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Building of St. Paul's.
building, but have not perhaps been aware of all the causes of the delay :
“Thence we turned through the west gate of St. Paul's Churchyard, where we saw a parcel of stone-cutters and sawyers so very hard at work, that I protest, notwithstanding the vehemency of their labour, and the temperate. ness of the season, instead of using their handkerchiefs to wipe the sweat off their faces, they were most of them blowing their nails. •Bless me!' said I to my friend, sure this church stands in a colder climate than the rest of the nation, or else those fellows are of a strange constitution to seem ready to freeze at such warm exercise.' 'You must consider,' says my friend, this is work carried on at a national charge, and ought not to be hastened on in a hurry; for the greater reputation it will gain when it's finished will be, “That it was so many years in building.”' From thence we moved up a long wooden bridge that led to the west porticum of the church, where we intermixed with such a train of promiscuous rabble that I fancied we looked like the beasts driving into the ark in order to replenish a new succeeding world. ....
“ We went a little farther, where we observed ten men in a corner, very busie about two men's work, taking as much care that everyone should have his due proportion of the labour, as so many thieves in making an exact divi. sion of their booty. The wonderful piece of difficulty, the whole number had to perform, was to drag along a stone of about three hundred weight in a carriage in order to be hoisted upon the moldings of the cupula, but were so fearful of dispatching this facile. undertaking with too much expedition, that they were longer in hauling on't half the length of the church, than a couple of lusty porters, I am certain, would have been carrying it to Paddington, without resting of their burthen.
“We took notice of the vast distance of the pillars from whence tbey turn the cupula, on which, they say, is a spire to be erected three hundred feet in beight, whose towering pinnacle will stand with such stupendous loftiness above Bow Steeple dragon or the Monument's flaming urn, that it will appear to the rest of the Holy Temples like a cedar of Lebanon, among so many shrubs, or a Goliab looking over the shoulders of so many Davids."
“The British Apollo, or curious Amusements
for the Ingenious, performed by a Society
of Gentlemen ;” appeared in 1708, and seems to have been a weekly periodical, and to have been soon discontinued. The greater part of it consisted of questions and answers. Information was desired on all sorts of abstruse and absurd points—some scriptural, others referring to natural philosophy, or to matters of social interest.
Question. Messieurs. Pray instruct your Petitioner how he shall go away for the ensuing Long Vacation, having little liberty, and less money.
Yours, SOLITARY. Answer. Study the virtues of patience and abstinence. A right judgment in the theory may make the practice more agreeable.
Ques. Gentlemen. I desire your resolution of the following question, and you will oblige your humble servant, Sylvia. Whether a woman hath not a right to know all ber husband's concerns, and in particular whether she may not demand a sight of all the letters he receives, which if he denies, whether she may not open them privately without bis consent ?
Ans. Gently, gently, good nimble-fingered lady, you run us out of breath and patience to trace your unesampled ambition. Wbat! break open your husband's letters ! no, no; that privilege once granted, no chain could hold you; you would soon proceed to break in upon his conjugal affection, and commit a burglary upon the cabinet of his authority. But to be serious, although a well-bred husband would hardly deny a wife the satisfaction of perusing his familiar letters, we can noways think it prudent, much less his duty, to communicate all to her; since most men, especially such as are employed in public affairs, are often trusted with important secrets, and such as no wife can reasonably pretend to claim knowledge of.
Ques. Apollo say,
Ans. When Britons bold
Question and Answer.
Bedded of old,
Ques. Long by Orlinda's precepts did I move,
Ans. If 'tis your age alone retards your love,
Swift-"Tale of a Tub”—Essays--Gulliver's Travels
Variety of Swift's Humour-Riddles-Stella's Wit--
T one of the most highly gifted aud successful humorists any country ever produced. A bright fancy runs like a vein of gold through nearly all his writings, and enriches the wide and varied field upon which he enters. He says of himself " Swift had the sin of wit, no venial crime; Nay, 'tis affirmed he sometimes dealt in rbyme: Humour and mirtb had place in all he writ,
He reconciled divinity and wit.” Whether religion, politics, social follies, or domestic peculiarities come before him, he was irresistibly tempted to regard them in a ludicrous point of view. He observes
“It is my peculiar case to be often under a temptation to be witty, upon occasions where I could be neither wise nor sound, nor anything to the matter in hand.”
This general tendency was the foundation of his fortunes, and gained him the favour of Sir William Temple, and of such noblemen as
Berkeley, Oxford, and Bolingbroke They could nowhere find so pleasant a companion, for his natural talent was improved by cultivation, and it is when humour is united with learning-a rare combination—that it attains its highest excellence. There was much classical erudition at that day, and it was exhibited by men of letters in their ordinary conversation in a way which would appear to us pedantic. Thus many of Swift's best sayings turned on an allusion to some ancient author, as when speaking of the emptiness of modern writers, who depend upon compilations and digressions for filling up a treatise " that shall make a very comely figure on a bookseller's shelf, there to be preserved neat and clean for a long eternity, never to be thumbed or greased by students : but when the fulness of time is come, shall happily undergo the trial of purgatory in order to ascend the sky.” He continues :
“ From such elements as these I am alive to behold the day, wherein the corporation of authors can outvie all its brethren in the guild. A happiness derived to us, with a great many others, from our Scythian ancestors, among whom the number of pens was so infinite that Grecian eloquence had no other way of expressing it than by saying that in the regions of the north it was hardly possible for a man to travel-the very air was so replete with feathers.”
The above is taken from the “ Tale of a
Tub” published in 1704, but never directly