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To the same.
dead. These are their most serious and most re-l never have been wise had they not been first luxu ligious occupations; are these men rational, or are rious: you will find poets, philosophers, and even not the apes of Borneo more wise?
patriots, marching in luxury's train. The reason Certain I am, 0 thou instructor of my youth! is obvious: we then only are curious after knowthat without philosophers, without some few vir- ledge, when we find it connected with sensual haptuous men, who seem to be of a different nature piness. The senses ever point out the way, and from the rest of mankind, without such as these, reflection comments upon the discovery. Inform the worship of a wicked divinity would surely be a native of the desert of Kobi, of the exact measure established over every part of the earth. Fear of the parallax of the moon, he finds no satisfacguides more to their duty than gratitude: for one tion at all in the information ; he wonders how any man who is virtuous from the love of virtue, from could take such pains, and lay out such treasures, the obligation that he thinks he lies under to the in order to solve so useless a difficulty: but connect Giver of all, there are ten thousand who are good it with his happiness, by showing that it improves only from the apprehensions of punishment. Could navigation, that by such an investigation he may these last be persuaded, as the Epicureans were, have a warmer coat, a better gun, or a finer knife, that Heaven had no thunders in store for the vil- and he is instantly in raptures at so great an imlain, they would no longer continue to acknowledge provement. In short, we only desire to know what subordination, or thank that Being who gave them we desire to possess; and whatever we may talk existence. Adieu.
against it, luxury adds the spur to curiosity, and gives us a desire of becoming more wise.
But not our knowledge only, but our virtues are LETTER XI.
improved by luxury. Observe the brown savage of Thibet, to whom the fruits of the spreading
pomegranate supply food, and its branches a habiFrom such a picture of nature in primeval sim. tation. Such a character has few vices, I grant, plicity, tell me, my much respected friend, are you but those he has are of the most hideous nature : in love with fatigue and solitude! Do you sigh for rapine and cruelty are scarcely crimes in his the severe frugality of the wandering Tartar, or eye; neither pity nor tenderness, which ennoble regret being born amidst the luxury and dissimula- every virtue, have any place in his heart; he hates tion of the polite! Rather tell me, has not every his enemies, and kills those he subdues. On the kind of life vices peculiarly its own? Is it not a other hand, the polite Chinese and civilized Eurotruth, that refined countries have more vices, but pean seem even to love their enemies. I have just those not so terrible; barbarous nations few, and now seen an instance where the English have sucthey of the most hideous complexion ? Perfidy and coured those enemies whom their own countrymen fraud are the vices of civilized nations, credulity actually refused to relieve. and violence those of the inhabitants of the desert.
The greater the luxuries of every country, the Does the luxury of the one produce half the evils more closely, politically speaking, is that country of the inhumanity of the other! Certainly, those united. Luxury is the child of society alone; the philosophers who declaim against luxury have but luxurious man stands in need of a thousand differlittle understood its benefits; they seem insensible, ent artists to furnish out his happiness: it is more that to luxury we owe not only the greatest part of likely, therefore, that he should be a good citizen our knowledge, but even of our virtues.
who is connected by motives of self-interest with It may sound fine in the mouth of a declaimer, so many, than the abstemious man who is united when he talks of subduing our appetites, of teach- to none. ing every sense to be content with a bare sufficiency, In whatsoever light, therefore, we consider luxu. and of supplying only the wants of nature; but is ry, whether as employing a number of hands, there not more satisfaction in indulging those ap- naturally too feeble for more laborious employment; petites, if with innocence and safety, than in re-as finding a variety of occupation for others who straining them? Am not I better pleased in en- might be totally idle; or as furnishing out new in joyment, than in the sullen satisfaction of thinking lets to happiness, without encroaching on mutual that I can live without enjoyment? The more property; in whatever light we regard it, we shall various our artificial necessities, the wider is our have reason to stand up in its defence, and the sencircle of pleasure; for all pleasure consists in obvi- timent of Confucius still remains unshaken, That ating necessities as they rise : luxury, therefore, as we should enjoy as many of the lururies of life as it increases our wants, increases our capacity for are consistent with our own safety, and the proshappiness.
perity of others; and that he who finds out a new Examine the history of any country remarkable pleasure is one of the most useful members of safor opulence and wisdom, you will find they would'ciety,
To the same.
tack a bastion, or deliberately noose himself up in LETTER XII.
The passion of the Europeans for magnificent
interments, is equally strong with that of the ChiFrom the funeral solemnities of the Daures, who nese. When a tradesman dies, his frightful face think themselves the politest people in the world, is painted up by an undertaker, and placed in a I must make a transition to the funeral solemnities proper situation to receive company: this is called of the English, who think themselves as polite as lying in state. To this disagreeable spectacle, all they. The numberless ceremonies which are used the idlers in town flock, and learn to loath the here when a person is sick, appear to me so many wretch deadl, whom they despised when living. In evident marks of fear and apprehension. Ask an this manner, you see some who would have refused Englishman, however, whether he is afraid of a shilling to save the life of their dearest friend, death, and he boldly answers in the negative; but bestow thousands on adorning their putrid corpse. observe his behaviour in circumstances of approach- I have been told of a fellow, who, grown rich by ing sickness, and you will find his actions give his the price of blood, left it in his will that he should assertions the lie.
lie in state; and thus unknowingly gibbeted himself The Chinese are very sincere in this respect; intoinfamy, when he might have, otherwise, quietly they hate to die, and they confess their terrors; a retired into oblivion. great part of their life is spent in preparing things When the person is buried, the next care is to proper for their funeral. A poor artisan shall spend make his epitaph: they are generally reckoned best. half his income in providing himself a tomb twenty which flatter most; such relations, therefore, as years before he wants it; and denies himself the have received most benefits from the defunct, disnecessaries of life, that he may be amply provided charge this friendly office, and generally flatter in for when he shall want them no more.
proportion to their joy. When we read those But people of distinction in England really de- monumental histories of the dead, it may be justserve pity, for they die in circumstances of the mostly said, that all men are equal in the dust; for, extreme distress. It is an established rule, never they all appear equally remarkable for being the to let a man know that he is dying: physicians are most sincere Christians, the most benevolent neighsent for, the clergy are called, and every thing bours, and the honestest men of their time. To passes in silent solemnity round the sick bed. The go through a European cemetery, one would be patient is in agonies, looks round for pity, yet not apt to wonder how mankind could have so basely a single creature will say that he is dying. If he degenerated from such excellent ancestors. Every is possessed of fortune, his relations entreat him to tomb pretends to claim your reverence and regret: make his will, as it may restore the tranquillity of some are praised for piety in those inscriptions, his mind. He is desired to undergo the rites of the who never entered the temple until they were dead; church, for decency requires it. His friends take some are praised for being excellent poets, who their leave only because they do not care to see him were never mentioned, except for their dulness, in pain. In short, a hundred stratagems are used when living; others for sublime orators, who were to make him do what he might have been induced never noted except for their impudence; and others to perform only by being told, Sir, you are past all still
, for military achievements, who were never hopes, and had as good think decently of dying. in any other skirmishes but with the watch. Some
Besides all this, the chamber is darkened, the even make epitaphs for themselves, and bespeak whole house echoes to the cries of the wife, the the reader's good-will. It were indeed to be wishlamentations of the children, the grief of the ser-ed, that every man would early learn in this manvants, and the sighs of friends. The bed is sur- ner to make his own; that he would draw it up in rounded with priests and doctors in black, and only terms as flattering as possible, and that he would flambeaux emit a yellow gloom. Where is the make it the employment of his whole life to deman, how intrepid soever, that would not shrink serve it. at such a hideous solemnity? For fear of affright- I have not yet been in a place called Westmining their expiring friends, the English practise all ister Abbey, but soon intend to visit it. There, I that can fill them with terror. Strange effect of am told, I shall see justice done to deceased merit: human prejudice, thus to torture, merely from mis- none, I am told, are permitted to be buried there, taken tenderness!
but such as have adorned as well as improved manYou see, my friend, what contradictions there kind. There, no intruders, by the influence of are in the tempers of those islanders: when prompt- friends or fortune, presume to mix their unhallow. ed by ambition, revenge, or disappointment, they ed ashes with philosophers, heroes, and poets. No meet death with the utmost resolution : the very thing but true merit has a place in that awful sancman who in his bed would have trembled at the stuary. The guardianship of the tombs is commitaspect of a doctor, shall go with intrepidity to at-Ited to several reverend priests, who are never guilty
From the Same.
for a superior reward, of taking down the names of are flattered, so it may be a glorious incentive to good men, to make room for others of equivocal those who are now capable of enjoying it. It is the character, nor ever profane the sacred walls with duty of every good government to turn this monupageants that posterity can not know, or shall blush mental pride to its own advantage ; to become to own.
strong in the aggregate from the weakness of the I always was of opinion, that sepulchral ho- individual. If none but the truly great have a nours of this kind should be considered as a na- place in this awful repository, a temple like this tional concern, and not trusted to the care of the will give the finest lessons of morality, and be a priests of any country, how respectable soever ; but strong incentive to true ambition. I am told, that from the conduct of the reverend personages, whose none have a place here but characters of the most disinterested patriotism I shall shortly be able to distinguished merit.” The man in black seemed discover, I am taught to retract my former senti- impatient at my observations, so I discontinued my ments. It is true, the Spartans and the Persians remarks, and we walked on together to take a view made a fine political use of sepulchral vanity; they of every particular monument in order as it lay. permitted none to be thus interred, who had not As the eye is naturally caught by the finest obfallen in the vindication of their country. A monu-jects, I could not avoid being particularly curious ment thus became a real mark of distinction; it about one monument, which appeared more beaunerved the hero's arm with tenfold vigour, and he tiful than the rest : that, said I to my guide, I take fought without fear who only fought for a grave. to be the tomb of some very great man. By the Farewell.
peculiar excellence of the workmanship, and the magnificence ef the design, this must be a trophy
raised to the memory of some king, who has saved LETTER XIII.
his country from ruin, or lawgiver who has reduced his fellow-citizens from anarchy into just
subjection. It is not requisite, replied my comI am just returned from Westminster Abbey, panion, smiling, to have such qualifications in the place of sepulture for the philosophers, heroes, order to have a very fine monument here. More and kings of England. What a gloom do monu- humble abilities will suffice. What! I suppose, mental inscriptions, and all the venerable remains then, the gaining two or three battles, or the taking of deceased merit, inspire! Imagine a temple half a score of towns, is thougla a sufficint qualimarked with the hand of antiquity, solemn as reli- fication? Gaining battles, or taking towns, regious awe, adorned with all the magnificence of plied the man in black, may be of service ; but a barbarous profusion, dim windows, fretted pillars, gentleman may have a very fine monument here long colonades, and dark ceilings. Think, then, without ever seeing a battle or a siege. This, what were my sensations at being introduced to then, is the monument of some poet, I presume, of such a scene. I stood in the midst of the temple, one whose wit has gained him immortality? No, and threw my eyes round on the walls, filled with sir, replied my guide, the gentleman who lies here the statues, the inscriptions, and the monuments of never made verses ; and as for wit, he despised it the dead.
in others, because he had none himself. Pray tell Alas! I said to myself, how does pride attend me then in a word, said I peevishly, what is the the puny child of dust even to the grave! Even great man who lies here particularly remarkable humble as I am, I possess more consequence in the for? Remarkable, sir ! said my companion; why present scene than the greatest hero of them all : sir, the gentleman that lies here is remarkable, they have toiled for an hour to gain a transient im- very remarkable—for a tomb in Westminster Ab mortality, and are at length retired to the grave, bey. But, head my ancestors ! how has he got where they have no attendant but the worm, none here? I fancy he could never bribe the guardians to flatter but the epitaph.
of the temple to give him a place. Should he not As I was indulging such reflections, a gentleman be ashamed to be seen among company, where even dressed in black, perceiving me to be a stranger, moderate merit would look like infamy? I supcame up, entered into conversation, and politely pose, replied the man in black, the gentleman was offered to be my instructor and guide through the rich, and his friends, as is usual in such a case, temple. If any monument, said he, should par- told him he was great. He readily believed them; ticularly excite your curiosity, I shall endeavour to the guardians of the temple, as they got by the satisfy your demands. I accepted with thanks the self-delusion, were ready to believe him too; so he gentleman's offer, adding, that "I was come to ob- paid his money for a fine monument; and the serve the policy, the wisdom, and the justice of the workman, as you see, has made him one the English, in conferring rewards upon deceased most beautiful. Think not, however, that this morit
. If adulation like this (continued I) be pro- gentleman is singular in his desire of being buried perly conducted, as it can no ways injure those who among the great; there are several others in the temple, who, hated and shunned by the great while must pay first. I was surprised at such a demand; alive, have come here, fully resolved to keep them and asked the man, whether the people of England company now they are dead.
kept a show? whether the paltry sum he demanded As we walked along to a particular part of the was not a national reproach? whether it was not temple, There, says the gentleman, pointing with more to the honour of the country to let their maghis finger, that is the poet's corner; there you see nificence or their antiquities be openly seen, than the monuments of Shakspeare, and Milton, and thus meanly to tax a curiosity which tended to Prior, and Drayton. Drayton! I replied ; I never their own honour? As for your questions, replied heard of him before : but I have been told of one the gate-keeper, to be sure they may be very right, Pope ; is he there? It is time enough, replied my because I don't understand them; but, as for that guide, these hundred years ; he is not long dead; there threeponce, I farm it from one,—who rents people have not done hating him yet. Strange, it from another,—who hires it from a third, -who cried I, can any be found to hate a man, whose life leases it from the guardians of the temple, and we was wholly spent in entertaining and instructing all must live. I expected, upon paying here, to see his fellow-creatures? Yes, says my guide, they something extraordinary, since what I had seen for hate him for that very reason. There are a set of nothing filled me with so much surprise : but in men called answerers of books, who take upon them this I was disappointed; there was little more to watch the republic of letters, and distribute re- within than black coffins, rusty armour, tattered putation by the sheet; they somewhat resemble the standards, and some few slovenly figures in wax. eunuchs in a seraglio, who are incapable of giving I was sorry I had paid, but I comforted myself by pleasure themselves, and hinder those that would considering it would be my last payment. A perThese answerers have no other employment but son attended us, who, without once blushing, wld to cry out Dunce, and Scribbler ; to praise the a hundred lies: he talked of a lady who died by dead, and revile the living; to grant a man of con- pricking her finger; of a king with a golden head, fessed abilities some small share of merit ; to ap- and twenty such pieces of absurdity. Look ye plaud twenty blockheads in order to gain the repu- there, gentlemen, says he, pointing to an old oak tion of candour; and to revile the moral character chair, there's a curiosity for ye; in that chair the of the man whose writings they can not injure. kings of England were crowned : you see also a Such wretches are kept in pay by some mercenary stone underneath, and that stone is Jacob's pillow. bookseller, or more frequently the bookseller him- I could see no curiosity either in the oak chair or self takes this dirty work off their hands, as all that the stone: could I, indeed, behold one of the old is required is to be very abusive and very dull. kings of England seated in this, or Jacob's head Every poet of any genius is sure to find such ene laid upon the other, there might be something cumies; he feels, though he seems to despise, their rious in the sight; but in the present case there was malice; they make him miserable here, and in the no more reason for my surprise, than if I should pursuit of empty fame, at last he gains solid anxi- pick a stone from their streets, and call it a curiosiety.
ty, merely because one of the kings happened to Has this been the case with every poet I see here? tread upon it as he passed in a procession. cried 1.–Yes, with every mother's son of them, From hence our conductor led us through several replied he, except he happened to be born a man- dark walks and winding ways, uttering lies, talking darine. If he has much money, he may buy repu- to himself, and flourishing a wand which he held tation from your book-answerers, as well as a monu- in his hand. He reminded me of the black magiment from the guardians of the temple.
cians of Kobi. After we had been almost fatigued But are there not some men of distinguished with a variety of objects, he at last desired me to taste, as in China, who are willing to patronise consider attentively a certain suit of armour, which men of merit, and soften the rancour of malero- seemed to show nothing remarkable. This arlent dulness?
mour, said he, belonged to General Monk. Very I own there are many, replied the man in black; surprising that a general should wear armow.. but, alas! sir, the book-answerers crowd about And pray, added he, observe this cap, this is Genethem, and call themselves the writers of books; and ral Monk's cap. Very strangc indeed, dery the patron is too indolent to distinguish : thus poets strange, that a general should have a cap also ! are kept at a distance, while their enemies eat up Pray, friend, what might this cap have cost oriall their rewards at the mandarine's table. ginally? That, sir, says he, I don't know; but this
Leaving this part of the temple, we made up to cap is all the wages I have for my trouble. A very an iron gate, through which my companion told small recompense truly, said I. Not so very small, me we were to pass in order to see the monuments replied he, for every gentleman puts some money of the kings. Accordingly I marched up without into it, and I spend the money. What, more ma further ceremony, and was going to enter, when a ney! still more money! Every gentleman gives person, who held the gate in his hand, told me I something, sir. I'll give thee nothing, returned I;
the guardians of the temple should pay you your Pray speak a little Chinese: I have learned some wages, friend, and not permit you to squeeze thus of the language myself. Lord! have you nothing from every spectator. When we pay our money pretty from China about you ; something that one at the door to see a show, we never give more as does not know what to do with? I have got twenty we are going out. Sure, the guardians of the tem- things from China that are of no use in the world. ple can never think they get enough. Show me Look at those jars, they are of the right pea-green: the gate; if I stay longer, 1 may probably meet with these are the furniture.” Dear madam, said I, more of those ecclesiastical beggars.
these, though they may.appear fine in your eyes Thus leaving the temple precipitately, I returned are but paltry to a Chinese ; but, as they are use. to my lodgings, in order to ruminate over what was ful utensils, it is proper they should hare a place great, and to despise what was mean in the occur- in every apartment. Useful! sir, replied the lady; rences of the day.
sure you mistake, they are of no use in the world.
What! are they not filled with an infusion of tea as in China? replied I. Quite empty and useless,
upon my honour, sir. Then they are the most LETTER XIV.
cumbrous and clumsy furniture in the world, as
nothing is truly clegant but what unites use with From the Same.
beauty. I protest, says the lady, I shall begin to I was some days ago agreeably surprised by a suspect thee of being an actual barbarian. I supmessage from a lady of distinction, who sent me pose you hold my two beautiful pagods in conword, that she most passionately desired the plea. tempt.
What! cried I, has Fohi spread his gross sure of my acquaintance; and, with the utmost superstitions here also! Pagods of all kinds are impatience, expected an interview. I will not deny, my arersion. A Chinese traveller, and want taste! my dear Fum Hoam, but that my vanity was raised it surprises me. Pray, sir, examine the beauties at such an invitation: I fattered myself that she of that Chinese temple which you see at the end had seen me in some public place, and had con- of the garden. Is there any thing in China more ceived an affection for my person, which thus in- beautiful? Where I stand, I see nothing, madam, duced her to deviate from the usual decorums of at the end of the garden, that may not as well be the sex. My imagination painted her in all the called an Egyptian pyramid as a Chinese tembloom of youth and beauty. I fancied her attended ple ; for that little building in view is as like the by the Loves and Graces; and I set out with the one as tother. What! sir, is not that a Chinese most pleasing expectations of seeing the conquest temple ? you must surely be mistaken. Mr. Freeze, I had made.
who designed it, calls it one, and nobody disputes When I was introduced into her apartment, my his pretensions to taste. I now found it vain to expectations were quickly at an end ; I perceived contradict the lady in any thing she thought fit to a little shrivelled figure indolently reclined on a advance; so was resolved rather to act the disciple sofa, who nodded by way of approbation at my ap- than the instructor. She took me through several proach. This, as I was afterwards informed, was rooms all furnished, as she told me, in the Chinese the lady herself, a woman equally distinguished for manner; sprawling dragons, squatting pagods, and rank, politeness, taste, and understanding. As I clumsy mandarines, were stuck upon every shelf: was dressed after the fashion of Europe, she had in turning round, one must have used caution not taken me for an Englishman, and consequently sa- to demolish a part of the precarious furniture. luted me in her ordinary manner: but when the In a house like this, thought I, one must live footman informed her grace that I was the gentle continually upon the watch; the inhabitant must reman from China, she instantly lifted herself from semble a knight in an enchanted castle, who ex the couch, while her eyes sparkled with unusual pects to meet an adventure at every turning. But, vivacity. "Bless me! can this be the gentleman madam, said I, do not accidents ever happen to all that was born so far from home? What an unu- this finery ? Man, sir, replied the lady, is born to sual share of somethingness in his whole appear- misfortunes, and it is but fit I should have a share. ance! Lord, how I am charmed with the outlandish Three weeks ago, a careless servant snapped off cut of his face! how bewitching the exotic breadth the head of a favourite mandarine : I had scarce of his forehead! I would give the world to see him done grieving for that, when a monkey broke a in his own country dress. Pray turn about, sir, beautiful jar; this I took the more to heart, as the and let me see you behind. There, there's a tra- injury was done me by a friend ! However, I survell’d air for you! You that attend there, bring up vived the calamity; when yesterday crash went a plate of beef cut into small pieces; I have a violent half a dozen dragons upon the marble hearthstone · passion to see him eat. Pray, sir, have you got and yet I live; I survive it all : you can't conceive your chop-sticks about you? It will be so pretty to what comfort I find under afflictions from philososee the meat carried to the mouth with a jerk. phy. There is Seneca and Bolingbroke, and some