The Consolidator: or, Memoirs of Sundry Transactions From the World in the Moon.
Translated from the Lunar Language, By the Author of The True-born English Man.
It cannot be unknown to any that have travell'd into the Dominions of the Czar of Muscovy, that this famous rising Monarch, having studied all Methods for the Encrease of his Power, and the Enriching as well as Polishing his Subjects, has travell'd through most part of Europe, and visited the Courts of the greatest Princes; from whence, by his own Observation, as well as by carrying with him Artists in most useful Knowledge, he has transmitted most of our General Practice, especially in War and Trade, to his own Unpolite People; and the Effects of this Curiosity of his are exceeding visible in his present Proceedings; for by the Improvements he obtained in his European Travels, he has Modell'd his Armies, form'd new Fleets, settled Foreign Negoce in several remote Parts of the World; and we now see his Forces besieging strong Towns, with regular Approaches; and his Engineers raising Batteries, throwing Bombs, &c. like other Nations; whereas before, they had nothing of Order among them, but carried all by Ouslaught and Scalado, wherein they either prevailed by the Force of Irresistible Multitude, or were Slaughter'd by heaps, and left the Ditches of their Enemies fill'd with their Dead Bodies.
We see their Armies now form'd into regular Battalions; and their Strelitz Musqueteers, a People equivalent to the Turks Janizaries, cloath'd like our Guards, firing in Platoons, and behaving themselves with extraordinary Bravery and Order.
We see their Ships now compleatly fitted, built and furnish'd, by the English and Dutch Artists, and their Men of War Cruize in the Baltick. Their New City of Petersburgh built by the present Czar, begins now to look like our Portsmouth, fitted with Wet and Dry Docks, Storehouses, and Magazines of Naval Preparations, vast and Incredible; which may serve to remind us, how we once taught the French to build Ships, till they are grown able to teach us how to use them.
As to Trade, our large Fleets to Arch-Angel may speak for it, where we now send 100 Sail yearly, instead of 8 or 9, which were the greatest number we ever sent before; and the Importation of Tobaccoes from England into his Dominions, would still increase the Trade thither, was not the Covetousness of our own Merchants the Obstruction of their Advantages. But all this by the by.
As this great Monarch has Improved his Country, by introducing the Manners and Customs of the Politer Nations of Europe; so, with Indefatigable Industry, he has settled a new, but constant Trade, between his Country and China, by Land; where his Carravans go twice or thrice a Year, as Numerous almost, and as strong, as those from Egypt to Persia: Nor is the Way shorter, or the Desarts they pass over less wild and uninhabitable, only that they are not so subject to Flouds of Sand, if that Term be proper, or to Troops of Arabs, to destroy them by the way; for this powerful Prince, to make this terrible Journey feazible to his Subjects, has built Forts, planted Collonies and Garisons at proper Distances; where, though they are seated in Countries intirely Barren, and among uninhabited Rocks and Sands; yet, by his continual furnishing them from his own Stores, the Merchants travelling are reliev'd on good Terms, and meet both with Convoy and Refreshment.
More might be said of the admirable Decorations of this Journey, and how so prodigious an Attempt is made easy; so that now they have an exact Correspondence, and drive a prodigious Trade between Muscow and Tonquin; but having a longer Voyage in Hand, I shall not detain the Reader, nor keep him till he grows too big with Expectation.
Now, as all Men know the Chineses are an Ancient, Wise, Polite, and most Ingenious People; so the Muscovites begun to reap the Benefit of this open Trade; and not only to grow exceeding Rich by the bartering for all the Wealth of those Eastern Countries; but to polish and refine their Customs and Manners, as much on that side as they have from their European Improvements on this.
And as the Chineses have many sorts of Learning which these Parts of the World never heard of, so all those useful Inventions which we admire ourselves so much for, are vulgar and common with them, and were in use long before our Parts of the World were Inhabited. Thus Gun-powder, Printing, and the use of the Magnet and Compass, which we call Modern Inventions, are not only far from being Inventions, but fall so far short of the Perfection of Art they have attained to, that it is hardly Credible, what wonderful things we are told of from thence, and all the Voyages the Author has made thither being imploy'd another way, have not yet furnish'd him with the Particulars fully enough to transmit them to view; not but that he is preparing a Scheme of all those excellent Arts those Nations are Masters of, for publick View, by way of Detection of the monstrous Ignorance and Deficiencies of European Science; which may serve as a Lexicon Technicum for this present Age, with useful Diagrams for that purpose; wherein I shall not fail to acqaint the World, 1. With the Art of Gunnery, as Practis'd in China long before the War of the Giants, and by which those Presumptuous Animals fired Red-hot Bullets right up into Heaven, and made a Breach sufficient to encourage them to a General Storm; but being Repulsed with great Slaughter, they gave over the Siege for that time. This memorable part of History shall be a faithful Abridgement of Ibra chizra-le-peglizar, Historiagrapher-Royal to the Emperor of China, who wrote Anno Mundi 114. his Volumes extant, in the Publick Library at Tonquin, Printed in Leaves of Vitrify'd Diamond, by an admirable Dexterity, struck all at an oblique Motion, the Engine remaining intire, and still fit for use, in the Chamber of the Emperor's Rarities.
And here I shall give you a Draft of the Engine it self, and a Plan of its Operation, and the wonderful Dexterity of its Performance.
If these Labours of mine shall prove successful, I may in my next Journey that way, take an Abstract of their most admirable Tracts in Navigation, and the Mysteries of Chinese Mathematicks; which out-do all Modern Invention at that Rate, that 'tis Inconceivable: In this Elaborate Work I must run thro' the 365 Volumes of Augro-machi-lanquaro-zi, the most ancient Mathematician in all China: From thence I shall give a Description of a Fleet of Ships of 100000 Sail, built at the Expence of the Emperor Tangro the 15th; who having Notice of the General Deluge, prepar'd these Vessels, to every City and Town in his Dominions One, and in Bulk proportion'd to the number of its Inhabitants; into which Vessel all the People, with such Moveables as they thought fit to save, and with 120 Days Provisions, were receiv'd at the time of the Floud; and the rest of their Goods being put into great Vessels made of China Ware, and fast luted down on the top, were preserv'd unhurt by the Water: These Ships they furnish'd with 600 Fathom of Chain instead of Cables; which being fastned by wonderful Arts to the Earth, every Vessel rid out the Deluge just at the Town's end; so that when the Waters abated, the People had nothing to do, but to open the Doors made in the Ship-sides, and come out, repair their Houses, open the great China Pots their Goods were in, and so put themselves in Statu Quo.
The Draft of one of these Ships I may perhaps obtain by my Interest in the present Emperor's Court, as it has been preserv'd ever since, and constantly repair'd, riding at Anchor in a great Lake, about 100 Miles from Tonquin; in which all the People of that City were preferv'd, amounting by their Computation to about a Million and half.
And as these things must be very useful in these Parts, to abate the Pride and Arrogance of our Modern Undertakers of great Enterprizes, Authors of strange Foreign Accounts, Philosophical Transactions, and the like; if Time and Opportunity permit, I may let them know, how Infinitely we are out-done by those refined Nations, in all manner of Mechanick Improvements and Arts; and in discoursing of this, it will necessarily come in my way to speak of a most Noble Invention, being an Engine I would recommend to all People to whom 'tis necessary to have a good Memory; and which I design, if possible, to obtain a Draft of, that it may be Erected in our Royal Societies Laboratory: It has the wonderfullest Operations in the World: One part of it furnishes a Man of Business to dispatch his Affairs strangely; for if he be a Merchant, he shall write his Letters with one Hand, and Copy them with the other; if he is posting his Books, he shall post the Debtor side with one Hand, and the Creditor with the other; if he be a Lawyer, he draws his Drafts with one Hand, and Ingrosses them with the other.
Another part of it furnishes him with such an Expeditious way of Writing, or Transcribing, that a Man cannot speak so fast, but he that hears shall have it down in Writing before 'tis spoken; and a Preacher shall deliver himself to his Auditory, and having this Engine before him, shall put down every thing he says in Writing at the same time; and so exactly is this Engine squar'd by Lines and Rules, that it does not require him that Writes to keep his Eye upon it.
I am told, in some Parts of China, they had arriv'd to such a Perfection of Knowledge, as to understand one anothers Thoughts; and that it was found to be an excellent Preservative to humane Society, against all sorts of Frauds, Cheats, Sharping, and many Thousand European Inventions of that Nature, at which only we can be said to out-do those Nations.
I confess, I have not yet had leisure to travel those Parts, having been diverted by an accidental Opportunity of a new Voyage I had occasion to make for farther Discoveries, and which the Pleasure and Usefulness thereof having been very great, I have omitted the other for the present, but shall not fail to make a Visit to those Parts the first Opportunity, and shall give my Country-men the best Account I can of those things; for I doubt not in Time to bring our Nation, so fam'd for improving other People's Discoveries, to be as wise as any of those Heathen Nations; I wish I had the same Prospect of making them half so honest.
I had spent but a few Months in this Country, but my search after the Prodigy of humane Knowledge the People abounds with, led me into Acquaintance with some of their principal Artists, Engineers, and Men of Letters; and I was astonish'd at every Day's Discovery of new and of unheard-of Worlds of Learning; but I Improv'd in the Superficial Knowledge of their General, by no body so much as by my Conversation with the Library-keeper of Tonquin, by whom I had Admission into the vast Collection of Books, which the Emperors of that Country have treasur'd up.
It would be endless to give you a Catalogue, and they admit of no Strangers to write any thing down, but what the Memory can retain, you are welcome to carry away with you; and amongst the wonderful Volumes of Antient and Modern Learning, I could not but take Notice of a few; which, besides those I mentioned before, I saw, when I lookt over this vast Collection; and a larger Account may be given in our next.
It would be needless to Transcribe the Chinese Character, or to put their Alphabet into our Letters, because the Words would be both Unintelligible, and very hard to Pronounce; and therefore, to avoid hard Words, and Hyroglyphicks, I'll translate them as well as I can.
The first Class I came to of Books, was the Constitutions of the Empire; these are vast great Volumes, and have a sort of Engine like our Magna Charta, to remove 'em, and with placing them in a Frame, by turning a Screw, open'd the Leaves, and folded them this way, or that, as the Reader desires. It was present Death for the Library-keeper to refuse the meanest Chinese Subject to come in and read them; for 'tis their Maxim, That all People ought to know the Laws by which they are to be govern'd; and as above all People, we find no Fools in this Country, so the Emperors, though they seem to be Arbitrary, enjoy the greatest Authority in the World, by always observing, with the greatest Exactness, the Pacta Conventa of their Government: From these Principles it is impossible we should ever hear, either of the Tyranny of Princes, or Rebellion of Subjects, in all their Histories.
At the Entrance into this Class, you find some Ancient Comments, upon the Constitution of the Empire, written many Ages before we pretend the World began; but above all, One I took particular notice of, which might bear this Title, Natural Right prov'd Superior to Temporal Power; wherein the old Author proves, the Chinese Emperors were Originally made so, by Nature's directing the People, to place the Power of Government in the most worthy Person they could find; and the Author giving a most exact History of 2000 Emperors, brings them into about 35 or 36 Periods of Lines when the Race ended; and when a Collective Assembly of the Nobles, Cities, and People, Nominated a new Family to the Goverment.
This being an heretical Book as to European Politicks, and our Learned Authors having long since exploded this Doctrine, and prov'd that Kings and Emperors came down from Heaven with Crowns on their Heads, and all their Subjects were born with Saddles on their Backs; I thought fit to leave it where I found it, least our excellent Tracts of Sir Robert Filmer, Dr. Hammond L...y, S....l, and Others, who have so learnedly treated of the more useful Doctrine of Passive Obedience, Divine Right, &c. should be blasphem'd by the Mob, grow into Contempt of the People; and they should take upon them to question their Superiors for the Blood of Algernon Sidney, and Argyle.
For I take the Doctrines of Passive Obedience, &c. among the States-men, to be like the Copernican System of the Earths Motion among Philosophers; which, though it be contrary to all antient Knowledge, and not capable of Demonstration, yet is adher'd to in general, because by this they can better solve, and give a more rational Account of several dark Phanomena in Nature, than they could before.
Thus our Modern States-men approve of this Scheme of Government; not that it admits of any rational Defence, much less of Demonstration, but because by this Method they can the better explain, as well as defend, all Coertion in Cases invasive of Natural Right, than they could before.
Here I found two famous Volumes in Chyrurgery, being an exact Description of the Circulation of the Blood, discovered long before King Solomon's Allegory of the Bucket's going to the Well; with several curious Methods by which the Demonstration was to be made so plain, as would make even the worthy Doctor B——— himself become a Convert to his own Eye-sight, make him damn his own Elaborate Book, and think it worse Nonsence than ever the Town had the Freedom to imagine.
All our Philosophers are Fools, and their Transactions a parcel of empty Stuff, to the Experiments of the Royal Societies in this Country. Here I came to a Learned Tract of Winds, which outdoes even the Sacred Text, and would make us believe it was not wrote to those People; for they tell Folks whence it comes, and whither it goes. There you have an Account how to make Glasses of Hogs Eyes, that can see the Wind; and they give strange Accounts both of its regular and irregular Motions, its Compositions and Quantities; from whence, by a sort of Algebra, they can cast up its Duration, Violence, and Extent: In these Calculations, some say, those Authors have been so exact, that they can, as our Philosophers say of Comets, state their Revolutions, and tell us how many Storms there shall happen to any Period of time, and when; and perhaps this may be with much about the same Truth.
It was a certain Sign Aristotle had never been at China; for, had he seen the 216th Volume of the Chinese Navigation, in the Library I am speaking of, a large Book in Double Folio, wrote by the Famous Mira-cho-cho-lasmo, Vice-Admiral of China, and said to be printed there about 2000 Years before the Deluge, in the Chapter of Tides he would have seen the Reason of all the certain and uncertain Fluxes and Refluxes of that Element, how the exact Pace is kept between the Moon and the Tides, with a most elaborate Discourse there, of the Power of Sympathy, and the manner how the heavenly Bodies Influence the Earthly: Had he seen this, the Stagyrite would never have Drowned himself, because he could not comprehend this Mystery.
'Tis farther related of this Famous Author, that he was no Native of this World, but was Born in the Moon, and coming hither to make Discoveries, by a strange Invention arrived to by the Virtuosoes of that habitable World, the Emperor of China prevailed with him to stay and improve his Subjects, in the most exquisite Accomplishments of those Lunar Regions; and no wonder the Chinese are such exquisite Artists, and Masters of such sublime Knowledge, when this Famous Author has blest them with such unaccountable Methods of Improvement.
There was abundance of vast Classes full of the Works of this wonderful Philosopher: He gave the how, the modus of all the secret Operations of Nature; and told us, how Sensation is convey'd to and from the Brain; why Respiration preserves Life; and how Locomotion is directed to, as well as perform'd by the Parts. There are some Anatomical Dissections of Thought, and a Mathematical Description of Nature's strong Box, the Memory, with all its Locks and Keys.
There you have that part of the Head turn'd in-side outward, in which Nature has placed the Materials of reflecting; and like a Glass Bee-hive, represents to you all the several Cells in which are lodg'd things past, even back to Infancy and Conception. There you have the Repository, with all its Cells, Classically, Annually, Numerically, and Alphabetically Dispos'd. There you may see how, when the perplext Animal, on the loss of a Thought or Word, scratches his Pole: Every Attack of his Invading Fingers knocks at Nature's Door, allarms all the Register-keepers, and away they run, unlock all the Classes, search diligently for what he calls for, and immediately deliver it up to the Brain; if it cannot be found, they intreat a little Patience, till they step into the Revolvary, where they run over little Catalogues of the minutest Passages of Life, and so in time never fail to hand on the thing; if not just when he calls for it, yet at some other time.
And thus, when a thing lyes very Abstruse, and all the rumaging of the whole House cannot find it; nay, when all the People in the House have given it over, they very often find one thing when they are looking for another.
Next you have the Retentive in the remotest part of the Place, which, like the Records in the Tower, takes Possession of all Matters, as they are removed from the Classes in the Repository, for want of room. These are carefully Lockt, and kept safe, never to be open'd but upon solemn Occasions, and have swinging great Bars and Bolts upon them; so that what is kept here, is seldom lost. Here Conscience has one large Ware-house, and the Devil another; the first is very seldom open'd, but has a Chink or Till, where all the Follies and Crimes of Life being minuted are dropt in; but as the Man seldom cares to look in, the Locks are very Rusty, and not open'd but with great Difficulty, and on extraordinary Occasions, as Sickness, Afflictions, Jails, Casualties, and Death; and then the Bars all give way at once; and being prest from within with a more than ordinary Weight, burst as a Cask of Wine upon the Fret, which for want of Vent, makes all the Hoops fly.
As for the Devil's Ware-house, he has two constant Warehouse-keepers, Pride and Conceit, and these are always at the Door, showing their Wares, and exposing the pretended Vertues and Accomplishments of the Man, by way of Ostentation.
In the middle of this curious part of Nature, there is a clear Thorough-fare, representing the World, through which so many Thousand People pass so easily, and do so little worth taking notice of, that 'tis for no manner of Signification to leave Word they have been here. Thro' this Opening pass Millions of things not worth remembring, and which the Register-Keepers, who stand at the Doors of the Classes, as they go by, take no notice of; such as Friendships, helps in Distress, Kindnesses in Affliction, Voluntary Services, and all sorts of Importunate Merit; things which being but Trifles in their own Nature, are made to be forgotten.
In another Angle is to be seen the Memory's Garden, in which her most pleasant things are not only Deposited, but Planted, Transplanted, Grafted, Inoculated, and obtain all possible Propagation and Encrease; these are the most pleasant, delightful, and agreeable things, call'd Envy, Slander, Revenge, Strife and Malice, with the Additions of Ill-turns, Reproaches, and all manner of Wrong; these are caressed in the Cabinet of the Memory, with a World of Pleasure never let pass, and carefully Cultivated with all imaginable Art.
There are multitudes of Weeds, Toys, Chat, Story, Fiction, and Lying, which in the great throng of passant Affairs, stop by the way, and crowding up the Place, leave no room for their Betters that come behind, which makes many a good Guess be put by, and left to go clear thro' for want of Entertainment.
There are a multitude of things very curious and observable, concerning this little, but very accurate thing, called Memory; but above all, I see nothing so very curious, as the wonderful Art of Wilful Forgetfulness; and as 'tis a thing, indeed, I never could find any Person compleatly Master of, it pleased me very much, to find this Author has made a large Essay, to prove there is really no such Power in Nature; and that the Pretenders to it are all Impostors, and put a Banter upon the World; for that it is impossible for any Man to oblige himself to forget a thing, since he that can remember to forget, and at the same time forget to remember, has an Art above the Devil.
In his Laboratory you see a Fancy preserv'd a la Mummy, several Thousand Years old; by examining which you may perfectly discern, how Nature makes a Poet: Another you have taken from a meer Natural, which discovers the Reasons of Nature's Negative in the Case of humane Understanding; what Deprivation of Parts She suffers, in the Composition of a Coxcomb; and with what wonderful Art She prepares a Man to be a Fool.
Here being the product of this Author's wonderful Skill, you have the Skeleton of a Wit, with all the Readings of Philosophy and Chyrurgery upon the Parts: Here you see all the Lines Nature has drawn to form a Genius, how it performs, and from what Principles.
Also you are Instructed to know the true reason of the Affinity between Poetry and Poverty; and that it is equally derived from what's Natural and Intrinsick, as from Accident and Circumstance; how the World being always full of Fools and Knaves, Wit is sure to miss of a good Market; especially, if Wit and Truth happen to come in Company; for the Fools don't understand it, and the Knaves can't bear it.
But still 'tis own'd, and is most apparent, there is something also Natural in the Case too, since there are some particular Vessels Nature thinks necessary, to the more exact Composition of this nice thing call'd a Wit, which as they are, or are not Interrupted in the peculiar Offices for which they are appointed, are subject to various Distempers, and more particularly to Effluxions and Vapour, Diliriums Giddiness of the Brain, and Lapsa, or Looseness of the Tongue; and as these Distempers, occasion'd by the exceeding quantity of Volatiles, Nature is obliged to make use of in the Composition, are hardly to be avoided, the Disasters which generally they push the Animal into, are as necessarily consequent to them as Night is to the Setting of the Sun; and these are very many, as disobliging Parents, who have frequently in this Country whipt their Sons for making Verses; and here I could not but reflect how useful a Discipline early Correction must be to a Poet; and how easy the Town had been had N—-t, E—-w, T. B—- P—-s, D— S— D—-fy, and an Hundred more of the jingling Train of our modern Rhymers, been Whipt young, very young, for Poetasting, they had never perhaps suckt in that Venome of Ribaldry, which all the Satyr of the Age has never been able to scourge out of them to this Day.
The further fatal Consequences of these unhappy Defects in Nature, where she has damn'd a Man to Wit and Rhyme, has been loss of Inheritance, Parents being aggravated by the obstinate young Beaus, resolving to be Wits in spight of Nature, the wiser Head has been obliged to Confederate with Nature, and with-hold the Birth-right of Brains, which otherwise the young Gentleman might have enjoy'd, to the great support of his Family and Posterity. Thus the famous Waller, Denham, Dryden, and sundry Others, were oblig'd to condemn their Race to Lunacy and Blockheadism, only to prevent the fatal Destruction of their Families, and entailing the Plague of Wit and Weathercocks upon their Posterity.
The yet farther Extravagancies which naturally attend the Mischief of Wit, are Beau-ism, Dogmaticality, Whimsification, Impudensity, and various kinds of Fopperosities (according to Mr. Boyl,) which issuing out of the Brain, descend into all the Faculties, and branch themselves by infinite Variety, into all the Actions of Life.
These by Conseqence, Beggar the Head, the Tail, the Purse, and the whole Man, till he becomes as poor and despicable as Negative Nature can leave him, abandon'd of his Sense, his Manners, his Modesty, and what's worse, his Money, having nothing left but his Poetry, dies in a Ditch, or a Garret, A-la-mode de Tom Brown, uttering Rhymes and Nonsence to the last Moment.
In Pity to all my unhappy Brethren, who suffer under these Inconveniencies, I cannot but leave it on Record, that they may not be reproached with being Agents of their own Misfortunes, since I assure them, Nature has form'd them with the very Necessity of acting like Coxcombs, fixt upon them by the force of Organick Consequences, and placed down at the very Original Effusion of that fatal thing call'd Wit.
Nor is the Discovery less wonderful than edifying, and no humane Art on our side the World ever found out such a Sympathetick Influence, between the Extreams of Wit and Folly, till this great Lunarian Naturalist furnisht us with such unheard-of Demonstrations.
Nor is this all I learnt from him, tho' I cannot part with this, till I have publisht a Memento Mori, and told 'em what I had discovered of Nature in these remote Parts of the World, from whence I take the Freedom to tell these Gentlemen, That if they please to Travel to these distant Parts, and examine this great Master of Nature's Secrets, they may every Man see what cross Strokes Nature has struck, to finish and form every extravagant Species of that Heterogenious Kind we call Wit.
There C—- S—- may be inform'd how he comes to be very Witty, and a Mad-man all at once; and P—-r may see, That with less Brains and more P—x he is more a Wit and more a Mad-man than the Coll. Ad—-son may tell his Master my Lord —— the reason from Nature, why he would not take the Court's Word, nor write the Poem call'd, The Campaign, till he had 200 l. per Annum secur'd to him; since 'tis known they have but one Author in the Nation that writes for 'em for nothing, and he is labouring very hard to obtain the Title of Blockhead, and not be paid for it: Here D. might understand, how he came to be able to banter all Mankind, and yet all Mankind be able to banter him; at the fame time our numerous throng of Parnassians may see Reasons for the variety of the Negative and Positive Blessings they enjoy; some for having Wit and no Verse, some Verse and no Wit, some Mirth without Jest, some Jest without Fore-cast, some Rhyme and no Jingle, some all Jingle and no Rhyme, some Language without measure; some all Quantity and no Cudence, some all Wit and no Sence, some all Sence and no Flame, some Preach in Rhyme, some sing when they Preach, some all Song and no Tune, some all Tune and no Song; all these Unaccountables have their Originals, and can be answer'd for in unerring Nature, tho' in our out-side Guesses we can say little to it. Here is to be seen, why some are all Nature, some all Art; some beat Verse out of the Twenty-four rough Letters, with Ten Hammers and Anvils to every Line, and maul the Language as a Swede beats Stock-Fish; Others buff Nature, and bully her out of whole Stanza's of ready-made Lines at a time, carry all before them, and rumble like distant Thunder in a black Cloud: Thus Degrees and Capacities are fitted by Nature, according to Organick Efficacy; and the Reason and Nature of Things are found in themselves: Had D—-y seen his own Draft by this Light of Chinese Knowledge, he might have known he should be a Coxcomb without writing Twenty-two Plays, to stand as so many Records against him. Dryden might have told his Fate, that having his extraordinary Genius flung and pitcht upon a Swivle, it would certainly turn round as fast as the Times, and instruct him how to write Elegies to O. C. and King C. the Second, with all the Coherence imaginable; how to write Religio Laicy, and the Hind and Panther, and yet be the same Man, every Day to change his Principle, change his Religion, change his Coat, change his Master, and yet never change his Nature.
There are abundance of other Secrets in Nature discover'd in relation to these things, too many to repeat, and yet too useful to omit, as the reason why Phisicians are generally Atheists; and why Atheists are universally Fools, and generally live to know it themselves, the real Obstructions, which prevent fools being mad, all the Natural Causes of Love, abundance of Demonstrations of the Synonimous Nature of Love and Leachery, especially consider'd a la Modern, with an absolute Specifick for the Frenzy of Love, found out in the Constitution, Anglice, a Halter.
It would be endless to reckon up the numerous Improvements, and wonderful Discoveries this extraordinary Person has brought down, and which are to be seen in his curious Chamber of Rarities.
Particularly, a Map of Parnassus, with an exact Delineation of all the Cells, Apartments, Palaces and Dungeons, of that most famous Mountain; with a Description of its Heighth, and a learned Dissertation, proving it to be the properest Place next to the P—-e House to take a Rise at, for a flight to the World in the Moon.
Also some Enquiries, whether Noah's Ark did not first rest upon it; and this might be one of the Summits of Ararat, with some Confutations of the gross and palpable Errors, which place this extraordinary Skill among the Mountains of the Moon in Africa.
Also you have here a Muse calcin'd, a little of the Powder of which given to a Woman big with Child, if it be a Boy it will be a Poet, if a Girl she'll be a Whore, if an Hermaphrodite it will be Lunatick.
Strange things, they tell us, have been done with this calcin'd Womb of Imagination; if the Body it came from was a Lyrick Poet, the Child will be a Beau, or a Beauty; if an Heroick Poet, he will be a Bulley; if his Talent was Satyr, he'll be a Philosopher.
Another Muse they tell us, they have dissolv'd into a Liquid, and kept with wondrous Art, the Vertues of which are Soveraign against Ideotism, Dullness, and all sorts of Lethargick Diseases; but if given in too great a quantity, creates Poesy, Poverty, Lunacy, and the Devil in the Head ever after.
I confess, I always thought these Muses strange intoxicating things, and have heard much talk of their Original, but never was acquainted with their Vertue a la Simple before; however, I would always advise People against too large a Dose of Wit, and think the Physician must be a Mad-man that will venture to prescribe it.
As all these noble Acquirements came down with this wonderful Man from the World in the Moon, it furnisht me with these useful Observations.
1. That Country must needs be a Place of strange Perfection, in all parts of extraordinary Knowledge.
2. How useful a thing it would be for most sorts of our People, especially Statesmen, P——t-men, Convocation-men, Phylosophers, Physicians, Quacks, Mountebanks, Stock-jobbers, and all the Mob of the Nation's Civil or Ecclesiastical Bone-setters, together with some Men of the Law, some of the Sword, and all of the Pen: I say, how useful and improving a thing it must be to them, to take a Journey up to the World in the Moon; but above all, how much more beneficial it would be to them that stay'd behind.
3. That it is not to be wonder'd at, why the Chinese excell so much all these Parts of the World, since but for that Knowledge which comes down to them from the World in the Moon, they would be like other People.
4. No Man need to Wonder at my exceeding desire to go up to the World in the Moon, having heard of such extraordinary Knowledge to be obtained there, since in the search of Knowledge and Truth, wiser Men than I have taken as unwarrantable Flights, and gone a great deal higher than the Moon, into a strange Abbyss of dark Phanomena, which they neither could make other People understand, nor ever rightly understood themselves, witness Malbranch, Mr. Lock, Hobbs, the Honourable Boyle and a great many others, besides Messieurs Norris, Asgil, Coward, and the Tale of a Tub.
This great Searcher into Nature has, besides all this, left wonderful Discoveries and Experiments behind him; but I was with nothing more exceedingly diverted, than with his various Engines, and curious Contrivances, to go to and from his own Native Country the Moon. All our Mechanick Motions of Bishop Wilkins, or the artificial Wings of the Learned Spaniard, who could have taught God Almighty how to have mended the Creation, are Fools to this Gentleman; and because no Man in China has made more Voyages up into the Moon than my self, I cannot but give you some Account of the easyness of the Passage, as well as of the Country.
Nor are his wonderful Tellescopes of a mean Quality, by which such plain Discoveries are made, of the Lands and Seas in the Moon, and in all the habitable Planets, that one may as plainly fee what a Clock it is by one of the Dials in the Moon, as if it were no farther off than Windsor-Castle; and had he liv'd to finish the Speaking-trumpet which he had contriv'd to convey Sound thither, Harlequin's Mock-Trumpet had been a Fool to it; and it had no doubt been an admirable Experiment, to have given us a general Advantage from all their acquir'd Knowledge in those Regions, where no doubt several useful Discoveries are daily made by the Men of Thought for the Improvement of all sorts of humane Understanding, and to have discoursed with them on those things, must have been very pleasant, besides, its being very much to our particular Advantage.
I confess, I have thought it might have been very useful to this Nation, to have brought so wonderful an Invention hither, and I was once very desirous to have set up my rest here, and for the Benefit of my Native Country, have made my self Master of these Engines, that I might in due time have convey'd them to our Royal Society, that once in 40 Years they might have been said to do something for Publick Good; and that the Reputation and Usefulness of the so so's might be recover'd in England; but being told that in the Moon there were many of these Glasses to be had very cheap, and I having declar'd my Resolution of undertaking a Voyage thither, I deferred my Design, and shall defer my treating of them, till I give some Account of my Arrival there.
But above all his Inventions for making this Voyage, I saw none more pleasant or profitable, than a certain Engine formed in the shape of a Chariot, on the Backs of two vast Bodies with extended Wings, which spread about 50 Yards in Breadth, compos'd of Feathers so nicely put together, that no Air could pass; and as the Bodies were made of Lunar Earth which would bear the Fire, the Cavities were fill'd with an Ambient Flame, which fed on a certain Spirit deposited in a proper quantity, to last out the Voyage; and this Fire so order'd as to move about such Springs and Wheels as kept the Wings in a most exact and regular Motion, always ascendant; thus the Person being placed in this airy Chariot, drinks a certain dozing Draught, that throws him into a gentle Slumber, and Dreaming all the way, never wakes till he comes to his Journey's end.
Of the Consolidator.
These Engines are call'd in their Country Language, Dupekasses; and according to the Ancient Chinese, or Tartarian, Apezolanthukanistes; in English, a Consolidator.
The Composition of this Engine is very admirable; for, as is before noted, 'tis all made up of Feathers, and the quality of the Feathers, is no less wonderful than their Composition; and therefore, I hope the Reader will bear with the Description for the sake of the Novelty, since I assure him such things as these are not to be seen in every Country.
The number of Feathers are just 513, they are all of a length and breadth exactly, which is absolutely necessary to the floating Figure, or else one side or any one part being wider or longer than the rest, it would interrupt the motion of the whole Engine; only there is one extraordinary Feather which, as there is an odd one in the number, is placed in the Center, and is the Handle, or rather Rudder to the whole Machine: This Feather is every way larger than its Fellows, 'tis almost as long and broad again; but above all, its Quill or Head is much larger, and it has as it were several small bushing Feathers round the bottom of it, which all make but one presiding or superintendent Feather, to guide, regulate, and pilot the whole Body.
Nor are these common Feathers, but they are pickt and cull'd out of all parts of the Lunar Country, by the Command of the Prince; and every Province sends up the best they can find, or ought to do so at least, or else they are very much to blame; for the Employment they are put to being of so great use to the Publick, and the Voyage or Flight so exceeding high, it would be very ill done if, when the King sends his Letters about the Nation, to pick him up the best Feathers they can lay their Hands on, they should send weak, decay'd, or half-grown Feathers, and yet sometimes it happens so; and once there was such rotten Feathers collected, whether it was a bad Year for Feathers, or whether the People that gather'd them had a mind to abuse their King; but the Feathers were so bad, the Engine was good for nothing, but broke before it was got half way; and by a double Misfortune, this happen'd to be at an unlucky time, when the King himself had resolv'd on a Voyage, or Flight to to the Moon; but being deceiv'd, by the unhappy Miscarriage of the deficient Feathers, he fell down from so great a height, that he struck himself against his own Palace, and beat his Head off.
Nor had the Sons of this Prince much better Success, tho' the first of them was a Prince mightily belov'd by his Subjects; but his Misfortunes chiefly proceeded from his having made use of one of the Engines so very long, that the Feathers were quite worn out, and good for nothing: He used to make a great many Voyages and Flights into the Moon, and then would make his Subjects give him great Sums of Money to come down to them again; and yet they were so fond of him, That they always complyed with him, and would give him every thing he askt, rather than to be without him: But they grew wiser since.
At last, this Prince used his Engine so long, it could hold together no longer; and being obliged to write to his Subjects to pick him out some new Feathers, they did so; but withall sent him such strong Feathers, and so stiff, that when he had placed 'em in their proper places, and made a very beautiful Engine, it was too heavy for him to manage: He made a great many Essays at it, and had it placed on the top of an old Idol Chappel, dedicated to an old Bramyn Saint of those Countries, called, Phantosteinaschap; in Latin, chap. de Saint Stephano; or in English, St. Stephen's: Here the Prince try'd all possible Contrivances, and a vast deal of Money it cost him; but the Feathers were so stiff they would not work, and the Fire within was so choaked and smother'd with its own Smoak, for want of due Vent and Circulation, that it would not burn; so he was oblig'd to take it down again; and from thence he carried it to his College of Bramyn Priests, and set it up in one of their Publick Buildings: There he drew Circles of Ethicks and Politicks, and fell to casting of Figures and Conjuring, but all would not do, the Feathers could not be brought to move; and, indeed, I have observ'd, That these Engines are seldom helpt by Art and Contrivance; there is no way with them, but to have the People spoke to, to get good Feathers; and they are easily placed, and perform all the several Motions with the greatest Ease and Accuracy imaginable; but it must be all Nature; any thing of Force distorts and dislocates them, and the whole Order is spoiled; and if there be but one Feather out of place, or pincht, or stands wrong, the D—-l would not ride in the Chariot.
The Prince thus finding his Labour in vain, broke the Engine to pieces, and sent his Subjects Word what bad Feathers they had sent him: But the People, who knew it was his own want of Management, and that the Feathers were good enough, only a little stiff at first, and with good Usage would have been brought to be fit for use, took it ill, and never would send him any other as long as he liv'd: However, it had this good effect upon him, That he never made any more Voyages to the Moon as long as he reign'd.
His Brother succeeded him; and truly he was resolved upon a Voyage to the Moon, as soon as ever he came to the Crown. He had met with some unkind Usage from the Religious Lunesses of his own Country; and he turn'd Abogratziarian, a zealous fiery Sect something like our Anti-every-body-arians in England. 'Tis confest, some of the Bramyns of his Country were very false to him, put him upon several Ways of extending his Power over his Subjects, contrary to the Customs of the People, and contrary to his own Interest; and when the People expressed their Dislike of it, he thought to have been supported by those Clergy-men; but they failed him, and made good, that Old English Verse;
That Priests of all Religions are the same.
He took this so hainously, that he conceiv'd a just Hatred against those that had deceiv'd him; and as Resentments seldom keep Rules, unhappily entertain'd Prejudices against all the rest; and not finding it easy to bring all his Designs to pass better, he resolved upon a Voyage to the Moon.
Accordingly, he sends a Summons to all his People according to Custom, to collect the usual quantity of Feathers for that purpose; and because he would be sure not be used as his Brother and Father had been, he took care to send certain Cunning-men Express, all over the Country, to bespeak the People's Care, in collecting, picking and culling them out, these were call'd in their Language, Tsopablesdetoo; which being Translated may signify in English, Men of Zeal, or Booted Apostles: Nor was this the only Caution this Prince used; for he took care, as the Feathers were sent up to him, to search and examine them one by one in his own Closet, to see if they were fit for his purpose; but, alas! he found himself in his Brother's Case exactly; and perceived, That his Subjects were generally disgusted at his former Conduct, about Abrogratzianism, and such things, and particularly set in a Flame by some of their Priests, call'd, Dullobardians, or Passive-Obedience-men, who had lately turn'd their Tale, and their Tail too upon their own Princes; and upon this, he laid aside any more Thoughts of the Engine, but took up a desperate and implacable Resolution, viz. to fly up to the Moon without it; in order to this, abundance of his Cunning-men were summon'd together to assist him, strange Engines contriv'd, and Methods propos'd; and a great many came from all Parts, to furnish him with Inventions and equivalent for their Journey; but all were so preposterous and ridiculous, that his Subjects seeing him going on to ruin himself, and by Consequence them too, unanimously took Arms; and if their Prince had not made his Escape into a foreign Country, 'tis thought they would have secur'd him for a Mad-man.
And here 'tis observable, That as it is in most such Cases, the mad Councellors of this Prince, when the People begun to gather about him, fled; and every one shifted for themselves; nay, and some of them plunder'd him first of his Jewels and Treasure, and never were heard of since.
From this Prince none of the Kings or Government of that Country have ever seem'd to incline to the hazardous Attempt of the Voyage to the Moon, at least not in such a hair-brain'd manner.
However, the Engine has been very accurately Re-built and finish'd; and the People are now oblig'd by a Law, to send up new Feathers every three Years, to prevent the Mischiefs which happen'd by that Prince aforesaid, keeping one Set so long that it was dangerous to venture with them; and thus the Engine is preserved fit for use.
And yet has not this Engine been without its continual Disasters, and often out of repair; for though the Kings of the Country, as has been Noted, have done riding on the back of it, yet the restless Courtiers and Ministers of State have frequently obtained the Management of it, from the too easy Goodness of their Masters, or the Evils of the Times.
To Cure this, the Princes frequently chang'd Hands, turn'd one Set of Men out and put another in: But this made things still worse; for it divided the People into Parties and Factions in the State, and still the Strife was, who should ride in this Engine; and no sooner were these Skaet-Riders got into it, but they were for driving all the Nation up to the Moon: But of this by it self.
Authors differ concerning the Original of these Feathers, and by what most exact Hand they were first appointed to this particular use; and as their Original is hard to be found, so it seems a Difficulty to resolve from what sort of Bird these Feathers are obtained: Some have nam'd one, some another; but the most Learned in those Climates call it by a hard Word, which the Printer having no Letters to express, and being in that place Hierogliphical, I can translate no better, than by the Name of a Collective: This must be a Strange Bird without doubt; it has Heads, Claws, Eyes and Teeth innumerable; and if I should go about to describe it to you, the History would be so Romantick, it would spoil the Credit of these more Authentick Relations which are yet behind.
'Tis sufficient, therefore, for the present, only to leave you this short Abridgement of the Story, as follows: This great Monstrous Bird, call'd the Collective, is very seldom seen, and indeed never, but upon Great Revolutions, and portending terrible Desolations and Destructions to a Country.
But he frequently sheds his Feathers; and they are carefully pickt up, by the Proprietors of those Lands where they fall; for none but those Proprietors may meddle with them; and they no sooner pick them up but they are sent to Court, where they obtain a new Name, and are called in a Word equally difficult to pronounce as the other, but Very like our English Word, Representative; and being placed in their proper Rows, with the Great Feather in the Center, and fitted for use, they lately obtained the Venerable Title of, The Consolidators; and the Machine it self, the Consolidator; and by that Name the Reader is desir'd for the future to let it be dignified and distinguish'd.
I cannot, however, forbear to descant a little here, on the Dignity and Beauty of these Feathers, being such as are hardly to be seen in any part of the World, but just in these remote Climates.
And First, Every Feather has various Colours, and according to the Variety of the Weather, are apt to look brighter and clearer, or paler and fainter, as the Sun happens to look on them with a stronger or weaker Aspect. The Quill or Head of every Feather is or ought to be full of a vigorous Substance, which gives Spirit, and supports the brightness and colour of the Feather; and as this is more or less in quantity, the bright Colour of the Feather is increased, or turns languid and pale.
Tis true, some of those Quills are exceeding empty and dry; and the Humid being totally exhal'd, those Feathers grow very useless and insignificant in a short time.
Some again are so full of Wind, and puft up with the Vapour of the Climate, that there's not Humid enough to Condence the Steam; and these are so fleet, so light, and so continually fluttering and troublesome, that they greatly serve to disturb and keep the Motion unsteddy.
Others either placed too near the inward concealed Fire, or the Head of the Quill being thin, the Fire causes too great a Fermentation; and the Consequence of this is so fatal, that sometimes it mounts the Engine up too fast, and indangers Precipitation: But 'tis happily observed, That these ill Feathers are but a very few, compar'd to the whole number; at the most, I never heard they were above 134 of the whole number: As for the empty ones, they are not very dangerous, but a sort of Good-for-nothing Feathers, that will fly when the greatest number of the rest fly, or stand still when they stand still. The fluttering hot-headed Feathers are the most dangerous, and frequently struggle hard to mount the Engine to extravagant heights; but still the greater number of the Feathers being stanch, and well fixt, as well as well furnisht, they always prevail, and check the Disorders the other would bring upon the Motion; so that upon the whole Matter, tho' there has sometims been oblique Motions, Variations, and sometimes great Wandrings out of the way, which may make the Passage tedious, yet it has always been a certain and safe Voyage; and no Engine was ever known to miscarry or overthrow, but that one mentioned before, and that was very much owing to the precipitate Methods the Prince took in guiding it; and tho' all the fault was laid in the Feathers, and they were to blame enough, yet I never heard any Wise Man, but what blam'd his Discretion, and particularly, a certain great Man has wrote three large Tracts of those Affairs, and call'd them, The History of the Opposition of the Feathers; wherein, tho' it was expected he would have curst the Engine it self and all the Feathers to the Devil, on the contrary, he lays equal blame on the Prince, who guided the Chariot with so unsteddy a hand, now as much too slack, as then too hard, turning them this way and that so hastily, that the Feathers could not move in their proper order; and this at last put the Fire in the Center quite out, and so the Engine over-set at once. This Impartiality has done great Justice to the Feathers, and set things in a clearer light: But of this I shall say more, when I come to treat of the Works of the Learned in this Lunar World.
This is hinted here only to inform the Reader, That this Engine is the safest Passage that ever was found out; and that saving that one time, it never miscarried; nor if the common Order of things be observed, cannot Miscarry; for the good Feathers are always Negatives, when any precipitant Motion is felt, and immediately suppress it by their number; and these Negative Feathers are indeed the Travellers safety; the other are always upon the flutter, and upon every occasion hey for the Moon, up in the Clouds presently; but these Negative Feathers are never for going up, but when there is occasion for it; and from hence these fluttering fermented Feathers were called by the Antients High-flying Feathers, and the blustering things seem'd proud of the Name.
But to come to their general Character, the Feathers, speaking of them all together, are generally very Comely, Strong, Large, Beautiful things, their Quills or Heads well fixt, and the Cavities fill'd with a solid substantial Matter, which tho' it is full of Spirit, has a great deal of Temperament, and full of suitable well-dispos'd Powers, to the Operation for which they are design'd.
These placed, as I Noted before, in an extended Form like two great Wings, and operated by that sublime Flame; which being concealed in proper Receptacles, obtains its vent at the Cavities appointed, are supplied from thence with Life and Motion; and as Fire it fell, in the Opinion of some Learned Men, is nothing but Motion, and Motion tends to Fire: It can no more be a Wonder, if exalted in the Center of this famous Engine, a whole Nation should be carried up to the World in the Moon.
'Tis true, this Engine is frequently assaulted with fierce Winds, and furious Storms, which sometimes drive it a great way out of its way; and indeed, considering the length of the Passage, and the various Regions it goes through, it would be strange if it should meet with no Obstructions: These are oblique Gales, and cannot be said to blow from any of the Thirty-two Points, but Retrograde and Thwart: Some of these are call'd in their Language, Pensionazima, which is as much as to say, being Interpreted, a Court-breeze; another sort of Wind, which generally blows directly contrary to the Pensionazima, is the Clamorio, or in English, a Country Gale; this is generally Tempestuous, full of Gusts and Disgusts, Squauls and sudden Blasts, not without claps of Thunder, and not a little flashing of Heat and Party-fires.
There are a great many other Internal Blasts, which proceed from the Fire within, which sometimes not circulating right, breaks out in little Gusts of Wind and Heat, and is apt to indanger setting Fire to the Feathers, and this is more or less dangerous, according as among which of the Feathers it happens; for some of the Feathers are more apt to take Fire than others, as their Quills or Heads are more or less full of that solid Matter mention'd before.
The Engine suffers frequent Convulsions and Disorders from these several Winds; and which if they chance to overblow very much, hinder the Passage; but the Negative Feathers always apply Temper and Moderation; and this brings all to rights again.
For a Body like this, what can it not do? what cannot such an Extension perform in the Air? And when one thing is tackt to another, and properly Cosolidated into one mighty Consolidator, no question but whoever shall go up to the Moon, will find himself so improv'd in this wonderful Experiment, that not a Man ever perform'd that wonderful Flight, but he certainly came back again as wise as he went.
Well, Gentlemen, and what if we are called High-flyers now, and an Hundred Names of Contempt and Distinction, what is this to the purpose? who would not be a High-flyer, to be Tackt and Consolidated in an Engine of such sublime Elevation, and which lifts Men, Monarchs, Members, yea, and whole Nations, up into the Clouds; and performs with such wondrous Art, the long expected Experiment of a Voyage to the Moon? And thus much for the Description of the Consolidator.
The first Voyage I ever made to this Country, was in one of these Engines; and I can safely affirm, I never wak'd all the way; and now having been as often there as most that have us'd that Trade, it may be expected I should give some Account of the Country; for it appears, I can give but little of the Road.
Only this I understand, That when this Engine, by help of these Artificial Wings, has raised it self up to a certain height, the Wings are as useful to keep it from falling into the Moon, as they were before to raise it, and keep it from falling back into this Region again.
This may happen from an Alteration of Centers, and Gravity having past a certain Line, the Equipoise changes its Tendency, the Magnetick Quality being beyond it, it inclines of Course, and pursues a Center, which it finds in the Lunar World, and lands us safe upon the Surface.
I was told, I need take no Bills of Exchange with me, nor Letters of Credit; for that upon my first Arrival, the Inhabitants would be very civil to me: That they never suffered any of Our World to want any thing when they came there: That they were very free to show them any thing, and inform them in all needful Cases; and that whatever Rarities the Country afforded, should be expos'd immediately.
I shall not enter into the Customs, Geography, or History of the Place, only acquaint the Reader, That I found no manner of Difference in any thing Natural, except as hereafter excepted, but all was exactly as is here, an Elementary World, peopled with Folks, as like us as if they were only Inhabitants of the same Continent, but in a remote Climate.
The Inhabitants were Men, Women, Beasts, Birds, Fishes, and Insects, of the same individual Species as Ours, the latter excepted: The Men no wiser, better, nor bigger than here; the Women no handsomer or honester than Ours: There were Knaves and honest Men, honest Women and Whores of all Sorts, Countries, Nations and Kindreds, as on this side the Skies.
They had the same Sun to shine, the Planets were equally visible as to us, and their Astrologers were as busily Impertinent as Ours, only that those wonderful Glasses hinted before made strange Discoveries that we were unacquainted with; by them they could plainly discover, That this World was their Moon, and their World our Moon; and when I came first among them, the People that flockt about me, distinguisht me by the Name of, the Man that came out of the Moon.
I cannot, however, but acquaint the Reader, with some Remarks I made in this new World, before I come to any thing Historical.
I have heard, that among the Generallity of our People, who being not much addicted to Revelation, have much concern'd themselves about Demonstrations, a Generation have risen up, who to solve the Difficulties of Supernatural Systems, imagine a mighty vast Something, who has no Form but what represents him to them as one Great Eye: This infinite Optick they imagine to be Natura Naturans, or Power-forming; and that as we pretend the Soul of Man has a Similitude in quality to its Original, according to a Notion some People have, who read that so much ridicul'd Old Legend, call'd Bible, That Man was made in the Image of his Maker: The Soul of Man, therefore, in the Opinion of these Naturallists, is one vast Optick Power diffus'd through him into all his Parts, but seated principally in his Head.
From hence they resolve all Beings to Eyes, some more capable of Sight and receptive of Objects than others; and as to things Invisible, they reckon nothing so, only so far as our Sight is deficient, contracted or darkened by Accidents from without, as Distance of Place, Interposition of Vapours, Clouds, liquid Air, Exhalations, &c. or from within, as wandring Errors, wild Notions, cloudy Understandings, and empty Fancies, with a Thousand other interposing Obstacles to the Sight, which darken it, and prevent its Operation; and particularly obstruct the perceptive Faculties, weaken the Head, and bring Mankind in General to stand in need of the Spectacles of Education as soon as ever they are born: Nay, and as soon as they have made use of these Artificial Eyes, all they can do is but to clear the Sight so far as to see that they can't see; the utmost Wisdom of Mankind, and the highest Improvement a Man ought to wish for, being but to be able to see that he was Born blind; this pushes him upon search after Mediums for the Recovery of his Sight, and away he runs to School to Art and Science, and there he is furnisht with Horoscopes, Microscopes, Tellescopes, Caliscopes, Money-scopes, and the D—-l and and all of Glasses, to help and assist his Moon-blind Understanding; these with wonderful Skill and Ages of Application, after wandring thro' Bogs and Wildernesses of Guess, Conjectures, Supposes, Calculations, and he knows not what, which he meets with in Physicks, Politicks, Ethicks, Astronomy, Mathematicks, and such sort of bewildring Things, bring him with vast Difficulty to a little Minute-spot, call'd Demonstration; and as not one in Ten Thousand ever finds the way thither, but are lost in the tiresome uncouth Journey, so they that do, 'tis so long before they come there, that they are grown Old and good for little in the Journey; and no sooner have they obtained a glimering of this Universal Eye-sight, this Eclaricissment General, but they Die, and have hardly time to show the way to those that come after.
Now, as the earnest search after this thing call'd Demonstration fill'd me with Desires of seeing every thing, so my Observations of the strange multitude of Mysteries I met with in all Men's Actions here, spurr'd my Curiosity to examine, if the Great Eye of the World had no People to whom he had given a clearer Eye-sight, or at least, that made a better use of it than we had here.
If pursuing this search I was much delighted at my Arrival into China, it cannot be thought strange, since there we find Knowledge as much advanc'd beyond our common Pitch, as it was pretended to be deriv'd from a more Ancient Original.
We are told, that in the early Age of the World, the Strength of Invention exceeded all that ever has been arrived to since: That we in these latter Ages, having lost all that pristine Strength of Reason and Invention, which died with the Ancients in the Flood, and receiving no helps from that Age, have by long Search arriv'd at several remote Parts of Knowledge, by the helps of reading Conversation and Experience; but that all amounts to no more than faint Imitations, Apings, and Resemblances of what was known in those masterly Ages.
Now, if it be true as is hinted before, That the Chinese Empire was Peopled long before the Flood; and that they were not destroyed in the General Deluge in the Days of Noah; 'tis no such strange thing, that they should so much out-do us in this sort of Eye-sight we call General Knowledge, since the Perfections bestow'd on Nature, when in her Youth and Prime met with no General Suffocation by that Calamity.
But if I was extreamly delighted with the extraordinary things I saw in those Countries, you cannot but imagine I was exceedingly mov'd, when I heard of a Lunar World; and that the way was passable from these Parts.
I had heard of a World in the Moon among some of our Learned Philosophers, and Moor, as I have been told, had a Moon in his Head; but none of the fine Pretenders, no not Bishop Wilkins, ever found Mechanick Engines, whose Motion was sufficient to attempt the Passage. A late happy Author indeed, among his Mechanick Operations of the Spirit, had found out an Enthusiasm, which if he could have pursued to its proper Extream, without doubt might, either in the Body or out of the Body, have Landed him somewhere hereabout; but that he form'd his System wholly upon the mistaken Notion of Wind, which Learned Hypothesis being directly contrary to the Nature of things in this Climate, where the Elasticity of the Air is quite different and where the pressure of the Atmosphere has for want of Vapour no Force, all his Notion dissolv'd in its Native Vapour call'd Wind, and flew upward in blew Strakes of a livid Flame call'd Blasphemy, which burnt up all the Wit and Fancy of the Author, and left a strange stench behind it, that has this unhappy quality in it, that every Body that Reads the Book, smells the Author, tho' he be never so far off; nay, tho' he took Shipping to Dublin, to secure his Friends from the least danger of a Conjecture.
But to return, to the happy Regions of the Lunar Continent, I was no sooner Landed there, and had lookt about me, but I was surpriz'd with the strange Alteration of the Climate and Country; and particularly a strange Salubrity and Fragrancy in the Air, which I felt so Nourishing, so Pleasant and Delightful, that tho' I could perceive some small Respiration, it was hardly discernable, and the least requisite for Life, supplied so long that the Bellows of Nature were hardly imployed.
But as I shall take occasion to consider this in a Critical Examination into the Nature, Uses and Advantages of Good Lungs, of which by it self, so I think fit to confine my present Observations to things more particularly concerning the Eye-sight.
I was, you may be sure, not a little surprized, when being upon an Eminence I found my self capable by common Observation, to see and distinguish things at the distance of 100 Miles and more, and seeking some Information on this point, I was acquainted by the People, that there was a certain grave Philosopher hard by, that could give me a very good Account of things.
It is not worth while to tell you this Man's Lunar Name, of whether he had a Name, or no; 'tis plain, 'twas a Man in the Moon; but all the Conference I had with him was very strange: At my first coming to him, he askt me if I came from the World in the Moon? I told him, no: At which he began to be angry, told me I Ly'd, he knew whence I came as well as I did; for he saw me all the way. I told him, I came to the World in the Moon, and began to be as surly as he. It was a long time before we could agree about it, he would have it, that I came down from the Moon; and I, that I came up to the Moon: From this, we came to Explications, Demonstrations, Spheres, Globes, Regions, Atmospheres, and a Thousand odd Diagrams, to make the thing out to one another. I insisted on my part, as that my Experiment qualified me to know, and challeng'd him to go back with me to prove it. He, like a true Philosopher, raised a Thousand Scruples, Conjectures, and Spherical Problems, to Confront me; and as for Demonstrations, he call'd 'em Fancies of my own. Thus we differ'd a great many ways; both of us were certain, and both uncertain; both right, and yet both directly contrary; how to reconcile this Jangle was very hard, till at last this Demonstration happen'd, the Moon as he call'd it, turning her blind-side upon us three Days after the Change, by which, with the help of his extraordinary Glasses, I that knew the Country, perceived that side the Sun lookt upon was all Moon, and the other was all world; and either I fancy'd I saw or else really saw all the lofty Towers of the Immense Cities of China: Upon this, and a little more Debate, we came to this Conclusion, and there the Old Man and I agreed, That they were both Moons and both Worlds, this a Moon to that, and that a Moon to this, like the Sun between two Looking-Glasses, and shone upon one another by Reflection, according to the oblique or direct Position of each other.
This afforded us a great deal of Pleasure; for all the World covet to be found in the right, and are pleas'd when their Notions are acknowledg'd by their Antagonists: It also afforded us many very useful Speculations, such as these;
1. How easy it is for Men to fall out, and yet all sides to be in the right?
2. How Natural it is for Opinion to despise Demonstration?
3. How proper mutual Enquiry is to mutual Satisfaction?
From the Observation of these Glasses, we also drew some Puns, Crotchets and Conclusions.
1st, That the whole World has a Blind-side, a Dark-side, and a Bright-side, and consequently so has every Body in it.
2dly, That the Dark-side of Affairs to Day, may be the Bright-side to Morrow; from whence abundance of useful Morals were also raised; such as,
1. No Man's Fate is so dark, but when the Sun shines upon it, it will return its Rays, and shine for it self.
2. All things turn like the Moon, up to Day, down to Morrow, Full and Change, Flux and Reflux.
3. Humane Understanding is like the Moon at the First Quarter, half dark.
3dly, The Changing-sides ought not to be thought so strange, or so much Condemn'd by Mankind, having its Original from the Lunar Influence, and govern'd by the Powerful Operation of Heavenly Motion.
4thly, If there be any such thing as Destiny in the World, I know nothing Man is so predestinated to, as to be eternally turning round; and but that I purpose to entertain the Reader with at least a whole Chapter or Section of the Philosophy of Humane Motion, Spherically and Hypocritically Examin'd and Calculated, I should inlarge upon that Thought in this place.
Having thus jumpt in our Opinions, and perfectly satisfied our selves with Demonstration, That these Worlds were Sisters, both in Form, Function, and all their Capacities; in short, a pair of Moons, and a pair of Worlds, equally Magnetical, Sympathetical, and Influential, we set up our rest as to that Affair, and went forward.
I desir'd no better Acquaintance in my new Travels, than this new Sociate; never was there such a Couple of People met; he was the Man in the Moon to me, and I the Man in the Moon to him; he wrote down all I said, and made a Book of it, and call'd it, News from the World in the Moon; and all the Town is like to see my Minutes under the same Title; nay, and I have been told, he published some such bold Truths there, from the Allegorical Relations he had of me from our World: That he was call'd before the Publick Authority, who could not bear the just Reflections of his damn'd Satyrical way of Writing; and there they punisht the Poor Man, put him in Prison, ruin'd his Family; and not only Fin'd him Ultra tenementum, but expos'd him in the high Places of their Capital City, for the Mob to laugh at him for a Fool: This is a Punishment not unlike our Pillory, and was appointed for mean Criminals, Fellows that Cheat and Couzen People, Forge Writings, Forswear themselves, and the like; and the People, that it was expected would have treated this Man very ill, on the contrary Pitied him, wisht those that set him there placed in his room, and exprest their Affections, by loud Shouts and Acclamations, when he was taken down.
But as this happen'd before my first Visit to that World, when I came there all was over with him, his particular Enemies were disgrac'd and turn'd out, and the Man was not at all the worse receiv'd by his Country-folks than he was before; and so much for the Man in the Moon.
After we had settled the Debate between us, about the Nature and Quality, I desir'd him to show me some Plan or Draft of this new World of his; upon which, he brought me out a pair of very beautiful Globes, and there I had an immediate Geographical Description of the Place.
I found it less by Degrees than Our Terrestial Globe, but more Land and less Water; and as I was particularly concern'd to see something in or near the same Climate with Our selves, I observ'd a large extended Country to the North, about the Latitude of 50 to 56 Northern Distance; and enquiring of that Country, he told me it was one of the best Countries in all their World: That it was his Native Climate, and he was just a going to it, and would take me with him.
He told me in General, the Country was Good, Wholsome, Fruitful, rarely Scituate for Trade, extraordinarily Accommodated with Harbours, Rivers and Bays for Shipping; full of Inhabitants; for it had been Peopled from all Parts, and had in it some of the Blood of all the Nations in the Moon.
He told me, as the Inhabitants were the most Numerous, so they were the strangest People that liv'd; both their Natures, Tempers, Qualities, Actions, and way of Living, was made up of innumerable Contradictions: That they were the Wisest Fools, and the Foolishest Wise Men in the World; the Weakest Strongest, Richest Poorest, most Generous Covetous, Bold Cowardly, False Faithful, Sober Dissolute, Surly Civil, Slothful Diligent, Peaceable Quarrelling, Loyal Seditious Nation that ever was known.
Besides my Observations which I made my self, and which could only furnish me with what was present, and which I shall take time to inform my Reader with as much Care and Conciseness as possible; I was beholding to this Old Lunarian, for every thing that was Historical or Particular.
And First, He inform'd me, That in this new Country they had very seldom any Clouds at all, and consequently no extraordinary Storms, but a constant Serenity, moderate Breezes cooled the Air, and constant Evening Exhalations kept the Earth moist and fruitful; and as the Winds they had were various and strong enough to assist their Navigation, so they were without the Terrors, Dangers, Ship-wrecks and Destructions, which he knew we were troubled with in this our Lunar World, as he call'd it.
The first just Observation I made of this was, That I suppos'd from hence the wonderful Clearness of the Air, and the Advantage of so vast Optick Capacities they enjoy'd, was obtained: Alas! says the Old Fellow, You see nothing to what some of our Great Eyes see in some Parts of this World, nor do you see any thing compar'd to what you may see by the help of some new Invented Glasses, of which I may in time let you see the Experiment; and perhaps you may find this to be the reason why we do not so abound in Books as in your Lunar World; and that except it be some extraordinary Translations out of your Country, you will find but little in our Libraries, worth giving you a great deal of Trouble.
We immediately quitted the Philosophical Discourse of Winds, and I began to be mighty Inquisitive after these Glasses and Translations, and
1st, I understood here was a strange sort of Glass that did not so much bring to the Eye, as by I know not what wonderful Operation carried out the Eye to the Object, and quite varies from all our Doctrine of Opticks, by forming several strange Phanomena in Sight, which we are utterly unacquainted with; nor could Vision, Rarification, or any of our School-mens fine Terms, stand me in any stead in this case; but here was such Additions of piercing Organs, Particles of Transparence, Emission, Transmission, Mediums, Contraction of Rays, and a Thousand Applications of things prepar'd for the wondrous Operation, that you may be sure are requisite for the bringing to pass something yet unheard of on this side the Moon.
First we were inform'd, by the help of these Glasses, strange things, which pass in our World for Non-Entities, is to be seen, and very perceptible; for Example:
State Polity, in all its Meanders, Shifts, Turns, Tricks, and Contraries, are so exactly Delineated and Describ'd, That they are in hopes in time to draw a pair of Globes out, to bring all those things to a certainty.
Not but that it made some Puzzle, even among these Clear-sighted Nations, to determine what Figure the Plans and Drafts of this undiscover'd World of Mysteries ought to be describ'd in: Some were of Opinion, it ought, to be an Irregular Centagon, a Figure with an Hundred Cones or Angles: Since the Unaccountables of this State-Science, are hid in a Million of undiscover'd Corners; as the Craft, Subtilty and Hypocrisy of Knaves and Courtiers have concealed them, never to be found out, but by this wonderful D—-l-scope, which seem'd to threaten a perfect Discovery of all those Nudities, which have lain hid in the Embrio, and false Conceptions of Abortive Policy, ever since the Foundation of the World.
Some were of Opinion, this Plan ought to be Circular, and in a Globular Form, since it was on all sides alike, full of dark Spots, untrod Mazes, waking Mischiefs, and sleeping Mysteries; and being delineated like the Globes display'd, would discover all the Lines of Wickedness to the Eye at one view: Besides, they fancied some sort of Analogy in the Rotundity of the Figure, with the continued Circular Motion of all Court-Policies, in the stated Round of Universal Knavery.
Others would have had it Hyrogliphical as by a Hand in Hand, the Form representing the Affinity between State Policy here, and State Policy in the Infernal Regions, with some unkind Similies between the Oeconomy of Satan's Kingdom, and those of most of the Temporal Powers on Earth; but this was thought too unkind. At last it was determin'd, That neither of these Schemes were capable of the vast Description; and that, therefore, the Drafts must be made single, tho' not dividing the Governments, yet dividing the Arts of Governing into proper distinct Schemes, viz.
1. A particular Plan of Publick Faith; and here we had the Experiment immediately made: The Representation is quallified for the Meridian of any Country, as well in our World as theirs; and turning it to'ards our own World, there I saw plainly an Exchequer shut up, and 20000 Mourning Families selling their Coaches, Horses, Whores, Equipages, &c. for Bread, the Government standing by laughing, and looking on: Hard by I saw the Chamber of a great City shut up, and Forty Thousand Orphans turn'd adrift in the World; some had no Cloaths, some no Shoes, some no Money; and still the City Magistrates calling upon other Orphans, to pay their money in. These things put me in mind of the Prophet Ezekiel, and methoughts I heard the same Voice that spoke to him, calling me, and telling me, Come hither, and I'll show thee greater Abominations than these: So looking still on that vast Map, by the help of these Magnifying Glasses, I saw huge Fleets hir'd for Transport-Service, but never paid; vast Taxes Anticipated, that were never Collected; others Collected and Appropriated, but Misapplied: Millions of Talleys struck to be Discounted, and the Poor paying 40 per Cent, to receive their Money. I saw huge Quantities of Money drawn in, and little or none issued out; vast Prizes taken from the Enemy, and then taken away again at home by Friends; Ships sav'd on the Sea, and sunk in the Prize Offices; Merchants escaping from Enemies at Sea, and be Pirated by Sham Embargoes, Counterfeit Claims, Confiscations, &c a-shoar: There we saw Turkey-Fleets taken into Convoys, and Guarded to the very Mouth of the Enemy, and then abandon'd for their better Security: Here we saw Mons. Pouchartrain shutting up the Town-house of Paris, and plundring the Bank of Lyons.
2. Here we law the State of the War among Nations; Here was the French giving Sham-thanks for Victories they never got, and some body else adressing and congratulating the sublime Glory of running away: Here was Te Deum for Sham-Victories by Land; and there was Thanksgiving for Ditto by Sea: Here we might see two Armies fight, both run away, and both come and thank GOD for nothing: Here we saw a Plan of a late War like that in Ireland; there was all the Officers cursing a Dutch General, because the damn'd Rogue would fight, and spoil a good War, that with decent Management and good Husbandry, might have been eek't out this Twenty Years; there was whole Armies hunting two Cows to one Irishman, and driving of black Cattle declar'd the Noble End of the the War: Here we saw a Country full of Stone Walls and strong Towns, where every Campaign, the Trade of War was carried on by the Soldiers, with the same Intriguing as it was carried on in the Council Chambers; there was Millions of Contributions raised, and vast Sums Collected, but no Taxes lessen'd; whole Plate Fleets surpriz'd, but no Treasure found; vaft Sums lost by Enemies, and yet never found by Friends, Ships loaded with Volatile Silver, that came away full, and gat home empty; whole Voyages made to beat No body, and plunder Every body; two Millions robb'd from the honest Merchants, and not a Groat sav'd for the honest Subjects: There we saw Captains Lifting Men with the Governments Money, and letting them go again for their own; Ships fitted out at the Rates of Two Millions a Year, to fight but once in Three Years, and then run away for want of Powder and Shot.
There we saw Partition Treaties damned, and the whole given away, Confederations without Allies, Allies without Quota's, Princes without Armies, Armies without Men, and Men without Money, Crowns without Kings, Kings without Subjects, more Kings than Countries, and more Countries than were worth fighting for.
Here we could see the King of France upbraiding his Neighbours with dishonourably assisting his Rebels, though the Mischief was, they did it not neither; and in the same Breath, assisting the Hungarian Rebels against the Emperor; M. Ld N. refusing so dishonourable an Action, as to aid the Rebellious Camisars, but Leaguing with the Admirant de Castile, to Invade the Dominions of his Master to whom he swore Allegiance: Here we saw Protestants fight against Protestants, to help Papists, Papists against Papists to help Protestants, Protestants call in Turks, to keep Faith against Christians that break it: Here we could see Swedes fighting for Revenge, and call it Religion; Cardinals deposing their Catholick Prince, to introduce the Tyranny of a Lutheran and call it Liberty; Armies Electing Kings, and call it Free Choice; French conquering Savoy, to secure the Liberty of Italy.
3. The Map of State Policy contains abundance of Civil Transactions, no where to be discover'd but in this wonderful Country, and by this prodigious Invention: As first, it shows an Eminent Prelate running in every body's Debt to relieve the Poor, and bring to God Robbery for Burnt-Offering: It opens a Door to the Fate of Nations; and there we might see the Duke of S—y bought three times, and his subjects sold every time; Portugal bought twice, and neither time worth the Earnest; Spain bought once, but loth to go with the Bidder; Venice willing to be Bought, if there had been any Buyers; Bavaria Bought, and run away with the Money; the Emperor Bought and Sold, but Bilkt the Chapman; the French buying Kingdoms he can't keep, the Dutch keep Kingdoms they never Bought; and the English paying their Money without Purchase.
In Matters of Civil Concerns, here was to be seen Religion with no out-side, and much Out-side with no Religion, much Strife about Peace, and no Peace in the Design: Here was Plunder without Violence, Violence without Persecution, Conscience without Good Works, and Good Works without Charity; Parties cutting one anothers Throats for God's Sake, pulling down Churches de propoganda fide, and making Divisions by way of Association.
Here we have Peace and Union brought to pass The Shortest Way, Extirpation and Destruction prov'd to be the Road to Plenty and Pleasure: Here all the Wise Nations, a Learned Author would have Quoted, if he could have found them, are to be seen, who carry on Exclusive Laws to the general Safety and Satisfaction of their Subjects.
Occasional Bills may have here a particular Historical, Categorical Description: But of them by themselves.
Here you might have the Rise, Original, Lawfulness, Usefulness, and Necessity of Passive Obedience, as fairly represented as a System of Divinity, and as clearly demonstrated as by a Geographical Description; and which exceeds our mean Understanding here, 'tis by the wonderful Assistance of these Glasses, plainly discerned to be Coherent with Resistance, taking Arms, calling in Foreign Powers, and the like. —- Here you have a plain Discovery of C. of E. Politicks, and a Map of Loyalty: Here 'tis as plainly demonstrated as the Nose in a Man's Face, provided he has one, that a Man may Abdicate, drive away, and Dethrone his Prince, and yet be absolutely and intirely free from, and innocent of the least Fracture, Breach, Incroachment, or Intrenchment, upon the Doctrine of Non-Resistance: Can shoot at his Prince without any Design to kill him, fight against him without raising Rebellion, and take up Arms, without leaving War against his Prince.
Here they can persecute Dissenters, without desiring they should Conform, conform to the Church they would overthrow; Pray for the Prince they dare not Name, and Name the Prince they do not pray for.
By the help of these Glasses strange Insights are made, into the vast mysterious dark World of State Policy; but that which is yet more strange, and requires vast Volumes to descend to the Particulars of, and huge Diagrams, Spheres, Charts, and a Thousand nice things to display is, That in this vast Intelligent Discovery it is not only made plain, that those things are so, but all the vast Contradictions are made Rational, reconciled to Practice, and brought down to Demonstration.
German Clock-Work, the perpetual Motions, the Prim Mobilies of Our short-sighted World, are Trifles to these Nicer Disquisitions.
Here it would be plain and rational, why a Parliament-Man will spend 5000 l. to be Chosen, that cannot get a Groat Honestly by setting there: It would be easily made out to be rational, why he that rails most at a Court is soonest receiv'd into it: Here it would be very plain, how great Estates are got in little Places, and Double in none at all. 'Tis easy to be prov'd honest and faithful to Victual the French Fleet out of English Stores, and let our own Navy want them; a long Sight, or a large Lunar Perspective, will make all these things not only plain in Fact, but Rational and Justifiable to all the World.
'Tis a strange thing to any body without doubt, that has not been in that clear-sighted Region, to comprehend, That those we call High-flyers in England are the only Friends to the Dissenters, and have been the most Diligent and Faithful in their Interest, of any People in the Nation; and yet so it is, Gentlemen, and they ought to have the Thanks of the whole Body for it.
In this advanc'd Station, we see it plainly by Reflexion, That the Dissenters, like a parcel of Knaves, have retained all the High-Church-men in their Pay; they are certainly all in their Pension-Roll: Indeed, I could not see the Money paid them there, it was too remote; but I could plainly see the thing; all the deep Lines of the Project are laid as true, they are so Tackt and Consolidated together, that if any one will give themselves leave to consider, they will be most effectually convinced, That the High-Church and the Dissenters here, are all in a Caball, a meer Knot, a piece of Clock-work; the Dissenters are the Dial-Plate, and the High-Church the Movement, the Wheel within the Wheels, the Spring and the Screw to bring all things to Motion, and make the Hand on the Dial-plate point which way the Dissenters please.
For what else have been all the Shams they have put upon the Governments, Kings, States, and People they have been concern'd with? What Schemes have they laid on purpose to be broken? What vast Contrivances, on purpose to be ridicul'd and expos'd? The Men are not Fools, they had never V—-d to Consolidate a B—- but that they were willing to save the Dissenters, and put it into a posture, in which they were sure it would miscarry. I defy all the Wise Men of the Moon to show another good reason for it.