"In like manner he thought some Ribs of Grashoppers would be acceptable to many, whose Brains are full of those skipping Animals, to cause a Spring in their own Meadows."

— Gildon, Charles (1665-1724)

Place of Publication
The Post-boy rob'd of his Mail: or, the Pacquet Broke Open
"In like manner he thought some Ribs of Grashoppers would be acceptable to many, whose Brains are full of those skipping Animals, to cause a Spring in their own Meadows."
Metaphor in Context
A snail coming Post t'other day from the King of Transilvania, gave an Occasion for several Discourses. He brought along with him a great Pormanteau full of Shadows and Chimera's, a present, usually sent to him, who having an empty Scull, builds Castles of imaginary Grandeur in the Air. He had a Box full of smoaky Thoughts, which drew tears from the Eyes of him that held his Nose over 'em. And this was said to be part of the Mind of some Grandee, who was always forming of Engines, to the prejudice of those that liv'd nere him. He had in a Girdle certain Drams, which were those, for want of which to make good weight, the Goldsmiths and Pothecaries accomplish their Thieveries. The Courier said, there was a great Chest of Ounces and Pounds, in reference to other Merchants; but that it was left behind, through the great Concourse of those who were ambitious to usurp the greatest part. No otherwise, as he inform'd us, it had befallen a great Load of Violences, Rapines and Cruelty put in practise by Tyrannic Princes; Wares which he had put off in his Journey, being importun'd on ever side by Tyrants or their Ministers. He reserv'd to himself a bag of Cucumbers for the principal Cities of Italy, where are a great number of ignorant Dunces that are extreamly delighted with their taste, and therefore have 'em serv'd to their Tables for Salates. There, he also expected to be a great gainer by certain Pills made of Wind, as there are many who from Ambition seek both their Nourishment and Physic, puft up with nothing else but the pleasing Gales of Pride and Ostentation. He had a good Trade among some of our People for salted Eagles, very delightful to those that exercise their Taloons in ravishing Gammeds. Of no less advantage to him was a Bag of Wolves Teeth pickled in Vinegar, good against the Corruptions of our Age, being of great use to soften the Cruelty of those that with a spightful Voraciousness devour all before 'em. He was also very sorry that he had not kept some invisible Horns for our Countries, excusing himself through the necessity that constrain'd him to leave 'em in Germany. He had not as yet unty'd a Bundle of Voices that were bound up very hard with Sin and Cords, which were the Bowels of some that under distress and oppression, suffer themselves to be disbowell'd rather then break out into loud Complaints of their Torments; as being plagu'd by great Personages, and therefore choosing to die in silence. He had some Yards of Linnen-Cloth made of the Fibers of Parrots Tongues, which was to make Collar-Bands for some that with the Ostentation of their Prittle-prattle appear Fortunate; especially in Courts, where Parasites, Comedians, Musicians and others of the same Canaglia, meet with most lucky Hits. He had likewise a piece of Cloth both sides alike, that was wov'n with the Hair of a Bufalo's Nostrils; It was to make Habits of great value for Flatterers, to wear either side outermost, and to be always serviceable to the Humour of the Prince. Above all, he was in hopes to vend a great number of Basilisks Eye-brows, since he was sure all the Ladies would buy 'em up to make Vails for their own Eyes. In like manner he thought some Ribs of Grashoppers would be acceptable to many, whose Brains are full of those skipping Animals, to cause a Spring in their own Meadows. Four Teeth of a Flea, were reserv'd for a malicious Inhabitant somewhere, who delighted to bite undiscover'd. They would have had 'em to have been kept in this City, where there was no want of Persons of the same Humour. But he excus'd his refusal, for that they were sent to a particular Person, affirming that he could have sold 'em in several places, and could hardly preserve 'em from the greedy Clutches of the Grandees, whose Custom it is privately to suck the Blood of others. He was very sorry he had not made a good Provision of Eels Marrow, for some that have a Humour to fetch Water out of Stones, and to extract Substance out of nothing. I would not have exceeded the Bounds of Conciseness necessary in a Letter, but I was willing to give your Worship a punctual Accompt of what the Snail brought with him. Upon your arrival in this place, which will be suddainly, when you go to the common Post-Office you will be better inform'd of the Wonders I have related. In some little Boxes of most accurate Frauds, superfine Knaveries, cloak'd Treacheries, painted Fictions, wicked Hypocrisies, vilanous Customs, he has bundles of great value which he intends to open in this City, where such Gallantries are in great Esteem. I wish you may not be intoxicated with certain Capriccio's and cursed Plagues so neatly interwoven, that their Attractiveness renders 'em desirable. Those are the Grandeurs of Colts, and the Beauties of Women, in which while we outwardly put our trust the hazard of our Sins and Estates, we plunge our selves into Misfortunes, and procure our own Deaths. Nor be inamour'd of some little Stations, built in the Air, at the request of him that with a haughty Ostentation vaunts himself in a high Post. Since both the Habitation and the Inhabitant, will unexpectedly become the Sport of the Wind, and the Game will end in an utter downfal. Your prudence has no need of farther warning; and I am oblig'd at length to put an end to this Discourse.
(pp. 329-332)
C-H Lion
Charles Gildon, The Post-boy rob'd of his Mail: or, the Pacquet Broke Open. Consisting of Five Hundred Letters, to Persons of several Qualities and Conditions. With Observations Upon each Letter. Publish'd by a Gentleman concern'd in the Frolick. Licens'd and Entred, according to Order (London: Printed for John Dunton, 1692). <Link to EEBO-TCP>
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.