Gleanings From The Past #63

Numerical Coincidence I have heard of certain individuals being regulated in all the important events of their lives by certain peculiar numbers, which fell out to them respectively, with a strangeness of accuracy which it is almost impossible to reckon altogether the effect of chance. The following account, which is taken from the work of an Arabian historian, affords […]

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Gleanings From The Past #62

Bag o’ Nails BACCHANALS—BACCHANALIANS — vulgo “The Bag o’ Nails.” A public-house in Pimlico had originally a sign on which was represented a satyr and several Bacchanalians dancing and carousing. The common people called the satyr the devil, and, in course of time, the sign was known only as “The Bag o’ Nails,” or “The […]

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Gleanings From The Past #61

Reasons for the Delay The editor of the American Mechanic has encountered trials unknown to ordinary men. Hearken unto his wailings. “Owing to the facts, that our papermaker disappointed us, the mails failed, and deprived us of our exchanges, a Dutch pedlar stole our scissors, the rats ran off with our paste, and the devils […]

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Gleanings From The Past #60

Diplomacy Lord Wentworth gave some very cavalier advice to one going upon a diplomatic mission : he was up to the system of courts, or he would not have committed himself by such a satire. ” To secure yourself, and serve your country, you must at all times, and upon all occasions, speak the truth; […]

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Gleanings From The Past #59

Empire of Silence The great silent men! Looking round on the noisy inanity of the world, words with little meaning, actions with little worth, one loves to reflect on the great Empire of Silence. The noble silent men, scattered here and there, each in his own department; silently thinking; silently working; whom no Morning Newspaper makes mention of! They […]

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Gleanings From The Past #57

Ingenious Postmen The following ludicrous direction to a letter was copied verbatim from the original and interesting document: too dad Tomas hat the ole oke otchut I O Bary pade Sur plees to let ole feather have this sefe. The letter found the gentleman at ‘The Old Oak Orchard, Tenbury.’ In another letter, the writer, […]

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Gleanings From The Past #56

Living Forever I recently visited an Eastern sage and asked him, ‘Is it possible to live for ever?’ ‘Certainly,’ he replied, ‘You must undertake to do two things.’ ‘What are they?’ ‘Firstly, you must never again make any false statements.’ ‘That’s simple enough. What is the second thing I must do?’ ‘Every day you must […]

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Gleanings From The Past #55

The Sword and the Pen The sword of the warrior was taken down for the purpose of being polished. It had not been long out of use. The rust was rubbed off, but there were spots that would not go; they were of blood. The sword was placed on the table, near the pen of […]

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Gleanings From The Past #54

Not Lost in Translation A ludicrous story is told of a great naval function which took place during the reign of the last Napoleon and the Empress Eugénie. Several American vessels were present, and they were drawn up in line to salute the Empress’s yacht as it passed. The French sailors, of course, manned the […]

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Gleanings From The Past #53

Debt Small debts are like small shot; they are rattling on every side, and can scarcely be escaped without a wound: great debts are like cannon; of loud noise, but little danger. — Samuel Johnson, extract from a letter to Joseph Simpson, cited in James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 1, 1824

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