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hear of their giving answers, it is only when caught, bound, and constrained, in like manner as was that ancient Grecian prophet Proteus.

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Accordingly we read in Sylla's* time of such a philosopher taken near Dyrrachium, who would not be persuaded to give them a lecture by all they could say to him, and only shewed his power in sounds by neighing like a horse.

But a more successful attempt was made in Augustus's reign by the inquisitive genius of the great Virgil; whom, together with Varus, the commentators suppose to have been the true persons, who are related in the sixth bucolick to have caught a philosopher, and doubtless a genuine one, of the race of old Silenus. To prevail upon him to be communicative (of the importance of which Virgil was well aware) they not only tied him fast, but allured him likewise by a courteous present of a comely maiden, called Ægle, which made him sing both merrily and instructively.

In this song we have their doctrine of the creation, the same in all probability as was taught so many ages before in the great Pygmæan empire, several hieroglyphical fables under which they couched or embellished their morals. For which reason, I look upon this bucolick as an inestimable treasure of the most ancient science.

In the reign of Constantine we hear of another taken in a net, and brought to Alexandria, round whom the people flocked to hear his wisdom; but *Plutarch. in Vit. Syllæ.

as Ammianus Marcellinus reporteth, he proved a dumb philosopher, and only instructed by his action.

The last we shall speak of, who seemeth to be of the true race, is said, by St. Jerome, to have met St. Anthony* in a desert, who, inquiring the way of him, he shewed his understanding and courtesy by pointing, but would not answer, for he was a dumb philosopher also.

These are all the notices, which I am at present able to gather of the appearance of so great and learned a people on your side of the world. But, if we return to their ancient native seats, Africa and India, we shall there find, even in modern times, many traces of their original conduct and valour.

In Africa (as we read among the indefatigable Mr. Purchas's collections) a body of them, whose leader was inflamed with love for a woman, by martial power and stratagem won a fort from the Portuguese.

But I must leave all others at present, to celebrate the praise of two of their unparalleled monarchs in India. The one was Perimal the magnificent, a prince most learned and communicative, to whom, in Malabar, their excess of zeal dedicated a temple, raised on seven hundred pillars, not inferior in Moffæus's opinion, to those of Agrippa in the Pantheon. The other, Hanimaut the marvellous, his relation and successor, whose knowledge was so great as † Moff. i. 1.

* Vit. St. Ant.

made his followers doubt, if even that wise species could arrive at such perfection: and therefore they rather imagined him and his race a sort of gods formed into apes. His was the tooth which the Portuguese took in Bisnagar, 1559, for which the Indians offered, according to Linschotten,* the immense sum of seven hundred thousand ducats. Nor let me quit this head, without mentioning, with all due respect, Oran Outang the great, the last of this line, whose unhappy chance it was to fall into the hands of the Europeans; Oran Outang, whose value was not known to us, for he was a mute philosopher; Oran Outang, by whose dissection the learned Dr. Tyson+ has added a confirmation to this system, from the resemblance between the homo sylvestris and our human body, in those organs by which the rational soul is exerted.

We must now descend to consider this people as sunk into the bruta natura by their continual commerce with beasts. Yet even at this time what experiments do they not afford us, of relieving some from the spleen, and others from imposthumes, by occasioning laughter at proper seasons! With what readiness do they enter into the imitation of whatever is remarkable in human life! And what surprizing relations have Le Comte others given of their appetites, actions, conceptions, affections, varieties of imaginations, and abilities capable of pursuing them! If under their


*Linschot. ch. 44. Dr. Tyson's anatomy of a pigmy. Father le Comte, a jesuit, in the account of his travels.

present low circumstances of birth and breeding, and in so short a time of life, as is now allotted them, they so far exceed all beasts, and equal many men, what prodigies may we not conceive of those, who were nati melioribus annis, those primitive longæval and antediluvian man-tigers, who first taught science to the world?

This account, which is entirely my own, I am proud to imagine has traced knowledge from a fountain, correspondent to several opinions of the ancients, though hitherto undiscovered both by them, and the more ingenious moderns. And now what shall I say to mankind in the thought of this great discovery? what, but that they should abate of their pride, and consider that the authors of our knowledge are among the beasts; that these, who were our elder brothers, by a day, in the creation, whose kingdom (like that in the scheme of Plato) was governed by philosophers, who flourished with learning in Æthiopia and India, are now undistinguished, and known only by the same appellation as the man-tiger and the monkey!

As to speech, I make no question, that there are remains of the first and less corrupted race in their native deserts, who yet have the power of it. But the vulgar reason given by the Spaniards, "That they will not speak for fear of being set to work," is alone a sufficient one, considering how exceedingly all other learned persons affect their ease. A second is, that these observant creatures, having been eye-witnesses of the cruelty with which

that nation treated their brother Indians, find it not necessary to shew themselves to be men, that they may be protected not only from work, but from cruelty also. Thirdly, they could at best take no delight to converse with the Spaniards, whose grave and sullen temper is so averse to that natural and open cheerfulness, which is generally observed to accompany all true knowledge.

But now, were it possible that any way could be found to draw forth their latent qualities, I cannot but think it would be highly serviceable to the learned world, both in respect of recovering past knowledge, and promoting the future. Might there not be found certain gentle and artful methods, whereby to endear us to them? Is there no man in the world, whose natural turn is adapted to manage their society, and win them by a sweet similitude of manners? Is there no nation where the men might allure them by a distinguishing civility, and in a manner fascinate them by assimilated motions; no nation, where the women with easy freedoms, and the gentlest treatment, might oblige the loving creatures to sensible returns of humanity? The love I bear my native country prompts me to wish this country might be Great Britain; but alas! in our present wretched divided condition, how can we hope that foreigners of so great prudence will freely declare their sentiments in the midst of violent parties, and at so vast a distance from their friends, relations, and country? The affection I bear our neighbour state, would

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