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third is dew brushed from a banana in the gardens of Ispahan ; and, in another, brine that has rolled in the Pacifick ocean.

I flatter myself that I am writing to a man who will rejoice at the honour which my labours have procured to my country; and therefore I shall tell you that Britain can, by my care, boast of a snail that has crawled upon the wall of China ; a humming bird which an American princess wore in her ear; the tooth of an elephant who carried the queen of Siam; the skin of an ape that was kept in the palace of the great mogul; a ribbon that adorned one of the maids of a Turkish sultana ; and a scymitar once wielded by a soldier of Abas the great.

In collecting antiquities of every country, I have been careful to choose only by intrinsick worth, and real usefulness, without regard to party or opinions. I have therefore a lock of Cromwell's hair in a box turned from a piece of the royal oak; and keep in the same drawers, fand scraped from the coffin of king Richard, and a commission signed by Henry the seventh. I have equal veneration for the ruff of Elizabeth, and the shoe of Mary of Scotland; and should lose, with like regret, a tobacco-pipe of Raleigh, and a stirrup of king James. I have paid the same price for a glove of Lewis, and a thimble of queen Mary; Mary; for a fur


of the Czar, and a boot of Charles of Sweden,

You will easily imagine that these accumulations were not made without some diminution of my fortune, for I was so well known to spare no cost, that at every fale some bid against me for hire, fome


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for sport, and some for malice; and if I asked the price of any thing, it was sufficient to double the demand. For curiosity, trafficking thus with avarice, the wealth of India had not been enough; and 1, by little and little, transferred all my money from the funds to my closet : here I was inclined to stop, and live upon my estate in literary leisure, but the sale of the Harleian collection shook my refolu, tion: I mortgaged my land, and purchased thirty medals, which I could never find before. I have at length bought till I can buy no longer, and the cruelty of my creditors has seized my repository; I am therefore condemned to disperse what the labour of an age will not reassemble. I submit to that which cannot be opposed, and shall, in a short time, declare a fale. I have, while it is yet in my power, sent you a pebble, picked up by Tavernier on the banks of the Ganges ; for which I desire no other recompence than that you will recommend my catalogue to the publick,

QUISQUILIUS, NUMB. 83. Tuesday, January 1, 1751.


Nifi utile eft quod facias, flulta eft gloria.
All useless science is an empty boast.

THE publication of the letter in my last paper

has naturally led me to the consideration of that thirst after curiofities, which often draws con. tempt and ridicule upon itself, but which is perhaps no otherwise blamable, than as it wants those cir. cumstantial recommendations which add lustre even to moral excellencies, and are absolutely necessary to the

grace and beauty of indifferent actions. Learning confers so much superiority on those who possess it, that they might probably have escaped all censure had they been able to agree among them. felves; but as envy and competition have divided the republick of letters into factions, they have ne. glected the common interest; each has called in foreign aid, and endeavoured to strengthen his own cause by the frown of power, the hiss of ignorance, and the clamour of popularity. They have all engaged in feuds, till by mutual hostilities they de. molished those outworks which veneration had raised for their security, and exposed themselves to barba. rians, by whom every region of science is equally laid waste.

Between men of different studies and professions, may be observed a constant reciprocation of reproaches. The collector of shells and stones derides

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the folly of him who pastes leaves and flowers upon paper, pleases himself with colours that are perceptibly fading, and amasses with care what cannot be preserved. The hunter of insects stands amazed that any man can waste his short time upon lifeless matter, while many tribes of animals yet want their history. Every one is inclined not only to promote his own study, but to exclude all others from regard, and having heated his imagination with some favourite pursuit, wonders that the rest of mankind are not seized with the same passion,

There are, indeed, many subjects of study which seem but remotely allied to useful knowledge, and of little importance to happiness or virtue ; nor is it easy to forbear fome sallies of merriment, or expref fions of pity, when we see a man wrinkled with attention, and emaciated with solicitude, in the investigation of questions, of which, without visible inconvenience, the world may expire in ignorance. Yet it is dangerous to discourage well-intended labours, or innocent curiosity; for he who is employed in searches, which by any deduction of confequences tend to the benefit of life, is surely laudable, in com, parison of those who spend their time in counteracte ing happiness, and filling the world with wrong and danger, confusion and remorse. No man can perform fo little as not to have reason to congratulate himself on his merits, when he beholds the multitudes that live in total idleness, and have never yet endeavoured to be useful.

It is impoflible to determine the limits of enquiry, or to foresee what consequences a new discovery may producę. He who suffers not his faculties to lie


torpid, has a chance, whatever be his employment, of doing , good to his fellow-creatures.

The man that first ranged the woods in search of medicinal {prings, or climbed the mountains for falutary plants, has undoubtedly merited the gratitude of posterity, how much soever his frequent miscarriages might excite the scorn of his cor:temporaries. If what appears little be universally despised, nothing greater can be attained, for all that is great was at first little, and rose to its present bulk by gradual accessions, and accumulated labours.

Those who lay out time or money in assembling matter for contemplation, are doubtless entitled to some degree of respect, though in a flight of gaiety it be easy to ridicule their treasure, or in a fit of sullenness to defpise it. A man who thinks only on the particular object before him, goes not away much illuminated by having enjoyed the privilege of handling the tooth of a shark, or the paw of a white bear ; yet there is nothing more worthy of admiration to a philofophical eye than the structure of animals, by which they are qualified to support life in the elements or climates to which they are appropriated; and of all natural bodies it must be gencrally confessed, that they exhibit evidences of infinite wisdom, bear their testimony to the supreme reason, and excite in the mind new raptures of gratitude, and new incentives to piety.

To collect the productions of art, and examples of mechanical science or manual ability, is unquestionably useful, even when the things themselves are of small importance, because it is always advantageous to know how far the human powers have pro.


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