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- The Consolidator - 3/33 -
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
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