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Mast. The very Emblem of Justice, Sir; a Hair will turn them.
[Balancing the Scales. 2 Y. Gent. I would have them true, for they must determine some very nice statical Experiments.
Must. I'll engage they shall justly determine the nicest Experiments in Staticks. I have try'd them myself in some uncommon Subjects, and have prov'd their Good
I took a large Handful of Promises, which I received from a great man, and put them into one End; and lo! the Breath of a Fly in the other has kicked up the Beam. I have seen four Peacock's Feathers, and " the four Gold Clocks in Lord Tawdry's Stockings,
in the Golden Ballance, insomuch that I could not guess which
was light or heavy, whilst I beld them in my Hand. This I found * by several Fustances; for upon my laying a Weight in one of the “ Scales, which was inscribed by the Word Eternity; tho' I threw " in that of Time, Prosperity, Afliction, Wealth, Poverty, Inte. “ rest, Success, with many other Weights, which in my Hand " seemed very ponderous, they were not able to stir the opposite “ Ballance, nor could they have prevailed, though assisted with the “ Weight of the Sun, the Stars, and the Earth.
" Upoo emptying the Scales, I laid several Titles and Honours, " with Pomps, Triumphs, and many Weights of the like Nature, in
one of them, and seeing a little glittering Weight lie by me, I * threw it accidentally into the other Scale, when, to my great Sur
prize, it proved so exact a Counterpoise, that it kepi ihe Ballance “ in an Equilibrium. This liule glittering Weight was inscribed
upon the Edges of it with the Word Vanity. found there were " several other Weights which were equally Heavy, and exact " Counterpoises to one another; a few of them I tried, as Avarice " and Poverty, Riches and Content, with some others.
6. There were likewise several Weights that were of the same “ Figure, and seemed to correspond with each other, but were ene “ tirely different wheo thrown into the Scales; as Religion and Hy“ pocrisie, Pedantry and Learning, Wit and Vivacity, Superstition “ and Devotion, Gravity and Wisdom, with many others.
" I observed one particular Weighi lettered on both sides, and
upon applying myself to the Reading of it, I found on one side “ writteli, In the Dialect of Men, and underneath it, CALAMI: " TIES; on the other side was written, In the Language of” Heaven, * " and underneath BLESSINGS. I found the intrinsick “ Value of this Weight to be much greater than I imagined, for it
over-powered Health, Wealth, Good Fortune, and many other “ Weights, which were inuch more ponderous in my Hand thau the s other.
“ There is a Saying among the Scotch, that an Ounce of Mother “ is worth a Pound of Clergy; I was sensible of the Truth of this “ Saying, when I saw the Difference between the Weight of Natural “ Paris, and that of Learning. The Observation which I wade
* It is in the origioal, the Gods.
suspend the Scales in Equilibrio. I have found by Experience, that the Learning of a Beau; and the Wit of a Pedant, are a just Counterpoise to each other; that the Pride and Vanity of any Man are in exact Proportion to his Ignorance; that a Grain of Good-nature will preponderate against an Ounce of Wit; a Heart full of Virtue, against a Head full of Learning; and a Thimble full of Content against a Chest full of Gold.
upon these two Weights opened to me a new Field of Discoveries, " for notwithstanding the Weight of Natural Parts was much
heavier than that of Learning; I observed that it weighed an • hundred rimes heavier than it did before, when I put Learning “ into the same Scale with it. I made the same Observation upon
Faith and Morality; for notwithstanding the latter out-weighed
the former separately it received a thousand times more additional “ Weight from its Conjunction with the former, thao what it bad by
itself. This odd Phænomenon shewed itself in other Particulars,
as in Wit and Judgment, Philosophy and Religion, Justice and « Humanity, Zeal and Charity, depth of Sense and Perspicuity of 2. Y. Gent. This must be a very pretty Science, I fancy.
Style, with innumerable other Particulars too long to be mentioned 6s in this paper.
“ As a Dream seldom fails of dashing Seriousness with Imperti. nence, Mirth with Gravity, methought I made several other Ex. periments of a more ludicrous Nature, by one of which I found
ihat an English Octavo was very often heavier than a French • Folio; and by another that an old Greek or Låtin Author weighed
down a whole Library of Moderns. Seeing one of my Spectators “ lying by me, I laid it into one of the Scales, and flung a two-peony " Piece into the other. The Reader will not eliquire into the Event, " if he remembers the first Tryal which I have recorded in this paper. * I afterwards threw both the sexes into the Ballance; but as it is
pot for my Interest to disoblige either of them, I shall desire to be “ excused from telling the Result of this Experiment. Having an “ Opportunity of this Nature in my Hands, I could not forbear " throwing into one Scale the Principles of a Tory, and into the
other those of a Whig; but as I have all along declared this to be “ a Neutral Paper, shall likewise desire to be silent under this is Head also, though upon examining one of the Weights, I saw " the Word TEKEL Engraven op it in Capital Lellers.
“ I made many other Experiments, and though I have not room “ for them all in this Day's Speculation, may perhaps reserve di thein for another. I shall only add, tbat upon my awakiog I was ! sorry to find my Golden Scales vanished, but resolved for the fu:
ture to learn this Lesson from them, not to despise or value any " Things for their Appearances, but to regulate my Esteein and “ Passions towards them accordiog to their real and intrinsic Value.”
Mast. It would be endless to enumerate all the Experiments that might be made in these Scales; but there is one which every Man ought to be appriz'd of; and that is, that a moderate Fortune, enjoy'd with Content, Freedom, and Independency, will turn the Scales against whatever can be put in the other End.
- 2 Y. Gent. Well, this is a Branch of Staticks, which, I must own, I had but little Thought of entering into. However I begin to be persuaded, that to know the true Specifick Gravity of this Kind of Subjects, is of infinitely more importance than that of any other Bodies in the Universe.
Mast. It is indeed. And that you may not want Encouragement to proceed in so useful a Study, I will let you have the Scales for Ten Shillings. If you make a right Use of them, they will be worth more to you than ten Thousand Pou
2 Y. Gent. I confess I am struck with the Beauty and Usefulness of this kind of moral Staticks, and believe I shall apply myself to make Experiments with great Delight. There is your Money, Sir: You shall hear shortly what Discoveries I make; in the mean time I am your humble Servant.
[Erit. Must. Sir, I am your’s.
Enter a SECOND OLD MAN. 20. M. Sir, I understand you deal in CuriositIES. Have you any Thing in your Shop, at present, that's pretty and curious ?
Mast. Yes, Sir, I have a great many Things. Close corked up in a Thumb-Phial, I have some of the Tears which Alexander wept, because he could do no more Mischief. I have a Snuff-box made out of the Tub in which Diogenes liv'd, and took Snuff at all the World. I have the Pitch-Pipe of Gracchus the Roman Orator, #ho, being apt, in Dispute, to raise his Voice too high, by touching a certain soft Note in this Pipe, would régulate and keep it in a moderate Key.
2 Lady. Such a Pipe as that, if it could be heard, would be very useful in Coffee-houses, and other public Places of Debate and modern Disputation.
Gent. Yes, Madam, and, I believe, many a poor Husband would be glad of such a Regulator of the Voice in his own private Family too.
Mast. There you were even with her, Sir. -But the most valuable Curiosity I have, is a certain little Tube, which I call a Distinguisher; contriv'd with such Art, that, when rightly applied to the Ear, it obstructs all Falsehood, Nonsense, and Absurdity, from striking upon the Tympanum: Nothing but Truth and Reason can make the least Impression upon the Auditory Nerves. I have sat in a Coffee-house sometimes, for the Space of Half an Hour, and amongst what is generally called the best Company, without hearing a single Word. At a Dispute too, when I could perceive, by the eager Motions of both Parties, that they made the greatest Noise, I bave enjoyed the most profound Silence. It is a very useful Thing to have about one in all assemblies where there is any public Speaking; when a vast Variety both of useful and diverting Experiments may be made with it. The only Inconvenience attending it is, that no Man can make himself a complete Master of it under twenty Years' close and diligent Practice. And that Term of Time is best commenced at Ten or Twelve Years of Age.
Gent. That, indeed, is an Inconvenience that will make it not every Body's Money. But one would think those Parents, who see the Beauty and the Usefulness of Knowledge, Virtue, and a distinguishing Judgment, should take particular Care to engage their Children early in the Use and Practice of such a Distinguisher, whilst they have Time before them, and no other Concerns to interrupt their Application.
Mast. Some few do. But many are so entirely taken up with the Care of little Master's Complexion, his Dress, his Dancing, and such like Effeminacies, that they have little Regard for any internal Accomplishments: And are so far from teaching him to subdue his Passions, that they make it their whole Business to gratify them all.
20. M. Well, Sir; To some People these may be thought curious Things, perhaps, and a very valuable Collection. But, to confess the Truth, these are not the sort of curious Things I wanted. Have you no little Box, representing a wounded Ileart on the inside the Lid? Nor pretty Ring, with an amorous Posy? Nothing of that Sort, which is pretty and not common, in your Shop?
Mast. O yes, Sir! I have a pretty Snuff-box here; on the Inside of the Lid, do you see, is a Man of Threescore and Ten acting the Lover, and hunting like a Boy, after Gewgaws and Trifles, to please a Girl with.
20. M. Meaning me, Sir? Do you banter me, Sir ? Mast. If you take it to yourself, Sir, I can't help it.
20. M. And is a Person of my Years and Gravity to be laugh'd at?
Mast. Why, really, Sir, Years and Gravity do make such Childishness very ridiculous, I can't help owning. However, I am very sorry I have none of those curious Trifles for your Diversion ; but I have delicate lobbyhorses and Rattles if you please. 20. M. I will resent this Affront.
[Exit. Gent. Ha! ha! ha! How contemptible is Rage in Impotence! But, pray, Sir, don't you think this kind of Freedom with your Customers detrimental to your Trade?
Mast. No, no, Sir; the odd Character I have acquired by this rough Kind of Sincerity and Plain-dealing, together with the whimsical Humour of moralizing upon every Trifle I sell, are the Things, which, by raising People's Curiosity, furnish me with all my Customers : And it is only the Foolish, the Impudent, and the Vicious, I am so free with.
i Lady. And, in my opinion, you are in the right of it. Folly, Impudence and Vice must be just Objects of Satire and Ridicule.