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thermometer I am now speaking of to the present constitution of our church, as divided into "high" and "low," I have made some necessary variations both in the tube and the fluid it contains. In the first place, I ordered a tube to be cast in a planetary hour, and took care to seal it hermetically, when the sun was in conjunction with Saturn. I then took the proper precautions about the fluid, which is a compound of two very different liquors; one of them a spirit drawn out of a strong, heady wine; the other a particular sort of rock water, colder than ice, and clearer than crystal. The spirit is of a red, fiery colour, and so very apt to ferment, that unless it be mingled with a proportion of the water, or pent up very close, it will burst the vessel that holds it, and fly up in fume and smoke. The water, on the contrary, is of such a subtle, piercing cold, that unless it be mingled with a proportion of the spirits, it will sink through almost everything that it is put into, and seems to be of the same nature as the water mentioned by Quintus Curtius, which, says the historian, could be contained in nothing but in the hoof, or (as the Oxford manuscript has it) in the skull of an ass. The thermometer is marked according to the following figure, which I set down at length, not only to give my reader a clear idea of it, but also to fill up my
The reader will observe, that the church is placed in the middle point of the glass, between Zeal and Moderation, the situation in which she always flourishes, and in which every good Englishman wishes her, who is a friend to the constitution of his country. However, when it mounts to Zeal it is not amiss; and when it sinks to Moderation, is still in a most admirable temper. The worst of it is, that when once it begins to rise, it has still an inclination to ascend, insomuch that it is apt to climb from Zeal to Wrath, and from
Wrath to Persecution, which always ends in Ignorance, and very often proceeds from it. In the same manner it frequently takes its progress through the lower half of the glass; and when it has a tendency to fall, will gradually descend from Moderation to Lukewarmness, and from Lukewarmness to Infidelity, which very often terminates in Ig-. norance, and always proceeds from it.
It is a common observation, that the ordinary thermometer will be affected by the breathing of people who are in the room where it stands; and indeed, it is almost incredible to conceive how the glass I am now describing will fall by the breath of a multitude crying Popery; or on the contrary, how it will rise when the same multitude (as it sometimes happens) cry out in the same breath, "The Church is in danger."
As soon as I had finished this my glass, and adjusted it to the above-mentioned scale of religion, that I might make proper experiments with it, I carried it under my cloak to several coffee-houses, and other places of resort about this great city. At St. James's coffee-house, the liquor stood at Moderation; but at Will's, to my extreme surprise, it subsided to the very lowest mark on the glass. At the Grecian, it mounted but just one point higher; at the Rainbow, it still ascended two degrees; Child's fetched it up to Zeal, and other adjacent coffee-houses to Wrath.
It fell into the lower half of the glass as I went further into the city, till at length it settled at Moderation, where it continued all the time I stayed about the 'Change, as also whilst I passed by the Bank. And here I cannot but take notice, that through the whole course of my remarks, I never observed my glass to rise at the same time that the stocks did.
To complete the experiment, I prevailed upon a friend of mine, who works under me in the occult sciences, to make a progress with my glass through the whole island of Great Britain; and after his return, to present me with a register of his observations. I guessed beforehand at the temper of several places he passed through, by the characters they have had time out of mind. Thus that facetious divine, Dr. Fuller, speaking of the town of Banbury near a hundred years ago, tells us, it was a place famous for cakes and zeal, which I find by my glass is true to this day, as to the latter part of
this description; though I must confess, it is not in the same reputation for cakes that it was in the time of that learned author: and thus of other places. In short, I have now by me, digested in an alphabetical order, all the counties, corporations, and boroughs in Great Britain, with their respective tempers, as they stand related to my thermometer: but this I shall keep to myself, because I would by no means do anything that may seem to influence any ensuing elections.
The point of doctrine which I would propagate by this my invention, is the same which was long ago advanced by that able teacher Horace, out of whom I have taken my text for this discourse: we should be careful not to overshoot ourselves in the pursuits even of virtue. Whether zeal or moderation be the point we aim at, let us keep fire out of the one, and frost out of the other. But alas! the world is too wise to want such a precaution. The terms High Church and Low Church, as commonly used, do not so much denote a principle, as they distinguish a party. They are like words. of battle, that have nothing to do with their original signification, but are only given out to keep a body of men together, and to let them know friends from enemies.
I must confess, I have considered with some little attention, the influence which the opinions of these great national sects have upon their practice; and do look upon it as one of the unaccountable things of our times, that multitudes of honest gentlemen, who entirely agree in their lives, should take it in their heads to differ in their religion.
No. 224. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1710.
Materiam superabat opus.—
From my own Apartment, September 13. Ir is my custom, in a dearth of news, to entertain myself with those collections of advertisements that appear at the end of all our public prints. These I consider as accounts of news from the little world, in the same manner that the foregoing parts of the paper are from the great. If in one we hear that a sovereign prince is fled from his capital city, in the other we hear of a tradesman who hath shut up his shop and run away. If in one we find the victory of a
general, in the other we see the desertion of a private soldier. I must confess, I have a certain weakness in my temper, that is often very much affected by these little domestic occurrences, and have frequently been caught with tears in my eyes over a melancholy advertisement.
But to consider this subject in its most ridiculous lights, advertisements are of great use to the vulgar: first of all, as they are instruments of ambition. A man that is by no means big enough for the Gazette, may easily creep into the advertisements: by which means we often see an apothecary in the same paper of news with a plenipotentiary, or a running-footman with an ambassador. An advertisement from Piccadilly goes down to posterity with an article from Madrid; and John Bartlett, of Goodman's Fields, is celebrated in the same paper with the Emperor of Germany. Thus the fable tells us, "That the wren mounted as high as the eagle, by getting upon his back."
A second use which this sort of writings have been turned to of late years, has been the management of controversy, insomuch, that above half the advertisements one meets with now-a-days are purely polemical. The inventors of * Strops for Razors" have written against one another this way for several years, and that with great bitterness; as the whole argument pro and con in the case of the "Morning Gowns" is still carried on after the same manner. I need not mention the several proprietors of Dr. Anderson's pills; nor take notice of the many satirical works of this nature so frequently published by Dr. Clark, who has had the confidence to advertise upon that learned knight, my very worthy friend, Sir William Read: but I shall not interpose in their quarrel; Sir William can give him his own in advertisements, that, in the judgment of the impartial, are as well penned as the doctor's.
The third and last use of these writings is, to inform the world where they may be furnished with almost everything that is necessary for life. If a man has pains in his head, cholics in his bowels, or spots in his clothes, he may here meet with proper cures and remedies. If a man would recover a wife or a horse that is stolen or strayed, if he wants new sermons, electuaries, asses' milk, or anything else, either for his body or his mind, this is the place to look for them in.
The great art in writing advertisements, is the finding out a proper method to catch the reader's eye; without which a good thing may pass over unobserved, or be lost among commissions of bankrupt. Asterisks and hands were formerly of great use for this purpose. Of late years, the N. B. has been much in fashion; as also little cuts and figures, the invention of which we must ascribe to the author of springtrusses. I must not here omit the blind Italian character, which being scarce legible, always fixes and detains the eye, and gives the curious reader something like the satisfaction of prying into a secret.
But the great skill in an advertiser, is chiefly seen in the style which he makes use of. He is to mention “the universal esteem, or general reputation," of things that were never heard of. If he is a physician or astrologer, he must change his lodgings frequently, and (though he never saw anybody in them besides his own family) give public notice of it, "For the information of the Nobility and Gentry." Since I am thus usefully employed in writing criticisms on the works of these diminutive authors, I must not pass over in silence an advertisement which has lately made its appearance, and is written altogether in a Ciceronian manner. It was sent to me, with five shillings, to be inserted among my advertisements; but as it is a pattern of good writing in this way, I shall give it a place in the body of my paper.
"THE highest compounded Spirit of Lavender, the most glorious, (if the expression may be used,) enlivening scent and flavour that can possibly be, which so raptures the spirits, delights the gust, and gives such airs to the countenance, as are not to be imagined but by those that have tried it. The meanest sort of the thing is admired by most gentlemen and ladies: but this far more, as by far it exceeds it, to the gaining among all a more than common esteem. It is sold (in neat flint bottles fit for the pocket) only at the Golden Key, in Warton's Court, near Holborn Bars, for 3s. 6d., with directions."
At the same time that I recommend the several flowers in which this spirit of lavender is wrapped up, (if the expression may be used,) I cannot excuse my fellow-labourers for admitting into their papers several uncleanly advertisements, not at all proper to appear in the works of polite writers. Among