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a sun-dial upon the grea.% weather-cock on the town-house, byadjusting the annual and diurnal motions of the earth and sun, so as to answer and coincide with all accidental turning of the winds.
10. I had hitherto only seen one side of the academy, the other being appropriated to the advancers of speculative learning, of whom 1 shall say something when I have mentioned one illustrious person more, who is called among them the universal artist. He told us he had been thirty years employing his thoughts for the improvement of human life.
11. He had two large rooms full of wonderful curiosities, and fifty men at work: some were condensing air into a dry, tangible substance; others, softening marble for pillows and pin-cushions; others, petrifying the hoofs of a living horse, to preserve them from foundering. The artist himself was at that time busy upon two great designs; the first to sow land with chaff, wherein he affirmed the true seminal virtue to be contained, as he demonstrated by several experiments, which I was not skillful enough to comprehend.
12. The other was, by a certain composition of gums, minerals, and vegetables, outwardly applied, to prevent the growth of wool Upon two young lambs, and he hoped in a reasonable time to propagate the breed of naked sheep all over the kingdom.
13. We crossed a walk to the other part of the academy, where, as I have already said, the projectors in speculative learning resided. The first professor I saw was in a very large room, with forty pupils about him. After salutation, observing me to look earnestly upon a frame which took up Ihe greatest part of both the length and breadth of the room, he said, perhaps I might wonder to see him employed in a project for improving speculative knowledge by practical and mechanical operations.
14. But the world would soon be sensible of its usefulness, and he flattered himself that a more noble, exalted thought never sprang in any other man's head. Every one knew how laborious the usual method is of attaining to arts and sciences; whereas, by his contrivance, the most ignorant person, at a reasonable charge, and with a little bodily labor, may write bonks in philosophy, poetry, politics, law, mathematics, and theology, without the least assistance frcrni genius or study.
15. He then led me to the frame, about the sides whereof all h'is pupils stood in ranks. It was twenty feet square placed in the middle of the room. The superficies was com posed of several bits of wood, about the. bigness of a die, but some larger than others. They were all linked together by slender wires.
16. These bits of wood were covered on every square with paper pasted on them; and on these papers were written all the words of their language., in their several moods, tenses, and declensions, but without any order. The professor then desired me to observe, for he was going to set his engine at work.
17. The pupils, at his command, took each of them hold of an iron handle, whereof there were forty fixed round the edges of the frame, and giving them a sudden turn, the whole disposition of the words was entirely changed. He then commanded six and thirty of the lads to read the several lines softly, as they appeared upon the frame; and where they found three or four words together that might make part of a sentence, they dictated to the four remaining boys, who were scribes.
18. This work was repeated three or four times, and at every turn the engine was so contrived that the words shifted into new places, as the square bits of wood moved upside down.
19. Six hours a day the young students were employed in this labor; and the professor showed me several volumes in large folio, already collected, of broken sentences, which he intended to piece together, and out of those rich materials to give the world a complete body of all arts and sciences, which, however, might be still improved, and much expedited, if the public would raise a fund for making and employing five hundred such frames in Lagado, and oblige the managers to contribute in common their several collections.
20. He assured me that this invention had employed all his thoughts"from his youth; that he had emptied the whole vocabulary into his frame, and made the strictest computation of the general proportion there is in books, between the numbers of particles, nouns, and verbs, and other parts of speech.
21. I made my humblest acknowledgments to this illustrious person for his great communicativeness, and promised, if ever I had the good fortune to return to my native country, that I would do him justice, as the sole inventor of this wonderful machine, the form and contrivance of which I desired leave to delineate upon paper.
22. I told him, although it were the custom of our learned in Europe to steal inventions from each other, who had thereby
at least this advantage, that it became a controversy which was the right owner, yet I would take such caution that he should have the honor entire, without a rival.
The same subject, continued.
1. We next went to the school of languages, where three professors sat in consultation upon improving that of their own country. The first project was to shorten discourse by cutting polysyllables into one, and leaving out verbs and participles; because, in reality, all things imaginable are but nouns. The other was a scheme for entirely abolishing all words whatsoever; and this was urged as a great advantage in point of health, as well as brevity; for, it is plain that every word we speak is in some degree a diminution of our lungs by corrosion, and consequently contributes to the shortening of our lives.
2. An expedient was.-therefore offered, that since words are only names for things, it would be more convenient for all men to carry about them such things as were necessary to express the particular business they are to discourse on. And this invention would certainly have taken place, to the great ease as well as health of the subject, if the women, in conjunction with the vulgar anu* illiterate, had not threatened to raise a rebellion, unless they might be allowed the liberty to speak with their tongues, after the manner of their forefathers; such constant, irreconcilable enemies to science are the common people.
3. However, many of the most learned and wise adhere to the new scheme of expressing themselves by things; which hath only this inconvenience attending it, that if a man's business be very great, and of various kinds, he must be obliged in proportion to carry a greater bundle of things upon his back, unless he can afford one or two* strong servants to attend him.
4. I have often beheld two of those sages almost sinking under the weight of their packs, like peddlers among us, who, when they met in the streets, would lay down their loads, open their sacks, and hold conversation for an hour together; then put up their implements, help each other to resume their burdens, and take their leave.
5. But, for short conversations, a man may carry implements in his pockets, and under his arms, enough to supply him, and in his house he cannot be at a loss; therefore, the room where company meet to practice this art is full of all things ready at hand, requisite to furnish matter for this kind of artificial converse.
6. Another great advantage proposed by this invention was, that it would serve as a universal language to be understood in all civilized nations, whose goods and utensils are generally of the same kind, or nearly j-esembling, so that their uses might easily be comprehended. And thus ambassadors would be qualified to treat with foreign princes or ministers of state, to whose tongues they were utter strangers. In the school of political projectors I was but ill entertained, the professors appearing, in my judgment, wholly out of their senses, which is a scene that never fails to make me melancholy.
7. These unhappy people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favorites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity, and virtue; of teaching ministers to consult the public good of rewarding merit, great abilities, and eminent services; of instructing princes to know their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people ; of choosing for employments persons qualified to exercise them; with many other wild, impossible chimeras, that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive, and confirmed in me the old observation, that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth.
8. But, however, I shall so far do justice to this part of the academy as to acknowledge that all of them were not so visionary. There was a most ingenious doctor, who seemed to be perfectly versed in the whole nature and system of government. This illustrious person had very usefully employed his studies in finding out effectual remedies for all diseases and corruptions to which the several kinds of public administration are subject by the vices or infirmities of those who govern, as well as by the licentiousness of those who are to obey.
9. For instance, whereas all writers and reasoners have agreed that there is a strict universal resemblance between the natural and political body, can there be anything more evident than that the health of both must be preserved, and the diseases cured, by the same prescriptions?
10. It is allowed that senates and great councils are often
troubled with redundant,1 ebullient,2 and other peccant" humors; with many diseases of the head, and more of the heart; with strong convulsions; with grievous contractions of the nerves and sinews in both hands, but especially the right; with spleen,4 flatus,5 vertigoes,6 and deliriums;7 with scrofulous 8 tumors, full of fetid9 purulent 1"matter; with sour, frothyructations ;11 with canine 12 appetites, and crudeness13 of digestion; besides many others needless to mention.
11. This doctor therefore proposed, that upon the meeting of a senate, certain physicians.should attend at the three first days of their sitting, and at the close of each day's debate feel the pulses of every senator; after which, having maturely considered and consulted upon the nature of the several maladies, and the methods of cure, they should, on the fourth day, return to the sanate-house, attended by their apothecaries stored with proper medicines; and, before the members sat, administer to each of them lenitives,14 aperitives,10 abstersives,18 corrosives,17 restringents," palliatives,19 laxatives,'0 cephalalgics,21 icterics,22 apophlegmatics,83 acoustics,24 as their several cases required; and, according as these medicines should operate, repeat, alter, or omit them, at the next meeting.
12. This project could not be of any great expemse to the public, and might, in my poor opinion, be of much use for the dispatch of business in those countries where senates have any share in the legislative power; beget unanimity, shorten debates, open a few mouths which are now closed, and close many more which are now open; curb the petulancy of the young, and correct the positiveness of the old; rouse the stupid, and damp the pert.
13. Again, because it is a general complaint that the favorites of princes are troubled with short and weak memo
1 Redundant, superfluous, or excessive. 2 Ebullient, boiling over. 3 Peccant, hurtful. 4 Spleen, ill-humor. 5 Flatus, wind in the stomach, or other cavities of the body. 6 Vertigoes, dizziness in the head. 7 Deliriums, wandering of the mind. 8 Scrofulous, diseased in the neck, or the glands; king's-evll. > Fetid, having an offensive smell. 10 Purulent, filled with offensive matter. 11 Ructations, discharging wind through the mouth from the stomach. 12 Canine, belonging to a dog. 13 Crudeness, imperfectness. 11 Lenitives, medicines to ease pain. 15 Aperitives, medicines to remove obstructions by opening. 16 Abstersives, cleansing medicines, designed to carry off morbid secretions. "Corrosives, remedies that eat or gradually wear away morbid parts. 18 Restringents, bracing or binding remedies. 19 Palliatives, things which abate the violence of disease. 20 Laxatives, the opposites to restringents, gentle purgatives. 81 Ccphalalgics, remedies for head-ache. 22 lcterics, remedies for jaundice. Apophlegmatics, medicines to excite discharges from tbe mouth or the nostrils. 24 Acoustics, remedies for fieofne-M