Ten thousand wonderful things, Volume 2

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I've had a copy of a BIGGER version of this book (684 pages rather than 357 in generally the same format and typeface) for almost thirty years. It wasn't in great shape to begin with so, unfortunately, through a number of moves, it has lost the title page, the spine has vanished, and the cardboard front and back covers are no longer attached, but the contents are complete.
I've cross-checked entries and it appears that my version contains ALL the entries in the Google-books version and many more that this version does not. I bought it used from either a used book store in NYC or in Holyoke, MA.
Ripley's Believe it or not does not hold a candle to this book.
Unlike Ripley where the exotic is emphasized even if completely false, this book actually tries to be accurate or at least to reflect the contemporary state of knowledge. For instance, the last entry is on "Music of the Hindoos" ius about 500 words long. At that length one cannot expect anything comprehensive, but given that this was produced in England of 1859 (after the war in India), it does not put down the music or the musical theory, provides Sanskrit words with diacritical marks to help pronounce them correctly, and there is nothing grotesquely wrong. All said and done, it is a professionally done, scholarly essay within the limits of the genre.
My copy has had about a 100 yellow sticky-notes in it for the last twenty years and whenever I go back to reading it, I am always pleasantly surprised and truly amazed.

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Page 34 - I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.
Page 106 - ... constant use twice a day all the year round, for he never failed to eat oysters before dinner and supper through all seasons : the neighbouring town of Poole supplied him with them.
Page 82 - A gentleman entered the room bearing a rod, and along with him another who had a tablecloth, which, after they had both kneeled three times with the utmost veneration, he spread upon the table, and, after kneeling again, they both retired. Then came two others, one with the rod again, the other with a salt-cellar, a plate, and bread.
Page 226 - ... of the walls of the city. The ascent was from terrace to terrace, by stairs ten feet wide. The whole pile was sustained by vast arches, raised...
Page 107 - ... baked. His table cost him not much, though it was good to eat at. His sports supplied all, but beef and mutton, except on Fridays, when he had the best of fish. He never wanted a London pudding ; and he always sang it in with
Page 219 - I expected musique, but there was none but only trumpets and drums, which displeased me. The dinner, it seems, is made by the Mayor and two Sheriffs for the time being, the Lord Mayor paying one half, and they the other. And the whole, Proby says, is reckoned to come to about 7 or ^800 at most.
Page 330 - When they begin to blow, the sky, at other times so clear in this climate, becomes dark and heavy ; the sun loses his splendour, and appears of a violet colour...
Page 9 - Beneath the suspension bridge across the Menai Strait in Wales, close to one of the main piers, is a remarkably fine echo. The sound of a blow on the pier with a hammer is returned in succession from each of the...
Page 299 - one day, when we went to pay a visit to some families of Chinese Christian peasants, we met, near a farm, a young lad, who was taking a buffalo to graze along our path. We asked him carelessly, as we passed, whether it was yet noon. The child raised his head to look at the sun; but it was hidden behind thick clouds, and he could read no answer there. 'The sky is so cloudy...
Page 82 - At the end of all this ceremonial a number of unmarried ladies appeared, who, with particular solemnity, lifted the meat off the, table, and conveyed it into the queen's inner and more private chamber, where, after she had chosen for herself, the rest goes to the ladies of the court.

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