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.
fine parrot perched on one of the clues—­the thoughtless author of all the false alarms, which had probably escaped from some other vessel, but had not been discovered to have taken refuge on this.  Another of our officers mentioned that, on one of his voyages, he remembered a boy having been sent up to clear a rope which had got foul above the mizen-top.  Presently, however, he came back, trembling, and almost tumbling to the bottom, declaring that he had seen ‘Old Davy,’ aft the cross-trees; moreover, that the Evil One had a huge head and face, with pricked ears, and eyes as bright as fire.  Two or three others were sent up in succession; to all of whom the apparition glared forth, and was identified by each to be ‘Old Davy, sure enough.’  The mate, in a rage, at length mounted himself; when resolutely, as in the former case, searching for the bugbear, he soon ascertained the innocent cause of so much terror to be a large horned owl, so lodged as to be out of sight to those who ascended on the other side of the vessel, but which when any one approached the cross-trees, popped up his portentous visage to see what was coming.  The mate brought him down in triumph, and ‘Old Davy,’ the owl, became a very peaceable shipmate among the crew, who were no longer scared by his horns and eyes; for sailors turn their backs on nothing when they know what it is.  Had the birds, in these two instances, departed as they came, of course they would have been deemed supernatural visitants to the respective ships, by all who had heard the one or seen the other.”  W.G.C.

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Hard Duty.—­As a gentleman’s coachman washed his master’s carriage during divine service on Sunday morning, he was heard to say that “he hoped his master and mistress prayed for him, as he had no time to pray for himself.”  He brought his lady home from the Opera at one in the morning; then went to fetch his master from the “Hell” in St. James’s-street, and by the time he had littered and rubbed down his horses, and got to his own bed, it was four o’clock; he thought after that he could not do less than sleep till nine; by half-past-ten he had got his breakfast, and at twelve his carriage was ready; at one he took his dinner; at two he was ordered to be at the door to take his lady and the young ladies to the Park; at five he returned, and was ordered out at six, to carry the family to dinner; after setting them down, he was directed to come at half-past eleven; and by two o’clock on Monday morning, the poor man was once more in his bed.

Le Due de Bourdeaux.—­It was still dark when the order was given to notify the auspicious birth of the young Duc de Bordeaux, in November, 1820, to the inhabitants of Paris.  It was observed to the Duc de Richelieu, that it might perhaps be better to wait for the break of day, to fire the cannon; to which he replied, “For news so glorious, it is break of day at all times.”  S.H.

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