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The Editor is much obliged to Authenticus for this anecdote, which he publifhes for the ufe of those who may think of being benefited by it. As to himself, he has reafon to be fatisfied with the reception of his work, defective as it is in regard to these luscious articles, which profeffed book-makers are fo anxious to rake together. Though there are too many perfons of vitiated palates in the world, who cannot make a hearty meal on plain viands, and must therefore have very high feafoned difhes; yet there are till fome remain, who can be fatisfied with plain and wholefome fare. While these continue, the Editor fhall do his best to furnish it for them; when fuch can no longer be found, he will be contented to difcontinue his labours, and clofe his days in peace. In return to the favour of Authenticus, he fhall communicate the following anecdote of the fame Mr. Andrew Millar, that fhews he never altogether abandoned thofe antiquated principles, which many of his profeffion would now laugh at as unfashionable and ridiculous ;-yet honest Andrew Millar, with all thefe fol lies, made more money in the end, than any of his profeffion I have yet heard of.
Second Anecdote of Mr. Andrew Millar.
EVERY body has heard of the book intituled Burns's Fuftice of the Peace. The author of that book, Mr. Burns, was a curate in fome of the northern counties of England. When he had completed it, he fet out for London to difpofe of it in the best way he could. When he arrived, being an entire ftranger in town, he applied to the landlord of the inn where he stopped, a decent looking, obliging fort of a man, to fee if he could recommend him to any bookseller, who might be likely to purchase his manufcript. The landlord rea dily introduced him to a bookfeller of his acquaintance, who, upon having the matter explained to him, begged to look at the manufcript. The papers were put into his hands, which he returned in a few days, telling the disappointed author, that he could not venture to give more than twenty pounds for the book. This offer Burns could not think of accepting. He returned, very melancholy, to his lodging, fincerely repenting that he had ever put pen to paper on that subject.
By this time, Mr. Andrew Millar was well esta blished in business, and his name had been several times
mentioned with fome degree of refpect to Mr. Burns'; fo that he refolved to wait upon him, without any perfon to introduce him. He went,--communicated his business in few words,-was politely received, and informed, that if he would trust the manufcript with him for a few days, he should be able to give him an anfwer; and, in the mean time, as he was from home, he afked the author to dine with him each day, till they should conclude about this bufinefs. Mr. Millar, who did not depend upon his own judgment in cafes of this fort, fent the manufcript to a young lawyer, with whom he ufually advised in regard to law books. The gentleman, after reading the performance, returned it to Mr. Millar, and informed him, that if he could purchase the copy right for two hundred pounds, he would certainly have a great bargain; for the book was extremely well written, and was much wanted; fo that the fale of it must be very confiderable.
Mr. Millar having received this information, met the author next day as ufual, and then asked him what price he demanded for his work? The author, difpirited with the former offer, faid he was at a loss what to afk; for he had been already offered fuch a small price, that rather than accept of any thing like it, he would throw the papers into the fire. What was this offer? faid Mr. Millar. Only twenty pounds, faid Mr. Burns, with great ingenuoufnefs. But, faid Mr. Millar, would you think two hundred guineas too little? Too little! fays Burns, in furprife;-no. Well then, faid Mr. Millar, the book shall be mine, and you fhall have the money when you please. The bargain was inftantly ftruck, and a bottle of good port was drank to the good luck of it. Mr. Millar found no reafon to repent of his franknefs; for the book fold amazingly well. Nor had the author any reafon to be diffatisfied with his bargain; for Mr. Millar, with a fpirit of candour and liberality, that does not always belong to men of his profeffion, frankly fent a hundred guineas to the au
thor for every edition of the book that was printed in his lifetime; and these were many in fo much, that by the fale of this book alone, he cleared no less than eleven thousand pounds.
He alfo, having obferved that the worthy parfon did not dislike a moderate glafs of good port, defired Mr. Burns to buy for himself, every year as long as he lived, a pipe of the beft port-wine he could find any where in London, which he would pay for, and prefented him with a writing, obliging himself and his heirs to fulfil this agreement.
It was becaufe of Mr. Millar's candid manner of dealing in this and other inftances of a fimilar kind, that he was enabled to acquire that immense fortune of which he was poffeffed; for during his life, every man who had a good book either to print on his own account, or to difpofe of, went directly to Mr. Millar with it. They feldom higgled on terms, because they knew he would not hesitate to give an additional allowance, if the fale fhould be fuch as to enable him to do it. Thus, his profits were for the most part very fure. In this way, he experienced the fate of many other men, That honefty, though it may not feem to be the most direct road to wealth, is in the end the best policy.
Let those who have sense and spirit to do it, profit by his example. J. A.
To the Editor of the Bee.
Inventions by Napier of Merchifion.
THE following very fingular memorial of the celebrated Napier of Merchifton, inventor of the lograthims, prefented to the war-office on the 7th of June 1596, is to be found in the 12th volume of the manuscript pas pers of Anthony Bacon, Efq. in the Lambeth library.
marked 658, anno 1596, Vol. V. which being unprinted, I fend it talis qualis to your useful repofitory, as a curiosity. I am, &c.
Secret inventions, profitable and necessary in thefe days for the defence of this ifland, and withstanding of trangers, enemies to God's truth and religion.
First, The invention, proof, and perfect demonstration, geometrical, and algebraical, of a burning mirror, which receiving of difperfed beams of the fun, doth reflex the fame beams altogether united, and concurring precifely in one mathematical point; in the which point, moft neceffarily it ingendreth fire, with an evident demonftration of their error who affirmeth this to be made a parabolic fection. The ufe of this invention ferveth for burning of the enemy's fhips, at whatsoever appointed diftance.
Secondly, The invention and fure demonstration of another mirror, which receiving the difperfed beams of any material fire or flame, yieldeth alfo the former effect, and ferveth for the like ufe.
Thirdly, The invention and vifible demonftration of a piece of artillery, which fhot, paffeth not lineally through the army, destroying only thofe that ftand in the random thereof, but fuperficially ranging abroad, within the whole appointed place, and not departing forth of the place, till it hath executed his whole ftrength, by detroying all those that be within the bounds of the faid place.
The ufe hereof not only ferveth greatly against the army of the enemy on land, but alfo by fea, ferving to deftroy and cut down at one explofion, the whole mafts and tackling of fo many fhips as be within the appointed bounds, as well abreid as in large, fo long as any Brength at all remaineth.in.
Fourthly, The invention of a round chariot of metal, made of the proof of double mufket, whose motion thall be fuch, that those that be within the fame fhall be more eafy, more light, more speedy, and more fafe in battle, than any hitherto contrived. The ufe hereof in moving, is to break the array of the enemies battle, and to make paffage, as alfo in ftaying and abiding within the enemies battle. It ferveth to deftroy the environed enemy, by continual charges and fhot of the Harquebufe, through fmall holes, the enemy in the mean time being abafed, and altogether uncertain what defence or purfait to use against a moving mouth of metal.
Thefe inventions, befides devices of failing under the water, with divers other devices and ftratagems for harming of the enemies, by the grace of God, and work of expert craftímen, I hope to perform. JOHN NAPIER of Merchiston. Anno Domini 1596. June 7th.
If Mr. Pitt is really serious in his Quixot plan of fending a fleet to the Baltic, the above inventions would be fingularly useful, and may be looked for at the waroffice fome rainy Sunday, when the fecretary has nothing else to do. AS.
On the Mechanical Principles of Gothic Architecture, continued from Page 348, Vol. II.
On the Origin and Ufes of the Central Towers in Gothie
THE veneration that Chriftians bore for the rofs, in duced them to adopt that form, in preference to all o