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233. Son. An old man that upon entring the room
seem'd to want bread, was no sooner fill'd with wine, but boasted the being a projector from his
cradle, and told us, 234. That he had by him scores of rare projects in
posse, esse, and futuro. 235 That he could extract volatile spirits from lees
of wine, grounds of beer, or dust of tea, one drop whereof would turn a quart of water into the best wine, beer, or tea upon earth, for colour, taste, smell, and wholesomeness.
236. That he could separate the smells of all the differ
ent viands usually dress’d in a cook's shop, and thence extract salts of beef, veal, mutton, pork, &c. one grain whereof would strengthen and nourish a man
more than a pound of any of those sorts of meat. 237. That to save watermen the labour of rowing
against tide, he had contriv'd to make the Thames
continually to ebb on one side, and flow on t’other. 238. That he was an Adept, had lately discover'd
longitude, and the perpetual motion, how to square
the circle, fix Mercury, and transmute lead into gold. 239. All which rare projects he intended to divide
into shares, and put in practice, as soon as only one hundred thousand pounds were subscribed,
and advanced him. 240. At this rate he made ropes of sand, built castles
in the air, and talked as if capable of benefiting mankind more than the invention of spectacles, tho' he never yet oblig'd the world with any thing
so useful as a mouse-trap. 241. Father. Many projectors seem like those astro
logers that can direct others to find hidden treasures, whilst themselves are out at heels, and want repairs
at elbows. 242.
'Tis confess'd the benefit accruing to Spain, by Columbus's discovery of the West Indies—To the
Italians, by procuring the eggs from China and Persia, and raising silk-worms in Italy—To England, from Sir Walter Raleigh's contrivance of raising tobacco and sugar in our plantations, &c.
will not allow us rashly to condemn all projects. 243 Yet had you Argus's eyes, Briareus's hands, and
Pluto's helmet, still great adventures are like leaps in hunting, they bring a man sooner into the chase, but
chance to cost him a fall. 244 Babel's projectors seeking a name, found con
fusion; and Icarus by flying too high, melted his
waxen wings and fell into the sea. 245. Advise, deliberate, weigh, examine, consider
what's practicable and what's not, and compute the proportion between the means and the end; lest too eagerly pursuing things out of your reach, you consume your life and estate in hopeless and fruitless
“ Fools only make attempts beyond their skill,
A wise man's power's the limits of his will." 247 Who plows the clouds can only reap the wind.
248. Son. A QUACK, with a supercilious brow, ebony
cane, and band in querpo, whose learning consisted much in superscriptions of apothecaries gally-pots, and in names of diseases learn'd from weekly bills of mortality, stiled himself student in astrology and physic, talk'd much of Panaceas-
Nostrums—Catholicons—and told us ; 249. That he was the seventh son, of a seventh son,
and that by his long study and practice, he had discover'd chalk to be an alcali, vinegar an acid, and wine an hypnotic.
250. That serpents are dainties to peacocks—Hem
lock is a perfect cordial to goats—Hellebore a choice morsel to quails—Spiders a restorative to monkeys—Toads an antidote to ducks—and the
excrements of man pure ambergreese to swine. 251. That of all odours he liked the smell of urine
best ; and was so far like Vespatian, he held no
gain unsavoury. 252. That he was master of the terms of chymistry,
or the Hermetical or Paracelsian art ; for instance, said he, Ignis sapientum is horse-dung.- Mater metallorum, quicksilver ;-Diab, gold ;-Carbones cæli, the stars ;- Alcinibar, the moon;—and Anon
tagius, the philosophers stone. 253. That he understood some Greek, for- Ephy
drosis, is sweating ;-Phlebotomia, opening a vein;
--and Enterenchyta, a clyster-pipe. 254 That he was skill'd in-Physiognomy—Meto
poscopy-Chiromancy-and well vers'd in all the
-je ne scay quoys and plastic—and occult qualities. 255.
That he knew the composition of a continuumthe unde, or original, of all qualities; and was able to speak de omni ente, & non ente, and of them too,
pro and con. 256. That by erecting astrological schemes he cou'd
resolve all questions in physic.