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What protestations and perjuries would be saved on the one side, what hypocrisy and dissimulation on the other? I am myself very far gone in this passion for Aurelia, a woman of an unsearchable heart. I would give the world to know the secrets of it, and particularly whether I am really in her good graces, or, if not, who is the happy person.
"I fell asleep in this agreeable reverie, when on a sudden methought Aurelia lay by my side. I was placed by her in the posture of Milton's Adam, and
With looks of cordial love hung over her enamour'd.
As I cast my eye upon her bosom, it appeared to be all of crystal, and so wonderfully transparent, that I saw every thought in her heart. The first images I discovered in it were fans, silks, ribbons, laces, and many other gewgaws, which lay so thick together, that the whole heart was nothing else but a toy-shop. These all faded away and vanished, when immediately I discerned a long train of coaches and six, equipages and liveries, that ran through the heart one after another in very great hurry for above half an hour together. After this, looking very attentively, I observed the whole space to be filled with a hand of cards, in which I could see distinctly three mattadors. There then followed a quick succession of different scenes. A play-house, a church, a court, a poppet-show, rose up one after another, till at last they all of them gave place to a pair of new shoes, which kept footing in the heart for a whole hour. These were driven off at last by a lap-dog, who was succeeded by a Guinea-pig, a squirrel, and a monkey. I myself, to my no small joy, brought up the rear of these worthy favourites. I was ravished at being so happily posted, and in full possession of the heart : but as I saw the little figure of myself simpering, and mightily pleased with its situation, on a sudden the heart methought gave a sigh, in which,
as I found afterwards, my little representative vanished; for upon applying my eye I found my place taken up by an ill-bred, awkward puppy, with a money-bag under each arm. This gentleman, however, did not keep his station long before he yielded it up to a wight as disagreeable as himself, with a white stick in his hand. These three last figures represented to me in a lively manner the conflicts in Aurelia's heart between Love, Avarice, and Ambition. For we jostled one another out by turns, and disputed the point, for a great while. But at last to my unspeakable satisfaction, I saw myself entirely settled in it. I.was so transported with my success, that I could not forbear hugging my dear piece of crystal, when to my unspeakable mortification I awaked, and found my mistress metamorphosed into a pillow.
“ This is not the first time I have been thus disappointed.
“O venerable Nestor, if you have any skill in dreams, let me know whether I have the same place in the real heart, that I had in the visionary one : to tell you truly, I am perplexed to death between hope and fear. I was very sanguine till eleven a-clock this morning, when I overheard an unlucky old woman telling her neighbour that dreams always went by contraries. I did not, indeed, before much like the crystal heart, remembering that confounded simile in Valentinian, of a maid, 'as cold as crystal never to be thaw'd.' Besides, I verily believe if I had slept a little longer, that awkward whelp with his money-bags would certainly have made his second entrance. If you can tell the fair one's mind, it will be no small proof of your art, for I dare say
it is more than she herself can do. Every sentence she speaks is a riddle, all that I can be certain of is, that I am her and
" Your humble servant,
“ PETER Puzzle.”
I have lately entertained my reader with two or three letters from a traveller, and may possibly, in some of my future papers, oblige him with more from the same hand. The following one comes from a projector, which is a sort of correspondent as diverting as a traveller : his subject having the same grace of novelty to recommend it, and being equally adapted to the curiosity of the reader. For my own part, I have always had a particular fondness for a project, and may say, without vanity, that I have a pretty tolerable genius that way myself, I could mention some which I have brought to maturity, others which have miscarried, and many more which I have yet by me, and are to take their fate in the world when I see a proper juncture. I had a hand in the Land-bank,' and was consulted with upon the reformation of manners. I have had several designs upon the Thames and the New River," not to mention my refinements upon lotteries and insurances, and that never-to-be-forgotten project, which, if it had succeeded to my wishes, would have made gold as plentiful in this nation as tin or copper. If my countrymen hare not reaped any advantages from these my designs, it was not for want of any good will towards them. They are obliged to me for my kind intentions as much as if they had taken effect. Projects are of a two-fold nature: the first arising from public-spirited persons, in which number I declare myself: the other proceeding
Supposed to allude to a plan of Steele's for bringing fish to London. V. The ‘Fishpool,'-in Nichols's ed. of Town Taik,' &c. 1789.-G.
* A scheme for a bank to lend money on land security. o Steele’s ‘multiplication table,' a kind of lottery decided to be illegal.
Supposed to be another allusion to Steele's scheming; for he had, among other things, spent time and money in search of the philosopher's
from a regard to our private interest, of which nature is that in the following letter.
SIR, “A man of your reading knows very well that there were a set of men, in old Rome, called by the name of Nomenclators, that is, in English, men who could call every one by his name. When a great man stood for any public office, as that of a tribune, a consul, or a censor, he had always one of these Nomenclators at his elbow, who whispered in his ear the name of every one he met with, and by that means enabled him to salute every Roman citizen by his name when he asked him for his vote. To come to my purpose, I have with much pains and assiduity qualified myself for a Nomenclator to this great city, and shall gladly enter upon my office as soon as I meet with suitable encourage. ment. I will let myself out by the week to any curious country gentleman or foreigner. If he takes me with him in a coach to the ring," I will undertake to teach him, in two or three evenings, the names of the most celebrated persons who frequent that place. If he plants me by his side in the pit, I will call over to him, in the same manner, the whole circle of beauties that are disposed among the boxes, and, at the same time, point out to him the persons who ogle them from their respective stations. I need not tell you that I may be of the same use in any other public assembly. Nor do I only profess the teaching of names but of things. Upon the sight of a reigning beauty, I shall mention her admirers, and discover her gallantries, if they are of public notoriety. I shall likewise mark out every toast, the club in which she was elected, and the number of votes that were on her side. Not a woman shall be unexplained that makes a figure either as a maid, a wife, or a widow. The men too shall be set
• In Hyde park, then a fashionable place of resort.
out in their distinguishing characters, and declared whose properties they are. Their wit, wealth, or good humour, their persons, stations, and titles, shall be described at large.
“I have a wife who is a Nomenclatress, and will be ready, on any occasion, to attend the ladies. She is of a much more communicative nature than myself, and is acquainted with all the private history of London and Westminster, and ten miles round. She has fifty private amours which nobody yet knows any thing of but herself, and thirty clandestine marriages that have not been touched by the tip of a tongue. She will wait upon any lady at her own lodgings, and talk by the clock after the rate of three guineas an hour.
“ N. B. She is a near kinswoman of the author of the New Atalantis."
“ I need not recommend to a man of your sagacity the useful. ness of this project, and do therefore beg your encouragement of it, which will lay a very great obligation upon
“Your humble servant."
After this letter from my whimsical correspondent, I shali publish one of a more serious nature, which deserves the utmost attention of the public, and in particular of such who are lovers of mankind. It is on no less a subject, than that of discovering the longitude, and deserves a much higher name than that of a project, if our language afforded any such term.
But all I can say on this subject will be superfluous, when the reader sees the names of those persons by whom this letter is subscribed, and who have done me the honour to send it me. I must only take notice, that the first of these gentlemen is the same person who has lately obliged the world with that noble plan, entitled, A Scheme of the Solar System, with the Orbits of the Planets and
* Mrs. A. D. Manler:-*