« ForrigeFortsett »
magical incantations remain in Lapland : in the more remote parts of Scotland they have their SECOND SIGHT*; and several of our own countrymen have seen abundance of fairies. In Asia this credulity is strong: and the greatest part of refined learning there consists in the knowledge of amulets, talismans, occult numbers, and the
When I was at Grand Cairo I fell into the acquaintance of a good-natured mussulman, who promised me many good offices which he deligned to do me when he became prime minister, which was a fortune bestowed on his imagination by a doctor very deep in the curious sciences. At his repeated solicitations I went to learn my destiny of this wonderful sage. For a small sum I had his promise, but was desired to wait in a dark apartment until he had run through the preparatory ceremonies. Having a strong propensity, even then, to dreaming, I took a nap upon the sofa where I was placed, and had the following vision, the particulars whereof I picked up the other day among my papers.
I found myself in an unbounded plain, where methought the whole world, in several habits
* The notion of the Second Sight might originally have been no more than a poetical fiction of Osian, or some Highland bard, to illustrate an unfortunate superiority of the know. ing and studious over the illiterate and inconsiderate. Knowledge and study make men Seers, and open to their eyes many painful fights which the vulgar and thoughtless see not, or cannot see. “ In much study there is much grief, and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.”
ANEPIGRAPHUS, yun. “ De Sapientia Veterum.” p. 182. See Dr. Johnson's « Tour through Scotland.”
and with different tongues, was assembled. The
multitude glided swiftly along, and I found in · myself a strong inclination to mingle in the train.
My eyes quickly singled out some of the most splendid figures. Several in rich caftains and glittering turbans bustled through the throng, and trampled over the bodies of those they threw down; until, to my great surprise, I found that the great pace they went only hastened them to a scaffold or a bowstring. Many beautiful damsels on the other side moved forward with great gaiety; fome danced until they fell all along; and others painted their faces until they lost their noses. A tribe of creatures with busy looks falling into a fit of laughter at the misfortunes of the unhappy ladies, I turned my eyes upon them. They were each of them filling his pockets with gold and jewels; and, when there was no room left for more, these wretches, looking round with fear and horror, pined away before my face with famine and discontent,
This prospect of human misery struck me dumb for some miles. Then it was that, to disburden my mind, I took pen and ink, and did every thing that hath since happened under my office of SPECTATOR. While I was employing myself for the good of mankind, I was furprised to meet with very unsuitable returns from my fellow-creatures. Never was poor author so beset with pamphleteers, who sometimes marched directly against me, but oftener fhot at me from strong bulwarks, or rose up suddenly in ambush. They were of alt characters and capacities ; some with ensigns of
dignity, and others in liveries *: but what most surprised me was to see two or three in black gowns among my enemies. It was no small trouble to me, sometimes to have a man come up to me with an angry face, and reproach me for having lampooned him, when I had never seen or heard of him in my life. With the ladies it was otherwise : many became my enemies for not being particularly pointed out ; as there were others who resented the satire which they imagined I had directed against them. My great comfort was in the company of half a dozen friends, who I found since, were the Club which I have so often mentioned in my Papers. I laughed often at Sir Roger in my Neep, and was the more diverted with Will Honeycomb's gallántries (when we afterwards. became acquainted), because I had foreseen his marriage with a farmer's daughter. The regret which arose in my mind upon the death of my companions, my anxieties for the public, and the many calamities still fleeting before my eyes, made me repent my curiosity; when the magician entered the room, and awakened me, by telling me (when it was too late) that he was just going to begin.
N. B. I have only delivered the prophecy of that part of my life which is past, it being inconvenient to divulge the second part until a more proper opportunity:
* The hirelings and black gowns employed by the admi: histration in the last years of the Queen's reign, Dr. Swifty Prior, Atterbury, Dr. Freind, Dr. King, Mr. Oldilworth, Mrs. D. Manley, and the writers of the Examiner, &c. See TAT. with notes, No 229, vol. VI. p. 106, Note, and vol. V. No 210, p. 306, Notes
N° 605. Monday, O&tober 11, 1714.
Exuerint fylveftrem animum ; cultuque frequenti,
Virg. Georg. ii. 51.
DR YDEN TTAVING perused the following letter, and
n finding it to run upon the subject of love, I referred it to the learned casuist, whom I have retained in my service for Speculations of that kind. He returned it to me the next morning with his report annexed to it, with both of which I shall here present my reader.
• Mr. SpecTATOR, "L INDING that you have entertained an " T useful person in your service in quality
of Love-Casuift *, I apply myself to you, under "a very great difficulty, that hath for some
months perplexed me. I have a couple of hum• ble servants, one of which I have no aversion "to; the other I think of very kindly. The • first hath the reputation of a man of good sense, " and is one of those people that your sex are apt
to value. My spark is reckoned a coxcomb . among the men, but is a favourite of the ladies.
See Spect. No 591, N. 602, No 614, No 623, and No 625. VOL. VIII.
? If I marry the man of worth, as they call him, i I shall oblige my parents, and improve my for• tune; but with my dear beau I promise myself happiness, although not a jointure. Now I would ask you, whether I should content to • lead my life with a man that I have only no
objection to, or with him against whom all ob
jections to me appear frivolous. I am deter• mined to follow the casuilt's advice, and I
dare say he will not put me upon so serious a . thing as matrimony contrary to my inclination.
“I am, &c.
FANNY FICKLE. · P. S. I forgot to tell you that the pretty gentleman is the most complaisant creature in • the world, and is always of my mind; but the
other, forsooth, fancies he has as much wit as • myself, slights my lapdog, and hath the inso• lence to contradict me when he thinks I am
not in the right. About half an hour ago he ! maintained to my face that a patch always * implies a pimple.'
As I look upon it to be my duty rather to side with the parents than the daughter, I shall propose some considerations to my gentle querist, which may incline her to comply with those under whose direction the is: and at the same time convince her that it is not impossible but The may, in time, have a true affection for him who is at present indifferent to her ; or, to use the old family maxim, that, “ if she marries “ first, love will come after.”