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to be seen." -“Nocompany!” interrupted in the world out of my window; we shall I peevishly;"no company, where there is see the ships sailing, and the whole counsuch a crowd? why, man, there's too much. try for twenty miles round, tip top, quite What are the thousands that have been high. My Lord Swamp would give ten laughing at us but company?"- -“ Lord, thousand guineas for such a one; but, as my dear,” returned he, with the utmost I sometimes pleasantiy tell him, I always good humour," you seem immensely love to keep my prospects at home, that chagrined; but, blast me, when the world my friends may visit me the oftener. laughs at me, I laugh at the world, and so By this time we were arrived as high as we are even. My Lord Trip, Bill Squash the stairs would permit us to ascend, till the Creolian, and I, sometimes make a we came to what he was facetiously pleased party at being ridiculous; and so we say to call the first floor down the chimney ; and do a thousand things for the joke's and knocking at the door, a voice from sake. But I see you are grave, and if you within demanded, “Who's there?” My are for a fine grave sentimental companion, conductor answered that it was him. But you shall dine with me and my wife to-day; this not satisfying the querist, the voice Í must insist on't. I'll introduce you to again repeated the demand ; to which he Mrs. Tibbs, a lady of as elegant qualifica- answered louder than before ; and now the tions as any in nature; she was bred, but door was opened by an old woman with that's between ourselves, under the in- cautious reluctance. spection of the Countess of All-night. A When we were got in, he welcomed me charming body of voice; but no more of to his house with great ceremony, and turnthat, --she will give us a song.
You shall | ing to the old woman, asked where was see my little girl too, Carolina Wilhelmina lier lady? “Good troth,” replied she, in a Amelia Tibbs, a sweet pretty creature! peculiar dialect, “she's washing your twa I design her for my Lord Drumstick's shirts at the next door, because they have eldest son; but that's in friendship, let it taken an oath against lending out the tub go no farther : she's but six years old, and any longer.”- * My two shirts !” cried he yet she walks a minuet, and plays on the in a tone that faltered with confusion; guitar immensely already. I intend she “what does the idiot mean ?”—“I ken shall be as perfect as possible in every what I mean weel enough,” replied the accomplishment. In the first place, l’il other;"she's washing your twa shirts at the make her a scholar: I'll teach her Greek next door, because- -“Fire and fury, myself, and learn that language purposely no more of thy stupid explanations !” cried to instruct her; but let that be a secret. he; “go and inform her we have got com
Thus saying, without waiting for a reply, pany. Were that Scotch hag,” continued he took me by the arm, and hauled me he, turning to me, to be for ever in my along. We passed through many dark family, she would never learn politeness, alleys and winding ways; for, from some nor forget that absurd poisonous accent of motives to me unknown, he seemed to have hers, or testify the smallest specimen of a particular aversion to every frequented breeding or high life; and yet it is very street: at last, however, we got to the surprising too, as I had her from a pardoor of a dismal-looking house in the liament man, a friend of mine from the outlets of the town, where he informed Highlands, one of the politest men in the me he chose to reside for the benefit of world; but that's a secret.” the air.
We waited some time for Mrs. Tibbs' We entered the lower door, which arrival, during which interval I had a full ever seemed to lie most hospitably open; opportunity of surveying the chamber and and I began to ascend an old and creaking all its furniture, which consisted of four staircase, when, as he mounted to show chairs with old wrought bottoms, that he me the way, he demanded whether I de- assured me were his wife's embroidery ; lighted in prospects; to which answering a square table that had been once japanin the affirmative, Then,” says he, “I ned; a cradle in one corner, a lumbering shall show you one of the most charming cabinet in the other ; a broken shepherdesse and a mandarine without a head, were
LETTER LVI. stuck over the chimney; and round the walls several paltry unframed pictures, From Fum Hoam to Altangi, the Discontented
Wanderer. which, he observed, were all his own drawing " What do you think, sir, of The distant sounds of music, that catch that head in the corner, done in the man- new sweetness as they vibrate through the ner of Grisoni? There's the true keeping long-drawn valley, are not more pleasing in it; it is my own face, and though there to the ear than the tidings of a far distant happens to be no likeness, a Countess friend. offered me an hundred for its fellow. I I have just received two hundred of thy refused her, for, hang it, that would be letters by the Russian caravan, descriptive mechanical, you know.”
of the manners of Europe. You have left The wife at last made her appearance, it to geographers to determine the site of at once a slattern and a coquette ; much their mountains and extent of their lakes, emaciated, but still carrying the remains seeming only employed in discovering the of beauty. She made twenty apologies for 'genius, the government, and disposition of being seen in such odious dishabille, but the people. hoped to be excused, as she had staid out In those letters I perceive a journal of all night at the gardens with the Countess, the operations of your mind upon whatwho was excessively fond of the horns. ever occurs, rather than a detail of your And, indeed, my dear,” added she, travels from one building to another ; of turning to her husband,' “his lordship your taking a draft of this ruin, or that drank your health in a bumper.”—“Poor obelisk ; of paying so many tomans for Jack !" cries he ; "a dear good-natured this commodity, or laying up a proper store creature, I know he loves me. But I for the passage of some new wilderness. hope, my dear, you have given orders for From your accounts of Russia, I learn dinner; you need make no great prepara- that this nation is again relaxing into tions neither, there are but three of us; pristine barbarity; that its great emperor something elegant and little will do,-a wanted a life of an hundred years more to turbot, an ortolan, a- “Or what do bring about his vast designs. A savage you think, my dear," interrupts the wife, people may be resembled to their own
of a nice pretty bit of ox-cheek, piping forests; a few years are sufficient to clear hot, and dressed with a little of my own away the obstructions to agriculture, but sauce ?”—“The very thing !” replies he; it requires many ere the ground acquires "it will eat best with some smart bottled a proper degree of fertility: the Russians, beer : but be sure to let us have the sauce attached to their ancient prejudices, again his Grace was so fond of. I hate your renew their hatred to strangers, and in. immense loads of meat; that is country dulge every former brutal excess. So true
extreme disgusting to those it is, that the revolutions of wisdom are who are in the least acquainted with high slow and difficult; the revolutions of folly
or ambition precipitate and easy.
“We By this time my curiosity began to abate, are not to be astonished,” says Confucius, and my appetite to increase : the company that the wise walk more slowly in their of fools may at first make us smile, but at road to virtue, than fools in their passage last never fails of rendering us melancholy; to vice; since passion drags us along, I therefore pretended to recollect a prior while wisdom only points out the way.' engagement, and, after having shown my The German empire, that remnant of respect to the house, according to the the majesty of ancient Rome, appears, fashion of the English, by giving the old from your accounts, on the eve of dissoluservant a piece of money at the door, I tion. The members of its vast body want took my leave; Mrs. Tibbs assuring me every tie of government to unite them, and that dinner, if I stayed, would be ready at seem feebly held together only by their least in less than two hours.
respect for ancient institutions. The very name of country and countrymen, which in
all over ;
other nations makes one of the strongest mention privileges and freedom, who, till bonds of government, has been here for of late, received directions from the throne some time laid aside; each of its inhabi- with implicit humility; when this is contants seeming more proud of being called sidered, I cannot help fancying that the from the petty state which gives him genius of freedom has entered that kingbirth, than by the more well-known title dom in disguise. If they have but three of German.
weak monarchs more successively on the This government may be regarded in the throne, the mask will be laid aside, and light of a severe master and a feeble oppo- the country will certainly once more be nent. The states which are now subject to free. the laws of the empire, are only watching When I compare the figure which the a proper occasion to fling off the yoke ; Dutch make in Europe with that they and those which are become too powerful assume in Asia, I am struck with surprise. to be compelled to obedience, now begin In Asia, I find them the great lords of all to think of dictating in their turn. The the Indian seas; in Europe, the timid struggles in this state are, therefore, not inhabitants of a paltry state. in order to preserve, but to destroy, the the sons of freedom, but of avarice; ancient constitution : if one side succeeds, no longer assertors of their rights by the government must become despotic; if courage, but by negotiations, fawning on the other, several states will subsist with those who insult them, and crouching out even nominal subordination ; but in under the rod of every neighbouring either case the Germanic constitution will power. Without a friend to save them in be no more.
distress, and without virtue to save themSweden, on the contrary, though now selves, their government is poor, and their seemingly a strenuous assertor of its liber- private wealth will serve but to invite some ties, probably only hastening on to des- neighbouring invader. potism. Their senators, while they pretend I long with impatience for your letters to vindicate the freedom of the people, are from England, Denmark, Holland, and only establishing their own independence. Italy ; yet why wish for relations which The deluded people will, however, at last only describe new calamities, which show perceive the miseries of an aristocratical that ambition and avarice are equally government; they will perceive that the terrible in every region !--Adieu. administration of a society of men is ever more painful than that of one only. They will fly from this most oppressive of all
LETTER LVII. forms, where one single member is capable of controlling the whole, to take refuge From Lien Chi Altangi to Fum Hoam, First under the throne, which will ever be atten
President of the Ceremonial Academy at
Pekin in China. tive to their complaints. No people long endure an aristocratical government, when I HAVE frequently admired the manner of they can apply elsewhere for redress. criticising in China, where the learned are The lower orders of people may be en- assembled in a body to judge of every new slaved for a time by a number of publication ; to examine the merits of the tyrants, but, upon the first opportunity, work, without knowing the circumstances they will ever take a refuge in despotism of the author ; and then to usher it into or democracy.
the world with proper marks of respect As the Swedes are making concealed or reprobation. approaches to despotism, the French, In England there are no such tribunals on the other hand, are imperceptibly vin- erected; but if a man thinks proper to be dicating themselves into freedom. When a judge of genius, few will be at the pains I consider that those parliaments (the to contradict his pretensions. If any choose members of which are all created by the to be critics, it is but saying they are court, the presidents of which can act only critics, and from that time forward they by immediate direction) presume even to become invested with full power and authority over every caitiff who aims at A nobleman has but to take a pen, ink, their instruction or entertainment. and paper, write away through three large
As almost every member of society has, volumes, and then sign his name to the by this means, a vote in literary trans- title-page; though the whole might have actions, it is no way surprising to find the been before more disgusting than his own rich leading the way here, as in other rent-roll, yet signing his name and title common concerns of life; to see them gives value to the deed, title being alone either bribing the numerous herd of voters equivalent to taste, imagination, and by their interest, or browbeating them by genius. their authority.
As soon as a piece, therefore, is pubA great man says, at his table, that lished, the first questions are, Who is the such a book is no bad thing. Imme. author ? Does he keep a coach? Where diately the praise is carried off by five lies his estate ? What sort of a table does flatterers, to be dispersed at twelve diffe- he keep? If he happens to be poor and rent coffee-houses, from whence it circu. unqualified for such a scrutiny, he and his lates, still improving as it proceeds, through works sink into irremediable obscurity, forty-five houses where cheaper liquors and too late he finds, that having fed upon are sold ; from thence it is carried away turtle is a more ready way to fame, than by the honest tradesman to his own fire having digested Tully. side, where the applause is eagerly caught The poor devil against whom fashion up by his wife and children, who have has set its face vainly alleges that he has been long taught to regard his judgment been bred in every part of Europe where as the standard of perfection. Thus, knowledge was to be sold ; that he has when we have traced a wide-extended grown pale in the study of nature and literary reputation up to its original source, himself. His works may please upon the we shall find it derived from some great perusal, but his pretensions to fame are man, who has perhaps received alĩ his entirely disregarded. He is treated like education and English from a tutor of a fiddler, whose music, though liked, is Berne or a dancing master of Picardy. not much praised, because he lives by it ;
The English are a people of good sense, while a gentleman performer, though the and I am the more surprised to find them most wretched scraper alive, throws the swayed in their opinions by men who audience into raptures. The fiddler, inoften from their very education are incom- deed, may in such a case console himself petent judges. Men who, being always by thinking, that while the other goes off bred in affluence, see the world only on with all the praise, he runs away with all one side, are surely improper judges of the money. But here the parallel drops ; human nature. They may, indeed, de- for while the nobleman triumphs in un. scribe a ceremony, a pageant, or a ball; merited applause, the author by profesbut how can they pretend to dive into the sion steals off with nothing. secrets of the human heart, who have been The poor, therefore, here, who draw nursed up only in forms, and daily behold their pens auxiliary to the laws of their nothing but the same insipid adulation country, must think themselves very happy smiling upon every face ? Few of them if they find, not fame, but forgiveness : have been bred in that best of schools, the and yet they are hardly treated; for as school of adversity; and, by what I can every country grows more polite, the press learn, fewer still have been bred in any becomes more useful, and writers become school at all.
more necessary as readers are supposed From such a description one would to increase. In a polished society, that think that a droning duke, or a dowager man, though in rags, who has the power duchess, was not possessed of more just of enforcing virtue from the press, is of pretensions to taste than persons of less more real use than forty stupid brahmins, or quality; and yet whatever the one or the bonzes, or guebres, though they preached other may write or praise shall pass for never so often, never so loud, or never so perfection, without farther examination. long. That man, though in rags, who is capable of deceiving even indolence into men (for as such I conceived them) gave wisdom, and who professes amusement, me no small pleasure. I expected our en. while he aims at reformation, is more tertainment would resemble those senti. useful in refined society than twenty car- mental banquets so finely described by dinals, with all their scarlet, and tricked Xenophon and Plato ; I was hoping some out in all the fopperies of scholastic finery. Socrates would be brought in from the
door, in order to harangue upon divine
love: but as for eating and drinking, I had LETTER LVIII.
prepared myself to be disappointed in that
particular. I was apprised that fasting To the same.
and temperance were tenets strongly reAs the Man in Black takes every oppor commended to the professors of Christunity of introducing me to such company tianity, and I had seen the frugality and as may serve to indulge my speculative mortification of the priests of the East; so temper, or gratify my curiosity, I was by that I expected an entertainment where his influence lately invited to a visitation we should have much reasoning and little dinner. To understand this term, you meat. must know that it was formerly the cus- Upon being introduced, I confess I tom here for the principal priests to go found no great signs of mortification in about the country once a year, and examine the faces or persons of the company. upon the spot whether those of subordi. However, I imputed their florid looks to nate orders did their duty, or were quali- temperance, and their corpulency to a fied for the task; whether their temples sedentary way of living. I saw several were kept in proper repair, or the laity preparations, indeed, for dinner, but none pleased with their administration. for philosophy. The company seemed to
Though a visitation of this nature was gaze upon the table with silent expectavery useful, yet it was found to be exceed- tion ; but this I easily excused. Men of ingly troublesome, and for many reasons wisdom, thought I, are ever slow of utterly inconvenient; for as the principal speech ; they deliver nothing unadvisedly, priests were obliged to attend at court, in “Silence,” says Confucius,
6 is a friend order to solicit preferment, it was impos- that will never betray.” They are now sible they could at the same time attend probably inventing maxims or hard sayin the country, which was quite out of the ings for their mutual instruction, when road to promotion. If we add to this the some one shall think proper to begin. gout, which has been, time immemorial, My curiosity was now wrought up to the a clerical disorder here, together with highest pitch. I impatiently looked round the bad wine and ill-dressed provisions to see if any were going to interrupt the that must infallibly be served up by the mighty pause, when at last one of the way, it was not strange that the custom company declared that there was a sow has been long discontinued. At present, in his neighbourhood that farrowed fifteen therefore, every head of the church, in- pigs at a litter. This I thought a very stead of going about to visit his priests, is preposterous beginning; but just as an. satisfied if his priests come in a body once other was going to second the remark, a year to visit him ; by this means the dinner was served, which interrupted the duty of half a year is despatched in a day. conversation for that time. When assembled, he asks each in turn The appearance of dinner, which con. how they have behaved, and are liked, sisted of a variety of dishes, seemed to upon which those who have neglected diffuse new cheerfulness upon every face, their duty, or are disagreeable to their so that I now expected the philosophical congregation, no doubt accuse themselves, conversation to begin, as they improved and tell him all their faults, for which he in good humour. The principal priest, reprimands them most severely.
however, opened his mouth with only The thoughts of being introduced into observing, that the venison had not been a company of philosophers and learned kept enough, though he had given strict