Page images
PDF
EPUB

general intelligence that the treaty ment to go directly for Madrid, was at an end, and Don Louis re- where he was well received by the turned to Madrid, though the king king, and supplied with at least had sent the Marquis of Ormond two or three thousand pound sterdirectly to Fontarabia to know the ling, and staid there until he heard truth, and to inform Don Louis of of the great change of affairs in his majesty's arrival, yet without England, and of his majesty's reftaying for his return, the other ception there, where he found him persuaded the king, that he ought in the full possession and administrato make all possible haste to Ma- tion of his regal power. drid; and so far prevailed, that they By this time the king was enwent as far as Saragosa in the king- gaged very far in his treaty with dom of Arragon, where they re- Purtugal for the marriage with the ceived clear information that Don queen, all particulars being in the Louis remained still at the place of truth upon the matter agreed upon; the treaty. And within a day af- which no sooner came to this genter, an express arrived from thence, tleman's knowledge but he expressed with all the importunity from the a marvellous dislike of it, and Marquis of Ormond and Sir Henry (without any capacity which might Bennett, that his majesty would entitle him to that presumption) make all possible haste thither ; sig- suggested all things to the king nifying further the prejudice he which the Spanish ambassador could had suffered by the delays he had suggest to him, and which were most made in his journey, and the un

like to make some impresion upon expressible displeasure Don Louis his majesty ; such as the deformity had conceived upon his purpose of of her person, the number of her going to Madrid, which in that years, and her incapacity of bearconjuncture would have occafioneding children; and at the same time great disorder in the King of Spain's made oifer of the choice of two affairs, all which made deep im- young ladies of the house of Medipresions in his majesty, and made ci, of such rare perfection in beauty him discern how inconvenient the as his fancy could describe, and fanciful humour of his guide had (which is very wonderful) prevailed been to him. The king's reception lo far privately with the king, to at Fontarabia, and his treatment send him incognito into Italy to fee there, was agreeable to the Spani- those ladies, with a promise not to ard's custom in those occasions, full proceed further in the treaty with of respect and application to his Portugal till his return; but upon majesty; and in the short stay he a short reflection upon the dishomade there, the other person (who nour of this design, his Majesty put was upon all the disadvantages a quick end to it, renewing his old mentioned before) had, by his pure obiervations of the humour and predexterity and address, wrought him- fumptions of the man. How many self so far into the good opinion of extravagant propositions and deDon Louis, and the other grandees figns he afterwards run into, till he who accompanied him, that when so far provoked the king that he the king returned through France gave orders for his apprehension and for Brussels, he found encourage- commitment to the Tower; is known

to

[ocr errors]

to all men; and how many more be great luftre and ornament to it; he is like hereafter to fall into of and would rather expose it nakedly the same kind, can hardly be fore- to have the indiscretion and unfeen, even by those who belt under- warrantable part of it censured, than Itand his unlimited ambition, and that the fancy and high projection the restlessnefs of his humour. should be concealed, it being an

I did not intend to have reflected infirmity that he would not part upon so many particulars, much with, to believe that a very ill less to have taken any furvey of the thing subtilly and warily designed, active life of this very considerable and well and bravely executed, is person ; but it was hardly possible much worthier of a great spirit, than to give any lively description of his a faint acquiescence under any innature and humour, or any charac- felicity, merely to contain himself ter even of his person and composi- within the bounds of innocence ; tion, without representing some in- and yet if any man concludes from stances of particular actions ; which, hence that he is of a fierce and imbeing so contradictory to themselves, petuous difpofition, and prepared and to different from the same ef- to undertake the worst enterprize, fects which the same causes natu- he will find cause enough to believe rally produce in other men, can only himself mistaken, and that he hath qualify a man to make a conjecture softness and tendernessenough about what his true conftitution and na. him to restrain him, not only from ture was ; and at best it will be but ill, but even from unkind and illa conjecture, since it is not possible natured actions. No man loves to make a positive conclusion or de- more passionately and violently, at duction from the whole or any part least makes more lively expressions of it, but that another conclusion of it: and that his hatred and mamay be as reasonably made from lice, which sometimes break out fome other action and discovery. It from him with great impetuofity, is pity that his whole life should not as if he would destroy all he disbe exactly and carefully written, likes, is not compounded proporand it would be as much pity that tionably out of the fame fiery mateany body else should do it but him- rials, appears in this, that he would felf, who could only do it to the not only, upon very short warning life, and make the truest descrip- and very easy address, trust a man tions of all his faculties, and paf- who had done him injury to a very fions, and appetites, and the full notable degree, but even such a operation of them; and he would man, as he himself had provoked do it with as much ingenuity and beyond the common bounds of reintegrity as any man could do, and conciliation : he doth not believe expose himself as much to the cen that any body he loves so well, can sure and reproach of other men, as be unloved by any body else ; and, the malice of his greatest enemy that whatever prejudice is contractcould do ; for in truth he does be. ed against him, he could remove it, lieve many of those particular ac if he were but admitted to confetions, which severe and rigid men rence with them which own it. No do look upon as disfigurings of the man can judge, hardly guess, by other beautiful part of his life, to what he hath done formerly, what

he

he will do in the time to come ; which he hath sometimes fome temp-
whether his virtues will have the bet. tation, if not inclination; or if a
ter, and triumph over his vanities, satiety in wrestling and struggling
or whether the strength and vigour in the world, or a despair of prof.
of his ambition, and other exorbi. pering by those strugglings, Thall
tances, will be able to supprefs, and prevail with him to abandon those
even extinguish his better disposed contests, and retire at a good dis-
inclinations and resolutions, the suc- tance from the court to his books.
cess of which will always depend and a contemplative life, he may
upon circumstances and contingen- live to a great and a long age; and
cies, and from somewhat without, will be able to leave such informa-
and not within himself. I should tion and advertisements of all kinds
not imagine that ever his activity to posterity, that he will be looked
will be attended with success or se- upon as a great mirror by which
curity; but without doubt, if ever well-disposed men may learn to
his reflections upon the vanity of the dress themselves in the best orna-
world dispose him to contemn it, ments, and to spend their lives to
and to betake himself to a contem the best advantage of their country,
plation of God, and nature, or to ·
a ftrict and severe devotion, to Montpelier, April 1669.

[merged small][ocr errors]

NATURAL HISTORY.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

T

The Natural History of the different are least known in Europe, and

Serpents in the East-Indies, from which I have had opportunities of
the Esays of Monf. F. d'Obson- observing with confiderable atten-
ville, on the nature of various tion.
foreign Animals, translated by T. Serpent Marin, or Sea Serpent*. -
Holcroft.

The approach of the coasts of India

is almost always known by these HESE animals, which, as Serpents, which are met at from

they wind and twist them- twenty to thirty leagues distance. felves, advance filently by a pro- Their bite may be mortal, if not gressive undulation; and when they timely counteracted by some of the Neep or rest, form their bodies into specificshereafter mentioned. These a number of circles, of which the reptiles appeared to me to be from head is the centre: which, after three to four feet long; I do not they have cast their skins, appear all know if there are any larger. I do at once with a renovated brilliancy; not believe they are precisely ama these animals, so dangerous if they phibious, that is to say, that they are irritated, were the symbols of have the power also of living on wisdom, prudence, and immorta. land. I have often seen them on lity, among the ancient philofo- the shore, but they have always phers. They are divided into a been thrown there by the surges, and multitude of species, that differ by were either dead or dying. the intensity of their poison, the fize Serpent couronné.

The crowned or of their bodies, the colours with hooded Serpent. This species exwhich their fins are spotted ; and, tends from five to fix feet in length; though most common in marshy the skin is divided in small regular grounds, are found also in the sea, compartments, which being conon rocky mountains, and in barren trafted and separated, more or less, places. They are all carnivorous, with green, yellow, and brown, and there are some species that de- have a tolerably beautiful effect. It vour the others. I shall speak par- is called hooded from the Portuticularly of some of those only that guese word capelo, because it has a

* The Serpent is called Mar, in PerGan ; Hai, and Laiffa, in Arabic j Nec ah, or Pampou, in Tamoul ; and Samp, Kakoutia, Boura, and Tchilli, in Indostan. The Sea Serpent, Cadel Pampou, in Tamoul. The Hooded Serpent, Nalle Pampou, in Tamoul; Cokra, in Indoftan. The Javeline, Green, or Flying Serpent, Pache Pampou, in Tamoul ; and Marperende, in Persian. The Viper, Marafi, in Persian.

loose

loose kin under its head, which can hood; sometimes it will remain an be extended to both sides ; and, hour in that position, and then, by when it is so, forms a sort of hood, gentle inclinations of the head, inon which is drawn the resemblance dicate that these sounds impress a almost of a pair of spectacles. This sense of pleasure on 'its organs. Of loose skin never takes that form but this I have several times been conwhen the animal rears itself, agita- vinced, by proofs made on this ted by fear, rage, or astonishment; kind of Serpents, which have nein a word, by some object that af ver been trained to that exercise, fects it forcibly. In which case it and particularly upon one that I raises the fore part of its body to caught in my garden. I do not nearly a third of its length; its however deny, that some are trained head is then almost in continual ac to this exercise : the jugglers, when tion, it seems to look all around, called to clear a house of them, will but remains in the same place, or sometimes artfully drop one of these, creeps slowly on its hind parts. which will immediately appear at Whence this species is in India, the found of the pipe, to which it more than any other, the emblem has been accustomed. of prudence ; but when it eats, Serpent javelot, or green Serpent. sleeps, or is pursued, its hood is not The green Serpent is found, in the extended, because the muscles are Indies and the countries east of the then either relaxed or differently Peninsula, four and five feet long; employed. This Serpent is an ob- its bite is held to be at least as danject of superstitious veneration among gerous as that of the hooded snake: the Gentoo Indians, founded on they generally remain on the tops fome traits of legendary mytholo- of trees, watching for birds and ingy: they seldom name it without sects. Suspended or laid along the adding some epithet, such as the branches, which they embrace with royal, the good, the holy. Some the tip of the tail, they appear imof them are happy to see it go and moveable, when, presently, with an come in their houses ; whence many oscillatory motion, they will reach have received irreparable injuries: to another bough, or seize upon for it is very possible to hurt it unin- their prey. Hence it is probable, tentionally, without seeing it, or that from a superficial view of the during sleep, and it immediately manner in which these reptiles obrevenges itself with fury. Its bite tain their subsistence, some travelis sometimes mortal in two or three lers have said, that they have a parhours, especially if the poison has ticular

delight to dart upon the eyes penetrated the larger vessels or mul- of passengers. For my own part, cles.

I am well persuaded, that when This reptile, more than any they dart, or rather when they glide other, is attentive to the sound of à along at the approach of man, it is fort of fageolet or pipe. The In- only to avoid him, except, perhaps, dian jugglers play a certain mono. when they have been wounded or tonous air, llow and unharmonious, irritated; fo at least has it happenwhich at first seems to create alto- ed, for more than ten times that I nishment, presently it advances, have seen them. I prefume, that ftops, rears itself, and extends its chis reptile is of the same species

« PreviousContinue »