It is a great imagination to make a ship in reversal,
Which creates a small demesne, where the world, therefore all the Laws of the World, must be put in reversal,
A blotch, which waxes across the whole globe, or has the capabilitie to.
But then this is an odd world.
Imagination can be to upset and reset.
The Throat and the Stay Mouse, The Boomkicker, the Shackle Rig,
And be ever mutable, so great, but so flimsy – swapping, as if in the mirror, Occident becoming Orient,
New Providence, to suggest the Old Providence was worth but a cat’s candle,
Christmas Island shall be Easter island, and the Black become the White,
May the Happy Isles never be sadden’d,
Van Diemens’ Land, Culweis, Celebes, all play their Map Parts.
The witty imagination is to look first at the opposite, and then build oneself back.
Remember, he imagines to hear Posteritie speak on how our Guv’nor made a ship in topsy turvy – and the universe was not so discomforted as to punish him immediately.
As a lookout peers far across the ocean rim, and receives the Indistinct, tries to make firmer what he sees from what he knows, Men are forever looking deep into their own Fever.
Half in, half out,
A Mermaid appears ordinarie in both Worlds that she be in, good in both Worlds she be in.
The Juxtaposition is the Fantastick, and a Proof. So this Imagination can be is the Jointing of the worlds, an effective union, a full union. The Imagination embraces its own tricks.
Imagination can be a gambler.
Per example in the running of greyhounds, or coursing of hares,
Or if men are sparring, caught by a strong visualisation – the like of that of any barefoot preacher,
Woe unto Mr. Tobias, for I have hankering for Mr. Jemson this afternoon on the heath.
The fight’s Out-come is before they strip their clothes, before any has been drubb’d – fix’d (nay, not fix’d by Gentleman acting dishonestly), fix’d in fate by calculation of responsible factors. And known solidly in the mind of one – and if that could be known, then we would earn money on wagers, as securely as a day’s honest toil.
We yearn to be given a nearer, more complete, revelation of the divine will. So the Wish of Men here is to be led from the Imagination back to solid Ground of Certainty.
An imagination can send men out
By force majeure, at first, the Huguenots, they are all turn’d from France,
The Catholics having a Disagreement with them,
They went to Nottingham, for the Lace,
And White-chapel, for the Silver,
They weave and spin and hammer their Hammers,
Some go to farther Shores, to Madagascar, and then to the smaller Islands, making their own Countrie,
And then there is the Spanish and their Americas of Mexico and Peru, it must be said.
An imagination the sine qua non of creation. See the wit and knowledge that has built another port and town in these savage surrounds,
Port Royal has been built from Nothing, and the now Port Royal has its own docks and ware-houses and Council and Governor,
Imagination, first in his mind’s eye, he made his swimming seas, his picturesque Mere.
May see a Street in Port Royal with Taverns and Grog-shops and a Boy lately applying a White-wash,
A Man walking with a Blunderbuss Pistol,
A Clergyman in black Cloth also there walking,
See a Crowd stop the Clergyman, to be spat on and buffeted by many there,
And a Man with Pistol shoot him for the Effront of being a Clergyman in that Town,
And a Woman calling out Eels, who succours the Clergyman as he bleeds out his Last, who is a fallen Woman,
And the Culprit, a Man who has slav’d in Angola, afterwards goes down to Surinam and is to be kill’d there,
Not so. The Pyrates and other Sea-men would despise the Clergy, but with a Compunction not to interfere with them overly, and never to murther one of their Number. It cannot be true.
Because Imagination can lead to Error by its very Nature.
That Blackbeard, known as Edward Teach, deck’d himself with Fuse, and lighted it on Engagement with his Enemies – it is less good to engage Enemies during a Time when you are unsure whether you will be in hot Flames at a Moment – not true. That Picture has been warp’d to provide a selling Account of Pyrates.
Not true that there were Pyrates who reliev’d a Ship’s Company only of their Hats – to replace those they had lost on account of Drunkenness the previous Night. No, they took hold on the Cargoe, and that Cargoe will be at Guiney.
And conspicuously not so, the made-up Tale of Libertatia, that land where the Pyrates settled down to become Farmers, holding the land in common, a Farrago of Equalitie – “no Hedge bounded any particular Man’s Property.” and the like: “Money being of no Use where every Thing was in common”. Now that one has deceiv’d a goodly few Authors on the Doings of Pyrates, the soft-head fools that they usually are.
Saintsbury will dilate on ‘t, oft-times in a considerable Flow.
Pirates are not the fine fellows spoken of back in England and they should not be lauded. Times are when they are held as Robin Hood’s of the Sea, and they are Heroe to the common Man
(but that is the English and their natural Distaste for Regiment, I know),
Pyrates, I say, are unmoved at Distress or Poverty, not only do they spoil and rob, but do it from Men needy, those who are purchasing their Livelihoods through Hazard and Difficultie, which ought rather to move the Compassion more. Pyracy cuts off the Returns of Industry, and those needfull Importations that can bring a smaller Island to flourish. The Account of Pyrates is a Sedition, I will have no more of it.
So, on most Days, God is our best Imaginer, and better if Men did Less of it; by Sir Benjamin Saintsbury, speaking on this Day.