VARIETIES.|1878-01-26|The Cardigan Observer and General Advertiser for the Counties of Cardigan Carmarthen and Pembroke - Welsh Newspapers Online
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VARIETIES. No man forgets respect to another who knows the value of respect to himself. FOLLIES OF THE WISE.-The wise man has his follies no less than the fool; but it has been said that herein lies, the difference—the follies of the fool are known to the world, but are hidden from himself; the follies of the wise man are known to himself, but are hidden from the world. HOAXING THE LEARNED. — Jacob Bobart, the younger, and son of a German horticulturist of the same name, who superintended the Physic Garden in Oxford in the 17th century, once played an ingenious hoax on the learned of that university. He found a large dead rat in the garden, and transformed it by art into the shape of a dragon as represented in old and curious books of natural history, particularly in Aldrovandus. This was shown to various learned men, all of whom believed it to be a genuine and invaluable specimen of the dragon. Many fine copies of verses were written by the literati in honour of Bobart and his matchless discovery, and persons flocked from all parts to see it. Bobart owned the cheat some years after, but it was for a long time preserved as a master- piece of art. THE JAPANESE Rip VAN WINKLE.-The Japanese have the story of Rip van Winkle in another form. A young man fishing in his boat on* the ocean was in- vited by the goddess of the sea to her home beneath the waves. After three days he desired to see his old father and mother. On parting she gave him a golden casket and a key, but begged him never to open it. At the village where he lived all was changed, and he could get no trace of his parents until an aged woman recollected having heard of their names. He found their graves a hundred years old. Thinking that three days could not have made such a change, and that he was under some extraordinary spell, he opened the box. A white vapour rose, and under its influence the young man fell to the ground. His hair turned gray, his form lost its youth, and in a few months he died of old age. SCENTS AND CENTS.—The other day Mr. Middlerib stopped at a grocery store and bought some onions, giving the grocer a two-dollar bill. Among the change handed back to the customer was an old one- dollar bill. It had been taken in that morning for kerosene oil, and there was just a dash of the oil on it that had been spilled in the morning. Then the grocer had laid it on a pile of codfish while he fixed the stopper in the oil can. Then he had it on his hand while he cut off a couple of pieces of cheese, and the cheese on the bill struggled with the codfish and kerosene for pre-eminence. Then it got a little touch of mackerel and a little tincture of stale egg on it, and at last the grocer stuffed it into his pocket along with a plug of tobacoo, and finally, when Middlerib got it with his onions, he held it to his nose once or twice, sniffed it with an investigating air, and at last walked out of the store with a cheerful countenance, saying, By George, we're all right now. Good times are here again, and the Government is paying one hun- dred scents on the dollar." A CLEVER DIPLOMATIST.-When Queen Elizabeth first proposed to Defoe, the famous civilian, to employ him on a diplomatic mission to Flanders, she told him, among other things, that he should have twenty i shillings a day for his expenses, which at that time was thought a liberal allowance. "Then your High- ness," said the doctor, "I will spend nineteen shil- lings a day in your Majesty's service." What will you do with the odd shilling ?" said the Queen. Oh, I will reserve that for my wife and two chil- dren." This answer had the effect intended, and a considerable increase was immediately made in his allowance. During Dr. Dale's stay in Flanders, he was, notwithstanding, pressed for money, and thought of a novel plan to get a supply; he sent in a packet to the secretary of state two letters; one to the Queen, and the other to his wife, which he misdirected, so that the letter to his wifo was addressed To her most excellent Majesty," and that to the Queen inscribed To his dear wife." The Queen, having opened the letter, was surprised to find it beginning with "Sweet- heart," and afterwards interlarded with my dear," "my love," and other affectionate, expressions. It concluded with requesting her to be very economical, for he could send her nothing, as he was very short of money, and could not think of trespassing on the bounty of her Majesty any further. Whether the Queen suspected the trick, or believed in his necessi- ties, is not certain; but an immediate supply of money was sent both to the Doctor and his family. THE FAITHFUL HAWK.—The Persians relate of one of their Kings, that being one day on a hunting party with his hawk upon his hand, a deer started up before him; he let the hawk fly, and followed it with great eagerness, till at length the deer was taken. The courtiers were all left behind in the chase. The King, thirsty, rode about" in quest of water till, having reached the foot of a mountain, he discovered some trickling down from a rock in drops. He took a little cup out of his quiver, and held it to catch the water. Just when the cup was filled and he was going to drink, the hawk shook his pinions and overset the cup. The King was vexed at the accident, and ap- plied the cup to the crevice in the rock. When the cup was replenished, and he was lifting it to his mouth, the hawk clapped his wings and threw it down a second time. The King, enraged, flung the bird with such against the ground, that it expired. At this moment the table-decker came up. The King having still a great mind to taste the water that trickled down the rock, but being too impatient to wait till it was again collected by drops, he ordered the table-decker to go to the top of the rock, and fill the cup at the fountain head. The table-decker on reaching the top of the rock found an immense serpent lying dead, and his poisonous foam mixing with the water that fell over. He descended, related the fact to the King, and presented him with a cup of cold water out of his own flagon. As the King lifted the cup to his lips, the tears gushed from his eyes. He related to the table-decker the adventure of the hawk, and reproached himself deeply for the fatal conse- quences of his anger and precipitancy. During the remainder of his life, say the Persians in their figura- tive style, "the arrow of regret continually rankled in his breast." ROME, BY AN ENGLISH HOSTLER.—Rome, also, eur author regards from his own point of view, admitting that it has many aspects and invites almost as many judgments. An English hostler, of wiiom he speaks with the approval due to an independent observer, re- marked to the author, There's heverything you can wish for in Romo-Hemperors and Popes, and temples and churches, and the Colosseum and Wattican and, bless yer, there ain't a 'ossier place out." Neither differing from the hostler, nor omitting to notice the condition and prospects of "sport" in the sacred city, the writer maintains that Rome, apart from its historic associations, is chiefly noticeable as the city of religious masquerade and shaves," i.e palpable lies most plausibly related." The tone in which he speaks of the festal doings of her ecclesiastics is by no means reverential, and will cause many a connoisseur in ritualism to regret that so powerful a delineator should be so signally deficient in light and sweetness but to Englishmen, who have not yet learnt to think of Rome as the ever-living fountain of truth or to deem the Reformation the grand* blunder ef eur history, the writer's playful manner of dealing with a Roman festival will be more amusing than offensive.—Sala's "Home and Venice." DUALITY OF SCOTTISH NATIONAL CHARACTER.— Scotland will be one of the last countries in Europe- much as she has been changing of late years-to lose her ancient characteristics. With. all the prose in her daily life, all her eagerness in money-making, all her sectarian severity, all her hard-headed, hard-handed efforts to be only practical, and to take the lead in what is practical-and with het Radicals sitting in every borough-a strong vein of feudalism, a thread of minstrelsy, runs through the old kingdom, and has far more effect upon her than the people themselves suppose. This is the aecretof their Wallace Monu- anent, Burns Centenaries, and Scottish Rights move- ments; of that respect for historic families and ancient names which sometimes breaks out. even ludicrously in persons who are determined to deny the political deductions from such a sentiment. Now, all this ardour of temperament is at once the cause of her minstrelsy and is acted on by her minstrelsy, as the mist which at one time rises from the bosom of earth descends upon it at another in the form of refreshing dew. The very differentia of the Scot's character is the union of more than worldly keenness with more than ordinary susceptibility to romantic influence. James Hannay. A ROBBERY ACCOUNTED TOR.—Of all the stories about robbers, we must give the palm to the follow- ing:—A chief of the old patriarchal and feudal school, with whom I was acquainted, possessed, a few years ago, an impregnable castle, in a wild and rocky country, which he filled with bold and devoted re- tainers. A party of gentlemen, connected, I believe, with one of the foreign legations, arrived at the stronghold and was received with hospitality but on the following morning, when returning to Nauplia, was stopped by a body of men, manifestly sent from the castle, and plundered. On reaching Nauplia, it so happened, that the first individual met by the prin- ciple member of the pillaged party was the very son of this mountain chief, who, having received his education in the town, and having even spent some time at Paris, was as complete a representative of young France as his father was of feudal Greece. Chancing to be asked the time of day, the traveller replied that he should have had the utmost pleasure in giving the desired information, but that he had been unhappily deprived of his watch that morning by his father's band; to which the youthful heir of the robber is reported to have answered, with all the indifference of good society, that the levent was equally unfortunate to both, as it deprived his friend of that which could not be easily replaced in Greece, and precluded him from ascertaining the time of day exactly when he most required to know it, for the ful- Glment of a particular engagemellt.-Lord (JarnørtJtm', Reminiscences of Athens," NICE SERVANTS. — We had another pretty servant after this—a slight, pale-faced thing, with carrotty hair. It was not "golden auburn," Mr. IJ., and my blood boils when I think of the way you used to look at that baggage as you were cutting the cheese at dinner. You must wear goloshes, mitst you, in wet weather? and Miss Golden Auburn "—her name was Fanny, but I always called her by her name. Champ it took her 'pride down—must help my gentlenvls o& and off with his goloshes morning and evening, K&ti, of course, the goloBhes neve^ could he foHind: and pretty carryings on there were in the halL I didn't loose my temper-I never do; but when this kind of thing had been going on about a fortnight, I said to my 'fine lady with the" golden auburn hair-" OtEt,of my house you go! there's a month's^wages; rack and be off!" She went; and I promise you that I neve* had any more pretty servants. And whea the doot had closed upon this most designing puss. I ttWfifti Mr. H. quite calmly, and I said, Henry, I kfide bees to you a loving, a faithful, an obedient, ani wife. I have lavished on you all the 11 IIIIBWIMMBB woman's tenderness and sympathy. Henry, IS^^H borne all your insults, all your outrages, with ang4nna meekness," and with that I up with my open hand^> !|| and I caught him a box on the left ear, which, he after* If wards admitted made him see fireworks. We had a dreadful scene; and for more than a week he re- mained away, staying at a dreadful place called the Garrick's Head, in Bow-street, where there was a porter up all night, and dissipated people ate potatoes like balls of flour, and steaks from a mahogany grid* iron, I think it was; and a stout old gentleman called Baron Nickleby, preached mock sermons about horse- racing. But I fetched him home in a hansom cab, and v; e lunched at the King's Arms, Kensington; and I forgave him. Ah! woman is always forgiving some- thing or somebody.—Mr. Sala in Belgravia. PARLIAMENTARY DrvmoNa.—It may be fitting to sote here the great earnestness displayed by the Members of this, the first House of Commons elected under an extended franchise, in the attendance ef members at divisions. In the first session of the last Parliament there were 80 divisions, the average of members to each division was 240; in the second ses* sion there were 164 divisions, the average was 222 and in the third and last session of that Parliament, there were 168 divisions, the average attendance being 193. In the session recently closed there were 160 divisions, the average attendance at which was 246, so that with double the number of divisions that took place in 1866,-there was a larger average attendance. Is it not a natural conclusion that the closer attention of members is a reflex of the stronger interest in po- litical affairs manifested by the constituencies P—Far• liamentary Buff-book. WITCHCRAFT IN ENGLAND. A recent trial for witchcraft—or, at least, fraudulent fortune-telling— suggests the unpleasant reflection that the belief in witches still exists to a very considerable extent in England. We do not, it is true, hear of it much in the busy towns; because there is not so much gossiping rumour in them as in country places, and because the people, with all their shortcomings, are a little less ignorant. Nevertheless, the ignorance still displayed in the nineteenth century may well occasion surprise, and suggest inquiries concerning that said school- master who is declared to be abroad." In London, the credulity is chiefly among servant girls, who give their sixpences to fortune-tellers for informatim on certain important questions about" dark men," fair men," and the like. The line of division between fortune-telling and witchcraft being a very slight one, we need not be suprised that the credulous often step over this boundary, and commit themselves to the most gross and absurd impositions.dll the Year Hound. ARCADIA.—I remember, in the days of my innocence, being a good deal impressed by a sentence in Albert Smith's lecture upon Mont Blanc, wherein he spoke of the wear and tear and consequent exhaustion of the life of a literary man in London, to which it seemed that the ascent of Mont Blanc formed a necessary re- lief. At that period I rather believed in literary men in London. I supposed them to be a strange excitable race, talking with unutterable smartness in club smoking-rooms, plunged at one moment into a Grub- street garret, and at another the idols of the gilded drawing-rooms of a luxurious aristocracy. I have since made the acquaintance of some of them, and must confess to a certain disappointment; not, of course, that their conversation is not always overflowing with pointed epigrams, but that somehow their external life is apt to be remarkably humdrum. They fre- quently dress like other people, pay their bills quarterly marry andJive in decent houses, and turn out their work as mechanically and regularly as clerks in a rail- way station.—Corn hill Magazine. OXFORD SLANG.-To many readers, however, the following specimens, taken at random from the slang which is most in vogue at Oxford at present, may be sufficiently new to be interesting. A man is said to be in the swim" when any piece of good fortune has happened, or seems likely to happen, to him. To have rowed one's college-boat to the head of the river-to have received a legacy-to have made a good book on the Derby—are any of them sufficient to have put one "in the swim." The metaphor is piscatorial, swim" being the term applied by Thames fishermen to those sections of the river which are especially frequented by fish. The angler who casts his bait into these may depend upon sport, whereas his neighbour at a little distance may not have a nibble, being out of the swim." No more cruel fate can happen to an undergraduate than to be "out of it." This is a phrase of very general application. A man who is unwell, unhappy, in debt, or in any other respect un- comfortable, considers himself, generally, as out of it." It never occurs to him to say what he is out of." If this expression could be proved to have been derived from the one which we noticed first, then out of it" would only mean out of the swim." But this is not likely. Probably the phrase belongs pri- marily to cricketers, who alternately have an innings and are" out." -Macmillan's Magazine. THE CAUSES OF REARING."—Take, as one disease among many thus produced— that which has caused many a good horse to sink from the barouche to the four-wheeled cab-" roaring." It is brought about in hundreds of cases by,the bearing-rein. In our en- deavour," says Col. Fitzwygram, putting the case much more mildly than did Mr. Mayhew in his Illustrated Horse Doctor,' "to give an arched appearance to the neck, we sometimes in horses not naturally so formed, produce distortion of the larynx, and, consequently, obstruction to the free ingress of the air. Horses in which the branches of the lower jaws are not set suffi- ciently wide to allow of the head being freely and easily bent, often make a roaring noise if the head is reined-in when they are ridden and a continuance of this forced position may induce thickening of the membrane, and ultimately roaring." Not only may, but does, in innumerable cases. Look at the natural position of a horse's head and neck in drawing a weight, as you may see it any day in a cab-horse, when ita driver is too wise to use a bearing rein; com- pare it with the forced curve of a high-nepping car- riage horse's throat, and see what discomfort the latter must suffer. Try to run with your chin forced down on your chest and your throat bent, and yen will no more admire the result of the bearing-rein than you admire the Chinese foot as compared with the straight toes of the Venus de' Medici. — Col. JFitswygriun'» Morses and Stables. BYRON AND His WIFE IN 1816. Are not Lord Byron's leave-taking verses beautiful ? I believe I indulged myself with abusing him to you, but ever since those verses I have felt recent relentings towards the luckless authors. Partly, I believe this effect may be owing to some particles of contrariness in my dispo- sition, which have been a good deal excited by the delicate morality of his admirers in this neighbourhood, who excuse themselves to themselves for their ci-devant admiration by a double portion of rancour towards his lordship and pity towards his wife. Poor Lady Byron!" "Unfortunate victim!" Hapless sufferer I' and so forth, are her styles and titles at present. Now without at all attempting to vindicate him or excuse her, I cannot help thinking this unmense quantity of sympathy rather more than the case requires. Why did she marry him P for, to do the man justice, he was no hypocrite; his vices were public enough. Why did she marry him but to partake his celebrity and bask in the sunshine of his fame ? And by what de- vice of conjugal flattery could that object have been attained so fully as at present. She has now the com- fort of being" interesting" in the eyes of all men, and exemplary" in the mouths of all women; she has, moreover-and even I, spinster as I am, can feel that this must be a solid consolation-she has, moreover, the delight of hating her husband, to the admiration and edification of the whole world.-Life of Miss Mitford. BRUIN'S COUP DN GRACB.-It was evident that my appearance was not intimidating, for my adversary neither swerved to right nor left, and his wicked eyes blazed forth flashes of malignant hate. Eight or ten yards more the distance was diminished, when whether from fear, certain that my last moments had arrived, or knowledge of animals' habits, I gave a shout-a feeble one, of no distinct note, I believe but the result was fortunate, for the foe halted, and really seemed uncomfortable, occasionally glancing around, as if he believed retreat, if possible, would be advisible; but second thoughtsjare not always best. The irresolution was fatal, and the bear found it so ultimately, for he again advanced towards me. When, scarcely eight yards divided us, a second shout again brought him to a halt, as if he sat up displaying his teeth, symptoms that too truly said, I will teach you a lesson "—I let him have the contents of the right barrel, aimed for the nose, well knowing the shortness of range would throw the projectiles up. And so it did. At so short a distance the concussion was irresistible; both. eyes were destroyed, the forehead up to the apex of the crown was fearfully cut up, and the poor bear rolled over, clawing the injured parts in life's last agony. Without hesitation I delivered the coup dc grace by discharging the second barrel ut the butt of Bruin'a ear, thus surely putting a finishing touch to his earthly- career. "This bear weighed about two hnndred and twenty pounds, and was, in the vicinity where kiliy deemed a veryltl.1ge one.

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