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nandected to my chamber by the gentleman, his lady, and the
an of children. They importuned me to drink something pul veni to bed; and, upon my refusing, at last left a bitlen Thomas they call it, for fear I should wake and be thirsty in
las inced in the morning to rise and dress myseli in the
quse they would not suffer my kinsman's servant to dis.
10. This last piece of civility had like to have cost me
this, and at last forced to alight in the dirt, when my horse, sau alpped his bridle, ran away, and took us up more than an
barring us of our wishes, and in crossing our most reasonable desires and inclinations.
This abuse reigns chiefly in the country, as I found to my vexation when I was last there, in a visit I made to a neighbor about two miles from my cousin. As soon as I entered the parlor, they put me into the great chair that stood close by a huge fire, and kept me there by force until I was almost stifled. Then a boy came in a great hurry to pull off my boots, which I in vain opposed, urging that I must return soon after dinner. In the mean time, the good lady whispered her eldest daughter, and slipped a key into her hand; the girl returned instantly with a beer-glass half full of aqua mirabilis and sirup of gillyflowers. I took as much as I had a mind for, but madam vowed I should drink it off; for she was sure it would do me good after coming out of the cold air; and I was forced to obey, which absolutely took away my stomach. When dinner came in, I had a mind to sit at a distance from the fire; but they told me it was as much as my life was worth, and sat me with my back just against it. Although my appetite was quite gone, I was resolved to force down as much as I could, and desired the leg of a pullet. “Indeed, Mr. Bickerstaff,” says the lady,“ you must eat a wing, to oblige me;" and so put a couple upon my plate. I was persecuted at this rate during the whole meal: as often as I called for small beer, the master tipped the wink, and the servant brought me a brimmer of October.
Some time after dinner, I ordered my cousin's man, who came with me, to get ready the horses ; but it was resolved I should not stir that night; and when I seemed pretty much bent upon going, they ordered the stable door to be locked, and the children hid my cloak and boots. The next question was, What would I have for supper? I said, I never eat any thing at night; but was at last, in my own defence, obliged to name the first thing that came into my head. After three hours, spent chiefly in apologies for my entertainment, insinuating to me, “That this was the worst time of the year for provisions ; that they were at a great distance from any market ; that they were afraid I should be starved ; and that they knew they kept me to my loss ;' the lady went, and left me to her husband; for they took special care I should never be alone. As soon as her back was turned, the little misses ran backward and forward every moment, and constantly as they came in, or went out, made a courtesy directly at me, which, in good manners, I was forced to return with a bow, and “your humble servant, pretty miss.” Exactly at eight, the mother came up, and discovered, by the redness of her face, that supper was not far ofl. It was twice as large as the dinner, and my persecution doubled in proportion. I desired at my usual hour to go to my repose, and
2o recorter him again.
THE SPIDER AND THE BEE.
lindres, all after the modern way of fortification. After you
hold the constable himself in his own lodgings, which
Belt in peace and plenty, without danger to his person liv
3 tery foundation. Thrice he endeavored to force his pas.
de convulsion, supposed at first that nature was approaching het final dissolution; or else, that Beelzebub, with all his les Cs, was come to revenge the death of many thousands of his
fortzo whom his enemy had slain and devoured. However,
alea from The Battle of the Books, and had reference to the great contest the
was conducted to my chamber by the gentleman, his lady, and the whole train of children. They importuned me to drink something before I went to bed ; and, upon my refusing, at last lest a bottle of stingo, as they call it, for fear I should wake and be thirsty in the night.
I was forced in the morning to rise and dress myself in the dark, because they would not suffer my kinsman's servant to disturb me at the hour I desired to be called. I was now resolved to break through all measures to get away; and, after sitting down to a monstrous breakfast of cold beef, mutton, neat's tongues, venison pasty, and stale beer, took leave of the family. But the gentleman would needs see me part of the way, and carry me a shcrt cut through his own ground, which he told me would save half a mile's riding. This last piece of civility had like to have cost me dear, being once or twice in danger of my neck by leaping over his ditches, and at last forced to alight in the dirt, when my horse, having slipped his bridle, ran away, and took us up more than an hour to recover him again.
THE SPIDER AND THE BEE.' Upon the highest corner of a large window there dwelt a certain spider, swollen up to the first magnitude by the destruction of infinite numbers of flies, whose spoils lay scattered before the gates of his palace, like human bones before the cave of some giant. The avenues to his castle were guarded with turnpikes and palisadoes, all after the modern way of fortification. After you had passed several courts you came to the centre, wherein you might behold the constable himself in his own lodgings, which had windows fronting to each avenue, and ports to sally out upon all occasions of prey or defence. In this mansion he had for some time dwelt in peace and plenty, without danger to his person by swallows from above, or to his palace by brooms from below : when it was the pleasure of fortune to conduct thither a wandering bee, to whose curiosity a broken pane in the glass had discovered itself, and in he went; where, expatiating a while, he at last happened to alight upon one of the outward walls of the spider's citadel; which, yielding to the unequal weight, sunk down to the very foundation. Thrice he endeavored to force his passage, and thrice the centre shook. The spider within, feeling the terrible convulsion, supposed at first that nature was approaching to her final dissolution; or else, that Beelzebub, with all his les girns, was come to revenge the death of many thousands of his subjects? whom his enemy had slain and devoured. However, SWIFT.
1 This is taken from "The Battle of the Book," and had reference to the great contest the going on between tbe advocates of ancient and modern learning. The Bie represents the ancient, the Spider the moderne.
Peelzebub, in the Hebrew, signites lord of flies.
ers and Proridence would never have bestoned on me two
site. take waming, and consider duration and matter, as
he at length valiantly resolved to issue forth and meet his fate.
By my troth," said the bee, “the comparison will amount to a very good jest; and you will do me a favor to let me know the reasons that all the world is pleased to use in so hopeful a dispute.” At this, the spider, having swelled himself into the size and posture of a disputant, began his argument in the true spirit of controversy, with resolution to be heartily scurrilous and angry: to urge on his own reasons without the least regard to the answers or objections of his opposite ; and fully predetermined in his mind against all conviction.
"Not to disparage myself,” said he, “ by the comparison with such a rascal, what art thou but a vagabond without house or home, without stock or inheritance ? born to no possession of your own, but a pair of wings and a drone-pipe. Your livelihood is a universal plunder upon nature; a freebooter over fields and gardens; and, for the sake of stealing, will rob a nettle as easily as a violet. Whereas I am a domestic animal, furnished with a native stock within myself. This large castle (to show my improve. ments in the mathematics) is all built with my own hands, and the materials extracted altogether out of my own person."
"I am glad," answered the bee, “to hear you grant at least that I am come honestly by my wings and my voice; for then, it seems, I am obliged to Heaven alone for my flights and my
per saves out, you possess a good plentiful store of dirt and
poar genuine stock of either, yet I doubt you are some
Ta al, to this: whether is the nobler being of the two, that
sang pride, feeding and engendering on itself, turns all into
to; or that which, by a universal range, with long search, and sady, true judgment, and distinction of things, brings home bet and war?
the most amusing of the papers of Swift is entitled Prelitions for tre 175; wherein the month, and day of the mouth are set down, the Pata umed, and the great actions and events of next year particularly re. sa they will come to paga, Written to prevent the people of England
enn farder imposed on by vulgar almanac-makers. By Isaac Buck diam. Et. The clief object of this was to hold up to deserved run
Juin Partridge, a very celebrate almanac-maher of those times,
PARTRIDGE'S DEATH FORETOLD.
brant those sottish pretenders to astrology are in their si Cicerns: it relates to Partridge the almanac-maker; I have
Full the star of his nativity by my own rules, and find he a infallibly die upon the 29th of March next, about eleven at on the ota raging fever ; therefore I advise him to consider of it, en yetile his affairs in time. Ika kaz showed up by An Answer to Bickerstall, and anoth.
music; and Providence would never have bestowed on me two such gifts, without designing them for the noblest ends. I visit, indeed, all the flowers and blossoms of the field and garden; but whatever I collect thence, enriches myself, without the least injury to their beauty, their smell, or their taste. Now, for you and your skill in architecture and other mathematics, I have little to say: in that building of yours there might, for aught I know, have been labor and method enough; but, by woful experience for us both, it is too plain the materials are naught; and I hope you will henceforth take warning, and consider duration and matter, as well as method and art. You boast, indeed, of being obliged to no other creature, but of drawing and spinning out all from yourself; that is to say, if we may judge of the liquor in the vessel by what issues out, you possess a good plentiful store of dirt and poison in your breast; and, though I would by no means lessen or disparage your genuine stock of either, yet I doubt you are somewhat obliged, for an increase of both, to a little foreign assistance. Your inherent portion of dirt does not fail of acquisitions, by sweepings exhaled from below; and one insect furnishes you with a share of poison to destroy another. So that, in short, the question comes all to this: whether is the nobler being of the two, that which, by a lazy contemplation of four inches round, by an overweening pride, feeding and engendering on itself, turns all into excrement and venom, producing nothing at all but flybane and a cobweb; or that which, by a universal range, with long search, much study, true judgment, and distinction of things, brings home honey and wax ???
One of the most amusing of the papers of Swist is enuitled “Preilictions for the year 1708; wherein the month, and day of the month are set down, the persons named, and the great actions and events of next year particularly related, as they will come to pass. Written to prevent the people of England from being further imposed on by vulgar almanac-makers. By Isaac BickERSTAFF, Esq." The chief object of this was to boll up to deserved ridicule one Jolin Partridge, a very celebrated almanac-maker of those times, who pretended to predict the events of each ensuing year; and it is astonishing what confidence the public placed in his prognostications. The prediction of « Isaac Bickerstail," relative to the great astrologer, is as follows:-
PARTRIDGE'S DEATH FORETOLD. My first prediction is but a trifle, yet I will mention it, to show how ignorant those sottish pretenders to astrology are in their own concerns : it relates to Partridge the almanac-maker; I have consulted the star of his nativity by my own rules, and find he will infallibly die upon the 29th of March next, about eleven at night, of a raging fever ; therefore I advise him to consider of it, and settle his affairs in time.
This was followed up by “ An Answer to Bickerstaff," and another pan.
phlet called “The Accomplishment of the First of Mr. Bickerstaff's Predictions, being an Account of the Death of Mr. Partridge, the Almanac-maker, upon the 29th instant, in a Letter to a Person of Honor," both written by Swift, with his usual exquisite humor. The following is the latter piece :
tured of Mr. Bickerstaff's ignorance. He replied, I am a
such sily wretches as I and my fellows, who can hardly
tey beatum of my heart. By what I can gather from you, 21, be observations and predictions you printed with your al. Mid Fere mere impositions on the people. He replied, If it
PARTRIDGE'S DEATH REALIZED. My Lord,--In obedience to your lordship's commands, as well as to satisfy my own curiosity, I have for some days past inquired constantly after Partridge the almanac-maker, of whom it was fore. told in Mr. Bickerstaff's predictions, published about a month ago, that he should die the 29th instant about eleven at night, of a raging fever. I had some sort of knowledge of him, when I was employed in the revenue, because he used every year to present me with his almanac, as he did other gentlemen, upon the score of some little gratuity we gave him, I saw him accidentally once or twice about ten days before he died, and observed he began very much to droop and languish, though I hear his friends did not seem to apprehend him in any danger. About two or three days ago he grew ill, was confined first to his chamber, and in a few hours after to his bed, where Dr. Case and Mrs. Kirleus' were sent for to visit, and to prescribe to him. Upon this intelligence, I sent thrice every day one servant or other to inquire after his health; and yesterday, about four in the afternoon, word was brought me, that he was past hopes : upon which I prevailed with myself to go and see him, parıly out of commiseration, and, I confess, partly out of curiosity. He knew me very well, seemed surprised at my condescension, and made me compliments upon it, as well as he could in the condition he was. The people about him said, he had been for some time delirious; but when I saw him, he had his understanding as well as ever I knew, and spoke strong and hearty, without any seeming uneasiness or constraint. After I had told hiin how sorry I was to see him in those melancholy circumstances, and said some other civilities, suitable to the occasion, I desired him to tell me freely and ingenuously, whether the predictions Mr. Bickerstaff had published relating to his death, had not too much affected and worked on his imagination. He confessed, he had often had it in his head, but never with much apprehension, till about a fortnight before ; since which time it had the perpetual possession of his mind and thoughts, and he did verily believe was the true natural cause of his present distemper: for, said he, I am thoroughly persuaded, and I think I have very cood reasons, that Mr. Bickerstaff spoke altogether by guess, and knew no more what will happen this year, than I did myself. I told him his discourse surprised me; and I would be glad he were in a state of health to be able to tell me, what reason he had to be
ra therwise, I should have the less to answer for. We have
mischief by my physic than my astrology; though I had
Dvd out long, and therefore withdrew to a little coffee-house
cald expire, which was not above two hours after; when,
poca man's death, as well as the predictor, may be very rea
I disputed. However, it must be confessed, the matter is
suhe impatience, and not without some expectation, the fulur. Bickerstaff's second prediction, that the Cardinal de
1 Two fumous quacks of that day.