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convinced of Mr. Bickerstaff's ignorance. He replied, I am a poor ignorant fellow, bred to a mean trade, yet I have sense enough to know, that all pretences of foretelling by astrology are deceits, for this manisest reason, because the wise and the learned, who can only judge whether there be any truth in this science, do all unanimously agree to laugh at and despise it; and none but the poor ignorant vulgar give it any credit, and that only upon the word of such silly wretches as I and my fellows, who can hardly write or read. I then asked him why he had not calculated his own nativity, to see whether it agreed with Bickerstaff's prediction? At which he shook bis head, and said, Oh! sir, this is no time for jesting, but for repenting those fooleries, as I do now from the very bottom of my heart. By what I can gather from you, said I, the observations and predictions you printed with your almanacs, were mere impositions on the people. He replied, If it were otherwise, I should have the less to answer for. We have a common form for all those things; as to foretelling the weather, we never meddle with that, but leave it to the printer, who takes it out of any old almanac, as he thinks fit; the rest was my own invention to make my almanac sell, having a wise to maintain, and no other way to get my bread; for mending old shoes is a poor livelihood ; and (added he, sighing) I wish I may not have done more mischief by my physic than my astrology ; though I had some good receipts from my grandmother, and my own compositions were such, as I thought, could at least do no hurt.

I had some other discourse with him, which now I cannot call to mind; and I fear I have already tired your lordship. I shal only add one circumstance, that on his death-bed he declared hiir. self a nonconformist, and had a fanatic preacher to be his spiritur! guide. After half an hour's conversation I took my leave, being almost stifled by the closeness of the room. I imagined he could not bold out long, and therefore withdrew to a little coffee-house hard by, leaving a servant at the house with orders to come im. mediately, and tell me, as near as he could, the minute when Partridge should expire, which was not above two hours after; when, looking upon my watch, I found it to be above five minutes after seven: by which it is clear that Mr. Bickerstaff was mistaken al. most four hours in his calculation. In the other circumstances he was exact enough. But whether he hath not been the cause of this poor man's death, as well as the predictor, may be very reasouably disputed. However, it must be confessed, the matter is odd enough, whether we should endeavor to account for it by chance, or the effect of imagination : for my own part, though I believe no man hath less faith in these matters, yet I shall wait with some impatience, and not without some expectation, the fui. 6lling of M- Bickerstaff's second prediction, that the Cardinal de

Noailles is to die upon the fourth of April, and if that should be verified as exactly as this of poor Partridge, I must own I should be wholly surprised, and at a loss, and should infallibly expect the accomplishment of all the rest.

It is amusing to think what a large number of persons at the time actually believed the accomplislıment liad taken place in all respects accoriling to the relation. The wits of the time, too, among whom were Steele and Arldison, supported Swift, and uniformly affirmed that Partridge had died on the day and hour predicted. The distress and vexation of Partridge himself were beyou. all measure ridiculous, and he absolutely had the folly to insert the following advertisement at the close of his next year's almanac

“Whereas it has been industriously given out by Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., and others, to prevent the sale of this year's almanac, that John Partridge is dead: this may inform all his loving countrymen, that he is still living, in health ; and they are knaves that reported it otherwise."|

The most interesting account, however, of the singularly comic consequences of this prediction was drawn up by the Rev. Dr. Yalden, Mr. Partridge's neighbor, of whom, as connected with this humorous affair, I will give a short ac count, succeeding Swift, though it be not in exact chronological order.

Though Swift wrote much that ranks under poetry, yet he had none of the characteristics of a true poet-nothing of the sublime or the tender; nothing, in short, that reaches or affects the heart. “It could scarcely be expected," says a critic, “ that an irreligious divine, a heartiess politician, and a selfish lover, could possess the elements of true poetry; and, therefore, Swift may be considered rather as a rhymer than a poet." This is true; as he himseli says in the “ Verses on his own Death:''

“The Dean was famous in his time,

And had a kind of knack at rhyme " This “ knack” he had in a very eminent degree—the “ knack" of wri:ing aasy, natural rhymes-of using just the very words in verse that any one Wuuld select as the best in prose. In proof of which, take the followiúk ve ection

In ancient times, as story tells,
The saints would often leave their cells,
And stroll about, but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.

It happend on a winter night,
As authors of the legend write,
Two brother-hermits, saints by trade,
Taking their tour in masquerade,
Disguised in tatter d habits, went
To a small village down in Kent:
Where, in the strollers canting strain
They begg'd from door to door in vain ;
Tried every tone might pity win,
But not a soul would let them in.

Our wandering saints, in woful state,
Treated at this ungodly rate,

I Drake'. Essaye, vol. I. p. 4

Having through all the village pass'do
To a small cottage came at last !
Where dwelt a good old honest ye'man
Calld in the neighborhood Philemon:
Who kindly did these saints invito
In his poor hut to pass the night;
And then the hospitable sire
Bid goody Baucis mend the fire;
While he from out the chimney took
A flitch of bacon off the hook,
And freely from the fattest side
Cut out large slices to be fried ;
Then steppil asiile to fetch them drink,
Filld a large jug up to the brink,
And saw it fairly twice go round;
Yet (what is wonderful) they found
'Twas still replenish d to the top,
As if they ne'er had touch'd a drop.
The good old couple were amazed,
And often on each other gazed ;
For both were frightend to the heart,
And just began to cry,—What ar't!

Then softly turn d aside to view
Whether the lights were burning blue,
The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on's,
Told them their calling and their errand :
Good folks, you neeil not be afraid,
We are but saints, the hermits said;
No hurt shall come to you or yours:
But for that pack of churlish boors,
Not til to live on Christian ground,
They and their houses shall be drown'd;
Whilst you shall see your cottage rise,
And grow a church before your eyes.

They scarce had spoke, when fair and son
The roof began to mount aloft ;
Aloft rose every bearr, and rafter ;
The heavy wall climb'd slowly after.

The chimney widen'd, and grew higher; Became a steeple with a spire.

The kettle to the top was hoist,
And there stood fastened to a joist,
But with the upside down, to show
Its inclination for helow :
In vain; for a superior force,
Applied at bottom, stops its course:
Doom'd ever in suspense to dwell,
'T'is now no kettle, but a bell.

A wooden Jack, which had almost
Lost by disuse the art to roan
A sudden alteration feels,
Increased by new intestine wheels;
And, what exalts the wonder more,
l'ile number made the motion slower,

The flier, thoigh 't bad leaden feen
'Turn d roun.. so quick, you scarce could see t;
But, slackend by some secret power,
Now hardly moves an inch an hour.
The jack and chimney, near allied,
Had never left each other's side :
The chimney to a steeple grown,
The jack would not be left alone;
Bu, up against the steeple rear'd,
Became a clock, and still adhered ;
Anil still its love to household cares,
By a shrill voice at noon, declares :
Warning the cook-maid not to burn
That roast-real which it cannot turn.

The groining-chair began in crawl,
Like a huge snail, along the wall;
There stuck aloft in public view,
And, with small change, a pulpit grew.

The porringers, that in a row
Hung high, and made a glittering show,
To a less noble substance changed,
Were now but leathern buckets ranged.

The ballads, pasted on the wall,
Or Joan of France, and English Moll,
Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood,
The Little Children in the Wood,
Now seem'd to look abundance better,
Improved in picture, size, and letter;
And, high in order placed, describe
The heraldry of every tribe.

A bedstead of the antique mode,
Compact of timber many a load,
Such as our ancestors did use,
Was metamorphosed into pews;
Which still their ancient nature keep,
By lodging folks disposed to sleep.

The cottage by such feats as these
Grown to a church by just degrees,
The hermits then desired their hos:
To ask for what he fancied inost.
Philemnon, having paused a while,
Return'd them thanks in hornely style:
Then said, My house is grown so fine,
Methinks I still would call it mine;
I'm old, and fain would live at ease;
Make me the purso, if you please,

He spoke, and presently he feels
His grazier's coat fall down his heels;
He sees, yet hardly can believe,
About each ann a pudding-sleeve;
His waistcoat to a cassock grew,
And both assumed a sable hue;

1 The tribes of Israel are sometimes distinguished in country cho rebes by the opsigns given to them by Jacob.

But, being old, continued just
As thread-bare, and as full of dust.
His talk was now of tithes and dues :
He smoked his pipe, and read the news;
Knew how to preach old sermons next,
Vamp'd in the preface and the text;
At christenings well could act his part,
And had the service ali by heart;
Against dissenters would repine,
And stood up firm for right divine ;
Found his head filld with many a system.
But classic authors,-he ne'er miss'd 'em.

Thus having furbish it up a parson,
Dame Baucis next they play d their farce on
Instead of home-spun coifs, were seen
Good pinners eilged with colberteen;
Her petticoat, transform d apace,
Became black satin flounced with lace.
Plain Goodly would no longer down:
'Twas Madon, in her grogram gown.
Philemon was in great surprise,
And barıtly could believe his eyes,
Amazed to see her look so prim;
And she admired as much at ium.

Thus happy in their change of life
Were several years this man and wife;
When on a day, which proved their last,
Discoursing o'er old stories past
They went by chance, amidst their talk.
To the churchyard, to take a walk;
When Baucis hastily cried out,
My dear, I see your forehead sprout!
Sprout! quoth the man; what's this you tell no?
I hope you don't believe me jealous !
But yet, methinks, I feel it true;
And really yours is budding too-
Nay,—now I cannot stir my foot;
It feels as if 'twere taking root.

Description would but tire my mise;
In short, they both were turn'd to yews.

Old Goodman Dobson of the green
Remeinbers he the trees has seen;
He'll talk of them from noon till nighs
And goes with folks to show the sight:
On Sundays, after evening-prayer,
He gathers all the parish there;
Points out the place of either yew ,
Here Baucis, there Philemon, grew;
Till once a parson of our town,
To mend his barn, cut Baucis down,
At which 'tis hard to be believed
How much the other tree was grieved,
Grew scrubbed, died a-top, was stunted;
So the next parson stubb'd and burnt it

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