Gleanings from the Past #69

Returning Home

In May last, Mr. Goring, of Staines, lost a valuable horse, for which he made the most diligent inquiry, but without effect. Last week, however, a gentleman driving through Staines in a gig, the horse made a sudden stop at Mr. Goring’s house, from which
nothing could induce him to move The circumstance attracting a number of persons, and among the rest Mr. Goring, who recognized his horse; and, on referance to the person of
whom the gentleman had purchased it, the animal was at length traced to the fellow who stole it, and who has since been committed for trial.

Bell’s Weekly Messenger, October 2, 1803

Pope on Public Speaking


[Alexander] Pope, at the request of [Bishop Atterbury], attended the hearing in the House of Lords, and was called upon to give his evidence on that occasion. To this incident he has himself adverted, as a proof of his inability to speak in public. “I do not believe,” says he, “that if it was a set thing, I could give an account of any story to twelve friends together; though I could tell it to any three of them with a great deal of pleasure. When I was to appear for the Bishop of Rochester on his trial, though I had but ten words to say, and that on a plain easy point (how that Bishop spent his time whilst I was with him at Bromley), I made two or three blunders in it; and that, notwithstanding the first row of Lords (which were all I could see), were mostly of my acquaintance.”

— Alexander Pope, after testifying in the trial of Bishop Atterbury, quoted in Willam Roscoe, The Works of Alexander Pope, Esq., with Notes and Illustrations, Vol. 1, 1847

Punning Sermon

James the First of England, and Sixth of Scotland, was, as every one knows, deficient in vigour and steadiness. Having heard of a famous preacher who was very witty in his sermons, and peculiarly so in his choice of texts, he ordered this clergyman to preach before him. With all suitable gravity, the learned divine gave out his text in the following words: — “James, first and sixth, in the latter part of the verse, ‘He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven by the winds and tossed,'”

“Ods chickens! he’s at me already,” exclaimed the king.

Life, Vol. 48, November 10, 1906


To an indignant person who was perpetually boasting of his distinguished ancestry, an industrious and successful tradesman, of humble origin, remarked, “You are proud of your descent, I am proud of my ascent.”

The Leisure Hour, Vol. 5, April 17, 1856

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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. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

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