covenanters at the battle of Bothwell Brigg, in the year 1556. It bears the following motto:



A most vivid account of this battle is contained in Scott's history of Old Mortality, in the Tales of My Landlord.'


New-York, August, 1834.


FAREWELL to thy verdure and beauty, O Summer—
To thy radiance, resting on meadow and tree,—
Thou resignest thy reign to a pleasant new-comer-
The peaceful September succeedeth to thee.

For, far through the infinite ether is moving

The thistle's white down, on the wandering air:
The brook with cadence of sadness is roving,-

For its banks with young blossoms no longer are fair.

The gale seems to moan, as its hurrying pinion

Flits over the fields that but now were so gay;
A change has been wrought in that golden dominion,
Which freshened the wind on its wandering way.

The dominion of Summer! Its waters and roses

The pomp of its clouds at the sun-set and dawn,
Where the Spirit of Beauty serenely reposes :-
The birds' happy carol, the emerald lawn-

All these are no more, and the pleasure is over,
Which to every breast in profusion they gave;

G. T.

[blocks in formation]



SIR-If I had more leisure, I should most willingly give you any such communications (that might be within my reach) as would serve to keep up the reputation of your Museum. At present, occupied as I am with my agriculture and correspondences, I can promise little. Perhaps some gentleman connected with me may make some selections from my repositories: and I beg you will be persuaded, that I can have no reluctance to permit any thing to be communicated, that might tend to establish truth, extend knowledge, excite virtue, and promote happiness among mankind. With best wishes for your success,

I am, Sir, your most ob't. h'ble serv't,




THERE was, about forty years since, in Dublin, a low Newgate solicitor, of the name of Timothy Brecknock, who rescued a robber from the gallows by a most extraordinary manœuvre. The robbery had been perpetrated on the highway, about midnight, when the moon was at the

full, and shone almost as clearly as the sun when half an hour high. The robber was taken. The gentleman who was robbed, and his servant, both positively swore to his identity, and he appeared doomed, inevitably, to the gallows. In this extremity, he sent to Brecknock, who interrogated him as to his guilt, of which he made confession. Brecknock asked him how much money he had? He said, "Thirty pounds." "Let me have it," says Brecknock," and I think I will cheat the gallows of its due." Accordingly he got the money, and employed a printer to print a leaf of an almanac for the month in question, and the one on the back of it. In the former he put off the rising of the moon till three o'clock in the morning. He had a number of the almanacs done up with this leaf introduced, and went to the houses in the neighborhood of the court, asking, under some plausible pretence, for the almanac, and exchanging his edition for them, lest the fraud should be detected by comparison when the trial came on. Brecknock let the crown lawyers exhaust their eloquence, and when every person in court presumed it to be a lost case, he expatiated on the effect of panic in dazzling the faculties and confounding the judgment, and appealed to the court, whether there ever was a stronger case than the present. It must," he observed, "have been as dark as pitch; as the moon did not rise for three hours afterwards; yet the panic made the witnesses suppose it was clear light, whereas they could not see half a yard before them. Other almanacs were sent for, lest there might be some error in the one produced. They all corresponded: the witnesses were confounded: the judge gave a favorable charge; and the criminal was acquitted.


But Brecknock, although he had the skill, or rather the craft, to cheat the gallows in this instance, could not do as much for himself. He was an accessary to a murder, committed by a notorious character of the name of Fitzgerald. Both were found guilty, and in spite of all the influence exerted by the friends of the latter, he and his accomplice were hanged. So powerful and so numerous were the friends and partisans of Fitzgerald, that a large body of soldiers, three or four hundred in number, was paraded to prevent a rescue.

This Fitzgerald was, unless my memory deceives me, the great duellist who was so happily hit off as fighting Fitzgerald,' in a London periodical-who killed above a dozen individuals-and of whom some French prince said, his adventures ought to be bound up with those of "Jack the Giant-killer."



Two Quakers, brothers, lived in Philadelphia some years since, whose names I forbear to mention. One of them, rather soft in the head,' was applied to for goods, by a plausible old fellow, who paid nobody, but whose roguery was unknown to the Quaker. While the goods were being packed up, the other brother came in, and asked the merchant to whom he had made so large a sale? He replied, giving the name of the purchaser. "Why, brother," said he, "art thou mad? The man is a great rogue, and will never pay thee-he pays nobody." "What shall

[ocr errors]


I do? what shall I do?" says the seller-"I shall be ruined." says the other, "I shall try to extricate thee;" and away he goes to the purchaser. Says he, "Friend R, I understand thee has been making a purchase of my brother. He is a poor, narrow-minded creature, and will tease thee for the money before it is half due. Give up the purchase. I have a large stock of goods, and can supply thee on much better terms than my brother." The sharper, forgetting the old fable of the dog and the shadow, went back to the seller, and made some apology for declining the purchase. He then started off to the store to which he had been so kindly invited, and began to lay off some goods. "Friend R," says the merchant, "let me know first who is thy indorser, that I may consider whether or not I will accept him." "Indorser! indorser!" exclaimed the other, who began to smell a rat,' and to suspect, that with all his craft, he had been out-witted by a plain Quaker : "You said nothing about an indorser when you offered the goods." Why man, does thee think I am such a fool as to give thee my goods without a good indorser? No! no! that will not do: give me a good indorser, and thee may have as many goods as thee pleases." Thus was the biter bit; and R- sneaked off quietly, humbled and grieved at the




This Quaker, who thus brought off his brother with flying colors, was at the same table with two Philadelphia dandies. There were two partridges and a small turkey smoking upon the board. The bucks, looking down on the plain Quaker, took each a partridge. The Quaker, without complaint, sticks his fork in the turkey, and placing it on his plate, says: "Well, friends, every man his bird, say I." The bucks were glad to compromise, and give him a share of the birds, in order to partake of the turkey.



GODFREY KNELLER, one of the vainest men that ever lived, was sitting, says SPENSE, one day with Pope, when his nephew, a Guinea trader, came in, to whom Kneller said: "You have the honor of seeing two of the greatest men in the world." "I do not know," says the other, "how great you may be; but I do not like your looks. I have often bought a man much better than both of you together, all muscles and bones, for ten guineas."



FREDERICK WILLIAM, father of Frederick styled the Great, relates Thiebault, having struck an officer on parade, the latter stopped his horse, and drawing one of his pistols, said: Sire, you have dishonored me, and I must have satisfaction;" at the same time he fired his pistol over the king's head, exclaiming "That is for you." Then, drawing the other, and aiming it at his heart, he said, "This is for me ;" and shot himself dead on the spot. The king never struck an officer afterwards.



THE same monarch was fond of painting, but was a miserable dauber. He showed one of his paintings to a courtier, and asked what it could be sold for? The courtier, to flatter him, said "A hundred ducats." "Take it, then," said the king: "I will sell it to you for fifty."



SOME person had been speaking to Le Sage, the author of Gil Blas, about the perpetual complaints of the English, in spite of all their privileges and advantages. "Surely," replied he, " they are the most unhappy people on the face of the earth, with liberty, property, and-three meals a-day."



THE picture drawn by Boswell, in his tour to the Hebrides, of the wretchedness of the inhabitants of those islands, is most revolting. Their huts had no light but what was admitted at the entrance, and through a hole in the thatch which gave vent to the smoke.

In the highlands, he observes, it was formerly a law, that if a robber was sheltered from justice, any man of his clan might be taken in his place.

In one of the Scotch rebellions, says the same unmatched personal bore, but most entertaining author, the Frazers were violently opposed to the British government. Lovat, the chief of the clan, was in exile for a rape and being pardoned, went to the English camp, when the clan immediately deserted to him in a body.



THE meadows in Valencia, in Spain, according to Fischer's 'Valencia,' may be worked for eight months in the year. The mulberry trees renew their leaves three or four times annually. The same soil produces corn, pulse, and vegetables, in uninterrupted succession, and rewards the husbandman with forty, fifty, nay, even an hundred per cent.



WHEN James Ross was a candidate for the office of governor of the state of Pennsylvania, some libeller charged him, in one of the newspapers, with having administered the sacrament to a dog. The charge, which at that time could not be disproved, operated perniciously among a religious population. Not knowing the relative proportion

« ÎnapoiContinuă »