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at the same time it will be considered, in how deplorable a state learning lies at present in that kingdom; and, with the profoundest veneration for crowned heads, I will presume to add, that it a little concerned his majesty of Portugal to interpose his authority in behalf of a scholar and a gentleman, the subject of a nation with which he is now in so strict an alliance. But the other kingdoms and states of Europe have treated me with more candor and generosity. If I had leave to print the Latin letters transmitted to me from foreign parts, they would fill a volume and be a full defence against all that Mr. Partridge or his accomplices of the Portugal inquisition will be ever able to object, who, by the way, are the only enemies my predictions have ever met with at home or abroad. But I hope I know better what is due to the honor of a learned correspondence in so tender a point. Yet some of those illustrious persons will perhaps excuse me for transcribing a passage or two in my vindication. The most learned Monsieur Liebnitz thus addresses to me his third letter:

Illustrissimo Bickerstaffio astrologia instauratori,&c. Monsieur Le Clerc, quoting my predictions in a treatise he published last year, is pleased to say, Ita nuperrime Bickerstaffius, magnum illud Anglia sidus.Another great professor, writing of me, has these words: Bickerstaffius, nobilis Anglus,

, astrologorum hujusce sæculi facile princeps.Signior Magliabecchi, the great duke's famous library-keeper, spends almost his whole letter in compliments and praises. It is true, the renowned professor of astronomy at Utrecht seems to differ from me in one article; but it is after the modest manner that becomes a philosopher; as, pace tanti viri dixerim :" and, page 55, he seems to lay the error upon the printer (as indeed it ought), and says, vel forsan error typographi cum alioquin Bickerstatus vir doctissimus,” &c.

If Mr. Partridge had followed these examples in the controversy between us, he might have spared me the trouble of justifying myself in so public a manner.

I believe no man is readier to own his errors than I, or more thankful to those who will please to inform him of them. But, it seems, this gentleman, instead of encouraging the progress of his own art, is pleased to look upon

all attempts of that kind as an invasion of his province. He has been indeed so wise as to make no objection against the truth of my predictions, except in one single point relating to himself: and to demonstrate how much men are blinded by their own partiality, I do solemnly

· The quotations here inserted are in imitation of Dr. Bentley, in some part of the famous controversy between him and Mr. Boyle.


assure the reader, that he is the only person from whom I ever heard that objection offered, which consideration alone, I think, will take off all its weight.

With my utmost endeavors I have not been able to trace above two objections ever made against the truth of my last year's prophecies: the first was, of a Frenchman, who was pleased to publish to the world “that the cardinal de Noailles was still alive, notwithstanding the pretended prophecy of Monsieur Biquerstaffe:" but how far a Frenchman, a Papist, and an enemy is to be believed in his own cause, against an English Protestant, who is true to the government, I shall leave to the candid and impartial reader.

The other objection is the unhappy occasion of this discourse, and relates to an article in my predictions, which foretold the death of Mr. Partridge to happen on March 29, 1708. This he is pleased to contradict absolutely in the almanack he has published for the present year, and in that ungentlemanly manner (pardon the expression) as I have above related. In that work he very roundly asserts, that he is not only now alive, but was likewise alive upon that

very 29th of March, when I had foretold he should die.” This is the subject of the present controversy between us; which I design to handle with all brevity, perspicuity, and calmness. In this dispute I am sensible the eyes, not only of England, but of all Europe, will be upon us; and the learned in every country will, I doubt not, take part on that side where they find most appearance of reason and truth.

Without entering into criticisms of chronology about the hour of his death, I shall only prove that Mr. Partridge is not alive. And my first argument is this: about a thousand gentlemen having bought his almanacks for this year, merely to find what he said against me, at every line they read they would lift up their eyes and cry out, betwixt rage and laughter, “ they were sure no man alive ever writ such damned stuff as this.” Neither did I ever hear that opinion disputed; so that Mr. Partridge lies under a dilemma, either of disowning his almanack, or allowing himself to be no man alive. Secondly, death is defined by all philosophers a separation of the soul and body. Now it is certain that the poor woman, who has best reason to know, has gone about for some time to every alley in the neighborhood, and sworn to the gossips that her husband had neither life nor soul in him. Therefore, if an uninformed carcase walks still about, and is pleased to call itself Partridge, Mr. Bickerstaff does not think himself anyway answerable for that.


Neither had the said carcase any right to beat the poor boy, who happened to pass by it in the street.crying, “ A full and true account of Dr. Partridge's death !” &c.

Thirdly, Mr. Partridge pretends to tell fortunes and recover stolen goods, which all the parish says he must do by conversing with the devil and other evil spirits, and no wise man will ever allow he could converse personally with either till after he was dead.

Fourthly, I will plainly prove him to be dead, out of his own almanack for this year, and from the very passage which he produces to make us think him alive. He there says, “he is not only now alive, but was also alive upon that very 29th of March which I foretold he should die on :” by this he declares his opinion that a man may be alive now who was not alive a twelvemonth ago. And, indeed, there lies the sophistry of his argument. He dares not assert he was alive ever since that 29th of March, but that he “is now alive, and was so on that day.” I grant the latter; for he did not die till night, as appears by the printed account of his death, in a letter to a lord; and whether he be since revived I leave the world to judge. This indeed is perfect cavilling, and I am ashamed to dwell any longer upon it.

Fifthly, I will appeal to Mr. Partridge himself whether it be probable I could have been so indiscreet to begin my predictions with the only falsehood that ever was pretended to be in them; and this in an affair at home, where I had so many opportunities to be exact; and must have given such advantages against me to a person of Mr. Partridge's wit and learning, who, if he could possibly have raised one single objection more against the truth of my prophecies, would hardly have spared me.

And here I must take occasion to reprove the above-mentioned writer of the relation of Mr. Partridge's death, in a letter to a lord, who was pleased to tax me with a mistake of four whole hours in my calculation of that event. I must confess, this censure, pronounced with an air of certainty, in a matter that so nearly concerned me, and by a grave, judicious author, moved me not a little. But though I was at that time out of town, yet several of my friends, whose curiosity had led them to be exactly informed, (for as to my own part, having no doubt at all in the matter, I never once thought of it,) assured me I computed to something under half an hour, which (I speak my private opinion) is an error of no very great magnitude that men should raise a clamor about. I shall only say, it would not be amiss if that author would henceforth be more ten


der of other men's reputation as well as his own. It is well there were no more mistakes of that kind; if there had, I presume he would have told me of them with as little ceremony.

There is one objection against Mr. Partridge's death which I have sometimes met with, though indeed very slightly offered, that he still continues to write almanacks. But this is no more than what is common to all of that profession. Gadbury, Poor Robin, Dove, Wing, and several others do yearly publish their almanacks, though several of them have been dead since before the Revolution. Now, the natural reason of this I take to be, that, whereas it is the privilege of authors to live after their death, almanack-makers are alone excluded; because their dissertations, treating only upon the minutes as they pass, become useless as those go off. In consideration of which, Time, whose registers they are, gives them a lease in reversion, to continue their works after death.

I should not have given the public or myself the trouble of this vindication if my name had not been made use of by several persons to whom I never lent it; one of which, a few days ago, was pleased to father on me a new set of predictions. But I think these are things too serious to be trifled with. It grieved me to the heart, when I saw my labors, which had cost me so much thought and watching, bawled about by the common hawkers of Grub-street, which I only intended for the weighty consideration of the gravest persons. This prejudiced the world so much at first, that several of my friends had the assurance to ask me whether I were in jest? to which I only answered coldly;“ that the event would show.” But it is the talent of our age and nation to turn things of the greatest importance into ridicule. When the end of the year had verified all my predictions, out comes Mr. Partridge's almanack, disputing the point of his death; so that I am employed, like the general who was forced to kill his enemies twice over whom a necromancer had raised to life. If Mr. Partridge have practised the same experiment upon himself, and be again alive, long may he continue so; that does not the least contradict my veracity; but I think I have clearly proved, by invincible demonstration, that he died, at farthest, within half an hour of the time I foretold, and not four hours sooner, as the above-mentioned author, in his letter to a lord, has maliciously suggested, with a design to blast my credit, by charging me with so gross a mistake.






Last year was published a paper of Predictions, pretended to be written by one Isaac Bickerstaff, esq., but the true design of it was to ridicule the art of astrology, and expose its professors as ignorant or impostors. Against this imputation Dr. Partridge has learnedly vindicated himself in his almanack for that year.

For a further vindication of this famous art, I have thought fit to present the world with the following prophecy. The original is said to be of the famous Merlin, who lived about a thousand years ago ; and the following translation is two hundred years old, for it seems to be written near the end of Henry VII.'s reign. I found it in an old edition of Merlin's prophecies, imprinted at London by Johan Haukyns, in the year 1530, page 39. I set it down word for word in the old orthography, and shall take leave to subjoin a few ex. planatory notes:

Seven and Ten addyð to nine,
Of Fraunce her Woe this is the Sygne,
Camys Bivere twys y-trozen,
Waltte sans wetyng Shaes ne Wozen.
Then compth foorthe, Éch understande,
from Towne of Stofie to fattyn Londe,
An herdie Chyftan, TVoe the Morne
To Fraunce, that ever he was born.
Then shall the Fyshe beweyle his Bosse ;
Nor shall grín Berrys make up the Losse.
Ponge Symnele shall again miscarrye:
And Norways Pryd again sball marry.
And from the Tree where Blossums feele,
Kipe fruit shall come, and all is wele,
Keaums shall' daunce Monde in Wonde,
And it shall be merrye in old Inglonde,
Then od Englonde shall be no more,
And no man shall be sorie therefore.
Geryon shall have three Wedes agayne,
Till Mapsburge wakyth them but twayne

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