Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

8 erthygl ar y dudalen hon




The Reform Question.

--,-:--OUR MISCELLANY. ------


OUR MISCELLANY. A Jamaica I-Iousehold.-My English servant, on our paying a visit to a certain house, where she dined with the coloured folk, said, Oh, ma'am, the niggers stand round the table, and are thrown bits like dogs." And so I found it afterwards, in my own kitchen. If you engage a certain number of servants, be sure they are nearly doubled. A groom keeps his assistant—some wretch too idle to work hard, or who is trying how long he can subsist without wages, on the scraps that fall to him; the cook ditto; the odd- job man ditto; besides these, are friends who have de custom of de house," and come in for scraps too, nowise abashed. On the entrance of the mistress, an introduction takes place, and the friend makes a per- sonal remark on the lady, usually complimentary: Dis is Miss Mary Anne, ma'am: Miss Mary Anne, dis my missus." And a nice buckra lady, too," says Miss Mary Anne, quietly eating my substance.— Black is not quite White," in All the Year Round. The Honey Guide.—The honey guide is an ex- traordinary bird, How is it that every member of its family has learned that all men, white or black, are fond of honey ? The instant the little fellow gets a glimpse of a man he hastens to greet him with the hearty invitation to come-as Mbia, translated it-to a bee's hive and take some honey. He flies on in the proper direction, perches on a tree, and looks back to see if you are following him; then on to another and another, until he guides you to the spot. If you do not accept his first invitation, he follows you with pressing importunities, quite as anxious to lure the stranger to the bees' hive as other birds are to draw him away from their own nests. Except while on the march, our men were sure to accept the invitation, and manifested the same by a peonlia,r responsive whistle, meaning, as they said, "All right, go a-head, we are coming." The bird never deceived them, but always guided them to a hive of bees, though some had but little honey in store. Has this peculiar habit of the honey guide its origin, as the attachment of dogs, in friendship for man, or in love for the sweet pickings of plunder left on the ground ?- LivinÇ/:tone' sZambesi. Advantages of Poverty.—Given twopoys, with equal push and ability-the one the son of nobody, who keeps your crossing clean, and who, when he shuts up shop, by, as it has been neatly put, sweeping the mud up on the pavement," goes away to sleep in some wretched lodging; and the other, the son of a man earning three, or four, or five hundred a year, shall we say; put them out in life, the one as errand boy the other as junior clerk: which of these has the best chance of success ? The one is educated, the other is not; the one is socially much higher than his fellow, the other is but, in the world's estimation, as the mud he once swept aside from his crossing; the one has friends to help him, the other must take his leaps for himself; the one, apparently, has far the best chance, the other has, so far as can be seen, every circumstance dead against him-and yet, look ye, the poor boy gets the lead of the race, because he is not weighted unduly; because he has been enabled to steal ahead, while no one was thinking of him-no one criticising how he rode. The rates and the taxes, the eating and drinking, the clothing and servants, the opinions of friends, the ideas of society, all tend to keep a man of the middle class in the valley of mediocrity all his life. He is influenced by his sur- roundings his next door neighbour is a person of con- sequence in his eyes-Mrs. Grundy a power which he fears to ignore.- Once a Week. A Frenchman's Opinion of English Girls. —This is the cry of rapture that a distinguished French writer, M. Talne, raises after contemplation of the young ladies of EnglandNothing more simple than the young girls; among lovely things there are few so lovely in the world; well-shaped, strong, sure of themselves, so thoroughly sound and open, so exempt from coquetry. Impossible, unless one has seen it, to imagine this freshness, this inno- cence. Many of them are flowers-flowers just burst- ing into bloom; only the morning rose, with its pure and delightful tints, with its petals studded with dew- drops, can give an idea of it. Far in advance this of the beauty of the South, with its distinct, finished, fixed outlines, constituting a definite design. Here all reminds us of the fragility, delicacy, and continual flow of life; eyes full of candour, blue as violets, look- ing without consciousness of what they are looking at; at the slightest emotion, the blood diffusing itself over the cheeks, the neck, even down to the shoulders, in purple-tinted waves you see emotions flitting on these transparent flashes like the varying tints that play upon their meadows; and this virgin purity is so genuine that you feel an impulse to lower your eyes in respect. And yet, all natural and artless as they are, they are not languid and listless; they enjoy and can bear active service like their brothers; with their hair floating in the wind, they are to be seen, when only six years old, galloping on horseback, and taking long walks. In this country a life of action fortifies the phlegmatic temperament, and the heart becomes more simple while the body is becoming more sound." History of a Slang Phrase. One summer, when returning from Hampton Court races, on the box of a four-horse drag, with poor Charley Sheridan, who possessed a large portion of the talents of that truly able family, by my side, we overtook an elderly gentleman on the bridge, whose retund appearance no amount of Bantingism could have reduced, and who hailed us to pull up. Our well-bred amateur coach- man, Fitzroy Stanhope, obeyed the summons, and Sheridan, descending from his seat, asked the stranger his pleasure. I see you are full outside and in," was the reply; "you drive a little too fast, coachman, during these crowded days; who is the proprietor of your ooach ?" "I am not aware," responded the descendant of the immortal Richard Brinsley. Not aware! echoed the other, the blood mounting in his rubicund face, and giving us the idea that a fit of apoplexy would follow. When does the next coach go by?" he continued, "I prefer a pair of horses to your scampering four." "I am not aware," again said Charley, with a most bland and winning smile. "And your name, sir, for I presume you are guard." I am not aware." Come along, my boy," shouted Fitzroy, we shall be late," as Sheridan pro- ceeded to resume his seat. Late 1" exclaimed the obese gentleman, why, what o'clock is it ? "I am not aware," shouted Charley, as we drove off at the rate of twelve miles an hour, towards London, leaving eur "fat friend" in a great state of excitement. D tiring our dinner, which took place that evening at Crook- ford's Club, the subject turned upon "cant words," and a small wager was made by Sheridan that he would get I'm not aware" into as great a popularity as belonged to other sentences. The expiration of the Goodwood race week, which was shortly to follow, was the time allowed for the general introduction of the phrase. Of course you'll assist me," said Charley, addressing me. You may depend upon my services," I responded, and fully did I act up to my promise. Upon reaching Good wood-house, where fifty questions were put to me, as honorary secretary of the racing club, I replied, I am not aware," until at last others caught up the words, and the phrase became general. After dinner, on the second day, I replied to General Peel, who asked me what time the races began, in the cant phrase; but he retorted upon me, for on my asking him the name of one of his young horses, he answered, "I am not aware." "So let it be," said I, "an excellent name," and from that moment the son of Tranby was called I am not aware." With such notoriety the phrase became universal, and Sheridan won his wager.-Memoirs of Lord William Lennox. Manners and Customs of the Gauls.-The Gauls were tall in stature, their skin was white, their eyes blue, their hair fair or chestnut, which they dyed, in order to make the colour more brilliant. They let their beard grow; the nobles alone shaved, and pre- served only long moustaches. Trousers or breeches, very wide among the Belgae, but narrower among the Southern Gauls, and a shirt with sleeves, descending to the middle of the thighs, composed their principal dress. They were clothed with a mantle or saic, magnificently embroidered with gold and silver among the rich, and held about the neck by means of a metal brooch. The lowest classes of the people used instead an animal's -ikin. The Aquaitanians covered themselves, probably according to the Iberic custom, with cloth of coarse wool unshorn. The Gauls wore collars, earrings, brace- lets, and rings for the arms, of gold or copper, accord- ing to their rank; necklaces of amber, and rings, which they placed on the third finger. They were naturally agriculturists, and we may suppose that the institution of private property existed among them, because, on the one hand, all the citizens paid the tax, except the Druids, and, on the other, the latter were judges of questions of boundaries. They were not unacquainted with certain manufactures. In some countries they fabricated serges, which were in great repute, and cloths or felts; in others they worked the mines with skill, and employed themselves in the fabrication of metals. The Bituriges worked in iron, and were well acquainted with the art of tinning. The artificers of Alesia plated copper with leaf-silver, to ornament horses' bits and trappings. The Gauls fed especially on the flesh of swine, and their ordinary drinks were milk, ale, and mead. They were reproached with being inclined to drunkenness. They were frank and open in temper, and hospitable towards strangers, but vain and quarrelsome; fickle in their sentiments, and fond of novelties, they took sudden resolutions, regretting one day what they had rejected with disdain the day before; inclined to war and eager for adven- tures, they showed themselves hot in the attack, but quickly discouraged in defeat. Their language was very concise and figurative; in writing, they employed Greek letters. The men were not exempt from a shame- ful vice, which we might have believed less common in this country than among the people of the East. The women united an extraordinary beauty with remarkable courage and great physical force. Among their other customs, they had one which was singular; they considered it as a thing unbecoming to appear in public with their children, until the latter had reached the age for carrying arms. When he married, the man took from his fortune a portion equal to the dowry of the wife. This sum, placed as a common fund, was allowed to accumulate with interest, and the whole reverted to the survivor. The husband had the right of life and death over his wife and children. When the decease of a man of wealth excited any suspicion, his wives, as well as his slaves, were put to the torture, and burnt if they were found guilty. The extravagance of their funerals presented a con- trast to the simplicity of their lives. All that the defunct had cherished during his life was thrown into the flames after his death; and even, before the Roman conquest, they joined with it his favourite slaves and clients.—" History of Julius Ccesar." By the Emperor Napoleon III. Vol. II.


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