Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

While Writers on Heraldry fain wou'd explore What Arms on his Shield Adam's Father erst bore. (y)

study of this extraordinary fly, whose proverbial industry has also been considered by the oldest Greek and Roman writers.

We are told by Pliny, that one Aristomachus devoted fiftyeight years of his life in raising swarms of bees, and cultivating the study of the apis; and Cæsarius Cisterniensis records a very miraculous tale concerning a swarm of bees, the relation being as follows: he informs us " That the holy eucharist having been dropped in a meadow by a priest, upon his return from visiting a sick person; a swarm of bees chancing to be hard by took up the blessed host, and transported it in solemn procession to their hive, erecting there an altar for the same of the purest wax; where it was long afterwards discovered in that situation and quite untouched.”

Since the above note was penned, we are given to understand that Mr. Chambon, a very experienced physician of Paris, has discovered a simple and easy manner of removing bees into another hive, without the risk of being stung. It consists in having the hive made with a top to open, placing it on a glass furnished with a metallic plate, under which the smoke may be safely introduced; an empty hive must then be placed over the aperture, when the smoke will force the bees to ascend into it.

Of Ouseleys, each brother on Hindoos hath writ,
And ably descanted on language Shanscrit.

The mention of Buffon is condensing in one word the most capacious delineation of Natural History that has ever yet met the public eye; still, independent of the colossal productions of this writer, we are not without useful authors in our own country, particularly on animals of the English breed, who have very ably combined in their works the utile and the dulce; witness Bingley on quadrupeds and animal biography; together with Bewick, and a train of authors that are justly entitled to the plaudits they have acquired. To the above heads the present notes shall annex the names of Babington and Jameson, whose treatises on mineralogy are among the best which have appeared in this country.

(x) From the æra of James the First, who not only believed most firmly in Demonology, but published a volume in support of his opinions, there have appeared numerous writers to uphold the principles as well as followers of these supernatural doctrines ; the most conspicuous of whom, as an author of late years, is Mr. Sibley, who produced Majus or the Celestial Intelligencer, the work being accompanied by engravings to represent the several spirits of whom he has treated. Having named this gentleman, and being desirous not only to instruct but amuse, I will now relate a series of anecdotes appertaining to the marvel

Each duty Masonic old Preston enlarges;

Ma'am Lanchester writes to enhance Fashion's

charges; (2)

lous and the mysterious, which will, I trust, afford the reader some portion of mental gratification,

Cornelius Agrippa, early in the sixteenth century, rendered himself famous for his deep research into occult philosophy : upon which science he wrote a very elaborate treatise. Agrippa had a very favourite dog, which had been tutored to perform many anticks at the command of his master; upon which account it was affirmed that the animal was no other than a familiar spirit, which had assumed the canine resemblance in order to attend upon and obey his pleasure. Butler, in speaking of Agrippa and his dog, thus ludicrously expresses himself:

Agrippa kept a Stygian Pug
['th' garb and habit of a Dog,
That was his tutor, and the Cur
Read to th’occult Philosopher,
And taught him subtly to maintain
All other Sciences are vain.

The last line refers to a work written by Agrippa, and entitled The Vanity of all Human Sciences.

The lore of a Brand entertainment conveys;

Mad Fuseli curses the works of our days,

During the civil wars, Charles the First being once at leisure, a motion was made, by way of diversion, to have recourse to the Sortes Virgilianæ ; that is, to take a copy of Virgil, and either promiscuously with the finger, or sticking a pin upon a verse, apply the sense of the same to your own destiny. The King chanced to lay his finger upon the latter end of the fourth Æneid, which contains Dido's curse to Æneas,

At bello audacis populi vexatus et armis,
Finibus extorris, complexu avolsus Iuli,
Auxilium imploret, videat indigna suorum
Funera; nec, cum se sub leges pacis iniquæ
Tradiderit, regno aut optatâ luce fruatur,
Sed cadat ante diem, mediâque inhumatus arenâ !"

This made the sport terminate in vexation, as much as it had originated in merriment; the King read the fate which followed him in too many particulars, as time made manifest. He was vexed with the conquering arms of his subjects; torn from the prince his son ; witnessed the deaths of most of his friends;

Avouching that genius can never imbue man,
Who feels not inspir’d by a fancy-inhuman.(a)

would gladly have made peace upon hard terms; neither enjoyed his crown nor life long, and was beheaded on a scaffold at his own threshold, and (till recently) not known where buried. Upon Mr. Cowley's being desired to translate these lines, not knowing that the Monarch had so drawn them, he rendered them into English metre, as follows:

“By a bold people's stubborn arms oppress’d,
Forc'd to forsake the land which he possess'd;
Torn from his dearest son, let him in vain
Beg help, and see his friends unjustly slain;
Let him to base unequal terms submit,
In hopes to save his Crown, yet lose both it
And life at once; untimely let him die,
And on an open stage unburied lie!"

Lord Falkland and others of the King's staunch friends were present at the time, and this anecdote is taken from the first leaf of Bishop Wilkins's Virgil, where it is written with his own hand.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »