« 이전계속 »
is the suppressing of several particles which must be
produced in other tongues to make a sentence intelligible: this often perplexes the best writers, when they
find the relatives whom, wbich, or they, at their mercy whether they may have admission or not; and will
never be decided until we have something like an aca. demy, that by the best authorities and rules drawn from the analogy of languages shall settle all contro. versies between grammar and idiom.
I have only considered our language as it shows the genius and natural teinper of the English, which is modest, thoughtful, and sincere, and which perhaps may recommend the people, though it bas spoiled the tongue. We might perbaps carry the same thonght into other languages, and deduce a great part of what is peculiar to them from the genius of the people who speak them. It is certain, the light talkative humour of the French has not a little infected their tongue, which might be shown by many instances; as the genius of the Italians, which is so much addicted to music and ceremony, has moulded all their words and plurases to those particular uses. The stateliness and gravity of the Spaniards shows itself to perfection in the solemnity of their langnage, and the blunt honest humour of the German sonnds better in the roughness of the High-Dutch, than it would in a politer tongue.
SUPPORTS OF PUBLIC CREDIT.
Quoi quisque fere studio devinctus adhæret :
IN one of my late rambles, or rather speculations, I
looked into the great ball where the Bank is kept, and was not a little pleased to see the directors, secre. taries, and clerks, with all the other members of that wealthy corporation, ranged in their several stations, according to the parts they act in that just and regular economy. This revived in my memory the many dis. courses which I had both read and heard concerning the decay of public credit, with the methods of restoring it, and which, in my opinion, bave always been detective, because they have always been made with an eye to separate interests, and party principles.
The thoughts of the day gave my mind employment for the whole night, so that I fell insensibly into a kind of methodical dream, which disposed all my contemplations into a vision or allegory, or what else the reader shall please to call it.
Methoughts I returned to the great ball, where I had been the morning before, but, to my surprise, instead of the company that I left there, I saw towards the upper end of the hall, a beautiful virgin, seated on a throne of guld. Her name (as they told me) was Public Credit. The walls, instead of being adorned with pictures and maps, were hung with many acts of parliament written in golden letters. At the upper end of the ball was the Magna Charta, with the Act of
Uniformity on the right hand, and the Act of Toleration on the left. At the lower end of the hall was the Act of Settlement, which was placed full in the eye of the Virgin that sat upon the throne. Both the sides of the ball were covered with such acts of parliament as had been made for the establishment of Public Fands. The lady seemed to set an unspeakable value upon these several pieces of furniture, insomuch that she often refreshed her eye with them, and often smiled with a secret pleasure, as she looked upon them; but, at the same time, showed a very particular uneasiness, if she saw any thing approaching that might hurt them. She appeared indeed infinitely timorous in all her behaviour: and, whether it was from the delicacy of her constitution, or that she was troubled with vapours, as I was afterwards told by one who I found was none of her well-wishers, she changed colour, and startled at every thing she heard. She was likewise (as I afterwards found) a greater valetudinarian tban any I had ever met with, even in her own sex, and subject to such momentary consumptions, thạt in the twinkling of an eye, she would fall away from the most fiorid complexion, and the most healthful state of body, and wither into sa skeleton. Her recoveries were often as sudden as her decays, insomuch that she would revive in a moment out of a wasting distemper, into a habit of the highest health and vigour.
I had very soon an opportunity of observing these quick turns and changes in her constitution. There sat at her feet a couple of secretaries, who received every hour letters from all parts of the world, which the one or the other of them was perpetually reading to her; and, according to the news she heard, to wbich she was exceedingly attentive, she changed colour, and discovered many symptoms of health or sickness.
Behind the throne was a prodigious heap of bags of money, which were piled upon one another so high that they touched the ceiling. The floor, on her right
hand and on her left, was covered with vast sams of gold, that rose up in pyramids on either side of her. But this I did not so much wonder at, when I heard, upon inquiry, that she had the same virtue in her touch, which the poets tell us a Lydian king was formerly possessed of; and that she could convert wbatever she pleased into that precious metal.
After a little dizziness, and confused hurry of thought, wbich a man often meets with in a dream, methought the hall was alarmed, the doors flew open, and there entered balf a dozen of the most hideous phantoms that I had ever seen (even in a dream) be. fore that time. They came in two by two, though matched in the most dissociable inanner, and mingled together in a kind of dance. It would be tedious to describe their habits and persous, for which reason I shall only inform my reader that the first couple were Tyranuy and Anarchy, the second were Bigotry and Atheism, the third the Genius of a common-wealth, and a young man of about twenty-two years of age, whose name I conld not learn. He had a sword in his right hand, which in the dance he often brandished at the Act of Settlement; and a citizen, who stood by me, whispered in my ear, that he saw a sponge in his left hand. The dance of so many jarring natures, put me in mind of the sun, moon, and earth, in The Rehear. sal, that danced together for no other end but to eclipse one another.
The reader will easily suppose, by what has been before said, that the lady on the throne would have been almost frighted to distraction, had she seen bat any one of these spectres; what then must have been her condition when she saw them all in a body? She fainted and died away at the sight.
Et neque jam color est misto candore rubori;
There was as great a change in the hill of money bags, and the heaps of money, the foriner shrinking, and falling into so many empty bags, that I now found not above a tenth part of them had been filled with money. The rest that took up the same space, and made the same figure as the bags that were really filled with money, had been blown up with air, and called into my memory the bags full of wind, which Homer tells us his hero received as a present from Æolus. The great heaps of gold, on either side the throne, now appeared to be only heaps of paper, or little piles of woiched sticks, bound up together in bundles, like Bath-faggots.
Whilst I was lainenting this sudden desolation that had been made before me, the whole scene vanished: in the room of the frightful spectres, there now en. tered a second dance of apparitions very agreeably matched together, and made up of very amiable phantoms. The first pair was Liberty with Monarchy at her right hand : the second was Moderation leading in Religion; and the third a person whom I had never seen, with the Genius of Great Britain. At their first entrance the lady revived, the bags swelled to their former bulk, the piles of faggots and heaps of paper changed into pyramids of guineas: and for my own part I was so transported with joy, that I awaked, though, I must confess, I would fain have fallen asleep again to have closed my vision, if I could have done it.