Fair Enough

[Felix Malleolus] relates at large the proceedings instituted against some mosquitoes in the thirteenth century in the Electorate of Mayence, when the judge before whom they were cited granted them, on account of the minuteness of their bodies and their extreme youth, a curator and counsel, who pleaded their cause and obtained for them a piece of land to which they were banished.

— Sabine Baring-Gould, Curiosities of Olden Times, 1896

Poetic License

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Sam Loyd tells the story of a feud between two Cincinnati newspapers. One of them, the Star in the West, published the following poem by an anonymous contributor, praising its originality and beauty:

Spring

The genial spring once more with chaplets crowned
Has showered her choicest blessings all around.
Each silent valley and each verdant lawn
Enriched with flowers, looks smiling as the dawn
Demure and modest hued the violet grows;
In yonder garden blooms the blushing rose;
To these the lilac adds her fragrant dower
Of perfume cherished by the sun and shower.
Reviving Flora walks the world a queen
Of kingdoms peerless as a fairy scene.
Far o’er the hills, in many a graceful line,
The rainbow blossoms of the orchard shine.
How softly mingled all their tints unite,
Embalm the air and bless the grateful sight!
Sweet voices now are heard on every tree,
The breeze, the bird, the murmur of the bee.
And down the cliff, where rocks oppose in vain,
Runs the clear stream in music of the plain.
In noisy groups, far from their southern home,
Now round the lofty spire the swallows roam;
The fearless robin builds with glossy leaves
Her fragile nest beneath the farmer’s eaves;
Embowered in woods the partridge makes her bed
With silken moss o’er tender osiers spread;
Each happy bird expands his dappled wings,
Soars with his gentle mate and sweetly sings.
The sounds of early husbandry arise
In pleasing murmurs to the pale blue skies;
Shrill floats the ploughman’s whistle while he speeds
Along the yielding earth his patient steeds.
Joyous the life which tills the pregnant soil,
And sweet the profits of the farmer’s toil.
Content, as smiling as an angel face
Keeps peaceful vigil round his dwelling place,
And gentle Hope and Love, forever bright,
Smiling like seraphs in their bowers of light,
Salute his mornings and embalm each night.

His rival sweetly suggested he read the first letter of each line.

Penetrating

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The lectures of 19th-century seer Andrew Jackson Davis weren’t well attended, but perhaps they should have been. His 1856 book Penetralia predicted both the automobile and the typewriter:

Look out about these days for carriages and travelling-saloons on country-roads–sans horses, sans steam, sans any visible motive-power–moving with greater speed and far more safety than at present. Carriages will be moved by a strange, and beautiful, and simple admixture of aqueous and atmospheric gases–so easily condensed, so simply ignited, and so imparted by a machine somewhat resembling our engines, as to be entirely concealed and manageable between the forward wheels. …

I am almost moved to invent an automatic psychographer; that is, an artificial soul-writer. It may be constructed something like a piano; one brace or scale of keys to represent the elementary sounds; another and lower tier, to represent a combination; and still another, for a rapid recombination; so that a person, instead of playing a piece of music, may touch off a sermon or a poem!

More Tall Argentines

Jacob Le Maire, in his voyage to the Straits of Magellan, reports, that on the 17th of December, 1615, they found at Port Desire, several graves covered with stones; and having the curiosity to remove the stones, they discovered human skeletons of ten and eleven feet long.

— John Platts, Encyclopedia of Natural and Artificial Wonders and Curiosities, 1876

See also Tall Tale.

APT = PAT

More anagrams:

ANGERED = ENRAGED
PROBLEM IN CHINESE = INCOMPREHENSIBLE
DECIMAL POINT = I’M A DOT IN PLACE
DELICATESSEN = ENSLICED EATS
FRAGILE = E.G., FRAIL
ARMAGEDDON = MAD GOD NEAR
WAITRESS = A STEW, SIR?
STORMY WEATHER = SHOWERY MATTER
THE RELIEF PITCHER = FIERCE HITTER? HELP!
WILD OATS = SOW IT, LAD
FALSEHOOD = HAS FOOLED
SUNBATHE = HEAT BUNS
THE PIANO BENCH = BENEATH CHOPIN