« ForrigeFortsæt »
went by contraries. I did not, indeed, before much like the crystal heart, remembering that confounded simile in Valentinian, of a maid, 'as cold as crystal, never to be thawed.' Besides, I verily believe if I had slept a little longer, that awkward whelp with his money-bags would certainly have made his second entrance. If you can tell the fair one's mind, it will be no small proof of your art, for I dare say it is more than she herself can do. Every sentence she speaks is a riddle, all that I can be certain of is, that I am her and "Your humble servant,
No. 107. TUESDAY, JULY 14.
-tentanda via est
I HAVE lately entertained my reader with two or three letters from a traveller, and may possibly, in some of my future papers, oblige him with more from the same hand. The following one comes from a projector, which is a sort of correspondent as diverting as a traveller: his subject having the same grace of novelty to recommend it, and being equally adapted to the curiosity of the reader. For my own part, I have always had a particular fondness for a project, and may say, without vanity, that I have a pretty tolerable genius that way myself, I could mention some which I have brought to maturity, others which have miscarried, and many more which I have yet by me, and are to take their fate in the world when I see a proper juncture. I had a hand in the landbank, and was consulted with upon the reformation of manners. I have had several designs upon the Thames and the New River, not to mention my refinements upon lotteries and insurances, and that never-to-be-forgotten project, which if it had succeeded to my wishes, would have made gold as plentiful in this nation as tin and copper. If my countrymen have not reaped any advantages from these my designs, it was not for want of any good will towards them. They are obliged to me for my kind intentions as much as if they had taken effect. Projects are of a two-fold nature: the first arising from public-spirited persons, in which number I de
clare myself: the other proceeding from a regard to our private interest, of which nature is that in the following letter.
"SIR, A man of your reading knows very well that there were a set of men, in old Rome, called by the name of Nomenclators, that is, in English, men who could call every one by his name. When a great man stood for any public office, as that of a tribune, a consul, or a censor, he had always one of these Nomenclators at his elbow, who whispered in his ear the name of every one he met with, and by that means enabled him to salute every Roman citizen by his name when he asked him for his vote. To come to my purpose, I have with much pains and assiduity qualified myself for a Nomenclator to this great city, and shall gladly enter upon my office as soon as I meet with suitable encouragement. I will let myself out by the week to any curious gentleman or foreigner. If he takes me with him in a coach to the ring, I will undertake to teach him, in two or three evenings, the names of the most celebrated persons who frequent that place. If he plants me by his side in the pit, I will call over to him, in the same manner, the whole circle of beauties that are disposed among the boxes, and, at the same time, point out to him the persons who ogle them from their respective stations. I need not tell you that I may be of the same use in any other public assembly. Nor do I only profess the teaching of names, but of things. Upon the sight of a reigning beauty, I shall mention her admirers, and discover her gallantries, if they are of public notoriety. I shall likewise mark out every toast, the club in which she was elected, and the number of votes that were on her side. Not a woman shall be unexplained that makes a figure either as a maid, a wife, or a widow. The men too shall be set out in their distinguishing characters, and declared whose properties they are. Their ⚫ wit, wealth, or good humour, their persons, stations, and titles, shall be described at large.
"I have a wife who is a Nomenclatress, and will be ready, on any occasion, to attend the ladies. She is of a much more communicative nature than myself, and is acquainted with all the private history of London and Westminster, and ten miles round. She has fifty private amours which nobody yet knows anything of but herself, and thirty clandestine
marriages that have not been touched by the tip of a tongue. She will wait upon any lady at her own lodgings, and talk by the clock after the rate of three guineas an hour.
"N. B. She is a near kinswoman of the author of the New Atalantis.
"I need not recommend to a man of your sagacity the usefulness of this project, and do therefore beg your encouragement of it, which will lay a very great obligation
"Your humble servant."
After this letter from my whimsical correspondent, I shall publish one of a more serious nature, which deserves the utmost attention of the public, and in particular of such who are lovers of mankind. It is on no less a subject than that of discovering the longitude, and deserves a much higher name than that of a project, if our language afforded any such term. But all I can say on this subject will be superfluous, when the reader sees the names of those persons by whom this letter is subscribed, and who have done me the honour to send it me. I must only take notice, that the first of these gentlemen is the same person who has lately obliged the world with that noble plan, entitled, A Scheme of the Solar System, with the Orbits of the Planets and Comets belonging thereto. Described from Dr. Halley's accurate Table of Comets, Philosoph. Transact. No. 297, founded on Sir Isaac Newton's wonderful discoveries, by Wm. Whiston, M. A.
To Nestor Ironside, Esq., at Button's Coffee-house, near Covent Garden.
"SIR, London, July 11, 1713. Having a discovery of considerable importance to communicate to the public, and finding that you are pleased to concern yourself in anything that tends to the common benefit of mankind, we take the liberty to desire the insertion of this letter into your Guardian. We expect no other recommendation of it from you, but the allowing of it a place in so useful a paper. Nor do we insist on any protection from you, if what we propose should fall short of what we pretend to; since any disgrace, which in that case must be expected, ought to lie wholly at our own doors, and to be
entirely borne by ourselves, which we hope we have provided for by putting our own names to this paper.
"'Tis well known, sir, to yourself, and to the learned, and trading, and sailing world, that the great defect of the art of navigation is, that a ship at sea has no certain method, in either her eastern or western voyages, or even in her less distant sailing from the coasts, to know her longitude, or how much she is gone eastward or westward; as it can easily be known in any clear day or night, how much she is gone northward or southward: the several methods by lunar eclipses, by those of Jupiter's satellites, by the appulses of the moon to fixed stars, and by the even motions of pendulum clocks and watches, upon how solid foundations soever they are built, still failing in long voyages at sea when they come to be practised; and leaving the poor sailors to the great inaccuracy of a long-line, or dead reckoning. This defect is so great, and so many ships have been lost by it, and this has been so long and so sensibly known by trading nations, that great rewards are said to be publicly offered for its supply. We are well satisfied, that the discovery we have to make as to this matter is easily intelligible by all, and readily to be practised at sea as well as at land; that the latitude will thereby be likewise found at the same time; and that with proper charges it may be made as universal as the world shall please; nay, that the longitude and latitude may be generally hereby determined to a greater degree of exactness than the latitude itself is now usually found at sea. So that on all accounts we hope it will appear very worthy the public consideration. We are ready to disclose it to the world, if we may be assured that no other persons shall be allowed to deprive us of those rewards which the public shall think fit to bestow for such a discovery; but we do not desire actually to receive any benefit of that nature, until Sir Isaac Newton himself, with such other proper persons as shall be chosen to assist him, have given their opinion in favour of this discovery. If Mr. Ironside pleases so far to oblige the public as to communicate this proposal to the world, he will also lay a great obligation on,
"His very humble servants,
No. 108. WEDNESDAY, JULY 15.
Abjetibus juvenes patriis et montibus æqui. VIRG.
I Do not care for burning my fingers in a quarrel, but since I have communicated to the world a plan which has given offence to some gentlemen whom it would not be very safe to disoblige, I must insert the following remonstrance; and, at the same time, promise those of my correspondents who have drawn this upon themselves, to exhibit to the public any such answer as they shall think proper to make to it.
I was very much troubled to see the two letters which you lately published concerning the Short Club. You cannot imagine what airs all the little pragmatical fellows about us have given themselves, since the reading of those papers. Every one cocks and struts upon it, and pretends to over-look us who are two foot higher than themselves. I met with one the other day who was at least three inches above five foot, which you know is the statutable measure of that club. This overgrown runt has struck off his heels, lowered his foretop, and contracted his figure, that he might be looked upon as a member of this new-erected society; nay, so far did his vanity carry him, that he talked familiarly of Tom Tiptoe, and pretends to be an intimate acquaintance of Tim. Tuck. For my part, I scorn to speak anything to the diminution of these little creatures, and should not have minded them, had they been still shuffled among the crowd. Shrubs and underwoods look well enough while they grow within the shade of oaks and cedars, but when these pigmies pretend to draw themselves out from the rest of the world, and form themselves into a body, it is time for us, who are men of figure, to look about us. If the ladies should once take a liking to such a diminutive race of lovers, we should, in a little time, see mankind epitomized, and the whole species in miniature; daisy roots would grow a fashionable diet. In order, therefore, to keep our posterity from dwindling, and fetch down the pride of this aspiring race of upstarts, we have here instituted a Tall Club.
"As the short club consists of those who are under five