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but a tadpole; afterwards he escapes into another element, and like a tadpole, changes into a frog, and becomes an aerial animal; and he further assures us, that " man still in his embryo state resembles gnats and frogs." Mons. de Maillet has also incontestibly proved that Adam was a fish, (no doubt having previously been the tadpole and frog of Dr. Darwin) and that our marine parents had their tails forked before they became amphibious animals. We must again recur to Dr. Darwin to know what figure man cut out of water. Man, according to him, was a quadruped ere he became an erect animal; for some of his parts are not yet so suited to the erect as the horizontal posture; and we naturally incline to stoop forward. He shortly after feelingly laments that we have neither wings nor horns;
"Proud man alone in wailing weakness born,
"No horns protect him, and no plumes adorn."
But we agree with Sir John Carr, that we could mention many who do wear horns, and many also who bear the white feather.
Linnæus was of the opinion that Adam was a giant, and that the race has degenerated, owing to various causes, to its present size. As to Adam's colour, Dr. John Hunter asserts that he was a negro, and his reason for saying so, is certainly pregnant with some colour-it is that black animals will produce white ones, but that white ones will not produce black. Dr. Beddoes indeed thought man was originally black, and he even bleached his poor black servant Sambo with oxygenated muriatic acid; but after a few days he became as black as ever.
Infidels have asked the question, if Adam was not black how came there to be any such? Why Dr. Camper settles it; he says that the negro race originated from ourangs and pungoes, who by gradual improvement became men.
There are other peculiarities which distinguished man shortly after his creation. Lord Monboddo was confident that men had originally tails projecting from behind. This exactly agrees with the theory of Buffon aud Helvetius, who declared that men were once one family of monkeys on the shores of the Mediterranean, who accidentally learned the use of their thumb. The tailors of these days found considerable difficulty in fitting their customers in making their small clothes, while this awkward appendage existed. Docking, therefore was resolved upon, and becoming the rage in a few generations, tails became quite ob
solete. To be convinced that the human race had once tails, we are directed by Blamenach a German doctor, to feel the bottom of the vertebræ or back bone, which is palpably blunt, as if something had been cut off.
Common thinkers suppose that Adam and Eve were male and female. Alas! in the absence of hypothesis what blunders do we commit ! Philosophers have proved that all men were originally hermaphrodites, and De Sales has shown that in the golden age, the whole human race were so.
Mr. Godwin (the author of Mandeville) has atchieved the mighty miracle of doing away with sleep an invention which deserves the thanks at least of all the oil, tallow and gas merchants. The same great philosopher maintains that immortality even in this life might be attained by a few years care and attention. "We are sick," says he, " and we die generally speaking because we consent to suffer these accidents." "Man becomes old because he desists from youthful habits; why may not man become immortal?" The same theorist is of opinion, that "children ought not to be educated till they desire it.”
I regret, Gentlemen Philosophers, that time allows me not to enumerate the various theories concerning population, education, &c. These I shall reserve for another occasion. I conclude, therefore here, wishing prosperity to the labours of the Speculative Anti-matter-of-factical Society-a Society which scorns. every opinion commonly received, or mean, and approves only of that which bears the marks of originality, ingenuity, and above all, incredibility.
Vos valete et plaudite.
Neydafcam Hall, Jan, 12h, 1819.
Oservations on the Letters of Mungo Morris and Forceps.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE
LETTERS OF MUNGO MORRIS AND FORCEPS.
"Fools an' bairns sudna sce half-doon wark."
TO THE EDITOR.
It is not surprising that the Paper "On Supernatural Powers,' which appeared in your No. for December, should have called forth objections from some of your readers. Though the observations prefixed to that Paper, are sufficient to account for much stronger opposition than it has yet met with, I certainly had not formed the most distant idea that your neighbour in the Kirkton, honest Mungo Morris, should consider himself so imperiously called upon to sound so fearful an alarm, as if “ reason, an' judgment, an' common sense, an' soun' sentiments, and Christianity," were about to be overturned by "lang nebbet kittle words," and "blauds o' Latin:" and not contented with lifting up his own testimony against me, should make so animating an appeal to the "men o' lear," to advance “ fully" into the field of combat, armed with what, (because it has the sanction of his high approbation) he has the modesty to call "the wapon o' truth."
He very cunningly disclaims any intention "to write a particular answer to Vetus," with the hope, no doubt, that he and his testimony may escape with impunity. Nevertheless there can be nothing more apparent, than that he does esteem his Letter an Answer," and that in many sentences that might be pointed out, he actually chuckles over it with great self-complacency, as a very particular, a very conclusive, and a very successful, answer, not only to what Vetus wrote, but to what any other person has at any time past either written or spoken, and to what in all time coming, any person or persons, learned or unlearned, may or can write, speak, or think on this or on any similar subject.
It is from this obvious fact, and because a diligent inquirer may perhaps discover, amid a mass of extraneous matter, that he really has noticed the principal objections usually advanced
Observations on the Letters of Mungo Morris and Forceps.
against the opinions I have been advocating; but particularly because he appears to be one of that class (alluded to p. 92.) who “from a mistaken piety, and erroneous deductions from what Revelation teaches, have associated something wrong with holding these opinions," I have dropped my first resolution of taking no notice of his letter, and before proceeding to the consideration of other arguments, beg leave, to "crack wi' him a wee.”
Mungo, ye hae been far owre soon in "gieen an inklin' o* your min' on the subject." Gif the "sin o silence" had been hangin' aboon your head twa or three months, ye wad hae seen what mair I had to say, an' that wad hae been soon aneuch to answer't. But, atweel Mungo, to be plain wi' you, ye werena far wrang in bein' sae forsichty, for there's naebody gomeril aneuch no to see, that gin ye had ony patience an' reflection, your letter never wad hae been written ava.
Ye hae been unco zealous, Mungo; put on your spenticles, then speer at yoursel gif ye hae zeal" according to knowledge." Surely your een were bleart, Mungo, whan ye thocht that your letter" On Imaginary Beings" answered what I wrote "On Supernatural Powers." Imaginary, Mungo, every body kens means what does not exist, and has never existed except in the imagination;" Supernatural, what is "above nature," though in the Essay ye ha'e been answerin,' it has the mair confined meanin' usually attached to it in common conversation, an' signifies "created intelligent beings superior to man." If ye think these are 66 creatures o' the fancy," Mungo, folk maun get leave to ha'e their ain thochts whether a Sadducee" or be " ye
Your frien's should advise you to send a list o' errata, (mistaks) to the next Number. They needna be mair nor twa or three: indeed the only ane o' consequence is to change the title into what you would fain have it considered, "Refutation of an Essay on Supernatural Powers," and then the readers of the Mirror 'll be able to fin' out what ye were wis'in' to do. If ye like ony ither name better, it will answer equally weel; for I do not think that ony ordinar' circumstance can weaken the force o' your remarks. But at all events, Mungo, your letter 'll no be unproductive o' guid. Even as it stands now, it must be wonerfu' effective in uphaudin'" weak min's" frae bein' deluded wi' Fairy Tales, an' Gulliver's Travels, an' the History of Jack the Giant Killer, an' Tam Thum, an' Jock's Bean, an' sic like;
Observations on the Letters of Mungo Morris and Forceps.
"which awsome stories, gif we may judge frae the effecks o' them upo' our forbears, 'll ding some o' them deleerit, or maybe even— (as has been) unhool their sauls."
We'll suppose, however, Mungo, that it was the Printer's devil, (little rascal) an' no you that committed a' the mistaks. Weel! The only argument I took notice o' is that which arises from Universal consent. Do ye think yoursel ye hae refuted that argument? Ye ha'e proved to demonstration that the laird's Highlan' Stot was not a Milch Cow; an' that the ghaist your freens saw when they were "first fittin," was only a thorn bush waving with the wind, and clogged with the drifting snow.' I agree wi' you also in thinkin' that "auld Nanse Howlet wham
maist feck o' fo'k wad uphaud was a witch." sae far frae bein' unkanny, was a mensefu', sensible, an' harmless woman;" an' that there was a hantle o' nonsense an' absurdity in the "Packmen's stories," you an' ithers believed, whan ye was a callan." What has a' that to do wi' my Essay? You affirm that "the wonerfu' stories o' ghaists are without num'er, an' maistly withour truth;" this is one of the few instances in which you come to the point; for ye'll min' that Vetus wrote the exact contrary o' this: e. g. "In the night of ignorance and superstition the most obvious truths are liable to be obscured, and blended with the most unfounded delusions. So far from asserting the absence of all mistake and falsehood on this subject, we esteem it the necessary and natural result of an unavoidable tendency in our nature to fall into error in every subject wherein we are left to unassisted reason," &c. And, no to deteen you langer wi' questions, what hae ye written in the hale sax pages an' a bittock that your letter fills up, to disprove the presumptive argument arising from universal belief, or to weaken the conclusion which was all I aimed at establishing: viz. "There are many arguments which if they do not lead us to believe, to a certain extent, in preternatural appearances, and supernatural powers actually at work around us, must, at least, have the effect of cautioning us to think before we speak (or write) on such a subject, and to beware of ridiculing or undervaluing any man for his opinions respecting so difficult a question."
Ye guess I'm "a poet or a papist." Guess again, Mungo, "three times are canny." Disna it leuk a queer way o' "makin' creatures o' my ain," to prove they hae been believ't in, sin' the beginning o' the warl? an' a still queerer way o keepin