« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Arous'd by a Walton, and streamlet's pure flood, In praises of angling proceeds Hazlewood;
In times past famous Doctor Dee
Dr. Dee and Edward Kelly are celebrated for their cabalistical researches. Jack Adams was a fortune-teller of two centuries back; and Lilly, living about the same period, was universally reputed for his supposed planetary knowledge. This latter personage was employed by both parties during the civil
wars; and even Charles the First is said to have resorted to him. He gained, however, more from the parliament's party, and the predictions contained in his almanacks produced a wonderful effect on the soldiers and common people. After the decapitation of the king he was consulted respecting his executioner, whom he affirmed to be Cornet Joyce. Lilly was also author of several works relating to astrology, casting nativities, &c. &c. But, that I may still more enhance the subject of this argument, I will quote a string of characters who had dabbled in the occult sciences. Tacitus, though generally deemed superior to superstition, was, nevertheless, a friend to
While service renown'd of the navy of Britain
this folly, as appears from the 22d chapter of the 6th book of his Annals. Philip Melancthon, the great reformer, was a believer in Judicial Astrology, and an interpreter of dreams. Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin were so superstitious as to employ and pension one Morin, an astrologer, who also cast the nativities of those two famous politicians; and, to conclude, Sir Isaac Newton once studied astrology. With respect to almanack-making Moore, whose spirit may be said to revive with every fresh revolving year; I have only to add, that to possess the copy right of his far-famed annual prognostics would render the acquisition of fortune far beyond the reach of scepticism.
The awful veil of mystery with which the writers concerning the Elixir Vita, the Philosopher's Stone, the Rosicrucian Fraternity, &c. have contrived to cover their rhapsodies, has
probably contributed more than any other circumstance to that respect which the whimsical science of alchymy retains, even to this day. The following anecdote, though proving nothing, has had great weight with amateurs.
In 1687, a stranger, calling himself Sig. Gualdi, profited of the known ease and freedom of Venice, to render himself much respected and well received there. He spent his money readily;
A Beresford's flight Human Miseries penn'd,
Where wit and much classical acumen blend.
but was never observed to have connection with
banker: he was perfectly well bred, and remarkable for his sagacity and powers of entertainment in conversation. Enquiries were made respecting his family, and whence he came, but all ended in obscurity. One day a Venetian noble, admiring Gualdi's pictures, and fixing his eye on one of them, exclaimed, “ How is this, sir? here is a portrait of yourself, drawn by the hand of Titian! yet that artist has been dead 130 years, and you
look not to be more than fifty!” “Well, signior,” replied the stranger, “ there is, I hope, no crime in resembling a portrait drawn by Titian." The noble found that he had been too curious, and withdrew; but, before the next morning's dawn, the stranger, his pictures, goods, and domestics, had quitted Venice.-Related in Dr. Campbell's Hermippus Redivivus.
There is a traditionary story in the family of Cavendish, that a fortune-teller prognosticated to Elizabeth of Hardwicke, Countess of Salisbury, that she would not die so long as she continued to cause buildings to be erected; in consequence of which she expended a great portion of the wealth she had obtained from her three husbands in erecting large seats at Hardwicke, Chatsworth, Bolsover, Oldcotes, and I'orksop; and, at
As writer he sprang, I confess, a rich mine,
length, died during a hard frost, when the workmen could not proceed in their employ.
It is not a little surprising that the learned Selden should have stood
in defence of that most ridiculous of all laws, “ The Witch Act.” His argument, however, is so ingenious that it would tempt one to excuse the absurdity of the endeavour. “The law against witches does not prove that there be any, but it punishes the malice of those people that use such means to take away men's lives. If one should profess, that by turning his hat thrice, and crying 'Buzz,' he could take away a man's life (though, in truth, he could do no such thing), yet this were a just law made by the state, that, whosoever should turn his hat thrice and cry Buzz, with an intention to take away a man's life, shall be put to death.”
(y) No science on earth conveys to its votaries a greater degree of enthusiasm than that of heraldry. One instance, at least, can be brought unmatched in any other. The passage
is taken from a scarce treatise in quarto, entitled, “ The Blazon of Gentrie,” (a book recommended by Peacham in his “ Conpleat Gentleman," as a book to be bought at any rate), and
Since plate to Vol. second at once prov'd so poor, Though scribe, he will ne'er produce caricature. (b)
runs thus" Christ was a gentleman, as to his flesh, by the part of his mother (as I have read), and might, if he had esteemed of the vayne glorye of this worlde, (whereof he often sayde his kingdom was not), have borne coat armour. The apostles, also (as my authour telleth me), were gentlemen of blood, and many of them descended from that worthy conqueror Judas Machabeus; but, through the tract of time, and persecution of wars, poverty oppressed the kindred, and they were constrained to servile workes.” In the same book we find the exact arms properly blazoned of Semiramis, Queen of Babylon.
A sanguine Frenchman had so high an opinion of the pleasures to be enjoyed in the study of heraldry, that he used to lament, as we are informed by Menage, the hard case of our forefather Adam, who could not possibly amuse himself by investigating that science, nor enter into the pursuit of genealogy
(2) The above gentlemen have not only given incontestable proofs of their great ability in forwarding this branch of knowledge, but also rank most conspicuous for the persevering industry which has marked their useful career. To Messrs.