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'Mr Thomas Trueman of Lime-street is entered among the heroes of domestic life. CHARLES LILLIE.'
No. 214.] Tuesday, August 22, 1710.
-Soles et aperta serena
Prospiceri et certis poteris cognoscere siguis.
have been thrown away, and turned to no account, merely for want of due and timely intelligence. Nay, it has been known, that a panegyric has been half printed off, when the poet, upon the removal of the minister, has been forced to altar it into a satire.
For the conduct therefore of such useful persons, as are ready to do their country service upon all occasions, I have an engine in my study, which is a sort of a Political Barometer, or, to speak more intelligibly, a State Weather glass, that by the rising and falling of a certain magical liquor, presages all changes and revolutions in government, as the common glass does those of the weather. This Weather-glass is said to have been invented by Cardan, and given by him as a present to his great countryman and contemporary, Machiaval; which, by the way, may serve to rectify a received error in chronology, that places one of these some years after the other. How or when it came into my hands, I shall desire to be excused, if I keep to myself; but so it is, that I have walked by it for the better part of a century to my safety at least, if not to my advantage; and have among my papers a regis ter of all the changes that have happened in it from the middle of queen Elizabeth's reign.
'Tis easy to descry
When a man forsees a decaying ministry, he
This produces also unavoidable confusions and
Jerom Cardan, physician and an astrologer, the author of ten volumes in folio, was, in the opinion of Bayle, one of the greatest geniuses of his age. This strange man, who seems to have been much under the power of superstition and, at times, not seldom, insane, was born at Pavia, Sep
September 21, 1575.
In the time of that princess it stood long as settled fair. At the latter end of king James the First, it fell, to cloudy. It held several years after at stormy; insomuch, that at last, desparing of seeing any clear weather at home, followed the royal exile, and some time after finding my glass rise, returned to my native country, with the rest of the loyalists. I was then in hopes to pass the remainder of my days in settled fair: but alas! during the greatest part of that reign the English nation lay in a dead calm, which, as it is usual, was followed by high winds and tempests, until of late years; in which, with unspeakable joy and satisfaction, I have seen our political weather returned to settled fair. I must only observe, that for all this last summer my glass has pointed at changeable. Upon the whole, I often apply to Fortune, Æneas's speech to the Sibyl:
-Non ulla laborum
-No terror to my view,
The advantages which have accrued to those whom I have advised in their affairs, by virtue
of this sort of prescience, have been very con-
No. 215.] Thursday, August 24, 1710.
From my own Apartment, August 23. LYSANDER has writ to me out of the country, and tells me, after many other circumstances, that he had passed a great deal of time with much pleasure and tranquillity; until his happiness was interrupted by an indiscreet flatterer, who came down into those parts to visit a relation. With the circumstances in which he represents the matter, he had no small provocation to be offended; for he attacked him in so wrong season, that he could not have any relish of pleasure in it; though, perhaps, at another time it might have passed upon him without giving him much uneasiness. Lysander had, after a long satiety of the town, been so happy as to get to a solitude he extremely liked, and recovered a pleasure he had long discontinued, that of reading. He was got to the bank of a rivulet, covered by a pleasing shade, and fanned by a soft breeze; which threw his mind into that sort of composure and attention, in which a man, though with indolence, enjoys the utmost liveliness of his spirits, and the greatest strength of his mind at the same time. In this state, Lysander represents that he was reading Virgil's Georgics, when on a sudden the gentleman above-mentioned surprised him; and, without any manner of preparation, falls upon him at once: What! I have found you at last, after
searching all over the wood! we wanted you
It is a substantial affliction, when men
of the wise, the conversations of the agreeable,
'My eldest sister buried her husband about six months ago; and at his funeral, a gentleman of more art than honesty, on the night of his interment, while she was not herself, but in the utmost agony of her grief, spoke to her of the subject of love. In that weakness and distraction which my sister was in, as one ready to fall is apt to lean on any body, he obtained her promise of marriage, which was accordingly consummated eleven weeks after. There is no affliction comes alone, but one
The case is very hard; and I fear the plea she is advised to make, from the similitude of a man who is in duresse, will not prevail. But though I despair of remedy as to the mother, the law gives the child his choice of his father where the birth is thus legally ambiguous.
'To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire.
The humble Petition of the Company of Linendrapers, residing within the liberty of Westminster,
P. S. The following letter was left, with a
Your Petitioners humbly offer the premises to your Indulgence's consideration, and shall ever, &c.'
Before I answer this Petition, I am inclined to examine the offenders myself.
Nugis addere pondus. Hor. 1 Ep. i. 42. Weight and importance some to trifles give.
From my own Apartment, August 25. standing miracle, and endowed with such quaNATURE is full of wonders; every atom is a lities, as could not be impressed on it by a
that furnish out the apartment of a virtuoso. reptiles, animalcules, and those trifling rarities
power and wisdom less than infinite. For this reason, I would not discourage any searches that are made into the most minute and trivial However, since the parts of the creation. world abounds in the noblest fields of specubrings another. My sister is now ready tonius, to be wholly conversant among insects, lation, it is, methinks, the mark of a little gelie in. She humbly asks of you, as you are a friend to the sex, to let her know, who is the lawful father of this child, or whether she may not be relieved from this second marriage; considering it was promised under such circumstances as one may very well suppose she did not what she did voluntarily, but because she was helpless otherwise. She is advised something about engagements made in gaol, which she thinks the same, as to the reason of the thing. But, dear sir, she relies upon your advice, and gives you her service; as does your humble servant,
There are some men whose heads are so
oddly turned this way, that though they are
life, they are able to discover the sex of a
dite. I have known one of these whimsical
I would not have a scholar wholly unac quainted with these secrets and curiosities of nature; but certainly the mind of man, that
is capable of so much higher contemplations, should not be altogether fixed upon such mean and disproportioned objects. Observations of this kind are apt to alienate us too much from the knowledge of the world, and to make us serious upon trifles; by which means they expose philosophy to the ridicule of the witty, and contempt of the ignorant. In short, studies of this nature should be the diversions, relaxations, and amusements; not the care, business, and concern of life.
It is indeed wonderful to consider, that there should be a sort of learned men, who are wholly employed in gathering together the refuse of nature, if I may call it so, and hoarding up in their chests and cabinets such creatures as others industriously avoid the sight of. One does not know how to mention some of the most precious parts of their treasure, without a kind of an apology for it. I have been shown a beetle valued at twenty crowns, and a toad
at a hundred: but we must take this for a
general rule, That whatever appears trivial or obscene in the common notions of the world, looks grave and philosophical in the eye of a virtuoso.'
Item, To my learned and worthy friend doctor Johannes Elserickius, professor in anatomy, and my associate in the studies of nature, as an eternal monument of my affection and friendship for him, I bequeath My rat's testicles, and Whale's pizzle,
The Will of a Virtuoso.
I, Nicholas Gimcrack, being in sound health of mind, but in great weakness of body, do by this my last will and testament bestow my worldly goods and chattels in manner follow-made. ing:
Atem, To my eldest brother, as an acknowledgment for the lands he has vested in my son Charles, I bequeath
My last year's collection of grasshoppers. Item, To his daughter Susanna, being his only child, I bequeath my
English weeds pasted on royal paper,
to him and his issue male; and in default of such issue in the said doctor Elscrickius, then to return to my executor and his heirs for ever.
Having fully provided for my nephew Isaac, by making over to him some years since,
A horned Scarabæus,
The skin of a rattle-snake, and The mummy of an Egyptian king, make no further provision for him in this my will.
My eldest son John, having spoke disrespect. fully of his little sister, whom I keep by me in spirits of wine, and in many other instances behaved himself undutifully towards me, I do disinherit, and wholly cut off from any part of this my personal estate, by giving him a single
To my second son Charles I give and bequeath all my flowers, plants, minerals, mosses, shells, pebbles, fossils, beetles, butterflies, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and vermin, not above specified; as also all my monsters, both wet and dry; making the said Charles whole and sole executor of this my last will and testament he paying, or causing to be paid, the aforesaid legacies within the space of six months after my decease. And I do hereby revoke all other wills whatsoever by me formerly
the fair sex, which is distinguished by the term | other than exercises of their own lungs and
Scolds. The generality of women are by nature loquacious; therefore mere volubility of speech is not to be imputed to them, but should be considered with pleasure when it is used to express such passions as tend to sweeten or adorn conversation: but when through rage, females are vehement in their eloquence, nothing in the world has so ill an effect upon the features; for, by the force of it, I have seen the most amiable become the most deformed; and she that appeared one of the graces, immediately turned into one of the furies. I humbly conceive, the great cause of this evil may proceed from a false notion the ladies have of, what we call, a modest woman. They have too narrow a conception of this lovely character; and believe they have not at all forfeited their pretensions to it, provided they have no imputations on their chastity. But, alas! the young fellows know they pick out better women in the side-boxes, than many of those who pass upon the world and themselves for modest.
their husbands' patience, gain by the force of being resisted, and flame with open fury, which is no way to be opposed but by being neglected; though at the same time human frailty makes it very hard, to relish the philosophy of con temning even frivolous reproach. There is a very pretty instance of this infirmity in the man of the best sense that ever was, no less a person than Adam himself. According to Milton's description of the first couple, as soon as they had fallen, and the turbulent passions of anger, hatred, and jealousy, first entered their breasts; Adam grew moody, and talked to his wife, as you may find it in the three hundred and fifty-ninth page, and ninth book of Paradise Lost, in the octavo edition, which, out of heroics, and put into domestic style, would run thus:
Modesty never rages, never murmurs, never pouts; when it is ill-treated, it pines, it beseeches, it languishes. The neighbour I mention is one of your common modest women, that is to say, those who are ordinarily reckoned such. Her husband knows every pain in life with her but jealousy. Now, because she is clear in this particular, the man cannot say his soul is his own, but she cries: 'No modest woman is respected now-a-days.' What adds to the comedy in this case is, that it is very ordinary with this sort of women to talk in the language of distress; they will complain of the forlorn wretchedness of their condition, and then the poor helpless creatures shall throw the next thing they can lay their hands on at the person who offends them. Our neighbour was only saying to his wife, she went a little too fine,' when she immediately pulled his periwig off, and stamping it under her feet, wrung hands, and said: Never modest woman was so used.' These ladies of irresistible modesty are those who make virtue unamiable; not that they can be said to be virtuous, but as they live without scandal; and being under the common denomination of being such, men fear to meet their faults in those who are as agreeable as they are innocent.
Sir, do you impute that to my desire of gadding, which might have happened to yourself, with all your wisdom and gravity? The serpent spoke so excellently, and with so good a grace, that--Besides, what harm had I ever done him, that he should design me any? Was I to have been always at your side, I might as well have continued there, and been but your rib still: but if I was so weak a creature as you thought me, why did you not interpose your sage authority more absolutely? You denied me going as faintly, as you say I rehersisted the serpent. Had not you been too easy, neither you nor I had now transgressed.' Adam replied, Why, Eve, bast thou the impudence to upbraid me as the cause of thy transgression for my indulgence to thee? Thus will it ever be with him, who trusts too much to woman. At the same time that she refuses to be governed, if she suffers by her obstinacy, she will accuse the man that shall leave her to herself.'
I take the Bully among men, and the Scold among women, to draw the foundation of their actions from the same defect in the mind. A Bully thinks honour consists wholly in being brave; and therefore has regard to no one rule of life if he preserves himself from the accusation of cowardice. The froward woman knows chastity to be the first merit in a woman; and therefore, since no one can call her one ugly name, she calls all mankind all the rest.
'Madam, if my advices had been of any authority with you, when that strange desire of gadding possessed you this morning, we had still been happy; but your cursed vanity and opinion of your own conduct, which is certainly very wavering when it seeks occasions of being proved, has ruined both yourself and me, who trusted you.'
Eve had no fan in her hand to ruffle, or tucker to pull down; but with a reproachful air she answered:
These ladies, where their companions are so imprudent as to take their speeches for any
Thus they in mutual accusation spent
This, to the modern, will appear but a very faint piece of conjugal enmity: but you are to consider, that they were but just begun to be angry, and they wanted new words for expressing their new passions; but by her accusing him of letting her go, and telling him how good a speaker, and how fine a gentleman the devil was, we must reckon, allowing for the improvements of time, that she gave him the