Imágenes de páginas

made a greater figure than any of the rest, who held a thunderbolt in her hand, which had the power of melting, piercing,' or breaking every thing that stood in its way. The name of this goddess was Eloquence.

There were two other dependant goddesses, who made a very conspicuous figure in this blissful region. The first of them was seated upon a hill, that had every plant growing out of it, which the soil was in its own nature capable of producing. The other was seated in a little island, that was covered with

groves of spices, olives, and orange-trees; and, in a word, with the products of every foreign clime. The name of the first was Plenty ; of the second, Commerce.' The first leaned her right-arm upon a plough, and under her left held a huge horn, out of which she poured a whole autumn of fruits. The other wore a rostral crown upon her head, and kept her eyes fixed upon a compass.

I was wonderfully pleased in ranging through this delightful place, and the more so, because it was not encumbered with fences and enclosures; till at length, methought I sprung from the ground, and pitched upon the top of an hill, that presented several objects to my sight, which I had not before taken notice of. The winds that passed over this flowery plain, and through the tops of trees, which were full of blossoms, blew upon me in such a con, tinued breeze of sweets, that I was wonderfully charmed with my situation. I here saw all the in, ner declivities of that great circuit of mountains, whose outside was covered with snow, overgrown with huge forests of fir-trees, which indeed are very frequently found in other parts of the Alps. These 'trees were inhabited by storks, that came thither in great flights from very distant quarters of the world. Methought I was pleased in my dream to see what became of these birds, when, upon leaving the places

But my

to which they make an annual visit, they rise in great flocks so high till they are out of sight; and for that reason have been thought by some modern philosophers, to take a flight to the moon. eyes were soon diverted from this prospect, when I observed two great gaps that led through this circuit of mountains, where guards and watches were posted day and night. Upon examination, I found that there were two formidable enemies encamped before each of these avenues, who kept the place in a perpetual alarm, and watched all opportunities of invading it.

Tyranny was at the head of one of these armies, dressed in an eastern habit, and grasping in her hand an iron sceptre. Behind her was Barbarity, with the garb and complexion of an Æthiopian; Ignorance with a turban upon her head; and Persecution holding up a bloody flag, embroidered with fleurs-de-lis. These were followed by Oppression, Poverty, Famine, Torture, and a dreadful train of appearances, that made me tremble to behold them. Among the baggage of this army, I could discover racks, wheels, chains, and gibbets, with all the in. struments art could invent to make human nature miserable.

Before the other avenue I saw Licentiousness, dressed in a garment not unlike the Polish cassock, and leading up a whole army of monsters, such as Clamour, with a hoarse voice and an hundred tongues; Confusion, with a mishapen body, and a thousand heads; Impudence, with a forehead of brass; and Rapine, with hands of iron. The tumult, noise, and uproar, in this quarter were so very great, that it disturbed my imagination more than is consistent with sleep, and by that means awaked


[ocr errors]

54", No. 162. SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 1710.

Tertius e Cælo cecidit Cato.

Juv. SAT. 2.

From my own Apartment, April 21. In my younger years I used many endeavours to get a place at court, and indeed continued my pursuits till I arrived at my grand climacteric: but at length altogether despairing of success, whether it were for want of capacity, friends, or due application, I at last resolved to erect a new office, and for my encouragement, to place myself in it. For this reason, I took upon me the title and dignity of Censor of Great Britain, reserving to myself all such perquisites, profits, and emoluments, as should arise out of the discharge of the said office. These, in truth, have not been inconsiderable; for, besides those weekly contributions which I receive from John Morphew, and those annual subscriptions which 1

propose to myself from the most elegant part of this great island, I daily live in a very comfortable affluence of wine, stale beer, Hungary water, beef, books, and marrow-bones, which I receive from many well-disposed citizens; not to mention the forfeitures which accrue to me from the several offenders that appear before me on court-days.

Having now enjoyed this office for the space of a twelvemonth, I shall do what all good officers ought to do, take a survey of my behaviour, and consider carefully whether I have discharged my duty, and acted up to the character with which I am invested. For my direction in this particular, I have made a narrow search into the nature of the old Roman Censors, whom I must always regard, not only as

my predecessors, but as my patterns in this great employment; and have several times asked my own heart with great impartiality, whether Cato will not bear a more venerable figure among posterity than Bickerstaffe ?

I find the duty of the Roman Censor was twofold. The first part of it consisted in making frequent reviews of the people, in casting up their numbers, ranging them under their several tribes, disposing them into proper classes, and subdividing them into their respective centuries.

In compliance with this part of the office, I have taken many curious surveys of this great city. I have collected into particular bodies, the Dappers and the Smarts, the Natural and Affected Rakes, the Pretty Fellows and the Very Pretty Fellows. I have likewise drawn out in several distinct parties, your Pedants and Men of Fire, your Gamesters and Politicians. I have separated Cits from Citizens, Free-thinkers from Philosophers, Wits from Snufftakers, and Duellists from Men of Honour. I have likewise made a calculation of Esquires, not only considering the several distinct swarins of them that are settled in the different parts of this town, but also that more rugged species that inhabit the fields and woods, and are often found in pot-houses, and upon hay-cocks.

I shall pass the soft sex over in silence, having not yet reduced them into any tolerable 'order; as likewise the softer tribe of lovers, which will cost me a great deal of time, before I shall be able to cast them into their several centuries and subdivisions.

The second part of the Roman Censor's office was to look into the manners of the people, and to check any growing luxury, whether in diet, dress, or building. This duty likewise I have endeavoured to discharge, by those wholesome precepts which I have given my countrymen in regard to beef and mutton, and the severe censures which I have passed upon ragouts and fricacees. There is not, as I am informed, a pair of red 'heels to be seen within ten miles of London, which I may likewise ascribe, without vanity, to the becoming zeal which I expressed in that particular. I must own, my success with the petticoat is not so great; but as I have not yet done with it, I hope I shall in a little time put an effectual stop to that growing evil. "As for the article of building, I intend hereafter to enlarge upon it, having lately observed several warehouses, nay, private shops, that stand upon Corinthian pillars, and whole rows of tin pots shewing themselves, in order to their sale, through a sash-window.

I have likewise followed the example of the Roman Censors, in punishing offences according to the quality of the offender. It was usual for them to expel a senator who had been guilty of great immoralities out of the senate-house, by omitting his name when they called over the list of his brethren. In the same manner, to remove effectually several worthless men who stand possessed of great honours, I have made frequent draughts of dead men out of the vicious part of the nobility, and given them up to the new society of Upholders, with the necessary orders for their interment. . As the Roman Censors used to punish the knights or gentlemen of Rome, by taking away their horses from them, I have seized the canes of many criminals of figure, whom I had just reason to animadvert upon. As for the offenders among the common people of Rome, they were generally chastised, by being thrown out of a higher tribe, and placed in one which was not so honourable. My reader cannot but think I have had an eye to this punishment, when I have degraded one species of men into 'bombs, squibs, and crackers, and another into drums, bass-viols, and bagVOL. III.


« AnteriorContinuar »