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fied, their conduct has been ridiculed, and their caule has been defamed.
When Columbus had engaged king Ferdinand in the discovery of the other hemisphere, the failors, with whom he embarked in the expedition, had so little confidence in their commander, that after having been long at sea looking fer coasts, which they expected never to find, they raised a general mutiny, and demanded to return. He found means to sooth them into a permission to continue the fame course three days longer, and on the evening of the third day descried land. Had the iinp:l-, tience of his crew denied him a few hours of the time requested, what had been his fate but to have come back with the infamy of a vain projector, who had betraycd the king's credulity to useless ex.. pences, and risked his life in seeking countries that had no existence? how would those that had re. jected his p:oposals, have triumphed in their acute. neis ? and when would his name have been mentioned, but with the makers of potable gold and malleable glass?
The last royal projectors with whom the world has been troubled, were Charles of Sweden and the Cizgi of Vilcovy. Charles, if any judgment may be formed of his designs by his measures and his unuiries, had purposed first to dethrone the Czar, then to lead his army through pathless desarts into C%:112, thence to make his way by the sword through the whole circuit of Asia, and by the conquest of Turkry to unite Sweden with his new dominions : but this nighty project was crushed at Pultowa; and Chere's has since been considered as a madman by those powers, who sent their ambassadors to folicit his friendship, and their generals s to learn under « him the art of war."
The Çzar found employment sufficient in his own dominions, and amused himself in digging canals, and building cities; murdering his subjects with insufferable fatigues, and transplanting nations from one corner of his dominions to another, without regretting the thousands that perished on the way: but he attained his end, he made his
people formidable, and is numbered by fame among the demi-gods.
I am far from intending to vindicate the sana guinary projects of heroes and conquerors, and would with rather to diminish the reputation of their success, than the infamy of their miscarriages : for I cannot conceive, why he that has burnt cities, wasted nations, and filled the world with horror and desolation, should be more kindly regarded by mankind, than he that died in the rudiments of wicked. nefs; why he that accomplished mischief should be glorious, and he that only endeavoured it should be criminal. I would wish Cæfar and Catiline, Xerxes and Alexander, Charles and Peter, huddled together in obscurity or detestation,
But there is another species of projectors, to whom I would willingly conciliate mankind; whose ends are generally laudable, and whose labours are innocent; who are searching out new powers of nature, or contriving new works of art; but who are yet persecuted with incessant obloquy, and whom the universal contempt with which they are treated, often debars from that success which their
industry would obtain, if it were permitted to act without opposition.
They who find themselves inclined to censure new undertakings, only because they are new, should consider, that the folly of projection is very seldom the folly of a fool; it is commonly the ebullition of a capacious mind, crowded with variery of knowledge, and heated with intenseness of thought; it proceeds often from the conscioufness of uncommon powers, from the confidence of thofe, who having already done much, are easily persuaded that they can do more. When Rowley had completed the orrery, he attempted the perpetual motion; when Boyle had exhausted the secrets of vulgar chemistry, he turned his thoughts to the work of transmutation.
A projector generally unites those qualities which have the faireft claim to veneration, extent of knowledge, and greatness of design: it was said of Catiline, “ immoderata, incredibilia, nimis alta semper « cupiebat.” Projectors of all kinds agree in their intelleels, though they differ in their morals; they all fail by attempting things beyond their power, by despising vulgar attainments, and aspiring to performances, to which, perhaps, nature has not proportioned the force of man: when they fail, therefore, they fail not by idleness or timidity, but by rath adventure and fruitless diligence,
That the attempts of such men will often mircarry, we may reasonably expect; yer from such men, and such only, are we to hore for the cultivation of those parts of nature which lie yet waste, ! the invention of those arts which are yet
wanting wanting to the felicity of life. If they are, therefore, universally discouraged, art and discovery can make no advances. Whatever is attempted without previous certainty of success, may be considered as a project, and amongst narrow minds may, therefore, expose its author to censure and contempt; and if the liberty of laughing be once indulged, every man will laugh at what he does not understand, every project will be considered as madness, and every great or new design will be censured as a project. Men, unaccustomed to reason and researches, think every enterprize impracticable, which is extended beyond common effects, or comprises many intermediate operations. Many that presume to laugh at projectors, would consider a flight through the air in a winged chariot, and the movement of a mighty engine by the steam of water, as equally the dreams of mechanick lunacy; and would hear, with equal negligence, of the union of the Tbames and Severn by a cànal, and the scheme of Albuquerque, the viceroy of the Indies, who in the sage of hostility had contrived to make Egypt a bar. ren desart, by turning the Nile into the Red Sea.
Those who have attempted much, have seldom failed to perform more than those who never deviate from the common roads of action : many valuable preparations of chemistry are supposed to have risen from unsuccessful enquiries after the grand elixir : it is, therefore, just to encourage those who endeavour to enlarge the power of art, since they often succeed beyond expectation; and when they fail, may sometimes benefit the world even by their miscarriages.
NUMB, 102. SATURDAY, Oftober 27, 1753.
Quid tam dextro pede concipis, ut le
What in the conduct of our life
appcars So well design’d, so luckily begun, But, when we have our with, we wish undone. DRYDEN,
To the ADVENTURER.
My beginning was narrow, and my stock small; I was, therefore, a long time brow-beaten and despised by those, who having more money thought they had more merit than myself, I did not, how. ever, suffer my resentment to instigate me to any mean arts of supplantation, nor my eagerness of riches to betray me to any indirect methods of gain; I persued my business with incessant assiduity, supported by the hope of being one day richer than those who contemned me; and had, upon every annual review of my books, the satisfaction of finding my fortune increased beyond my expectation.
In a few years my industry and probity were fully recompensed, my wealth was really great, and my reputation for wealth ftill greater. I had large warehouses crowded with goods, and considerable suins in the publick funds; I was caressed upon the