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From the Same.
Cassander was one of the greatest geniuses of his time, yet all his merit could not procure him a bare subsistence. Being by degrees driven into a hatred of all mankind, from the little pity he found amongst them, he even ventured at last ungrate- I HAVE interested myself so long in all the confully to impute his calamities to Providence. In cerns of this people, that I am almost become an his last agonies, when the priest entreated him to Englishman; I now begin to read with pleasure of rely on the justice of Heaven, and ask mercy from their taking towns or gaining battles, and secretly him that made him-" If God," replies he, "has wish disappointment to all the enemies of Britain. shown me no justice here, what reason have I to ex-Yet still my regard to mankind fills me with conpect any from him hereafter?" But being answer-cern for their contentions. I could wish to see the ed, that a suspension of justice was no argument disturbances of Europe once more amicably adjustthat should induce us to doubt of its reality-"Let ed: I am an enemy to nothing in this good world me entreat you," continued his confessor, "by all but war; I hate fighting between rival states: I hate that is dear, to be reconciled to God, your father, it between man and man; I hate fighting even beyour maker, and friend."-" No," replied the ex-tween women!
asperated wretch, "you know the manner in which I already informed you, that while Europe was he left me to live; and (pointing to the straw on at variance, we were also threatened from the stage which he was stretched) you see the manner in with an irreconcileable opposition, and that our which he leaves me to die!" singing women were resolved to sing at each other to the end of the season. O my friend, those fears were just! They are not only determined to sing at each other to the end of the season, but what is worse, to sing the same song; and what is still more insupportable, to make us pay for hearing.
But the sufferings of the poet in other countries is nothing, when compared to his distresses here; the names of Spenser and Otway, Butler and Dryden, are every day mentioned as a national reproach: some of them lived in a state of precarious indigence, and others literally died of hunger.
At present, the few poets of England no longer depend on the great for subsistence; they have now no other patrons but the public, and the public, collectively considered, is a good and a generous master. It is, indeed, too frequently mistaken as to the merits of every candidate for favour; but, to streets, face to face, and there try their skill in make amends, it is never mistaken long. A per-quavering.
If they be for war, for my part, I should advise them to have a public congress, and there fairly squall at each other. What signifies sounding the trumpet of defiance at a distance, and calling in the town to fight their battles? I would have them come boldly into one of the most open and frequented
formance indeed may be forced for a time into re- However this may be, resolved I am that they putation, but destitute of real merit, it soon sinks; shall not touch one single piece of silver more of time, the touchstone of what is truly valuable, will mine. Though I have ears for music, thanks be to soon discover the fraud, and an author should never Heaven, they are not altogether ass's ears. What! arrogate to himself any share of success, till his Polly and the Pickpocket to night, Polly and the works have been read at least ten years with satis-Pickpocket to-morrow night, and Polly and the Pickfaction. pocket again! I want patience. I'll hear no more. My soul is out of tune; all jarring discord and confusion. Rest, rest, ye dear three clinking shillings in my pocket's bottom: the music you make is more harmonious to my spirit than catgut, rosin, or all the nightingales that ever chirruped in petticoats.
But what raises iny indignation to the greatest degree is, that this piping does not only pester me
A man of letters at present, whose works are valuable, is perfectly sensible of their value. Every polite member of the community, by buying what he writes, contributes to reward him. The ridicule, therefore, of living in a garret, might have been wit in the last age, but continues such no longer, because no longer true. A writer of real merit now may easily be rich, if his heart be set only on fortune; on the stage, but is my punishment in private conand for those who have no merit, it is but fit that versation. What is it to me, whether the fine pipe such should remain in merited obscurity. He may of the one, or the great manner of the other, be now refuse an invitation to dinner, without fearing preferable? what care I if one has a better top, or to incur his patron's displeasure, or to starve by re- the other a nobler bottom? how am I concerned if maining at home. He may now venture to appear one sings from the stomach, or the other sings with in company with just such clothes as other men a snap? Yet paltry as these matters are, they make generally wear, and talk even to princes with all the a subject of debate wherever I go; and this musical conscious superiority of wisdom. Though he can dispute, especially among the fair sex, almost alnot boast of fortune here, yet he can bravely assert ways ends in a very unmusical altercation. the dignity of independence. Adieu
Sure the spirit of contention is mixed with the
very constitution of the people! divisions among of Chinese ceremonies to no purpose. I know the the inhabitants of other countries arise only from proper share of respect due to every rank in sotheir higher concerns, but subjects the most con- ciety. Stage-players, fire-eaters, singing women, temptible are made an affair of party here; the dancing dogs, wild beasts, and wire-walkers, as spirit is carried even into their amusements. The their efforts are exerted for our amusement, ought very ladies, whose duty should seem to allay the not entirely to be despised. The laws of every impetuosity of the opposite sex, become themselves country should allow them to play their tricks at party champions, engage in the thickest of the fight, least with impunity. They should not be branded scold at each other, and show their courage, even with the ignominious appellation of vagabonds; at at the expense of their lovers and their beauty. least they deserve a rank in society equal to the mystery of barbers or undertakers, and, could my influence extend so far, they should be allowed to earn even forty or fifty pounds a-year, if eminent in their profession.
There are even a numerous set of poets who help to keep up the contention, and write for the stage. Mistake me not, I do not mean pieces to be acted upon it, but panegyrical verses on the performers,-for that is the most universal method of I am sensible, however, that you will censure writing for the stage at present. It is the business me for profusion in this respect, bred up as you are of the stage-poet, therefore, to watch the appearance in the narrow prejudices of eastern frugality. You of every new player at his own house, and so come will undoubtedly assert, that such a stipend is too out next day with a flaunting copy of newspaper great for so useless an employment. Yet how verses. In these, nature and the actor may be set will your surprise increase, when told, that though to run races, the player always coming off victori- the law holds them as vagabonds, many of them ous; or nature may mistake him for herself; or old earn more than a thousand a-year! You are Shakspeare may put on his winding-sheet, and pay amazed. There is cause for amazement. A vagahim a visit; or the tuneful nine may strike up their bond with a thousand a-year is indeed a curiosity harps in his praise; or, should it happen to be an in nature; a wonder far surpassing the flying fish, actress, Venus, the beauteous queen of love, and petrified crab, or travelling lobster. However, from the naked Graces, are ever in waiting: the lady my great love to the profession, I would willingly must be herself a goddess bred and born; she must-have them divested of part of their contempt, and But you shall have a specimen of one of these part of their finery; the law should kindly take poems, which may convey a more precise idea.
them under the wing of protection, fix them inte a corporation, like that of the barbers, and abridge their ignominy and their pensions. As to their abilities in other respects, I would leave that entirely to the public, who are certainly in this case the properest judges,-whether they despise them
ON SEEING MRS.*** PERFORM IN THE CHARACTER
To you, bright fair, the nine address their lays,
Yes, my Fum, I would abridge their pensions. A theatrical warrior, who conducts the battles of the stage, should be cooped up with the same caution as a bantam cock that is kept for fighting. When one of those animals is taken from its native dunghill, we retrench it both in the quantity of its food, and the number of its seraglio: players should in the same manner be fed, not fattened; they should be permitted to get their bread, but not eat the people's bread into the bargain; and, instead of being permitted to keep four mistresses, are at the head of the present commotion; on the in conscience, they should be contented only with
And yet think not, my friend, that I have any particular animosity against the champions who
contrary, I could find pleasure in their music, if two. served up at proper intervals; if I heard it only on proper occasions, and not about it wherever I go. In fact, I could patronize them both; and, as an instance of my condescension in this particular, they may come and give me a song at my lodgings, on any evening when I am at leisure, provided makes such a figure abroad, apostrophizing in the they keep a becoming distance, and stand, while praise of a bouncing blockhead, and wrangling in tney continue to entertain me, with decent humili- the defence of a copper-tailed actress at home. ty, at the door. I shall conclude my letter with the sensible adYou perceive I have not read the seventeen books monition of Mé the philosopher. "You love har
Were stage-players thus brought into bounds, perhaps we should find their admirers less sanguine, and consequently less ridiculous, in patronizing them. We should be no longer struck with the absurdity of seeing the same people, whose valour
mony," says he, "and are charmed with music. I Whether this contention between three carts of
It was run on the road from London to a village called Brentford, between a turnip-cart, a dust-cart, and a dung-cart; each of the owners condescending to mount, and be his own driver. The odds, at starting, were Dust against Dung, five to four; but after half a mile's going, the knowing ones found themselves all on the wrong side, and it was Turnip against the field, brass to silver.
Soon, however, the contest became more doubtful; Turnip indeed kept the way, but it was per
This is reckoned a very polite and fashionable ceived that Dung had better bottom. The road amusement here, much more followed by the no-re-echoed with the shouts of the spectators-" Dung bility than partridge fighting at Java, or paper against Turnip! Turnip against Dung!" was now kites in Madagascar; several of the great here, I the universal cry; neck and neck; one rode lighter, am told, understand as much of farriery as their but the other had more judgment. I could not but grooms; and a horse, with any share of merit, can particularly observe the ardour with which the fair never want a patron among the nobility. sex espoused the cause of the different riders on this occasion; one was charmed with the unwashed beauties of Dung; another was captivated with the patibulary aspect of Turnip; while in the mean time, unfortunate gloomy Dust, who came whipping behind, was cheered by the encouragement of some, and pity of all.
From the Same.
Or all the places of amusement where gentlemen and ladies are entertained, I have not been yet to visit Newmarket. This, I am told, is a large field, where, upon certain occasions, three or four horses are brought together, then set a-running, and that horse which runs swiftest wins the wager.
We have a description of this entertainment almost every day in some of the gazettes, as for instance: "On such day, the Give and Take Plate was run for between his Grace's Crab, his Lordship's Periwinkle, and 'Squire Smacken's Slamerkin. All rode their own horses. There was the greatest concourse of nobility that has been The contention now continued for some time, known here for several seasons. The odds were in without a possibility of determining to whom vicfavour of Crab in the beginning; but Slamerkin, tory designed the prize. The winning post apafter the first heat, seemed to have the match hol-peared in view, and he who drove the turnip-cart low; however, it was soon seen that Periwinkle assured himself of success; and successful he might improved in wind, which at last turned out ac- have been, had his horse been as ambitious as he; cordingly; Crab was run to a stand-still, Slamer- but upon approaching a turn from the road, which kin was knocked up, and Periwinkle was brought led homewards, the horse fairly stood still, and rein with universal applause." Thus, you see, Peri- fused to move a foot farther. The dung-cart had winkle received universal applause, and, no doubt, scarcely time to enjoy this temporary triumph, his lordship came in for some share of that praise when it was pitched headlong into a ditch by the which was so liberally bestowed upon Periwinkle. wayside, and the rider left to wallow in congenial Sun of China! how glorious must the senator ap-mud. Dust, in the mean time, soon came up, and pear in his cap and leather breeches, his whip not being far from the post, caine in, amidst the crossed in his mouth, and thus coming to the goal, shouts and acclamations of all the spectators, and amongst the shouts of grooms, jockeys, pimps, sta- greatly caressed by all the quality of Brentford. ole-bred dukes, and degraded generals! Fortune was kind only to one, who ought to have been favourable to all; each had peculiar merit. each laboured hard to earn the prize, and each rich. ly deserved the cart he drove.
From the description of this princely amusement, now transcribed, and from the great veneration I have for the characters of its principal promoters, 1 make no doubt but I shall look upon a horse-race with becoming reverence, predisposed as I am by a similar amusement, of which I have lately been a spectator; for just now I happened to have an opportunity of being present at a cart-race.
I do not know whether this description may not have anticipated that which I intended giving of Newmarket. I am told, there is little else to be seen even there. There may be some minute differences in the dress of the spectators, but none at
all in their understandings; the quality of Brent-prompted, they might then be able to deluge the ford are as remarkable for politeness and delicacy whole western world with a barbarous inundation. as the breeders of Newmarket. The quality of Believe me, my friend, I can not sufficiently conBrentford drive their own carts, and the honour- temn the politicians of Europe, who thus maxe able fraternity of Newmarket ride their own horses. this powerful people arbitrators in their quarrel. In short, the matches in one place are as rational The Russians are now at that period between eas those in the other; and it is more than probable, finement and barbarity, which seems most adapted that turnips, dust, and dung, are all that can be to military achievement; and if once they happen found to furnish our description in either. to get footing in the western parts of Europe, it is not the feeble efforts of the sons of effeminacy and dissension that can serve to remove them. The
Forgive me, my friend, but a person like me, bred up in a philosophic seclusion, is apt to regard, perhaps with too much asperity, those occurrences fertile valley and soft climate will ever be sufficient which sink man below his station in nature, and inducements to draw whole myriads from their diminish the intrinsic value of humanity. Adieu. native deserts, the trackless wild, or snowy moun
From Fum Hoam, to Lien Chi Altangi.
History, experience, reason, nature, expand the book of wisdom before the eyes of mankind, but they will not read. We have seen with terror a winged phalanx of famished locusts, each singly contemptible, but from multitude become hideous, You tell me the people of Europe are wise; but cover, like clouds, the face of day, and threaten the where lies their wisdom? You say they are valiant whole world with ruin. We have seen them too; yet I have some reasons to doubt of their settling on the fertile plains of India and Egypt, valour. They are engaged in war among each destroying in an instant the labours and the hopes other, yet apply to the Russians, their neighbours of nations; sparing neither the fruit of the earth and ours, for assistance. Cultivating such an al-nor the verdure of the fields, and changing into a liance, argues at once imprudence and timidity. frightful desert landscapes of once luxuriant beauty. All subsidies paid for such an aid in strengthening We have seen myriads of ants issuing together the Russians, already too powerful, and weakening from the southern desert, like a torrent whose the employers, already exhausted by intestine com-source was inexhaustible, succeeding each other motions. without end, and renewing their destroyed forces
I cannot avoid beholding the Russian empire as with unwearied perseverance, bringing desolation the natural enemy of the more western parts of wherever they came, banishing men and animals, Europe; as an enemy already possessed of great and, when destitute of all subsistence, in heaps instrength, and, from the nature of the government, fecting the wilderness which they had made! every day threatening to become more powerful. Like these have been the migrations of men. This extensive empire, which, both in Europe and When as yet savage, and almost resembling their Asia, occupies almost a third of the old world, was, brute partners in the forest, subject like them only about two centuries ago, divided into separate king-to the instincts of nature, and directed by hunger doms and dukedoms, and, from such a division, alone in the choice of an abode, how have we seen consequently feeble. Since the time, however, of whole armies starting wild at once from their forests Johan Basilides, it has increased in strength and and their dens! Goths, Huns, Vandals, Saracens, extent; and those untrodden forests, those innumer- Turks, Tartars, myriads of men, animals in human able savage animals, which formerly covered the form, without country, without name, without laws, face of the country, are now removed, and colonies overpowering by numbers all opposition, ravaging of mankind planted in their room. A kingdom cities, overturning empires, and, after having dethus enjoying peace internally, possessed of an un-stroyed whole nations, and spread extensive desobounded extent of dominion, and learning the lation, how have we seen them sink oppressed by military art at the expense of others abroad, must some new enemy, more barbarous and even more every day grow more powerful; and it is probable unknown than they! Adieu. we shall hear Russia in future times, as formerly, caned the Officina Gentium.
It was long the wish of Peter, their great monarch, to have a fort in some of the western parts of Europe; many of his schemes and treaties were directed to this end, but, happily for Europe, he From Lien Chl Altangi to Fum Hoam, First President of the failed in them all. A fort in the power of this people would be like the possession of a flood- As the instruction of the fair sex in this country gate, and whenever ambition, interest, or necessity is entirely committed to the care of foreigners; as
Ceremonial Academy at Pekin, in China.
their language-masters, music-masters, hair-friz- coast while her children as yet were infants, who, zers, and governesses, are all from abroad, I had of consequence, though grown up, were exirely some intentions of opening a female academy my-acquainted with man. Yet, inexperienced as self, and made no doubt, as I was quite a foreigner, the young ladies were in the opposite sex, both of meeting a favourable reception. early discovered symptoms, the one of prudery, the In this, I intended to instruct the ladies in all the other of being a coquette. The eldest was ever conjugal mysteries; wives should be taught the art learning maxims of wisdom and discretion from of managing husbands, and maids the skill of her mamma, while the youngest employed all her properly choosing them; I would teach a wife how hours in gazing at her own face in a neighbouring far she might venture to be sick, without giving fountain. disgust; she should be acquainted with the great Their usual amusement in this solitude was benefits of the cholic in the stomach, and all the fishing: their mother had taught them all the sethorough-bred insolence of fashion; maids should crets of the art; she showed them which were the learn the secret of nicely distinguishing every com- most likely places to throw out the line, what baits petitor; they should be able to know the difference were most proper for the various seasons, and the between a pedant and a scholar, a citizen and a best manner to draw up the finny prey, when they prig, a squire and his horse, a beau and his monkey; had hooked it. In this manner they spent their but chiefly, they should be taught the art of time, easy and innocent, till one day, the princess managing their smiles, from the contemptuous being indisposed, desired them to go and catch her simper to the long laborious laugh. a sturgeon or a shark for supper, which she fancied But I have discontinued the project; for what might sit easy on her stomach. The daughters would signify teaching ladies the manner of govern- obeyed, and clapping on a gold fish, the usual bait ing or choosing husbands, when marriage is at on those occasions, went and sat upon one of the present so much out of fashion, that a lady is very rocks, letting the gilded hook glide down with the well off who can get any husband at all? Celibacy stream. now prevails in every rank of life: the streets are crowded with old bachelors, and the houses with ladies who have refused good offers, and are never likely to receive any for the future.
The only advice, therefore, I could give the fair sex, as things stand at present, is to get husbands as fast as they can. There is certainly nothing in the whole creation, not even Babylon in ruins, more truly deplorable than a lady in the virgin bloom of sixty-three, or a battered unmarried beau, who squibs about from place to place, showing his pigtail wig and his ears. The one appears to my imagination in the form of a double night-cap, or roll of pomatum, the other in the shape of an electuary, or a box of pills.
On the opposite shore, farther down, at the mouth of the river, lived a diver for pearls, a youth who, by long habit in his trade, was almost grown amphibious; so that he could remain whole hours at the bottom of the water, without ever fetching breath. He happened to be at that very instant diving when the ladies were fishing with the gilded hook. Seeing therefore the bait, which to him had the appearance of real gold, he was resolved to seize the prize, but both his hands being already filled with pearl oysters, he found himself obliged to snap at it with his mouth: the consequence is easily imagined; the hook, before unperceived, was instantly fastened in his jaw, nor could he, with all his efforts or his floundering, get free.
"Sister," cries the youngest princess, "I have certainly caught a monstrous fish; I never perceived any thing struggle so at the end of my line before; come and help me to draw it in." They both now, therefore, assisted in fishing up the diver ou shore;
I would once more, therefore, advise the ladies to get husbands. I would desire them not to discard an old lover without very sufficient reasons, nor treat the new with ill-nature till they know him false; let not prudes allege the falseness of the sex, coquettes the pleasures of long courtship, or parents but nothing could equal their surprise upon seeing the necessary preliminaries of penny for penny. I him. "Bless my eyes," cries the prude, "what have reasons that would silence even a casuist in have we got here? this is a very odd fish to be this particular. In the first place, therefore, I sure; I never saw any thing in my life look so divide the subject into fifteen heads, and then sic queer: what eyes, what terrible claws, what a argumentor-But not to give you and myself monstrous snout! I have read of this monster somethe spleen, be contented at present with an Indian where before, it certainly must be a Tantang that eats women; let us throw it back into the sea where we found it."
In a winding of the river Amidar, just before it falls into the Caspian Sea, there lies an island un- The diver, in the mean time, stood upon the frequented by the inhabitants of the continent. In beach at the end of the line, with the hook in his this seclusion, blessed with all that wild uncultiva-mouth, using every art that he thought could best ted nature could bestow, lived a princess and her excite pity, and particularly looking extremely wo daughters. She had been wrecked upon the tender, which is usual in such circumstances.