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Chinese New Year - The Year of the Rat
This month one of our volunteers sent along three ebooks by Herbert A Giles, a past Professor of Chinese in the University of Cambridge. The titles are listed below in our February posting list.
I didn't know what to expect as I prepared the ebooks for posting, but for a self-confessed quotation-freak, here was a banquet, a feast, a veritable groaning board. All of the works are filled with beautiful passages, as one might expect from Chinese writing.
Since the Chinese have only recently celebrated the start of a new year, the Year of the Rat, I will show admirable discipline by confining my quotations to that subject. Hence:--
* Don't break a vase for a shy at a rat.
* It takes a rat to know a rat.
That wasn't so bad, was it. Only 2 references to rats. There was one other little parable in 'Gems of Chinese Literature: Prose' titled 'A Rat's Cunning.' You will have to find that one yourself.
John Bickers prepared these three ebooks. If you have ever had a go at making one, you will appreciate his effort. My eye was caught by another quote in one of the texts, "One man makes a road and another walks on it." John has made the road, why not walk on it and pick up some of the gems with which it is studded.
Making the Most of Ebooks
In writing his book "Australia's Pioneers, Heroes and Fools" Peter
Macinnis acknowledged that "most of all, though, I owe a debt of
gratitude to the people at Project Gutenberg Australia. These lovely
people have scanned and proofed most of the journals of the explorers,
and that was my starting point for a database. I added text from other
sources, but my major source was Project Gutenberg Australia."
The Australian Explorers Journals are at http://gutenberg.net.au/explorers-journals.html
Sometimes volunteers must wonder whether the work they do will find an audience or whether the books will just sit there as digital code taking up space on a computer hard disk somewhere. It is nice to see good use is being made of the work of our volunteers.
Quotable Quotes (From Doctor Widger's Library)
The following are from The Essays of Montaigne, Volume 2, by Michel de
* * * * *
It should seem that the nature of wit is to have its operation prompt
sudden, and that of judgment to have it more deliberate and more slow.
* * *
But, above all, old men who retain the memory of things past,
and forget how often they have told them, are dangerous company; and I
have known stories from the mouth of a man of very great quality,
otherwise very pleasant in themselves, become very wearisome by being
repeated a hundred times over and over again to the same people.
* * *
I was by no means pleased with a story, told me by a man of very
quality of a relation of mine, and one who had given a very good account
of himself both in peace and war, that, coming to die in a very old age,
of excessive pain of the stone, he spent the last hours of his life in an
extraordinary solicitude about ordering the honour and ceremony of his
funeral, pressing all the men of condition who came to see him to engage
their word to attend him to his grave: importuning this very prince, who
came to visit him at his last gasp, with a most earnest supplication that
he would order his family to be there, and presenting before him several
reasons and examples to prove that it was a respect due to a man of his
condition; and seemed to die content, having obtained this promise, and
appointed the method and order of his funeral parade. I have seldom
heard of so persistent a vanity.
A NEW GIRL UP AT WHITE'S
There's a fresh track down the paddock
Through the lightwoods to the creek,
And I notice Billy Craddock
And Maloney do not speak,
And The Snag is slyly bitter
When he's criticising Bill,
And there's quite a foreign glitter
On the fellows at the mill.
Sid M'Mahon's turned out a dandy
With a masher coat and tie,
And the engine-driver, Sandy,
Curls his whiskers on the sly:
All the boys wear paper collars
And their tombstone shirts of nights,
So it's ten to one in dollars
There's a new girl up at White's.
She's a charmer from the river,
But she steeps the lads in gloom,
With her blue eyes all a-quiver
And her hair like wattle-bloom;
Though she's pretty and beguiling,
And so lit up, like, with fun
That the flowers turn to her smiling,
Just as if she was the sun.
But I wish she'd leave the valley,
For the camp is dull to me,
Now the mill hands never rally
For the regulation spree,
And there's not another joker
Gives a tinker's curse for nap.,
Or will take a hand at poker
Or at euchre with a chap!
Tom won't stir us with his fiddle
By the boilers as he did
While Bob stepped it in the middle,
And we passed the billy-lid.
Ah! we had some gay old nights there,
But the boys now don't agree,
And they hang about at White's there,
When they've togged up after tea.
With the gloves we have no battle;
Now they sneak away and moon
Round with White, discussing cattle
All the Sunday afternoon.
There's a want of old uprightness,
Too, has come upon the push,
And a sort of cold politeness
That's not called for in the bush.
They're all off, too, in that quarter;
Kate goes sev'ral times a week
Seeing Andy Kelly's daughter,
Jimmy's sister, up the creek;
And this difference seems a pity,
Since their chances are so slim--
While they are running after Kitty,
She is running after Jim.
From Rhymes from the Mines by Edward Dyson (http://gutenberg.net.au/plusfifty-a-m.html#dyson)
A list of all the books we provide is available from http://gutenberg.net.au/plusfifty.html
Check there to see if there are other works by the authors listed below
-- FEBRUARY POSTINGS -- Feb 2008 The Forger, Edgar Wallace [080020xx.xxx] 1602A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800201.txt or .zip http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800201h.html Feb 2008 The Loyal Karens of Burma,Donald Mackenzie Smeaton[080019xx.xxx] 1601A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800191.txt or .zip Feb 2008 The Viper of Milan, Marjorie Bowen [080018xx.xxx] 1600A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800181.txt or .zip http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800181h.html Feb 2008 Gems of Chinese Literature: Verse, Herbert A Giles[080017xx.xxx] 1599A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800171.txt or .zip Feb 2008 Gems of Chinese Literature: Prose, Herbert A Giles[080016xx.xxx] 1598A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800161.txt or .zip Feb 2008 A History of Chinese Literature, Herbert A Giles [080015xx.xxx] 1597A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800151.txt or .zip Feb 2008 The Man at the Carlton, Edgar Wallace [080014xx.xxx] 1596A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800141.txt or .zip http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800141h.html Feb 2008 Man Abroad, Anonymous [080013xx.xxx] 1595A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800131.txt or .zip http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800131h.html Feb 2008 The Crystal Button, Chauncey Thomas [080012xx.xxx] 1594A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800121.txt or .zip http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800121h.html Feb 2008 A History of Ireland and Her People, Eleanor Hull [080011xx.xxx] 1593A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800111h.html Feb 2008 Planetoid 127, Edgar Wallace [080010xx.xxx] 1592A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800101.txt or .zip http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800101h.html Feb 2008 The Carolinian, Rafael Sabatini [080009xx.xxx] 1591A http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800091.txt or .zip http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0800091h.html
Newsletter Editor: Colin Choat.
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