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their behaviour, and you will confess there are some happiness! What yet untasted banquet, what luxainong us who practise true devotion. ury yet unknown, has rewarded thy painful ad
I now looked round me as directed, but saw ventures? Name a pleasure which thy native counnothing of that fervent devotion which he had try could not amply procure; frame a wish that promised: one of the worshippers appeared to be might not have been satisfied in China! Why then ogling the company through a glass; another was such toil, and such danger, in pursuit of raptures fervent, not in addresses to Heaven, but to his mis- within your reach at home? tress; a third whispered, a fourth took snuff, and the priest himself, in a drowsy tone, read over the duties of the day.
The Europeans, you will say, excel us in sciences and in arts; those sciences which bound the aspiring wish, and those arts which tend to gratify even unrestrained desire. They may perhaps out
Bless my eyes, cried I, as I happened to look towards the door, what do I see! one of the worship-do us in the arts of building ships, casting cannons, pers fallen fast asleep, and actually sunk down on or measuring mountains; but are they superior in his cushion! Is he now enjoying the benefit of a the greatest of all arts, the art of governing kingtrance, or does he receive the influence of some doms and ourselves? mysterious vision? Alas! Alas! replied my companion, no such thing; he has only had the misfortune of eating too hearty a dinner, and finds it impossible to keep his eyes open. Turning to another part of the temple, I perceived a young an ancient extended empire, established by laws lady just in the same circumstances and attitude: which nature and reason seem to have dictated. Strange! cried I, can she too have over-eaten her- The duty of children to their parents, a duty which self? O fie! replied my friend, you now grow nature implants in every breast, forms the strength censorious. She grow drowsy from eating too of that government, which has subsisted for time much! that would be a profanation! She only immemorial. Filial obedience is the first and greatsleeps now from haring sat up all night at a brag est requisite of a state; by this we become good party. Turn me where I will then, says I, I can subjects to our emperors, capable of behaving with perceive no single symptom of devotion among the just subordination to our superiors, and grateful worshippers, except from that old woman in the dependants on Heaven: by this we become fonder corner, who sits groaning behind the long sticks of marriage, in order to be capable of exacting of a mourning fan; she indeed seems greatly edi- obedience from others in our turn: by this we befied with what she hears. Ay, replied my friend, come good magistrates; for early submission is the I knew we should find some to catch you; I know truest lesson to those who would learn to rule. By her; that is the deaf lady who lives in the clois- this the whole state may be said to resemble one family, of which the emperor is the protector, father, and friend.
When I compare the history of China with that of Europe, how do I exult in being a native of that kingdom which derives its original from the sun. Upon opening the Chinese history, I there behold
From Fum Hoam, to Lien Chi Altangi, the discontented
In short, the remissness of behaviour in almost all the worshippers, and some even of the guardians, In this happy region, sequestered from the rest struck me with surprise. I had been taught to be- of mankind, I see a succession of princes who in lieve that none were ever promoted to offices in the general considered themselves as the fathers of their temple, but men remarkable for their superior people; a race of philosophers who bravely comsanctity, learning, and rectitude; that there was bated idolatry, prejudice, and tyranny, at the exno such thing heard of, as persons being introduced pense of their private happiness and immediate into the church merely to oblige a senator, or pro- reputation. Whenever a usurper or a tyrant invide for the younger branch of a noble family: I truded into the administration, how have all the expected, as their minds were continually set upon good and great been united against him! Can Euheavenly things, to see their eyes directed there ropean history produce an instance like that of the also; and hoped, from their behaviour, to perceive twelve mandarines, who all resolved to apprize the their inclinations corresponding with their duty. vicious emperor Tisiang of the irregularity of his But I am since informed, that some are appointed conduct? He who first undertook the dangerous to preside over temples they never visit; and, task was cut in two by the emperor's order; the while they receive all the money, are contented second was ordered to be tormented, and then put with letting others do all the good. Adieu. to a cruel death: the third undertook the task with intrepidity, and was instantly stabbed by the ty rant's hand: in this manner they all suffered except one. But not to be turned from his purpose, the brave survivor, entering the palace with the instruments of torture in his hand, Here, cried he, addressing himself to the throne, here, O Tisiang,
MUST I ever continue to condemn thy persever
ance, and blame that curiosity which destroys thy are the marks your faithful subjects receive fin
their loyalty; I am wearied with serving a tyrant, prey to those whom they had conquered. We see and now come for my reward. The emperor, those barbarians, when become Christians, engaged struck with his intrepidity, instantly forgave the in a continual war with the followers of Mahomet; boldness of his conduct, and reformed his own. or, more dreadful still, destroying each other. We What European annals can thus boast of a tyrant see councils in the earlier ages authorizing every thus reclaimed to lenity? iniquity; crusades spreading desolation in the When five brethren had set upon the great em- country left, as well as that to be conquered; experor Ginsong alone, with his sabre he slew four communications freeing subjects from natural alleof them; he was stuggling with the fifth, when his giance, and persuading to sedition; blood flowing guards coming up were going to cut the conspi- in the fields and on scaffolds; tortures used as arator into a thousand pieces. No, no, cried the guments to convince the recusant; to heighten the emperor with a calm and placid countenance, of all horror of the piece, behold it shaded with wars, rehis brothers he is the only one remaining, at least bellions, treasons, plots, politics, and poison. let one of the family be suffered to live, that his aged parents may have somebody left to feed and comfort them!
When Haitong, the last emperor of the house of Ming, saw himself besieged in his own city by the usurper, he was resolved to issue from his palace with six hundred of his guards, and give the enemy battle; but they forsook him. Being thus without hopes, and choosing death rather than to fall alive into the hands of a rebel, he retired to his garden, conducting his little daughter, an only child, in, his hand; there, in a private arbour, unsheathing his sword, he stabbed the young innocent to the heart, and then dispatched himself, leaving the following words written with his blood on the border of his vest: Forsaken by my subjects, abandoned by my friends, use my body as you will, but spare, O spare my pcople!
And what advantage has any country of Europe obtained from such calamities? Scarcely any. Their dissensions for more than a thousand years have served to make each other unhappy, but have enriched none. All the great nations still nearly preserve their ancient limits; none have been able to subdue the other, and so terminate the dispute. France, in spite of the conquests of Edward the Third and Henry the Fifth, notwithstanding the efforts of Charles the Fifth and Philip the Second, still remains within its ancient limits. Spain, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, the States of the North, are nearly still the same. What effect then has the blood of so many thousands, the destruction of so many cities, produced? Nothing either great or considerable. The Christian princes have lost indeed much from the enemies of Christendom, but they have gained nothing from each other. Their princes, because they preferred ambition to justice, deserve the character of enemies to mankind; and their priests, by neglecting morality for opinion, have mistaken the interests of society.
An empire which has thus continued invariably the same for such a long succession of ages; which, though at last conquered by the Tartars, still preserves its ancient laws and learning, and may more properly be said to annex the dominions of Tartary On whatever side we regard the history of Euto its empire, than to admit a foreign conquerer; an rope, we shall perceive it to be a tissue of crimes, empire as large as Europe, governed by one law, ac- follies, and misfortunes, of politics without design, knowledging subjection to one prince, and experi- and wars without consequence : in this long list of encing but one revolution of any continuance in the human infirmity, a great character, or a shining space of four thousand years; this is something so virtue, may sometimes happen to arise, as we often peculiarly great, that I am naturally led to despise all meet a cottage or a cultivated spot in the most other nations on the comparison. Here we see no hideous wilderness. But for an Alfred, an Alphonreligious persecutions, no enmity between man-so, a Frederick, or an Alexander III., we meet a kind, for difference in opinion. The disciples of thousand princes who have disgraced humanity. Lao Kium, the idolatrous sectaries of Fohi, and the philosophical children of Confucius, only strive to show by their actions the truth of their doctrines.
Now turn from this happy, peaceful scene, to Europe, the theatre of intrigue, avarice, and ambition. How many revolutions does it not experience in the compass even of one age! and to what do these revolutions tend but the destruction of thousands? Every great event is replete with some new calamity. The seasons of serenity are passed over in silence, their histories seem to speak only of the storin.
From Lien Chi Altang, to Fum Hoam, First President of the
WE have just received accounts here, that Vol taire, the poet and philosopher of Europe, is dead! He is now beyond the reach of the thousand enemies, who, while living, degraded his writings, and branded his character. Scarcely a page of his lat There we see the Romans extending their pow-ter productions, that does not betray the agonies of e: over barbarous nations, and in turn becoming ala heart bleeding under the scourge of unmerited
reproach. Happy, therefore, at last in escaping] An inflexible perseverance in what he thought
that he should be the first flatterer of the state.
The great Prussian received him as an ornament to his kingdom, and had sense enough to value his friendship, and profit by his instructions. When I cast my eye over the fates of several In this court he continued till an intrigue, with philosophers, who have at different periods enlight- which the world seems hitherto unacquainted, obened mankind, I must confess it inspires me with liged him to quit that country. His own happiness, the most degrading reflections on humanity. When the happiness of the monarch, of his sister, of a I read of the stripes of Mentius, the tortures of part of the court, rendered his departure necesTchin, the bowl of Socrates, and the bath of Sene- sary. ca; when I hear of the persecutions of Dante, the imprisonment of Galileo, the indignities suffered
by Montaigne, the banishment of Cartesius, the infamy of Bacon, and that even Locke himself escaped not without reproach; when I think on such subjects, I hesitate whether most to blame the ignorance or the villany of my fellow-creatures.
Should you look for the character of Voltaire among the journalists and illiterate writers of the age, you will there find him characterized as a monster, with a head turned to wisdom, and a heart inclining to vice; the powers of his mind and the baseness of his principles forming a detestable contrast. But seek for his character among writers like himself, and you find him very differently deBetween Voltaire and the disciples of Confucius, scribed. You perceive him, in their accounts, possessed of good-nature, humanity, greatness of there are many differences; however, being of a soul, fortitude, and almost every virtue; in this different opinion does not in the least diminish my description, those who might be supposed best ac-esteem: I am not displeased with my brother, bequainted with his character are unanimous. The cause he happens to ask our father for favours in a royal Prussian,* d'Argents,† Diderot,‡ d'Alembert, different manner from me. Let his errors rest in and Fontenelle, conspire, in drawing the picture, peace, his excellencies deserve admiration; let me in describing the friend of man, and the patron of with the wise admire his wisdom; let the envious and the ignorant ridicule his foibles: the folly of every rising genius. others is ever most ridiculous to those who are themselves most foolish. Adieu.
Philosophe sans souci Let. Chin. Encycloped
Tired at length of courts, and all the follies of the great, he retired to Switzerland, a country of liberty, where he enjoyed tranquillity and the muse. Here, though without any taste for magnificence himself, he usually entertained at his table the learned and polite of Europe, who were attracted by a desire of seeing a person from whom they had received so much satisfaction. The entertainment was conducted with the utmost elegance, and the conversation was that of philosophers. Every country that at once united liberty and science, was his peculiar favourite. The being an Englishman was to him a character that claimed admiration and respect.
of happiness, that can be applied with propriety to every condition of life. The man of pleasure, the man of business, and the philosopher, are equally interested in its disquisition. If we do not find happiness in the present moment, in what shall we find it? either in reflecting on the past, or prognosticating the future. But let us see how these are capable of producing satisfaction.
A remembrance of what is past, and an anticipation of what is to come, seem to be the two faculties by which man differs most from other animals. Though brutes enjoy them in a limited degree, yet
From Lien Chi Altangi to Hingpo, a Slave in Persia. Ir is impossible to form a philosophic system of happiness, which is adapted to every condition in life, since every person who travels in this great pursuit takes a separate road. The differing colours which suit different complexions, are not more various than the different pleasures appropriated to different minds. The various sects who have pretended to give lessons to instruct me in happiness, have described their own particular sensations their whole life seems taken up in the present, rewithout considering ours, have only loaded their gardless of the past and the future. Man, on the disciples with constraint, without adding to their contrary, endeavours to derive his happiness, and real felicity. experiences most of his miseries, from these two If I find pleasure in dancing, how ridiculous sources. would it be in me to prescribe such an amusement for the entertainment of a cripple: should he, on the other hand, place his chief delight in painting, yet would he be absurd in recommending the same should complain and be humble? Either from the relish to one who had lost the power of distinguish-abuse, or from the nature of things, it certainly ing colours. General directions are, therefore, com- makes our condition more miserable. monly useless: and to be particular would exhaust volumes, since each individual may require a particular system of precepts to direct his choice.
Is this superiority of reflection a prerogative of which we should boast, and for which we should thank nature; or is it a misfortune of which we
Had we a privilege of calling up, by the power of memory, only such passages as were pleasing, unmixed with such as were disagreeable, we might then excite at pleasure an ideal happiness, per. haps more poignant than actual sensation. But
Every mind seems capable of entertaining a certain quantity of happiness, which no institutions can increase, no circumstances alter, and entirely this is not the case: the past is never represented independent of fortune. Let any man compare his without some disagreeable circumstance, which present fortune with the past, and he will probably tarnishes all its beauty; the remembrance of an evil find himself, upon the whole, neither better nor carries in it nothing agreeable, and to remember a worse than formerly. good is always accompanied with regret. Thus we lose more than we gain by the remembrance.
Gratified ambition, or irreparable calamity, may produce transient sensations of pleasure or distress. Those storms may discompose in proportion as they are strong, or the mind is pliant to their impression. But the soul, though at first lifted up by the event, is every day operated upon with diminished influence, and at length subsides into the level of its usual tranquillity. Should some unexpected turn of fortune take thee from fetters, and place thee on a throne, exultation would be natural upon the change; but the temper, like the face, would soon resume its native serenity.
And we shall find our expectation of the future to be a gift more distressful even than the former. To fear an approaching evil is certainly a most disagreeable sensation: and in expecting an approaching good, we experience the inquietude o wanting actual possession.
Thus, whichever way we look, the prospect is disagreeable. Behind, we have left pleasures we shall never more enjoy, and therefore regret; and before, we see pleasures which we languish to pos sess, and are consequently uneasy till we possess Every wish, therefore, which leads us to expect them. Was there any method of seizing the prehappiness somewhere else but where we are, every sent, unembittered by such reflections, then would institution which teaches us that we should be bet-our state be tolerably easy.
ter by being possessed of something new, which This, indeed, is the endeavour of all mankind, promises to lift us a step higher than we are, only who, untutored by philosophy, pursue as much as lays a foundation for uneasiness, because it con- they can a life of amusement and dissipation, tracts debts which we can not repay; it calls that Every rank in life, and every size of understanda good, which, when we have found it, will, in fact, ing, seems to follow this alone; or not pursuing add nothing to our happiness. deviates from happiness. The man of pleasure pursues dissipation by profession; the man of busi
To enjoy the present, without regret for the past or solicitude for the future, has been the advice ra-ness pursues it not less, as every voluntary labour ther of poets than philosophers. And yet the pre- he undergoes is only dissipation in disguise. The ccpt seems more rational than is generally imagined. philosopher himself, even while he reasons upon the It is the only general precept respecting the pursuit subject, does it unknowingly, with a view of dissi
pating the thoughts of what he was, or what he which makes the uneasiness and misery of others,
those uneasy sensations which memory or antici-
add to our happiness in no other manner, but by
The enthusiasm of pleasure charms only by in-
cloyed, finds a diminution of every other appetite. Thus, after a full indulgence of any one sense, the man of pleasure finds a languor in all, is placed in a chasm between past and expected enjoyment, perceives an interval which must be filled up. The
present can give no satisfaction, because he has From Lien Chi Altangi, to Fum Hoam, First President of the
THOUGH the frequent invitations I receive from
to the past or future; the reflector finds that he was men of distinction here might excite the vanity of
From the highest to the lowest, this people seem