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Being an account of the arrival of a white bear,
at the house of Mr Ratcliff in Bihopsgate-street; as also of Favstina, the celebrated Italian singing woman ; and of the copper-farthing Dean from Ireland. And lastly, Of the wonderful wild man that was nursed in the woods of Germany by a wild beaft, hunted and taken in toils; how he behaveth himself like a dumb creature, and is a Christian like one of us, being called Peter ; and how he was brought to court all in green, to the great astonishment of the quality and gentry, 1726.
E shall begin with a description of Peter the fa.
vage, deferring our other curiosities to some fol. lowing papers.
Romulus and Remus, the two famous wild men of an. tiquity, and Orlm that of the moderns, have been juftly the admiration of all mankind : nor can we presage less of this wild youth, as may be gathered from that famous and well koown prophecy of Lilly's, which being uow accomplished, is most eally interpreted :
When Rome shall wend to Benevento,
Great foats Mall he atchieve
The Pope is now going to Benevento: the Spaniards have broke their treaty; the Emperor trades to China; and Lilly, were he alive, must be convinced, that it was not the Empress Faustina, that was meant in the prophe. cy.
It is evident, by leyeral tokens about this wild genile. span, that he had a father and mother like one of us; but there being no register of bis christening, bis age is only to be guessed at by bis stature and countenance, and appeareth to be about twelve or thirtren. His being so young was the occasion of the great disappointment of the ladies, who came to the drawing room iu full expectation of some attempt upon their chastity: so far is true, that he endeavoured to kiss the young lady Walpole, who, for that reason, is become the envy of the circle ; this being a declaration of nature in favour of her fuperior beauty.
Aristotle saith, that man is the most iniinic of all ani. mals; which opinion of that great philosopher is strongly confirmed by the behaviour of this wild gentleman, who is endowed with that quality to an extreme degree. He received his first impressions at court: his manners are first to lick people's hends, and then turn his breech up
on them; to thrust his hand into every body's pocket: to climb over people's heads; and even to make use of the royal hand to take what he has a mind to. At his first. appearance he seized on the Lord Chamberlain's staff, and put on his hat before the king ; from whence some bave conjeétured, that he is either descended from a grandee of Spain, or the Earls of King sale in Ireland. However, thele are mani et tokens of his innate ambition; he is extremely tenacious of his own property, and ready to invade that of other people. By this mimic quality he discovered what wild beast had nursed him : observing children to ask blessing of their mothers, one day be feli down upon his kuees to a low, and muttered some sounds in that bumble posture.
It has been conmonly thought, that he is Ulrick's na. .tural brother, because of some refen blance of manners,
and the officious care of Ulrick about him ; but the supe riority of parts and genius in Peter denonstrates this to be imposible.
Though he is ignorant both of antient and modern languages, (that care being left to the ingenious phyfici. an, who is intrusted with his education); yet he distinguishes objeets by certain founds framed to himself, which Mr Rotenberg, who brought him over, understands perfeetly. Beholding one day the shambles with great fear and astonishment, ever lisce he calls man by the lame found which exprefletin wolf. A young lady is a peacuck, old wonen magpies and owls ; a beau with a toupee, a monkey ; glais, ice ; blue, red, and green ribbons, he calls rainbow ; an heap of gold, a turd. The first ship he law, he took so be a great beast swimming on her back, and her feet tied above her ; the men, that came out of the hold; he took to be her cubs, and wondered they were so unlike their dame. He under. Itands perfectly the language of all beasts and birds, and is 110t, like them, coulined to that of one species. He can bring any beast he calls for, and no doube is inuch missed now in his native woodi, where he used to do good offices among his fellow-citizens, ard lerved as a mediator to reconcile their differences. One day he warned. flock of sheep, that were driving to the fhainbles, of their danger; and upon uttering fome founds, they all fed. He takes vast pleasure in conversation with lorles; and going to the Meuse to converse with two of his intimate acquaintances in the king's ftables, as he paised by, he neighed to the horse at Charing.cross, being, as it were, furprized to see him so high: he seemed io take it ill, that the horse did not answer him; but I think no-body. can undervalue his understanding for not being skilled in
He espresseth his joy most commonly by neigl.ing; and whatever the philo'ophers may talk of their risibility, Deighing is a more noble expression of that passion than laughing, which seems to me to have something silly in it ; and besides, is often attended with tears. Other animals are sensible they dohale theinfelves by mimicking laughter; and I take it to be a general observation, that the top fee licity of mankind is to imitate monkies and birds; wit. ness Harlequins, Scaramouches, and Masqueraders : on the other hand, monkies, when they would lo romely lilly, endeavour to bring themselves down to
mankind. Love he expresseth by the cooing of a dore, and anger by the croaking of a raven; and it is not doubted, but that he will serve in time as an interpreter between us and other aniinals.
Great instruction is to be had from this wild youth in the Kowledge of simples; and I am of opinion, that he ou zht always to attend the cenfors of the college in their vifitation of apothccaries thops.
I am told, that the new 457 * of herhaeaters intend to follow hin into the fields, or to beg him for a clerk of their kitchen; and that there are many of them now tbioking of turning their children into woods to graze with the cattle, in hopes to raitë a healthy and moral race, ranned from the corruptions of this luxurious world.
He lives naturally several pretty tunes of his own com. polines, and with eqnal facility in the choromatic, inhar. wione, and diatonic stile, and coliquently inust be of ifriteufe to the acide:ny in judging of the merits of iheir coinpolers, and is the only per on that ought to decidebewixt Cuzzoni and Faustina +.
I cannot onie his-sirit notion of cloaths, wbich he took to be the natural skins of ihe creatures that wore them, and liemed to be in great pain for the pulling off a stuck.ing, thinking the paor man was a-flaying.
1:21 got ignorant, that there are disaffected people, who say he is a pretender, and no genuine wild man. This cluinny proceeds from the falle notions they have of wild ineil, which they frame from such as they see about the tuwi), whose actions are rather absurd than wild; therefore it will be incumbent on all young gentle. men ulo are ambitious to excel in this character, to co-. py this trlie original of nature.
The lenses of this wild man are vaftly more acute;, than thole of a tame one ; he can follow the tract of a rran, or any other beast of prey.
A dog is an als to him for finding troufies; his hearing is more perfect, because his ears not having been confined by bandages, he can. move them like a drill, and turn them towards the sono.“ rous object.
* Dr Cheyne's followers. Hawkes. + Two rival fingers at that time in the Italian operas bere. Hatikes.