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the old fathers were like it, we should at least be agreeably entertained.
I have examined “ The State of the Dead, as
' 4 described by Homer and Virgil ;” and upon that Differtation* I am willing to stake all the little credit that I have as critic and philologer.
I have there observed, that Homer was not the Inventor of the fabulous histories of the gods. He had those stories, and also the doctrine of a future state, from old traditions. Many notions of the Pagans, which came from tradition, are confidered by Barrow, Serm. VIII. Vol. II. in which fermon the existence of God is proved from universal consent. See also Bibl. Chois. I. 356. and Bibl. Univ. IV. 433.
But “ this is maintaining the Doctrine of Traditions, which is a Popish doctrine.” Thus said a superficial prater against that differtation. Protestant, it seems, must not scratch his ears, nor pare his nails, because the Papists do the same ! The truth is, that if any remarks be just, they tend to establish the great antiquity of the doctrine of a future state ;—and there the shoe pinches some people. Let them go barefoot then, with their heels as unfurnished as their head.
* See Jortin's “ Six Dissertations upon different subjects." Differt. VI. p. 205.
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AN E ÇDO TE S.
From the complexion of those anecdotes which a man collects from others, or which he forms by his own pen, may without much difficulty be con: jectured, what manner of man he was.
The human being is mightily given to assimilation; and from the stories which any one relates with spirit ; from the general tenour of his conversation, and from the books, or the affociates, to which he most addicts his attention; the inference cannot be very far distant, as to the texture of his mind, the vein of his wit, or, may we not add the ruling passion of his heart. Is it not Sydney,--or the Spectator, who sayshejni
Bilder that “ from the national songs in vogue, a stran-Tolle talla.
ger must judge of the temper of the people?”
Some such might be the apology, if any is needed, for inserting the little pieces subjoined; which are, undoubtedly, at the best, no more than the earthen feet of Daniel's colossal statue.
* Communicated to the Editor by a Friend.
CARDINAL RETZ, as I remeinber, says, that going once with the Pope to view a very fine statue, his Holiness fixed his attention entirely upon the fringe at the bottom of the robe : From this the Cardinal concluded, that the Pope was a poor creature. The remark was shrewd. When
you see an ecclefiaftic in an high station, very zealous, and very troublesome about trifles, expect from him nothing great, and nothing good.
Vaillant, the father, took a voyage in quest of medals. He was in a veffel of Leghorn, which was attacked and taken by a corsair of Algiers. The French being then at peace with the Algerines, flattered themselves that they should be fet down at the first landing place. But the corsair excused himself, saying, that he must make the best of his way home, being short of provisions. They shipped the French, as well as the other passengers, with the compliment of bona pace Francesi. Being carried to Algiers, they were detained as slaves. In vain the consul reclaimed them. The Dey kept them by way of reprisals, on account of eight Algerines, who, as he said, were in the King's galleys. After a captivity of four months and a half, Vaillant obtained leave to depart, and they returned to him twenty gold medals, which had been taken from him. He went on board a vessel bound to Marseilles; and
on the third day they saw a Sallee rover pursuing them, and gaining upon them. Upon this, Vaillant, that he might not be robbed a second time, swallowed his gold medals. Soon after, a storm parting the ships, he was run aground, and with difficulty got to shore : but his medals, which weighed five or fix ounces, incommoded him extremely. He consulted two physicians; and they not agreeing in their advice, he waited for the event, without taking any remedy. Nature assisted him from time to time, and he had recovered half of his treasure, when he arrived at Lions. He there related his adventure to a friend, shewed him the medals which were come from him, and described to him those that were still within-doors. Amongst the latter was an Otho, which his friend set his heart upon, and desired to take his chance for it, and to purchase it of him before hand. Vaillant agreed to this odd bargain, and fortu-' nately was able to make it good on the same day. See Spon's Voyages.--Hist. de l'Acad. I. 431. and the Dunciad. IV. 375. in the notes.
Joannes Scotus Erigena was a man of confiderable parts and learning in the ninth century. The Emperor Charles the Bald had a great esteem for him, and used to invite him to dinner. As they sat together at table, one on each fide, the Emperor said to him, Quid interest inter Scotum et Sotum ? In English,---Between a Scot and a Fool?
Scotus bold replied, Mensa tantum : and Charles took it not amiss.
A man seeing a King's horse making water in a river, “ This creature," said he, “ is like his master : he gives, where it is not wanted.”
Somebody said to the learned Bignon, " Rome is the seat of Faith."-" It is true," replied he'; “ but this Faith is like those people, who are never to be found at home.”
Ambrose Philips, the Pastoral writer, was solenın and pompous in conversation. At a coffee-house he was discoursing upon pictures, and pitying the painters, who in their historical pieces always draw the same sort of sky. “ They should travel,” faid he, “ and then they would see, that there is a different sky in every country- in England, France, Italy, and so forth.”- Your remark is just,” said a grave gentleman, who sat by : “ I have been a traveller, and can testify that what you observe is true : But the greatest variety of skies that I found, was in Poland.”“ In Poland, Sir?” said Phillips.mo" Yes, in Poland : for there is Sobiesky, and Sarbieusky, and Jablonsky, and Podebrasky, and many more Skies, Sir."