« ZurückWeiter »
do not pass for wrongs in the eye of our common laws. But notwithstanding no legislators of any nation have taken into consideration these little circumstances, they are such as often lead to crimes big enough for their inspection, though they come before them too late for their redress.
· Besides, I appeal to you, ladies (here Mr. Bickerstaff turned to his left hand), if these are not the little stings and thorns in life,
at make it more uneasy than its most substantial evils ? Confess ingenuously, did you never lose a morning's devotions because you could not offer them
from the highest place of the pew? Have you not been in pain even at a ball, because another has been taken out to dance before
love any friends so much as those that are below you? Or, have you any favourites that walk on your right hand? You have answered me in your looks; I ask
I come now to the second part of my discourse, which obliges me to address myself in particular to the respective members of the court, in which I shall be very brief.
* As for you, gentlemen and ladies, my assistants and grand juries, I have made choice of you on my right hand, because I know you very jealous of your honour; and you on my left, because I know you very much concerned for the reputation of others; for which reason I expect great exactness and impartiality in your verdicts and judgments.
* I must, in the next place, address myself to you gentlemen of the counsel : you all know that I have not chosen you for your knowledge in the litigious parts of the law; but because you have all of you formerly fought duels, of which I have reason to think you have repented, as being now settled in the peaceable state of benchers. My advice to you
is, only that in your pleadings you will be short and expressive. To which end, you are to banish out of your discourses all synonymous terms, and unnecessary multiplication of verbs and nouns. I do moreover forbid you the use of the words also and likewise; and must farther declare, that if I catch any one among you, upon any pretence whatsoever, using the particle or, I shall instantly order him to be stripped of his gown, and thrown over the bar. This is a true copy :
CHARLES LILLIE.' N. B. The sequel of the proceedings of this day will be published on Tuesday next.
N° 254. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1710.
Splendidè mendax- HoR. 2 Od. iii. 35.
of the Red Cross Knight in Spencer. All is enchanted ground, and fairy land.
I have got into my hands, by great chance, several manuscripts of these two eminent authors, which are filled with greater wonders than any of those they have communicated to the public; and, indeed, were they not so well attested, they would
appear altogether improbable. I am apt to think the ingenious authors did not publish them with the rest of their works, lest they should pass for fictions and fables : a caution not unnecessary,
reputation of their veracity was not yet established in the world. But as this reason has now no farther weight, I shall make the public a present of these curious pieces, at such times as I shall find myself unprovided with other subjects.
The present Paper I intended to fill with an extract from Sir John's Journal, in which that learned and worthy knight gives an account of the freezing and thawing of several short speeches, which he made in the territories of Nova Zembla. I need not inform my reader, that the author of Hudibras alludes to this strange quality in that cold climate, when speaking of abstracted notions clothed in a visible shape, he adds that apt simile,
Like words congeal'd in Northern air. Not to keep my reader any longer in suspense, the relation, put into modern language, is as follows :
We were separated by a storm in the latitude of seventy-three, insomuch, that only the ship which I was in, with a Dutch and French vessel, got safe into a creek of Nova Zembla. We landed, in order to refit our vessels, and store ourselves with provisions. The crew of each vessel made themselves a cabin of turf and wood, at some distance from each
other, to fence themselves against the inclemencies of the weather, which was severe beyond imagination. We soon observed, that in talking to one another we lost several of our words, and could not hear one another at above two yards distance, and that, too, when we sat very near the fire. After much perplexity, I found that our words froze in the air, before they could reach the ears of the person to whom they were spoken. I was soon confirmed in this conjecture, when, upon the increase of the cold, the whole company grew dumb, or rather deaf; for every man was sensible, as we afterward found, that he spoke as well as ever; but the sounds no sooner took air than they were condensed and lost. It was now a miserable spectacle to see us nodding and gaping at one another, every man talking, and no man heard. One might observe a seaman that could hail a ship at a league's distance beckoning with his hand, straining his lungs, and tearing his throat; but all in vain
· Nec vox nec verba sequuntur.-Ovid. Nor voice nor words ensued.
We continued here three weeks in this dismal plight. At length, upon a turn of wind, the air about us began to thaw. Our cabin was immediately filled with a dry clattering sound, which I afterward found to be the crackling of consonants that broke above our heads, and were often mixed with a gentle hissing, which I imputed to the letter s, that occurs so frequently in the English tongue. I soon after felt a breeze of whispers rushing by my ear; for those, being of a soft and gentle substance,
immediately liquified in the warm wind that blew 3 across our cabin. These were soon followed by syllables and short words, and at length by entire sentences, that melted sooner or later, as they were more or less congealed; so that we now heard every thing that had been spoken during the whole three weeks that we had been silent, if I may use that expression. It was now very early in the morning, and yet to my surprise, I heard somebody say, “Sir John, it is midnight, and time for the ship's crew to go to bed.” This I knew to be the pilot's voice; and, upon recollecting myself, I concluded that he had spoken these words to me some days before, though I could not hear them until the present thaw. My reader will easily imagine how the whole crew was amazed to hear every man talking, and see no man opening his mouth. In the midst of this great surprise we were all in, we heard a volley of oaths and curses lasting for a long while, and uttered in a very hoarse voice, which I knew belonged to the boatswain, who was a very choleric fellow, and had taken this opportunity of cursing and swearing at me when he thought I could not hear him; for I had several times given him the strappado on that account, as I did not fail to repeat it for these his pious soliloquies, when I got him on ship-board.
· I must not omit the names of several beauties in Wapping, which were heard every now and then, in the midst of a long sigh that accompanied them; as, “Dear Kate!" "Pretty Mrs. Peggy!" “ When shall I see my Sue again!” This betrayed several amours which had been concealed until that time, and furnished us with a great deal of mirth in our return to England.
• When this confusion of voices was pretty well over, though I was afraid to offer at speaking, as fearing I should not be heard, I proposed a visit to the Dutch cabin, which lay about a mile farther up in the country:
My crew were extremely rejoiced to find they had again recovered their hearing ;