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become independent also : thus subor- satisfied with the slightest acknowledgdination is destroyed, and a country ment, for they give little away. The swallowed up in the extent of its own do- English expend many of the matrimonial minions. The Turkish empire would be comforts in the first year; the Dutch more formidable, were it less extensive- frugally husband out their pleasures, and were it not for those countries which it can are always constant, because they are neither command nor give entirely away, always indifferent. which it is obliged to protect, but from There seems very little difference be. which it has no power to exact obe- tween a Dutch bridegroom and a Dutch dience.
husband. Both are equally possessed of Yet, obvious as these truths are, there the same cool unexpecting serenity; they are many Englishmen who are for trans- can see neither Elysium nor Paradise planting new colonies into this late acqui- behind the curtain ; and Yiffrow is not sition, for peopling the deserts of America more a goddess on the wedding-night with the refuse of their countrymen, and than after twenty years matrimonial ac(as they express it) with the waste of an quaintance,
On the other hand, many of exuberant nation. But who are those the English marry in order to have one unhappy creatures who are to be thus happy month in their lives; they seem drained away? Not the sickly, for they incapable of looking beyond that period ; are unwelcome guests abroad as well as they unite in hopes of finding rapture, at home ; nor the idle, for they would and, disappointed in that, disdain ever starve as well behind the Apalachian to accept of happiness. From hence we mountains as in the streets of London. see open hatred ensue; or, what is worse, This refuse is composed of the laborious concealed disgust under the appearance of and enterprising-of such men as can be fulsome endearment. Much formality, serviceable to their country at home-of great civility, and studied compliments men who ought to be regarded as the are exhibited in public; cross looks, sinews of the people, and cherished with sulky silence, or open recrimination, fill every degree of political indulgence. And up their hours of private entertainment. what are the commodities which this Hence I am taught, whenever I see a colony, when established, is to produce new married couple more than ordinarily in return? Why, raw silk, hemp, and to- fond before faces, to consider them as bacco. England, therefore, must make an attempting to impose upon the company exchange of her best and bravest subjects or themselves; either hating each other for raw silk, hemp, and tobacco; her hardy heartily, or consu ing that stock of love veterans and honest tradesmen must be in the beginning of their course which trucked for a box of snuff or a silk petti- should serve them through their whole coat. Strange absurdity! Surely the poli- journey. Neither side should expect tics of the Daures are not more strange, those instances of kindness which are who sell their religion, their wives, and inconsistent with true freedom or happitheir liberty, for a glass bead or a paltry ness to bestow. Love, when founded in penknife. - Farewell.
the heart, will show itself in a thousand
unpremeditated sallies of fondness ; but LETTER XVIII.
every cool deliberate exhibition of the
passion only argues little understanding, To the same.
or great insincerity. The English love their wives with much Choang was the fondest husband, and passion, the Hollanders with much pru- Hansi the most endearing wife, in all the dence : the English, when they give their kingdom of Korea : they were a pattern hands, frequently give their hearts; the of conjugal bliss; the inhabitants of the Dutch give the hand, but keep the country around saw, and envied their heart wisely in their own possession. The felicity: wherever Choang came, Hansi English love with violence, and expect was sure to follow : and in all the violent love in return; the Dutch are pleasures of Hansi, Choang was admitted a partner. They walked hand in resentment at so unkind a suspicion. As hand wherever they appeared, showing her passion for him was not only great, every mark of mutual satisfaction, em- but extremely delicate, she employed tears, bracing, kissing—their mouths were for anger, frowns, and exclamations, to chide ever joined ; and, to speak in the language his suspicions : the widow herself was of anatomy, it was with them one per- inveighed against ; and Hansi declared, petual anastomosis.
she was resolved never to sleep under the Their love was so great, that it was same roof with a wretch, who, like her, thought nothing could interrupt their could be guilty of such barefaced inmutual peace, when an accident hap- constancy: The night was cold and pened, which, in some measure, dimin- stormy; however, the stranger was ob. ished the husband's assurance of his wife's liged to seek another lodging, for Choang fidelity; for love so refined as his was was not disposed to resist, and Hansi subject to a thousand little disquietudes.
would have her way. Happening to go one day alone among
The widow had scarce been gone an the tombs that lay at some distance from hour, when an old disciple of Choang's, his house, he there perceived a lady whom he had not seen for many years, dressed in the deepest mourning, (being came to pay him a visit. He was received clothed all over in white,) fanning the with the utmost ceremony, placed in the wet clay that was raised over one of the most honourable seat at supper, and the graves with a large fan which she held in wine began to circulate with great freedom. her hand. Choang, who had early been Choang and Hansi exhibited open
marks taught wisdom in the school of Tao, was of mutual tenderness and unfeigned reunable to assign a cause for her present conciliation : nothing could equal their employment; and coming up, civilly apparent happiness; so fond a husband, demanded the reason. Alas,” replied so obedient a wife, few could behold the lady, her eyes bathed in tears, "how without regretting their own infelicity ; is it possible to survive the loss of my when, lo! their happiness was at once husband, who lies buried in this grave! disturbed by a most fatal accident. He was the best of men, the tenderest of Choang fell lifeless in an apoplectic fit husbands : with his dying breath he bid upon the floor. Every method was used, me never marry again till the earth over but in vain, for his recovery.
Hansi was his grave should be dry; and here you at first inconsolable for his death : after see me steadily resolving to obey his will, some hours, however, she found spirits to and endeavouring to dry it with my fan. read his last will. The ensuing day, she I have employed two whole days in ful- began to moralize and talk wisdom ; the filling his commands, and am determined next day, she was able to comfort the not to marry till they are punctually young disciple; and on the third, to obeyed, even though his grave should shorten a long story, they both agreed to take up four days in drying.'
be married. Choang, who was struck with the There was now no longer mourning in widow's beauty, could not, however, the apartments: the body of Choang was avoid smiling at her haste to be married; now thrust into an old coffin, and placed in but, concealing the cause of his mirth, one of the meanest rooms, there to lie uncivilly invited her home, adding, that he attended until the time prescribed by law had a wife who might be capable of for his interment. In the meantime, Hansi giving her some consolation. As soon and the young disciple were arrayed in the as he and his guest were returned, he most magnificent habits; the bride wore imparted to Hansi in private what he in her nose a jewel of immense price, and had seen, and could not avoid expressing her lover was dressed in all the finery of his uneasiness that such might be his own his former master, together with a pair of case if his dearest wife should one day artificial whiskers that reached down to happen to survive him.
his toes. The hour of their nuptials was It is impossible to describe Hansi's I arrived ; the whole family sympathised
with their approaching happiness; the ture, made a shift to find contentment. apartments were brightened up with lights - Farewell. that diffused the most exquisite perfume, and a lustre more bright than noon-day.
LETTER XIX. The lady expected her youthful lover in an inner apartment with impatience;
To the same.
when his servant, approaching with terror in his The gentleman dressed in black, who countenance, informed her, that his master was my companion through Westminster was fallen into a fit which would certainly Abbey, came yesterday to pay me a visit; be mortal, unless the heart of a man lately and, after drinking tea, we both resolved dead could be obtained, and applied to to take a walk together, in order to enjoy his breast. She scarcely waited to hear the freshness of the country, which now the end of his story, when, tucking up her begins to resume its verdure. Before we clothes, she ran with a mattock in her got out of the suburbs, however, we hand to the coffin where Choang lay, were stopped in one of the streets by a resolving to apply the heart of her dead crowd of people, gathered in a circle husband as a cure for the living. She round a man and his wife, who seemed therefore struck the lid with the utmost too loud and too angry to be understood. violence. In a few blows the coffin flew The people were highly pleased with the open, when the body, which to all ap- dispute, which, upon inquiry, we found pearance had been dead, began to move. to be between Dr. Cacafogo, an apoTerrified at the sight, Hansi dropped the thecary, and his wife. The doctor, mattock, and Choang walked out, aston- it seems, coming unexpectedly into his ished at his own situation, his wife's un- wife's apartment, found a gentleman usual magnificence, and her more amazing there, in circumstances not in the least surprise. He went among the apartments, equivocal. unable to conceive the cause of so much The doctor, who was a person of nice splendour. He was not long in suspense honour, resolving to revenge the flagrant before his domestics informed him of insult, immediately flew to the chimney. every transaction since he first became piece, and, taking down a rusty blunderinsensible. He could scarce believe buss, drew the trigger upon the defiler of what they told him, and went in pursuit his bed : the delinquent would certainly of Hansi herself, in order to receive more have been shot through the head, but certain information, or to reproach her that the piece had not been charged for infidelity. But she prevented his re- many years. The gallant made a shift to proaches : he found her weltering in escape through the window, but the lady blood; for she had stabbed herself to the still remained ; and, as she well knew heart, being unable to survive her shame her husband's temper, undertook to man. and disappointment.
age the quarrel without a second. He Choang, being a philosopher, was too was furious, and she loud ; their noise wise to make any loud lamentations : he had gathered all the mob, who charitably thought it best to bear his loss with assembled on the occasion, not to prevent, serenity; so, mending up the old coffin but to enjoy the quarrel. where he had lain himself
, he placed his “ Alas ?" said I to my companion, faithless spouse in his room ; and un- “ what will become of this unhappy willing that so many nuptial preparations creature thus caught in adultery? Believe should be expended in vain, ħe the same me, I pity her from my heart'; her hus. night married the widow with the large band, I suppose, will show her no mercy, fan.
Will they burn her, as in India, or behead As they both were apprised of the her, as in Persia? Will they load her foibles of each other beforehand, they with stripes, as in Turkey, or keep her in knew how to excuse them after marriage. perpetual imprisonment, as with us in They lived together for many years in China ? Prithee, what is the wife's pun. great tranquillity, and not expecting rap- ishment in England for such offences ?”
. , the Russians seem to
-“When a lady is thus caught tripping,” there, I would calmly take a dish of my replied my companion, they never wife's cool tea, and talk of the army punish her, but the husband.” — “You with reverence. foreigner, and you would abuse my igno- me to behave most wisely in such cir. rance ! -“I am really serious, cumstances. The wife promises her husturned he : "Dr. Cacafogo has caught band never to let him see her transhis wife in the act ; but, as he had no gressions of this nature ; and he as witnesses, his small testimony goes for punctually promises, whenever she is so nothing : the consequence, therefore, of detected, without the least anger, to beat his discovery will be, that she will be her without mercy : so they both know packed off to live among her relations, what each has to expect ; the lady transand the doctor must be obliged to allow gresses, is beaten, taken again into favour, her a separate maintenance. Amaz- and all goes on as before. ing!” cried I ; “is it not enough that When a Russian young lady, therefore, she is permitted to live separate from is to be married, her father, with a cudthe object she detests, but must he give gel in his hand, asks the bridegroom, her money to keep her in spirits too ?”. whether he chooses this virgin for his “That he must,” said my guide, “and bride ? to which the other replies in the be called a cuckold by all his neighbours affirmative. Upon this, the father, turninto the bargain. The men will laugh at ing the lady three times round, and him, the ladies will pity him ; and all that giving her three strokes with his cudgel his warmest friends can say in his favour on the back, — “My dear,” cries he, will be that 'the poor good soul has never “these are the last blows you are ever to had any harm in him.'”
_“I want receive from your tender father : I resign patience,” interrupted I.
• What ! are
my authority, and my cudgel, to your there no private chastisements for the husband; he knows better than me the wife-no schools of penitence to show use of either." The bridegroom knows her folly–no rods for such delinquents ?” decorum too well to accept of the cudgel -"Pshaw, man,” replied he, smiling, “if abruptly; he assures the father that the every delinquent among us were to be lady will never want it, and that he would treated in your manner, one half of the not for the world make any use of it : kingdom would flog the other.” I must but the father, who knows what the lady confess, my dear Fum, that if I were an may want better than he, insists upon his English husband, of all things I would acceptance ; upon this there follows a take care not to be jealous, nor busily pry scene of Russian politeness, while one into those secrets my wife was pleased to refuses, and the other offers, the cudgel. keep from me. Should I detect her | The whole, however, ends with the infidelity, what is the consequence? If I bridegroom's taking it; upon which the calmly pocket the abuse, I am laughed at lady drops a curtsey in token of obedience, by her and her gallant : if I talk my and the ceremony proceeds as usual. griefs aloud, like a tragedy hero, I am There is something excessively fair and laughed at by the whole world. The open in this method of courtship : by course, then, I would take would be, this both sides are prepared for all the whenever I went out, to tell my wife matrimonial adventures that are to fol. where I was going, lest I should unex- low. Marriage has been compared to pectedly meet her abroad in company a game of skill for life : it is generous with some dear deceiver. Whenever í thus in both parties to declare they are returned, I would use a peculiar rap at sharpers the beginning. In England, the door, and give four loud hens as I I am told, both sides use every art to walked deliberately up the staircase. I conceal their defects from each other would never inquisitively peep under her before marriage, and the rest of their bed, or look behind the curtains. And lives may be regarded as doing penance even though I knew the captain was for their former dissimulation.-Farewell.
reputation, and then snarl and fight with LETTER XX.
each other about dividing the spoil. To the same
Here you may see the compilers and the THE Republic of Letters is a very common book-answerers of every month, when expression among the Europeans; and they have cut up some respectable name, yet when applied to the learned of most frequently reproaching each other Europe is the most absurd that can be with stupidity and dulness ; resembling imagined; since nothing is more unlike a the wolves of the Russian forest, who republic than the society which goes by prey upon venison, or horse-flesh, when that name. From this expression one they can get it ; but in cases of necessity, would be apt to imagine that the learned lying in wait to devour each other. were united into a single body, joining While they have new books to cut up, their interests, and concurring in the same they make a hearty meal ; but if this design. From this one might be apt to resource should unhappily fail, then it compare them to our literary societies in is that critics eat up critics, and comChina, where each acknowledges a just pilers rob from compilations. subordination, and all contribute to build Confucius observes, that it is the duty the temple of science, without attempting, of the learned to unite society more from ignorance or envy, to obstruct each closely, and to persuade men to become other.
citizens of the world ; but the authors I But very different is the state of learn- refer to are not only for disuniting society, ing here : every member of this fancied but kingdoms also : if the English are republic is desirous of governing, and at war with France, the dunces of France none willing to obey ; each looks upon think it their duty to be at war with those his fellow as a rival, not an assistant in of England. Thus Fréron, one of their the same pursuit. They calumniate, they first-rate scribblers, thinks proper injure, they despise, they ridicule each characterise all the English writers in the other; if one man writes a book that
Their whole merit,” says he, pleases, others shall write books to show consists in exaggeration, and often in that he might have given still greater extravagance : correct their pieces as you pleasure, or should not have pleased. If please, there still remains a leaven which one happens to hit upon something new, corrupts the whole. They sometimes there are numbers ready to assure the discover genius, but not the smallest public that all this was no novelty to share of taste : England is not a soil for them or the learned ; that Cardanus, or the plants of genius to thrive in.” This Brunus, or some other author too dull to is open enough, with not the least adulabe generally read, had anticipated the tion in the picture : but hear what a discovery. Thus, instead of uniting like Frenchman of acknowledged abilities the members of a commonwealth, they says upon the same subject : "I am at a are divided into almost as many factions loss to determine in what we excel the as there are men; and their jarring English, or where they excel us ; when I constitution, instead of being styled a compare the merits of both in any one republic of letters, should be entitled an species of literary composition, so many anarchy of literature.
reputable and pleasing writers present It is true, there are some of superior themselves from either country, that my abilities, who reverence and esteem each judgment rests in suspense : I am pleased other ; but their mutual admiration is not with the disquisition, without finding the sufficient to shield off the contempt of object of my inquiry.”
But lest you the crowd. The wise are but few, and should think the French alone are faulty they praise with a feeble voice; the vulgar in this respect, hear how an English are many, and roar in reproaches. The journalist delivers his sentiments of them : truly great seldom unite in societies; 'We are amazed,” says he, "to find so have few meetings, no cabals; the dunces many works translated from the French, hunt in full cry, till they have run down a while we have such numbers neglected of