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reign it happened, that this want of mutual confidence and right understanding between father and son was fatal to the family of the Valentines in Germany. Basilius Valen. tinus was a person who had arrived at the utmost perfection in the hermetic art, and initiated his son Alexandrinus in the same mysteries; but as you know they are not to be attained but by the painful, the pious, the chaste, and pure of heart, Basilius did not open to him, because of his youth, and the deviations too natural to it, the greatest secrets of which he was master, as well knowing that the operation would fail in the hands of a man so liable to errors in life as Alexandrinus. But believing, from a certain indisposition of mind as well as body, his dissolution was drawing migh, he called Alexandrinus to him, and as he lay on a couch, over against which his son was seated, and prepared, by sending out servants one after another, and admonition to examine that no one overheard them, he revealed the most important of his secrets with the solemnity and language of an adept. My son, said he, many have been the watchings, long the lucubrations, constant the labours of thy father, not only to gain a great and plentiful estate to his posterity, but also to take care that he should have no posterity. Be not amazed, my child, I do not mean that thou shalt be taken from me, but that I will never leave thee, and consequently cannot be said to have posterity. Behold, my dearest Alexandrinus, the effect of what was propagated in nine months. We are not to contradict nature, but to follow and to help her; just as long as an infant is in the womb of his parent, so long are these medicines of revivification in preparing. Observe this small phial and this little gallipot; in this an unguent, in the other a liquor. In these, my child, are collected such powers, as shall revive the springs of life when they are yet but just ceased, and give new strength, new spirits, and, in a word, wholly restore all the organs and senses of the human body to as great a duration as it had before enjoyed from its birth to the day of the application of these my medicines. But, my beloved son, care must be taken to apply them within ten hours after the breath is out of the body, while yet the clay is warm with its late life, and yet capable of resuscitation. I find my frame grown crazy with perpetual toil and meditation; and I conjure you, as soon as I am dead, to anoint me with this unguent; and when you see me begin to move, pour into my lips this inestimable liquor, else the force of the ointment will be ineffectual. By this means you will give me life as I gave you, and we will from that hour mutually lay aside the authority of having bestowed life on each other, live as brethren, and prepare new medicines against such another period of time as will demand another application of the same restoratives. In a few days after these wonderful ingredients were delivered to Alexandrinus, Basilius departed this life. But such was the pious sorrow of the son at the loss of so excellent a father, and the first transports of grief had so wholly disabled him from all manner of business, that he never thought of the medicines till the time to which his father had limited their efficacy, was expired. To tell the truth, Alexandrinus was a man of wit and pleasure, and considered his father had lived out his natural time, his life was long and uniform, suitable to the regularity of it; but that he himself, poor sinner, wanted a new life, to repent of a very bad one hitherto; and in the examination of his heart, resolved to go on as he did with this natural being of his, but repent very faithfully, and spend very piously, the life to which he should be restored by application of these rarities, when time should come, to his own person. It has been observed, that Providence frequently punishes the self-love of men, who would do immoderately for their own offspring, with children very much below their characters and qualifications, insomuch that they only transmit their names to be borne by those who give daily proofs of the vanity of the labour and ambition of their progenitors. It happened thus in the family of Basilius, for Alexandrinus began to enjoy his ample fortune in all the extremities of household expense, furniture, and insolent equipage; and this he pursued till the day of his own departure began, as he grew sensible, to approach. As Basilius was punished with a son very unlike him, Alexandrinus was visited by one of his own disposition. It is natural that ill men should be suspicious, and Alexandrinus, besides that jealousy, had proofs of the vicious disposition of his son Renatus, for that was his name. Alexandrinus, as I have observed, having very good reason for thinking it unsafe to trust the real secret of his phial and gallipot to any man living, projected to make sure work, and hope for his success depending from the avarice, not the bounty of his benefactor. With this thought he called Renatus to his bed-side, and bespoke him in the most pathetic gesture and accent. As much, my son, as you have been addicted to vanity and pleasure, as I also have been before you, you nor I could escape the fame, or the good effects of the profound knowledge of our progenitor, the renowned Basilius. His symbol is very well known in the philosophic world, and I shall never forget the venerable air of his countenance when he let me into the profound mysteries of the smaragdine table of Hermes. “It is true,” said he, “and far removed from all colour of deceit; that which is inferior is like that which is superior, by which are acquired and perfected all the miracles of a certain work. The father is the sun, the mother the moon, the wind is the womb, the earth is the nurse of it, and mother of all perfection. All this must be received with modesty and wisdom.” The chymical people carry in all their jargon a whimsical sort of piety, which is ordinary with great lovers of money, and is no more but deceiving themselves, that their regularity and strictness of manners for the ends of this world, has some affinity to the innocence of heart which must recommend them to the next. Renatus wondered to hear his father talk so like an adept, and with some mixture of piety, while Alexandrinus observing his attention fixed, proceeded. “This phial, child, and this little earthen pot, will add to thy estate so much, as to make thee the richest man in the German empire. I am going to my long home, but shall not return to common dust." Then he resumed a countenance of alacrity, and told him, that if within an hour after his death he anointed his whole body, and poured down his throat that liquor which he had from old Basilius, the corpse would be converted into pure gold. I will not pretend to express to you the unfeigned tenderness that passed between these two extraordinary persons; but if the father recommended the care of his remains with vehemence and affection, the son was not behind-hand in professing that he would not cut the least bit off him but upon the utmost extremity, or to provide for his younger brothers and sisters. Well, Alexandrinus died, and the heir of his body (as our term is) could not forbear, in the wantonness of his heart, to measure the length and breadth of his beloved father, and cast up the ensuing value of him before he proceeded to operation. When he knew the immense reward of his pains, he began the work: but lo! when he had anointed the corpse all over, and began to apply the liquor, the body stirred, and Renatus, in a fright, broke the phial.
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AMAZONS. PAPER I.
THE moral world, as consisting of males and females, is of a mixed nature, and filled with several customs, fashions, and ceremonies, which would have no place in it were there but one sex. Had our species no females in it, men would be quite different creatures from what they are at present; their endeavours to please the opposite sex polishes and refines them out of those manners which are most natural to them, and often sets them upon modelling themselves, not according to the plans which they approve in their own opinions, but according to those plans which they think are most agreeable to the female world. In a word, man would not only be an unhappy, but a rude unfinished creature, were he conversant with none but those of his own make.
Women, on the other side, are apt to form themselves in everything with regard to that other half of reasonable creatures with whom they are here blended and confused; their thoughts are ever turned upon appearing amiable to the other sex; they talk, and move, and smile, with a design upon us; every feature of their faces, every part of their dress is filled with snares and allurements. There would be no such animals as prudes or coquettes in the world, were there not such an animal as man. In short, it is the male that gives charms to womankind, that produces an air in their faces, a grace in their motions, a softness in their voices, and a delicacy in their complexions. As this mutual regard between the two sexes tends to the improvement of each of them, we may observe that men are apt to degenerate into rough and brutal natures, who live as if there were no such things as women in the world; as, on the contrary, women, who have an indifference or aversion for their counterparts in human nature, are generally sour and unamiable, sluttish and censorious. I am led into this train of thoughts by a little manuscript which is lately fallen into my hands, and which I shall communicate to the reader, as I have done some other curious pieces of the same nature, without troubling him with any inquiries about the author of it. It contains a summary account of two different states, which bordered upon one another. The one was a commonwealth of Amazons, or women without men; the other was a republic of males, that had not a woman in their whole community. As these two states bordered upon one another, it was their way, it seems, to meet upon their frontiers at a certain season of the year, where those among the men, who had not made their choice in any former meeting, associated themselves with particular women, whom they were afterwards obliged to look upon as their wives in every one of these yearly rencounters. The children that sprung from this alliance, if males, were sent to their respective fathers; if females, continued with their mothers. By means of this anniversary carnival, which lasted about a week, the commonwealths were recruited from time to time, and supplied with their respective subjects. These two states were engaged together in a perpetual league, offensive and defensive; so that, if any foreign potentate offered to attack either of them, both the sexes