An Astronomical Diary : Or, An
For the Year of our LORD,
Being the first Year after Bissextile
or Leap Year.
Calculated for the Meridian of
Boston, New England,
Lat. 42 Deg 25 Min. North
Containing besides what is common
in Almanacks — A Method of
Planting Vineyards. — How 2
Nation may be ruined and reformed, &c. &c.
Our great Forfathers, fir’d with virtuous Rage,
Did all the Perils of the Deep engage,
To fly those Realms where proud tyrannic Sway,
And horrid [illegible] scout for Prey ;
Their native Soil and youthful Scenes they fled,
Where bounteous Nature all her Blessings shed,
And sillier Art ransack’d foreign Shores,
Made every Dainty croud their British Stores,
Had rais’d the ample Dome and lofty Spire,
and spacious Theatre, were Crouds admire
The mighty Feats perform’d in ancient Days,
That spring to Life, revived in English Plays.
These Pleasures ail, our Fathers left behind,
But bro’t the Seeds of Science in their Mind,
Here planted first fair Freedom with Applause,
Which gives the Relish to all other Joys :
Guard then the Plant, — this savage Land adorn,
This work they left their Children then unborn.
By Nathaniel Ames.
Boston : Printed and Sold by
R. Draper. Edes & Gill. and T & J Eliet.Interlined Wisdom and Humour.
Blessed is the man that has none but open enemies, and wo unto the young man that is without any–if any such there be since the Golden Age.
An eminent station is a sure mark for envy, which is the Child of the Devil — or rather the Devil’s mother.
When a great Blackguard presumes upon his eminent Station to abuse a stripling that cannot meet him upon equal Terms, ’tis the wisest Cours for the latter to leave the Chastisement of his insolence to the grand Executioner of the Universe.
That man is in a queer situation who is oblig’d to honor an office when he must despise the wretch that holds it.
Full Communion in some Countries is equivalent to plenary indulgences in others.
As the Reformation is said to have begun in Harry the 8th’s breeches, so is in our times some notable reformations begin there — rather than in the head or heart, and thereabouts is often the spring of noble deeds imputed to virtuous resolution.
What grand projections for elections
Now are plotting here and there,
Yet nought availing — more prevailing
To address the generous Fair.
He that dictates who you shall marry, might be the same arrogance dictate what sort of meat you shall always eat.
Some people not only kill as much time as they can, but are so plague good natur’d & friendly as to make their acquaintance commit murder upon it against their wills.
Affliction is the School of Wisdom.
The grand musician for the heavenly Spheres, tunes the electric Bass to our ravish’d Ears.
Providence is impartial in bestowing riches on one, and contempt of riches on another.
Hope is the most upright of all flatterers, she visits the poor as well as the rich.
Liberty is a more noble invigorating cordial than Madeira; think of of this ye splendid Slaves, Parasites and Pimps.
Some people will lose their best Friend rather than miss cracking a Joke — yet cannot bear one themselves. He’s not your Friends that Flatters, but he tells you of your Faults.
Some s***s take advantage of that text of scripture “What goes into the body defiles not the body,” to poison all their acquaintance — Surely it was not spoken like a Physician.
The money page for want of wit
Is apt to hold a little smut.
The real wants of life are few in comparison of those that are artificial — and Mrs. — is most miserable without such a quantity of jewels.
The natives of this land are as witty and capable of improvement as they who boast their English extraction, as when Col. C —— ask’d the old Squaw “how many Commandments are there?” “Nine, Sir,” said she, “since you and I broke one behind that bush.”
The amazed new Negro sees all the silver gilded trees, and never saw the fields so full of sugar salt, & cotton wool.
How agreeable to our notions of liberty would it be to see the Ladies lead up the fashions in American furs.
How a Nation may be ruin’d and reform’d
There are two pernicious things in the government of a nation which are scarce ever remedied. The first is an unjust and too violent authority in Kings: the other is luxury, which viciates the morals of the people. When Kings acknowledge no law but their own will, and give a loose to their most exorbitant passions, they may do anything ; but by this very power they usurp of doing anything, they sap the foundation of their regal power ; they go by no certain rules, and govern by no fixed maxims ; all try who shall flatter them most : they loose their people and have nothing left them but slaves, whose number diminishes every day. Who shall tell them the truth? Who shall set bounds to this torrent? Every thing falls before it ; the wisest fly away, hide themselves, and groan in secret : nothing, but a sudden violent revolution, can bring back this exorbitant power into its natural channel; nay some times the very meansmade use of to reduce it, irrecoverably destroy it. Nothing threatens so fatal a fall as an authority that is strained too high : it is like a bow that is bent, which at last breaks on a sudden if the string be not slacken’d: But who is he that will dare to slacken it? A King thus corrupted can scarce expect to be reformed without a kind of oracle. And as too great authority intoxicates and poisons Kings, so luxury poisons a whole nation. It is commonly urged “that luxury serves to feed the poor at the expense of the rich ;” as if the poor could not more profitably provide for themselves by increasing the fruits of the earth, than by unmanning the rich by the refinements of voluptuousness. Thus a whole nation habituates itself to look upon the most superfluous things, as the necessaries of life ; and thus every day brings forth some new necessity of the same kind, and men can no longer live without things which but thirty years ago were utterly unknown to them. This luxury is called fine taste, the perfection of arts, and the politeness of a nation. Thus vice, which carries in its womb an infinite number of others, is commended as a virtue ; it spreads its contagion from the King down to the very dregs of the people ; those of the royal blood are willing to imitate the King’s magnificence ; the men of quality imitate the King’s relations ; and the middle sort strive to equal those quality ; for who would condemn himself when in the wrong? The lowest rank of men would pass for a middle sort ; and every one lives above his condition, some for ostentation, and to make a shrew of their wealth ; others through a mistaken shame, to cloak their poverty. Even those who are so wise as to condemn so great a disorder, are not so wise as to dare to be the first to stem the tide, or to set contrary examples. Thus a whole nation falls to ruin ; all conditions and ranks of men are confounded ; an eager desire to support a vain expense corrupts the purest minds ; and when poverty is accounted infamous nothing is mided but how to get rich. Let a man be learned, skillful, and virtuous ; let him instruct mankind, win battles, save his country, and sacrifice everything to the good of the public ; yet he will be despised, unless his talents be heightened by pomp and luxury. Even those who have no fortune will appear and spend if they had ; and so they fall to borrowing, cheating, and using a thousand mean arts to getmoney. But who shall remedy these evils? The relish and customs of a whole nation must be changed; new laws must be given them. And who shall attempt this, unless the King should prove to be so much of a Philosopher as to set an example of moderation himself, and so to put out of a countenance all those who love a pompous expense ; and at the same time, encourage the wise, who would be glad to authorized in a virtuous frugality?