Page images
PDF
EPUB

snow,

I Am considering how most of the great phe- and employ all the tricks of art to terrify and nomena or appearances in nature, have been surprise the spectator. imitated by the art of man. Thunder is

grown

We were well enough pleased with this start a common drug among the chymists. Lightning of thought, but fancied there was something in may be bought by the pound. If a man has oc- it too serious, and perhaps too horrid, to be put casion for a lambent flame, you have whole in execution. sheets of it in a handful of phosphor.. Showers Upon this a friend of mine gave us an account of rain are to be met with in every water work; of a fire-work described, if I am not mistaken, and we are informed, that some years ago the by Strada. A prince of Italy it seems entervirtuosos of France covered a little vault with tained his mistress with it upon a great lake. artificial which they made to fall above In the midst of this lake was a huge floating an hour together for the entertainment of his mountain made by art. The mountain reprepresent majesty.

sented Ætna, being bored through the top with I am led into this train of thinking by the a monstrous orifice. Upon a signal given the noble fire-work that was exhibited last night eruption began. Fire and smoke, mixed with upon the Thames. You might there see a several unusual prodigies and figures, made their little sky filled with innumerable blazing stars appearance for some time. On a sudden there and meteors. Nothing could be more astonish. was heard a most dreadful rumbling noise with. ing than the pillars of fame, clouds of smoke, in the entrails of the machine. After which and multitudes of stars mingled together in the mountain burst, and discovered a vast cavity such an agreeable confusion. Every rocket in that side which faced the prince and his ended in a constellation, and strowed the air court. Within this hollow was Vulcan's shop, with such a shower of silver spangles, as opened full of fire and clock-work. A column of blue and cnlightened the whole scene from time to flame issued out incessantly from the forge. time. It put me in mind of the lines in Edipus, Vulcan was employed in hammering out thunWhy from the bleeding womb of monstrous night

derbolts, that every now and then flew up from Burst forth such myriads of abortive stars ?'

the anvil with dreadful cracks and flashes. In short, the artist did his part to admiration, Venus stood by him in a figure of the brightest and was so encompassed with fire and smoke fire, with numberless cupids on all sides of her, that one would have thought nothing but a that shot out volleys of burning arrows. Besalamander could have been safe in such a fore her was an altar with hearts of fire flaming situation.

on it. I have forgot several other particulars I was in company with two or three fanciful no less curious, and have only mentioned these friends during this whole show. One of them to show that there may be a sort of fable or being a critic, that is a man who on all occasions design in a fire-work which may give an addi. is more attentive to what is wanting than what tional beauty to those surprising objects.' is present, began to exert his talent upon the

I seldom see any thing that raises wonder in several objects we had before us.

me which does not give my thoughts a turn mightily pleased,' says he, with that burning that makes my heart the better for it. As I cypher. There is no matter in the world so

was lying in my bed, and ruminating on what proper to write with as wild-fire, as no charac- I had seen, I could not forbear reflecting on the ters can be more legible than those which are

insignificancy of human art, when set in com. read by their own light. But as for your car- parison with the designs of Providence. In dinal virtues, I do not care for seeing them in the pursuit of this thought I considered a comet, such combustible figures. Who can imagine or, in the language of the vulgar, a blazing. Chastity with a body of fire, or Temperance in star, as a sky-rocket discharged by a hand that a flame? Justice indeed may be furnished out is Almighty. Many of my readers saw that in of this element as far as her sword goes, and the year 1680, and if they are not mathemati. Courage may be all over one continued blaze, if cians, will be amazed to hear that it travelled the artist pleases.'

in a much greater degree of swiftness than a Our companion observing that we laughed at cannon-ball, and drew after it a tail of fire that this unseasonable severity, let drop the critic,

was fourscore millions of miles in length. What and proposed a subject for a fire-work, which an amazing thought it is to consider this stuhe thought would be very amusing, if executed pendous body traversing the immensity of the by so able an artist as he who was at that time creation with such a rapidity, and at the same entertaining us. The plan he mentioned was a

time, wheeling about in that line which the Alscene in Milton. He would have a large piece mighty has prescribed for it! that it should of machinery represent the Pandæmonium,

move in such inconceivable fury and combustion, where,

and at the same time with such an exact regu.

larity! How spacious must the universe be that - from the arched roof Pendant by subtle magic, many a row

gives such bodies as these their full play, withOf starry lamps, and blazing cressets, fed

out suffering the least disorder or confusion by With naphtha and asphaltos, yielded light it! What a glorious show are those beings enAs from a sky'

tertained with that can look into this great This might be finely represented by several il. theatre of nature, and see myriads of such treluminations disposed in a great frame of wood, mendous objects wandering through those imwith ten thousand beautiful exhalations of fire, measurable depths of æther, and running their which men versed in this art know very well appointed courses ! Our eyes may hereafter be how to raise. The evil spirits at the same time strong enough to command this magnificent might very properly appear in vehicles of flame, prospect, and our understandings able to find

I am

Tacit.

out the several uses of these great parts of the not tell you after this, with what joy and sur. universe. In the mean time they are very pro- prise the story ends. King Edward, who knew per objects for our imaginations to contemplate, all the pafticulars of it, as a mark of his esteem, that we may form more exalted notions of infi- gave to each of them, by the king of France's nite wisdom and power, and learn to think consent, the following coat of arms, which I humbly of ourselves, and of all the little works will send you in the original language, not beof human invention.

ing herald enough to blazon it in English.

"Le Roi d'Angleterre par permission du Roi

de France, pour perpetuelle memoire de leurs No. 104.] Friday, July 10, 1713.

grands faits d'armes et fidelité envers leurs

Řois, leur donna par ampliation à leurs armes Quæ e longinquo magis placent.

en une croix d'argen cantonée de quatre coThe farther fetch'd, the more they please.

quilles d'or en champ de sable, qu'ils avoient

auparavant, une endenteleuse faite en façons de On Tuesday last I published two letters croix de guëulle inserée au dedans de la ditte written by a gentleman in his travels. As they croix d'argent et par le milieu d'icelle que est were applauded by my best readers, I shall this participation des deux croix que portent les dits day publish two more from the same hand. Rois en la guerre.” The first of them contains a matter of fact

• I am afraid by this time you begin to won. which is very curious, and may deserve the at- der that I should send you for news a tale of tention of those who are versed in our British three or four hundred years old; and I dare say antiquities.

never thought, when you desired me to write to

you, that I should trouble you with a story of Blois, May 15, N. S.

king John, especially at a time when there is a 'Sir,—Because I am at present out of the monarch on the French throne that furnishes road of news, I shall send you a story that was discourse for all Europe. But I confess I am lately given me by a gentleman of this country, the more fond of the relation, because it brings who is descended from one of the persons con

to mind the noble exploits of our own countrycerned in the relation, and very inquisitive to men : though at the same time I must own it is know if there be any of the family now in Eng- not so much the vanity of an Englishman which land.

puts me upon writing it, as that I have of tak* I shall only premise to it, that this story is ing an occasion to subscribe myself, sir, yours, preserved with great care among the writings &c.' of this gentleman's family, and that it has been

· Blois, May 20, N. S. given to two or three of our English nobility, when they were in these parts, who could not last kind letter, which was the only English that

“SIR, I am extremely obliged to you for your return any satisfactory answer to the gentleman, whether there be any of that family now remain had been spoken to me in some months toge. ing in Great Britain.

ther, for I am at present forced to think the abIn the reign of king John there lived a no

sence of my countrymen my good fortune : bleman called John de Sigonia, lord of that place Votum in amante novum! vellum quod amatur abès, in Touraine; his brothers were Philip and Bri

Ovid. Met. Lib. iii. 468. ant. Briant, when very young, was made one

Strange wish to harbour in a lover's breast!

I wish that absent, which I love the best. of the French king's pages, and served him in that quality when he was taken prisoner by the • This is an advantage that I could not have English. The king of England chanced to see hoped for, had I stayed near the French court, the youth, and being much pleased with his though I must confess I would not but have person and behaviour, begged him of the king seen it, because I believe it showed me some of his prisoner. It happened, some years after this, the finest places, and of the greatest persons, in that John, the other brother, who, in the course the world." One cannot hear a name mentioned of the war had raised himself to a considerable in it that does not bring to mind a piece of a post in the French army, was taken prisoner by gazette, nor see a man that has not signalised Briant, who at that time was an officer in the himself in a battle. One would fancy one's self king of England's guards. Briant knew nothing to be in the enchanted palaces of a romance ; of his brother, and being naturally of a haughty one meets so many heroes, and finds something temper, treated him very insolently, and more so like scenes of magic in the gardens, statues, like a criminal than a prisoner of war.

This and water-works. I am ashamed that I am not John resented so highly, that he challenged him able to make a quicker progress through the to a single combat. The challenge was accept. French tongue, because I believe it is impossi. ed, and time and place assigned them by the ble for a learner of a language to find in any king's appointment. Both appeared on the day nation such advantages as in this, where every prefixed, and entered the lists completely armed, body is so very courteous, and so very talkative. amidst a great multitude of spectators. Their They always take care to make a noise as long first encounters were very furious, and the suc. as they are in company, and are as loud any cess equal on both sides; until after some toil hour in the morning, as our own countrymen and bloodshed they were parted by their seconds at midnight. By what I have seen, there is to fetch breath, and prepare themselves afresh more mirth in the French conversation, and for the combat. Briant, in the mean time, had more wit in the English. You abound more in cast his eye upon his brother's escutcheon, which jests, but they in laughter. Their language is, he saw agree in all points with his own. I need | indeed, extremely proper to tattle in, it is made

set.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

011

Perdere nec foetus ausa Lewna suos.

up of so much repetition and compliment. One | ver it out of its present degeneracy and depra. 1 may know a foreigner by his answering only vation of manners. It seems to promise us an No or Yes to a question, which a Frenchman honest and virtuous posterity. There will be generally makes a sentence of. They have a few in the next generation who will not at least set of ceremonious phrases that run through all be able to write and read, and have not had an ranks and degrees among them. Nothing is early tincture of religion. It is therefore to be more common than to hear a shop-keeper desir. hoped that the several persons of wealth and ing his neighbour to have the goodness to tell quality, who made their procession through the him what it is o'clock, or a couple of cobblers, members of these new-erected seminaries, will that are extremely glad of the honour of seeing not regard them only as an empty spectacle, or one another.

the materials of a fine show, but contribute to fo • The face of the whole country where I now their maintenance and increase. For my part

, TI am, is at this season pleasant beyond imagina- I can scarce forbear looking on the astonishing tion. I cannot but fancy the birds of this place, victories our arms have been crowned with, to as well as the men, a great deal merrier than be in some measure the blessings returned upon those of our own nation. am sure the French that national charity which has been so conspi

. year has got the start of ours more in the works cuous of late; and that the great successes of of nature, than in the new style. I have past the last war, for which we lately offered up our one March in my life without being ruffled with thanks, were in some measure occasioned by the winds, and one April without being washed the several objects which then stood before us. with rains. I am, sir, yours.'

Since I am upon this subject, I shall mention a piece of charity which has not been yet er.

erted among us, and which deserves our atten. No. 105.) Saturday, July 11, 1713.

tion the more, because it is practised by most

of the nations about us. I mean a provision for Quod neque in Armenjis tigres fecere latebris :

foundlings, or for those children who, through

want such a provision, are exposed to the At teneræ faciunt, sed non impune, puellæ ;

barbarity of cruel and unnatural parents. One Sæpe, suos utero quæ necat, ipsa perit.

does not know how to speak on such a subject Ovid. Amor. Lib. 2. Eleg. xiv. 35.

without horror : but what multitudes of infants The tigresses, that haunt th’ Armenian wood, Will spare their proper young, tho' pinch'd for food!

have been made away by those who brought Nor will the Lybian lionesses slay

them into the world, and were afterwards either Their whelps : but women are more fierce than they, ashamed, or unable to provide for them! More barbarous to the tender fruit they bear; Nor Nature's call, tho' loud she cries, will hear.

There is scarce an assizes where some unBut righteous vengeance oft their crimes pursues, happy wretch is not executed for the murder of And they are lost themselves who would their chil.

a child. And how many more of these monsters dren lose.

Anon.

of inhumanity may we suppose to be wholly unTHERE was no part of the show on the thanks- discovered, or cleared for want of legal evidence! giving day that so much pleased and affected Not to mention those, who, by unnatural prac. me as the little boys and girls who were ranged tices, do in some measure defeat the intentions with so much order and decency in that part of of Providence, and destroy their conceptions the Strand which reaches from the May-pole to even before they see the light. In all these, the Exeter-change. Such a numerous and innocent guilt is equal, though the punishment is not so. multitude, clothed in the charity of their bene. But to pass by the greatness of the crime (which factors, was a spectacle pleasing both to God is not to be expressed by words) if we only con. and man, and a more beautiful expression of joy sider it as it robs the commonwealth of its full and thanksgiving than could have been exhi. number of citizens, it certainly deserves the utbited by all the pomps of a Roman triumph.- most application and wisdom of a people to preNever did a more full and unspotted chorus of vent it. human creatures join together in a hymn of It is certain, that which generally betrays devotion. The care and tenderness which ap- these profligate women into it

, and overcomes peared in the looks of their several instructors, the tenderness which is natural to them on other who were disposed among this little helpless occasions, is the fear of shame, or their inability people, could not forbear touching every heart to support those whom they give life to. I shall that had any sentiments of humanity. therefore show how this evil is prevented in

I am very sorry that her majesty did not see other countries, as I have learned from those this assembly of objects, so proper to excite that who have been conversant in the several great charity and compassion which she bears to all cities of Europe. who stand in need of it, though, at the same There are at Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, Rome, time, I question not but her royal bounty will and many other large towns, great hospitals extend itself to them. A charity bestowed on built like our colleges. In the walls of these the education of so many of her young subjects, hospitals are placed machines, in the shape of has more merit in it than a thousand pensions large lanthorns, with a little door in the side of to those of a higher fortune who are in greater them turned towards the street, and a bell hangstations in life.

ing by them. The child is deposited in this I have always looked on this institution of lanthorn, which is immediately turned about charity schools, which of late years has so uni. into the inside of the hospital. The person who versally prevailed through the whole nation, as conveys the child, rings the bell, and leaves it the glory of the age we live in, and the most there, upon which the proper officer comes and proper means that can be made use of to reco- receives it without making further inquiries.

The parent, or her friend, who lays the child | her good graces, or if not, who is the happy there, generally leaves a note with it, declaring person. whether it be yet christened, the name it should • I fell asleep in this agreeable reverie, when be called by, the particular marks upon it, and on a sudden methought Aurelia lay by my side. the like.

I was placed by her in the posture of Milton's It often happens that the parent leaves a Adam, and " with looks of cordial love hung note for the maintenance and education of the over her enamour’d.” As I cast my eye upon child, or takes it out after it has been some her bosom, it appeared to be all of crystal, and years in the hospital. Nay, it has been known so wonderfully transparent that I saw every that the father has afterwards owned the young thought in her heart. The first images I dis. foundling for his son, or left his estate to him. covered in it were fans, silk, ribands, laces, This is certain, that many are by this means and many other gewgaws, which lay so thick preserved and do signal services to their coun. together, that the whole heart was nothing else try, who, without such a provision, might have but a toy-shop. These all faded away and vaperished as abortives, or have come to an un- nished, when immediately I discerned a long timely end, and perhaps have brought upon train of coaches and six, equipages, and live. their guilty parents the like destruction. ries, that ran through the heart one after another

This I think is a subject that deserves our in a very great hurry for above half an hour most serious consideration, for which reason I together. After this, looking very attentively, hope I shall not be thought impertinent in lay- I observed the whole space to be filled with a ing it before my readers.

hand of cards, in which I could see distinctly three mattadors. There then followed a quick succession of different scenes. A playhouse, a

church, a court, a puppet-show, rose up one afNo. 106.] Monday, July 13, 1713. ter another, until at last they all of them gave

place to a pair of new shoes, which kept footing Quod latet arcanâ, non enarrabile, fibrâ.

in the heart for a whole hour. These were Pers. Sat. v. 29.

driven off at last by a lap-dog, who was sucThe deep recesses of the human breast.

ceeded by a guinea-pig, a squirrel and a monkey. I myself

, to my no small joy, brought up the As I was making up my Monday's provision rear of these worthy favourites. I was ravished for the public, I received the following letter, at being so happily posted, and in full possession vhich being a better entertainment than any I of the heart: but as I saw the little figure of can furnish out myself, I shall set it before the myself simpering and mightily pleased with its reader, and desire himn to fall on without farther situation, on a sudden the heart methought gave ceremony.

a sigh, in which, as I found afterwards, my little

representative vanished ; for, upon applying my SIR, Your two kinsmen and predecessors eye, I found my place taken up by an ill-bred, of immortal memory, were very famous for awkward puppy, with a money-bag under each their dreams and vi Nons, and, contrary to all arm. This gentleman, however, did not keep his other authors, never pleased their readers more station long, before he yielded it up to a wight as than when they were nodding. Now it is ob disagreeable as himself, with a white stick in served, that the second sight generally runs in his hand. These three last figures represented the blood; and, sir, we are in hopes that you to me, in a lively manner, the conflicts in Auyourself, like the rest of your family, may at relia's heart, between love, avarice, and ambi. length prove a dreamer of dreams, and a seer tion, for we justled one another out by turns, of visions. In the mean while, I beg leave to and disputed the post for a great while. But at make you a present of a dream, which may last, to my unspeakable satisfaction, I saw my. serve to lull your readers until such time as self entirely settled in it. I was so transported you yourself shall think fit to gratify the pub- with my success, that I could not forbear hug. lic with any of your nocturnal discoveries. ging my dear piece of crystal, when, to my

•You must understand, sir, I had yesterday unspeakable mortification, I awaked, and found been reading and ruminating upon that passage my mistress metamorphosed into a pillow. where Momus is said to have found fault with This is not the first time I have been thus the make of a man, because he had not a win. disappointed. dow in his breast. The moral of this story is O venerable Nestor, if you have any skill. very obvious, and means no more than that the in dreams, let me know whether I have the heart of man is so full of wiles and artifices, same place in the real heart, that I had in the treachery and deceit, that there is no guessing visionary one. To tell you truly, I am perplexed at what he is, from his speeches, and outward to death between hope and fear. I was very appearances. I was immediately reflecting how sanguine until eleven o'clock this morning, happy each of the sexes would be, if there was when I overheard an unlucky old woman tella window in the breast of every one that makes ing her neighbour that dreams always went by or receives love. What protestations and per. contraries. I did not, indeed, before much like juries would be saved on the one side, what the crystal heart, remembering that confounded hypocrisy and dissimulation on the other! I simile in Valentinian, of a maid “as cold as am myself very far gone in this passion for crystal never to be thawed.” Besides, I verily Aurelia, a woman of an unsearchable heart. believe if I had slept a little longer, that awk I would give the world to know the secrets ward whelp with his money-bags, would cerof it, and particularly whether I am really in tainly have made his second entrance. If you

[ocr errors]

tendanda via est

can tell the fair one's mind, it will be no small | he plants me by his side in the pit, I will call proof of your art, for I dare say it is more than over to him, in the same manner, the whole she herself can do. Every sentence she speaks circle of beauties that are disposed among the is a riddle; all that I tan be certain of is, that boxes, and at the same time point out to him I am her and your humble servant,

the persons who ogle them from their respective • PETER PUZZLE.' stations. I need not tell you that I may be of

the same use in any other public assembly.

Nor do I only profess the teaching of names, No. 107.) Tuesday, July 14, 1713.

but of things. Upon the sight of a reigning

Virg. Georg. iii. 8. beauty, I shall mention her admirers, and dis. I'll try the experiment.

cover her gallantries, if they are of public no.

toriety. I shall likewise mark out every toast, I have lately entertained my reader with the club in which she was elected, and the numtwo or three letters from a traveller, and may ber of votes that were on her side. Not a possibly, in some of my future papers, oblige woman shall be unexplained that makes a figure him with more from the same hand. The fol. either as a maid, a wife, or a widow. The men lowing one comes from a projector, which is a

too shall be set out in their distinguishing cha. sort of correspondent as diverting as a travel. racters, and declared whose properties they are. ler ; his subject having the same grace of novel. Their wit, wealth, or good-humour, their perty to recommend it, and being equally adapted sons, stations, and titles, shall be described at to the curiosity of the reader. For my own large. part, I have always had a particular fondness

• I have a wife who is a nomenclatress, and for a project, and may say without vanity, that will be ready, on any occasion, to attend the I have a pretty tolerable genius that way my ladies. She is of a much more communicative self. I could mention some which I have nature than myself, and is acquainted with all brought to maturity, others which have mis- the private history of London and Westminster, carried, and many more which I have yet by, and ten miles round. She has fifty private me, and are to take their fate in the world amours which nobody yet knows any thing of when I see a proper juncture: I had a hand in but herself, and thirty clandestine marriages, the land-bank, and was consulted with upon the that have not been touched by the tip of a reformation of manners. I have had several tongue. She will wait upon any lady at her designs upon the Thames and the New.river, own lodgings, and talk by the clock after the not to mention my refinements upon lotteries rate of three guineas an hour. and insurances, and that never-to-be-forgotten •N. B. She is a near kinswoman of the author project, which, if it had succeeded to my wishes, of the New Atalantis. would have made gold as plentiful in this nation "I need not recommend to a man of your as tin or copper. If my countrymen have not sagacity, the usefulness of this project, and do reaped any advantages from these my designs, therefore beg your encouragement of it, which it was not for want of any good-will towards will lay a very great obligation upon your humthem. They are obliged to me for my kind ble servant.' intentions as much as if they had taken effect.

After this letter from my whimsical corresProjects are of a two-fold nature : the first arising from public-spirited persons, in which pondent, I shall publish one of a more serious number I declare myself: the other proceeding nature, which deserves the utmost attention of from a regard to our private interest, of which lovers of mankind. It is on no less a subject

the public, and in particular of such who are nature is that in the following letter :

than that of discovering the longitude, and de. "Sir,-A man of your reading knows very serves a much higher name than that of a prowell that there were set of men in old Rome, ject, if our language afforded any such term. called by the name of Nomenclators, that is, But all I can say on this subject will be superin English, men who call every one by his name. Auous when the reader sees the names of those When a great man stood for any public office, persons by whom this letter is subscribed, and as that of a tribune, a consul, or à censor, he who have done me the honour to send it me. I had always one of these nomenclators at his must only take notice, that the first of these elbow, who whispered in his ear the name of gentlemen is the same person who has lately every one he met with, and by that means obliged the world with that noble plan, entitled enabled him to salute every Roman citizen by A Scheme of the Solar System, with the orbits his name when he asked him for his vote. To of the planets and comets belonging thereto, come to my purpose : I have with much pains described from Dr. Halley's accurate Table of and assiduity qualified myself for a nomencla. Comets, Philosoph. Trans. No. 297, founded on tor to this great city, and shall gladly enter sir Isaac Newton's wonderful discoveries, by upon my office as soon as I meet with suitable William Whiston, M. A. encouragement. I will let myself out by the week to any curious country gentleman or fo.

• To Nestor Ironside, Esq. reigner. If he takes me with him in a coach

At Button's Coffee-house, near Covent Garden. to the Ring,* I will undertake to teach him, in

‘London, July 11, 1713. two or three evenings, the names of the most celebrated persons who frequent that place. If importance to communicate to the public, and

"Sir,—Having a discovery of considerable * The Ring in Hyde-park, at this time a fashionable finding that you are pleased to concern your. place of resort.

self in any thing that tends to the common be

« PreviousContinue »