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'under the rose;' by which expression the most profound secrecy was implied."
II. According to others, this term originated in the fable of Cupid giving the rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence, as a bribe to prevent him betraying the amours of Venus, and was hence adopted as the emblem of silence. The rose was for this reason frequently sculptured on the ceilings of drinking and feasting rooms, as a warning to the guests that what was said in moments of conviviality should not be repeated; from which, what was intended to be kept secret was said to be held "under the rose." To this derivation the following verses refer :—
Est Rosa flos Veneris, quem, quo sua furta laterent,
Inde rosam mensis hospes suspendit amicis,
III. Roses were consecrated as presents from the Pope. In 1526 they were placed over the goals of confessionals as the symbols of secrecy. Hence the origin of the phrase, "Under the Rose."
THE PURSUITS OF LITERATURE.
Many years ago, the satirical poem, entitled The Pursuits of Literature, engaged public attention for a very considerable time; the author concealed his name; and from 1796 at least to 1800, the world continued guessing at who could be the author. Amongst the names to which the pcem was ascribed were those of Anstey, Colman, Jun., Coombe, Cumberland, Harry Dampier, Goodall, Hudderford, Knapp, MATHIAS, Mansell, Wrangham, Stephen Weston, and many others, chiefly Etonians. George Steevens, it is believed, fixed upon the real author at an early period at least in the St. James's Chronicle, from Tuesday, May 1, to Thursday, May 3, 1798, we find
THE PURSUER OF LITERATURE PURSUED.
Hic niger est.
With learned jargon and conceit,
At first the world was all astounded,
But when the riddle was expounded,
This labored work would seem the job
But proves to issue from the nob
Through learned shoals of garbled Greek
What strutting Bantam, weak but proud,
Τουτο το βιβλιον, he'll swear,
But men of sense and taste declare
Oh! were this scribbler, for a time,
Small was his stature who in fight
But small in genius as in height
Say, couldst thou gain the butt of sack
When next accus'd deny it not!
Do think of Ananias!
Remember how he went to pot,
Every man ought to read the jest-books, that he may not make himself disagreeable by repeating "old Joes" as the very last good things. One book of this class is little more than the copy of another as to the points, with a change of the persons; and the same joke, slightly varied, appears in as many different countries as the same fairy-tale. Seven years ago I found at Prague the "Joe" of the Irishman saying that there were a hundred judges on the bench, because there was one with two cyphers. The valet-de-place told me that when the Emperor and Metternich were together they were called "the council of ten," because they were eins und zero.
It is interesting to trace a joke back, of which process here is an example. In the very clever version of the Chancellor of Oxford's speech on introducing the new doctors (Punch, No. 622) are these lines:
En Henleium! en Stanleium! Hic eminens prosator:
Ebenezer Grubb, in his description of the opposition in 1814, thus notices Mr. F. Douglas :
He is a forward and frequent speaker; remarkable for a graceful inclination of the upper part of his body in advance of the lower, and speaketh, I sus
pect (after the manner of an ancient), with pebbles in his mouth.—New Whig Guide, 1819, p. 47.
In Foote's Patron, Sir Roger Dowlas, an East India proprietor, who has sought instruction in oratory from Sir Thomas Lofty, is introduced to the conversazione:
Sir Thomas. Sir Roger, be seated. This gentleman has, in common with the greatest orator the world ever saw, a small natural infirmity; he stutters a little; but I have prescribed the same remedy that Demosthenes used, and don't despair of a radical cure. Well, sir, have you digested those general rules?
Sir Roger. Pr-ett-y well, I am obli-g'd to you, Sir Th-omas.
Sir Thomas. Did you open at the last general court?
Sir Roger. I att-empt-ed fo-ur or five times.
Sir Thomas. What hindered your progress?
Sir Roger. The pe-b-bles.
Sir Thomas. Oh, the pebbles in his mouth; but they are only put in to practise in private: you should take them out when you are addressing the public.
I cannot trace the joke farther, but as Foote, though so rich in wit, was a great borrower, it might not be new in 1764.
If we believe any thing to have happened in our own day, that is, in Liverpool or Castlereagh time, it is the anecdote of the boroughmonger who would answer nothing to the excuses of the minister, except "There are five of us." This story was told as an old one in the Telegraph in 1798, and a long dialogue was given between Lord Falmouth, who wanted the Captaincy of the Yeomen of the Guard, and Henry Pelham, who had promised it elsewhere. To all the poor minister could say, the peer could only answer, "There are seven of us." I hope that, in an age when coincidences are sought for, Wordsworth will not be suspected of plagiarism.
Again, what reader of gossip does not know that when George III. went to Weymouth, the Mayor, in making his address, mistook the private directions of his prompter for parts of his ad
dress, and gave it the King as follows: "Hold up your head, and look like a man- -what the do you mean? . . . By Sir, you'll ruin us all." This story was told in a newspaper in 1797, as having happened between James II. and the Mayor of Winchester.
In the Monthly Magazine in 1798, is a paper on peculiarities of expression, among which are several which we flatter ourselves belong to our own time. For instance, " to cut a person," which was then current: some tried to change it into spear, but failed. Also, to vote, as in "he voted it a bad lounge;" and the words bore, done up, dished, &c.; not forgetting spilt for "upset" in a carriage.
The parliamentary phrases of "catching the speaker's eye," "being upon his legs," "meeting the ideas of the house," "committing himself," "taking shame to himself," "being free to confess," "putting a question roundly," "answering it fairly," "pushing an investigation," are all noted as then worthy of remark. And, if we are to trust the article cited, the word truism was born and bred in the House of Commons, in the sense of a forcible and undeniable truth. And the same origin is given to the idiom "in my own mind" as in "I feel no doubt, in my own mind."
RIGHTS OF WOMEN.
Single women, who were freeholders, voted in the State of New Jersey as late as the year 1800. In a newspaper of that date is a complimentary editorial to the female voters for having unanimously supported Mr. John Adams (the defeated candidate) for President of the United States, in opposition to Mr. Jefferson, who was denounced as wanting in religion.