Gleanings From The Past #38


Irish Speak

An Irishman, being ask’d if he understood French? Reply’d, “Yes, Joy, I understand French perfectly well, provided it’s spoken in Irish.”

— Xavier Méfret, French and English Self-taught, 1882


Omission to do what is necessary
Seals a commission to a blank of danger:
And danger, like an ague, subtly taints
Even then when we sit idly in the sun.

— William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act 3. Scene 3, c. 1602

Two Halves

Old Mr. Grove, the table-decker at St. James’s, used, as long as he was able, to walk round the Park every day. Dr. Barnard, then a Chaplain, met him accidentally in the Mall. “So, Master Grove,” said he, “why you look vastly well. Do you continue to take your usual walk?” “No, Sir,” replied the old man;” I cannot do so much now; I cannot get round the Park: but I will tell you what I do instead — I go half round, and back.”

— Laetitia Matilda Hawkins, Memoirs, Anecdotes, Facts, and Opinions, Vol. 1, 1824


About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkLaw and Facebook. My email is
This entry was posted in Anecdotes, Humor, Literature, Miscellanea and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Gleanings From The Past #38

  1. David says:

    I always love it when I see another example of Shakespeare’s marvelous way with words. Any idea what this is: “the table-decker at St. James’s”


  2. papershots says:

    love the last one. Two HAlves.


  3. My wife and I have friends who live in Ireland. I think they’d get a kick out of the Irish bit above.


  4. Refueled says:

    Fantastic. 👍


  5. masercot says:

    I’ve always contended that distinguishing between someone speaking French and someone having a mild stroke is impossible…


  6. There is no refuting any of those.


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