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The tempest gathers all around,
On Babylon it lies;
Down with her! down, down to the ground Ah me! what angry terrors round us grow,
She sinks, she groans, she dies. How shrinks my soul to meet the threaten'd blow!
SECOND PROPHET. Ye prophets, skill'd in Heaven's eternal truth,
Down with her, Lord, to lick the dust, Forgive my sex's fears, forgive my youth !
Before yon setting sun ; Ah ! let us one, one little hour obey;
Serve her as she hath served the just ! Tomorrow's tears may wash the stain away
Tis fix'd-It shall be done.
Yes, my companions, Heaven's decrees are pass’d,
While these a constant revel keep,
Cæval with man
Now, now's our time! ye wretches bold and blind Behold his wretched corse with sorrow worn,
Brave but to God, and cowards to mankind, His squalid limbs by ponderous fetters torn;
Ye seek in vain the Lord unsought before,
O Lucifer, thou son of morn,
Of Heaven alike and man the foe;
Heaven, men and all,
Now press thy fall,
As panting flies the hunted hind,
Where brooks refreshing stray ; And rivers through the valley wind,
That stop the hunter's way.
For streams of mercy long;
And overwhelm the strong.
O Babylon, how art thou fallen!
Thy streets forlorn
To wilds shall turn,
Such be her fate. But hark! how from afar
The clarion's note proclaims the finish'd war!
Our great restorer, Cyrus, is at hand, But whence that shout? Good heavens
amaze. And this way leads his formidable band. ment all !
Give, give your songs of Sion to the wind, See yonder tower just nodding to the fall :
And hail the benefactor of mankind; Behold, an army covers all the ground,
He comes pursuant to divine decree, Tis Cyrus here that pours destruction round:
To chain the strong, and set the captive free
Rise to transports past expressing,
Sweeter by remember'd woes;
Cyrus comes our wrongs redressing, Thy vengeance be begun;
Comes to give the world repose.
CHORUS OF YOUTHS.
Prefaces and Criticism.
There are many creatures, described by those natu
ralists of antiquity, which are so imperfectly cha. TO DR. BROOKES'S NEW AND ACCURATE SYSTEM OF racterized, that it is impossible to tell to what aniNATURAL HISTORY.
mal now subsisting we can refer the description.
This is an unpardonable neglect, and alone suffi(Published in 1753.)
cient to depreciate their merits; but their creduli
ty, and the mutilations they have suffered by time, Of all the studies which have employed the in-have rendered them still less useful, and justify dustrious or amused the idle, perhaps natural his- each subsequent attempt to improve what they tory deserves the preference: other sciences gene- have left behind. The most laborious, as well as rally terminate in doubt, or rest in bare specula- the most voluminous naturalist among the motion; but here every step is marked with certainty; derns, is Aldrovandus. He was furnisned win and, while a description of the objects around us every requisite for making an extensive body of teaches to supply our wants, it satisfies our cu- natural history. He was learned and rich, and riosity.
during the course of a long life, indefatigable and The multitude of nature's productions, how-accurate. But his works are insupportably tedious ever, seems at first to bewilder the inquirer, rather and disgusting, filled with unnecessary quotations than excite his attention; the various wonders of and unimportant digressions. Whatever learning the animal, vegetable, or mineral world, seem to he had he was willing should be known, and unexceed all powers of computation, and the science wearied himself, he supposed his readers could appears barren from its amazing fertility. But a never tire: in short, he appears a useful assistant nearer acquaintance with this study, by giving to those who would compile a body of natural hismethod to our researches, points out a similitude tory, but is utterly unsuited to such as only wish in many objects which at first appeared different; to read it with profit and delight. the mind by degrees rises to consider the things Gesner and Jonston, willing to abridge the vobefore it in general lights, till at length it finds na luminous productions of Aldrovandus, have atture, in almost every instance, acting with her tempted to reduce natural history into method, but usual simplicity.
their efforts have been so incomplete as scarcely to Among the number of philosophers who, un- deserve mentioning. Their attempts were improve daunted by their supposed variety, have attempted ed upon, some time after, by Mr. Ray, whose meto give a description of the productions of nature, thod we have adopted in the history of quadrupeds, Aristotle deserves the first place. This great phi- birds, and fishes, which is to follow. No systemalosopher, was furnished, by his pupil Alexander, tical writer has been more happy than he in reducwith all that the then known world could produce ing natural history into a form, at once the shortest, to complete his design. By such parts of his work yet most comprehensive. as have escaped the wreck of time, it appears, that The subsequent atlempts of Mr. Klein and Linhe understood nature more clearly, and in a more næus, it is true, have had their admirers, but, as comprehensive manner, than even the present all methods of classing the productions of nature age, enlightened as it is with so many later dis- are calculated merely to ease the memory and encoveries, can boast. His design appears vast, and lighten the mind, that writer who answers such his knowledge extensive; he only considers things ends with brevity and perspicuity, is most worthy in general lights, and leaves every subject when it of regard. And, in this respect, Mr. Ray undoubtbecomes too minute or remote to be useful. In his edly remains still without a rival: he was sensible History of Animals, he first describes man, and that no accurate idea could be formed from a mere makes him a standard with which to compare the distribution of animals in particular classes; he deviations in every more imperfect kind that is to has therefore ranged them according to their most follow. But if he has excelled in the history of obvious qualities; and, content with brevity in his each, he, together with Pliny and Theophrastus, distribution, has employed accuracy only in the has failed in the exactness of their descriptions. I particular description of every animal. This in
dentional inaccuracy only in the general system of some measure satisfied. Such of them as have Ray, Klein and Linnæus have undertaken to been more generally admired, have been longest inamend; and thus by multiplying divisions, instead sisted upon, and particularly caterpillars and butof impressing the mind with distinct ideas, they terflies, relative to which, perhaps, there is the only serve to confound it, making the language of largest catalogue that has ever appeared in the the science more difficult than even the science it- English language. self.
Mr. Edwards and Mr. Busfon, one in the HisAll order whatsoever is to be used for the sake tory of Birds, the other of Quadrupeds, have unof brevity and perspicuity; we have therefore fol-doubtedly deserved highly of the public, as far as lowed that of Mr. Ray in preference to the rest, their labours have extended; but as they have whose method of classing animals, though not so hitherto cultivated but a small part in the wide field accurate, perhaps, is yet more obvious, and being of natural history, a comprehensive system in this shorter, is more easily remembered. In his life- most pleasing science has been hitherto wanting. time he published his "Synopsis Methodica Quad- Nor is it a little surprising, when every other rupedum et Serpentini Generis," and, after his branch of literature has been of late cultivated with death, there came out a posthumous work under the so much success among us, how this most interestcare of Dr. Derham, which, as the title-page in- ing department should have been neglected. It forms us, was revised and perfected before his has been long obvious that Aristotle was incomdeath. Both the one and the other have their plete, and Pliny credulous, Aldrovandus too prolix, merits; but as he wrote currente calamo, for sub- and Linnæus too short, to afford the proper entersistence, they are consequently replete with errors, tainment; yet we have had no attempts to supply and though his manner of treating natural history their defects, or to give a history of nature at once be preferable to that of all others, yet there was complete and concise, calculated at once to please still room for a new work, that might at once retain and improve. his excellencies, and supply his deficiencies. How far the author of the present performance
As to the natural history of insects, it has not has obviated the wants of the public in these rebeen so long or so greatly cultivated as other parts spects, is left to the world to determine; this much, of this science. Our own countryman Moufett is however, he may without vanity assert, that wheththe first of any note that I have met with who has er the system here presented be approved or not, treated this subject with success. However, it he has left the science in a better state than he was not till lately that it was reduced to a regular found it. He has consulted every author whom he system, which might be, in a great measure, owing imagined might give him new and authentic inforto the seeming insignificancy of the animals them- mation, and painfully searched through heaps of selves, even though they were always looked upon lumber to detect falsehood ; so that many parts of as of great use in medicine; and upon that account the following work have exhausted much labour in only have been taken notice of by many medical the execution, though they may discover little to writers. Thus Dioscorides has treated of their the superficial observer. use in physic; and it must be owned, some of them Nor have I neglected any opportunity that offerhave been well worth observation on this account. ed of conversing upon these subjects with travelThere were not wanting also those who long since lers, upon whose judgments and veracity I could had thoughts of reducing this kind of knowledge rely. Thus comparing accurate narrations with to a regular form, among whom was Mr. Ray, what has been already written, and following who was discouraged by the difficulty attending it: either
, as the circumstances or credibility of the this study has been pursued of late, however, with witness led me to believe. But I have had one diligence and success. Reaumur and Swammer- advantage over almost all former naturalists, namedam have principally distinguished themselves on ly
, that of having visited a variety of countries mythis account; and their respective treatises plainly self, and examined the productions of each upon show, that they did not spend their labour in vain. the spot. Whatever America or the known parts Since their time, several authors have published of Africa have produced to excite curiosity, has their systems, among whom is Linnæus, whose been carefully observed by me, and compared with method being generally esteemed, I have thought the accounts of others. By this I huve made some proper to adopt. He has classed them in a very improvements that will appear in their place, and regular manner, though he says but little of the have been less liable to be imposed upon by the insects themselves. However, I have endeavoured hearsay relations of credulity. to supply that defect from other parts of his works, A complete, cheap, and commodious body of and from other authors who have written upon natural history being wanted in our language, it this subject; by which means, it is hoped, the curi- was these advantages which prompted me to this osity of such as delight in these studies will be in lundertaking. Such, therefore, as choose to range