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mess of Judgment, to distinguish between Things and Conceptions, which at first sight, or upon short Glance, seem alike; to chuse among infinite Productions of Wit and Fancy, which are worth preserving and cultivating, and which are better stilled in the Birth, or thrown away when they are born, as not worth bringing up.
Without the Forces of Wit, all Poetry is flat and languishing; without the Succours of Judgment, 'tis wild and extravagant. The true Wonder of Poesy is, that such Contraries must meet to compose it; a Genius both penetrating and folid; in Expression both Delicacy and Force; and the Frame or Fabric of a true Poem, must have something both sublime and just, amazing and agreeable. There must be a great Agitation of Mind to invent, a great Calm to judge and correct; there must be upon the same Tree and at the same Time, both Flower and Fruit. To work up this Metal into exquisite Figure, there must be employed the Fire, the Chiffel, and the File. There must be a general Knowledge both of Nature and of Arts; and to go the lowest that can be, there are required Genius, Judgment, and Application ; for without this last, all the rest will not serve
Turn, and none ever was a great Poet that applied himself much to any thing else.
A VISIO N.
YITHATEVER Industry and Eagerness the modern
Vy Discoverers have shewn for the Knowledge of new Countries, there yet remains an ample Field in the Creation, to which they are utter Strangers, and which all the Methods of Travelling hitherto inventedy will never bring them acquainted with. Of this I can give a very particular Instance, in an Accident which lately happened to me. As I was on the 6th of this Instant, walking with my Eyes cast upwards, I fell into a Reflection on the vast Tracts of Air which appeared before me as uninhabited. And wherefore, said I to myself, should all this Space be created ? Can it only be for an odd Bird to fly through, as now and then a Man passes a Desart? Or are there also Kingdoms, with their particular Polities and
People, People, of a Species which we know nothing of, ordain'd to live in it?-It was in this manner I continued my Thought, when my Feet forsook the Level, and I was insensibly mounted in the Air, till I arrived at a Footing as firm and level as what I had left. But with what Surprize did I find myself among Creatures distinct from us in Shape and Customs! The Inhabitants are of a small Stature, below those which History describes for Pigmies; the tallest of them exceed not fourteen or fifteen Inches, and the least are hardly three. This Difference proceeds only from their Growth before they are brought to Light; for after, we never observe them to grow, unless it please their Parents, who have this uncommon Method of enabling them: They recall them to the Womb, where having been for some time, they receive an Addition to their Bulk, then go back to their Houses, and continue at a Stand as they did before. The Experiment has been often tried with Success, but some have suffered extremely by undergoing it.
Their Skins are like the antient Britons, all drawn over with Variety of Figures; the Colour made use of for this End is generally black. I have indeed observed in some of the Religious and Lawyers of this Country, Red here and there intermingled, though not so commonly of late. They tell me too, they often used to paint with all Colours ; and I visited two or three of the old Inhabitants, who were adorned in that Fashion: But this is now disused, since the new Inventions, by which the Use of a black Fountain that belongs to that Country, is rendered more useful and serviceable.
The Cloaths in which they go clad are the Skins of Beasts, worn by some plain, by others with Figures wrought upon them. Gold is also made use of by some to beautify their Apparel; but very seldom Silver, unless as Buckles are by us, for fastening the Garments before. I have seen some of them go like Seamen in thin blue Shirts; others like Indians, in a party-colour'd loose kind of Apparel; and others, who they told me were the Politicians of the Country, go about stark naked.
The Manner of dressing them is this : At first when they come into the World they have a Suit given them, which if it do not fit exactly, is not as with us, fitted up again, but the Children are in a cruel Manner cut and squeez'd to bring them to its Proportion. Yet this they seem not much to regard, provided their principal Parts are not affected. When the Dress is thus settled on them, they are clad for Life, it
there ine too, they cree of the this is now ack Fountaina
eve beoors, and even have toity, and
being seldom their Custom to alter it, or put it off: In short, they live in it Night and Day, and wear it to Rags rather thanpart with it, being fure of the same Torture, and a greater Danger if they should be dressed a second time. I have farther taken notice, that they delight to go open-breasted, most of them fhewing their Boroms speckled. Some Lawyers indeed wear them quite white, perhaps for Distinction fake, or to be known at a Distance; but the finest Shew is among the Beaux and Ladies, who mightily affect something of Gold both before and behind them. Food I never saw them eat, they being a People, who, as I have observed, live in Air: Their Houses are all single and high, having no back Rooms, but frequently seven or eight Stories, which are all separate Houses above one another. They have one Gate to their City, and generally no Doors to their Houses; tho' I have sometimes feen them have particular Doors, and even made of Glass, where the Inhabitants have been observed to stand many Days, that their fine Apparel may be seen through them. If at any time they lie down, which they do when they come from their Habitations, as if coming abroad were their greatest Fatigue, they will lie together in Heaps without receiving Hurt; tho' the soundeft Sleep they get, is when they can have Dust enough to cover them over. The Females amongst them are but few, nothing being there produced by a Marriage of Sexes. The Males are of a different Strength or Endowment of Parts, some having Knowledge in an extreme Degree, and others none at all, yet at the same time they are mighty willing to instruct others. Their Names (for as many as would discover them to me) I observed to be the very fame as ours are upon Earth; I met a few who made theirs a Mystery, but why I am yet to learn. They are so communicative, that they will tell all the Knowledge they boast, if a Stranger apply himself to their Conversation: And this may be worth his while, if he considers that all Languages, Arts, and Sciences, are professed amongst them. I think I may say it without Vanity, that I knew a certain Talisman, with proper Figures and Characters inscribed, whereby their greatest People may be charmed, brought to reside with a Man, and serve him like a Familiar in the Conduct of Life.
There is no such thing as Fighting amongst them, but their Controversies are determined by Words, wherein they seldom own themselves conquered, yet proceed no farther than two or three Replies: Perhaps indeed two others take up their Neighbour's Quarrel, but then they desist too after the same manner; sometimes, however, Blows have ensued
upon their Account, tho' not amongst them: In such a Cafe they have descended to inspire Mankind with their Sentiments, and chosen Champions from among us, in order to decide it.
The time of their Life is very different; some die as soon as born, and others in their Youth; some get a new Lease, by their entering into the Womb again; and if any weather out to a hundred Years, they generally live on to an extreme Age: After which it is remarkable, that instead of growing weaker as we do by Time, they increase in Strength, and become at laft so confirmed in Health, that it is the Opinion of their Country, they never can perish while the World remains.
The Sicknesses which may take them off, besides what happens from their natural Weakness of Body, are of different Sorts. One is Over-moisture, which affecting their Mansions, makes them lose their Complexions, become deformed, and rot away insensibly: This is often obviated by their not keeping too much within Doors. Another is the Worms, which prey upon their Bowels. If they be maimed by Accidents, they become like us, so far useless, and that will some time or other be the Occasion of their Ruin. However, they perish by these means only in appearance, and like Spirits who vanilha in one Place, to be seen in another. But as Men die of Pasfions, so Difesteem is what the most nearly touches them; then they withdraw into Holes and Corners, and consume away in Darkness. Or if they are kept alive a few Days by the Force of Spices, it is but a short Reprieve from their perishing to Eternity without any Honour; but that instead of a Burial, a small Pyre of Paste should be erected over them, while they, like the ancient Romans, are reduced to Ashes.
U E makes the Interest of Mankind, in a manner, his
I own; and has a tender and affectionate Concern for their Welfare. He cannot think himself happy, whatever his Possessions and Enjoyments are, while he sees others miserable. His Wealth and Affuence delight him chiefly as the Poor and Indigent are the better for it; and the greatest Charm of Prosperity is the Opportunity it affords of relieving his FellowCreatures, and of being more extensively useful. He thinks he has discharged but the least Part of his Duty, when he has done frict Justice to all; and therefore the communicating Advice and Comfort, Alistance and Support, according to the various Exigencies of those with whom he converses, is his constant Endeavour, and most pleasing Entertainment. In the strong and elegant Language of Yob, He is Eyes to the Blind, and Feet to the Lame; he delivereth the Poor that cry, and the Fatherless, and him that hath none to help him; the Blessing of him that is ready to perish cometh upon him, and he causeth the Widow's Heart to sing for Joy. And that he may practise the more large and generous Charity, he retrenches useless Pomp and Extravagance; and by a regular and prudent Management, constantly provides for the Relief of the Necessitous; esteeming this a much more sublime and noble Gratification, than the idle Amusements and Gallantries of a vain and luxurious Age.
He not only takes all Occasions that present themselves of doing Good, but secks for Opportunities to be useful; it'is part of the stated Employment and Bufiness of his Life. He contrives and studies which way he may be most serviceable to his Fellow-Creatures, and what that particular Talent is, with which he is entrusted for the Good of Mankind. If it be Power, he protects and encourages Virtue by his Authority and Influence, is the Patron of Liberty, and vindicates the Cause of oppressed Innocence. If Riches, he is rich in good Works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate. If Knowledge, he counts it his highest Pleasure to instruct the Ignorant, and administer proper Direction and Comfort in perplexing and difficult Circumstances; and to defend the Cause of Religion, and represent it in a just and amiable Light. And to nothing Vol I.