Text: N. C. Brooks (???), “The Atlantis [part 4]” [Text-02], American Museum (Baltimore, MD), vol. I, no. 4, December 1838, pp. 421-446


[page 421, unnumbered:]




Further Discoveries in Salurnia.

The next morning, the amiable Sterne, according to promise, came to my hotel to take me an airing, and give me a view of the city and the adjacent country. We ascended one of those carriages which moved (of themselves, but under regulation of a man, or boy seated in front like our postilions, and in a moment we started by simply loosening the wheels from their confinement. This mode of conveyance I found universally prevalent in Atlantis, insomuch that all kinds of transportation both by land and water, were conducted in this manner, except when great distances were to he travelled, in which cases, the inhabitants ascender! into light carriages, which were borne by balloons. Not a cart or dray was seen in the city, which did not seem instinct with life, and self-motive. This circumstance communicated an air of unusual cleanliness and neatness to the capital, and rendered travelling in a high degree delightful, both upon the smooth pavements of the town, and the excellent roads of the country. Sterne and I passed through the finest and most elevated streets, in which, during our progress, he described the owners of the several establishments. Do you see that elegant dwelling upon the right? pointing to a house whose front presented a most superb appearance, and who would you suppose is its occupant? I could form no conjecture. That, he continued, is the residence of Lady Jane Gray, happily settled with the young nobleman, Lord Dudley, to whom she was attached and married at the time of her execution. And what renders her present situation still mere singular, is that Mary the former Queen of England, and her bloody rival, after having undergone the severe penalties inflicted in this republic, upon the persecutors of their race, is now her head waiting woman, and much satisfied to obtain so eligible a post in the family.

Prospero. — Good Heavens! that is a righteous retribution. Would that all those wretches who persecuted or molested mankind, either on account of their religious or political opinions, could know their final destination!

Sterne. — They pay well for it here. [page 422:]

Prospero. — What, then, will be their punishment on the great day?

Sterne. — But what will surprise you still more, is that the house which we have just past, and next to that of Lady Jane, is that of the cerebrated Ann Boleyn, who is now the wife of Sir Thomas Moore, whose serene mind could be ruffled neither by prosperity nor adversity, and who in the consciousness of innocence, sported at the place of execution. Henry the Eighth, that same king, the tyrant and monster who sent her to the scaffold in a fit of affected jealousy, and who brought her present husband to the block, is high steward for her at a country seat which she holds, connected with an immense estate.

Prospero. — How apt the punishment! The ways of Heaven in this country, begin to be disentangled of their intricacy, and to have their mystery cleared. What disposition of Heaven could be more opposite, than that the tyrant who trampled upon the rights of others, and murdered so many of his nobility, and even his own wives under the forms of law, should now be subjected to the entire control of the beautiful woman whom he destroyed? No doubt Sir Thomas Moore still cracks his jokes with him whenever they meet, and Ann acts towards him with christian moderation.

Sterne. — I understand that Buckingham threatens him with the full penalty of his guilt, and that the proud spirit of Woolsey thirsts for his revenge. Let all those who are invested with authority or influence in the other world, beware how they abuse them to mischievous or oppressive purposes, for the chalice of misery which they minister to others, in Saturnia returns to their own lips.

We passed in succession the residence of Numa, Cincinnatus, Titus and the Antonines, Henry the Fourth of France, Alfred of England, David, Solomon, and a long list of kings, queens, and nobles, and illustrious men, all of which looked like so many seats of paradise rising to the view. These men had their places occasionally in the councils of their country, by the free election of their fellow-citizens, and besides that their virtuous minds had been satiated with the cares of Empires in their former state, and desired retirement and repose, were now convinced that in so intelligent and humanized a community as the Atlantians, a republican government was best suited to their habits and manners, and most conducive to the public welfare. Leaving the city after a ride of some hours, we entered into the most beautiful country I ever beheld, so richly cultivated on all sides, that it had the appearance of a universal garden, in which the soil teemed with the [page 423:] finest products, and fruits of the most delicious flavours regaled the senses. We next came to a beautiful river called the Salubria, from the circumstance that without any dependence upon popular prejudice, its waters from some happy intermixture of mineral substances in their composition, were found a sovereign cure of many of the most acute diseases of the climate. This stream was transparent, deep and rapid, about a mile wide, navigable for many miles, and at this time some vessels without sails, and propelled as was our carriage, by philosophical contrivance, some beats, and canoes of all sizes, were moving in all directions, and communicating a gaiety to the prospect which was truly enchanting. In the south there rose a lofty chain of mountains, whose dusky heads seemed to form so many battlements to sustain the earth upon that quarter, and preclude all approach of invasion by hostile forces. Proceeding along this river, we passed the Roman settlement, a noble villa, which in honour of the greatest man of ancient Italy, they called Tesculum, or the Tusculan villa. Here, Mr. Sterne informed me, were collected all the great men of that nation, Cicero, the Catos, the Brutuses, the Scipios, and all those who were distinguished by their republican virtues and predilections. Here they were realizing the idea of that perfect model of a free government, which before they had only imagined and desired, while their order and harmony were preserved by the gentle but all-powerful sway of their great confederation. Opposite to this villa, was that of the illustrious Greeks, denominated the Athen2eum or Athenian villa, (of which Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, and Demosthenes were chiefs,) similarly situated, and under similar regulations.

At equal distances from Saturnia, but in different directions, lie French, German, Spanish and American settlements. In all these, the advantages enjoyed are, that they are completely under the control of illustrious men, such as statesmen, philosophers, authors, artists, and all who have established a character for wisdom and integrity. Julius Cæsar, on account of his attempt upon the liberties of his country, was for a longtime excluded from all posts of honour and even a seat in Tusculum; and as for Cataline, Clodius, and the whole crew of reprobates, they are still working upon the highways in the daytime, and at night confined in the cells of their dungeons. Anthony and Octavius live in obscurity and contempt.

About ten miles up the river Salubria, we came to the establishment of Eldorado, in which all the atheists and infidels had endeavored to realize their conception of a [page 424:] community, which should subsist without religion, some of whom disbelieved a God; and others were bare deists, acknowledging a deity, and paying; to, him a kind of worship which consisted of thanksgiving. This was the system to which Voltaire alludes in his chimerical scheme of an Eldorado, and which Robespierre endeavored to introduce into, France at the height of their revolution. Bayle had discussed the question, whether society could exist and flourish without the belief of a God; Voltaire had thought that the belief of a God would answer without the muniments furnished by Christianity; and Hume, and D’Holbach had thought that there is no proof of a deity. Their settlement presented the appearance of great splendor, as I remarked to Sterne; but they say, that a deficiency in their system is beginning to be apparent — the ship is leaky and its timbers rotten, and wants overhauling.

Sterne — What hat could be expected of a community, whose leaders in the very commencement presented a perfect chaos of opinions. It was reported in Saturnia, that the chief men assembled in council, and enraged in long discussions concerning the foundations of that government upon which they should repose their welfare. In regard to their political and civil institutions, the constitution of the confederacy compelled them to the adoption of republican; but when they came to decide upon the cleans of promoting morals and religion, there was a sharp conflict. Hobbs and Hume insisted that as there were no sufficient proofs of the existence of a God, and no essential distinctions between vice and virtue, mankind might be left at their natural liberty upon these subjects, and should find their belief and rules of life from the laws of the state. Beyond this species of control, the people may he safely left to the guidance of their own natural conscience and inclinations. The positive regulations of society, they insisted, would be amply competent to the preservation of order, and promotion of the public good. Frederick of Prussia, Voltaire, Toland, and Collins, however, strongly urged the establishment of at least a scheme of deistical doctrines and worship. They declared that, without a recognition in some method of the being and government of God, and, they would add too, of a state of rewards and punishments hereafter, they did not see how a reverence for an oath or contract, or a sense of obligation to fulfil them, can be awakened and maintained; which is the very bond by which society is held together. The sacred ties of marriage itself would be dissolved without scruple, and the grossest licentiousness of manners become universal. [page 425:] Upon the slightest discontent with their fortunes, men will take refuge in suicide; injuries and provocations will multiply outrages and murders; property will become the plunder of the strong and designing, and adulteries and impurities, of all kinds, corrupt and destroy families.

Hume — As to the rights of property, they will be secured and guarded by the laws; and if any man chooses to kill himself, what is it more than to divert from its current a portion of human blood? And in regard to your monstrous crime of adultery, of which priests and hypocrites preach so profusely, when a woman commits it, without its being known, it is nothing; and when it is known, it is a bagatelle.

Prospero — Hume is faithful to his principles: for these are the very doctrines he held in Scotland. But what said these sages in their grand council about Christianity?

Sterne — There, they say, their hall of deliberation was a perfect babel. Hume laughed at the whole subject, declaring that that was a matter of faith, and not of reason, and hoped that such fanaticism would never infect their philosophical community; when Rousseau, with his usual whimsical turn, declared with some sensibility, that although opposed to Christianity as it existed in his own country, he must acknowledge that the character, life, and death, as well as wonderful doctrines of Christ, affected his mind, and staggered his incredulity, an outcry was raised against him, and lie was silenced by violent symptoms of disapprobation and contempt. Voltaire boldly asserted, that Moses and Christ were impostors, as well as Mahomet. Tindall declared that Christianity was merely a republication of the laws of nature. Volney, that the gospel was merely an almanac, marking the progress of the sun through the signs of the zodiack; and Drummond, that the Old Testament may have all its facts illustrated and explained by a reference to astronomical phænomena.

Prospero — Noble founders of a state, and legislators for mankind! What was the final decision of this band of llluminatissimi?

Sterne — That in religious matters nothing should be attempted, and every one allowed to think for himself; that no prejudices or opinion of any kind should be instilled into the youthful mind; but the young should be left to contract all their belief and principles upon convictions of the understanding.

Prospero — Be good enough, now, to trace the progress of of [[sic]] such a scheme: for, as an experiment, its results must be interesting to the philosopher, patriot, and pious man. [page 426:]

Sterne — For a tune the very novelty of the thing gained for it some respect, and interested many enthusiasts in its successful execution. But when this gloss of novelty had worn of, and the enthusiasm of the time abated, every evil, inherent in such a scheme, began to be exhibited. The unweeded garden of the public mind teemed with every weed of error and vice, which was rank, foul, and venemous — youth grew to maturity in ignorance, and bereft of moral principle, and, of course, given to the most contemptible follies and atrocious excesses — Sunday, their day of relaxation, was a day of sport, tumult, quarrelling, gambling, drunkenness, riot, murders, and every kind of license. Theatrical amusements were their most rational occupation on the sabbath. Disobedient children, faithless wives, and abandoned husbands, rendered the domestic state a seat of misery. The courts of justice stormed with litigations — personal outrages were of daily occurrence, and, at length, the people themselves, enraged at the perpetual miseries they endured, expelled the whole company of their deceivers, and determined to introduce into their villa, the order and polity, as well as the habits and usages of other towns.

Prospero — Then the infidel steam-boat has exploded.

Sterne — Yes; although as to discipline and morality it was never at high pressure. It is believed, however, that the leaders of the enterprise were themselves sick of it, and not disinclined to change the plan, The mischiefs of that lax state of morals and religion had long exposed there to so much inconvenience and misery, that they were reconciled to any modification likely to improve their condition. As a proof of the state of this morality without religion, I refer to an anecdote which occasioned some laughter in Saturnia, at their expense: Frederick of Prussia, upon retiring home one evening, as he entered his door was passed by Alaupertius tinder such suspicions circumstances, that all the king was roused within him, and, in a rage, he seized his sword and pistol, and went out in pursuit of the atheist; but being met by Voltaire and Dalembert, was diverted from his purpose, and convinced by proof they furnished that it was not the lady of the house, but a damsel of inferior pretensions, who was the object of Maupertius’ devotions.

Prospero — A practical illustration of the wholesome doctrines held by German and French philosophers!

We now passed to the other side of the river over the most superb bridge I ever beheld, and returned to the city by another road. On this route we found thousands of men [page 427:] engaged in improving the highway, and in the construction of some magnificent public works. These laborers, said Sterne, are the second editions of kings, princes, rulers, popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, demagogues, and all those criminals, imposters, and hypocrites, who spent their lives in crimes, fraud, and every mode of inflicting misery upon their fellow creatures. As they did so much mischief and caused so much misery in their prior state, they are condemned to this drudgery as a requital to the interests of humanity. You see how many beautiful farm-houses and pleasant cottages are scattered along these roads, and dot this country. These are the abodes of good and honest men of low degree in the other world, who have now obtained the rewards of their industry and sobriety. As we glided along the river upon our return, we had a delightful view of the observatory and college buildings, which were ranged in order in the city of Saturnia; end a more regaling scene to the student cannot be conceived. I said to Mr. Sterne, that I must beg the favor of you or some of my friends, to take tile through these institutions that I may learn your modes of education, and methods of advancing science in this your wonderful state of society; and lie promised any aid in his power to obtain for me this gratification.

We passed the lower bridge, and entered the less elevated parts of the town; and upon looking on my right I perceived a large and singular dwelling which was differrent [[different]] from all I had yet seen, and pointing to it, I asked Sterne what was the object of that anomalous structure; for it seemed to me I had never before beheld any thing bearing the slightest resemblance to it.

Stern — Oh! I don’t wonder that you are struck with it: for you might worship it without idolatry, since it is not like any thing else in the heavens above, in tile earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth. That is the residence of the Scribleri family, who have been made illustrious by tile pens of Swift, Pope, and Arbuthnot.

Prospero — Do stop our carriage for a moment, and let me contemplate this strange specimen of architecture. Sterne gave orders to tile coachman, and we paused. We saw before us a splendid mansion covering an immense space of ground, but most fantastically constructed, having all the various orders of architecture promiscuously blended together in its structure, with rather a predominance of the gothic. This was the residence of the Scribleri family, and the most magnificent building in the villa, which is denominated [page 428:] Scribleria, in honor to the distinguished personages by whom it was founded, although the wits of Saturnia always speak of it as the Boeotia of Atlantis, and the common people discriminate it by the name of Queer Town. Besides this illustrious family, who are in possession of profuse wealth, the fruits of their writings, there are scattered through the villa all the relations of its members, both by the father’s and the mother’s side, from Munster, Harlem, and other places of Germany, and the Low Countries, as well as a vast host of friends and adherents from all countries, who are their great admirers, and ardent promoters of their works and inventions. Besides the remarkable peculiarity in the structure of this mansion, to which I have already adverted, we discerned some objects in the front yard that attracted my curiosity. These were figures in bronze and marble, not, as usual, the forms of lions, tigers, and human beings, or mythological creations, but such as were modelled into the likeness of gorgons, hydras, chimeras, griffins, and others which I had never been apprised were attempted by artists, exhibiting the monsters described by Horace, when he imagines the heads of men resting upon the necks of horses, and the forms and features of women terminating in the bodies of fishes. These apparitions confirmed me in the opinion, that Martin and his family had in no degree degenerated from the genius by which they were distinguished in their former state. These grotesque figures I presume, said I, are symbolical of the taste which prevails within, and more effectually than the monsters or dragons that guarded the golden fleece, prevent the approach of a sound science and correct literature. I felt, nevertheless, an irrepressible desire to become acquainted with the inmates of this singular mansion, as well as with the whole community. Sterne observed, that we had already consumed so many of the morning hours in our ride, that we had not time to pay so formal a visit before dinner; but as he had the honor of a friendly intercouse [[intercourse]] with the Scribleri family, being frequently diverted with their eccentricity, and whimsical turn of mind, he would introduce me to them upon the following morning. I thanked him for his kind offer, and we proceeded to his house to take our meal with his Eliza; and of the events and conversation which then passed, I shall give an account in the next chapter. [page 429:]


Our Dinner with Eliza.

When we arrived at Sterne’s dwelling, we found that he had invited to meet me at dinner the Rev. Dr. Samuel Clarke, Le Sage, the writer of Gil Blas, and the celebrated author Sir Richard Steele, and his lady-for Steele was among the few who retained their former spouses; as his love for Mrs. Steele, it would appear from his letters, was of a more platonick stamp than is usual, it was more enduring. Being made acquainted with our party, I was greatly struck with the countenance of Dr. Clarke, and the bold construction of his head, as indicative of intellectual powers of the highest order. I thought I could perceive in him the able author of the Demonstration, and the successful advocate of Newton against the exceptions of Leibnitz. There was no longer room left for doubt, that Caroline, consort of George first, discovered a sagacity honorable to her rank, when in her arbor she placed his bust in company with that of Newton, Bacon, and Locke. I have been informed, since my arrival here, that she has now connected herself in marriage with one of this great quadrumvirate — Sir Isaac Newton — and is in the greatest and most happy correspondence with them all. Could kings and princes, as well as statesmen of all orders, be apprised of the wonderful changes matte in their destiny, upon their arrival in these regions, they would exert themselves much more to maintain their rank by the cultivation of their minds, the improvement of their moral feelings, and the diffusion of happiness among their people. The sensible vivacity of the two ladies, the mild and placid countenance of Dr. Clarke, who presented to us a living model of the true christian philosopher, the smiling features of Sterne, and the genteel air and lively eyes of Steele and Le Sage, rendered this company one of the most interesting and delightful I ever met. To communicate all the wise and good things that were said, as well as the witty and ludicrous, is beyond my power; but I shall endeavor to recollect as much as I can, while the manner in which they were uttered is one of those things which are intransmissible, and is left solely to the perception and enjoyment of eye and ear witnesses. This is one of the circumstances which render spoken language so much more impressive and intelligible than written: inasmuch as voice, air, and gesture, not only give greater impression to speech, but constitute additional radiation of light, in illustration of its meaning. [page 430:]

After the usual interlude to a dinner conversation, Sterne exclaimed, Well, gentlemen, I have been spending the morning in disclosing to my new friend, Mr. Prospero, the wonders of this our republic; and he seems to be an apt and zealous pupil. After showing him some of our great metamorphoses, I have carried him to Tusculum, the Athenian villa, and Eldorado, and have given him a glimpse of the most illustrious Scribleri mansion, to whet his appetite for more knowledge of it.

Dr. Clarke — Well, sir, what were your impressions in regard to the much vaunted Eldorado — the contemplated paradise, of atheists and deists?

Prospero — I think it has shown itself a paradise of fools. To attempt in a christian community without the influence of religion, is like an endeavor to keep a steamboat in motion, when you have removed the heat that supplies the engine with steam. Such a society must soon sink into factitious and refines! barbarians — the worst of all barbarians — and its condition be changed to a Pandemonium. Dr. Clarke — These experimenters have found it so.

Steele — The Scriblerian community, however, seem to have a more permanent duration. It would appear as if this was a race which, like noxious animals, it is impossible either to tame or exterminate. Du,na the second will ever spring from the loins of tuna the first.

Prospero — And yet I should suppose, that the works which you all, gentlemen, have published, and especially Messrs. Le Sage and Steele, upon the very subject of fine writing, ought to enable mankind by this time to write and judge in good taste, at least, if not with genius and superiority.

Le Sage — Men have admirable models in abundance, if they would profit by the lessons of their masters. But upon dull or incompetent minds, instructions fall like seed upon an unweeded soil, in which they are choked by the rank tares that grow up with them. Nothing but good native parts, improved by habitual contemplation of the best models, can ever give mankind correct perceptions of taste. Taste is a plant of the latest growth, even in the most vigorous minds, and most intelligent communities.

Steele — At all events we find this Scribleri club encouraged and supported, their productions circulated widely among the vulgar; even more widely among some classes than the most rare and excellent performances.

Sterne — Mr. Le Sage, the fable of Phedrus relative to the mountebank and his pig, will always find an archetype in [page 431:] every nation, and the squeaking of the actor be pronounced more natural than the real pig’s.

Dr. Clarke. — There is something very unaccountable in the circumstance, that mankind in the uncultured state of their minds, have a higher relish for counterfeit than real beauty in composition. This fact, also, is strongly exhibited in the Gil Blas, when the wedding party prefer to all tragedies, that written by a country school-master, in which there is a universal slaughter among the characters in the scene, from the kings and princes down to the prompter and candle snuffer. Such drenching of the theatre in blood, would be highly gratifying to the multitude, and deemed marvellously tragic.

Steele. — I will allow to the whole body of the people the power of choosing their own rulers, and trust the government of the state ultimately to their Atlantean shoulders, because I repose entire confidence in their honesty, purity of intention and intelligence, but I cannot allow large numbers to pronounce decisions in matters of taste and literature. The multitude do not presume to judge in reference to science, to law, medicine or any of the profound inquiries of human reason; why, then, are they to be treated as umpires in oratory, poetry or fine writing? Correct principles in these are founded in the deepest science.

Sterne. — You would not, then, consider the rapid circulation of a work through numerous hands as any decisive proof of its merits.

Steele. — The very opposite. It would be a presumption of its deficiency in the highest properties of composition when it is eagerly caught at by the vulgar, this shows that it is a bait suited to the appetite of the small fry, and will always be found destitute of solid sense and profound observations. — Who has heard of the rapid sales of Homer’s Epics, or those of Virgil or Milton, or any of the greatest productions of the human mind? Among a refined and highly educated people, indeed, there may be a sufficient multiplication of judges to give great reputation to fine writers, and even enable them to live and become independent by the emoluments which accrue from the distribution of their works, but how small will be the number of their purchasers and admirers compared to a whole nation? Works, therefore, that obtain a rapid and extensive sale, must be adapted to the common mind, be light, superficial, exciting, and decorated with meretricious beauty.

Sterne. — If we could suppose a large number of persons rendered by study parts and application, really able judges, then, their decisions might be justly regarded as the standard [page 432:] to which we could appeal in ascertaining the exact merits of works provided they were not misled by prejudices and prevailing fashions in literature. The high repute which Cicero obtained in the Roman senate and forum, where he was surrounded by men of the highest eminence and watched by able rivals, was to him a sufficient guaranty of that immortal fame which he has since enjoyed. The same observation applies to his great contemporaries, as well as to all those writers and speakers who appeared in the four celebrated ages of the world, and the most polished nations. But the approbation of none but ages like these can be regarded as determining the ultimate repute of authors or great men. None but those who have studied and understood literary topics have any right to pronounce a confident opinion. And as far as nay, own experience has extended, I can truly say, that as for that idle tribe of scriblers who set themselves up as critics in a nation, I have never known one who possessed that true intellectual eye, which enabled him rightly to discern beauties, or detect deformities. They oftentimes bestow praises when they are unmerited, and pour out the most finished passages and noble scarcely ever exactly hit the mark. Men generally too much occupied in giving birth to their own productions, to spend their time in detecting the blemishes or even excellencies of others, contented with avoiding the first and indulging a high relish for the last.

Prospero. — Indeed, in your works you have lashed the ignorant of this tribe with keen severity.

Sterne. — I must not however, be considered as undervaluing the office of the candid and enlightened critic. It is as important to literature as any other, save the production of original and great works, and may not unfrequently partake the same character with them. He who ascertains and determines the great principles of fine writing in all its different kinds, detects their conformity and unconformity to truth and nature, or in other words, faithfully holds up the mirror to enable future writers to trace the features of nature, and measure the just proportions and firm pressure of beauty and excellence, is an author himself fairly entitled to the honours of originality, and should be elevated to the highest rank among the benefactors of literature, and the humanizers and refiners of his race. If the executive arm of genius is requisite to carry forward the work of literary enterprise, the directing mind of criticism is also indispensable, to prescribe its rules of operation, and give the most exquisite finishing to the work. [page 433:]

Clarke. — I perceive a very false idea becoming prevalent in the church, both in England, France and America, in regard to the popular judgment of sermons delivered in the pulpit. It would seem to be thought, that in order that a discourse should be good and useful, it must be entirely adapted to the capacity of the whole audience, — the most ignorant may comprehend it, and without this adaptation to the vulgar taste, however learned and profound it may be, it cannot be suited to the task it is intended to accomplish, and becomes but as sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. This is a most false and pernicious conception of a pulpit discourse. If the preacher is always to keep himself down to the ignorance and misconceptions of the less improved of his audience, will he ever contribute to their instruction, elevation and refinement? The pulpit is as much intended as a light to illuminate the minds of men, as the source of persuasion to amend their hearts. The strain of pulpit address, should include a system of sound morality, enlivened and enforced by evangelical sanctions.

Prospero. — Dr. Clarke, I know not by what association of ideas, but this brings to my mind the controversy which you sustained with Leibnitz in defence of Newton, and which was conducted at the immediate instigation, and under the supervision of Queen Caroline of England. I cannot imagine any thing more ornamental to a throne, than the deportment of this royal lady upon this occasion, and would that all persons in similar stations would reflect the same honour upon themselves. Christina of Sweden, set a noble example of the ,same kind, but besides that she dimmed the lustre of her character by a foul murder of an innocent man, she has detracted from her merit as a sovereign, by abandoning her people, and leaving them in ignorance and barbarism. It was but a poor apology for her desertion of her subjects, that they were too ignorant and illiterate to furnish her that enlightened intercourse after which she aspired. She should have invited learned men among them, and have exerted herself to the utmost to improve and civilize them. Such an elevated mind as hers, is riot to be found anion; queens during the lapse of centuries, and it was a sacred duty not to deprive the Swedes of the benefit of her endeavours to improve their condition. But what I was about to say of the controversy you maintained with Leibnitz, was that the only solid objection he brought against the opinions of Newton, was that this philosopher supposed the solar system would at intervals, require to be amended by the Creator, or as he expresses it, ’manum emendatricem desideraret,’ in order to correct the irregularities [page 434:] towards which the planets appeared to be verging. Are you aware that the subsequent demonstrations of La Grange and La Place in France, have entirely removed the difficulty which perplexed philosophers at that period of science?

Clarke. — I am aware that they have shown the stability of the solar system, and that the same law of gravitation which causes the heavenly bodies to tend towards apparent confusion and disorder, after sufficient periods of time, in its natural operations, will bring them brick to the same beautiful concord and harmony, or rather will always preserve unbroken harmony among them. If the French atheists anti infidels, expected by this important discovery, for which I award them the highest praise, to impugn the authority of christianity, they were greatly mistaken. It corroborates the proof of a Deity, by displaying more signally his contriving hand; and of course can never throw any discredit upon his word when rightly apprehended.

Prospero. — The next remarkable objection of Leibnitz to Newton, is that he makes the Deity hazards this query, in the conclusion o these phenomena show, that there is an incorporeal, intelligent and omnipresent being, who in infinite space, as in his proper sensorium, sees, perceives and understands all things in a manner the most intimate and perfect?” Strange inference from such premises! The very terms of the proposition allege, that there is an incorporeal Being, and surely if empty space is his sensorium or organ of perception, that is sufficiently remote from every modification of matter.

Clarke. — Mr. Leibnitz, as is remarked by Mr. Molesneux, is an excellent mathematician, but was no metaphysician, as appears from his animadversions both upon Newton and Locke. He who could believe, that we obtain, our ideas of outward objects by the mind alone, without the intermediation of the organs of sense, — that the communication between our minds and bodies is carried on not by their action upon each other, but by a pre-established harmony in their operations-in the doctrine of the pre-existence of the human soul with Plato, and in that kind of knowledge which he calls presentiments of future events, may vie with Newton in the honour of inventing fluxions, and stand upon the list of the most eminent natural philosophers, but he will never endanger the claims of Locke, Aristotle, or Des Cartes, by his acquaintance with the science of the human mind.

Prospero. — What has been done in Saturnia, Dr. Clarke, with the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew authors, as I perceive them all included in the list of books that fill your library? [page 435:]

Clarke. — The government of Saturnia has had them all translated into the English and French, which are the only languages spoken among us. Large rewards were offered for the best translations of them, and the different manuscripts presented were subjected to the examination of a large committee composed of the most learned and able judges in the country. It was made a handsome fortune to any one who obtained the prize by transferring into English or French any untranslated work of a great writer, or improved upon any translation which had previously existed. When we have been thus presented with the old works in our own tongue, the originals are deposited in rooms by themselves, for the inspection of the learned in doubtful cases.

Prospero. — A most excellent plan, and it should be followed in all countries. It would greatly facilitate the progress of the scholar in the acquisition of learning. At present, he who wishes to ascertain the opinions of the ancient sages upon any point of philosophy, has to encounter a herculean task, in wading through the dark waters of a dead language, and then, unless he wastes his time in the long continued study of the medium through which it is conveyed, finds his views dim and unsatisfactory. The Germans incessantly spend their most vigorous years in travelling the same round, and at last discover that they have not improved upon the labours of their predecessors. Let all the ancient writings be put into English and French, and then the student can easily imbibe their substance, and if his inclination lead hint, he can peruse the best models in the original.

Clarke. — This laudable enterprise of our government, has produced many excellent erects. It has subdued a blind veneration for antiquity, the merits of whose writers were magnified by the obscure medium through which they were beheld, and led the learned to a just estimation of their value. It has stripped pedants and pedagogues of those false honours which attached to them as mere word peckers, endowed in vulgar apprehension with the wonderful property of interpreting mystical characters. It has accelerated the progress of our youth in the acquisition of all the branches of sound science, and decided numberless controversies which have always perplexed the schools, and would forever have involved them in frivolous and fruitless disputes.

Sterne. — You do not then, Doctor, place so high a value as some persons, upon the acquisition of many languages?

Clarke. — Nothing can be more deceptive than this kind of learning, or more miserable food upon which vanity can feed. When we have learned to give a dozen different sounds as [page 436:] significant of the same objects, what advance have we made in real science? Suppose those sounds were Indian or Hottentot words, would any one think that he had been well employed, who had become able to pronounce them? How much more important is the acquisition, when they are the words used by more reputable nations, unless they convey new and useful conceptions and systems, and such conceptions and systems may always be transferred into our own language. Ambassadors to foreign courts, and all public and private men, who maintain intercourse with various nations, find an evident advantage in acquiring the speech used in their ordinary commerce and communication, and such persons should encounter the toil of appropriating thus much to themselves. But it is the pedantry of learning, to be engaged in elaborate enquiries concerning Samaritan, Arabic, Sanscrit, literature, and the prose and poetry of the Scandinavians, and Northmen. As far as the history of man is elucidated by some insight into their habits and manners, and their rude songs, or more refined ones, it may be worth the while of some curious persons to dive into them. But after all the noise that was made by Sir William Jones’ enquiries into the erudition of poetry of the East, what are the advantages which have redounded to sound science and correct taste? — The additions to science might be comprised in a nut shell, and as to taste, the gaudy style of those translations made from their poems, has contributed to effeminate the vigour of good old English poetry, and accustom the public ear to sounding phrases, and their eyes to glittering images.

Steele. — After the field of science and literature has been highly cultivated by one generation, it is apt to be allowed to lie fallow for the next, in which case it naturally generates idle weeds and pernicious plants. The eager search lately commenced for the songs of Northern and Eastern bards, arises out of a prurient propensity for novelty; and certainly will not, promote the advancement of true taste, however it may entertain and interest the multitude of readers. I find, too, that the Danes in their late enquiries into Northmen antisluities, profess to have made discoveries that eclipse the honours of Columbus. At what point will folly stop in its crudities?

Mrs. Sterne. — We ladies in Saturnia, form our taste upon the best English and French authors, and some translations of the Greek and Latin, and we have no conception that better can be furnished any where. The Spectator, Guardian and ’Rambler, are taught or read by our daughters in school, and we allow no new productions to supersede those. We [page 437:] think, that when connected with the Bible and works of science properly so called, nothing can more effectually form their minds to right understanding, their hearts to virtue, and their taste to correct perceptions of excellence. We do not permit our young women to spoil their habits of reading, and effeminate their intellects in the perusal of tales and stories, when they should be accumulating the solid maxims of truth, and lessons of moral duty. When very young, we put into their hands the fables of Æsop, for the sake of the morals couched under their symbols, but we do not agree that fiction is the only vehicle by which truth can be conveyed to them.

Prospero. — You ladies here, then, do not devour novels, I presume, with the same voracity as those of Europe and America?

Mrs. Sterne. — Oh no; we read only those which are recommended by our wisest men, and most discreet matrons. The Gil Bias, those of Richardson and Fielding, and the Don Quixotte, with the Arabian Knights, form our principal repast of that kind. We sometimes allow those of Miss Burney and Mrs. Radcliff. In the Tristram Shandy, of course we all delight, but that is scarcely a novel, but a sort of philosophical romance.

Prospero. — Then you do not approve of Scott’s and Bulwer’s?

Mrs. Sterne. — We consider Bulwer’s as immoral in their tendency, and as to Scott’s, they describe events and manners too remote from our own to afford us either pleasure or instruction. They are defective, too, in moral import.

Prospero. — But are you not equally dissatisfied with the Tom Jones on the score of its morality:

Mrs. Sterne. — We make a great distinction between works which represent vice only with a view to its reprehension and punishment, and those which display it in a drapery that recommends and dignifies it. Mr. Sterne, too, occasionally speaks with great boldness and license of fancy, but if he sometimes brings a blush into the cheek of modesty, lie infuses no venom that infects and corrupts the heart.

Prospero. — I am delighted with the account which you give of the habits of thinking and reading in Saturnia, and more especially among women. There never was a book written, save the sacred scriptured, which is so invaluable to young persons, and especially females, as the Spectator, and the English periodicals, its compeers, are like it. The lessons it teaches are more precious than the richest rubies to the young. [page 438:]


Visit to the Scribleri Mansion.

The next morning at to o’clock, Mr. Sterne called at my room to convey me to the mansion of the Scribleri family, and give me a more distinct view of their villa. We were speedily transported to the gate, and passed the monsters I have before described, who seemed to frown upon us and for bid our entrance within the. hallowed precincts. Shall we be politely received, said I; for this is an irritable as well as whimsical class of animals? O yes; answered Sterne, for I am a favourite with Martin and his father, as they take in good part and as complimentary to them, all the jokes I have passed against pedantry, bad taste and false philosophy. They hate Dean Swift, Pope, and Arbuthnot, as they do the d — l, and the Dean takes no measures to abate their resentment, since he never addresses Martin. Still, but he enquires whether he has yet met in this region, the Spaniard, whose furious resentment he excited by that naughty peep at the Don’s wife while in the bath, merely to gratify do idle curiosity. Upon knocking at the door, we were admitted by a servant dressed in a style of genuine antique, and whose countenance and deportment denoted that he was well skilled in that art by which men contrive, as Rochefoucault remarks, to assume gravity as a mysterious carriage of the bod, to conceal defects of the mind. A few steps led us into’ the study of his master Martin, whom we discovered seated in a chair of antediluvian appearance, with his back turned towards the door, apparently engaged in deep study, but who as soon as the approach of strangers was announced, rose with great dignity, and gave us a polite reception. It is impossible to convey to my readers an adequate idea of the slowness of motion and pomp of manner, with which in accosting us, all his actions were performed and words pronounced. It was not the action of such small bodies as are circumscribed within the limits of six feet, the extent of human frames, but more like the motion of a heavenly orb, as it appears to the eye of an observers watching its progress through the firmament, and when his mouth was opened, ponderous terms and gaudy figures of speech, came forth as plentifully as water [page 439:] from a fountain, which had been forcibly closed. A single glance at his countenance and person, enabled me to recognize all those remarkable features so finely delineated by his inimitable historiographers. Here were to be traced in a new and improved model, “that tall stature, long visage, olive complexion, those black brows, eyes piercing and hollow, aquiline nose, and beard mixed with grey, that contributed to spread a melancholy over his whole appearance.” His wig was still as black and smooth as the plumes of a raven, his cloak completely covered his whole person, and his sword, when he rose, swung for a ,full yard behind him.” Upon looking at him, I did not wonder at the declaration of his above named biographers, that his whole figure was so utterly unlike any thing of this world, that it was not natural for any man to ask him a question without blessing himself first, and that those who never saw a Jesuit took him for one, some for a river god, and others believed him some high priest of the Jews.”

Mr. Sterne and I then entered into conversation with him, and nothing but some well applied pleasantries of the wit seemed able to thaw the black frost in which his whole countenance and limbs were bound. After considerable effort, however, we loosened the springs of his tongue, and in answer to our questions he informed us, that after he left England, he passed into Jamaica, where, marrying, he had four children, all sons, Horatius B., Josephus R. J., Nicholas B., and Nathaniel D., all of whom settled in the United States. He also stated, that he paid a visit to these sons in the great republic, (luring which time he made many wonderful discoveries; as for example, proofs that the Indians both of North and South America, were descended from the Jews; monuments illustrating the former civilization of the Indians, and their copious languages; that the whole of North America was discovered and inhabited by Norwegians; from the prints of bird’s feet in rocks and sandstones, that there must have birds once lighted upon them, that were higher than the steeples of the largest churches; and from the fossil remains of mammoths and other strange animals not now living, that this earth must have existed millions of years. From North America, said he, I passed into South, and went in person to visit Patagonia, Chimborazo, and all the volcanoes in the Andes, and from an observation of facts, showed that the gulf stream had its origin in those volcanoes, which by means of steam, force the waters that form that marine river, through subterranean aqueduct, to the coast of Newfoundland. [page 440:] From South America I returned to Jamaica, where as I one day walked through the streets of Kingston, I unfortunately met the Spaniard who had so long dogged me through the world, and he in his rage, put his blade into my bosom, and I was translated hither, where, you see, I and my father Cornelius have founded a noble villa.

Sterne now informed him that I had a great desire to ex amine his library, and the numerous curiosities with which he understood it was adorned. He seemed rather pleased with this proposal, rose and began to point our attention to the several objects 1 shall now describe. First, we were directed to a model of that skin of the “true Pergamenian parchment,” hanging immediately in front of his chair; “which his great grandfather Cornelius esteemed more highly than all the rest of his antiquarian curiosities, and on which was curiously traced the ancient pedigree of the Scribleri family, with all their alliancesand collateral relations, among whom were reckoned Paracelsus, Bombastus, Albertus magnus and the famous Scaligers, in old time princes of Verona, and deduced even from the times of the elder Pliny to Cornelius Scriblerus.” He showed us a large number of dusty volumes upon his shelves, such as the fit tomes of the abovenained Barthius, and a like voluminous collection of all the productions of his German ancestors, Albertus magnus, Paracelsus, Bonibastus, Scriverius, Columesius, Cardan, Aldrovandus, Peireskius, Basilius, Valentinus, and a list too tedious to enumerate. His shelves groaned with works upon astrology, demonology, alchymy, cosmogony, craniology, animal magnetism and necromancy. A large space was devoted to German metaphysician;, of Whom Kant was chief, a smaller one to the Scotch, and as for the English, all that he valued among them of this kind, was the Hylas and Philonous of Berkeley, and Norris’s defence of Malebranche. For the craniology, (which I distinguish from true phrenology,) of Gall, Spvzheim, and Combo, he had a strong predilection, and it was one of his favorite studies. Here were the volumes of Volney, Drummond, and all that tribe of infidels, who resolve the life and actions of Christ into astronomical phenomena, as well as an edition of the false gospels, and the three impostors. Of philology, he declared that he was peculiarly fond, as by its lights he had not only been able to trace the origin of names riven to all countries upon earth, but to demonstrate that the ancients were acquainted with all the pretended discoveries and inventions of the moderns — as those of Newton and Harvey, and, even, of Jenner and Fulton. I was surprised to find so many names of my own countrymen upon his shelves; such [page 441:] as early histories of our colonies, and accounts of trials and hangings for witchcraft and unnatural vices, specimens of our early poetry, dissertations upon metaphysical divinity, upon medicine and physiology, descriptive poetry, and novels, numberless tales about morals and religion, orations, lectures, eulogies, periodical journals without number, English travels in the United States, nullifying pamphlets, and abolition tracts, souvenirs and annuals of all sorts. Some of these pieces, I perceived, were composed by his four sons before mentioned, after their settlement in our republic.

Martin next conducted us into an’ adjoining room, in which was a collection of his rarest curiosities. These were the monuments of his father Cornelius’s and his own ingenuity, to which he directed our attention, with evident satisfaction. To the intelligence and inventions of his ancestors, lie alleged, which lie could not too highly extol, he ascribed any attainments lie had’ made, and superiority he had displayed over others, more than to any pre-eminence in his native parts. Here, said he, is preserved in “a china jar a portion of that goat’s milk and honey, which, according to the prescription of Galen, was first taken by my great grandmother, and afterwards by her successors in the female line, to which kind of food I ascribe the peculiar dispositions of our family.” “There is the inkhorn, which my mother, like that of Alexander, saw in a dream, and which her husband Cornelius thought so symbolical of the future great writer in her son Martin, that he could not but consider this remarkable dream as a divine intimation,” and, in commemoration of the event, had this model of it prepared by an artist. Here is a remnant of the “crab tree which previous to my birth had been entirely barren, but, upon that event, suddenly appeared laden with a vast quantity of crabs, denoting the fertility of genius of him who was born.” There in that glass vessel, and in a state of preservation, are the “wasps that played around my cradle without doing me any injury, and, also, the mushrooms, which, in the space of one night, covered all our farm yard, as a prognostick of rapid growth to maturity in the powers of my mind.” He, then, drew out from some drawers, “the shield upon which he had been christened, which had again contracted that rust of antiquity, for the loss of which Cornelius at the baptism had wept bitterly, together with some ancient coins, fossil shells, and mummies, and an instrument of music with which his father had serenaded his mother, at an interesting period; but which, upon trial, we found emitted sounds like the whooping [page 442:] of owls, because, as we presumed, these birds were regarded by the Athenians as birds of wisdom.”

In the opposite side of this singular room, Martin displayed to us pieces of the gingerbread, inscribed with the letters of the alphabets in the several languages, which were taught to the children of his ancestors; the model of their geographical suit of clothes, and the apparatus with which were performed those puppet shows, and raree shows, by which the young were made acquainted with sacred and profane history. Beside these rare inventions of his father’s, were placed equally curious contrivances of his own. Here was a complicated machine so adjusted, that by simply turning a wheel all the parts of speech were displayed in their several positions and relations, and performing their appropriate offices in the construction of sentences; insomuch that, by this simple operation, children in infant schools, for which institution he was a great stickler, might be taught their grammar, as was wittily said, by grinding even before they could speak. It is a maxim with him, as well as Helvetius, that the minds of all men are the same; and that education alone, or the action of the various causes both physical and moral, occasions that endless diversity which is seen among mankind. Let the means of improvement, said he, which our family have provided, be faithfully and diligently plied from infancy to manhood, and there is not a soul upon earth that may not be raised to the highest distinction, nay, be made a great philosopher. Heaven is not unjust, but equal in its distributions; man, only, is wanting to himself, and the architect of his own folly and imbecility. Next to this machine, he showed us what he denominated a polyglot flute, by the blowing of which the various languages were acquired in 48 lessons, while the learner was all the time regaled with most delightful music. He, then, drew forth one set of instruments, by which men were taught the art of logic by fencing; of law, by ’hide and go seek;’ of mathematics, by a new game of chess; of history, by a magic lantern; and of astronomy, by circular movements in a dance. After this sight, was shown, in a chest the enormous head of a human being, which he declared that, in pursuance of a suggestion thrown out by Maupertius, he had obtained from a giant, whom he had killed with his own hands in the hills of Patagonia, during his visit to South America, in quest of earthquakes and volcanoes so frequent in those regions, and to indulge himself with a sight of the far-famed Chimborazo. His object in slaying this giant, he alleged, was that by dissecting his head and brain, he might [page 443:] behold upon the largest scale, as recommended by the French philosopher, the machinery of the human mind; and, thereby, arrive at a more extensive acquaintance with it. In connection with this giant’s head, there were many busts of celebrated men, such as are found in the rooms of phrenologists, and which were marked off into different departments, denoting the regions of the brain in which the several powers of the mind bear sway. He was a zealous craniologist, but boasted that he had outstripped the cultivators of that science, having discovered several powers that had escaped their penetration; and proposed an entirely new system. He expressed great confidence in his having dis. covered, by satisfactory observations and experiments, that, as Des Cartes maintained, the pineal gland in the back part of the head is the royal seat and presence chamber of the soul, from which, like an absolute empress, she sends forth her faculties, who are her executive officers, to obtain intelligence and fulfill her decrees.

Martin now conveyed us into a spacious room, the third we had entered, and in this department of his library, a large trunk was opened in which he presented to our view the petrified figure of a man, one hundred feet high, whose head was nine feet in diameter, his body fifteen or twenty, and his legs and thighs together about fifty. This, he alleged, was a fossil skeleton, discovered at Memphis in Egypt, and purchased by him from an antiquary at Alexandria, at an immense price. He showed its upon the body of this enormous fossil, remains in its bones, teeth, head and general construction, what he deemed infallible proofs that it must have subsisted in its present condition man millions of years. In fact, he was rather inclined to thin that this animal could not have attained its full growth and present perfection, unless it had existed through the past eternity. He concluded, therefore, from this proof, that the earth must also have subsisted, upon which this creature crept, through the past eternity. This inference was corroborated by as many and as bin fossil remains of other animals, as were ever seen in Dr. Buckland’s collection of subterranean rarities.

In a fourth room we had the pleasure of inspecting other rare inventions. These were, first, an auger, the mere miniature likeness of one, he informed us, which he intends to be so large, that by means of levers working it, according to the hint given by the French philosopher before mentioned, a hole may be bored to the centre of the earth, by which exploit mankind will be able forever to determine the truth or fallacy of Newton’s theory of gravitation; as well as to arrive at many [page 444:] discoveries relative to cosmogony. In this place, too, we were shown a piece of machinery by which he professes to solve the grand arcanum of perpetual motion; and near it a balloon so constructed as to mount to any height, and even ascend to the moon. And as if he had not already overpowered our senses with wonder and amazement, he produced for our inspection, a large glass vessel which he avowed contained a resinous and sulphureous ointment which, when rubbed over the body, not only proved a panacea in the cure of diseases, from which circumstance it received the appellation, unguentum sanctum, but completely changes the complexion, makes black people white and enables them to transmit their new complexion to their posterity. This, said he, is the means by which I expect to obtain the immediate emancipation of slaves in your southern states, for I transmitted it to them by my son Horatius before I was killed. Finally, as if lie had reserved to the last his maximum opus or arcanum, he drew from a shelf adjoining the vessel just mentioned, a jar containing a very ethereal fluid, and exclaimed, gentlemen, here is a noble quintessence, which I have distilled from the most salubrious substances known to the materia medica, and deposited in my lyceum, which I denominate-my aqua scientiae or aqua vitae intellectualis, by the use of which the most ignorant and illiterate of the vulgar are immediately enlightened in all kinds of knowledge, labourers are made statesmen, philosophers, and spinsters fitted for the most refined society. Take this home with you, Mr. Prospero, and you need but dis-tribute a few drops of this precious fluid to the emigrants from Europe who arrive upon your shores, and they shall at once be’’ prepared to exercise with discretion all the most valued rights of American citizens. This celestial liquid, too, mixed with a slight decoction of hellebore, and the leaves of the arbor morbi fanatici, will cure the whole nation of its intemperance, drive ardent spirits into the shops of apothecaries, expel the total abolition fury, and drive out many species of excess from the land.

We thanked him for the politeness with which he had allowed us access to his valuable library, and the learned disquisitions with which lie had entertained and instructed us. I asked him, whether in his villa he had practical proof of the efficacy of his doctrines, and the benefits (if his inventions. O yes, he replied, I have lectures regularly delivered in our college halls during the proper seasons, and as we receive children into our seminary as soon as they can conveniently walk, our professors commence with them at once upon [page 445:] the Scriblerian plan; that is, as we would give medicines in sweetmeats to render them less unpalatable, so we endeavor by as many expedients as possible, to render the acquisition of knowledge a pastime instead of a toil to our pupils. Hence it is that in eating ginger-bread they learn their alphabets; they are clad in suits of clothes upon which geographical knowledge is inscribed; by grinding a machine they are taught grammar; by raree shows, and puppet shows, they are initiated into history, and by a country dance they are instructed in astronomy.

Prospero. — You would oblige me much, in giving me access to these lectures and instructions in your college.

He immediately opened his cabinet,, and presented me with tickets of admission to all the lectures; and said that if at any time I would do him the honor of a further call at his house, he would take great pleasure in carrying me through the college.

The following conversation passed between Sterne and myself as we rode back to our homes:

Prospero. — Well! is not this a most extraordinary and nondescript kind of establishment?

Sterne. — Most extraordinary. That man is as confident of the truth of all his whimsies and follies, as Newton or Locke can be. of their systems. And as to his taste in literature, while the man of real genius is distrustful of himself, and trembling at every whisper of censure that reaches his ear, this stupid wretch apprehends no difficulty in the most arduous task, and beholds with perfect complacency, and Supreme delight, his crude and despicable performances. Verily, nature has been kind to us after all; what she denies in talents, as is remarked by Locke, she makes up in self-complacency.

Prospero. — But is there no way of completely discomfiting and demolishing this whole horde of literary Goths and Vandals, or expelling them from a civilized and refined community, like that of Saturnia?

Sterne. — We have clone our best; and you know that, for this purpose, Swift, Pope, Warburton, and Boileau, are hosts in themselves, but it seems as if they would always find their share of supporters and admirers. A foundation for the bathos seems to he laid, as Cornelius says, in every human mind. In our daily Journal, published in Saturnia, called the Portico, corresponding to the Spectator of Addison, the finest wit is exerted against this fraternity; and as soon as their performances are criticised by able writers, they sink in value, and their reputations vanish. But the [page 446:] same mint may send out new coin in ceaseless issues, that circulates for a time among the illiterate and tasteless. I have now in my pocket, and I will show you, a number published in the Portico by Dean Swift, which afforded us amusement for the time, and it is said to have had considerable effect in checking the evils against which it was directed; and certainly the lash of the severest irony or sarcasm was but a just punishment of those contemptible charlatans, who impose upon the ignorance and credulity of the people. He then put into my hands the number of the Portico, to which he referred, and I shall resent it to my readers in the next chapter, that they may have, at least, one specimen of the kind of writing, as well as the strain of sentiments which prevail in this wonderful capital.





[S:0 - AM, 1838] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Rejected - The Atlantis [part 4] [Text-02]