The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 46 pages of information about The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction.
and without sentiment; they let out their own hearts fully in their compositions, and to this day their works are highly esteemed for grave dignity of character, and for originality of conception.  Of these great Florentines, Giotto, the shepherd, is confessedly the more eminent; in him we see the dawn, or rather the sunrise, of the fuller light of Raphael. —­For.  Rev.
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In a recherche article in the Foreign Quarterly Review we meet with the following marvellous story of Sterkodder, a sort of giant-killing hero of the North, who, having reached his 90th year, became infirm, blind, and eager to die.  To leave the world in a natural way was out of the question; and to be dispatched to the Hall of Odin by an ignoble hand was scarcely less to be dreaded.  Leaning on two crutches, with a sword at each side, he waited for some one to give him the mortal stroke.  To tempt the avarice of such a one, he suspended from his neck a valuable gold chain.  He slew a peasant passing, who, rallying him on his infirm state, had ventured to beg one of his swords, as neither could any longer be of service to him.  At last his good fortune brought him a worthy executioner in Hather, the son of a prince whom he had slain.  The young hero was hunting, and seeing the old man, he ordered two of his attendants to tease him.  Both lost their lives for their temerity.  The prince then advanced; and the old man, after relating his great actions, desired the former to kill him.  To make the inducement stronger, he displayed the golden chain, which would be the reward of the deed; and to excite his rage, as well as avarice, he avowed that it was he who had slain the late prince, and that revenge was the sacred duty of the son.  Influenced by both considerations, the latter consented to behead him.  Sterkodder exhorted him to strike manfully.  The head was accordingly severed from the body at a single blow; and as it touched the earth, the teeth fastened themselves furiously in the ground.

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Were first erected in England in the year 1723, when they had an instant and striking effect in reducing the number of poor.  Indeed the aversion of the poor to workhouses was so great, that Sir F.M.  Eden mentions that some proposed, by way of weakening this aversion, “to call workhouses by some softer and more inoffensive name.”  Previously to this date, it had been customary to relieve the able-bodied poor at their own houses.

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Are effected through the assistance of go-betweens, who enjoy, however, a very different repute from those of Europe, inasmuch as, among the former, the employ is of the most honourable character.

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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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