The Portfolio: a selection of literary curiosities ... to which is added, a chronological table of general history, from the creation of the world to the present time online

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murred, and said, that a pisi of equal
size mi'iht be bought for less nioiiey
in London, His companion, however,
(jbserving that pigs were more plenti-
ful in Le<idenhall-n)arket than in the
country, the money was produced ;
and the farmer, anil the farmer's men,
and t!ie farmer's dog, retired to their
r'jspective kennels. It is the quality
of a great mind not to be easdy dis-
couraged. The banker therefore re-
loaded his piece ; and ere he had pro-
ceeded far, hearing a rustling in a
iied^e, he let fly at a venture. The
report of the gun was immediately fol-
lowed by cries of — " Good lack ! I
am shot ! as Got shall have me, I'm
shot!" It was a Jew, v\ho had been
tnaku)g a sacrifice, which was not that
of the Paschal lamb, and who at the
close of it, while employed in pluck-
ing up grass, and sluubs of broader
leaf and more conimodious," received
a larije portion of the charge in that
part where according to Butier,

'' A kick linrts honour more.

Than deepest wousids received l)erore."

As the banker had never seen a
magpie in the city that did not speak,
he supposed that the whole species

fi 3 H

490 Literary Curiosities^ Ejntaiihs^ IVonderful Events^

was naturally loquacious, t^nd made
no doul»t but he had killed one of
those talkative birds. " I have shot
a ma",pie," said he to his companion,
and off he ran to pick up his game ;
when, in the passage to the hedge,
lie was met face to face by the furious
Israelite. Seeing him in the nakedness
of a sans-cnlotte, and bleeding from
flank to flunk, the banker started back
hi speechless horror. The circum-
cised dog pursued and took him by
the throat, sweaiing by the God of
Moses, that he would have blood for
blood. The dreadful threat he -en-
forced by the most sanguinary argu-
ments a posteriori, and probably
would have realized it, if the banker's
friends had not offered him egregious
ransom. At the first mention of money,
the bleeding member of the half-
tribe of Manasseh, relaxed his gripe,
examined the paper that was tendered
to him by the banker, and retired
well saiisfied, when lie found that it

was a ciieck upon Messrs. ■


Elevation of a Tailor.

A NOBLEMAN, .listinguished by
his great abilities, extraordinary par-
simony, and large possessions, was
guardian to an ideot, whose fortune
was very gieat, and which was to
have devolved to himself, in case his
ward should never obtain a proper
Use of reason. This iiieot had a son,
who, it is said, was placed in such a
stateof obscurity as might render him
wholly rgiioraut of his origin, and
of course, deprive him of all chance
of succeeding lo his father's estate. At
the death of the idcot, the nobleman
alluded lo, came into the whole of
possessions, which are supposed to be
a!)out thiity-Jhousand a year landed
estate, and which descended to his
•heir without any intermplion on the
part cl the poor orphan, whose con-
"ilitiuii was jntirely unknown. An

attorney happened to be shooting
upon a manor belonging to this noble-
man's heir, who bid him desist, and
treated him with marks of incivility.
The man of law was fired by this
behaviour, and in return, told the
lord of the ground that he had better
not provoke him, lest he should pre-
vent him from having any manor to
tyrannize over. The owner did not
abate of his dignity, or folten in his
manners, and the attorney in revenge
set inquiry on foot, and is said to have
found the rightful heir in the jour-
neyman tailor, whose claim was so
evident, that the possessor himself
would not litigate it. The re-
mainder of this narrative, if true, is
singular indeed, as the fortunate tailor
is said to have worked at his employ-
ment a week after he kn»w of the
prosperous event in his favour, and
on the Saturday night, went with the
rest of his fellows for his wages, which
his master paid him, and, at the
same time, begged for the honour of
his custom, and hoped to have the
making the new liveries for his re-

Second Thoughts are hest.

IT is said, that when Mr. Thelwall
was on his trial at the Old Bailey for
high treason, during the evidence for
the prosecution, he wrote the follow-
ing note and sent to his counsel : — ■
" Mr. Erskine, I am determined to
plead my cause myself." Mr. Erskine
wrote under it, " If you do, you'll be
hanged ;" to which Mr. Thelwall im-
mediately retarned this reply, " I'll
be hanged then if I do."

Anecdote concerning the Execution of
King Charles.

RICHARD Brandon, common ex-
ecutioner or hangman, at that time,
died upon Wednesday, June 20, 1 ti49,
within five roonlhs after the king's

Interesting Narratives, Enif/mas, Epigrams^ Poetri/, S^c. 491

martyrdom. The Sunday before Bran-
don died, a young man of his ac-
quaintance, going to visit him, asked
him how he <lid, and \vhether he was
not troubled in conscience forcuttine
off the king's head ? Brandon replied.
** Yes, because he was at the king's
trial, and heard the sentence de
nounced against him, which caused
the said Brandon to make this solemn
vow or protestation, viz. " Wishing
God to perish his body and soul, if
ever he appeared on the scaffold to do
the act, or lift up his hand against
him." And he further declared, that
he was no sooner entered upon the
scartold, (to do the wicked act) but
immediately he fell a trembling, and
hath (ever since) to his death con-
tinued in the like agony. He likewise
confessed that he haul 301. for his
pains, all paid him in half crowns,
within an hour after the blow was
struck: and that he had an orange
stuck full of cloves, and an handker-
chief out of the king's pocket. As
soon as he was carried off from the
scaffold, he was proffered SOs.for that
orange by, a gentleman in Whitehall,
but refused the same ; but afterwards
sold it for 10s. in Rosemary-lane. —
About six o'clock that night, be re-
turned home to his wife, living in
Rosemary-lai e, and gave her money,
saying, it was the dearest money he
ever earned in his life; which pro-
phetical words were soon made mani
fest. About three days before he
died, (as above-mentioned) he lay
speechless, uttering many a sigh and
heavy groan, and in a moit deplora-
ble manner departed from his bed of
sorrow. For his burial, great store
of wine was sent in by the sheriff of
the city of London, and a great mul-
titude of people stood waiting to see
his corpse carried to the church-yard,
some crying out, " Hang him, rogue,
bury him in a dung-hill;" others pres-
sing upon him, saying, they would
quarter him for executing the king;

insomuch, that the churchwardens
and masters of ihe parish were Iain to
come for the suppressing of them ;
and with groat difficulty he was at
last carried to Whitechapel church-
yard, having a bunch of rosemary at
each end of the cofliii, and on the
lop thereof, with a rope lied across
from one end to the other.

The man that waited upnn this
executioner, when he gave the fatal
blow, was a rag-man in llosemary-

A Privilege ivaved.

A PARSON who had a scolding
wife, one day brought home a brolher
clergyman to dinner. Having gone
into a separate apartment to talk to
his rib about the repast, she attacked
and abused him for bringing a parcel
of idle fellows to eat up their income.
The parson provoked at her behavi-
our, said in a pretty loud tone, " If
it were net for the stranger, I would
give you a good drubbinc" — "Ob!"
cried the visitor, " / beg you will
make no stranger of me."

A curious Grub-Sireet, or Parnassian

TO all gentlemen booksellers, and
others. At the house with stone steps
and sash windows, in Grape-street,
vulgarly called Grub-sircet, liveih an
auliii)r, who writeth all manner of
books and pamphlets, in verse and
prose, at reasonable rales; and fur-
iiishelh, at a minute's warning, any
customer, with elegies and congratu-
latory verses, adapted ti» all manner
of persons or professions, ready writ-
ten, with blanks to insert the names
of the parties intended for. He sup-
plies gentlemen bell-men and lamp-
lighters with verses on all occasions,
at r2d. the dozen, and tcacheth them
accent and pronunciation gratis.

He taketh any side of a question,
3R 2

492 Literary Curiosities, Epitaphs, Wonderful Events,

and wiiteth for or against, or Lolh.
if required.

He likewise draws up advertise-
ments, and aspertfclh "or lampoons,
after the newest manner.

Ho wiiieth for those who cann. •
write themselves, yet are ambitioU!^
of'^ autliors; and will, ii
requited, enter into a bond, never to
own the performance.

He liausmog!ifieth, alais trans-
niigraphelh, any copy, and maketh
many titles 'to one work, if required.

N. B. He is comp down from the
garret to the first-flooi, tor the con-
venience o( his customers.

SS' Pray ini.^take noi tiie hou'e,
for there are many iniposters tiiere-

*** No trust by retail.

A remarkable Instance of the errone-
ous JSotions we form of Things
u'hich we have not been acquainted

WHEN the (wo African princes
were in Eni.'Iand,Lord Hallifax, under
whose care they were, introduced
them to most of the nohi!ity. One
day, wJienthey were going to dine at
Lady Beauclerk's, it snowed very
hard. Being the fiist time they had
seen snow, they were very n<uch sur-
prised at so remarkable a thinfr, as it
appeared to them ; they therefore
gathered some, and put'it into their
pockets, in order to carry home to
Africa. When they came to her lady-
ship's, and approached the fire, the
snow thawed, and the water began to
run about the floor ; her ladyship
saw it, but knew not the cause, and
theretorc sat silent until they told
their story of having put some snow
into their pockets, in order to shev'
when they got home. Her lady-hip
then pointed to the wet thr-t lellfroin
their cloihes ; and the princes were
made acquainted with their error, in
supposing ihey could carry it to their
torrid clinic.


AS I lie late Dean Swift was once
upon a journey, atttnde<J by a s( rvant
they put up at an inn, where they
lodged all night; in the morning the
Dean calling for hi> boots, the ser-
vant immediately took them to him ;
when the Dean saw them, '♦ How is
tlii?,' Tom," says he, " my boots are
not cleaned T " No, Sir," replied
Tom, " as you are going to ride, I
thonglit they would soon be dirty
again," " Very well," said the Dean,
"I'O and get the horses rt ;uly " In the
mean time the Dean ordered I he land-
lord to let liis man have no breakfast.
When (he servant returned, the Dean
asked if the horses were ready? "Yes,
Sir," says the servant. "Go bring
them," said the Dean, " I have not
had my breakfast yet. Sir," says Tom.
" Oh, no matter for that," says the
Dean, " if you had it you would soon
be hungry again," They mounted
and nxle oflT; as they rode, the Dean
pulled a book out of his pocket, and
fell to reading, A gentleman met
them, and seeing the Doctor reading,
was not willing to disturb him, but
passed by until he met the servant.
" Who is that gentleman," says he
to the servant ? " It is my master,
sir," said Tom. " I know that, you
blockhead," said the gentleman, "but
where are you going?" "We are
going to heaven, sir," says Tom.
" How do you know that ?" said the
gentleman. " Because I am fasting,
and my master is praying, sir, so I
think we are in the right road to that

CtEsar and Flora. A Parody.

A BULL-DOG so fierce, and a spaniel se
Convers'd as lliey lay on the mow ;
They stared — anrf they bark'd — and Ihey

utter'd a squeak !
I'or the name of (he dog we will Caesar be-
And (he bitch was the fair liltle Flo.

Interesting Narratives, Enigmaa^ Epigrams, Poetry, Sft\ 493

" And, O, then," said Caesar, " a bu.l-
" baiUn^, dear,
" To-inoi-pow takfs pisce at (he f.iir ;
" I {hither aui seat ; wliile 1 very mucli

" f'-ear,
" SoaiP doij, fo your eyes that more pipas-
'' ing appear,
" Your all'ectioas from me vrilleusnare."

" Nay, check these suspicions," said Flora,
" Xor injure your true-love so fair;
" For no otrier doij, you assured may rest,
'' But Cffsar alone, with my heart shall be
" blest—
" For Caesar alone rnleth there.

" If e'er on my charms noisy Pincher or
" Jack
" Repose, while they call me their wife,
" I wish, (here she sent forth a false oath

alack I)
" That youi- ghost mig^ht appear wiiJiout

*• tail to its back,
" Ascend from below with a terrible crack,
" And frighten me out of my life'"

To T g— n hasten'd this bull-dog so

Little Flora gave vent fo her woe;
Scarce three days elapsed (how I grieve to

When a greyhound, bespangled with spots,
what a curse !
Arrived at the kennel of Flo.

His collar, his person, his Batterirrg vows..

Soon made her untrue to htr sw;.in —
He won her attachment by grares and bows;
At length she consented to call him her
spouse —

And ne"er thought on Caesar again.

And now they were joia'd in Hymen's soft
And now they for feasting prepar'd :
With pailsfull of tripe they regailed their

eyes ;
Bat how great was their wonder, dismay,
and surprise.
When they heard the bell ring in the

Then first, much astonish'd, did Flora be-
Some other dog plac'd at her side,
Whobarkd notatall, though he look'd very

While round to the fair one his eyeballs
he roll'd,
And open'd his mouth very wide.

His visage was grnfF, and gigantic his- paw,

His collar was sable to view ;
From his guests on a sudden did pleasure

withdraw ;
The dogs all shriek'd out at the sight of his
And the cats all iaconcertcried — "Mew.'"

So great was the fear and dismay that he
spread ;
So much had he frighten'd each dog,
None spoke, '(ill poor Flora took courage,

and said —
" I pray that your grufTness aside might
be laid,
" While yon deigii to partake of oiir
'• prog."

This said — her request with attea'.ion h«
And he prnmiscd to alter his mien ;
He began like a donkey to kick and to

prance ;
His flesh fiom his bones fell as if "(were in
romance —
And a skeleton ilog there was seen !

Through the party this sent forth amaze-
ment, no doubt ;
Thisstiuck nith a panic the row ! —
The maggots crept in, aud the maggots

crept out ;
They straggled, they jump'd, and they
scamper'd about —
M'hile the spectre address'd little Flo.

These words to false Flora the skeleton
While boldly he claim'd her as wife —
•' Behold I am come without tail to my

" back,
" To bear you to torture, to pains, and to

" rack ;
" To sink you helow with a terrible crack :
" And so put an end to your life !"

He spoke — and his claws round the fair one
he threw ;
Poor Flora redoubled her moan ;
Then off v. ith his prize to the devil he

flew —
Sad fate for poor Flora! — but nobody knew
Which way to Old Nick they were gone.

Not long lived the greyhound, and none
since that hour
To inhabit the kennel presume :
There, chronicles tell, forced by some migh-
ty pov^'r,
She suffers repentant as well as her woer.
And mourns her deplorable doom.

At midnight, twelve times in each year,
does her sprite. ^

When mortals are all snoriug out,
Appear in the yard on a uioon-shiuy night
(Ye Gods, what a dreadful and horrible
sight !)
And screams as he twirls her about.

With tubs full of brimstone, and water, and

'.\lidst dog-goblins they utter their woe ;
A toast they put round that would freeze

one's heart's Klood —
" Let us drink a health to C^-sar the proud,
" And his consort the false little Fiol"

nj Curiosities, Epitaphs, Wonderful Events^

494 Liter av

Refusal of a t'omtdj/.

AM a-iulior who had given a come-
dy iiiH) the hatuls of a manai^er for
his perusal, called on liim for his
opiiiiwM of tlie piece. Whilst the poor
author in liembling auNicly expected
the fate of his perfoi mance, the ma-
naocr retHiiud the piny with a grave
face, saying, " Sir, depend upon it,
lliis is a ihiu^not to be laughed at."

A Friendly Wish.

A GENTLEMAN pretty far ad-
vanced in y*'ars, coiin>Iaiiieil to ano-
ther, that f-'ge liad comniifted great
outrages upon liis person, and parti-
cularly that his back was curved like
a semi circular arch: "In short,"
added he, " if time should csntiiuie to
be equally unkind to nic, I should not
wonder if, in a short time, my head
was to sink almost as low as niy feet,"
" I should be happy to see you in iliat
situation," replied his frienil. '1 he old
gentleman, supposing the other had
a regard for him, petulantly demand-
ed his reason for so extraordinary a
wish ; " Because/' resumed the other,
**' considering the high price of provi-
sions, it v\ould be a comfortable thing
for you, if jou could make both ends

F.xtraordinary Accident,

SOME time ago the landlord of the
Folly Inn, just above Maidenhead,
(apon a \oiu\g and valuable horse
bought upon speculation, and brought
out i'or sale) hunting with the king's
hounds near Taplow, and taking a
leap over a hedge into the lane where
a cottage had formerly stood, felt the
hind parts of his liorse sink until his
own feet rested on the ground: un-
foitunalely the horse continued sink-
ing by his own weight, and a seeming
suction into an old well, ob?ciired
from sight by the brambles, and was,

\n opposition to every effort, in a few
miiiutes ob!ii:ed to be covered, (or
rather buried) in that state, with his
head about two ftet below the surface,
to the great loss of the owner, and the
inexpiessihie distress of every sports-
man in the field.

What is Life?

IF life is a bubble, and breaks with a glass.
You must toss otl" your wine, if you wisli

it to last -^
For the bulii)le may well be destroyed with

a pufT,
If 'tis uot kept floatiog in liquor enough.

If life is a flower as philosophers say,
'Tis a very good thing understood the right

way ;
For if lile is a flower^ any blockhead can

Ifyou'd have it look fresh, you must moistea

it well.

This life is no more than a journey 'tis said,

Where the roads for the most part are con-
foundedly bad ;

So let wine be our spurs, and all trav'llers
will own.

That whatever the roads, we jog merrily

This world to a theatre liken'd has been,

Where each man around has a part in the
srene ;

'Tis our part to be drnnk, and 'tis matter of

That the more you all drink, boys, the bet-
ter you act.

This life is a dream, in which many will

Who have strange silly fancies, and cry in

their sleep ;
But of us, when we wake froo) our dream

'twill be said,
That the tears of the tankard were all we



FOOTE, who had a sovctaign con-
tempt for his wife, said to Murphy,
" You may learn geography from her
face ; on one side you may see the
Blue Mountains, on the other the
Black Forests, here (he Red Sea, and
liere (pointing to his forehead) jou
may evidently behold the Rocks of

Interesting Narratives, Enigmas^ Epigrams, Poetrg^ Sfc. 495

Anecdote of Richard HI.

IN tlie town of Leicester, the
house is still siiewii where Richard
' II[. passed the night before the bat-
tle of Bosvvorth ; and there is a story
of hini, still preserved in tlie cor})ora-
tioii records, which illustrntes the cau-
tion and darkness of that prince's
character. It was his custom to carry
among the ba^gaoe of his catnp, a
cumbersome wooden bed, which he
pretended was the only bed he could
sleep in. Here he contrived a secret
receptacle for his treasure, which lay
concealed under a weight of tintber.
After the fatal day on which Richard
fell, the earl of Richmond entered
Leicester with his victorious troops ;
the friends of Richard were pillaged,
but the bed was neglected by every
plunderer, as useless lumber. The
owner of the house afterwards disco-
vering the hoard, became suddenly
rich, without any visible cause. He
bought lands, and at length arrived
at the dignity of being mayor of Lei-
cester. Many years afterwards, his
widow, who had been left iu great
affluence, was murdered for her wealth
by her servant maid, who had been
privy to the affair ; and at the trial of
this woman and hfr accomplices, the
whole transaction came to li^ht.

Anecdote of Sir Geors;e Rooke.
THE famous Sir George Rooke,
when he was a captain of the marines,
was quartered at a village, where he
buried a pretty many of his men;
at length the par5()n rt fused to per-
form the ceremony of their interment
iiny more, unless !}e was paid jbr it ;
which being told Captain Rooke, lie
ordered six men of his cosiipany to
carry ti.e corpse of the soldier then
dead, and lay him upon the parson's
hall table. This so embarrassed tlie
[)riest, tbitt he sent the captain word,
" If he would fttch the man aivay, lie
would hiiry him and all his company
for 7iothing."

Anecdote of Socrates.

ONE day Socrates, having for a
long time endured his wift^'s bawiim:,
went out o( his house, and sat dovvn
before the door, to rid himself of her
impertinence. The wontan, eniagtd
to find dll her scolding was not aiWe
to disturb his tranquillity, flung a
chamber pot full upon his head.
Those that happened to see it, lauglied
heartily at poor Socr.ites; but that
philosopher told iheni, smiliiu', /
thought indeed, that after ao much
thunder, we should haxe dome i-aui.

Anecdote of the Duchess of Kingston.

THIS lady was always remarkable
for having a very high sense of her
dignity; being one day detained in
her carriage by a cart of coals that was
unloading in a very narrow street, she
leans with both her arms upon the
door, and askod the fellow, " How
dare you, sirrah, to stop a woman of
quality in the street?" "woman of
quality !'' (replied the man) — •• Yes,
fellow, (rejoined her grace) don't you
see mi/ arms 7ipon my carriage ?" —
" Yes, I do indeed, (he answered)
and a pair of d — d coarse arms i\\ty


Anecdote of Cihher.

THE manor of Winchendon (for-
!i>er!y th^ estiife of the Wharton I'a-
n\i!y) is situated in a very dirty part of
the county of BiicKingham, where the
soil is a very stiff clisy. Gibber liic
inureat, nin) sonietiii!es visited tiip fa-
n;ou3 dni-e of VViiarton at fliat plao-f^,
was once in iiis coach willj liinj, when
it weiit very ilowjy through a di'ep
slough. CoHey, with liis usital vivn-
city luui assurance, s&ii! to his grac'.\
" It is reporJed, my lorrl dukt-, tlrit
yon run ovit of yo\!r estate, but it is
' impossible for jou iu iiiii out of this."

406 Literary Curiosities^ Epitaphs, JVomlerful Events^

Ins;rut itude.

SOON aft<;)- the first performanre
of. the School for Scaiulal, it was re-
ported to Sheiidan, thnt Mr. Cum
I'erland had observed that he saw it.
but could find notjiing in it to make
J)im laULjh. "This," said the former,
** was very uui^raleful, for 1 laughed
heariiiy at his tragedy."

A Pulpit Bull.

A CLERGYMAN preaching in the
city, on the anniversary of a charity
for girls, foigettini; the last circiim
stance, informed his audience, that
through their munificence, some of
the objects of this charity might
hereaf'er become lord mayors of Lon-
flon, or Q\Qn archlmfiops of Canter-

Enigmatical List of Heathen Gods
and Goddesses,

AN useful piece of furniture.

An article, and a contraction of
two short words.

To spoil, changing the last letter.

Three-sevenths of a precious stone,
and two-thirds of a surprize.

Three-fourths of a man's christian
name, and a consonant.

Thice-fouiths of a leap, and an
ad\erb of denying.

Throe fourths of to scourge, and one
half of a torturing machine.

To load, changing a letter, and to
smu'^igle iransposed.

'i hree-eights of a window, and two-
rifths of to introduce.

Half of a Chinese vessel, and a
quarter of unwillingness.

Half a bladder, half a scolding
woman, and a vowel

Half a Russian priest, and a quar-
ter of a fragraijt shrub.

One-tenth of rough, and one-fourth
of drunken

Two-sevenths of a blessing, and
three- fourth-* of to ponder.

Half of to fasten, and half of to

Two-sevenths of a balcony, and a
Roman emperor.

Thiee-eighihs of a srnall monkey,
and one-sislh of a floodgate.

To cover with wax, and one-eighth
of a small dagger.

Three-fitths of mockery, and half
of to sweep.

Half a relation, a measure, and a

Three-fourths of not many, and
half of to fondle.

Three eights of a Turkish soldier,
and one-fifth of a compound spirit.

Splendour, changing a letter, and
Iwo-fifihs of dirty.

Three-fifths of a journal, and two-
ihirds of to bite.

Online LibraryUnknownThe Portfolio: a selection of literary curiosities ... to which is added, a chronological table of general history, from the creation of the world to the present time → online text (page 75 of 102)