Electric ...
Ben Franklin
PreviousCourant indexNext

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some of the transcriptions of The Courant given here have not had the proofreading corrections completed. Use these to enjoy the flavor of the content. Please check original sources when citing these documents.

New England Courant
New England Courant

Issue 47


From Monday June 18, to Monday June 25, 1722.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL-PAGE SCAN (approx. 120k)

Courant

Give me the Muse, whose generous Force,
Impatient of the Reins,
Pursues an unattempted Course,
Breaks all the Criticks Iron Chains.

Watts.

To the Author of the New-England Courant.

Sir,
It has been the Complaint of many Ingenious Foreigners, who have travell'd amongst us, That good Poetry is not to be expected in New-England. I am apt to Fancy, the Reason is, not because our Countreymen are altogether void of a Poetical Genius, nor yet bacause we have not those Advantages of Education which other Countries have, but purely because we do not afford that Praise and Encouragement which is merited, when any thing extraordinary of this Kind is produc'd among us: Upon which consideration I have determined, when I meet with a Good Piece of New-England Poetry, to give it a suitable Encomium, and thereby endeavour to diseover to the World some of its Beautys, in order to encourage the Author to go on, and bless the World with more, and Excellent Productions.

THERE has lately appear'd among us a most Excellent Piece of Poetry, entituled, An Elegy upon the much Lamented Death of Mrs. Mehitebell Kitel, Wife of Mr. John Kitel of Salem, E.c. . It may justly be said in its Praise, without Flattery to the Author, that it is the most Extaordinary Piece that ever was wrote in New-England. The Language is so soft and Easy, the Expression so moving and pathetick, but above all, the Verse and Numbers so Charming and Natural, that it is almost beyond Camparison.

* The Muse disdains
These Links and Chains,
Measures and Rules of vaulgar Strains, (reigns.
And o'er the Laws of Harmony a Sovereign Queen she

I FIND no English Author, Ancient or Modern, whose Elegies may compar'd with this, in respect to the Elegance of Stile, or Smoothness of Rhime; and for the affecting Part, I will leave your Readers to judge, if ever they read any Lines, that would sooner make them draw their Breath and Sigh, if not shed Tears, than these following.

Come let us mourn, for we have loft a Wife, a Daughter, and a Sister, Who has lately taken Flight, and greatly we have mist her.

In another Place.
Some little Time before she yielded up her Breath,
She said, I n'er fhall hear one Sermon more on Earth.
* Watts.

 

She kiss her Husband some little Time before she extir'd,
Then lean'd her Head the Pillow on just out of Breath and tir'd.

BUT the Threefold Appellation in the first Line -------- a Wife, a Daughter, and a Sister, must not pass unobserved. That Line in the celebrated Watts, GUNSTON the Fust, the Generous, and the Young, is nothing Comparable to it. The latter only mentions three Qualifications of one Perfon who was deceased, which therefore could raise Grief and Compassion but for One. Whereas the former (our most excellent Poet) gives his Reader a Sort of an Idea of the Death of Three Persons, viz. -------- a Wife, a Daughter, and a Sister, which is Three Times as great a Loss as the Death of One, and consequently must raise Three Times as much Grief and Compassion in the Reader.

I SHOULD be very much straitned for Room, if I should attempt to discover even half the Excellencies of this Elegy which are obvious to me. Yet I cannot omit one Observation, which is, that the Author has (to his Honor) invented a new Species of Poetry, which wants a Name, and was never before known. His Muse scorus to be confin'd to the old Measures and Limits, or to observe the dull Rules of Criticks; Nor Rapin gives her Rules to fly, nor Purcell Notes to Sing. Watts.

NOW 'tis Pity that such an Excellent Piece should not be dignify'd with a particular Name; and seeing it cannot justly be called, either Epic, Sapplio, Lyric, or Pindaric, not ant other Name yet invented, I presume it may, (in Honour and Remembrance of the Dead) be called the KITELIC. Thus much in the Praise of Kitelic Poetry.

IT is certain, that those Elegies which are of our own Growth, (and out Soil seldom produces any other sort of Poetry) are by far the greatest part, wretchedly Dull and Ridiculous. Now since it is imagin'd by many, that our Poets are honest, well-meaning Fellows, who do their best, and that if they had but some Instructions how to govern Fancy with Judgement, they would make indifferent good Elegies. I shall here subjoin a Receipt for that purpose, which was left me as a Legacy, (among other valuable Rarities) by my Reverend Husband. It is as follows,

A RECEIPT to make a New-England Funeral ELEGY.

For the title of your Elegy. Of these you may have enough ready made to your Hands, but if should

OVERLEAF

chose to make it your self, you must be sure not to omit the Words (Illegible) Sure, which will Beautify it exceedingly.

For the Subject of your Elegy. Take one of your Neighbours who has lately departed this life; it is no great matter at what Age the Party dy'd, but it will be best if he went away suld only, being Kill'd, Drown'd, or Froze to Death.

Having those the Person, take all Instuctions, Excellencies and if he have not enough, you may borrow some to make up a sufficient Quantity: To these add his last Words, dying Expressions, & C if they are to be had, mix all those together, and before you strain them well. Then season all with a Handful or two of Melancolly Expressions, such as; Dreadful, Deadly, cruel, cold Death, unhappy Fate, weeping Eyes, & C. Have mixed all these Ingredients well, put them into the empty Scull of some young Harvard; (but in Case you have ne'er a One at Hand, you may use your own) there let them Ferment for the Space of a Fortnight, and by that Time they will be incorporated into a body, which take out, and baying prepared a sufficient Quantity of double Rhimes, such as, Power, Flower; Quiver, Shiver, Grieve us, Leave us; tell you, excel you; Expeditions, Physicians; Fatigue him, Intrigue him, & C. you must spread all upon Paper, and if you can procure a Scrap of Latin to put at the End, it will garnish it mightily; then having affixed your name at the Bottom. with a Moestus Composult, you will have an Excellent Elegy.

N.B. This Receipt will serve when a Female is the Subject of your Elegy, provided you borrow a greater Quantity of Virtues, Excellencies, &c.

SIR,
Your Servant,
SILENCE DOGOOD.

P.S. I shall make no other Answer to Hypercarpus's Criticisim on my last Letter than this, Mater me genuit, peperit [illegible] filia matrem.

The following Lines coming to Hand soon after I had receiv'd the above Letter from Mrs. Dogood, I think it proper to insert them in this Paper, that the Dr. may at once be paid for his Physical Rhimes administred to the Dead.

To the Sage and Immortal, Doctor H------K, on his Incomparable ELEGY, upon the Death of Mrs. Mehitebell Kitel, &c.

A PANEGYRICK

Thou hast, great Bard, in thy Mysterious Ode,
Gone in a Path which ne'er before was trod,
And freed the World from the vexatious Toil,
Of Numbers, Metaphors, of Wit and Strile,

Those Childish Ornaments, and gravely chose
The middle Way between good Verse and Prose.
Well might the RhimingTribe the Work decline,
Since 'twas too great for every Pen but thine.
What Scribbling Mortal date the Bayes divide?
Thou shalt alone in Fame's bright Chariot rise;

For thou with matchless Skill and Judgement fraught,
Hast Learned Doggrell, to Perfection brought.
The loftyest Piece renowed LAW can show,
Deferves less Wonder, than to thine we owe.

No more shall TOM's but henceforth thine shall be,
The Standard of Eleg'ac Poetry.
The healing Race thy Genius shall admire,
And thee to imitate in vain aspire:

For if by Chance a Patient you should kill,
You can Embalm his Memory with your Quill.
What tho' some captious Criticks discommend,
And boldly doom to some Ignoble Use,

The Shining Product of thy Fertile Muse?
From your exhaustless Magazine of Sence
to their Confusion keen Replies dispence;

 

And them behold with a Contemptuous Mien,
Since not a Bard can boast, of such a Strain.

By none but you cou'd Kitel's Worth be efhown;
And none but your great Self can tell your Own;
Then least what is your due should not be said,
Write your own Elegy against you're Dead.

-- PHILOMUSUS

FOREIGH AFFAIRS

London, April 10. We have advice from Vienna, that the Great Master of Malta has represented to the Viceroys of Naples and Sicily, that it looks as if the Turks designed to fall upon that Island with all their Power, and therefore he desires to be assisted with Men and Ammunition. The latter part of his Request has been granted, but the First denied.

From Leghorn we hear, That the Master of a Dutch Vessel arrived there from Thessalonica, relates that abundance of Turkish Vessels are come into the Port, laden with Warlike Stores, for supplying the Places on that Coast. He adds, That all the Merchant Ships in the Ports of the Levant, have Orders to repair to Constantinople, to be employed in the Service of the Grand Seignior. It is taken for granted, that a Rupture with the Venetians will suddenly ensue.

All Italy in general, and the Republick of Venice in particular are under dreadful Apprehensions from the Military Preparations of the Turks.

Boston, June 25. We have advice from the Eastward, that the Indians there are again in Arms, and have burnt several Houses, kill'd a considerable number of Cattle, and taken five Men Prisoners, and one or two Sloops bound to this Place, from Annapolis'Royal. Six Indians came arm'd on board a Scooner, which lay at Anchor, and bound two of the Men. (there being but one more on board who made no Resistance) but while they were plundering the Vessel, the Men found means to free themselves, and after a short Skirmish thew 4 of the Indians over-board, who (tis' laid) are all drown'd: The other two made their Escape, and is said the two Men are pretty much wounded by the Indians.

Custom House, Boston. Entred Inwards. Tuck and Stone from New Hamshire, Joseph Allen, William Green, John Prince, Ebenezer Davis, Josseph Gorham from Connecticut, John Sampron, Hosea L'hommedieu, Benjamin L'hommedieu, and Jonathan Bayly from Long Island, John Daskins from New York, John Barttlett from Nova Cesaria, Francis Frederick from Annapolis Royal, William Mason from Maryland, Jonah Doty, Miles Gale from North Carolina, Thomas Lathrop from Madera, John Peck from Martineco, John Anthony from Exon.

Cleared Out.

Edward Beale and Michael Bowden for New Hamshire, John Knowles, Jonah Gross, James Cobb for Connecticut, Thomas Mathews for Long Island, Raplh Ellingwood for Newport, Lewis Littleton and Stephen Walker for Newfoundland, John Gibbs for Bermunda, Thomas Coverly for Bahama, Armout Schermerhoom for New York Jostan Doty and Richard Langdon for North Carolina, Joseph Clark for Jamaica, and Nath. Montgomery for Great Britain, Thomas Mousell for Virginia, Joseph Kidder for Barbadoes.

Outward Bound

William Green, and Joseph Allen for Connecticut, Hosea L'hommedieu, and Jonathan Bayly for Long Island, Issaac James for Canso, Peter King for Barbadoes, Ebenezer Simmonds for South Carolina, and Henry Clark Ship Patience and Judith for London.


Boston: Printed and Sold by J. Franklin in Queen Street, over against Mr. Sheaf's School, where Advertisements and Letters are taken in by J. Edwards at the Corner Shop on the North Side of the Town-House.

ushistory.org
ushistory.org homepage

Interested in using a picture? Some text? click here.
To contact the webmaster, click here

Copyright ©1999-2014 by the Independence Hall Association, electronically publishing as ushistory.org.
The IHA is a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1942.
On the Internet since July 4, 1995.

Click for Ben Franklin Posters