There is another Passage in his Book of singular Mystery: he is pleased to observe that Things are sometimes foretold by smelling, and That by Persons who are endued with a Second-Sight. This smelling of Futurity would be of notable Use to Statesmen: which brings to my Mind, that somewhere in an Old Play, the Politician cries, I smell a Plot. The Vulgar too have an Expression, when they speak of a Man they don’t like, of smelling the Rogue, and smelling him out. These Phrases, no doubt, had their Original from this Kind of Prediction; and the terms remain, tho’ the Gift be in great Part lost among Men. If this Gentleman could again teach the Learned to arrive at it, it would be attended with its Inconveniences, as well as Benefits; for we should have our Politicians running their Noses into every private Circumstance of Life, and a Set of State Beagles ever upon the Scent for new Treasons and Conspiracies: on the contrary, this Advantage might be derived, that an Invasion, which was never intended, seen, or heard of, might be smelt out by their unerring Sagacity.
Our Author proceeds to observe that Children, Horses, and Cows, have the Second Sight as well as Men and Women; yet at the same Time takes no Notice of Hogs, whom a great Part of the World have allowed to be gifted with Second Sight, and to be able to foretel Storms, and windy Weather. This appears to me like Prejudice, and does not consist with the Candour of an unbias’d Author: it looks as if he were carried away with the Humour of his Country, who are observed to be no Favourers of Pork, and therefore will allow Hogs no Share in Divination.
Indeed, but that I am afraid of being suspected of too much Learning, or that I would invalidate the Testimonies of this Author, I should be bold to say, that no Part of the Brute Creation have the Benefit of Second Sight: and that they have neither Organs, nor Reason, to discern, or distinguish Phantoms, from material Bodies: and therefore the old Rabins very subtly conjectured, that the Ass, which carried Balaam, was not a real Ass, but the Devil in Disguise, and subject to the Magical Power of the Prophet.
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Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the Angel in Pater-Noster-Row, where Advertisements and Letters from Correspondents are taken in.
By Sir JOHN FALSTAFFE.
To be Continued every Tuesday and Saturday.
When the Married shall marry, Then the Jealous will be sorry; And tho’ Fools will be talking, To keep their Tongues walking, No Man runs well, I find, But with’s Elbows behind.
Nostrad. in Quev.