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the Genius, Policy, and Actions of that mighty Nation. For how could we postībly forin an exact Notion (for instance) of a Roman Feast, and the luxurious Entertainments, fo frequently described by the Satirifts and Historians of those Times, without knowing the exact Form of the Tables, Dishes, Spoons, Salts, Cookery, and Sauces, that were used on those Occasions ? What Idea could we have of the Beaux and Belles of antient Rome, when they made their grand Appearance at a Ball, in the Theatre, or at Court, unless we know exactly the Name, Shape, and Matter of every Piece and Article of their Dress, without which, many a fine Pallage in Petronius, Persius, Juvenal, and Horace, would be perfectly unintelligible? It was this Sort of Knowledge, that enabled a certain great Genius of our own to write such excellent Notes upon Athenæus ; in order to which, he spared no Coft nor Pains to procure the beft Light he could from the Writings of the Antients. In the Course of his Inquiries, he had the good Fortune to find an excellent Receipt for a Pudding, in one of Ariftophanes's Plays. He also discovered the true Way of making and frying the celebrated Alphiton, or Barley-meal Pancake, of the Spartans, and the black Broth of the Lacedæmonians; as also the Matter and Form of the famous Thericlean Cups, which were used in their most magnificent Entertainments; with many other important Discoveries in the Greek and Roman Cookery. By his profound and exact Knowledge of the Roman Coiffeure, he has given abundant Lights to many obscure Passages in the Roman Satirists ; particularly that in Juvenal, which has so much puzzled the antient Scholiafts Compagibus altis
ædificare caput, which in short was neither more nor less than dressing a Cominode. By these and other useful Labours of this Sort, we have contributed not a little to the Improvement of the Belles Lettres in all Parts of Europe, especially in Germany and Italy, as well as in our own Country. How many learned Editors, Translators, Commentators, Critics, and Grammarians have we produced ? How many various Readings even of various Readings, how many Notes upon Annotations, Criticisms upon Critics, and Commentaries upon Commentators, have we published? How many elaborate Treatises have we composed upon such Subjects as never entered into any Heads, or employed any Pens but our own? How many useful and valuable Words, Letters, Commas, Colons, and Semicolons, and other Cements and Ornaments of good Writing, which, by the barbarous Ignorance, or unpardonable Negligence of Transcribers and Printers, have been mutilated, defaced, misplaced, or lost, have we recovered and restored to their proper Rank and Dignity in the Republic of Learning ?
The Preference that has been given by a * Learned Writer to the Germans and Italians, in these Improvements and Refinements of Learning, is, in my Opinion, little less than a national Reflection upon our own Countrymen ; and I verily believe was so intended.
The Germans (says he, p. 199.) have wrote Genealogies innumerable, and published so many Diplomata, Aets, Rules, and Usages, not only of every State and Prom vince, but of every petty Seigniory, District, Village, School,
* A Description of Holland. London 1743,
Convent, University, &c. enough, collected together, to compose a Body of 5 or 600 Folio's, have, with infinite Pains, Passion, and Prolixity, cleared up a remote Hint of an antient Poet, about an old Medal, or the Situation of a Lake, as Matters of infinitely more Importance than to know the History of their Forefathers, and the Virtues of those Waters, Plants, Food, Fruit, and Air, fo necessary to their Country and themselves. Which to be sure was quite right. For, as for the Virtues of their Soil, Waters, Plants, Food, Fruit, and Air, in which the most illiterate Blockheads in the Country, and the Beasts themselves, had as great an Interest as the moft learned Philosopher, they were proper Subjects of Inquiry for Physicians, Gardeners, Dairy-men, and Graziers; but were unworthy the particular Attention of Men of Science and profound Erudition : Whereas to a true Virtuoso, one Purse of Brass or Silver Medals would be of more Value than 100 of Portuguese Gold; and the recovering the Situation of an old Lake, would be of more Consequence than recovering a good old Manfion-House and 5000 Acres of dry Land to the Family.
He proceeds (p. 200.) The Learning and Inquiries of Italy have been very well employed during the three laft Centuries. It is now found out, and demonstrated beyond the Posibility of Contradiction, that the Corona radialis had twelve Rays in it, and not fix or eight; as was fondly believed before: That Juno Sospita's Feet were always bare, though the Generality of Antiquaries and Sculptors have been so ignorant as to wrap them up in Buskins or Stockings. It is also fully made out, that the Tibia or Flagelet had more Stops than it has hitherto been described to have; and this, the last Pope but one,
who was a very profound Scholar, declared to be his Opinion, though he would not take upon him to ascertain their Number. Several other Virtuosi, of more Presump-. tion, though perhaps not more Learning, have ventured to give their Conjectures upon this nice Point, in very curious and elaborate Dissertations. And for two hundred and fifty Years past, not only Italy, but the greatest Part of Europe, have been in a very gross Error, concerning the particular Dress of Priapus ; whereas now there is nothing clearer, than that the aforesaid God had several Dresses, which several eminent Men are now employed in making out. Pliny's two floating Islands are not get found out ; but what has not been, may in Time be effected. The learned Persons who are at present in Pursuit of them, conceive they have made a greater Progress towards that Discovery, than the most diligent of. their Predecessors.
Whilft this ingenious Writer is doing Justice to these learned Foreigners, he cannot help discovering a manifest Partiality and Prejudice to our own Countrymen, and often insinuates, with a malicious Sneer, their Ignorance or Neglect of these valuable Branches of Learning. He professes himself to be an Englishman, that has lived most of his Time abroad, which must be allowed to be the best Apology for his Ignorance of the State of Learning among us. I myself am able to furnish out a goodly Catalogue of very learned and profound Inquiries, intirely of British Growth, no whit inferior either in Bulk or Utility to the most elaborate Performances of other Nations. Has he never read or heard of the many useful Difcoveries have made in the several Branches of Learning ? Has he never seen a learned Dissertation
upon the Antiquity and Uses of Weather-cocks ? Where we have proved to a Demonstration, that though they are much in modern Use, they are by no means a modern Invention, but were as antient as the Argonautic Expedition, being invented by Zethys and Calais, the Sons of Boreas, though greatly improved since their Time; we have found out, and proved beyond Contradiction, that the Sybarites were the first that laid Rose-cakes and Lavender among their Linen; and that no less a Person than Sardanapalus was the first Inventor of Cushions, and, by consequence, of Squabs and Easy-Chairs, to the great Eafe and Refreshinent of the Learned and the Lazy, to all succeeding Generations ; but our most valuable Work is a MS. Treatife de Umbraculis, of the Nature and Use of Screens, which, though a very antient and ufeful Invention, and of a very simple Nature, has received fuch Improvements from the united Studies and Encouragements of the greatest Men among us, that it may justly be esteemed one of the most valuable Utensils, even in the greatest Families, This ufeful Machine was not unknown to the Greeks, who called it 'Eaux auppce; and by an Expresfion common among theim Κακών επικάλυμμα έςιν ο πλέτα, , one would be apt to conclude it was always made of Gold or Silver. But the learned Scriblerus has found out, from comparing antient Authorities, that the true Reading is not maro, but betw; which, as it cannot well be rendered into English, I shall leave to the Confideration of the Learned, though it feems rather to express the Name of the Inventor, than the Materials of which it is made, Of these the Public may foon expect to fee a very ample and cu