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sought the tent of Hassan; he demanded of an offieer an audience with the sultan, and declared that he had certain proposals from the king of Zedan which required immediate communication. The officer, suspecting no artifice, readily admitted the disguised king to the presence of Hassan, who was alone, and reclining on a sopha. Hamet approached to prostrate bimself before Hassan, and availing bimself of the opportunity, plunged a dagger in his bosom. “ I am the king of Zedan,” cried Hamet, “receive from my hands the reward of thy treachery and ambition.”
Hassan expired, for the dagger lad pierced his heart, and Hamet passed the guard unmolested. He repaired to his troops, and giving the signal agreed on, they proceeded to attack thedisbanded arrny.
The officers of Hassan, surprised at this unexpected interruption, repaired to his tent, and found him lifeless. Dispirited and confused, the army of Hassan retreated precipitately, while the regular forces of Hamet pursued them till they had nearly reached the confines of Basra.'
Hamet distributed the spoils of the enemy among his soldiers, reserving nothing for himself-but the glory of rescuing his country from slavery and oppression.
ANECDOTE AND WIT.
No. 15,-PARLIAMENTARY ANECDOTE. DAVID Hartley, member for Hull, during the coali, tion administration, was remarkable for the length and dullness of his speeches. On one occasion, having reduced the house from three hundred to about eighty sleepy hearers, by one of his harangues, just at the time it was supposed he would conclude, he moved, that the riot act should be read, in order to prove one of his previous assertions. Burke, who had been bursting with impatience for full an hour and a half, and who was anxious to speak to the question, finding himself about to be so cruelly disappointed, rose exclaiming, “ The riot act, my dear friend! the riot aet! to what purpose? Don't you see that the mob is als ready completely dispersed ?". Every person present was convulsed in laughter, except Hartley, who never changed countenance, and who still insisted that the riot act should be read by the clerk.
ORIGIN OF THE MAY POLE. THE leisure days after seed-time had been chosen by our Saxon ancestors for folk-motes, or conventions of the people. Not till after the Norman conquest, the Pagan festival of Whitsuntide fully melted into the Christian holiday of Pentecost. Its original name is Wittentide, the time of choosing the wits, or wise men to the Wittenagemotte. It was consecrated to Hertha, the goddess of peace and fertility; and no quarrels might be maintained, no blood shed, during this truce of the goddess. Each village, in' the ab sence of the baron at the assembly of the nation, enjoyed a kind of saturnalia. The vassals met upon the common green, round the MAY-POLE, where they elected a village lord, or king, as he was called, who chose his queen. He wore an oaken wreath, and she a hawthorn wreath, and together they gave laws to the rustic sports during these sweet days of freedom. - The MAY-POLE then is the English tree of liberty! Are there many yet standing ?
THE DEVIL CALUMNIATED. A FEW years back were seated in a stage-coach, a clergyman, a lawyer, and a respectable looking elderly person. The lawyer, wishing to quiz the clergy. man, began to descant pretty fully on the admission of such ill-qualified persons into the church. “ As a proof,” says he; “ what pretty parsons we have, I once heard one read instead of "And Aaron made an atone: ment for the sins of the people,'" And Aarou made an ointment for the shins of the people."” “ Incredible," exclaimed the clergyman. ?« Oh," replied the law. yer, “I dare say this gentleman will be able to inform us of something similar.” " That I can,” said the old gentleman, while the face of the lawyer brightened in
triumph, “ for I was once present in a country church where the clergyman, instead of " The devil was a liar from the beginning,' actually read, “The devil was a lawyer from the beginning.
RETORT COURTEOUSA QUARRELSOME French officer, lately traversing one of the Boulevards at Paris, observed a person turn towards him and laugh, upon which he baughtily asked, “ Why do you laugh, sir, when I pass ?” to which the other quickly rejoined, “Why do you pass, sir, wheu I laugh ?”
CLASSES OF MANKIND. " THERE are three sorts of persons in the world,” said the old Greek poet Hesiod: “ those who can think for themselves; those who are contented with letting wiser persons than themselves think for them and those who are neither wise enough to think for themselves, nor prudent enough to let others think for them.”
BATTLE OF AGINCOURT. A GENTLEMAN, long famous for the aptitude of his puns, observing a violent fracas in the front area of a gin-shop, facetiously termed it, “ The battle of A-gin-court."
FREDERIC OF PRUSSIA. THE familiarity with which the King of Prussia suffered several who were about his person to speak to him, is well known. General , particularly availed himself of this indulgence. Previous to the battle of Leuthen, the king said that, if he lost it, he would retire to Venice, and endeavour to live by the practice of medicine. “What!” exclaimed the general “ will you always be an assassin?”
· ANTIQUITY OF RINGS. RINGS, says the acute and learned Whitaker, are derived to us from a custom, as universal as the love of ornament among the nations of the earth, and common to the Romans, the Gauls, and the Britons; while the mode of wearing them is wholly Roman among us at present, and has always been su since the Roman conquest. This, we may collect from several circumstances, little in themselves, independent of each other, but uniting in one testimony. The Romans woré, rings even so familiarly upon their thumbs, that, among many evidences of the bodily hugeness of the emperor Maximius the elder, his thumb is recorded to have been so large as to bear upon it his queen's right hand bracelet for a ring. We correspondently find 66 upou rebuilding the abbey church of St. Peter, Westminster, by Ring Henry III.”, that “the sepula chre of Sebert, king of the East Angles, was opened, and therein was found part of his royal robes, and his thumb ring, in which was set a ruby of great value." We also know an alderman's thumb-ring” to have been an object familiar to the eyes of Shakespeare.* This practice continued among us long after the days of Shakespeare; an alderman's thumb-ring continued to be noticed for its singularity as late as the middle of the seventeenth century.t But the Romans also placed the ring upon one of their fingers, the large statues in bronze of emperors and empresses at Portici, having each of them a ring upon the fourth finger; and Pliny informing us that the custom was originally to wear it upon the finger next to the least, as we see in the statues of Numa and Servius Tullius. The custom of the kings was thus revived by the emperors, and continued very late. But in the interval between the revived and the original custom, the ring was put by the Romans on the fore-finger, " the very images of the gods,” says Pliny, “carrying
" When I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle's talon in the waist ; I could have crept into an alderman's thumb-ring.” Henry IV. part 1, act Il.
+ An alderman's thumb-ring is mentioned by Brome in 1640; in the “ Northern Lass, 1632; and in“ Wit in à Con. stable," 1640.
it on the finger next the thumb,” and a Roman monument remaining, in wbich a man appears actually putting a ring upon the fore-finger of a woman in the act of marrying her.' We accordingly use rings upon both these fingers at present. But we denominate the fourth particularly, just as the Romans and Saxons did, the ring-finger, as being that on which the ring is placed in marriages; while the native Britons, like the Gauls, wore the ring upon the middle-finger alone, the very finger which alone was excepted by the Romans; thus, in 1012, on removing the bones of Dunstan at Canterbury, by four men who had been the depositors of his body before, in what is called a mausoleum, and who now opened it; "they found the bones more valuable than gold and topazes, the Aesh baving been consumed by length of time; and recognized that ring put upon his finger when he was committed to the grave, which he himself is reported to have made in his tender years.” The bones were then transferred to Glastonbury, and one hundred and ninety-two years afterwards again found there; the explorers coming to “ a coffin of wood, bound firmly with iron at all the joints,” opening this, seeing the bones within, “ with his ring upon a particular bone of his finger; and to take away all semblance of doubt, discovering his picture within the coffin, the letter S, with a glory on the right side of the coffin, the letter D, with a glory on the left.” The ring was put upon the finger of a bishop at his burial, because a bishop always wore a ring in his life; and because he wore - it, as Queen Elizabeth wore one through life with the same reference to kingdom, in token of his marriage to his diocese."
GUICCIARDINI. IS it not singular, that the folly of national prejudice, or that of a contempt of every country but their own, should not be confined to the ignorant, but should pervade even the most illuminated writers ? Guicciardini, the historian of the wars of Italy, speaking of the English, says, “ assistance was likewise expected from another barbarian court, that of England.”