Imágenes de páginas

“ fered to hang till he was dead; and this was only reco
“ koned a fort of joke, I am utterly againit this, as
« barbarous and cruel.
I cannot conclude, without taking notice of the beau-

ty of the Greek names, whose etymologies acquaint us * with the nature of the sporis; and low infinitely, both in senle and sound, they excel our barbarous names of “ plays."

Notwithstanding the foregoing injunctions of Dr Cornelius, he yet condescended to allow the child the ule of fone few modern play.things : such as might prove of aay benefit to his inind, by instilling, an early notion of rre sciences. For example, be foupu that marbles taught bin percussion and the laws of motion; nut-crackers the use of the levver ; swinging on the ends of a board, the ba. lance : bottle-screws, the vice ; whirligiggs, the axis and peritrochia : bird-cages, the puliy ; and rops, the centrifugal motion.

Others of his sports were further carried to iz prore his tender soul even in virtue and morality. We hall only instance one of the most ulefut and intructive, bob. cherry, which te:ches at once two roble virtues, pacience and constancy; the first in adhering to the pursuit of one end, the latter in bearing a dilappointment.

Besides all thele, he taught biin as a diversion, an odd and secret manner of fiealing, according to the custoin of the Lacedæmonians; wherein he succeeded so well, that be practiled it to the day of his death.

C H A P. VÍ.

Of the gymnastics, in what exercises Martinus was edusted; fomething concerning inufick, and what fort of a man his uncle was,


[ocr errors]

OR was Cornelius less careful in adhering to the

rules of the purest antiquity, in relation to the excrcises of his son. He was stript, powdered, and anoint. ed, but not constantly bathed, which occasioned many heavy complaints of the laundress about dirtying his linen. When he played at quoits, he was allowed his breeches


[ocr errors]

and stockings; because the discoboli (as Cornelius well knew.) were naked to the iniddle only. The inotlier of ten contended for modern sports and common customs : but this was his constant reply, “ Let a daughter be the

care of her mother, but the education of a lon should “ be the delight of his father.”

It was about this time, he heard, to his exceeding content, that the harpalies of the antients was yet in uile in Cornwall, and known there by the name of hurling: He was féntible the common foot-ball was a veryimperfect imitation of that exercise ; and thought it neceflary to fend Martin into the west, to be initiated in that truly antient and manly part of the gymnastics. The pour boy was lo unfortunate as to return with a broken leg. This Cornelius locked upon but as a slight ailment, and promised his mother he would instantly cure it. He llit a green reed, and cast the knite upward, ihen tying the two parts of the reed to the disjointed place, pronounced thele words *, Daries, daries, astutaries, dillunapiler ; huat, hanat, huat, ifta, pifia, filla, doni abo, damnaufira. But finding, to his no inail astonishinent, that this had no effect, in five days he condelčended to have it set by a modern furgeon.

Mrs Scriblerus, to prevent hin from exposing her son to the like dangerous exercises for the future, proposed to Tend for a dancing-master, and to have bio taught the minuet and rigadoon. Dancing” (quoth Cornelius) " I much approve, for Socrates said the best dancers were “ the best warriors; but not those species of dancing " which you mention ; they are certainly corruptions of “ the comic and satyric dance, which were utterly dillik" ed by the founder antients. Martin Thall learn the ira“ gic dance only, and I will send all over Europe, till I Gnd an antiquary able to instruct liiin in the saltatio Pyrrhica. Scaliger t, from whom my foo is lincally

" descended,

* Plin. Hift. Nat. lib. xvii. in fine, Carmen contra luxata membr.1, cujus verba inferere ilon cquidem ferio aufim, quanquam a Catorie prodita. Vid. Caton. de re rust. C. 160. Pope.

+ Scalig. Poe:ic. lib. i. c. 9. Hinc saltationem Pyrrhicam, nos Saepe et diu, jussit Bonifacii patrui, coram Divo Mazin.i!i21:0, non fire


“ descended, boasts to have performed this warlike dance " in the prelence of the emperor, to the great admiration “ of all Germany. What would he say, could he look “ down and see one of his posterity so ignorant, as not " to know the least step of that noble kind of saltation."

The poor lady was at last inured to bear all these things with a laudable patience, till one day ber hulband was seized with a new thought. He had met with a saying, that "Spleen, garter, and girdle are the three «' impediments to the cursus." Therefore Pliny (lib.xi.

37.) says, that such as excel in that exercilè have their spleen cautorized, “ My son” (quoth Cornelius)

runs but heavily; therefore I will have this operation “ performed upon him immediately. Moreover, it will “ cure that immoderate laughter to which I perceive he " is addicted: for laughter” (as the same author hath it, ibid.) “ is caused by the bignels of the spleen." This design was no sooner hinted to Mrs Scriblerus, but she burit into tears, wrung her hands, and instantly sent to his brother Albertus, begging hiin for the love of God 80 make haste to her husband.

Albertus was a discreet man, sober in his opinions, clear of pedantry, and knowing enough both in books and in the world, to preserve a due regard for whatever was useful or excellent, whether antient or modern : if he had not always the authority, he had at least the art, to divert Cornelius from many extravagancies. It was well he came speedily, or Mirtin could not have boasted the entire quota of his vilcera.

• What does it fignify" (quoth Albertus), “ whether my vephew excels in ile

cursus or not? Speed is often a symptom of cowardice, 66 witness hares and deer.. “ Do not forget Achilles" (quoth Cornelius). “ I know that running bas been consi denined by the proud Spartans, as useless in war; and

yet Demosthenes.could lay, Avne i <=úzwi.xxi wanav redeo “ **58741; a thought which the English Hudibras thas so well rendered.

Stupore Germaniae, repraesentavimus. Quo tempore vox illa imperatoris, Hic pulcr aut theraccon pro pelle aut pro cunis habuit. Pope.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

For he that runs may fight again,

Which he can never do that's pain. " That's true (quoth Albertus) but pray consider on " the other Gide, that animals * spleened grow extremco “ ly falacious, an experiment well known in dogs.” Core nelius was struck with this, and replied gravely;

be so, I will defer the operation, for I will not increa e

the powers of my son's body at the expence of chole 6 of his mind. I am indeed disappointed in most of my "projects, and tear I must sit down at last contented « with such methods of education as modern barbarity « affords. Happy bad it been for us all had we lived “ in the age of Augustus ! Then my son might have “ heard the phiiosophers di'pute in the porticos of the • Palæstra, and at the same time formed his body and " his understanding “ It is true, (replied Alertus) " we have no exedra for the philofoples, adjoining to « our tennis-courts ; but there are ale-houses where te « will hear very notable argumentations. Thoug we " come not up to the antients in the tragic-dance, we o excell them in the rubisces or the art of tumbling.

The antients would have beat us at quoits, but noi lo « much at the jaculum or pitching the bar. The pugi. latus † is in as great perfection n England as in old • Rome, and the cornish-hug in the luctus f is equal to « the volutatoria of the untients.” “You could not (an. “ sweredCornelius) have produced a more unluckyirstance " of modern folly and barbarity, than what you say of " the jaculum. The Cretans wisely forbid their servanis • gymnastics as well as arms ll, and yet our modern 66 footmen exercise themselves daily in the jaculum at " the corner of Hyde-Park, wbilst their enervated “ lords are lolling in their chariots, (a species of vectita66 tion feldom used amongst the antienis, except by old « men).” “ You say well (quoth Albertus), and we " have several other kinds of vectitation unknown to tie “ antients, particularly Aying chariots, where the people

• Blackmore's Essay on Spleen. Pope.
f Fisty Cuffs. Pope.

Wrestling Pope.

Aristot. Politic. lib. ii. cap. 3. Pope,
Vol. V,



[ocr errors]

« have the benefit of this exercise at the finall expence “ of a farthing But fuppofe (which I readily grant) " that the antients excelled us in almost every ching, “ yet why this fingularity ? your fon must take up with “ such masters as the present age affords; we have dan“cing-masters, writing-masters, and music-masters."

The bare mention of music threw Cornelius into a paf. fion. “How can you dignify (quoth he) this modern “ fiddling with the name of inusie? Will any of your " best hautboys encounter a wolf now a days with do “ other arins but their instruments, as did that antient “ piper Pythocharis? Have ever wild boars, elephanis, “ deer, dolphins, whales, or turbots, shewed the least 16 emotion at the most elaborate strains of


modern “ scrapers, all which have been, as it were, tamed and e humanized by antient musicians ! Does not Ælian * " tell us how the Lybian mares were excited to horsing os by music ? (which ought in truth to be a caution to " modest women agairst frequenting operas ; and con« sider, brother, you are brought to this dilemma, either " to give up the virtue of the ladies, or the power of " your music) Wh-oce proceeds the degeneracy of « our morals? Is it not from the loss of antient music, « by which (says Aristotle) they taught all the virtues ? « Else might we turn Newgate into a college of Dorian « musicians, who should teach moral virtues to those

people. Whence comes it that our present diseases are " To ftubborn? whence is it that I Jaily deplore my 56 tical pains ? Alas! because we have lost their true « cure by the melody of the pipe. All this was well « known to the aptients,, as Theophrastus t assures us, “ (whence Cælius & calls it loca dolentia decantare); s only indeed some small remains of this skill

are preserv. « ed in the cure of the tarantula. Did not Pythagoras « stop a company of drunken bullies from storming a ci. “ við house, by changing the strain of the pipe to the fober

* Ælian. Hist. Animal. lib. xi. cap. 28. and lib. xii. cap. 44. Pope. † Athenaeus, lib. xiv. Pope.

Lib. de fanitate tuenda, cap. 2.
Il Quintilian, lib. i. cap. 10. Pope.




« AnteriorContinuar »