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are imperceptibly vindicating themselves into free- is no bad thing. Immediately the praise is cardom. When I consider that those parliaments ried off by five flatterers to be dispersed at twelve (the members of which are all created by the court, different coffee-houses, from whence it circulates, the presidents of which can act only by immediate still improving as it proceeds, through forty-five direction) presume even to mention privileges and houses, where cheaper liquors are sold; from thence freedom, who, till of late, received directions from it is carried away by the honest tradesman to his the throne with implicit humility; when this is own fire-side, where the applause is eagerly caught considered, I can not help fancying that the genius up by his wife and children, who have been long of freedom has entered that kingdom in disguise. taught to regard his judgment as the standard of If they have but three weak monarchs more suc-perfection. Thus, when we have traced a wide cessively on the throne, the mask will be laid aside, extended literary reputation up to its original and the country will certainly once more be free. source, we shall find it derived from some great man, who has, perhaps, received all his education and English from a tutor of Berne, or a dancing master of Picardy.

I

The English are a people of good sense; and I

When I compare the figure which the Dutch make in Europe with that they assume in Asia, am struck with surprise. In Asia, I find them the great lords of all the Indian seas: in Europe the timid inhabitants of a paltry state. No longer the am the more surprised to find them swayed in sons of freedom, but of avarice; no longer assertors their opinions by men who often, from their of their rights by courage, but by negotiations; very education, are incompetent judges. Men fawning on those who insult them, and crouching who, being always bred in affluence, see the world under the rod of every neighbouring power. With- only on one side, are surely improper judges of out a friend to save them in distress, and without human nature; they may indeed describe a cerevirtue to save themselves; their government is mony, a pageant, or a ball; but how can they prepoor, and their private wealth will serve but to tend to dive into the secrets of the human heart, invite some neighbouring invader. who have been nursed up only in forms, and daily I long with impatience for your letters from behold nothing but the same insipid adulation England, Denmark, Holland, and Italy; yet why smiling upon every face. Few of them have been wish for relations which only describe new calami-bred in that best of schools, the school of adversities, which show that ambition and avarice are ty; and, by what I can learn, fewer still have been equally terrible in every region! Adieu. bred in any school at all.

From such a description, one would think, that a droning duke, or a dowager duchess, was not possessed of more just pretensions to taste than persons of less quality; and yet whatever the one or the other may write or praise, shall pass for

LETTER LVII.

From Lien Chi Altangi, to Fum Hoam, First President of the perfection, without further examination. A nobleman has but to take a pen, ink, and paper,

Ceremonial Academy at Pekin, in China.

I HAVE frequently admired the manner of criti-write away through three large volumes, and then cising in China, where the learned are assembled sign his name to the title page; though the whole in a body to judge of every new publication; to might have been before more disgusting than his examine the merits of the work, without knowing own rent-roll, yet signing his name and title gives the circumstances of the author; and then to value to the deed; title being alone equivalent to usher it into the world with proper marks of respect taste, imagination, and genius.

or reprobation.

As soon as a piece therefore is published, the In England there are no such tribunals erected; first questions are, Who is the author? Does he but if a man thinks proper to be a judge of genius, keep a coach? Where lies his estate? What few will be at the pains to contradict his preten- sort of a table does he keep? If he happens to be sions. If any choose to be critics, it is but saying poor and unqualified for such a scrutiny, he and they are critics; and from that time forward, they his works sink into irremediable obscurity; and too become invested with full power and authority over late he finds, that having fed upon turtle is a more every caitiff who aims at their instruction or en-ready way to fame than having digested Tully. tertainment. The poor devil against whom fashion has set face, vainly alleges, that he has been bred in every part of Europe where knowledge was to be sold; that he has grown pale in the study of nature and himself; his works may please upon the perusal, but his pretensions to fame are entirely disregarded; he is treated like a fiddler, whose mu

A great man says at his table, that such a book sic, though liked, is not much praised, because he

As almost every member of society has, by this means, a vote in literary transactions, it is no way surprising to find the rich leading the way here, as in other common concerns of life; to see them either bribing the numerous herd of voters by their interest, or browbeating them by their authority.

lives by it; while a gentleman performer, though| priests come in a body once a year to visit him: by the most wretched scraper alive, throws the audi-this means the duty of half a-year is dispatched in ence into raptures. The fiddler indeed may, in a day. When assembled, he asks each in his turn such a case console himself by thinking, that while how they have behaved, and are liked; upon which, the other goes off with all the praise, he runs away those who have neglected their duty, or are diswith all the money; but here the parallel drops; agreeable to their congregation, no doubt accuse for while the nobleman triumphs in unmerited ap- themselves, and tell him all their faults; for which plause, the author by profession steals off with- he reprimands them most severely.

nothing.

The thoughts of being introduced into a comThe poor, therefore, here, who draw their pens pany of philosophers and learned men (for as such auxiliary to the laws of their country, must think I conceived them) gave me no small pleasure. I themselves very happy if they find, not fame but expected our entertainment would resemble those forgiveness: and yet they are hardly treated; for sentimental banquets so finely described by Xenoas every country grows more polite, the press be- phon and Plato: I was hoping some Socrates comes more useful; and writers become more neces-would be brought in from the door, in order to sary, as readers are supposed to increase. In a harangue upon divine love; but as for eating and polished society, that man, though in rags, who has drinking, I had prepared myself to be disappointed the power of enforcing virtue from the press, is of in that particular. I was apprised that fasting and more real use than forty stupid brahmins, or temperance were tenets strongly recommended to bonzes, or guebres, though they preached ever so the professors of Christianity, and I had seen the often, ever so loud, or ever so long. That man, frugality and mortification of the priests of the though in rags, who is capable of deceiving even East; so that I expected an entertainment where indolence into wisdom, and who professes amuse- we should have much reasoning and little meat. ment while he aims at reformation, is more useful Upon being introduced, I confess I found no in refined society than twenty cardinals, with all great signs of mortification in the faces or persons their scarlet, and tricked out in all the fopperies of of the company. However, I imputed their florid scholastic finery. looks to temperance, and their corpulency to a sedentary way of living. I saw several preparations indeed for dinner, but none for philosophy. Tho company seemed to gaze upon the table with silent expectation: but this I easily excused. Men of wisdom, thought I, are ever slow of speech; they deliver nothing unadvisedly. Silence, says Con

LETTER LVIII.

To the Same.

As the man in black takes every opportunity of fucius, is a friend that will never betray. They introducing me to such company as may serve to are now probably inventing maxims or hard sayindulge my speculative temper, or gratify my curi-ings for their mutual instruction, when some one osity, I was by his influence lately invited to a shall think proper to begin. visitation dinner. To understand this term you My curiosity was now wrought up to the highest must know, that it was formerly the custom here pitch; I impatiently looked round to see if any for the principal priests to go about the country were going to interrupt the mighty pause; when at once a-year, and examine upon the spot, whether last one of the company declared, that there was a those of subordinate orders did their duty, or were sow in his neighbourhood that farrowed fifteen pigs qualified for the task; whether their temples were at a litter. This I thought a very preposterous kept in proper repair, or the laity pleased with their beginning; but just as another was going to second administration. the remark, dinner was served, which interrupted the conversation for that time.

Though a visitation of this nature was very useful, yet it was found to be extremely troublesome, The appearance of dinner, which consisted of a and for many reasons utterly inconvenient; for as variety of dishes, seemed to diffuse new cheerfulthe principal priests were obliged to attend at court, ness upon every face; so that I now expected the in order to solicit preferment, it was impossible philosophical conversation to begin, as they imThe principal priest, they could at the same time attend in the country, proved in good-humour. which was quite out of the road to promotion: if however, opened his mouth with only observing, we add to this the gout, which has been time im- that the venison had not been kept enough, though memorial a clerical disorder here, together with the he had given strict orders for having it killed ten bad wine and ill-dressed provisions that must in- days before. "I fear," continued he, "it will be fallibly be served up by the way, it was not strange found to want the true heathy flavour; you wi that the custom has been long discontinued. At find nothing of the original wildness in it." present, therefore, every head of the church, instead priest, who sat next him, having smelt it, and of going about to visit his priests, is satisfied if his wiped his nose, "Ah, my good lord," cries he,

A

"you are too modest, it is perfectly fine; every body countenance the excess. But in eating, after naknows that nobody understands keeping venison ture is once satisfied, every additional morsel brings with your lordship.”—“Ay, and partridges too," stupidity and distempers with it, and as one of interrupted another; "I never find them right any their own poets expresses it, where else." His lordship was going to reply, when a third took off the attention of the company, by recommending the pig as inimitable. "I fancy, my lord," continues he, "it has been smothered in Let me suppose, after such a meal as this I have its own blood."—"If it has been smothered in its been describing, while all the company are sitting blood," cried a facetious member, helping himself, in lethargic silence round the table, groaning un"we'll now smother it in egg-sauce." This poig-der a load of soup, pig, pork, and bacon; let me nant piece of humour produced a long loud laugh, suppose, I say, some hungry beggar, with looks of which the facetious brother observing, and now want, peeping through one of the windows, and that he was in luck, willing to second his blow, thus addressing the assembly: "Prithee, pluck assured the company he would tell them a good those napkins from your chins; after nature is story about that: "As good a story," cries he, satisfied, all that you eat extraordinary is my bursting into a violent fit of laughter himself, "as property, and I claim it as mine. It was given ever you heard in your lives. There was a farmer you in order to relieve me, and not to oppress in my parish who used to sup upon wild ducks yourselves. How can they comfort or instruct and flummery;-so this farmer"—"Doctor Mar- others, who can scarcely feel their own existence, rowfat," cries his lordship, interrupting him, "give except from the unsavoury returns of an ill-digest me leave to drink your health;"-"so being fond ed meal? But though neither you, nor the cush of wild ducks and flummery,"-"Doctor," adds a ions you sit upon will hear me, yet the world regentleman who sat next to him, "let me advise gards the excesses of its teachers with a prying eye, you to a wing of this turkey;"-"so this farmer and notes their conduct with double severity." 1 being fond"-"Hob and nob, Doctor, which do know no other answer any one of the company you choose, white or red?"-"So, being fond of could make to such an expostulation but this: wild ducks and flummery ; "—"Take care of your "Friend, you talk of our losing a character, and band, sir, it may dip in the gravy." The doctor, being disliked by the world; well, and supposing now looking round, found not a single eye disposed all this to be true, what then! who cares for the to listen; wherefore, calling for a glass of wine, he world? We'll preach for the world, and the world gulped down the disappointment and the tale in a shall pay us for preaching, whether we like each bumper. other or not."

The soul subsides, and wickedly inclines
To seem but mortal, even in sound divines.

LETTER LIX.

From Hingpo to Lien Chi Altangi, by the way of Moscow.

The conversation now began to be little more than a rhapsody of exclamations: as each had pretty well satisfied his own appetite, he now found sufficient time to press others. "Excellent! the very thing! let me recommend the pig. Do but taste the bacon! never ate a better thing in my life: exquisite delicious!" This edifying discourse continued through three courses, which last-dated from Terki, a city which lies beyond the ed as many hours, till every one of the company bounds of the Persian empire: here, blessed with were unable to swallow or utter any thing more. security, with all that is dear, I double my rap tures by communicating them to you: the mind sympathising with the freedom of the body, my whole soul is dilated in gratitude, love, and praise.

You will probably be pleased to see my letter

Yet, were my own happiness all that inspired my present joy, my raptures might justly merit the

It is very natural for men who are abridged in one excess, to break into some other. The clergy here, particularly those who are advanced in years, think if they are abstemious with regard to women and wine, they may indulge their other appetites without censure Thus some are found to rise in imputation of self-interest; but when I think that the morning only to a consultation with their cook the beautiful Zelis is also free, forgive my triumph about dinner. and when that has been swallowed, when I boast of having rescued from captivity the make no other use of their faculties (if they have most deserving object upon earth. any) but to ruminate on the succecding meal.

You remember the reluctance she testified at

A debauch in wine is even more pardonable being obliged to marry the tyrant she hated. Her than this, since one glass insensibly leads on to compliance at last was only feigned, in order to another, and instead of sating, whets the appetite. gain time to try some future means of escape. The progressive steps to it are cheerful and se-During the interval between her promise and the ducing; the grave are animated, the melancholy intended performance of it, she came undiscovered relieved, and there is even classic authority to one evening to the place where 1 generally retired

after the fatigues of the day: her appearance was I was bound, and seizing a scimitar from one of like that of an aerial genius when it descends to the slaves, who had not courage to resist me, flew minister comfort to undeserved distress; the mild to the women's apartment where Zelis was conlustre of her eye served to banish my timidity; her fined, dressed out for the intended nuptials. 1 accents were sweeter than the echo of some dis- bade her follow me without delay, and going fortant symphony. "Unhappy stranger," said she, ward, cut my way through the eunuchs, who made in the Persian language, "you here perceive one but a faint resistance. The whole city was now a more wretched than thyself! All this solemnity scene of conflagration and terror; every person was of preparation, this elegance of dress, and the willing to save himself, unmindful of others. In number of my attendants, serve but to increase my this confusion, seizing upon two of the fleetest miseries: if you have courage to rescue an unhap-coursers in the stables of Mostadad, we fled northpy woman from approaching ruin, and our detest-ward towards the kingdom of Circassia. As there ed tyrant, you may depend upon my future grati-were several others flying in the same manner, we tude." I bowed to the ground, and she left me, passed without notice, and in three days arrived at filled with rapture and astonishment. Night Terki, a city that lies in a valley within the bosom brought me no rest, nor could the ensuing morn- of the frowning mountains of Caucasus. Here, ing calm the anxieties of my mind. I projected a free from every apprehension of danger, we enjoy thousand methods for her delivery; but each, when all those satisfactions which are consistent with strictly examined, appeared impracticable: in this virtue: though I find my heart at intervals give uncertainty the evening again arrived, and I placed way to unusual passions, yet such is my admiramyself on my former station in hopes of a repeated tion for my fair companion, that I lose even tenvisit. After some short expectation, the bright derness in distant respect. Though her person perfection again appeared: I bowed, as before, to demands particular regard even among the beauthe ground; when raising me up, she observed, ties of Circassia, yet is her mind far more lovely. that the time was not to be spent in useless cere- How very different is a woman who thus has culmony; she observed that the day following was tivated her understanding, and been refined into appointed for the celebration of her nuptials, and delicacy of sentiment, from the daughters of the that something was to be done that very night for East, whose education is only formed to improve our mutual deliverance. I offered with the utmost the person, and make them more tempting objects humility to pursue whatever scheme she should di- of prostitution. rect; upon which she proposed that instant to scale the garden-wall, adding, that she had prevailed upon a female slave, who was now waiting at the appointed place, to assist her with a ladder.

Adieu.

LETTER LX.

From the Same.

Pursuant to this information, I led her trembling to the place appointed; but instead of the slave we expected to see, Mostadad himself was there await- WHEN sufficiently refreshed after the fatigues ing our arrival: the wretch in whom we had con-of our precipitate flight, my curiosity, which had fided, it seems, had betrayed our design to her mas-been restrained by the appearance of immediate ter, and he now saw the most convincing proofs danger, now began to revive: I longed to know of her information. He was just going to draw by what distressful accident my fair fugitive behis sabre, when a principle of avarice repressed came a captive, and could not avoid testifying a his fury; and he resolved, after a severe chastise- surprise how so much beauty could be involved in ment, to dispose of me to another master; in the the calamities from whence she had been so lately mean time ordered me to be confined in the strict-rescued. est manner, and the next day to receive a hundred blows on the soles of my feet.

Talk not of personal charms, cried she, with emotion, since to them I owe every misfortune. Look round on the numberless beauties of the country where we are, and see how nature has

When the morning came, I was led out in order to receive the punishment, which, from the severity with which it is generally inflicted upon slaves, is poured its charms upon every face; and yet by worse even than death.

this profusion, Heaven would seem to show how little it regards such a blessing, since the gift is lavished upon a nation of prostitutes.

I perceive you desire to know my story, and your curiosity is not so great as my impatience to

A trumpet was to be the signal for the solemnization of the nuptials of Zelis, and for the infliction of my punishment. Each ceremony, to me equally dreadful, was just going to begin, when we were informed that a large body of Circassian Tar- gratify it: I find a pleasure in telling past misfortars had invaded the town, and were laying all in tunes to any, but when my deliverer is pleased ruin. Every person now thought only of saving with the relation, my pleasure is prompted by himself: I instantly unloosed the cords with which duty.

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"I was born in a country far to the West, where always regarded him merely from prudential mo the men are braver, and the women more fair than tives; but it had a very different effect upon my those of Circassia; where the valour of the hero father, who, rash and passionate by nature, and, is guided by wisdom, and where delicacy of senti- besides, stimulated by a mistaken notion of mili ment points the shafts of female beauty. I was tary honour, upbraided his friend in such terms, the only daughter of an officer in the army, the that a challenge was soon given and accepted. child of his age, and as he used fondly to express It was about midnight when I was awakened by it, the only chain that bound him to the world, a message from my father, who desired to see me or made his life pleasing. His station procured that moment. I rose with some surprise, and fol him an acquaintance with men of greater rank lowing the messenger, attended only by another and fortune than himself, and his regard for me servant, came to a field not far from the house, induced him to bring me into every family where where I found him, the assertor of my honour, my he was acquainted. Thus I was early taught all only friend and supporter, the tutor and companthe elegancies and fashionable foibles of such as the ion of my youth, lying on one side covered over world calls polite, and, though without fortune my-with blood, and just expiring-no tears streamed self, was taught to despise those who lived as if down my cheeks, nor sigh escaped from my breast, they were poor. at an object of such terror. I sat down, and sup'My intercourse with the great, and my affec-porting his aged head in my lap, gazed upon the tation of grandeur, procured me many lovers; but ghastly visage with an agony more poignant even want of fortune deterred them all from any other than despairing madness. The servants were views than those of passing the present moment gone for more assistance. In this gloomy stillness agreeably, or of meditating my future ruin. In of the night no sounds were heard but his agonizevery company I found myself addressed in a ing respirations; no object was presented but his warmer strain of passion than other ladies who wounds, which still continued to stream. With were superior in point of rank and beauty; and silent anguish I hung over his dear face, and with this I imputed to an excess of respect, which in my hands strove to stop the blood as it flowed from reality proceeded from very different motives. his wounds: he seemed at first insensible, but at "Among the number of such as paid me their last, turning his dying eyes upon me, 'My dear, addresses, was a gentleman, a friend of my father, dear child,' cried he; 'dear, though you have forrather in the decline of life, with nothing remarka- gotten your own honour and stained mine, I will ble either in his person or address to recommend yet forgive you; by abandoning virtue, you have him. His age, which was about forty, his fortune, undone me and yourself, yet take my forgiveness which was moderate, and barely sufficient to sup- with the same compassion I wish Heaven may port him, served to throw me off my guard, so pity me.' He expired. All my succeeding happithat I considered him as the only sincere admirer ness fled with him. Reflecting that I was the I had. cause of his death whom only I loved upon earth; "Designing lovers, in the decline of life, are ever accused of betraying the honour of his family with most dangerous. Skilled in all the weaknesses of his latest breath; conscious of my own innocence, the sex, they seize each favourable opportunity; yet without even a possibility of vindicating it: and, by having less passion than youthful admirers, without fortune or friends to relieve or pity me; have less real respect, and therefore less timidity. abandoned to infamy and the wide censuring This insidious wretch used a thousand arts to world, I called out upon the dead body that lay succeed in his base designs, all which I saw, but stretched before me, and in the agony of my heart imputed to different views, because I thought it asked, why he could have left me thus? 'Why, absurd to believe the real motives. my dear, my only papa, why could you ruin me thus and yourself, forever? O pity and return, since there is none but you to comfort me!'

"I soon found that I had real cause for sorrow; that I was to expect no compassion from my own sex, nor assistance from the other; and that reputation was much more useful in our commerce with mankind than really to deserve it. Wherever I came, I perceived myself received either with contempt or detestation; or, whenever I was civilly treated, it was from the most base and ungenerous motives.

"As he continued to frequent my father's, the friendship between them became every day greater; and at last, from the intimacy with which he was received, I was taught to look upon him as a guardian and a friend. Though I never loved, yet I esteemed him; and this was enough to make me wish for a union, for which he seemed desirous, but to which he feigned several delays; while in the mean time, from a false report of our being married, every other admirer forsook me.

"Thus driven from the society of the virtuous,

"I was at last however awakened from the delusion, by an account of his being just married to another young lady with a considerable fortune. I was at last, in order to dispel the anxieties of inThis was no great mortification to me, as I had supportable solitude, obliged to take up with the

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