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He built a ship, in which one could row and navigate under water, from Westminster to Greenwich, the distance of two Dutch miles; even five or sis miles, as far as one pleased. In this boat, a person could see under the surface of the water, and without candlelight, as much as he needed to read in the Bible or any other book. Not long ago, this remarkable ship was yet to be seen lying on the Thames or London river.
Aided by some instruments of his own manufacture, Drebbel could make it rain, lighten, and thunder at every time of the year, so that you would have sworn it came in a natural way from heaven.
By means of other instruments, he could, in the midst of summer, so much refrigerate the atmosphere of certain places, that you would have thought yourself in the very midst of winter. This experiment he did once on His Majesty's request, in the great Hall of Westminster; and although a hot summer day had been chosen by the King, it became so cold in the Hall, that James and his followers took to their heels in hasty flight.
With a certain instrument, lie could draw an incredible quantity of water out of a well or river.
By his peculiar ingenuity, he could, at all times of the year, even in the midst of winter, hatch chickens and ducklings without using hens or ducks.
He made instruments, by means of which were seen pictures and portraits; for instance, he could show you kings, princes, nobles, although residing at that moment in foreign countries. And there was no paint nor painter's work to be seen, so that you saw a picture in appearance, but not in reality. Perhaps a magic lantern?
He could make a glass, that placed in the dark near him or another, drew the light of a candle, standing at the other end of a long room, with such force, that the glass near him reflected so much light as to enable him to see to read perfectly. Was this done by parallel parabolical mirrors ?
He could make a plane glass, without grinding it on either side, in which people saw themselves reflected seven times.
He invented all these and many other curiosities, too long to relate, without the aid of the black art; but by natural philosophy alone, if we may believe the tongues, whose eyes saw it. By these experiments, he so gained the King's favor, His Majesty granted him a pension of 2,000 guilders. He died in London, anno 1634, the sixtieth year of his age.
When I was at Rome, among many other visits to the tomb of Julius II., I went thither once with a Prussian artist, a man of great genius and vivacity of feeling. As we were gazing on Michael Angelo's Moses, our conversation turned on the horns and beard of that stupendous statue; of the necessity of each to support the other; of the superhuman effect of the former, and the necessity of the existence of both to give a harmony and integrity both to the image and the feeling excited by it. Conceive them removed, and the statue would become unnatural, without being supernatural. We called to mind the horns of the rising sun, and I repeated the noble passage from Taylor's Holy Dying. That horns were the emblem of power and sovereignty among the Eastern nations; and are still retained as such in Abyssinia; the Achelous of the ancient Greeks; and the probable ideas and feelings that originally suggested the mixture of the human and the brute form in the figure, by which they realized the idea of their mysterious Pan, as representing intelligence blended with a darker power, deeper, mightier, and more universal than the conscious intellect of man; than intelligenceall these thoughts passed in procession before our minds.Coleridge's Biographia Literaria, vol. ii. p. 127, edit. 1817.
The passage from Taylor's Holy Dying, which Coleridge repeated, is subjoined.
As when the sun approaches towards the gates of the morning, he first opens a little eye of heaven, and sends away the spirits of darkness, and gives light to a cock, and calls up the lark to matins, and by and bye gilds the fringes of a cloud, and peeps over the eastern hills, thrusting out his golden horns like those which decked the brows of Moses, when he was forced to wear a veil, because himself had seen the face of God; and still, while a man tells the story, the sun gets up higher, till he shows a fair face and a full light, and then he shines one whole day, under a cloud often, and sometimes weeping great and little showers, and sets quickly; so is man's reason and his life.--. Holy Dying.
Who is the author of the following lines ?
'Tis an excellent world that we live in,
The following is from that storehouse of choice things, Howell's Letters, part 4, letter xix. :
I find that there are some single words antiquated in the French which seem to be more significant than those that come in their places, as Maratre, paratre, filatre, serourge, a step-mother, a step-father, a son or daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, which they now express in two words, belle mère, belle père, belle
Moreover I find there are some words now in French which are turned to a counter-sense, as we use the Dutch word crank in English, to be well disposed, which in the original signifieth to be sick. The word pleiger is also to drink after one is drunken unto, whereas the first true sense of the word was, that if the party drunk unto was not disposed to drink himself, he would put another for a pledge to do it for him, else the party who began would take it ill. Besides this word, Abry derived from the Latin Apricus is taken in French for a close place or shelter, whereas in the original it signifieth an open free sunshine. The ; now term in French a free boon companion Roger bon temps, whereas the original is rouge bon temps, reddish and good weather. They also use in France, when one hath a good bargain, to say Il a joué à boule veue, whereas the original is bonne veue. A beacon or watch-tower is called Beffroy, whereas the true word is L’Effroy. A travelling warrant is called passeport, whereas the original is passe partout.
I will add hereunto another proverb which had been quite lost, had not our order of the Garter preserved it, which is, Honi soit qui mal y pense : this we English, Ill to him who ill thinks, though the true sense be, Let him be bewrayed that thinks any ill.
Furthermore, I find in the French language, that the same fate hath attended some French words as usually attend men; among whom some rise to preferment, others fall to decay, and an under value : I will instance in a few.
The word Maistre was a word of high esteem in former times among the French, and applied to noblemen and others in high office only, but now ’tis fallen from the baron to the boor, from the count to the cobbler, or any other mean artisan; as, Maistre Jean le Suavetier, Mr. John the cobbler; Maistre Jacquet le Cubaretier, Mr. Jammy the tapster. Sire was also appropriated only to the king, but now, adding a name after it, 'tis applicable to any mean man, upon the endorsement of a letter, or otherwise. Mareshal was at first the name of a smith, farrier, or one that dressed horses, but it is climbed by degrees to that height that the chiefest commanders of the gendarmery and militia of France are come to be called marshals.
The letter contains also several other curious bits of philological information. In the piece quoted is an example of the use of the word party as it is employed in our time.
CALIFORNIA AND ITS GOLD.
In the Voyage round the World, by Captain George Shelvocke, begun Feb. 1719, he says of California (Harris's Collection, vol. i. p. 233):
The soil about Puerto, Seguro, and very likely in most of the valleys, is a rich black mould, which, as you turn it fresh up to the sun, appears as if intermingled with gold dust; some of which we endeavoured to purify and wash from the dirt; but though we were a little prejudiced against the thoughts that it could be possible that this metal should be so promiscuously and universally mingled with common earth, yet we endeavoured to cleanse and wash the earth from some of it; and the more we did the more it appeared like gold. In order to be further satisfied I brought away some of it, which we lost in our confusion in China.
In Hakluyt's Voyages, printed in 1599–1600, will be found much earlier notices on this subject. California was first discovered in the time of the Great Marquis, as Cortes was usually called. There are accounts of these early expeditions by Francisco Vasquez Coronada, Ferdinando Alarchon, Father Marco de Niça, and Francisco de Ulloa, who visited the country in 1539 and 1510. It is stated by Hakluyt that they were as far to the north as the 37th degree of latitude, which would be about one degree south of St. Francisco. I am inclined, however, to believe from the narrations themselves that the Spanish early discoveries did not extend much beyond the 34th degree of latitude, being little higher than the Peninsular or Lower California. In all these accounts, however, distinct mention is made of abundance of gold. In one of them it is stated that the natives used plates of gold to scrape the perspiration off their bodies!
The most curious and distinct account, however, is that given in “ The famous voyage of Sir Francis Drake into the South Sea, &c. in 1577," which will be found in the third volume of Hakluyt, page 730. At page 737 is this passage :
The 5th day of June (1579) being in 43 degrees wards the pole Arctike, we found the ayre so colde, that our men being grievously pinched with the same, complained of the extremitie thereof, and the further we went, the more the colde increased upon us. Whereupon we thought it best for that time to seeke the land, and did so, finding it not mountainous, but low plaine land, till we came within thirty degrees toward the line. In which height it pleased God to send us into a faire and good baye, with a good winde to enter the
In this baye wee anchored.”
A glance at the map will show that “in this baye” is now situated the famous city of San Francisco.
Their doings in the bay are then narrated, and from page 738 the following is extracted :
When they (the natives with their king] had satisfied themselves (with dancing, &c.] they made signes to our General (Drake] to sit downe, to whom the king and divers others made several orations, or rather supplications, that hee would take their province or kingdom into his hand, and become their king, making signes that they would resigne unto him their right and title of the whole land, and become his subjects. In which, to persuade us the better, the king and the rest with our consent, and with great reverence, joyfully singing a song, did set the crowne upon his head, inriched his necke with all their chaines, and offred unto him many other things, honouring him by the name of Hioh, adding thereunto, as it seemed, a sign of triumph; which thing