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fortune; the lady shall not be told the place of rendezvous, if she will not come down handsomely too; and the doctor, in his other capacity, is ready for his five guineas, for curing the wounds such charms may have made in a tender heart.
ls it not amazing, upon the whole, that such a number of these, after such a multitude of these exploits, as cach has been guilty of, should yet be able to flourish, and cheat the children of the fathers they had before been kicked or caned by; but London is fruitful in fools; there is a constant new succession of them, and if every one comes but once to the snare, the profits are fully sufficient.
My man of learning in St. Martin's-lane, is far above all these little artifices, however, he has studied the stars, and he can tell truth as he tells his patrons, and convinces them by his schemes and planetariums, and he will be paid in a proper manner for it; his sacred fingers can touch nothing less than the king of metals, but inspired by that he will at once calculate his pupil's nativity, and discover to him bis whole science. Shall I confess that it cost me my half guinea to be made acquainted with the whole art of astrology from this gentleman; I purchased it, however, for your sake, gen. tle reader, and you sball have it much cheaper. The Sun is patron of the head, he says, the Moon commands the brain, Jupiter thunders in the liver, gentle Venus guides the reins, Mars influences the clenched fist, and sullen Saturn sleeps upon the milt, while light feigned Mercury plays upon the lungs, and squeezes our bagpipes to what notes be pleases.
Nor are signs and constellations less interested in the be. half of humble man; Aries expands the soul of the child born under him to extravagance and profusion. Taurus inspires the infant with the thunder of an English admiral, or the bard fist of a Broughton's champion ; under Gemini we are born to wantonness and incontinency; under Cancer to inconstancy; Leo sets us all our lives a quarrelling; Virgo preserves our virginity to three-score, if we live so long; and the intended taylor or lawyer, if born under Libra, must be honest ; Scor, pio urges us to treason; not a Scotchman was cut
year but carried the marks of this sign on bis forehead ; Sagittary gives us pride, Capricorn courage, Aquarius sobriety, and if we are unhappy enough to be born under Piscis, we must be hanged for the highway, though our father were a bishop.
Handel and the late Caporale, he is ready to take his oath, were born under Orphius's, old Fag under Orion, and flutter ing J*** when Mercury and Saturn were in opposition. It is true the sign Virgo is as like a fine lady as an apple pasty, and I fancy she might have had as inuch influence in our chase
tity if she had been drawn in that shape as in the other; and that. Libra could have as much influenced our honesty, had it been drawn in the shape of a wind-mill; and it is certain from their shapes in the heavens, that Aries and Taurus might as well have been drawn in the shape of a crocodile or a rhinoceros; but, however, so they are figured, and so we are in, fluenced : according to this gentleman's doctrine the world is wholly guided by the power of these forms, and we are mere puppets, which only speak or caper as the stars behind the curtain directs.us.
Could one imagine that folly like this could gain the least ground in a civilized.nation ? but we see, alas,that it ever has been so jn all countries, and astrologers have ever been consulted by sovereign princes, though scarce an age has passed without the detection of a thousand of these follies and rogueries,
In the empire of China there is a whole society of conjurers of this kind, and they have a sort of patent for monopolizing all the trade with the stars to themselves, no body but one of their body daring even to toss a cup of tea grounds ; and the emperor never undertakes any thing of consequence without the approbation of the stars by the mouths of these their ambassadors. Most of the Asiatic nations are, ex tremely bigotted to this delusion; and in Europe, Italy · abounds with them. The inquisition itself cannot drive them out of Portugal; and in France, in the time of Catha. rine de Medicis, they were more numerous than they are at present in England; the ladies, had no will but that of the Stars, and if they doomed them to frailties, it was no crime not to resist irrevocable doom. Louis XI. had the greatest faith of all men in these deceivers; and one of his favourite mistresses dying, he was perfectly convinced that her death was owing to one of these astrologers, who had a pique against her, bribing some of the stars in his behalf; he told his council the crime of the astrologer, and sent for him into a room where they were, which overlooked a deep descent into the gardens, determined to throw bim out of the win. dow. The starry prophet appearing before him, the king asked him, where and in what manner himself should die. The conjurer, tho? he did not see the bottom of the king's design, saw enough however to be upon his guard against danger, and answered, “ Dread Sovereign, I have calcu
lated my nativity, and find that I shall die three days be.
fore your Majesty." The answer saved the conjuror's life, in spite of the king's vengeance; but it haş fared worse with many of them on the like trials; and could the world be
warned by example what has happened on repeated occa. sions of this kind is enough to cure them of all belief in such imposture.
William Duke of Mantua, opened the eyes of a certain sovereign Prince in his time, who was very credulous with regard to fortune-tellers, by ordering the time of a mare's colting that was kept in his stables, to be carefully obseryed, and sending an account immediately to the astrologer of Italy, that at such an hour and minute a certain bastard was born in his palace, whose nativity he desired them to calcu. late, which they accordingly did ; and taking it for granted, that the bastard, by his care about it, was of his own getting; one declared, that in his twenty fourth year he would be made a great general; another declared he would be a bishop; a third gave him a cardinal's hats and a fourth, willing to excel what all the rest had done, told him, that he should have the triple crown.
Leopold III. was one day boldly, warned by one of his astrologers to prepare for death, for on the third day following, he should die, but wiser than to give credit to the prophecy, he asked the conjuror, if he could tell how and when he should die himself? To which he answered, that he well knew he should die of a fever. The prince replied, Well, four days hence, the world will see how good a prophet you are in regard to me, but I'll immediately shew you, you are a very bad one in regard to yourself, for you shall be hanged this minute. The rope was prepared, and the executioner. called, when the miserable fellow, entreating the king to feel his pulse, convinced him that the fright had brought on the fever, in which he had foretold he should die; The prince pardoned him for the humour of the excuse, but the prophecy was badly verified, for the prince lived afterwards to see the conjurer drowned as he was crossing a lake in a small boat.
But the accident, which of all others, has set astrology in the most ridiculous light, is, that memorable one of Louis XI. of France, so famed for his belief in these people. This prince was so infatuated with tbe opinion of these people's skill, that he could never go out without one of them with him, that he might have him to consult on occasion. What cured him for ever of his fondness for them, was this; getting up one day very early, and seeing the sky perfectly clear, he consulted his conjurer about the weather, who telling it would be a very fine day, he ordered his hounds and horses, and set out to hunting : On the way to the chace, he met a peasant of a neighbouring town driving his ass loaded with cabbages to market. The king had the curiosity to
stop and ask the fellow what he thought the weather would be To which the fellow answered, that he believed ere long there would a good deal of rain, for that he had mind, ed that his ass shook his ears, and rubbed his a-e against the posts confoundedly, which he said was always a sure sign of rain. The king and his conjurer laughed sufficiently at the peasant's prognostication; but they had been out two hours, when they found that he had told truth, and they were all thoroughly wet to the skin. The king, on his return, justly concluded, that the ass was much wiser than his conjurers, and accordingly dismissed them, and ordered a stable for the ass, to be kept at ease in as long as he should live.
These, and a thousand other instances of a like kind, there are, which would, if considered, sufficiently laugh conjuring out of the world ; but the misfortune is, these are all hud, dled up in darkness, while the few prognostications that have proved true have been industriously spread every where abroad, and given the fortune-tellers the false credit of the Neptune of old, in whose temple were a thousand trophies of the people who had escaped shipwreck, but not one remembrance of the millions who had perished in spite of their prayers to him.
Nothing was ever more just indeed, than what Henry IV, of France observed on this occasion. It was well known that he bad many enemies, and it was daily expected that he would be assassinated. The conjurcts of the times on this daily foretold, that he would be murdered, and this for many years, on which the king observed; "My enemics
are so many; that probably I shall be so one time or “other. And if that happens, the astrologer who foretells “ it last before that time, will be deified for his prediction, “ while the thousand false prophecies of these blunderera “ will be all forgotten."
FROM ANNALS OF THE FINE ARTS.
In the year 1812, a poetical critiqne was written on the pictures exhibited that year in the British Gallery, in the style of Anstey's Bath Guide, for the amusement of a sinall circle of friends; from which we have been permitted to give the following extracts.
But when I came there, I first flew to the place,
And around his ową brow twin'd a wreath of such bays;
Here the consort of Douglas distracted with grief,
Now struck by Macbeth, a cold chill seized my blood,
But I honestly own a great part of my pleasure,
Ah! how shall I dare upon landscape to write,