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" That fellow.” said Cyrano de Bergerac to a friend, " is always in one's way and always insolent. The dog is conscious that he is so far that it would take an honest man more than a day to give him a thorough beating."
A man being rallied by Louis XIV. on his bulk, which the king told him had increased from want of exercise, “ Áh, Sire," said he, " what would your majesty have me do ! I have already walked three times round the Duc d'Aumont this morning."
A man was asked by his friend when he last saw his joily comrade — “Oh,” said he, “ I called on him yesterday at his lodgings, and there I found him sitting all round a table by himself."
Smith's jest at Lord Russell's small size is well known. “There is my friend Russell,” he said, “who has not body enough to cover his mind : his intellect is indecently exposed.” Foote caricatured the smallness of Garrick in another way, equally surprising, when he proposed to get up a marionette show, half the size of life, just a little above the size of Garrick.
A much earlier attempt in the same line is found in Athenæus, who tells us that Demetrius Poliorcetes said of the palace of Lysimachus that it was in no respect different from a comic theatre, for that there was no one there bigger than a dissyllable.
Is the following sublime or ridiculous ? That is easily answered : It is not sublime. Is it meant to be sublime or ridiculous? One would give the same answer, yet not so glibly. Perhaps Heine himself was not quite certain. If one may hazard a guess, he started out to be very sublime, and then, fearing that he had fallen short of sublimity by a step, saved himself from ridicule by consciously going just a step beyond it:
" Agnes, 1 love but thee !" Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue (Fr. “L'hypocrisie est un hommage que le vice rend à la vertu"). This famous saying is Maxim 218 in Rochefoucauld's “Reflections." Massillon extended the phrase as follows: “Le vice rend hommage à la vertu en s'honorant de ses apparences” (“ Vice pays homage to virtue in honoring itself by assuming its appearance”). And Cowper amplified it still further in verse :
Hypocrisy, detest her as we may,
I The ninth letter and third vowel in the English alphabet, borrowed through the Latin and Greek from the Phænician. (See ALPHABET.) The Phænician alphabet gave to it the consonant value of y, the Greeks converted it into a vowel, and the Romans used it both as vowel and as consonant.
I. H. S. These letters are frequently translated as the initials of the sentence “In hoc salus” (“In this safety"), or “Jesus Hominum Salvator” (“ Jesus Saviour of Men"). These meanings were, indeed, read into the letters at a very early day. But originally they were merely an abbreviation of the Greek name for Jesus. The chief manuscripts of the New Testament were written throughout in Greek capital letters. Well-known names and words were always abbreviated. Thus, whenever the name 'IHEOYS (Jesus) occurred, the scribes wrote only the first three letters, IHE, with a dash over the eta, or H, as a sign of abbreviation. When the Latin scribes came to make copies of the old Latin versions of the Testament or of other ecclesiastical writings, they adopted the old Greek abbreviation for Jesus, and transliterated it, as they imagined, into I H S, forgetting that the Greek H was not an H, but a long E. Later, they saw in the mark over the H the sign of the cross, and read the initials as “ Jesus Hominum Salvator," an error that has been perpetuated to the present day. In the Middle Ages the I. H. S. was held to have an esoteric meaning, and was believed to exert a mysterious influence against the powers of darkness. After the plague in Florence it was put up on the walls of the church of Santa Croce. It was also stamped on the large wafer out of which the host is consecrated, on the hilts of swords, and even on the backs of playing cards, to increase their value. When Ignatius Loyola in 1540 founded the Order of Jesus, he borrowed the I. H. S. with a new interpretation, placing it under a cross and reading it “ In Hoc Salus.” This is still in use by the Jesuits, frequently in the form of a monogram, made by an H with the I in the middle extending upward and ending in a cross, the whole being entwined with an S, thus forming a complete cabalistic monogram.
I say, or A'say, the nickname which Chinamen bestow upon Englishmen, from their frequent use of the expression. A similar sobriquet is common among the French gamins at Boulogne. So the French in Java are called by the natives “Orang-dee-dong" = the "dîtes-donc people," and both in England and in America are locally nicknamed “ding-dongs.” At Amoy the Chinese used to call out after foreigners, “ Akee ! akee !" a reminiscence of the Portuguese Aqui! (" Here !") And in America Germans are saluted as “Nix cum arouse” and “Wie Gehts.”
Iberia's Pilot, Christopher Columbus. Spain, in poetical language, is called Iberia, much the same as England is called Britannia and America Columbia. The name is probably derived from the Iberi, a people, known to the Romans, who lived on the banks of the Iberus river, the modern Ebro.
Launched with Iberia's pilot from the steep
CAMPBELL: The Pleasures of Hope. Ice, To break the. Used metaphorically in the sense of removing re. straint and preparing the way for intercommunication. The metaphor is employed by Shakespeare, probably the originator of the simile : Petruchio. Sir, understand you this of me in sooth:
The youngest daughter whom you hearken for
The younger then is free, and not before,
Must stead us all, and me amongst the rest,
Taming of the Shrew, Act i., Sc. 2. Ici on parle Français (“ French is spoken here"), a common sign in Eng. lish shop-windows, seen also in America and in other non-Gallic countries. Max O’Rell, in “ John Bull and his Island,” says, smartly enough, “On the windows of all the fashionable shops you see Ici on parle Français. On, indefinite pronoun, here refers generally to the person who happens to be absent from the shop when you enter it. I have experienced this many times." But Max O'Rell had been anticipated by Mark Twain in “The Innocents Abroad :"
In Paris we often saw in shop-windows the sign “ English Spoken Here," just as one sees in the windows at home the sign “Ici on parle Français." We always invaded these places at once, and invariably received the information, framed in faultless French, that the clerk who did the English for the establishment had just gone to dinner and would be back in an hour,--would Monsieur buy something? We wondered why those parties happened to take their dinners at such erratic and extraordinary hours, for we never called at a time when an exemplary Christian would be in the least likely to be abroad on such an errand. The truth was, it was a base fraud,-a snare to trap the unwary,-chaff to catch fledglings with. They had no English-murdering clerk. They trusted to the sign to inveigle foreigners into their lairs, and trusted to their own blandishments to keep them there till they bought something.
Ignorance, Humors of. A well-known editor is authority for the statement that whenever a man or woman is thoroughly ignorant he or she takes to writing for the magazines.
No doubt an editor's waste-basket would furnish many illustrative examples of the humors of ignorance. It has been said that only an editor can rightly estimate the number of fools in the world. Perhaps the man who said that was right. The mere eccentricities of spelling are beyond number. An excellent example of what may be done in a limited space is the following: “They were very stricked on these wholy days." In one narrative a "weekly mother" has figured,-a portentous parturitive phenomenon. Another author describes the heroine's “masses of raving black hair.” On a later page, by the same hand, appears "a female figure, down which flowed a beautiful set of hair." A valuable advertising agent this writer would make to the Sutherland sisters! Here is a misquotation that has decided merits :
There is a divinity that shapes our ends,
No matter how we may rough-hew the outside. A single instance will show what danger lurks in foreign tongues : “GV- was a brilliant society man, and had been the idol of the décolleté of two continents.” And so on and so on. Booksellers, librarians, and other people who are supposed, more or less facetiously, to come in contact with the intel
ligent classes, also have their anecdotes of curious mistakes made by patrons and customers.
“Have you Cometh ?” said a lady to a clerk in a book-store. “ Cometh, ma'am ?" replied the clerk, in perplexity.
“Oh, well,” said the lady, “I saw a book called “Goeth,' and I thought there might be a companion book called “Cometh.'”
It was some time before the bookseller realized that Goethe was in the lady's mind. That name, indeed, has always been a phonetic stumbling-block. A Chicago newspaper, as an instance of the spread of enlightenment in the Western Athens, says that formerly his fellow-townsmen used to pronounce the name to rhyme with teeth, but now they pronounce it to rhyme with dirty.
The librarian of the Portland (Maine) public library furnishes an amusing budget of anecdotes. A small boy anxiously inquired, “Is this the Republican library?” Another asked for the first book that Rose ever wrote, Rose being interpreted to mean E. P. Roe; still another wanted a book by the same opera,—"author" and " opera” probably being equally meaningless to his youthful understanding ; and a fourth wanted one of Oliver Twist's books about Little Dorrit. The following is a list of titles recently called for in this library : TITLES GIVEN.
BOOKS REQUIRED. Jane's Heirs,
Jane Eyre. John Ingersoll,
John Inglesant. Illuminated Face,
Face Illumined. Prohibition,
Probation. Bullfinch's Agent Fables,
Bullfinch's Age of Fables. Patty's Reverses,
Patty's Perversities. Little Lord Phantom,
Little Lord Fauntleroy. Silence of Dean Stanley,
Silence of Dean Maitland. Mona's Charge,
Mona's Choice. Zigzag's Classic Wonders,
Zigzag Journeys in Classic Lands. Boots and Spurs, and Boots and Shoes,
Boots and Saddles. Mary's Lamb,
Not in the Prospectus.
But the laugh is not always on the side of the book.clerk or the library attendant. A lady went into a music-store in Philadelphia and asked for “Songs without Words." The clerk stared at her in astonishment. “But,” he said, “you know, that is impossible: there cannot be songs without words.” “Can you tell me where I can find • Rienzi's Address'?" asked a young lady of a clerk in Brooklyn. “You might look in the Directory,” he suggested.
In the famous shop of Herr Spithoever, in Rome, an American damsel, asking for Max O'Rell's book on the United States, was scornfully advised that “Marcus Aurelius vas neffer in der Unided Shtades.” In a large library in Philadelphia, a young lady asked for “English as She is Spoke.” The assistant librarian, in a tone of indirect reproof which reached the delighted ears of the young lady, bade the boy get "English as It is Spoken.”
The perversity of man is amusingly illustrated by an anecdote Max Müller told in the course of a recent lecture at Oxford: “I was lecturing at the Royal Institute, in London. The audience there is the most enlightened and critcal one has to face in the world,-but it is mixed. It being necessary to prove that Hebrew was not the primitive language of mankind, I had devoted a lecture to this subject. I explained how it arose, and placed before my audience a genealogical tree of the Aryan and Semitic languages, where everybody could see the place which Hebrew really holds in the pedigree of human speech. After the lecture was over, one of my audience came to thank me for having shown so clearly how all languages, including Sanscrit and English, were derived from the Hebrew, the language spoken in Paradise by Adam and Eve !"
The learned philologist was overwhelmed with dismay, and, thinking the fault lay in his inability to elucidate his point, told Professor Faraday that he must really give up lecturing. But the latter consoled his friend with an anecdote from his own experience. He said,
“I have been lecturing in the Institute many years, and over and over again, after I have explained and shown how water consists of hydrogen and oxygen, some stately dowager has marched up to me after the lecture to say in a confidential whisper, Now, Mr. Faraday, you don't really mean to say that this water here in your tumbler is nothing but hydrogen ?
Educated people may be found in England who believe that Henry Clay makes the cigars which go by his name, that Daniel Webster wrote the Unabridged Dictionary, that Washington Irving was an eccentric preacher. Fame, indeed, is an old lady who shudders at the Atlantic voyage ; and there is nothing which so startles an American traveller into realizing that he is actually abroad as to find the reputations and authorities which had awed him from his cradle not only unhonored, but absolutely unknown.
But it is not on American subjects alone that English people, people of culture and refinement, are curiously ignorant. Men who have devoted great attention to the classics and mathematics frequently have but little current information. Ignorance of this sort is said to have lost the English the island of Java. The story runs that the minister by whom it was ceded to Holland in 1816 was under the impression that it was too small and insignificant to contend about; and among the most firmly rooted traditions of American diplomacy is one which represents the English commissioner as agreeing to the surrender of Oregon “because a country in which a salmon does not rise to the fly cannot be worth much."
A curious incident occurred during the Crimean War. Commodore Elliot was blockading a Russian squadron in the Gulf of Saghalin, on the east coast of Siberia. Thinking he had the Russians in a cul-de-sac, he complacently waited for them to come out, as the water was too shallow for him to attack them. As the enemy did not come out, he sent in to investigate. and found, to his astonishment, that Russians and ships had vanished! While he had been waiting for them in the south they had quietly slipped out by the north, teaching both him and the British government a rather severe lesson in geography, as it had been thought that Saghalin was an isthmus; and they were totally unaware of a narrow channel leading from the gulf to the Sea of Okhotsk.
Speaking of the small circle in which even the greatest move, Lord Beaconsfield used to tell the story that Napoleon I., a year after he became emperor, determined to find out if there was any one in the world who had never heard of him. Within a fortnight the police of Paris had discovered a woodchopper at Montmartre, within Paris, who had never heard of the Revolution, nor of the death of Louis XVI., nor of the Emperor Napoleon.
Mr. Roebuck, in a speech made at Salisbury in 1862, asserted that when he told a "shrewd, clever Hampshire laborer' that the Duke of Wellington