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of various kinds, he must be obliged, in proportion, to carry a greater bundle of things upon his back, unless he can afford one or two strong servants to attend him. I have often beheld two of those sages, almost sinking under the weight of their packs, like pedlars among us; who, when they met in the street, would lay down their loads, open their sacks, and hold conversation for an hour together; then put up their implements, help each other to resume their burdens, and take their leave. But for short conversations, a man may carry
inplements in his pockets, and under his arms, enough to supply him; and in his house, he cannot be at a loss. Therefore the room, where company meet who practise this art, is full of all things, ready at hand, requisite to furnish matter for this kind of artificial converse.
Another great advantage proposed by this invention, was, that it would serve as a universal language, to be understood in all civilized nations, whose goods and utensils are generally of the same kind, or nearly resembling, so that their uses might easily be comprehended. And thus, ambassadors would be qualified to treat with foreign princes, or ministers of state, to whose tongues they were utter strangers.
I was at the mathematical school, where the master taught his pupils, after a method, scarce imaginable to us in Europe. The proposition, and demonstration, were fairly written on a thin wafer, with ink composed of a cephalick tincture. This, the student was to swallow upon a fasting stomach, and for three days following, eat nothing but bread and water. As the wafer digested, the tincture
mounted to his brain, bearing the proposition along with it. But the success has not hitherto been answerable, partly by some errour in the quantum or composition, and partly by the perverseness of lads to whom this bolus is so nauseous, that they generally steal aside, and discharge it upwards, before it can operate; neither have they been yet persuaded to use so long an abstinence, as the prescription requires.
A farther account of the academy. The author pro
poses some improvements, which are honourably received.
IN the school of political projectors, I was but ill entertained'; the professors appearing, in my judgment, wholly out of their senses ; which is a scene, that never fails to make me melancholy. These unhappy people were proposing schemes, for persuading monarchs to choose favourites, upon the score of their wisdom, capacity, and virtue ; of teaching ministers to consult the publick good; of rewarding merit, great abilities, and eminent services ; of instructing princes to know their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people ; of choosing for employments, persons qualified to exercise them ; with many other wild iinpossible chimeras, that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive ; and confirmed in me the old observation, that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational, which some philosophers have not maintained for truth.
But however, I shall so far do justice to this part of the academy, as to acknowledge that all of them were not so visionary. There was a most ingenious doctor, who seemed to be perfectly versed in the whole nature and system of government. This illustrious person, had very usefully employed his studies, in finding out effectual remedies for all diseases and corruptions, to which the several kinds of publick administration are subject, by the vices or infirmities of those who govern, as well as by the licentiousness of those who are to obey. For instance; whereas all writers and reasoners have agreed, that there is a strict universal resemblance, between the natural and the political body; can there be any thing more evident, than that the health of both must be preserved, and the diseases cured, by the same prescriptions? It is allowed, that senates and great counsels are often troubled with redundant, ehullient, and other peccant humours; with many diseases of the head, and more of the heart; with strong convulsions, with grievous contractions of the nerves and sinews in both hands, but especially the right; with spleen, flatus, vertigoesand deliriums; with scrofulous tumours, full of fetid purulent matter ; with sour frothy ructations; with canine appetites, and crudeness of digestion, beside many others needless to mention. This doctor therefore proposed,
the meeting of the senate, certain physicians should attend at the three first days of their sitting, and at the close of each day's debate, feel the pulses of every senator ; after which having maturely con
sidered and consulted upon the nature of the several maladies, and the methods of cure, they should, on the fourth day, return to the senate-house, attended by their apothecaries stored with proper medicines; and before the members. sat, administer to each of them lenitives, aperitives, abstersives, corrosives, restringents, palliatives, laxatives, cephalalgicks, ictericks, apophlegmaticks, acousticks, as their several cases required ; and according as these medicines should operate, repeat, alter, or omit them, at the next meeting.
This project could not be of any great expense to the publick; and might, in my poor opinion, be of much use for the dispatch of business, in those countries, where senates have any share in the legislative power ; beget unanimity, shorten debates, open a few mouths, which are now closed, and close many more, which are now open ; curb the petulancy of the young,
and correct the positiveness of the old; rouse the stupid, and damp the pert.
Again; because it is a general complaint, that the favourites of princes are troubled with short and weak memories; the same doctor proposed, that whoever attended a first minister, after having told his business, with the utmost brevity and in the plainest words, should, at his departure, give the said minister a tweak by the nose, or a kick on the belly, or tread on his corns, or lug him thrice by both ears, or run a pin into his breech, or pinch his arm blach and blue, to prevent forgetfulness: and at every levee day, repeat the same operation, till the business were done, or absolutely refused.
He likewise directed, that every senator in the great council of a nation, after he had delivered hiš
opinion, opinion, and argued in the defence of it, should be obliged to give his vote directly contrary; because, if that were done, the result would infallibly terminate in the good of the publick.
When parties in a state are violent, he offered a wonderful contrivance to reconcile them. The method is this : you take a hundred leaders of each party; you dispose them into couples of such, whose heads are nearest of a size; then let two nice operators saw off the occiput of each couple at the same time, in such a manner, that the brain may be equally divided. Let the occiputs, thus cut off, be interchanged, applying each to the head of his opposite party-man. It seems indeed to be a work that requires some exactness, but the professor assured us, that if it were dexterously performed, the cure would be infallible, For he argued thus ; that the two half brains, being left to debate the matter between themselves within the space of one skull, would soon come to a good understanding; and produce that moderation, as well as regularity of thinking, so much to be wished for in the heads of those, who imagine they come into the world, only to watch and govern its motion : and as to the difference of brains, in quantity or quality, among those who are directors in faction, the doctor assured us, from his own knowledge, that it was a perfect trifle.
I heard a very warm debate between two professors, about the most commodious and effectual ways and means of raising money, without grieving the subject. The first, affirmed the justest method would be, to lay a certain tax upon vices and folly; and the sum fixed upon every man, to be rated after the fairest manner, by a jury of his neighbours. The