The Father of the young Gentleman upon the Perusal of the Letter found it contained great News, but could not guess what it was. He immediately communicated it to the Curate of the Parish, who upon the reading of it, being vexed to see any thing he could not understand, fell into a kind of a Passion, and told him that his Son had sent him a Letter that was neither Fish, nor Flesh, nor good Red-Herring. I wish, says he, the Captain may be Compos Mentis, he talks of a saucy Trumpet, and a Drum that carries Messages; then who is this Charte Blanche? He must either banter us or he is out of his Senses. The Father, who always looked upon the Curate as a learned Man, began to fret inwardly at his Son’s Usage, and producing a Letter which he had written to him about three Posts afore, You see here, says he, when he writes for Mony he knows how to speak intelligibly enough; there is no Man in England can express himself clearer, when he wants a new Furniture for his Horse. In short, the old Man was so puzzled upon the Point, that it might have fared ill with his Son, had he not seen all the Prints about three Days after filled with the same Terms of Art, and that Charles only writ like other Men.
[Footnote 1: The motto in the original edition was
‘Semivirumque bovem Semibovemque virum.’
[Footnote 2: that]
[Footnote 3: Atique]
[Footnote 4: Dr Richard Bentley]
[Footnote 5: Mile]
* * * * *
No. 166. Monday, September 10, 1711. Addison.
Quod nec Jovis ira, nec ignis,
Nec poterit ferrum, nec edax abolere vetustas.’
Aristotle tells us that the World is a Copy or Transcript of those Ideas which are in the Mind of the first Being, and that those Ideas, which are in the Mind of Man, are a Transcript of the World: To this we may add, that Words are the Transcript of those Ideas which are in the Mind of Man, and that Writing or Printing are the Transcript of words.
As the Supreme Being has expressed, and as it were printed his Ideas in the Creation, Men express their Ideas in Books, which by this great Invention of these latter Ages may last as long as the Sun and Moon, and perish only in the general Wreck of Nature. Thus Cowley in his Poem on the Resurrection, mentioning the Destruction of the Universe, has those admirable Lines.
’Now all the wide extended Sky,
And all th’ harmonious Worlds on high,
And Virgil’s sacred Work shall die.’