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INTRODUCTION

To the R E A DBR.

IN
N the Reign of Queen ANNE (which, notwithstand-

ing those happy Times which succeeded, every Englishman may remember) thou may't poffibly, gentle Reader, have seen a certain venerable Perfon who frequented the outside of the Palace of St. James's, and who, by the gravity of his Deportment and Habit, was generally taken for a decayed Gentleman of Spain. His ftature was tall, his visage long, his complexion olive, his brows were black and even, his eyes hollow yet piercing, his nose inclined to aquiline, his beard neglected and mixed with grey : All this contributed to spread a solemn Melancholy over his countenance. Pythagoras was not more filent, Pyrrho more motionless, nor Zeno more auftere. His Wig was as black and smooth as the plumes of a Raven, and hung as straight as the hair of a River God rising from the water. His cloak so compleatly covered his whole person, that whether or no he had any other cloaths (much less any linen) under it, I shall not say ; but his sword appeared a full yard behind him, and his manner of wearing it was so ftiff, that it seemed grown to his Thigh. His whole figure was so utterly unlike any thing of this world, that it was not natural for any man to ask him a question without blessing himself first. Those who never saw a Jesuit, took him for one, and others believed him fome High Priest of the Jews.

But under this macerated form was concealed a Mind replete with Science, burning with a zeal of benefiting his fellow creatures, and filled with an honest conscious pride, mixt with a scorn of doing, or suffering the least thing beneath the dignity of a Philosopher. Accordingly

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he had a soul that would not let him accept of any offers of Charity, at the same time that his body seemed but too much to require it. His lodging was in a small chamber up four pair of stairs, where he regularly paid for what he had when he eat or drank; and he was often observed wholly to abstain from both. He declined speaking to any one, except the Queen, or her first Minifter, to whom he attempted to make some applications; but his real business or intentions were utterly unknown to all men. Thus much is certain, that he was obnoxious to the Queen's Ministry ; who, either out of Jealousy or Envy, had him fpirited away, and carried abroad as a dangerous person, without any regard to the known Laws of the Kingdom.

One day, as this Gentleman was walking about dinnertime alone in the Mall, it happened that a Manuscript dropt from under his cloak, which my servant picked up, and brought to me. It was written in the Latin tongue, and contained many most profound secrets, in an unusual turn of reasoning and style. The first leaf was inscribed with these words, Codicillus, seu Liber Memorialis, Martini Scribleri. The book was of so wonderful a nature, that it is incredible what a desire I conceived that moment to be acquainted with the Author, who I clearly perceived was some great Philosopher in disguise. I feveral times endeavoured to speak to him, which he as often industriously avoided. At length I found an opportunity (as he stood under the Piazza by the Dancing-room in St. James's) to acquaint him in the Latin tongue, that his Manuscript was fallen into my hands; and, saying this, I presented it to him, with greatencomiums on the learned Author. Hereupon he took me aside, surveyed me over with a fixt attention, and opening the clasps of the Parchment cover, spoke (to my great surprize) in English, as follows:

“ Courteous stranger, whoever thou art, I embrace “ thee as my best friend; for either the Stars and my Art

{ are deceitful, or the destined time is come which is to « manifeft Martinus Scriblerus to the world, and thou “ the person chosen by fate for this task. What thou “ feeft in me is a body exhausted by the labours of the (6 mind. I have found in Dame Nature not indeed an “ unkind, but a very coy Mistress : Watchful nights, 66 anxious days, slender meals, and endless labours, muit Go be the lot of all who pursue her, through her laby“ rinths and mæanders. My first vital air I drew in - this island (a soil fruitful of Philosophers) but my “ complexion is become adust, and my body arid, by « visiting lands (as the poet has it) alio fub fole calentes. “ I have, through my whole life, passed under several " disguises and unknown names, to screen myself from “ the envy and malice which mankind express against " those who are possessed of the Arcanum Magnum, But

at present I am forced to take Sanctuary in the British " Court, to avoid the Revenge of a cruel Spaniard, 66 who has pursued me almost through the whole terra“ queous globe. Being about four years ago in the " City of Madrid in quest of natural knowledge, I was c informed of a Lady who was marked with a Pomegra“nate upon the inside of her right Thigh, which blos" som’d, and, as it were, seem’d to ripen in the due season. " Forthwith was I possessed with an insatiable curiosity " to view this wonderful Phænomenon. I felt the ard« our of my passion encrease as the season advanced, till, « in the month of July, I could no longer contain. I « bribed her Duenna, was admitted to the Bath, saw “ her undressed, and the wonder displayed. This was « soon after discovered by the husband, who finding " some letters I had writ to the Duenna, containing “ expressions of a doubtful meaning, suspected me of a “ crime moft alien from the Purity of my Thoughts. “ Incontinently I left Madrid by the advice of Friends, “ have been pursued, dogged, and way.laid through se“ veral nations, and even now fcarce think myself fe« cure within the facred walls of this Palace. It has Vol. III.

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" been my good fortune to have seen all the grand Phæ“ nomena of Nature, excepting an Earthquake, which " I waited for in Naples three years in vain ; and now

by means of some British fhip, (whose colours no - Spaniard dare approach *) I impatiently expe&t a safe “ paffage to Jamaica, for that benefit. To thee, my “ Friend, whom Fate has marked for my Hiftoriogra

pher, I leave these my Commentaries, and others of my

works. No more be faithful and impartial.” He soon after performed his promise, and left me the Commentaries, giving me also further lights by many Conferences; when he was unfortunately snatched away (as I before related) by the jealousy of the Queen's Mi. niftry.

Though I was thus to my eternal grief deprived of his conversation, he for some years continued his Correspondence, and communicated to me many of his Projects for the benefit of mankind. He sent me fome of his Writings, and recommended to my care the recovery of others, ftraggling about the world, and assumed by other men.

The last time I heard from him was on occasion of his Strictures on the Dunciad : since when, several years being elapsed, I have reason to believe this excellent perfon is either dead, or carried by his vehement'thirft of knowledge into some remote, or perhaps undiscovered Region of the world. In either case, I think it a debt no longer to be delayed, to reveal what I know of this Prodigy of Science, and to give the Hiftory of his Life, and of his extensive merits to mankind; in which I dare promise the Reader, that, whenever he begins to think any one Chapter dull, the style will be immediately changed in the next.

This marks the time when the Introduction was writteo,

MEMOIRS

Μ Ε Μ

O I R S *

MARTINUS SCRIBL ERU S.

BOOK I.

CHAP. I.

Of the Parentage and Family of Scriblerus, how he

was begot, what Care was taken of him before he was born, and what Prodigies attended his Birth.

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N the City of Munster in Germany, lived a grave

and learned Gentleman, by Profession an Antiquary; who, among all his invaluable Curiosities, esteemed none more highly, than a skin of the true Pergamenian

Mr. Pope, Dr. Arbuthnot, and Dr. Swift projected to write a satirt, in conjunction, on the abuses of buman learning; and to make it the better received, they proposed to do it in the manner of Cervantes' (the original author of this species of satire) under the hiftory of some feigned adventures, They had observed those abufes still kept their ground against all that the ablest and graveft Authors could say to discredit them; they concluded there. fore, the force of ridicule was wanting to quicken their disgrace; which was here in its place, when the abuses had been already detected by fober reasoning; and Trutb in no danger to suffer by the premature use of so powerful an in trument. But the feparation of our Author's friends, which foon after happened, with the death of one, and the infirmities of the other, put a final stop to their project, when they had only drawn out an imperfect essay towards it, under the title of the First book of the Memoirs of Scriblerus,

Polite letters never lost more than in the defeat of this scheme, in which, each of this illustrious triumvirate would have found exercise for his own pe culiar talent; besides constant employment for that they all had in common. Dr. Arbuthnot was killed in every thing which related to science; Mr. Pope was a master in the fine arts; and Dr. Swift excelled in the knowledge of be world. Wir they had all in equal measure, and this so large, that no age perhaps ever produced three men, to whom Nature had more bountifully bestowed it, or Art brought it to higher perfection.

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