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Grub-Street Journal (Newspaper) - December 24, 1730, London, Middlesex Cjtttttf&ap, DECEMBER 24, 1730. ne qutzfteris fcire (nefas) quem'mihi, quern tibi, Finem Di derint.-Hor. Carm. 1.11. A Difcourfe read before the Grubasan Society, concerning the Almanacks for the year J 731, by William Bick-ES.staff, Efq; jHE knowledge of Futurityhas been fo much thirfted after, from the firft ages down to . the preterit time : that thofe, who are poffef-fed of it, have been always held in the higheft efteem. Magicians, Aftrologers, Pro-Prophets, Augurs were Co regarded among the ancients; that no King would enter on any important affair; no General would begin a battle, without their approbation. Nay, even the gTeateft Monarchs have exerciled thefe arts; and placed themfelves at the head of thofe, who profeffed them. The honours and profits, which have juftly attended fuch noble and ufeful prokOions, have been the caufe that many, illiterate and ill-defigning perfons have attempted to guefs at future events, without being acquainted with thofe arts, by which alone they are to be known. The ignorance of thele pretenders to fcience has brought, the art itfelf into contempt: and many have entertained an opinion, that the knowledge of futurity is, in its own nature, impoffible. I remember, that fome years ago one of thefe pretenders picked up a great deal of money, by giving people advice in choofing lottery tickets. He had a fhilling of every one who confulted him, and eighteen pence more, if the ticket recommended came up a prize. On thefe conditions the Fellow would have recommended every ticket in the Lottery. The ficve and fhears, coffee-grounds, and many other fuch like fooleries, are too trifling for me to take any notice of'them. I hope I fhall. not offend this illuftrious Society, if I declare that this difcourfe is levelled againft fome of its Members. I mean the writers of the common Almanacks: whofe ignorance was fo well expofed above twenty years ago by- my late learned CJr.cle, Isaac Bickerstaff, Efq; ': that it i? furprizing, that they are able any longer to im- pofe upon the publick. He abundantly vindicated the noble art of Ailrology, by publifhing a fet of predictions, every one of which, you all know, was exactly fulfilled;' One prediction, indeed, drew rjn him a troublefo e debate with one Partridge, an Almanack writer at that-time : whom he fhewed to be fo ignorant of- futurity, as' not to fprefee his own death: which my Unkle exactly foretold. This man was fo impertinent as not to own his being dead: and even abufed my Unkle for affirming it. But the truth of his affertion has been long fince acknowledged univerfally ; tho'- fome body ftill takes the liberty to publifh Almanacks under the name of Partridge. The ignorance of thefe men muff, needs be evident to all impartial perfons, who will but give themfelves the trouble to compare their various, and even contradictory predictions for the next year. I have confi-dered feventeen of thefe Almanacks, and thrown their predictions of the weather for the month of January into a fcheme ; by which you may fee at one view, what credit is to be given to thefe Gentlemen. t 2 3 4 i 9 10 it 12 13 H n 16 17 28 �9 20 .21 2z 23 24 3 28 29 30 3* The year begins with cold flabby weather Somefnov? about this time towards the latter end of the month. Partridge Andrews 'Co ley Cold clou- The year The year dy weath. begins is uiher'd with good in with Snow or feafonable Tery feafo- fleet is and nable and wholefome now ex- healthful pected. weather. weather. Froft like, whichfoon turns to Now vari- Now plen- rain ety of cold ty of cold or rain rain and or fnow cold fleet. fnow, but andbluft- foon more ering Now mild and winds for more fair. fair. fome days, mild and Very cold, Pretty good wea- but fbon good for thefeafon. ther. an High High abatement winds and winds with open very fevere and very windy weather cold fnow weather. in its kind. and feyere weather. Lane, Cold win^ terly weather begins the year. Froft like weather. Cold wind, being over caft for fnow or cold rain now about. Clofe air and probably wet. Pearfe Mild air Frofty mornings. Stormy weather Cold winds. Snow or cold ram. Saunders C Id, raw and moift wca her at die beginning, cben wind and floims bringing inow or co!d rain, and will probably continue reu,h . 2nd turbulent till after the Full M.on and thenv/e may expeft fome iharp irofbs, but not or long continuance; but follow-id wiihhigh win;! & florins with fome downfal 01 fnow or rain ; Now tome moderate frofts, with miid and plea!", cjys. (ex ccpt fonu flor-my weather and about the New Mo.n) may exp*�t miid and tsmp -race to th- end. JWing Moore Sa allow Cold About this Frofty rain or time the morn- fleet. wind will ings. blow, And to us produce i Windy Now fome rain cold & or fnow. and cold cloudy Cold rain or fnow, i and if it Snow or ftorms hits, cold of fnow About this rain. now time fome near froft by this fits. A moift time. And now air and Frofty you may tempe- & cold expect a- rate. fome gain days. Some fnow Wind as alfo with wind and fre- rain. \ quent Before this mowers. month out Windy ; Cold does go, weath. ! ftormy It will pro- 1 weath. duce both | at this froft and 1 time. fnow. Culptpptr Frofty , and fair. I winds & cloudy Q>ld fain, fnow, or fleet. Open weath. for fome days fair. Snow or ram now a-bouts. Fly Virkim Snow Inclin'd lor cold to wet frain. with cold winds, j Sharp frofts with Triggt Froft &fnow. VTUver J Camhrldc 1 y.JfTjjig Frofty. Stormy weath. doing hurt. Cloudy and cold fnow or ; fnow or fleet. j fleet. Windy & ftormy, with plenty of down-fal. Very winter like we. Froft with fome pleafant days. Sleet or Sharp mowers , freez-now a- ; ing bout. ! weath. Cloudy & cold. I Rough winds, j Snow or perhaps j cold Windy with rain or fnow. A frofty air. Winds with rain. froft & fnow. Rough winds, with open weath. ram. Cold pinching : froft. Cloudy & very, cold. Snow or cold rain. Windy Much and bad winter weath. weath. Frofty &very cold. Snow or fleet. Store of; Froft winter [with -weath. jfnow or fleet. -'You fee, Gentlemen, by this fcheme, that the rules on which thefe Pretenders found their knowledge,: are no rules. For how," otherwife, could they differ fo widely, in fo many particulars in the account of one Angle month ? " But whilft I am.expofing the falfe pretenfions of thefe men, I hope no member of this learned body will ima-gine> -that I intend to decry the art. of Aftrology itfelf. Far be that from me: I have too often feen the predi-Qjj.ons, which fome of my learned Friends and I myfelf have made, on juft calculations formed on the true rules of this noble art, exactly fulfilled, to have the leaft doubt in this matter. An error has, indeed, fometime happened 'in a calculation: but that is to be imputed, not to the a|t, but. to the negligence .or inattention of its Profeffors. I am fure I can fay, without vanity, that the calculations which I have made for fome years, have very feldom proved cr/oneous.. But as I have laid before you the grourrdfefs predictions cf the feveral writers of Almanacks, you will, sat without reafon,. expect that I fhould produce my own calculations: which I am ready to do for the month of January. . This month will begin with a hardfrojl, which will � taptinue 'for about a . tveek. Then we may expeel fome fybby tinpleafant weather, till the Full moon: when the froft will return, with blafter ing winds and great drifts <&fnow,'by fit si till the New moon: after which we may �$*f9rjine Jeafenable weather, to the end of the month* If what thefe Gentlemen tell ue of the weather be precarious : their political predictions are ftill more contemptible. '< This month, fays Gadbury (fpeaking of Janua- * ry) the hoftile Mars enters into the houfe of Jupiter, ' and immediately falutes him with an angry oppofition ' from his own houfe. This ftirs up tumultuous and fe-' ditious fpirits to beat the air, and plow the clouds, and 4 reap a crop of wind. Partridge tells us, 'We have in 1 this month an oppofition of Mars and Jupiter, and a 1 conjunction of Mars and Saturn in X, whofe effects will ' manifeft themfelves in feveral parts of the world. Andrews fays, ' Some untoward defigns are now in agitati- * on, and many clofe contrivances and underhand deal-' ings, but a'little more time will difcover their intrigues, ' and fet all things to rights. Coley ufes almoft the very fame words with Andrews, as does^lfo the learned Dr. Mo ore, only this laft adds, ' That many perfons that ' thought'themfelves fecure, are now brought to a con-� feflion of their Iniquity. Weaver fpeaks much: to the fame purpofe, faying, ' Uproars and tumults, with fedi-' tious confpiracies, are about this time in agitation.. Sure no man need have recourfe to any rules of art, to form fuch wretched predictions; which every fchool-boy might guefs without any rule at all. John Wing fays nothing thi3 whole month, but Great and unexpected Nezvs. A great and unexpected affair will indeed happen about the end of this month, but I defy him to tell what it is : tho' I intend myfelf to explain it to you by and by. But all thefe are exceeded by that ridiculous fhadow of * prediction, in PeaRse : As touching what theJlarry rules relate, Mundane affairs are in a moderate ft ate. But enough of thefe triflers. I fhall tiow proceed tt lay before you the Predictions which I have formed myfelf: and will ftake all the reputation I have hi the world, on the fulfilling of them. The. Conjunclion of 5 and 2 on the fourth day fig.-nifies an unexpected conclufion of a marriage. The Con-junilion of 0 and 5 on the tenth forstels it will be brought to light about that time- The Oppofition of If. a^d from tig and^i, at the time of jhe Full moon, If. being retro- . grade, Jhews that a great man will be a 'mofl forced it:to a war, againft his inclinations. The Conjunction off[ and g on the twenty feventh, fignifies great military preparations in Germany, or fome of ihe more northern kingdoms: and the Sex tile of J1 and $ on the laft dav, fret els lome more: pacifick 'appearances, caufed by. the dij'appo'mtmer.t, and,, perhaps, death of a certain g
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