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falling. Alas! alas! cried I, fuch monuments as thefe confer honour not upon the great men, but upon little

Roubillac.

Hitherto difappointed in my enquiry after the great of the prefent age, I was refolved to mix in company, and try what I could learn among critics in coffee-houses: and here it was that I heard my favourite names talked of even with inverted fame. A gentleman of exalted merit, as a writer, was branded in general terms as a bad man; another of exquifite delicacy, as a poet, reproached for wanting good nature; a third was accused of freethinking; and a fourth of having once been a player. Strange, cried I, how unjuft are mankind in the diftribution of fame; the ignorant, among whom I fought at firft were willing to grant, but incapable of diftinguishing the virtues of those who deferved it; among those I now converse with, they know the proper objects of admiration, but mix envy with applaufe.

Difappointed fo often, I was now refolved to examine those characters in person of whom the world talked fo freely by converfing with men of real merit, I began to find out those characters which really deferved, though they ftrove to avoid applause. I found the vulgar admiration entirely mifplaced, and malevolence without its fting. The truly great, poffeffed of numerous fmall faults, and fhining virtues, preferve a fublime in morals as in writing. They who have attained an excellence in either, commit numberlefs trangreffions obfervable to the meanest understanding. The ignorant critic and dull remarker can readily fpy blemishes in eloquence or morals, whofe fentiments are not fufficiently elevated to obferve a beauty; but fuch are judges neither of books

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nor of life; they can diminish no folid reputation by their cenfure, nor bestow a lasting character by their applause : in fhort, I found by my fearch, that fuch only can confer real fame upon others who have merit themselves to deferve it. Adieu.

LETTER CX.

TO THE SAME.

THERE are numberlefs employments in the courts

of the eastern monarchs, utterly unpractifed and unknown in Europe. They have no fuch officers, for inftance, as the emperor's ear-tickler, or tooth-picker; they have never introduced at the courts the mandarine appointed to bear the royal tobacco-box, or the grave director of the imperial exercitations in the feraglio. Yet I am furprised that the English have imitated us in none of thefe particulars, as they are generally pleased with every thing that comes from China, and exceffively fond of creating new and useless employments. They have filled their houses with our furniture, their public gardens with our fire-works and their very ponds with our fish; our courtiers, my friend, are the fish, and the furniture they fhould have imported; our courtiers would fill up the neceffary ceremonies of a court better than thofe of Eu. rope, would be contented with receiving large falaries for doing little, whereas fome of this country are at prefent discontented though they receive large falaries for doing nothing.

I lately, therefore, had thoughts of publishing a propofal here, for the admiffion of fome new eastern offices and titles into their court-register. As I confider myfelf in the light of a cofmopolite, I find as much fatisfaction in fcheming for the countries in which I happen to refide, as for that in which I was born.

The finest apartments in the palace of Pegu are frequently infefted with rats. Thefe the religion of the country ftrictly forbids the people to kill. In fuch circumstances, therefore, they are obliged to have recourse to fome great man of the court, who is willing to free the royal apartments, even at the hazard of his falvation. After a weak monarch's reign, the quantity of court vermin in every corner of the palace is furprising, but a prudent king and a vigilant officer foon drives them from their fanctuaries behind the mats and the tapeftry, and effectually frees the court. Such an officer in England, would, in my opinion, be ferviceable at this juncture ; for if, as I am told, the palace be old, much vermin must undoubtedly have taken refuge behind the wainscot and hangings. A minifter fhould, therefore, be invefted with the title and dignities of court-vermin killer; he should have full power either to banish, take, poifon, or destroy them, with enchantments, traps, ferrets, or ratsbane. He might be permitted to brandish his befom without remorse, and brush down every part of the furniture, without fparing a fingle cobweb, however facred by long prefcription. I communicated this proposal some days ago in a company of the first distinction, and enjoying the most honourable offices of ftate. Among the number were the infpector of Great Britain, Mr. Henriques the director of the ministry, Ben. Victor the treasurer, John

Lockman the secretary, and the conductor of the Imperial Magazine. They all acquiefced in the utility of my proposal, but were apprehenfive it might meet with some obftructions from court upholsterers and chambermaids, who would object to it from the demolition of the furniture, and the dangerous ufe of ferrets and ratsbane.

My next propofal is rather more general than the former, and might probably meet with lefs oppofition. Though no people in the world flatter each other more than the English, I know none who understand the art lefs, and flatter with fuch little refinement. Their panegyric, like a Tartar feast, is indeed ferved up with profufion, but their cookery is infupportable. A client here fhall dress up a fricafee for his patron, that shall offend an ordinary nose before it enters the room. A town fhall fend up her address to a great minifter, which shall prove at once a fatire on the minifter and themselves. If the favourite of the day fits, or ftands, or fleeps, there are poets to put it into verfe, and priests to preach it in the pulpit. In order, therefore, to free both those who praise, and those who are praised, from a duty probably difagreeable to both, I would conftitute profeffed flatterers here as in feveral courts of India. These are appointed in the courts of their princes to instruct the people where to exclaim with admiration, and where to lay an emphasis of praise. But an officer of this kind is always in waiting when the emperor converfes in a familiar manner among his rajahs and other nobility. At every fentence, when the monarch pauses, and fmiles. at what he has been saying, the Karamatman, as this officer is called, is to take it for granted, that his majesty has faid a good thing. Upon which he cries out Kara

mat! Karamat! a miracle! a miracle! and throws up his hands and his eyes in an ecstasy. This is echoed by the courtiers around, while the emperor fits all this time in fullen fatisfaction, enjoying the triumph of joke, or studying a new repartee.

I would have fuch an officer placed at every great man's table in England. By frequent practice, he might foon become a perfect master of the art, and in time would turn out pleasing to his patron, no way troublefome to himself, and might prevent the nauseous attempts of many more ignorant pretenders. The clergy here, I am convinced, would relish this propofal. It would provide places for several of them. And indeed by fome of their late productions, many appear to have qualified themselves as candidates for this office already.

But my laft propofal I take to be of the utmost importance. Our neighbour, the emprefs of Ruffia has, you may remember, instituted an order of female knighthood. The emprefs of Germany has alfo inftituted another; the Chinese have had fuch an order time immemorial. I am amazed the English have never come into fuch an inftitution. When I confider what kind of men are made knights here, it appears strange, that they have never conferred this honour upon women. They make cheese-mongers and pastry-cooks knights; then why not their wives? They have called up tallowchandlers to maintain the hardy profeffion of chivalry and arms; then why not their wives? Haberdashers are fworn, as I suppose all knights must be sworn, never to fly in time of mellay or battle, to maintain and uphold the noble eftate of chivalry with horse, harnish, and other knightly habiliments. Haberdashers, I fay, are

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