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A Budget of Blunders.
We have all heard of Sir Boyle Robert's blun
ders. Dickens gives an account of some of those
which, happily, are preserved. In one of his
speeches he said:
" Sir, I would give up half—nay, the whole of
the Constitution, to preserve the remainder."
This, however, was parliamentary.
Hearing that Admiral Howe was in quest of
the French, he remarked, somewhat pleasantly,
that the Admiral would " sweep the French fleet
off the face of the earth."
By-and-bye came dangerous times of disaffec
tion, and honest men's lives were insecure.—
Sir Boyle writes from the country to a friend in
the capital this discouraging view of his po
" You mayjudge," ho says, " of our state when
I tell you that I write this with a sword in one
hand and a pistol in the other."
On one occasion when the famous letters to
Public Advertiser were attracting universal
attention, Sir Boyle was heard to complain bit
terly of the attacks of a certain anonymous
writer called Junius. He it was who recounted
that marvellous performance in gymnastics,
when, in a turmoil of loyalty, he " stood pros
trate at the feet of his sovereign." He it was who
denounced in withering language the apostate
politicians who "turned his back upon himself."
He it was who introduced to public notice the
Ingenious yet particularly confused metaphor of
"Sir," ho said, addressing the Speaker of the
Irish House, " I smell a rat. I saw him floating
in the air; but, mark me, I shall yet nip him in
There w r as the famous speech which confound
M I don't see, Mr. Speaker, why we should put
ourselves out* of the way to serve posterity.—
What has ever posterity done for us ?"
He was a little disconcerted by the burst of
laughter that followed, and proceeded to explain
MBy posterity, sir, I do not mean our ancest
ors, but those who come immediately after
His invitation to the nobleman was hospitable
and well meant, but equivocal:
" I hope my lord, if ever you come within a
mile of my house, you'll stay there all night."
He it was who stood for the proper dimen
sions of the wine bottle, and proposed to Parlia
ment that it should bo made compulsory that
every "pintbottle should contain a quart."
Very pleasant, and yet perfectly intelligible
was his meaning—though unhappily it took the
fatal bovine shape—in his rebuke to the shoe
maker when getting shoes for his gouty limbs :
M I told you to make one larger than the other
and instead of that you have made one smaller
than the other—the opposite."
The only practical joke in which R. Harris
Bareham (better known by his norn de guerre of
Thomas Ingoldsby) ever personally engaged
was enacted when he was a boy at Canterbury,
in company with a schoolfellow, D , now a
gallant major. He entered a Quaker meeting
house, when, looking around at the grave as
sembly, the latter held up a penny tart, and said
solemnly, "Whoever speaks first shall have this
pie." "Go thy way, boy," said a drab-colored
gentleman, rising, "go thy way, and—" "Tho
pie's yours, sir!" exclaimed D , placing it
before the astonished speaker, and hastily effect
ing his escape.
According to Boerhave, the healthiest children
are born in January, February and March.
Serpents usually shed their skins, which, re
markable as it may at first appear, extend over
The natural small-pox usually carries off eight
in every hundred attacked with it ; but of three
hundred vaccinated, only one dies.
Of one thousand infants fed by the mother's
milk, not above three hundred die ; but of the
same number reared by wet nurses, five hundred
Blina, properly so-called, contains about three
dred and fifty millions of souls, and extends
over twenty degrees of latitude and twenty of
longitude, or four hundred square degrees.
The flea, locust and grasshopper jump two
hundred times their own length; equal to a
If a mile for a man.
ire in a man five hundred and twenty
iscles, two hundred and fifty-seven of
em pairs. Of these no less than one
ire constantly used in the simple act of
it code of written laws possessed by the
s was prepared by Draco, a man of stern
and rigid character. These laws punished all
crimes with death; and on account of their san
guinary character, are said to have been written
There are thirty-six thousand seeds in the
capsula of a tobacco plant; and Ray, the clebra
ted botanist, counted in the head of a poppie
thirty-five thousand seeds. It has been calcula
ted by many naturalists that the elm-tree pro
duces thirty-five thousand seeds. j
If the feathery gills of a small perch could be
unfolded and spread out, they would nearly
cover a square yard. This will not appear so
extraordinary when it is recollected that the
nerve in a dog's nose is spread out in so thin a
web, that it is computed to be equal to four
In the human skeleton there are two hundred
and fifty-two separate bones. Hard-working
people sometimes have an extra number, which
are formed near the joints of the thumb, fore
fingers and toes. They are useful in increasing
the power wherever they grow.
The aorta, or principal artery, of the whale,
measures about a foot in diameter. The quanti
ty of blood thrown into it at each pulsation has
been estimated at from ten to fifteen gallons;
the rush of this fluid is quite audible to the har
pooners when about to strike the fish.
When rabbits, squirrels, and various other
gnawing animals are fed on soft meats, their
teeth* often grow so long and crooked as to pre
vent them from taking food, and instances have
occurred in which, to preserve life, it became
necessary to break off or extract the teeth.
Dr. Darwin was of the opinion that if a deaf
man dreamed of hearing, the internal parts, es
sential to the function were unimpaired. The
same remark, says Dr. Smith, of Boston, is ap
plicable to the blind. " I have invariably found
that the incurably blind never dream of seeing
A white man notlong since sued a black man
in one of the courts, and while the trial was be
fore the judge, the litigants came to an amicable
settlement, and so the counsel stated to the court.
"A verbal settlement will not answer," replied
the judge; "it must be in writing." " Here is
the agreement in black and white," responded
counsel, pointing to the parties; " pray, what
does your honor want more than this?" ]
The following shows the difference between a
noble mind and that meanness of spirit which
values a man merely for what he may possess of
worldly goods or reputation:—
Edmund Kean, while playing at Exeter, in
England, and at the heigh th of his popularity,
was invited to dine with some gentlemen at one
of the principal hotels. He drove there in hip
carriage. The dinner was announced, the table
j was sumptuously decorated, and tho landlord, all
bows and submission, hoped that the gentlemen
and their distinguished visitor found everything
to their satisfaction.
Kean stared at him for some moments, and
, then said—
" Your name is ?"
| "It is, Mr. Kean. I have had the honor of
meeting you before."
" You kept some years ago a small tavern in
the outskirts of this town ?"
" I did, Mr. Kean. Fortune has been kind to
both of us since then. I recollect you, sir, when
you belonged to our theatre here."
" And I, sir," said Kean, jumping up, " recol
lect you. Many years ago, I came into your pal
try tavern, after a long journey, w T ith my suffer
ing wife, and a sick child, all of us wet to the
skin. I asked you for a morsel of refreshment.
You answered me as if I was a dog, and refused
to trust it out of your hands until you had re
ceived the trifle which was its value.
I left my family by your inhospitable fireside
while I sought for lodgings. On my return you
ordered me, like a brute, 'to take my wife and
brat from yCur house,' and abused me for not
spending for drink the money I had not for food.
Fortune, as you say, has done something for us
both since then ; but you are still the same, I see—
the same cringing, grasping, grinding, greedy
money-hunter. I, sir, am still the same. lam
now in my zenith—l was then at my nadir ; but
I am the same man—the same Kean whom you
ordered away from your doors ; and I have now
the same hatred to oppression that I had then ;
and were it my last meal, I'd not eat or drink in
a house belonging to so heartless a scoundrel!
"Gentlemen," said he, turning to his friends,
"I beg pardon for this outbreak ; but were Ito
dine under the roof of this time-serving, gold
loving brute, the first mouthful, I am sure would
Kean kept his word, and the party adjourned
to another hotel.
An Affecting Incident. —We clip from an
exchange the following affecting incident:—
Two officers, wounded in the battle of tin l 20th
before Petersburg, were going home last Fri»
day by the Erie route. When the train neared
Oswego a well dressed lady, accompanied by a
child and a gentleman, entered the car and took
seats in front of thorn. As the officers talked
over the recent engagements at Petersburg,
informing each other of various acquaintance.-*
who had fallen, one remarked " there was Cap
tain Warwick, of the 109 th New York, as brave
a fellow as ever lived; he was shot through tho
head and instantly killed." The lady imme
diately sprang from her seat, and throwing up
her hands, exclaimed, " Oh! don't say that, he
was my husband!" and then burst into an ago
ny of tears. This was tho first intelligence she
had received of her husband's death. The child
with her was his daughter, and the gentleman
her brother. There were few dry eyes in the car
during the rest of the journey to Elmira.