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CHARLES LAMB'S EPITAPH.
The following lines are copied from the gravestone of Charles Lamb, who lies in the churchyard at Edmonton :
Farewell, dear friend; that smile, that harmless mirth,
Yet art thou not all lost: thro' many an age
According to Mr. Thorne (Rambles by Rivers, 1st series, p. 190), the inscription in the churchyard at Edmonton, to the memory of Charles Lamb, was written "by his friend, Dr. Cary, the translator of Dante.” Mr. Thorne gives an anecdote concerning this inscription :
We heard a piece of criticism on this inscription that Lamb would have enjoyed. As we were copying it, a couple of canal excavators came across the churchyard, and read it over with great deliberation; when they had finished, one of them said, “A very fair bit of poetry that.” “Yes," replied his companion, “ I'm blest if it isn't as good a bit as any in the churchyard; rather too long, though."
HOAX ON SIR WALTER SCOTT.
The following passage occurs in one of Sir Walter Scott's letters to Southey, written in September, 1810 :
A witty rogue, the other day, who sent me a letter subscribed " Detector," proved me guilty of stealing a passage from one of Vida's Latin poems, which I had never seen or heard of; yet there was so strong a general resemblance as fairly to authorize "Detector's” suspicion.
Lockhart remarks thereupon :
The lines of Vida which "Detector” had enclosed to Scott, as the obvious original of the address to “Woman" in Marmion, closing with
"When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering angel thou!" end as follows: and it must be owned that if Vida had really written them, a more extraordinary example of casual coincidence could never have been pointed out.
“ Cum dolor atque supercilio gravis imminet angor,
Fungeris angelico sola ministerio." “Detector's” reference is Vida ad Eranen, El. ii. v. 21; but it is almost needless to add there are no such lines, and no piece bearing such a title in Vida's works. “Detector” was, no doubt, some young college wag ; for his letter has a Cambridge post-mark.
It may interest to know that the author of this clever hoax was Henry I. T. Drury, then of King's College, Cambridge, and afterwards one of the Masters at Harrow, The lines will be found in the Arundines Cami.
For the Plays of Shakspeare, omitting the Historical English Dramas,
quos versu dicere non est.”
Cymbeline, Tempest, Much Ado, Verona,
Timon of Athens.
Wintry Tale, Merchant, Troilus, Lear, Hamlet,
The word is in Ménage (Dictionnaire étymologique, folio, 1694) 3
Piquenique.—Nous disons faire un repas à piquenique, pour dire faire un repas où chacun paye son écot : ce que les Flamans disent, parte bétal, chacun sa part. Ce mot n'est pas ancien dans notre langue ; et il est inconnu dans la plapari de nos provinces.
Picnics were known and practised in the reign of James I, An amusing description of one is given in a letter from Sir Philip Mainwaring, dated Nov. 22, 1618. The knight is writing to Lord Arundel from Newmarket :
The Prince his birth-day hathe beene solemnised heare by those few Marquises and Lords which found themselves heare, and to supplie the want of the Lords, Knights and Squires were admitted to a consultation, wherein it was resolved that such a number should meete at Gamiges, and bring every man his dish of meate. It was left to their own choyces what to bring : some strove to be substantiall, some curios, and some extravagant. Sir George Goring's invention bore away the bell; and that was foure huge brawny piggs, pipeing hott, bitted and harnised with ropes of sarsiges, all tyde to a monstrous bag-pudding.
And on the 28th of the same month, Mr. Chamberlain wrote to Sir Dudley Carleton :
We hear nothing from Newmarket, but that they devise all the means they can to make themselves merry; as of late there was a feast appointed at a farmhouse not far off, whither every man should bring his dish. The King brought a great chine of beef, the Marquis of Hamilton four pigs incircled with sausages, the Earl of Southampton two turkies, another six partridges, and one a whole tray full of buttered eggs; and so all passed off very pleasantly.—Nichols Progresses of James I., vol. iii. pp. 495, 496.
Picnic Supper.-- This season (1802), says the Annual Register, has been marked by a new species of entertainment, common to the fashionable world, called a Picnic supper. It consists of a variety of dishes. The subscribers to the entertainment have a bill of fare presented to them, with a number against each dish. The lot which he draws obliges him to furnish the dish marked against it; which he either takes with him in a carriage, or sends by a servant. The proper variety is preserved by the taste of the maître-d’hotel who forms the bill of fare.
MY LOVE AND I FOR KISSES PLAY'D.
In the Common-place Book of Justinian Paget, a lawyer of James the First's time, preserved among the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum, is the following sonnet :
My love and I for kisses play'd ;
Shee would keepe stakes, I was content;
This made me ask her what she ment;
Take your owne kisses, give me mine againe.
They likewise occur in the MS. volume from which James Boswell extracted "Shakspeare's Verses on the King," but with a much better reading of the last couplet :
Nay, then, quoth shee, is this your wrangling vaine?
Give me my stakes, take your own stakes againe. They are entitled, “ Upon a Lover and his Mistris playing for Kisses," and are there without any name or signature. They remind us of Lilly's very elegant "Cupid and Campaspe."
THE MOSQUITO COUNTRY.
A quarto volume published by Cadell in 1789, entitled The Case of His Majesty's Subjects having Property in and lately established upon the Mosquito Shore, gives the fullest account of the early connection between the Mosquito Indians and the English. The writer says that Jeremy, King of the Mosquitos, in Charles II.'s reign, after formally ceding his country to officers sent to him by the Governor of Jamaica to receive the cession, went to Jamaica, and thence to England, where he was generously received by Charles II., “who had him often with him in his private parties of pleasure, admired his activity, strength, and manly accomplishments; and not only defrayed every expense, but loaded him with presents.” Is there any notice of this visit in any
of our numerous memoirs and diaries of Charles II.'s reign ?
A curious tract, printed in the sixth volume of Churchill's Voyages, " The Mosquito Indian and his Golden River, being a familiar Description of the Mosquito Kingdom, &c., written in or about the Year 1699, by M. W.," from which Southey drew some touches of Indian manners for his " Madoc," speaks of another King Jeremy, son of the previous one ; who, it is said, esteemed himself a subject of the King of England, and had visited the Duke of Albemarle in Jamaica. His father had been carried to England, and received from the King of England a crown and commission. The writer of this account says that the Mosquito Indians generally esteem themselves English :
And, indeed, they are extremely courteous to all Englishmen, esteeming themselves to be such, although some Jamaica men have very much abused
There is the following amusing passage in a speech of Governor Johnstone, in a debate in the House of Commons on the Mosquito country in 1777 :
I see the noble lord [Lord North] now collects his knowledge by piecemeal from those about him. While my hon. friend (some one was whispering Lord North] now whispers the noble lord, will he also tell him, and the more aged gentlemen of the House, before we yield up our right to the Mosquito shore, that it is from thence we receive the greatest part of our delicious turtle ? May I tell the younger part, before they give their consent, that it is from thence comes the sarsaparilla to purify our blood ?-Parl. Hist., vol. xix,