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with whom I am as yet but superficially acquaint- To make a fine gentleman, several trades are reed. The remarks of a man who has been but quired, but chiefly a barber. You have undoubtthree days in the country, can only be those obvi- edly heaid of the Jewish champion, whose strength ous circumstances which force themselves upon the lay in his hair. One would think that the English imagination. I consider myself here as a newly- were for placing all wisdom there. To appear created being introduced into a new world; every wise, nothing more is requisite here than for a man object strikes with wonder and surprise. The to borrow hair from the heads of all his neighbours, imagination, still unsated, seems the only active and clap it like a bush on his own; the distributors principle of the mind. The most trifling occur- of law and physic stick on such quantities, that it rences give pleasure till the gloss of novelty is worn is almost impossible, even in idea, to distinguish away. When I have ceased to wonder, I may between the head and the hair. possibly grow wise; I may then call the reasoning Those whom I have been now describing affect principle to my aid, and compare those objects with the gravity of the lion; those I am going to deeach other, which were before examined without scribe, more resemble the pert vivacity of smaller reflection.
animals. The barber, who is still master of the Behold me then in London, gazing at the ceremonies, cuts their hair close to the crown; and strangers, and they at me: it seems they find some- then with a composition of meal and hog's-lard, what absurd in my figure; and had I been never plasters the whole in such a manner as to make it from home, it is possible I might find an infinite impossible to distinguish whether the patient wears fund of ridicule in theirs; but by long travelling 1 a cap or a plaster ; but, to make the picture more am taught to laugh at folly alone, and to find no- perfectly striking, conceive the tail of some beast, thing truly ridiculous but villany and vice. a greyhound's tail, or a pig's tail, for instance, ap
When I had just quitted my native country, and pended to the back of the head, and reaching down crossed the Chinese wall, I fancied every deviation to that place where tails in other animals are generfrom the customs and manners of China was a de-ally seen to begin; thus betailed and bepowdered, parting from nature. I smiled at the blue lips and the man of taste fancies he improves in beauty, red foreheads of the Tonguese; and could hardly dresses up his hard-featured face in smiles, and atcontain when I saw the Daures dress their heads tempts to look hideously tender. Thus equipped, with horns. The Ostiacs powdered with red earth; he is qualified to make love, and hopes for success and the Calmuck beauties, tricked out in all the more from the powder on the outside of his head, finery of sheep-skin, appeared highly ridiculous: than the sentiments within. but I soon perceived that the ridicule lay not in Yet when I consider what sort of a creature the them but in me; that I falsely condemned others fine lady is to whom he is supposed to pay his adfor absurdity, because they happened to differ from dresses, it is not strange to find him thus equipped a standard originally founded in prejudice or parti- in order to please. She is herself every whit as ality.
fond of powder, and tails, and hog's-lard, as he. I find no pleasure therefore in taxing the Eng. To speak my secret sentiments, most reverend lish with departing from nature in their external Fum, the ladies here are horribly ugly; I can appearance, which is all I yet know of their charac-hardly endure the sight of them; they no way reter: it is possible they only endeavour to improve semble the beauties of China : the Europeans have her simple plan, since every extravagance in dress quite a different idea of beauty from us. When I proceeds from a desire of becoming more beautiful reflect on the small-footed perfections of an Eastern than nature made us; and this is so harmless a beauty, how is it possible I should have eyes for a vanity, that I not only pardon but approve it. A woman whose feet are ten inches long? I shall desire to be more excellent than others, is what ac- never forget the beauties of my native city of Nantually makes us so; and as thousands find a liveli- few. How very broad their faces! how very short hood in society by such appetites, none but the ig- their noses ! how very little their eyes! how very norant inveigh against them.
thin their lips! how very black their teeth! tho You are not insensible, most reverend Fum snow on the tops of Bao is not fairer than their Hoam, what numberless trades, even among the cheeks; and their eyebrows are small as the line Chinese, subsist by the harmless pride of each by the pencil of Quamsi. Here a lady with such other. Your nose-borers, feet-swathers, tooth-stain perfections would be frightful; Dutch and Chinese ers, eyebrow-pluckers, would all want bread, should beauties, indeed, have some resemblance, but Eng. their neighbours want vanity. These vanities, lish women are entirely different; red cheeks, big however, employ much fewer hands in China than eyes, and teeth of a most odious whiteness, are not in England; and a fine gentleman or a fine lady only seen here, but wished for; and then they have here, dressed up to the fashion, seems scarcely to such masculine feet, as actually serve some for have a single limb that does not suffer some distor- walking! tions from art.
Yct uncivil as nature has been, they seem to
solved to outdo her in unkindness; they use white their assemblies; and thousands might be found powder, blue powder, and black powder, for their ready to offer up their lives for the sound, though hair
, and a red powder for the face on some parti-perhaps not one of all the number understands its cular occasions.
meaning. The lowest mechanic, however, looks They like to have the face of various colours, as upon it as his duty to be a watchful guardian of among the Tartars of Koreki, frequently sticking his country's freedom, and often uses a language 011
, with spittle, little black patches on every part that might seem haughty, even in the mouth of the of it
, except on the tip of the nose, which I have great emperor, who traces his ancestry to the never seen with a patch. You'll have a better idea moon. of their manner of placing these spots, when I have A few days ago, passing by one of their prisons, finished the map of an English face patched up to I could not avoid stopping, in order to listen to a the fashion, which shall shortly be sent to increase dialogue which I thought might afford me some your curious collection of paintings, medals, and entertainment. The conversation was carried on monsters.
between a debtor through the grate of his prison, a But what surprises more than all the rest is what porter, who had stopped to rest his burden, and a I have just now been credibly informed by one of soldier at the window. The subject was upon a this country. “Most ladies here,” says he, "have threatened invasion from France, and each seemed two faces; one face to sleep in, and another to show extremely anxious to rescue his country from the in company: the first is generally reserved for the impending danger. “For my part,” cries the husband and family at home; the other put on to prisoner, "the greatest of my apprehensions is for please strangers abroad: the family face is often in- our freedom ; if the French should conquer, what different enough, but the out-door one looks some would become of English liberty? My dear thing better; this is always made at the toilet, friends, Liberty is the Englishman's prerogawhere the looking-glass and toad-eater sit in coun- tive; we must preserve that at the expense of our cil , and settle the complexion of the day.” lives; of that the French shall never deprive us ; I can't ascertain the truth of this remark; how it is not to be expected that men who are slaves
< ever, it is actually certain, that they wear more themselves would preserve our freedom should clothes within doors than without ; and I have seen they happen to conquer.”—“Ay, slaves,” cries the a lady, who seemed to shudder at a breeze in her porter," they are all slaves, fit only to carry burdens, own apartment, appear half naked in the streets. every one of them. Before I would stoop to slaveFarewell.
ry, may this be my poison (and he held the goblet in his hand), may this be my poison—but I would
sooner list for a soldier.” LETTER IV.
The soldier, taking the goblet from his friend,
with much awe fervently cried out, “It is not so To the same.
much our liberties as our religion, that would sufTAE English seem as silent as the Japanese, yet fer by such a change : ay, our religion, my lads. vainer than the inhabitants of Siam. Upon my May the devil sink me into flames (such was the arrival, I attributed that reserve to modesty, which solemnity of his adjuration), if the French should I now find has its origin in pride. Condescend to come over, but our religion would be utterly unaddress them first, and you are sure of their ac- done.” So saying, instead of a libation, he applied quaintance; stoop to flattery, and you conciliate the goblet to his lips, and confirmed his sentiments their friendship and esteem.” They bear hunger, with a ceremony of the most persevering devocoll, fatigue, and all the miseries of life without tion. shrinking; danger only calls forth their fortitude; In short, every man here pretends to be a politithey even exult in calamity; but contempt is what cian; even the fair sex are sometimes found to mix they can not bear. An Englishman fears contempt the severity of national altercation with the bland. more than death; he often flies to death as a refuge ishments of love, and often become conquerors, by from its pressure ; and dies when he fancies the more weapons of destruction than their eyes. world has ceased to esteem him.
This universal passion for politics, is gratified by Pride seems the source not only of their nation- daily gazettes, as with us at China. But as in ours al vices, but of their national virtues also. An the emperor endeavours to instruct his people, in Englishman is taught to love his king as his friend, theirs
, the people endeavour to instruct the adminbut to acknowledge no other master than the laws istration. You must not, however, imagine, that which himself has contributed to enact. He de- they who compile these papers have any actual spises those nations, who, that one may be free, knowledge of the politics, or the government of a are all content to be slaves; who first lift a tyrant state ; they only collect their materials from the into terror, and then shrink under his power as if oracle of some coffee-house ; which oracle has himdelegated from Heaven. Liberty is echoed in all self gathered them the night before from a beau at
a gaming-table, who has pillaged his knowledge perity, the contending powers of Europe properly from a great man's porter, who has had his infor- balanced, desires also to know the precise value of mation from the great man's gentleman, who has every weight in either scale. To gratify this curiinvented the whole story for his own amusement osity, a leaf of political instruction is served up the night preceding.
every morning with tea: when our politician has The English, in general, seem fonder of gaining feasted upon this, he repairs to a coffee-house, in the esteem than the love of those they converse order to ruminate upon what he has read, and inwith. This gives a formality to their amusements ; crease his collection; from thence he proceeds to their gayest conversations have something too wise the ordinary, inquires what news, and, treasuring for innocent relaxation : though in company you up every acquisition there, hunts about all the are seldom disgusted with the absurdity of a fool, evening in quest of more, and carefully adds it to you are seldom lifted into rapture by those strokes the rest. Thus at night he retires home, full of of vivacity, which give instant, though not perma- the important advices of the day: when lo! awaking nent pleasure.
next morning, he finds the instructions of yeterday What they want, however, in gaiety, they make a collection of absurdity or palpable falsehood. up in politeness. You smile at hearing me praise This one would think a mortifying repulse in the the English for their politeness; you who have pursuit of wisdom; yet our politician, no way disheard very different accounts from the missionaries couraged, hunts on, in order to collect fresh maat Pekin, who have seen such a different behaviour terials, and in order to be again disappointed. in their merchants and seamen at home. But I I have often admired the commercial spirit which must still repeat it, the English seem more polite prevails over Europe; have been surprised to see than any of their neighbours: their great art in this them carry on a traffic with productions that an respect lies in endeavouring, while they oblige, to Asiatic stranger would deem entirely useless. It lessen the force of the favour. Other countries are is a proverb in China, that a European suffers not fond of obliging a stranger; but seem desirous that even his spittle to be lost ; the maxim, however, is he should be sensible of the obligation. The Eng- not sufficiently strong, since they sell even their lish confer their kindness with an appearance of lies to great advantage. Every nation drives a indifference, and give away benefits with an air as considerable trade in this commodity with their if they despised them.
neighbours. Walking a few days ago between an English An English dealer in this way, for instance, has and a Frenchman into the suburbs of the city, we only to ascend his workhouse, and manufacture were overtaken by a heavy shower of rain. I was a turbulent speech, averred to be spoken in the unprepared; but they had each large coats, which senate; or a report supposed to be dropped at court; defended them from what seemed to be a perfect a piece of scandal that strikes at a popular mandainundation. The Englishman, seeing me shrink rine; or a secret treaty between two neighbouring from the weather, accosted me thus: "Psha, man, powers. When finished, these goods are baled up, what dost shrink at ? here, take this coat ; I don't and consigned to a factor abroad, who sends in rewant it ; I find it no way useful to me; I had as turn too battles, three sieges, and a shrewd letter lief be without it." The Frenchman began to filled with dashes. -blanks
and stars show his politeness in turn. "My dear friend,” | **** of great importance. cries he, "why won't you oblige me by making use
Thus you perceive, that a single gazette is the of my coat? you see how well it defends me from 'joint manufacture of Europe; and he who would the rain; I should not choose to part with it to peruse it with a philosophical eye, might perceive others, but to such a friend as you I could even in every paragraph something characteristic of the part with my skin to do him service."
nation to which it belongs. A map does not exFrom such minute instances as these, most reve- hibit a more distinct view of the boundaries and rend Fum Hoam, I am sensible your sagacity will situation of every country: than its news dos a collect instruction. The volume of nature is the picture of the genius and the morals of its inhalvibook of knowledge; and he becomes most wise, tants. The superstition and erroneous delicacy of who makes the most judicious selection. Fare- Italy, the formality of Spain, the cruelty of Portuwell.
gal, the fears of Austria, the confidence of Prussia, the levity of France, the avarice of Hollard, the
pride of England, the absurdity of Ireland, and the LETTER V.
national partiality of Scotland, are all conspicuous
in every page. To the same.
But, perhaps, you may find more satisfaction in I have already informed you of the singular a real newspaper, than in my description of one; I passion of this nation for politics. An English- therefore send a specimen, which may serve to exman not satisfied with finding, by his own pros- hibit the manner of their being written, and dis
tinguish the characters of the various nations which attempt deserved to extirminate half the nation, yet are united in its composition.
he has been graciously pleased to spare the lives Naples. We have lately dug up here a curious of his subjects, and not above five hundred have Etruscan monument, broke in two in the raising. been broke upon the wheel, or otherwise executed, The characters are scarce visible; but Lugosi, the upon this horrid occasion. learned antiquary, supposes it to have been erected VIENNA.-We have received certain advices that in honour of Picus, a Latin King, as one of the a party of twenty thousand Austrians, having atlines may be plainly distinguished to begin with a tacked a much superior body of Prussians, put them P. It is hoped this discovery will produce some- all to flight, and took the rest prisoners of war. thing valuable, as the literati of our twelve acade- Berlin.- We have received certain advices that mies are deeply engaged in the disquisition. a party of twenty thousand Prussians, having at
Pisa.-Since Father Fudgi, prior of St. Gil- tacked a much superior body of Austrians, put bert's, has gone to reside at Rome, no miracles have them to fiight, and took a great number of prisoners, been performed at the shrine of St. Gilbert: the with their military chest, cannon, and baggage. devout begin to grow uneasy, and some begin ac- Though we have not succeeded this campaign to tually to fear that St. Gilbert has forsaken them our wishes, yet, when we think of him who comwith the reverend father.
mands us, we rest in security: while we sleep, our Locca.—The administrators of our serene re- king is watchful for our safety. public have frequent conferences upon the part Paris.-We shall soon strike a signal blow. they shall take in the present commotions of Eu- We have seventeen flat-bottomed boats at Havre. rope. Some are for sending a body of their troops, The people are in excellent spirits, and our minisconsisting of one company of foot and six horse-ters make no difficulty in raising the supplies. men, to make a diversion in favour of the empress- We are all undone; the people are discontented queen; others are as strenuous assertors of the to the last degree; the ministers are obliged to have Prussian interest : what turn these debates may recourse to the most rigorous methods to raise the take time only can discover. However, certain it expenses of the war. is, we shall be able to bring into the field, at the Our distresses are great; but Madame Pompaopening of the next campaign, seventy-five armed dour continues to supply our king, who is now men, a commander-in-chief, and two drummers of growing old, with a fresh lady every night. His great experience.
health, thank Heaven, is still pretty well; nor is he Spain.—Yesterday the new king showed him- in the least unfit, as was reported, for any kind of self to his subjects, and, after having staid half an royal exercitation. He was so frightened at the hour in his balcony, retired to the royal apartment. affair of Damien, that his physicians were appreThe night concluded on this extraordinary occasion hensive lest his reason should suffer; but that with illuminations, and other demonstrations of joy. wretch's tortures soon composed the kingly ter
The queen is more beautiful than the rising sun, rors of his breast. and reckoned one of the first wits in Europe; she ENGLAND.-Wanted an usher to an academy. had a glorious opportunity of displaying the readi- N. B. He must be able to read, dress hair, and ness of her invention and her skill in repartee, must have had the small-pox. lately at court. The Duke of Lerma coming up DUBLIN.-We hear that there is a benevolent to her with a low bow and a smile, and presenting subscription on foot among the nobility and gentry a nosegay set with diamonds, Madam, cries he, 1 of this kingdom, who are great patrons of merit, in am your most obedient humble servant Oh, sir, order to assist Black and All Black in his contest replies the queen, without any prompter, or the with the Padderen mare. least hesitation, I'm very proud of the very great We hear from Germany that Prince Ferdinand honour you do me. Upon which she made a low has gained a complete victory, and taken twelve courtesy, and all the courtiers fell a-laughing at the kettle-drums, five standards, and four wagons of readiness and the sinartness of her reply. ammunition, prisoners of war.
Lisbon.— Yesterday we had an auto da fe, at EDINBURGH.—We are positive when we say that which were burned three young women, accused Saunders M'Gregor, who was lately executed for of heresy, one of them of exquisite beauty; two horse-stealing, is not a Scotchman, but born in Jews, and an old woman, convicted of being a Carrickfergus. Farewell. witch:
1: one of the friars, who attended this last, reports, that he saw the devil fly out of her at the
LETTER VI. stake in the shape of a flame of fire. The popa- Fum Hoam, First President of the Ceremonial Academy at bace behaved on this occasion with great good hu- Pekin, to Lien Chi Altangi, the Discontented Wanderer; by mour, joy, and sincere devotion.
the way of Moscow. Our merciful Sovereign has been for some time WHETHER sporting on the flowery banks of the past recovered of his fright : thougk so atrocious an river Irtis, or scaling the steepy mountains of
Douchenour ; whether traversing the black deserts surrounding friends, and your master's esteem, it of Kobi, or giving lessons of politeness to the savage has reduced thee to want, persecution, and, still inhabitants of Europe ; in whatever country, what worse, to our mighty monarch's displeasure. Want ever climate, and whatever circumstances, all hail! of prudence is too frequently the want of virtue; May Tien, the Universal Soul, take you under his nor is there on earth a more powerful advocate for protection, and inspire you with a superior portion vice than poverty. As I shall endeavour to guard of himself!
thee from the one, so guard thyself from the other; How long, my friend, shall an enthusiasm for and still think of me with affection and esteem, knowledge continue to obstruct your happiness, Farewell
. and tear you from all the connexions that make life pleasing ? How long will you continue to rove from climate to climate, circled by thousands, and
LETTER VII. yet without a friend, feeling all the inconveniencies of a crowd, and all the anxiety of being alone ? From Lien Chi Altangi to Fum Heam, first President of the I know you reply, that the refined pleasure of
Ceremonial Academy at Pekin, in China." growing every day wiser, is a sufficient recompense
A wife, a daughter, carried into captivity to ex. for every inconvenience. I know you will talk of piate my offence ; a son, scarce yet arrived at mathe vulgar satisfaction of soliciting happiness from
turity, resolving to encounter every danger in the sensual enjoyment only; and probably enlarge up- pious pursuit of one who has undone him—these on the exquisite raptures of sentimental bliss. Yet, indeed are circumstances of distress : though my believe me, friend, you are deceived; all our pleas. tears were more precious than the gem of Golconures, though seemingly never so remote from sense, da, yet would they fall upon such an occasion. derive their origin from some one of the senses. The most exquisite demonstration in mathematics, volume of Confucius in my hand, and, as I read,
But I submit to the stroke of Heaven: I hold the or the most pleasing disquisition in metaphysics, it it does not ultimately tend to increase some sensual feel sorrow, says he, but not sink under its oppres
grow humble, and patient, and wise. We should satisfaction, is delightful only to fools, or to men sion. The heart of a wise man should resemble a who have by long habit contracted a false idea of
mirror, which reflects every object without being pleasure ; and he who separates sensual and senti
: sullied by any. The wheel of fortune turns inmental enjoyments, seeking happiness from mind cessantly round; and who can say within himself
, alone, is in fact as wretched as the naked inhabitant I shall to-day be uppermost? We should hold the of the forest, who places all happiness in the first, immutable mean that lies between insensibility and regardless of the latter. There are two extremes in this respect: the savage, who swallows down the anguish; our attempts should not be to extinguish
nature, but to repress it; not to stand unmoved at draught of pleasure without staying to reflect on
distress, but endeavour to turn every disaster to our his happiness; and the sage, who passeth the cup own advantage. Our greatest glory is, not in never while he reflects on the conveniencies of drink-falling, but in rising every time we fall. ing.
I fancy myself at present, O thou reverend disIt is with a heart full of sorrow, my dear Altan
ciple of Tao, more than a match for all that can gi, that I must inform you, that what the world
happen. The chief business of my life has been calls happiness must now be yours no longer. Our to procure wisdom, and the chief object of that great emperor's displeasure at your leaving China, wisdom was to be happy. My attendance on your contrary to the rules of our government, and the
lectures, my conferences with the missionaries of immemorial custom of the empire, has produced the Europe, and all my subsequent adventures upon most terrible effects. Your wife, daughter, and quitting China, were calculated to increase the the rest of your family, have been seized by his sphere of my happiness, not my curiosity. Let order, and appropriated to his use; all, except European travellers cross seas and deserts merely your son, are now the peculiar property of him who
to measure the height of a mountain, to describe possesses all: him I have hidden from the officers the cataract of a river, or tell the commodities which employed for this purpose; and even at the hazard |
every country may produce; merchants or geogra. of my life I have concealed him. The youth seems
phers, perhaps, may find profit by such discoveries; obstinately bent on finding you out, wherever you but what advantage can accrue to a philosopher are ; he is determined to face every danger that op- from such accounts, who is desirous of understandposes his pursuit. Though yet but fifteen, all his
ing the human heart, who seeks to know the met father's virtues and obstinacy sparkle in his eyes, and mark him as one destined to no mediocrity of
• The editor thinks proper to acquaint the reader, that this fortune,
greatest part of the following letter seems to him to be Bells You see, my dearest friend, what imprudence more than a rhapsody of sentences borrowed from Confucius has brought thee to : from opulence, a tender family, the Chinese philosopher.