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GOSSIPIANA.

[No. XXXVI.] L

the close of the last century, having had his house consumed by lightning, sent the following ingenious card to Lewis XIV. on the occasion. The Monarch at once felt the delicacy of the Poet's verses, and the distress of his ftuation, and cheerfully ordered him the one thousand crowns, which were the object of his demand.

To engage in your matters belongs not to me,
This, Sire, inexcusable freedom would bc;
But yet, when reviewing my miseries past,
Of your majesty's income the total I caít,
All counted (I've still the remembrance quite clear,)
Your revenue's one hundred millions a year;
Hence one hundred thousand per day in your pow'r,
Divided, brings four thousand crowns to each hour;
To answer calls of my present distress,
Which lightning has caus'd in my country recefs,
May I be all yw'd to request, noble Sire,
Of your time fifteen minutes, before I expire.

A, B, C, D. CURIOUS PROCLAMATION. WHEREAS a multiplicity of dangers have often occurred by damage of outrageous accidents by fire: We, whose names are here underwritten, have 'thought proper that the necessity of an engine ought by us, for the better extinguishing of which aforesaid outrageous accidents of Almighty God, may unto us happen, to make a rate to gather alms and benevolence for the better propagating of which good instrument.

NUTTING, Mayor. This was issued some years ago by a Mayor of

Cambridge,

Cambridge, in consequence of the frequency of fires, and no engine being in the town.

ANECDOTE OF THE LATE KING OF POLAND.

His Majesty, who was always an enemy to super. fluity, clearly evinced this disposition in the following instance. A fhoemaker being recommended to this monarch before he left Warsaw, actually made his appearance in a suit of embroidered velvet. The King, till he was better informed, mistook the son of Crispin for one of the grandees of the kingdom, but discovering his crror, dismissed him with this reproof. That if his shoemaker wore velvet, it would require some confi. deration on his port, to think of some external diftinction between them.

WISDOM IN A MONARCH AND IN A SUBJECT.

JAMES the First, in one of his addresses to his parliament, curiously remarks-" That wisdom in a fub. jeet is as inferior to wisdom in a MONARCH, as the gittering of a nail in a horse's shoe is to the splendour of a star in the firmament !" This brilliant speech was, no doubt, a proof of his Majesty's modesy.

ECONOMY. TWO ANECDOTES. LADY Hardwicke, the Lady of the Chancellor, loved money as well as he did, and what he got the faved. The purse in which the great feal is carried, is of very extensive embroidery, and was provided, during his time, eviry year. Lady Hardwicke took care that it thould not be provided for the seal-bearer's pro

for the annually retained them herself, having previously ordered that the velvet should be of the length of one of the state rooms at Wimple. So many of them were saved, that at length she had enough to hang ike ftate room and make curtains for the bed /

fir;

This same Lady Hardwicke was equally provident for the table. Sometimes it was necessary to give a dinner, but for fish she did nor chuse to give money. Venison was accordingly sent up on such occasions from the park ar Wimple, and this she took in her carriage to a filhmonger's at Temple Bar, exchanging it for the dainties required by her extravagant company.

ONE WAY TO WIPE OFF A DEBT.

A fire happening at a public house, one of the crowd was requesting the engineer to play against the wainscot ; bur being told it was in no danger, “I am sorry for that,” said he, “ because I have a long score upon it which I shall never be able to pay."

ATTENTION TO BUSINESS. A pawnbroker being upon his death-bed, the priest who attended him, held up a silver cruciñx. The poor aying man, forgetful of his Jefus, fixing his eyes upon it, cried out in a faint tone, “ I cannot lend much

upon it.”

EXPEDITION REWARDED.

Lewis the Fourteenth, who loved a concise style, met on the road, as he was travelling into the country, a priest, who was riding post; and ordering him to kop, asked hastily -" Whence come you - Where are you going ?-What do you want?"-The other, who perfectly well knew the King's difpofition, inftantly replied" From Bruges-to Paris-A benefice !"_“You shall have it,” replied the King, and in a few days presented him with a valuable living.

TO THE MEMORY OF ROBERT GRAY.
TAUNTON hare him, London bred him,
Piety train’d him, virtue led him,

Earth What he gave,

you

Earth enrich'd him, heav'n poffess'd him,
Taunton bless’d him, London press'd him,
This thankful town, that mindful city,
Share his piety and pily,

and how he gave it,
Ak tbe

poor

and shall have it.
Gentle reader, may heav'n strike
Thy tender heart to do the like;
And now thy eyes have read this atory,

Give him the praise and God the glory.
Sturry.

K. PETRARCH'S IDEA OF BOOKS. Few persons know the value of books better than Petrarch. His friends having written him several apologies for not visiting him, in which they declaimed against his love of folitude, as unnatural to a human being, and reproached him on his unsocial mode of life; Petrarch smiled at their messages, and made the following excellent remarks: These people consider the pleasures of the world as their supreme good, and not to be renounced. But I have friends of a different defcription, whose fociety is far more agreeable to me. They are of all countries, and of all ages; they are distinguished in war, in politics, and in the sciences. It is very easy to see them, they are always at my service. I call for their company, or send them away whenever I please; they are never troublesome, and immediately answer all my questions. Some relate the events of ages palt, others reveal the secrets of nature; these teach me how to live in comfort, those how to die in quiet.

These drive away tvery care and increase my gaiety by the brilliancy of their wit, whilst others harden my heart against suffering, lhow me how to reitrain my desires, and enable me to depend on myself alone. In return for all these fervices, they only require of me a chamber, in one corner of my manfion, where they may repofe in peace.'

SERPENT

THE

go about your

SERPENT CHARMERS.

[From Sonnini's Travels.] THE race of Psylli, the people who fattered them.

selves with poffefling the quality of setting fir. pents at defiance, charming them, making them follow them at their call, and curing their bites, still exists in Egypt. There is a sect called Saadis, from the name of their founder, a faint highly venerated by the Ma. homerans in this country. This Saadi had an uncle, a great man in Syria. Being sent one day for a bundle of sticks, when he had cut his faggor from the shrubs that grow in the wilderness, he was at a loss for a band. After much search to no purpose, he bethought himself of tying together a few jerpents, and with this living cord he bound up his sticks. The uncle, delighted with his nephew's ingenuity, said to him : « business; you may now be left to yi urself, for you know more than 1.” Immediately on this, the learned youth set out upon his travels, charming serpents by his wonderful and supernatural fkill, and had a great number of disciples, to whom he communicated his talert. His tomb is near Damascus, and is filled with serpents and other venomous creatures, among which you may lie down and sleep, without the least danger.

Such is the superstitious origin of a very numerous feet in Egypt, every individual of which inherits the art of its founder. Every year they celebrate his fesa tival, in a manner suitable to their institution. They walk in procession through the streets, each holding in his hand a living serpent, which he bites, gnaws and swallows piecemeal, with frightful grimaces and contortions. This festival, however, which I had wilhed to see, is celebrated in the summer ; and I was extremely desirous of a close examination of one of those ferpent

For this purpose Mr. Forneti and I cook the same steps as we had done in the business of the circumcifion, and a faadi came to my apartment, accom

eaters.

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