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- The Consolidator - 1/33 -
Produced by Lance Purple and Andrew Sly.
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.
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