Page images

That this may court thy more favourable thoughts, call to mind that fuch as intend to deceive, tell of wonders that are remote, and too far diftant fio... thee, either fuddenly to difprove, or presently to confirm thyfelf in the belief of what they have


This gives thee an account of what thou mayeft, with little trouble and a small expence, behold. Take but a walk to the Swan in the Strand, near Charing Crofs, and there thou mayeft fatisfy thy curiofity, and be able to tell the world whether this following narration be truth or invention.

There thou mayeft fee a woman with horns growing upon the hinder part of her head; an object not only worthy of thy fight, but admiration too! She is feventy-fix years of age, born and bred in the parish of Shotwick, in Cheshire, and within four miles of Chester; tenant unto his facred majesty, upon a farm of fixteen pounds per annum; fo that fhe is not necefftated to take this courfe of life, or to deceive the credulous and fhort-fighted people; but to manifeft to the world fuch a wonder in nature as bath neither been read or heard of (we may juftly fuppofe) fince the creation.

She was wife to one Mr. Henry Davies, who died thirty-five years paft; and fince the hath lived a religious widow, all along of a fpotlefs and unblameable life and converfation; of fingu lar ufe to her neighbours, for fhe is a profeffed midwife, happy and fuccefsful in that undertaking; fo that her departure was generally lamented in the place of her abode, in fuch a measure that feveral of her neighbours and acquaintance brought her feveral miles on her journey.

This ftrange and ftupendous effect began firft from a forenet on that place where now the horns grow, which (as it is thought) was occafioned by wearing a ftrait hat. This foreness conti nued twenty years, in which time it miferably afflicted this good woman, and ripened gradually unto a wen, near the bigness of a large hen egg which continued, for the fpace of five years, more fadly tormenting her than before. After which time, was, by a strange operation in nature, changed into hornst which are in fhew and fubftance much like a ram's horns, folid and wrinkled; but fadly grieving the old woman, efpecially upon the change of weather.

But more accurately to defcribe its nature and manner of pro duction, may be a fubject proper for the college of phyficians and no queftion but it will be efteemed worthy to employ the ingenious virtuofi of the age, who need not their glaffes to ma nify its wonder.


She hath caft her horns three times already: the first time was but a fingle horn, which grew long, but as flender as an oiten ftraw: the second was thicker than the former. The two frft Mr. Hewfon, minifter of Shotwick, (to whofe wife this rarity was firft difcovered,) obtained of the old woman, his parifhioner. They kept not an equal distance of time in falling off; fome at three, fome at four, and another at four years and a half's growth.

The third time grew two horns, both which were beat off by a fall backward: one of them an English lord obtained, and (as is reported) prefented it to the French king, for the greatest rarity in nature, and was received with no less admiration. The other (which was the largest) was nine inches long, and two inches about it is much valued for the novelty; a greater than any John Tradeskin can fet to view, or the greatcft traveller can, with truth, affirm to have feen.

Sir Willoughby Afton hath alf another horn, which dropped from this woman's head, and referves it as a choice rarity. At this prefeat time fhe hath a pair of horns upon her head of fix months growth; and it is not, without reafon, believed they will, in a fhort time, be larger than any of the former; for ftill the latter have exceeded the former in bignefs.

The circumftance of this relation confidered, or examined at laft with the fight of her, I hope it will not readily be believed to be an impofture, or artificial projecting; for fo grofsly to impofe upon his majefty, and all his loyal fubjects, would be an unpardonable crime, and would deferve men's contempt, and not their company, and certainly expofe the party to the violence of a rude multitude; who, difcovering the cheat, would, I believe, foon make the old woman pull in her horns.

Our author means Sir John Tradefcant, the famous virtuofo, who had a curious collection of rarities at South Lambeth, of which an acCount was published in the year 1656, but which is now exceeding


On the STYLE of MODERN CONVERSATION. Written by an old faftioned Fellow.

[ocr errors]

PEAK, that I may know thee," faid the wife man of old; but, according to the prefcribed ufe of fpeech in polite company, it is impoffible for us to come at the leaft owledge of each other; not on account of our ufing fpeech the purpofe of diffimulation, but because it is ungenteel, for


footh, to discover in company that you have any knowledge at all; or for any one perfon to fpeak above five feconds at a time, or above five words in a breath.

Tedioufnefs and profing in converfation is an abominable practice, I must allow; but no man ever dealt half so disagree. ably in that figure rhetoric, which, I think, Swift calls the Circumbendibus, as the fops and flirts of the prefent age now deal in the abrupt, fnip-fnap manner of abandoning a fubject before three fyllables have been faid upon it; flying from one question to another, as if each had been farted for the fake of quitting it immediately, or as if the very ghoft of good fenfe was to be laid in all good company.

Converfation was intended as a kind of traffic of mental commodities, but no-body now dare open their budget and left nature should fet fome tongues a-going, the puppies of the world have, from time to time, contrived to put a kind of gag in our mouths, by inventing certain terms, calculated to turn every man to ridicule who will venture to deliver his fentiments, or disclose his mind, for the information or entertainment of the company.

If you attempt to tell a ftory, one puppy puts his hand to his cheek, and cries bem! implying, it feems, that the tale is false, or that it fmells of Joe Miller; and if you continue your narration a minute and a half, another puppy turns to a monkey next him, and whispers, "What a bore! or boar !" for I do not know how they spell their nonfenfe; but, take it which way you will, it is intended to convey an idea of tediousness, and to compare the fpeaker to a hog, or gimlet: but fure fuch wretches are themfelves the greatest enemies to company; mere dampers to the mind, wet blankets to the imagination, and extinguishers of good fenfe and good humour.-Taciturnity is the great vice of Englishmen; and it would be more expedient to devife methods to prevail on them to throw off that reserve which freezes their converfation, than to ftudy thefe poor meagre inventions, to fhut up every man's light, like a dark lanthorn, within his own bofom. A bold, free fpirit, it is true, will leap these fences; but it is hard, methinks, that a plain modest man fhould be ftopped in the high road of converfation, and not be fuffered to go on without interruption.



O let a man into the knowledge of our paffions, is to furnish him with weapons that will fubdue us. Guard your weak fide from being known. If it be attacked, the best way is to join in the attack,

ACCOUNT of an EXPERIMENT lately made at ROUEN with a FLYING-BOAT.


Written by a GENTLEMAN prefent.

HE 24th of May, 1784, Monfieur Blanchard made an experiment in the city of Rouen, with his batteau volant, or flying boat. On this occafion the nobleffe, and all the principal inhabitants of the city and its, neighbourhood, were early in the day affembled in the court of the new barracks, and made a molt brilliant appearance; the towers, fpires, housetops, and hills, were all covered, all waiting attentively for the coup de cannon, which was the fignal for the departure of the batteau volant. I was in the court, and very near the spot, and diftinctly faw the operation of filling the balloon and attaching the boat; it was performed by at least ten or twelve casks, all communicated to one large one, by tin tubes; from the large one was a flexible tube of oiled or painted filk, which was connected to the bottom of the balloon, by which means the gas was forced up with the hand into it. The balloon was in diameter about 30 English feet, and about 36 in height, made of filk; the upper hemifphere was green, the lower white; the upper one was covered with a strong filk net, at the bottom of which was a zone of cord, which ferved to ftrengthen the balloon, and to which were attached the small cords for the fupporters of the batteau underneath. The batteau in fome measure refembled a bird, having a fine pair of green filken wings, which Mr. Blanchard worked much in the fame manner that a waterman works a pair of fculls; the rudder was at the head of the batteau, and went foremost, and fomething refembled the head of a bird; and he, when fixed in a boat, worked the rudder with his feet and rowed, or rather fled, with his face foremoft, feathering his wings like oars, with amazing dexterity, After having filled the balloon, attached the batteau, and adjufted properly the ballaft, it being near feven o'clock in the evening, he embraced and took leave of feveral of his friends, who invoked heaven for a happy voyage to the adventurous traveller, who with a determined courage commanded the cannon to be fired, and the cords unloofed; with what pleafing aftonishment every one beheld him in his god-like equipage, mounting on the wings of the wind, with all the majeftic fublimity attributed to the celeftial powers! he afcended nearly in a perpendicular line till he was full three times as high as the grand fpire of Notre Dame, which is equal to St. Paul's at leaft, and croffed over the Seine, and the fhips lying there, by the vanes of which, and on the towers and fpires, VOL. III. 78.

4 I


we faw diftinctly that he made a courfe very near to windward, not further than fix points, and continued to fly in a direct line over the middle of the city, gradually increafing in height, and out-topped the high hills on the north fide of it by nearly two miles. I had an acromatic telescope of two feet with me, with which I could diftin&tly fee him ufe the wings, like an eagle, all' the way, till he, to all appearance, nearly touched the horizon, and to the naked eye did not appear larger than a cricket ball. After about 35 minutes I loft fight of him, I should suppose at nearly the distance of eight miles; when over the city he let loofe two pigeons, who feemed fo embarraffed that I thought they would have fallen to the ground, but they recovered themfelves and they purfued their different routs, with billets attached to their legs by long ftrings.

I have juft now heard how far he continued his aerial voyage: He made five leagues in one hour and a quarter, and in a field of wheat he defcended near the ground, and feeing a fhepherd, he threw out a cord, and intreated him to lay hold of it, but the poor fellow was almoft terrified to death, and durft not approach, but he told him he was only a man like himself, and he need not be afraid: the fhepherd at last was prevailed on to affift him to alight, and he has brought his balloon and batteau back to Rouen in a waggon, without their having received any damage. The place where he defcended is called Raterville; and he was entertained with a fupper by the curate of the parish.

Answer, by Taffo, of Bristol, to J. Gritton's Question, inferted April 7, 1783.


HE fun enters Leo on the 23d of July, and is in the 15th degree on the 5th of Auguft, at which time. (for 1783) the fun's declination was 16° 59′ north. Per queftion, there is given the co-latitude 390 10'; the fun's diftance from the pole, or co-declination 730 1'; and the time from noon 2 hours or 30°; that is, there are two fides, and an angle between them, given of an oblique fpheric triangle, to find the vertical angle, which is the fun's azimuth, and the other fide, which is the complement of the altitude. Then, as s. of the half fum of the co. lat. and co. decl. 560 5′ 30′′ : s. of the half difference 16° 55′ 30′′:: cot. of half the hour 150: T. of 52° 37′ 28". And as cos. of 560 5′ 30′′: cos. of 16° 55′ 30°

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »