De Omnibus rebus

Haec partim ex libris Excerpsi, partier egomet pro soupei

De Omnibus rebus, Mullisque alid


A person being asked what he thought of the assassination of Caesar, replied –

Brutus nec male, nec bene, sed inter-fecit.


A priest who wished to procure the consecrated wafer from a press, where it had been deposited, found, that, notwithstanding all his turning and turning of the key in the lock, the door would not open – and thereupon in his impatience he passionately exclaimed “Surly the Devil is in here, that the door will not open.”

The same priest being about to administer the sacrament for the first time, was in doubt whether or not some of the words and ceremony were to be used to the women as to the men. To satisfy himself he sent one of his brethren to the Superior to request information. The superior wrote the answer on a slip of paper, which he gave to the messenger to be delivered to the officiating priest. He, when the note was brought to him, was in the act of giving the consecrated waver to some of the men – consequently having no leisure to peruse it, hastily stuffed in into his [Greek Callop ?]. After he had finished with the person in hand a woman presented herself next. Her he pushed rather rudely back, exclaiming with a loud  slap [Upon the part] of his well filled paunch, “Keep back there – whats for you in [Here],” indicating the [part] I with his [Hand] to the no small amusement of his [female] audience.


One morning one poor monk, of the mendicant order of St. Francis, went into a barbers shop and in a supplicating tone requested to be shaved “por amor de Dios.” for the love of God, ie. for nothing. The Barber dared not to refuse but he shaved him very unwillingly by using little soap and less care, tearing and scratching the poor padre’s face all the while with a blunt rasor. In the midst of his operations a neighbouring cat set up a terrible meowing, which so enraged the possessor of mambrinos helmet [?], that he cried with a loud oath without any regard to the reverend presence in which he was. “What the Devil is the matter with that cat, that it sets up such a caterwauling.” “Oh said the Monk. I know the cause of it. Someone is shaving the poor animal for the love of God.”


I have been must amused with the account I have heard of the adventures of a Captain Davy in London – and if I could give you it in the same words, you would be equally delighted. I shall however try my best to relate a few particulars. This D___ was a Captain of a mine – a man unversed in the ways of great cities in this wicked world – of great simplicity but strong good sense, and intimately acquainted with his business. It seems that on one occasion he was sent up to the great Babylon to endeavour to dispose of the shares in a new and [sic] mine, and to form a Company among the large Capitalists of the Metropolis, who are ever looking around them for plans and speculations, which will enable them to employ their money to the best advantage. On his arrival, he chanced to go to the Bull and Mouth, where he wished to know if they could leave him have a bed there. He was told yes, so after remaining for a short time, he determined to take a tramp. Previous, however, to his departure on the voyage of discovery (for he had never been in London before) some wags, observing his rusticity and freshness, as well as his over anxiety about his bed, fastened to his back a large label with these words “I Lodges at the Bull & Mouth.” The unsuspecting D____ proceeded on his Tour, but had nor advanced far, before some people coming behind read aloud the label “I lodges at the Bull and Mouth,” to which the Captain turning round, with the utmost naivete, replied “and so does I.” If he had intended to make the same reply to the numerous repetitions of these words, he would have had little else to do for hours to come, because every passer-by, following each other, recited the words of the preceding – but the poor fellow taking for gospel what he heard, and surprised at numbers who said that they lodged at the Bully and Mouth, began to get alarmed for his own chance of accommodation – for his knowledge of arithmetic easily told him that no house in London, however large, could hold an-half of these its presumed lodgers. With all possible haste he bent his way back and again asked the waiter, if he was sure – positive sure that he could have a room. Not satisfied with his affirmative upon his honour, he with ludicrous earnestness insisted upon being shown to his bed chamber, where tho’ it was not much beyond 3 P.M., he shut himself in, bolting & laning [sic], with a determination to exclude all other claimants and then  chuckling to himself at this piece of finess[e], he observed that it was a good maxim “first come first served.”

Not many days afterwards, some of his new acquaintances, for the sake of enjoying the humour of his character, invited him to dine at a Hotel, not far from St. Paul’s. The dinner hour was to be half past five a most unconscionable hour – for him. After transacting some business there during the morning, his friends left him with the intention of remaining until the hour of dinner, the [un]usual lateness of which he bore for some time, with the patience of Job. But alas nature will be nature still and custom is second nature. As he had always been accustomed to dine early in the country, his stomach began to rebel against his resolution, and asserted its claims in such forcible terms, that he could not resist. So ringing the bell, a sprucely dressed fellow appeared to the summons, to whom our Captain addressed himself thus, “And what may be your post in this house, Mr. a-a-a ?” “I am one of the waiters Sir.” “A waiter are you? I should have thought you to be the Master. Well Mr. Waiter I’ll tell you what You see. I have been invited to dine here with some friends at half-past five. Now in my part of the country we always dine early, and my stomach is so uneasy that I must have something to stay it. Could you just give me a basin of broth, as a stopper?” “Yes Sir,” said the waiter, “you can have what you [want]. I shall bring you a basin presently.” Away went the waiter, and shortly returned with a small basin of Turtle soup. Captain D___ was ignorant of every[thing] but this, that he had got some soup & he set to tooth and nail to its discussion. That he was extremely well satisfied with the taste was evident from the hearty smacking of his lips, and when he had finished, he said emphatically “pure Brath! Pure Brath indeed! but the quantity is so scant, hardly enough for a child – let us have another.” A second basin was soon in like manner commended [sic] and finished – there followed a third, and a forth, by which time he was pretty well satisfied. He then rang again and asked what he had to pay for the broth, “for,” said he, “as my friends are to pay for my dinner, I should like to pay myself for my snack.” The answer of the waiter took him so completely by surprise that he started from his chair, and stared and gaped, as if he could not comprehend or swallow down what he had heard. “Two pounds for four basins of broth – heard anyone ever the like! Why man, if ever theest come to the West country, I should make thee welcome to as much broth as theest like for nothing.” He seemed determined to resist the payment of what he deemed this extortionate charge and it required much expostulation & explanation on the part of the landlord and his own friends, before he would give in, thus learning an excellent lesson not to satisfy the cravings of his stomach at the great detriment of his finances.


I once heard a story related by Major Henderson our passenger, concerning Lord Byron, [*] which was entirely new to me, much as I have read respect.g his Lordship. Lord Byron, when a very young man had a private pet of a bear. Intending to leave the town for some place in the country, by way of a freak, he determined to take his favourite with him. Accordingly he went and took a passage for Mr. Byron & Mr. Bruin – & it is said that at the present day the entry to this effect is still to be seen. When the hour for starting came, by which time it was dark, Mr. Byron made his appearance, accompanied by his friend Mr. Bruin, dressed  in a great coat and walking like any Christian. Both took their seats inside, without having any fellow travellers, and the coach soon afterwards started. At the very first stage, a fat, good natured cockney was added to the number of the inside passengers. He was a fellow of infinite talk & very sociable – for having been a week in France, he had thrown off that foolish mauveiese _____, which often prevents an Englishman from uttering more than a monosyllable to [a] stranger, tho’ he should chance to be his companion for some hundreds of miles. Determined then to break the ice of coldness, he attempted to enter into conversation with Lord Byron – but his lordship discouraged all conversation by the most freezing silence. Disappointed in this quarter, the Cockney turned to the other traveller hoping to find him not such a disciple of Pythagoras. He talked of the weather – remarked how cold it was, and happening to bring his hand in contact with the shaggy skin of Mr. Bruin, he commended the precaution of he had taken to wrap himself up so carefully in fur – then he took up the subject of politics – of amusements and of literature, with the hope of discovering among all these some interesting subject, on which he and the person he addressed might interchange their mutual sentiments. In the course of his monologue, he made several pauses, awaiting for a reply, expressive either of approbation or the contrary – but in vain – no sound reached his ears, but a low sort of growling or grumbling, which he could by no means translate into meaning. Tired at last with his ill success, he threw himself  back in the coach, and was soon fast locked in the embrace of Morpheus. Just as the day was beginning to dawn – he was awoke by a feeling of something cold on his cheek, which caused a sudden thrill to shoot thro’ his whole body. What must have been his surprise and horror when he beheld a monster, the true nature of which the imperfect light could not enable him to discover, cheek by jowl with him. Terror at first chained his tongue – but he soon expressed his alarm by such loud cries, that the coachman stopped to enquire the cause, which his Lordship explained by saying that it was his bear, and that the animal, for the sake of warmth, had applied his cold nose to the Gentleman’s cheek. Notwithstanding the assurance that Bruin was perfectly harmless, and that his mouth was muzzled, the Cockney was glad to get rid of such a companion at the next stage.


Colonel Leslie Walker, late of the 71st, was once on a visit during some grand occasion at a noble lady’s in Ireland. One day being engaged in reading in the Drawing Room, where there was a large assemblage of youth and beauty, of fashion and nobility, he felt a sudden call to attend the House of [Commons]. As this was a call he could not disobey, nor delegate its performance to another, away he packed in double quick time, taking the book along with him, either for the purpose of preventing another from getting it in the interim, or what is most probable, of  perusing it at his ease in the House. Duty being over, he [buttoned up] and returned to the Drawing room with a great deal of nonchalance, where being arrived, and in the full circle of the company, he was asked what he had brought under his arm, to which he replied that it was a book – and, by way of proving it by ocular demonstration, he produced, not as he had really imagined it to be a book, but ipso facto, the cover of the [Night stool] which in his absence of mind, he had lugged away instead of his book, which he had placed, where the proper cover ought to have been. Any other man than the Colonel, would have been abashed at the awkward dilemma in which he now was, and have felt annoyed by the broad grins of the gentlemen and the half concealed titter of the Ladies. The Colonel, however, coolly went away to rectify the mistake, and afterwards resumed the perusal of his volume as if nothing had happened.

This Colonel was a very eccentric man. When he was quartered in Limerick, he got married, but, strange to say to the wrong lady. His intention was to have paid his address to a Mrs. Goring, a widow lady possessed of £800 per annum – but somehow or other he married by mistake a Mrs. Walker who had not a rapp to bless herself withall.

Previous to the battle of Waterloo Colonel Walker had been at Brussels on leave for a few days, his regiment being some distance off. In the hurry and confusion consequent upon the news of the approach of the French, his luggage had been put into one of the commissariat waggons – at least it could not be found, and in consequence, he was obliged to take his station at the head of his men dressed in plain clothes and round hat (as when at Brussels), with the addition of a huge stick in his hand as a substitute for a sword, to the great amusement of the regiment, and the surprise of those who did not know the circumstances. In a short time, however, he was rigged out in military style with the accoutrements of some unfortunate officer who had fallen.

Being in a farm House after the battle, with some brother officers, a party of Prussians coming up began the work of plunder and destruction. Col.l Walker seeing this threw up the window of the room he was in, and commanded the Prussians to desist. He was very nearly killed for his pains, one of the men making a sudden dash at him which with his sword, which narrowly missed, so that his friends were obliged to interfere and to bring him to his recollection. They pointed out to him, that he was dressed in a blue coat and that he had addressed the Prussians in French, and that hence they had naturally mistaken him for one of that nation, instead of a British office as he was.

On one occasion, it being a field day, the Colonel had mounted his horse to attend to his duty. The Men were all drawn up, and they only waited for the presence of the commanding officer, who was at last seen slowly advancing – but evidently in such a course, as if he did not see where his men were drawn up, tho’ they were not many yards from him. And indeed it was so – and he would have passed them altogether in his brown study, had not one of the Serjeants been sent after him to bring him to his post.


A notorious swindler of the name of Price, when his finances were at a very low ebb, fell upon the following expedient to raise the wind. He announced in the public papers, that a person knew of a plan by which a large fortune might be made at a small expence, & without risk – and expressed a wish to confer with any gentleman who could advance from 500 to 1000 pounds towards putting it into execution. Among others, the celebrated Comedian Foote [Foole?], tempted by the prospect of large gains held out, went according to the address, where he found Price. Price proposed the scheme of a new Brewery, and used such plausible arguments in favour of it, that Foote advanced 500 pounds.

In a very short time, the poor Comedian was glad to back out of the concern with no other loss than the loss of the £500.

Notwithstanding this failure, Price had the impudence to call upon Foote, and ask the assistance of his purse in commencing a baking company. He was received very politely, but soon dismissed with the following answer. “No, No, as you have brewed, so you may bake, but I’ll be cursed, if you shall bake as you have brewed.”

Newgate Calendar – Life of Price.


An Irishman, who for the first time in his life, was to proceed by water from one place to another, in a rowing boat, being a great stout fellow; was asked to pull an oar, to which he agreed. In his ignorance he sat with his face to the bow of the boat, and when he was told of his mistake he said “Arrah now, how can I get to Dublin with my back to it,” and obstinately persisted in the position he had chosen.


An officer of the 37th Regiment, a native of the Emerald Isle once dined with a Gentleman at Bermuda, and quaffed so often in honour of the July God, that on his way to his room, reason sat so lightly on her throne, that she tumbled off along with the body of the poor Inneskillen, which was safely deposited in a pretty considerable excavation. After being there for some time, he succeeded in scrambling out, when he again lost his recollection, and was picked up very early in the morning by his servant, who found him lying at the feet of an old cow, and conveying him home, bundled him into bed, clothes and all. Some days afterwards, a friend asked him how he came to be so loving with the cow. “Faith my honey, (says he) tis myself know nothing at all, at all about it – I only know that when I awoke, I found myself asleep with my boots on.”

Auctori domini Baynham.


I’ll show you a grater.

Come Mr. President said our Vice, let us hear whom you consider the greatest man that ever appeared – and I’ll bet my existence, that mention whomsoever you please, I’ll show you a grater – and you yourself must confess that it is a grater. “Why,” replied the Pres: “I can hardly tell who was the greatest man in the world – for I have never weighed the respective merits of each great man, who had shone on earth.” “Oh never mind – enumerate one or two.” “Well then I should say – Alexander, Caesar, or another ancient – I think the first to have been the greatest man that ever existed. Now let us hear who is greater.” “Look, and be convinced,” triumphantly exclaimed the vice. – “is not that a grater,” exhibiting at the same time, a nutmeg grater, which he had purposely procured for the sake of the pun.


Shakespeare a Modern.

A well know Sportsman resident in Cheshire, was having his house repaired, and among other things he intended to have his library renewed. For this purpose a noted Bibliopole was sent for, who whishing to defer the choice of books to the fox-hunter asked him what works he would like to have down. “Why,” said he, “I don’t well know – I shall leave these matters to you, but I remember reading many years ago a book by one William Shakespeare, which I liked very much – if he has published any more lately, be sure and let’s have ‘em.”


Cheating the devil

Lieut.t M________ a warm hearted Hibernian was brave to a fault, and tho’ meaning what was right, in his expression, his vir__iety outrun his judgement. On one occasion he led an attacking boarding party, where they expected some hot fighting, he cheered them by his example, and still more by his speech – “Let us fight like brave men, and if we are killed, we shall be killed so quickly that we shall all be in heaven before the Devil knows we are dead.”


The Point of Honour

On another occasion, when he was a commander at the siege of Genoa, during a hot action he was found by an officer who came on board seated on the poop, and with the utmost sang froid slapping his posteriors and by every opprobrious epithet daring the enemy to hit that mark.


Simple explanation of Camel & Rich man

To the ignorant and uninformed among country congregations, many of the parables, the metaphors and similes so common in the New Testament lose their whole force & beauty whilst to the well informed they carry conviction energy and strength to whatever subject they may be applied. It is much to be lamented that more pains is not taken to explain these in a simple way as they occur. Being quite familiar and clear to the Preacher, he overlooks the ignorance of his hearers & consequently misses many opportunities of applying doctrines – inculcating useful precepts – & enforcing the obligations of the Holy law of God & of Christian duty. The task also of explanation is very easy – & its utility undoubted. Rather than the difficulties should remain unresolved, I would be content that explanations of the very simplest kind & which would excite risibility among the polite & book-learned congregations of towns should be adopted. For this reason I am particularly pleased with the two following illustrations of a knotty passage in sacred writ, respecting the difficulty of a rich man’s entering the kingdom of heaven.

A Clergyman belonging to the Kirk of Scotland, a worthy specimen of that race of men formerly so common, who were at once the priest & the fathers of their parishioners – at once their guide to heaven, and their friendly director & advisor in temporal matters, – was one day reading that portion of scripture where it is said that it is as impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaver as it is for a caamel to pass thro’ the eye of a needle. Here he stopped and addressed himself to his hearers. “This is a kitly passage, as aiblins ye’ll no ken what a caamel is. It is a muckle beastie, of a curious shape, which I canna just shew ye – but I think it will be better for me to give you a complete apprehension of this passage to suppose something as impossible as the thing recorded in sacred writ. I would say then that is as impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven as it is for a little wee moosie to build its nest in a cats lug.”

The second instance which I am going to mention, I have often related at Falmouth – & I have been told that the circumstance occurred at Flushing. A person belonging to the Methodist persuasion was reading the passage to which I have already alluded, and rightly conceiving that it would [be] as unintelligible to his Cornish Congregation as it was likely to be to the Scotch assembly, he employed another similie, plain and familiar to the most ignorant of his audience. He told them “that is was as impossible for a rich mad to enter the kingdom of heaven as it was for a cow to climy (climb) up an elemy (elm) tree, & cavey (calve) in a magaty-pies (magpie’s) nest.”


A Militiaman is [first raised, then embadged] and at last [discharged].



Levia Quaedam


 Nugae vacus tempore perscriptae

Description of an Apothecary’s shop. – “Hic venitiker carcoticum, emeticum, cartharticum, et omne quod exit in um, praetor remedium.”


The Devil was sick, the Devil a saint would be,
The Devil got well, the Devil of a saint was he.


Maria Stuarda, Scotorum regina [*]

 All the letters of the above line taken, without any particular order, form a sentence very significant of the fate of Mary.

“Trusa vi region, morte amora cado.”


As a highlander, coming from his native hills in the time of harvest, to procure employment as a shearer, entered Dumbarton, he observed above the door of the principal Inn, a sign (with the Innkeeper’s name below) representing a huge misshapen elephant. Donald who had never seen or heard of any such animal, was anxious top know what it was, and at last sagaciously concluding that the name underneath was the designation of the elephant, he exclaimed – “P.- P.- McNicol tam uggly peast.”


Alliteration –

Miss Mary and Margaret McMurdock
Milliners and Mantua Makers
Mantles Made in the most Modern Manner.

“Plandite, porcelli, porcourum, pigra propays.”

Psalm. – My feet from falling free.

A curious specimen of alliteration occurred (unintentionally perhaps) in a newspaper, in which was mentioned, in the usual form that an ordination had taken place and the “Reverend Peter Primrose of Preston Pans, Preached, Prayed & Presided.”

Auctore Georgio Romanes


Mispellings [sic]

On the side of a shop in the Pleasance, [*] where the painter had been instructed to put “Beef and Sausages” the ignorant fellow committed an egregious mistake in putting Beef and Sauvages.”

Tenmany years there was to be seen near Holyrood, the sign of “Curds and Cream.” Amator facitisusum literain C delevit, canique in Grascum T callida mutavit – quod verbum dictum posdum piash__unitibus, multos per annos exhibabatur.”

On a shop, apparently a respectable one, it was intimated that “Beef and Pickled Tongs,” might be had there.



 A man named Caesar married a girl named Roma – both common names in Rome. They lived in the Piazza Navona, close to Pasquin’s statue, where was found next morning, the following advice.

Cave, Caesar, ne tua Roma Res-publica fiat.”

The man replied next day. –

“Caesar imperat”

But his antagonist immediately rejoined. –

“Ergo Coronabitur”

From ‘Diary of an Invalid,’ by Henry Matthews.


Title of an old Tragedy

Gambyses, a lamentable Tragedy, full of Pleasante mirth.


All the letters of Sir Francis Burdetts name will make out the two words “Frantic Disturbers.” A name which has been very properly applied to his followers.


Dr. Barclay, when commencing his course of anatomy was in the custom of repeating year after year the following pun. “Gentlemen,” said he. “I hope you will devote your whole attentions to the subject of osteology, and be not discouraged by the difficulties you may meet with, as too many are. For I am aware that not a few will be disposed to neglect the study altogether, be sure it is a dry subject.”


I was told by an acquaintance (Duff) the following story. One night when he was in one of the Boxes at the Theatre, along with his mother and sisters, Shakespeare’s play of “As you like it,” was represented.

Some time after the commencement of the piece a dandy of the day came in – a gay thoughtless fellow, who was anxious to show his indifference to what delighted every sensible person by affecting to be, as he really was ignorant of the play of the night. In order to show that he was too fashionable to have come for the purpose of rational amusement, he asked what was the title of the play. The answer given by my friend, to whom he tried addressed himself; was “As you like it. Sir.” Conceiving that this was said ironically, he grew red and became angry – but repressing his passion, he passed on to a young lady & put the same question, expecting a very different answer. To his confusion and indignation, she also said “As you like it. Sir.” Stung with this reiteration of the supposed affront, he rose up and left the house, when probably he soon found his mistake, as my friends heard nothing farther from him.


Are dreams true? Or in other words can we from our own experience or from the evidence of credible witnesses, venture to say that God is sometimes pleased to give intimation or warning of future events through the medium of dreams? Much has been said on this interesting topic, both by professed sceptics on the negative, and credulous believers on the affirmative side. That all dreams are not thus intended must be apparent to the most prejudiced – for it is easy to perceive that no important design can be intended to be answered by the absurd reveries of heated or disordered brains. But on the other hand instances of dreams have been related and the truth of them supported by unimpeachable evidence, in which the import has been often too truly and sadly verified by the event. And such an instance as this I am about to mention – and I may here say that I know well one of the persons with whom the circumstance is connected and that I believe him to be  a man, whose veracity is undoubted, whose mind is rigorous & sensible, and not at all disposed to superstition.

About 30 or 40 years ago,[7] this Gentleman, whose name is captain Mc Diarmid, being then about 12 years of age, accompanied his mother on a visit to her two Brothers in London. Having concluded her visit, his mother and he embarked on board a Smack bound for Leith, and set sail. The night immediately succeeding the departure, one of the Brothers dreamed that the vessel had been lost – and so vivid was his impression and so anxious the state of his mind, that he could get no rest, until he had communicated his strange dream to his brother. They agreed to take a coach and go to Yarmouth to endeavour if possible to persuade their sister to come on shore and perform the rest of her journey by land. Luckily, yet wonderfully, the Smack had been compelled by stress of weather to put into Yarmouth roads. They without much difficulty persuaded their Sister and as the Captain’s (Graham) lady had been very ill, she also agreed to go ashore and pursue her journey in company with Mrs. Mc Diarmid, leaving behind her husband & 5 or 6 children. The illfated vessel, as soon as the weather became more moderate, continued her course and almost the first piece of news which the ladies heard at Edinburgh was the loss of the vessel with nearly all on board, off Dunbar. The widow of captain Graham, for many years, was disordered in her mind but at last recovered and was married to a Baronet. And there is another proof of this story viz. that there is still a monument about one or two miles from Dunbar, commemorating the event of the wreck and the loss of Capt.n Graham & children.


Letter from a countryman in Aberdeen to his Parish Minister

Curs Kelly Tuinteeth Jean

Rever and Sear

I am true balsam (turn)[*]

but afs you have always been a well washer and gude freend of hoores, and as you are d buckish man, ausser and more of her [moreover] a parson of nolegs and aspairinss [knowledge and experience] I hop you will axcuse me for infarming you that wife and me have a country overse aboat our son. I want the laddie to get a buss at Col hedge of Haberdin and that you would write for him to some Count seller or some odder of Gilclewy there a to rage and beat you [Regent Beattie] who would give him the use of Hand waits Dixon Narry, and then I might live to see him Maister o’airts and shakspeare [shake his poor] head in a pulpit.

But my helspet [helpmate[*]] habjacks to that fuir fishing and she fears he might go idol and then like the dumbmany [domimie] of Tyre fall to tapellen [tippling] and so be fuddled, which is a saint ale brous thing. My laddie is good at Letting [:atin] – Tells stories of Harkgel afs yule Lizzies, Poly Farmons, Kiritish Curses and mony odders which are as unknown as the poporum. And I am half red [afraid] he will be meal and cully, if we do not let him (blank) his book. If you would send ane (blank) to make a miss ter that would do gud, for he ebing commondeer (commander) of the mealy tree [military] would pork cure [procure] a favour for the axing: I am told that you and him are grate akwantons [acquaintances] My hillspet has a paradox [pair of ducks] for your (turn)

on I would sent some, but when I go to Kark on Sunday I shall not be enpt handed. You shall have a gud kicking [chicken] or a fool [fowl] happing for your best drake soon. I an your most hombuilt Parish on her.

Patrick Thompson


With regard to the stories of Livy respecting the siege of Rome by Porsenna, the devotion of Curtius, the heroism of Horatius Cocles and the intrepidity of Clelia – these are all fabulous stories which were believed in the early ages of the Republic, doubted in the time of Augustus and totally disbelieved in the reign of Vespasian. That Emperor, in order to satisfy himself with regard to these and other equally authentic stories, commanded workmen to dig up the ground and endeavour to discover some inscriptions illustrative of the History of Rome before its destruction by the Gauls. About 3000 inscriptions were dug up, engraved on various substances, and among the rest was found a treaty between the Romans and Porsenna, from which it appeared that Porsenna, in place of being ____ by the action of Cuetius or daunted by the exploits of Cocles ot Clelia – instead of having retired from Rome and leaving the Romans victorious, had actually made himself master of the City and only concluded a peace with the Romans on very hard conditions. He scarcely left them any of their former possessions except the country in their immediate neighbourhood. So  much for the veracity of Livy in relating the early history of Rome.

Auctore Jacobo Pillans in praelectionbus suis


Whatever may be the reasons, which influence Roman Catholics to pay attention to Saints, and on whatever authority these may be founded, it might easily be shewn from different passages of ancient Writers, that they did not derive this custom (as some have asserted) from any thing which the Fathers of the Church have said in its favour. To prove this, it would only be necessary to quote a few passages from their works, shewing that they entirely disapproved of the practice, which was then becoming prevalent, of regarding all martyrs and sacred characters with respect – bordering on adoration, to the exclusion of that supreme love, which ought to be felt towards God. Without entering into any thing which has been said against this in general, we shall merely cite a few passages, in which all people are cautioned not to look upon the Virgin Mary as any thing than as a woman, or to pay to her that adoration and homage due to the almighty alone. This example will be amply sufficient for our purpose, because among all the Saints of the Roman Calendar, there is none to whom so much veneration and homage is universally paid. The extract is from Jsiodorus Pelusiota and is to the following effect.

Rivera sanctum erat corpus
Mariae: non tamen Deus (erat)
Revera virgo erat ipas et
Virgo honorata, sed non ad adoration
Nem nobis data, sed ipsa adorsans
Cum, qui ex ipsa carne genitus est &.c
       Sive mortua ast sancta Virgo
Maria, et sepulta, sine sublata
Est (velat scriptum est), sine mansit
Non convenit colere sanctos ultra
Decorum, sed honorare ipsorum dominum
         Evangelium  murit nos, dicens
Quad ipse Dominus dixerit, amtum
Alloquens. “Quid mitri et tibi est
Mulier: nondum verrit hora inca.”
Ut non putarent aliqui, madis
Eximiam esse sanctam virginem, mu-
Lierem appellavit, veluti prophetans
Ea quae postea in terries acciderunt: ut
Ne aliqui nimium admirari sanctam
Virginem in hereseos diliramenta
         Quis prophetarum praecipit homi-
Nem adorari, nedum mulierem ?

[Ai Gunaikes]


Altho’ the peculiar objects of female passion may pass away and their place be continually filled up by new and different objects, still the same principles of conduct, the same passions and the same motives are found to govern them in every period of society, in the savage, as well as in those who pretend to the character of civilized.

Hence it is that the description given of them by authors who have lived Centuries before our times, has been found to tally exactly with that of them at the present day. For example let us consider the account given  of them by Hieronymus, a celebrated ecclesiastic in ancient times, in a letter to his Mother, and we shall find that the case applies with equal if not with greater force to our Modern Belles.


“De industria dissuta fit turnica, ut aliquid intus appareat: operitur quod Joedum est, et aperitur, quod formosum est: crispanti cinqulo angustum pectus orctatur: capilli infrontem vil in aures defluint: palliolum interdum cudit, ut candidos midet humeros; et quasi videri noluerit, celat festine, quod dexterat volens. Vix est ita turpis, ant senior confecta quae non gairdiat, et libenter audlah si dicatur esse pulchra.”


Coolness of a Prussian Soldier

At a celebrated battle, which was fought in Germany between the Prussian King Frederick the II, and the Austrian troops, the following circumstance marked the character of the Prussian soldiers.

The Bavarian general, Count Kreib, at that time serving as a Volunteer in the Imperial army, fell in with a Prussian Grenadier with both his legs shot off, who lay on the ground weltering in his blood and was smoking his pipe quite composedly. The astonished General called out to him. “Fellow-soldier is it possible that you in your present dreadful situation, can yet quietly smoke your pipe. Death stares you in the face.” The Grenadier, taking the pipe from his mouth, coolly replied. “What matters it? I still die for my King.”

Archenholz History of the 7 Years

War in Germany – page 130.


The character of the French was contemptible in the eyes both of enemies & friends, during the German war, as the following incident shows.

A Prussian Dragoon, upon the point of taking a Frenchman prisoner, beheld at the very instant, when he was going to seize him, as Austrian Cuirassier (his enemy) behind him, with the sword over his head. “Brother German,” exclaimed the Prussian to him, “give me (literally leave to me) this Frenchman.” “Take him,” said the Austrian, with an air of contempt for his ally, and thereupon went away.

Archenholz. Page 110.


Lines by Mr. Dumnet of Edinburgh in praise of Professor Syme, who by dividing the Tendo Achilles restored a deformed foot to its natural state

Good –

Vulnus quo periit quondam generosus
Syme ina illatum, fit medecina manu Achilles
Cedatis veteres victim, qaudite recentes
Quod nocuit Thetidi proderit arte nova 


The wound by which of old Achilles died
Becomes a cure by Syme’s nice hand applied
Thus modern are reverses classic futle
And we rejoice in tendon vulnerable.


With which words, the epic Williamson Journals close, leaving some ten pages of blank paper.