By the brightness of morn, when the day-spring is blushing,
  And bathed is creation in roseate light;
By the stillness and gloom which all nature is hushing,
  When spread are the wings of the angel of night
    — Allah swears, O Mahomed! he ne’er will forsake thee!

Though thy mortal career may be laden with sorrow,
  Yet think of the glories that wait thee above;
When the ills of to-day shall be changed on the morrow
  For bliss, in the realms of the Lord of thy love.
    — Allah swears, O Mahomed! he ne’er will forsake thee!

Encompassed by danger, an orphan he found thee;
  A wanderer in error thou wast in thy youth,
When he flung (as a mantle) his mercy around thee,
  And guided thy steps to the temple of truth.
    — Allah swears, O Mahomed! he ne’er will forsake thee!

Thou wast needy and poor, but he freely has given:
  Then scorn not the beggar, nor orphan oppress;
But learn from the light that is lent thee from heaven,
  To cherish the outcast, and pity distress.
    — Allah swears, O Mahomed! he will not forsake thee!

——From Heath’s Book of Beauty for 1837.

A Tinge of Roguery

Yes, we have all a tinge of roguery in our composition; but it fortunately happens, from a few being rogues in a superlative degree, that the remainder are enabled to pass for honest men.

——“J. H. H.,” in The Literary Magnet, 1825.

Modern Dictionary

DISTANT RELATIONS—People who imagine they have a right to rob you if you are rich, and to insult you if you are poor.

HEART—A rare article, sometimes found in human beings. It is soon, however, destroyed by commerce with the world, or else becomes fatal to its possessor.

HOUSEWIFERY—An ancient art, said to have been fashionable among young girls and wives; now entirely out of use, or practised only by the lower orders.

WEALTH—The most respectable quality of man.

VIRTUE—An awkward habit of acting differently from other people. A vulgar word. It creates great mirth in fashionable circles.

HONOR—Shooting a friend through the head whom you love, in order to gain the praise of a few others whom you despise and hate.

MARRIAGE—The gate through which the happy lover leaves his enchanted regions and returns to earth.

FRIEND—A person who will not assist you because he knows your love will excuse him.

WEDDED BLISS—A term used by Milton.

DOCTOR—A man who kills you to-day, to save you from dying to-morrow.

LUNATIC ASYLUM—A kind of hospital where detected lunatics are sent by those who have the adroitness to conceal their own infirmity.

WATER—A clear fluid, once used as a drink.

TRAGEDIAN—A fellow with a tin pot on his head, who stalks about the stage, and gets into a violent passion for so much a night.

CRITIC—A large dog, that goes unchained, and barks at every thing he does not comprehend.

STATE’S EVIDENCE—A wretch who is pardoned for being baser than his comrades.

SENSIBILITY—A quality by which its possessor, in attempting to promote the happiness of other people, loses his own.

MY DEAR—An expression used by man and wife at the commencement of a quarrel.

——From Atkinson’s Casket, 1833.


Governments are generally about twenty years behind the intellect of their time. In legislation, they are like parents quarrelling what kind of frock the boy shall wear, who, in the meantime, grows up to manhood, and won’t wear any frock at all.

——From Atkinson’s Casket, 1833.

Freedom of the Press and Liberty


We are, heart and soul, friends to the freedom of the press. It is however, the prostituted companion of liberty, and somehow or other, we know not how, its efficient auxiliary. It follows the substance like its shade; but while a man walks erect, he may observe, that his shadow is almost always in the dirt. It corrupts, it deceives, it inflames. It strips virtue of her honours, and lends to faction its wildfire and its poisoned arms, and in the end is its own enemy and the usurper’s ally. It would be easy to enlarge on its evils. They are in England, they are here, they are everywhere. It is a precious pest and a necessary mischief, and there would be no liberty without it.

——Fisher Ames, Review of the Present State of the British Constitution.