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« the son of Cornelius shall make his own legs bis com. “ passes; with those he shall measure continents, islands,
capes, bays, streights, and isthmus's: he shall himself “ take the altitude of the highest mountains, from the “ peak of Derby to the peak of Teneriff: when he has “ visited the top of Taurus, Imaus, Caucasus, and the “ famous Ararat, where Noah's ark first moored, he may “ take a Night view of the snowy Riphæans; nor would I «« have bin neglect Athos and Olympus, renowned for poe: 66 tical fictions. Those that vomit fire will deserve a more « particular attention: I will therefore have him observe, “ with great care, Vesuvius, Æna, the burning moun. “ tain of Java, but chiefly Hecla the greatest rarity in o the northern regions. Then he may likewise contem« plate the wonders of the Mephilic cave. When he has « dived into the bowels of the earth, and surveyed the ( works of nature under ground, and instructed himself “ fully in the nature of vulcanos, earthquakes, thunders, " tempests, and hurricanes, I hope he will bless the world " with a more exact survey of the delarts of Arabia and “ Tartary, than as yet we are able to obtain. Then « will I have him cross the seven gulphs, measure the « currents io the fifteen famous streights, and search for " those fountains of fresh water that are at the bottom of « the ocean.” At these last words Mrs Scriblerus fell into a trembling: the description of this terrible fcene made too violent an impression upon a woman in her condition, and threw her into a strong hysteric fit; which might have proved dangerous, if Cornelius had not been pushed out of the room by the united force of the women,
CH A P III.
Sk-wing what befell the Doctor's Son and his mield, on
the day of the christening. T
HE day of the christening being come, and the
house filled with gollips, the levity of whole con. versation suited but ill with the gravity of Dr Cornelius, he cast about how to pass this day inore agreeably to bis character ; that is to say, not wiilout some profi
able conference, nor wholly without observance of some antient cullom
He remembered to have read in Theocritus, that the cradle of Hercules was a Thield; and being possessed of ao antique buckler, which he held as a most inestimable relick, he determined to have the infant laid therein, and in that manner brought into the study, to be Mewn to certain iearned men of his acquaintance.
The regard he had for this field, had caused him formerly to compile a differtation concerning it *, pro. ving, from the several properties, and particularly the colour of the rult, the exact chronology thereof.
With this treatise, and a moderate fupper, he propo. sed to entertain his guests : though lie had also anothies design, to have their assistance in the calculation of bis fon's nativity.
He therefore took the buckler out of a case (in which he always kept it, left it might contract any modern ruft), and entrusted it to his house-maid, with orders, that, when the company was come, she should lay the child carefully in it,.covered with a mantle of blue fattin.
The guests were no sooner seated, but they entered into a warm debate about the Triclinium,and the inauuer of Decubitus of the antients, which Cornelius broke off in this manner.
" This day, my friends, I purpose to exhibit my son er before you ; a child not wholly unworthy of inspecti. " on, as he is descended from a race of Virtuosi. Let " the physiognomists exainine his features ; let the chi« rographifts behold his palm ; but above all, let us con« sult for the calculation of his nativity. To this end, as " the child is not vulgar, I will not present bin unto you « jo a vulgar manner. He shall be cradled in my anti" ent shield, so famous through the universities of Eu
rope. You all know how I purchased that invaluable “ piece of antiquity, at the great (though indeed in.ide- quate) expence of all the plate of our family, low « happily I carried it off, and how triumphantly I trane “ported it hither, to the inesprelible grief of all Gcr
* See the Differtation on Dr Woodward's thidld.
many. Happy in every circumstance, but that it broke " the lieart of the great Melihior Infipidus!”
Here he stopped his fpeech, upon light of the maid, who entered the room with the child. He took it in bis arms and proceeded.
“ Behold then my Wild, but first behold the shield : so behold this just -- or rather let me call it this precious
æruge, --behold this beautiful varnish of time, this 66 venerable verdure of lo many ages.
In speaking these words, be slowly lifted up the mautie, which covered it, inch by inch ; but at every inch he uncovered, bis cheeks grew paler, his band trembled, his nerves failed, till, on light of the whole, the treinor became univerfal. 'The shield and the infant boih dropt to the ground, and be had only strength enough to cry out, “ O God! my sield, my shield!"
The truth was, the maid (extremely concerned for the reputation of her own cleanliness, and her young master's honour) had scoured it as clean as her andirons *.
Cornelius funk back in a chair, the guests stood as stonished, the infant fquawled, the maid rau in, loatched it up again in her arms, New into her mistress's cold what had happened. Down stairs in an instant bur. ried all the gossips, where they found the Doctor in a trance. Hungary water, hartshorn, and the confused noise of shrill voices, at length awakened him : when, 0pening his eyes, he saw the shield in the hands of the house-maid. “ O woman! v'onian !” he cried, (and fiatched it violently from her)," was it to thy ignorance as that this relick owes its ruin? where, where is the beau" tiful crust that covered thee so long? where those " traces of time, and fingers, as it wore, of antiquity? “ Where all those beautiful obscurities, the cause of so much delightful diputation, where doubt and curiosi.
ty went hand in hand, and eternally exercised the fpe
culations of the learned ? All this the rude touch of "an iş norant woman hath done away! The curious “ prominence at the belly of that figure, which fome ta
king for the cuspis of a sword, denoininated a Roman
* Poor Vadius, long with learned spleen devour').
Can taste no pleasure linco his shicid was scour'd.
Popc. 66 soldier;
“ foldier; others accounting the insignia virilia, pro" pounced it to be one of the Dii Termini ; behold the “ bach cleaned it in like shuneful fort, and shewn to be " the head of a nail. O my shield ! ny shield! weil
may I say with Horace, non bene relitta Parmula.''
The gossips, not at all inquiring into the cause of l.is forrow, only asked if the child had no hurt ? and cried, " Come, come, all is well; what has the woman done “ but her duty ? a tight cleanly wench, I warrant her ; « what a stir a inan makes about a bason, that an hour
ago, before this labour was bestowed upon it, a coun
try.barber would not have hung at his shop door." « A bason!” (cried another), “ no such matter; it is " nothing but a paultry old jconce, with the nozzle bruke " off.” The learned gentlemei, wlio :ill now had stood speechless, bereupon looking narrowly on the shield, de
clared their assent to this latter opinion; and desired Cor. i relius 10 be comforted, afsuring him that it was a scence,
and no other. But this, instead of conforting, threw f the Dostor into fuch a violent fit of passion, that he was
carried off groaning and speechlels to bed ; where, being quite (pent, he fell into a kind of Qumbar,
CH A P. IV.
of the suction and nutrition of the great Scriblerus in
bis infancy, and of the first rudiments of his learning.
S. fuon as Cornelius awaked; be raised himself on
his elbow, and casting his eyes on Mrs Scriblerus, spoke as follows: “ Wisely was it fail by Homer, that c. io the cellar of Jupiter are two barrels, the one of good, 66 the other of evil, which he never bestows on mortals 6. feparately, but constantly mingles them together. Thus
at the same time hath Heaven blessed me with the birth 66% of a lon;, and afflicted me with the scouring of my & fhield. Yet let us not repine at his dispensations, who “ gives, and who takes away; but rather joiu in prayer, " that the rust of antiquity which he hath been pleased u to take from my shield, inay be added to my fon; and " that so much of it, as it is my purpole he shall con. B 2
tract in his education, may never be destroyed by any modern polishing.”
He could no longer bear the sight of the shield, but ordered it should be removed for ever from his
It was not long after purchased by Dr Woodward, who, by the aslistance of Mr Kemp, incrusted it with a new rust, and is the fame whereof a cut hath been ingraved, and exhibited, to the great contentation of the learned.
Cornelius now began to regulate the suction of his child. Seldom did there pass a day without disputes be• tween hin and the another, or the nurle, concerning the nature of aliment. The poor woman never dined but he denied her fome diih or other, which he judged pre. judicial to her milk. One day she had a longing desire 10 a piece of beef; and as the stretched her hand towards it, the old gentleman drew it away, and spoke to this effet, “ Hidst thou read the ancients, o nurse, thou " wouldst prefer the welfare of the infant which thou “ nourishest, to the indulging of an irregular and voraci
ous appetite. Beef, it is true, may conter a robustness on the limbs of my son, but will hebetate and clog bis
intellectuals.” While he spoke this, the nurse looked upou lim with much anger, and row and then cast a wishfol eye upon the beef.--"Passion” (continued the Doctor, ftill holding the dish), “ throws the mind into too violent
a fermentation ; it is a kind of fever of the foul, or, as Horace expresses it, a short madness. Consider, woman, that this day’s fuction of
cause " him to imbibe many ungovernable passions, and in a “ manner spoil him for the temper of a philosopher. Ro. "mulus, by fucking a wolf, became of a fierce and fa
vage disposition ; and were I to breed some Ottoman
emperor, or founder of a military commonwealth, per“ haps I might indulge thee in this carnivorous appe. “ tite." - What! interrupted the nurse, beef spoil the understanding ! that's fine indeed - How then could our parfoo preach as he does upon beef, and pudding too, if you go to that? Do not tell me of
antients; had not you almost killed the poor babe with a dish of dæmonial black broth? “ Lacedæmonian black broth, thou “ would say,” (replied Cornelius); " but I cannot al66 low the Turfeit to have been occasioned by that diet,