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sultry hot, very hot, hot, warm, temperate, cold, just freezing, frost, hard frost, great frost, extreme cold.'
It is well known, that Toricellius, the inventor of the common weather-glass, made the experiment in a long tube which held thirty-two foot of water; and that a more modern virtuoso, finding such a machine altogether unwieldy and useless, and considering that thirty-two inches of quicksilver weighed as much as so many foot of water in a tube of the same circumference, invented that sizeable instrument which is now in use. After this manner, that I might adapt the 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 every thing 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 paper.
Ignorance. 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 Ignorance, 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 coffeehouses, 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 bad 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 any thing 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 origi. nal 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. It 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 bassador. An advertisement from Piccadilly goes down to posterity, with an article from Madrid ; and John Bartlett," of Good man'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
I need not mention the 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