John Timbs.

Historic ninepins. A book of curiosities, where old and young may read strange matters online

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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
AT LOS ANGELES





3 7 8 f, 6 ^




Sec pp. 161 — 1(15.

KKPI'TKO PKNANCK fir HRNRIP.TTA MARIA, Ql'KKN OF CHARLRS I., AT TVni'RN.

From a Cfrtiinn print in Ihf Crmt'le Pninnnl,
in tlif liritisk Museum.



HISTORIC
NINEPINS



A BOO A' OF CUR/OS/T/ES, WHERE OLD AND YOUNC
MA Y READ STRANGE MA TTERS:



CONTAINING



CHARACTERS AND CHRONICLES.
DOUBTS AND DIFFICULTIES.
FICTIONS AND FABULOUS HISTORIES.
IFS AND INCKEDIBILI.\.
LEGENDARY STORIES.

MARVELS AND MISREPRESENTATIONS.
MYTHS AND MYTHOLOGIES.
PARALLELS AND PERIODS.



POPULAR ERRORS.
PROPHECIES AND GUESSES.
PR^-HISTORIC TIMES.
RECKONINGS AND REFUTATIONS.
TALES AND TRADITIONS.
UNIVERSAL history: READINGS, WITH
NEW LIGHTS.



^



By JOHN TIMES,

AUTHOR OF
"THINGS NOT GENERALLY KNOWN,"
NOTABLE THINGS OF OUR OWN TIME," ETC.



LONDON:
LOCKWOOD & CO., STATIONERS' HALL COURT.

MUCCCLXIX.



9859 S



LONDON :

SAVILL, EDWARDS AND CO., PRINTERS, CHANDOS STREET,

COVENT GARDEN.






TO THE READER.



The Art of Writing History has, ot late years, received many
aids and accessions fi-om the most accredited sources of truth,
which, as Horace Walpole has remarked, is " the essence of History."
The value of these gains has, however, been variously estimated.
" We think," says a popular writer, " the existing generation is not
favourable to the production of durable impartial history. Ours is an
age of discovery ; we do not now mean scientific discovery. For a
century or so the habit had prevailed of receiving implicitly the tra-
ditions and records of past times, assuming them to have been sub-
stantiated at the date of their publication. This style of constructing
history consisted merely in breaking up and rearranging stereotype
blocks. Recently, the woithlessness of such a mode of proceeding has
become apparent, and now the opposite error has come strongly into
vogue — that of leaping back to contemporaneous neglected documents,
and, on their evidence, reversing the settled deliberate verdict of past
centuries. Thus, Cromwell and Maiy of Scotland, and George of
England (we don't mean him of the Dragon) get new characters ; — nay,
to such an extent is this canned, that, following the example of a learned
prelate, we have a worthy man presenting us with ' historic doubts '
relative tothe existence of Shakspeare — a writer of plays ; and this style
of thing is creeping into science."

It is not proposed in the present volume to treat of these historic
studies in all their bearings ; our object in quoting the above passage be-
ing to show the extent and variety which they have assumed.

In France and Germany these inquiries have long occupied public
attention very largely, and have had a corresponding influence upon
historical works published contemporaneously in England A vigorous
offshoot of this widely-extended object we have now had in this country
for nineteen years, in the valuable N'otes and Queries, a " Medium of
Intercommunication" which hasmuchof the historic element in its pages.

Within the present year has appeared a volume, displaying much
learning and research, by Dr. Octave Delepierre, entitled Historical
Difficultits and Contested Events, in the introduction to which, the author
points out " a great many so-called historical facts, which are perfectly
familiar even to the ignorant, and yet which never happened." The



TO THE READER.



Historic Difficulties comprise twelve histories, ranging from the ancient
world, B. c. 306, to Galileo Galilei. lOiO.

"^^'^e had long observed the public taste for this sptx-ies of correc-
tive reading, extended to modern times, and inciuiries of a more popular
and practical character than those of the antitiue \vt)rld. In 1S41, we
published a volume of Popular Errors Explained aiul Illustrated, which,
though successful, did not attain an extraordinary s;ile. Readers were
not then ready for such inquiries; but. in iS-,8, we reproduced this
work in an entirely new fonii ; taking Sir Thomas Browne's Vulgar
Errors as the text book for the older portion of the work, in great
part re-written. Of this improved eilition of Popular Errors several
thousand copies have been sold, and the W Ork is kept in print.

The present volume — Historic Ninepins — an eccentric title, by
the way — seeks to supply the recjuirements of a lai-ge class of readers,
and in such plain words " that he may run who readeth." The work is
divided into eleven sections, which collectively contain more than thixH?
hundred articles. ^\ e have teniied it " A Book t\)r Old and Young,"
inasmuch as. besides the Wondersof Classic Fable and Popular Fiction,
those in t)ur F.arly History extenil beyond the limits of mere abstracts;
such are the Stories of FLnglish Life, which are the delight of our early
years — indeed, of all ages. To the leading events of our histoiy,
proportionate attention is paid, in such a manner, as by their concen-
tration, to point with warmth and c]uickncss upon the ivader's com-
prehension.

Meanwhile, a contemporaneous interest attaches to the Historic
NiNF.iMNs, for its " Historico-Political Information." by way of anno-
tation ; and hea' we have specially to acknowiidge our obligation to
"the Fourth F.state," which attbrds a faithful and eloquent redex of " the
very age and body of the time." The annexed Table of (Contents and
copious Index will, however, best bespeak the variety as well as general
character of the work, which has In-en jirepari'il with tkie reganl to ac-
credited authorities, as well as attractiveness of narration.

In such an assemblage of Names. Dates, and Facts, as the present
volume contains, it would be pn-sumptuous to piomise fRtilom from
error ; but the reader is assured that no pains have Ik-cu spared to insure
accuracy.

December, 1868.



CONTENTS.



The General Subject.



CHANCES OF HISTORY . .
GRKAT RULKRS IN HISTORY
CHARACTERS OF KINGS
THE MORAL OF MONARCHY
THE " IFS " OF HISTORY .
THE MUSE OF HISTORY .
WORTH OF HISTORICAL AUTHO

RITIES

WORTH OF ANTIQUARIANISM



PAGE
ANCIENT AND MODERN ESTI-
MATE OF ORATORY .... 8
CHARTERS SIGNED WITH THE

CROSS 9

WRITING HISTORY lO

WORTH OF HERALDRY . . . lO

WRITING HISTORY FOR THE ST.^GE II

TRAVELS OF ANACHARSIS . . 12



Ancient History.



THE DEUCALIONAL DELUGE . 14
EGYPT : ITS MONUMENTS AND HIS-
TORY 14

PLATO SOLD AS A SLAVE . . 15
HOW DEMOSTHENES BECAME AN

ORA'IOR 16

THE HOMERIC POEMS .... 16
homer's BATTLES, AND HIS IMI-
TATORS 17

FABULOUS LOCALITIES OF CLAS-
SIC HISTORY 18

COLOSSAL ANTS PRODUCING GOLD 19

GREEK A NEW LANGUAGE . . I9

THE DEATH OF .^.SCHYLUS . . 20

THE BATTLE OF ARBELA . . 20
ALEXANDER THE GREAT, AND

HIS HORSE BUCEPHALUS . . 21
I^^ERODOTUS, THE FATHER OF

HISTORY 22

DIOGENES : HIS SAYINGS AND

DOINGS 24

XERXES AND HIS EXPLOITS . . 26



THE PLAINS OF TROY .... 26

SOLIMAN "THE MAGNIFICENT" 27

HISTORY OF EARLY ROME . . 28
HOW THE CAPITOL OF ROME WAS

SAVED BY THE CACKLING OF

GEESE 29

ROME THE MISTRESS OF THE

WORLD 30

EXTENT OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 31

CHARACTER OF CATO . . . . 3I

C/ESAR'S CONQUEST OF GAUL . 32

MIDDLETON'S LIFE OF CICERO . 32

THE ALEXANDRIAN LIBRARY . 34

ROME UNDER THE OLIGARCHY. 34
CRUELTH:S OF HANNO and THE

CARTHAGINIANS 36

HANNIBAL'S VINEGAR PASSAGE

THROUGH THE ALPS • ■ • 37
CORRUFf HISTORY OF THE

MIDDLE AGES 38

ABELARD AND ELOISA . . . 40



CONTENTS.



Myths and Popular Fictions.



" INCREDIBILIA " OK THE AN-
CIENTS, FROM pal;ephatus . 41

THE WANDERING JEW ... 42

THE FOUNDING OF CARTHAGE . 44

SAINT GEORGE AND THE DRAGON 45
SAINT DUNSTAN AND HIS MIR.V-

CLES . . 47

SAINT LUKE NOT A PAINTER . 49

FRIAR BACON'S BRAZEN HEAD . 49

COLUMBUS AND THE EGG . . 50

WILLIAM TELL : A FABLE . . 5 1



PAGE

THE TULIPOMANIA 52

THE NINE WORTHIES • • • • 53

THE LABYRINTH OF CRETE . . 53

THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES . . 54
COMMON ORIGIN OF POPULAR

FICTIONS 54

THE STORY OF JACK THE GIANT-
KILLER 55

THESTORYOFTOM HICKATHRIFT 58

THE STORY OF TOM THUMB . 58

LEGEND OF THE CROSS . . . 60



Great Events from Little Causes.



EVENTS AND SCENES IN ANCIENT AND MODERN HISTORY



61—68



British History.



WHY WAS BRITAIN CALLED

ALBION? 69

THE ENGLISH CONQUEST OF

BRITAIN 69

DOMESDAY BOOK AND ITS PAR-
TIALITIES 70

DISPERSION OF ANCIENT MANU-
SCRIPTS 71

WHO WAS GILDAS? .... 73
INGULF OK CROYLANI) AND

WILLIAM OF MALMKSHURY 74

HISTORIC MISREPRESENTATIONS 74
THE QUEENS OF ENGLAND . . 75
TEST OF HISTORIC TRUTH . . 76
DECAY OF LOCAL TRADITION . 77
AN englishman's KNOWLEDGE

OF HIS country's HISTORY . 78
HUME'S HISTORY OF EN(;LANI) . 79
PERSONAL MOTIVES AND PRE-
TENDED PATRIOTISM ... 79
WHITEWASHING REPUTATIONS . 80
THE CELTS AND THE IRISH COM-
PARED 81

THE CELTIC POPULATION OF

BRITAIN 81

PK/E-HISTORICKINGSOF BRITAIN 8a
THE BRITONS IN THE TIME OF

f;



Online LibraryJohn TimbsHistoric ninepins. A book of curiosities, where old and young may read strange matters → online text (page 1 of 46)