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tiful in porcelain, statuary, and painting. This and the imprudence of his choice, I brought him by passage from the house opened into an area sur- a hidden door a shorter way back into the area pounded with rocks, flowers, trees, and shrubs, but from whence at first he had strayed. all so disposed as if each was the spontaneous pro- The gloomy gate now presented itself before the duction of nature. As you proceeded forward on stranger; and though there seemed little in its apthis lawn, to your right and left hand were two pearance to tempt his curiosity, yet, encouraged by gates, opposite each other, of very different archi- the motto, he generally proceeded. The darkness tecture and design, and before you lay a temple. of the entrance, the frightful figures that seemed to built rather with minute elegance than ostenta-Lobstruct his way, the trees, of a mournful green, tion.
conspired at first to disgust him; as he went forThe right hand gate was planned with the ut. ward, however, all began to open and wear a more most simplicity, or rather rudeness : ivy clasped pleasing appearance; beautiful cascades, beds of round the pillars, the baleful cypress hung over it; flowers, trees loaded with fruit or blossoms, and untime seemed to have destroyed all the smoothness expected brooks improved the scene: he now found and regularity of the stone; two champions with that he was ascending, and, as he proceeded, all lifted clubs appeared in the act of guarding its ac- nature grew more beautiful, the prospect widened cess; dragons and serpents were seen in the most as he went higher, even the air itself seemed to behideous attitudes, to deter the spectator from ap- come more pure. Thus pleased and happy from proaching; and the perspective view that lay be- unexpected beauties, I at last led him to an arbour, hind, seemed dark and gloomy to the last degree; from whence he could view the garden, and the the stranger was tempted to enter only from the whole country around, and where he might own, motto–PERVIA VIRTUTI.
that the road to VIRTUE terminated in HAPPINESS. The opposite gate was formed in a very different Though from this description you may inagine, manner; the architecture was light, elegant, and that a vast tract of ground was necessary to exhibit inviting; flowers hung in wreaths round the pil- such a pleasing variety in, yet be assured, I have lars; all was finished in the most exact and mas- seen several gardens in England take up ten times terly manner; the very stone of which it was built the space which mine did, without half the beauty. still preserved its polish; nymphs, wrought by the A very small extent of ground is enough for an hand of a master, in the most alluring attitudes, elegant taste; the greater room is required if magbeckoned the stranger to approach; while all that nificence is in view. There is no spot, though lay behind, as far as the eye could reach, seemed ever so little, which a skilful designer might not gay, luxuriant, and capable of affording endless thus improve, so as to convey a delicate allegory, pleasure. The motto itself contributed to invite and impress the mind with truths the most useful him; for over the gate were written these words and necessary. Adieu. Facilis DESCENSUS.
By this time I fancy you begin to perceive, that the gloomy gate was designed to represent the road to Virtue; the opposite, the more agreeable passage
LETTER XXXII. to Vice. It is but natural to suppose, that the
From the Same. spectator was always tempted to enter by the gate which offered him so many allurements. I always In a late excursion with my friend into the counin these cases left him to his choice ; but generally try, a gentleman with a blue riband tied round his found that he took to the left, which promised most shoulder, and in a chariot drawn by six horses, entertainment.
passed swiftly by us, attended with a numerous Immediately upon his entering the gate of Vice, train of captains, lacqueys, and coaches filled with the trees and flowers were disposed in such a man-women. When we were recovered from the dust ner as to make the most pleasing impression ; but raised by this cavalcade, and could continue our as he walked farther on, he insensibly found the discourse without danger of suffocation, 1 observed garden assume the air of a wilderness, the land- to my companion, that all this state and equipage, scapes began to darken, the paths grew more intri- which he seemed to despise, would in China be recate, he appeared to go downwards, frightful rocks garded with the utmost reverence, because such disseemed to hang over his head, gloomy caverns, un- tinctions were always the reward of merit; the expected precipices, awful ruins, heaps of unburied greatness of a mandarine's retinue being a most bones
, and terrifying sounds, caused by unseen wa- certain mark of the superiority of his abilities or ters
, began to take place of what at first appeared virtue. so lovely; it was in vain to attempt returning, the
The gentleman who has now passed us, replied labyrinth was too much perplexed for any but my- my companion, has no claims from his own merit self to find the way back. In short
, when suffi- to distinction; he is possessed neither of abilities ciently impressed with the horrors of what he saw, nor virtue ; it is enough for him that one of his an
cestors was possessed of these qualities two hun- taste upon every occasion, to tag all his stupid obdred years before him. There was a time, indeed, servations with a rery true, to praise his stable, and when his family deserved their title, but they are descant upon his claret and cookery. long since degenerated; and his ancestors, for more The pitiful humiliations of the gentlemen you than a century, have been more and more solicitous are now describing, said I, puts me in mind of a to keep up the breed of their dogs and horses than custom among the Tartars of Koreki, not entirely that of their children. This very nobleman, sim- dissimilar to this we are now considering.* The ple as he seems, is descended from a race of states- Russians, who trade with them, carry thither a kind men and heroes; but, unluckily, his great-grand- of mushrooms, which they exchange for furs of father marrying a cook-maid, and she having a squirrels, ermines, sables, and foxes. These mushtrifling passion for his lordship’s groom, they some-rooms the rich Tartars lay up in large quantities how crossed the strain, and produced an heir, who for the winter; and when a nobleman makes a took after his mother in his great love to good eat- mushroom-feast, all the neighbours around are ining, and his father in a violent affection for horse-vited. The mushrooms are prepared by boiling, flesh. These passions have for some generations by which the water acquires an intoxicating qualipassed on from father to son, and are now become ty, and is a sort of drink which the Tartars prize the characteristics of the family; his present lord- beyond all other. When the nobility and ladies ship being equally remarkable for his kitchen and are assembled, and the ceremonies usual between his stable.
people of distinction over, the mushroom-broth goes But such a nobleman, cried I, deserves our pity, freely round; they laugh, talk double entendre, thus placed in so high a sphere of life, which only grow fuddled, and become excellent company. The the more exposes to contempt. A king may con- poorer sort, who love mushroom-broth to distraction fer titles, but it is personal merit alone that ensures as well as the rich, but can not afford it at the first respect. I suppose, added I, that such men are hand, post themselves on these occasions round the despised by their equals, neglected by their infe-shuts of the rich, and watch the opportunities of the riors, and condemned to live among involuntary ladies and gentlemen as they come down to pass dependants in irksome solitude.
their liquor; and holding a wooden bowl, catch the You are still under a mistake, replied my com- delicious fluid, very little altered by filtration, being panion ; for though this nobleman is a stranger to still strongly tinctured with the intoxicating qualigenerosity; though he takes twenty opportunities ty. Of this they drink with the utmost satisfac. in a day of letting his guests know how much he tion, and thus they get as drunk and as jovial as despises them; though he is possessed neither of their betters. taste, wit, nor wisdom; though incapable of im- Happy nobility! cries my companion, who can proving others by his conversation, and never fear no diminution of respect, unless by being seized known to enrich any by his bounty; yet, for all with strangury, and who when most drunk are this, his company is eagerly sought after : he is a most useful. Though we have not this custom lord, and that is as much as most people desire in among us, I foresee, that if it were introduced, we a companion. Quality and title have such allure might have many a toad-eater in England ready to ments, that hundreds are ready to give up all their drink from the wooden bowl on these occasions, own importance, to cringe, to flatter, to look little, and to praise the flavour of his lordship’s liquor. and to pall every pleasure in constraint, merely to As we have different classes of gentry, who knows be among the great, though without the least hopes but we may see a lord holding the bowl to a minof improving their understanding, or sharing their ister, a knight holding it to his lordship, and a generosity: they might be happy among their simple 'squire drinking it double distilled from equals, but those are despised for company where loins of knighthood? For my part, I shall never they are despised in turn. You saw what a crowd for the future hear a great man's fatterers haranguof humble cousins, card-ruined beaux, and captains ing in his praise, that I shall not fancy I behold on half-pay, were willing to make up this great the wooden bowl; for I can see no reason why a man's retinue down to his country-seat. Not one man, who can live easily and happily at home, of all these that could not lead a more comfortable should bear the drudgery of decorum, and the imlife at home, in their little lodging of three shillings pertinence of his entertainer, unless intoxicated a-week, with their lukewarm dinner, served up be. with a passion for all that was quality; unless tween two pewter plates from a cook's shop. Yet, he thought that whatever came from the great was poor devils! they are willing to undergo the imper- delicious, and had the tincture of the mushroon in tinence and pride of their entertainer, merely to be it. Adieu. thought to live among the great: they are willing to pass the summer in bondage, though conscious count of this people. See an Historico- Geographical Descrip
*Van Stralenberg, a writer of credil, gives the same as they are taken down only to approve his lordship's 'ion of the north-eastern parts of Europe and Asia, p. 397
| tertainer, I think I have some reasons to fancy myLETTER XXXIII.
self a judge of these matters ; in short, the Chinese From the Same.
never eat beef; so that I must be permitted to re
commend the Pilaw. There was never better I am disgusted, O Fum Hoam, even to sickness dressed at Pekin; the saffron and rice are well disgusted. Is it possible to bear the presumption boiled, and the spices in perfection. of those islanders, when they pretend to instruct I had no sooner begun to eat what was laid beme in the ceremonies of China'! They lay it down fore me than I found the whole company as much as a maxim, that every person who comes from astonished as before ; it seems I made no use of my thence must express himself in metaphor; swear chop-sticks. A grave gentleman, whom I take to by Alla, rail against wine, and behave, and talk, be an author, harangued very learnedly (as the and write, like a Turk or Persian. They make company seemed to think) upon the use which was no distinction between our elegant manners, and made of them in China. He entered into a long the voluptuous barbarities of our Eastern neigh- argument with himself about their first introduction, bours. Wherever I come, I raise either diffidence without once appealing to me, who might be supor astonishment: some fancy me no Chinese, be- posed best capable of silencing the inquiry. As cause I am formed more like a man than a monster; the gentleman therefore took my silence for a mark and others wonder to find one born five thousand of his own superior sagacity, he was resolved to miles from England, endued with common sense. pursue the triumph: he talked of our cities, mounStrange, say they, that a man who has received tains, and animals, as familiarly as if he had been his education at such a distance from London, born in Quamsi, but as erroneously as if a native should have common sense : to be born out of Eng- of the moon. He attempted to prove that I had land, and yet have common sense! Impossible ! nothing of the true Chinese cut in my visage; He must be some Englishman in disguise; his showed that my cheek-bones should have been very visage has nothing of the true exotic barbari- higher, and my forehead broader. In short, he ty.
almost reasoned me out of my country, and effectI yesterday received an invitation from a lady of ually persuaded the rest of the company to be of distinction, who it seems had collected all her know- his opinion. ledge of Eastern manners from fictions every day I was going to expose his mistakes, when it was propagated here, under the titles of Eastern tales insisted that I had nothing of the true Eastern and Oriental histories: she received me very polite- manner in my delivery. This gentleman's conly, but seemed to wonder that I neglected bringing versation (says one of the ladies, who was a great opium and a tobacco-box; when chairs were drawn reader) is like our own, mere chit-chat and comfor the rest of the company, I was assigned my mon sense: there is nothing like sense in the true place on a cushion on the floor. It was in vain Eastern style, where nothing more is required but that I protested the Chinese used chairs as in Eu- sublimity. Oh! for a history of Aboulfaouris, the rope ; she understood decorums too well to entertain grand voyager, of genii, magicians, rocks, bags of me with the ordinary civilities.
bullets, giants, and enchanters, where all is great, I had scarcely been seated according to her di- obscure, magnificent, and unintelligible !—I have rections, when the footman was ordered to pin a written many a sheet of Eastern tale myself, innapkin under my chin : this I protested against, as terrupts the author, and I defy the severest critic being no way Chinese; however, the whole com- to say but that I have stuck close to the true manpany, who it seems were a club of connoisseurs, ner. I have compared a lady's chin to the snow gave it unanimously against me, and the napkin upon the mountains of Bomek; å soldiers sword, was pinned accordingly.
to the clouds that obscure the face of heaven. If It was impossible to be angry with people, who riches are mentioned, I compared them to the flocks seemed to err only from an excess of politeness, that graze the verdant Tefilis; if poverty, to the and I sat contented, expecting their importunities mists that veil the brow of mount Baku. I have were now at an end; but as soon as ever dinner used thee and thou upon all occasions; I have dewas served, the lady demanded, whether I was for scribed fallen stars and splitting mountains, not a plate of Bears' claws, or a slice of Birds' nests? forgetting the little louries, who make a pretty As these were dishes with which I was utterly un- figure in every description. But you shall hear acquainted, I was desirous of eating only what I how I generally begin: “ Eben-ben-bolo, who was knew, and therefore begged to be helped from a the son of Ban, was born on the foggy summits of piece of beef that lay on the side-table: my request Benderabassi. His beard was whiter than the at once disconcerted the whole company. A Chi- feathers which veil the breast of the penguin; his nese eat beef! that could never be! there was no eyes were like the eyes of doves when washed by local propriety in Chinese beef, whatever there the dews of the morning; his hair, which hung like might be in Chinese pheasant. Sir, said my en-I the willow weeping over the glassy stream, was so
beautiful that it seemed to reflect its own bright-sion ; he was succeeded, and eren outdone, by a ness; and his feet were as the feet of a wild deer student of Tonquin, who was as well skilled in the which fleeth to the tops of the mountains.” There, Western learning as any scholar of Paris. Now, there is the true Eastern taste for you; every ad- sir, if youths, who never stirred from home, are so vance made towards sense is only a deviation from perfectly skilled in your laws and learning, surely sound. Eastern tales should always be sonorous, more must be expected from one like me, who have lofty, musical, and unmeaning.
travelled so many thousand miles; who have conI could not avoid smiling to hear a native of versed familiarly for several years with the English England attempt to instruct me in the true Eastern factors established at Canton, and the missionaries idiom; and after he looked round some time for sent us from every part of Europe. The unaffect. applause, I presumed to ask him, whether he had ed of every country nearly resemble each other, ever travelled into the East ; to which he replied in and a page of our Confucius and of your Tillotson the negative. I demanded whether he understood have scarcely any material difference. Pakry af. Chinese or Arabic; to which also he answered as fectation, strained allusions, and disgusting finery, before. Then how, sir, said I, can you pretend to are easily attained by those who choose to wear determine upon the Eastern style, who are en- them: and they are but too frequently the badges tirely unacquainted with the Eastern writings? of ignorance, or of stupidity, whenever it would Take, sir, the word of one who is professedly a endeavour to please. Chinese, and who is actually acquainted with the I was proceeding in my discourse, when looking Arabian writers, that what is palmed upon you round, I perceived the company in no way attendaily for an imitation of Eastern writing no way tive to what I attempted, with so much earnest. resembles their manner, either in sentiment or dic- ness, to enforce. One lady was whispering her tion. In the East, similes are seldom used, and that sat next, another was studying the merits of metaphors almost wholly unknown; but in China a fan, a third began to yawn, and the author liimparticularly, the very reverse of what you allude to self fell fast asleep. I thought it, therefore, high time takes place; a cool phlegmatic method of writing to make a retreat; nor did the company seem to prevails there. The writers of that country, ever show any regret at my preparations for departure: more assidivus to instruct than to please, address even the lady who had invited me, with the most rather the judgment than the fancy. Unlike many mortifying insensibility, saw me seize my hat, and authors of Europe, who have no consideration of rise from my cushion ; nor was I invited to repeat the reader's time, they generally leave more to be my visit, because it was found that I aimed at apunderstood than they express.
pearing rather a reasonable creature than an outBesides, sir, you must not expect from an in- landish ideot. Adieu. habitant of China the same ignorance, the same unlettered simplicity, that you find in a Turk, Persian, or native of Peru. The Chinese are versed in the sciences as well as you, and are mas
LETTER XXXIV. ters of several arts unknown to the people of Europe. Many of them are instructed not only in
To the Same. their own national learning, but are perfectly well acquainted with the languages and learning of the The polite arts are in this country subject to as West. If my word in such a case is not to be many revolutions as its laws or politics: not only taken, consult your own travellers on this head, the objects of fancy and dress, but even of delicacy who affirm, that the scholars of Pekin and Siam and taste, are directed by the capricious influence sustain theological theses in Latin. The college of fashion. I am told there has been a time when of Masprend, which is but a league from Siam poetry was universally encouraged by the great; (says one of your travellers, *) came in a body to when men of the first rank not only patronized the salute our ambassador. Nothing gare me more poet, but produced the finest models for his imitasincere pleasure than to behold a number of priests, tion. It was then the English sent forth those venerable both from age and modesty, followed by glowing rhapsodies, which we have so often read a number of youths of all nations, Chinese, Ja-Jover together with rapture; poems big with all the panese, Tonquinese, of Cochin China, Pegu, and sublimity of Mentius, and supported by reasoning Siam, all willing to pay their respects in the most as strong as that of Zimpo. polite manner imaginable. A Cochin Chinese The nobility are fond of wisdom, but they are made an excellent Latin oration upon this occa- also fond of having it without study; to read poetry
required thought; and the English nobility were • Journal ou Suite du Voyage de Siam, en forme de let. not fond of thinking: they soon therefore placed tres familières, fait en 1685 et 1686, par N. L. D. C., p. 174. their affections upon music, because in this they Ellie. Amstelod. 1686.
might indulge a happy vacancy, and yet still have
pretensions to delicacy and taste as before. They piness of a picture-buyer as gazers are to the magsoon brought their numerous dependants into an nificence of an Asiatic procession. approbation of their pleasures; who in turn led I have enclosed a letter from a youth of distinc
their thousand imitators to feel or feign a similitude tion, on his travels, to his father in England; ! of passion. Colonies of singers were now im- in which he appears addicted to no vice, seems
ported from abroad at a vast expense; and it was obedient to his governor, of a good natural disexpected the English would soon be able to set position, and fond of improvement, but at the examples to Europe. All these expectations, how- same time early taught to regard cabinets and galEver, were soon dissipated. In spite of the zeal leries, as the only proper schools of improvement, which fired the great, the ignorant vulgar refused and to consider a skill in pictures as the properest to be taught to sing; refused to undergo the cere- knowledge for a man of quality. monies which were to initiate them in the singing fraternity: thus the colony from abroad dwindled "My LORD, by degrees; for they were of themselves unfortu- "We have been but two days an Antwerp; nately incapable of propagating the breed. wherefore I have sat down as soon as possible, to
Music having thus lost its splendour, painting give you some account of what we have seen since is now become the sole object of fashionable care. our arrival, desirous of letting no opportunity pass The title of connoisseur in that art is at present without writing to so good a father. Immediately the safest passport in every fashionable society; a upon alighting from our Rotterdam machine, my well-timed shrug, an admiring attitude, and one governor, who is immoderately fond of paintings, or two exotic tones of exclamation, are sufficient and at the same time an excellent judge, would let qualifications for men of low circumstances to curry no time pass till we paid our respects to the church favour. Even some of the young nobility are of the virgin-mother, which contains treasure bethemselves early instructed in handling the pencil
, yond estimation. We took an infinity of pains in while their happy parents, big with expectation, knowing its exact dimensions, and differed balf a foresee the walls of every apartment covered with foot in our calculation; so I leave that to some the manufactures of their posterity.
succeeding information. I really believe my goBut many of the English are not content with vernor and I could have lived and died there. giving all their time to this art at home; some There is scarce a pillar in the whole church that Foung men of distinction are found to travel is not adorned by a Reubens, a Vander Meuylen, through Europe, with no other intent than that of a Vandyke, or a Wouverman. What attitudes, understanding and collecting pictures, studying carnations, and draperies! I am almost induced seals, and describing statues. On they travel from to pity the English, who have none of those exquithis cabinet of curiosities to that gallery of pictures; site pieces among them. As we were willing to waste the prime of life in wonder; skilful in pic- let slip no opportunity of doing business, we imtures, ignorant in men; yet impossible to be re- mediately after went to wait on Mr. Hogendorp, claimed, because their follies take shelter under the whom you have so frequently commended for his fames of delicacy and taste.
judicious collection. His cameos are indeed beIt is true, painting should have due encourage-yond price: his intaglios not so good. He showed ment; as the painter can undoubtedly fit up our us one of an officiating tamen, which he thought apartments in a much more elegant manner than to be an antique; but my governor, who is not to the upholsterer ; but I should think a man of fash- be deceived in these partitulars, soon found it to be ion makes but an indifferent exchange who lays an arrant cinque cento. I could not, however, out all that time in furnishing his house which he sufficiently admire the genius of Mr. Hogendorp, should have employed in the furniture of his head. who has been able to collect, from all parts of the A
person who shows no other symptoms of taste world, a thousand things which nobody knows the than his cabinet or gallery, might as well boast to use of. Except your lordship and my governor, me of the furniture of his kitchen.
I do not know any body I admire so much. He I know no other motive but vanity that induces is indeed a surprising genius. The next morning the great to testify such an inordinate passion for early, as we were resolved to take the whole day pictures
. After the piece is bought, and gazed at before us, we sent our compliments to Mr. Van eight or ten days successively, the purchaser's plea-Sprokken, desiring to see his gallery, which request bure must surely be over; all the satisfaction he he very politely complied with. His gallery meacan then have is to show it to others; he may be sures fifty feet by twenty, and is well filled; but considered as the guardian of a treasure of which what surprised me most of all, was to see a holy he makes no manner of use; his gallery is furnish- family just like your lordship’s
; which this ingeed not for himself but the connoisseur, who is ge- nious gentleman assures me is the true original. Derally some humblé flatterer, ready to feign a rap- I own this gave me inexpressible uneasiness, and ture he does not feel, and as necessary to the hap-\I fear it will to your lordship, as I liad flattered