Abbildungen der Seite

With a propofal of a Partition Party, among the earthly Potentates, in cafe of fuch discovery.

9. Tide-Tables, for a Comet, that is to approximate towards the Earth.

10. The Number of the Inhabitants of London determined by the Reports of the Gold-finders, and the Tonnage of their Carriages; with allowance for the extraordinary quantity of the Ingefta and Egefta of the people of England, and a deduction of what is left under dead walls, and dry ditches.

It will from hence be evident, how much all his Studies were directed to the univerfal Benefit of Mankind. Numerous have been his Projects to this end, of which Two alone will be fufficient to fhow the amazing Grandeur of his Genius. The firft was a Proposal, by a general contribution of all Princes, to pierce the firft cruft or Nucleus of this our Earth, quite through, to the next concentrical Sphere. The advantage he propofed from it was, to find the Parallax of the Fixt Stars; but chiefly to refute Sir Ifaac Newton's Theory of Gravity, and Mr. Halley's of the Variations. The fecond was, to build Two Poles to the Meridian, with immenfe Light-houses on the top of them; to fupply the defect of Nature, and


b Many idle projects of Maupertuis deferve the fame ridicule; and this paffage, though written many years before thofe of the Philofopher of Berlin, may pafs for an able Satire on them, and exactly hit their abfurdities; which Voltaire has effectually expofed with infinite wit and ridicule, and for which Maupertuis took ample revenge, by occafioning the rupture betwixt this Poet and the King of Pruffia.

[merged small][ocr errors]

to make the Longitude as easy to be calculated as the Latitude. Both these he could not but think very practicable, by the Power of all the Potentates of the World.

May we prefume after these to mention, how hẹ defcended from the fublime to the beneficial Parts of Knowledge, and particularly his extraordinary practice of Phyfick. From the Age, Complexion, or Weight of the perfon given, he contrived to prescribe at a diftance, as well as at a Patient's bed-fide. He taught the Way to many modern Physicians, to cure their Patients by Intuition, and to others to cure without looking on them at all. He projected a Menftruum to diffolve the Stone, made of Dr. Woodward's UniverJal Deluge-water. His was alfo the device to relieve Confumptive or Afthmatic perfons, by bringing fresh Air out of the Country to Town, by pipes of the nature of the Recipients of Air-pumps: And to introduce the native air of a man's country into any other in which he should travel, with a seasonable Intromiffion of fuch Steams as were moft familiar to him; to the inexpreffible comfort of many Scotfmen, Laplanders, and white Bears.

In Phyfiognomy, his penetration is such, that from the Picture only of any perfon, he can write his Life; and from the features of the Parents, draw the Por trait of any Child that is to be born,


This ridicule would have been heightened if Lavater's celebrated Book and Portraits had been published. A fine subject for Satire! What follows of Architecture, of Mufic, and of Poetry, is a little flat, general, and unappropriated.

[ocr errors]

Nor hath he been so enrapt in these Studies, as to neglect the Polite Arts of Painting, Architecture, Mufick, Poetry, etc. It was he that gave the first hint to our modern Painters, to improve the Likeness of their Portraits by the ufe of fuch Colours as would faithfully and constantly accompany the Life, not only in its present state, but in all its alterations, decays, age, and death itself.

In Architecture, he builds not with fo much regard to prefent fymmetry or conveniency, as with a Thought well worthy a true lover of Antiquity, to wit, the noble effect the Building will have to pofterity, when it shall fall and become a Ruin.

As to Mufic, I think Heidegger has not the face to deny that he has been much beholden to his Scores.

In Poetry, he hath appeared under a hundred different names, of which we may one day give a Catalogue.

In Politicks, his Writings are of a peculiar Caft, for the most part Ironical, and the Drift of them often fo delicate and refined as to be mistaken by the vulgar. He once went fo far, as to write a Perfuafive to people to eat their own Children, which was fo little understood as to be taken in ill part". He has often written against Liberty in the name of Freeman and Algernon Sidney, in vindication of the Measures of Spain under that of Raleigh, and in praise of Corruption under thofe of Cato and Publicola.

Swift's ironical tract on that fubject.


It is true, that at his last departure from England, in the Reign of Queen Anne, apprehending left any of these might be perverted to the Scandal of the weak, or Encouragement of the flagitious, he caft them all, without mercy, into a Bog-house near St. James's. Some however have been with great diligence recovered, and fished up with a hook and line, by the Minifterial Writers, which make at prefent the great Ornaments of their works.

Whatever he judged beneficial to Mankind, he constantly communicated (not only during his stay among us, but ever fince his abfence) by fome method or other, in which Oftentation had no part. With what incredible Modesty he concealed himself is known to numbers of those to whom he addreffed fometimes Epistles, fometimes Hints, fometimes whole Treatifes, Advices to Friends, Projects to First Minifters, Letters to Members of Parliament, Accounts to the Royal Society, and innumerable others.

All these will be vindicated to the true Author, in the course of these Memoirs. I may venture to fay they cannot be unacceptable to any, but to those who will appear too much concerned as Plagiaries to be admitted as Judges. Wherefore we warn the Public, to take particular notice of all fuch as manifeft any indecent Paffion at the appearance of this Work, as Perfons moft certainly involved in the Guilt.


« ZurückWeiter »