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tion of children of wit. He ordered bis diet according to the prescription of Galen, confining himself and his wife, for almost the whole first year, to goats milk and honey *. It unfortunately befel her, when she was about four months gone with child, to long for somewhat, which that author inveighs against as prejudicial to the under
standing of the infant. This ber husband thought fit to i deny her, affirming, it was better to be childlifs, than
to become the parent of a fool. His wife iniscarried ; but as the abortion proved only a female fætus, lie comforted himlelf, that, bad it arrived to perfection, it would not have answered bis account; his heart being wholly fixed upon the learned sex. However he disdained not to treature up the embryo in a vial, among the curiosities of his family,
Having discovered that Galen's prescription could not determine the sex, he forthwith betook himielf to Aristotle. Accordingly he with-held the nuptial embrace when the wind was in any point of the south; this author + afferting, that the grossness and moisture of the southerly winds occafion the procreation of females, and pot of males. But he redoubled his diligence when tle wind was at welt; a wind on which the great philolo, pher bestowed ilie encomiums of father of the earih, breath of the Elyfian fields, and other glorious eulogies. For our learned man was clearly of opinion, that the semina out of which avimals are produced, are animalcula ready formed, and received in with the air 1.
Under these regulations, liis wife, to bis, inexpressible joy, grew pregnant a tocond time ; and (what was no svall addition to his happine!:), he just then came to the pofleilion of a considerable eftate by the death other uncle, a wealtijy Jew who refided at Loudon. This inade it ne. cessary for him to take a journey to England ; nor would tie care of his posterity let liim suffer his wife to remain
* Galen. Lib. de Cibis boni et mali succi, cap. 3. Pope.
# Religion of Nature, fect. 5. parag. 15. The seriousness with which this strange opinion, on iu mysterious ? point, is advanced, very well deserved this stroke of ridicule. Pope and Warburton.
behind him. During the voyage, he was perpetually taken up, on the one hand, low to enploy his great iiches; and, on the other, how to educate his child. He had already deterinined to let apart leveral annual fums, for the recovery of Manuscripts, the effoflion of Coins, the pro. curing of Mummius; and for all those curious discoveries, by which he hoped to become (as himself was wont to lay), a second Peireikius *. He had already chalked out all possible fchemes for the improvement of a male child; yet was to far prepared for the worit that could happen, that, before the one months were expired, he had cor. pored two treatises of education; the one be called, 1 daughter's anirrour, and the other, I fon's inonitor.
This is all we can find relating to Mirlinus, wliile he wls in his mother's womb, exceptiog that he was entitained there with a concert of music once in twenty-tour hours, according to the costorn of the Mugi: and that 01. a particular day t, he was observed to leap and kick ex: ceedingly, which was on the first of April, the birtli-day of the great Bafilius Valentinus.
The truth of this, and every preceeding fuct, may be depended upon, being taken literaily from the Memoirs. But I must be lo ingenuous as to owny, that the accounts are not fo certain of the exact tiine and plice of his biridi, As to the firtt, be had the common frailty of old men, to conceal his age : as to the fecond, Tonly remember 10 have heard hiin lay', that he first saw the light in S. Gilts's parish. But io the inveftiga:ion of this point, Fortune liath favoured our diligence. For one day, as I was pasing by the Seven Dials, I overheard a difpute concerniing the place of nativity of a great astrologer, whirli cachy man alledged to have been in liis own ítreet. cumstances of tbe tins, and the description of the perion,
* There was a great deal of trifling pedantry and curiofity in that great man's characturi arburtor.
+ Ramay's Cyrus. It was with judgment, that the authors chose rather to ridicule the inodern relator of this ridiculous practice, than the ancien?s from whence he tank it; as it is a sure instance of folly, wu, amongit the many excellent tous which mniġ be learned fron antiquity, we find a rodenr weer only picking out their abfurlities. Pope an! Paróurtuna
made me imagine it might be that universal genius whose life I am writing. I returned home, and having mature. ly considered their several arguments, which I found to be of equal weight, I quieted my curiosity with this naCural conclusion,
that he was born in some point common to all the seven streets ; which must be that on which the column is now erected. And it is with infinite pleasure that I lince find iny conjecture confirmed, by the following passage in the Codicil to Mr. Neale's will.
I appoint' my executors to engrave the following incn iption on the column in the centre of the seven Jireets which I ere&ted.
LOC. NAT. INCLVT. PHILOS. MAR. SCR. But Mr. Neale's order was never performed, because the executors durft not dminifter.
Nor was the birth of this great man unattended with prodigies : he himself has often told me, that, on the night before he was born, Mrs Scriblerus dreamed she was brought to bed of a huge ink-horn, out of which ile sued several large streams of ink, as it had been a fountain. This dream was by her husband thought to signify, that the child should prove a very voluminous writer. Likewise a crab-tree *, that had been hitherto barren, appeared on a sudden Laden with a vast quantity of crabs. This lign also the old gentleman imagined to be a prognostic of the acuteness of his wit.
A great swarm of wafpst, played round his cradle without hurting him, but were very troublesome to all in the room besides. This seemed a certain presage of the effects of bis satire, A dungbill was seen within the space of one night to be covered all over with mushrooms. This some interpreted to promise the infant great fertility of fancy, but no long duration to his works; but the father was of another opinion.
But what was of all most wonderful, was a thing that feemed a monstrous fowl, which just then dropt through the sky-light, near his wife's apartment. It had a large
* Virgil's Laurel Donat. Pope.
body, two little disproportioned wings, a prodigious tail, but no head. As its colour was white, he took it at firft light for a lwan, and was concluding his fon would be a poet : but, on a nearer view, perceived it to be fpeckled with black, in the form of letters; and that it was indeed a paper-kite which had broke its leash by the impetuosity of the wind. His back was armed with the art military, his belly was filled with phyfic, bis wings were the wings of Quarles and Withers, the several notes of his vo. luminous tail were diverfified with several branches of sci. ence; where the Doctor berreld, with great joy, a knoc of logic, a knot of metaphyiic, a knot of cafuittry, a kpot of polemical divinity, and a knot of common law, with
lanthorn of Jacob Behuizen.
There went a report in the family, that, as foon as he was born, he uttered the voice of wine leveral animals: he cried like a calf, bleated like a sheep, chattered like a mag-pye, grunted l ke a hog, neighed like a foal, croak, ed like a raven, mewed like a cat, gabbled like a goose and brayed like an ass: And the next morning he was found playing in his bed with two owls, which came down the chimney. His father greatly rejoiced at alt these figns, which betokened the variety of his eloquence, and the extent of his learning; but he was more particu. larly pleased with the lait, as it nearly resembled what happened at the birth of Homer *
CH A P. II.
The speech of Cornelius over his for, at the hour of his
O sooner was the cry of the infant heard, but the
old gentleman rushed into the room, and fnatching it in bis arms, examined every limb with attention. He was infinitely pleased to find, that the child bad the wart of Cicero, the wry neck of Alexander, knots upon his legs like Marius, and one of them shorter than the o
* Vid. Eustath, in Odyll. l. xii, ex Alex. Paphio, et Leo. Allat. de patr. Hom. p. 45. Pope..
ther like Agefilaus. The good Cornelius also hoped he would come to stammer like Doinesthenes, in order to be as eloquent; and in time arrive at many other deft ets of fa
He held the child so long, that the midwife, grown out of all patience, snatched it from his arms, in order to swaddle it. “ Swaddle bim !" quoch he, “ far “ be it from me to fubinit to such a pernicious custom ! 56 Is not my fon a inan? and is not man the lord of the “ universe ? Is it thus you use this monarch at his first « arrival in his dominions, to manacle and shackle bim “ hand and foot ? Is this what you call to be free-born? “ If you have no regard to liis natural liberty, at least 66 have some to his natural faculties. Behold with what “ agility he (pieadethalis toes, and moveth them with as “ great variety as bis fingers ! a power, which, in the « finall circle of a year, may be totally abolished, by the
enormous confinement of shoes and stockings. His ears • (which other aniinals turn with great advantage to* wards the sonorous object) may, by the mivistry of some “ accursed nurse, for ever lie flat and immoveable. Not “ fo the aniients; they could move tliem at pleasure, and “ accordingly are often described arreëlis euribus." “ What a devil,” quoth the midwife, “ would you bave your
son move his eais like a drill?” " Yes, fool" (faid he), “why should he not have the pertection of a is drill, or of any other animal ?" Mrs. Scriblerus, who lay all this while fretting at her husband's discourse, at last broke out to thi: purpose ; • My dear, I have had
many disputes with you upon this subject before I was
a month gone: we have but one child, and cannot af“ ford to throw him away upon experiments. I will have
up like other gentlemen, at hone, and « always under mine own eye." All the gossips, with one voice, cried, Ay, ay ; bui Cornelius broke out in this manner.
" What! bred at home! Have I taken all this “ pains for a creature that is to lead the inglorious life “ of a cabbage, to fuck the nutritious juices from the
fpot where he was firit plantıd? No; 10 perambu“ late this terraqueous glole is too small a range; were “ ir permitted, he should at least make the tour of the “ whole system of the fim. Let olher mortals fore u
pon maps, and swallow the legends of lying travellers;
my boy bred