Gleanings from the Past #72

On the Spot


When [John] Dryden was a boy at Westminster school, he was put, with others to write a copy of verses on the miracle of the conversion of water into wine. Being a great truant, he had not time to compose his verses; and, when brought up, he had only made one line of Latin, and two of English:

Vidct et erubit lympha pudica Deum!

Tho modest water, awed by power divine.
Beheld its God, and blushed itself to wine;

which so pleased the master, that, instead of being angry, he said it was a presage of future greatness and gave the youth a crown on this occasion.

— Frederick Saunders, A Festive of Song, 1874


For thee the vagrant waters weep,
Which gently glide, or softly creep
In murmurs to the sea:
The winds that o’er my island blow
Bear on their balmy wings my woe,
And, sighing, call for thee!

— John Hughes, An Opera of Calypso and Telemachus, 1712

Lonely and sadly passeth the day,
Waiting and watching the dear one away:
Slowly the shadows fall, evening is nigh.
No one to look for — can we but sigh?

— A. B. P., Godey’s Magazine, Vol. 84, May 1872

Book of Nature

A young barrister, intending to be very eloquent, observed, “Such principles as these, my Lord, are written in the Book of Nature.” “What page, sir?” said Lord Chief Justice Ellenborough.

Rural Repository, Vol. 26, November 24, 1849

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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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