« PreviousContinue »
subterranean curiosity. – A burial-place which, from the chemical properties of the soil, acts with a certain embalming influence (1) upon the bodies deposited within it.
I speak of the vaults beneath St.-Michan's church, a scene where those who have the firmness to go down and look death in the face, will find an instructive commentary upon the doctrines of moral humiliation that are periodically preached above.
You descend by a few steps into a long and narrow passage that runs across (2) the site of the church; upon each side There are excavated and ample recesses, in which the dead are deposited. There is nothing offensive in the atmosphere to deter you from entering. The first thing that strikes you, is to find that decay has been more busy with the tenement (3) than with the tenant. In some instances the coffins have altogether (4) disappeared; in others the lids (5) or sides have mouldered away, exposing the remains within, still unsubdued (6) by death from their original form.
ATTEMPT TO STEAL THE CROWN OF ENGLAND.
Formerly the crown of England and all the regalia (7)
(1) Embalming influence, influence préservative.
(7) Regalia , marques de la royauté, la couronne , le sceptre et les bijoux de la couronne,
ATTEMPT TO STEAL THE CROWN OF ENGLAND,
of the coronation of the English kings were shown to the visiters at the Tower of London in a room called the jewel office (1).
During the reign of Charles II, a clergyman named Blood, who had already rendered himself notorious by political intrigues, formed a design of stealing the crown and other regalia. He went for that purpose to the Tower, and being a powerful man, seized, bound and wounded the keeper (2), after which he took the crown, put it under his cloak and made the best of his
The keeper however, recovering from the effects of the blow he had received , gave the alarm; and Blood was pursued and taken with some of his accomplices who had joined him on Tower-hill.
When questioned he boldly owned (3) the enterprise and expressed his regret at its failure. His audacious conduct became the subject of general conversation, particularly at court, and the king was curious to see a person who had acquired so much celebrity by his crimes and his hardihood. He was introduced to the king, and told him that he intended not only to steal the regalia, but that he had also formed a design of assassinating him; that he had even been on the point of executing it, but that the great beauty and imposing aspect of his majesty's person had completely disarmed him. The king not only pardoned him, but gave him an estate (4) worth 500 pounds a year, while, as Hume says, pour
(1) Jewel-office, bureau des joyaux.
Edwards, who had nearly lost his life in endeavouring to save the crown, was neglected and forgotten.
Foote, a celebrated English comic actor, was once travelling in a public stage to Bath, a town celebrated for its mineral waters, and much frequented by sick persons, by those who imagine themselves so , fashionables who think it extremely plebeian (1) to be always in good health. During the journey the conversation turned on the efficacy of the Bath-waters for the cure of various maladies.
The passengers inquired of each other the disorder with which they were afflicted. One had the gout, another loss of appetite, a third the vapours (2), etc., etc. When Foote was asked the reason of his visit, he replied that he had been bitten by a mad dog (3), and the waters were recommended as likely (4) to prevent hydrophobia, though, added he in a sorrowful tone:“1 fear it is too late, for I have already felt symptoms of its approach.” The company began to feel alarmed, and eagerly inquired the nature of the symptoms he experienced. “Why,” said he, “ I am sometimes attacked by a cough that resembles very much the barking of a dog, and during that time I feel an almost irresistible propensity to bite every one near
A GREAT TALKER AND GASTRONOME.
me. The travellers became more and more alarmed, but Foole endeavoured to tranquillize them, by assuring them that he did not feel any approach of the attack, and that he would inform them of it the moment he did (1). A few hours after this, the coach was crossing a brook which had been much swollen by rains, and wben in the deepest part of it, our quiz (2) was seized with a violent fit (3) of coughing. The affrighted passengers immediately opened the coach door, and threw themselves into the water; preferring Anabaptism (4) and lIydrophilism to Hydrophobia.
Á BOLD, BUT JUST, REPLY
King James said one day in the midst of his courtiers, “I never knew a modest man make his way (5) at court. One of them immediately replied, “An't (6) please your majesty, whose fault is that?"
A GREAT TALKER AND GASTRONOME.
It was said of a person who was a great talker (7) and
(1) Sous-entendu , feel any approach, en sentir l'approche. (2) A quiz, un drôle, un farceur. (3) A fit, une attaque.
(4) Anabaptism, doctrine des Anabaptistes, secte, en Angleterre, dont les membres soutiennent qu'il faut , pour baptiser, plonger dans l'eau.
(5) Make his way, faire son chemin, se faire, etc. (6) Phrase ancienne, abrégée de an it, pour signifier if it (s'il).
(7) A great talker, un bavard. A great speaker, un grand orateur.
very fond of good cheer, “ He never opens his mouth but at the expense of others; he always eats at others' tables, and speaks ill of all the world.”
A Turkish physician was often obliged to pass by a burying-ground, and always turned his face another way. One of his friends who had frequently accompanied him, took notice of it, and asked him the reason. says he,
because I have destroyed most of those that are interred there; and my fancy persuades me that I see them starting out of their graves to reproach me with their death.”
An English admiral who was extremely parsimonious having fallen overboard (1), a sailor immediately leaped from the deck into the sea, and, at the risk of his own life, saved that of his officer. When the admiral was brought on board bis vessel, he took sixpence (2) from his pocket and gave it to his preserver as a recompense. 'The sailor, surprised and discontented, complained to one of his shipmales (3), and showing him the sixpence
(1) To fall overboard , tomber hors du navire, par dessus le bord.
(2) Sixpence, une pièce qui vaut douze sous.
(3) Shipmate, camarade; les marins anglais disent shipmate, et les militaires disent comrade.