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no nation, where the men might allure them by a distinguishing civility, and in a manner fascinate them by assimilated motions? no nation, where the women with easy freedoms, and the gentlest treatment, might oblige the loving creatures to sensible returns of humanity? The love I bear my native country prompts me to wish this nation might be Great Britain ; but alas ! in our present wretched, divided condition, how can we hope, that foreigners of so great prudence will freely declare their sentiments in the midst of violent parties, and at so vast a distance from their friends, relations, and country? The affection I bear our neighbour state, would incline me to wish it were Holland— Sed leta in parte mamille Nil salit Arcadico. It is from France then we must expect this restoration of learning, whose late monarch took the sciences under his protection, and raised them to so great a height. May we not hope their emissaries will some time or other have instructions, not only to invite learned men into their country, but learned beasts, the true ancient man-tigers I mean of Æthiopia and India ? Might not the talents of each kind of these be adapted to the improvement of the several sciences ? the man-tigers to instruct heroes, statesmen, and scholars; baboons to teach ceremony and address to courtiers ; monkeys, the art of pleasing in conversation, and agreeable affectations to ladies and their lovers; apes of less learning, to form comedians and dancing-masters; and marmosets, court pages and young English travellers ? But the distinguishing of each kind, and allotting the proper business to each, I leave to the inquisitive and penetrating genius of the jesuits in their respective missions.
Vale & fruere.
ANNUS MIRABILIS :
EFFECTS OF THE APPROACHING
CONJUNCTION OF THE
PLANETS JUPITER, MARS, AND SATURN.
By Mart. SCRIBLERUS, Pbilomath.
In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas
I SUPPOSE every body is sufficiently apprised of, and duly prepared for, the famous conjunction to be celebrated the 29th of this instant December 1722, foretold by all the sages of antiquity under the name of the annus mirabilis, or the metamorphostical conjunction: a word which denotes the mutual transformation of sexes (the effect of that configuration of the celestial bodies) the human males being to be turned into females, and the human females into males.
The Egyptians have represented this great transformation by several significant hieroglyphics, particularly one very remarkable. There are carved upon an obelisk, a barber and a midwife; the barber delivers his razor to the midwife, and she her swaddlingclothes to the barber. Accordingly Thales Milesius (who, like the rest of his countrymen, borrowed his learning from the Egyptians) after having computed the time of this famous conjunction, “ then,” says he, « shall men and women mutually exchange the pangs " of shaving and childbearing.”
Anaximander modestly describes this metamorphosis in mathematical terms, “ then,” says he, “ shall “the negative quantity of the women be turned into “ positive, their — into + (i. e.) their minus into « plus.”
Plato not only speaks of this great change, but describes all the preparations toward it. “Long before “ the bodily transformation (says he) nature shall be“ gin the most difficult part of her work, by changing “ the ideas and inclinations of the two sexes : men « shall turn effeminate, and women manly; wives « shall domineer, and husbands obey; ladies shall “ ride a horseback, dressed like cavaliers ; princes « and nobles appear in nightrails and petticoats; men “ shall squeak upon theatres with female voices, and “ women corrupt virgins; lords shall knot and cut “ paper: and even the northern people, aprév % xUTPUNO 66 óprvell.” A phrase (which for modesty's sake I forbear to translate) which denotes a vice too frequent among us.
That the ministry foresaw this great change, is plain from the calico act; whereby it is now become the occupation of the women all over England, to convert their useless female habits into beds, window-curtains, chairs, and joint-stools; undressing themselves (as it were) before their transformation. The philosophy of this transformation will not
seem surprising to people, who search into the bottom of things. Madame Bourignon, a devout French lady, has shown us, how man was at first created male and female in one individual, having the faculty of propagation within himself; a circumstance necessary to the state of innocence, wherein a man's happiness was not to depend upon the caprice of another. It was not till after he had made a faux pas, that he had his female mate. Many such transformations of individuals have been well attested ; particularly one by Montaigne, and another by the late bishop of Salisbury. From all which it appears, that this system of male and female has already undergone, and may hereafter suffer, several alterations. Every smatterer in anatomy knows, that a woman is but an introverted man; a new fusion and flatus will turn the hollow bottom of a bottle into a convexity; but I forbear for the sake of my modest men-readers, who are in a few days to be virgins.
In some subjects the smallest alterations will do: some men are sufficiently spread about the hips, and contrived with that female softness, that they want only the negative quantity to make them buxom wenches; and there are women who are, as it were, already the ébauche * of a good sturdy man. If nature could be puzzled, it will be how to bestow the redundant matter of the exuberant bubbies that now appear about town, or how to roll out the short dapper fellows into well-sized women.
This great conjunction will begin to operate on Saturday the 29th instant. Accordingly about eight
• Sketch, rough draught, or essay.
at night, as Senezino shall begin at the opera, Si videte, he shall be observed to make an unusual motion ; upon which the audience will be affected with a red suffusion over their countenance: and because a strong succussion of the muscles of the belly is necessary toward performing this great operation, both sexes will be thrown into a profuse involuntary laughter. Then, to use the modest terms of Anaximander, “ shall negative quantity be turned into “ positive, &c.” Time never beheld, nor will it ever assemble, such a number of untouched virgins within those walls! but alas ! such will be the impatience and curiosity of people to act in their new capacity, that many of them will be completed men and women that very night. To prevent the disorders that may happen upon this occasion, is the chief design of this paper.
Gentlemen have begun already to make use of this conjunction to compass their filthy purposes. They tell the ladies, forsooth, that it is only parting with a perishable commodity, hardly of so much value as a callico under-petticoat; since, like its mistress, it will be useless in the form it is now in. If the ladies have no regard to the dishonour and immorality of the action, I desire they will consider, that nature, who never destroys her own productions, will exempt bigbellied women till the time of their lying in; so that not to be transformed, will be the same as to be pregnant. If they do not think it worth while to defend a fortress, that is to be demolished in a few days, let them reflect, that it will be a melancholy thing nine months hence to be brought to bed of a bastard; a posthumous bastard, as it were, to which the quondam father can be no more than a dry nurse.