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Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison

Fifty years' recollections of an old bookseller

by William West


He scorns the line however smooth it flow,

That tends to make one honest man his foe;

He, travelling life's eventful road along,

Beguiles his moments with disportive song;

Whistles and sings, his ardent breast to cheer,

Thinks for himself, dares laugh, and be sincere." T. C. R,

The Recollections of the author carry him back to a very early period of his life; the first stage of which, he will confine to that of fourteen. At four years of age, he recollects he had the honour of dining with his mother during her accouchement with his third brother; at whose christening he displayed considerable anger, from the rough salute, and rough beard of his godfather. At six years of age he was highly amused at the eccentric and philosophic farmer, to whom he has alluded in his introductory chapter. This extraordinary character, (John Parker, Esq.) always dressed with extreme neatness, in a loose coat, with wide and long hanging sleeves, ornamented with gold basket covered buttons, but was never known to wear a waistcoat. His shoes short quartered,high tongued, square toed, with pinchbeck buckles. His gardeners were strictly enjoined to produce him a nosegay of the finest flowers, ere he proceeded on his morning ride, always accompanied by a monkey, who was well dressed, with a cocked hat, and sat behind him upon a fine spirited horse, followed by a respectable man servant. He kept the best society, and died at the advanced age of one hundred and two; but notwithstandiug his supposed riches, and havng had one of the finest farms in the country, consisting of upwards of two thousand acres; he left his son involved. The latter gentleman, was a captain in the Surrey Militia, at the same period, that his friend, the celebrated Captain Grose held a commission in that corps. The society, which, at that period assembled at Parker's seat, at Waddon Court, was of the first order. Several of the Boscawens' were visiters; Mr. Marshall, a celebrated Agriculturist, and author of many popular publications on agriculture, also, frequently joined in the gay circle of a house kept more in the style of a nobleman's, than a farmer's. Grose was then in the hey-day of life, and perhaps, one of the most witty and pleasant companions in the world, we shall have much to say of him hereafter, of chaacters with whom he associated, and with whom we were acquainted at the same time. One person in particular, claims our attention, he is worthy of notice, and was known to the author when he had so large a family as twelve children. His eldest daughter, a beautiful girl, had nearly won the heart of the author's eldest brother. The following account of him was written by Captaiu Grose, and communicated to his friend, James Petit Andrews, Esq. F. S- A. who thus acknowledges it:—

"the following letter,contains an instance of the most excellent domestic management, which imagination can conceive. It may be depended on, for, facetious as the writer is known to be, he never indulges his humour at the expence of his veracity; and he avers every circumstance there related to be literally true."


** Tou ask me, what 1 have seen in my ramble, worth relating. You are no antiquarian, I will not therefore teaze you with ruined abbeys, Gothic castles, Roman and Danish camps, or Druidical circles, but confine my narrative to a human curiosity. This is a Mr. Osbaldeston, an attorney's clerk; and in spite of the popular prejudices against his profession, said to be an honest man. This you will allow to be a curiosity, but that is not all. This honest limb of the law is n amed, and has at least, half a dozen children, all whom, with as many couple of hounds, and a brace of hunters, he maintains out of—how much do y«m think? Guess little I pray you—why then, to support himself, a wife and six children, twelve dogs, and two horses, he has not a penny more than sixty pounds per annum !. And if possible to increase the miracle, he did this in London for many years; paying every body their own, and keeping a tight coatfor Sunday s and holydays : but I will try to explain this seeming paradox. After the expiration of the time which Mr. Osbaldeston owed his master, he acted as an accountant for the butchers in Claremarket, who paid him in offal; the choicest morsels of this, he selected for himself and family, and with the rest he fed his hounds, which he kept in his garret. His horses were lodged in his cellar, and fed on grains from a neighbouring brewhouse, and on damaged corn, with which he was supplied by a corn-chandler, whose books he kept in order. Once ©r twice a week in the season he hunted, and by giving a hares now and then to the farmers, over whose grounds he sported, he secured their good will and permission. Besides which, several gentlemen, struck with his extraordinary economy, winked at his going over their manors, with his moderate pack. "Accident has since removed this uncommon man to Lewes in Sussex; where, on the same stipend, he continues to maintain the same family. Curiosity led me to visit this extraordinary party, about their dinner time. The two-legged party were clean, though not superfluously clothed, and seemed to live like brothers with the surrounding animals. It looked, in short, somewhat like the golden age. Mr. O. himself, seemed and acted like the father of the quadrupeds as well as the bipeds, and as such, decided with the utmost impartiality; for master Jackey having taken a bone from Jowler, he commanded immediate restitution; and on the other hand, Doxy having snatched a pieceof a liver from miss Dorothea, was oblig'd on the spot, to restore it to the young lady.

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