The Algerine captive; or, The life and adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill: six years a prisoner among the Algerines. [Three lines from Shakespeare] : Vol. I[-II]. : Published according to act of Congress.
Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826., Humphreys, David, 1752-1818, dedicatee.
Page  117

CHAP. XIV.

A Babylonish dialect,
Which learned pedants much affect.

HUDIBRAS.
ARGUMENT.

The Author quitteth the Study of Gallamry, for that of Physic: He eulogiseth the Greek Tongue, and complimenteth the Professors of Cambridge, Yale, and Dart|mouth; and giveth a gentle Hint to care|less Readers.

DISGUSTED with the friv|olity of the young, and the deceit of the antiquated, I now applied myself sedu|lously to my studies. Cullen, Munroe, Boerhaave, and Hunter, were my con|stant companions. As I progressed in val|uable science, my admiration of the Greek declined. I now found, that Machaon and Podalirious, the surgeons of Homer, were mere quacks; ignorant of even the applica|tion Page  118 of plaisters, or the eighteen tailed bandage: and, in botany, inferiour to the Indian Powwows; and that the green ointment, of my learned friend, Doctor Kitteridge, would have immortalized a bone setter, in the Grecian era, and trans|lated him, with Esculapius, to a seat a|mong the gods. In justice to that ven|erable language, and to the learned pro|fessors of Cambridge, Yale, and Dart|mouth, I will candidly confess, that my knowledge of it, was now, in the first year of my apprenticeship, of some service to me, in now and then finding the root of the labels cyphered on our gallipots. I shall mention a little incident, which hap|pened about this time, as it contains a lesson, valuable to the reader, if he has penetra|tion enough to discover it, and candour e|nough to apply it to himself. Though I applied myself clossely to my books; yet, as hours of relaxation were recommended, by my preceptor, I sometimes indulged Page  119 in the dance, and in sleighing rides. The latter being proposed, at a time when I was without the means of paying my club, I had retired, with discontent, to my chamber; where I accidentally cast my eyes upon a little old fashioned duodeci|mo bible, with silver clasps, in the corner of my trunk, a present from my mother, at parting; who had recommended the frequent perusal of it, as my guide in difficulty, and consolation in distress. Young people, in perplexity, always think of home. The bible reproached me. To remove the uneasy sensation, and for the want of something more agreeable to do, I took up the neglected book. No sooner had I unclasped it, than a guinea dropt from the leaves, which had been deposit|ed there, by the generous care of my af|fectionate mother; and, by my inexcusa|ble inattention, had lain there undiscover|ed, for more than two years. I hastily snatched the brilliant prize, joined my Page  120 young companions, and resolved that, in gratitude, I would read a chapter in the bible, every remaining day of my life. This resolution I then persevered in, a whole fortnight. As I am on this subject, I will observe, though no zealot, I have since, in the hours of misery and poverty, with which the reader shall be acquainted, in the sequel, drawn treasures of support and consolation, from that blest book, more precious than the gems of Golcon|da, or the gold of Ophir.