Page images

write that in the Days of King Henry the Fifth, the Sun stood still three Hours, 'till the Earl of Ormond in Ireland overcame Amor Ahur and others with their terrible Armies...

Q. What Liquor foonest extinguisheth Fire ?

A. Vinegar, for the exceeding piercing Coldness. and Eagerness it hath.

Q. Who invented Paper and Parchment ? A. Paper was first found out in Egypt, and made of thin Flakes of fedgy Weeds growing on the Banks of Nilus, called Papyra, from whence it took its Name. By means of this Invention, Books being easier to be transcribed and preserved, Ptolomeus Philadelpbus got together the moft learned Men and Manufcripts out of all Nations, in order to procure the most authentick Translation of the Old Testament into Greek, which was done accordingly by seventy-two Interpreters, and is the same we call the Greek Septuagint Bible, and made: his excellent Library at Alexandria ; and undere: standing that the King of Pergamos, by the Benefit of this Egyptian Paper, frove to exceed him: in that kind of Magnificence, he prohibited the Carriage of it out of Egypt. Hereupon the King of Pergamos invented Parchment, the Materials whereof being Sheep-skins, the Convenience whereof was the. Čause why, that in short Time the. Egyptian Paper was quite worn out : In place whereof succeeded.our. Paper made of Rags, the Author of which Invention our Progenitors have not committed to Memory, and more is the Pity, , that he who invented Paper, could not have his.. Memory preserved by Paper.

Q. Who invented Printing?

A. He who fieft taught it in Europe, was one 7ohn Gurtemburgh, a German, about the Year of our Lord 1440, at Harlem it was said to be first practised, and at Mentz perfected. Marcus Tullius Cicero the Officiis was the first Book that ever was printed, . which Copy is to this Day preserved in the publick Library of Frankfort, tho many are of Opinion that the Chinese had it long before us, who print Fnot as we use from the Left to the Right, nor as the Jews, from the Right to the Left; but from the Top of the Leaf downward to the Bottom. Whoever invented it, no question but it is a moft noble and profitable Art, we having that done in one Day by one Man, that without it many could not do in a Year by Writing, to the very great Improvement of Knowledge in all Arts and Sciences, making the present Age acquainted with all the Wisdom and Experience of former Ages and Places, and hath been a principal Inftrument in the undeceiving and instructing Mankind in the discovering of Truth.

Q. Who invented Letters'?

A. Cornelius Tacitus ascribeth it to the Egyptians, hisWords are these: Primi per formas animalium Egypti,&c. The Egyptians first of all express'd the Conceptions of the Mind by the Shapes of Beasts, and the most antient Monuments of Man's Memory are seen graven in Stones, and they say they were the first Inventers of Letters: Then the Phænicians, because they were strong at Sea, brought them into Greece, and Lucan also attributes this to the Phænicians ; but notwithstanding this of Tacitus and Lucan, no question but the Jewswere kill'd herein before either of them; and that there was Writing before the Flood, which St. Iude doth somewhat insinuate of the Writing of Enoch; and Josephus and others write that he erected two Pillars, the one of Brick, and the other of Stone, whereon he wrote of the twofold Deltruction of the World, by Water and Fire, which by Tradition was preserved to the Days of the Aposties?

Q. Who invented Guns?
A. That fatal Instrument, the Gun, was firf


found out by one Bartholdus Swart, a Franciscan Fryar, and a great Alchymist, who being one time very ftudious to find out some Experiments in his Art, was tempering together Brimitone, dry'd Earth, and certain other Ingredients in a Mortar, which he covered with a Stone. The Night growing on, he took a Tinder-Box to light him a Candle, when striking Fire, a Spark by Chance flew into the Mortar, and catching hold of the Brimstone and Salt-petre, with great Violence blew up the Stone.

The Fryar, guessing which of his Ingredients it was that produced this Effect, made an Iron Pipe, and cramm'd it with Sulphur and Stones, and putting Fire to it, he saw with what Fury and Noise it discharged it self. Then longing to put his Invention in Execution, he communicated the same to the Venetians, who, being often vanquished by the Genoefe, and almoft driven to a Necessity of yielding to them, by help of these Guns gave their Enemies a notable overthrow. This was about the Year of our Lord 1330. Which not long after put to filence all the Engines and Devices wherewith the Antients were wont to make their Batteries ; of which we may say, as a learned Poet formerly said of the Sword,

Of murdering Guns who might firft author be,
Sure a steel Heart, and bloody Mind had he,
Mankind's Destruction so to bring about,
And Death with Horror by near Ways find out
Q. Who Refined Sugar first?

A. The Boiling and Baking of Sugar, as it is now used, is not above two hundred Years old, and the Refining of it more new than that. It was first found out by a Venetian, who is said to have got one hundred thousand Crowns by this Invention, before which our Ancestors made use of rough Sugars, as they came from the Cane ; but most


commonly contented themselves with Honey. By this Art now improv'd, have many London Citizens got Etates, and furnish'd Employments for Multitudes of Families maintain'd thereby.

Q. Who invented Glass ?

A. The Inhabitants of Sidon are said to be the forft Makers of Glass, the Materials of the Work being brought thither from the Sands of the River not far from Ptolemais, and only made fusible in that City. About the Year 1648 one Racket brought the Mystery of making Glass into England, which they have so far improved, that they equal, if not out, do, the Venetians themselves, in this Art of Glass Work: And Dr. White, about the Year 1670, fet up the making of fine Stone Ware in England, wherein now they out-do the Dutch and Germans,

Q. Who invented Clocks, Watches, and other Time-Tellers ?

A. Water-Glasses were the first Instruments that were invented for the Measuring of Time, these were invented by Ctefibus of Alexandria, which diftinguished the Hours by the Fall or Dropping of the water. Then Clepfamedia invented the Sand Hour-Glass. The Philosopher Anaximenes was the first that took account of Shadows, from whence came the Sun-Dial; but finding these Things uncertain, they came to the Use of Wheels, Springs, and Weights, which they callid Horologues, and the first that I find to have contrived an En. gine of this kind, was Boetius, a worihy Roman. They came at lait to make Wheel-Work for the Pocket called Watches, whereby they might have an Account of Time at all Hours. The Germans have been eminent heretofore for this Work; but now the English do far furpass them, they having of late brought the Pendulum Regulator to a great Exactness.

Q. Of what Antiquity is the Office of ChurchWardens ? A. It is said by fome Historians that Dionyfius,


in the Year of our Lord 267, divided, both in Rome and other places, Churches, Church-Yards, and Parishes to Curatęs, and Dioceses to Bishops, and this was about 87 Years after Britain had received the Christian Faith; for though Historians do not all agree at what Time the Christian Faith was first brought into England, yet it is thought by the most of them, to be in the Reign of King Lucius, in the Year of our Lord 180; but how long after it was before these Officers called ChurchWardens were appointed, cannot certainly be known; but Mr. Lambert and other Authors agree, they are very antient Officers ; and by the antient Canon Law they were, and are still, to take care, see to, and preserve the Goods of the Church, viz. the Church Books, Communion Cups, and other decent Ornaments and Furniture of the Church, which they shall find there at their coming to their Office.

Q. Of what Antiquity is the Office of Overseers · of the Poor?

A. This Office of Overseers of the Poor is a Name and Office of great Excellency and Antiquity, and may beseem the best, and not the meanest, Men in a Parish ; for as God himself hath a special respect unto the Miseries of the Poor, fo they be like God who provide for the Necessities of the Poor. Now it is certain that the Antiquity of this Office is above seventeen hundred Years standing, as teftifieth the Holy Writ; for we find St. Stephen, the Proto-Martyr, a Man full of Faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Nicholas, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas, a Proselyte of Antioch, all these were chosen to this Office.

Q. What is the best present Cordial to sweeten the future Pill of Death ?

A. Preparation and Dedication of our selves to God: To which purpose faith Seneca, Do that “ which must be done, whilft thou art strong ;

“ wbild

« PreviousContinue »