« ElőzőTovább »
The editor of this book has laboured under some difficulties in this account; and one of the chief has been how to avoid too many particulars, the crowds of relations which he has been obliged to lay by to bring the story into a compass tolerable to the reader.
And though some of the letters inserted are written in a homely style, and expressed after the country fashion from whence they came, the author chose to make them speak their own language, rather than by dressing them in other words make the authors forget they were their own.
We received a letter, very particular, relating to the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and reflecting upon his lordship for some words he spoke, 66 That he had rather have his brains knocked out, than,” &c., relating to his inferior clergy. The gentleman takes the disaster for a judgment of God on him; but as in his letter, the person owns himself the bishop's enemy, fills his letter with some reflections indecent, at least for us : and at last, tho' he dates from Somerton, yet baulks setting his name to his letter: for these reasons, we could not satisfy to record the matter, and leave a charge on the name of that unfortunate gentleman, which, he being dead, could not answer, and we alive could not prove. And on these accounts hope the reverend gentleman who sent the letter will excuse us.
Also we have omitted, though our list of particulars promised such a thing, an account of some unthinking wretches, who passed over this judgment with banter, scoffing, and contempt. It is a subject ungrateful to recite, and full of horror to read; and we had much rather cover such actions with a general blank, in charity to the offenders, and in hopes of their amendment.
One unhappy accident I cannot omit, and which is brought us from good hands, and happened in a ship homeward bound from the West Indies. The ship was in the utmost danger of foundring; and when the master saw all, as he thought, lost, his masts gone, the ship leaky, and expecting her every moment to sink under him, filled with despair, he calls to him the surgeon of the ship, and by a fatal contract, as soon made as hastily executed, they resolved to prevent
the death they feared, by one more certain : and going into the cabin, they both shot themselves with their pistols. It pleased God the ship recovered the distress, was driven safe into
and the captain just lived to see the desperate course he took might have been spared; the surgeon died immediately.
There are several very remarkable cases come to our hands since the finishing this book, and several have been promised which are not come in ; and the book having been so long promised, and so earnestly desired by several gentlemen that have already assisted that way, the undertakers could not prevail with themselves to delay it any longer.
AN ESSAY BY DANIEL DEFOE.
I'm told, for we have news among the dead,
Heaven lately spoke, but few knew what it said;
The voice in loudest tempests spoke,
Think it not strange I heard it here,
Besides, tho’ I am dead in fame,
I'm not in perfect state of death :
I'm in the limbus of the law.
And every time the raging element
Newly commission'd from on high,
In lowring cloudy troops drew nigh;
They hover'd o'er the guilty land,
And pity'd those they should destroy.
But heaven, that long had gentler methods try'd
Had now resolved to be obey'd.
Told them the only way to happiness
Was by the blessed door of peace.
Scorn the high caution, and contemn the news,
And all the blessed thoughts of peace refuse.
He said, and I could hear no more,
So soon the black’ning clouds drew near,
I thought I felt the world's foundation shake,
I trembld as the winds grew high,
Man may to man his valour show,
And 'tis his virtue to do so;
Soon as I heard the horrid blast,
And understood how long 'twould last, View'd all the fury of the element,
Consider'd well by whom 'twas sent,
It brought my hero to my mind,
Short epithets to his just memory;
The mighty genius to my thought appear’d,
Just in the same concern he us'd to show,
When private tempests used to blow, Storms which the monarch more than death or battle fear'd,
THE STORM: AN ESSAY.
When party fury shook his throne,
I've heard the sighing monarch say,
It fill’d with cares his royal breast.
That when he should the reins let to,
show To let the thankless nation see How they despis'd their own felicity.
This robb'd the hero of his rest, Disturb'd the calm of his serener breast.
When to the queen the sceptre he resign'd
With a resolv'd and steady mind, 'Tho' he rejoic'd to lay the trifle down, He pity'd her to whom he left the crown:
Foreseeing long and vig'rous wars,
Would always interrupt her rest,
For storms of court ambition rage as high
Could I my hasty doom retrieve,
I'd now the men of flags and fortune greet,
And write an elegy upon the fleet.
They who rid ont the storm, and liv’d,
Let such unthinking creatures have a care,
Let them look out for some such day,