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whole World is fo full of the Wifdom
and Goodnefs of its Author, why (hould
you accufe him of providing fo ill for

0.3 the

the Happinefs of Man, on whofe Ac-
count the Whole was made, that Man
is obliged to provide for himfelf, and
that in the mofl laborious and painful
Manner. If thofe Materials, that are
neceflary for the Nouriihment of the
human Body, and the Support of Life,
require fo much Pains to produce and
prepare them, then our Maker, inflead
of beftowing freely, has, along with his
Gifts, impofed fuch hard Conditions,
that I really think Man, who by his
Reafon is Lord, by his Wants and La-
bours is rendered the very Slave of the
whole Creation ; and yet this muft
be the Cafe, if the Earth does not
fend forth our Food, as it does that of
all other Creatures, unlefs by mere
dint of Labour : But, our Creator has
not dealt fo with us-; Corn, and Olives,
and Vines, are no more Aliens to the
Earth, than other Plants lefs ufeful.
The Ground is the common Parent of
them all, and as they muft have fprung
from thence at firft, fo they muft ba


( '75 )
iuppofed as much the Favourites of

their mild Mother, and on as good a
footing with her, as the reft of her
Offspring j unlefs indeed you think her
like thofe foolim Mothers, that indulge
the moft froward of their Children ;
while they treat the good-natured with
Severity. Do you think me is partial
to Thorns and Brambles ?

rrCHERUS. I know nothing of
her Sentiments, with refpecl to her
Children, but as they are difcoverable
by Matter of Fact. It is certain that
Thorns, and Brambles, and other noxi-
ous Weeds, grow apace in my Grounds,
in fpight of all I can do to hinder them ;
and were it not for a great deal of
plowing, fowing, digging, planting,
pruning, hedging, &t\ 1 find I and my
Family might ftarve, for any Thing the
Earth would afford us gratis.

STNGENES. How do you find
that ? Did you ever make the Experi-
ment ?

( 176 )

TTC CHE R US. No, nor do I in-
tend it in your Way; but thofe Fields
that have lain fince Hannibal foraged
in thefe Parts, without affording one
Morfel of Bread, or one Drop of Wine
or Oil j but, on the contrary, abundance
of wild Shrubs, and ufelefs Plants of all
kinds, give me Reafon enough to fear
thefe would let me ftarve, if I did not
cultivate them.

STNGENES. All Parts of the
World do not produce all kinds of
Plants, though every Country or Climate
is naturally fruitful in fuch things as are
neceflary for the Support of its own
Inhabitants. Plants grow fpontaneous
in their own native Soil, and not with-
out Cultivation in others. Corn, and
Vines, and fuch like, are not Natives
of our Climate, or elfe they would
grow as familiarly here as thofe Bram-
bles you complain of.

TrC HE R US. How then are we
of this barren Country to be fupported,
if we do not cultivate the Ground ?

SrNGENES.Ky feeding on fuch
things as our Soil affords us, without
mangling it with Ploughs and Spades.

rrCHERUS. Obferve thofe Fields
over-run with Briers and Thorns: Do
you think you could live comfortably
on what they produce in their prefent
natural Condition ?

STNGENES. Why not? It is
only Prejudice makes us defpife their
Fruits, and Difufe that renders them
difagreeable or unwholefome to us. Be-
fides, they furnifh Shelter for wild Beads,
whofe Flem is excellent Food.

frCHERUS. But not to be had
without the Labour of hunting them,
which fo great a Lord as you could
never ftoop to. Again, the killing them
is attended with great Danger, and
that, I believe, you would care as little
for as the Labour. As for Corn, and
Olives, and Vines, I take them to be
Natives of no Country in your Senfe;
for fince they do not grow here without
Labour and Manure, where can they


grow? There is not a more fruitful
Spot of Ground on Earth than this we
inhabit. Its Produce is brought to
Maturity by the united Influence of
both folar and fubterraneous Heat, ope-
rating on a Soil ftrongly impregnated
with Oil, and Sulphur, and Niter >
which you Naturalifts allow to be
Principles of Fertility; and accordingly
onr Fruits are equal at lead to thofe of
any other Country the Roman Eagle
has yet viiited.

STN GENES. Why, you talk as
if the Seed of thefe more ufeful Plants
had been dropped down like the Ancile
out of Heaven, and not produced by
the Earth ? Whence do you fuppofe we
had them ?

rrC HERUS. I think it is plain
the Earth does not produce them of it-
felf, even when kept clear of other
Plants that might obftrucl their Growth ;
and therefore I conclude they were
formed by the Hand of our Maker at
the fame Time with ourfelves, and de-

livered to us, as both the Support of
our Lives, and the Pledges of our In-
duftry. To this agrees the Story of
the Goddefs Ccres's teaching Triptole-
lemiis the Art of Agriculture, and fend-
ing him from Nation to Nation to pro-
pagate that Art, and difpenfe the Seed
fhe had given him. Perhaps there may
be fomething of Fable and Allegory in
this Story j but, if there is any thing
to be gathered from it at all (and there
is none of thofe ancient Tales without a
Meaning) it is, that the World neither
knew the Seed, nor the Method of pro-
pagating it, until they had both from
the Divine Being.

STNGENES. So that we have
Corn, &c. only by Tradition, without
any natural Faculty in the Earth to
produce it ? By this Means it may come
at laft to be loft ; and then what will
become of Mankind, who, according
to you, cannot fubfift without it?

TTCHE R. Fear not : It is fo necef-
fary, that I'll engage the World will
never fuffer it to run out.

STNGENES. That is more than
you can tell : For though I grant you,
that 'tis very good j yet there are other
things on which Mankind might fub-
fift. You ufed the Word Weed fome
time ago, by which is commonly meant
an ufelefs or a noxious Plant ; but the
Application of fuch a Term mews
great Ignorance in thofe who ufe it,
and does no lefs Difhonour to the Ma-
ker of the World. Is there any thing
ufelefs or hurtful in the Creation? Did
God make thofe Plants to vaunt his
own Power, or to incommode Man-
kind ? Has he made any thing in this
World for any other Reafbn, but our
Accommodation ? Forbear fuch Ex-
preffions therefore, and confider, that
as all his Works are good, we might,
if Prejudice and Cuftom did not hinder
us, , feed as well on one thing as an-

TTCHER. Could you make a
Meal out of that great Stone that lies
before you I


STNGENES. Out of that Stone ?
No. Who ever thought of eating

TTCHER. All things therefore
are not fit for Food ; no, nor all Plants.
They were intended for various Ufes;
and many of them not for the imme-
diate Ufe of Man. Nay, fome of them
are undoubtedly hurtful in one refpeft,
though they may be ufeful in another 5
and the Mifchief they do, is no more
inconfiftent with the Goodnefs of God,
than the reft of the Evil that is in the
World. Whether God made all things
for Man, I know not, no more than I
do how to account for many things in
the Creation. I was not by, when the
World was made, nor have I been let
into the fecret Caufes of things fincej
all I can fay is, that there are many
Evils incident to this Life, among which
we Hufbandmen cannot but reckon
Briers and Thorns ; fo far are we from
thinking a Thicket as good as a Vine-
yard -j or a Field overgrown with Bram-

bles, as beneficial as one enriched with
a Crop of Wheat. Jf we might guefs
at the Defigns of our Maker , thefe
Thorns, and Brambles, and Weeds of
all kinds might have been intended
partly as a Punifliment for the Wicked-
nefs of Mankind, and partly to keep us
bufy; who, if we had not that to do,
might employ ourfelves in fomething
worfe. But as we can neither trace
the Originals, nor account for the Na-
tures of all things, it is a lurer Way
to Reafon from undeniable Fads. The
hurtful, or, if you will have it fo, the
lefs ufeful Plants grow of themfelves,
while thofe, which we fland in more
continual need of, are not to be obtain-
ed of the Earth, without a good deal
of Pains; but which, I think, it is
worth one's while to take, on account
of the Support and Pleafure they re-
ward our Toil with. Thefe are Truths
which it is Madnefs to deny; and thofe
who will argue otherwife, I refer them
to Hunger for an Anfwer.

i S HV-

( 183 )

STNGENES. It is plain, that
Tillage is Nonfenfe and Impertinence,
from the infinite Difagreement there is
about the manner of doing it : Were
fuch a thing necefTary, it would have
been made fo plain to all Men, that all
v/ould have known it as naturally as
they do, that opening one's Eyes is ne-
ceflary to Sight. Shall that, on which
Life depends, be left to the Corruption
of human Inftitution and Tradition ?
There is an infinite Variety of Opi-
nions about the Cultivation of Ground.
Perhaps none of them is right; or, if
one of them be, how ftiall we find it
out, and diftinguifh it from the reft ?
It is impoffible to try them all ; and it
is in vain to fet about the Work, un-
lefs one knew how to do it fo as to be
fure of not mifcarrying.

TTCHERUS. You may put as
many fubtil Queftions, and perplex
yourfelf with as many Difficulties as
you pleafe, I am obliged to give no
other Anfwer to them than this, that I


cannot live without Food ; that Food is
not to be had without cultivating the
Earth; and that the Methods of Til-
lage, which my Father practifed him-
felf , and recommended to us , have
always proved fuccefsful , and been
crowned with plentiful Harvefts. This
is enough for me, and I think myfelf
concerned no further. As to the Jufti-
fication of our Maker's Meafures, in
creating us under fuch or fuch Circum-
ilances , perhaps refined and curious
Speculations will rather hinder than
help us to do it properly. If things
themfelves be candidly confulted, we
fhall find them fpeaking the Wifdom
and Goodnefs of their Creator in plainer
and ftronger Terms, than thofe in Ufe
among the Philofophers : If Perfons, I
know no kind of Men fo well difpofed
to honour and love the Father of the
World, as thofe who earn a plentiful
Subfiftence for themfelves and Fami-
lies by the honeft Sweat of their Brows.
They have Health, and Peace, and Con-

tentment, the greater Part of which
they owe to the Neceffity they are un-
der of labouring for their Subfiftence,
as appears from the more unhappy Con-
dition of thofe who are fupported by
the Indufiry of others in a Life of Idle-
nefs. Had Providence given us all our
Food without Labour, I am apt to
think, we had all been as unhealthful
and as unhappy as they,

STNGENES. The Subftance of
what you have advanced on this Sub-
ject, if I have rightly underitood you,
amounts to this ; that Thorns and
Brambles, and what you call Weeds>
fpring naturally and plentifully from

the Earth; but that Corn, and other
Vegetables neceflary to our Support,
mufl be had eliewhere, and planted in
the Ground, where it is impomble for
them -to thrive or flourim, uhlefs the
Soil be prepared and kept clear for
them with infinite Labour. Pray, now,
reconcile this with the Wifdom and
Coodneis of the firft Caufe r


186 )

This I could do,
were my Underftanding able to keep
pace with the Wifdom of our Maker.-
But there are a few Things, which
even you , with all your philofophical
Sagacity, will never be able thorough-
ly to apprehend. I have already en-
deavoured to juilify this Difpofition of
Things from the Ufefulnefs of Labour
and Induftry to the Mind, as well rs-
Body. But whether human* Nature
did always require this- Exerciie , or
whether the Earth was always under
the- fame Indifpofition to afford us
Nourishment without Labour, is what
none of us can te^. Perhaps when
the World was firfl made, the Ghara-
ters of its Maker's Wifdom were more
legible in it than now. I have often
apprehended a Degeneracy in Nature,
to which I have been encouraged by
the ancient Fable of the Sons of
and the Earth warring with the
and bringing a Curfe upon the Earth,
as a Punifhment for their Rebellion,


Thefe, however, are Conjectures, and
fuch as I think it both Vanity and Pre-
fumption to indulge. If the divine
Wifdom has referved thefe things as a
Secret, why mould we impertinently
pry into them ? Let us take the World
as we find it, and not trouble our Heads
with Points that are too high for our
Capacity, and no ways ufeful to us in
our prefent Condition.

STNGENES. It is very weak to
found your Defence on Fables and Old-
wives Tales.

TrCHERUS. I do not take the
Fable I fpoke of literally, nor do I lay
a pofitive Strefs on it in any Senfe :
But I take Matters of Fact as I find
them ; and, if my way of accounting
for them be weak or abfurd, it is be-
caufe I have always been converfant in
Fads and Things, and, for the moft
part, little taken up in enquiring about
their Caufes. If I have Plenty of Pro-
viiion for my Family, a Sow to facri-
fice to Ceres, and wherewithal to cu-
ll 2 tertain-

( '88 )

tertain my rural Neighbours now and
then of an Holiday, I think myfelf be-
holden to the Gods, and no way con-
cerned to examine their Conduct, or
cenfure their Providence. But I forget
that I have fomething elfe to do than to
fland here all Day fpeculating and pra-
ting with one, who, it feems, has more
Intereft with the Earth than me, and
can have his Food from thence without

TrCHERUS following Experience,
and Syngenes relying on his Speculations,
purfued their firfl Refolutions j by which
the one was, in a little time, reduced to
Extremity of Want; and had the Mor-
tification to fee his Grounds over-run
with Weeds, Brambles, and Thorns, and
far better qualified to feed an Herd of
Swine or flicker wild Beafts, than fup-
port a Family : While the Lands of the
other were covered with Olive-yards,
Vineyards, and Crops of Corn, from
whence he drew a comfortable Subfift-
ence for himfelf, his Children, and other
Dependents* AL( LU :


The Twelfth.

N C E on a Time the Earth com-
plained to the Ocean, concern-
ing certain great Diforders committed
by divers Rivers and Brooks, who, in-
jftead of confining themfelves to their
own Channel, and haftening to pay
their Tribute to the Sea, did nothing
elfe but ramble about the Fields, break
down Ditches and Mearings, fweep a-
way Corn, Hay, Cattle, and even
Houfes, form {linking Pools and filthy
MoraiTes, and, with infinite AfTurance r
attack the very Capitals of potent Em-
pires, driving the Inhabitants from
their Dwellings, and fpoiling their
Goods. This Complaint, which had
but too much Truth in it, was heard


{ I 9 J

with great Attention by the Ocean, and'
believed the more readily, becaufe he
himfelf had, of a long Time, obferved,
that many Bodies of Water, both great
and fmall, having been permitted to
leave him for a Space, contracted a
Fondnefs for the Earth, and (hewed
plainly they cared not, if they never re-
turned to him again. His Difpleafure
at thefe things being made known, an
Aflembly of the Rivers was called, from
which no Stream, from the greateft to
the fmallefr, was abfent.

THE Euphrates, being the oldeft of
Rivers, prefided in this Aflembly, and
opened it with a Speech, in which he
fet forth the Caufes of their being con-
vened, namely, the Cry of the Earth
againft the Rivers, and the Difpleafure
of the Ocean at the Revolters and Ab-
fentees. At the Conclufion he gave it
to them in Charge, to confider mature-
ly of thefe Matters, and provide fuch
Remedies as to their Wifdoms mould
feem moft proper and effectual.


THE Brooks, Rivulets, and Sewers*
who, in order to make a Figure in this
Affembly, had the Day before, bor-
rowed of the Clouds long-flowing
Cloaks and full bottomed Perriwigs,
perceiving that a fevere Inquiry waa
forthwith to be made into their Irregu-
larities, followed the Speech of the
Preiident with an hoarfe difcontented
Growl, which they foon raifed to fo
loud a Roar, that the Cataracts of
Mount Ararat or the Nile did but gent-
ly murmur in Comparifon of them.
However, upon the Entry of the Sun
and Saturn y who came to fee what was
a doing, this hideous Clamour ceafed
all at once, and thofe who made it
were compelled, one after another, to
lay afide their borrowed Perriwigs and
Cloaks ; and a foul and pitiful Figure
moil of them made, when ftripped of
thofe adventitious Ornaments. Yet,
notwithstanding this Difgrace, which
might have humbled more confiderable
Streams, the Brooks, depending on


their Numbers, and the Subtility and
Tergiverfation natural to mean and
little Rivulets, entered upon their De-
fence with great AfTurance. One among
the Croud flood forth in Behalf of the
reft, and delivered himfelf thus:
. ' THE Charge brought again ft us r
e is no lefs furprizing than it is unrea-
fonable. That the Earth from whom
we and all other Rivers fpring, which
we love and refrefh, and that the Ocean
which we often replenish, without re-
' ceiving one Drop of Water from him,
fhould pretend a Right to what
we have always freely given, and join
' in fuch fevere Reprefentations, as have

* been exhibited againft us this Day, is
' matter of great Amazement. As to
the Articles, whereof we are accufed,

* I muft plainly tell you, we look up-
on them to be neither Trefpailes nor
4 Crimes ; but on the contrary, great

* and ineftimable Benefits j for, what

* tho' fome particular Places may fuf-

* fer ? are thefe private and trivial Suf-

3 * ferings

( J 93 )

< ferings to be put in Competition with
* the general and extenfive Service we
c yield the Publick ? As to the Right,
which the Ocean pretends to our Of-
c ferings, we utterly difclaim it, being
' at the fame Time fully convinced, he
ftands in no need of our Waters, as

< having an inexhauftible Abundance
of his own. Be that however as it
' will, we are determined to maintain
the Privileges and Liberties of Rivers
c to the laft, againft all Mounds, Banks,
and Ramparts whatever, that ihall be

< oppofed to them/

THIS Harangue was applauded by
an univerfal Murmur from all the Ri-
vulets 3 and feveral confiderable Rivers,
confcious of their common Guilt, fpoke
to the fame Effect. At length the Da-
nube, arifing with an Air of Modefty
and Dignity, faid,

* ALTHOUGH I will readily acknow-

1 ledge, that, the Rivulets are very fer-

4 viceable to the Earth, and in order to

* their being fo, ought to flow freely

S in

( 194 )

in their feveral Channels, yet I muft
infift on it, that the wild Sallies they
make from thence, and the manifold
Damages done by their Licentioufnefs,
call aloud for Reftraint. It is their
Duty to water the Soil, not their Pri-
vilege to drown its Produce. Let
them not hope to excufe the Ravages
they voluntarily commit, by the Good
they undefignedly occafion. The lat-
ter, which is a Debt they owe to Na-
ture, and which, in fome Sort, they
cannot help paying, merits but flen-
der Thanks ; whereas the former is
an Excefs, by all Means to be correct-
ed. Are they not fent down from
the Hills, to flow gently among the
Vallies, and there refre(h the Soil and
its Inhabitants with pure and limpid
Streams ? With what Affurance can
they deviate from this excellent Pur-
pofe, fwelling with muddy Waters,
pouring over all around them, turning
fpacious Plains, once fertile and po-
pulous, into noifome Pools and putrid


( '95 )

* Fens, that deface the Beauty F Na-

* ture, and poifon the Air of whole
' Climates ? It is true, I believe they

* have but too great an Affeftion for the

* Earth, or they would not labour to

* engrofs fo much of it. But is it thus

* they mew their Love ? Is Violence a
Mark of Tendernefs? Is Outrage a Te-
' ftimony of Regard ? Surely they give
4 a very unjuft Demonft ration of their

* Love to the Earth, at the Expence of
' the Duty they owe the Ocean. He
' is the Source of Water. It is from
' him we all derive, and to him we
c mould all return. Thofe, who take
' a Pleafure in Stagnation, and love to
mix with Filth and Putrifaction, lit-,

* tie know, and, it feems, lefs relifli,
c the Happinefs of mixing with the
< mighty Ocean, and becoming Sharers
of his Purity and Power. For my

* own Part, I look upon myfelf, as an
1 Alien, and a Sojourner here on the
1 Earth, and it is with great Impatience
that I purfue my Way towards the

S z fruitful

* fruitful Fountain of me, and all I
f enjoy, and with inexpreffible Delight,

* that I refund myfclf into his capacious
' Bofom. Altho' he wants not my
Oblations, yet doth it not follow, that
c he hath no Right to them. In Jufti-

< fication of his Property in, and Claim
c to all our Streams, I appeal to the
' Sun, who by his continual Solicitati-
c ons, obtains of the Ocean all our Sup-
c plies.

THUS ended the Danube, and thus
the Nile began.

* I A M not much furprized to hear
an European River fpeak thus. I
4 know full well from whence thofe
' Prejudices fpring, which the Rivers
of that Quarter of the World have

* imbibed. The pretended Partizans
e of the Ocean have eftablimed their

< Authority there, and inftil what No-
tions they pleafe. This I know, and
* this let every one who hears me, take
c my Word for, that the Bowels of the

* Earth and Mountains are full of Wa-


( '97 )

ters, which they pour out inceflantly
thro' a thoufand Springs, and thefe, con-
tributing their refpeclive Funds, form
all the Rivers of the Earth. I draw
whatever I enrich the Egyptian
Plains, and fwell the Ocean with,
from the Mountains of the Moon.
The Po borrows^ its Water from the
Alps -, the River of the Amazons , and
Reio de la Plata from the Andes ; the
little Rivers of Greece from Lycaus,
Ha mus, P Indus, Parnajjus j the
Euphrates from the Mountains of Ar-
menia ; the Indus, the Ganges, and the
other Rivers of AJiti from Taurus and
Caucafus. This, I think, is obvious j
and therefore, we need look no far-
ther for the Origin of our Waters. I
am beholden to the Ocean for no
part of my Flood, and fo (hall take
the Liberty to expatiate on the fruit-
ful Flats of Egypt, as freely and as
long as I think proper. Let the Da-
nube be tranfported with the Pleafure
of lofing himfelf in the Sea. As I
83 * have

( i 9 8 )

4 have no Notion of that Pleafure, I

* fhall keep from thence and be inde-

* pendent, till that unwelcome Seafon
' arrives, in which I muft of Neceffity

* quit the Earth, and be blended with
c the common Receptacle of Rivers.
' If the Brooks are wife, they will fol-

* low my Example, and make the moft
' of Being, while they have it. Let
' them vifit the Meadows, and the
' Flowers. Let them tafle the Sweets
c of the Spring, while they may. If
they once fall into the Ocean, they
' are loft to themfelves for ever. As to
' what hath been faid concerning the
c Sun, I think it plainly repugnant to
common Obfervation and Experience.

* He hath dried up many Rivers ; and
V fince his Appearance in this Aflembly,
. all the Brooks, excepting a few, have

* dwindled away to nothing ; whether

* he will ever replenifh them again, Sa-
' turn will (hew. But I mould think
' it very extraordinary if he does, inaf-
< much as he hath often declared him-


( 199 )

c felf againft our Waters, and endea-
' voured all he could to rob us of them
by the Violence of his Beams.'

THIS Speech was highly extolled by
the whole Faction of libertine Streams,
who thought themfelves very happy, in
having fo great a River as the Njle to
countenance their violent and extrava-
gant Difpolitions. It would be too te-
dious to recapitulate here the many
Speeches on both Sides, that followed
that of the Nile. Some Rivers fpoke
with great Mildnefs and Moderation ;
others, with Abundance of Art and
Subtilty; and others again, with pro-
digious Rapidity and Noife, according
to their various Humours. The Speech
of the Maunder^ who is a great Sophi-
fler and Perplexer, was too remarkable
to be omitted.

4 FOR my Part, faid that infinuat-
ing River, I do not think the Matter
' in Difpute of equal Confequence
4 with the Peace and Harmony of this
< Affembly. I hope I mall be indulged
S 4 a little

( 200 )

< a little, if I endeavour to afluage the
' unnatural Heats, that have been
' kindled among us, by the too forward

* Zeal of my Brother Rivers, and re-
' duce the Points in Controverfv, to
1 fome Mean, in which we may ail
' agree. I have as much Refpect for

* the Ocean, on the one Hand, and

* as firm an Attachment to Liberty on

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