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“But what does all this mean, M. Cazotte ? You are surely preaching to us about the end of the world.”
“I know no more of that, my Lady Duchess, than yourself; but this I know, that you will be conducted to the scaffold, with several other ladies, in the cart of the executioner, and with your hands tied behind you."
“I hope, sir, that, in such a case, I shall be allowed, at least, a coach hung with black ?”
“No, madam, you will not have that indulgence; ladies of higher rank than you will be drawn in a cart as you will be, with their hands tied as yours will be, and to the same fate as that to which you are destined.”
“Ladies of greater rank than myself? What! princesses of the blood ?"
6 Greater still !"
Here there was a very sensible emotion throughout the company, and the countenance of the master of the mansion wore a very grave and solemn aspect; it was indeed very generally observed, that this pleasantry was carried rather too far. Madame de Grammont, in order to disperse the cloud that seemed to be approaching, made no reply to his last
answer, but contented herself with saying, with an air of gaiety, “You see he will not even leave me a confessor."
“No, madam, that consolation will be denied to all of you. The last person led to the scaffold, who will be allowed a confessor, as the greatest of favours, will be "
Here he paused for a moment.
“And who, then, is the happy mortal who will be allowed to enjoy this prerogative ?”.
" It is the only one which will be left him ; it will be -the King of France !"
The master of the house now rose in haste, and his company was all actuated by the same impulse. He then advanced towards M. Cazotte, and said to him in an affecting and impressive tone“My dear M. Cazotte, we have had enough of these melancholy conceits. You carry it too far, even to compromising the company with whom you are, and yourself along with them."
Cazotte made no answer, and was about to retire, when Madame de Grammont, who wished, if possible, to do away all serious impressions, and to restore some kind of gaiety
among them, advanced towards him, and said: “My good prophet, you have been so kind as to tell us all our fortunes, but you have not mentioned anything regarding your own.
After a few moments' silence, with his eyes fixed on the ground, “ Madame," replied he, “ have you read the Siege of Jerusalem, as related by Josephus ?"
“To be sure I have; and who has not ? But you may suppose, if you please, that I know nothing about it.”
“ Then you must know, Madame, that during the siege of Jerusalem, a man for seven successive days went round the ramparts of that city, in sight of the besieged and besiegers, crying incessantly, in a loud and inauspicious voice, Woe to Jerusalem !' and on the seventh day he cried, Woe to Jerusalem and to myself !' and at that very moment, an enormous stone thrown by the machine of the enemy dashed him to pieces.”
M. Cazotte then made his bow and departed.
Thus far M. de la Harpe. Those who recollect the melancholy exit of all those characters above mentioned, during the reign of terror in France, must be astonished at the exact fulfilment of this remarkable prediction, so unlikely to be accomplished at the time it was uttered. That M. de la Harpe was capable of imposing a falsehood on the world, in the last moments of his life, will, I believe, be suspected by few; and I have never heard the authenticity of the above called in question.-News from the Invisible World.
DRYDEN AND HIS SON'S NATIVITY.
Dryden, with all his understanding, was fond of judicial astrology, and used to calculate the nativity of his cħildren. At the birth of his son Charles he laid his watch on the table, begging one of the ladies then present, in a most solemn manner, to take an exact notice of the very minute the child was born, which she did, and acquainted him with it. About a week after, when his lady was pretty well recovered, Mr. Dryden took occasion to tell her that he had been calculating the child's nativity, and observed with grief that he was born in an evil hour; for Jupiter, Venus, and
the Sun were all under the earth, and the lord of his ascendant afflicted with a hateful square of Mars and Saturn. “If he lives to arrive at his eighth year,” said he, “he will go near to die a violent death on his very birth-day; but if he should escape, as I see but small hopes, he will, in the twenty-third year, be under the very same evil direction; and if he should escape that also, the thirty-third or thirtyfourth year will, I fear
Here he was interrupted by the grief of his lady, who could no longer patiently hear calamity prophesied to befall her son.
The time at last came, and August was the inauspicious month in which young Dryden was to enter into the eighth year of his age. The court being in progress, and Mr. Dryden at leisure, he was invited to the country seat of the Earl of Berkshire, his brother-in-law, to keep the long vacation with him at Charlton in Wilts: his lady was invited to her uncle Mordaunt's, to
the remainder of the summer. When they came to divide the children, lady Elizabeth would have him take John, and suffer her to take Charles; but Mr. Dryden was too absolute, and they parted in anger : he took Charles with him, and she was obliged to be content with John.
When the fatal day came, the anxiety of the lady's spirits occasioned such an effervescence of blood as threw her into a violent fever, and her life was despaired of, till a letter came from Mr. Dryden, reproving her for her womanish credulity, and assuring her that her child was well, which recovered her spirits ; and in six weeks after she received an explanation of the whole affair.
Mr. Dryden, either through fear of being reckoned superstitious, or thinking it a science beneath his study, was extremely cautious of letting any one know that he was a dealer in astrology, and therefore could not excuse his absence on his son's anniversary from a general hunting-match Lord Berkshire had made, to which all the adjacent gentlemen were invited. When he went out, he took care to set the boy a double exercise in the Latin tongue, which he taught his children himself, with a strict charge not to stir out of the room till his return, well knowing the task he had set him would take
up . much longer time. Charles was performing his duty in obedience to his father; but, as ill fate would have it, the stag made towards the house, and the noise alarming the servants, they hastened out to see the sport. One of them took young Dryden by the hand, and led him out to see it also ; when, just as they came to the gate, the stag being at bay with the dogs, made a bold push and leaped over the court wall, which, being very low and old, and the dogs following, threw down a part of the wall ten yards in length, under which Charles Dryden lay buried. He was immediately dug out, and after languishing six weeks in a dangerous way he recovered. So far Dryden's prediction was fulfilled.
On the twenty-third year of his age, Charles fell from the top of an old tower belonging to the Vatican at Rome, occasioned by a swimming in his head with which he was seized, the heat of the day being excessive. He again recovered, but was ever after in a languishing state.
In the thirty-third year of his age, being returned to England, he was unhappily drowned at Windsor.
He had, with another gentleman, swam twice over the Thames; but returning a third time, it was supposed he was taken with the cramp, because he called out for help, although too late. Thus the father's calculation proved but too prophetical.Wanley's Wonders, Vol. ü.
Is that which proceeds by reasoning upon certain external signs, considered as indications of futurity.
NATURAL DIVINATION Is that which presages things from a mere internal sense and persuasion of the mind, without any assistance of signs; and is of two kinds—the one from nature, and the other by influx. The first is the supposition that the soul, collected within itself, and not diffused, or divided the
organs of the body, has, from its own nature and essence, some foreknowledge of future things : witness what is seen in dreams, ecstasies, on the confines of death, &c. The second
that the soul, after the manner of a mirror, receives some secondary illumination from the presence of God and other spirits.
AXINOMANCY Was an ancient species of divination or method of foretelling future events by means of an axe or hatchet. The word is derived from the Greek, aścvn, an axe; Martela, divination. This art was in considerable repute among the ancients; and was performed, according to some, by laying an agate stone upon a red-hot hatchet.
ALECTOROMANTIA Is an ancient kind of divination, performed by means of a cock, which was used among the Greeks in the following manner :-A circle was made on the ground, and divided into 24 equal portions or spaces : in each space was written one of the letters of the alphabet, and upon each of these letters was laid a grain of wheat. This being done, a cock was placed within the circle, and careful observation was made of the grains he picked. The letters corresponding to these grains were afterwards formed into a word, which word was the answer decreed. It was thus that Libanius and Jamblicus sought who shouid succeed the Emperor Valens; and the cock answering to the spaces OE0A, they concluded upon Theodore, but by a mistake, instead of Theodosius.
ARITHMOMANCY Is a kind of divination or method of foretelling future events by means of numbers. The Gematria, which makes the first species of the Jewish Cabala, is a kind of Arithmomancy.
BELOMANCY Is a method of divination by means of arrows, practised in the East, but chiefly among the Arabians.
Belomancy has been performed in different manners : one was to mark a parcel of arrows, and to put eleven or more of them into a bag ; these were afterwards drawn out, and according as they were marked, or otherwise, they judged