Page images
PDF
EPUB

were not above three Spans high, Pygmai ternas Spithamas longitudine excedunt : Then he produces a remarkable Instance of their Bravery and Policy, sagittis armati

, insidentes Arietum, Caprarumque dorfis, verno tempore universo agmine ad mare defcendunt, & Ova pullofque Gruum confumunt : ternis expeditionem eam menfibus conficiunt. What a noble fight would it be to see these mighty and terrible Armies, with their Generals at their Head, mounted upon furious Rams and Goats, in full march on such a glorious Expedition? How much Bloed do they prudently spare by crushing their future Enemies in Embrio, and preventing a threatning War? Tho' no Man living has a more laudable Partiality for my native Country than myself, yet I must think, that the valiant London Regiments, even with the Lord Mayor at their Head, do not make a more formidable Appearance ; and were they to engage in Battle with these Warriors, I fhould tremble for the Consequences.

I might now ask, if any Doubt remains concerning this eminent Nation of the Pygmies? If there does I refer to that great Master of Reason the renowned Ariffotle, and his Authority will be decisive: Thus he writes in his History of Animals, lib. 8. cap. 12. Is dit wel oy οι Πυγμαίοι κατοικεσιν, 8 δι, το μύθο, άλλ' οι κατα πν, aanbew, no wiregy ulo', in autos, TTI. Can a fuller Con. firmation be given of Mr. Gulliver's Veracity than this passage of the learned Ariftotle? Does Mr. Gulliver relate that the Beasts of Lilliput were proportion'd to the Size of the Natives ? Aristotle affirms the same of the Pygmæan Horses : The hand of Nature is always regular in all her Productions, and adapts the Creatures of every Nation to serve the Uses and Benefits of the Inhabitants ; Aristotle observ'd this order of Things in the Pygmæan State two thousand Years ago ; and Mr. Gulliver relates, that the same Order proceeds in Lilliput at this Day. So that the Captain's Vesacity ftands upon a level with that of the Philosopher, and you cannot condemn the one without involving the other in the same Condemnation,

A curious Poem, celebrating the heroic Actions of the Pygmies is fallen into my hands, and I shall oblige the Company with part of it.

Quà radiis Phabi propitioribus India ferret,
Pygmæum quondam fteterat, dum fata finebant,

Imperium
I cannot read the hard Fate of one of their famous Generals without
Lamentation : It is to be with'd that the Poet had given us his Name,
Chal it might have been as immortal as his Actions.

Jamque acris inter medias fefe arduus infert
Pygmeadum Ductor, qui majeftate verendus
Incafuque gravis, reliquos jupereminet omnes
Mole gigantæa, mediamque afurgit in ulnur.

Wat Slaughter did this little Achilles make, amongit his Enemies? till, alas ! pardon, Ladies, thele virtuous Tears ! he was inatch'd away in the midst of Victory, and then the Battle turn'd, and his Army was uitesly overthrown.

[merged small][ocr errors]

... Ingens, & formidabilis Ales
Comprendit pedibus pugnantem, & trille relatu,
Saulit in calum, Bellator ab unguibus beret
Pendulus.

With this Hero fell the Pygmean Empire, and, like the Parthian, wityrimsh and Roman States, is now no more !

Sic Pygmea domus, multos dominata per annos,
Tot bellis defun&ta, gruum tot lata triumphis,
Funditus interiit

Such, alas! is the end of all human Glory!

You see, Ladies, there have been Pygmiest, why then may there not be Lilliputians? You may say that no Man ever saw them but Mr. Gulliver. What then? Must he therefore be an Impostor? Let me instance in the discovery of America; was the Person who first landed in America an Imposor, because he was the first Discoverer : All the World now knows that there is an America, and probably when the course of Navigation to Lilliput is better studied, it may soon, by the Lights which Mr. Gulliver has already given us, be as much frequented as the American Coasts. It it be obječted, that the Territories of Lilliput are remote; and that Mr. Gulliver was wisc in placing them at so great a distance to prevent a dircovery. It may be answered, that the Pygmean State is fix'd by Aristotle and other Historians in an equal remoteness, but that the Advantage lies entirely on the Captain's side, who was an eye-witness of what he relates, the others probably trusted to Tradition. *

Thus we find the Pygmaan Fame spread over the old World, it reach'd our native Country, and 10 fill'd us with Admiration, that our best Authors have adorn'd their Writings with it. Does not Milton, in that serious and admirable Work, Paradije Loji, plainly refer to this powerful People, and allude to their renowned Wars:

That small Infantry
War'd on by Cranes
And afterwards fix the place of their Empire:

The

* It may easily be imagin’d, that after some notable Victory gain'd by the Cranian Armies, they carried off fome of their Prisoners, a few lygmean Gentlemen and Ladics, and planted them as a Coloriy on the Lilllputian Shores ; and that in process of Time they became a populous and mighty Nation. I will not affilm, chat this was exactly thc Fađ. but it bcars the Atrongest Marks of Probability.

* When I made my Enquiries about Mr. Gulliver's Character I learned a great Anecdote from Mr. Thomas Hartford, Surgeon in Redriff, who married the Captain's youngest Daughter Joinna: He told me had frequently heard his Father. in-law say, that het Lillipution Majesty was a perfect Beauty : He used to call her his Queen of Hearis, from the resemblance the bore to that amiable Pidure on our Cards : She once offer'd to come over with him into England, not out of an unworthy affedion to his perfon, but out of a laudable Delire to see the fa. mous Nation of Great-Britain: He adde!, that the Captain, while in Lilliput, kept the Secret inviolably, left it Thould have reach'd the Royal Ear, and die liurbed the matrimonial Union,

The Pygmean Race Beyond the Indian Mount ....... Is there a Man of Sense in Great Britain who disputes the Excellence of Milton. Is not his Reputation establim'd beyond all Contradiction? And does not this great Man plainly speak of the Pyginies? 'Tis true, he liv'd at a great distance from the Pygmican Age, and so he did from the Bnbylonian? but therefore did Babylon never exist? In fhort, his Name gives a Sanction to their Story, and he becomes, in some degree, answers able for the Truth of it, by adopting it, and inserting it in his most valu. able Lucabrations: He that propagates a Fraad 'is an Accomplice in it.

Befides, What if I should undertake to prove demonstratively, that we in Great Britain have been hongüred with the production of an illuitriou's Personage of a lower Stature than thé Lilliputians? I fee, Ladies, you are furprizd, but fufpend your Wonder, the Task is not difficult : Who has not heard of the immortal Mr. Thornids Thumb and his glorious Axions There is scarce a pretty Eye in all Great Britain that has not frequently been clos'd with Odes recording his memorable Exploits : Is he not the favourite of every Nursery, which may properly be lild the first School, or Academy of Knowledge and Erudition Who knows but that thofe great and immortal Princes Edward III. and Henry V. were first fir'd.co a thirst of Glory by hearing his valorous Archieveinents? And, perhaps, we owe Cresley and Agincourt to a Flame kindled in their infant Bosoms by the lefty Poeins that celebrated his Glory. And I submit it, Ladies, to your impartial Judgments to determine, whether his History be a Truth or a Fidion? If it were a Fiction, Can it be imagin'd that the venerable Nobles of the Realm, and the virtuous, learned, and judicious Order of Esquires, those Lights and Ornaments of it, would fuffer their Offspring to imbibe a Fable and Fiction with their earlielt Milk? No, no, they are too wise to permit it! Error is apt to strike deep 'Roots in a youthful Įmagination : Is it then to be conceiv'd, that they would plant so noxious, a Weed in a Soil fo fruitful, only to be at the trouble of tradicating ic? "Tis certain they would not act so inconsistently : And therefore this Argument is conclusive and unanfiverable ; for you cannot give up the Hiitory of Mr. Thnmb, without disparaging the Judgments of the greatest Personages of the Land, highly renown'd for deep Leuning and, 1o.id Understandings, and without defrauding your native Kingdoni of the incítimable Honour it derives from your illutrious Countryman.

[ocr errors]

Quod procul a nobis fleetat Fortuna guberuns.

[ocr errors]

Now the Lilliputians were Giants in comparison of our Hero; yet who doubts of his exittcnce ? Then long live and flourish the renown'd Lilliputians! And may the Memory of Mr. Thumb's heroic Acti. ons descend from Nursery to Nursery, and continue to delight and improve our latest Posterity!

Neither is the Thummian Family extinct at this Day; Do we not see Hundreds of it frutting about the Streets of London, and by an erect Gate and Look of Deafince vaunting their important Litueness? This is not ont of Vanity, but to honour themselves by a laudable Imitation of their great Progenitor : 'Tis true they are now hot up into fome Inches of

greater

greater Altitade ; but this happens by their Intermarrying with taller Fa: milies : But, in my opinion, what they gain in Stature they lose in Glory, as they less resemble their, noble Anceltor.

I hope, Ladies, Mr. Gulliver stands clear in your Judgments, with regard to the Lilliputians, I proceed now to defend him with respect to the Brobdingnagians.

They are, lays the Gentleman, of an immoderate Size! But does this disprove their Existence? Are there no Mountains because there are Molehills? The whole Objection arises from meer Pride and Self-Aattery; we are willing to make our own Stature the Standard of human Perfection ; Strange Prejudice ! As if the contemptible Shrub were more beautiful than the tall Cedar! I have long been of Opinion, that the Race of Men in our Clime has gradually dwindled for some thousand of Years: How many Bones and Coftins have been dug up in distant Nations of an exceeding Size ? And I would ask this plain Question, If the Earth has produc'd in other Countries Men greatly superior to us in Stature, in former Days, why may it not still produce fuch Inhabitants in our Days, in morç hap. py Climes? Or, in other words, Why may there not now be Brobdingnagians ? But Examples are the trongest Arguments: Let us therefore once more consult Authority : See again the immortal Homer, Odys. 11. 8. 375;

Hence Ephialtes, bence ftern Otus sprung,
More fierce than Gianes, more thax Giants Prang
The Earth o'erburthen'd groan'd beneath their weight,
None but Orion e'er surpass'd their beight.
The wondrous Youths bad scarce nine Winters told,
When bigh in Air, tremendous to behold,

Nine Ells aloft they rear'd the tow'ring Head, &c.
Here we have a lively Pi&ture of the modern Brobdingnagians,

[ocr errors]

Patris vel montibus a ques.

And you will, Ladies, have some Idea of these wonderful Persons, by imagining you see Marcley-Hill once more taking a fancy to travel to find out a new Situation : This celebrated Author goes on to tell us, they pild Hills on Hills, ofa and Pelion, on Olympus, all Mountains of vait Dimensions. Here I fix my Foot, and reft the Veracity of Mr. Gulliver on that of Homer : Does Mr. Gulliver speak more largely of his Brobó ding nagians, than Homer of Otus and Ephialtes? Why then must Homer be believ'd, and Gulliver called an Importor? This is strange Partiality! Let it be confider'd, that the Giants of Homer, at the Age of nine years, were meer Babes, and yet were aboun eleren Yards high: Now fupposing they had lived to Manhool, would they not have grown up to the noble Stature of the Brobiingnagians ? and upon Marriage ivould they not have propagated a Race as large as They! I must here, Ladies, beg leave to offer a Conjecture highly probable, relating to the origin of this wonderful Nation : It is oblerv'd, that in America there are Animals unknown to the old World; But why are they there only, say the Curious and.. Inquifitive? Why have they not spread over the habitable Globe? I anfwer, Earthquakes or Inundations may have feparated the new World

from

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

from the old, and by the interposition of Seas, confind them to their native Regions. And why, say some, have we no Brobdingnagians ? The same Reply will be a sufficient answer : They are cut off from the rest of the World by the interposition of the Ocean. Suppose Orion and his Family, or any of his Descendants, or any other of the Stock of the old Giants, were driven, like Mr. Gulliver, by stress of Weather, on the Brebdingnagian Coasts, they would naturally settle there, and losing their skill in Navigation, by finding no want of it, they muft neceflarily be cut off from all Communication with other Regions ; but then would they not People their new Habitation with Giants, or Brobdingnagians ? Undoubtedly they would! Is it not evident, that if Mr. Gulliver had been pleased to carry Mrs. Gulliver along with him to Brobdingnag, he would have multiply'd his Kind by Sons and Daughters of his own Dimensions ? This will not be denyd. Why then should it be imagin'd that a Brobe dingnagian Lady Mould be less frụitful in Procreation than Mrs. Gulliver? I lay great Weight on this Observation, because it gives as probable an account of the origin of this Nation, as almok any History gives of the peopling other Kingdoms; and a much better than that of the learned Athenians, who boalted themselves to be 'Autóyloves, or Coaval with their Country. To add more Arguments is as unnecefTary as to prove, that the Sun shines at Noon-day, otherwise I might call in to my allittance that grave and antient Writer Hefod; he was an excellent Genealogift, and largely describes the Strength, Stature, and Pedigree of the Giants, those antient Brobdingnagians : I might quote the great Virgil, to Mow that Polypheme equald or exceeded the Brobaingnagians, for he assures us, that he waded into the Ionian Seas, and that the Waters scarce reach'd his Sides. This exactly agrees with the Description of Mr. Gulliver's Brobdignagian, who pursued the Boat that landed him on that Coast. Now when two Authors, who could not possibly write in concert, thus minutely agree in Circumstances, it is an infallible Proof that both consulted Veracity.

Having now settled this Point beyond all Exception, I address myself to the third Objection of my ingenious Antagonist, which is, That the manner of Mr. Gulliver's Deliverance by the Eagle is incredible.

But, Ladies, permit me to ask, Why incredible? The Objection sup. poles, that no Eagle could be strong enough to bear Mr. Gulliver and his Cage or House thro' the Air, to such a distance as the Captain mentions; but does the Geutleman imagine that a Brobdingnagian Eagle is of the same Size and Strength with the European? But I wave this Answer, and will not act like molt Disputants, who evade the Difficulty they cannot clear : I will have recourse only to authentic History: Who has not heard ‘of the Eagle that bore Ganymedes the Trojan to Heaven? Why then might not an Eagle bear Mr. Gulliver a far lets way? Who doubts but that an Eagle carried Jupiter and all his Thunders? Every School-boy learns from many excellent Authors, that Chariots are drawn thro' the. Air by Peacocks; nay, even by Doves and Sparrows :

vegale di o'avou
'Ωκίες τριθένε, αλέυγας μιλαίνας
Ilunsa dirbornes 'at' wegr arbiges na piww.

Халфе.

I had

« PreviousContinue »