Transcriber's note: The 18th-century text showed direct quotation in a number of ways, including italics and continuous quotation marks. In this e-text, longer italicized passages are shown as block quotes (indented) without quotation marks, while passages with marginal quotes are shown as block quotes with quotation marks.
A list of corrections to the text can be found at the end of the file.
A VOYAGE TO CACKLOGALLINIA
With a Description of the Religion, Policy, Customs and Manners of that Country
CAPTAIN SAMUEL BRUNT
Reproduced from the Original Edition, 1727, with an Introduction by
Published for THE FACSIMILE TEXT SOCIETY By Columbia University Press New York: MCMXL
A Voyage to Cacklogallinia appeared in London, in 1727, from the pen of a pseudonymous "Captain Samuel Brunt." Posterity has continued to preserve the anonymity of the author, perhaps more jealously than he would have wished. Whatever his real parentage, he must for the present be referred only to the literary family of which his progenitor "Captain Lemuel Gulliver" is the most distinguished member. Like so many other works of that period, A Voyage to Cacklogallinia has sometimes been attributed to Swift; its similarities to the fourth book of Gulliver's Travels are unmistakable. Again, the work has sometimes been attributed to Defoe. There is, however, no good reason to believe that either Defoe or Swift was concerned in its authorship, except in so far as both gave impetus to lesser writers in this form of composition.
Fortunately the authorship of the work is of little importance. It lives, not because of anything remarkable in the style or anything original in its author's point of view, but because of its satiric reflection of the background of its age. It is republished both because of its historical value and because of its peculiarly contemporary appeal today. Its satire needs no learned paraphernalia of footnotes; it can be readily understood and appreciated by readers in an age dominated on the one hand by economics and on the other, by science. Its satire— not too subtle—is as pertinent in our own period as it was two hundred years ago. Its irony is concerned with stock exchanges and feverish speculation. It is a tale of incredible inflation and abrupt and devastating depression. Its "voyage to the moon" has not lost its appeal to men and women who can still remember a period when human flights seemed incredible and who have lived to see "flying chariots" spanning oceans and continents and ascending into the stratosphere.
The first and most obvious interest of the tale is in its reflection of economic conditions in the early eighteenth century. The period following the Revolution of 1688 saw tremendous changes in attitudes toward credit and speculation. A new and powerful economic instrument was put into the hands of men who had not yet discovered its dangers. With the natural confusion which ensued between "credit" and "wealth," with a new emphasis upon the possible values inherent in "expectations of wealth" rather than immediate control over money, an unheard-of speculative emphasis appeared in business. The rapid increase in new trades and new industrial systems afforded possibilities of immediate rise to affluence. The outside public engaged in speculation to a degree not before known. Exaggerated gains, violent fluctuations in prices, meteoric rises and collapses—these gave rein to a gambling spirit perennial in man. The word "Projects" enters into literature as a recurrent motif, strangely familiar to our present generation, which needs only to turn Defoe's Essay on Projects into contemporary language to see the similarities between the year 1697 and the year 1939. That essay is filled with talk of "new Inventions, Engines, and I know not what, which have rais'd the Fancies of Credulous People to such height, that merely on the shadow of Expectation, they have form'd Companies, chose Committees, appointed Officers, Shares, and Books, rais'd great Stocks, and cri'd up an empty Notion to that degree that People have been betray'd to part with their Money for Shares in a New-Nothing."
Of the many speculative schemes of the early eighteenth century, none is better known than the "South Sea Bubble." After a long period during which English trade with the Spanish West Indies was carried on by subterfuge, an Act of Parliament in 1710 incorporated into a joint-stock company the state creditors, upon the basis of their loan of ten million pounds to the Government and conferred upon them the monopoly of the English trade with the Indies. In spite of these advantages, however, the South Sea Company found itself so hampered and limited in credit that it offered to convert the national debt into a "single redeemable obligation" to the company in return for a monopoly of British foreign trade outside England. The immediate and spectacular effect of that offer is reflected in the many descriptions, both serious and satiric, of an era of speculation which to many generations might seem incredible—though not to this generation which has itself lived through an orgy of speculation.
Clearly the South Sea Bubble, which reached its climax in 1720, was the chief source of Captain Samuel Brunt's satire, which has an important place in the minor literature called forth by the wild speculation connected with the Bubble. If the "Projects" proposed to Captain Brunt seem extreme to any modern reader, let him turn to the list of "bubbles," still accessible in many places. Nothing in Brunt is so fantastic as many of the actual schemes suggested and acted upon in the eighteenth century. The possibility of extracting gold from the mountains of the moon is no more fanciful than several of the proposals seriously received by Englishmen under the spell of speculation. As in the kingdom of Cacklogallinia, so in London, men mortgaged their homes and women sold their jewels  in order to purchase shares in wildcat companies, born one day, only to die the next. As the anonymous author of one of many South Sea Ballads wrote in his "Merry Remarks upon Exchange Alley Bubbles":
Our greatest ladies hither come, And ply in chariots daily; Oft pawn their jewels for a sum To venture in the Alley.
The meteoric rise in the price of shares in the moon-mountain project of the Cacklogallinians is no greater than the actual rise in prices of shares during the South Sea Bubble, when, between April and July, 1720, shares rose from L120 to L1,020. The fluctuating market of the Cacklogallinian 'Change, which responded to every rumor, follows faithfully the actual situation in London in 1720; and the final crash which shook Cacklogallinian foundations—subtly suggested by Brunt's unwillingness to return and face the enraged multitude—is an echo of the crash which shook England when the Bubble was pricked.
But its reflection of the economic background of the age is not the only reason for the interest and importance of A Voyage to Cacklogallinia, either in its generation or in our own. The little tale has its place in the history of science, particularly in that movement of science which, beginning with the "new astronomy" in the early seventeenth century, was to produce one of the most important chapters in the history of aviation. So far as literature is concerned, A Voyage to Cacklogallinia belongs to the literary genre of "voyages to the moon" which from Lucian to H.G. Wells (even to modern "pulp magazines") have enthralled human imagination. Yet while its fantasy looks back to Lucian's Icaro-Menippus, who flew to the moon by using the wing of a vulture and the wing of an eagle, its suggestion of the growing scientific temper of modern times makes it much more than mere fantasy. In the semilegendary history of Iran is to be found a tale, retold by Firdausi in the Shaknameh, of Kavi Usan, who "essayed the sky To outsoar angels" by fastening four eagles to his throne. The Iranian motif was adopted in the romances of Alexander the Great and so passed into European literature. The researches of Leonardo da Vinci upon the muscles of birds and the principles of the flight of birds brought over to the realm of science ideas long familiar in tale and legend. Francis Bacon did not hesitate to suggest in his Natural History (Experiment 886) that there are possibilities of human flight by the use of birds and "advises others to think further upon this experiment as giving some light to the invention of the art of flying."
John Wilkins, one of the most influential early members of the Royal Society, in his Mathematicall Magick, in 1648, suggested "four several ways whereby this flying in the air hath been or may be attempted." He listed, as the second, "By the help of fowls." Ten years earlier there appeared in England during the same year two works which were to have great influence in popularizing the theme of light: Wilkins's Discovery of a World in the Moone, a serious semiscientific work on the nature of the moon and the possibility of man's flying thither, and a prose romance by Francis Godwin, The Man in the Moone: or, A Discourse of a Voyage thither by D. Gonsales. These two works were largely responsible for the emergence of the old theme of flight to the moon in imaginative literature; the English translation of Lucian at almost the same time perhaps aided in advancing the popularity of the idea.
The similarities between Brunt's romance and Godwin's tale a century earlier are too striking to be fortuitous, and, indeed, there is no question that Brunt used Godwin as one of his chief sources. An earlier Robinson Crusoe, an idyllic Gulliver's Travels, Godwin's The Man in the Moone helped to establish in English literature the vogue of the traveler's tale to strange countries. Domingo, like Captain Samuel Brunt, draws from the "exotic" tradition. Both travelers find themselves in strange lands; both experience many other adventures before they make their way to the moon, drawn by birds.
But the century which elapsed between Godwin's fanciful tale and Brunt's fantastic romance felt the impact of the new science. No matter how clearly both tales draw from old traditions of legend and literature, no matter how many elements of fantasy remain, there is a profound and fundamental difference between them. Godwin's hero made his way to the moon by mere chance; it happened that he harnessed himself to his gansas during their period of hibernation. Too late, he discovered that gansas hibernate in the moon! The earlier voyage took only "Eleven or Twelve daies"—and that by gansa power! The earlier author did not suggest that his hero encountered any particular difficulties of respiration, nor did he pause to consider in detail the problem of the nature of the intervening air through which his hero passed.
But a hundred years of science had intervened between Godwin's tale and that of Captain Samuel Brunt. The later voyage to the moon is no less fantastic in its outlines than is the earlier, yet it shows clearly the impact of science upon popular imagination. The imagination of man had expanded with the expanding universe. Brunt takes care to indicate the vast distance between the earth and the moon by subtle mathematical suggestion. Although both travelers flew "with incredible swiftness," the eighteenth-century flyers found that it was "about a Month before we came into the Attraction of the Moon." Brunt's account of the preparation for the ascent into the orb of the moon is almost as careful as a modern account of an ascent into the stratosphere. His bird flyers lay their plans deliberately and upon the basis of the most recent scientific discoveries. There is nothing fortuitous about their final ascent. Brunt was clearly aware of the work of many scientists, notably Boyle, upon the nature and rarefaction of the air. His flyers proceed by slow stages, accustoming themselves gradually to the rarefied air, assisting their respiration by the use of wet sponges. They learn by experience the answer to the problems with which Godwin's mind had played but which many later scientific writers had considered more definitely: what is the nature of gravity; how far beyond the confines of the earth does it extend; what would happen to man could he "pass the Atmosphere"? The generation to which Captain Samuel Brunt belonged might still delight in the fantastic; but like our own generation, it insisted that fantasy must rest upon that which is at least scientifically possible, if not probable.
A Voyage to Cacklogallinia is republished today because of its appeal to many readers. It offers something to the student of economic history; something to the student of early science. It is one of several little-known "voyages to the moon," of which the most famous are those of Cyrano de Bergerac, a form of reading in which our ancestors delighted and which deserve to be collected. But apart from having a not-inconsiderable historical interest, it remains the kind of tale which may be read at any time because it appeals to the fundamental love of adventure in human beings. Its author was undoubtedly only one of many men who, under the influence of Godwin, Swift, and others, could weave a tale in an accepted pattern. Yet there are elements which make it unique; and it deserves at least this opportunity of rising phoenix-like from the ashes of the past and being treasured by posterity.
MARJORIE NICOLSON Smith College Northampton, Mass. Nov. 3, 1939
[1: The best treatment of the South Sea Bubble for students of literature will be found in Lewis Melville, The South Sea Bubble, Boston, 1923. The author has also included in his volume extracts from dozens of satires which appeared after 1720. He does not, however, mention A Voyage to Cacklogallinia.]
[2: Pages 107 ff.]
[3: The list of "bubbles" may be found in Melville, op. cit., chap, iv; Cobbett, Parliamentary History, VII, 656 ff., Somers, Tracts [ed. 1815], XIII, 818.]
[4: Contemporary letters indicating the interest of both men and women in speculation may be found in Historical Manuscripts Commission, XLV, 200, and CXXV, 288, 294-95, 349-50.]
[5: I have discussed the relationship between aviation and the "new astronomy" in several articles dealing with voyages to the moon. Bibliography may be found in two of these, "A World in the Moon," in Smith College Studies in Modern Languages, Vol. XVII (No. 2, January, 1936), and "Swift's 'Flying Island' in the 'Voyage to Laputa,'" Annals of Science, II (October, 1937), 405-31.]
[6: Mathematicall Magick; or, The Wonders That May Be Performed by Mechanicall Geometry, London, 1648; in Mathematical and Philosophical Works, London, 1802, II, 199.]
[7: The Discovery of a World in the Moone; or, A Discourse Tending to Prove, That 'Tis Probable There May Be Another Habitable World in That Planet, London, 1638.]
[8: The Man in the Moone; or, A Discourse of a Voyage thither by D. Gonsales, [By F.G.], London, 1638. This has recently been republished from the first edition by Grant McColley in Smith College Studies in Modern Languages XIX (1937).]
* * * * *
* * * * *
A VOYAGE TO CACKLOGALLINIA:
With a Description of the Religion, Policy, Customs and Manners, of that Country
CAPTAIN SAMUEL BRUNT
London: Printed by J. WATSON in Black-Fryers, and sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster. 1727
[Price Sticht, Two Shillings and Sixpence.]
Nothing is more common than a Traveller's beginning the Account of his Voyages with one of his own Family; in which, if he can't boast Antiquity, he is sure to make it up with the Probity of his Ancestors. As it can no way interest my Reader, I shall decline following a Method, which I can't but think ridiculous, as unnecessary. I shall only say, that by the Death of my Father and Mother, which happen'd while I was an Infant, I fell to the Care of my Grandfather by my Mother, who was a Citizen of some Note in Bristol, and at the Age of Thirteen sent me to Sea Prentice to a Master of a Merchant-man.
My two first Voyages were to Jamaica, in which nothing remarkable happen'd. Our third Voyage was to Guinea and Jamaica; we slaved, and arrived happily at that Island; but it being Time of War, and our Men fearing they should be press'd (for we were mann'd a-peak) Twelve, and myself, went on Shore a little to the Eastward of Port Morante, designing to foot it to Port Royal. We had taken no Arms, suspecting no Danger; but I soon found we wanted Precaution: For we were, in less than an Hour after our Landing, encompass'd by about Forty Run-away Negroes, well arm'd, who, without a Word speaking, pour'd in upon us a Volley of Shot, which laid Eight of our Company dead, and wounded the rest. I was shot thro' the right Arm.
After this Discharge, they ran upon us with their Axes, and (tho' we cried for Mercy) cruelly butcher'd my remaining four Companions.
I had shared their Fate, had not he who seemed to Head the Party, interposed between me and the fatal Axe already lifted for my Destruction. He seized the designed Executioner by the Arm, and said, No kill te Boy, me scavez him; me no have him make deady. I knew not to what I should attribute this Humanity, and was not less surprized than pleas'd at my Escape.
They struck off the Heads of my Companions, which they carried with 'em to the Mountains, putting me in the Center of the Company.
I march'd very pensively, lamenting the Murder of my Ship-mates, and often wish'd the Negro who saved me had been less charitable; for I began to doubt I was reserved for future Tortures, and to be made a Spectacle to their Wives and Children; when my Protector coming up to me, said, No be sadd, Sam, you no scavez me? I look'd earnestly at the Fellow, and remember'd he was a Slave of a Planter's, a distant Relation of mine, who had been a long while settled in the Island: He had twice before run from his Master, and while I was at the Plantation my first Voyage, he was brought in, and his Feet ordered to be cut off to the Instep (a common Punishment inflicted on run-away Slaves) by my Intercession this was remitted, and he escaped with a Whipping.
I ask'd if his Name was not Cuffey, Mr. Tenant's Negro?
"My Name Cuffey, said he, me no *Baccararo Negro now; me Freeman. [*Baccararo, the Name Negroes give the Whites.] You no let cutty my Foot, so me no let cutty your Head; no be sadd, you have bumby grande *yam yam. [*Yam yam, in Negroes Dialect, signifies victuals.]"
He endeavoured to comfort me under my Afflictions in this barbarous Dialect; but I was so possess'd with the Notion of my being reserv'd to be murdered, that I received but little Consolation.
We marched very slowly, both on account of the Heat, and of the Plunder they had got from some Plantations; for every one had his Load of Kidds, Turkies, and other Provisions.
About Three in the Afternoon, we reach'd a Village of run-away Negroes, and we were received by the Inhabitants with all possible Demonstrations of Joy. The Women sung, danc'd, and clapp'd their Hands, and the Men brought Mobby (a sort of Drink) and Rum, to welcome the return'd Party. One of the Negro Men ask'd Cuffey, why he did not bring my Head, instead of bringing me alive? He gave his Reason, at which he seem'd satisfied, but said it was dangerous to let a Baccararo know their Retreat; that he would tell Captain Thomas, and he must expect his Orders concerning me.
Cuffey said he would go to give Captain Thomas an Account of what had happen'd in this Sortie, and would carry me with him. As they spoke in the Negroes English, I understood them perfectly well. My Friend then went to Captain Thomas, who was the Chief of all the run-away Blacks, and took me with him. This Chief of theirs was about Seventy Five Years old, a hale, strong, well-proportion'd Man, about Six Foot Three Inches high; the Wooll of his Head and his Beard were white with Age, he sat upon a little Platform rais'd about a Foot from the Ground, accompanied by Eight or Ten near his own Age, smoaking Segars, which are Tobacco Leaves roll'd up hollow.
Cuffey, at his Entrance, threw himself on his Face, and clapp'd his Hands over his Head; then rising, he, with a visible Awe in his Countenance, drew nearer, and address'd the Captain in the Cholomantaean Language, in which he gave an Account, as I suppose, of his Expedition; for when he had done speaking, my Comrades Heads were brought in, and thrown at the Captain's Feet, who returned but a short Answer to Cuffey, tho' he presented him with a Segar, made him sit down, and drank to him in a Calabash of Rum.
After this Ceremony, Captain Thomas address'd himself to me in perfect good English.
Young Man, said he, I would have you banish all Fear; you are not fallen into the Hands of barbarous Christians, whose Practice and Profession are as distant as the Country they came from, is from this Island, which they have usurp'd from the original Natives. Capt. Cuffey's returning the Service you once did him, by saving your Life, which we shall not, after the Example of your Country, take in cold Blood, may give you a Specimen of our Morals. We believe in, and fear a God, and whatever you may conclude from the Slaughter of your Companions, yet we are far from thirsting after the Blood of the Whites; and it's Necessity alone which obliges us to what bears the face of Cruelty. Nothing is so dear to Man as Liberty, and we have no way of avoiding Slavery, of which our Bodies wear the inhuman Marks, but by a War, in which, if we give no Quarter, the English must blame themselves; since even, with a shew of Justice, they put to the most cruel Deaths those among us, who have the Misfortune to fall into their Hands; and make that a Crime in us (the Desire of Liberty, I mean) which they look upon as the distinguishing Mark of a great Soul. Your Wound shall be dress'd; you shall want nothing necessary we have; and we will see you safe to some Plantation the first Opportunity. All the Return we expect, is, that you will not discover to the Whites our Place of Retreat: I don't exact from you an Oath to keep the Secret; for who will violate his Word, will not be bound down, by calling God for a Witness. If you betray us, he will punish you; and the Fear of your being a Villain shall not engage me to put it out of your Power to hurt us, by taking the Life of one to whom any of us has promised Security. Go and repose your self, Captain Cuffey will shew you his House.
I made an Answer full of Acknowledgments, and Cuffey carried me home, where my Hurt, which was a Flesh Wound, was dress'd: He saw me laid on a Matrass, and left me. About Eight, a Negro Wench brought me some Kid very well drest, and leaving me, bid me good Night. Notwithstanding my Hurt, I slept tolerably well, being heartily fatigued with the Day's Walk.
Next Morning, Cuffey saw my Wound drest by a Negro sent for from another Village, who had been Slave to a Surgeon several Years, and was very expert in his Business. The Village where I was contained about Two and Fifty Houses, made of wild Canes and Cabbage Trees; it was the Residence of Captain Thomas. Here were all sorts of Handicrafts, as, Joyners, Smiths, Gunsmiths, Taylors, &c. for in Jamaica the Whites teach their Slaves the Arts they severally exercise. The Houses were furnished with all Necessaries, which they had plundered from the Plantations; and they had great Quantities of Corn and Dunghill Fowl.
Captain Thomas sometimes sent for me, and endeavour'd, by his Kindness, to make my Stay among 'em as little irksome as possible. He often entertain'd me with the Cruelty of the English to their Slaves, and the Injustice of depriving Men of that Liberty they were born to.
In about a Fortnight, my Wound was thoroughly cured, and I begg'd of Captain Thomas to let me be directed to the next Plantation. He promis'd I shou'd, as, soon as he could do it with Safety. I waited with Patience, for I did not think it just he should, for my sake, hazard his own, and the Lives of his Followers.
About a Week after this Promise, I reminded him of it, and he told me, that a Party from a Neighbour Village being out, he could not send me away: For shou'd those Men miscarry, he might be suspected of having, by my Means, betray'd 'em to make his own Peace with the Whites; for (said he) the Treachery our People have observed among those of your Colour, has made 'em extreamly suspicious. I was obliged to seem contented with his Reason, and waited the Return of this Party, which in about ten Days after, came back, laden with Provisions, Kitchen Furniture and Bedding; but the most acceptable part of their Booty, was Two small Caggs of Powder, of Eight Pound Weight each, and near Two Hundred of Lead. They also brought with 'em the Heads of the Overseer, and the Distiller belonging to Littleton's Plantation, both white Men, whom they met separately in the Woods.
Captain Thomas now promis'd me, that the next Day I should be guided to Plantane-Garden-River-Plantation, which was no small Satisfaction to me. I left the Captain at Eleven o' Clock who gave Orders for the entertaining the Party, and the spending the Day in Merriment. About Three, when they were in the midst of their Jollity, one of the Scouts brought Word, that he had discovered a Party of white Men, who were coming up the Mountain. The Captain immediately ordered all the Women and Children to a more remote Village, and sent for the ablest Men from thence, while he prepared to give the Enemy a warm Reception. Every Man took a Fusil, a Pistol, and an Axe: Ambuscades were laid in all the Avenues to the Village; he exhorted his Men to behave themselves bravely, there being no way to save their Lives, but by exposing them for the common Safety. He told 'em, they had many Advantages; for the Whites did not so well, as they, know all the Passages to the Mountain; and that they could not, at most, march in the widest, above Two a-breast; that the Way was rugged, troublesome to climb, and expos'd them to their Fire, while they lay hid in their Ambuscades he had appointed 'em.
But (said he) were we to meet 'em upon even Terms, yet our Circumstances ought to inspire Resolution in the most fearful: For, were any among us of so poor a Spirit, to prefer Slavery to Death, Experience shews us, all Hopes of Life, even on such vile Terms, are entirely vain. It is then certainly more eligible to die bravely in Defence of our Liberty, than to end our Lives in lingring and exquisite Torments by the Hands of an Executioner. For my Part, I am resolved never to fall alive into the Hands of the Whites, and I think every one in the same Circumstances ought to take the same Resolution.
After this Exhortation, and the Departure of those laid in Ambush, he order'd me to go with the Women, Children, and Cuffey, whom he had sent to head the Men he had commanded from the other Village. I had not been gone a Quarter of an Hour, in which time I was hardly got Half a Mile, before I heard a very warm Firing. We went still higher up the Mountain, thro' a very difficult Passage; the Village we were order'd to, was about half a League from that we left, than which it was much larger, and more populous; for here were at least One Hundred and Twenty Houses, and as many able Men, with about four times the Number of Women and Children.
The Alarm had been given them by an Express from Captain Thomas, and we met about half way, near Fifty Negroes arm'd in the manner already mentioned. They were headed by an old Woman, whom they look'd upon a Prophetess. Cuffey recommended me to her Protection, took upon him the Command of the Men, and return'd, after asking this Beldame's Blessing, which she gave him with Assurance of repelling the Whites.
The Fire all this while was very brisk, and the old Woman said to me, that she saw those in Ambush run away from the Whites, tho' she lay with her Face on the Ground. No matter, continued she, let the Cowards perish, the Whites will burn Cormaco (the Village I came from) that's all. They come again another Day, then poor Negroes all lost.
The Shot continued near two Hours, but not with near that Briskness it began; and the old Woman rising, bid me see the Smoke of Cormaco. Captain Thomas, said she, send away the white Man.
I staid by my Protectress, whom I durst not quit, tho' I did not like her Company. About half an Hour after the Shot began, and continued for near that Space pretty brisk, and then ceas'd. Soon after, we saw a Negro dispatch'd by Captain Thomas, who told us the Whites had burnt Cormaco, but were gone away, and that Captain Thomas was coming. He appeared not long after with Cuffey, and about Forty other Negroes. I learn'd from him, that the English, by Fault of their Scouts, had seized the Places where he design'd his Ambushes, kill'd Part of the Men he had sent, and pursued the rest to the Village, where they defended themselves, till the Whites had broke thro' the back Part of some Houses, and set Fire to the whole Village; that he then retired with his Men up the Mountains, the Whites following him; but he having the Start, while they were busied in burning and plundering, he wheel'd round, and came upon their Backs, and from the Woods and Bushes poured in his Shot; his Men being all well cover'd, the Whites did them no Harm, and thought proper to retire with the Loss of Six Men, and many wounded, for there were Thirty and a Captain. We have lost, said he, Twenty Two Men, and our Village is burnt. Soon after, we were join'd by about Forty more Negroes, and we all went to the Village I was order'd to, which they called Barbascouta.
The next Morning, a Council was call'd, which breaking up, four Negroes, who had not behaved well in this last Action, were brought bound, and laid in the largest Street upon their Backs; all the Women and Children piss'd upon them; after which, Captain Thomas told 'em, That the Example they had given, had it been follow'd, must have ended in the Destruction of 'em all; and tho' their Crime was pardon'd, and their Lives given 'em, yet they must not hereafter think of being Freemen, since they did not deserve that Liberty which they were not zealous in defending; neither cou'd they, after the Disgrace they had suffer'd, and which they deservedly had brought on themselves, hope ever to be admitted into the Company of brave Men, were they exempted from the Slavery to which their Pusillanimity had condemn'd 'em. After this they were sold to the best Bidder. I remember, he who was sold at the greatest Price, brought no more than Two Dozen of Fowls and a Kid, to be paid the next publick Festival. The Scout who had not given timely Advice of the Enemy's Approach, was next brought out and beheaded; and Three, who run away at the first Attack, were hang'd. Out-Centinels were placed, and all the Men lay that Night on their Arms, for Qwanaboa, their Prophetess, foretold another Attack, which she apprehended wou'd prove their Ruine, if not prevented by uncommon Vigilance and Bravery.
Four Days pass'd, and none of the Enemy appearing, they began to recover their Spirits, and grew less cautious; their most advanced Scouts were recalled, and they imagin'd the English had no Knowledge of this Village. The Fifth at Night, when they were in perfect Tranquillity, the English, who had, by a distant and difficult way, climb'd the Mountains, and got above the Village, about Twelve at Night, came down upon 'em, and were in the Streets before the Negroes had any Inkling of their being so near. They enter'd the Village with Thirty or Forty Men, and about half that Number intercepted all the Ways. Here began a cruel Slaughter, for none they could light on were spared, but Women and Children, who were all taken. Capt. Thomas fought, and died like a Hero; my grateful Cuffey, join'd by about a Dozen more, made all possible Resistance; but finding their utmost Efforts useless, taking me with them, with Menaces, if I did not go freely, they clamber'd over some Rocks, and skulking thro' the thick of the Woods, reach'd a Morass on the top of the Mountain, where we lay hid Three Days. The Fourth, press'd by Hunger, Six of 'em ventured out to get Plantanes, but they never returned; for which Reason, the Fifth Day we went in Search of Food. At Night we got into a Plantane Walk, from whence, after having fill'd our Bellies, and loaded our Backs, with the ripe Fruit, we retired to the Woods.
Next Day, Cuffey went out by himself, and, at his Return, told us, he had observ'd a large Canoe with Sails and Paddles, at the Sea Side, which belonged he believ'd to some Fishing Negroes. He propos'd the siezing, loading it with Plantanes, and going to the Spanish Coast, which he was sure he could make shift to find, having been there with the Buccaniers. This was unanimously agreed to by the rest. I desired to be left behind, but their Fear wou'd not let 'em consent to my Stay. At Night we went again to the Plantane Walk, where I hop'd to make my Escape; but one of 'em always held me by the Arm, suspecting I would give 'em the slip. Being loaded, we follow'd Cuffey to the Canoe, where we found a Negro asleep, whom they bound, and having taken what Plantanes they thought fit, and found two large Runlets of Water in the Canoe, with Fishing-nets and other Tackle, they set Sail about Eleven o' Clock with a fine Hand Breeze, which carried us before Day to the last End of the Island.
The next Day about Even, we saw Hispaniola, and landed at Four o'Clock the Day following in a Creek, where we filled our Runlets with fresh Water, and going up into the Country, we catched a Number of Land Crabbs, which we dress'd and eat.
We lay two Days in this Creek, and in the Night of the second, coasted along the Island unperceived; but as we cross'd the Streights between Cape Maese and Cape Nicholas, which divides the Islands of Hispaniola and Cuba, we were seen and chased by a Sloop, which very soon came up with us, and proved a Free-booter, whose Crew was of all Nations and Colours. They offer'd the Seven Negroes their Liberty, and each Half a Share of an able Seaman, which they readily accepted. To me they would have given a whole Share, but I refusing to join 'em, they resolved to set me on Shore with the first Conveniency, tho' some were for throwing me over-board.
We were Eight Days without seeing a Sail, but the Ninth, about Break of day the Man at the Top-mast Head, descried one on our Leeward Bow. The Pyrates immediately prepared for an Engagement; we clapp'd our Helm a-weather, eas'd out our Main-sheet, and gave Chase. She proved a tall Ship, and did not seem to make Sail to avoid us; which was the Reason we brought to, and a Consultation was held, whether it was safe or not to venture upon her? It was resolved in the Affirmative. In Consequence of this, we bore away for her, and when we were in less than Gun Shot, we perceived she was very deep, Spanish built, and mounted Thirty Guns by the Number of Ports, tho' we were surprized they were all close, and not a Man appeared on her Decks.
The Resolution was taken, to board on the Quarter, which they did; but seeing no body appear, they feared some Stratagem. However, some of the Crew ran into the Steerage and Great Cabbin; but seeing nobody, they went between Decks, and, upon Examination, found her a Ship abandon'd, and that she had Six Foot Water in the Hold. They took out of the Great Cabbin Two Chests of Pieces of Eight, with some Hammocks and Cloaths from between Decks, and so left her.
The next Day, we spied another Sail, which gave us Chase: We lay bye, till we saw she was an Overmatch for us; for by the Canvass she spread, we concluded her no less than a Man of War of Fifty Guns. We clapp'd upon a Wind, and made all the Sail, and lay as close as we possibly could, but it blowing a fresh Gale, we found she gain'd upon us. This obliged our Men to throw over the Treasure which they had found the Day before, and had been the Cause of no small Joy. Finding she still gained upon us, we threw over our Eight Guns, which together with the Wind's slackening, was the Means of our Escape; for now we visibly wrong'd the Ship, and in less than Six Hours, lost her.
The Loss of the Money was a considerable Affliction to the Crew, but that of their Guns was so great a one, it had well near set them all together by the Ears. Some condemn'd the Captain for ordering them to be thrown over, others justifying what he had done, as the only Means of their Escape. At length, good Words, and a Bowl of Punch the Captain made for each Mess, laid this Storm for a while; but that which at first pacify'd these turbulent Spirits, was what blew them up again: For when they were all drunk, the Boatswain said the Captain was a Coward, and took a Merchant-man for a Man of War: That his Fear had magnified the Object, and deprived them of the Means of either taking others, or defending themselves. This he said in the Captain's Hearing, who, without returning any Answer, took a Pistol from his Girdle, and shot him dead; and then seizing another Mutineer, he ordered him a Hundred Lashes at the Gangway, which were very honestly paid him.
After this, he called all Hands upon Deck, and told them he should not be fit to command so many brave Fellows, would he suffer any to insult him: That if any on board thought he was a braver Man than himself, he was ready to shew him his Error, either with his Fusil, Pistol, or Cutlass: That since they had done him the Honour to chuse him Captain, he would carry Command, which all brave and experienced Men knew necessary, and none but Cowards would murmur at. That, as to the Boatswain, he had deserved his Death, since one Mutineer was enough to breed Confusion in the Vessel, which must end in the Destruction of them all.
What, continued he, I have already said, I repeat, If any Man has a Mind to exchange a Ball with me, I am ready for him; but while I am Captain, I will be Captain, and let the boldest of ye disobey my Commands.
This resolute Procedure quash'd the Mutineers, and he ever after kept a strict Command, and was esteemed a gallant Man.
Two Days after this, we fell in with a Spanish Garde de Costa, and Two Sloops; they boarded, and with very little Resistance, took the Ship, tho' she had Fourscore Hands on board, and our Sloop but Ninety. She was mounted with Twenty Guns, but her great Shot did us but little Damage. The two Sloops were English, going to the Bay of Campechy with Provisions, which we wanted very much. They were taken but the Day before by the Spaniards, and tho' they endeavoured to get off, when they saw we had carried the Frigate, yet our Sloop wrong'd 'em so much, that we soon came up with, and took them. There were Twelve Englishmen on board the Prize, Four of which took on with us.
Our Captain now quitted his Sloop, went on board the Ship, which he called the Basilisk, and left the Three Sloops to the Spaniards. The Eight English, who refused to take on with him, he kept on board, promising to set them on shore on the East End of Jamaica in few Days, but refused them one of the Sloops, which they desired; I suppose, fearing, at their Arrival, some Man of War might be sent in Search of him, or, may be, hoping to bring them over, for, it's certain he had no Design to land them as he promis'd.
Our Ship's Crew was now extreamly jocund, for they had Provisions for at least Three Months, with what they took out of the English Sloops, and, in Money, they found upwards of an Hundred and Sixty Thousand Pieces of Eight, and Two Thousand Gold Quadruples. We lost but Three Men in boarding, so that our Crew, with the Four English who join'd 'em, consisted of Ninety and One Man.
For Three Weeks after we met with no Adventure; wherefore the Captain resolved to cruize off the Havana, and many of our Water-casks being emptied, and we not far from the River of Chagre, we made for, and came to an Anchor at the Mouth of that River, and sent our Boats ashore with the Casks.
After we had water'd, we steer'd for the Havana, and between Portobello and Carthagena, we spied a Sail; as she clapp'd upon a Wind, as soon as she descry'd us, and we went upon One Mast, we soon met, but were as willing to shake her off, as we had been to speak to her. She proved a Forty Gun French Ship, which handled us without the least Ceremony. We began the Fight by a Broad-side, as we were under her Stern, which raked her fore and aft, and must, doubtless, as she was full of Men, do great Execution. She returned the Compliment; and tho' we lost but few Men, yet they miserably cut our Rigging. Our Captain found his Business was to board, or her Weight of Metal would soon send us to the Bottom. We enter'd the greater Number of our Men, who were so warmly received, that but few came off; and as she was preparing to board us in her Turn, if we had not, by a lucky Shot, brought her Main-top-mast by the board, by which Accident we got off, she had certainly carried us. Upon this we got our Fore-Tack to the Cat-head, hoisted our Top-sails a-trip, and went away all Sails drawing. In few Hours we lost Sight of her, and then upon the Muster, we found that she had kill'd us Two and Forty of our Men, and wounded Fifteen, which was a very sensible Loss, and made the Captain alter his Course, and think of lying off Campechy, in hopes of geting more Men.
He order'd all the well Men upon Deck, and proposed it to 'em: They all agreed it was the best Course they cou'd take, and many of them advised to quit the Ship, for the first good Sloop which should fall in their Way. The Captain answered, it was Time enough to think of that when they had met with one for their Turn.
They now fell to knotting and splicing the Rigging, when the Day began to be overcast, and threaten dirty Weather: The Thunder growl'd at a distance, and it began to blow hard; a smart Thunder-shower was succeeded by a Flash of Lightning, which shiver'd our Main-mast down to the Step. A dreadful Peal of Thunder follow'd; the Sea began to run high, the Wind minutely encreas'd, and dark Clouds intercepted the Day; so that we had little more Light, than what the terrifying flashes of Lightning afforded us. Our Captain, who was an able Seaman, at the first Signal of an approaching Storm, handed his Top-sails, took a Reef in his Foresail, and the Men were furling the Mainsail, when the Lightning shiver'd the Mast, which was cut away with the utmost Expedition. We lay some time under a Mizzen-balast, but were at last forc'd to put before the Wind, and, for Four Days, we scudded with the Goose-wings of our Foresail, in which Time we had not the least Glimpse of Sun or Stars, but by very short Intervals; nor indeed did I see them, till after we struck, but by Slatches. The Fifth Day, about Noon, our Foremast came by the board; we broach'd to, and a Sea fill'd us; we were at our Dying Rowls, and every Man gave himself for lost. But in this Danger, which ought to have awakened those unhappy Wretches, to some Care of their future Happiness, the Ship rang with Imprecations, and not a Word was uttered, not back'd with Oaths and Curses. However, it pleased the Great Disposer of Life and Death, that the Ship cleared her self of the Water, which had filled the Waist to the Top of the Gunnel. They did all they could to keep her Head to the Sea, and setting up a small Jury-mast, to which they clapp'd a Top-gallant-yard, we again scudded, altogether ignorant where we were; for a Sea which pooped us the second Day, had carried away the Binnacle with the Two Compasses; and they either had not, or knew not, where to find another. We left our selves to the Mercy of the Sea and Wind, for we had no other Party to take; and tho' the former run Mountain-high, yet finding the Ship made no Water, the Captain apprehended no Danger, but that of being drove on some Coast.
I had not the least Compassion for any of the Pyrates, he alone excepted; for he was much more humane to us who would not take on with him, than could be expected from one of his Profession, which he told me, one Day, he had enter'd upon much against his Inclinations, and that he would gladly quit that detestable Life, were it possible for him: But as he had no Hopes of Pardon, having, on board a Man of War, killed a Boatswain, who abused him, he was obliged to continue his Villainies for his own Security. This Man alone shewed some Sense of a Deity. I never heard him in the Storm swear an Oath; but, on the contrary, I often heard him, as by stealth, say, Lord have Mercy on me! Great God forgive me! The Seventh Day, a Sea poop'd us, and wash'd away this unhappy Man, and the Two who were at the Wheel, whom we never more set Eyes on. Two others immediately stepp'd into their Places. The Loss of the Captain was an Addition to our Misfortune, which together with the violent Continuance of the Storm, took away all Hopes of Safety.
On the Tenth Day, about Nine in the Morning, we struck upon a Rock with that Violence, that those who were in their Hammocks were thrown out, and those who walk'd the Deck, were struck off their Legs. The Pumps were immediately try'd, and some ran into the Hold, and found the Ship made a great deal of Water. They plied the Pumps, but in less than ten Minutes, she struck again, and a Sea coming over us, I saw no more either of the Ship or the Crew. I rose by the Side of a large Timber, which I laid hold of, and got upon, heartily recommending my self to my Creator, and sincerely endeavouring to reconcile myself to my God, by an unfeigned Repentance of the Follies of my past Life, and by making a very solemn Resolution, that if his Mercy should preserve me from a Danger which none but his Omnipotence could draw me out of, to have, for the future, a strict Guard upon all my Thoughts, Words, and Actions, and to shew my Gratitude, by the Purity and Uprightness of my future Life.
The Want of an Observation for so many Days, and the Loss of our Captain, the only Artist on board, with the Want of a Compass, was the Reason of our being altogether ignorant of the Coast on which our Vessel perish'd. The Piece of the Wreck which I was upon, was, after being toss'd some Hours, thrown ashore, and I got so far on Land, that the returning Surf did not reach me. What became of the rest of the Crew, I know not, but concluded they all perish'd, till some Years after, I met in England one of the Englishmen who would not take on with the Pyrates, and who told me, that, by a peculiar Providence, he and the other Seven, were, after four Days floating on broken Pieces of the Ship, taken up by some Indian Canoes; that they were two Years among the Indians, who treated them very humanly; and when they were one Day a-fishing with them about three Leagues from the Shore, they spied a Sail at a great Distance, and signifying their Desire to return to Europe, the Indians very courteously gave them a Canoe and Eight Paddles, with which they reach'd the Ship, it being becalm'd, and found her French. They were received on board in the Latitude of —— Degrees North, and when they arrived at Rochelle, were kindly used, and sent to England.
As we naturally are fond of Life, I return'd Thanks to Providence for my Escape, and thought myself extreamly happy, tho' thrown on an unknown Coast, and destitute of every thing necessary to sustain me: But I trusted in that Goodness which had preserved, and which I hoped would provide for me. To despond, I thought, would be mistrusting the Bounty of our Creator, and might be the ready way to plunge me into the Miseries Men naturally apprehend in my Circumstances. I therefore heartily recommended me to the Divine Protection, and enter'd the Woods which lay along the Coast.
The Storm, which seem'd rais'd for the Destruction of those Enemies of Mankind, and Shame of human Nature, ceas'd in few Hours after the Vessel perish'd. I found in the Woods all sorts of Indian Fruits, as, Guavers, Cushoes, Sowresops, Oranges, &c. with which I appeased my Hunger. I was desirous, yet fearful of discovering, whether I was in a desolate or inhabited Country, and whether I was on the Continent, or some Island.
I wandered in the Woods till Sun-set, and then apprehending Danger from wild Beasts, I climb'd a tall Tree, where I sat, tho' I could not sleep, till Morning. By the time it had been dark about an Hour, I was cruelly terrified by hearing human Voices in the Air; for tho' I did not understand, I plainly heard these Words: Sup gravimiaco caputasco deumorian; with others which I could not retain.
Let any Man suppose himself in my Circumstances, and he will much easier form an Idea, than I describe the Agony I was in on this surprizing Accident. The Sun was two Hours high before I durst descend; but seeing nothing to apprehend, I came down, prosecuted my Journey, as I had begun, Eastward. In three Hours, or thereabout, I came to the Extremity of the Wood, which was bounded by a large Meadow, enamell'd with the most beautiful-coloured Flowers, and hedg'd on the three other Sides with Limes, and with large Orange-Trees, placed at equal Distances in the Fence. This, with the Prospect I had of Corn Fields, made me conclude the Country inhabited by a civiliz'd People.
I cross'd the Meadow, highly delighted with the agreeable Prospect which lay before me. To avoid trampling on, and doing Damage to the Corn, I turn'd a little to the Northward, in hopes of falling in with some Village, or meeting with some or other of the Inhabitants. I found here very rich Pastures, and large Flocks of Sheep, intermix'd with Deer; the Sheep were, as in Jamaica, cover'd with short Hair, like that of a Greyhound; and the Deer, which I wonder'd at instead of flying from, came up to me, and gazed, as if I was a Creature which they were not accustomed to the Sight of. The Sheep following their Example, I was so hemm'd in, that, had I not made my way with a Stick I broke out of a Hedge, I don't know how I should have got clear of them.
What astonished me, was to see such a Number of Corn-fields and Pasture-grounds, in a flourishing Condition, and well fenced, and yet not meet with the least Track or Path. However, I walk'd on till about Three o' Clock, as I guess'd by the Sun, which, tho' it was excessive hot, was no way uneasy to me, being flickered by the Hedges. Being come to the Banks of a large River, bordered with Cedars, the tallest I ever saw, and being under no Apprehension of wild Beasts in a Country so well cultivated, I laid me down under one of the largest, and slept till the Sun was near setting; and doubtless, not having closed my Eyes the Night before, I should have continued my Nap, had I not been wakened with the Sound of human Voices.
I started up, and look'd round me, but could perceive nothing like a Man. I then holloo'd, and heard somebody say, Quaw shoomaw: I answered, Quaw shoomaw; upon which I heard Two speak, and answer each other, as I thought, over my Head. I look'd up, but could, by reason of the Thickness and Height of the Tree, see nothing. I went some Paces from it, and looking up again, I heard a Voice, which utered these Words hastily, Quaw shoomaw? starts; which is, having afterwards learned the Language, Who art thou? stand.
Hardly had these Words reached my Ears, when I saw a Cock and Hen fly down from the Tree, and light near me; they were about Six Foot tall, and their Bodies somewhat larger than a good Weather. The Cock who was the larger the Two, coming pretty near me, tho' he discover'd in his Eyes both Fear and Astonishment, repeated the Words, Quaw shoomaw. The Hen, who kept a greater Distance, cried out, Ednu sinvi, which I since learn'd, is, Whence come you?
I was as much surprized to hear Fowls speak, as they were to see such a Monster as I appeared to be. I answer'd in her own Words, Ednu sinvi, upon which she ask'd me, I suppose, a String of Questions, with a Loquacity common to the sex and then fell a cackling. Three or four Chickens came running to her, and at the Sight of me hid their Heads under their Mother's Wing, as I suppos'd her. One of them, who was a Cock not above Five Foot high, at last took Courage to peep out, and said something to his Father; and, as I guess taking Courage from what Answer he return'd, ventured to approach me. He walk'd round me tho' he kept some Distance, and spoke in a threatning Tone. I answer'd in a melancholy one, and in my own Language, That I was an unfortunate shipwreck'd Man. The Youngster, I suppose, thinking me a harmless Animal, ventured to strike at me, and if I had not avoided the Stroke, I believe he had split my Skull, for his Spurrs were about Eighteen Inches long, near Five about, and as sharp as Needles.
I saw his Father angry at this Proceeding, and he gave him a terrible Cuff with his Wing, and sent him home. Then speaking to me, he made Signs I should follow him; I understood, and obey'd him. After we had pass'd a small Copse of about a Quarter of a Mile, we came into a fine Meadow, where we saw several Hens milking Goats; they sat on their Rumps, and were as dextrous with their two Feet, as any of our Dairy-Maids with their Hands. They carried two Pails a-piece with a Yoke, like our Tub-women; and indeed there are not in Europe any who exceed this Nation in Mechanicks, as far as they are useful to them. I have seen a Cacklogallinian (for so they call themselves) hover with a Pair of Sheers in his two Feet, and cut Trees with all the Regularity imaginable; for, in a Walk of a League long, which is very common before the Houses of the Nobility, you won't see (not to say a Bough, but even) a Leaf grow beyond the rest. They are the best Weavers in the Universe, and make Cloath of stript Feathers, which they have the Art of spinning, and which is the Staple Commodity of the Kingdom; for no Feathers are comparable to these for this Manufacture. When I pass'd the Meadow, every one quitted her Employment to come and stare at me; they all spoke together so loud, and with such Volubility, that I almost fancied my self among a Score of Gammers at a Country Christening.
This Meadow led to a Farm House which belonged to my Guide, or more properly, Master; for I soon was made sensible, that they look'd upon me as an irrational Beast, of a Species hitherto unknown to them. We were no sooner within Doors, than the Family flock'd round to admire me, asking Abundance of Questions which I did not understand. One of the Hens brought me a Bowl of Goats Milk, which I received very thankfully, and drank off. They then offer'd me Corn, which I rejecting, one of them went out, and fetch'd me a Piece of boil'd Mutton; for these Cacklogallinians, contrary to the Nature of European Cocks, live mostly on Flesh, except the poorer Sort, who feed on Grain. They do not go to Roost, but lye on Feather-beds and Matrass, with warm Coverings; for, at the setting of the Sun, there falls so great a Dew, that I was, in the Night, as sensible of Cold, as ever I was in Europe in the Winter.
After I had eat my Piece of Meat, a Bed was made for me in my Master's Chamber, whither he conducted me. He made Signs, that I should lye down, and was not a little astonish'd, I perceived, to see me open the Bedding, go into it, and cover my self up. The pulling off my Cloaths he did not wonder at, for the Rich and Great among 'em wear Mantles, and cover their Legs with fine Cloath.
I slept very heartily, and very much at my Ease. My Master, who was a rich Farmer, went the next Day to Ludbitallya, the Metropolis of the Kingdom, about Forty Miles from his Home, to acquaint his Landlord who was a Minister of State, what a Rarity he had in Possession. He set out about Six in the Morning, and returned at Noon; for the Cacklogallinians will fly at the Rate of Twenty Miles an Hour. His Landlord came in less than that Space after in great State. He was preceded by Half a Dozen Servants, who carried large Battens in their right Feet, and made no Ceremony of knocking any on the Head who came in their Way. He was in a sort of Palanquin, covered with fine Cloth, and powdered with silver Stars in Circles, supported by four Cacklogallinians adorn'd with silver Chains. As to his Person, he was about Nine Foot high when he stood upright, and very corpulent; for, what is wonderful among these People (if I may be allow'd that Term) they grow in Bulk, and their Appetites increase in Proportion to their Riches and Honour, of which I was an Eye-witness in the Persons of my Master and his Male Children, for the Females are not perceivably affected with a Change of Fortune. This holds good in its Opposite, for Adversity will bring down the tallest to the Size or a Dwarf, that is, to Three Foot.
But to return to this Minister, whose Name was Brusquallio. He was cover'd with a rich loose Garment embroider'd, and wore on his Neck a yellow, green and red Ribbon, from which hung a Gold Medal of a Cock trampling on a Lion, which is the Badge of the greatest Honour the Emperor of Cacklogallinia can bestow on a Subject. He had a great Number of Followers, who paid him a sort of Adoration. When he alighted, my Master met him on the Out-side of the Door, threw himself on his Belly, and held his Beak to the Ground, till the other order'd him to rise; for I have since learnt both their Customs and Language. When he came in, I was brought to him.
My Master, as I have since learnt, told his Lordship, that he fancied I had some Glimmerings of Reason, notwithstanding the hideous Make of my Person, and gave for an Instance, my getting into my Bed as decently as a Cacklogallinian; and that of my Species certainly had a Language among 'em, for he had heard me very distinctly utter some unintelligible Words, and even repeat some after him.
I threw my self on my Knees, and in the most humble Posture address'd my self to his Lordship, telling him in English, that I was a harmless unfortunate Man, who was cast upon their Coast, was an Object of Compassion, and below their Anger; that as I never did, nor meant Harm to any, I hoped to experience his Lordship's Mercy.
He seem'd highly delighted to hear me speak, and viewed me with a visible Surprize. My Master coming to me, said, Ednu sinvi? which I repeated after him (as I perceiv'd he was desirous I should) to the great Satisfaction of the Minister, who, as I have since known, desired to purchase, have me taught the Cacklogallinian and Court Language (for the Court did not speak that of the Country, for a Reason hereafter to be mention'd) and present me to his Imperial Majesty, as the greatest Rarity in Nature. When he bid my Master set a Price, he answer'd, That his Lordship's doing him the Honour to accept such a Trifle from his Slave, he esteem'd beyond any Sum of Money, notwithstanding his Poverty.
Well, says the Grandee, bring him to me to-morrow, I accept the Present, and you shall have no Reason to repent your trusting to me.
The Minister got into his Palanquin, and his four Bearers flew off with him with that incredible Swiftness, his Attendance had much ado to keep up with it.
The next Morning, my Master taking me by the Sleeve with his Beak, led me out of Doors, and then walk'd forward. I stood still, and he returned, pull'd me by the Coat, and walk'd on again; by which I guess'd he would have me follow him, as I accordingly did, accompanied by one of his Servants, who kept by my Side. He went too fast, for me to keep him Company; which he perceiving, spoke to the Servant, and they took Wing together, and each of them laying hold on an Arm, lifted me about Thirty Foot from the Ground, and in Four Hours, alighted about a Quarter of a Mile distant from a very large Town.
I had forgot to acquaint the Reader, that before I began this airy Journey, my Master took a Mantle, which his Servant carried under his Wing, and cover'd me, that I had only an Open to see and respire: This was to prevent the Impertinence he might expect from the Mob at the Sight of such a Novelty as I was.
When we alighted, he made Signs to me to lye down, sent his Servant to the Town, and cover'd me all over. The Servant soon returned with a close Palanquin, which they made me Signs to go into, and I was in an Instant hurried thro' the Air, and set down in a Stable Yard, and conducted from thence into a little House, to which this Yard afforded the only Passage. Both the Avenue, and the Smallness of the House no way answerable to the Charge and Titles of the Minister to whom it belong'd, were Matter of Surprize to me; tho' I since learnt it was in him Policy, that he made no greater Figure in Town than a private Gentleman, not to encrease the Number of those who envied him; for tho' he was now Nine Foot high, yet in a late Reign he was dwindled from the Height peculiar to the Rank of his Family, of Six Foot Nine Inches, to Three Foot Ten. In the Country, I was told his Seat far exceeded any of the Royal Palaces, tho' as yet not finish'd, and both his Furniture and Equipage were answerable; and he never travelled without a great Number of Servants, who join'd him a Mile or two without the Gates.
This great Person shewed me to his family, every one of which admired me as a most monstrous Production of Nature. My Master was rewarded, by being made Nosocomionarcha, or Paymaster to the Invalids, had the Title of Quityardo, which answers to our Squire, conferred on him, and was ever after a Favourite of the Minister. He sprung up immediately Nine Inches higher, grew considerably more bulky, and would eat you Three or Four Cacklogallinian Chicks in a Day; for the Ministers, and those in Post, feed on their own Species, and not one of the poorer Sort is in any Security of their Lives, in case a hungry Grandee sets his Eyes on, and has a Mind to him. Nay, the slavish Spirit of the Cacklogallinians is such, that many of them, thro' Folly or Superstition, will come in Bodies to the House of a Minister, and beg as the greatest Favour and Honour, they and their Families may be served up to his Lordship's Table; and I have seen the Fools, who had thus offered themselves, and been accepted, if there was not immediate Occasion for them, strut in the Streets with a Chain of Silver about their Necks, which they look'd upon as the greatest Honour; and when call'd for by his Lordship's Cook, run exulting, and offer their Throats to his Knife; tho' this Nation was, in Time past, the bravest, and the most tenacious of their Liberty, of any of the feather'd Race. But I have digress'd too far.
My new Master, or, more properly, Lord, order'd an Apartment and a Table for me, with a Tutor to teach me the Languages, by whose Diligence, and my own Avidity of Learning, I began in Four Months to understand a great Part of what was said to me; and my Lord was so very much pleased at my Progress, that he gave my Tutor a Post, which raised him about Four Inches. My Lord forbore asking me any Questions concerning my self, till I was perfectly Master or the Languages, which I was in about Eleven Months.
He one Day sent for me into his Chamber, and accosted me in the following Words:
Probusomo (which is, Monster of Nature, the Name he gave me) I have suspended my Curiosity of enquiring whence, and how you came into this Kingdom, till we could perfectly understand each other, that I might not be troubled with an imperfect Relation: Now that you are Master of our Language, tell me of what Part of the World you are; whether you are of savage, or a civiliz'd Nation? if of the latter, what is your Policy, what are your Manners and Customs, and what Accident brought you hither?
I threw my self on my Face, and kiss'd his right golden Spur (for the Grandees saw off those which Nature has provided them, and substitute these in their Places) then rising, I answer'd, That I was of Europe, a Country so distant from Cacklogallinia, that I was near Six Moons at Sea, before I was cast on its Coast.
Why, said he, is it possible you can swim so long? for you being destitute of Wings, can have no other Method of passing so vast a Water.
I told him we pass'd the Seas in Ships, and gave him a Description of them, but could not make him have the least Idea of what I meant, till the next Day, that I hollow'd, shap'd, and rigg'd a Piece of Cork, made Sails of fine Linnen, and brought it to his Excellency in a Bason of Water. I told him, we were a civiliz'd Nation, and govern'd by a King, who however did nothing without the Advice of his Great Council, which consisted of Grandees born to that Honour, and Quityardo's elected by the People to represent them. That, to these Representatives the People had delegated the Power of acting for them, and entrusted their Liberty and Estates to their Probity; consequently nothing could be supposed to be done by the Prince, but by the universal Consent of the Nation, and the People could bear no Burthens, but what they voluntarily took upon themselves for the common Good.
I have never, answer'd he, read, that any of your Species was seen in this Kingdom before you; but it is certain you must have copy'd your Policy from us. But, said he, are all these Representatives publick-spirited, zealous for the common Welfare, Proof against Preferments, Titles, and private Advantages? Have they always the Good of the Nation at Heart so far, as to prefer it to that of their Families? Do they sollicite the People to chuse them, or are they their free Choice? If the latter, what Amends do the People make to these Representatives, who neglect their private Affairs, to apply themselves to those of the Publick?
I told his Excellency, that I did not doubt their being such Men as he spoke them; that I was very young when I left my Country, and beside I was not born in a Rank which, had I been of riper Years, permitted me to meddle with State Affairs: However, I had heard from my Elders, that none were elected, till the King sent his Mandates to the several Provinces, ordering them to chuse the wisest among them to assist his Majesty with their Advice: And as the Interest of each Province in particular, and of the whole Nation in general, turn'd upon the Probity and Judgment of the Representatives, to whom an unlimited Power was delegated, it did not stand to Reason, that they would make Choice of any, whose Love for his Country, whose Sagacity and Honour they had not made Proof of; or at least, whose Life did not give them Hopes, that he would prove a real Patriot.
That they were the free Choice of the People, was plain, by the Backwardness shewn by those elected to undertake so weighty a Charge, which had no other Recompence than the Applause of the Publick, for the faithful Execution of their Trust. Another Reason which induced me to believe the Choice such, was, that the English, (of which Nation I own'd my self) were any one rich enough to bribe the Majority of a Province, and are too wise a People to entrust their Liberty to such a Person; for it's natural to believe, whoever would buy their Votes, would sell his own: But, that the Majority of a Province was to be brib'd, or that a free People would, on any account, risque their Liberty, by giving their Representatives a Power to enslave 'em, either by making the Prince absolute, and furnishing him with Standing Armies, to maintain a despotick Power or else by selling them to Foreigners, could never enter into the Thoughts of a reasonable Creature.
Has, said he, (who smiled all the while I held this Discourse) your Nation any near Neighbours? I answer'd, That, by the means of our Shipping, we might be said near Neighbours to every Nation; but that our Island was separated but Seven Leagues from the Continent, inhabited by a warlike and powerful People. Have you any Commerce with the Nations on the Continent? We are, said I, the greatest Dealers in Europe. Have you any Religion among you? We have, in the main, I replied, but one, tho' it is branch'd out into a great many Sects, differing only in some trifling Ceremonies, in Essentials we all agree.
Religion, answer'd my Lord, is absolutely necessary in a well-govern'd State; but do your great Men make any Profession of Religion? or, to ask a more proper Question, do they do more than profess it?
My Lord, said I, our great Men are the brightest Examples of Piety. Their Veracity is such, that they would not for an Empire falsify their Word once given. Their Justice won't suffer a Creditor to go from their Gate unsatisfied: Their Chastity makes them look on Adultery and Furnication the most abominable Crimes; and even the naming of them will make their Bloods run cold. They exhaust their Revenues in Acts of Charity, and every great Man among us is a Husband and Father to the Widow and Orphan. They esteem themselves Stewards to the Poor, and that in a future State they are accountable for every Doit lavish'd in Equipage or superfluous Dishes. Their Tables are not nicely, but plentifully served, and always open to the honest Needy. At Court, as I have learn'd, there is neither Envy nor Detraction, no one undermines another, nor intercepts the Prince's Bounty or Favour by slandrous Reports; and neither Interest, Riches, nor Quality, but Merit only recommends the Candidate to a Post: A Bribe was never heard of there; which, together with the exact Justice practised, is the Reason that a Minister, after Twelve or Fourteen Years, shall die not a Doit richer than he was at the Entrance upon his Office: Nay, I've been told, that a Paymaster General of the Army, after he had past his Accounts before the Grand Council of the Nation, with a general Applause, found his Patrimony so impoverish'd by his Charity to Soldiers Widows, he was oblig'd to turn Merchant for his Support; but being unfortunate, he petition'd for a small Government.
As you say you have divers Sects of Religion, you must have Priests among you, pray what sort of Men are they? I answer'd, their Lives and Doctrine were of a-piece, their Example differing nothing from their Precepts: That Hypocrisy, Avarice, Ambition, litigious Suits, Lying, Revenge, and Obscenity, were Vices known to 'em by Name only: That they were a mortify'd Set of Men, who look'd upon nothing transitory worth their Concern; and having their Thoughts always employ'd on Meditations of a future Happiness, neglected every thing on Earth but their Duty; and for this Reason, they often became a Prey to Knaves, who slipp'd no Opportunity of spoiling them, knowing their Lenity such, that, if detected, they should not be prosecuted. I have been assured, that a Priest being told, such a Farmer had stole away a great many Tithe Sheafs, the good Divine answer'd, If he's poor, it's no Theft; what I have belongs to the Needy, and he takes but his own. The Day after he sent him all the Corn he was Master of, and by this Act of Charity, wou'd have starved before next Harvest, if a Minister of State, in love with his Virtue, had not provided for him. And I myself knew one, who hearing black Puddings were a Preservative against pestilential Infections, and that the Plague was within Two Thousand Leagues of our Island, laid out his whole Patrimony in Puddings, and sent 'em to every Sea-port in the Kingdom.
Have you Physicians among you? We have, said I, Men of extensive Charity, great Humility, profound Learning, without the least Tincture of Vanity. They are so very conscientious, that shou'd they prescribe for a Patient, and he recover before he had taken all the Druggs brought in, they will pay for those which remain, out of their own Pockets. They never take a fee, but when they prescribe, tho' they visit you frequently, and never prescribe, without they see an absolute Necessity. They a modest, that they attribute the Recovery of a Person to divine Providence, and are ready to accuse themselves of Ignorance or Negligence should he die under their Hands.
Have you any Lawyers in your part of the World? Lawyers, said I, we have, but not more than necessary.
You have then, said my Lord, very few, or are a litigious People. What sort of Creatures are they? They are, said I, brought up many Years in the Study of the Laws, and pass a strict Examination, not only as to their Knowledge, but their Morals, before they are admitted to the Bar; which is the Reason, that we have no Tricks, no Delays, to weary and ruine the poor Client who has a Right, but no Money; they come directly to the Merits of the Cause, and never endeavour by their Rhetorick to put a fair Face on a bad one; and not one, if his Client does not deceive him, will appear on the Side of Oppression or Injustice; and if he is himself impos'd upon, when he perceives it, he will not defend the Wrong. This Care of examining into the Probity of the Students, and Candidates for the Bar, is the Reason our Lawyers are very near in as great Reputation as our Priests.
Do you know from what you have said, Probusomo, that I conclude your Statesmen Fools, and that you will soon fall a Prey to some other Nation; or you either very ignorant of your National Affairs, or a very great Lyar; or otherwise think me easily impos'd upon. I have been many Years at the Head of the Cacklogallinian Affairs, under our August Master, Hippomina Connuferento, Darling of the Sun, Delight of the Moon, Terror of the Universe, Gate of Happiness, Source of Honour, Disposer of Kingdoms, and High Priest of the Cacklogallinian Church. I have, I say, long, in Obedience to this Most Potent Prince, acted as Prime Minister, and to tell me, that such a one will baulk his Master's, or his own Interest, on the Score of Religion; nay, in his publick Capacity, that he believes one Word of it, or has Ears for Justice or Compassion, wou'd be the same thing as telling me, a Flatterer, in his Encomiums has a strict Eye to Truth, or that a Poet who writes in Praise of great Men, believes them really possess'd of the Virtues he attributes to 'em, and has no other View in his Epistle than that of edifying others, by shewing the bright Example of his Patrons. My Business now calls me to Court; the Emperor, as yet, has never heard of you: For whoever dares acquaint him with any thing, without my Permission, passes his Time very ill. To Morrow, I'll present you to His Majesty.
He left the Room, and I retired to my Apartment, where none cou'd come at me, but who pass'd thro' my Lord's, which was Death to do, or even to fly within Twenty Yards of his House, without Permission. Nay, the proudest among them, and those of the highest Rank alight at his Outer-gate, and walk into the House.
The next Morning my Lord came into my Apartment:
"Well, Probusomo, said he, I intend this Day to present you to his Imperial Majesty; and tho' you are of a Species hitherto unknown in our Parts of the World, and are, for that Reason, look'd upon as a kind of Monster, as perhaps one of us should be, were we to appear in your Nation, yet I have observ'd some Points of Discretion in your Behaviour, and I begin to have a Kindness for you, for which Reason I intend to instruct you how to demean your self; and if you are wise enough to act and be guided by the Counsels I shall prescribe to you, while you are at Court, I can, in spite of your awkard Form, get you naturalized, and then perhaps may prefer you to some Charge in the Government, considerable enough to enable you to pass the rest of your Days in Ease and Plenty.
"You that don't know what a Court is (proceeded he) should receive some Idea of it before you enter there. You must first be informed, that Emperors do not always trouble themselves with the Affairs of State; for they sometimes pass their whole Lives in a continued Round of indolent Pleasures, while their Favourites govern all. I don't doubt but you have already made your Observation upon the servile Crowd who attend my Motions, who wait upon my Commands, with an Obsequiousness that perhaps is not practised in your Parts of the World, betwixt Creatures of the same Species, yet many of them hate me, as I do them,—perhaps you'll think this strange; but when the secret Springs of this Attachment to my Interest come to unfold themselves to you, which will soon happen, by the Observations I see you are capable of making, your Admiration will cease. However, I shall be a little particular in explaining some Matters to you, that you may thereby be the better qualified to serve my Interest.
"You must then know, that all this assiduous Court is not paid to my Person, but to my Place. They know, that I not only hold the Reins of the Government in my Hands, but keep the publick Treasure under my own Eye, and that the Power of giving is only mine. It is not their Love, but their Avarice, that makes them thus obedient to my Nod; and the same Respect would be paid to the meanest of my Domesticks, were such a one put in my Place.
"Their Hatred to me proceeds from various Causes. In some it is Envy, because they think themselves affronted and injur'd by my great Rise, as knowing themselves to be of greater Consideration in their Country, and fancifying themselves themselves to be as well qualified by their Parts. Others again are out of Humour, because I do not comply with all their unreasonable Demands, their Luxury always keeping them necessitous. Some of these are such as have Parts enough to be troublesome; they are hard to be managed, and indeed are the most dangerous Creatures I have to deal with. There is a third Sort, who hate and oppose me, only because they love their Country, but these I don't much fear, for their Party is very weak at present.
"And since I am upon this Subject, I can't forbear observing to you, that were it not for the Luxury of some, and the Folly of others, I could never have stood my Ground so long, and executed those Measures which I have brought about; and happy it is for a Person in my Station (if he has any odd Measure in View) that many of the upper Rank should happen to be Fools; I have myself kept several Persons dancing Attendance after me, Year after Year, made them maintain in publick Assemblies, that Nine was more than Fifteen; that Black was White and a Hundred other things of equal Absurdity, only by promising to stick a parti-colour'd Feather in their Tails; and when this was done, it only made them the Scorn and Jest of every thing of good Sense: Yet it answered my Purpose, and did not hinder others of equal Folly from making Court for the same thing.
"Thus I have accounted with you why these People are subservient to me, while they hate me; but I have not given you the Reason on my Side for keeping up this Correspondence and Union with them, for whom I have as little Esteem as they can have for me. Then, in a Word it is, I can't do without them. This you'll easily comprehend when you understand the Nature of our Government; for you'll know, that this Power here is lodged in the many, not in the few: It is they who can abolish old Laws, and make new; the Power of Life and Death is in them, and from their Decrees there is no Appeal; and tho' I do all, and command all, nay, command even them, yet the Right is theirs, and they might exert it all times if they had Virtue enough to break off their Correspondence with me.
"Things being in this Situation, no doubt, you'll think my Establishment well fix'd; but I am not without my Fears and my Dangers, and there is no judging of the Power of one in my Station, by the Flattery that is paid him, for Flatterers take things frequently by outward Appearances; and notwithstanding my arbitrary manner of treating some Persons, my Safety is depending upon the Breath of others, and I am obliged to pay a more servile Court to some behind the Curtain, than is paid to me without.
"Those upon whom my Fate and Fortune depend, are the Squabbaws of the Court (the Reader is to understand, that this is a Name for certain Females, who are maintain'd for the Emperor's Luxury and Pleasure, and always sojourn at Court) and it is to their Avarice that I owe my Grandeur, as well as its Continuance so long. There was a Time, when I foolishly mistook my own Interest so far, as by my Conduct to give some Offence to these Squabbaws for which I suffered a severe Disgrace: I then endeavour'd to shelter my self among those who are stiled the Patriots, but they would neither receive me into their Counsels, nor put the least Trust in me. I had then Leisure to reflect on the Folly of this Conduct, and had Time to compute how much I was a Loser, by putting on the Mask of the Patriot and, I confess, it had such an Effect upon me, and gave me such an Aversion to Patriotism, that I could never prevail upon myself to do any thing for the publick Good ever since.
"I then immediately apply'd all my Thoughts towards making my Peace, and there fell out a Chain of lucky Incidents, which happily brought it about. One of these was the Death of several great Personages, who were too mighty for me at that time in Rank and Dignity, and whose Parts eclipsed mine in the Opinion of the Publick, tho' I always thought otherwise.
"Their Deaths were so sudden, that the Emperor was puzzled whom to chuse in their Places, (it being necessary they should soon be fill'd up) and he had but a very small Acquaintance among his People; so that he was under a kind of Necessity of throwing his Affairs into my Hands, I having the Reputation of being pretty well practised in certain Branches of his Revenues.
"I had Reason to suspect, that this new Preferment was not intended as a Favour, and that I was to continue no longer in this Station, than till some other Person more agreeable could be fix'd upon; but in order to improve the Opportunity, I apply'd my self strenuously to the Avarice of the Squabbaws, and gave with Prodigality; for I bore in Mind my former Miscarriages. This had all its Effect; they had never met with a Person so fit for their Purpose, and by these Arguments they began to be convinc'd, that if another should be preferr'd to my Place, they would be no Gainers by the Change.
"Since this good Understanding betwixt us, Matters have been so managed, that no Person has had Access to the Emperor, but thro' my Recommendation; so that my Enemies cannot fill his Ears with Complaints of my Administration; and whenever I observe any Person attempting to lay the State of Affairs before his Imperial Majesty, the Squabbaws, by my Instructions, are to insinuate into the royal Ear some Jealousies and Fears of that Person, that the Emperor may forbid his Admittance; so that he only sees with my Eyes, and hears by my Report.
"As this in a great Measure has render'd me safe against the Attempts of my Enemies, yet I can't deny but that it has encreas'd their Number, and furnish'd them with Matter to clamour against me; and these Clamours have possess'd the Publick with a kind of an Aversion to my Conduct, tho' they have not reach'd the Throne.
"But as it is not possible, but that the Officers of State belonging to a great Emperor, of which there must be many in Number, must sometimes have Opportunities of talking with him, I have taken Care to prevent any Danger from thence, by chusing for those Posts Birds of the weakest Capacities, altogether ignorant of the Affairs of the Empire; for one in a high Station, who makes the publick Interest subservient to his own, will never be safe, unless he takes Care, that no Creature who acts with him, shall have any Sense except himself. I am not the first who have laid this down as a Maxim; some of my Predecessors began to practise it, as a necessary Piece of Self-Defence. 'Tis true I have carried it a little further than they, and with greater Reason, because I have not forgot in how bad a Light I stood when Fowls of Parts sway'd the publick Counsels, with what Sagacity they saw thro' all my private Views and Designs, and with what Facility they brought about my Disgrace; and therefore, when I have discover'd in any of those concern'd with me in Business, a fine Discernment, and a Genius for great Affairs, I have from that Minute look'd upon such as dangerous, and for that Reason either procured their Disgrace, or under the Pretence of doing them Honour, prevail'd upon the Emperor to confer upon them the Government of some distant Province, where they are removed too far from the Imperial Counsels, to be able to do me any Harm.
"But to come nearer to my present Purpose; my Design of placing you at Court, is to serve as a Spy for me upon the Squabbaws; for my Enemies, who have tried in vain all other Means to overturn me, may perhaps at last attempt it that Way; and the Avarice of these Squabbaws, which has hitherto been my Support, may one Time or other (if I am not very vigilant) prove my Ruine. For if my Enemies should bribe them, to be privately introduced to confer with the Emperor, there is an End of my Reign; for I am not insensible, that his Imperial Majesty has no Personal Affection for me, and it is his own Ease and Indolence that hinders him from looking out for some other Servant to supply my Place; for Alterations cannot be made without some little Trouble.
"Be therefore vigilant for my Interest, as you value your own: Be always quick in your Intelligence, watch every Step and Motion of the Squabbaws, and acquaint me with every thing that passes in their most secret Transactions. Let me know who are their Advisers, their Favourites, their Companions; but above all, be quick in informing me, if any Person should be admitted to confer with the Emperor; and if possible, hear what is the Subject of their Discourse. Your grotesque Form may recommend you to the Squabbaws; for Animals sometimes become Favourites amongst us, only for the Oddness of their Figure. They will say or do any thing before you, because they will never imagine you capable of making any Remarks; for the Cacklogallinians have such a Notion, that no Creatures are endued with Reason like themselves.
"But it will be necessary to instruct you in the Manner of making your Address, when you enter the Court. You must remember then to pay your Compliments to the Squabbaws, before you do to the Emperor; and of these the Vultuaquilians claim the Precedence to those of our own Nation, particularly the bulkiest. It is the Praftice here to do so, for the Emperor, as to what regards himself, is no great Lover of Ceremony. The Form of addressing these Squabbaws has something in it very singular; but the servile Manners of the Cacklogallinians to those in any Power has made it necessary to be comply'd with, and is the Cause that they now expect it. You must make a low Obeisance to the Ground, at which time they will turn their Backsides upon you, and spreading all the Feathers of their Tails, give you an Opportunity of saluting them behind. You will see the Cacklogallinians of Figure and Rank pressing in, endeavouring who shall be first in kissing the Posteriors of these Squabbaws; and those upon whom they are graciously pleased to turn their Backsides, and spread their Tails, return highly satisfied, as if some extraordinary Honour had been conferr'd upon them; nay, I my self am obliged to do it in as obsequious a Manner as any other, every time I approach them."
When he had spoke these Words, a Servant came in to give him Notice, that the Coach was ready. He ordered me to put on my Mantle, and attend him: I did so, and he was pleased to do me the Honour to carry me with him in his Coach. In the Way, he discoursed me upon several Subjects. Among other things, it came into his Head to enquire of me, whether, in the Parts of the World from whence I came, there were any such things as Poets. I gave him to understand, that we had several who had been famous in my own Country. He desired to know what kind of Persons they were: I answered him, they were the faithful Registers of the glorious Actions of great Men, whose Praises they sung, in order to stir up others, by their Examples, to the Practice of Vertue, and Love of their Country; and that as it required a great Genius, and fine Understanding, to be a good Poet, they were, for that Reason, highly caressed by the Great, and their Works so well paid for, that it was as rare to see a Poet poor, as a Minister of State grow rich by his Employment. This I said, as well out of Regard to Truth, as for the Honour of my Country. He appeared pretty much surpriz'd at this Account of our Poets, and told me theirs were of a different Character, and met with a different Fate; for they were but little regarded by any great Birds, except the Vain and the Silly, who wanted a little Flattery, for which they paid some small Gratuity, while they wou'd not accept of them as Companions; for it was not fashionable for those of Figure to converse with any thing inferior to them in Wealth or Quality, which was reputed to have Sense: On the contrary, when they receiv'd such for Companions, it was upon the Account of their being either Buffoons or Pandars; and this he was pleased to say was the Fashion.