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Alexandrinus began to enjoy his ample fortune in all the extremities of household expense, furniture, and insolent equipage; and this he pursued till the day of his own departure began, as he grew sensible, to approach. As Basilius was punished with a son very unlike him, Alexandrinus was visited by one of his own disposition. It is natural that ill men should be suspicious, and Alexandrinus, besides that jealousy, had proofs of the vicious disposition of his son Renatus, for that was his name.
Alexandrinus, as I have observed, having very good reasons for thinking it unsafe to trust the real secret of his phial and gallipot to any man living, projected to make sure work, and hope for his success depending from the avarice, not the bounty, of his benefactor.
With this thought he called Renatus to his bedside, and bespoke him in the most pathetic gesture and accent. As much, my son, as you have been addicted to vanity and pleasure, as I also have been before you, you nor I could escape the fame, or the good effects of the profound knowledge of our progenitor, the renowned Basilius. His symbol is very well known in the philosophic world, and I shall never forget the venerable air of his countenance when he let me into the profound mysteries of the smaragdine table of Hermes. It is true,' said he, - and far removed from all colour of deceit; that which is inferior is like that which is superior, by which are acquired and perfected all the miracles of a certain work. The father is the sun, the mother the moon, the wind is the womb, the earth is the nurse of it, and niother of all perfection. All this must be received with modesty and wisdoin.' The chymical people carry in all their jargon a whimsical sort of piety, which is ordinary with great lovers of money, and is no more but deceiving themselves, that their regularity and strictness of manners for the ends of this world, has some affinity to the innocence of heart which must recommend them to the next, Renatus wondered to hear his father talk so like an adept, and with some mixture of piety, while Alexandrinus, observing his attention fixed, proceeded : * This phial, child, and this little earthen pot, will add to thy estate so much, as to make thee the richest man in the German empire. I am going to my long home, but shall not return to common dust. Then he resumed a countenance of alacrity, and told him, that if within an hour after his death he anointed his whole body, and poured down his throat that liquor which he had from old Basilius, the corpse would be converted into pure gold. I will not pretend to express to you the unfeigned tenderness that passed between these two extraordinary persons; but if the father recommended the care of his remains with vehemence and affection, the son was not behind-hand in professing that he would not cut the least bit off him but upon the utmost extremity, or to provide for his younger brothers and sisters.
Well, Alexandrinus died, and the heir of his body (as our term is) could not forbear, in the wantonness of his heart, to measure the length and breadth of his beloved father, and cast up the ensuing value of him before he proceeded to operation. When he knew the immense reward of his pains, he began the work: but lo! when he had anointed the
and began to apply the liquor, the body stirred, and Repatus, in a fright, broke the phial.
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AMAZONS; PAPER I.
The moral world, as consisting of males and females, is of a mixed nature, and filled with several cristoms, fashions, and ceremonies, which would have no place in it were there but one sex.
Had our species no females in it, men would be quite different creatures from what they are at present: their endeavour to please the opposite sex polishes and refines them out of those manners which are most natural to them, and often sets them upon modelling themselves, not according to the plans which they approve in their own opinions, but according to those plans which they think are most agreeable to the female world. In a word, man would not only be an unhappy but a rude unfinished creature, were he conversant with none but those of his own make.
Women, on the other side, are apt to form themselves in every thing with regard to that other half of reasonable creatures with whom they are here blended and confused; their thoughts, are ever turned upon appearing amiable to the other sex ; they talk, and move, and smile, with a design upon us; every feature of their faces, every part of their dress is filled with snares and allurements. There would be no such animals as prudes or coquettes in the world, were there not such an animal as man. In short, it is the male that gives charms to womankind, that produces an air in their faces, a grace in their motions, a softness in their voices, and a delicacy in their complexions.
As this mutual regard between the two sexes tends to the improvement of each of them, we may observe that men are apt to degenerate into rough and brutal
natures, who live as if there were no such things as women in the world ; as, on the contrary, women, who have an indifference or aversion for their counterparts in human nature, are generally sour and unamiable, sluttish and censorious.
I am led into this train of thoughts by a little manuscript which is lately fallen into my hands, and which I shall communicate to the reader, as I have done some other curious pieces of the same nature, without troubling him with any inquiries about the author of it. It contains a summary account of two different states, which bordered upon one another. The one was a commonwealth of Amazons, or women without men; the other was a republic of males that had not a woman in their whole community. As these two states bordered upon one another, it was their way, it seems, to meet upon their frontiers at a certain season of the year, where those among the men who had not made their choice in any former meeting associated themselves with particular women, whom they were afterwards obliged to look upon as their wives in every one of these yearly rencounters. The children that sprung from this alliance, if males, were sent to their respective fathers; if females, continued with their mothers. By means of this anniversary carnival, which lasted about a week, the commonwealths were recruited from time to time, and supplied with their respective subjects.
These two states were engaged together in a perpetual league, offensive and defensive ; so that, if any foreign potentate offered to attack either of them, both the sexes fell upon him at once, and quickly brought him to reason. It was remarkable that for many ages this agreement continued inviolable between the
two states, notwithstanding, as was said before, they were husbands and wives : but this will not appear so wonderful, if we consider that they did not live together above a week in a year.
In the account which my author gives of the male republic, there were several customs very remarkable, . The men never shaved their beards, or pared their nails above once in a twelvemonth, which was probably about the time of the great annual meeting upon their frontiers. I find the name of a minister of state in one part of their history, who was fined for appearing too frequently in clean linen ; and of a certain great general who was turned out of his post for effeminacy, it having been proved upon him by several credible wit, nesses that he washed his face every morning. If any member of the commonwealth had a soft voice, a smooth face, or a supple behaviour, he was banished into the commonwealth of females, where he was treated as a slave, dressed in petticoats, and set a-spinning. They bad no titles of honour among them, but such as denoted some bodily strength or perfection, as such an one the tall, such an one the stocky, such an one the gruff. Their public debates were generally managed with kicks and cuffs, insomuch that they often caine from the council-table with broken shins, black eyes, and bloody noses.
When thev would reproach a man in the most bitter terms, they would tell him his teeth were white, or that he had a fair skin and a soft hand. The greatest man I meet with in their history was one who could líft five hundred weight, and wore such a prodigious pair of whiskers as had never been seen in the commonwealth, before his time. These accomplishments it seems had rendered him so popular, that, if he had not died very seasonably, it is thought he