Eating Habits of Famous Authors (Post No 2505)


Written by london swaminathan

Date: 3 February 2016


Post No. 2505


Time uploaded in London :– 18-12


( Thanks for the Pictures  ) 




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Shelley, a vegetarian 


Shelley had all the sensualities of the table…….an ineffable contempt, and, like Newton, used sometimes to inquire if he had dined. He was a vegetarian, believing that abstinence from animal food stabilises and clears the intellect. Bread was his staff of life.


When he felt hungry he would rush into a bakery, emerge with a loaf under his arm, and stride on, rapidly breaking off pieces and swallowing them greedily.


While visiting Shelley, his friend Hogg once ventured to say something about a pudding. “A pudding, said Shelley, is a prejudice”. He did sometimes permit Harriet or Mary to supply a “murdered chicken” for a guest.




Coffee or Tea


John Randolph, the American statesman, said to a waiter, at the same time handing him his cup and saucer, “Take that away, change it”.


“What do you want, Mr Randolph” asked the waiter,

“Do you want coffee or tea?”


“If that stuff is tea, said he, bring me coffee, if it is coffee, bring me tea. I want a change”.




Thackeray’s longing for Oysters!


One of the chief reasons for Thackeray’s visit to America was his great desire to eat Massachusetts oysters. The publisher James T Fields knew of the novelist’s secret longing, and as soon as he could get Thackeray in his possession he carried him off to a magnificent oyster spread.


Thackeray gazed in delight at the six colossal specimens set before him. Not knowing How to begin the attack he asked his companion in a troubled voice,

“How do I do it?”


“This way”, said Fields promptly, and proceeded to dispatch his first oyster. Then in the midst of a profound silence Thackeray did likewise. After a moment Fields anxiously asked him how he felt. Drawing a deep breath, Thackeray replied, “As if I had swallowed a baby”.




Swift and Pie


Jonathan Swift, in travelling, called at hospitable house. The lady of the mansion, rejoiced to have so distinguished a guest, with great eagerness and flippancy asked him what he would have for dinner.

Will you have an apple- pie, sir?

Will you have a gooseberry pie, Sir?

Will you have a cherry pie, Sir?

Will you have A currant pie, Sir?

Will you have A plum pie, Sir?

Will you have A pigeon pie, sir?


Any pie, Madam, but a mag-pie? said Swift.






Generosity: Stories and Quotations


Article No. 2000

Compiled  by London swaminathan

Date 17th July 2015

Time uploaded in London: 19-20


Aristotle, on being censured for giving alms to a bad man, answered: “I did not give it to the man, I gave it to humanity.”



There is a story about a hero of the Chinese rice-fields. During an earthquake and Tsunami, he saved his community by quick thinking. From his hill-top farm he saw the ocean swiftly withdrawn, like some prodigious animal crouching for leap, and knew the leap would be the huge tidal wave. He also saw that his neighbours working in low fields must be gathered to his hill or swept away. Without a second thought he set fire to his haystacks and furiously rang the temple bell.

His neighbours thought his farm on fire and rushed to help him. Then, from that safe hill they saw the swirl of waters over fields just forsaken – and knew their salvation and its cost. After wards the people of these rice-fields used to go to the temple to worship their neighbour’s spirit while he was alive.



In South India, particularly in Tamil Nadu, there are lot of Hero Stones, for those who save the community from wild animals or invading enemies. Each one has his name inscribed on it with his heroic deeds. Some of them have become temples of “Village Gods”.




On his death bed Governor Hogg of Texas (USA) requested that no monument be placed at his grave; but that instead, there be planted, “at my head a pecan tree, and at my feet an old fashioned walnut tree and when these trees shall bear, let the pecans and walnuts given out among the Plains people of Texas, so that they may plant them and make Texas a land of trees.”

His wishes were carried out. The first nuts were saved in 1926 and planted in nursery rows. And the same thing has been done each year. When the saplings are large enough to transplant they are distributed to schools and county boards.




“I am rich enough,” said Alexander Pope to Jonathan Swift, “and can afford to give away a hundred pounds a year. I would not crawl upon the earth without doing good. I will enjoy the pleasure of what I give by giving it alive and seeing another enjoy it. When I die I should be ashamed to have enough for a monument if a wanting friend was above ground.”

pope, book



A Tamil Muslim Miracle – posted by me on 2nd December 2013.

One of the anecdotes in Seethakkathi’s life may be compared with Popes anecdote:

During his tour, a poor man met Seethakathi and told him about the difficulty in getting his daughter married for want of money. When Seethakkathi came forward to give him money, the poor man told that he would take the money when the marriage was finalised. After sometimes Seethakathi died suddenly. The poor man came all the way to Keelakkarai to get the money for his daughter’s wedding, without knowing Seethakkathi’s demise. Town people gave him the bad news when he enquired about the whereabouts of Seethakathi.

The poor man felt very sad but yet wanted to pay his respects at his grave. When he went to Seethakkathi’s grave and paid his respects suddenly a hand protruded from below the grave. It was Seethakkathi’s hand and there was a pearl studded gold ring in one of his fingers! The man took it and thanked his philanthropy even after he died. This gave the popular Tamil phrase “Seththum Kodthaan Seethakkathi” meaning Seethakkathi gave even after his death!


Brahms (1)


An English lover of Brahms’ music willed him 1000 pounds (British Currency). When Joachim sent the news to Brahms, he replied:

“One can experience nothing more beautiful, nothing that does one more good, than what you have just told me. That a perfect stranger, who has, as far as I know, never even written me, should remember me thus, touches me most deeply and intimately. Once before I have had the inestimable joy of experiencing the like. All exterior honours are nothing in comparison.

As I do not need to ‘invest’ the money, I am enjoying it in the most agreeable manner, by taking pleasure in its distribution.”




The whole world is one family for the large hearted

-Pancatantra 5-38-7; Hitopadesa 1-71

The generous give and give, and misers cringe and cry!

–Kahavatratnakar, page 124

The selfless shirk not from sacrificing their lives for those in dire need.


Himself without any clothes, the beggar is passionate about giving charity!

—-Kahavatratnakar, Page 140