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Scrapiana Poetica.

SCRAPIANĂ POÉTICA.

WOC,

AN ACROSTIC.

EPIGRAM ON A LAME BEGGAR. Stedfast to Virtue, friend to Truth, I am unable, yonder beggar cries, A check to every erring youth;

To stand, or move-if he says true he lies. To reformation, I excite, In public good í take delight;

TO SLEEP Ready to losh each growing Vice,

Come gentle sleep, image of death approach Enforcing by severe advice

And hover o'er my lonesome couch;

How sweet in sleep, to rest the weary eye, EPITAPH.

Live without life, and without dying die. Here lies my wife, alas! heaven knows, Not less for her, than my repose!

EPITAPH.

Life is an Inn where all men bait
EPIGRAM.

The Waiter Time, the Landlord Fate: When Joe was poor, the lad was frank and

Death is the score, by all men due, free,

I've paid my shot and so must you. Of late he's grown brim-full of pride and pelf,

LINES.
You wonder that he dont remember me ; A little rule, a little sway,
Why so you see he has forgot himselj. A sunbeam in a winter day,

Is all the proud and mighty have,
AN APOLOGY

Between the cradle and the grave.
or not weeping over the remains of a de.
parted friend.

EPITAPH. Col! drops that tear, that blazons common Here rests my spouse; no pair through life

So equal liv'd as we did; What callous rock retains it's crystal Alike we shar'd perpetual strife rill?

Nor knew I rest till she did.
Ne'er will the soften’d mould its liquid show,
Deep sink the waters that are smooth and

EPITAPH ON A LAWYER. still!

Hic jacet Jacoijus Straw, Ah! when sublimely agoniz'd I stood!

Who forty years follow'd the law, And mem'ry gave her beauteous trame

When he died a sigh,

The devil cried While feeling, triumph'd in my heart's James, give us your paw.

warm flood, Grief drank the off'ring e'er it reach'd

ON WIT. the eye!

True wit is like the brilliant stone

Dug from the Indian mine;
EPIGRAM ON A DIISER.

Which boasts (wo various powers in one ney call thee rich, I deem thee poor,

To cut as well as shine.
Since if thou dar'st not use thy store, Gerius, like that, if polish'd right,
But sav'st it only for thine heirs,

With ihe saine gifts abounds
The treasure is not thine, but theirs, Appears at once both keen and bright,

And sparkles while it wounds.
ON CARE
What a rude visitor is care,

EPIGRAM.
Nor time, nor place, can bind him;

Money, 'tis said is evil's root, And gen’rally he meets us where

Yet justly we may doubt it; We least expect to find him.

Who can expect good thriving fruit

From any stock without it.
EPITAPH ON A MISER.
A Miser died-some gen'rous friend
Grac'd with a tomb his latter end,

EPITAPH, IN HOLLASLY CHURCH And wrote, “beneath lies Nathan Drew,

YARD. Who kindly left me-this to do.”

A man is bornalas! and what is man? His heir, one day as passing by,

A scuttle full of dust a breath- a span This short inscription chanc'd to spy, A vale of tearsa vessel tup'd with breath Exclaim'd,“ how much the marble lies,” By sick.1983 broach'd, and then drawn off Shaking his purse, with transport too,

by death. Here, here, said he,“ lies Nathan Drew."

Mathie and Lochore, Printers.

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AN ESSAY READ AT THE OPENING OF THE SPECULATIVT.

ANTI-MATTER-OF-FACTICAL SOCIETY OF GLASGOW.
1

GENTLEMEN PhiloSOPIIERS, The thinking world has long been divided into two great parties; viz. the men of system and those of matter-of-fact. The forner despise the information derived from their corporeal organs as gross and unphilosophical, and trusting entirely to the superiority of mind over matter, follow the guidance of imagination, and like Fame personified by Virgil, hide their heads in the mists of hypothesis. The other party adopt quite a contrary plan ; and like frogs clinging close to ground, they dare not raise their heads for a moment to the region of thought, but from earth and their sensual organs, borrow all their opinions and all their information.

It is not difficult to say which of the two at present holds the pre-eminence, and musters the most numerous adherents. There are indeed some old-fashioned gentlemen, or at least gentlemen of the old school, such as doctors and lawyers, who are continually crying out that an inch of practice, is worth a fathom of theory. But notwithstanding this ill-natured remark, I am happy to say that in our day, theory is in a manner universally prevalent. The Chemist

may
teil

you that this is the age of improvement; and the Antiquarian may deny it, and affirm that we have forgot what our ancestors know: the Divine may la

R

System-mania.

ment the degeneracy and corruption of the present generation; and the moralist may affirm that we are improving in morals and refinement; but I would differ from them all, and maintain that this is an age of theory and thinking. For the spirit of speculation has rode forth in our land, like the knight of La Mancha, asserting the superiority of spirit over matter. In the pursuit of a favourite theory, every untoward fact disappears, or is converted into an argument. In short, a philosophical knight-errant beholds giants in windmills, a helmet in a barber's bason, and the beauty and

grace

of an angel in Dorothea del Tobosa. The discoveries of late years are astonishing and magnificent. They are all owing to the theories of the learned, who no doubt will in a few years bring about the amelioration and perfection of mankind. The Royal Society of London has distinguished itself above its fellows in the accomplishing of this desirable end. I think I hear some uninitiated reader here asking, if the soul of man, his moral duties, and his external frame, have been the subjects of that learned Society's deliberations. Far from it, fór passing these over, they have raised their thoughts to the lofty themes of black beetles, butterflies, virgin rabbits, and the animalculæ of cheese!! A late volume of their transactions contains two papers by Sir Everard Home on the important subjects of the testicles of tadpoles, and the formation of fat in the intestines of frogs. Discoveries on such points must, no doubt, have a very happy effect on the welfare of mankind, and no doubt completely answer the end for which this Society was instituted, viz. the improvement of the arts and sciences.

But to inake you fully sensible of the good done by the Theoretical Philosophers, it is necessary to give a few instances of the systems and discoveries made by famous men, wise in their day and generation. The Persian Zoroaster declares that this earth is the fruit of the labours of a spider, which spun away till it had got it to the present size. Great and praiseworthy as this discovery may be, it is far outshone by our modern system-mongers. Kepler found out that it was a large animal, not only receiving nourishment, but walking its annual rounds about the sun. Buffon, however, begs leave to differ from Mr. Kepler on this point, for he conceives that it is a part of the sun, brushed off one day by the tail of an unruly comet; and that the igneous substance of the sun cooling by successive revolutions, at last assumed the form it at present offers. The system of the Epicureans on this subject, is too well known to be here dwelt on.

System-mania.

The manner by which this earth is supported has rather puzzled us speculators. The Hindoo notion that it was borne by four elephants, and they again by four strong-backed tortoises ; and the Jewish doctrine that it was propped by pillars, passed very well for a time. But most mal-a-propos, some officious inquisitive persons have ascertained that the earth is continually whirling round. Now here, and only here, I, with the greatest diffidence, would venture into the august company of philosophers, and ask why may not the earth be fastened by a chain to the sun, and thus vibrate back and forward like the pendulam of a clock. This chain might easily be made invisible, and need not require to be very thick; for the earth is not so heavy as was once imagined; for a late American voyager has declared that he found it out to be hollowed; a fact which no doubt the vessels, which are again to sail for the pole, will find completely correct.

I must here mention the various theories of philosophers coneerning the sea. Cruzco, a dignified and learned Spaniard was of opinion that it was bottomless. But I rather would join with La Place who discovered that it could not be less than four leagues deep. St. Pierre, however, allows it only one and a half, and proves incontrovertibly that the sun's rays penetrate to the deepest recesses of the ocean; thus realizing the maxin of an ancient uncelebrated poet:

The sun's perpendicular heat

Illumines the depth of the sea;
The fishes, beginning to sweat,

Cry, hang it, how hot we shall be! But the Talmudists, in this respect, go deeper than any of them, (for they are always very deep) and they tell us that one of their great Rabbies going to bathe one day in the sea, heard a voice from heaven, saying,

66 Go not in there, for seven years ago a carpenter dropt his axe, and it has not reached the bottom yet.”

The degree to which the understanding of some inen has been illuminated, is really amazing. Chevreau, in his history of the world expressly informs us that it was created on the 6th of September, on a Friday a little after 4 o'clock in the afternoon. But there never was so well an informed historian as OʻFlaherty. He knew for certain that just 40 days before the flood, on the 15th of the month, (which was Saturday) 3 men and 50 women came to people Ireland, but that the deluge disappointed

System-mania.

their expectations. Again, 312 years after this, on the 14th of the month, (which was Tuesday) a man called Partholan arrived with his family.

I might here take notice of the valuable discoveries made concerning the library in Noah's ark, the millennium, and the destruction of the world ; but as such subjects are rather trite, I will hasten on to better game.

Insigni referam Camæna, the wise opinions of the worthies who professed the Romish system of religion. Hearken to the most notable of them. St. Macaire's tendor conscience was so shocked at murdering a louse, that he resolutely endured seven years penance, by scratching himself with the thorns and briars of a neighbouring forest. St. Francis swore that he preached a serion to a congregation of birds, who, after having listened with open

beaks and outstretched necks, disperse:1 with rapture to report his words to the rest of the birds of the world. Archa bishop Anslem wrote his 255th letter on the important question whether it was most meritorious to whip one's self, or to be whipped by another.

Another monk, as Cornelius de la Pierre relates in his commentary on the Bible, was of opinion that the cleanest souls dwelt in the filthiest bodies. The same reverend father maintained, that if the partridges, pheasants, and other gaine fowls could speak, they would cry

out- Substantia nos. tra, caro nostra incorporetur sanctis, ut in iis resurget ad gloriam, non in peccatoribus ad gehenniam.” I shall liere stop, not through fear of being refuted, for as Arnauld said, I am niore afraid of the Papists' pen-knife than their pen: and perhaps if I went on, I might convert this from a philosophical essay, to a needless tirade against popery. It is

very natural that man should be an object of atten, tion to himself. Accordingly we have theories and speculations on his nature from almost every one who can philosophize at all. How and of what materials man was at first created, has long been a wonder to the uninitiated. Such persons must surely be indebted to Monsieur P. Bertrand, who has made the notable discovery of man being produced by the virgin mud on the banks of the Nilus, and impregnated there by the sun's per, pendicular beams. Dr. Darwin, to whom we sons of hypothesis are deeply obliged, has been pleased to give us the particulars of this wonderful process of generation. inquirer, “ at first floating amidst a liquid eleinent, is nothing

si Man,” says

that acute

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