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obstructions of disappointment. A serpent which, and for that reason such monuments should be as the fable observes, is furnished with one head held sacred, and suffered gradually to decay. and many tails, is much more capable of subsistence and expedition than another which is furnished with but one tail and many heads.
"The last witness now appeared. This was a widow, who had laudably attempted to burn herself upon her husband's funeral pile. But the inObvious as those truths are, the people of this novating minister had prevented the execution of country seem insensible of their force. Not satis- her design, and was insensible to her tears, protesfied with the advantages of internal peace and opu-tations, and entreaties. lence, they still murmur at their governors and in- "The queen could have pardoned the two former terfere in the execution of their designs, as if they offences; but this last was considered as so gross wanted to be something more than happy. But as an injury to the sex, and so directly contrary to all the Europeans instruct by argument, and the the customs of antiquity, that it called for immediAsiatics mostly by narration, were I to address ate justice. 'What!' cried the queen, 'not suffer them, I should convey my sentiments in the following story.
a woman to burn herself when she thinks proper? The sex are to be very prettily tutored, no doubt, "Takupi had long been prime minister of Ti- if they must be restrained from entertaining their partala, a fertile country that stretehes along the female friends now and then with a fried wife, or western confines of China. During his adminis- roasted acquaintance. I sentence the criminal to tration, whatever advantages could be derived from be banished my presence for ever, for his injurious arts, learning, and commerce, were seen to bless treatment of the sex.' the people; nor were the necessary precautions of "Takupi had been hitherto silent, and spoke providing for the security of the state forgotten. It only to show the sincerity of his resignation. often happens, however, that when men are pos- 'Great queen,' cried he, "I acknowledge my crime; sessed of all they want, they then begin to find and since I am to be banished, I beg it may be to torment from imaginary afflictions, and lessen their some ruined town, or desolate village, in the counpresent enjoyments by foreboding that those en- try I have governed. I shall find some pleasure joyments are to have an end. The people now, in improving the soil, and bringing back a spirit of therefore, endeavoured to find out grievances; and industry among the inhabitants.' His request apafter some search, actually began to think them- pearing reasonable, it was immediately complied selves aggrieved. A petition against the enormi- with; and a courtier had orders to fix upon a place ties of Takupi was carried to the throne in due form; and the queen who governed the country, willing to satisfy her subjects, appointed a day in which his accusers should be heard, and the minister should stand upon his defence.
of banishment answering the minister's description. After some months' search, however, the inquiry proved fruitless; neither a desolate village nor a ruined town was found in the whole kingdom. 'Alas,' said Takupi then to the queen, 'how "The day being arrived, and the minister can that country be ill governed which has neither brought before the tribunal, a carrier, who supplied a desolate village nor a ruined town in it?' The the city with fish, appeared among the number of queen perceived the justice of his expostulation, his accusers. He exclaimed, that it was the cus- and the minister was received into more than tom time immemorial for carriers to bring their fish former favour."
upon a horse in a hamper; which being placed on one side, and balanced by a stone on the other, was thus conveyed with ease and safety; but that the prisoner, moved either by a spirit of innovation, or perhaps bribed by the hamper-makers, had obliged all carriers to use the stone no longer, but balance one hamper with another; an order entirely repugnant to the customs of all antiquity, and those of the kingdom of Tipartala in particular.
From the Same.
THE ladies here are by no means such ardent gamesters as the women of Asia. In this respect I must do the English justice; for I love to praise "The carrier finished, and the whole court shook where applause is justly merited. Nothing is more their heads at the innovating minister; when a common in China than to see two women of fashion second witness appeared. He was inspector of continue gaming till one has won all the other's the city buildings, and accused the disgraced fa- clothes, and stripped her quite naked; the winner vourite of having given orders for the demolition of thus marching off in a double suit of finery, and an ancient ruin, which obstructed the passage the loser shrinking behind in the primitive simplicithrough one of the principal streets. He observed, ty of nature.
that such buildings were noble monuments of bar- No doubt, you remember when Shang, our barous antiquity; contributed finely to show how maiden aunt, played with a sharper. First her little their ancestors understood of archictecture: money went; then her trinkets were produced
From Lien Chi Altangi to ****, Merchant in Amsterdam.
her clothes followed piece by piece soon after; when she had thus played herself quite naked, being a woman of spirit, and willing to pursue her own, she staked her teeth: fortune was against her even here, and her teeth followed her clothes. At last I HAVE just received a letter from my son, in she played for her left eye; and, oh, hard fate! this which he informs me of the fruitlessness of his entoo she lost: however, she had the consolation of deavours to recover the lady with whom he fled biting the sharper, for he never perceived that it from Persia. He strives to cover, under the apwas made of glass till it became his own.
How happy, my friend, are the English ladies, who never rise to such an inordinance of passion! Though the sex here are generally fond of games of chance, and are taught to manage games of skill from their infancy, yet they never pursue ill-fortune with such amazing intrepidity. Indeed, I may entirely acquit them of ever playing-I mean of playing for their eyes or their teeth.
pearance of fortitude, a heart torn with anxiety and disappointment. I have offered little consolation, since that but two frequently feeds the sorrow which it pretends to deplore, and strengthens the impression, which nothing but the external rubs of time and accident can thoroughly efface.
He informs me of his intentions of quitting Moscow the first opportunity, and travelling by land to Amsterdam. I must, therefore, upon his It is true, they often stake their fortune, their arrival, entreat the continuance of your friendship, beauty, health, and reputation, at a gaming-table. and beg of you to provide him with proper direcIt even sometimes happens, that they play their tions for finding me in London. You can scarcehusbands into a gaol; yet still they preserve a de- ly be sensible of the joy I expect upon seeing corum unknown to our wives and daughters in him once more; the ties between the father and China. I have been present at a rout in this the son among us of China, are much more closecountry, where a woman of fashion, after losing ly drawn than with you of Europe. her money, has sat writhing in all the agonies of The remittances sent me from Argun to Moscow bad luck; and yet, after all, never once attempted came in safety. I can not sufficiently admire that to strip a single petticoat, or cover the board, as spirit of honesty which prevails through the whole her last stake, with her head-clothes. country of Siberia: perhaps the savages of that However, though I praise their moderation at desolate region are the only untutored people of play, I must not conceal their assiduity. In China, the globe that cultivate the moral virtues, even our women, except upon some great days, are never without knowing that their actions merit praise. I permitted to finger a dice-box; but here every day have been told surprising things of their goodness, seems to be a festival, and night itself, which gives benevolence, and generosity; and the uninterruptothers rest, only serves to increase the female ed commerce between China and Russia serves as gamester's industry. I have been told of an old a collateral confirmation. lady in the country, who, being given over by the "Let us," says the Chinese lawgiver, "admire physicians, played with the curate of her parish to the rude virtues of the ignorant, but rather imitate pass the time away: having won all his money, the delicate morals of the polite." In the country she next proposed playing for her funeral charges; where I reside, though honesty and benevolence her proposal was accepted; but unfortunately the be not so congenial, yet art supplies the place of lady expired just as she had taken in her game. nature. Though here every vice is carried to exThere are some passions which, though different- cess, yet every virtue is practised also with unexly pursued, are attended with equal consequences ampled superiority. A city like this is the soil for in every country: here they game with more per- great virtues and great vices; the villain can soon severance, there with greater fury; here they strip improve himself in the deepest mysteries of detheir families, there they strip themselves naked. ceiving; and the practical philosopher can every A lady in China who indulges a passion for gaming, day meet new incitements to mend his honest inoften becomes a drunkard; and by flourishing a tentions. There are no pleasures, sensual or sendice-box in one hand, she generally comes to brand- timental, which this city does not produce; yet, I ish a dram-cup in the other. Far be it from me know not how, I could not be content to reside to say there are any who drink drams in England; here for life. There is something so seducing in but it is natural to suppose, that when a lady has that spot in which we first had existence, that nolost every thing else but her honour, she will be thing but it can please. Whatever vicissitudes apt to toss that into the bargain; and, grown in- we experience in life, however we toil, or wheresosensible to nicer feelings, behave like the Spaniard, ever we wander, our fatigued wishes still recur to who, when all his money was gone, endeavoured home for tranquillity: we long to die in that spot to borrow more, by offering to pawn his whiskers. wich gave us birth, and in that pleasing expectaAdieu. tion opiate every calamity.
You now, therefore, perceive that I have some new observation, they have heard it before, pinch intentions of leaving this country; and yet my de- them in argument, and they reply with a sneer. signed departure fills me with reluctance and re- Yet, how trifling soever these little arts may apgret. Though the friendships of travellers are pear, they answer one valuable purpose, of gaining generally more transient than vernal snows, still I the practisers the esteem they wish for. The feel an uneasiness at breaking the connexions I bounds of a man's knowledge are easily concealed, have formed since my arrival; particularly I shall if he has but prudence; but all can readily see and have no small pain in leaving my usual companion, admire a gilt library, a set of long nails, a silver guide, and instructor. standish, or a well-combed whisker, who are incapable of distinguishing a dunce.
I shall wait for the arrival of my son before I set out. He shall be my companion in every intended When Father Matthew, the first European journey for the future; in his company I can sup- missionary, entered China, the court was informed, port the fatigues of the way with redoubled ardour, that he possessed great skill in astronomy; he was pleased at once with conveying instruction and ex-therefore sent for, and examined. The established acting obedience. Adieu.
From Lien Chi Altangi to Fum Hoam, First President of the
astronomers of state undertook this task, and made their report to the emperor that his skill was but very superficial, and no way comparable to their own. The missionary, however, appealed from their judgment to experience, and challenged them to calculate an eclipse of the moon that was to happen a few nights following. "What!" said some, OUR scholars in China have a most profound" shall a barbarian without nails pretend to vie veneration for forms. A first-rate beauty never with men in astronomy, who have made it the studied the decorums of dress with more assiduity; study of their lives; with men who know half of they may properly enough be said to be clothed with the knowable characters of words, who wear sciwisdom from head to foot; they have their philo-entifical caps and slippers, and who have gone sophical caps, and philosophical whiskers; their through every literary degree with applause?" They philosophical slippers, and philosophical fans; there accepted the challenge, confident of success. The is even a philosophical standard for measuring the eclipse began: the Chinese produced a most splennails; and yet, with all this seeming wisdom, they did apparatus, and were fifteen minutes wrong; are often found to be mere empty pretenders. the missionary, with a single instrument, was exact A philosophical beau is not so frequent in En- to a second. This was convincing; but the court rope; yet I am told that such characters are found astronomers were not to be convinced; instead of here. I mean such as punctually support all the acknowledging their error, they assured the emdecorums of learning, without being really very peror that their calculations were certainly exact, profound, or naturally possessed of a fine under- but that the stranger without nails had actually standing who labour hard to obtain the titular bewitched the moon. "Well, then," cries the honours attending literary merit, who flatter others good emperor smiling at their ignorance, "you in order to be flattered in turn, and only study to shall still continue to be servants of the moon; but be thought students. I constitute this man her controller."
A character of this kind generally receives com- China is thus replete with men, whose only prepany in his study, in all the pensive formality of tensions to knowledge arise from external circumslippers, night-gown, and easy chair. The table is stances; and, in Europe, every country abounds covered with a large book, which is always kept with them in proportion to its ignorance. Spain open, and never read; his solitary hours being dedi- and Flanders, who are behind the rest of Europe cated to dozing, mending pens, feeling his pulse, in learning at least three centuries, have twenty peeping through the microscope, and sometimes literary titles and marks of distinction unknown in reading amusing books, which he condemns in France or England. They have their Clarissimi company. His library is preserved with the most and Præclarissimi, their Accuratissimi and Mireligious neatness, and is generally a repository of nutissimi. A round cap entitles one student to scarce books, which bear a high price, because too argue, and a square cap permits another to teach, dull or useless to become common by the ordinary while a cap with a tassel almost sanctifies the head methods of publication. it happens to cover. But where true knowledge Such men are generally candidates for admit- is cultivated, these formalities begin to disappear. tance into literary clubs, academies, and institu- The ermined cowl, the solemn beard, and sweeptions, where they regularly meet to give and receive ing train, are laid aside; philosophers dress, and a little instruction, and a great deal of praise. In talk, and think, like other men; and lamb-skin conversation they never betray ignorance, because dressers, and cap-makers, and tail-carriers. now they never seem to receive information. Offer a deplore a literary age.
For my own part, my friend, I have seen enough! Some men have a manner of describing, which of presuming ignorance never to venerate wisdom only wraps the subject in more than former obscu but where it actually appears. I have received rity; thus I was unable, with all my companion's literary titles and distinctions myself; and, by the volubility, to form a distinct idea of the intended quantity of my own wisdom, know how very little procession. I was certain that the inauguration of wisdom they can confer. Adieu.
From the Same.
a king should be conducted with solemnity and religious awe; and I could not be persuaded, that there was much solemnity in this description. "If this be true," cried I to myself, "the people of Europe surely have a strange manner of mixing solemn and fantastic images together; pictures at THE time for the young king's coronation ap- once replete with burlesque and the sublime. At proaches. The great and the little world look a time when the king enters into the most solemn forward with impatience. A knight from the compact with his people, nothing surely should be country, who has brought up his family to see and admitted to diminish from the real majesty of the be seen on this occasion, has taken all the lower ceremony. A ludicrous image, brought in at such part of the house where I lodge. His wife is lay-a time, throws an air of ridicule upon the whole. ing in a large quantity of silks, which the mercer It someway resembles a picture I have seen, detells her are to be fashionable next season; and signed by Albert Durer, where, amidst all the somiss, her daughter, has actually had her ears bored lemnity of that awful scene, a deity judging, and a previous to the ceremony. In all this bustle of trembling world awaiting the decree, he has intropreparation I am considered as mere lumber, and duced a merry mortal trundling a scolding wife to have been shoved up two stories higher, to make hell in a wheel-barrow." room for others my landlady seems perfectly con
My companion, who mistook my silence, during vinced are my betters; but whom, before me, she this interval of reflection, for the rapture of asis contented with only calling very good company. tonishment, proceeded to describe those frivolous The little beau, who has now forced himself into parts of the show that most struck his imaginamy intimacy, was yesterday giving me a most mi- tion; and to assure me, that if I stayed in this nute detail of the intended procession. All men country some months longer, I should see fine are eloquent upon their favourite topic: and this things. "For my own part," continued he, “I seemed peculiarly adapted to the size and turn of know already of fifteen suits of clothes, that would his understanding. His whole mind was blazoned stand on one end with gold lace, all designed to be over with a variety of glittering images; coronets, first shown there; and as for diamonds, rubies, escutcheons, lace, fringe, tassals, stones, bugles, emeralds, and pearls, we shall see them as thick as and spun glass. "Here," cried he, "Garter is to brass nails in a sedan chair. And then we are walk; and there Rouge Dragon marches with the all to walk so majestically thus; this foot always escutcheons on his back. Here Clarencieux moves behind the foot before. The ladies are to fling forward; and there Blue Mantle disdains to be nosegays; the court poets to scatter verses: the left behind. Here the alderman march two and spectators are to be all in full dress: Mrs. Tibbs two; and there the undaunted champion of Eng- in a new sack, ruffles, and frenched hair: look land, no way terrified at the very numerous ap- where you will, one thing finer than another; pearance of gentlemen and ladies, rides forward in Mrs. Tibbs courtesies to the duchess; her grace complete armour, and with an intrepid air, throws returns the compliment with a bow. 'Largess,' down his glove. Ah!" continued he, "should any cries the herald. Make room,' cries the gentlebe so hardy as to take up that fatal glove, and so man usher. Knock him down,' cries the guard, accept the challenge, we should see fine sport; the Ah!" continued he, amazed at his own description, champion would show him no mercy; he would what an astonishing scene of grandeur can art soon teach him all his passes with a witness. How-produce from the smallest circumstance, when it ever, I am afraid we shall have none willing to try thus actually turns to wonder one man putting on it with him upon the approaching occasion, for another man's hat!" two reasons; first, because his antagonist would I now found his mind was entirely set upon the stand a chance of being killed in the single combat; fopperies of the pageant, and quite regardless of the and, secondly, because if he escapes the champion's real meaning of such costly preparations. arm, he would certainly be hanged for treason. geants," says Bacon, "are pretty things; but we No, no; I fancy none will be so hardy as to dis- should rather study to make them elegant than expute it with a champion like him inured to arms; pensive." Processions, cavalcades, and all that and we shall probably see him prancing unmolest-fund of gay frippery, furnished out by tailors, bared away, holding his bridle thus in one hand, and bers, and tirewomen, mechanically influence the brandishing his dram-cup in the other." mind into veneration. An emperor in his night
cap would not meet with half the respect of an em- the moon, at which Fum Hoam himself presided peror with a glittering crown. Politics resemble in person. Adieu.
religion; attempting to divest either of ceremony is the most certain method of bringing either into contempt. The weak must have their inducements to admiration as well as the wise; and it is the business of a sensible government to impress all ranks with a sense of subordination, whether this be effected by a diamond buckle, or a virtuous edict, a sumptuary law, or a glass necklace.
From the Same.
It was formerly the custom here, when men of distinction died, for their surviving acquaintance to This interval of reflection only gave my com-throw each a slight present into the grave. Several panion spirits to begin his description afresh; and, things of little value were made use of for that puras a greater inducement to raise my curiosity, he pose; perfumes, relics, spices, bitter herbs, camoinformed me of the vast sums that were given by mile, wormwood, and verses.
This custom, howthe spectators for places. "That the ceremony ever, is almost discontinued, and nothing but verses must be fine," cries he, "is very evident from the alone are now lavished on such occasions; an obfine price that is paid for seeing it. Several ladies lation which they suppose may be interred with have assured me, they would willingly part with the dead, without any injury to the living. one eye rather than be prevented from looking on Upon the death of the great, therefore, the poets with the other. Come, come," continues he, "I and undertakers are sure of employment. While have a friend, who, for my sake, will supply us one provides the long cloak, black staff, and mournwith places at the most reasonable rates; I'll take ing coach, the other produces the pastoral or elegy, care you shall not be imposed upon; and he will the monody or apotheosis. The nobility need be inform you of the use, finery, rapture, splendour, under no apprehensions, but die as fast as they and enchantment of the whole ceremony, better
think proper, the poet and undertaker are ready to supply them; these can find metaphorical tears and Follies often repeated lose their absurdity, and family escutcheons at half an hour's warning; and assume the appearance of reason. His arguments when the one has soberly laid the body in the grave, were so often and so strongly enforced, that I had the other is ready to fix it figuratively among the actually some thoughts of becoming a spectator. stars. We accordingly went together to bespeak a place; There are several ways of being poetically sorbut guess my surprise, when the man demanded rowful on such occasions. The bard is now some a purse of gold for a single seat! I could hardly pensive youth of science, who sits deploring among believe him serious upon making the demand.- the tombs; again, he is Thyrsis complaining in a "Prithee, friend," cried I, "after I have paid twen-circle of harmless sheep. Now Britannia sits upon ty pounds for sitting here an hour or two, can I her own shore, and gives a loose to maternal tenbring a part of the coronation back?" No, sir."- derness; at another time, Parnassus, even the "How long can I live upon it, after I have come mountain Parnassus, gives way to sorrow, and is away?"-"Not long, sir."-"Can a coronation bathed in tears of distress.
clothe, feed, or fatten me?"-" Sir," replied the But the most usual manner is thus: Damon man, "you seem to be under a mistake; all that meets Menalcas, who has got a most gloomy counyou can bring away is the pleasure of having it to tenance. The shepherd asks his friend, whence say, that you saw the coronation."-" Blast me!" that look of distress? to which the other replies, cries Tibbs, "if that be all, there is no need of pay-that Pollio is no more. "If that be the case then," ing for that, since I am resolved to have that pleasure, whether I am there or no!"
cries Damon, “let us retire to yonder bower at some distance off, where the cypress and the jessamine I am conscious, my friend, that this is but a very add fragrance to the breeze; and let us weep alterconfused description of the intended ceremony. nately for Pollio, the friend of shepherds, and the You may object, that I neither settle rank, pre-patron of every muse.”—“ Ah,” returns his fellow cedency, nor place; that I seem ignorant whether shepherd, "what think you rather of that grotto Gules walks before or behind Garter; that I have by the fountain side! the murmuring stream will neither mentioned the dimensions of a lord's cap, help to assist our complaints, and a nightingale on nor measured the length of a lady's tail. I know a neighbouring tree will join her voice to the conyour delight is in minute description; and this I cert!" When the place is thus settled, they begin: am unhappily disqualified from furnishing; yet, the brook stands still to hear their lamentations; upon the whole, I fancy it will be no way compa- the cows forget to graze; and the very tigers start rable to the magnificence of our late emperor from the forest with sympathetic concern. By the Whangti's procession, when he was married to tombs of our ancestors! my dear Fum, I am quite