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well-dressed persons, who, by their manner of re-quite high. My Lord Swamp would give ten turning the compliment, appeared perfect strangers. thousand guineas for such a one; but as I someAt intervals he drew out a pocket book, seeming times pleasantly tell him, I always love to keep my to take memorandums before all the company, with prospects at home, that my friends may visit me much importance and assiduity. In this manner the oftener." he led me through the length of the whole walk, By this time we were arrived as high as the stairs fretting at his absurdities, and fancying myself would permit us to ascend, till we came to what laughed at not less than him by every spectator. he was facetiously pleased to call the first floor When we had got to the end of our procession, down the chimney; and knocking at the door, a "Blast me," cries he, with an air of vivacity, "I voice from within demanded who's there? My connever saw the park so thin in my life before! there's ductor answered that it was him. But this, not no company at all to-day; not a single face to be satisfying the querist, the voice again repeated the seen." "No company!" interrupted I, peevishly; demand: to which he answered louder than before; no company where there is such a crowd? why and now the door was opened by an old woman man, there's too much. What are the thousands with cautious reluctance.
that have been laughing at us but company?" When we were got in, he welcomed me to his "Lord, my dear," returned he, with the utmost house with great ceremony, and turning to the old good humour, "you seem immensely chagrined; woman, asked where was her lady? "Good troth," but blast me, when the world laughs at me, I replied she, in a peculiar dialect, "she's washing laugh at the world, and so we are even. My Lord your twa shirts at the next door, because they have Trip, Bill Squash the Creolian, and I, sometimes taken an oath against lending out the tub any make a party at being ridiculous; and so we say longer." "My two shirts," cried he, in a tone and do a thousand things for the joke's sake. But that faltered with confusion, "what does the idiot I see you are grave, and if you are for a fine grave mean?" "Iken what I mean weel enough,” replied sentimental companion, you shall dine with me and the other; "she's washing your twa shirts at the my wife to-day; I must insist on't: I'll introduce next door, because—" "Fire and fury, no more you to Mrs. Tibbs, a lady of as elegant qualifica- of thy stupid explanations," cried he; "go and intions as any in nature; she was bred, but that's form her we have got company. Were that Scotch between ourselves, under the inspection of the hag to be for ever in my family, she would never Countess of All-night. A charming body of voice; learn politeness, nor forget that absurd poisonous but no more of that, she will give us a song. You accent of hers, or testify the smallest specimen of shall see my little girl too, Carolina Wilhelmina breeding or high life; and yet it is very surprising Amelia Tibbs, a sweet pretty creature! I design too, as I had her from a parliament man, a friend of her for my Lord Drumstick's eldest son; but that's mine from the Highlands, one of the politest men in friendship, let it go no farther: she's but six in the world; but that's a secret." years old, and yet she walks a minuet, and plays on the guitar immensely already. I intend she shall be as perfect as possible in every accomplishment. In the first place, I'll make her a scholar; I'll teach her Greek myself, and learn that language purposely to instruct her; but let that be a secret."
We waited some time for Mrs. Tibbs's arrival, during which interval I had a full opportunity of surveying the chamber and all its furniture: which consisted of four chairs with old wrought bottoms, that he assured me were his wife's embroidery; a square table that had been once japanned; a cradle Thus saying, without waiting for a reply, he in one corner, a lumbering cabinet in the other; a took me by the arm, and hauled me along. We broken shepherdess, and a mandarine without a passed through many dark alleys and winding head, were stuck over the chimney; and round the ways; for, from some motives to me unknown, he walls several paltry unframed pictures, which, he seemed to have a particular aversion to every fre- observed, were all his own drawing. "What do quented street; at last, however, we got to the door you think, sir, of that head in the corner, done in of a dismal-looking house in the outlets of the town, the manner of Grisoni? there's the true keeping in where he informed me he chose to reside for the it; it is my own face, and though there happens to benefit of the air.
We entered the lower door, which ever seemed to lie most hospitably open; and I began to ascend an old and creaking staircase, when, as he mounted to show me the way, he demanded, whether I delighted in prospects; to which answering in the affirmative, "Then," says he, "I shall show you one of the most charming in the world out of my window; we shall see the ships sailing, and the whole country for twenty miles round, tip top,
be no likeness, a countess offered me a hundred for its fellow : I refused her, for, hang it, that would be mechanical, you know."
The wife at last made her appearance, at once a slattern and a coquette; much emaciated, but still carrying the remains of beauty. She made twenty apologies for being seen in such odious dishabille, but hoped to be excused, as she had stayed out all night at the gardens with the countess, who was excessively fond of the horns. "And indeed, my
dear," added she, turning to her husband, "his | dices, again renew their hatred to strangers, and lordship drank your health in a bumper."-"Poor indulge every former brutal excess. So true it is, Jack," cries he, "a dear good-natured creature, I that the revolutions of wisdom are slow and diffiknow he loves me: but I hope, my dear, you have cult; the revolutions of folly or ambition precipigiven orders for dinner; you need make no great tate and easy. We are not to be astonished, says preparations neither, there are but three of us; Confucius,* that the wise walk more slowly in their something elegant and little will do; a turbot, an road to virtue, than fools in their passage to vice; ortolan, a "Or what do you think, my since passion drags us along, while wisdom only
dear," interrupted the wife, "of a nice pretty bit of ox-cheek, piping hot, and dressed with a little of my own sauce?"-"The very thing," replies he, "it will eat best with some smart bottled beer: but be sure to let us have the sauce his grace was so fond of. I hate your immense loads of meat, that is country all over; extremely disgusting to those who are in the least acquainted with high life."
points out the way.
The German empire, that remnant of the majesty of ancient Rome, appears, from your account, on the eve of dissolution. The members of its vast body want every tie of government to unite them, and seem feebly held together only by their respect for ancient institutions. The very name of country and countrymen, which in other nations makes By this time my curiosity began to abate, and one of the strongest bonds of government, has been my appetite to increase: the company of fools may here for some time laid aside; each of its inhabiat first make us smile, but at last never fails of tants seeming more proud of being called from the rendering us melancholy; I therefore pretended to petty state which gives him birth, than by the recollect a prior engagement, and, after having more well-known title of German. shown my respect to the house, according to the This government may be regarded in the light fashion of the English, by giving the old servant a of a severe master and a feeble opponent. The piece of money at the door, I took my leave; Mrs. states which are now subject to the laws of the Tibbs assuring me, that dinner, if I stayed, would empire are only watching a proper occasion to fling be ready at least in less than two hours. off the yoke, and those which are become too pow. erful to be compelled to obedience now begin to think of dictating in their turn. The struggles in this state are, therefore, not in order to preserve, but to destroy the ancient constitution: if one side succeeds, the government must become despotic, if the other, several states will subsist without even nominal subordination; but in either case, the Germanic constitution will be no more.
From Fum Hoam to Altangi, the discontented Wanderer.
THE distant sounds of music, that catch new sweetness as they vibrate through the long-drawn valley, are not more pleasing to the ear than the tidings of a far distant friend.
Sweden, on the contrary, though now seemingly a strenuous assertor of its liberties, is probably only hastening on to despotism. Their senators, while they pretend to vindicate the freedom of the people, are only establishing their own independence. The deluded people will, however, at last perceive
I have just received two hundred of thy letters by the Russian caravan, descriptive of the manners of Europe. You have left it to geographers to determine the size of their mountains, and extent of their lakes, seeming only employed in discovering the miseries of an aristocratical government; they the genius, the government, and disposition of the people.
In those letters I perceive a journal of the operations of your mind upon whatever occurs, rather than a detail of your travels from one building to another; of your taking a draught of this ruin, or that obelisk; of paying so many tomans for this commodity, or laying up a proper store for the passage of some new wilderness.
will perceive that the administration of a society of men is ever more painful than that of one only. They will fly from this most oppressive of all forms, where one single member is capable of controlling the whole, to take refuge under the throne, which will ever be attentive to their complaints. No people long endure an aristocratical government when they can apply elsewhere for redress. The lower orders of people may be enslaved for a time by a number of tyrants, but, upon the first opportunity, they will ever take a refuge in despotism or democracy.
From your account of Russia, I learn that this nation is again relaxing into pristine barbarity; that its great emperor wanted a life of a hundred years more, to bring about his vast design. A As the Swedes are making concealed approachsavage people may be resembled to their own es to despotism, the French, on the other hand, forests; a few years are sufficient to clear away the obstructions to agriculture; but it requires many,
Though this fine maxim be not found in the Latin edition ere the ground acquires a proper degree of fertili- of the Morals of Confucius, yet we find it ascribed to him by ty: the Russians, attached to their ancient preju- Le Comte. Etat present de la Chine, Voi. I. p. 342.
are imperceptibly vindicating themselves into free- is no bad thing. Immediately the praise is cardom. When I consider that those parliaments ried off by five flatterers to be dispersed at twelve (the members of which are all created by the court, different coffee-houses, from whence it circulates, the presidents of which can act only by immediate still improving as it proceeds, through forty-five direction) presume even to mention privileges and houses, where cheaper liquors. are sold; from thence freedom, who, till of late, received directions from it is carried away by the honest tradesman to his the throne with implicit humility; when this is own fire-side, where the applause is eagerly caught considered, I can not help fancying that the genius up by his wife and children, who have been long of freedom has entered that kingdom in disguise. taught to regard his judgment as the standard of If they have but three weak monarchs more successively on the throne, the mask will be laid aside, and the country will certainly once more be free.
perfection. Thus, when we have traced a wide extended literary reputation up to its original source, we shall find it derived from some great man, who has, perhaps, received all his education and English from a tutor of Berne, or a dancing master of Picardy.
When I compare the figure which the Dutch make in Europe with that they assume in Asia, I am struck with surprise. In Asia, I find them the great lords of all the Indian seas: in Europe the The English are a people of good sense; and I timid inhabitants of a paltry state. No longer the am the more surprised to find them swayed in sons of freedom, but of avarice; no longer assertors their opinions by men who often, from their of their rights by courage, but by negotiations; very education, are incompetent judges. Men fawning on those who insult them, and crouching who, being always bred in affluence, see the world under the rod of every neighbouring power. With- only on one side, are surely improper judges of out a friend to save them in distress, and without human nature; they may indeed describe a cerevirtue to save themselves; their government is mony, a pageant, or a ball; but how can they prepoor, and their private wealth will serve but to tend to dive into the secrets of the human heart, invite some neighbouring invader. who have been nursed up only in forms, and daily behold nothing but the same insipid adulation smiling upon every face. Few of them have been bred in that best of schools, the school of adversity; and, by what I can learn, fewer still have been bred in any school at all.
I long with impatience for your letters from England, Denmark, Holland, and Italy; yet why wish for relations which only describe new calamities, which show that ambition and avarice are equally terrible in every region! Adieu.
From Lien Chi Altangi, to Fum Hoam, First President of the
From such a description, one would think, that a droning duke, or a dowager duchess, was not possessed of more just pretensions to taste than persons of less quality; and yet whatever the one or the other may write or praise, shall pass for perfection, without further examination. A nobleman has but to take a pen, ink, and paper, I HAVE frequently admired the manner of criti-write away through three large volumes, and then cising in China, where the learned are assembled sign his name to the title page; though the whole in a body to judge of every new publication; to might have been before more disgusting than his examine the merits of the work, without knowing own rent-roll, yet signing his name and title gives the circumstances of the author; and then to value to the deed; title being alone equivalent to usher it into the world with proper marks of respect taste, imagination, and genius.
or reprobation. As soon as a piece therefore is published, the In England there are no such tribunals erected; first questions are, Who is the author? Does he but if a man thinks proper to be a judge of genius, keep a coach? Where lies his estate? What few will be at the pains to contradict his preten- sort of a table does he keep? If he happens to be sions. If any choose to be critics, it is but saying poor and unqualified for such a scrutiny, he and they are critics; and from that time forward, they his works sink into irremediable obscurity; and too become invested with full power and authority over late he finds, that having fed upon turtle is a more every caitiff who aims at their instruction or en- ready way to fame than having digested Tully. tertainment.
The poor devil against whom fashion has set As almost every member of society has, by this its face, vainly alleges, that he has been bred in means, a vote in literary transactions, it is no way every part of Europe where knowledge was to be surprising to find the rich leading the way here, as sold; that he has grown pale in the study of nain other common concerns of life; to see them ture and himself; his works may please upon the either bribing the numerous herd of voters by their perusal, but his pretensions to fame are entirely interest, or browbeating them by their authority. disregarded; he is treated like a fiddler, whose muA great man says at his table, that such a book sic, though liked, is not much praised, because he
lives by it; while a gentleman performer, though| priests come in a body once a year to visit him: by the most wretched scraper alive, throws the audi- this means the duty of half a-year is dispatched in ence into raptures. The fiddler indeed may, in a day. When assembled, he asks each in his turn such a case console himself by thinking, that while how they have behaved, and are liked; upon which, the other goes off with all the praise, he runs away those who have neglected their duty, or are diswith all the money; but here the parallel drops; agreeable to their congregation, no doubt accuse for while the nobleman triumphs in unmerited ap- themselves, and tell him all their faults; for which plause, the author by profession steals off with- he reprimands them most severely. nothing.
The thoughts of being introduced into a comThe poor, therefore, here, who draw their pens pany of philosophers and learned men (for as such auxiliary to the laws of their country, must think I conceived them) gave me no small pleasure. I themselves very happy if they find, not fame but expected our entertainment would resemble those forgiveness: and yet they are hardly treated; for sentimental banquets so finely described by Xenoas every country grows more polite, the press be- phon and Plato: I was hoping some Socrates comes more useful; and writers become more neces- would be brought in from the door, in order to sary, as readers are supposed to increase. In a harangue upon divine love; but as for eating and polished society, that man, though in rags, who has drinking, I had prepared myself to be disappointed the power of enforcing virtue from the press, is of in that particular. I was apprised that fasting and more real use than forty stupid brahmins, or temperance were tenets strongly recommended to bonzes, or guebres, though they preached ever so the professors of Christianity, and I had seen the often, ever so loud, or ever so long. That man, frugality and mortification of the priests of the though in rags, who is capable of deceiving even East; so that I expected an entertainment where indolence into wisdom, and who professes amuse- we should have much reasoning and little meat. ment while he aims at reformation, is more useful Upon being introduced, I confess I found no in refined society than twenty cardinals, with all great signs of mortification in the faces or persons their scarlet, and tricked out in all the fopperies of of the company. However, I imputed their florid scholastic finery.
To the Same.
looks to temperance, and their corpulency to a sedentary way of living. I saw several preparations indeed for dinner, but none for philosophy. The company seemed to gaze upon the table with silent expectation: but this I easily excused. Men of wisdom, thought I, are ever slow of speech; they deliver nothing unadvisedly. Silence, says ConAs the man in black takes every opportunity of fucius, is a friend that will never betray. They introducing me to such company as may serve to are now probably inventing maxims or hard sayindulge my speculative temper, or gratify my curi-ings for their mutual instruction, when some one osity, I was by his influence lately invited to a shall think proper to begin.
visitation dinner. To understand this term you My curiosity was now wrought up to the highest must know, that it was formerly the custom here pitch; I impatiently looked round to see if any for the principal priests to go about the country were going to interrupt the mighty pause; when at once a-year, and examine upon the spot, whether last one of the company declared, that there was a those of subordinate orders did their duty, or were sow in his neighbourhood that farrowed fifteen pigs qualified for the task; whether their temples were at a litter. This I thought a very preposterous kept in proper repair, or the laity pleased with their beginning; but just as another was going to second administration. the remark, dinner was served, which interrupted the conversation for that time.
Though a visitation of this nature was very useful, yet it was found to be extremely troublesome, The appearance of dinner, which consisted of a and for many reasons utterly inconvenient; for as variety of dishes, seemed to diffuse new cheerfulthe principal priests were obliged to attend at court, ness upon every face; so that I now expected the in order to solicit preferment, it was impossible philosophical conversation to begin, as they imthey could at the same time attend in the country, proved in good-humour. The principal priest, which was quite out of the road to promotion: if however, opened his mouth with only observing, we add to this the gout, which has been time im- that the venison had not been kept enough, though memorial a clerical disorder here, together with the he had given strict orders for having it killed ten bad wine and ill-dressed provisions that must in- days before. "I fear," continued he, "it will be fallibly be served up by the way, it was not strange found to want the true heathy flavour; you will that the custom has been long discontinued. At find nothing of the original wildness in it." A present, therefore, every head of the church, instead priest, who sat next him, having smelt it, and of going about to visit his priests, is satisfied if his wiped his nose, "Ah, my good lord," cries he,
"you are too modest, it is perfectly fine; every body | countenance the excess. But in eating, after na knows that nobody understands keeping venison ture is once satisfied, every additional morsel brings with your lordship."-"Ay, and partridges too," stupidity and distempers with it, and as one of interrupted another; "I never find them right any their own poets expresses it,
The soul subsides, and wickedly inclines
where else." His lordship was going to reply, when a third took off the attention of the company, by recommending the pig as inimitable. "I fancy, my lord," continues he, "it has been smothered in Let me suppose, after such a meal as this I have its own blood."-"If it has been smothered in its been describing, while all the company are sitting blood," cried a facetious member, helping himself, in lethargic silence round the table, groaning un"we'll now smother it in egg-sauce." This poig-der a load of soup, pig, pork, and bacon; let me nant piece of humour produced a long loud laugh, suppose, I say, some hungry beggar, with looks of which the facetious brother observing, and now want, peeping through one of the windows, and that he was in luck, willing to second his blow, thus addressing the assembly: "Prithee, pluck assured the company he would tell them a good those napkins from your chins; after nature is story about that: "As good a story," cries he, satisfied, all that you eat extraordinary is my bursting into a violent fit of laughter himself, "as property, and I claim it as mine. It was given ever you heard in your lives. There was a farmer you in order to relieve me, and not to oppress in my parish who used to sup upon wild ducks yourselves. How can they comfort or instruct and flummery;—so this farmer"—"Doctor Mar- others, who can scarcely feel their own existence, rowfat," cries his lordship, interrupting him, "give except from the unsavoury returns of an ill-digest me leave to drink your health;"-"so being fond ed meal? But though neither you, nor the cush of wild ducks and flummery,"-"Doctor," adds a ions you sit upon will hear me, yet the world regentleman who sat next to him, "let me advise gards the excesses of its teachers with a prying eye, you to a wing of this turkey;"-"so this farmer and notes their conduct with double severity." 1 being fond"-"Hob and nob, Doctor, which do know no other answer any one of the company you choose, white or red?"-"So, being fond of could make to such an expostulation but this: wild ducks and flummery; "-"Take care of your "Friend, you talk of our losing a character, and band, sir, it may dip in the gravy." The doctor, being disliked by the world; well, and supposing now looking round, found not a single eye disposed to listen; wherefore, calling for a glass of wine, he gulped down the disappointment and the tale in a bumper.
all this to be true, what then! who cares for the world? We'll preach for the world, and the world shall pay us for preaching, whether we like each other or not."
From Hingpo to Lien Chi Altangi, by the way of Moscow.
You will probably be pleased to see my letter
The conversation now began to be little more than a rhapsody of exclamations: as each had pretty well satisfied his own appetite, he now found sufficient time to press others. "Excellent! the very thing! let me recommend the pig. Do but taste the bacon! never ate a better thing in my life: exquisite ! delicious!" This edifying discourse continued through three courses, which last-dated from Terki, a city which lies beyond the ed as many hours, till every one of the company bounds of the Persian empire: here, blessed with were unable to swallow or utter any thing more. security, with all that is dear, I double my rap It is very natural for men who are abridged in tures by communicating them to you: the mind one excess, to break into some other. The clergy sympathising with the freedom of the body, my here, particularly those who are advanced in years, whole soul is dilated in gratitude, love, and praise. think if they are abstemious with regard to women Yet, were my own happiness all that inspired my and wine, they may indulge their other appetites present joy, my raptures might justly merit the without censure. Thus some are found to rise in imputation of self-interest; but when I think that the morning only to a consultation with their cook the beautiful Zelis is also free, forgive my triumph about dinner, and when that has been swallowed, when I boast of having rescued from captivity the make no other use of their faculties (if they have most deserving object upon earth. any) but to ruminate on the succeeding meal. You remember the reluctance she testified at A debauch in wine is even more pardonable being obliged to marry the tyrant she hated. Her than this, since one glass insensibly leads on to compliance at last was only feigned, in order to another, and instead of sating, whets the appetite. gain time to try some future means of escape. The progressive steps to it are cheerful and se- During the interval between her promise and the ducing; the grave are animated, the melancholy intended performance of it, she came undiscovered relieved, and there is even classic authority to one evening to the place where I generally retired