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submitting his verses to the correction and criticism of a fair circle, who did not trust alone to beauty the most superior for the preservation of their empire over mankind. There I have seen Hold, hold, my good friend,' said Lady • if you run on at this rate, those ladies (bowing to two young ladies who sat opposite to her) will think you as unreasonably partial to your old friends, as unjust in your estimate of modern manners.' Here the conversation was interrupted by the arrival of some additional guests, among whom there was an old gentleman, who, notwithstanding his age, seemed to possess a great flow of animal spirits, and who addressed every person in company with the same undistinguishing familiarity, and vulgar coarseness of manner. Caustic looked at Lady with an air of triumph.
Our entertainer now began to discover symptoms of uneasiness. He had more than once informed us that the Countess of Lord C., Sir W. D., and several other persons of fashion, were to be of the party, not one of whom had hitherto appeared, although it was long past the hour of dinner. At length our ears were assailed with a loud noise in the staircase, and the door opening, Lord C., Sir W. D., and two other young men, rushed into the room with their hair uncombed, and in every respect in the most complete dishabille. Without paying the least attention to any one person in company, they began to tell us of the excellent sport they had that morning enjoyed at a cock-fight.
But this recital was cut short by the servant's announcing the Countess of ; who, without the smallest apology for making the company wait dinner for near two hours, walked up to a large mirror at one end of the room, and, adjusting a curl, asked Lord C. what made him leave D- 's so soon last night? . We had a charming party, and did not sup till two
this morning. Before supper I won fifty from D-at piquette: but I believe I had the advantage of him ; for he had rather drank too much wine with you at dinner.'
• Your son was of the party,' added she, turning to the old gentleman ; ' I got some of his money too. But what has become of him; he promised to meet me here to-day.'-' O the graceless dog! I know nothing of him.' At that instant the young man entered the room, and we were immediately called to dinner. At table, Lady contrived to place her friend Caustic next to her; and they were so much engrossed with their own conversation, that they paid little attention to that of the company, which was carried on by the countess and her fashionable friends in the same strain in which it had begun. Mr. B. was busied in displaying the elegance of the entertainment, and was particularly solicitous to call Caustic's attention to it. • How do you like my champaigne?' • I am no connoisseur ; I seldom drink champaigne,' said Caustic drily. It is damn'd good,' said Lord C.; it is as good as we used to drink with our ambassador at Paris last year. I was sent thither by my father to learn to speak French; but I spent my time to much
I better purpose. I was admitted a member of the cricket-club, and kept no other company.' 'I did not know,' said I, • that cricket had been known in France.' Neither is it among your French fellows; they have not genius for it. Our club was to a man all Anglois, as they called us. At first the French were confoundedly surprised to see us on the plains of Sablons, playing with our servants, all stripped to the buff.'
After much conversation, equally edifying, the ladies at length retired, and the master of the feast began to push the bottle briskly about. The old gentleman seemed to be particularly pleased with this;
and his son enjoyed it no less. The father told us anecdotes of his son's debaucheries, and the son amused us with stories of his father's licentiousness. Caustic was shocked to the last degree at this exhibition. He made a signal to me, that he wished to retire. Before we could accomplish that, the old man got hold of the bottle, and, filling a bumper, asked leave to give a toast, and then roared out a sentiment, as he called it, in terms most shockingly gross and indecent. “Well done, my old boy ! exclaimed the son;
— here goes in a bumper; and may we all, at your age, be as jolly and as wicked as you are!'
. Caustic could endure this no longer; he quitted the company, and I followed him. When we were alone, he asked me if such scenes were common among us. “If this,' said he, be the improvement and the refinement of which our friend B- talked so much, I hope I have done with it. Folly and impertinence may be submitted to; but the profligacy of that old man provoked me beyond measure.
We need not wonder at the degeneracy of the times, if a father is to teach debauchery to his own children, and by precept and example to encourage their progress in vice. For my part,' added he, ' I consider this as a species of parricide (if we may apply the word to a father's erime), for which no punishment is too severe.'
Though I would seldom choose to venture on any subject so purely scientific as that which I propose for the paper to-day; yet as I have a great respect for the
very learned and curious correspondent from whom the following letter was received, I cannot resist
my inclination to communicate it entire to my readers.
Madrid, 27th Feb. 1785. I have been at all possible pains to discover, by means of those philosophers and travellers here who are best acquainted with Africa, whether any traces still remain of that species of men of whom your learned countryman has taken notice, mentioned by Agatharchides and Sir Francis Drake, called the Axpidopayos, Grasshopper-eaters, or, as I incline to render the word, Locust-eaters: but hitherto my inquiries have met with no degree of success. Though unsuccessful, they have not, however, been unproductive; as, in the course of my search after that species, I have met with very well-authenticated relations of another variety of the human kind, stil] extant in that country, which I think has not been taken notice of by either of the above-mentioned authors, unless you suppose it to be the same with that of the Axpidocayoi above-mentioned, or perhaps with the Ixluopayot, or Fish-eaters, recorded also by
Agatharchides, and copied from him by Diodorus, and some other late writers. The variety I mean is that of the Quranopayos, or Toad-eaters; of which I proceed to give you a particular account, which I have been, happily, not only enabled to collect from the report of some voyagers who had visited their country, but have actually had an opportunity of examining one myself, which is now in the possession of that illustrious and munificent patron of the arts, Don Gabriel de Crapolino, who had him from a learned priest of the order of Jesus, several years a missionary in Africa, whose account also makes up a considerable
relation. The Phusalophagos or Toad-eater, though found in different degrees of latitude, is a native of warm climates only, and seems to be of the migrating kind, who change their residence according to the difference of times and seasons. In his original state, he appears, as indeed it is highly probable all savages are, inclined to creep or walk on all-fours; and the habit of walking erect or straight is only an acquired one, which seems uneasy to him; and therefore he takes every opportunity of returning to his former groveling or bending posture. Indeed, from some anatomical observations, which the above-mentioned learned Jesuit had an opportunity of making on the body of one who had died, it appears that Nature has fitted them more for this posture than for any other. The muscle called by anatomists biceps-cruris, by which the leg is bent, appeared to have been much enlarged by constant use; whereas the longissimus dorsi, by which the back is kept straight and erect, was of no strength at all.. The elevators also of the upper eye-lid, called by some anatomists the musculi admirationis, were capable of great extension, and seemed to have been in constant use, which may likewise accounted for from the prone position of the