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* the other, as any in this Affembly j

* yet I cannot, without great Concern,

* behold an Affair of this Nature,

* managed with fuch Animofity, and
' fuch a World of needlefs or pernicious

* Punctilio, employed in a Controverfy

* about which there is no Occafion for
c being fo violently moved. Is Heat
' the Way to Truth ? Is Partiality an
c Help to Juftice ? The Ocean had ra-
' ther forego our Tribute for ever,
1 than fee us thus embroiled. I am
c utterly againft all Irregularities com-
f mitted by Rivers. As to thofe com-
plained of, we are obliged by the

* eternal Ties of Benevolence, to hope

* they

( 201 )

' they have not been altogether fo en-

* ormous, as hath been reprefented.
4 Some Rivers have a very ill-natured
1 and cruel Propenfity to cenfure. For-
1 bid it, Charity; forbid it. Benevolence,
4 that fo unamiable a Difpofition fhould

* become general; or, that we fhould
' too readily believe fuch Things of
' our Neighbours. If I may judge of
other Rivers by myfelf, there is in

* them all an eternal and irrefiftible
' Delire of doing Good, and Abbor-
' rence of Evil. To this inward Re-

< ftraint, thefe innate Banks and

* Mounds , I fhould rather chnfe to
truft their Conduct, and the Safety
' of their Neighbours, than to the

* firmed Works of Earth and Stone;
' which (not to mention the Tyranny
of erecting them, and the Slavery of
' being confined by them) ferve only,
' in my Opinion, to collecl: a Stream
' too much, and by that Means, force

< it to burft out with the greater Vio-
lence. I am therefore clearly for leav-

( 202 )

* ing them tothemfelves, and to that na-
' tive Freedom, which their Waters are
' eternally dictating to them. Water is a

* free Element; and we cannot lay itun-
4 der outward Reftraints, without doing

* Violence to the eternal and indefeafable

* Constitution of Nature, which, in my
1 Apprehenfion, is more feniibly to be
' dreaded, more cautioufly to be avoided
' and prevented, than the trivial Incon-
c veniencies, that have fo unnecerTarily

* convened us to Day. As to the Ob-
c lations of Water, with which we

* prefent the Ocean, with all imagina-
1 ble Submiffion to the Danube, I think

* he puts the Matter on a wrong Foot-
ing. Let no one miftake me. I
' am by all Means for the Continuance
' of thofe Oblations, and do constantly
tender them myfelf ; but I humbly
< apprehend, they will be more ac-
c ceptable, if they are given freely,

* than if they appear to flow from an
c acknowledged Debt and Obligation ;
a Debt, which to my Judgment,

{ feems

f feems to have no Foundation in ths

' Nature of Things. To fupport the

Belief of it however, a very chime-

' rical Argument hath been employed:

We have been told, that all our

Waters have been lent us by the

' Ocean, at the Inftance of the Sun j

c and for Proof of this, the Sun him-

* felf, a Foreigner to this AfTembly,

* hath been unnaturally appealed to.
' Have we not fufficient Means of In-
' formation among ourfelves ? Why

* are preternatural Lights called in ?

* Every River prefent can confute this
' incredible Hypothefis, by only re-

* fledting that he holds Commerce with
' the Sea, at his Mouth alone. But,

* if Fact and Experience are hot fuffi-
c cient to convince us, let this Demon-
' ftration remove all our Doubts. It is
' impofiible to form an Idea of a River
c without Water ; Water therefore is

* efTential to a River ; and of Confe-
' quence every River mud be fuppofed
to have Water in itfelf, if we will

< be

( 204 )

* be fo candid as to allow that nothing

* can fubfift without its Effence.'
THUS fpoke the Mceander, and had

his Vanity fed by a Roar of Applaufe.
The Ni/e, and all other overflowing
Streams, were infinitely pleafed with
this Speech. They faw plainly enough,
that it tended to eftabliili their Right
to Inundations -, at the fame Time, that
a profound Refpect for the Ocean, and
an utter Abhorrence of all Irregularities,
were artfully thrown out, as a Net, to
entangle and draw in the ignorant and
well-meaning, who could not be
brought over by a more explicit way
of arguing. They were ftill further
pleafed to find, that this Artifice had
been fuccefsful, even beyond their
Hopes, and had made a prodigious Al-
teration in the Aflembly. Rivers are
fond of Liberty, and willing enough to
be convinced, by any Reafonings, that
compliment them with a Right to it,
and the Difcretion to ufe and enjoy it,
properly, in its full Extent. They do


not relifli fuch Diftindlions between
that and Licentioufnefs, as may abridge
it in the leaft. Hence it comes to pafs,
that many, who thought the mofl per-
fect Difcharge of Duty, and the utmofl
Degree of Licence confident, were
caught by the Subtilties of the Meander ;
who, having pa fled a Compliment on
them, inftead of an Argument, leemed
to have reconciled the Nature of Li-
berty and Duty better than either the
Danube or the Nile. By thefe Means
it happened, that they were unwitting-
ly wafted over on the Sophiftry of the
Mtzander to the Sentiments of the

AFTER fome Time fpent in fubtile
and metaphyfical Fooleries, to which
the Maander's Way of arguing had
ftrangely turned their Heads, the Eu-
phrates with an awful kind of Indig-
nation in his Countenance, arofe, and
fpoke as follows :

* I OWN it was with fome Impa-
tience and much Concern, that I


( 206 )

f liftened to what hath paffed in this
AfTembly. I have heard the turbu-
lent Harangue of the Brook, the

* muddy Oration of the Nile, and the

< difingenuous Speech of the Mteafidtr.
As to the firft, it hath been more than
s fufficiently anfwered, by the wife and

* good Danube, who abounds with

* \Vifdom, like Phifon and Tigris, in

< the Time of the new Fruits. I fee

* here a thoufand namelefs Rivulets and
Sewers, who, becaufe they cannot
difcern their own Bottoms, through
c Waters foul with the OfT-fcourings of
Bogs, and yet dirtier Places, take
themfelves to be very profound ; and,

< with the ufual Vanity of mallow Wa-
ters, are for arrogating mighty Mat-
' ters to themfelves. But their occa-
c iional Grandeur, which is nothing
' elfe but Froth at the top, Mud in
c - the middle, and Filth at the bottom,
was not Yefterday, and {hall not be
c To-morrow. Let them enjoy their
Day, Let them, with an extempo-


( 20; )

rary Licentioufnefs, pour their liber-
4 tine and erratick Waters over the
t neighbouring Grounds ; and delay, as
long as they can, the Payment of

their Tribute to the Ocean. They
' muft foon be compelled to come into
' us, and be loft in larger Streams, long
c before we mix with the Source of
*. Water. It is hoped, however, that
' they will think proper to purge them-
' felves before they approach the greater
c Rivers j and that thofe Rivers will not
c fuffer themfelves to be tinctured with

their Pollutions. As to thofe Brooks
' and Sinks, that dive under Ground,
< not being able to bear the Light, as

* I am afraid they go to water the in-
c fernal Regions, fo I entertain no Hopes
of ever feeing them again in the way

* of their Duty.

c As to the Sentiments of the Nile,
I think no other could rationally be
c expected from him ; and I underftood
( his Flood of Words to be, indeed,
rather as an Apology for his own H-

c centious

( 208 )

centious Conduit, than as a Series of

< Reafonings fitted to effeft the Point

< in Queftion. He, you all know, is
but a greater Brook ; is ftrongly im-

* pregnated with Mud ; and is remark-
able for his annual Inundations, in
which he at once covers and pollutes
a large Region of the Earth ; infeft-
ing it alfo with ten thoufand Specie^s

< of noxious Vermin and Flies j and

< with Crocodiles, the moft deceitful

< and formidable of Animals, Let the

* Egyptians, who feem to be little bet-
ter than the Maggots of his Mud,

< pleafe themfelves with wallowing

< therein, and hail the polluted Plenty,
' which he fweeps away from other

* Nations to beftow on them : This, I
c hope, will neither be allowed to plead
for his Practices, nor to recommend
c his Principles on this Occafion. I
can fcarcely forbear laughing at the
odd fort of AfTu ranee he (hews, when

* he gravely takes upon him to inftrucl:

* us all concerning the Origin of our

1 Waters ;

( 209 )

Waters; although he, of all Rivers,
is moft ignorant of his own. He fays
he draws his Waters from the Moun-
tains of the Moon. Does he mean
the Mountains of that Planet, which
inlightens us by Night? Or are they
certain imaginary Hills fuppofed to be
in Africa^ and fabuloufly fo called?
It is among the Mountains and Val-
leys of Abyjjinia that he collects his
Waters; from which Mountains,
however, he could not borrow a fingle
Drop, were they not fupplied them-
felves by the continual Rains that
fall between the Tropicks during cer-
tain Months of the Year. Let the
Niger , who takes his Rife in the fame
Region, fet him Right in that Matter.
The Truth is, we all have our Waters
from above. They are raifed from the
Ocean by the Sun, and conveyed to
us through that magnificent Aqueduft
that lies over us. He is pleafed to
fay, at the Clofe of his Oration, that
the Sun, inftead of being inftrumental
T in>

( 210 )

* in obtaining any Supplies of Water

* for us, is perpetually exhaufting what

* we have. For my own Part, inftead

* of thinking this an Hardship, I think
* myfelf obliged to be thankful to him

* for railing me from the Earth, where

* I am not over-ftudious of being con-

* fiderable; for mixing me fo intimately

* with his Raysj for exalting me to
* Heaven, where, glorioufly arrayed by
*- his Bounty in Gold and Purple, I
1 make the grand Tour of the Skies,

* form the Pavilions and Chariots of the
6 celeftial Powers, and give the Thun^
4 der its Voice and Wings,, when it is
* levelled at Vice or Plagues.

' THOUGH it is beneath the Digni^-

* ty of the Place I hold in this Af-
;* fembly ; nay, beneath that of com*-

* mon Senfe and Reafon, fericufly. to
* anfwer Sophifms and Cavils; yet, as
*> the Speech of the Meander feems to
- have made fome Impreflion, I mail

* not pafs it by without making a few

* Qbfervations on it. That infinuating

3. ' and

(2.1 )

e and ferpentine River, who fometirnes

* bends to the Danube, and anon again

* winds about to the Nile, fets out
c with plaufibleProfeffions of his Regard
' for Peace and Charity, to which he

* would have us poftpone the Repre-
' fentations of the Ocean , and the
' Earth, as Matters of no great Confe-
f fequence. It is the trite Expedient of

* all, who would deceive, to cover their

* evil Defigns under fpecious Appear-
1 ances. But this Speaker, as if Du-
' ties and Virtues were at Variance a-

* mong themfelves, taking Advantage
of the Warmth {hewn in this Debate,
4 though moftly by Partifansof hisovvr^
4 would needs have us believe, that all
1 Zeal is culpable; that becaufe our
Deliberations are not carried on with
' fufficient Temper, they ought to be

* layed entirely alide; and that not only
4 the well-ordering of our Behaviour
' towards the Earth, and one another,
6 but alfo our Gratitude and Duty to

* the Ocean , are mere indifferent

T 2 Thin::


* Things. Thefe I take to be very
' dangerous Sentiments. Is our Duty
c to the great Source from whence we
c derive all our Waters, a Thing of no

* Confequence? Is it an improper Time
' for the Heart of an honeft River to
c boil, when he hears fuch deteftable

* Principles clandeftinely infmuated by

* fome, and openly avowed by others ?
' How low is our Allegiance fallen in
' the Opinion of the Nt/e 9 when he
f dare fo publickly renounce all Duty
' to the Ocean ? How is our Under-

* landings vilified by the Meander,

* when he hopes to pafs fuch Tenets

* upon us as rational, by Arguments fo

* fallacious and unfound ? I believe e-

* very judicious and candid River, who
c hears me, will readily agree, that
e were we all but half as fenfible of our
' Duty as we ihould be, there could
have been no Difpute here To-day.
It is true, fhould we once divert our-
felves of all Duty and Allegiance, we
fhould then be in no Danger of Vio-


1 lating Charity for the fake of the O-
' cean, to whom we are accountable;
' or of the Earth, where we are to act.
c But would not this be paying too
c great a Price, even for Charity ? And

* is it to be imagine^, that when we
' (hall have flript ourfelves of all Duty,

* all Obligation, and Obedience, we {hall
c then find nothing to contend about ?
' Is Peace very likely to be preferved
in an Abfence of all other Ties than
< fuch as we may pretend to have with-
in ourfelves? I exped: little lefs than
a Chaos, if every River is left, as the
' Meander would have him, intirely to
' himfelf, without Channels to contain

* him, or Banks to confine his wild
c ExcefTes, of which we fee fuch fla-
1 grant and fuch repeated Inftances
every Day, as no eternal nor ftupid
Ties of Charity can fhut our Eyes to.
' I have not, on any Occafion, obferv-
i ed fo extraordinary an Inftance of
Modefty, as the Meander hath fhewn
in arguing on this Head. Inftead of

3 handing

< handing it down to us as Demon ilra.-

* tion, he only fays, it is his Opinion,
c that, were the Banks entirely removed,

* the Waters would flow more regular-
' ly, and more within Bounds, than

* they do at prefent. He might have
' delivered this with much greater Af-

* furance ; for I fuppofe you are all

* fully fatisfied about the Reality and
Strength of thofe inward Reftraints,
' thofe innate Banks and Mounds he
mentions. You know very well,

< that Water hath, in its own Nature,
' an eternal and abfolute Power to conr
tain and direct itfelf j. and that one of
' thefe Banks, within a Stream, is

< worth a thoufand Ramparts of Ada~
4 mant without. It is not with altoge-

* ther fo much Diffidence in himfelf,
and Refpect for this Aflembly, that
he propofes his Argument about the
' Eflence of Rivers :. He calls it a De-

* monftration, and bids all our Doubts
fr vanifli before it; and yet, I know

* not how it is, mine Hill keep their

' Ground.

* Ground, This borrowed EfTence of

* ours,, that is perpetually flowing in at
c one End of us, and out at the other,

* puzzles me ftrangely. Being but mo-
' derately fkilled in Metaphylicks, I
c cannot anfwer his Argument fcienti-
fically ; but this I am pretty fore of,

* that, had the Heavens with-held their
1 Showers, and the Springs been entirely

* flopped up, one might as reafonably
' have alked for Water from the Deferta
4 of Barka, as from either the Nile,

* or me ; or, I may fay, from any of
c us. This Argument, I think, comes
' home to the Point, and proves, that
Rivers are not altogether fo felf-origi-

* nated as the Meander would have us
c think. If, however, this Argument
' of his be allowed to pafs for a good
c one, I am fure fo muft the one I am
about to oifer. There is no forming
1 an Idea of a River without Banks>

* and thofe on the outfide too. Take
them away from your Idea of a River,

* and you fufe and difperfe its Effencs



c into nothing. But not to teize you
any longer with this Jargon of Ideas
and Effences, I muft own, in fpite of
' that Vanity, too natural to me as well
' as other Rivers > that, were it not for

* the high Banks that fhut me in on the

* Right Hand and the Left, I mould

* drown all Mefopotamia and Babylonia,
and lofe myfelf in a huge unpayable
' Morafs. This vagrant Difpofition,

< which I, with Shame and Concern, ac-
c knowledge, hath difcovered itfelf on
' many Occafions. As often as my Banks
' fall off to any confiderable Diftance

* from each other, I feize all the Flats
between, and fometimes fwell fo high
f as to overflow even the Banks them-

< felves, and flood the Fields to a confi-

* derable Diftance round me. When

* Cyrus laid Siege to Babylon, he took
' Occafion, from this Weaknefs of

* mine, to feduce me from the Defence

* of my Children the Babylonians ; and,

* by removing my Banks, led me into
an artificial Pond contrived for that

< purpofe ;

Purpofe : where I was detained,, till
my Waters became putrid, and the
City, with its inhabitants, were made
the Prey of the Sword. Thus was I
made, by means of this Tendency in
me to Evil, the Slave of another's Am-
bition. This Tendency, however, if
I miftake not, is, by no Means, pe-
culiar to me. All other Rivers, ex-
cepting the good Meander alone, have
reafon to complain of the fame in
themfelves; and might poffibly enough
be made capable of the fame Practices,
were they not reftrained by higher
and ftronger Banks than mine. I
mall readily grant the Meander, that
Rivers are free Beings j but do at the
fame Time infift on it, that this Free-
dom is limitted. There are fome
Things we cannot do j for Inftance,
we cannot flow up the Side of a Moun-
tain. Again, there are other Things
we ought not to do. We ought not
to deftroy the Fruits of the Earth,
nor render the Earth itfelf ufelefs, by
U e turning

(218 )

* turning huge Trails of it into Bogs.
c A Liberty to do fuch Things as this,
c is only a Licence to enflave ourfelves.
e Is not that River enflaved, to all In-
tents and Purpofes, which, having
quitted its own Channel, and poured
c itfelf into a low and hollow Valley,
c is there confined for ever, and blend-
ed with Mud and Filth ? But many
' Streams are milled by Pride ; and
e think it more glorious to become
' Lakes, or little independent Seas, as

* they affect to be ftyled, than make a

* Part of the great Ocean. The Caf-
pian y who apes andoppofes the Ocean,

* hath drawn in many, and very confi-

* derable Rivers, by this blind Paffion

< for Independency. How groily do

* the laxartes, the Wolga t the Oxus,
c and many others, miftake the Nature
f of Grandeur and Independency, when

< they rob the Ocean of his Right, and
c give up, forever, the ineftimable Pri-
yilege of incorporating with him, to

4 become

( 2I 9 )

become the defpicable Tributaries and

< Vaffals of the Cafplan !

c I SHALL conclude, on this import-

* ant Occasion, with reminding you,
once more, that, if you have any
c Senfe of either Duty or Gratitude, you

< will not feparate, till you have fuffi-

* ciently provided againft the Enormities

< represented to you at the Opening of
' this Ailembly: I muft alfo tell you,

* that it is your greater! Intereft to do
this ; becaufe if you do not, it is but
4 reafonable to fear, the Ocean, or the
' Sun, will foon interpofe, and, by an.
c "univerfal Deluge, or Conflagration,
totally deflroy all the Rivers.'

THUS ended the Euphrates. After a
long Jangle about the Origin of Waters,
and the Nature and Extent of Liberty,
,the Aflembly broke up, in a very tumul-
tuous Manner, without coming to any
Refolution ; and the Day being far ad-
vanced, the Sun retired towards the O-
cean, to confer with him about what

had pafTed^



The Thirteenth.

THE Parents of Mifs Veridet left
this World when fhe was but
an Infant. Her Father, who was the
beft of Men, was engaged, during his
whole Life, in a Law Suit for an im-
nienfe Eftate, to which he had a mod
unqueftionable Right ; but thofe, who
had poflefled themfelves of it, relying
on great Art and Power, kept him out
for a long Time ; yet finding at length
that he began to gain Ground, fub-
borned Witnefles againft him, who
accufed him of high Crimes, for which,
altho' his Innocence fully appeared on
the Trial, he was put to Death in the
moft publick and ignominious Manner.
Mifs Veridet was recommended by her
Father, a little before his Death, to the
the Juftice of her Caufe, and the Care


( 221 )

of Mrs. Le Clerk, her Nurfe, who was
a very good Woman, and had an infi-
nite Affedtion for the Child. Such
early and extraordinary Indications of
Undemanding, Goodnefs, and Beauty
never appeared in any Child, as in this.
At the Age, when other Children can
fcarcely fpeak, her Knowledge was fu-
perior to that of the wifeft Men ; fhe
was the Arbitrefs of all Difputes, and
the Reconciler of Differences through-
out the whole Neighbourhood. Her
faithful Nurfe took Care always to fet
her in the moft favourable Point of
Light, and to fhew her to the greateft
Advantage. By thefe Means they
gained many Friends, who contribu-
ted what they could fpare towards their
Support, and revived the Suit for the
great Eflate, which Mifs was entitled
to by the Death of her Father. The
Ufurpers, alarmed at this, tried all
Ways and Means firft to alienate their
Friends from them, and then to take
away the Life of the Child. But Nurfe,
U 3 by

222 )

by her extreme Vigilance and Prudence,
fo managed Matters, that they were
defeated in all their Schemes. Upon
this, for want of better Means, they
betook themfelves to open Force. Here
Nurfe aded her Part inimitably well,
for which me fuffered the moft inex-
preffible Hardmips. As fhe fled from
Place to Place with the Child, fome-
times hiding her, and at other Times
calling their Friends to her Affiftance,
fhe was frequently feized, imprifoned
and fcourged in the moft cruel Manner
for her Fidelity. Many alfo of thofe,
who were refolute enough to fhew
themfelves in the Defence of Nurfe
and the Child, were put to Death with
unheard of Barbarity, their Perfecutors
fhewing themfelves very ingenious in
the Contrivance of Cruelties to torture
and deftroy them with. This how-
ever, did only ferve to encreafe both
their Zeal and Numbers, infomuch,
that in a little Time a great Part of
Mifs Veridet's Tenants declared openly


( 223 )

for her, and one or other of the great
Ones began every Day to augment her
Party. Thefe Worthies made her
Caufe their own, and gave Nurfe fuch
liberal Contributions for the Mainte-
nance of the Child and herfelf, that
the Law-Suit was carried on with great
Vigour ; and, as Nurfe was a moft ex-
cellent Manager, and prodigioufly fpar-
ing in her own Expences, Mifs was
nobly fupported, and enabled to grati-
fy the boundlefs Goodnefs of her Na-.
ture in the Relief of the Diftreffed,
who flocked to her from all Parts for
Meat, Medicine, and Cloaths, which
Nurfe, by her Direct ions, fupplied them
with in great Abundance. About this
Time Nurfe began to be afflicted with
Hyfterick Fits, in which, altho' not
very violent at firll;, fhe was fometimes
flightly convulfed, and feemed to be
threatned with an Encreafe of the Di-
order. However, Mifs no fooner en-
tered the Room, than her Fits vanimed,
and me was perfectly well, After.this
U 4 * falutary

( 224 )

falutary Experiment had been feveral
Times tried, {he determined never to
truft herfelf again to the irregular Mo-
tions of her own Spirits, but always to
keep Mifs fo near her, that her Diftem-
per might be checked in its firft Attacks.
NURSE being now no longer looked
upon as a poor Woman in Diftrefs, a
certain great Lord in the Neighbour-
hood, who kept a very fplendid Court,
fell deeply in Love with her, and fhe
being not altogether diverted of the
Ambition fo natural to her Sex, enter-
tained his Paflion with a very favour-
able Ear. He, for his Part, made his
Court with all imaginable Civilities and
Services both to her and Mifs. And
Nurfe, on her Part, began to drefs a
little more genteely, and affeft the Airs
of a Perfon of Quality. At firft they
contented themfelves with repeated
Vifits ; but Nurfe having tailed the
Sweets of Grandeur, after fome Time,
removed with Mifs to his Lordmip's
Houfe, and there took up her Abode.


From thenceforward me fet no Bounds
to her Gaieties: She was always foremoft
and higheft in the Fafhion. When high
Heads were the Mode, her's overtopt all
the Head's at Court. When Furbeloes
came up, fhe was nothing but Furbelo
from Top to Toe. At other Times fhe
was all Lace and Fringe. As fhe was
naturally of an humble Stature, fhe fup-
plied that Defedt with high Heels, which
at firft coft her fome indecent Falls, nor
did fhe fcruple now and then to lay on
a little Paint to difguife the too venera-
ble Lines of her Countenance, and
brighten it with a frefh Bloom.

THESE Arts drew in many Admirers,
who fhared with his Lordfhip in her
good Graces and Encouragements, of
which me was by no Means over-fpar-
ing. Thefe Gentlemen, who from a
depraved Notion of Grandeur, became
her Lovers, were her's only j Mifs had
no Share in their Friendmip, altho' in-
deed they all treated her with great Com-

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