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as we afterwards found, that he spoke as well as ever ; but the sounds no sooner took air than they were condensed and lost. It was now a miserable spectacle to see us nodding and gaping at one another, every man talking, and no man heard. One might observe a seaman that could bail a ship at a league's distance, beckoning with his hand, straining his lungs, and tearing his throat; but all ia vain : Nec vox, nec verba sequuntur.
OVID « Nor voice, nor words ensued. « We continued here three weeks in this dismal plight. At length, upon a turn of wind, the air about us began to thaw. Our cabbin was immediately filled with a dry clattering sound, which I af. terwards found to be the crackling of consonants that broke above our heads, and were often mixed with a gentle hissing, which I imputed to the Jetter s, that occurs so frequently in the English tongue. I soon after felt a breeze of whispers rushing by my ear; for those, being of a soft and gentle substance, immediately liquified in the warın wind that blew across our cabbin. These were soon followed by syllables and short words, and at length by entire sentences, that melted sooner or later, as they were more or less congealed; so that we now heard every thing that had been spoken during the whole three weeks that we had been silent, if I may
that expression. It was now very early in the morning, and yet, to my surprize, 'I heard somebody say,
Sir John, it is midnight, and time for the ship's crew to go to-bed.' This I knew to be the pilot's voice; and, upon recollecting myself, I concluded that he had spoken these words to me some days before, though I could not hear them
until the present thaw. My reader will easily imagine how the whole crew was amazed to hear every man talking, and see no man opening his mouth. In the midst of this great surprize we were all in, we heard a volley of oaths and curses, lasting for a long while, and uttered in a very hoarse voice, which I knew belonged to the boatswain, who was a very choleric fellow, and had taken his opportunity of cursing and swearing at me, when he thought I could not hear him; for I had several times given him the strappado on that account, as I did not fail to repeat it for these his pious soliloquies, when I got him on ship-board.
“ I must not omit the names of several beauties in Wapping, which were heard every now and then, in the midst of a long sigh that accompanied them; as, • Dear Kate!' •Pretty Mrs. Peggy!'
. When shall I see my Sue again!' This betrayed several amours which had been concealed until that time, and furnished us with a great deal of mirth in our return to England.
• When this confusion of voices was pretty well over, though I was afraid to offer at speaking, as fearing I should not be heard, I proposed a visit to the Dutch cabbin, which lay about a mile further op in the country. My crew were extremely ree joiced to find they had again recovered their heare ing; though every man uttered his voice with the same apprehensions that I had done,
“ Ei timide verba intermissa retentat.
OVID. Mel. i. 747.
And try'd his tongue, his silence softly broke.
DRYDIN. « At about half-a-mile's distance from our cabbin we heard the groanings of a bear, which at first
startled us; but, upon inquiry, we were informed by some of our company, that he was dead, and now lay in salt, having been killed upon that very spot about a fortnight before, in the time of the frost. Not far from the same place, we were likewise entertained with some posthumous snarls, and barkings of a fox.
“ We at length arrived at the little Dutch settlement; and, upon entering the room, found it filled with sighs that smelt of brandy, and several other unsavoury sounds, that were altogether inarticulate. My valet, who was an Irishmar, fell into so great a sage at what he heard, that he drew his sword; but not knowing where to lay the blame, he put it rip again. We were stunned with these confused noises, but did not hear a single word until about half-an-hour after; which I ascribed to the harsh and obdurate sounds of that language, wbich wanted more time than ours to melt, and become audible.
“ After having here met with a very hearty welcome, we went to the cabbin of the French, who, to make amends for their three weeks silence, were talking and disputing with greater rapidity and confusion than I ever heard in an assenably, even of that nation. Their language, as I found, upon the first giving of the weather, fell asunder and dissolved. I was here convinced of an error into which I had before fallen; for I fancied, that for the freezing of the sound, it was necessary for it to be wrapped up, and, as it were, preserved in breath: but I found my mistake when I heard the sound of a kit playing a minuet over our heads. I asked the occasion of it; upon which one of the company told me that it would play there above a week longer ; for,' says he, • finding ourselves bereft of speech, we prevailed upon one of the company, who had his musical instrument about him, to play to us from morning to night; all which time we employed in dancing, in order to dissipate our chagrin, & tuer le temps.”
Here Sir John gives very good philosophical reasons, why the kit could not be heard during the frost'; but, as they are something prolix, I pass them over in silence, and shall only observe, that the honourable author seems, by his quotations, to have been well versed in the ancient poets, which perhaps raised his fancy above the ordinary pitch of historians, and very much contributed to the embellishment of his writings.
N 255. SATURDAY,NOVEMBER 25,1710.
Nec te tua purima, Pantbeu,
VIRG. Æn. ii. 4292
From my own Apartment, Novemler 24.
I am at present under very great difficulties, which it is not in the power of any one, besides yourself, to redress.' Whether or no you shall think it a proper case to come before your court of honour, I cannot tell; but thus it is. I am chaplain to an honourable family, very regular at the hours of devotion, and, I hope, of an unblameable life; but for not of. fering to rise at the second course, I found my pa-. tron and his lady, very sullen and out of humour, though at first I did not know the reason of it. At length, when I happened to help myself to a jelly, the lady of the house, otherwise a devout woman, told me, that it did not become a man of my cloth to delight in such frivolous food: but as I still continued to sit out the last course, I was yesterday informed by the butler, that his lordship had no farther occasion for my service. All which is humbly submitted to your consideration by, Sir,
Your most humble servant, &c." "The case of this gentleman deserves pity; especially if he loves sweetmeats, to which, if I may guess by his letter, he is no enemy. In the mean time, I have often wondered at the indecency of discharging the holiest man from the table as soon as the most delicious parts of the entertainment are served up, and could never conceive a reason for so absurd a custom. Is it because a liquorish palate, or a sweet tooth, as they call it, is not consistent with the sanctity of his character? This is but a trifling pretence. No man, of the most rigid virtue, gives offence by any excesses in plum-pudding or plum-porridge, and that because they are the first parts of the dinner. Is there any thing that tends to incitation in sweetmeats inore than in ordinary dishes ? Certainly not, Sugar-plums are a very innocent diet, and conserves of a much colder nature than your common pickles. I have sometimes thought that the ceremony of the chaplain's flying away from the desert was typical and figurative, to mark out to the company how.