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A HUMOUROUS DECEPTION.
A countryman being in London, a friend of his there, undertook to conduct him to every place that was remarkable and deserved observation. One day he told him, that he would shew him Bedlam: it was accordingly agreed on; but, instead of that, he took him to the door of the House of Commons, telling him, that was the entrance into Bedlam. It happened just then, that the house was breaking up; and the door being presently opened, the country man, to his great astonishment, saw several of the members hastening towards it; upon that he immediately took to his heels, and ran as it were for his life: when being stopped by some persons, who won dered at his running so fast :-Oh! (cried he) for the Lord's sake don't stop me; yonder 's Bedlam open, and all the mad men are loose and coming out.
THE WITTY SHEPHERD.
A proud parson and his man, riding over a com mon, saw a shepherd tending his flock, and having a new coat on, the parson asked him in a haughty tone, who gave him that coat? The same, answered the shepherd, that clothed you, the parish. The parson, nettled at this, rode on, murmuring, a little way, and then bade his man go back, and ask the shepherd if he would go live with him, for he wanted a fool. The man going accordingly to the shepherd, delivered his master's message, and concluded as he was i ordered, that his master wanted a fool. Why, are you going away then? said the shepherd. answered the other. Then you may tell your master, replied the shepherd, that his living cannot maintain three of us.
A LETTER WRITTEN BY THE AMBASSA-
"The people, where I now am, have tongues farther from their hearts than from London to Bantam, and thou knowest the inhabitants of one of these places do not know what is done in the other. They call thee and thy subjects, barbarians, because we speak what we mean; and account themselves a civilized people, because they speak one thing and mean another: truth they call barbarity, and falsehood politeness. Upon my first landing, one who was sent from the king of this place to meet me, told me, That he was extremely sorry for the storm I had met with just before my arrival. I was troubled to hear him grieve nd afflict himself upon my account; but in less than a quarter of an hour he smiled, and was as merry as if nothing had happened. Another who came with him told me by my interpreter, He should be glad to do me any service that lay in his power. Upon which I desired him to carry one of my portmanteaus for me; but instead of serving me according to his promise, he laughed, and bid another do it. I lodged, the first week, at the house of one, who desired me to think myself at home, and to consider his house as my Accordingly, the next morning began to knock down one of the walls of it, in order to let in the fresh air, and had packed up some of the household goods, of which I intended to have made thee a present; but the false varlet no sooner saw me falling "to work, but he sent word to desire me to give over, for that he would have no such doings in his house. I had not long been in this nation, before I was told by one, for whom I had asked a certain favour from
the chief of the king's servants, whom they here call the Lord Treasurer, that I had eternally obliged him. 1 was so surprised at his gratitude, that I could not forbear saying, what service is there which one may can do for another, that can oblige him to all eternity However, I only asked him for my reward, that would lend me his eldest daughter during my stay! this country; but I quickly found that he was as treach erous as the rest of his countrymen. At my
first going to court, one of the great men almost put me out of countenance, by asking ten thousand par dons of me for only treading by accident on my to They call this kind of lye,a compliment; for wha they are civil to a great man, they tell him untruths for which thou wouldest order any of thy officers state to receive an hundred blows upon his foot. do not know how I shall negociate any thing with this people, since there is so little credit to be given to them When I go to see the king's scribe, I am generall told that he is not at home, though perhaps I saw hi go into his house almost the very moment before Thou wouldest fancy that the whole nation are phy sicians, for the first question they always ask me, is, How I do? I have this question put to me above a hundred times a day. Nay, they are not only thes inquisitive after my health, but wish it in a more solemn manner with a full glass in their hands, every time I sit with them at table, though at the same time they would persuade me to drink their liquors in such quantities as I have found by experience will make me sick. They often pretend to pray for thy health also in the same manner; but I have more reason to expect it from the goodness of thy constitution, than the sincerity of their wishes. May thy slave escape in safety from this double-tongued race of men, a live to lay himself once more at thy feet in the roya city of Bantam.”
Spectator, vol. 8, no. 557.
THE CARDS SPIRITUALIZED,
One Richard Middleton, a private soldier, attending divine service with the rest of the regiment, at a church in Glasgow, instead of pulling out a bible, like his brother soldiers, in order to search for the text, spread a pack of cards before him. This singular behaviour did not long pass unnoticed, either by the minister or the serjeant of the company to which he belonged the latter, in particular, commanded him to put up his cards; and, on his refusal, conducted him, after divine service, before the chief magistrate, to whom he preferred a formal complaint of Richard's irreverend behaviour. "Well, soldier," said the magistrate, "what excuse have you to offer for this strange and scandalous behaviour? If you can make ay apology, or assign any reason for it, 't is well; if you cannot, assure yourself that I will cause you to be severely punished."" Since your honour is so good," replied Richard, "as to permit me to speak for myself, an't please your worship I have been eight days on the march, with a bare allowance of sixpence a day, which, your honour will surely allow, is hardly sufficient to find a man in meat, drink, washing, and other necessaries; and, consequently he may want either a bible, prayer-book, or any other book." On saying this, Richard pulled out his cards, presented one of the aces to the magistrate, and continued his address to him as follows- When I see an ace, may it please your honour, it reminds me that there is only one God; and when I look on a two, or a three, the former puts me in mind of the Father and Son, and the latter of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. A four calls to my remembrance the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; a'five, the five wise virgins who were ordered to trim their
lamps, there were ten ordered, but five, your worship may remember, were wise, and five were foolish. -A six, that in six days God created heaven and earth; a seven, that on the seventh day he rested from all he had made; an eight, of the eight righteous perso preserved from the deluge, viz. Noah and his wife, with his three sons and their wives; a nine, of the lepers cleansed by our saviour-there were ten, but one only returned to offer his tribute of thanks; and a ten, of the ten commandments." Richard took the knave, and placed it by him; and then passed to the queen, on which he observed as follows:-" This queen, your worship, reminds me of the queen of Sheba, who came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; as her companion, the king, does of the great king of heaven, and of king. George the third." Well," replied the magistrate, "you have given me a very good description of all "If your honour will the cards except the knave.' not be angry with me," replied Richard, " I can give the same satisfaction as to that, as of any card in you the pack."" I will not," said the magistrate. "Well," returned the soldier, "the greatest knave I know is the serjeant who brought me before you." "I don't know,"replied the magistrate, "whether he is the greatest knave, or not, but I am sure he is The soldier then prothe greatest fool of the two." ceeded- When I count the number of dots in a pack of cards, there are 365; so many days are there in a year. When I count how many cards, there are in a pack, I find fifty-two; so many weeks are there in a year. When I reckon how many tricks are won by a pack of cards, I find there are thirteen ; so many months are there in a year. So that this pack of cards is both bible, almanack, and prayer book, The magistrate then called his seri me." gave ants, ordered them to entertain the soldier well, him a piece of money, and said he was the cleverest fellow in the whole regiment.