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the language of all beasts and birds, and is not, like them, confined to that of one species. He can bring any beast what he calls for, and no doubt is much missed now in his native woods, where he used to do good offices among his fellow-citizens, and served as a mediator to reconcile their differences. One day he warned a flock of sheep, that were driving to the shambles, of their danger; and upon uttering some sounds, they all fled. He takes vast pleasure in conversation with horses ; and going to the Mews to converse with two of his intimate acquaintances in the king's stables, as he passed by, he neighed to the horse at Charing-cross, being as it were surprised to see him so high: he seemed to take it ill, that the horse did not answer him; but I think nobody can undervalue his understanding for not being skilled in statuary.
He expresses his joy most commonly by neighing; and whatever the philosophers may talk of their risibility, neighing is a more noble expression of that passion than laughing, which seems to me to have something silly in it; and besides, is often attended with tears. Other animals are sensible they debase themselves by mimicking laughter; and I take it to be a general observation, that the top felicity of mankind is to imitate monkey and birds : witness harlequins, scaramouches, and masqueraders: on the other hand, monkeys, when they would look extremely silly, endeavour to bring themselves down to mankind. Love he expresses by the cooing of a dove, and anger by the croaking of a raven ; and it is not doubted, but that he will serve in time as an interpreter between us and other animals.
Great instruction is to be had from this wild youth VOL. XVII.
in the knowledge of simples; and I am of opinion, that he ought always to attend the censors of the college in their visitation of apothecaries shops.
I am told, that the new sect of herb-eaters * intend to follow him into the fields, or to beg him for a clerk of their kitchen; and that there are many of them now thinking of turning their children into woods to graze with the cattle, in hopes to raise a healthy and moral race refined from the corruptions of this luxurious world.
He sings naturally several pretty tunes of his own composing, and with equal facility in the chromatick, inharmonick, and diatonick style ; and consequently must be of infinite use to the academy in judging of the merits of their composers, and is the only person, that ought to decide between Cuzzoni and Faustina f. I cannot omit his first notion of clothes, which he took to be the natural skins of the creatures that wore them, and seemed to be in great pain for the pulling off a stocking, thinking the poor man was a flaying
I am not ignorant, that there are disaffected people, who say he is a pretender, and no genuine wild man. This calumny proceeds from the false notions they have of wild men, which they frame from such as they see about the town, whose actions are rather absurd than wild; therefore it will be incumbent on all young gentlemen who are ambitious to excel in this character, to copy this true original of nature.
The senses of this wild man are vastly more acute, than those of a tame one; he can follow the track of a man, or any other beast of prey. A dog is an ass
* Dr. Cheyne's followers. + Two rival singers at that time in the Italian operas here.
to him for finding truffles; his hearing is more perfect, because his ears not having been confined by bandages, he can move them like a drill, and turn them toward the sonorous object.
« Let us pray the creator of all beings, wild and “ tame, that as this wild youth by being brought to “ court has been made a Christian ; so such as are at o court, and are no Christians, may lay aside thei “ savage and rapacious nature, and return to the “ meekness of the Gospel.”
NA R R A TI V E
DR. ROBERT NORRIS,
THE STRANGE AND DEPLORABLE FRENZY OF
MR. JOHN DENNIS,
An officeR OF THE CUSTOM HOUSE.
Being an exact Account of all that passed between the
said Patient and the Doctor till this present Day; and a full Vindication of himself and his Proceedings from the extravagant Reports of the said Mr. John Dennis.
- excludit sanos Helicone poetas
First published by J. Morphew, in 1713*.
IT is an acknowledged truth, that nothing is so dear to an honest man as his good name, nor ought he to neglect the just vindication of his character,
* The history of Mr. Dennis is to be seen in Jacob's Lives of the Poets; or in Mr. Pope's Dunciad, among the notes upon which the curious reader may find some extracts from his wri. tings. The occasion of this narrative sufficiently appears from the doctor's own words. A mistake of Mr. Granger's, in respect to Dr. Case's attending Jo'ın Dennis in his frenzy, is pointed out in Dr. King's Worlis, vol. iii. F: 302.
when when it is injuriously attacked by any man. The person I have at present cause to complain of, is indeed in very melancholy circumstances, it having pleased God to deprive him of his senses, which may
me in him. But I should be wanting in my duty, not only to myself, but also to my fellowcreatures, to whom my talents may prove of benefit, should I suffer my profession or honesty to be undeservedly aspersed. I have therefore resolved to give the publick an account of all, that has passed between the unhappy gentleman and myself.
On the 20th instant, while I was in my closet pondering the case of one of my patients, I heard a knocking at my door, upon opening of which entered an old woman; with tears in her eyes, and told me, that, without my assistance, her master would be utterly ruined. I was forced to interrupt her sorrow, by inquiring her master's name and place of abode. She told me, he was one Mr. Dennis, an officer of the custom-house, who was taken ill of a violent frenzy last April, and had continued in those melancholy circumstances, with few or no intervals. Upon this, I asked her some questions relating to his humour and extravagances, that I might the better know under what regimen to put him, when the cause of his distemper was found out. “ Alas, sir,” says she, “this day fortnight, in the morning, a poor simple “ child came to him from the printer's; the boy had « no sooner entered the room, but he cried out, the “ devil was come. He often stares ghastfully, raves “ aloud, and mutters between his teeth the word Cator, “ or Cato, or some such thing. Now, doctor, this « Cator is certainly a witch, and my poor master is “ under an evil tongue ; for I have heard him say