[From Townley's Journal, Vol II, 1791]
22d. I WAS very much surprised; in looking out at the window, to see the streets, so very dry last night, all afloat this morning. I suspected, therefore, there must have been a change of wind, during the night ; and so it proved.; for it had returned to the favourite point of South-west. The whole day proved very dark, and uncomfortably soggy, with a continual drizzling rain.
THE Liverpool packet boat came in the last afternoon, with two young ladies, belonging, this isle, passengers. The mail boat went out this afternoon, for Whitehaven, with a very fair wind.
LISTENING to the public-cryer, under my window, this afternoon, I heard it announced (by sound of bell) that the Vicar-General Moore would be here to-morrow; on some mischief, some spiritual prosecution, or persecution, I fear; unless, in imitation of his brother Vicar-General, Mr. Christian, he be bringing a cast-away horse to be raffled for. About three weeks ago, the last named gentleman sent one to be disposed of in that gambling way, at the rate of fifteen guineas. In order to induce gentlemen to become adventurers, in the clerical lottery, a friend to the church offered to give ten guineas for him, to the lucky person, if wishing to part with his valuable prize : so we we will suppose there was only a modest craving of five guineas, from the laity, for a poor parson.
THE Bishop's son proved fortune's favourite in that lottery ; so the horse was sent into better quarters, at Bishop's-Court but not proving suitable for a carriage horse, Blinker was sent back to Douglas, to be disposed of in the same manner, and upon the very same conditions. Mr. Cosnahan then proved the fortunate thrower. I have since heard that gentleman say, the horse was not a suitable one for his use, therefore had thoughts of pushing him off in the same way. - What a pretty convenient system of gambling has been introduced into Douglas, under church authority!
THE following very curious and most extraordinary presentments, which have alto fortunately fallen into my hands, will, I trust, justify the fears above alluded to ; and clear me of forming any uncandid apprehensions, with refer to one of the first dignitaries of the Manks church. Let the presentments speak for themselves.
" K. K. Maroon Church, 1st Nov. 1789,
John Bridson, curate.-Presentments. "' The curate and wardens present Margaret Clark, alias Fayle, for fornication. (a child born at K. K. Patrick, 24th November). This woman has deposed, on the Holy Evangelists, that William Kelly, of the said parish, is the father of the. said child; which he acknowledged before me Evan Christian. The said Mary Clark is thereupon censured 7 dies in carcere, and to enter into bonds of 31, in usum domini regis, to undergo penance 3 dies plena ecclesia, in penitential habit, et non iterum fornicari ; and the said William Kelly, for being an adulterer, is censured 14 dies in carcere, and to enter into bonds of 10l. in usum domini regis , to undergo penance 7 dies in diverfis ecclefais, et non iterum machari. Evan Christian." " Item. The wardens present William Kelly, for not living with his own wife, and for living with the above named Margaret Clark, alias Fayle.-The said William Kelly and Margaret Clark are hereby ordered to be committed (alternately) to prison, there to remain, until they enter into bonds of 10l. in usum domini regis, not to cohabit, or associate together, in future, except at church and market ; and, before releasement, to pay all fees."
" The Wardens present Christiana Gullam,, for fornication; a child born : common fame. This woman having alleged that The has a husband, who is father of the said child, * her sensure is suspended till her allegations can be disproved. JOHN MOORE.
Ev. CHRISTIAN. examined by J. CRELLIN, Epis. Reg. To the Sumper, to execute.
* Is it not dangerous, for, a man to get his own wife with child, without leave from the spiritual court ?
" St. ANN's presentments. " 8th Nov. '1789. Charles Crebbin, vicar, upon the information of William Mc. Gloriory, one of the Chapter quest, the churchwardens preterit John Mc. Bovie, for cursing one of his own cattle, in these words, Gad damn you.-Upon the questman's information, they present Thomas Harman, for swearing by his conscience, and making use of the word DIVEL in his common talk.-Upon the information of Thomas Quivite, one of the chapter quest, they present Thomas Caine, for not attending Divine Service on the Sabbath day, and for cursing Elizabeth Callister, in there words, plague on thee. Upon the information of the said questman, they present Elizabeth Callister; for cursing Thomas Caine, in the same words that he cursed her, viz.-plague on thee. Upon the information of the said questman, they present Eliz. Hinley, wife of W. Hinley, jun. for swearing by her soul. On the same they present Thomas Faggart, for swearing by his conscience, and Philip Hinley, for swearing by his soul. Upon the information of John Farger, one of the chapter quest, they present Margaret Creer, for not attending Divine Service, on the Lord's day.
* Tit for tat-more grist to the mill - O shame ! where is thy blush ?
" At a Chapter Court, held at Castletown on the 12th November, 1789. The said John Mc. Bovie, Thomas Harman, Thomas Caine, Elizabeth Callister, Elizabeth Hindley, Thomas Faggart, Philip Hindley, and Margaret Creer, having not appeared in Court, according to summons, we fine 2s. 6d. each, for their contempt ; and they are to be admonished by their pastor, for their said offences:
JOHN MOORE. EVAN CHRISTIAN. Examined by J. CRELLIN, EPIC Reo. To the Vicar of St. Ann's, these to publish plena ecclesia;
" K. K. Malew presentments, November 8th, 1789.-" David Harrison, vicar. The wardens present the following persons, viz. Margaret Bell, for fornication ; a relapse; child born.
- At a Chapter Court, holden at Castletown, 12th November. This woman has deposed, on the Holy Evangelists, that Sommerville Murray, of the parish of Malew, is the father of the illegitimate child. These persons are, for their offence, censured 7 dies (alternately) in carcere, and to give bonds in 31. in usum domini regis, to undergo penance 3 dies in ecclefia, in penitential habit, et non iterum fornicari."
ALAS ! poor Murray!-But lay, ye severe ones, what would you have done, when youth, wine, love, and darkness were all in combination against the CHASTITY of a ,frail mortal ? Two more women and two more men, in the same string of presentments, for the same offence ; ordered the same punishment.
I HAVE also, by me, presentments for two other parishes ; but my pen revolts, being quite jaded with transcribing such nonsensical stuff ; such as must draw a smile from every person of common sense ;-an indignant one it must be ; that within a Protestant country, in this enlightened age, such absurdities should be even tolerated.
THE Vicars General need not join in the wishful exclamation, with Mr. Pope,
" Oh for that easy Ciceronian style
" So Latin, yet so English, all the while;
for such a sweet mixture, or happy jumblement, of a dead language with a living one, cannot be exhibited, in any compositions, as we find in those mild sentences pasted upon the poor trembling culprits, for certain ecclesiastical offences, by them committed.
HAPPY Mona ! with two such noble reformers of morals, correctors of manners, and regulators of conversation ; thou must soon be a pattern of immaculate purity and virtue, to all Christian folks; wheresoever dispersed over the face of the globe ; even such a pattern
As Jews may bless, and Infidels adore."
Happy are the people that are in such a case that have such assiduous guides, such spiritual governors to watch over them.-See journal for the 2d of December.
23d. A VERY mild looking morning tempts me to break my confinement, a little after eleven, and to take a few turns upon the pier head.-Numbers were entertained, as well as myself, with the melody of my sweet thrush, perched on his beloved thorn, and warbling with as much spirit as if it had been an April morning, ; not one of those that are clad in a wintry cloud, but one of there rare ones, when mildness and serenity equally prevail. A few loft drops of rain came down upon us, from a thin fleecy cloud, that was passing from the west. The day continued in the same dripping, doubtful state; but ended with very heavy rain ; but still loft and mild. I must there-fore compare it with the last twenty-third of January.
" JANUARY 23d, Boulogne. A clear morning, and excessive cold; though no frost. It .as very much the chilling feel of a snow wind ; and I do expect we shall have a considerable fall of it before tomorrow: morning,, Capt. Connel's packet boat, Capt. Merriton's London trader; deeply laden with wine, and a large smuggling cutter; deeply laden with brandy and gin, all went out of harbour about nine, with a noble gale of wind, at S. E.''
24th Just such a mild, soft morning as the last; which tempted me down to the pier head, before nine; where I was entertained with my favourite bird, in a solo, for some time . when another sweet thrush opened his shrill pipes. from another buff;. about a hundred yards higher up the hill. They had many hearers, and as many admirers and long, would I have staid; to listen to their wild responsive notes; had not a severe fit of coughing reminded me of my imprudence; and sent me from damp atmosphere, to the more salutary one, within the influence of a good coal-fire; in my. comfortable lodgings. The harbour is fall of noble, large brigs; bound for different ports.
25th. (Or St. Paul's Day) A MOST charming day, from the first dawn to thee close of the evening ; so that if any faith is to be given to the old English adage, we may expect a happy year: being exempted from all fears of a scarcity in the grand necessaries of life. Such a delightful, serene morning tempted me very early out of my lodgings, to notice what arrivals there might be in the shipping-way, and to hear my tweet birds chaunt their grateful morning-hymns." Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord,"says the Royal Psalmist : and we may truly lay, of the feathered tribe, that they are ever ready to perform that pleasant duty :-when their spirits are exhilarated, by a fine day, they are grateful for it.
I SALLIED forth again, about nine, to take a long stroll, by the head of the bay, into the country, by Banks How, and to on to Laxey. In my long ramble, met with a farmer, whom I had ten minutes chat with; and observing upon the uncommon fineness and pleasantness of the day, for the month of January, he replied, Yes; but he feared it would be only another Fox-day for there was a great hoar upon the ground, early in the morning, though very little frost. A Fox-day is a very common expression in this island ; and by it, I believe, they mean a single fair day, that is sure to be closely pursued by a rainy one.-The wind chiefly at West; though at times, in the day, it veered more than half a point to the North but, at night; it returned to its old favourite quarters.
26th. THERE was a very great fall of rain in the night; or very early this morning; for at day-break, the streets were swimming with water, and the appearance of the morn forebodes a very wet day; so the farmer was quite right, in his opinion of yesterday. I sincerely with this day may be a Fox-day of another sort; closely pursued by another fine day; for this damp, dripping weather very ill accords ,with a breast-complaint; and a troublesome cough ; and has laid up many stout people, in bad colds and feverish complaints.
THE packet-boat is arrived with the mail; and the Hope smack is got into the bay, from the West of Ireland, with a full cargo of herrings, for Mr. Tobin. Four sloops are got near the entrance of the harbour; waiting for the flow of the tide; to bring them in. I have a notion, they are apprehensive of some hard-blowing weather; from the appearance of the sea ; which was much agitated this morning; when there was hardly a breath of wind but, since the turn of the tide, it has begun to blow very freshly; and, from appearances, will soon blow very hard:-The evening; and so it does; for a more stormy evening I hardly ever remember, at Douglas,
17th. AFTER a very stormy night, a hard-blowing morning, but quite fair; which is a very great comfort; a comfort but seldom known in this island:
I FANCY the Boulogne and Douglas Journals will begin to accord better than they have hitherto done; lance the end of the preceding November ;-for instance,
" JAN. 27th, 1789, at Boulogne.--A very boisterous, and most unpleasant morning; and so gross a fog upon the sea, that it looked at nine as dark as Erebus; yet Capt. Keys has ventured out with a gentleman, who was mott impatient to be landed upon his native shore, after having been absent from it about seventeen months, on a tour through France, Switzerland, Italy, and part of Spain. I hope the Vessel will get safe to Dover; though I have just been told that she was in considerable peril, in crossing over the bar, the sea ran so very high and strong, and an impetuous current bearing hard upon her, in an oblique direction to the course she was obliged to steer. However, the people at the pier-head (tremendous dark as it 'was) could see her at last get clear of the bar when she would be perfectly safe : and then could not be more than three hours in crossing the channel, with such a stiff, steady breeze, blowing from a most favourable point.
MADAME Le Roche has had vast numbers of smugglers to visit her this day; their great: want and urgent desire was to get from her what she could not supply them with, nor any one (I believe) in this place, " Holland Spirit:- for not a single vessel has dared to venture out of the Maese, since the breaking up of the frost, on account of the vast floats of ice that are moving about every where, along that flat coast. The loss of the vessel (laden with that spirit) near Calais some time ago, and the recent one of the very fine brig, stranded upon this coast, within two miles of this place, will make all others very cautious of venturing out, till the weather becomes more settled, and the channel pretty well cleared of ice-floats.
A VERY heavy fog came on, soon after nine, which soon changed into rain, succeeded by a shower of snow and sleet, entirely disqualifying the 27th of January from having a place in the petit list of fair days, which fills wonderous. slowly.
THE fishermen now catch, every day, immense quantities of codlings, and great plenty of haddocks too ; the last superior to any I ever met with on any other coast ; being so very firm and sweet, and the flesh of them as white as the virgin snow..
THE wind veering in the afternoon, a point or two to, the northward, the day has cleared up so wonderfully, that some foregazers proclaim a frost in the morning : the air being, exceedingly sharp and biting upon the fingers is the only symptom that gives me any confidence in that opinion; and that is strongly thwarted by the smock-faced appearance of the moon pallida pleat" is the old., observation,
28th. WHEN I opened my window this morning, I law the channels in the streets running down like torrents. I have not seen so lyet a fore-noon, for several months past; never the least intermission.
In a manuscript History of this Island, (of which I have a temporary possession, through the obliging civility of Mr. James Oates) I find the fellowing, whimsical and, curious exordium,
To the READER.
" IN the year 1648, which threatened fatally and. climacterically the period of the monarchy of Great Britain, wearied with being so often awakened at midnight, to fly from the King's and parliament's troopers, both equally feared, because equally plundering) and finding no shelter under Snodon Hills, which Camden calls the Alpes of Britanny, where the ancient Britons found security, whilst her woods were unwasted, and Carnarvonshire kept the name of Snodon-Forest. But being now laid open both to the view and access of any invader : from there men I resolved voluntarily to banish myself for awhile, into the Island of Man; whither divers of the nobility had been banished by divers of our kings. And although I had then many giant-like difficulties to deter me; as that it had the repute of a barren island : my small means left after former plunderings, and late sequestrations : besides unknown of any there, accompanied only with the weaker kind, (in Josephus's phrase) of the worser sex : (c) Yet few slight motives were sufficiently powerful to invite me whither, as I conceived, necessity compelled me. For first, the island being but as a little mole-hill, moated about with the main sea, and. remoted from England, I, found it as a place freed from our island, so also freed. from its fears and troubles therefore probably I should, no more meet with nightmares in roan, to molest me. Moreover that small means might serve in a penurious place ; and betides all the , I must have some little titillation of curiosity, by this occasion, to see what there was to be seen, and. to observe whether there was any, thing worthy of observation, in a, place so remote and, neglected, and so seldom frequented, except by such as were merely necessitated.
(c) I hope the Ladies will pardon my making the transcript, when I assure them, my creed totally differsfrom the Jewish. A LADY, of great wit, once told me " she looked upon Josephus as a .here old woman. "Possibly my author might be the same.
BUT being engaged, and. under sail, I, found, that true which usually all do experience, that our greatest fears are not always, the greatest things to be feared; the particulars whereof do little concern the reader, or this my present engagement : but I render most humble acknowledgment to the Divine, Disposer of things here on earth, that has so graciously ordained. that no misery should be immortal to a mortal man.
WHILE I, was rocked in this floating; cradle of my little skiff, (but I had much more leisure, being landed) contemplating the island, and reflecting upon its name, there occurred to my memory Moyles his expressions and interpretations of the word MAN: in the sacred text (in its original language) importing as much as to say What at is this ?, For the sacred text says, " they wist not - what it was ;" which name may still (not unfitly) be given to this island : for notwithstanding the all that many have written. thereof, we are still put to ask " What is this island ? How is it governed? With what laws and. customs, political or ecclesiastical ? The power, antiquity, and succession of the kings, Lords of Man ?- Of their bishops, and many other particulars most important and requisitely necessary, for the compleating of a history ?" Mr. James Chaloner only (and that very lately, when I. had almost ended this little work of mine) in a little manuscript of the legal government and the practice part. thereof, he has so, exactly discovered to us, as none yet had done, so none could, do but he and Mr. Tinsley, the Lord Fairfax his attorney for that island ; and, let this part be ascribed unto them alone.
" As for Julius Caesar, Ptolomey, Dion Cassius, Tacitus, Crosius, and some others, their cotemporaries, they are well observed, upon, by, one of our curious searchers of antiquity, to, have left unto us nil, nisi nomen. And although Cæsar says, that many had written of this island, yet I find only Demetrius, a Briton, to be named ; and he, by Plutarch, is said to have written a treatise of the British Isles, the loss of which work is not a little to be lamented, because no where now extant ; yet Mr. Camden calls it a fabulous narrative.
But the sullen silence of ages succident is by me much admired, that neither Guildas, Ninnius, The Venerable Bede, Geoffry of Monmouth, Gyraldus, Cambriensis, &c. &c. have not vouchsafed to discover, in any of the last particular treatises, a part concerning the island of Man to posterity ; wherein they seem, by their silence, to verify the Manksman's tradition, that the island was not discovered till of late years, and that, for many ages before, especially during the reign, of Mana-man-Mac-Lea, the necromancer, it had been invisible and inaccessible. The like is said of Nicobanus, (d) king of Egypt, and the like hereof is yet at this day confidently said of that (as yet unknown island) not far from the north west part of Ireland, and by them called O'Brazile, (e) which in one place there northward is hid betwixt two rocks, but by any man at a great distance (at sea) is plainly to be, seen and discovered, yet not to be discovered by any approach, which was experimented by Sir Richard Buckle,, of Anglesey, who fruitlessly endeavoured the discovery of it, by twice manning out a vessel of his own, from Beaumaris. And what more have Ralph Higden, Walsinghain, Leland, Polidore Virgil, Polichron, or any of our chroniclers, added, except only the names of some havens, creeks, and such like ? William Harrison (f) indeed has, in one folio leaf, written more than all, and had much merited, if he had written as truly as he did confidently ; but having almost as many lies as lines, (as I shall demonstrate in the several parts of the sequel) having nothing of his own, but taken up upon trust, I cordially wish he had been silent. From geographers (even the latest) amongst whom have best deserved, and. by me mots: respected, are Mercator and P. Heylin ; (our compatriots) for there indeed endeavoured to publish truths, as near as they could. But from Maginus,Alfonsus,. Tostatus,. Joh. Bellandon, Andrew Dechene, (the King of France's geographer) Philip Cluverius, (the Hollander) or such, I expected little or no adjuvancy ; for these geographers seem to me to resemble Cartaphilus, or rather Josephus, (it being his Christian and therefore better name) but commonly called or known by the name of the Wandering Jew,, whom Matthew Paris relateth (g) had peragated all the universe over, but made no stay in any place until his pilgrimage performed by land, he now resideth in Armenia, where the remains of Noah's (h) Ark rest also, after its voyage by water. So. these geographers wandering pens concisely and cursorily came overall places and countries; but never intended to make it their design to particularise all the parts of any one part of them.
IT pitied me therefore much to look upon these geographers, their laconical descriptions, of this my little Man, and to observe how they have made him in effect a mere diminutive dwarf. Notwithstanding we find a few others rl.these our times, who have contributed their endeavours to the utmost of their poffe towards our satisfaffion ; for the indefatigable Bishop of Armagh, (Usher, a learned antiquary) has much satisfied me, in the discovery of divers bishops of Man, and his disavowing of Hector Boetius, and his Veremundus, and of both the forged Amphibalas ; but he wittingly waveth all discourse of the island itself.
(d) As Nicobanus has been dead so many centuries, the learned Welshman should have allowed him to rest in peace, within his native land, and not cited him to this very far-distant isle, to answer a charge of necromancy.
(e) Governed by another necromancer, who, by his art magic, made his island play at bo-peep with the baronet.
(f) Our author has here exhibited a proof of his very estensive reading. As for poor William Harrison, he deems to have been introduced upon the page, for the sole purpose of being knocked down as he entered upon. it. A liar cannot be too ill treated.
(g) Pontificum libros, annosa volumina.
(h) I hope the Wandering Jew, a subject of so much wonder and admiration to old women and school-boys, has built himself a comfortable habitation ; out of those venerable remains; to rest his weary feet and limbs in,, after such a wonderful pilgrimage.
" SIR EDWARD COKE, in less than one sheet of paper, has divulged three records; concerning this island, and therein has merited much of Man and me; and truly so long as he employed his talent in his own element, and as a lawyer, and a great reader of records, none therein exceeded him; put in the rest of that chapter .being tranfsumpted from others) by leaning unto them, he hath detracted from himself.
" A LITTLE before these two last,there were fent unto Mr. Camden (by one Doctor Merrick, then Bishop of Man) certain collections concerning this Isle of Man, which are now extant, in the end of his matchless Britannia, in his Treatise de Insulis Britannicis, the whole containing only four whole sheets of paper in folio ; whereof the three first was the work written by the monks of the Abbey of Rushen in Man, wherein is a catalogue of the Kings of Man, whom the Manksmen at this day (but ignorantly) call Orrys, their succession and civil dissentions amongst themselves. and nothjnm else ; yet this is intided and passeth for a Chronicle of Man:
I PROBABLY presume this was not the only work of the Monks, written concerning the island ; but rather that their endeavours have proved as mortal as their monastery, and probably both perished together. In the other sheet are such observations as Bishop Merrick could procure; or learn; of the Manksmen, concerning the island itself.
" HERE . I cannot but admire how it was possible that a Bishop of Man; resident in Man, could by any man (in so little an island) be so misled as to inform Mr. Camden of such gross absurdities and visible untruths as these:
"1 st. That the women of the island, whithersoever they went out of doors, girt themselves with the winding sheet, that they propose to be buried in; to shew themselves mindful of their mortality. (h)
2d. " That there were but 12 Keys to the island. (i)
3d. That such women as are at any time condemned to die, are sowed up in a sack, and flung from a rock into the sea. (h)
4th. That there are no beggars in the island. (l)
5th. That none in the island are inclined to robbing or thieving. (m)
" FAR be it from me to glance at the least thought of accusation, or to I ay the least aspersion to Mr. Camden himself, whole labours have perennized his honour with an eternal laurel, to all posterity ; for he was only guilty of too much credulity, and confiding over much in his friends mistaking and misinformation.
(h) A humbug upon the poor credulous bishop. At least: no traces are remaining, from tradition, of such an absurd custom having ever prevailed in the island.
(i) There were, at all times, 24 ; but they were not always chosen in the same manner; ' During that period, when several of the Weslern Islands of Scotland were under the sovereignty of this little kingdom, 16 were chosen out of this island; and 8 from the Out Isles,, (as they were then called) to make up the full complement, which never varied as to number.
(h) Equally idle and fabulous as the first.
(l) The reverse is true at present, and there never was any poor's rate, or other certain mode of maintenance: Collections in the churches, every Sunday, is the only Certain mode of relief.
(m) How the people may naturally be inclined, is very difficult to be ascertained; but very few robberies, or thefts, are publicly noticed, considering the inhabitancy of the island.
" JOHN SPEED; that wrote after him, is a mere escriptor out of him, without the addition of one syllable of his own, either in the abridgemt of his Chronicle, or in his Theatre of the Monarchy of Great Britain. Had either Camden or Speed, (both accompted and acknowledged our ablest and best geographers) who with so great pains and expences personally visited all the parts of every shire in England and Wales ; had they, I say, undergone but half a day's voyage unto this island; and made one month's only perambulation therein; they would have found themselves to become Sammaritans, rather believing themselves than any other's relations and much less, misinformations ; "and might have gathered there solid observations for an ample treatise; and have eased me of much labour and time, which, it may be might have been better employed upon a better subject. (n)
WHAT deterred, or diverted them from writing more., is not easily to be conjectured, unless undervaluing its worth, and ignorant of its merit, (they presumed) in a prejudicated opinion, that the discovery thereof would not be sufficiently satisfactory to compensate the loss of time and expences requisite to perform the same; but therefore it was never held strange that the uncouth should be unkissed, and the unproved, unpraised.
" THIS omission of both these (by whom this work might have been by many degrees better performed, (o) and being a subject most befitting either of them'; (it so nearly approximating the meridian of Great Britain) was the only motive that promoted the divulgation of these my collections gathered from occular observation and not taken from any misinformed relation of others and therefore no man can justly cenrure,me that I do actum agere; I having not difpossessed any man of any part; that was prepossessed before one.
" NOTWITHSTANDING, though I have been enabled to discover more than any have, or would do, yet, I have reason to veil this lowest, and that most willingly to, acknowledge, that though this be the all that I as yet do know; yet it is not the all that may be known of the Isle; myself being conscious of force few defects and omissions, by reason my return was necessitated thence, before I could fully satisfy myself in force particulars, which yet are neither many, nor of the most concernment.
" AT my being there, I observed the best decorum; I could not wade too deep to dive into secrets ; for in such petty states it was requisite to be circumspect, where it was dangerous to be inquisitively curious ; for such curiosity exciteth jealousy. I found the Earl of Derby his chief officers (p) too wise to prostitute the island's arcaria, and to press them would have savoured of incivility. I then therefore made my addresses to those that were of a lower class, who I knew would sooner and could better satisfy my curiosity ; and so; amongst the four and twenty, I prevailed with one to make use of his key to open his cabinet, wherein I not only found what I so much admired; but I found also much favour and freedom were allowed me to copy whence what I pleased.
" WHATEVER weakness or defect of this island was obvious to my observation, they are best known to myself, and I hold it most unworthy and much below me to divulge them of that place where I was both civilly received; and hospitably entertained ; but as concerning myself in this discovery of the island, I acknowledge myself obliged to the same laws of an Historian, " ne quid falsi audeat dicere, nec quid veri non audeat," as said Cicero : therefore I shall punctually observe both with all sincerity and integrity; "spe metuq; proculi,"
(n) The world was all before him,-and reason for his guide,-therefore why did not our author make choice of one more worthy of his pen, his time, and labour
(o) I rather doubt, whether the Welsh Justice is quite serious, in this humble acknowledgment.
(p) He means gentlemen that had been chief officers, when James Earl of Derby held the sovereignty ; for Lord Fairfax held the government, for the Parliament, or Commonwealth, at the time our author visited this island. This is noticed by himself, near the beginning of this motely address to the reader, where he mentions a Mr. Tynsley, who was attorney for Lord Fairfax, for the island.-IF our author had not given us any clue, to lead us to the time when his manuscript history was compiled, any one, the least conversant with the writings of the pedantic age, which commenced with the beginning of James the First's reign, (that Solomon of the North) and ended with the abdication of that very simple son of a very sensible father, (Richard the Protector) would know this to be the offspring of that over-learned period, when Greek and Latin were spouted from the bench, and every poor curate's sermon teemed with learned quotations, of which the poor man (perhaps) did not understand, a single iota
29th. THE last night was tremendously stormy ; almosl beyond former remembrance. This morning is pretty bright and clear, very cold too, but no appearance of frost.--Two brigs, from Ulverstone, laden with pig iron for Chepstow; luckily got within the, bay, soon after the furious blowing came on, and got safe into the harbour, by the first of the morning's tide. Wind N. W.-The mail boat is gone.
30th: THIS morning as much resembles the last, as one pea does another; the wind too, exactly in the same point. This is a day very differently observed, by different persons in England. Some esteem it a day that ought to- be most solemnly and religiously observed, a day of the greatest humiliation and contrition, for the execution of a most amiable prince, by the authority of a self-assumed court. Others think it well-deserving of commemoration; as the day which gives a lesson and warning to all princes and rulers, against intruding, or infringing, upon the civil and' religious rights of a free born people. I can well remember when the observance of it was most general and solemn,, amongst all ranks of people, in the county that gave me birth: but it is fallen now into very great and general disregard ; being scarcely distinguished from the day that went before it,. especially by all the higher ranks; indeed; throughout the-whole nation.
THE Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament, formerly were attended by their entire families to church, in very solemn state ; the Speaker of the Lower House, now, can hardly mark up half a score,-out of his very large one., (to save appearances) though certain to hear a very highly finished composition ; ever considered as the touch stone of the preacher's political principles ; the weather-cock, pointing out to what mighty power he lifts up his eyes for more earthly blessings,
I DARE say, the 30th of January this year will be pondered upon, and bitterly remembered, by the Royal Prisoners in France: for the mockery of freedom must be daily anguish, to sensible minds that have once tasted the inestimable blessing of perfect liberty. Many, it is certain, are indebted to kind nature, in the share of tranquillity they enjoy under the afflictions of life, for not bestowing upon them too sensitive perceptions. The hardy rustic feels the scourging rod of adversity, as well as the silken sons of pleasure ; but the smart is very different ; the bitter remembrance much more so.
31 st. THE last night was so very wet, as to wash out the day from my petit list of dry weather. This morning is fair, and is cold too, with the wind nearly due east ; which may give this day a chance of increasing the small score ; if the old necromancer does not send down upon us one of his sullen fogs, that hardly ever leave us, without causing a moist distillation.
I MUST contrast the close of January 1790, with the close of January, 1789, as it will give the fine province of Artois, in point- of mildness, a snatched advantage over the rocky island of Mona.
" Boulogne, Jan. 31, 1789.-As January came in like a mott furious Russian bear, with dangling ice all horrid, so he goes out like a gentle, peaceable lamb, all mildness . As-fine a morning, as the heart of man could wish ; the aen, bland as well as temperate, and the sun beaming down upon us laid benign influence ; not with a summer lustre indeed, but with a vivifying and invigorating warmth ; making us (almost) forget the rigours of the most severe winter that the inhabitants of the mild region of France ever shivered under."
THE Ulverstone brigs still remain in the harbour, to be sheltered from the present stormy weather, and two Scotch vessels are since come in to seek a temporary refuge from it. We fully expected the arrival of the mail boat ;. but a most sudden change of the wind, at the turn of the. tide, from east to west, will, I fear, disappoint us.,
I WENT down to the sand, to meet the coming tide, and bid it welcome to the shore; from whence it very soon, uncivilly drove me ; doing me much good against my will, by sending me, from the chilling blasts of a raw and gusty Jay,, to the comfortable warmth of a good coal fire
February 1st. THE last night proved of the true Manks sort, excluding a pretty promising day, from ranking in my favourite list ; however, Dame Luna has introduced the new month very handsomely ; shining serenely bright, when I drew back my window curtain, at half past six.
As I am always interested in every circumstance respecting the country I reside in, I find myself much entertained even with the fabulous history of its origin, which my Welsh author has cooked up very handsomely for me, and saved me the trouble of turning over some other " Annosa volumina," respecting this island.-His creed, " That there was a King in Man, that was a Paynim and a Necromancer, whom St. Patrick there found, and confounded, is very probable ; for Jocelinus, an ancient monk of the Abbey of Furness, writing the life of St. Patrick, seems to confirm (though not in direct words affirm) as much ; and both he, and all that, have written this Saint's life, have observed that not only Ireland, but all the other islands, converted by him, were pestered with (and by him delivered from) three plagues ; first, venomous beasts, 2d. visible devils, (q) and ad. a multitude of magicians.
(q) It has not been my luck to see one of these visible devils. Some of the editors of country newspapers, in, England, must have been so fortunate, or they would not know how to pourtray Old Scratch, so well; for whenever they advertise horse-Healing, they precede the paragraph, with a Garron mounted, by a Scape gallows, and the Devil close behind him, to keep him steady_g' in the way, that leadeth to destruction."
" CONCERNING o venomous beasts driven out of the Isle of Man, I have spoken before. 2d. Devils, we, may presume, are too frequent and familiar, where necromancers prevail and are Numerous, they being not only obsest, but also possessed by them. 3d. That the Isle of Man, was addicted to sorceries and witchcraft, we have the testimony of antiquity, Giraldus Cambriensis, and out of him Polichron, and out of both, Wm.: Harrison, all say, That long before this time, the Mankswomen, or Witches, did sell winds unto passengers inclosed in three knots tied; upon a cord. (r) When they desired an ordinary wind, they should unty one knot ; if they desired more wind, then to unty another ; with other more such stuff,, which you, I nay read in any of the abovenamed.
" BUT who this Manna-man-mac-Lea, should be, that conquered man, neither could the Manksmen inform me, nor can I the reader, I may fancy him an Irishman; but I find no such name, or man, in any history, Irish, Scottish, or British. Jocelinus tells us of one MeIinus, a rnaster magician indeed,, that was in Man, at St. Patrick's. coming thither; yet whether this Mac-Lea was then called Mely, I know no motive to imagine; being my author calling him a. magician only, and not king of the island. Besides Jocelin saith Melin perished within the island; but this Mac-Lea, saith this tradition, was driven out of the island. However this Melin far exceeded Manna-mac-Lea, in all things here related; for this Melin, in his magical actions, emulated Simon Magus, and afplred to have the reputation of a God, and did fly in the air (s) with the same surenels; for as Simon was soaring on high, he was precipitated, and perished by the prayers of St. Peter; so saith Jocelmus, this Melin carne fluttering down, at the prayers of St. Patrick, and so perished."
(r) Shakespeare ascribed to his wrinkled hags the power of selling winds;, ~ but they did not know the art of tying them up so nicely ; that curious knowledge was reserved for the Manks venders, who (according to the, annosa volumina of Mona) were the daughters of Rex Eootus, King Eolus, by Deiopea, that beautiful nymph whom connubial Juno gave him to wife, for assisting her so successfully in fouling the poor Trojans, so terribly, in the briny, waves of the Tyrrhenian sea,
" Sunt mihi. bis septem prastianti corpore nimphae,
" Quarum, quae formd pulcherrima, Deiopeam,
" Connubio jungam stabili, propriamque dicabo ;
" Omnes ut tecum, meritis pro talibus, annos
" Exigat, et pulchra faciat te prole parentem."
" Twice seven bright nymphs, of beateous shape, are mine,
" For thy reward, the fairest I'll resign,
" The charming Deiopea shall be thine.
" She, on thy bed, long blessings shall confer,
" And make thee father of a race like her.
No wonder, therefore, that the Manks witches are so beautiful, that it is dangerous to gaze upon them
(s) The inhabitants of Mona are much obliged to my countryman, the ofd monk of Furness, or my new Cambrian acquaintance, for giving their little island the honour of producing the first aeronaut in Europe.
THIS morning kept so fine, that it indulged me with my favourite walk to the Head, and so along the lofty beach. I may venture to place this day, in the fair list; for not one drop of rain has fallen.
2d. THERE has been some rain in the night, and the morning is gloomy, and very unpromising for another fair day. This day three years, I well remember attending the morning service, at the noble convent of Berlaimont in Brussels, when the chapel was most elegantly decked out, and highly decorated in honour of the grand festival, The solemn observance of that day's service gave me an opportunity of seeing and minutely noticing, every inhabiter of that great religious society, and much renowned seminary for female education and instruction; and entirely unveiled too; and I was so near them, having taken care to place myself close to the chapel-grate-window, that I could easily, have kissed some of the sweetest lily-white hands that my eyes had ever feasted upon; for they all came singly unveiled, according to seniority in the convent, to receive a wax-taper from the officiating priest, and to kiss his hand, when he delivered it.
I MUST own, that his situation caused a little envy to spring up, and an involuntary with that I had been the officiating priest, upon that particular occasion. I marked the man very well, during the tempting ceremony, and was very certain that he had tome sensations about him, that were not in perfect unison wish hii prosessions of strict mental chastity. Yet I could not blame the holy man, but either dame mature, or a temptation that was irresistible to the flesh and blood, even of a monk.
" To see, when my fair-one goes by,
" Some hermit peep out of his cell
" How he thinks on his youth with a filth,
" How kindly he wishes her well !
" On him, the may smile if she please,
" 'Twill warm the old bosom of age;
" Yet cease, lovely Delia ! oh, cease ;
" Such softness, will ruin the sage"
Sd. THE last evening, in returning from a childish entertainment, Ombre Chinoise, I found a soft and damp distillation of the Scotch-mist kind, which kicked a promising day out of the fair liti; for I found myself uncomfortably wet, in walking about two hundred yards, with a great coat. The rain must have continued to fall, for some time; the streets appearing in their usual style this morning, very miry; however, I awaked to a chearful-looking morning, whatever the event of the day may be.
CAPTAIN COOK. (in his fine cutter) came into the harbour about the turn of the tide yesterday. As it is too dirty for a stroll up to the Head, or any where else with comfort, I must look for a little more amusement, out of the Snodon emigrant,. by adverting to his opinion of episcopal-rule, within this little kingdom.
" NEXT they shew us, by ;what services the Manksmen did hold their lands. in those days; whereof I shall forbear to dilate, having discovered thereof at large, in a subsequent chapter, a part where I shall set forth the power of a king, or lord, of Man in .Man,--In all the subsequent particulars, I am a mere sceptic inquisitoy; for I am not as yet convinced, that St. Patrick expelled Manna-man-Mac- Lea, or any other king, out of Man; neither can I be induced to believe that St. Patrick had any intentions to place bishops there, (not only to expel paganism; and to teach them Christianity„ but to rule and govern as lords aver then in temporalibus) and especially, that this government should he successive, and that for many years, even until the coming of a king of Denmark's son, called Orry; and who these Orrys were, is to me a great guere :but of every of these in their order:
"2d. I DARE not, I cannot, I will not deny, but acknowledge that St. Patrick (whom God had constellated from his birth a superlative thaumaturgus, to work most stupendous miracles; and had given him Victor, for angel guardian to assist him) was more than competently empowered; potentially to expel all king Manna-man-Mac- Lea's illusionsi and to precipitate his magician Milinus; for in Irelands he had acted as much by one Lochn (another archimago) who, by the saint's prayers, was dashed down from on high, and broke his neck; another falling from aloft died not, but being mortally wounded and bruisd, St. Patrick, by his prayers, obtained restitution of his health, both of body and soul; and he became a good christian." (t)
(t) A noble figure of speech ! of the climax order, no doubt ; but not of the common sort ;-but of the lofty Snodon offspring,
I SHALL, for the present, close my correspondence with the Welsh biographer; before his entrance upon the druidical history, and his second furious rout of the poor bishops and lords in temporalibus, within this island but not-without paying my bounden acknowledgments to the very learned writer, for making me so well acquainted with the wonderful achievements and miraculous powers of the Irish Apostle ; for I had ever before been ufed to look up to the noble PRIMITIVE ones, with veneration, as the highest, as well as, the first, in APOSTOLIC RANK.
4th. A FINE winter's day, though a little cold, and fair from morning to night;-the wind N. W. by. W.-The cruizer cutter is come into harbour, and the Pigmy is going out upon a cruize.-Was up at the Hague, to look over Captain Cook's new purchase, which he seems to be much pleased with; and no wonder, for he hath set it, for this year; to Mr. Wilson, for 60l. which is giving him five per cent. for his purchase-money.
5th. ANOTHER very fine winter's day;- the wind in the same quarter.-The lady of Mr. Casson, the stout English blacksmith, has certainly seen the shadow of poor Bobby Caesar. Shadow it must be, for he was a mere shade, when allowed, by public authority, to rank with the living. There can be no doubt of the fact, as The knew him so well, whoa lie was that shade ; is now in her cool, sober senses, and avers She will maintain the truth of it, to the last day of her life. And, wonderful to relate! her evidence has been corroborated by two or three Manks females, who are possessed of the gift of second sight : these also aver, that they shall maintain the truth of it, in line manner; confirming Mrs. Casson's testimony also, in another circumstance, that his shadow is as like to his meagre shade, as one pea to another; or, in the poet's similitude, These hands are not more like each other, that the same motheaten great-coat covered the shadow, that used to shelter the shade from cold and rain.
IT cannot be eseemed very strange, if the dead know what the living are about, that his perturbed spirit should be seen wandering about, and in great agitation, when the gentlemen of the law are rending his noble patrimony (gained by so much anxious care asunder; for they are battling will against will, and codicil against codicil, and will battle them long, that little of the property will be left to rest where it was intended to do, by poor Bobby Caesar. It may be some little consolation to his present restless spirit, that a considerable share of it will be scattered about in his native land, but then the mortification to know that a. large portion will certainly make its way into Ireland! for it cannot be supposed that one of the first Dublin council will undertake two or three winter-passages, across the stormy channel, without being well rewarded for running the risk as well as for the exertion of first-rate abilities. I am told he is very clever in his profession ; and so he maybe; but of one thing I am very confident, that he must have been dipped, more than once; in the Shannon; or he could not have had the assurance to tell the Deemster (one of the high charmers in the island, for rank and legal knowledge) that he could not write true English.
POOR Mr. Heywood is quite worn down with constant, excruciating pains; it is doubtful. whether he will survive the day, or not. Whenever the dead summons arrives, it will be a happy event to him, though a most melancholy one to his family.
8th: ANOTHER fine, fair morning, and all the appearances that usually foretel a fair day. What was yesterday expected, hath this day happened: my worthy friend, and patron in this island, hath paid the last debt to nature was relieved at eleven, this morning, from the most dreadful paroxysin of the gout that (perhaps) was ever the suffering lot of any poor mortal; for it lasted with unremitting violence, for near three months. The acerbity of the gouty humour was at last so terrible, as to occasion the opening of near twenty ulcers; all constantly discharging the chalky, gouty concretions. these uncommon sufferings were sustained with wonderful patience, and the most: manly fortitude; and the near approach of death was received with that philosophic composure that must ever dignify human nature.
7th. ANOTHER fine, fair morning.--Cape. Cook left the harbour by this last tide, and his young friend and neighbour (Capt. Stewart) came in, by the same tide.
I DO not know that this day is distinguished by any notable circumstance, save the prevailing opinion, with respect to the existence of Bobby Caesar's ghost; the belief of which has now taken fall hold of some of the male inhabitants; though :without any occular information to ground their faith upon; but the testimony of their good wives is quite sufficient ; though~ one of those wives, by chance, once took a .monkey for a parrot, giving it the usual salutation of " poor Poll!"
7th. ANOTHER fine winter's day, and well deserving a place in the fair list.--The wind,. in the morning, was N. E. by which we obtained a short peep at the Cumberland hills ; but before mid-day, it veered about to the S. W. a bad omen,, for a change of weather.
8th. WHEN I awaked this morning, I heard the sound of rain against the windows; and on looking out saw the streets in their usual miry plight; therefore, adieu to fair weather, for Tome time to come, the wind having taken possession of its favourite quarter, S. W. where it will remain, I dare say, a considerable part of the present month.
THE Swift, of Port Glasgow, a fine cutter-built brig, is come into the harbour, in her return from Scotland to the French cost, for another cargo of brandy, and other articles, in the illicit trade.
WE were taught to expect a total suppression of the smuggling business; but, I fear, the shameful traffick is reviving very much upon: the coasts of Scotland and Ireland, as well as upon the east coast of England. The pernicious consequences of that wicked traffic, betwixt the left mentioned coast and the ports of Piccardie, I have been too much, and too often, a witness to, to consider the illicit-business in that light of indifference in which too many of my countrymen regard it. cheating government of its just dues is looked upon, by numbers, as a very trivial offence; by some as no offencce at all; nay, as a matter of boast, as a display of proper spirit ! If opinions, so derogatory to justice, and the true amor patriae (u) only infected the lowest ranks of the people, the mischief would not be so great; but I fear they are too much adopted, by some mercantile people; who have it so much in their power to foster the baneful trade, whenever the lustl of game gets the ascendency over principle; too often the case, I fear.
(u) Which ought to fill the breast of every Briton.
9th. THOUGH there was the appearance of brightness, and the weather clearing up, very often, during the day, yet more or leis rain kept coming down, from morning till the close of evening, when I was just; able to accomplish one turn upon the pier-head, with dy cloaths.
10th. I WAS called at five, in order to attend the remains of my late respectable friend, to Kirk Braddon church, where has seen the burial-place of his ancestors, for many generations past.-It was fair when the corpse was brought out of the house, but rain came on before the solemn procession got through the town.-The streets and road were intolerably dirty.
11th. A FINE, fair morning, and tolerably bright; but the day lowered very much. before twelve, giving evident symptoms of a change about two, very heavy rain came on, and the day was closed, by a very stormy, wet night.
12th. A FAIR morning, after a wetnight; but the wind is still in a very suspicious quarter. S. W. by W.
I CANNOT help transcribing my Welsh friend's description of the Calf of Man; (though it will strangely contradict my own. See journal for June the 11th.) it is so whimsically curious, and shews that even a sensible and learned man, for so my author certainly is, (if extensive reading alone can make a man so) may be imposed upon, by an itch for listening to old womens tales, and a fondness for relating strange stories, and miraculous events, concerning countries little known, and but rarely visited, by strangers.
"THERE Is, in the Calf of Man, a sort of seafowl, called puffins ; of a very unctuous constitution, which breed in the Coney-holes, (the conies leaving their burrows for the time) are never seen with their young, but either very early in the morning, or late in the evening, nourishing (as it is conceived) with oil; which, drawn from their own constitution, is dropped into their mouths; for on being opened, there is found in their crops no other sustenance but a single sorel leaf, which the old give their young for digestion-sake, as it is conjecttured. The flesh of there birds is nothing pleasant flesh, because of the rank and fish-like taste ; but pickled, or salted, they may be ranked with anchovies, caviare, or the like; but profitable they are in their feathers and oil, of which they make great use, about their wool.
" THERE are also those sea-fowls, geese, which most will have to be generated of putrified wood, which are by them called barnacles, but by the Scots claick geese, and Soland geese. But I suppose they may breed of a shell-fish, that groweth upon the rocks, and is called by those of Guernsey and Jersey, (being known too in Cornwall) the lampit."
This strange, absurd narrative, which contains almost as many untruths as sentences, our author throws off his own back, and saddies a Mr Chaloner with it; but culpability will oill rest upon his own shoulders, for intending to impose upon the world such a monstrous fiction; which might have been confuted, by his eyes and other fell es, with one short visit to the solitary island; not distant more than. four miles from Port Iron. But the Welsh emigrant's passion seems to have been much stronger for relating what was wonderful and strange, than making accurate observations of what appeared so to a stranger : The only way to distinguish truth from fiction.
WHAT the author farther relates, respecting the island, is taken upon his own shoulders.
" AT my being in Man, they told me there was but one house in the whole island, and only two or three servants that did live in it. It is environed with rocks, and there is but one entrance into it; it is not full two miles in circumference, and is now in the possession of the Earl of Derby : formerly it was the inheritance of-." Manna-man-mac-Lea, (I suppose) my author meant to insert ; for its frequent adumbration, with the black fogs imaginable, gives it an undoubted claim to his patronage.
" ALL. Man much glorieth in its Calf, and do still retain the memory of that vao wit for :invention, where he late led an hermitical life, in the hollow cave of a rock, in this island; and do still talk of his pendant bed, and strange diet, But as neither himself is underoood, nor his diet truly related by Manksmen, I shall take the boldness to insert his own relation of his residence there, which I found set down in his Mineral Overture to Parliament :---thus expressing himself
"The embrions of his mines proving abortive, by the sudden fall and death of my late Lord the Chancellor Bacon, in King James's reigns were the motives which persuaded my pensive retirement, to a three years unsociable solitude, in the desolate island, called the Calf of Man; where, in obedience to my dead Lord's philosophical advice, I resolved to make a perfect experiment upon myself, for the obtaining of a long and healthy life, smoo necessary for such a repentance as my former debauchedness required) by a parsimonious diet of herbs, oil, mustard, and honey, with water sufficient; moo like to that of our long-lived fore-fathers, before the flood; (as was conceived by that) which I most strictly observed, as if obliged by a religious vow, till Divine Providence called me to a more active life."
Our conductors, round the island, either did not know the hollow cave in the rock, and pendant bed, or carelessly omitted shewing us. such curiosities belonging the place. They pointed out to us the fallen ruins of a small house, where that extraordinary personage resided, during his three years pilgrimage, and an upright stone, on the top of a hill, just by it ; which was to point out the identical spot where his bones were deposited. The traditional. story related to us was, that he left London, on account of a murder committed by him, and carne down there, for the purpose of concealment ; and to spend the remainder of his days in penitential retirement from all society : but I do not vouch for the truth of any one circumstance of that strange tale : as I had it, so I give it. The strange doctrine of equivocal generation was, at last, fully exploded by the great Mr. Ray, and his learned friends. How it stood its ground, for so many ages, against every principle of reason and commonsense, is wonderful, and hardly reconcilable to belief; only we must recollect, that they were times when vulgar errors, and the most improbable tales, were frequently most freely swallowed, even by men of science and erudition. Some very extraordinary ones might be pointed out in the great Lord Bacon ;-but veneration forbids.
13th. A BRIGHTISH looking morning, and fair ; but very blowing, and from the same quarter as yesterday and the preceding one, S. W. by W.-Being down yesterday, in the Liverpool coffee house, a person there told me, that if I wished for a laugh, at some fairy tales, he could easily introduce the entertainment for there was a person in the house, not only well versed in the history of those little folks, but also a most sanguine believer in their actual existence as intelligent beings. The offer was readily embraced, and the person introduced, who (on being asked if he had ever seen any fairies instantly replied, Yea; many a time. Put the greatest number, he had ever seen together, was at Rumswark Hill, near Lockerby in Scotland; where he saw some hundreds at once, all mounted on beautiful little horses, and all cloathed in green. (w) That it was early, upon a fine April morning, when there were many ploughs at work. That they all left their plough teams, and went up to look at them take their pastime, on their favourite hill : great numbers too, men, women, and children, came for the same purpose, out of the village. Being gazed at by such numbers, he fancied, gave offence to the little people : for they presently galloped over the hill, and then vanished. The oldish man, very rational in other respects, said he would vouch the truth of the above relation, (upon his oath) to the last day of his life ; for he could not be mistaken what they were, having so frequently seen fairies.
(w) Falstaff's Kendal Green, no doubt.
I NOW take my leave of them and their adventures, (during my stay in this enchanted island) with the introdufon to a poem called The BOTANIC GARDEN, or the Loves of the Plants, which is whimisically beautiful, and in a novel strain of poesy.
" Descend, ye hovering Sylphs! aerial quires,
" And sweep, with little hands, your silver lyres .
" With fairy-footsteps print your grassy rings,
" Ye gnomes ! accordant to the tinkling strings -
" While in solt notes I tune, to oaten reed,
" Gay hopes and amorous sorrows of the mead;
" From giant oaks, that wave their branches dark,
" To the dwarf moss, that clings upon their bark ;
" What beaux and beauties crowd the gaudy groves,
" And woo, and win, their vegetable loves.
" How snow-drops cold, and blue ey'd bare-bells blend
'" Their tender tears, as o'er the stream they bend
" The love sick violet, and primrose pale,
" Low their sweet heads, and whifper to the gale.
" With secret sighs, the virgin lily droops,
" And jealous cowslips hang their tawny cups
" How the young role, in beauty's damask pride,
" the warm blushes of his bashful bride ;
" With honey'd lips, enamour'd woodbines meet,
" Clasp with fond arms, and mix their kisses sweet."
SOME of his notes, on the sexual system, are very judicious, and shew that he has paid great attention to the pleasing, useful pursuit.