Obrázky na stránke

do not so much as know the names of. After a short flourish, the curtain was drawn up, and we were presented with the most extraordinary assembly of guires that ever entered into a man's imagination. The design of the workman was so well expressed in the dumb show before us, that it was not hard for an Englishman to comprehend the meaning of it.

" The principal figures were placed in a row, consisting of seven persons. The middle figure, which immediately attracted the eyes of the whole company, and was much bigger than the rest, was tormicd like a matron, dressed in the habit of an elderly woman of quality in Queen Elizabeth's days.

The most remarkable parts of her dress were, the beaver with the steeple crown, the scarf that was darker than sable, and the lawn apron that was whiter than ermin. ller gown was of the richest black velvet and just upon her heart studded with large diamonds of an inestimable value, disposed in the form of a cross, She bore an inexpressible chearfulnews and dignity in her aspect; and, though she aremed in years, appeared with so much spirit and vivacily, in gave her at the same time an air of old age and immortality. I found my heart touched with so much love and reverence at the sight of bier, that the tears run down my face as I looked upon her ; and still the more I looked upon her, the more my cut with melted with the sentiments of tilial tender Diews and duty. I discovered every moment something no charining in this tigure, that I could scarce takrinly cyen ott'it. On its right-hand there sat the topline it's woman so covered withi ornaments, that her facr, her body, and her hands, were almost endiely laid under tlıcan. The lille you could see of hier race wom pain.cel; and, what I thought very odd, lind something in it like artificial wrinkles; but I Was the look out prized at it, when I saw upon her forehead an old fashioned tower, of gray-hairs. Her headdress rose very high by three several stories or degrees; her garments had a thousand colours in them, and were embroidered with crosses in gold, silver, and silk. She had nothing on, so much as a glove or a slipper, which was not marked with this figure; nay, so superstitiously fond did she appear of it, that she sat cross-legged. I was quickly sick of this tawdry composition of ribbands, silks, and jewels, and therefore cast my eye on a dame which was just the reverse of it. I need not tell my reader, that the lady before described was Popery, or that she I am going to describe is Presbytery. She sat on the left-hand of the venerable matron, and so much resembled her in the features of her countenance, that she seemed her sister ; but at the same time that one observed a likeness in her beauty, one could not but take notice, that there was something in it sickly and splenetic. Her face had enough to discover the relation; but it was drawn up into a peevish figure, soured with discontent, and overcast with melancholy. She seemed offended at the matron for the shape of her hat, as too much resembling the triple coronet of the person who sat by her. One might see likewise, that she dissented from the white apron and the cross; for which reasons she had made herself a plain homely dowdy, and turned her face towards the sectaries that sat on her lefthand, as being afraid of looking upon the matron, lest she should see the harlot by her.

On the right-hand of Popery sat Judaism, rea' presented by an old man embroidered with phylacteries, and distinguished by many typical figures, which I had not skill enough to unriddle. He was placed among the rubbish of a temple; but, instead of weeping over it, which I should have expected



from tim, he was caurang out a bag of money upon the il. cit.

“ On his rizbi-band was Deism, or Natural Re. Dijon. 114 sata ture of an bali-naked aukward country wei.ch, w'), with proper ornaments and educaien, wie este an agreeable and beautital appearance; bli, for want of ibore advantage, wis such a spectacie as a man would blush to look ufon.

" I have now," contioned my friend, “ given you an account of those who were placed on the righthand of the matron, a ni who, according to the order in which they cat, were Deism, Judaism, and Propery. On the left-hand, as I told you, appeared Presbytery. The next to her was a figure which somewhat puzzied me : it was that of a man looking, with horror in his eyes, upon a silver bason biled with water. Observing something in his countenance that looked like lunacy, I fancied at first, that he was to express that kind of distraction which the physicians call the hydro-phobia; but considering what the intention of the show was, I immediately recollected myself, and concluded it to be Anabaptism.

“'l be next figure was a man that sat under a most profound composure of mind He wore an bat whose brims were exactly parallel with the horizon. Ilis garinent had neither sleeve nor skirt, nor so much as a superfluous button. What they called his cravat, was a little piece of white linen quilled with great exactness, and hanging below his chin about two inches. Seeing a book in his hand, I asked our artist what it was; who told me it was • The Quaker's Rcigion;' upon which I desired a sight of it. Upon perusal, I found it to be nothing büt a new-fashioned grammar, or an art of abridging ordinary discourse. The nouns were reduced to a very small number, as the Light, Friend, Babylon. The principal of his pronouns was thou; and as for you, ye, and yours, I found they were not looked upon as parts of speech in this grammar. All the verbs wanted the second person plural; the paticiples ended all in ing or ed, which were marked with a particular accent. There were no adverbs besides yea and nay. The same thrift was observed in the prepositions. The conjunctions were only hem! and ha! and the interjections brought under the three heads of sighing, sobbing, and groaning.

There was at the end of the grammar a little nomenclature, called, "The Christian Man's Vocabulary,” which gave new appellations, or, if you will, Christian names, to almost every thing in life. I replaced the book in the hand of the figure, not without admiring the simplicity of its garb, speech, and behaviour

“ Just opposite to this row of religions, there was a statue dressed in a fool's coat, with a cap of bells upon his head, laughing and pointing at the figures that stood before bim. This ideot is supposed to say in his heart what David's fool did some thousands of years ago, and was therefore designed as a proper representative of those among us, who are called Atheists and Infidels by others, and free-thinkers by themselves.

There were many other groupes of figures which I did not know the meaning of; but seeing a collection of both sexes turning their backs upon the company, and laying their heads very close together, I inquired after their religion, and found that they called themselves the Philadelphians, or the family of love.

“ In the opposite corner there sat another little congregation of strange figures, opening their mouths

her time I believe may have been a North-British warming-pan, broughi us up a dish of North-British collops. We liked our entertainment very well; only we observed the table-cloth, being not so fine #4 we could have wished, was North-British cloth. But the worst of it was, we were disturbed ail dinnertime by the noise of the children, who were playing in the paved court at North-British hoppers; so we paid our North-Briton* sooner than we designed, and took coach to North-Briton Yardt, about which place most of us live. We had indeed gone a-fcot, only wc were under some apprehensions lest a North-British mist should wet a South-British man to the skin.

" We think this matter properly expressed, according to the accuracy of the new style, settled by you in one of your late Papers. You will please to give your opinion upon it to, Sir,

Your most humble servants, “ J. S.

« M. P.
“ N. R."

" Sir,

Sce if this letter be conformable to the directions given in the Tauer abovementioned. " To Isaac BICKERSTAFF, Esquire.

Kent, Nov. 22, 1710. "A gentleman in my neighbourhood, who happens to be brotber to a lord, though neither bis father nor grandfather were so, is perpetually making use of this phrase, a person of my quality.' He has it in his mouth fifty times a-day, to his labourcrs, bis servants, his children, his tenants, and his neighbours. Wet or dry, at home or abroad, drunk

Scot i. e. share of the reckoning. * Scotland-yard. # Jonathan Swift, Matthew Prior, Nicholas Rowe.

« PredošláPokračovať »