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authors receive an additional entertainment from the country, as it revives in their memories those charining descriptions with which such authors do frequently abound. '; v sín . I was thinking of the foregoing beautiful simile in Milton, and applying it to myself, when I observed to the windward of mę a black cloud falling to the earth in long trails of rain, which made me betake myself for shelter to a house which I saw at a little distance from the place where I was walking. As I sat in the porcha I heard the voices of two or three persons, who seemed very earnest in discourse. My curiosity: was raised when I heard the names of Alexander the Great and Artaxerxes: and as their talk seemed to run on antient heroes, I concluded there could not be any secret in it; for which reason I thought I might very fairly listen to what they said. 1
After several parallels between grcat men, which ap. peared to me altogether groundless and chimerical, I was surprised to hear one say, that he valued the Black Prince more than the duke of Vendosme. How the duke of Vendosme should become a rival of the Black Prince I could not conceive; and was more startled when I heard a second affirm with great vehemence, that if the emperor of Germany was not going off, he should like him better than either of them. He added that, though the season was so changeable, ihe duke of Marlborough was in blooming beauty. I was wondering to myself from whence they had received this odd intelligence; especially when I heard them mention, the pames of several other great generals, as the prince of Hesse and the king of Sweden, who, they said, were both running away. To which they added, what I en. tirely agreed with them in, that the crown of France was very weak, but that the marshal Vilars still kept his colours. At last one of them told the company, if they would go along with him, he would show them a chimney-sweeper and a painted lady in the same bed, which he was sure would very much please them. The shower, which had driven them as well as myself into the house, was now over; and as they were passing by me into the garden, I asked them to let me be one of their company.
The gentleman of the house told me, if I delighted in flowers it would be worth my while; for that he believed he could show me such a blow of tulips as was not to be matched in the whole country. . : I accepted the offer, and immediately found that they had been talking in terms of gardening, and that the kings and generals they had mentioned were only so many tulips, to which the gardeners, according to their usual custom, had given such high titles and appellations of honour. . · I was very much pleased and astonished at the glorious show of these gay vegetables, that arose in great profusion on all the banks about us. Sometimes I considered them with the eye of an ordinary spectator, as so many beautiful objects varnished over with a na. tural gloss, and stained with such a variety of colours as are not to be equalled in any artificial dyes or tinctures. Sonetimes I considered every leaf as an elaborate piece of tissue, in which the threads and fibres were woven together into different configurations, which gave a different colouring to the light as it glanced on the several parts of the surface. Sometimes I considered the whole bed of tulips, according to the notion
of the greatest mathematician and philosopher that ever lived *, as a multitude of optic instruments, designed for the separating light into all those various colours of which it is composed. · I was awakened out of these my philosophical speculations by observing the company often seemed to laugh at me. I accidentally praised a tulip as one of the finest I ever saw; upon which they told me, it was a common fool's coat. Upon that I praised a second, which it seems was but another kind of fool's coat. I had the same fate with two or three more; for which reason I desired the owner of the garden to let me know which were the finest of the flowers; for that I was so unskilful in the art, that I thought the most beautiful were the most valuable, and that those which had the gayest colours were the most beautiful. The gentleman smiled at my ignorance: he seemed a very plain honest man, and a person of a good sense, had not his head been touched with that disteinper which Hippocrates calls the TUMIT Toulavia, Tulippomania ; insomuch that he would talk very rationally on any subject in the world but a tulip. .. . .
He told me, that he valued the bed of flowers which lay before us, and was not above twenty yards in length, and two in breadth, more than he would the best hundred acres of land in England ; and added, that it would have been worth twice the money it is, if a fool ish cookmaid of his had not almost ruined him the last winter, by mistaking a handful of tulip-roots for a heap of onions, and by that means, says he, made me a dish of porridge that cost me above a thousand pounds sterling. He then showed me what he thought
* Sir Isaac Newton.
: VOL. I.
the finest of his tulips; which I found received all their value from their rarity and oddness, and put me in mind of your great fortunes, which are not always the greatest beauties.
I have often looked upon it as a piece of happiness, that I have never fallen into any of these fantastical tastes, nor esteemed any thing the more for its being uncommon and hard to be met with. For this reason, I look upon the whole country in 'spring-time as a spacious garden, and make as many visits to a spot of daisies, or a bank of violets, as a florist does to his borders or parterres. There is not a bush in blossom within a mile of me which I am not acquainted with, nor scarce a daffodil or cowslip that withers away in my neighbourhood without my missing it. I walked home in this temper of mind through several fields and meadows with an unspeakable pleasure, not without reflecting on the bounty of Providence, which has made the most pleasing and beautiful objects the most ordinary and most common.
CHURCH THERMOMETER. No. 220.
HAVING received many letters filled with compliments and acknowledgments for my late useful discovery of the political barometer, I hall here communicate to the public an account of my ecclesiastical ther-' mometer, the latter giving as manifest prognostications of the changes and revolutions in church, as the former does of those in state ; and both of them being absolutely necessary for every prudent subject who is resolved to keep what he has, and get what he can.
The church thermometer, which I am now to treat of, is supposed to have been invented in the reign of Henry the Eighth, about the time when that religious prince put some to death for owning the pope's supremacy, and others for denying transubstantiation. I do not find, however, any great use made of this instrument, until it fell into the hands of a learned and vigilant priest or minister, for he frequently wrote himself both one and the other, who was some time vicar of Bray. This gentleman lived in his vicarage to a good old age; and, after having seen several successions of his neighbouring clergy either burnt or banished, departed this life with the satisfaction of having never deserted his flock, and died vicar of Bray. As this glass was first designed to calculate the different degrees of heat in religion, as it raged in popery, or as it cooled and grew temperate in the reformation; it was marked at several distances, after the manner our ordinary thermometer is to this day, viz. 'Extreme Hot, Sultry Hot, Very Hot, Hot, Warm, Temperate, Cold, Just Freezing, Frost, Hard Frost, Great Frost, Extreme Cold.'
It is well known that Torricellius, the inventor of the common weather-glass, made the experiment in a long tube which held thirty-two feet of water; and that a more modern virtuoso, finding such a machine altogether unwieldy and useless, and considering that thirty-two inches of quicksilver weighed as much as so many feet of water in a tube of the same circumference, invented that sizeable instrument which is now in use. After this manner, that I might adapt the thermometer I am now speaking of to the present constitution of our church, as divided into high and low, I have made some necessary variations both in the