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of baling them up, and the propereft manner for an European to preserve his health in the country. The miffioner, on the other hand, informs us, with what pleafure the country to which he was fent, embraced chriftianity, and the numbers he converted; what methods he took to keep Lent in a region where there was no fish, or the shifts he made to celebrate the rites of his religion, in places where there was neither bread nor wine; fuch accounts, with the usual appendage of marriages and funerals, inscriptions, rivers, and mountains make up the whole of an European traveller's diary; but as to all the fecrets of which the inhabitants are poffeffed, thofe are universally attributed to magic; and when the traveller can give no other account of the wonders he sees performed, he very contentedly afcribes them to the power of the devil.
It was an ufual obfervation of Boyle, the English chemist, that if every artist would but discover what new obfervations occurred to him in the exercife of his trade, philofophy would thence gain innumerable improvements. It may be observed with ftill greater justice, that if the useful knowledge of every country, howfoever barbarous, was gleaned by a judicious obferver, the advantages would be ineftimable. Are there not, even in Europe, many useful inventions known, or practifedbut in one place? The inftrument, as an example, for cutting down corn in Germany, is much more handy and expeditious, in my opinion, than the fickle used in England. The cheap end expeditious manner of making vinegar without previous fermentation, is known only in a part of France. If fuch difcoveries, therefore, remain to be known at home, what funds of knowledge
might not be collected in countries yet unexplored, or only paffed through by ignorant travellers in hafty ca
The caution with which foreigners are received in Afia, may be alledged as an objection to such a design. But how readily have feveral European merchants found admiffion into regions the moft fufpecting, under the character of Sanjapins, or northern pilgrims; to fuch, not even China itself denies access.
To send out a traveller, properly qualified for these purposes, might be an object of national concern; it would in some measure repair the breaches made by ambition; and might fhew that there were ftill fome who boasted a greater name than that of patriots, who profeffed themselves lovers of men. The only difficulty would remain in chufing a proper person for so arduous an enterprize. He fhould be a man of a philofophical turn, one apt to deduce confequences of general utility from particular occurrences, neither swollen with pride, nor hardened by prejudice, neither wedded to one particular fyftem, nor inftructed only in one particular science: neither wholly a botanist, nor quite an antiquarian; his mind fhould be tinctured with miscellaneous knowledge, and his manner humanized by an intercourse with men. He should be, in fome measure, an enthufiaft to the design; fond of travelling, from a rapid imagination, and an innate love of change; furnished with a body capable of sustaining every fatigue, and an heart not eafily terrified at danger.
FROM THE SAME.
ONE of the principal tafks I had proposed to myself
on my arrival here, was to become acquainted with the names and characters of those now living, who, as scholars or wits, had acquired the greatest share of reputation. In order to succeed in this defign, I fancied the fureft method would be to begin my enquiry among the ignorant, that his fame would be greatest, which was loud enough to be heard by the vulgar. Thus predifpofed, I began the fearch, but only went in queft of disappointment and perplexity. I found every diftrict had a peculiar famous man of its own. Here the ftory-telling shoe maker had engrossed the admiration on one side of the street, while the bellman, who excelleth at a catch, was in quiet poffeffion of the other. At one end of lane the fexton was regarded as the greatest man alive; but I had not travelled half its length, till I found an enthusiastic teacher had divided his reputation. My landlady perceiving my defign, was kind enough to offer me her advice in this affair: it was true, fhe observed, that she was no judge, but she knew what pleased herself, and if I would reft upon her judgment, I should set down Tom Collins as the moft ingenious man in the world, for Tom was able to take off all mankind, and imitate befides a fow and pigs to perfection.
I now perceived, that taking my standard of reputation among the vulgar would fwell my catalogue of great names above the fize of a Court Calendar; I therefore
discontinued this method of pursuit, and refolved to profecute my enquiry into that ufual refidence of fame, a bookfeller's fhop. In confequence of this I entreated the bookfeller to let me know who were they who now made the greatest figure either in morals, wit, or learning. Without giving me a direct answer, he pulled a pamphlet from the shelf, The Young Attorney's Guide; there, Sir, cries he, there's a touch for you, fifteen hundred of thefe moved off in a day: I take the author of this pamphlet, either for title, preface, plan, body, or index, to be the completeft hand in England. I found it was vain to prosecute my enquiry where my informer appeared fo incompetent a judge of merit; fo paying for the Young Attorney's Guide, which good manners obliged me to buy, I walked off.
My pursuit after famous men now brought me into a print-shop. Here, thought I, the painter only reflects the public voice. As every man who deserved it had formerly his ftatue placed up in the Roman Forum, fo here probably the pictures of none but such as merit a place in our affections are held up for public fale. But guess my surprise when I came to examine this depositary of noted faces; all diftinctions were levelled here, as in the grave, and I could not but regard it as the catacomb of real merit. The brick-duft man took up as much room as the truncheoned hero, and the judge was elbowed by the thief-taker; quacks, pimps, and buffoons increased the groupe, and noted stallions only made room for mere noted whores. I had read the works of fome of the moderns previous to my coming to England with delight and approbation; but I found their faces had no place here; the walls were covered with the names of authors
I had never known, or had endeavoured to forget; with the little felf-advertising things of a day, who had forced themselves into fashion, but not into fame, I could read at the bottom of some pictures, the names of **, and ***, and ****, all equally candidates for the vulgar shout, and foremost to propagate their unblufhing faces upon brafs. My uneafinefs therefore at not finding my new favourite names among the number, was now changed into congratulation; I could not, avoid reflecting on the fine obfervation of Tacitus on a fimilar occafion. In this cavalcade of flattery, cries the hiftorian, neither the pictures of Brutus, Caffius, nor Cato were to be seen co clariores quia imagines eorum non deferebantur, their absence being the strongest proof of their merit
It is in vain, cried I, to feek for true greatnefs among these monuments of the unburied dead; let me go among the tombs of those who are confeffedly famous, and see if any have been lately depofited there who deferve the. attention of pofterity, and whose names may be tranfmitted to my distant friend, as an honour to the prefent age. Determined in my pursuit, I paid a second visit to Westminster Abbey. There I found several new monuments erected to the memory of feveral great men; the names of the great men I abfolutely forget, but I will remember that Roubillac was the statuary who carved them. I could not help fmiling at two modern epitaphs in particular, one of which praised the deceased for being ortus ex antiqua ftirpe, the other commended the dead, because hanc adem fuis fumtibus reædificavit : the greatest merit of one confifted in his being defcended from an illuftrious house; the chief distinction of the other, that he had propped up an old houfe that was