Page images

Camilio, the sonne of Prosper, the sonne of Theodoro, the sonne of John, the sonne of Thomas, second brother of Constantine Paleologus, the 8th of the name, and last of that lyne that rayned in Constantinople until subdued by the Turks; who married with Mary, the daughter of William Balls, of Hadlye, in Souffolke, gent., and had issue 5 children, Theodoro, John, Ferdinando, Maria, and Dorothy; and departed this life at Clyfton, the 21 st ofJanyl636."

Above the inscription are the imperial arms proper of the empire of Greece—an eagle displayed with two heads, the two legs resting upon two gates; the imperial crown over the whole, and between the gates a crescent for difference as second son.

Clyfton, above mentioned, was an ancient mansion of the Arundel family in the parish of Landulph.


We have all heard that neither serpents nor any venomous thing can exist in Ireland; the fact is asserted by the gravest historians of old times. Giraldus Cambrensis tells the following story in his Irish history, and says the thing happened in his time.

"One day a knot of youngsters in the north of England went to take a nap in the fields. As one of them lay snoring with his mouth wide open, as though he would catch flies, an ugly serpent or adder slipped into his mouth and glided down into his belly, where, harbouring itself, it began to roam up and down, and to feed on the youth's entrails. This 'greedy guest' sorely tormented him for a long time. The worm would never cease from gnawing the patient's carcass, but when he had taken his repast, and his meal was no sooner digested than it would give a fresh onset in boring his guts. Divers remedies were sought,—as medicines, pilgrimages to saints,— but all would not prevail. Being at length schooled by the grave advice of some sage and expert father, who willed him to make his speedy repair to Ireland, where neither snake nor adder would live, he presently thereupon would tract no time, but busked himself over sea and arrived in Ireland. He had no sooner drunk of the water of that island and eaten of the victuals thereof, but forthwith he killed the snake, avoided it downwards, and so, being lusty and lively, he returned into England." This curious story is repeated by old William Winstanley in his ' Historical Rarities,' which is now a rare book.



These is a curiously written modern German romance which has attracted extraordinary attention from the singular nature of the main incident, on which the whole story turns. Peter Schlimmel, the hero ef the tale, is a shadowless man, having sold his shadow, as Doctor Faustus sold his soul, to the devil, for certain valuable considerations. Whether by the light of sun, moon, stars, torches, lamps, chandeliers, wax-lights, tallow candles, or bonfires, the body of Peter casts no shade either hefore him, or behind him, or on either side of him; and the deprivation of this valuable appendage proves the curse of his life, for he finds that nobody can tolerate a man without a shadow. Even in the happiest moments of love, when abroad with him in groves and moonshine the mistress of his soul is about to yield to his ardent suit, he loses all his advantages by her companion's discovering his defect and suddenly exclaiming, " God bless ray soul! the gentleman has got no shadow 1"—on which the ladies shriek and withdraw. Whenever Peter appears in the streets, the little boys shout after him, "There goes the man that has got no shadow 1" In short, Peter very soon repents of his bargain, and would give the devil his substance to get his shade back again.

Very few of the persons who have been amused by this extravagant idea of a man without a shadow are aware that the notion is a very ancient one, and that according to the Greeks the gods deprived men of their shades for a certain act of intrusion or impiety. Theopompus, as quoted by Polybius, seriously asserts that all those who dared to enter the temple of Jupiter in Arcadia were punished with a strange chastisement—i. e. their bodies no longer gave any shadow.

Fausanias repeats the same story in a somewhat more circumstantial manner, and adds a punishment which seems at first sight more serious than the loss of one's shade. He says that on Lycaaus, a mountain of Arcadia, there was a place held sacred to Jupiter and inaccessible to mortals; and that if any man braved the prohibition and entered therein, from that time his body, though exposed to the rays of the sun, cast no shadow, and he died within a year.—See Theopomp. ap. Polyb. lib. xvi. and Pausan. in Arcad.


Oke of the most celebrated dilemmas is one of the most ancient. A rhetorician had instructed a youth in the art of pleading, on condition that he was to be remunerated only in case his pupil should gain the first cause in which he was engaged. The youth immediately brought an action against his teacher, of which the object was to be freed from the obligation which he had contracted, and then endeavoured to perplex his instructor with this dilemma: "If I gain my suit," said he, "the authority of the court will absolve me from paying you; if I lose, I am exonerated by our contract." The rhetorician answered by a similar dilemma: "If you gain your suit, you must pay me according to our contract; if you lose the suit, you must pay in compliance with the decision of the court."

A just but severe man built a gallows on a bridge, and asked every passenger whither he was going: if he answered truly, he passed unharmed; if falsely, he was hanged on the gallows. One day a passenger, being asked the usual question, answered, "I am going to be hanged on the gallows." "Now," said the gallowsbuilder, "if I hang this man, he will have answered truly, and ought not to have been hanged; if I do not hang him, he will have answered falsely, and ought to have been hanged." It is not recorded what decision he came to.

A late Act of Parliament, the Anatomy Bill, seems to have passed by virtue of the following dilemma, which was often urged in its favour: "If a medical man dissects, he is punishable for a misdemeanour; if he does not dissect, he is punishable for the mala praxis which results from his ignorance of anatomy." It would have been unkind to smash both horns of so pretty a dilemma, and therefore nobody answered as follows:

"First Hobs-breaker.—Some persons dissect less than they ought to do from idleness, poverty, or disgust; but no man on account of dissection being a misdemeanour; for though punishable, it is never punished.

"Second Horn-Breaker. Prosecutions for mala praxis are so rare that they do not disturb the sleep or blunt the appetite of the most timid doctor ; besides which, the ground of prosecution in such cases is not the want of that maximum of knowledge which might be attained in a happier state of things, but of that minimum which may be easily procured even now; in fact, a man is prosecuted for the want of average attainments, or average attention."

Yet was the Act, perhaps, a useful one, though it rested on the horns of a very foolish dilemma.


The province of Gascony, in France, is now divided into the four departments of the Landes, Gers, Arriege, and the Upper Pyrenees, and contains about a million of inhabitants. They have long been celebrated for their lively sallies, called Gasconades (in French, Gasconnades, with twon's), the point of which consists in an immoderate boasting of wit, wealth, or valour. The Dictionary of the French Academy, to illustrate the meaning of Gasconnade, gives, as an example: "I! dit qu'il se battroit contre dix hommes; c'est une Gasconnade :" i. e., He says he would fight ten men; 'tis a Gasconade.

Of course, however, the fame of Gasconades does not depend on mere flat boasting like this, but on the intermixture of wit and piquancy with the most prodigious self-exaltation. The following are some of the best examples we have met with. We found them in one of the volumes of Constable's Miscellany.

A Gascon preacher stopped short in the pulpit: it was in vain that be scratched his head; nothing would come out. "My friends," said he, as he walked quietly down the pulpit stairs, "my friends, I pity you; for you have lost a fine discourse."

A young Gascon arrived at Paris for the first time: it was in summer, and he went to see the Tuileries immediately on his arrival. When he saw the gallery of the Louvre; "Upon my honour," said he, " I like it vastly: methinks I see the back of my father's stables,"

A Gascon officer, hearing some one celebrating the exploits of a prince who, in two assaults upon a town, had killed six men with his own hand: " Bah 1" said he, " I would have you to know that the very mattresses I sleep upon are stuffed with nothing else but the whiskers of those whom I have sent to slumber in the other world!"

A Gascon, in proof of his nobility, asserted, that in his father's castle they used no other fire-wood but the batons of the different mareschals of France of his family.

« PreviousContinue »