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.

What an eccentricity of wickedness was it to appoint any place where a murderer should get shelter—­a church too! but such were, and are (abroad) called sanctuaries.  Lancaster Church was reserved by Henry VIII. as a sanctuary, after the abolition of that dangerous privilege in the rest of England.

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CHINESE INGENUITY.

In making toys, the Chinese are exceedingly expert:  out of a solid ball of ivory, with a hole in it, not larger than half an inch in diameter, they will cut from nine to fifteen distinct hollow globes, one within another, all loose, and capable of being turned round in every direction, and each of them carved full of the same kind of open-work that appears on the fans; a very small sum of money is the price of one of these difficult trifles.

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LOUIS XI.  AND THE VIRGIN MARY.

A fool of Louis XI. to whom he did not attend, as not thinking him capable of making observations, overheard him making this pleasant proposal to our lady of Cleri, at the great altar, when nobody else was in the church.  “Ah! my dear lady, my little mistress, my best friend, my only comforter, I beg you to be my advocate, and to importune God to pardon me the death of my brother, whom I poisoned by the hands of that rascal, the Abbot of St. John.  I confess this to you as to my good patroness and mistress; I know it is hard, but it will be the more glorious for you if you obtain it, and I know what present I will make you beside.” (See Brantome’s Life of Charles III.)

The fool repeated all, word for word, when the king was at dinner, before the whole court.

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LOYAL BEQUEST.

Col.  Windham, who assisted Charles II. in his escape, is said to have told the king, that Sir Thomas, his father, in the year 1636, a few days before his death, called to him his five sons:—­“My children,” said he, “we have hitherto seen serene and quiet times under our three last sovereigns; but I must now warn you to prepare for clouds and storms.  Factions arise on every side, and threaten the tranquillity of your native country.  But, whatever happen, do you faithfully honour and obey your prince, and adhere to the crown.  I charge you never to forsake the crown, though it should hang upon a bush.

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SHETLAND ISLES.

Here, on the shortest—­day, the sun rises 17-1/2 min. past 9 o’clock, and sets 42 min. past 2 o’clock.  The nights begin to be very short early in May, and from the middle of that month to the end of July, darkness is absolutely unknown—­the sun scarcely quits the horizon, and his short absence is supplied by a bright twilight.  Nothing can surpass the calm serenity of a fine summer night in the Shetland Isles.

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