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tinuing in prejudice. To the wise man

LETTER XCVI. every climate and every soil is pleasing ; From Lien Chi Altangi to Fum Hoam, First to him a parterre of flowers is the famous President of the Ceremonial Academy at valley of gold ; to him a little brook the Pekin, in China. fountain of the young peach-trees ; to such The manner of grieving for our departed a man the melody of birds more ravishing friends in China is very different from that than the harmony of a full concert; and of Europe. The mourning colour of the tincture of the cloud preferable to the Europe is black ; that of China white. touch of the finest pencil.

When a parent or relation dies here—for The life of man is a journey ; a journey they seldom mourn for friends—it is only that must be travelled, however bad the clapping on a suit of sables, grimacing it roads or the accommodation. If in the for a few days, and all, soon forgotten, goes beginning it is found dangerous, narrow, on as before ; not a single creature missing and difficult, it must either grow better in the deceased, except perhaps a favourite the end, or we shall by custom learn to housekeeper or a favourite cat. bear its inequality.

On the contrary, with us in China it is But, though I see you incapable of pene- a very serious affair. The piety with which trating into grand principles, attend at I have seen you behave, on one of these least to a simile, adapted to every appre- occasions, should never be forgotten. I hension. I am mounted upon a wretched remember it was upon the death of thy ass, I see another man before me upon a grandmother's maiden sister. The coffin sprightly horse, at which I find some un- was exposed in the principal hall, in public easiness. I look behind me, and see view. Before it were placed the figures numbers on foot, stooping under heavy of eunuchs, horses, tortoises, and other burdens ; let me learn to pity their estate, animals, in attitudes of grief and respect. and thank Heaven for my own.

The more distant relations of the old lady, Shingfu, when under misfortunes, would and I among the number, came to pay our in the beginning weep like a child ; but compliments of condolence, and to salute he soon recovered his former tranquillity. the deceased after the manner of our counAfter indulging grief for a few days, he try. We had scarce presented our wax would become, as usual, the most merry candles and perfumes, and given the howl old man in all the province of Shansi. of departure, when, crawling on his belly About the time that his wife died, his from under a curtain, out came the reverená possessions were all consumed by fire, and Fum Hoam himself

, in all the dismal his only son sold into captivity ; Shingfu solemnity of distress. Your looks were grieved for one day, and the next went to set for sorrow ; your clothing consisted in dance at a mandarine's door for his dinner. a hempen bag tied round the neck with a The company were surprised to see the old string. For two long months did this man so merry, when suffering such great mourning continue. By night you lay losses ; and the mandarine himself coming stretched on a single mat, and sat on the out, asked him, how he, who had grieved stool of discontent by day. Pious man ! so much, and given way to calamity the who could thus set an example of sorrow day before, could now be so cheerful? and decorum to our country. Pious coun“You ask me one question,” cries the old try! where, if we do not grieve at the man; “let me answer by asking another : departure of our friends for their sakes, at Which is the most durable, a hard thing, least we are taught to regret them for our or a soft thing ; that which resists, or that own. which makes no resistance ?"_“A hard All is very different here; amazement thing, to be sure,” replied the mandarine.-- all! What sort of people am I got amongst? “There you are wrong," returned Shingfu. 'Fum, thou son of Fo, what sort of people “I am now four score years old ; and, if am I got amongst? No crawling round you look in my mouth, you will find that the coffin; no dressing up in hempen bags; Í have lost all my teeth, but not a bit of nolying on mats, or sitting on stools! Genmy tongue."- Adieu,

tlemen here shall put on first mourning with as sprightly an air as if preparing for want cobblers to mend their shoes, there a birthnight; and widows shall actually is no danger of its wanting emperors to dress for another husband in their weeds for rule their kingdoms: from such considerathe former. The best jest of all is, that our tions, I could bear the loss of a king with merry mourners clap bits of muslin on the most philosophic resignation. Howtheir sleeves, and these are called weepers. ever, I thought it my duty at least to appear Weeping muslin! alas, alas, very sorrow- sorrowful, to put on a melancholy aspect, ful truly! These weepers, then, it seems, or to set my face by that of the people. are to bear the whole burden of the The first company I came amongst, distress.

after the news became general, was a set But I have had the strongest instance of of jolly companions, who were drinking this contrast, this tragi-comical behaviour prosperity to the ensuing reign. I entered in distress, upon a recent occasion. Their the room with looks of despair, and even king, whose departure though sudden was expectedapplause for the superlative misery not unexpected, died after a reign of many of my countenance. Instead of that, I was years. His age and uncertain state of universally condemned by the company health served, in some measure, to dimi- for a grimacing son of a whore, and desired nish the sorrow of his subjects; and their to take away my penitential phiz to some expectations from his successor seemed to other quarter. I now corrected my former balance their minds between uneasiness mistake, and, with the most sprightly air and satisfaction. But how ought they to imaginable, entered a company where have behaved on such an occasion? Surely, they were talking over the ceremonies of they ought rather to have endeavoured to the approaching funeral. Here I sat for testify their gratitude to their deceased some time with an air of pert vivacity; friend, than to proclaim their hopes of the when one of the chief mourners immefuture! Sure, even the successor must diately observing my good humour, desired suppose their love to wear the face of me, if I pleased, to go and grin somewhere adulation, which so quickly changed the else; they wanted no disaffected scoundrels object! However, the very same day there. Leaving this company, therefore, on which the old king died they made I was resolved to assume a look perfectly rejoicings for the new.

neutral; and have ever since been studying For my part, I have no conception of the fashionable air; something between this new manner of mourning and rejoicing jest and earnest : a complete virginity of in a breath ; of being merry and sad ; of face, uncontaminated with the smallest mixing a funeral procession with a jig and symptom of meaning. a bonfire. At least, it would have been But though grief be a very slight affair just, that they who flattered the king while here, the mourning, my friend, is a very living for virtues which he had not should important concern.

When an emperor lament him dead for those he really had. dies in China, the whole expense of the

In this universal cause for national disc solemnities is defrayed from the royal tress, as I had no interest myself, so it is coffers. When the great die here, manbut natural to suppose I felt no real afflic- darines are ready enough to order mourntion. In all the losses of our friends,” ing; but I do not see they are so ready to says an European philosopher, we first pay for it. If they send me down from consider how much our own welfare is court the gray undress frock, or the black affected by their departure, and moderate coat without pocket-holes, I am willing our real grief just in the same propor- enough to comply with their commands, tion.” Now, as I had neither received, and wear both; but, by the head of Connor expected to receive, favours from kings fucius ! to be obliged to wear black, and or their flatterers; as I had no acquaint- buy it into the bargain, is more than my ance in particular with their late monarch; tranquillity of temper can bear. What! as I know that the place of a king is soon order me to wear mourning before they supplied; and as the Chinese proverb has know whether I can buy it or no! Fum,

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got amongst; where being out of black is lic. For this reason there are a hundred a certain symptom of poverty; where those very wise, learned, virtuous, well-intended who have miserable faces cannot have productions, that have no charms for me. mourning, and those who have mourning Thus, for the soul of me, I could never find will not wear a miserable face !

courage nor grace enough to wade above

two pages deep into “Thoughts upon God LETTER XCVII.

and Nature ;” or “Thoughts upon Provi. To the same.

dence;” or “Thoughts upon Free Grace;" It is usual for the booksellers here, when or, indeed, into thoughts upon anything a book has given universal pleasure upon

at all. I can no longer meditate with one subject, to bring out several more meditations for every day in the year. upon the same plan; which are sure to Essays upon divers subjects cannot allure have purchasers and readers, from that me, though never so interesting; and as desire which all men have to view a pleas. for funeral sermons, or even thanksgiving ing object on every side. The first per- sermons, I can neither weep with the one formance serves rather to awaken than nor rejoice with the other, satisfy attention; and when that is once But it is chiefly in gentle poetry, where moved, the slightest effort serves to con- I seldom look farther than the title. The tinue its progression; the merit of the first truth is, I take up books to be told somediffuses a light sufficient to illuminate the thing new; but here, as it is now managed, succeeding efforts; and no other subject the reader is told nothing. He opens the can be relished, till that is exhausted. A book, and there finds very good words stupid work coming thus immediately in truly, and much exactness of rhyme, but the train of an applauded performance no information. A parcel of gaudy images weans the mind from the object of its pass on before his imagination like the pleasure, and resembles the sponge thrust figures in a dream; but curiosity, inducinto the mouth of a discharged culverin, tion, reason, and the whole train of affecin order to adapt it for a new explosion. tions, are fast asleep. The jucunda et

This manner, however, of drawing off idonea vita——those sallies which mend the a subject, or a peculiar mode of writing heart, while they amuse the fancy—are to the dregs, effectually precludes a revival quite forgotten; so that a reader who of that subject or manner for some time would take up some modern applauded for the future; the sated reader turns from performances of this kind must, in order it with a kind of literary nausea; and, to be pleased, first leave his good sense though the titles of books are the part of behind him, take for his recompense and them most read, yet he has scarce per guide bloated and compound epithet, and severance enough to wade through the dwell on paintings, just indeed, because title-page.

laboured with minute exactness. Of this number I own myself one: I If we examine, however, our internal am now grown callous to several sub- sensations, we shall find ourselves but jects, and different kinds of composition. little pleased with such laboured vanities; Whether such originally pleased I will we shall find that our applause rather not take upon me to determine; but at proceeds from a kind of contagion caught present I spurn a new book, merely upon up from others, and which we contribute seeing its name in an advertisement; nor to diffu e, than from what we privately have the smallest curiosity to look beyond feel. There are some subjects of which the first leaf, even though in the second almost all the world perceive the futility; the author promises his own face neatly yet all combine in imposing them upon engraved on copper.

each other, as worthy of praise. But I am become a perfect epicure in read chiefly this imposition obtains in literature, ing; plain beef or solid mutton will never where men publicly contemn what they do. I am for a Chinese dish of bears' relish with rapture in private, and approve claws and birds' nests. I am for sauce | abroad what has given disgust at home. strong with asafoetida, or fuming with gar. The truth is, we deliver those criticisms

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in public which are supposed to be best surprise to find my friend engaged in a calculated, not to do justice to the author, lawsuit, but more so when he informed but to impress others with an opinion of me that it had been depending for several our superior discernment.

But let works years. “How is it possible,” cried I, of this kind, which have already come off for a man who knows the world to go with such applause, enjoy it all. It is not to law? I am well acquainted with the my wish to diminish, as I was never con- courts of justice in China : they resemble siderable enough to add to, their fame; rat-traps every one of them ; nothing more but, for the future, I fear there are many easy than to get in, but to get out again poems of which I shall find spirits to read is attended with some difficulty, and more but the title. In the first place, all odes cunning than rats are generally found to upon Winter, or Summer, or Autumn; in possess !”. short, all odes, epodes, and monodies “Faith,” replied my friend, “I should whatsoever, shall hereafter be deemed too not have gone to law but that I was polite, classical, obscure, and refined, to assured of success before I began ; things be read, and entirely above human com- were presented to me in so alluring a light, prehension. Pastorals are pretty enough that I thought by barely declaring myself

-for those that like them : but to me a candidate for the prize, I had nothing Thyrsis is one of the most insipid fellows more to do but to enjoy the fruits of the I ever conversed with; and as for Corydon, victory. Thus have I been upon the eve I do not choose his company. Elegies of an imaginary triumph every term these and epistles are very fine-to those to ten years ; have travelled forward with whom they are addressed; and as for epic victory ever in my view, but ever out of poems, I am generally able to discover reach ; however, at present I fancy we the whole plan in reading the two first have hampered our antagonist in such a pages.

manner, that, without some unforeseen Tragedies, however, as they are now demur, we shall this very day lay him made, are good instructive moral sermons fairly on his back.” enough; and it would be a fault not to be “ If things be so situated,” said I, “I pleased with good things. There I learn don't care if I attend you to the courts, several great truths : as, that it is impos- and partake in the pleasure of your sucsible to see into the ways of futurity; that cess. But prithee,” continued I, as we punishment always attends the villain ; set forward,“ what reasons have you to that love is the fond soother of the human think an affair at last concluded, which breast ; that we should not resist Heaven's has given you so many former disappointwill, – for in resisting Heaven's will, ments ?". “My lawyer tells me, Heaven's will is resisted ; with several turned he, “that I have Salkeld and Venother sentiments equally new, delicate, tris strong in my favour, and that there and striking. Every new tragedy, there are no less than fifteen cases in point.”fore, I shall go to see; for reflections of “ I understand,” said I ; "those are two this nature make a tolerable harmony, of your judges who have already declared when mixed up with a proper quantity of their opinions. -“ Pardon me,” replied drum, trumpet, thunder, lightning, or the my friend, “Salkeld and Ventris are lawscene-shister's whistle.-Adieu.

yers who some hundred years ago gave

their opinions on cases similar to mine : LETTER XCVIII.

these opinions which make for me, my To the same.

lawyer is to cite ; and those opinions I HAD some intentions lately of going which look another way are cited by the to visit Bedlam, the place where those lawyer employed by my antagonist : as I who go mad are confined. I went to wait observed, I have Salkeid and Ventris for upon the Man in Black to be my conduc- me; he has Coke and Hale for him ; tor, but I found him preparing to go to and he that has most opinions is most Westminster Hall, where the English hold likely to carry his cause.

“ But where their courts of justice. It gave me some is the necessity,” cried I, “ of prolonging

re

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à suit by citing the opinions and reports i instance, the catchpole watches the man of others, since the same good sense which in debt, the attorney watches the catchdetermined lawyers in former ages, may pole, the counsellor watches the attorney, serve to guide your judges at this day? the solicitor the counsellor, and all find They at that time gave their opinions only , sufficient employment.' “I conceive from the light of reason; your judges have you,” interrupted I; they watch each the same light at present to direct them; other, but it is the client that pays

them let me even add, a greater, as in former all for watching : it puts me in mind of a ages there were many prejudices from Chinese fable, which is entitled, Five which the present is happily free. If | ANIMALS AT A MEAL. arguing from authorities be exploded from “A grasshopper, filled with dew, was every other branch of learning, why should merrily singing under a shade; a whangam, it be particularly adhered to in this? I that eats grasshoppers, had marked it for plainly foresee how such a method of in- its prey, and was just stretching forth to vestigation must embarrass every suit, devour it; a serpent, that had for a long and even perplex the student; ceremonies time fed only on whangams, was coiled will be multiplied, formalities must in- up to fasten on the whangam ; a yellow crease, and more time will thus be spent bird was just upon the wing to dart upon in learning the arts of litigation, than in the serpent; a hawk had just stooped the discovery of right.”

from above to seize the yellow bird ; all I see,” cries my friend, " that you are were intent on their prey, and unmindful for a speedy administration of justice; but of their danger : so the whangam ate the all the world will grant, that the more grasshopper, the serpent ate the whangam, time that is taken up in considering any the yellow bird the serpent, and the hawk subject, the better it will be understood. the yellow bird ; when, sousing from on Besides, it is the boast of an Englishman, high, a vulture gobbled up the hawk, that his property is secure, and all the grasshopper, whangam, and all in a world will grant, that a deliberate admi- moment. nistration of justice is the best way to se- I had scarcely finished my fable, when cure his property. Why have we so many the lawyer came to inform my friend, lawyers, but to secure our property? that his cause was put off till another Why so many formalities, but to secure term, that money was wanting to retain, our property? Not less than one hundred and that all the world was of opinion, thousand families live in opulence, ele- that the very next hearing would bring gance, and ease, merely by securing our him off victorious. “If so, then,” cries property.'

my friend, “I believe it will be my wisest "To embarrass justice," returned I, way to continue the cause for another " by a multiplicity of laws, or to hazard term; and, in the meantime, my friend it by a confidence in our judges, are, I here and I will go and see Bedlam.”grant, the opposite rocks on which legis- Adieu. lative wisdom has ever split. In one case,

LETTER XCIX. the client resembles that emperor who is said to have been suffocated with the bed

To the same. clothes which were only designed to keep I LATELY received a visit from the little him warm ; in the other, to that town Beau, who I found had assumed a new which let the enemy take possession of flow of spirits with a new suit of clothes. its walls, in order to show the world how Our discourse happened to turn upon the little they depended upon. aught but different treatment of the fair sex here and courage for safety. But, bless me! what in Asia, with the influence of beauty in numbers do I see here-all in black !-- refining our manners, and improving our how is it possible that half this multitude conversation. can find employment ?”—“Nothing so I soon perceived he was strongly preeasily conceived," returned my companion; judiced in favour of the Asiatic method of 'they live by watching each other. For treating the sex, and that it was impossible

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