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G.B. Cipriani Inv

I.K. Sherwin Sculp

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No 376.

SATURDAY, Jan. 17, 1736.


AM not of the opinion of those who think that our ancestors were in every respect wiser than we, and who reject every new invention as chimerical, and brand it with the name of project. On the contrary, I am perfuaded, that most things are still capable of improvement; for which reafon I always give a fair and impartial hearing to all new proposals, and have often, in the course of my life, found great advantage by fo doing.

I very early took Mr. Ward's Drop, notwithstanding the great difcouragement it met with, in its infancy, from an honorable author, eminent for his political fagacity, who afferted it to be liquid Popery and

*This was one of the weekly publications against fir R. Walpole's administration. It was firft intitled Mift's Journal. I fufpect, that lord Chesterfield had, feveral times before, lent his hand to the writers of this witty paper; but I have no authority to affert it. This, and the two following effays, were generally allowed to be his. VOL. II.



Jacobitifm. I reaped great benefit from it, and recommended it to fo many of my friends, that I question whether the author of that great specific is more obliged to any one man in the kingdom than myfelf, excepting one:

I have likewise, as well as my brother Caleb *, great hopes of public advantage, arifing from the fkill and discoveries of that ingenious operator, Dr. Taylor; notwithstanding the late objections of Mrs. Cfborne +, and her moft fubtle diftinctions between the eye politic, and the eye natural.

Some inventions have been improved ages after their firft discovery, and extended to ufes fo obvious, and so nearly resembling those for which they were at first intended, that it is furprizing how they could have fo long escaped the fagacity of mankind. For inftance, printing, though used but within thefe few centuries, has in reality been invented thousands of years; and it is astonishing, that it never occurred to thofe, who firft ftampt images and infcriptions upon metals, to ftamp likewise their thoughts upon wax, barks of trees, or whatever elfe they wrote upon.

This example should hinder one frona thinking any thing brought to its ne plus ultra of perfection, when fo plain an improvement lay for many ages undif covered.

* The Craftsman, in which lord Bolingbroke was principally engaged, went under the name of Caleb D'Anvers cfq.

The fignature to one of the minifterial papers being F. Ofborne ef; (who was the eldest and graveft of their writers), his antagonists made an old woman of the author, and nick-named him Mother Ofborne, under which title he figures in the fecond book of the Dunciad.


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