Page images

instead of the present offensive version, which is, " there were also two other malefactors led with him to be put to death;" it will be, “ two others, malefactors," &c. Indeed, the latter was the sense of the English version in 1583; " and there were two others, which were evil doers, led with him to be slain.!!

J. B-N. Printing and Publishing. About eight hundred new books are regularly published every year in the metropolis, amounting in value to about 2401. for one copy of each work. The gross annual returns, arising from the printing and selling of books, are not much short of a million sterling ; and these trades furnish employment for upwards of two, thousand


J. BN,

Man. PHILOSOP!Ens have puzzled themselves how to define man, so as to distinguish him from other animals. Burke said, “ Man is an animal that cooks its victuals." " Then,” said Johnson, “the proverb is just; there is reason in roasting of eggs',” Dr. Adam Smith has hit this case :

Man is an animal which contracts or makes a bargain; no other animal does this. One dog does not exchange a bone with another.”

[ocr errors]

J. BN.


A man who had many dangerous enemies, consulted the Oracle, to know whether he should abandon his country. He received for answer: Domine stes securus. Shortly afterwards, his house was set on fire, and he barely escaped with life. Reflecting on the answer given by the Oracle, he 'discovered, but too late, that he ought to have understood it thus: Domi ne stes seturus.

J. BN.

Romeo and Juliet.

This appears to have been always a very favourite and popular tragedy. Old Marston, the satirist, so long

since as


year 1598, has the following lines in one of his poems:

“ Luseus, what's play'd to-day? Faith, now I know;

1 set thy lips abroach, from whence doth flow
Nought but sweet Juliet and Romeo !"

J. B-M.

Red Sea.

So called, not from any redness of either water or we

weeds, &c. but because anciently styled the sea of Edom, (as being partly on the coast of Edom.) The Greeks, knowing that Edom signified red, by mistake called it the Erythrean, or Red Sea.

Collyer's Sac. Int. The following is copied from an old book, where it is said to have cost the author much foolish labour, for it is a perfect verse, and every word is the same, both backward and forward :

D. C.

Odo tenet mulum, madidam mappam tenet Anna.

Monthly Mag. D. C.

THERE is a custom at Braintree, in Essex, which seems to have originated in the introduction of peg tankards, by Edgar, in order to repress drunkenness. Vide Enquirer, vol. ii. p. 69.—A pint of beer is divided into three parts or draughts; the first is called Neckum, the second Sinkum, and the third Swankum, or Swank ; which, in Bailey's Dictionary, is said to be “that remainder of liquor at the bottom of a tankard, cup, which is just sufficient for one draught; which it is not accounted good manners to divide with the left. hand man; and, according to the quantity, is called either a large or little Swank.”

pot, or

D. C.

When Sir Thomas More was Lord High Chancellor of England, his integrity and expedition were so great in the discharge of his duty, that after a few years, on calling for another cause, he was informed that all suits in that court depending, and ready for hearing, were finally determined ;--this occasioned the following lines :

When More some years had Chancellor been,

No More suits did remain;
But that shall never More be seen,
Till More be there again.

Literary Panorama.

D. c.

Hobson's Choice, this or none; is derived from one Hobson, who let out horses at Cambridge, and obliged such as wanted one to take that next the stable door, being the one which had had most rest. Bourne, in his Poemata, has the following lines upon this circumstance:


Complures (ita, Granta, refers) Hobsonus alebat
In stabulo longo, quos locitaret equos,
Hac lege, ut foribus staret qui proximus, ille
Susciperet primas, solus et ille, vices,
Aut hunc, aut nullum-sua part sit cuique laboris

Aut hunc, aut nullum--sit sua cuique quies
Conditio obtinuit, nulli violanda Togato ;
Proximus hic foribus, proximus esto vice.
Optio tam prudens eur nori huc usque retenta est?
Tam bona cur unquam lex abolenda fuit ?
Hobsoni veterem normam revocare memento;
Tuqne iterum, Hobsoni, Granta, videbis equos. *



The character of Becket, which has been assailed with much obloquy, and extolled with much panegyric, will be best ascertained by the unbiassed steadiness of a middle course of delineation. He was, without controversy, a man of strong abilities, great discernment, and some erudition. His manners and deportment were graceful and insinuating, though occasionally tinctured with an air of hauteur. His personal courage, and fortitude of mind, attracted the admiration even

Perhaps the above lines may be thought to be a desirable Prize Subject for the Juvenile Department; to be translated into English verse.

of his enemies; but the latter of these qualities degenerated into the most inflexible obstinacy as soon as he had attained the station of primate of the English church. While he held the office of chancellor, he shone as an able minister, and a loyal subject; as a judicious assertor of the rights of his sovereign, and the independence of the realm. But, when he assumed the metrupolitan rank, he adopted very different sentiments, and proved a warm and persevering advocate for all the pretensions of the papal see, however repugnant to reason, decency, or justice. He entered into his new character with the zeal of an enthusiast, the intrepidity of a religious hero, the artful spirit and the evasive morality of an ambitious priest. That such conduct was the sole fruit of hypocrisy, can hardly be affirmed with truth. That superstition, of which even the strongest minds cherished some portion in those times, had perhaps so mingled itself with the conceptions of this celebrated prelate, that in supporting the cause of the church against the profanations of temporal interference, he might think he was promoting the purposes of pure religion. Every true patriot, however, must condemn his efforts for placing the clergy above the reach of criminal law; an exemption which would naturally encourage, in that oriler of men, the commission of the most atrocious offences; and for placing discord and animosity in the state, by the erection of the church into a distinct body, subject to a foreign governor, whose interests and prejudices had long clashed with the civil welfare of those states which arrogated a spiritual jurisdiction. In the progress of the contest which he maintained with his prince, he exhibited a violence of temper, a perverseness of opposition, and a propensity to revenge, which bis panegyrists cannot excuse by all the reproaches that they have lavished on the conduct of his royal antagonist. Of his private demeanour we are authorised, by the concurrence of historians, to speak in commendation : he was chaste, temperate, and beneficent. But these virtues were obscured and lost in the mischievous tendency of his public proceedings.


ANECDOTES. Me. Pennant is a most ingenious and pleasing writer. His Tours display a great variety of knowledge, expressed in an engaging way. In private life I am told he has some peculiarities, and even eccentricities : among

the latter may be classed his singular antipathy to a wig; which, however, he can suppress till reason yields a litile to wine ; but when this is the case, off goes the wig next to him, and into the fire !

Dining once at Chester with an officer who wore a wig, Mr. Pennant became half seas over; and another friend that was in company carefully placed himself between Pennant and wig, to prevent mischief. After much patience, and many a wistful look, Pennant started

up, seized the wig, and threw it into the fire! It was in flames in a moment, and so was the officer, who ran to his sword. Down stairs runs Pennant, and the officer after him, through all the streets of Chester: but Pennant escaped, from a superior knowledge of topography. A wag called this “ Pennant's Tour in Chester.»


Virtuosi have been long remarked to have little conscience in their favourite pursuits. A man will steal à rarity who would cut off his hand rather than take the money it is worth: yet, in fact, the crime is the same.

Mr. is a truly worthy clergyman, who collects coins and books. A friend of mine mentioniug to him that he had several of the Strawberry-bill editions, this clergyman said, Aye! but I can show you what it is not in Mr. Walpole's power to give you.” He then produced a list of the pictures in the Devonshire, and other two collections in London, printed at niy press, I was much surprised. It was, I think, about the year 1764, that, on reading the six volumes of “ London and its Environs," I ordered my printer to throw off one copy for my own use, This printer was the very man who, after he had left my service, produced the noted copy of Wilkes's “ Essay on Woman.” He had stolen one copy of this list; and I must blame the reverend

« PreviousContinue »