spires, a disconsolate figure, who sat on the other imagination, even beyond the efforts of the Chinese end of the seat, seemed no way to enjoy the sereni- themselves. How were we enraptured with those ty of the season.

bold figures which sent every sentiment with forcé His dress was miserable beyond description : a to the heart. How have we spent whole days tothreadbare coat of the rudest materials; a shirt, gether, in learning those arts by which European though clean, yet extremely coarse; hair that writers got within the passions, and led the reader seemed to have been long unconscious of the comb; as if by enchantment. and all the rest of his equipage impressed with the But though we have learned most of the rhetori. marks of genuine poverty.

cal figures of the last age, yet there seems to be one As he continued to sigh, and testify every symp- or two of great use here, which have not yet traveltom of despair, 1 was naturally led, from a motive led to China. The figures I mean are called of humanity, to offer comfort and assistance. You Bawdry and Pertress: none are more fashionable; know my heart; and that all who are miserable none so sure of admirers; they are of such a namay claim a place there. The pensive stranger ture, that the merest blockhead, by a proper use of at first declined my conversation ; but at last, per- them, shall have the reputation of a wit; they lie ceiving a peculiarity in my accent and manner of level to the meanest capacities, and address those thinking, he began to unfold himself by degrees. /passions which all have, or would be ashamed to

Í now found that he was not so very miserable disown. as he at first appeared; upon my offering him a It has been observed, and I believe with some truth, small piece of money, he refused my favour, yet that it is very difficult for a dunce to obtain the rewithout appearing displeased at my intended gener-putation of a wit; yet, by the assistance of the osity. It is true, he sometimes interrupted the figure Baudry, this may be easily effected, and a conversation with a sigh, and talked pathetically of bawdy blockhead often passes for a fellow of smart neglected merit ; yet still I could perceive a serenity parts and pretensions. Every object in naturn in his countenance, that, upon a closer inspection, helps the jokes forward, without scarcely any effort bespoke inward content.

of the imagination. If a lady stands, something Upon a pause in the conversation, I was going very good may be said upon that; if she happens to take my leave, when he begged I would favour to fall, with the help of a little fashionable prurienhim with my company home to supper. I was cy, there are forty sly things ready on the occasurprised at such a demand from a person of his sion. But a prurient jest has always been found appearance, but willing to indulge curiosity, I ac- to give most pleasure to a few very old gentlemen, cepted his invitation; and, though I felt some re- who, being in some measure dead to other sensa. pugnance at being seen with one who appeared so tions, feel the force of the allusion with double very wretched, went along with seeming alacrity. violence on the organs of risibility. Still as he approached nearer home, his good hu

An author who writes in this manner is generalmour proportionably seemed to increase. At last ly sure therefore of having the very old and the he stopped, not at the gate of a hovel, but of a mag- impotent among his admirers; for these he may nificent palace! When I cast my eyes upon all the properly be said to write, and from these he ought sumptuous elegance which every where presented to expect his reward ; his works being often a very upon entering, and then when I looked at my seem- proper succedaneum to cantharides, or an asafoetiing miserable conductor, I could scarcely think that da pill

. His pen should be considered in the same all this finery belonged to him; yet in fact it did. light as the squirt of an apothecary, both being Numerous servants ran through the apartments directed to the same generous end. with silent assiduity; several ladies of beauty, and But though this manner of writing be perfectly magnificently dressed, came to welcome his return; adapted to the taste of gentlemen and ladies of a most elegant supper was provided : in short, 1 fashion here, yet still it deserves greater praise in found the person whom a little before I had sin being equally suited to the most vulgar apprehencerely pitieil, to be in reality a most refined epicure, sions. The very ladies and gentlemen of Benin

- one who courted contempt abroad, in order to or Caffraria are in this respect tolerably polite, and feel with keener gust the pleusure of pre-eminence might relish a prurient joke of this kind with critiat home. Adieu.

cal propriety; probably too with higher gust, as they wear neither breeches nor petticoats to intercept the application.

It is certain I never could have thought the laLETTER LIII.

dies here, biassed as they are by education, capable at once of bravely throwing off their prejudices,

and not only applauding books in which this figure How often have we admired the eloquence of makes the only merit, but even adopting it in their Europe ! that strength of thinking, that delicacy of own conversation. Yet so it is: the pretty inno

From the Same.

From the Same.

cents now carry those books openly in their hands, (of ingenuity, no other mechanical help but down which formerly were hid under the cushion : they right obscenity will suffice. By speaking of some now lisp their double meanings with so much grace, peculiar sensations, we are always sure of exciting and talk over the raptures they bestow with such laughter, for the jest does not lie in the writer, but little reserve, that I am sometimes reminded of a in the subject. custom among the entertainers in China, who think But Bawdry is often helped on by another figure, it a piece of necessary breeding to whet the appe-called Pertness; and few indeed are found to excel tites of their guests, by letting them smell dinner in one that are not possessed of the other. in the kitchen, before it is served up to table. As in common conversation, the best way to

The veneration we have for many things, en- make the audience laugh is by first laughing yourtirely proceeds from their being carefully concealed. self; so in writing, the properest manner is to show Were the idolatrous Tartar permitted to lift the an attempt at humour, which will pass upon most veil which keeps his idol from view, it might be a for humour in reality. To effect this, readers must , certain method to cure his future superstition: with | be treated with the most perfect familiarity: in one what a noble spirit of freedom, therefore, must that page the author is to make them a low bow, and writer be possessed, who bravely paints things as in the next to pull them by the nose; he must talk they are, who lifts the veil of modesty, who dis- in riddles, and then send them to bed in order to plays the most hidden recesses of the temple, and dream for the solution. He must speak of himself, shows the erring people that the object of their vows and his chapters, and his manner, and what he is either, perhaps, a mouse or a monkey! would be at, and his own importance, and his mo

However, though this figure be at present so ther's importance, with the most unpitying proliximuch in fashion; though the professors of it are so ty; and now and then testifying his contempt for much caressed by the great, those perfect judges all but himself, smiling without a jest, and without of literary excellence; yet it is confessed to be only wit professing vivacity. Adieu. a revival of what was once fashionable here before. There was a time, when by this very manner of writing, the gentle Tom Durfey, as I read in En

LETTER LIV. glish authors, acquired his great reputation, and became the favourite of a king.

The works of this original genius, though they never travelled abroad to China, and scarcely have Though naturally pensive, yet I am fond of gay reached posterity at home, were once found upon company, and take every opportunity of thus disevery fashionable toilet, and made the subject of missing the mind from duty. From this motive, palite, I mean very polite conversation. Has your I am often found in the centre of a crowd; and grace seen Mr. Durfey's last new thing, the Oylet wherever pleasure is to be sold, am always a purHole? A most facetious piece !-Sure, my lord, chaser. In those places, without being remarked all the world must have seen it ; Durfey is cer- by any, I join in whatever goes forward ; work my tainly the most comical creature alire. It is im- passions into a similitude of frivolous earnestness, possible to read his things and live. Was there shout as they shout, and condemn as they happen ever any thing so natural and pretty, as when the to disapprove. A mind thus sunk for a while beSquire and Bridget meet in the cellar? And low its natural standard, is qualified for stronger then the difficulties they both find in broaching flights, as those first retire who would spring forthe beer-barrel are so arch and so ingenious : We ward with greater vigour, have certainly nothing of this kind in the lan- Attracted by the serenity of the evening, my guage.” In this manner they spoke then, and in friend and I lately went to gaze upon the company this manner they speak now; for though the suc- in one of the public walks near the city. Here we cessor of Durfey does not excel him in wit, the sauntered together for some time, either praising world must confess he outdoes him in obscenity. the beauty of such as were handsome, or the

There are several very dull fellows, who, by a dresses of such as had nothing else to recommend few mechanical helps, sometimes learn to becomo them. We had gone thus deliberately forward for extremely brilliant and pleasing, with a little dex. some time, when stopping on a sudden, my friend terity in the management of the eyebrows, fingers, caught me by the elbow, and led me out of the and nose. By imitating a cat; a sow and pigs; by public walk. I could perceive by the quickness of a loud laugh, and a slap on the shoulder, the most his pace, and by his frequently looking behind, that ignorant are furnished out for conversation. But he was attempting to avoid somebody who followed : the writer finds it impossible to throw his winks, we now turned to the right, then to the left; as we his shrugs, or his attitudes, upon paper; he may went forward he still went faster, but in vain; the borrow some assistance, indeed, by printing his face person whom he attempted to escape hunted us at the title-page; but without wit, to pass for a man through every doubling, and gained upon us each moment; so that at last we fairly stood still

, re- the devil in my eating. I'll tell you a pleasant afsolving to face what we could not avoid. fair about that : we were a select party of us to

Our pursuer soon came up, and joined us with dine at Lady Grogram's, an affected piece, but let all the familiarity of an old acquaintance. “My it go no farther; a secret: well, there happened to dear Drybone,” cries hc, shaking my friend's hand, be no asafætida in the sauce to a turkey, upon "where have you been hiding this half a century? which, says 1, i'll hold a thousand guineas, and say Positively I had fancied you were gone to cultivate done first, that—but dear Drybone, you are an honmatrimony and your estate in the country.” Duro est creature, lend me half-a-crown for a minute or ing the reply, I had an opportunity of surveying the two, or so, just till but hearkee, ask me for it appearance of our new companion : his hat was the next time we meet, or it may be twenty to one pinched up with peculiar smartness ; his looks were but I forget to pay you." pale, thin, and sharp; round his neck he wore a When he left us, our conversation naturally broad black riband, and in his bosom a buckle stud- turned upon so extraordinary a character. His ded with glass; his coat was trimmed with tarnished very dress, cries my friend, is not less extraordinary. twist; he wore by his side a sword with a black than his conduct. If you meet him this day you hilt: and his stockings of silk, though newly washed, find him in rags, if the next, in embroidery. With were grown yellow by long service. I was so much those persons of distinction of whom he talks so engaged with the peculiarity of his dress, that I at- familiarly, he has scarcely a coffee-house acquainttended only to the latter part of my friend's reply, ance. However, both for the interests of society, in which he complimented Mr. Tibbs on the taste and perhaps for his own, Heaven has made him of his clothes, and the bloom in his countenance : poor, and while all the world perceive his wants, "Pshaw, pshaw, Will," cried the figure, " no more he fancies them concealed from every eye. An of that if you love me : you know I hate Aattery, on agreeable companion, because he understands flatmy soul I do; and yet, to be sure, an intimacy with tery; and all niust be pleased with the first part of the great will improve one's appearance, and a his conversation, though all are sure of its ending course of venison will fatten; and yet, faith, I de- with a demand on their purse. While his youth spise the great as much as you do: but there are a countenances the levity of his conduct, he may great many damn'd honest fellows among them; thus earn a precarious subsistence, but when age and we must not quarrel with one half, because comes on, the gravity of which is incompatible the other wants weeding. If they were all such as with buffoonery, then will he find himself forsaken my Lord Mudler, one of the most good-natured by all; condemned in the decline of life to hang creatures that ever squeezed a lemon, I should my- upon some rich family whom he once despised, self be among the number of their admirers. I was there to undergo all the ingenuity of studied conyesterday to dine at the Duchess of Piccadilly's. tempt, to be employed only as a spy upon the ser. My lord was there. Ned, says he to me, Ned, vants, or a bugbear to fright the children into obesays he, I'll hold gold to silver I can tell where you dience. Adieu. were poaching last night. Poaching, my lord, says 1; faith you have missed already; for I staid at home, and let the girls poach for me. That's my

CHAPTER LV. way; I take a fine woman, as some animals do their prey-stand still, and, swoop, they fall into

To the Sanie. my mouth."

“Ah, Tibbs, thou art a happy fellow," cried my I am apt to fancy I have contracted a new accompanion, with looks of infinite pity; “I hope quaintance whom it will be no easy matter to shake your fortune is as much improved as your under-off. My little beau yesterday overtook me again standing in such company?" "Improved," re- in one of the public walks, and slapping me on the plied the other; "you shall know,—but let it go shoulder, saluted me with an air of the most perno farther,—a great secret-five hundred a-year to fect familiarity. His dress was the same as usual, begin with.—My lord's word of honour for it- except that he had more powder in his hair, woro his lordship took me down in his own chariot yes- a dirtier shirt, a pair of temple spectacles, and his terday, and we had a tête-à-tête dinner in the coun- hat under his arm. try, where we talked of nothing else." "I fancy As I knew him to be a harmless amusing little you forget, sir,” cried I, "you told us but this mo- thing, I could not return his smiles with any dement of your dining yesterday in town.” “Did I gree of severity; so we walked forward on terins say so?” replied he, coolly; "to be sure, if I said of the utmost intimacy, and in a few minutes dis80, it was so--Jined in town; egad, now I do re- cussed all the usual topics preliminary to particular member, I did dine in town; but I dined in the conversation. country too; for you must know, my boys, I eat The oddities that marked his character, howtwo dinners. By the by, I am grown as nice as 'ever, soon began to appear; he bowed to several well-dressed persons, who, by their manner of re- quite high. My Lord Swamp would give ten turning the compliment, appeared perfect strangers. thousand guineas for such a one; but as I someAt intervals he drew out a pocket book, seeming times pleasantly tell him, I always love to keep my to take memorandums before all the company, with prospects at home, that my friends may visit me much importance and assiduity. In this manner the oftener." he led me through the length of the whole walk, By this time we were arrived as high as the stairs fretting at his absurdities, and fancying myself would permit us to ascend, till we came to what laughed at not less than him by every spectator. he was facetiously pleased to call the first floor

When we had got to the end of our procession, down the chimney; and knocking at the door, a “Blast me,” cries he, with an air of vivacity, “I voice from within demanded who's there? My connever saw the park so thin in my life before ! there's ductor answered that it was him. But this not no company at all to-day; not a single face to be satisfying the querist, the voice again repeated the seen.” “No company!" interrupted I, peevishly; demand: to which he answered louder than before; “no company where there is such a crowd? why and now the door was opened by an old woman man, there's too much. What are the thousands with cautious reluctance. that have been laughing at us but company ?'' When we were got in, he welcomed me to his "Lord, my dear," returned he, with the utmost house with great ceremony, and turning to the old good humour, "you seem immensely chagrined; woman, asked where was her lady? “Good troth," but blast me, when the world laughs at me, I replied she, in a peculiar dialect, "she's washing laugh at the world, and so we are even. My Lord your twa shirts at the next door, because they have Trip, Bill Squash the Creolian, and I, sometimes taken an oath against lending out the tub any make a party at being ridiculous; and so we say longer.” “My two shirts,” cried he, in a tone and do a thousand things for the joke's sake. But that faltered with confusion, "what does the idiot I see you are grave, and if you are for a fine grave inean?" "I ken what I mean weel enough,” replied sentimental companion, you shall dine with me and the other; "she's washing your twa shirts at the my wise to-day; I must insist on't: I'll introduce next door, because". "Fire and fury, no more you to Mrs. Tibbs, a lady of as elegant qualifica- of thy stupid explanations,” cried he; "go and intions as any in nature; she was bred, but that's form her we have got company. Were that Scotch between ourselves, under the inspection of the hag to be for ever in my family, she would never Countess of All-night. A charming body of voice; learn politeness, nor forget that absurd poisonous but no more of that, she will give us a song. You accent of hers, or testify the smallest specimen of shall see my little girl too, Carolina Wilhelmina breeding or high life; and yet it is very surprising Amelia Tibbs, a sweet pretty creature! I design too, as I had her from a parliament man, a friend of her for my Lord Drumstick's eldest son ; but that's mine from the Highlands, one of the politest men in friendship, let it go no farther : she's but six in the world; but that's a secret." years old, and yet she walks a minuet, and plays on We waited some time for Mrs. Tibbs's arrival, the guitar immensely already. I intend she shall during which interval I had a full opportunity of be as perfect as possible in every accomplishment. surveying the chamber and all its furniture: which In the first place, I'll make her a scholar; I'll teach consisted of four chairs with old wrought bottoms, her Greek myself, and learn that language pur- that he assured me were his wife's embroidery; a posely to instruct her; but let that be a secret." square table that had been once japanned; a cradle

Thus saying, without waiting for a reply, he in one corner, a lumbering cabinet in the other; a took me by the arm, and hauled me along. We broken shepherdess, and a mandarine without a passed through many dark alleys and winding head, were stuck over the chimney; and round the ways; for, from some motives to me unknown, he walls several paltry unframed pictures, which, he seemed to have a particular aversion to every fre- observed, were all his own drawing. “What do quented street; at last, however, we got to the door you think, sir, of that head in the corner, done in of a dismal-looking house in the outlets of the town, the manner of Grisoni? there's the true keeping in where he informed me he chose to reside for the it; it is my own face, and though there happens to benefit of the air.

be no likeness, a countess offered me a hundred for We entered the lower door, which ever seemed its fellow: I refused her, for, hang it, that would be to lie most hospitably open; and I began to ascend mechanical, you know.” an old and creaking staircase, when, as he mount- The wife at last made her appearance, at once a ed to show me the way, he demanded, whether 1 slattern and a coquette; much emaciated, but still delighted in prospects; to which answering in the carrying the remains of beauty. She malle twenty affirmative, "Then,” says he, “I shall show you apologies for being seen in such olious dishabillo, one of the most charming in the world out of my but hoped to be excused, as she had stayed out all winuow; we shall see tire ships sailing, and the night at the gardens with the countess, who was whole country for twenty miles round, tip top, lexcessively fond of the horns. “And indeed, my

dear,” added she, turning to her husband, "his dices, again renew their hatred to strangers, and lorship drank your health in a bumper."-"Poor indulge every former brutal excess. So true it is, Jack," cries he, "a dear good-natured creature, 1 that the revolutions of wisdom are slow and diffiknow he loves me: but I hope, my dear, you have cult; the revolutions of folly or ambition precipigiven orders for dinner; you need make no great tate and easy. We are not to be astonished, says preparations neither, there are but three of us; Confucius,* that the wise walk more slowly in their something elegant and little will do; a turbot, an road to virtue, than fools in their passage to vice; ortolan, a “Or what do you think, my since passion drags us along, while wisdom only dear,” interrupted the wife, "of a nice pretty bit points out the way. of ox-cheek, piping hot, and dressed with a little of The German empire, that remnant of the mamy own sauce?"_"The very thing," replies he, jesty of ancient Rome, appears, from your account, "it will eat best with some smart bottled beer : but on the eve of dissolution. The members of its vast be sure to let us have the sauce his grace was so fond body want every tie of government to unite them, of. I hate your immense loads of meat, that is and seem feebly held together only by their respect country all over; extremely disgusting to those who for ancient institutions. The very name of coun. are in the least acquainted with righ life.” try and countrymen, which in other nations makes

By this time my curiosity began to abate, and one of the strongest bonds of government, has been my appetite to increase : the company of fools may here for some time laid aside; each of its inhabiat first make us smile, but at last never fails of tants seeming more proud of being called from the rendering us melancholy; I therefore pretended to petty state which gives him birth, than by the recollect a prior engagement, and, after having more well-known title of German. shown my respect to the house, according to the This government may be regarded in the light fashion of the English, by giving the old servant a of a severe master and a feeble opponent. The piece of money at the door, I took my leave; Mrs. states which are now subject to the laws of the Tibbs assuring me, that dinner, if I stayed, would empire are only watching a proper occasion to fling be ready at least in less than two hours.

off the yoke, and those which are become too pow. erful to be compelled to obedience now begin to think of dictating in their turn. The struggles

in this state are, therefore, not in order to preserve, LETTER LVI.

but to destroy the ancient constitution : if one side

succeeds, the government must become despotic, From Fum Hoam to Altangi, the discontented Wanderer.

if the other, several states will subsist without even The distant sounds of music, that catch new nominal subordination; but in either case, the sweetness as they vibrate through the long-drawn Germanic constitution will be no more. valley, are not more pleasing to the ear than the Sweden, on the contrary, though now seemingly tidings of a far distant friend.

a strenuous assertor of its liberties, is probably only I have just received two hundred of thy letters hastening on to despotism. Their senators, while by the Russian caravan, descriptive of the manners they pretend to vindicate the freedom of the peoof Europe. You have left it to geographers to de- ple, are only establishing their own independence. termine the size of their mountains, and extent of The deluded people will, however, at last perceive their lakes, seeming only employed in discovering the miseries of an aristocratical government; they the genius, the government, and disposition of the will perceive that the administration of a society people.

of men is ever more painful than that of one only. In those letters ) perceive a journal of the opera- They will fly from this most oppressive of all tions of your mind upon whatever occurs, rather forms, where one single member is capable of conthan a detail of your travels from one building to trolling the.whole, to take refuge under the throne, another; of your taking a draught of this ruin, or which will ever be attentive to their complaints. that obelisk; of paying so many tomans for this No people long endure an aristocratical governcommodity, or laying up a proper store for the ment when they can apply elsewhere for redress. passage of some new wilderness.

The lower orders of people may be enslaved for a From your account of Russia, I learn that this time by a number of tyrants, but, upon the first opnation is again relaxing into pristine barbarity ; portunity, they will ever take a refuge in despot that its great emperor wanted a life of a hundred ism or democracy. years more, to bring about his vast design. A As the Swedes are making concealed approach savage people may be resembled to their own es to despotism, the French, on the other hand, forests; a few years are sufficient to clear away the obstructions to agriculture; but it requires many,

• Though this fine maxim be not found in the Latin edition ere the ground acquires a proper degree of fertili- of the Morals of Confucius, yet we find it ascribed to him dy ty: the Russians, attached to their ancient preju- Le Comte. Etat present de la Chine, Vol. I. p. 34...

« VorigeDoorgaan »