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Bishops' signatures.—In several instances the bishops, when signing their names, use the old Latin appellations, or abbreviations of them, for their sees instead of the English ones. Thus Ebor. stands for York, Cantuar. for Canterbury, Vigorn. for Worcester, and Exon. for Exeter. Some well-meaning people are occasionally much perplexed by these subtleties. Thus, an eminent bookseller having received a letter announcing the writer's intention to publish the life of Pitt, paid no attention to it, till mentioning to a friend that he had received proposals to that effect from a person he knew nothing about, one Mr. George Winton, he was not a little astounded to be told that George Winton was no other than George, Bishop of Winchester. When the Princess Charlotte was labouring under an indisposition, the Bishop of Salisbury sent frequent written inquiries to her Scotch physician, signing himself J. Sarum. The doctor, unversed in these niceties, observed to a friend that he had been much pestered with notes from "ane Jean Saroom, that he ken'd nothing aboot. I tak nae notice o' the fellow," said he.

O Memory, thou fond deceiver !—The following story is abridged from Clarendon. Sir Julius Csesar, Master of the Rolls, having, by the interference of the court, been prevented from giving to his own son an appointment he had designed for him, the Earl of Tullibardine, a near relation of Mr. Csesar, endeavoured to procure for the latter a promise of a reversion of a six-clerks' place in case his father should die before another occasion of serving him should offer. Lord Treasurer Weston, Earl of Portland, was the person to whom he principally applied, but he, being an absent careless man, forgot to do what Lord Tullibardine had desired; namely, to get the King's sign manual for the appointment. To assist his bad memory, he requested Lord T. to give him a note in 'writing, which he accordingly did; only putting upon a small piece of paper the two words, "Remember Csesar." Many days passed, but Csesar was never thought of. At length, when he changed his clothes, and his servant as usual had brought to him all the notes and papers found in those he had left off, he discovered the little billet inscribed "Remember Csesar," and was exceedingly confounded, and knew not what to think of it. He sent for his bosom friends; communicated to them his apprehensions that it could only signify some conspiracy against his life; and that in the case of Csesar himself, the neglect of such notice had terminated, as they all knew, in his assassination. On their advice, therefore, he feigned indisposition, confined himself to the house, had the gates shut, with orders to the porter to open them to nobody whatsoever, and a guard of many servants placed there to resist violence. This continued for some time, till the Earl of Tullibardine having obtained an interview, and asking him with some earnestness whether he had remembered Csesar, at once opened his eyes to the real cause of all his perturbation and trouble; and, as he could not forbear imparting it to his friends, the whole jest thus came to be discovered.

Puns on names.—A person, whose name was Gun, complaining to a friend that his attorney in his bill had not let him off easily: "That is no wonder," he replied, "as he charged you too high."

A Mr. Alexander Gun, belonging to the Customs at Edinburgh, having been dismissed for improper conduct. the entry of the fact in the books stood thus: "A. Gun, discharged for making a false report."

The Cavaliers, during the protectorate, were accustomed in their libations to put a crumb of bread into a glass of wine, and, before they drank it, say, "God send this Crumb-well down."

During the wars of the French Revolution, one Rapinat, who was sent into Switzerland to raise money, pillaged the country so unmercifully, as to compel the government to recall him ; upon which the following epigram appeared at Paris:


Un bon Suisse que Ton ruine,
Voudrait bien que Ton decidat,

Si Rapinat vient de Rapine,
Ou Rapine de Rapinat?

Precedence among small folk.—The observation of theSpectator, (No. 119,) that, generally speaking, " there is infinitely more to do about place and precedence in a meeting of justices' wives, than in an assembly of duchesses," is an obvious truism. Duchesses can have no disputes. Their rank is known to every one with whom they are likely to associate, and they are exempt from the confusion and perplexities of a promiscuous drawing-room. "I have known my friend Sir Roger de Coverley's dinner almost cold," adds the Spectator, " before the company could adjust the ceremonials of precedence, and be prevailed upon to sit down to table."

In the "Right of Precedence," attributed to Swift, a very pleasant expedient is proposed to the lovers of precedence. "I would farther observe," says he, "for the use of those who love place without a title to it either by law or heraldry; as some have a strange oiliness of Bpirit which carries them upwards, and mounts them to the top of all companies, (company being often like bottled liquors, where the light and windy parts hurry to the head, and fix in froth),—I would observe, I say, that there is a secret way of taking place without sensible precedence, and, consequently, without offence. This is an useful secret, and I will publish it here, from my own practice, for the benefit of my countrymen, and the universal improvement of man and womankind.

"It is this: I generally fix a sort of first meridian in my thoughts before I sit down, and instead of observing privately, as the way is, whom in company I may sit above in point of birth, age, fortune, or station, I consider only the situation of the table by the points in the compass, and the nearer I can get to the East, (which is a point of honour for many reasons,—-porrecta majestas ad ortum solis,) I am so much the higher; and my good fortune is, to sit sometimes, or for the most part, due East, sometimes E. by N. seldom with greater variation; and then I do myself honour, and am blessed with invisible precedency, mystical to others; and the joke is, that by this means I take place (for place is but fancy) of many that sit above me; and while most people in company look upon me as a modest man, I know myself to be a very assuming fellow, and do often look down with contempt on some at the upper end of the tableBy this craft, I at once gratify my humour, (which is pride,) and preserve my character, and am at meat as wise men would be in the world,: Extremi primorum, extremis usque priores.*

"And to this purpose, my way is to carry a little pocketcompass in my left fob, and from that I take my measures imperceptibly, as from a watch, in the usual way of comparing time before dinner; or, if I chance to forget that, I consider the situation of the parish church, and this is my never failing regulator."


The fact appears incredible, but there was once an alderman who was a poet! This was Robert Fabian, a man born and bred in the city of London, who, after bearing many civic honours, was chosen sheriff in 1493. He wrote "two large chronicles," with introductory verses: the one being a history of England, from the landing of Brutus to the death of King Henry the Second; the other, from the first year of King Richard to the death of Henry the Seventh. "He was," saith Winstanley, quoting from an older biographer, "of a Very merry disposition, and used to entertain his guests as well with good victuals as good discourse. He bent his mind much to the study of poetry, which, according to those times, passed for current." We have no doubt his dinners had a good deal to do in making people tolerate his verses, which (though as good as any of that day) are mere doggerel.

Sir John Suckling, in his Contest of the poets of his time for the laurel, makes Apollo adjudge it to an alderman for the same reason:

"He openly declar'd it was the best sign
Of good store of wit, to have good store of wine;
And without a syllable more or less said,
He put down the laurel on the alderman's head.

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