THE FIRST VOLUME.
Pope Innocent X. appointed a religioner of great virtue, discretion, and experience, secretly to visit the nunneries, and inspect not merely their general discipline, but look at the separate cells, and persuade the nuns to discard every thing that was not perfectly consistent with the state which they had embraced. After some months had been employed in this commission, the visitor made his report to his holiness. He returned, he said, greatly edified with what he had seen, but not altogether satisfied; edified, because he had found such penances, such lasting, such discipling, such cilices, such praying and devotions, that it had been necessary for him to moderate the excess of the sisters in these things, and to check their ardour. Edified also, because, having found in the cells some articles of furniture more costly, or of better kind than suited with religious poverty and simplicity, he had succeeded, notwithstanding some repugnance on the part of the nuns, in persuading them to part with all these things,.. except one. And because he had not been able to make them part with that one from their walls, and still more from their affections (except in a very few rare instances) he was not altogether satisfied with the success of his commission. And what was the piece of furniture, said his holiness. It was the Looking Glass. Vieyra heard this story from Pope Innocent himself, and made a resolution at the time that he would repeat it when next he preached in a Portugueze nunnery.
Vieyra's rhetoric seems to have been efficacious. One of the sisters of S. Clara at Coimbra, seeing herself by accident in some water, observed that she had just seen the face of a nun in that convent, which she had not seen there for more than thirty years. When I was last at * * a nun made her escape from the Irish nunnery. The first thing for which she enquired, when she reached the house in which she was to be secreted till she could be conveyed on board ship, was a looking glass. She had entered the convent when only five years old, and from that time had never seen her own face. This was not vanity. A man in the same situation might have been allowed to interpret γνωθι σεαυτον in the same manner.
The Hindoo women wear a small mirror in a ring,—the Chury, Sir William Jones calls it. We have them in pocket books; and the ladies at Antwerp had them set in prayer books, for the purpose of what old Latimer calls prinking and pranking at mass. Etiam in libellis, quos ad Ecclesiam deprecaturæ adferunt, specula componant, quibus mundum muliebrem, et phaleras suus, ac capellitium inter fervidas scilicet suas preces adornent.
There was however a degree of modesty in concealing the mirror; a few generations earlier it was the fashion to wear them pendant from the waist, a fashion far more probably alluded to by Tasso, than as his biographer supposes introduced by him, in his picture of Rinaldo.
Dal fianco de l'amante, estranio arnese,
Un christallo pendea, lucido e netto.
Gier. Lib. Cant. xvi.
Lope de Vega curses the inventor of looking glasses—
O quanto mal han hecho espejos vanos!
Maldiga el cielo el inventor primero.
from whence it may be inferred that he did not, like Zebedee, shave himself. But he goes on to say, that if Venetian mirrors had not been invented, water would have been applied to the same purpose.
Mas que inportaran vidros Venecianos
Si el agua supo hazer caso tan fiero.
Hermosura de Angelica, Cant 3.
No poet or romancer with whom I am acquainted has made so beautiful a use of the looking glass, as Francisco Botello in his Alphonso. (Salamanca edition L. 7, st. 20.) Cydipe is contemplating herself in one, and by the agency of Venus, the living portraiture is rendered permanent in the mirror.
- Serm. t. 11. p. 284.
- Manoel da Esperanca, Hist. Serafica. l. 6. c. 24 §2.
- Theatrum humanæ Vitæ, quoted by Vieyra, t. II. p. 299.
- Des Coures. Cur. of Literature; quoted in Black's Life of Tasso. Vol I. p. 382.
2. Etymology of Dunce.
Dunce is said by Samuel Johnson to be a word of unknown etymology. Stanihurst explains it. The term Duns, from Scotus, "so famous for his subtill quiddities, he says, is so trivial and common in all schools, that whoso surpasseth others either in cavilling sophistrie, or subtill philosophic, is forthwith nicknamed a Duns." This, he tells us in the margin is the reason, "why schoolmen are called Dunses." (Description of Ireland, p. 2.) The word easily past into a term of scorn, just as a blockhead is called Solomon; a bully, a Hector; and as Moses is the vulgar name of contempt for a Jew.
3. Plum Pudding.
T. 1. p. 154.
- Arveo was the name of his family, whence the Harveys of England. The branch from which he sprung settled in Provence, and when he appeared at Court it was under the name of Arviou. Cette terminaison, says P. Labat, parut dure, et on s'accoutuma a l'apeller Arvieu. But when he was sent envoy extraordinary to Constantinople, M. de Lionne, the Secretary of State, being still dissatisfied with the name, la corrigea dans ses instructions, en ajoutant un x a la fin, et un d apostrophe au commencement.
4. Medical Poets.
"Such physicians, says Huarte, as I have marked to be good practitioners, do all piddle somewhat in the art of versifying, and raise not up their contemplation very high, and their verses are not of any rare excellencie." If this observation be true, Dr. Ferriar of Manchester has given proof in his poetry of his talents for physic.
- Examen de Ingenios. Engl. trans. p. 82.
5. Taudry Lace.
It was formerly the custom in England for women to wear a necklace of fine silk, called Taudry Lace, from St. Audrey. She in her youth had been used to wear carkanets of jewels, and being afterward tormented with violent pains in her neck, was wont to say, that God in his mercy had thus punished her, and the fiery heat and redness of the swelling which she endured was to atone for her former pride and vanity. Probably she wore this lace to conceal the scrofulous appearance, and from this, when it was afterward worn as an ornament which was common and not costly, the word taudry may have been taken to designate any kind of coarse and vulgar finery.
It would not be readily supposed that Audrey is the same name as Ethelreda.
- Cressy's Church History, 16. 5. § 7.
6. The Camel and the Needle.
"It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven." Vieyra, quoting the text in one of his sermons (t. 10. p, 249.) uses cable instead of camel, following a plausible but erroneous interpretation. It suited his purpose better in this place. "What remedy then, says he, is there for the rich man, that he may enter Heaven? I will tell you. hyperbolâ, Non enim αδυνατον divitem introire in regnum cœlorum, sed admodum difficile. Ibidem pro Elephante Camelus legitur. Nam ϰαμηλος est Camelus vel Syro interprete, qui גמל vertit, voce minime ambiguâ: quæ animans, cum notior sit vulgo in Judæa quam Elephas, libet suspicari ideo in Elephanti loco positam esse a Christo. Adagia Ebraica, p. 40.
Many mischievous alterations of Shakespere have been proposed, in that spirit of criticism which would make all the parts of a metaphor fit in as if they were dove-tailed. It is of the very essence of passion to speak in hints and fragments, and they who censure a figurative expression as contrary to the principles of taste, because it may appear abrupt to their conception,.. may as well maintain that every rainbow must be a perfect arch, and that all broken ones violate the principle of optics.
The vile word Citizeness was coined by some of our translators in the days of the French revolution. Gower might have suggested a more allowable term.
The thirde daie she goth to plaine
With many a worthie citezaine,
And he with many a cirtezeine
Citizen and Citizene might perhaps have been used upon this authority, and the analogy of hero and heroine. The word would not be worth a hint were it not for Madame Roland's writings.
8. Cauda Diaboli.
All painters represent the devil with a tail and in one of the prints to the Dutch translation of Bunyan's Holy War, it may be seen in what manner his breeches maker accommodates it. Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixissent,.. might be said on this occasion by the author of that stanza in the Devil's Thoughts, which describes this convenient tail-hole. But them; and though many sinners, and still more saints who have seen him, have noticed this appendage, it is not so generally known how he came by it. It grew at his fall, as an outward and visible token that he had lost the rank of an angel, and was fallen to the level of a brute.
Vieyra. Serm. t. 11. p. 291
9. Methodist Camp Meetings.
The Rev. Samuel Coats (in the Methodist Magazine for May, 1804) gives an account of a Camp-Meeting held about fifteen miles from Baltimore. It was held in a forest, in a very retired situation, with only one blind road leading to it. A stand was erected in the midst of a piece of ground containing three or four acres: and round this, the tents, waggons, carts, coaches, chairs, horses, &c. were arranged in a circle. Fires were kindled at the front of each tent. The number of those who encamped on the ground, was not above two or three hundred, owing partly to a fear of catching cold; partly to "a prejudice which had been taken up against camp-meetings." On this account also there were fewer preachers than there would otherwise have been, there being only about twenty. But the number of people who attended on the week days, was from 1000 to 1500, and more than 5000 on the Sunday.
A horn was blown in the morning to collect the people to a general prayer meeting at eight o'clock. This lasted till ten, and then preaching began. The same order was observed in the afternoon; one sermon was preached at each time, and two or three exhortations delivered. "During this time, (says Mr. Coats) the minds of the people were affected in a most extraordinary manner. Many fell down slain (so to speak) with the sword of the spirit, the word of God, and groaned like men dying in the field of battle, while rivers of tears ran down their cheeks. A number of souls were quickened and comforted on Saturday and through the Sabbath: but the most glorious times were on the evening of the Sabbath, and the Monday following. It appeared as if nothing could stand before the word of God. If we only spoke to any of the bye-standers, they were melted down like wax before the fire. It seemed as though all oppositions were fled, and their minds were stript of every plea except... God be merciful to us sinners. Oh my dear sir, if you had been there, you would have been astonished. In one place you would have seen a poor sinner leaning with his head against a tree, with tears running from his eyes like drops of rain upon the ground, while some went to him, and pointed to him the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. In another place you would have observed a whole groupe of people, and from the midst of them would have heard the piercing cries of broken hearted penitents. If you had turned your eyes in another direction, you would have discovered a grey-headed father and his two daughters, all down upon their knees together among the leaves and dirt, crying upon God to have mercy upon their poor souls. I could have led you from thence a little way along a gradual ascent to a spot highly favoured of Heaven, where was a tent filled with happy souls to the number of fourteen or fifteen, who had either been assured of God's pardoning mercy, had been more fully renewed in love, or had received some peculiar comfort that day. In the meantime, prayer, which was fervent and unceasing, was so remarkably answered, that if a mourner only prayed a few minutes for his own soul, he was generally assured of his acceptance immediately, and rejoiced in God his Saviour. I understand that two whole waggon loads of people, who came thither from a distance, returned home, rejoicing in the love of God.
"This scene continued three days and nights, with scarcely an hour's intermission. Not less than 100 persons are supposed to have been convinced; and I have no doubt, (says Mr. Coats) but if the generality of those who were together on the Sabbath day, had encamped on the ground, and continued there day and night, we should have had many more brought to God. For these camp-meetings are the most calculated to free the mind from the cares of the world, to divest it of pride and self-love, and to work upon the tender feelings of the heart, of any thing I ever saw. The appearance of the place at night was very solemn, and at the same time romantic. When going to the place, a person heard the preaching, singing, and other exercises of devotion at some distance off; and coming by a winding path through a thick wood, all on a sudden he beheld a large congregation of people, and a whole train of fires all around them; candles and lanthorns hung on the trees in every direction, and the lofty oaks with their spreading boughs formed a canopy over our heads, while every thing conspired with the solemnity of the night, to make the place seem aweful. This is only a faint description."
In the same magazine for February, 1806, Mr. John Wright describes another of these meetings, where there were two methodist bishops, about 100 preachers, between 4 and 5000 people, and about 300 waggons, all encamped in the woods in a square. This meeting lasted four days, and "although the rain began on Friday evening, and continued, till Sunday morning very heavy and without intermission, there was no cessation of divine worship: it continued night and day, and the sermons, exhortations, and prayers, says the writer, were the most powerful I ever heard. The power of God was there, and sinners were cut to the heart, and fell down under the word like grass before the scythe. There was no respect of persons, but high and low, young and old, were arrested by the mighty hand of God. Some seemed to have the most aweful apprehensions, and were in the greatest distress of any I ever saw, under a sense of their guilt and a fear of Hell, whilst others were apparently lifeless for three or four hours. The first word they are generally heard to speak after they are delivered, is 'glory' and they generally whisper it before they have strength to speak aloud. Afterwards they usually call on their wicked companions, and pray and exhort them to flee to Jesus."
Another writer, (Methodist Mag. April 1806,) describes the ceremonies at breaking up. "At seven o'clock, we prepared for our christian parting, it was ushered in by two of the preachers walking around the camp, blowing the trumpets: after this, the preachers all assembled on the preaching stand, with the congregation before them. Brother J. Lee spoke a little upon the occasion. The preachers then fell upon each other's necks and wept; after which we took leave of the people, expecting to see many of them no more, until we meet in our Father's house. The place was truly a Bochim."
At this Camp there were from 9 to 10,000 persons; and "people of all descriptions, from the grey-headed, down to little children, were crying for mercy."
When the judgement of the Conference at Liverpool, 1807, was asked concerning camp-meetings, the answer was, "It is our judgement, that even supposing such meetings to be allowable in America, they are highly improper in England, and likely to be productive of considerable mischief, and we disclaim all connection with them."
10. Law of the Mozcas.
A very remarkable law prevailed among the Mozcas, one of the tribes of the Nuevo Reyno de Granada. There, as among more advanced nations, the King could do no wrong,.. but the subordinate chiefs could;.. these chiefs were men, the people reasoned, like themselves; they could not be punished by their vassals;.. for there would be a natural unfitness in that: the King, it seems, was not expected to interfere, except in case of state offences; the power of punishment, therefore, was vested in their wives, and a power it was, says Piedrahita, which they exercised famously whenever it fell to them to be judges of their poor husbands. The conqueror Quesada calling one morning upon the chief of a place called Suesca, found him under the hands of his nine wives, who were tying him, and having so done, proceeded, in spite of Quesada's intercession, to flog him one after the other. His offence was, that some Spaniards the night before had lodged in, his house, and he had partaken too freely of their Spanish wine. Drunkenness was one of the sins which fell under the cognizance of his wives: they carried him to bed that he might sleep himself sober; and then awoke him in the morning to receive the rigour of the law. Hist. del N. Reyno. l. 1. c. 4.
11. Inferiority of Women.
If the authority of the latin grammar be not sufficient to establish that the masculine gender is more worthy than the feminine, a physiological opinion of our fathers may be adduced, which it would certainly be difficult to disprove. They held that the soul insinuated itself into, and invested itself with the body of the male embryo, at the seven and thirtieth day after conception, whereas the female embryo is not endowed with a soul till the fortieth.
Charron of Wisdom, Eng. Trans. p. 10.
12. Steam Engines.
Silvester II. (who is commonly called pope Silvester, being the most notorious of the name,) made clocks and organs which were worked by steam. The old historian explains intelligibly to us what he did not understand himself: fecit arte mechanica orologium, et organa hydraulica, ubi, mirum in modum, per aquæ calefactæ violentiam, implet ventus emergens concavitem barbiti, et permulti foratiles tractus æreæ fistulæ modulatos clamores emittunt.
Prideaux (an older author than the biographer of Mahomet, but resembling him in blind and brutal bigotry) classes Silvester among the Egyptian magicians, by no means the worst of the orders into which he has distributed the popes.
Yepes, t. 5. ff. 255. Vincentius Belvacensis, c. 24. c. 98, quoted, and the continuator of Bede c. 2. c 14.
Aristotle has been libelled in all ages. The ancient calumniators said of him that he spent his patrimony in riotous gluttony, then turned soldier, and proving a coward, betook himself to the safer method of destroying men as an apothecary. He has been accused of poisoning Alexander, for which reason, a Frenchman of more Greek learning than usually falls to the share of a learned man in France, calls him equally a poisoner of soul and body. Martin Luther was of opinion that he was certainly dead and damned. There is a scurvy jest of him in the Gesta Romanorum, how his mistress saddled and bridled him like an ass, and rode upon his back. In our own country, he meets with still worse usage from those dirty booksellers, who fall under the notice of the Society for the suppression of vice. I was once in a shop when a fellow from the country came in with a written order for Harry Stottel's Master-Piece.
- Telemacomanie. p. 6.
- Quoted by Wiliam Dell the Quaker.
14. Arrow-headed letters.
About half way between Bassora and Aleppo, near a place called Argia, are, or were two centuries ago, some ruins containing inscriptions in the character which has of late excited so much attention among our oriental scholars. Some of these letters are described as resembling a pyramid on its side, evidently the arrow-headed letter; others like a star, with eight rays. They were, like those from Babylon, upon bricks, and also upon black marble.
Pietro della Valle. French trans, t. 8. p. 76.
15. Three methods of lessening the number of rats.
I. Introduce them at table as a delicacy. They would probably be savoury food, and if nature hath not made them so, the cook may. Rat pye would be as good as Rook pye; and four tails inter-twisted like the serpents of the delphic tripod, and rising into a spiral obelisk, would crest the crust more fantastically than pigeon's feet. After a while they might be declared game by the legislature, which would materially expedite their extirpation.
II. Make use of their fur. Rat-skin robes for the ladies would be beautiful, warm, costly, and new. Fashion requires only the two last qualities; it is hoped the two former would not be objectionable. The importance of such a fashion to our farmers ought to have its weight. When our nobles and gentlemen feed their own pigs; perform for a Spanish tup, the office of Pandarus of Troy, and provide heifers of great elegance for bulls of acknowledged merit; our ladies may perhaps be induced to receive an addition to their wardrobe from the hands of the Rat-catcher, for a purpose of less equivocal utility.
III. Inoculate some subjects with the small-pox, or any other infectious disease, and turn them loose. Experiments should first be made, lest the disease should assume in them so new a form as to be capable of being returned to us with interest. If it succeeded, man has means in his hand which would thin the Hyenas, Wolves, Jackals, and all gregarious beasts of prey.
N.B. If any of our patriotic societies should think proper to award a gold medal, silver cup, or other remuneration to either of these methods, the projector has left his address with the Publisher.
It has been well said, that to translate a book is like pouring honey from one vessel into another,.. something must always be lost.
Both the Dutch and the French words for translated, will bear to be literally rendered; overgezet, and traduit. Milton may more truly be said to be overset in one language, and traduced in the other, than translated into either. Done into English was not so happy a phrase, for many a book was undone by the operation.
Bellarmin makes sweating and crowding one of the chief torments of Hell, which Lessius (no doubt after an actual and careful survey,) affirms to be exactly a Dutch mile, (about a league and a half English,) in diameter. But Ribera, grounding his map on deductions from the Apocalypse, makes it 200 Italian miles. Lessius, it may be presumed, was a protestant, for whom, of course, a smaller Hell would suffice.
In the early part of the last century an enquiry was published by the Rev. Tobias Swinden, into the nature and place of Hell. The former, according to this Divine, had been accurately understood, burning being the punishment, and the duration without end; but as to the "local habitation" of the reprobate, all opinions had been erroneous. Drexeluis had estimated the sum total of the damned at one hundred thousand millions, all of whom, (like Lessius) he calculated might be contained within a square German mile, and not stowed closer than negroes in a Liverpool slave ship: but this appeared to the English Theologian "a poor, mean, and narrow conception both of the numbers of the damned, and of the dimensions of Hell;" for if their immateriality and compressibility were to be alleged, you might as well, he said, squeeze them at once into a common baker's oven. His ideas were upon a grander scale. There was not room enough, according to him, in the centre of the earth for "Eternal Tophet." Burnet's absorpt sun he thought a much more noble idea of such a furnace of fire. But his own opinion was, that Tophet was our very Sun, which must be acknowledged by all to be capacious enough for the purpose. The time of the sun's creation is a strong reason for admitting the hypothesis, being just after the fall of the Devil and his angels. It is true that the sun is said to have been made on the fourth day; but light, and evening and morning, are mentioned as having previously existed; now these as proceeding from the sun, could not have been before it; making on the fourth day therefore can only mean putting it in motion. The darkness which is predicated of Tophet may at first, he admits, seem an objection, but it exists in the maculcæ, the spots of the sun, which may be deep caverns and dens, proper seats of the blackness of darkness. Upon this hypothesis, the reason why sun-worship has been found so widely extended becomes manifest; it would be as peculiarly acceptable to Satan, as serpent-worship is known to have been.
This was indeed making the souls of the wicked of some use, as Nero did the Christians when he rolled them up in tow, dipt them in pitch, and set fire to them, as torches to light up the streets of Rome. They were so many living wicks of Asbestos, fed with the inextinguishable oil of divine vengeance, that they might be burning and shining lights to the world. If Jonathan Edwards had seen this book he might have adopted its hypothesis as a new proof of "the glory of God in the damnation of sinners."
With what feelings could this man have looked at the setting sun?
18. Transplanting Trees.
The King of the Adites, in Thalaba, removes a full grown forest to his garden of Irem.
————Should the King
Wait for slow Nature's work?
Vol. i. p. 23.
Where romancers and novelists stop short of positive miracle, their most extraordinary inventions are paralleled or exceeded by the history of real life. The Czar Peter did the same thing as Shedâd, and his method may be recommended to our Nabobs who want trees about their mansions, and can afford to pay for the removal of live timber. They were dug up in winter with plenty of earth about their roots, which being frozen did not drop off. It would be advisable to dig round them before the frost set in. Care should be taken to replant the tree in the same position as that in which it grew; if its southern side be turned to the north, it will have new habits to learn, and may die before it has acquired them.
- Mem. of P. H. Bruce. Book 4.
19. St. Andrew's Cross.
St. Andrew's Cross is, as is well known, always represented in the shape of the letter X: but that this is an error, ecclesiastical historians prove by appealing to the Cross itself on which he suffered, which St. Stephen of Burgundy gave to the Convent of St. Victor, near Marseilles, and which, like the common Cross, is rectangular. The cause of the error is thus explained; when the Apostle suffered, the Cross, instead of being fixed upright, rested on its foot and arm, and in this posture he was fastened to it; his hands to one arm and the head, his feet to the other arm and the foot, and his head in the air.Yepes, t. 6. ff. 297.
About the middle of the 16th century, Frey Rodrigo de Corcuera, invented a mill which worked like a clock: a model of which he laid before Charles Vth. It was considered as an invention of considerable importance in a country where running streams are scarce, and calms frequent, and the Emperor ordered him to erect one at Aguilar de Campos. He died before it was completed. This same Monk presented Maximilian with a sword, which by means of a spring, shot out a point of diamond with such force as to pierce the strongest breast-plate.
Yepes, t. 6. ff. 91.
Locke's simile of the sheet of white paper is to be found in Hooker, "the soul of man being at first as a book wherein nothing is, and yet all things may be imprinted;" and Hooker, perhaps, remembered Aristotle, who compares it to a tablet without a picture.
22. Hans Engelbrecht.
Francis Okely, of St. Johns, Cambridge, translated in 1780 some of the works of the German visionary Hans Engelbrecht, who wrote an account of his own death and recovery, and of what he had seen in the other world. The sign which he gave to prove that he had seen hell was not an unapt one. "God," says he, "made the people who were with me to smell such a diabolical, horrible, and infernal stench, whilst I was getting out of bed, which was so immeasurably bad, and such a dreadful stench, that no other stench they could think of in the whole Bibliotheca Fanatica, and might serve as a text to half the volumes which compose it.
"Such as will not believe what I am now about to write will be damned,"... says this poor crazy German; crazy however as he was, he found a believer and translator at Cambridge, above a century after his death;.. and the volume of his revelations which I picked up at a stall, bears throughout the marks of a thumb warm with devotion.
23. Effect of Music upon Animals.
A few years ago some French philosophers made a concert for the national elephants, to try their taste for music. The same thing had been done forty years before them by John Wesley. "I thought," says he, "it would be worth while to make an odd experiment. Remembering how surprisingly fond of music the lion at Edinburgh was, I determined to try whether this was the case with Sir William Jones relates some remarkable instances of the effect of music upon animals, which has certainly been known from time immemorial; the tales of Orpheus would not else have existed. The fact is applied to good purpose by the eastern snake-catchers, and perhaps the story of the pied piper of Hammel is but an exaggerated account of some musical rat-catcher. Beasts of prey are less likely to be affected by it than such as live upon the alarm, and have consequently a quicker and finer sense of hearing.
There is a chapter in one of our metaphysical writers, shewing how dogs make syllogisms. The illustration is decisive. A dog loses sight of his master, and follows him by scent till the road branches into three; he smells at the first, and at the second, and then, without smelling farther, gallops along the third. brought her home, put her in possession of his kennel, and regularly carried his food to her, which it may be supposed he was not suffered to want, during her confinement. For his gallantry, his name deserves to be mentioned,..it was Pincher. Some of his other acquaintance may remember him. Whenever Pincher saw a trunk packing up in the house, he absconded for the next four-and-twenty hours. He was of opinion that home was the best place.
25. St. Romuald.
In the second volume of the Annual Anthology, is a tale of St. Romuald, stating that the Spaniards meant to murder him for the sake of securing his relicks. Andrews is referred to in his Chronological History of England, and he follows St. Foix. The circumstance happened in Aquitain. St. Foix liked the story, but did not like to relate it of the French, and so fathered it upon the Spaniards. for it would have been the greatest curiosity there.
History of Britain p. 503. Entick's
Present State of the British Empire.
26. Touching for the evil.
The following public notice was issued by Charles II. May 18, 1664.
His sacred Majesty having declared it to be his royal will and purpose to continue the healing of his people for the Evil during the month of May, and then give over till Michaelmas next, I am commanded to give notice thereof, that the people may not come up to the town in the interim and lose their labour.
It is said, that the Kings of England exercised this miraculous prerogative as Kings of France, to whom it was granted at St. Marculf's intercession; a miracle which, it is observed, is not common in Hagiology. If this be the case, we have waived it by dropping the title, and the gift vests in Buonaparte since his anointment. Our Kings have, however, the uncontested power of blessing rings, which they used to give away, and which were of special virtue against the falling sickness. When was this custom disused? It is spoken of by Polydore Virgil as a thing well known in his time.
27. The Oak of Mamre.
In one remarkable instance the Jews, the Christians, and the pagan Arabs united in religious feelings. This was in their reverence for the Oak of Mamre, where the angels appeared to Abraham: for Abraham's sake the Jews held the place holy; the Arabs for the angels'; the Christians, because, in their ignorance of their own scriptures, they affimed, that the Son of God had accompanied those angels to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. An annual fair was held there, and every man sacrified after the manner of his country; nor was the meeting ever disgraced by any act of intemperance or indecency. Nothing had been done to injure the venerable antiquity of the place. There was nothing but the well which Abraham had dug, and the buildings which he had inhabited, beside the oak. These remains were destroyed by order of Constantine, in abhorrence of the impious toleration exhibited there! A church was built upon the spot, and Mamre, so interesting to the poet, the philosopher, and the pious man, became a mere den of superstition.
Sozomen, l. 2. c. 3.
28. Invention for the blind.
In the library of the Liverpool Athenæum is a book in French, printed for the use of the blind: the letters, which are very large, are raised cameo like, so as to be distinguished, it is supposed, by a practised touch. This is a very useless forms very true letters, and makes great calculations; then with his finger's end he casts up all that he has set down, performing multiplication, division, and all astronomical calculations, very exactly."
Words and Symbols.
29. A ridiculous instance of enforcing words by symbols, after the Oriental manner, occurs in Arabian history. When the people of Medina revolted against Yezid the first, they assembled in the mosque. One of them rose up, took off his turban, and flinging it on the ground, exclaimed, "I depose Yezid from the caliphate in the same manner as I cast away my turban." In an instant all who were near enough to understand him followed his example, and immediately a multitude of turbans were thrown down, and every one was repeating the same formula. In another corner of the mosque, a Moslem took off his slippers, and threw them away, and cried, "I depose Yezid from the caliphate as I throw away my slippers." They who were near him took off their slippers in all haste, threw them away, and repeated this formula also. The ceremony went no farther, or perhaps the whim of some violent symbolist might have given rise to a set of Mahommedan Adamites.
30. Stilling the Sea with Oil.
Dr. Franklin's idea of pouring oil upon the sea to still the waves, has often been put in practice. There is scarcely a commoner miracle in British hagiology. It is mentioned also by Erasmus, among other superstitions practised during a tempest. An easy method of effecting the same purpose is mentioned by Martin in his account of the Western Islands.
"The steward of Kilda, who lives in Pabbay, is accustomed in time of a storm to tie a bundle of puddings, made of the fat of sea-fowl, to the end of his cable, and lets it fall into the sea behind the rudder; this, he says, hinders the waves from breaking, and calms the sea; but the scent of the grease attracts the whales, which put the vessel in danger."
31: An heptastic Vocable
At the end of Littleton's Dictionary is an inscription for the Monument, wherein this very learned scholar proposes a name for it, worthy for its length of a sanscrit legend. It is a word which extends through seven degrees of longitude, being designed to commemorate the names of the seven Lord Mayors of London, under whose respective mayoralties the Monument was begun, continued, and completed.
Quam non una aliqua ac simplici voce, uti istam
Sed, ut vero eam Nomine indigites, Vocubulo con
Well might Adam Littleton call this an heptastic vocable, rather than a word.
32. Service for Prisoners.
It is not, perhaps, generally known, that we have a form of prayer for prisoners, which is printed in the Irish common prayer-book, though not in our's. Mrs. Berkeley, in whose Preface of Prefaces to her son's poems I first saw this mentioned, regrets the omission, observing, that the very fine prayer for those under sentence of death, might, being read by the children of the poor, at least keep them from the gallows. The remark is just. If there be not room in our prayer-book, we have some services there which might better be dispensed with. It was not very decent in the late abolition of holydays, to let the two Charleses hold their place, when the Virgin Mary and the Saints were deprived of their red-letter privileges. If we are to have any state service, it ought to be for expulsion of the Stuarts. Guy Faux also might now be dismissed, though the eye of Providence would be a real loss. The Roman Catholics know the effect of such prints as these, and there can be no good reason for not imitating them in this instance. I would have no prayer-book published without that eye of providence in it. The experience of two thousand years has proved that fable and allegory are the best vehicles for popular instruction.
33. Mode of ventilating a Town.
The town of Montalvan, in Arragon, is ventilated in a very simple manner. It stands in a deep valley, surrounded with mountains, and is exposed to excessive heat. Much wine is made in the neighbourhood, and every house has its cellar underneath, dug to a great and unusual depth, because of the hot situation. Every cellar has its vent hole to the street, and from each of them a stream of cold air continually issues out, mountains they dig great cellars and grottos, and strike a hole about a foot square, ten or twelve feet into the hill, which all the summer long blows a fresh air into the cellar, so that the wine in those cellars drinks almost as cold as if it were in ice. But this wind-pipe did not blow when I was there, which was toward the end of September; for the sun opening the pores of the earth and rarifying the exterior air, that which is compressed within the cavities that are in the mountains, rushes out with a constant wind; but when the operation of the sun is weakened, this course of the air is less sensible. Before, or over those vaults they build little pleasant houses like summer houses, and in them they go to collation generally at night, in summer."
Letters from Switzerland and Italy,
Edit. 1687.— p. 76.
According to old physicians, perfect indulged in by the refined ranks. Be melancholy, be melancholy, according to your complexion! It was when our statesmen had long faces that the phrase long-headed was introduced as synonimous with wise. If the national physiognomy goes on for another century receding from the oval as it has done for the last, the next new mythology will make the man in the moon our progenitor, and prove the genealogy by the likeness.
The plague of flies is of all plagues the most intolerable. Settlements and cities have been deserted in consequence of it. The mosquito, which is of all the race the most noxious, breeds in the water. Might it not be possible at the seasons when they emerge, and when they deposit their eggs upon the surface, to diminish their numbers by pouring oil upon great standing waters and large rivers, in those places which are most infested by them?
36. Coup de soleil.
I have seldom seen, especially in modern writers, so gross an instance of credulity as the following:
"I have forgotten to notice in the body of my work," says P. Labat, in one of his prefaces, "an infallible and easy remedy for those Strokes of the Sun, which are so dangerous, especially since both men and women have thought proper to go bare-headed, for fear of deranging the economy of their hair. Messrs. les Medecins, of whose number I have not the honour to be, will, I hope, pardon me this little infringement upon their rights. Here is the remedy. When a person is struck with the sun, he must as soon as possible point out with his finger the place where he feels the most acute pain; the hair must then be shaved there, and a bottle of cold water applied to it, so dexterously inserted upon the place as not to run out, the bottle being nearly full. Thus it must be held till the water begins to bubble and toss as if it were upon a fire: and then a fresh bottle is to be promptly substituted from time to time, till the water ceases to contract any heat, when the patient will be entirely cured, and out of all danger. This remedy is simple and easy, and the reader may be assured that its efficacy has been repeatedly proved." Had not the account been related with such absurdity as well as exaggeration, it might have been inferred that the affusion of cold water on the head had been used with success.
37. Anthony Purver,
a poor Quaker carpenter, conceived that the spirit impelled him to translate the Bible. He accordingly learnt Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and published a literal version of the Old and New Testament in two vols. folio, 1764.
This book is curious for its Hebrew idioms. By adhering to these, Anthony has in some rare instances excelled the common version; but when he alters only for the sake of alteration, he makes miserable work. E. g. A hind let go may exhibit genteel Naphtali; he gives fine words— for, "Naphtali is a hind let loose; he giveth goodly words."
I am he who am, is better than I am that I am.
He calls the Song of Solomon, the Poem of Solomon; "Song, (he says) being of profane use."
I copy from an old English Catholic book this precious specimen of superstitious trifling.
The composition of body in receiving.
1. Let the hands be held before the breast, not lifted so high that they may hinder the priest.
2. Let the head be conveniently lifted danger either of the fall of the host, or of the touching of the teeth or lips, in the time of the holy communion, are to be omitted.
7. Finally, for the space of a quarter of an hour after receiving, let spitting be avoided; which, if it cannot be, at the least it is decent to spit where it may not be trodden on.
The Societie of the Rosary.
39. Fr. Domenico Ottomano.
In the history of Isuf Bassa (London 1684) is an account of a man who excited considerable attention in Christendom in the latter part of the 17th century. It is there stated that Sultan Ibrahim had a son by a Georgian slave of the grand Sultana. This Georgian requested permission to make her pilgrimage to Mecca, and take her child there to be circumcised; her health also required that she should use the baths at Rhodes upon the way, for slow poison had
P. Labat uses the word in his account of Cayenne, and thinks it necessary to explain it. C'est ainsi qu'on appelle les lieux où l'on èleve des bestiaux et des volailles, et où l'on cultive le manioc et les autres grains et fruits qui servent à la nourriture des Habitans et de leurs Esclaves. This, therefore, is probably the origin of the word.
42. Juan de Esquivel Navarro.
Vestris used to say there were but three great men in Europe: Voltaire, the king of Prussia, and himself. It is proof of greatness in this Dieu de la Dance as he called himself, that he admitted the co-equality of the two former, allowed the head to be worthy of reputation as well as the heels, and thought the evolutions of a battle might be performed in as masterly a manner as those of a dance. How must he have admired those courts where there was a music and dancing, were it only upon the ground that they cannot "leave a joy for memory." This is somewhat too serious a strain to be introduced by Vestris, the royal professor, and the Duke of York; but they who understand the process of the associations of thought may see how I have slipt into this moralizing mood, by writing slowly, idiy, and letting thought ramble on. If further exemplification be needful, go and read Montaigne.
43. Omar II.
Mogiouschon, an author famous for his visions, asserted that he had seen Omar II. in Paradise, reposing upon the bosom of the Prophet, having Abubeker at his right hand, and the first Omar at his left. Astonished to see this preference over the two first Caliphs given to Omar-ebn Abdalazis, Mogiouschon asked an angel the reason, who replied that Abubeker and Omar had exercised justice, and practised the law in the first age and fervour of their religion; but that Omar-ebn Abdalazis had surpassed them in merit, because he exercised the same virtues in an age of injustice and corruption.
When the French, in their war with Pedro of Aragon, took Gerona, a swarm of white flies is said to have proceeded from the body of St. Narcis, in the church of St. Phelin (I copy the names as they stand in the Catalan author) which stung the French, and occasioned such a mortality, that they evacuated the city. This is so extraordinary a miracle that there is probably some truth in it, because miracle-mongers have never the least invention, and because a curious fact in confirmation of it is to be found in the Monthly Magazine for December, 1805. "In preparing for the foundation of the New Church at Lewes, it became necessary to disturb the mouldering bones of the long defunct, and in the prosecution of that unavoidable business a leaden coffin was taken up, which, on being opened, exhibited a complete
- Pere Tomich. ff. 39.
46. Solan Geese.
A very odd argument was invented, to show that Solan Geese might lawfully be eaten on fast days; and a still more extraordinary one was used in reply to it. It is scarcely necessary to premise that these Barnacles were, according to common opinion, "fowles lyke to wylde ghees, which growen wonderly upon trees, as it were nature wrought agayne kynde. Men of relygyon, (continues the Polycronycon,) ete bernacles on fastynge dayes, by cause they ben not engendred of flesshe, wherin as me thynketh they erre. For reason is agaynste that. For yf a man had eten of Adam's legge, he had eten flesshe, and yet Adam was not engendred of fader and moder, but that flesshe came wonderly of the erthe, and so this flesshe cometh wonderly of the tree." Polycronycon, Lib. i. cap. 32.
This argument however does not satisfy my old friend Stanihurst. "The Irish clergy" he says, "did not so far stray in their opinion, as Cambrensis and Polycronycon in their reproof. For the framing of Adam and Eve was supernatural, only done by God, and not by the help of angels or any other creature. But the ingendering of barnacles is natural, and therefore the examples are not like. Now it should seem that the Irish clergy builded their reason upon this plot: whatsoever is flesh, is naturally begotten believe bread to be flesh, may well be excused for believing flesh to be fish.
47. Hole's Arthur.
It is said in a late number of the Critical Review, that Mr. Hole's Arthur "failed of success, because published at the same time with the Joans of Arc, Alfreds, and Cœur de Lions, which disgusted the world with the very name of Epic." Arthur, or the Northern Enchantment, was published in 1789, Joan of Arc in 1796, the Alfreds and Cœur de Lion in 1800. The failure of Mr. Hole's poem, therefore, is not attributed to the true cause; and it cannot be necessary to point out the motive which induced the critic to assign a false one.
Mr. Hole's Arthur failed of success because it did not deserve it. The poem had fair play: it appeared before reviews were converted into tools of party, and before the butchers' phrase, "cutting up" was supposed to be synonymous with Hole's poem, however, could not have suffered from that disgust, because it was published ten years before the swarm of epics appeared; and I believe it will be thought probable that this swarm was occasioned by the success of Joan of Arc, notwithstanding the great and numerous defects of that poem, defects which have been weeded out in each successive edition, though they never can be totally removed.
48. Poetical Moods and Tenses.
Let us examine the moods and tenses of the poets.
He who plays off the amiable in verse, and writes to display his own fine feelings, is in the sentimental or indicative mood. Didactic poets are in the imperative, satirists in the potential, your amourist in the optative. The classification is defective in the other moods.
The fame of those who write personal satire is in the present tense,..that of most poets in the imperfect. The great ones who are dead, in the perfect,.. the great ones who are living must be content to have theirs in the future.
49. Garden at Banstead.
Is there any remembrance at Banstead of a clergyman, who amused himself there for fifty years with ornamenting his gardens, and died in a state of dotage about the beginning of the last century? The company from Epsom used to visit his 'curiosities,' as they might well call them! for this gentleman had discovered more capabilities in wood and stone, than ever Lancelot Brown dreamt of. You ascended one of his trees by a straight flight of steps, the top had been flattened in the middle, and the boughs round about clipt into a parapet; here there was an octagon bench; and this place he called his Teneriffe. Another tree was manufactured into Mount Parnassus, and there Apollo was to be seen, perched some little diversion, such as racing of boys, or rabbits, or pigs."
51. Queen Mary's Funeral.
In the manuscript already quoted, is an account of queen Mary's Funeral. 'The body was reposed in a mausoleum in form of a bed, with black velvet and silver fringe round, hanging in arches; at the four corners were tapers, and in the middle a bason, supported by cupids on cherubims shoulders, in which was a great lamp burning, After the service, which was performed with solemn musick and singing, the sound of a drum unbraced, the breaking the white staves of all the queen's officers, and throwing in their keys of office, the tomb was sealed.'
53. A Dual Giant.
In the Clarimundo of the great Joam de Barros, there is an extraordinary giant introduced.
From the middle upwards this giant was double. The one half was a female, her name was Panta; the other a male, and he was ...christened, I was about to say,.. Fasul. The whole giant was called Pantafasul. In the battle Fasul fought with a sword, Panta with a battle axe—Belifont conquers the monster by an odd consequence of this duality. Panta, 'as it is the nature of women to be impatient in anger,' grew angry with her wounds, and quarrelled with Fasul who should get the best place for fighting their enemy; so while they were quarrelling, the knight killed both.
The hero's sword in battle cried out on the name of his mistress Clarinda, striking Cla— and ringing the rinda after.
54. Henrietta Maria.
The priests whom Henrietta Maria brought over with her to this country, with that wise foresight which may be called political prophecy.
55. The worst of all Puns.
At Nuremburg a wolf's tooth was shown to travellers (such, says Keysler, as in some places is given to children instead of a coral when they cut their teeth) on which an Abbé is represented lying dead in a meadow, with three lilies growing out of his posteriors. This is not only the worst pun that ever was carved upon a wolf's tooth, but the worst that ever was or will be made. The Abbé is designed to express the Latin word Habe. He is lying dead in a meadow,..mort en pré; this is for mortem præ; and the three lilies in his posteriors are to be read oculis, ..au cu lis. Thus, according to the annexed explanation, the whole pun, rebus, or hieroglyphic, is Habe mortem pra oculis.
Charles VIIth of France, when Dauphin, bore upon his standard a device which was in a similar taste, though not so rich a specimen of it. He was in love with a virtuous damsel, the daughter of Messire Guillaume Cassinel; she was usually called La Cassinelle after her father's name, and the Prince expressed his affection for her by bearing on his standard, in gold, un K, un cigne et une L.
Juvenal Des Ursins.
56. Poem attributed to Sir Walter Ralegh.
Mr. Cayley, in his life of Ralegh, inserts the following poem, which is said to have been written by Sir Walter the night preceding his execution.
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy,.. immortal diet;
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hopes true gage,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.
Blood must be my bodies balmer,
While my soul, like quiet palmer,
Travelleth toward the land of heaven;
No other balm will here be given.
58. Classification of Novels
Novels may be arranged according to the botanical system of Linnæus.
Monandria Monogynia is the usual class, most novels having one hero and one heroine. Sir Charles Grandison belongs to the Monandria Digyma. Those in which the families of the two lovers are at variance may be called Diœcious. The Cryptogamia are very numerous, so are the Polygamia.—Where the lady is in doubt which of her lovers to chuse, the tale is to be classed under the Icosandria. Where the party hesitates between love and duty, or avarice and ambition, Didynamia. Many are poisonous, few of any use, and far the greater number are annuals.
The natives of Madagascar worship the crocodile as the Egyptians did before them: but I know not whether the Egyptians had so good a reason to allege for brother or sister, and accustom it to come at a call and be fed. Less cost of money than was expended upon Cleopatra's barge, would have sufficed to have trained crocodiles to draw it.
The testicles of the crocodile are greatly valued in some parts of India for their strong musky odour.
60. Small Wit.
"Many there are (says an old writer) that will lose their friend rather than their jest, or their quibble, pun, punnet or pundigrion, fifteen of which will not make up one single jest." Is there any commentator who can explain the punnet and pundigrion, or must they be enumerated in the next work which shall be written De rebus deperditis? The recovery of this lost species of the small currency of wit, would be of signal advantage to our modern dramatists.
What was the clench, another favourite figure of wit in old times; but which was going out of fashion in the days of the pundigrion?
'Clenches and quibbles are now out of date,'
is a line of Flecknoe's.
—Children find, if they endeavour it,
Your learning, chronicle; clinches your wit
The quip seems to be another lost species, and we now hear of no quirks but those of pettyfogging lawyers.
61. Grapes in Madagascar.
The grape was believed to be poisonous in Madagascar till the French taught the natives to eat it. Can this have been a mere prejudice, or was the opinion introduced by some of their Moorish visitors, who thought prejudice a better security against the abuse of the grape than prohibition would be.
- Dellon, t. 1. c. 9.
62. Richard Flecknoe.
Flecknoe has these excellent lines addrest to a miser.
Money's like muck, that's profitable while
'T serves for manuring of some fruitful soil;
But on a barren one, like thee, methinks,
'Tis like a dunghill that lies still and stinks.
What was the cause of Dryden's enmity to this poor author? so far from having provoked it, Flecknoe has even written an epigram in his praise: this tribute, and his religion (for he was a Catholic) it might have been thought, would have saved him. Perhaps Dryden was offended at his invectives against the obscenity of the stage, feeling himself more notorious, if not more culpable than any of his rivals, for this scandalous and unpardonable offence.
Flecknoe is by no means the despicable writer that we might suppose him to be from the nich in which his mighty enemy has placed him. These stanzas are well turned in their way.
DRAWING THE COUNTESS OF CASTELMAIN'S PICTURE.
Stay, daring man, and ne'er presume to draw
Her picture, till thou may'st such colours get
As Zeuxis and Apelles never saw,
Nor e'er were known by any painter yet.
'Till from all beauties thou extracts the grace,
And from the sun the beams that gild the skies,
Never presume to draw her beauteous face,
Nor paint the radiant brightness of her eyes.
In vain the whilst thou dost thy labour take,
Since none can set her forth to her desert;
She who's above all Nature e'er did make,
Much more's above all can be made by Art.
Yet be'n't discouraged, since whoe'er do see't,
At least with admiration must confess,
It has an air so admirably sweet,
Much more than others, tho' than her's much less.
So those bold giants who would scale the sky,
Altho' they in their high attempt did fall,
This comfort had, they mounted yet more high
Than those who never strove to climb at all.
Comfort thee then, and think it no disgrace
From that great height a little to decline,
Since all must grant the reason of it was,
Her too great excellence and no want of thine.
He seems to have imitated the manner of his friend Davenant's versification in these lines: but he has likewise followed the evil fashion just then introduced, of degrading our written language by the use of colloquial contractions.
Be the other merits of his verses what they may, he has this rare merit (if the little volume of his epigrams which I possess may be considered as a sample of his other works) that he is never in the slightest degree an immoral writer himself, and that he expresses a due abhorrence of the mischievous and disgraceful writings of his contemporaries.
This is from his divine epigrams.
Do good with pain, the pleasure in't you find,
The pain's soon past, the good remains behind:
Do ill with pleasure, this y'ave for your pains,
The pleasure passes soon, the ill remains.
return from Brazil." Had he written travels instead of verses, he might have secured for himself a lasting and respectful remembrance. It is a vexatious thought, that the man who possessed knowledge, by which you might have been benefitted, and for which you would have been thankful, should have employed his time in producing poems for which nobody cares.
Of the man who has given name to such a satire as Macfleckno, these notices, trifling as they are, will not be thought wholly worthless.
I will add one quotation more; it is from an invocation to Silence.
Sacred Silence, thou that art
Flood-gate of the deepest heart,
Offspring of a heavenly kind,
Frost of the mouth, and thaw of the mind,
Admiration's readiest tongue.
63. Defence of Popery.
Father Parsons has been modest and roll their eyes, and say,.. whatever the ventriloquist chuses to say for them! Of the odd expression which he has made use of, I recollect two remarkable examples, one by Sir John Harrington, in his version of Orlando Furioso, where it forms a conspicuous part of one of the oddest, but not the most decent couplets ever introduced into heroic poetry.—The other was by a tailor's wife who went abroad with a lady as nurse maid, and being a pretty woman, as well as a vain one, was easily taught to have a great contempt for her former way of life, and for vulgar notions of duty. On her return to England, she refused to go back to her husband, saying, with a toss of the head, "No, indeed! she had not been abroad for nothing, she knew better now than to go and live hugger-mugger with a tailor again."
64. The Wafer.
Gage is a suspicious writer, because he has transcribed part of his book verbatim & literatim, from an old translation of Gomara, without acknowledgement. This is vexatious: there is much in the book which is very curious, and such an act of dishonesty throws a doubt over the whole. The history of his conversion is not improbable; and even if not true, is certainly well imagined.
"Whilst this traffick was at Portobel," he says, "it happened unto me that which I formerly testified in my Recantation Sermon at Paul's church, which if by that means it have not come to the knowledge of many, I desire again to record it in this my history, that to all England it may be published; which was, that one day saying the mass in the chief church, after the consecration of the bread, being with my eyes shut, at that prayer which the church of Rome calleth the Memento for their Dead, there came from behind the altar a mouse, which running about, came to the very bread or wafer-god of the papists, and taking it in his mouth, ran away with it, not being perceived by any of the people who were at mass, for that the altar was high, by reason of the steps going up to it, and the people far beneath. But as soon as I opened my eyes to go on with my mass, and perceived my god stolen away, I looked about the altar, and saw the mouse running away with it, which on a sudden did so stupifie me that I knew not well what to do or say; and calling my wits together, I thought that if I should take no notice of the mischance, and any body else in the church should, I might justly be questioned by the Inquisition: but if I should call to the people to look for the sacrament, then I might be but chid and rebuked for my carelessness, which of the two I thought would be more easily borne than the rigor of the Inquisition. Whereupon not knowing what the people had seen, I turned myself unto them, and called them unto the altar, and told them plainly, that whilst I was in my memento prayers and meditations, a mouse had carried away the sacrament, and that I knew not what to do, unless they would help me to find it out again. The people called a priest who was at hand, who presently brought in more of his coat: and as if their god had by this been eaten up, they presently prepared to find out the thief, as if they would eat up the mouse that had so assaulted and abused their god. They lighted candles and torches to find out the malefactor in his secret and hidden places of the wall; and after much searching and inquiry for the sacrilegious beast, they found at last in a hole of the wall, the sacrament half eaten up, which with great joy they took out, and, as if the ark had been brought again from the Philistines to the Israelites, so they rejoiced for their new found god, whom, with many people now resorted to the church, with many lights of candles and torches, with joyful and solemn musick, they carried about the church in procession. Myself was present upon my knees, shaking and quivering for what might be done unto me, and expecting my doom and judgement. As the sacrament passed me, I observed in it the marks and signs of the teeth of the mouse, as they are to be seen in a piece of cheese gnawn and eaten by it.
"This struck me with such horror that I cared not at that present whether I had been torn in a thousand pieces for denying publicly that mouse-eaten god. I called to my best memory all philosophy concerning substance and accident, and resolved within myself, that what I saw gnawn was not an accident, but some real substance eaten and devoured by that vermin, which certainly was fed and nourished by what it had eaten; and philosophy well teacheth substantia cibi (non accidens) convertitur in substantiam aliti, the substance, not the accident of the food is converted and turned into the substance of the thing fed by it and alimented. Now here I knew that this mouse had fed upon some substance, or else how could the marks of the teeth so plainly appear? But no papist will be willing to answer that it fed upon the substance of Christ's body; ergo, by good consequence it follows that it fed upon the substance of bread, and so transubstantiation here in my judgement was confuted by a mouse; which mean and base creature God chose to convince me of my former errors, and made me now resolve upon what many years before I had doubted, that certainly the point of transubstantiation, taught by the church of Rome, is most damnable and erroneous.
"The event of this accident was not any trouble that fell upon me for it; for, indeed, the Spaniards, attributed it unto the carelessness of him who had care of the altars in the church, and not to any contempt in me to the sacrament. The part of the wafer that was left after the mouse had filled her belly, was laid up after the solemn procession about the church, in a tabernacle for that purpose; and because such a high contempt had been offered by a contemptible vermin to their bread-god, it was commanded through Portobel that day, that all the people should humble themselves and mourn, and fast with bread and water only."
Gage's Survey of the West Indies,
3d edit. 1677, p. 447.
Oldmixon says, that one Mr. Heveningham bought a dedication of Motteux, haggled with him about the price, and bargained for the number of lines and the superlatives of eulogy: not contented with this, he wrote the dedication himself, and made the miserable author put his name to it.
66. Public Accommodations.
We are behind hand with the orientals, and even with some European nations, in gratuitous accommodations for the public. In the Choultries of Hindostan the poor traveller finds shelter without expence. Dr. Buchanan notices another convenience in that country, "Near the road (he says) charitable persons have built many resting places for porters, who here carry all their burdens on the head. These resting places consist of a wall about four feet high, on which the porters can deposit their burdens, and from which, after having rested themselves, they can again, without assistance, take up their loads." There is a corner by St. Dunstan's church which serves for this purpose, and is so seldom without an occupier, that whoever has noticed it must wish such resting places were provided in the streets of London.
Digging tanks, building choultries, planting rows of trees, and such other acts of charity towards the public, form a separate class of virtues among the Hindoos, which they call Bourtam. The Man of Ross has had his fame in England for the practice of such virtues. Some Wiltshire poet may perhaps one day celebrate "the worthy Maud Heath, of Langley Burrell, spinster, who in the year of grace 1474, for the good of travellers, did in charity bestow in land and houses about eight pounds a year forever, to be laid out on the highway and causey leading from Wick Hill to Chippenham Cliff." The Spaniards have a Saint who was put in the kalendar for mending the road to Santiago and building bridges. When the blessed day of reformation shall arrive in Spain, I hope his name will be suffered to hold its place.
There is little encouragement to the practice of this kind of charity in England. Mile-stones are defaced, directing posts broken, the parapets of bridges thrown down. We seldom see a new horse block erected at the top of the hill; and when a public pump is set up, no iron ladle is now appended to it, because it would in all probability be stolen. I once lived in a house which had a large porch by the road side; it was about two miles from a great city, and the milk-women had from time immemorial established a custom of rendezvousing in it. Of all nuisances that can be imagined, this was the most intolerable. "Rest and be thankful" was what they would not do. They "out-billingsgated Billingsgate," and were their beastliness to be related it would scarcely be believed. There was no remedy but destroying the porch.
Whenever public education shall become a part of the established system of England (as sooner or later, in spite of every political Maltenebros, it must) it would be wise and just to inculcate a belief, that of all property, public property is that which should be held most sacred.
- S. Domingo de la Calzada.
67. Catholic Devotion to the Virgin.
There is some ingenuity as well as some nonsense in this rhapsodical address to the great Goddess of the Roman Catholics.
"You, O Mother of God, are the spiritual Paradise of the second Adam; the delicate cabinet of that divine marriage which was made betwixt the two natures; the great hall wherein was celebrated the world's general reconciliation; you are the nuptial bed of the eternal word; the bright cloud carrying him who hath the cherubins for his chariot; the fleece of wool filled with the sweet dew of heaven, whereof was made that admirable robe of our royal Shepherd, in which he vouchsafed to look after his lost sheep; you are the maid and the mother, the humble Virgin and the high heaven both together; you are the sacred bridge whereby God himself descended to the earth; you are that piece of cloth whereof was composed the glorious garment of hypostatical union, where the worker was the Holy Ghost, the hand the virtue of the Most High, the wool the old spoils of Adam, the woof your own immaculate flesh, and the shuttle God's incomparable goodness, which freely gave us the ineffable person of the word incarnate.
"You are the container of the incomprehensible; the root of the world's first, best, and most beautiful flower; the mother of him who made all things; the nurse of him who provides nourishment for the whole universe; the bosom of him who unfolds all being within his breast; the unspotted robe of him who is clothed with light as with a garment; you are the sally-port through which God penetrated into the world; you are the pavilion of the Holy Ghost; and you are the furnace into which the Almighty hath particularly darted the most fervent sun-beams of his dearest love and affection.
"All hail! fruitful earth, alone proper and only prepared to bring forth the bread corn by which we are all sustained and nourished; happy leaven, which hath given relish to Adam's whole race, and seasoned the paste whereof the true life-giving and soul-saving bread was composed; ark of honour in which God himself was pleased to repose, and where very glory itself became sanctified; golden pitcher, containing him who provides sweet manna from heaven, and produces honey from the rock to satisfy the appetites of his hungry people; you are the admirable house of God's humiliation, through whose door he descended to dwell among us; the living book wherein the Father's eternal word was written by the pen of the Holy Ghost. You are pleasing and comely as Jerusalem, and the aromatical odours issuing from your garments outvie all the delights of Mount Lebanus; you are the sacred pix of celestial perfumes, whose sweet exhalations shall never be exhausted; you are the holy oil, the unextinguishable lamp, the unfading flower, the divinely-woven purple, the royal vestment, the imperial diadem, the throne of the divinity, the gate of Paradise, the queen of the universe, the cabinet of life, the fountain ever flowing with celestial illustrations.
"All hail the divine lanthorn encompassing that crystal lamp whose light outshines the sun in its mid-day splendour; the spiritual sea whence the world's richest pearl was extracted; the radiant sphere, inclosing him within your sacred folds, whom the heavens cannot contain within their vast circumference; the celestial throne of God, more glistering than that of the glorious cherubims, the pure temple, tabernacle, and seat of the divinity.
"You are the well-fenced orchard, the fruitful border, the fair and delicate garden of sweet flowers, embalming the earth and air with their odoriferous fragrance, yet shut up and secured from any enemy's entrance and irruption; you are the holy fountain, sealed with the signet of the most sacred Trinity, from whence the happy waters of life inflow upon the whole universe; you are the happy city of God, whereof such glorious things are every where sung and spoken.
The volume from whence these Flores Catholicæ are extracted has more pious finger unction upon it than any other in my library. Great is Diana of the Ephesians!
There is nothing in which the ingenuity of the papists has been more amusingly exercised than in converting the Old Testament into types of their own creature-worship. This address to their Magna Mater is a good instance. A more curious one is in one of the pictures in the Vatican, which in Lassels's time, was over the long room leading to the gallery of maps. "At the first looking upon it, he says, you see nothing but certain types or figures of the blessed sacrament, out of the Old Testament; but being placed directly under it, and looking upwards, you see all the fore-said types contracted into the form of a chalice and an host over it, to shew that those old types and shadows prefigured only the Body and Blood of our Saviour, in the holy sacrifice of the altar."
Italian Voyage, Part 2. 2d edit. p 36.
68. Cupid and Psyche.
The beautiful story of Cupid and Psyche has been represented in every possible form by poets, prosers, painters, sculptors, and opera dancers. Calderon has converted it into an Auto Sacramental, and it is amusing to see how easily it is allegorized to his purpose.
Old World has three daughters, of whom Idolatry, the eldest, is married to Gentile, emperor of the east; Synagogue, the second, is the wife of Jew, the emigrant; and Faith, the youngest and most beautiful, is still a virgin, and courted by Apostacy, king of the north. Old World favours his suit, but she has given her affections to Cupid, the sacramented god. One day when Apostacy is running after her and her servant Free Will to detain them, Cupid, with a white veil over his face, enters and protects them. Apostacy struggles with him, and is immediately tormented with an inward fire. His cries alarm the family, and when they come in, Cupid avows himself to be God, the maker of the world. Old World will not believe that God made him, and advances to pull off his veil and see his face, but not; she yields, and promises if Cupid is not God, that she will be his: Free Will brings the candle,.. the fatal light of enquiry; Cupid awakes in anger, the palace is destroyed, and Faith left to her punishment; but she repents and confesses, and Cupid returns with the pix and chalice,.. the precious gift of his body and blood.
Calderon has another Auto upon the same subject; the characters differently named, but with little variation of story. He says in his preface to these Autos (72 in number) that they have all but one subject and one set of characters; the greater, therefore, must his merit be, if he resembles nature, who makes so many faces with nothing but eyes, nose, and mouth, and yet no two alike.
69. Writing Tables.
It is remarkable, says Mr. Douce, that neither public nor private museums should furnish any specimens of these table-books, which seem to have been very common in Shakspeare's time; nor does any attempt appear to have been made towards ascertaining exactly the materials of which they were composed.
I happen to possess a table-book of Shakspeare's time. It is a little book, nearly square, being three inches wide, and something less than four in length, bound stoutly in calf, and fastening with four strings of broad, strong, brown tape. The title as follows: "Writing Tables, with a Kalendar for xxiiii yeeres, with sundrie necessarie rules. The Tables made by Robert Triplet. London. Imprinted for the Company of Stationers." The tables are inserted immediately after the almanack.
At first sight they appear like what we call asses-skin, the colour being precisely the same, but the leaves are thicker; whatever smell they may have had is lost, and there is no gloss upon them. It might be supposed that the gloss has been worn off, but this is not the case, for most of the tables have never been written on. Some of the edges being worn, shew that the middle of the leaf consists of paper; the composition is laid on with great nicety. A silver style was used, which is sheathed in one of the covers, and which produces an impression as distinct, and as easily obliterated as that of a black lead pencil. The tables are interleaved with common paper.
70. Lions of Romance.
Il est vray que le lyon est sire and roy de toutes les bestes du monde, et est de si franche nature et de si haulte que sil trouvoit fitz de roy de loyal pere et de loyalle mere ja nul mal ne luy feroit. (Lancelot du Lac. p. 2. ff 127.) The experiment was tried upon Lenvalles, son of king Eliezer, to prove his birth when he was three days old.
Beaumont and Fletcher have made a humorous use of this notion in the Mad Lover. When Memnon has lost his wits for love of the princess, they endeavour to pass upon him a woman of a very different description for her. The lady begins by giving him a kiss. He, however, takes her "royal hand as more than he must purchase," and finding good cause for suspicion, exclaims,
Fetch the Numidian lion I brought over,..
If she be sprung from royal blood, the lion
Will do you reverence; else—
Woman. I beseech your lordship—
Memnon. He'll tear her all to pieces.
A century ago the lions in the Tower were named after the reigning kings; and "it has been observed," says a writer of that age, "that when a king dies, the lion of that name dies after him."
There is a distinction made in Palmerin de Oliva between Leones Coronados,Leones Pardos The former, who may be called Lions Royal, are those who know blood-royal instinctively, and respect it, I suppose, as a family sort of tie. The others have no such instinct.
ran in, and having him hard pent, and his back toward him, bighteth and scratcheth him with tooth and nayle, and so by art the leopard getteth the victory, and not by strength."
Diego Velazquez took Cortes with him to Cuba as one of his secretaries, a situation for which he was not at that time well qualified, being too apt to jest, and too fond of conversation. Whatever the cause may have been, they soon disagreed. Judges of Appeal arrived at Hispaniola, and the malcontents in Cuba drew out secretly their complaints against the governor. There was no other means of crossing over to present them than in an open canoe, and Cortes applied to himself: "I know no author in any language whose literary fame has risen so far beyond his real merit."
72. Cocoa Cordage.
According to Barros, the salt water produces an effect upon it analogous to tanning...enverdece com a agua salgada,.. and it becomes so strong, that it seems made of leather, contracting or dilating at the will of the sea; so that a thick cable of this material, when a ship riding at anchor bears upon it, will be stretched out so thin that it would appear too weak to secure a common bark, and when the ship falls back it shrinks up, and remains as thick as ever. D.3, l.3. c.7.
Coco is the Portugueze word for a bugbear; it was applied to the fruit from the resemblance of an ugly face, which may be traced at the stalk-end.
73. Odour of Sanctity.
When Swedenborg went through the outward and sensible sign. This is easily explained; a body which had been embalmed would retain the fragrance of gums and spices when it was dug up to be worshipped, and the saint would have credit for what was done by the embalmer. Dona Luisa de Carvajal procured the quarters of the catholic priests who suffered death in England, anointed them with the strongest spices, and retailed them in presents to her noble friends in Spain: the scent would be perceived by devotees, who would never think of inquiring in what manner the relicks had been prepared. The immediate odour perceived upon the death of saints who certainly never numbered cleanliness among the christian virtues, bears but one explanation;.. no trick is so easy .. and therefore no trick has been so common.
There is an odour of complexion which some saints may, perhaps, have enjoyed, though they cannot have been of the school of St. Romuald. Is it Lord Herbert of Cherbury, who says, that his linen always acquired a fragrance something resembling musk? Several similar facts are recorded, but the most remarkable one is mentioned by Barros. He speaks of a race of women called Padaminij, exquisitely well made and beautiful, but chiefly distinguished from all others by the fragrant smell of their bodies, which was imparted to their cloaths. The love of the Rajah Galacarna for one of these women, who was the wife of one of his chief captains, was the occasion of first bringing the Moors from Delhi into Guzarat.
The race was almost extinct in Guzarat when Barros wrote; but many, he says, were still to be found in Orixa.
74. Mexican Tennis.
The Mexicans had one singular law in their play with the ball. In the walls of the court where they played, certain stones like mill-stones were fixed, with a hole in the middle, just large enough to let the ball pass through; and whoever drove it through, which required great skill, and was, of course, rarely effected, won the cloaks of the lookers-on. They, therefore, took to their heels to save their cloaks, and others pursued to catch them, which was a new source of amusement.
75. Amadis and Esplandian.
The Spanish editor of Amadis is Garciordonez de Montalvo. The author of Esplandian is called Garcia Gutierrez de Montalvo. Each is said to be Regidor of Medina del Campo. If they be the same person, there is an unusual error of the press. Garcia Gutierrez calls himself an old man (c. 98), and Esplandian was published so closely after Annadis, that unless the latter was a posthumous work, the authors cannot possibly have been father and son, even if any such relationship could be inferred from the name, which is not the case. There can be little doubt that it is a mistake.
76. The Gossamer.
Spenser calls the gossamer
The fine nets, which oft we woven see
Of scorched dew.
Henry More alludes to this opinion, which seems to have been then commonly held.
As light and thin as cobwebs that do fly
In the blew air, caused by autumnal sun
That boils the dew that on the earth doth lie,
May seem this whitish rag then is the scum,
Unless that wiser men make't the field-spiders loom
78. Stationers in Spain.
The law in the Partidas respecting stationers is curious.
"Every university, to be complete, should have stationers in it (estacionarios) who have in their shops (estaciones) good books, and legible, and correct both in text and in gloss, which they let out to the scholars, either to make new books from them, or to correct those which they have ready written. And no one ought to have such booth (tienda) or shop as this, without leave of the rector of the university. And the rector, before he grants his licence, ought first to have the books of this person who would keep the shop examined, to know whether they be good, and legible, and genuine. And he ought not to consent that anyone who has not such books should become a stationer, nor let out his books to the scholars, at least not before they have been corrected. Also the rector ought, with advice of others, to set a price
One of Sindbad's adventures has been invented by that liar Master Antonie Knivet.
He and twelve Portugals were, as they supposed, near Potosi. "We came into a fair country, and we saw a great glistering mountain before us, ten days before we could come to it; for when we came into the plain country, and were out of the mountains, and the sun began to come to his height, we were not able to travel against it, by the reason of the glistering that dazzled our eyes. At the last by little and little we came to the foot of this mountain, where we found great store of Tamandros. (Tamanduas. Ant-eaters.)
"We went along by this mountain at least twenty days before we could find any way to pass over it: at last we came to a river that passed under it; here we determined to make some shift to get through. Some of our company said that they thought it best to go still along by the foot of the mountain, rather than to six yards long, that we might lie down and sleep upon it: we killed good store of Tamandros, and roasted them very dry for our provision, for we knew not how long we should be in the vault.
"After we had made all ready, taking good store of wood with us, commending ourselves to God, we put ourselves into the vault, which made such a noise with the running of the water, that we thought it had been some inchantment. We went in on Monday morning, and we came out on a morning: whether we were two days or one in the vault I know not. As soon as we perceived light we were very glad; but when we came out we saw on every side houses."
Nebuchadnezzar has been worse used in doggrel than even poor As-in-præsenti himself. But scurvily as he has been. be-rhymed for his conquest of Jerusalem, etymologists have as scurvily explained his name, and invented a story to explain their explanation. They say, he was exposed when an infant under a tree; a she goat gave him suck, and an owl hooted at noon day from the boughs above: this unusual noise excited the attention of a leper who was passing by; he turned aside to the tree, saw the child, and preserved him; and, in memory of these circumstances, named him Nabuchodonosor: Nabug, signifying in Chaldee an owl, codo a she goat, and nosor a leper.
The Atlas, a three-decker, was launched in 1782. When they came to ship her bowsprit, the figure stood so high that it was necessary to cut away part of the globe upon his shoulders, and that part happened to be America. Sailors remarked this as ominous at the time, and the event has not weakened their belief in omens.
An event of heavier import was noticed They are delightful to the poet, and valuable to the philosopher. Who can read in Josephus of the prodigies which announced the fall of Jerusalem without feeling his heart fail?
Were I to relate in poetry Rodrigo's descent into the cavern of Toledo, I would describe it as having the images of his predecessors, the Gothic kings, set up round the sides of the rock, and only one nich vacant. Torch-light and cave scenery would give a terrifying effect to what may be seen without any effect at all in the Royal Exchange.
Who is the author of Munchausen's Travels, a book which every body knows, because all boys read it?
Two of his stories are to be found in a Portugueze magazine, if so it may be called, published about fourscore years ago, with this title,.. Folheto de Ambas Lisboas, The seventh number contains deserve. But it is probable that the Portuguese and English writers both have had recourse to the same store-house of fable.
83. Cold-bathing in Fevers.
Amerigo Vespucci describes cold bathing as the remedy for fever which was used by the American Indians; but they accompanied it with a practice which must have counteracted its beneficial effects. "Cum eorum quempiam febricitare contigit, horâ quâ febris eum asperius inquietat, ipsum in frigentissimam aquam immergunt & balneant, postmodumque per duas horas circa ignem validum, donec plurimum calescat, currere & recurrere cogunt, & postremo ad dormiendum deferunt, quo quidem medicamento complures eorum sanitati restitui vi imus"
84. Payment of a Copyer of Books.
The form of a written agreement, which is preserved in the Partidas, happens to relate to a curious subject. It is the bargain of a copyer or scribe.
"Know all men to whom this writing shall come, that Pero Martinez the scribe, promiseth, consenteth, and bindeth himself to the Dean of Toledo, to write for him the text of such a book, and that he will write it and go on with it till it be completed, in such a hand as he hath written for a sample in the first leaf of this book, before me N. Notary Public, who have made this writing, and the witnesses whose names are hereunto subjoined.—Also the aforesaid Scribe promiseth that he will not labour in writing any other work till this book be finished. And he engageth to do this for the sum of thirty maravedis, ten of which he acknowledged to have received from the aforesaid Dean, and the other maravedis are to be paid in this manner: ten when half the book shall have been written, and the other ten when it is finished."
85. Animals in Paradise.
The animals in Paradise are the prophet Saleh's camel, the ram which Abraham sacrificed instead of Isaac, Moses's cow, (the red cow, whose ashes were mingled with the water of purification), Soloman's ant (who, when all creatures, in token of their obedience to him, brought him presents, dragged before him a locust, and was therefore preferred before all others because it had brought a creature so much bigger than itself); the queen of Sheba's parrot, who carried messages between her and Solomon; Ezra's ass; Jonah's whale; Kitmer, the dog of the Seven Sleepers; and Mahommed's camel. Thevenot.
Most probably this suggested to Voltaire the dramatis personæ of his Taureau Blanc.
86. Glover's Leonidas.
Glover's Leonidas was unduly praised at its first appearance, and more unduly depreciated. The periodical publications of the day abound with criticisms and panegyrics upon it. The best piece of 8. 9. How Jack, who for a long while said nothing, said his prayers, went out, and was knocked on the head.
87. The French Decade.
We have nothing to say in defence of the French revolutionists, as far as they are personally concerned in this substitution of every tenth for the seventh day, as a day of rest. It was not only a senseless outrage on an ancient observance, around which a thousand good and gentle feelings had clustered; it not only tended to weaken the bond of brotherhood between France and the other members of Christendom; but it was dishonest, and robbed the labourer of fifteen days of restorative and humanizing repose in every year, and extended the wrong to all the friends and fellow-labourers of man in the brute creation. Yet when we hear protestants, and even those of the Lutheran persuasion, and members of the Church of England, inveigh against would every day be so many hours taken from the labour for the perishable body, to the service of the soul and the understandings of mankind, both masters and servants, as to supersede the necessity of a particular day. At present, our Sunday may be considered as so much Holy Land, rescued from the sea of oppression and vain luxury, and embanked against the fury of its billows.
The following narrative is from the periodical account of the Moravian Missions. It contains some of the most impressive description I ever remember to have read.
"Brother Samuel Liebisch (now a member of the Elders Conference of the Unity, being at that time entrusted with the general care of the brethren's missions on the coast of Labrador, the duties of his office required a visit to Okkak, the most northern of our settlements, and by any islands. Added to this, the hints of the Esquismaux had considerably increased their apprehensions for their safety, and their fears began to get the better of their hopes. All therefore joined most fervently in praise and thanksgiving to God, for this signal deliverance.
89. Ride and Tie.
"On a scheme of perfect retribution in the moral world"—(observed Empeiristes, and paused to look at, and wipe his spectacles.)—
"Frogs (interposed Musaello) must have been experimental philosophers, and experimental philosophers must all transmigrate into frogs."
The scheme will not be yet perfect, (added Gelon) unless our friend Empeiristes, is specially privileged to become an elect frog twenty times successively, before he reascends into a Galvanic philosopher.
"Well, well," (replied Empeiristes, with a benignant smile) I give my consent, if only our little Mary's fits do not recur."
Little Mary was Gelon's only child, & the darling & god-daughter of Empeiristes. By the application of galvanic influence, Empeiristes had removed a nervous affection of her right leg, accompanied with symptomatic epilepsy. The tear started into Gelon's eye, and he prest the hand of his friend, while Musaello half-suppressing, half-indulging a similar sense Of shame, sportively exclaimed—"Hang it, Gelon! somehow or other these philosopher fellows always have the better of us wits, in the long run!"
90. Jeremy Taylor..
The writings of Bishop Jeremy Taylor are a perpetual feast to me. His hospitable board groans under the weight and multitude of viands. Yet I seldom rise from the perusal of his works without repeating or recollecting the excellent observation of Minucius Felix:
"Fabulas et errores ab imperitis parentibus discimus; et quod est gravius, ipsis studiis et disciplinis elaboramus"
Many of our modernon the works of our elder writers, remind me of the connoisseur, who taking up a small cabinet picture, railed most eloquently at the absurd caprice of the artist in painting a horse sprawling. Excuse me, Sir, (replied the owner of the piece) you hold it the wrong way: it is a horse galloping.
92. Public Instruction.
Our statesmen, who survey with jealous dread all plans for the education of the lower orders, may be thought to proceed on the system of antagonist muscles; and in the belief, that the closer a nation shuts its eyes, the wider it will open its hands. Or do they act on the principle, that the status belli is the natural relation between the people and the industry, and loyalty; verily it is not error merely, but infatuation.
The Tractors are no new mode of quackery,—witness this extract from one of the rogues of the days of old:
"How famous is that martial ring, which carried in some fit place, or rubbed on some such part, will allay and cure the pains of the teeth and head, the cramp, quartain ague, falling sickness, vertigo, apoplexy, plague, and other diseases! insomuch that the great captain of Hetruria commanded the inventor thereof (a brother of St. Augustine's order) to sell none to any but himself for some years. If this same were formed of some long horse shoe nail, pulled out of a horse's hoof on purpose, in the hour Mars reigns, it would be ready to contract itself to fit the least, and amplify itself for the greatest finger as you would.
Johnson derives this cant term, as he calls it, from black and guard, without attempting to explain their combination. Cant-words, above all others, have their origin in some strong figure of speech, or striking metaphor, and I believe the etymology of this is accidentally given by that strangest of all strange writers Stanihurst, in his explanation of an word among his own countrymen. "Kerne, he says, signifieth (as noble men of deep judgement informed me) a shower of hell, because they are taken for no better than for rakehells, or the devil's black guard, by reason of the stinking stir they keep, wheresoever they be."
Holinshed, vol. 6, p. 68.
As Chaucer has been called the well of English undefiled, so might Stanihurst be denominated the common sewer of the language. He is, however, a very entertaining, and to a philologist, a very instructive writer. His version of the four first books of the Æneid, is exceedingly rare, and deserves to be reprinted for its incomparable oddity. It seems impossible that a man could have written in such a style without intending to burlesque what he was about, and yet it is certain that Stanihurst seriously meant to write heroic poetry.
95. Frith the Martyr.
Some of the writings of this venerable father of the English church were republished in consequence of a remarkable accident: "Upon Midsummer Eve, 1626, a codfish was brought to the market in Cambridge, and there cut up for sale, and in the maw thereof there was found a book in twelves, bound up in canvas containing several treatises of Mr. John Friths; this fish was caught upon the coasts of Lin, called Lindress, by one William Skinner; the fish being cut open the garbage was thrown by, which a woman looking upon, espied the canvas, and
The works of this voluminous commentator had a luckier resurrection from the deep than even Frith's Treatises. Cardinal Ximenes, or rather Cisneros (as he should more properly be called) sent the manuscript to Venice to be printed; the ship in which they were embarked, encountered a violent storm in the Gulph of Lyons; all the lading was thrown overboard to lighten her, and the bishop's works among the rest. The passengers with great difficulty got to shore; and the next day they saw the chest which contained these papers come floating safely to the beach. The fact was proved at Rome by the deposition of sixteen eye-witnesses, and their legal attestations are probably at this time to be seen at Salamanca. It is not to be wondered at, that the Catholics were disposed to believe this circumstance miraculous, considering the specific gravity of the contents of the chest.
97. Picturesque Words.
Who is ignorant of Homer's Πηλιον εινοσι ευλλον? Yet in some Greek Hexameters (MSS) we have met with a compound epithet, which may compete with it for the prize of excellence in "flashing on the mental eye" a complete image—It is an epithet of the brutified archangel (see p. 12) and forms the latter half of the Hexameter.
Ye youthful bards! compare this word with it's literal translation, "Tail-horn-hoofed Satan" and be shy of compound epithets, the component parts of which are indebted for their union exclusively to the printer's hyphen. Henry More indeed would have naturalized the word without hesitation, and Cercoceronychous would have shared the astonishment of the English reader in the glossary to his Song of the Soul, with Achronycul, Anaisthæsie, &c. &c.
The largest specimen of these substances which has ever been described, has escaped the notice of all the philosophers who have written upon the subject.
Walckcnaer in a note to Azara's Travels, upon the mass of iron and nickel found in the Chaco, says that two other such masses have been discovered; one which Pallas has described, and one which was dug up at Aken near Magdebourg. Gaspar de Villagra, in his Historia de la Nueva Mexico, mentions a fourth, evidently of the same nature as these, and considerably larger than the largest of them. The tradition of the natives concerning it supports the most probable theory of it's origin. A demon in the form of an old woman, appeared to two brothers, who were leading a horde or swarm of the ancient Mexicans, in search of a new country; she told them to separate, and threw down this block of iron which she carried on her head to be the boundary between them.
Villagra describes it as something like the back of a tortoise in shape, and in weight about eight hundred quintales; He calls it massy iron, "hierro bien mazizo y amasado;" it was smooth without the slightest rust, and there was neither mine near it, nor vein of metal, nor any kind of stone any way resembling it.
Y como quien de vista es buen testigo,
Digo que es un metal tan puro y liso,
Y tan limpio de orin como si fuera,
Una refina plata de Capella.
Y lo que mas admira nuestra caso,
Es que no vemos genero de veta,
Horrumbra, quemazon, o alguna piedra.
Con cuia fuerça muestre y nos paresca
Averse el gran mojon alli criado.
Canto 2. ff. 10.
The latitude where this was found is 27 N. The history of the expedition which Villagra accompanied, furnishes some clue for seeking the spot, and it might probably be discovered with little expence of time or labour, by a party travelling from Mexico to Monterrey.
- The quintal is 132lb. English. This estimate is of course given by guess; its size however is in some degree proved by this circumstance, that the priest who attended the army, consecrated it as an altar, and performed service upon it. The Chaco mass contains at present 624 cubic palms, of nine Spanish inches, but large pieces had been broken off before it was measured. The Siberian one 1680 Russian lbs. that in Germany from 15 to 17 milliers.
101. The Carpenter Bird.
Herrera (10.4. 11) describes a curious bird in the province of Chiapa, a sort of turdus which they called the Carpenter. This bird fed solely upon acorns, which it used to hoard in the trunk of the pine trees, boring with its beak a separate hole for every acorn; many trees were full of these holes in the nicest order, and they were so well fitted that the acorn could not be pulled out by the fingers, or otherwise than by some pointed instrument. The bird got them out by standing like a woodpecker with its feet on the trunk. It was black with a little red on the head and breast. This was a troublesome mode of hoarding, but the only secure one, as nothing could get at the hoards.
The state, with respect to the different sects of Religion under its protection, should resemble a well-drawn portrait. Let there be half a score individuals looking up at it, every one sees its eyes and its benignant smile directed toward himself.
The framer of preventive laws, no less than private tutors and schoolmasters, should remember, that the readiest way to make either mind or body grow awry, is by lacing it too tight.
It would have proved a striking part of a Vision presented to Adam, the day after the death of Abel, to have brought before his eyes half a million of men crowded together in the space of a square mile. When the first father had exhausted his wonder on the multitude of his offspring, he would then naturally inquire of his angelic instructor, for what purposes so vast a multitude had assembled? what is the common end?—alas! to murder each other, all Cains and yet no Abels!
104. Bishop Kenn.
Of Bishop Kenn Mrs. Berkeley has preserved some interesting anecdotes. They come on good authority, for Shotesbrook, the house of her grandfather Mr. Cherry, was a second home to the Bishop.
"When Charles the II. went down to Winchester with his court, the house of Dr. Kenn was destined to be the residence of Mrs. Gwynne. The good little man declared that she should not be under his roof. He was steady as a rock. The intelligence was carried to the King, who said, well then, Nell must take a lodging in the city. All the court divines &c. were shocked at Dr. Kenn's strange conduct, saying, that he had ruined his fortune, and would never rise in the church. Some months after, the bishopric of Bath and Wells becoming vacant, the minister, &c. recommended (as is always usual I suppose) some learned pious divines, to which the king answered, no, none of them shall have it I assure you; what is the name of that little man at Winchester that would not let Nell Gwynne lodge at his house? Dr. Kenn, please your Majesty: Well, he shall have it then: I resolved that he should have the first Bishopric that fell, if it had been Canterbury.—Just after the deprivation of the Bishops, a gentleman meeting Bishop Kenn, began condoling with his Lordship, to which he merrily replied, God bless you, my friend, do not pity me now, 'my father lived before me;' he was an honest farmer, and left me twenty pounds a year, thank God.—The bishop every morning made a vow that he would not marry that day. Mr. Cherry used frequently on his entering the breakfast room to say, well, my good Lord, is the resolution made this morning? Oh yes Sir, long ago."
Parodies on new poems are read as satires; on old ones, (the soliloquy of Hamlet for instance) as compliments. A man of genius may securely laugh at a mode of attack, by which his reviler in half a century or less, becomes his encomiast.
106. M. Dupuis.
Among the extravagancies of faith, which have characterised many infidel writers, who would swallow a whale to avoid believing that a whale swallowed Jonas; a high rank should be given to Dupuis, who at the commencement of the French Revolution, published a work in twelve volumes octavo, in order to prove that Jesus Christ was the Sun, and all Christians, worshippers of Mithra. His arguments, if arguments they can be called, consist chiefly of metaphors quoted from the Fathers. What irresistable conviction would not the following passage from Souths' Sermons (Vol. v. p. 165) have flashed on his fancy, had it occurred in the writings of Origen or Tertullian! and how compleat a confutation of all his grounds does not the passage afford to those humble souls who, gifted with common sense alone, can boast of no additional light received through a crack in their upper apartments!
"Christ, the great Sun of Righteousness and Saviour of the World, having by a glorious Rising, after a red and bloody Setting, proclaimed his Deity to men and angels; and by a compleat Triumph over the two grand Enemies of Mankind, Sin and Death, set up the everlasting Gospel in the room of all false Religions, has now changed the Persian Superstition into the Christian Doctrine; and without the least approach to the idolatry of the former, made it henceforward the duty of all nations, Jews and Gentiles, to worship the rising Sun."
This one passage outblazes the whole host of Dupuis' Evidences and Extracts. In the same sermon, the reader will meet with Hume's argument against miracles anticipated, and put in Thomas's mouth.
107. Hereticks of the early ages.
The ancient hereticks are so extravagantly calumniated that it is not easy to discover their real opinions or character. Something however is to be made out.
The success of Christianity tempted some bold spirits to set up for themselves. Every thing about Simon Magus must be false, except perhaps his Simony; but it is plain that certain early hereticks took advantage of the promise of the Comforter. Montanus is said to have called himself the Paraclete. Others tried to amalgamate eastern superstition with Christianity. In both these attempts Mahommed succeeded. Mosellama was his Simon Magus, who declared against him, and failed.
Others saw that a new religion was likely to succeed, but wished to substitute some other object of adoration in the place of Christ,—probably to avoid the reproach of the crucifixion. Seth, Melchisedeck, and Moses were set up. The vulgarest form,—was brought by the Gnostics from the East.
108. The Needle.
There is a passage in the Partidas respecting the needle, which was written half a century before its supposed invention at Amalfi, and which I have never seen noticed by any writer upon the subject. It occurs in the form of a simile—the original words, in such cases as this ought always to be given.
E bién assi como los marineros se guian en la noche escura por el aguja, que les es medianera entre la piedra e la estrella, e les muestra por de vayan, tambien en los malos tiempos, como en los buenos; otrosi los que han de consejar al Rey, se deven siempre guiar por la justicia, que es medianera entre Dios e el mundo, en todo tiempo, para dar gualardon a los buenos, e pena a los malos, a cada uno segund su merescimiento.
2. Partida. Tit. 9. Ley 28.
"And even as mariners guide themselves
109. Origin of the worship of Hymen.
The origin of the worship of Hymen is thus related by Lactantius. The story would furnish matter for an excellent pantomime. Hymen was a beautiful youth of Athens, who for the love of a young virgin disguised himself, and assisted at the (Eleusinian) rites: and at this time, he, together with his beloved, and divers other young ladies of that city, was surprized and carried off by pirates; who supposing him to be what he appeared, lodged him with his mistress. In the dead of the night, when the Robbers were all asleep, he rose and cut their throats. Thence making hasty way back to Athens, he bargained with the Parents that he would restore to them their Daughter, and all her companions, if they would consent to her marriage with him. They did so, and this marriage proving remarkably happy, it became the custom to invoke the name of Hymen at all nuptials.
It is hard and uncandid to censure the great reformers in philosophy and religion for their egotism and boastfulness. It is scarcely possible for a man to meet with continued personal abuse on account of his superior talents without associating more and more the sense of the value of his discoveries or detections with his own person. The necessity of repelling unjust contempt, forces the most modest man into a feeling of pride and self-consciousness. How can a tall man help thinking of his size, when dwarfs are constantly standing on tiptoe beside him? Paracelsus was a braggard and a quack: so was Cardan; but it was their merits, and not their follies, which drew upon them that torrent of detraction and calumny, which compelled them so frequently to think and write concerning themselves, that at length it became an habit to do so. Wolff too, though not a boaster, was yet persecuted into a habit of Egotism both in his prefaces and in his ordinary conversation; and the same holds good of the founder of the Brunonian System, and of his great name-sake Giordano Bruno. The more decorous manners of the presentage have attached a disproportionate opprobrium to this foible, and many therefore abstain with cautious prudence from all displays of what they feel. Nay some do actually flatter themselves, that they abhor all Egotism, and never betray it either in their writings or discourse. But watch these men narrowly: in the greater number of cases you will find their thoughts, feelings, and mode of expression, saturated with the passion of Contempt, which is the concentrated Vinegar of Egotism,
111. Cap of Liberty.
Those who hoped proudly of human nature, and admitted of no distinction between Christians and Frenchmen, regarded the first constitution as a colossal statue of Corinthian brass, formed by the fusion and commixture of all metals in the conflagration of the state.—But there is a common fungus, which so exactly represents the pole and cap of Liberty, that it seems offered by Nature herself as the appropriate emblem of Gallic Republicanism... Mushroom patriots with a mushroom Cap of Liberty!
112. Ablactation... as our old Dictionaries call it.
Old Beuther, in calculating the number of years necessary for replenishing the world after the Deluge, allows two years for suckling a child. This therefore must have been the customary time of lactation in Spain. The Spaniards perhaps received it from the Moors, for Mahommed enjoins mothers to give their infants the breast during two compleat years, if they will take it so long. Immediately after laying down this law, the Koran with its usual inconsistency, gives full permission to any body to break it.
King Joam III. of Portugal was not weaned till he was three years and a half old, and then it was by an act of his own princely pleasure. In that same age it was a common custom in Germany to wean infants after the first month, feed them with cows-milk through a wooden tube, and administer the warm bath every third day.
Novi ego aliquem qui dormitabundus aliquando pulsari horam quartam audiverit, et sic numeravit, una, una, una, una; ac tum præ rei absurditate, quam animâ concepiebat exclamavit, Næ! delirat Horologium! Quater pulsavit horam unam.
I knew a person who during imperfect sleep, or dozing as we say, listened to the clock as it was striking four, and as it struck, he counted the four, one, one, one, one; and then exclaimed, Why, the sensation, but without the sense, of connection. The psychological conditions of the possibility of a Bull, it would not be difficult to determine; but it would require a larger space than can be afforded in the Omniana, at least more attention, than our readers would be likely to afford.
There is a sort of spurious bull, which consists wholly in mistake of language, and which the closest thinker may make, if speaking in a language of which he is not master.
114. Wise Ignorance.
It is impossible to become either an eminently great, or truly pious man without the courage to remain ignorant of many things. This important truth is most happily expressed by the elder Scaliger in prose, and by the younger in verse; the latter extract has an additional claim from the exquisite terseness of its diction, and the purity of its latinity. We particularly recommend its perusal to the commentators on the apocalypse.
Quare ulterior disquisitio morosi atque satagentis animis est; humanæ enim sapientiæ pars est, quædam æquo animo nescire velle.
Scal. Ex. 307. § 29.
Ne curiosis quære causas omnium.
Quæcunque libris vis prophetarum indidit,
Afflata cælo, plena veraci Deo:
Nec operta sacri supparo silentii
Irrumpere ande; sed prudenter præteri!
Nescire velle quæ magister optimus
Docere non vult, erudita inscitia est.
115. Change of Climate.
It is long since many, of whom I am one, says Lord Dreghorn, have maintained that the seasons are altered; that it is not so hot now in summer as when we were boys. Others laugh at this, and say, that the supposed alteration proceeds from an alteration in ourselves; from our Mr. Williams proposes that electric mills should be erected over the country, to supply electricity to the atmosphere, when there is a deficiency, and draw it off when there is an excess. Darwin's scheme for towing Ice-islands to the Tropics was nothing when compared to this. But let philosophy tell us all its dreams: the more projects the better; there is no danger of their being adopted before they have been well weighed, and though ninety-nine may deserve the ridicule which the whole hundred are sure to incur, the hundredth may nevertheless succeed.
116. Gift of Tongues.
There is a curious question concerning the gift of tongues, in what mode the miracle was effected: many theologians, and Gregory Nazianzen among them, opining that the miracle took place in the atmosphere, and not in the ears of the hearers; because, they argued, if it were otherwise, the miracle must be ascribed to the hearers, and not the speakers.
Vieyra Sermones, T. 10, p. 444.
Triumphant generals in Rome wore Rouge. The ladies of France, we presume, and their fair sisters and imitators in Britain, conceive themselves always in the chair of triumph, and of course entitled to the same distinction. The custom originated, perhaps, in the humility of the conquerors, that they might seem to blush continually at their own praises. Mr. Gilpin frequently speaks of a "picturesque eye:" with something less of solœcism we may affirm, that our fair ever-blushing triumphants have secured to themselves the charm of picturesque cheeks, every face being its own portrait.
118. Επεα πτεροεντα, i.e. Hasty Words.
I crave mercy (at least of my contemporaries: for if the Omniana should outlive the present generation, the opinion will not need it), but I could not help writing in the blank page of a very celebrated work the following passage from Picus Mirandola in Epist. ad Hermol. Barb.
Movent mihi stomachum Grammatistæ quidam, qui cum duas tenuerint vocabulorum origines, ita se ostentant, ita venditant, ita circumferunt jactabundi ut præ ipsis pro nihilo habendos Philosophos arbitrentur.
119. Motives and Impulses.
It is a matter of infinite difficulty, but fortunately of comparative indifference, to determine what a man's motive may have been for this or that particular action. Rather seek to learn what his objects in general are. What does he habitually wish? habitually pursue? and motive may revolutionize a man's opinions and professions. But more frequently his honesty dies away imperceptibly from evening into twilight, and from twilight to utter darkness.—He turns hypocrite so gradually, and by such tiny atoms of motion, that by the time be has arrived at a given point, he forgets his own hypocrisy in the imperceptible degrees of his conversion. The difference between such a man and a bolder liar, is merely that between the hour-hand, and that which tells the seconds, on a watch. Of the former you can see only the motion, of the latter both the past motion and the present moving. Yet there is, perhaps, more hope of the latter rogue: for he has lied to mankind only and not to himself—the former lies to his own heart, as well as to the public.
120. Inward Blindness.
Talk to a blind man—he knows, he wants the sense of sight, and willingly makes the proper allowances. But there are certain internal senses, which a man may want, and yet be wholly ignorant that he wants them. It is most unpleasant to converse with such persons on subjects of taste, philosophy, or religion. Of course, there is no reasoning with them: for they do not possess the facts, on which the reasoning must be grounded. Nothing is possible, but a naked dissent, which implies a sort of unsocial contempt; or, what a man of kind dispositions is very likely to fall into, a heartless tacit acquiescence, which borders too nearly on duplicity.
122. Circulation of the Blood.
The ancients attributed to the blood the same motion of ascent and descent which really takes place in the sap of trees. Servetus discovered the minor circulation from the heart to the lungs. Do not the following passages of Giordano Bruno (published, 1591), seem to imply more? We put the question, pauperis formâ, with unfeigned diffidence.
" De Inmenso et Innumerabili, lib vi. cap, 8.
et recursat, sic in toto mundo, astro, tellure.
Quare non aliter quam nostro in corpore sanguis
Hinc meat, hinc remeat, neque ad inferiora fluit vi
Majore, ad supera a pedibus quam deinde recedat—
en torno, y en rueda por todos los miembros, excluye toda duda. Whether Reyna himself claimed any discovery, Feyjoo does not mention;... but these words seem to refer to some preceding demonstration of the fact. I am inclined to think that this, like many other things, was known before it was discovered; just as the preventive powers of the vaccine disease, the existence of Adipocire in graves, and certain principles in grammar and in population, upon which bulky books have been written, and great reputations raised in our own days.
123. Perituræ parcere chortæ.
What scholar but must at times have a feeling of splenetic regret, when he looks at the list of novels, in 2, 3, or 4 volumes each, published monthly by Messrs. Lane, &c. and then reflects, that there are valuable works of Cudworth, prepared by himself for the press, yet still unpublished by the University which possesses them, and which ought to glory in the name of their great author! and that there is extant in MSS a folio volume of unprinted sermons by Jeremy Taylor. Surely, surely, the patronage of the gentlemen of the Literary Fund might be employed more beneficially to the literature and to the actual literati of the country, if they would publish the valuable manuscripts that lurk in our different public libraries, and make it worth the while of men of learning to correct and annotate the copies, instead of ———, but we are treading on hot embers!
124. To have and to be.
The distinction is marked in a beautiful sentiment of a German poet: Hast thou any thing? Share it with me and I will pay thee the worth of it. Art thou any thing? O then let us exchange souls.
The following is offered as a mere playful illustration:
"Women have no souls, says Prophet Mahomet."
Nay, dearest Anna! why so grave?
I said, you had no soul, 'tis true:
For what you are, you cannot have—
'Tis I, that have one, since I first had you.
125. Party Passion.
"Well, Sir!" (exclaimed a lady, the vehement and impassionate partizan of Mr. Wilkes, in the day of his glory, and during the broad blaze of his patriotism,) "Well, Sir! and will you dare deny, that Mr. Wilkes is a great man, and an eloquent man? Oh! by no means, Madam! I have not a doubt respecting Mr. Wilkes's talents.—Well, but, Sir! and is he not a fine man, too, and a handsome man?—Why he Madam! he squints—doesn't he? Squints! yes, to be sure, he does, Sir! but not a bit more, than a gentleman and a man of sense ought to squint!!
126. Goodness of Heart indispensable to a Man of Genius.
"If men will impartially and not asquint look toward the offices and function of a poet, they will easily conclude to themselves the impossibility of any man's being a great poet without being first a good man."
Ben Jonson has borrowed this just and noble sentiment from Strabo, lib. i. Ουκ οιον αγαθον γενεσθαι ποιητην, μη προτερον γενηθεντα ανδρα αγαθον.
127. Milton and Ben Jonson.
"Light! I salute thee, but with wounded nerves,
Wishing thy golden splendor pitchy darkness!"
But even if Milton had the above in his mind, his own verses would be more fitly entitled an apotheosis of Jonson's lines than an imitation.
We all remember Burke's curious assertion that there were 80,000 incorrigible jacobins in England. Mr. Colquhoun is equally precise in the number of beggars, prostitutes, and thieves in the city of London. Mercetinus, who wrote under Lewis the 15th, seems to have afforded the precedent; he assures his readers, that by an accurate calculation there were "50,000 incorrigible Atheists in the city of Paris!! Atheism then may have been a co-cause of the French revolution; but it should not be burthened on it, as its monster-child.
The following ode was written by Giordano Bruno, under prospect of that martyrdom which he soon after suffered at Rome, for atheism: i. e. as is proved by all his works, for a lofty and enlightened piety, which was of course unintelligible to bigots, and dangerous to an enlightened christian: the evangelists and apostles every where representing their moral precepts, not as doctrines then first revealed, but as truths implanted in the hearts of men, which their vices only could have obscured.
A burial-place like that into which Sindbad was let down with the body of his wife, is described by Henry Timberlake, as then in use at Jerusalem, in his Discourse of the Travels of two English Pilgrims, 1616. Re-printed in the Harl. Miscellany, vol. 1.
They brought me, he says, to the field, or rather to be more rightly termed, the rock, where the common burial-place is for strangers; being the very same, as they say, which was bought with the thirty pieces of silver that Judas received as the price of his master; which place is called Aceldama, and is fashioned as followeth:—It hath three holes above, and on the side there is a vent; at the upper holes they let down the dead bodies, to the estimation of about fifty feet down. In this place I saw two bodies new or very lately let down, and looking down, (for by reason of the three great holes above, where the dead bodies lie, it is very light) I received such a savour into my head, that it made me very sick, so that I was glad to entreat the friars to go no farther, but to return home to the city.
132. Mostansir Billah.
Mostansir Billah murdered his father and succeeded to the Caliphate. One day a carpet was spread before him, wherin was woven the likeness of a horseman having a diadem on his head, and a great circle round, inscribed with Persian characters. He called for a Persian to interpret the writing; the man changed colour, and when Mostansir asked what it was, he replied, it was only Persian not the vision: and he did as he was advised, but the fear continued upon him till his death; and when his sickness waxed more and more, his mother came and asked of him how he fared, but he answered, by God I am losing this world, and the life to come also!
Elmacin, p. 196—198.
133. Bishop Berkeley.
A journal of his travels in Italy, and many other of his papers, remain unpublished. His grandson, George Monck Berkeley, had he lived, would have given them to the public. I know not what is become of them since the family has been extinct, but of such a man, not a relick should be lost.
134. Government of Norcia.
It is curious that an institution should exist in the Papal territories, founded upon an anti-clerical feeling, not less inveterate than that of the bigotted Quakers, who always say steeple-house instead of state of Italy, in 1687, written as a supplement to Gilbert Burnet's Travels, p. 189. And as it is noticed by Busching also, as a still-existing custom, it was probably not abrogated till the general wreck of all the institutions in Italy under Buonaparte's tyranny.
This strange institution is the more remarkable, because Norcia is the birthplace of St. Benedict, one of the most eminent of the Romish Church, from whose institution almost all the Apostles of the North of Europe proceeded.
135. Early English Metre.
A remarkable rhyme occurs in the metrical Romance of Octouian Imperator.
Whan they were seght alle yn same,
And Florence herde Florentyne's name,
Sche swore her oth be Seynt Jame
Al so prest,
So hyght my sone that was take fro me
In that forest.
Mr. Weber observes upon the passage, that "this singular rhyme strongly supports the opinion of Wallis and of Tyrwhitt in his Essay on the versification of Chaucer, that the final e which is at present mute, was anciently pronounced obscurely like the e feminine of the French."
Mr. Weber is so faithful and accurate an editor, that I doubt not the words fra me are divided as he has printed them in the manuscript which he has followed; but I find among my memoranda made in perusing Gower some years ago, some passages marked which lead to a contrary inference. In Berthelette's edition, 1554, this couplet occurs.
For love is ever fast byme
Which taketh none hede of due tyme.
So that the more me mervaileth
What thyng it is my lady aileth,
That all myn herte, and all my tyme
She hath, and do no better byme.
In both places the words by me are thus contracted into one. This must have been because they were pronounced so in the printer's days;— whether they were so in the poet's might be determined by a manuscript, if there be any existing of his own age. The first stanza of Troilus and Creseide contains another instance of contraction.
The double sorow of Troilus to tellen
That was King Priamus sonne of Troy.
In loving how his aventuris fellen
From wo to wele, and after out of joy,
My purpose is, er that I part froy.
136. Troilus and Creseide.
It is evident from the first stanza of this poem (just quoted) when the narrator says, "er that I part froy," that Chaucer intended it for one of his Canterbury Tales, and this seems to be confirmed by the 65th stanza of the first book.
For aie the nere the fire the hotter is,
This (trow I) knoweth all this companie
I do not know whether this has been observed before, A compleat and faithful edition of the works of this great father of English poetry, with an accurate verbal index, as well as glossary, is much to be desired.
137. Miraculous combustion of wood without ashes, and oil without smoke.
There was in Kildare an ancient monument named the fire-house, wherein Cambrensis saith, was there continual fire kept day and night, and yet the ashes never increased. I travelled, says Stanihurst, of set purpose, to the town of Kildare to see this place, where I did see a monument like a vault, which to this day they call the fire house. (Holinshed's Chronicles, vol. 6, p. 38. Edit. 1808.)
The secret of this miracle had been lost at Kildare, but had Stanihurst (to use one of his own words) pilgrimaged to the monastery of N. Señora de Valvanera, fort may be a very weak reasoner. The fact is exceedingly curious. Thirty lamps burnt day and night in the subterranean chapel of St. Engracia where the roof was little more than twelve feet high; the roof was never in the slightest degree sullied with smoke, and M. Bourgoing, who was invited to hold a piece of white paper over one of the lamps, confessed he saw, or thought he saw, that the paper was not blackened.
138. Two modes of Atheism.
D'Arvieux (t. 1, p. 308) attributes an extraordinary kind, of atheism to the Druses. "They acknowlege" he says, "that there was a God once, but they affirm that after he had created heaven and earth, he was blown away by a high wind, which carried him so far off that there has been no news of him since"
I knew a philosopher who held an opinion not less whimsical, and directly the reverse of this. He was perfectly satisfied that there is no God at present, but he believed there would be one by and by: for as the organization of the universe perfected itself, a universal mind, he argued, would be the result. This he called the system of progressive nature. He explained it to me with great zeal when we were walking over the very ground, where, thirteen years afterwards, the battle of Coruñia was fought. Light lie the earth upon him! he was a kind-hearted man, and all his wishes were for the welfare and improvement of mankind; but it had been well for him if his other intellectual vagaries had produced as little mischief as his system of progressive nature.
139. Sea fires..
On Saturday, July 1, A.D. 949, a fire is said to have risen from the sea, and consumed many towns on the coast of Spain. It travelled on into the interior, and continued its work, destroying many extinguished by ringing bells, firing guns, blowing horns, and otherwise putting the air into motion whenever it was seen to approach the shore.
Entick's present State of the British Empire.
A man of science as well as of philosophic mind, would employ himself well in examining those accounts of prodigies in the early annalists and chroniclers, which of late years have been indiscriminately regarded as only worthy of contempt. The most superficial age of intellectual history is that which commenced with Mr. Locke's philosophy, and I fear cannot yet be said to have terminated with the French Revolution.
Jacob Bryant refers to the Saxon Chronicles, to Roger de Hoveden, Brompton, and Simon Dunelmensis for various accounts of fires breaking out from the earth in this country during that a few old persons knew that such a ground fire existed there, where it had been burning time out of mind. This is not related upon any doubtful authority. I heard the fact from the person to whom it happened. Some scientific traveller will do well to find out this singular spot, over which, if it were in their country, the Parsees would build a temple.
Lord Valentia was called in Bengal the grandson of Mrs. Company. The natives believe, he says, that the Company is an old woman, and the governors general her children. He has probably mistaken a metaphorical expression for an impossible blunder, The Deys of the Barbary states derive their title from such a metaphor. Dey is a Turkish word signifying maternal uncle; because the chief who bears it being Brother to the Republic, stands in that relation to the soldiers, who are her Children.
D'Arvieux, T. 4, 51. T. 5, 259.
142. The Night Mare.
The night mare has been a fruitful source of miracles and diablery in the Romish mythology. Stanihurst records a very clear case in the story of Richard de Haverings, who was made archbishop of Dublin in 1306. This prelate "after that he had continued well-near the space of five years in the see, was sore appalled by reason of an estrange and wonderful dream. For on a certain night he imagined that he had seen an ugly monster standing on his breast, who, to his thinking, was more weighty than the whole world, insomuch that being as he thought in manner squeezed or prest to death with the heff of this huge monster, he would have departed with the whole substance of the world, if he were thereof possessed, to be disburdened of so heavy a load. Upon which wish he suddenly awoke. And as he beat his brains in divining what this dream should import, he bethought himself of the flock committed to his charge, how that he gathered their fleeces yearly by receiving the revenues and perquisites of the bishopric, and yet he suffered his flock to starve for lack of preaching and teaching. Wherefore being for his former slackness sore wounded in conscience, he travelled with all speed to Rome, where he resigned up his bishopric, a burden too heavy for his weak shoulders, and being upon his resignation competently beneficed, he bestowed the remnant of his life wholly in devotion.
Holinshed, Vol. 6, p. 446.
143. Sects in Egypt.
Mr. Antes, in his Observations on the Egyptians, (p. 20) says, "The people are divided and called either Saad or Haram, somewhat in the same manner as the English into Whig and Tory. Though no animosity be observed between the parties yet any individual will immediately tell to what class this or that man belongs. I have for many years" he adds, "laboured to learn the origin of it, and have asked many hundred persons, but have grafted upon it such extraordinary and extravagant notions of Ali that they verily fall under the denunciation of the koran against creature-worship.
Shah Abbas insisted upon it that Santiago could be no other person than Ali, whose history the Spaniards had corrupted, and that the sword which the knights of his order bore in their insignia was meant to represent Sulfagar; other christians, he said, called him St. George. Pietro della Valle ventured to remark that there were chronological and geographical objections to this hypothesis; but he did not think it prudent to press the argument.
144. The Squid-hound.
The sea-snake has been found, and confirmed the credit of Egede (whose word I never doubted) and of Pontoppidan. We shall have the kraken next. A writer in the Naval Chronicle, who creates for the old bishop the new diocese of Pont-oppidun, advertises for one "I have heard," he says, "such accounts of the squid-hound from people who have been on the southern whale fishery, and at Newfoundland, as certainly reduce all the bishop's crimes to a charge of exaggeration." Some parts of one, he had been told, were at Dartmouth, and he believed that naturalists were afraid to mention this great fish, lest they should be laughed at for their credulity. He, however, signing himself Fides, requests any of his readers to send him some well authenticated particulars of this monstrous animal. I have seen no answer to his request, and wish therefore by thus repeating it, to increase the chance of obtaining one.
145. The Stigmata
In 1222, a council was held at Oxford by the archbishop of Canterbury for reformation of the state ecclesiastical, and the religion of the monks. "In which council" says Holinshed, "two naughtie fellows wer presented before him that of it is this circumstance which has made me notice a fact that might otherwise have well been past over with a silent shuddering. For two years afterwards Francesco of Assissi succeeded in the blasphemous trick for which these men were put to death. Is there any earlier example of it? It was often repeated in the golden age of catholic frauds till the detection of the Dominicans at Berne in their cruel and over-acted delusions upon Jetzer, and the discovery shortly afterwards of Maria da Visitiçam at Lisbon, brought it into disrepute.
146 Tree of Life.
In that part of the Romance of Lancelot du Lake which relates to the Sainct Graal, there is a curious account of the Tree of Life, which is more likely to be the traditionary belief of that age, than the invention of the mystical romancer who added these wild and incongruous fictions to the story.
When Adam and Eve were expelled is affixed to the Cross; the true concordance of life and death, of a sinless saviour and a sinfull man; whereby life is united to death, and Christ to Adam, not without the superinfusion of blood, for better and more fecundity, that so Adam and his posterity, eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree might be really transplanted into Christ, and by a certain celestial magnetism and sympathy attracted to Heaven, translated to life, and made heirs of happiness."
The wild application of a wild catholic tradition which has just been quoted, is introductory to a piece of quackery of the same imaginative character.
It is probable, says this German physician, that the Serpent had his cavern under or about the tree of knowledge, and this tree became scientifical by way of transplantation from the Serpent, that is, this tree and its fruit had both the then insolate and repose it. "And thus you have that altogether praise-worthy remedy; for the berries of Juniper being of themselves so conducive to the cure of the leprosy, that they will not only preserve from it, but also in its initiation profligate it; they are now by this mystical art, and the participation of the serpentine faculty so much advanced that they will easily overcome it in it's height and strength."
148. Mayor Merino.
Holinshed will have the word Mayor to be derived from the hebrew mar, dominus. The ancient inhabitants of Franconia, he says, being descended from the old Hebrews, have retained many Hebrew words, either from the beginning, or else borrowed them abroad from other regions which they conquered. So, he continues, the head officers and lieutenants to the Prince in the cities of London and York for an augmentation of Magister, or from Major through the French. But since this note was writing I have met with the word in the Laws of Hywel Dda, Maer. Wotton renders it Præpositus. Owen in his Dictionary derives it from Ma-er, but of the former of these words, he gives so wide and indefinite an explanation, that any thing may be derived from it. Terms of civil polity in the Welsh, are most likely of Roman origin. But when the word is found with such slight variations, in Hebrew, Arabic, the Keltic, and (as Holinshed implies) the Teutonic dialects also, the Roman word likewise must be supposed to have proceeded from the same primitive language.
149. He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. Mat. xxv, 33.
Because the Latin text says oves instead of arietes, Vieyra takes it for granted that ewes are meant, not rams, and romance, Christ after his resurrection, appeared to his mother and to Mary Magdalen, before he appeared to the apostles: because God made man of clay, but woman of the man's rib: and because if a woman washes her hands thrice successively, the second water remains unsoiled, whereas let a man wash in fifty waters, the last will always be sullied: proof of his impure origin, his flesh being of the earth earthy, her's, as it were, of double refined materials.
Italian translation, T. 2. ff. 45.
- Sermoens, t. 15, p. 159.
150. Dogs at Court.
The great Turk's dogs and manner of keeping them, says the merchant Sanderson, are worth the sight, for they have their several attendants as if they were great horses, and have their clothing of cloth of gold, velvet, scarlet, and other colours of cloth; their sundry couches, and the places where they are kept, most cleanly. My Lord Zouch when he was there, as Master Burton said, did like exceeding well of this place and attendance of the dogs. When the great Turk went out of the city toward the wars, it was with wonderful great solemnity and notable order, too long to describe particularly: but I remember a great number of dogs led afore him, well manned, and in their best apparel,.. cloth of gold, velvet, scarlet; and purple cloth.
Purchas, p. 1614. Do. p. 1620.
Sir Thomas Roe took out some English mastives to India, as a present for the Great Mogul; they were of marvellous courage. One of them leapt overboard to attack a shoal of porpoises, and was lost. Only two of them lived to reach India. They travelled each in a little coach to Agra: one broke loose by the way, fell upon a large elephant, and fastened in his trunk; the elephant at last succeeded in hurling him off. This story delighted the Mogul, and these dogs in consequence came to as extraordinary a fortune as Whittington's cat. Each had a palanquin to take the air in, with two attendants to bear him, and two more to walk on each side and fan off the flies; and the Mogul had a pair of silver tongs made, that he might when he pleased feed them with his own hand.
There was a Newfoundland dog on board the Bellona last war, who kept the deck during the battle of Copenhagen, running backward and forward with so brave an anger, that he became a greater favourite with the men than ever. When the ship was paid off after the peace of Amiens, the sailors had a parting dinner on shore. Victor was placed in the chair, and fed with roast beef and plumb pudding, and the bill was made out in Victor's name. He was so called after his original master, who was no less a personage than Victor Hugues.
The Rohandrians, or nobles, of Madagascar, kill their cattle themselves at their feasts;.. this is one of their privileges. One stage on in civilization, and the giver of the feast is the cook; next he becomes the serving-man, then the carver,.. lastly, he only presides at the board. The fears of eastern despotism have brought back the kitchen into the banqueting room.
Persian cookery is sometimes performed in the presence of the sovereign or of the nobles, in the apartment where they eat. The fire is sunk in the floor, and the smoke carried off by an underground chimney: a fountain plays by, to supply water, and wash the dishes, and this also runs off by a covered drain. Suspicion has been the motive for this; they live in fear of poison, and chuse to see their food prepared. Shah Abbas would often be his own cook, for this reason.
A fraud has been practised in France upon Goldsmith's reputation. At the end of a volume which bears date, 1774. is the following title in a list of new books, Histoire de François Wills, ou le Triomphe de le Bienfaisance, par l'Auteur du Ministre de Wakefield. Traduction de l'Anglois.
153. Aqua Vitæ.
One Theoricus (Episcopus Hermenensis in Romanula juxta Bononiam) wrote a proper treatise of Aqua Vitæ, says Stanihurst, wherein he praise it it unto the ninth degree. "He distinguished three sorts thereof, Simplex, Composita, and Perfectissima. He declareth the simples and ingrediences thereto belonging. He wisheth it to be taken as well before meat as after. It drieth up the breaking out of hands, and killeth the flesh worms, it he loved it. No doubt he was full of his subject, and the spirit moved him to pour forth this panegyric, which it might have puzzled any body except Stanihurst to translate. Stanihurst himself, in thus expatiating upon "the commodities of aqua vitæ," seems to have been no water-drinker. "Truly, (he adds,) it is a sovereign liquor, if it be orderly taken." The clerks of Ireland, according to old Higden, had a very orderly way of taking it,.. "they ben chaste, and sayen many prayers, and done great abstinence a-day, and drinketh all night."
- Holinshed, Vol. 6. p. 8,
- What is meant by this?
- Polychronicon, 1, 36.
154. Torrid Zone.
A curious theory concerning the climate of the torrid zone, is to be found in the Problemas of Dr. Cardenas, published at Mexico, in 1591 "That climate, (he says,) is hot and moist, and were it not for the moisture the heat would the beds of the rivers being incumbered with trees blown down, and reeds, detained their waters more, which, now they are cleaned, they suffer to run off too fast.
"Another phenomenon observed in America, may perhaps be explained by means of the fact I have just mentioned. You cannot cross any forest in this continent without meeting with fallen trees; and it is remarkable that the root is only a superficial tuft, in the shape of a mushroom, and scarcely eighteen inches deep for a tree seventy feet high. If the trees put out no tap-root, was it not that they might avail themselves of the superficial humidity that covered them, and the rich mould arising from the decayed leaves, in which they found a substance much preferable to the interior strata, that remained dry, and consequently more hard to penetrate? And now, as they have contracted this habit through a lapse of ages, ages are requisite to change it."
Volney, p. 57
- Ch 2, 3, 5.
155. Negroes and Narcissuses.
There are certain tribes of negroes who take for the Deity of the day the first thing they see or meet with in the morning. Many of our fine ladies, and some of our very fine gentlemen, are followers of the same sect; though by aid of the looking-glass they secure a constancy as to the object of their devotion.
156. An Anecdote.
We here in England received a very high character of Lord E———, during his stay abroad. "Not unlikely, Sir," replied the traveller, "a dead dog at a distance is said to smell like musk."
157 The Pharos at Alexandria.
Certain full and highly-wrought dissuasives from sensual indulgences, in the works of theologians as well as of satirists and story-writers, may, not unaptly, remind one of the Pharos; the many lights of which appeared at a distance as one, and this as a polar star.. so as more often to occasion wrecks than prevent them.
At the base of the Pharos the name of the reigning monarch was engraved, on a composition, which the artist well knew would last no longer than the king's life. Under this, and cut deep in the marble itself, was his own name and dedication: "Sostratos of Gyndos, son of Dexiteles, to the Gods, Protectors of Sailors."—So will it be with the Georgium Sidus, the Ferdinandia, &c. &c.—Flattery's Plaister of Paris will crumble away, and under it we shall read the names of Herschel, Piozzi, and their compeers.
158. Sense and Common Sense.
"If it is not me, he'll hark and he'll rail;
"But if I be I, he'll wag his little tail."
I dare confess that Mr. Locke's treatise on Toleration appeared to me far from being a full and satisfactory answer to the subtle and oft-times plausible arguments of Bellarmin, and other Romanists. On the whole, I was more pleased with the celebrated W. Penn's tracts on the same subject. The following extract from his excellent letter to the King of Poland appeals to the heart rather than to the head, to the Christian rather than to the Philosopher; and besides, overlooks the ostensible object of religious penalties, which is not so much to convert the heretic, as to prevent the spread of heresy. The thoughts, however, are so just in themselves, and exprest with so much life and simplicity, that it well deserves a place in the Omniana.
"Now, O Prince! give a poor christian leave to expostulate with thee. Did Christ Jesus or his holy followers, endeavour, by precept or example, to set up their religion with a carnal sword? Called he any troops of men or angels to defend him? Did he encourage Peter to dispute his right with the sword? But did he not say, Put it up? Or did he countenance his over-zealous disciples, when they would have had fire from heaven, to destroy those that were not of their mind? No! But did not Christ rebuke them, saying, Ye know not what spirit ye are of? And if it was neither Christ's spirit nor their own spirit that would have fire from heaven—Oh! what is that Spirit that would kindle fire on earth, to destroy such as peaceably dissent upon the account of conscience!
"O King! when did the true Religion persecute? When did the true church offer violence for religion? Were not her weapons prayers, tears, and patience? Did not Jesus conquer by these weapons, and
160. Hint for a new species of History.
"The very knowledge of the opinions and customs of so considerable a part of mankind as the Jews now are, and especially have been heretofore, is valuable both for pleasure and use. It is a very good piece of history, and that of the best kind, viz. of Human Nature, and of that part of it, which is most different from us, and commonly the least known to us.—And indeed the principal advantage which is to be made by the wiser sort of men of most writings, is rather to see what men think and are, than to be informed of the natures and truth of things; to observe what thoughts and passions have occupied mens' minds, what opinions and manners they are of. In this view it becomes of no mean importance to notice and record the strangest ignorance, the most putid fables, impertinent trifling, ridiculous disputes, and more ridiculous pugnacity in the defence and retention of the
162. St. Vitus.
Dr. Reid says it is remarkable that St. Vitus is no where to be found in the Romish kalendar; and he supposes that from "some misunderstanding or inaccuracy of manuscript chorea invita, the original and genuine name of the disease called St. Vitus's Dance, was read and copied chorea St. Viti"
præcipuum argumentum extabat, quod is nocturno tempore stabulo insistens, adeo plerumque manè sudore ac luto respersus videbatur, tanquam ab exercitatione veniendo magnorum itinerum spatium percurrisset.
Sammes traces the white horse of the Saxon arms to this superstition. Those which we see cut on the side of chalk hills in the South-west of England (Wessex) are not improbably derived from the same cause, and the pedigree of the white horse of Hanover perhaps extends to the same origin,
- Monthly Magazine, Dec, 1810,
163. Burial Grounds.
The town of Tarma in Peru, is said to have been subject to a pestilential fever which returned annually, and frequently left a pain in the side behind it, and proved eventually fatal. De Juan Maria de Galvez, the Governor of that town, and its district, conjectured that it proceeded from the vile custom of burying of experience; for I myself when I have been there in some mornings to hear the sermons, have felt such an ill-favoured unwholesome savour, that I was the worse for it a great while after. And I think no less but it is the occasion of much sickness and diseases.
164. Image Worship.
The worship of images is mysteriously defended by Thomas Taylor, in a note to Julian's Oration to the Mother of the Gods. "The construction of the statues of the Gods, he says, was the result of the most consummate theological science, and from their apt resemblance to divine natures they became participants of divine illumination. For as Sallust well observes in his treatise On the Gods and the World; (chap. 15.) As the providence of the Gods is every where extended, a certain habitude or fitness is all that is requisite in order to receive their beneficent communications. But all habitude is produced through imitation and similitude; and hence temples imitate the heavens, but altars the earth; statues resemble life, and on this account they are similar to animals. Statues therefore, through their habitude or fitness, conjoin the souls of those who pray to them with the Gods themselves.
"Let not the reader, however, (says the Pagan Philosopher of the nineteenth century,) confound this scientific worship of the ancients, with the filthy piety of the Catholics, as Proclus in his hymn to the muses justly calls it"
165. Effect of domestication upon the skin and tendons of animals.
Mr. Barrow says that the skins of wild animals are much for strength and durability to those that have been domesticated. The forced heat in which domestic cattle are kept either when stabled or forced together in great numbers, may possibly account for this; but he mentions another fact which is not so easily explicable. The fibres of the tendons of the long dorsal muscle taken from various animals, are used for thread by the Caffres and Hottentots, and that made from wild animals is much stronger than that which is made from tame ones. It might have been supposed that if any difference existed, the fibres of a beast used for draught would have been the toughest.
- Travels in Africa, vol 1. 133.
- Travels in Africa, p. 29.
166. Filtering Apparatus.
The simplest and most expeditious mode of filteration is one which Dr. Lind has described. Let a barrel with its head knocked out, be about half filled with clean sand or gravel; place a much smaller barrel without either end, or any open cylinder, upright in the middle of it, and let this be almost filled with the same. If the foul water be poured into the small cylinder, it will rise up through the sand of the larger barrel, and appear pure in the space between the two.
Fuller takes a curious method of proving the enormous size of the timber in Judea. "If the body of Hercules, (he says) may be guessed from his foot, take the mustard, the little toe of trees, into consideration, and thence collect the vast proportion of great woods. Our Saviour's words of the extraordinary growth of this plant must needs be true; and by the same proportion (surely the Jews had not more sauce than meat), other trees must be allowed to be of unusual greatness."
Pisgah View. Book 1, Chap. 4. §9.
This quaint old writer proves the extraordinary fertility of the holy land by some odd arguments. To the neither strung with stock, nor played upon with the hand of skilful husbandry. The rose of Sharon is faded, her leaves lost, and now nothing but the prickles thereof to be seen."
The writer thinks that there are some footsteps of a scriptural story in the fable of Agamemnom sacrificing his daughter; for that Iphigeneia is "haply corrupted for Jepthagenia, or Jehptha's daughter."
(Pisgah View. B. 2. chap. 3. § 11.)
168. Earth Bathing.
Dr. Graham's earth bath was used as a remedy for drunkenness by the Irish rebel Shane O'Neil, in Elizabeth's days.
"Subtle and crafty he was especially in the morning; but in the residue of the day very uncertain and unstable; and much given to excessive gulping, and surfetting. And albeit he had most commonly two hundred tuns of wines in his cellar at Dundrun, and had his full fill thereof; yet was he never satisfied till he had swallowed up marvellous great quantities of Usquebagh, or Aqua Vitæ of that country; whereof so immeasurably he would drink and brase, that for the quenching of the heat of the body, which by that means was most extremely inflamed and distempered, he was eftsoones conveyed (as the common report was) into a deep pit, and standing upright in the same, the earth was cast round about him up to the hard chin, and there he did remain until such time as his body was recovered to some temperature."
Holinshed, vol. 6. p. 331.
END OF VOL. I.
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