Obrazy na stronie

crease Mather, and all the other doctors and divines, who bought any of his books from him. He also favours us with minute delineations of all the Boston booksellers and printers—of which take this specimen The next is Mr C–K, a young Beau, that boasts of more villany than ever he committed. However, as he bought a great many Books, I cannot disown my acquaintance with him. And I here publish his matchless impudence, in hopes to shame him into better morals.

Finally, he descends to particulars of his own acquaintances, male and female—on the ladies he enlarges multo con amore—dividing them into three sections—viz. maids, wives, and widows, and uttering most oracular dogmata, touching them in their various stations. His chief favourite among the maids is not named; but she is described as being “a thornback”—(a cant Bostonian, for a maiden of 30 years,) and her behaviour is described so graphically, that her acquaintances could not have been much at a loss to find her out. Among the wives, Mrs Green is the empress of his admiration—she gets u every morning at 5 o'clock, to look after her damsels—she dresses the pudding with herown hands—and although she has been married only a few weeks, she never exhibits any of “the usual symptoms of over-fondness before company.” The Widow Brick is the paragon of the 3d class.

But, having given a farewell to Mrs Green, I shall next present you with the character of the Widow Brick, the very flower of Boston. That of a Widow is the next state or change that can succeed to that of Marriage; and I have chosen my friend the Widow Brick, as an exemplar, to shew you what a Widow is. The Widow Brick is a Gentlewoman whose Head (i.e. her husband) has been cut off, and yet she lives and walks. But do not be frighted; for she is flesh and blood still, and perhaps some of the finest that you ever saw. She has sufficiently evidenced that her Love to her late Husband is as strong as Death, because Death has not been able to extinguish it. Her grief for his death was such as became her, great but moderate; not like a hasty shower, but a still rain: she knew nothing of those tragical furies wherewith some women seem transported towards their dead Husbands: those frantic embraces and caresses of a carcass betray a little too much the sensuality of their love ; such violent passions quickl spend themselves, and seem rather to vanis than consume. But Madam Brick grieved more moderately, and more lastingly. I

always observed that, whenever she spoke of her Husband, it was in the most endearing manner. Nor could she ever mention him, without paying the tribute of a tear to his memory. She set such a value on her relation to her Husband, as to do nothing that might seem unworthy of it. Historians inform us, that it was the dying charge of Augustus to the Empress Livia, “ Behave thyself well, and remember our marriage.” Madam Brick had yet another way of expressing the value she had for Mr Brick; and that is, by the kindness she shewed to the Children which he left behind him, which were only two. As to their education, she took care that they might have that learning that was proper for them ; and above all, that they might be furnished with ingenuous and vir. tuous principles, founded on the fear of God. Neither did she suffer her pious behaviour to be cast off with her Widow's reil, but made it the constant dress both of her widowhood and life; and, as a consequence hereof, she became a member of Mr Allen's congregation, and lived a life of sincere piety; and yet was so far from sourness either in her countenance or conversation, that nothing was ever more sweet or agreeable; making it evident that piety did not consist in moroseness, nor sincere devotion in a supercilious carriage. The less admirable specimens of the three classes are described more briefly, but not less graphically. Such as Mrs Toy—“The bashful Siren.”—Mrs Abel, “whose Love is a blank, wherein she writes the first that offers himself.”—and Mrs F “Had the Case of a Gentlewoman, but little else to shew she was a Rational Creature, besides Speech and Laughter. When I first saw her, I was not long to guess what she was, for Nature had hung out the sign of simplicity in her face. When she came into my Warehouse, I wondered what Book she intended to buy. At last I perceived she intended to buy none, because she knew not what to ask for; yet she took up several, looked in them, and laid them down again. Perceiving her simplicity, I asked her in joke, whether she would not buy the History of Tom Thumb? She told me “Yes.” Upon which I asked her whether she would have it in folio, with marginal notes ? To which she only said, “The best, the best.” “The next I shall mention is Mrs D-, who has a bad face, and a worse tongue; and has the report of a Witch. Whether she be one or no, I know not, but she has ignorance and malice enough to make her one. And indeed she has done very odd things, but hitherto such as are rather strange than hurtful; yea, some of them are pretty and pleasing: but such as I think cannot be done without the help of the devil—as for instance, she will take nine sticks, and lay them across, and by mumbling a few words, make then

stand up on end like a pair of nine-pins. But she had best have a care, for they that use the devil's help to make sport, may quickly come to do mischief. I have been told by some, that she has actually indentured with the Devil ; and that he is to do what she would have him for a time, and afterwards he is to have her soul in exchange ' What o poor wretches take to make sure of Hell ! “The next is Doll S-r, who used to come often to my Warehouse, and would plague my man Palmer more than all my customers besides. Her life is a perpetual contradiction; and she is made up of “I will,” and “I will not.” “Palmer, reach me that book, yet let it alone too; but let me see it, however, and yet it is no great matter neither;” was her constant dialect in my Warehouse. She is very fantastical ; but cannot be called irresolute; for an irresolute person is always beginning, and she never makes an end ; she writes, and blots out again, whilst the other deliberates what to write. I know two negatives make an affirmative; but what her aye and no together makes, I know not; nor what to make of it, but that she knows not what to make of it herself. Her Head is just like a Squirrel's cage, and her Mind the Squirrel that whirls it round. She never looks towards the end, but only the beginning of things; for she will call in all haste for one, and have nothing to say to him when he is come; and long, nay die, for some toy or trifle; and when she has got it, grows weary of it presently. None knows where to have her a moment; and whosoever would hit her thoughts, must shoot flying. “The next is Mrs H. , who takes as much state upon her as would have served six of Queen Elizabeth's Countesses; and yet she is no Lady neither, unless it be of pleasure; yet she looks high, and speaks in a majestic tone, like one acting the Queen's part in a Play. . She seldom appears twice in a shape; but every time she goes abroad, puts on a different garb. Had she been with the Israelites in the Wilderness, when for forty years their cloaths waxed not old, it had been punishment enough for her to have gone so long in one fashion. But, should this rustling Madam be stripped of her silken plumes, she would make but a very ordinary figure; for, to hide her age, she . and to hide her painting, dares hardly laugh; whence she has two counterfeit wizards to put off every night, her painting and her modesty. She was a good Customer to me, and whilst I took her money, I humoured her pride, and paid her (I blush to say it) a mighty observance. The chief books she bought were Plays aud Romances; which to set off the better, she would ask for books of Gallantry. The next is Mrs T-, whose tongue runs round like a wheel, one spoke after

another, for there is no end of it. She makes more-noise and jangling than the bells do on a Coronation day. It is somebody's happiness that she is yet unmarried, for she would make a Husband wish either that she were dumb, or he were deaf. She used to come to my Warehouse, not to buy books (for she talked so much, she had no time to read), but that others might hear her talk; so that (I am apt to think) had she but the faculty of talking in her sleep, one might make the Perpetual Motion with her tongue. His stay in the city, adorned by these fair creatures, is interrupted now and then by little journeys up the country; and he gives us very interesting sketches of all that he saw there, from the Indian chiefs and queens down to the entertainments given him by the Puritan Divines he visited in the back settlements—of one of these reverend persons, Mr Aminadab Gery, he observes emphatically, “The Christian is devout—the preacher is primitive—he gave us a capital dinner.” Another “Generous Levite,” is uncle to “Mrs Comfort, who rode behind me this trip—a beautiful piece of luggage;” and “testifies his joy to see his niece, by a fat pig and bowl of punch he gave us for supper.” After a stay of much greater length than he had anticipated, John Dunton returns to London; and he likens himself to Ulysses for the troubles he had undergone, although we cannot perceive many traces, except those of good eating and drinking, in his own account of his wanderings. He cannot think of coming unexpectedly into the presence of his Penelope—so he turned into the Queen's Head, Spitalfields, and sent word to her “ there was a gentleman there who could tell some news of Philaret.” “ About an hour after, Iris came ; and at the first interview we stood speechless, and gazing upon each other, whilst Iris shed a flood of tears. At last we got our tongues at liberty ; and then “Embrac'd and talk'd, as meeting lovers would, Who had the pangs of absence understood.” We left the Tavern, and went home to Dr Annesley's, where I was received with all the marks of kindness and respect. At my return, I expected nothing but a golden life of it for the future, though all my satisfactions were soon withered; for, being so deeply entangled for my Sister-inlaw, I was not suffered to step over the threshold in ten months, unless it was once under disguise; and the story is this. My

[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic]

confinement growing very uneasy to me, eso. on Lord's-days, I was extremely esirous to hear Dr Annesley preach; and immediately this contrivance was started in my head, that dear Iris should dress me in woman's cloaths, and I would venture myself abroad under those circumstances. To make short of it, I got myself shaved, and put on as effeminate a look as my countenance would let me; and being well fitted out with a large scarf, I set forward; but every step I took, the fear was upon me that it was made out of form. As for my arms, I could not tell how to manage them, being altogether ignorant to what figure they should be reduced. At last I got safe to the Meeting, and sat down in the obscurest corner I could find. But, as I was returning through Bishopsgate-street, with all the circumspection and the care imaginable (and I then thought I had done it pretty well), there was an unlucky e cried out, “I’ll be hang'd if that ben't a man in woman's cloaths.” This put me into my preternaturals indeed, and I began to scour off as fast as my legs would carry me: there were at least twenty or thirty of them that made after me; but, being acquainted with the alleys, I dropped them, and came off with honour. My Reverend Father-in-law, Dr Annesley, knew nothing of this religious metamorphosis; and though I do not think he would have suffered it, yet my inclination to public worship was justifiable enough.”

Wearied with this confinement, he determines to make a trip to the Continent, and spends, accordingly, several months at Amsterdam, Cologne, Mentz, &c. &c. of all which places, and their inhabitants, (the booksellers at least) he gives accounts in his usual style. On the day the Prince of Orange came to London, however, we find him once more in his native land, and, re-opening, with new vigour, his old shop at the sign of the Black Raven, in the Poultry. Here he publishes no less than 600 books (such is his success) in a very short space of time; and out of all that number there are but seven of which he is inclined to repent. Among these is the “Voyage round the World, or Pocket Library;” one volume of which collection is filled with “The Rare Adventures of Don Kainophilo,” a production of the publisher's own pen, and the first, as it would seem, of the whole mighty family of his lucubrations. In regard to this volume Mr Nichols presents us with a note by the excellent author of the Curiosities of Literature, which we shall quote.

“This rhapsody is noticeable for its extreme rarity, and for two elegant pieces of

poetry, which, if John's own, entitle him to a higher degree of praise than he has been usually thought to merit. It is obscurely noticed in his “Life and Errors;” but the Anagram of the Author's name prefixed to a copy of verses declares him. It has a frontispiece, which is a large folding cut, with 24 circles, exhibiting the Author's adventures. To this Work was prefixed Panegyrical Verses, “by the Wits of both Universities,” who, however, offer no evidence of their residence or their quality; and may be suspected to be Wits of the University of Grub-street. One of these wretched panegyrics tells us that “the Author's name, when unanagrammatised, is hid unto none,” by which John Dunton would, and would not, conceal himselfThese volumes were published in our Scribbler's thirtieth year, on his return from America; and are, in fact, a first essay towards that more mature “Life and Errors” which he gave the world in 1705. He seems to have projected a series of what he calls “The Cock-rambles of all my Four and Twenty Volumes;” but his Readers, probably, deserted him at the third. Kainophilus, as he calls himself, “signifies a Lover of News, not any thing of Kain, as if I were a-kin to him.” It is a low rhapsody; but it bears a peculiar feature, a certain whimsical style, which he affects to call his own, set off with frequent dashes, and occasionally abanter on false erudition. These cannot be shewn without extracts. I would not add an idle accusation to the already injured genius of STERNE ; but I am inclined to think he might have caught up his project of writing Tristram's life, in “ twenty-four Cock-rambling” volumes; have seized on the whim of Dunton's style; have condescended even to copy out his breaks and dashes. But Sterne could not have borrowed wit or genius from so low a scribbler. The elegant pieces of poetry were certainly never composed by Dunton, whose mind had no elegance, and whose rhymes are doggrel. On a rapid inspection, I have detected him transcribing from Francis Osborn and Cowley, without acknowledgment; and several excellent passages, which may be discovered amidst this incoherent mass, could not have been written by one who never attained the slightest arts of composition. He affects, however, to consider himself as “a great Original” in what he calls “this hop-stride-and-jump round the World:” and says, “So great a glory do I esteem it to be the Author of these Works, that I cannot, without great injury to myself and justice, endure that every one should own them, who have nothing to do with them; like the fellow at Rome who pretended to Virgil's Verses.— But I n take no other way to refute these plagiaries than Virgil himself did, requiring the tally to his Vos non Wobis.Let any man write on at the rate this is already written, and I will grant he is the

Author of this book, that before, and all the rest to the end of the Chapter. Not there is such a sort of a Whim in the Style, something so like myself, so incomprehensible (not because it is nonsense,) that whoever throws but half an eye on that and me together, will swear 'twas spit out of the mouth of Kainophilus.” The famous Athenian Society was shortly afterwards instituted by this person—and of the many clumsy volumes published by them, a great part was written by Dunton himself. The purpose of these lucubrations was to solve real or imaginary “cases of conscience,” in regard to worldly-above all love affairs—and being assisted by Samuel Wesley and some other writers of talent, it is wonderful how much success attended this absurd proposal for a time. Even Swift has written a poem in commendation of the Athenian Society, but when he did so, “little” as Mr Scott observes, “ did he suspect that he was bestowing his praises on the bookseller, John Dunton.” The prosperity of Dunton's business seems soon after this time to have again been on the decline, for we find him making another involuntary voyage (to Ireland,) and shortly after his return he publishes “ Dunton's farewell to printing,” and seems to have shut up shop for a season. To the last named production is prefixed an engraved head of the author—for which seeming piece of vanity he thus apologizes: “I shall conclude,” he observes, “with a short remark on Dunton's Effigies; and shall introduce all I have to say on that subject with a short account of the original of drawing Faces; for it is so little wn, the discovery of it is a sort of novelty. “The first Limning that ever was owes its rise to the parting of two Lovers, in this manner: When the daughter of Deluriades, the Sycionian, was to take leave of her sweet-heart, now going to wars, to comfort herself in his absence she took his Picture with a coal upon the wall, as the candle gave the shadow, which her father admiring, perfected it afterwards; and it was the first Picture by report that ever was made. But the drawing of Dunton's face owes its rise to the great wrong done me by Harris and other piratical Printers, and not to love (as was the case of the Sycionian Limner); for being married, my Spouse and I wear each other's Pictures in our hearts (being drawn and hung there), and so have no occasion for an outward Picture to comfort us; for neither absence, time, nor scarce death itself, can fade the colours where a united heart is the frame, and the

picture true affection. So that you see,
Gentlemen, it was mere Right and Property,
and not the fear that my wife should lose
the idea of her Husband's face, that tempt-
ed me the exercise of so much patience as
to sit three times to have (an't please ye)
my face drawn, to be stared on as often as
the Reader pleases; yet I might affirm
(did no modesty forbid me to give them
their just praise), that Knight has limned,
Vander Gucht graved, and Freeman work-
ed off, my Picture so much to the life, you
do not flatter them when you say,
“They make my Picture seem to think and live.”

“A Gentleman seeing a very good Pic-
ture of St Bruno, the Founder of the Car-
thusian Order, and being asked his opinion
of it, “Were it not,’ says he, “for his silent
rule, it would speak.' So I may say of
Dunton's Picture (it is drawn so much to the
life, 'bating a little flattery), that were not
Pictures resolved on a perpetual silence (that
is, had they not a rule to hold their tongues),
this Picture would talk as loud and as often
as the Original does by which it was drawn.
So that, Gentlemen, you might well say of
my two Limners,
Their pencil sure was made offlesh and blood.-
for, as speechless as my Picture is, it is drawn
so much alive, it is hoped it will guard
* Dunton's Athenianism’ from all piratical
Printers, by distinguishing the original and
true Copies from such as are false and im-
perfect—So that you see, Gentlemen, it is
merely the securing the benefit of my own
copics, that has put me to the charge of a
Copper-plate, and not the ambition to have
a Face cut in Brass, with a Laurel about
my Head, and Pegasus for my Arms, and
eight Verses under my Picture, writ by the
Athenian Society.”

By this time (we had almost forgotten the matter as easily as Mr Dunton himself appears to have done,) he has lost Iris, and married another lady whose romance name is Valeria. Having lived lo with her for a few months, their harmony is disturbed by money, the root of evil. Dunton is in want of cash to answer some bills, and applies to Madame Nicholas, his mother-in-law, who refuses to give him any assistance. The consequences are a separation from his wife—of whom, notwithstanding, he still continues to speak in terms of the most devout attachment—and about a score of pamphlets on the behaviour of her mother. Nothing can be more

estiferous than the titles of these lii. brochures—but we find that we are giving more than enough of room to the affair when we mention it at all.

(To be continued.)

PREldictions. By c. c.

Prediction First.

The densities of the planets will be found to be constantly increasing.

Eveny particle of matter, from the surface of a planet down to the centre, presses with a constant force on the particle upon which it is recumbent; and this globe would still be subject to the same law, whether it had a distention to equal the magnitude of Jupiter, or a compression to equal the density of Mercury. If, from the centre of the Earth up to the surface, every particle pressed on the superincumbent particle, it is evident that the Earth would constantly suffer a dilatation of diameter. Now, as it is the prevailing opinion among philosophers, that there is more vacuity than unatter within the circumference of any one of the planets," it is no wonder that it should become a question much agitated amongst them, whether the pressure of all the particles in an opposite direction would produce an opposite effect? i. e. Whether the law which is now in force within the bowels of the Earth would produce a constant diminution of the Earth's diameter so long as vacuities existed within the interior? It was a grand era in the history of this discovery when geologists had proved that the primitive strata, if placed in a horizontal position, would form the circumference of a much larger globe than that which they now circumscribe; this globe, therefore, must have had a greater magnitude when these strata were deposited ; and that the secondary strata must also have been incumbent upon a larger globe while they retained a horizontal position; but as they neither dip to so great a depth as the primitive strata, nor are so highly inclined in their position to the horizon, the globe on which they were deposited could not have had so great a magnitude as that on which the primitive strata were formed; and that also the last formed strata, which, though they are in general but little removed from their first position, must have nevertheless been

deposited upon a globe of a somewhat greater magnitude, but not so great as that on which the secondary strata were formed. Thus did geologists approximate toward the evolution of this important law, by proving that the globe had from time to time diminished in magnitude since the strata which encompass it began to be deposited. It may here just be observed, that the sinuosity of the strata in certain situations proves that the globe must have had a greater magnitude when these strata were deposited. Thus it is evident, that those secondary strata, which have sometimes been found to undulate from one range of primitive hills to another, and which at the same time remain continuous throughout, would, if restored to their former level position, extend over, a much greater horizontal surface than could be included between those ranges of hills; those hills must have therefore been removed to a greater distance from each other when they admitted of the horizontality of these strata between them, now they could only be removed to a greater distance from each other by a dilatation of the Earth's diameter; this globe must have therefore had a greater magnitude when these strata were deposited. The question relative to the constant increase of the Earth's density by the particles gravitating towards the centre, now found its way into the records of science, and no longer was it rejected by philosophers as but the reverie of a maniac-the probable existence of such a law operating within the bowels of the Earth was now fully established, and philosophers in *their future researches, after its discovery, arbitrarily insulated the Earth in space beyond the sphere of all planetary and solar attraction, and then reasoned as to the effects that would be produced on the globe by the pressure of all the particles towards the surface—that the diameter of the

* It was a bold conjecture of Newton's, that the porosity of the Earth is such, that, were all the particles brought into contact with each other, it is possible they might be contain

cd within the compass of a cubic inch. Vol. VI.


« PoprzedniaDalej »