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She had not been long among her own people in the vallies, when she received new overtures, and at the same time a most splendid visit from Mishpach, who was a mighty man of old,
and had built a great city, which he called after his own name. 5 Every house was made for at least a thousand years, nay there
were some that were leased out for three lives; so that the quantity of stone and timber consumed in this building is scarce to be imagined by those who live in the present age of the world. This great man entertained her with the voice of musical instruments which had been lately invented, and danced before her to the sound of the timbrel. He also presented her with several domestick utensils wrought in brass and iron, which had been newly found out for the conve ency of life. In the mean
time Shalum grew very uneasie with himself, and was sorely 15 displeased at Hilpa for the reception which she had given to
Mishpach, insomuch that he never wrote to her or spoke of her during a whole revolution of Saturn; but finding that this intercourse went no further than a visit, he again renewed his addresses to her, who during his long silence is said very often to have cast a wishing eye upon mount Tirzah.
Her mind continued wavering about twenty years longer between Shalum and Mishpach; for though her inclinations favoured the former, her interest pleaded very powerfully for the other. While her heart was in this unsettled condition, the following accident happened which determined her choice. A high tower of wood that stood in the city of Mishpach having caught fire by a flash of lightning, in a few days reduced the whole town to ashes. Mishpach resolved to rebuild the place,
whatever it should cost him; and having already destroyed all 30 the timber of the country, he was forced to have recourse to
Shalum, whose forests were now two hundred years old. He purchased these woods with so many herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, and with such a vast extent of fields and pastures, that Shalum was now grown more wealthy. than Mishpach; and
therefore appeared so charming in the eyes of Zilpah's daughter, that she no longer refused him in marriage. On the day in which he brought her up into the mountains, he raised a most prodigious, pile of Cedar, and of every sweet smelling wood, which reached above 300 cubits in height: he also cast into the pile bundles of myrrh and sheaves of spikenard, enriching it with every spicy shrub, and making it fat with the gums of his plantations. This was the burnt-offering which Shalum offered in the day of his espousals: the smoke of it ascended up to Heaven, and filled the whole country with incense and perfume.
The first who undertook to instruct the world in single papers, was Isaac Bickerstaff of famous memory. A man nearly related to the family of the IRONSIDES. We have often smoked a pipe
together, for I was so much in his books, that at his decease he 5 left me a silver standish, a pair of spectacles, and the lamp by which he used to write his Lucubrations.
The venerable Isaac was succeeded by a Gentleman of the same family, very memorable for the shortness of his face and of his speeches. This ingenious Author published his thoughts, and held his tongue, with great applause, for two years together.
I NESTOR IRONSIDE have now for some time undertaken to fill the place of these my two renowned kinsmen and prede
For it is observed of every branch of our family, 15 that we have all of us a wonderful inclination to give good
advice, though it is remarked of some of us, that we are apt on this occasion rather to give than take.
However it be, I cannot but observe, with some secret pride, that this way of writing diurnal papers has not succeeded for any space of time in the hands of any persons who are not of our Line. I believe I speak within compass, when I affirm that above a hundred different Authors have endeavoured after our family-way of writing: some of which have been writers in other kinds of the greatest eminence in the kingdom; but I
do not know how it has happened, they have none of them hit upon the Art. Their projects have always dropt after a few unsuccessful Essays. It puts me in mind of a story which was lately told me by a pleasant friend of mine, who has a very fine hand on the violin. His maid servant seeing his instru 5 ment lying upon the table, and being sensible there was musick in it, if she knew how to fetch it out, drew the bow over every part of the strings, and at last told her master she had tried the fiddle all over, but could not for her heart find whereabout the tune lay.
But though the whole burden of such a paper is only fit to rest on the shoulders of a Bickerstaff or an Ironside ; there are several who can acquit themselves of a single day's Labour in it with suitable abilities. These are Gentlemen whom I have often invited to this tryal of wit, and who have several of them 15 acquitted themselves to my private Emolument, as well as to their own reputation. My paper among the Republick of letters is the Ulysses his bow, in which every Man of wit or learning may try his strength. One who does not care to write a book without being sure of his abilities, may see by this means if his parts and talents are to the Publick taste.
This I take to be of great advantage to men of the best sense, who are always diffident of their private judgment, till it receives a sanction from the Publick. Provoco ad Populum, I appeal to the people, was the usual saying of a very excel 25 lent dramatick Poet, when he had any disputes with particular persons about the justness and regularity of his productions. It is but a melancholy comfort for an Author to be satisfied that he has written up to the rules of art, when he finds he has no admirers in the world besides himself. Common modesty 30 should, on this occasion, make a man suspect his own judgment, and that he misapplies the rules of his art, when he finds himself singular in the applause which he bestows upon his own writings.
The Publick is always even with an Author who has not a just deference for them. The contempt is reciprocal. I laugh at every one, said an old Cynick, who laughs at me.
so? replied the Philosopher; then let me tell you, you live the 5 merriest life of any man in Athens.
It is not therefore the least use of this my paper, that it gives a timorous writer, and such is every good one, an opportunity of putting his abilities to the proof, and of sounding the
publick before he launches into it. For this reason I look upon 10 my paper as a kind of nursery for Authors, and question not
but some, who have made a good Figure here, will hereafter flourish under their own names in more long and elaborate works.
After having thus far inlarged upon this particular, I have 15 one favour to beg of the candid and courteous Reader, that
when he meets with any thing in this paper which may appear a little dull or heavy, (tho' I hope this will not be often) he will believe it is the work of some other Person, and not of NESTOR IRONSIDE.
I have, I know not how, been drawn into tattle of my self, more Majorum, almost the length of a whole Guardian. I shall therefore fill up the remaining part of it with what still relates to my own person, and my correspondents. Now I would have them all know, that on the twentieth instant it is my
to erect a Lion's head in imitation of those I have described in Venice, through which all the private intelligence of that common-wealth is said to pass. This head is to open a most wide and voracious mouth, which shall take in such letters and
papers as are conveyed to me by my correspondents, it being 30 my resolution to have a particular regard to all such matters
as come to my hands through the mouth of the Lion. There will be under it a box, of which the key will be in my own custody, to receive such papers as are dropped into it. Whatever the Lion swallows I shall digest for the use of the