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page On fortune telling 83 The Visitor, No. II
119 Marcia the vestal
Specimen of political improvement 120 British public offices
128 Riddles ib. || Heraldic enthusiasm
129 Specimen of agricultural improvement 86 On punning
ibid. On the recession of the district of Medical anecdotes
130 Columbia 93 Quackery
133 American prospects
97 POETRY.....ORIGINAL. Pemmican
ib. Lines on Paradise Lost On the title of emperor 98 The serenade
ibid. Improvement of geography, topo
SELECTED. graphy, &c. 99 The conjugal banquet
137 On sudden death
SELECTIONS. Unequal marriages
102 Klopstock and his odes 138 Critical remarks on Austin's Let Gaming
ibid. ters from London
Young's Night Thoughts
140 Statistical comparison 107 Young's Satires
141 Richard the third and Perkin War. Portrait of Erskine
143 beck 108 Portrait of Gibbs
144 Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist 110 Portrait of Garrow
146 Adversaria, No. V 114 Remarkable occurrences
147 Force of example, concluded 118 | Notes from the Editor
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ONE who is not strongly fortified as inexplicable, yet it was afterin incredulity will sometimes be half wards solved, in a plain and satispersuaded to believe in the preten- factory manner: why may not this sions of those who discover future or be explicable in the same manner ? distant events, by other means than The sceptical part of the world the ordinary ones of sight and hear- are not aware of the prevalence of ing. A story shall be related, so the belief in supernatural powers, directly, consistently, and circum- among the middle and lower class stantially, that one who has not of mankind. The popularity of formed an invincible opinion, a pri. some fortune tellers is, indeed, wonori, that it cannot be true, can derful, and many have been enabled scarcely refuse his assent.
to acquire considerable affluence by As our knowledge, indeed, comes this mysterious trade. Very grave, to be enlarged, and a few of the shrewd, and experienced people, mysteries of this kind are unravell. many who have natural good sense, ed, we are more disposed to admit and minds enlarged by observation, the possibility of explaining all simi- are fully convinced of the existence lar mysteries by the same means. of this preternatural sagacity. They Here is a story, which was once are willing to receive any natural altogether marvellous ; a discovery explanation of appearances ; but is made by some soothsayer, which when neither reflection nor experi. appears to us impossible but by su ence can solve the mystery in this pernatural means; yet the means, manner, they deem themselves when afterwards explained, turn bound, by all the laws of just reaout to be natural and simple. Hence soning, to acquiesce in the pretenwhen other exploits of a conjurersions of the wizard. As they have are related, no less marvellous and not reasoned themselves, a priori, inexplicable than the former one, into the belief that all such pretenwe naturally say, The old story was sions are chimerical, they are, of as wonderful as this, and the riddle course, compelled to admit that so
VOL. III. NO. XVII.
lution, when what we call a natural my venturing to apply to him for one is unattainable.
some satisfaction on the subject. He I shall not pretend to decide be. told me, that by carefully weighing tween the universal infidels and the all the circumstances of the case, as qualified believers, or say to which related by my friend, his suspicions party I should be inclined to adhere, were fixed upon a certain person, were I obliged to take a part. Like to whom, immediately after the inAddison's creed, as delivered in one terview, he wrote an anonymous of his Spectators, respecting witch- letter, requiring him to deposit the craft, perhaps it would be safest to money he had stolen, in the place admit the possibility, in general, of above-described, at a certain hour, such foresight or second sight, in a previous to the time fixed for the few individuals of the human race, other's visit. His conjecture hapbut, at the same time, to refuse im- pened to be right, and the money plicit credit to any particular case was deposited accordingly : so that that may happen to reach us through this effort of preternatural wisdom the medium of any other evidence resolves itself into a mere superiority, than that of our own proper senses. of penetration. The little credit which is merited in the reign of Charles the seby almost all relations of this kind, cond, a conjurer appeared in Lone is, I think, pretty forcibly illustrated don, whose fame was quickly exin the two following cases:
tended to the highest classes of soA very grave and intelligent ciety. His door was besieged, all friend of mine lost a considerable day long, by coaches, so that many, sum of money. All his enquiries after waiting a long time, were and reflections were unable to point obliged to return home unsatisfied. out to him the way it had taken. Numberless were the instances reAfter some hesitation, he resolved ported of this man's miraculous into apply to a gentleman of the same sight into the private history and town, who had acquired, by some family intrigues of those classes of accident, the reputation of seeing society, which could not be known, further than other men. After by any natural means, to one of the stating all the circumstances of his birth and education to be expected loss to his friend, he was desired to in a teller of fortunes. Anthony go, at the dawn of the next day, to Hamilton's amusing history of the one of the churches of the place, count de Grammont explains this which was named, and look under mystery, and tells us that this conthe broad stone, placed at the door jurer was no other than the earl of of the church. There, he was told, Rochester, that shrewd, ingenious, he would find deposited the sum but profligate nobleman, who asmissing. He was charged to keep sumed this disguise for the sake of secret the result of this interview, more effectuaiiy sporting with the till he had performed his expedie credulity of the age. Rochester, to tion. He punctually obeyed the di- an extensive and intimate acquaintrections of the seer, and recovered ance with the character and history his money. As the character and of the individuals of the higher class, situation of the person applied to added great natural sagacity, and made it impossible for him to have keen perception into the habits and been either the thief or the accom- foibles of mankind. We may easily plice, the mystery, in this case, conceive how much his communicaseems to have been as impenetrable tions must have astounded his visias in almost any which can be ima. tants, and how many of them would gined ; and yet it was afterwards transcend the utmost exertions of reduced to a very simple and obvi. Sagacity to explain in a natural ous transaction, by the acknowledge manner. ment of the gentleman himself, on
For the Literary Magazine. of the public offices of Great Bri
tain, in the year 1784, are exhibited MARCIA THE VESTAL. in the following table : A YOUNG lady being called up 1. Secretaries of state's No Pay. on for a Latin motto to a wedding
60.6. 22,000 2. Treasury
39,000 ring, gave....
4. Treasury of navy 50 Felices nuptæ! moriar ni nubere dulce
20,000 5. Commissioners of navy 1 20 43,000 6. Dock yards
7. Sick and hurt office | 26 3,600 which may be rendered into humble
8. Victualling office | 681 34,280 English thus....
This sum equally divided between Let me die if I don't think it a fine this number would give to each thing to be married.
about 3461. In fact, however, the
highest compensation is about 50001., A beautiful and most happy ap- and the lowest 301. a year. plication. The history of this line, Query. What are the number of which every joyous bride and bride- persons employed, and the amount groom may, with much propriety, of money annually expended, in the adopt, is somewhat curious. A public offices of the United States ? Roman vestal, though allowed many honours and privileges, was subjected to the most rigid obligations of chastity. A dreadful punishment For the Literary Magazine. awaited the breach of this duty. Marcia was irreproachable in her
RIDDLES. deportment, and, for this and every other sanctity and excellence, was A RIDDLE is the description of thought worthy of the chief place a thing by some property which, among the sisterhood; but, unfortu- though strictly its own, is apt to esnately, she made acquaintance with cape a brief or superficial observaa youth recently married, whose tion. When it is discovered, we conversation pleased her better feel a pleasure in the proof it affords than any thing else.
us of our own sagacity, and are One day, meditating on her struck with agreeable surprise, in friend's engaging character, she perceiving the existence of a quality carelessly, and, as it were, im- or relation before unsuspected. In promptu, wrote upon her tablets this point of view; a riddle is certhe above line. This fell into the tainly undeserving of all that conhands of an envious sister, and tempt which it is the fashion to besformed the basis of an accusation tow upon it. There are many perwhich brought the ill-fated ladly to sons of excellent understanding and the horrid punishment of being bu- extensive knowledge, who could not ried in a dungeon, and starved to forgive themselves for bestowing a death.
single thought on the solution of a riddle.
There are two kinds of riddles;
one of which relates to what we may For the Literary Magazine. call the historical or physical pro
perties of things, and the other BRITISH PUBLIC OFFICES. which depends for its detection or
solution on calculation only. The THE number of individuals em- latter sort of riddles appear never ployed, and the whole amount of to have awakened the contempt of the emoluments accruing in some mathematicians. On the contrary,