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nious sons, and talking of nothing but poetry, was often interrupted by a country gentleman, who would permit no other discourse to pass about than what tended to tillage and husbandry; what rich pasture ground was in his county, the price of corn, and the care of cattle. This so incensed old Ben, that he could forbear no longer, but let fly at him in his language. "Thou clod," said Ben, "why dost thou mingle thy dirty discourse with our sublime fancies? I tell thee, for every acre thou hast of land, I have ten acres of wit!" "Have you so, Sir," replied the gentleman; "I cry your mercy, good Mister Wise-Acres !" Ben Jonson was so highly taken with the jest, that he swore he was never so pricked by a hobnail in all his life.
VERY EASY TO WRITE LIKE A FOOL.
Lee, the dramatist, who was educated at Trinity College, was confined four years of his short life in Bedlam. When a sane idiot of a scribbler mocked his calamity, and observed that it was easy to write like a madman ; Lee answered, "No, sir, it is not easy to write like a madman, but very easy to write like a fool!"
THE BRASS PLATE.
The first year that "Poor Robin's Almanack" came forth (about A D. 1666), there was cut for it a brass plate, having on one side of it the pictures of King Charles the First, the Earl of Stafford, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earl of Derby, the Lord Capel, and
Doctor Hewit; all six adorned with wreaths of laurel. On the other side was Oliver Cromwell, Bradshaw, Ireton, Scott, Harrison, and Hugh Peters, hanging in chains; betwixt which were placed the Earl of Essex and Mr. Christopher Love. Upon this plate, Mr. Lewis Griffin, a Cantab, wrote the following lines:
Bless us! what have we here, what sundry shapes
Both Heaven and hell in an octavo page
Martyrs and traitors rallied six to six,
Joined with two Neuters, some condemn, some praise,
SCRAPING THE PROCTOR.
A custom formerly prevailed of scraping the proctor, or any other university officer, who had rendered himself obnoxious by any particular measure. "I myself," says Dr. Disney, in his memoirs of Dr. Jebb, "was one of the offending gallery; but whether an offender or not, I will not say, for I do not recollect, though too prone to mischiefs of that kind." After a few names had been taken down, comes Mr. Homer, of Emanuel, now deceased. 66 What is your name, Sir?" said Purkess, the other proctor: "Homer, of Emanuel," was the reply.
"Sir," said the proctor, "you are attempting to impose upon me! Homer, do you say?” “Yes, Sir," he answered, "Homer, of Emanuel!” “Very well, Sir." After two or three more names, comes a gentleman of my year. "Your name, Sir?" said the proctor. "Pindar, of Queen's !" was the answer. Sir," vociferated the proctor, “I will not be insulted in this manner? I insist upon it, Sir, that you tell me your name?” "My name is Pindar, of Queen's," was the reply, "and, if you don't like that, I have no other to give you !"
A TRANSPORTING SUBJECT.
The subject for the Chancellor's English Prize Poem, for the year 1823, was Australasia (New Holland.). This happened to be the subject of conversation at a party of Johnians, when some observing that they thought it a bad subject, one of the party remarked, "It was at least a transporting one."
COMPLETING A STANZA.
It is related that Dr. Mansel, then an undergraduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, by chance called at the rooms of a brother Cantab, who was absent; but he had left on his table the opening of a poem, which was in the following lofty strain :—
"The sun's perpendicular rays
Here the flight of the poet by some accident stopped
short; but Dr. Mansel, who was seldom (if we may credit fame), lost on such occasions, illuminated the subject by completing the stanza in the following very facetious style :
"The fishes, beginning to sweat,
Who was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, advised a nobleman who had just finished a magnificent mansion, extremely inconvenient within, but most splendid without, to rent the opposite house that he might enjoy the prospect.
HANGING ONE'S SELF.
Paley was always very fond of attending courts of law, to hear the trials. When a boy, he is said to have attended York assizes, to hear the trial of Eugene Aram, a man of extraordinary learning and acuteness. The trial was for the murder of Daniel Clark, and he was convicted on the evidence of Richard Houseman, an accomplice, and his own wife. The evidence brought forward, and the ingenious defence of Aram, made a strong impression on the mind of Paley. He seemed to attribute the conviction of the prisoner, in a very great measure, to his own defence; for, many years after, when he was conversing with some friends about the lives of some
obscure and undeserving persons having been inserted in the Biographia Britannica, and on one of the party exclaiming," Eugene Aram, for instance !"—"Nay," replied Paley, a man that has been hanged has some pretensions to notoriety, and especially a man who has got himself hanged, as Eugene Aram did, by his own cleverness."
When Cromwell commissioned Lockhart against Dunkirk, he presented him with the following epistle, to be previously sent to Mazarine, commander of that fortress:
"Thou traitor, Mazarine, if thou dost refuse to deliver up Dunkirk unto Lockhart, my friend and counsellor, by the eternal God, I'll come and tear thee from thy master's bosom, and hang thee at the gates of Paris. (Signed) CROMWELL."
The device of John Alcock, founder of Jesus College and Bishop of Ely, is conspicuous in every part of that college, and is a pun upon his name. It is a cock perching upon a globe. On one window was a cock with a label from its mouth, with this inscription: Eyw Ebub aλɛxτwę. To which another, on the opposite side, bravely crows in answer—οντως και εγω:
"I am a cock !" the one does