صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

second, was of an opinion directly contrary ; to tax those qualities of body and mind, for which men chiefly value themselves ; the rate to be more or less, according to the degrees of excelling; the decision whereof, should be left entirely to their own breast. The highest tax was upon men, who are the greatest favourites of the other sex, and the assessments, according to the number and nature of the favours they have received; for which, they are allowed to be their own vouchers. Wit, valour, and politeness, were likewise proposed to be largely taxed, and collected in the same manner, by every person's giving his own word, for the quantum of what he possessed. But as to honour, justice, wisdom, and learning, they should not be taxed at all; because they are qualifications of so singulaf a kind, that no man will either allow them in his neighbour, or value them in himself.

The women, were proposed to be taxed, according to their beauty, and skill in dressing, wherein they had the same privilege with the men, to be determined by their own judgment. But constancy, chastity, good sense, and good nature, were not rated, because they would not bear the charge of collecting

To keep senators in the interest of the crown, it was proposed, that the members should raffle for employments ; every man first taking an oath, and giving security, that he would vote for the court, whether he won or not; after which, the losers had, in their turn, the liberty of raffling upon the next vacancy. Thus, hope and expectation would be kept alive; none would complain of broken promises, but impute their disappointments wholly to fortune,



whose shoulders are broader and stronger than those of a ministry.

Another professor, showed me a large paper of in- . structions, for discovering plots and conspiracies against the government. He advised great statesmen to examine into the diet of all suspected persons ; their times of eating; upon which side they lay in bed; with which hand they wiped their posteriors; take a strict view of their excrements; and from the colour, the ordure, the taste, the consistence, the crudeness, or maturity of digestion, form a judgment of their thoughts and designs. Because men are never so serious, thoughtful, and intent, as when they are at stool, which he found by frequent experiment: for, in such conjunctures, when he used, merely as a trial, to consider which was the best way of murdering the king, his ordure would have a tincture of green; but quite different, when he thought only of raising an insurrection, or burning the metropolis.

The whole discourse was written with great acuteness, containing many observations, both curious and useful for politicians; but, as I conceived, not altogether complete. This I ventured to tell the author, and offered, if he pleased, to supply him with some additions. He received my proposition with more compliance, than is usual among writers, especially those of the projecting species ; professing he would be glad to receive farther information.

I told him, that in the kingdom of Tribnia, by the natives called Langdon, where I had sojourned some time in my travels, the bulk of the people consist in a manner wholly of discoverers, witnesses, in6


formers, accusers, prosecutors, evidences, swearers, together with their several subservient and subaltern instruments, all under the colours, the conduct, and the

pay of ministers of state, and their deputies. The plots, in that kingdom, are usually the workmanship of those persons, who desire to raise their own characters of profound politicians; to restore new vigour to a crazy administration; to stifle or divert general discontents; to fill their coffers with forfeitures ; and raise or sink the opinion of publick credit, as either shall best answer their private advantage.

It is first agreed and settled among them, what suspected persons shall be accused of a plot : then, effectual care is taken to secure all their letters and papers,


put the owners in chains. These papers are delivered to a set of artists, very dexterous in finding out the mysterious meanings of words, syllables, and letters : for instance, they can discover a closestool, to signify a privy-council; a flock of geese a senate ; a lame dog *, an invader ; the plague, a standing army; a buzzard, a prime minister ; the gout, a high priest; a gibbet, a secretary of state ; a chamber-pot, a committee of grandees; a sieve, a court lady; a broon, a revolution ; a mouse-trap, an employment; a bottomless pit, a treasury; a sink, a court; a cap and bells, a favourite ; a broken reed, a court of justice ; an empty tun, a general : a running sore, the administration.

When this method fails, they have two others more effectual, which the learned among them call acrosticks and anagrams. First, they can decipher all initial letters into political meanings. Thus, N, shall

* See the proceedings against Dr. Atterbury, bishop of Rochester. State Trials, Vol. VI.

signify signify a plot, B, a regiment of horse, L, a fleet at sea : or, secondly, by transposing the letters of the alphabet in any suspected paper, they can lay open the deepest designs of a discontented party. So for example, if I should say in a letter

in a letter to a friend, Our brother Tom has just got the piles, a skilful decipherer would discover, that the same letters, which compose that sentence, may be analysed into the following words, Resist, -a plot is brought home

The tour. And this is the anagrammatick method.

The professor made me great acknowledgments for communicating these observations, and promised to make honourable mention of me in his treatise.

I saw nothing in this country, that could invite me to a longer continuance, and began to think of returning home to England.


The author leaves Lagado, arrives at Maldonada.

No ship ready. He takes a short voyage to Glubb

dubdrib. His reception by the governor. THE continent, of which this kingdom is a part, extends itself, as I have reason to believe, eastward, to that unknown tract of America westward of Cao lifornia ; and north, to the Pacifick ocean, which is not above a hundred and fifty miles from Lagado ; where there is a good port, and much commerce with the great island of Luggnagg, situated to the


north-west about 29 degrees north latitude, and 140 longitude. This island of Luggnagg, stands southeastward of Japan, about a hundred leagues distant. There is a strict alliance between the Japanese emperor, and the king of Luggnagg ; which affords frequent opportunities of sailing from one island to the other. I determined therefore to direct my course this


in order to my return to Europe. I hired two mules, with a guide, to show me the way, and carry my small baggage. I took leave of my noble protector, who had shown me so much favour, and made me a generous present at my departure.

My journey was without any accident or adventure worth relating. When I arrived at the port of Maldonada (for so it is called) there was no ship in the harbour bound for Luggnagg, nor likely to be in some time. The town is about as large as Portsmouth. I soon fell into some acquaintance, and was very hospitably received. A gentleman of distinction said to me, that since the ships bound for Luggnagg could not be ready in less than a month, it might be no disagreeable amusement for me to take a trip to the little island of Glubbdubdrib, about five leagues off to the south-west. He offered himself and a friend to accompany me, and that I should be provided with a small convenient bark for the voyage.

Glubbdubdrib, as nearly as I can interpret the word, signifies the island of sorcerers or magicians. It is about one third as large as the Isle of Wight; and extremely fruitful : it is governed by the head of a certain tribe, who are all magicians. This tribe marries only among each other, and the eldest in succession is prince or governor. He has a noble


« السابقةمتابعة »