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who would assist them in their undertakings; while they consider them with the utmost contempt, as going round the world in their closet, and sailing at sea in their elbow-chairs. It is no less shameful than true, that the ventilator, one of the most beneficial inventions that ever was devised, was first offered to the service of our men of war, and rejected. It was first used in foreign ships, then by our merchantmen, and last of all among our men of war, to whose use it was first recommended. This is a strong proof of that fatal obstinacy, which our sea-commanders are too apt to contract; and as a farther instance of it, I have been told of an admiral's indignation on this subject, venting itself in the following manner: "A pack "of blockheads, said he, sit poring, and pretend to "make improvements for our use. They tell you, "that they discover this, and discover that; but I tell you they are all fools........For instance now, they (6 say the world is round; every one of them says the "world is round ;.......but I have been all round the "world, and it is as flat as this table."
The unpolished behaviour of our sea-officers is, in a great measure, owing to their being often sent to sea very young, with little or no education beyond what they have received at the academy of Woolwich or Portsmouth. A lad of good family, but untoward parts or mischievous disposition, who has been flogged for a-while at the grammar-school, or snubbed by his parents and friends at home, is frequently clapped on board a ship in order to tame him, and to teach him better manners. Here perhaps he at first messes with the lowest of the seamen; and all that the young gentleman can learn from his jolly mess-mates in the course of two or three voyages, is to drink flip, sing a bawdy catch, aad dance an horn-pipe. These genteel accomplishments he is sure to retain, as he grows old in the service; and if he has the good fortune to rise
to a command, he is as surly and brutal when advanced to the cabin, as when he was tugging before the
After all it is but justice to confess, that there are many among our sea-officers, who deservedly bear the character of gentlemen and scholars; and it is easy to perceive, with how much better grace they appear in the world than the rest of their brethren, who, when laid up and taken out of service, are as mere logs as the main-mast. An officer, who has any relish for reading, will employ the many vacant hours, in which he is relieved from duty, much more to his improvement and satisfaction, than in sauntering between the decks, or muddling over a bowl of punch. I would, therefore, seriously recommend it to those young sailors, who have the happiness to launch forth with a genteel and liberal education, not to suffer every trace of it to be washed away, like words written on the sands but that when they return m sea, they may be fit to be admitted at St. James's, as well as at Wapping or Rotherhithe.
Before I conclude, I must beg leave to say a word or two concerning our sea-chaplains. The common sailors are known to have, when on board, a very serious regard for religion; and their decent behaviour at prayers, and sedate attention to the sermon upon quarter-deck, might shame a more polite audience at St. James's church. For this reason, a truly religious chaplain, of good morals and sober conversation, will necessarily have as much influence on their behaviour, as a mild and prudent commander. Nor can a clergyman be too circumspect on this point; since, if he does not act in every respect conformable to his function, his place might be as well supplied by any one of the unbeneñced doctors of the fleet. In a word, if a chaplain will so far divest himself of his sacred character, as to drink, swear, and behave in every
respect like a common sailor, he should be obliged to work in the gang-way all the rest of the week, and on Sundays be invested with a jacket and trowsers, instead of his canonicals.
I am, Sir,
Your humble servant,
No. LXXXV. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11.
As the frail dame now love, now reason guides,
SO long ago as my fourth number (the reader perhaps may not remember) I made mention of a Female Thermometer, constructed by my ingenious friend Mr. James Ayscough, Optician, on LudgateHill, and I then informed the public, that "the liquor "contained in the tube was a chemical mixture, "which being acted upon by the circulation of the "blood and animal spirits, would rise and fall according "to the desires and affections of the wearer." But I have now the farther satisfaction to acquaint my readers, that after several repeated trials and improvements we have at length brought the instruments to so great a degree of perfection, that any common bystander may, by a proper application of it, know the exact temperature of a lady's passions. The liquor, among other secret ingredients, is distilled secundum artem from the herbs lady's-love and maiden-hair, the
wax of virgin-bees, and the five greater hot and cold seeds and the properties of it are so subtle and penetrating, that immediately on its coming within the atmosphere of a lady's affections, it is actuated by them in the same, as the spirits are by the impulse of the air in the common Thermometer.
It was not without some difficulty, that we could settle the different degrees of heat and cold in a lady's desires, which it would be proper to delineate on our Thermometer: but at last we found, that the whole scale of female characters might be reduced to one or other of the following: viz.
From these degrees, which we have accurately marked on the side of the tube, we have been able to judge of the characters of several ladies, on whom we have made the experiment. In some of these we have found the gradations to be very sudden; and that the liquor has risen very fast from the lowest to the highWe could likewise discover, that it was differently affected according to the different station and quality of the subject; so that the same actions, which in a lady of fashion scarce raised the liquor beyond Indiscretions, in another caused it to mount almost to Impudence. Much also depended upon the air and
temperature of the place, where we made our trials: and even the dress had some influence on our thermometer; as we frequently observed, that the rise and fall of the liquor in the tube bore an exact proportion to the rise and fall of the stays and petticoat.
I shall now proceed to give a succinct account of the many repeated experiments, which we have made on different subjects in different places. During the winter season we had frequent opportunities of trying the effects, which the play-house, the opera, and other places of diversion might have on the thermometer. At the play-house we always found the liquor in proportion, as the drama was more or less indecent or immoral: at some comedies, and particularly the Chances, its elevation kept pace exactly with the lusciousness of the dialogue and the ripening of the plot; so that it has often happened, that with some subjects, at the opening of the play, the liquor has struggled awhile, and rose and sunk about the degrees just above Modesty; before the third act it has stood suspended at the middle point between Modesty and Impudence; in the fourth act, it has advanced as far as Loose Behaviour; and at the conclusion of the play, it has settled at downright Impudencé. At public concerts, and the opera especially, we observed that the thermometer constantly kept time (if I may so say) with the music and the singing, and both at the opera and the play-house, it always regulated its motion by the dancer's heels. We have frequently made trials of our instrument at the masquerades in the Hay-market: but the temperature of that climate always proved so exceeding hot, that on the moment of our coming into the room, the liquor has boiled up with a surprising effervescence to Abandoned Impudence.
During the summer season, we have not failed to make our observations on the company of the public gardens. Here we found, indeed, that with some raw