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the Afiatic Princes fought the waters of immortality, as the Knights errant, in our modern romances, have fought after the waters of youth. Alexander met an angel in the cavern, where the magi al-, Tured him, that the waters of immortality were to be had.
The angel gave him a flint, and bidding him bring another of the same form and weight, he should then drink of the water of immortality. Alexander scarched himseif, and caused search to be made every where to no purpose, After a deal of fruitless labour, he thought proper to choose a flint nearly refembling the one he had received, and added a little earth to give it the weight and form. The angel, Gabriel, perceiving the trick, said to him, My friend, remember that thou art only earth. Despair of drinking the qua:crs of immortality; and io not attempt to impojè upon Gabriel*.
This apologue teaches us that there are not two things in nature to be found perfectly alike; and that the ideas of Leibnitz upon the indiscernible, were known in the heart of Tartary a long time before Leibniz t.
For the most part of the stories with which we have been crammed over and over again, and all the witty repartees which have been afcribed to Charles V, Henry IV, and an hundred modern Princes, they may be found in Athenæus, and our old books. It is in that fense only that we can say, nibil sub fole novuni, (there is nothing ietv under the sun) &c.
On the Letters of Pope Ganganelli, wluich have lately made such a noise throughout Europe, and which appeared to us, on the first reading, to be spurious; Mr. Voltaire makes the following reprobatory remarks in the XXVIIth Letter.
“ I have been so abufed, .my dear friend, with my ingenious and gallant letters, which I never wrote, and with so many other stupidities which have been ascribed to me, that you will pardon me for taking the part of every Cardinal or Pupe to whom such tricks are played.
It is a long time fince I was provoked with that political teitament which was fraudulently produced in the name of Cardinal Richelieu. . Can we give attention to the political advice of a Prime Minister who does not speak to the King; either of the Queen, whose fituation was so doubtful; nor of his brother, who had so often conspired him; nor of his fon, the Dauphin, whose education was of such importance ;', nor of his enemies, against whom he had such measures to take; nor of the protestants of the kingdom, against whom the fame King had carried on so fevere a war; nor of his armies; nor of his negotiations ; nor of his Generals ; nor of his Am. baffadors? It would be madness and folly to believe that this rhapfody was written by a Minister of State.
The most ill-conceived frauds are discoverable in every page; however, the name of Cardinal Richelieu imposed for a time; and even some of the braur-efprits, like oracles, praised the horrid errors with
* Olearius, page 169;
+ This Hiltory has been introduced into a little book, entityled, Chiacle, Indian, and Tartar letters,
which the book swarms: and thus every error is propagated froin one end of the world to the other, unless foie worthy soul has courage enough to stop its career.
Since that time we have had the testaments of the Duke of Lorraiga, Colbert, Louvois, Alberoni, Marechal Bellife, and Mandrin. Among so many heroes I dare not rank myself; but you
know that Counsellor Marchand has made my testament, in which he has had the discretion not even to include a legacy for himself!
You have feen the letters of Ninon de l'Enclos, the Queen of Sweden, Madame Pompalour, Mademoiselle de Tron to her lover, the Reverend Father de la Chaize, confeffor to Louis XIV: and now come the Letters of Pope Ganganilli
. They are in French, though he never wrote in that language. Ganganelli must have received in cognito the gift of languages in the course of his life. These letters are entirely in the French taste. The turn of the expressions, the thoughts, the words, the style is entirely French. They are printed in France; the editor is a Frenchman, born near Tours, who has assumed a name beginning with an J. and has already published a number of French works under feigned names.
If this editor had translated genuine letters of Pope Clement XIV into French, he would have deposited the originals in fome public library. We have a right to say to him what was formerly laid to the Abbé Nodot, “ Shew us your manuscript of Petronius, which was found at Belgrade, or consent that nobody shall believe you. It is as false that you have the genuine satire of Petronius in your hands, as it is false that that ancient satire was the work of a Consul, and a picture of Nero's conduct. Delift from attempting to deceive the learned, you will only deceive the vulgar."
When the comedy of the Scotchwoman was published in the name of Guillaume Vade, and of Jerome Carré, the public immediately faw the joke, and did not require legal proofs. But when they expose the name of a Pope whole ashes are not yet cold, there fhould be no room left for fufpicion; the letters with Ganganelli's fubfcrip. tion should be produced in the facred college, and depofited in the library of the Vatican, with the attestations of all who know his writing; otherwise it will be said all over Europe, that a inan has dared io take the name of a Pope to sell a book. Reus eft quia filium dei fe fecit.
As for my part, if I were to see these letters supported by attestations, I would no more believe them to be the letters of Ganganelli, than I should believe the letters of Pilate to Tiberius were really written by Pilate.
And why am I so incredulous about these letters? It is because I have read them; because I see the counterfeit in every page. I. was sufficiently intimate with the Venetian Algarotti to know that he never had the least correspondence with the Friar Ganganelli, nor with the Counsellor Ganganelli, nor with the Cardinal Ganganelli, nor with the Pope Ganganelli. The little advice given in a friendly manner to Algarotti and ine, were never given by that gooi Monk, who became a good Popè.
It is impossible that Ganganelli could bave written to Mr. Stuart, Scotchman; my dear Sir, I am, fincerely attached to the English notion. I have an excessive love for your great poets.
What would you say of an Italian who declares to a Scotchman, that be has an exceffive love for English verse, and yet does not understand one word of English?
The Edicor goes ftill farther, and makes his learned Ganganelli say, I sometimes make nocturnal visits to Newton, and at a time when all nature Dorps, I cake to read and admire him. No one tike him ever united fimplicity with science. His character and genius were superior to pride
You see how the Editor puts himself in the place of his Pope, and what strange praise he beitows upon Newton. He pretends to have read him, and speaks of himn as of a learned Benedictive, well versed in history, and who is, notwithstanding, very modett. A very pretty panegyrie on the greatest mathematician that has ever been : a man who has diílected the light.
Ia that fame letter he takes Berkley, Bishop of Cloyne, for one of those who have written against the Christian religion, and ranks him ".with Spinosa and Bayle. He does not know that berkley was one of the molt able writers who has defended the Christian religion. He does not know that Spinofa has never once mentioned it, and that, Bayle has not written any work expressly on to respectable a subject.
The Editor, in a letter to an Abbé Lamni, makes his pretended Ganganelli fay, that according to Danté the juul is the greatest miracle in the world. A Pope or a franciscan Friar may cite Danté with all his might, to sew himself a man of letters ; but there is not a single verse in that frange Poet Danté, which says what is here ascribed to him. . In another letter to a Venetian lady, Ganganelli amutes himself in refuting Locke; that is to say, Mr. Editor. much fuperior to Locke, does himlelf the pleasure of censuring him under the name of a Pope.
In a letter to Cardinal Quirini, the Editor expresses himself in the following manner: Your Eminency, who loves the Frencb, has certainly looked with a forgiving ese upon their prettiness, though it might have offended the fuperior taste of the ancient manners. There is no evil but may be found collectively in all ages; there are sparks and flames, lillies and blue-bottles, rains and decus, fars and meteors, rivers and rivulets, which is a perfect piéiure of nature; and to judge of the world and of times, you must unite the diferent views, and make but one piece of the whole.
Do you in good faith believe that the Pope wrote this farrago - in French against the French ?
Is it not pleasant in the hundred and eleventh letter of Ganga. nelli, newly become Cardinal, he fays, We are not Cardinals to impose upon the world by baughtine)s, but to be the pillars of the Holy See. Our rank, our haliits, our functions, all remind us, that, even to the effufior of our blood, we ought to employ all our power for the affiftarree- of "ligion, according to the will of God and the exigencies of the Church,
When I see Cardinal de Tourson fizing to the extremities of the world to cause the truth to be preached there in its purity, I find myself inflamed with the noble example, and am difpofid to undertake every thing in the fame cause.
Would not you imagine from this passage, that a Cardinal de Tournon had forsaken the pleatures of Rome in the year 1706, to
and preach to the Emperor of China, and to futter martyrdomn ? But the real fact is, a Savoyard Priest of the name of Maillard, who was educated at Rome in the college of the Propaganda, was sent by Pope Clement XI, to China in the year 1706, to give an account to the congregation of the Propaganda, of a dispute between the Jacobins and the Jesuits about the meaning of two words in the Chinese language. Maillard took the name of Tournon, and very
soon was appointed Apoitolical Vicar in China. He was no sooner Apostle Vicar, than he took it into his head that he understood the Chinese language better than the Emperor Camhy. He sent word to Pope Clement XI. that the Emperor and the Jesuits were Heretic. The Emperor was satisfied with fending him to prison, but it is said that the Je'uits had him poisoned: but before the poison had operated, it is said that he had the credit to procure a cap from the Pope. The Chinese scarcely knew what was meant by the cap, but Maillard died when the cap arrived: and this is the faithful history of that conceit. The Editor supposes Ganganelli was so ignorant as to know nothing.
Lastly, he who borrows the name of Pope Ganganelli, pushes his zeal so far as to make him say in his fifty-eighth letter to a Magistrate of the Republic of St. Marino, “ I will not send you the book you want to fee; it is an ill-formed production, badly translated from French, and abounds with heresies against morality and found doctrine. It speaks, nevertheless, of huinanity; for now-a-days that is the plau. lible phrase which is substituted in the room of charity, because hu. manity is but a Pagan virtue, and charity is a Christian one.
The modern philofophy would have nothing to do with what relates to Christianity."
You will attentively observe, that if our Pope dreads the word hue manity, his most Christian Majeliy boldly inakes use of it in his edict of the i2th of April, 1776, in which he offers medicines to be diftributed, gratis, to all the fick in his kingdom. The edict begins thus; His Majesty's will is benceforth for the sake of humanity, &c.
Mr. Editor may be inhuman as much as he pleases upon paper, but he will please to allow that our Kings and Ministers may be humane. It is plain that he is ftrangely mistaken, but it is the case with all these gentlemen who publish their productions in respectable names. It is the rock upon which all the Testament-makers have split; it is by this chiefly that Boisguilbert is known, who dared to print his Royal Tentb under the name of the Marechal de Vauban. Such were the authors of the Memoirs of Vordac, Montbrun, de Pontis, and many more.
I believe the pretended Ganganelli is unmasked. He made himself
Froin well ac
From the subjcet of these pretended letters, our author takes occasion also to make a shrewd iemark on literary impositions, and the truth of printed anecdotes in general.
6. It is true, Sir, that there is no great harm in ascribing letters to Pope Ganganelli and Queen Chrítina of Sweden, which neither the one nor the other did write. It is a long time since quacks began to deceive the world for money. The world should be pretty quainted with it, fince that grave historian, Flavius Josephus, hath certified, that a beautiful writing of the son of Seth, who was the grandion of Adam, upon altrology, was to be seen in his time: that one part of the book was engraved upon a pillar of stone, to refift water when the human race were to be destroyed by a deluge; and another part upon a pillar of brick, to relist fire, when the general conflagration should destroy the world. No writing can give an earlier date to falfities. I think it was the Abbé Tilladet who faid, As soon as any thing is printed, tho’ you have not read it, lay a wager is is not true; I will go your halves, and it will make my fortune.
Philosophical Transactions, of the Royal Society of London. Vol.
LXVI. For the Year 1776. Part II. 4to. Price 7s. 6d. Davis.
This part of the volume of Philosophical Transactions for the last year, contains Art. XVIII, an abridged state of the weather, at London, for one year, commencing with the month of March 1775, collected from the Meteorological Journal of the Royal Society. By Dr. Horsley.„On the table, respeeting the quantity of rain which fell in the course of the year, the Doctor infinuates that the common notion of the moon's influence in this case is by no means supported by experience, although he adınits that the trial turns out niore in favour of the moon this year, than it did the last. The exposition of vulgar errors is certainly a proper employment for philosophers; it is as requisite, however, for their own credit, that they should pay equal attention to certain vulgar truths: in which case, they would not so often expose their ignorance of circumstances, familiar even to the multitude. We drop this hint on account of the formal declaration of the worthy president, in his speech on the distribution of the last year's medal, concerning Capt. Cook's discovery of the transmutution of salt water into fresh, by freezing. This phænomenon is nothing new nor Turprizing ; being well known to every Dutch or Danish boor on the northern coasts; the ice of falt-water being in some places transported many a mile in that form, and used, when diífolveil, by way of preference to common fresh water. A President of the Royal Society fhould not have been ignorant of fo well-known a fact,