Hmmm in that account of the nature of things from 80 years ago, I noticed an absence of
nuclei, neutrons and a periodic table.
Was there ever any "nu" or "neu" light on these matters, or are we still obliged to contemplate the valence electrons in wood atoms and other such transuranian elements?
Since this material appeared in Golden Age, it reminded me of little verse by Alexander Pope. It starts...
The mighty mother, and her son, who brings
The Smithfield Muses to the ear of kings,
I sing. Say you, her instruments, the great!
Called to this work by Dulness, Jove, and Fate;
You by whose care, in vain decried and cursed,
Still Dunce the second reigns like Dunce the first:
Say, how the goddess bade Britannia sleep,
And pour'd her spirit o'er the land and deep.
In eldest time, ere mortals writ or read,
Ere Pallas issued from the Thunderer's head, 10
Dulness o'er all possess'd her ancient right,
Daughter of Chaos and Eternal Night:
Fate in their dotage this fair idiot gave,
Gross as her sire, and as her mother grave,
Laborious, heavy, busy, bold, and blind,
She ruled, in native anarchy, the mind.
Still her old empire to restore she tries,
For, born a goddess, Dulness never dies.O thou! whatever title please thine ear,
Dean, Drapier, Bickerstaff, or Gulliver! 20
Whether thou choose Cervantes' serious air,
Or laugh and shake in Rabelais' easy-chair,
Or praise the court, or magnify mankind,
Or thy grieved country's copper chains unbind;
From thy Boeotia though her power retires,
Mourn not, my Swift, at ought our realm acquires.
Here pleased behold her mighty wings outspread
To hatch a new Saturnian age of lead.
Close to those walls where Folly holds her throne,
And laughs to think Monro would take her down, 30
Where o'er the gates, by his famed father's hand,
Great Cibber's brazen, brainless brothers stand,
One cell there is, conceal'd from vulgar eye,
The cave of Poverty and Poetry.
Keen, hollow winds howl through the bleak recess,
Emblem of music caused by emptiness.
Hence bards, like Proteus long in vain tied down,
Escape in monsters, and amaze the town.
Hence Miscellanies spring, the weekly boast
Of Curll's chaste press, and Lintot's rubric post: 40
Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lines,
Hence Journals, Medleys, Merc'ries, Magazines:
Sepulchral lies, our holy walls to grace,
And new-year odes,and all the Grub Street race.
In clouded majesty here Dulness shone;
Four guardian Virtues, round, support her throne:
Fierce champion Fortitude, that knows no fears
Of hisses, blows, or want, or loss of ears:
Calm Temperance, whose blessings those partake
Who hunger and who thirst for scribbling sake: 50
Prudence, whose glass presents the approaching jail:
Poetic Justice, with her lifted scale,
Where, in nice balance, truth with gold she weighs,
And solid pudding against empty praise... - the Dunciad