« AnteriorContinuar »
Than straight she sees the country all around,
Where fatal Neptune rul'd erewhile,
Had rather water'd it than drown'd:
Preserv'd by wonder from the flood,
Fam'd Delos did of old;
Or the much-talk'd oracular grove;
Charming her greedy ears,
With many a heavenly song,
And courts the wanton echoes as they fly.
* I cannot help inserting one question put to these “ great un. known and far-exalted men,” with their sapient response. What Swift would have thought of their dulness at a future period of his life it is vain to inquire.
“Query. Since in your advertisement you make it known, that a chirurgeon is taken into your society, I have thought fit to propound the following question, withal assuring you the
Forgive a young and (almost) virgin Muse,
(Yet curiosity, they say,
Has forced to grope her uncouth way,
For a dear ramble through impertinence;
Both the good-natur'd and the ill,
matter of fact is true. A sailor on board the fleet, by an unlucky accident broke his leg, being in drink, and refusing the assistance of the surgeon of the ship, called for a piece of new tarpaulin that lay on the deck,
which he rolled some turns about his leg, tying up all close with a few hoopsticks, and was able immediately to walk round the ship, never keeping his bed one day. I would know whether the cure is not to be attributed to the emplastic nature of the tarred cloth bound on strait with the hoopsticks, &c. or rather, whether it may not be solved according to the Cartesian philosophy ?
“ Answer. Des Cartes has less to do with this question than Co. pernicus, who, in a drunken fit, by the course of his brain, found out the great secret of the world's turning round ; and so might our drunken sailor be inspired with this novel way of cur. ing himself. But to the question, If the lesser focil was only broken, he might not be decumbent one day; the greater (his head being pretty light) being able to support his body; but if both the bones were broken, he could not stand, unless the splin. ters that were tied round his leg came below his heel, and rested upon his ham, which would take away that weight the leg would otherwise bear. Besides, the tarpaulin is a good categmatic, which, with a sober and a regular diet, might succeed, though it is no rule to walk by."-Athenian Oracle, Vol. II. p. 349.
It is hardly necessary to point out to the reader, unless quali. fied by nature to join the Athenian Society, that the fracture must have befallen a wooden leg.
We join, like flies and wasps, in buzzing about wit.
In me, who am of the first sect of these,
Of my own dazzled scanty sense,
Of admiration and of praise.
Must e'en all herd us with their kindred fools :
From us, the blind and thoughtless crowd,
Th' authentic mark of the elect,
The war methinks, has made,
We fondly stay at home, in fear
Of every censuring privateer;
And selling basely by retail.
Of morals and divinity,
By the new modish system of reducing all to sense,
Do own th' effects of Providence,
Their first and chiefest force
To censure, to cry down and rail, ,
And, by their never-failing ways
Of solving all appearances they please, We soon shall see them to their ancient methods fall, And straight deny you to be men, or any thing at all.
I laugh at the grave answer they will make, Which they have always ready, general, and cheap : 'Tis but to say, that what we daily meet,
And by a fond mistake
Which from eternal seeds begun,
They're now, just now, as naturally born,
Methinks I'm satisfy'd to guess,
Who have well studied in the world's disease,
(That epidemic error and depravity,
Or in our judgment or our eye)
And scorn it when 'tis found.
Because 'tis said (and perhaps only said)
That feeds the huge unequal stream.
That all the praises it can give,
Else why should the fam'd Lydian king,
As to paint Echo to the sight,
Because, alas ! when we all die,
And though the title seems to shew
Yet how shall they be brought to know,
And water-colours of these days :