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ftill he went on, complimenting him as the most mighty, the moft valiant, and the moft perfect of beings: Hold there, my friend, cries the lame emperor, hold there, till I have got another leg. In fact, the feeble or the defpotic alone find pleafure in multiplying these pageants of vanity; but ftrength and freedom have nobler aims, and often find the finest adulation in majestic fimplicity.
The young monarch of this country has already tes tified a proper contempt for feveral unmeaning appendages on royalty; cooks and fcullions have been obliged to quit their fires; gentlemen's gentlemen, and the whole tribe of neceffary people, who did nothing, have been difmiffed from further fervices. A youth, who can thus bring back fimplicity and frugality to a court, will foon probably have a true respect for his own glory, and while he has difmiffed all ufelefs employments, may difdain to accept of empty or degrading titles. Adieu.
FROM THE SAME.
WHENEVER I attempt to characterize the En
glish in general, some unforeseen difficulties conftantly occur to disconcert my design; I hesitate between cenfure and praise: when I confider them as a reasoning philofophical people they have my applause; but when I reverse the medal, and observe their inconftancy and irrefolution, I can fcarcely perfuade myself that I am obferving the fame people.
Yet, upon examination, this very inconftancy, fo remarkable here, flows from no other fource than their love of reafoning. The man who examines a complicated fubject on every fide, and calls in reafon to his affiftance, will frequently change; will find himself diftracted by oppofing probabilities and contending proofs; every alteration of place will diverfify the prospect, will give fome latent argument new force, and contribute to maintain an anarchy in the mind.
On the contrary, they who never examine with their own reason, act with more fimplicity. Ignorance is pofitive, inftinct preferves, and the human being moves in fafety within the narrow circle of brutal uniformity. What is true with regard to individuals, is not less fo when applied to ftates. A reafoning government like this is in continual fluctuation, while thofe kingdoms, where men are taught not to controvert but to obey, continue always the fame. In Afia, for instance, where the monarch's authority is fupported by force, and acknowledged through fear, a change of government is entirely unknown. All the inhabitants seem to wear the fame mental complexion, and remain contented with hereditary oppreffion. the fovereign's pleafure is the ultimate rule of duty; every branch of the administration is a perfect epitome of the whole; and if one tyrant is deposed, another starts up in his room to govern as his predeceffor. The English, on the contrary, inftead of being led by power, endeavour to guide themfelves by reafon; instead of appealing to the pleasure of the prince, appeal to the original rights of mankind. What one "rank of men affert is denied by others, as the reasons on
oppofite fides happen to come home with greater or less conviction. The people of Afia are directed by precedent, which never alters; the English by reason, which is ever changing its appearance.
The difadvantages of an Afiatic government acting in this manner by precedent are evident; original errors are thus continued, without hopes of redress, and all marks of genius are levelled down to one standard, fince no fuperiority of thinking can be allowed its exertion in mending obvious defects. But to recompense those defects, their governments undergo no new alterations, they have no new evils to fear, nor no fermentations in the conftitution that continue: the ftruggle for power is foon over, and all becomes tranquil as before; they are habituated to fubordination, and men are taught to form no other defires than those which they are allowed to fatisfy.
The difadvantages of a government acting from the immediate influence of reafon, like that of England, are not less than those of the former. It is extremely difficult to induce a number of free beings to co-operate for their mutual benefit; every poffible advantage will neceffarily be fought, and every attempt to procure it must be attended with a new fermentation; various reafons will lead different ways, and equity and advantage will often be out-balanced by a combination of clamour and prejudice. But though fuch a people may be thus in the wrong, they have been influenced by an happy delufion, their errors are seldom feen till they are felt; each man is himself the tyrant he has obeyed, and fuch a master he can easily forgive. The disadvantages he feels may
in reality be equal to what is felt in the moft defpotic government; but man will bear every calamity with patience, when he knows himself to be the author of his own misfortunes. Adieu.
FROM THE SAME.
My long refidence here begins to fatigue me; as
every object ceafes to be new, it no longer continues to be pleafing; fome minds are fo fond of variety, that pleasure itfelf, if permanent, would be infupportable, and we are thus obliged to folicit new happiness even by courting distress: I only therefore wait the arrival of my fon to vary this trifling scene, and borrow new pleasure from danger and fatigue. A life, I own, thus fpent in wandering from place to place, is at beft but empty diffipation. But to purfue trifles is the lot of humanity; and whether we bustle in a pantomime, or ftrut at a coronation; whether we shout at a bonfire, or harangue in a fenate-houfe; whatever object we follow, it will at laft furely conduct us to futility and difappointment. The wife bustle and laugh as they walk in the pageant, but fools buftle and are important; and this probably is all the difference between them.
This may be an apology for the levity of my former correfpondence; I talked of trifles: and I knew that they were trifles to make the things of this life ridiculous, it was only fufficient to call them by their names.
In other refpects I have omitted feveral ftriking circumstances in the description of this country, as fuppofing them either already known to you, or as not being thoroughly known to myself: but there is one omiffion for which I expect no forgiveness, namely, my being totally filent upon their buildings, roads, rivers, and mountains. This is a branch of science, on which all other travellers are so very prolix, that my deficiency will appear the more glaring. With what pleasure, for instance, do some read of a traveller in Egypt measuring a fallen column with his cane, and finding it ex. actly five feet nine inches long; of his creeping through the mouth of a catacomb, and coming out by a different hole from that he entered; of his ftealing the finger of an antique ftatue, in fpite of the janizary that watched him; or his adding a new conjecture to the hundred and fourteen conjectures, already published upon the names of Ofiris and Ifis.
Methinks I hear fome of my friends in China demanding a similar account of London and the adjacent villages and if I remain here much longer, it is probable I may gratify their curiofity. I intend, when run dry on other topics, to take a serious furvey of the citywall; to describe that beautiful building the mansionhoufe; I will enumerate the magnificent squares in which the nobility chiefly reside, and the royal palace appointed for the reception of the English monarch: nor will I forget the beauties of Shoe-lane, in which I myself have refided fince my arrival. You shall find me no way inferior to many of my brother travellers in the arts of description. At prefent, however, as a specimen of this way of writing, I fend you a few hafty remarks,