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" Touch of an ignorant Woman hath done away? The 66 curious Prominence at the belly of that figure, which " some taking for the Cuspis of a sword, denominated a 66 Roman Soldier; others accounting the Insignia Virilia “ pronounced to be one of the Dii Termini ; behold the “ hath cleaned it in like shameful fort, and shewn to “ be the head of a Nail. O my Shield! my Shield ! “. well may I say with Horace, non bene reli&ta Par66 mula."
The Gossips not at all inquiring into the cause of his forrow, only asked if the Child had no hurt? and cried, " Come, come, all is well ; what has the Woman done « but her duty ? a tight cleanly wench I warrant her; « what a ftir a man makes about a Bafon, that an hour
ago, before this labour was bestowed upon it, a Coun“ try Barber would not have hung at his shop-door." " A Bafon! (cried another) no such matter, 'tis nothing “ but a paultry old Sconce, with the nozzle broke off.” The learned Gentlemen, who till now had stood fpeechless, hereupon looking narrowly on the Shield, declared their afsent to this latter opinion; and desired Cornelius to be comforted, afsuring him it was a Sconce and no other. But this, instead of comforting, threw the doctor into such a violent Fit of Passion, that he was carried off groaning and speechless to bed; where being quite spent, he fell into a kind of slumber.
Of the Suction and Nutrition of the Great Scriblerus
in his Infancy, and of the first Rudiments of his Learning
S soon as Cornelius awaked, he raised himself on
his elbow, and casting his eye on Mrs. Scriblerus, spoke as follows. “ Wisely was it said by Homer, that
" in the Cellar of Jupiter are two barrels, the one of “ good, the other of evil, which he never bestows on " mortals separately, but constantly mingles them to"gether. Thus at the same time hath Heaven blessed “ me with the birth of a Son, and afflicted me with the “ scouring of my Shield. Yet let us not repine at his « Dispensations, who gives, and who takes away; but " rather join in prayer, that the Rust of Antiquity which “ he hath been pleased to take from my Shield, may be " added to my Son; and that so much of it, as it is my “ purpose he shall contract in his Education, may never " be destroyed by any modern polishing."
He could no longer bear the sight of the Shield, but ordered it should be removed for ever from his eyes. It was not long after purchased by Dr. Woodward, who, by the affiftance of Mr. Kemp, incrusted it with a new Ruft, and is the same whereof a Cut hath been engraved, and exhibited to the great Contentation of the learned.
Cornelius now began to regulate the Suction of his child. Seldom did there pass a day without disputes between him and the Mother, or the Nurse, concerning the nature of Aliment. The
Woman never dined but he denied her some dish or other, which he judged prejudicial to her milk. One day she had a longing defire to a piece of beef, and as she stretched her hand towards it, the old gentleman drew it away, and spoke to this effect. “ Hadst thou read the Ancients, O Nurse, “ thou would'ft prefer the welfare of the Infant which 66 thou nourisheft, to the indulging of an irregular and 66 voracious Appetite. Beef, it is true, may confer a 66 Robustness on the limbs of iny son, but will hebetate " and clog his intellectuals." While he spoke this, the “ Nurse looked upon him with much anger, and now and " then caft a wishful eye upon the beef.--" Paffion," (continued the Doctor, still holding the dish) “throws " the mind into too violent a fermentation; it is a kind " of fever of the soul, or, as Homer expresses it, a furt “ Madness. Consider, Woman, that this day's Suction
“ of my son may cause him to imbibe many ungoverti« able Paffions, and in a manner fpoil him for the tem
per of a Philosopher. Romulus by fucking a Wolf, 66 became of a fierce and savage disposition: and were I
to breed some Ottoman Emperor, or Founder of a “ Military Commonwealth, perhaps I might indulge “ thee in this carnivorous Appetite.”—“What," inter
rupted the Nurse, Beef spoil the understanding? that's « fine indeed-how then could our Parson preach as he does “ upon Beef, and Pudding too, if you go to that? Don't “ tell me of your Ancients, had not you almost killed the poor
babe with a Dish of Dæmonial black Broth!". “ Lacedæmonian black Broth, thou would'st say (re*“ plied Cornelius) but I cannot allow the surfeit to " have been occasioned by that diet, since it was recom“ mended by the Divine Lycurgus. No, Nurse, thou 66. must certainly have eaten some meats of ill digestion “ the day before, and that was the real cause of his dif66 order. Consider, Woman, the different Tempera"s ments of different Nations : What makes the English “ phlegmatick and melancholy, but Beef? What ren“ ders the Welsh so hot and cholerick, but Cheess and • Leeks? The French derive their levity from their “ Soups, Frogs, and Mushrooms : I would not let my cs Son dine like an Italian, lest like an Italian he should “ be jealous and revengeful: The warm and solid diet of “ Spain may be more beneficial, as it might endow him 66 with a profound Gravity, but, at the same time, he " might suck in with their food their intolerable Vice 66 of Pride. Therefore, Nurse, in short, I hold it re“ quisite to deny you, at present, not only beef, but 66 likewise whatsoever any of those Nations eat.” During this speech, the Nurse remained pouting and marking her plate with the knife, nor would the touch a bit during the whole dinner. This the old Gentleman observing, ordered that the Child, to avoid the risque of imbibing ill-humours, shouid be kept from her breast all that day, and be fed with Butter mixed with Honey, according to
a Prescription he had met with somewhere in Eustathius upon Homer. This indeed gave the Child a great looseness, but he was not concerned at it, in the opinion that whatever harm it might do his body, would be amply recompensed by the improvements of his understanding. But from thenceforth he infifted every day upon a particular Diet to be observed by the Nurse; under which having been long uneasy, she at last parted from the family, on his ordering her for dinner the Paps of a Sow with Pig; taking it as the highest indignity, and a di. rect insult upon her Sex and Calling.
Four years of young Martin's life passed away in squabbles of this nature. Mrs. Scriblerus confidered it was now time to instruct him in the fundamentals of Religion, and to that end took no small pains in teaching him his Catechism. But Cornelius looked upon this as a tedious way of Instruction, and therefore employed his head to find out more pleasing methods, the better to induce him to be fond of learning. He would frequently carry him to the Puppet-show of the Creation of the world, where the Child, with exceeding delight, gained a notion of the History of the Bible. His first rudiments in prophane history were acquired by seeing of Raree-shows, where he was brought acquainted with all the Princes of Europe. In short, the old Gentleman so contrived it, to make every thing contribute to the improvement of his knowledge, even to his very Dress. He invented for him a Geographical suit of cloaths, which might give him some hints of that Science, and likewise some knowledge of the Commerce of different Nations. He had a French Hat with an African Feather, Holland Shirts and Flanders Lace, English Cloth lined with Indian Silk, his Gloves were Italian, and his Shoes were Spanish : He was made to observe this, and daily catechised thereupon, which his Father was wont to call - Travelling at home.” He never gave him a Fig or an Orange, but he obliged him to give an account from what Country it came. In Natural History he was Vol. III,
much assisted by his Curiosity in Sign-Pofts, in so much that he hath often confessed he owed to them the knowledge of many Creatures which he never found, since in any Author, such as White Lions, Golden Dragons, eter He once thought the same of Green Men, but had since found them mentioned by Kercherus, and verified in the the History of Williain of Newbury*.
His disposition to the Mathematicks was discovered very early, by his drawing + parallel lines on his bread and butter, and intersecting them at equal Angles, so as to form the whole Superficies into Squareș.. But in the midft of all these improvements, a stop was put to his learning the Alphabet, nor would he let him proceed to Letter D, till he could truly and distinctly pronounce C in the ancient manner, at which the Child unhappily boggled for near three months. He was also obliged to delay his learning to write, having turned away the Writing-master because he knew nothing of Fabius's Waxen Tables,
Cornelius having read, and seriously weighed the mothods by which the famous Montagne was educated , and resolving in fome degree to exceed them, resolved he fhould speak and learn nothing but the learned Languages, and especially the Greek; in which he constantly eat and drank, according to Homer. But what moft conduced to his easy attainment of this Language, was him Love of Gingerbread ; which his Father observing caused it to be ftamped with the Letters of the Greek Alphabet; and the Child the very first day eat as far as Iota. By his particular application to this language above the reft, he attained so great a proficiency therein, that Grenovius ingenuously confeffes he durft not confer with
Gul. Neubrig. Book i. ch. 27.
Pascal's LifeLocke of Educ.ek – There are some extravagant lies told of the excellent Pascal's amazing genius for Mathematics in his carly youth; and fome triding dirc&tions given for the introduction to the elements of . Science, in Mr. Locke's book of Education.
Who was taught Latin in his nurse's arms, and not suffered to hear a Word of his mother tongue, till he could speak the other perfectly.