« ПретходнаНастави »
my friend gravely, “it contributes to the those nations where it is cultivated, only happiness of every society into which it is make nearer advances to nature. The introduced. All our pleasures are short, same efforts that are used in some places and can only charm at intervals; love is a to suppress pity, and other natural passions, method of protracting our greatest plea- may have been employed to extinguish sure; and surely that gamester who plays love. No nation, however unpolished, is the greatest stake to the best advantage, remarkable for innocence, that is not will, at the end of life, rise victorious. This famous for passion; it has flourished in was the opinion of Vanini, who affirmed, the coldest, as well as in the warmest that every hour was lost which was not regions. Even in the sultry wilds of spent in love. His accusers were unable Southern America the lover is not satis. to comprehend his meaning, and the poor fied with possessing his mistress's person, advocate for love was burned in flames, without having her mind : alas ! no way metaphorical. But what
In all my Enna's beauties blest, ever advantages the individual may reap Amidst profusion still I pine ; from this passion, society will certainly be
For though she gives me up her breast, refined and improved by its introduction :
Its panting tenant is not mine. all laws calculated to discourage it tend “But the effects of love are too violent to imbrute the species and weaken the to be the result of an artificial passion. state. Though it cannot plant morals in Nor is it in the power of fashion to force the human breast, it cultivates them when the constitution into those changes which there : pity, generosity, and honour receive we every day observe. Several have died a brighter polish from its assistance; and of it. Few lovers are unacquainted with a single amour is sufficient entirely to brush the fate of the two Italian lovers, Da Corsin off the clown.
and Julia Bellamano, who, after a long But it is an exotic of the most delicate separation, expired with pleasure in each constitution : it requires the greatest art to other's arms. Such instances are introduce it into a state, and the smallest strong confirmations of the reality of the discouragement is sufficient to repress it passion, and serve to show that suppressagain. Let us only consider with what ease ing it is but opposing the natural dictates it was formerly extinguished in Rome, and of the heart.” – Adieu. with what difficulty it was lately revived in Europe ; it seemed to sleep for ages,
LETTER CXVII. and at last fought its way among us, through
To the same. tilts, tournaments, dragons, and all the The clock just struck two, the expiring dreams of chivalry. The rest of the world, taper rises and sinks in the socket, the China only excepted, are, and have ever watchman forgets the hour in slumber, been, utter strangers to its delights and the laborious and the happy are at rest, advantages. In other countries, as men and nothing wakes but meditation, guilt, find themselves stronger than women, they revelry, and despair. The drunkard once lay claim to a rigorous superiority ; this more fills the destroying bowl, the robber is natural, and love, which gives up this walks his midnight round, and the suicide natural advantage, must certainly be the lifts his guilty arm against his own sacred effect of art-an art calculated to lengthen person. out our happier moments, and add new Let me no longer waste the night over graces to society.
the page of antiquity, or the sallies of “I entirely acquiesce in your senti contemporary genius, but pursue the soliments,” says the lady, “with regard to the tary walk, where vanity, ever changing, advantages of this passion, but cannot but a few hours past walked before me ; avoid giving it a nobler origin than you where she kept up the pageant, and now, have been pleased to assign. I must like a froward child, seems hushed with think, that those countries where it is her own importunities. rejected are obliged to have recourse to What a gloom hangs all around! The art, to stifle so natural a production : and dying lamp feebly emits a yellow gleam ;
no sound is heard but of the chiming clock, villain, and are now turned out to meet or the distant watch-dog. All the bustle the severity of winter. Perhaps, now lying of human pride is forgotten ; an hour like at the doors of their betrayers, they sue to this may well display the emptiness of wretches whose hearts are insensible, or human vanity.
debauchees who may curse, but will not There will come a time, when this relieve them. temporary solitude may be made continual, Why, why was I born a-man, and yet and the city itself, like its inhabitants, fade see the sufferings of wretches I cannot away, and leave a desert in its room. relieve? Poor houseless creatures! the
What cities as great as this have once world will give you reproaches, but will triumphed in existence, had their victories not give you relief. The slightest misforas great, joy as just, and as unbounded ; tunes of the great, the most imaginary and, with short-sighted presumption, pro- uneasiness of the rich, are aggravated with mised themselves immortality! Posterity all the power of eloquence, and held up can hardly trace the situation of some; the to engage our attention and sympathetic sorrowful traveller wanders over the awful sorrow. The poor weep unheeded, perruins of others; and, as he beholds, he secuted by every subordinate species of learns wisdom, and feels the transience of tyranny; and every law which gives others every sublunary possession.
security, becomes an enemy to them. Here,” he cries, “stood their citadel, Why was this heart of mine formed with now grown over with weeds; there their so much sensibility? or why was not my senate house, but now the haunt of every fortune adapted to its impulse? Tendernoxious reptile; temples and theatres stood ness, without a capacity of relieving, only here, now only an undistinguished heap of makes the man who feels it more wretched ruin. They are fallen, for luxury and ava- than the object which sues for assistance. rice first made them feeble. The rewards -Adieu. of the state were conferred on amusing and
LETTER CXVIII. not on useful members of society. Their riches and opulence invited the invaders, From Fum Hoam to Lien Chi Altangi, the Dis
contented Wanderer, by the way of Moscow. who, though at first repulsed, returned again, conquered by perseverance, and at I HAVE been just sent upon an embassy to last swept the defendants into undistin- Japan; my commission is to be despatched guished destruction."
in four days, and you can hardly conceive How few appear in those streets which the pleasure I shall find upon revisiting my but some few hours ago were crowded! | native country. I shall leave with joy this and those who appear now no longer proud, barbarous, inhospitable region, wear their daily mask, nor attempt to hide where every object conspires to diminish their lewdness or their misery.
my satisfaction, and increase my patriotism. But who are those who make the streets But though I find the inhabitants savage, their couch, and find a short repose from yet the Dutch merchants who are permitted wretchedness at the doors of the opulent? to trade hither seem still more detestable. These are strangers, wanderers, and or- They have raised my dislike to Europe in phans, whose circumstances are too humble general : by them I learn how low avarice to expect redress, and whose distresses are can degrade human nature; how many intoo great even for pity. Their wretched dignities an European will suffer for gain. ness excites rather horror than pity. Some I was present at an audience given by are without the covering even of rags, and the emperor to the Dutch envoy, who had others emaciated with disease ; the world sent several presents to all the courtiers, has disclaimed them ; society turns its back some days previous to his admission ; but upon their distress, and has given them up he was obliged to attend those designed to nakedness and hunger. These poor for the emperor himself. From the shivering females have once seen happier accounts I had heard of this ceremony, days, and been flattered into beauty. They my curiosity prompted me to be a spechave been prostituted to the gay luxurious tator of the whole.
First went the presents, set out on beau- were placed behind lattices, in such a man. tiful enamelled tables, adorned with ner as to see, without being seen. Here flowers, borne on men's shoulders, and all the Europeans were directed to pass followed by Japanese music and dancers. in review, and grovel and act the serpent From so great respect paid to the gifts as before: with this spectacle the whole themselves, I had fancied the donors must court seemed highly delighted. The stranhave received almost divine honours. gers were asked a thousand ridiculous But, about a quarter of an hour after the questions, as their names, and their ages; presents had been carried in triumph, the they were ordered to write, to stand upenvoy and his train were brought forward. right, to sit, to stoop, to compliment each They were covered from head to foot with other, to be drunk,
to speak the Japanese long black veils, which prevented their language, to talk Dutch, to sing, to eat; seeing, each led by a conductor, chosen in short, they were ordered to do all that from the meanest of the people. In this could satisfy the curiosity of woman. dishonourable manner, having traversed Imagine, my dear Altangi, a set of the city of Jeddo, they at length arrived grave men thus transformed into buffoons, at the palace gate; and, after waiting half and acting a part every whit as honouran hour, were admitted into the guard- able as that of those instructed animals
Here their eyes were uncovered, which are shown in the streets of Pekin to and in about an hour the gentleman usher the mob on a holiday. Yet the ceremony introduced them into the hall of audience. did not end here, for every great lord of The emperor was at length shown, sitting the court was to be visited in the same in a kind of alcove at the upper end of the manner ; and their ladies, who took the room, and the Dutch envoy was conducted whim from their husbands, were all towards the throne.
equally fond of seeing the strangers perAs soon as he had approached within a form, even the children seeming highly certain distance, the gentleman usher cried diverted with the dancing Dutchmen. out with a loud voice, “Holanda Capitan;" “Alas!” cried I to myself, upon return. upon these words the envoy fell flat upon ing from such a spectacle, “is this the the ground, and crept upon his hands and nation which assumes such dignity at the feet towards the throne. Still approach court of Pekin? Is this the people that ing, he reared himself upon his knees, and appear so proud at home, and in every then bowed his forehead to the ground. country where they have the least authority? These ceremonies being over, he was How does a love of gain transform the directed to withdraw, still grovelling on gravest of mankind into the most conhis belly, and going backward lik a temptible and ridiculous! I had rather lobster.
continue poor all my life, than become Men must be excessively fond of riches, rich at such a rate. Perish those riches when they are earned with such cir- which are acquired at the expense of my cumstances of abject submission. Do the honour or my humanity! Let me quit, Europeans worship Heaven itself with said I, “a country where there are none marks of more profound respect? Do they but such as treat all others like slaves, and confer those honours on the Supreme of more detestable still, in suffering such Beings, which they pay to a barbarous king, treatment. I have seen enough of this who gives them a permission to purchase nation to desire to see more of others. trinkets and porcelain? What a glorious Let me leave a people suspicious to excess, exchange, to forfeit their national honour, whose morals are corrupted, and equally and even their title to humanity, for a debased by superstition and vice; where screen or a snuff-box!
the sciences are left uncultivated, where If these ceremonies essayed in the first the great are slaves to the prince, and audience appeared mortifying, those which tyrants to the people; where ihe women were practised in the second were infi- are chaste only when debarred of the nitely more so. In the second audience power of transgression ; where the true the emperor and the ladies of the court disciples of Confucius are not less perse.
cuted than those of Christianity ; in a a poor fellow begging at one of the outlets word, a country where men are for of this town, with a wooden leg. I was bidden to think, and consequently labour curious to learn what had reduced him to under the most miserable slavery,—that of his present situation ; and, after giving mental servitude.-Adieu.
him what I thought proper, desired to
know the history of his life and misforLETTER CXIX.
tunes, and the manner in which he was From Lien Chi Altangi to Fum Hoam, First reduced to his present distress. The dis
President of the Ceremonial Academy at abled soldier, for such he was, with an Pekin in China.
intrepidity truly British, leaning on his The misfortunes of the great, my friend, crutch, put himself into an attitude to are held up to engage our attention, are comply with my request, and gave me his enlarged upon in tones of declamation, history as follows :and the world is called upon to gaze at
“As for misfortunes, sir, I cannot prethe noble sufferers : they have at once the tend to have gone through more than comfort of admiration and pity.
others. Except the loss of my limb, and Yet, where is the magnanimity of bear my being obliged to beg, I don't know ing misfortunes when the whole world is any reason, thank Heaven, that I have to looking on? Men in such circumstances complain : there are some who have lost can act bravely even from motives of both legs and an eye; but, thank Heaven, vanity. He only who in the vale of it is not quite so bad with me. obscurity can brave adversity-who, with- “My father was a labourer in the counout friends to encourage, acquaintances to try, and died when I was five years old ; pity, or even without hope to alleviate his so I was put upon the parish. As he had distresses, can behave with tranquillity been a wandering sort of a man, the parishand indifference, is truly great : whether ioners were not able to tell to what parish peasant or courtier, he deserves admi. I belonged, or where I was born ; so they ration, and should be held up for our sent me to another parish, and that parish imitation and respect.
sent me to a third : till at last it was The miseries of the poor are, however, thought I belonged to no parish at all. entirely disregarded ; though some under- At length, however, they fixed me. I had go more real hardships in one day, than some disposition to be a scholar, and had the great in their whole lives. It is indeed actually learned my letters ; but the masinconceivable what difficulties the meanest ter of the workhouse put me to business English sailor or soldier endures without as soon as I was able to handle a mallet. murmuring regret. Every day to him “Here I lived an easy kind of a life for is a day of misery, and yet he bears his five years. I only wrought ten hours in hard fate without repining.
the day, and had my meat and drink proWith what indignation do I hear the vided for my labour. It is true, I was heroes of tragedy complain of misfortunes not suffered to stir far from the house, for and hardships, whose greatest calamity is fear I should run away: but what of that? founded in arrogance and pride! Their I had the liberty of the whole house, and severest distresses are pleasures compared the yard before the door, and that was to what many of the adventuring poor enough for me. every day sustain, without murmuring. “I was next bound out to a farmer, These may eat, drink, and sleep; have where I was up both early and late ; but slaves to attend them, and are sure of I ate and drank well, and liked my busisubsistence for life ; while many of their ness well enough, till he died. Being then fellow-creatures are obliged to wander, obliged to provide for myself, i was without a friend to comfort or to assist resolved to go and seek my fortune. Thus them, find enmity in every law, and are I lived, and went from town to town, too poor to obtain even justice.
working when I could get employment, I have been led into these reflections and starving when I could get none, and from accidentally meeting, some days ago, might have lived so still ; but happening
one day to go through a field belonging gang : I was carried before the Justice, to a magistrate, I spied a hare crossing and as I could give no account of myself the path just before me. I believe the (that was the thing that always hobbled devil put it in my head to fling my stick me), I had my choice left, whether to go at it: well
, what will you have on't? I on board a man-of-war, or list for å solkilled the hare, and was bringing it away dier. I chose to be a soldier ; and in this in triumph, when the Justice himself met post of a gentleman I served two cam. me: he called me a villain, and collaring paigns in Flanders, was at the battles of me, desired I would give an account of Val and Fontenoy, and received but one myself
. I began immediately to give a wound through the breast, which is full account of all that I knew of my troublesome to this day. breed, seed, and generation ; but though “When the peace came on, I was dis. I gave a very long account, the Justice charged ; and as I could not work, besaid I could give no account of myself ; cause my wound was sometimes painful, so I was indicted, and found guilty of I listed for a landman in the East India being poor, and sent to Newgate
, in Company's service. I here fought the order to be transported to the plantations. French in six pitched battles ; and verily
· People may say this and that of being believe, that if I could read and write, our in gaol ; but, for my part, I found Newgate captain would have given me promotion, as agreeable a place as ever I was in in and made me a corporal. But that was not all my life. I had my bellyful to eat and my good fortune ; I soon fell sick, and drink, and did no work; but, alas! this when I became good for nothing, got kind of life was too good to last for ever. leave to return home again with forty I was taken out of prison, after five pounds in my pocket, which I saved in months, put on board of a ship, and sent the service. This was at the beginning off with two hundred more. Our passage of the present war, so I hoped to be set was but indifferent, for we were all con- on shore, and to have the pleasure of fined in the hold, and died very fast, for spending my money; but the government want of sweet air and provisions : but, wanted men, and I was pressed again, for my part, I did not want meat, because before ever I could set foot on shore. I had a fever all the way: Providence “ The boatswain found me, as he said, was kind; when provisions grew short, it an obstinate fellow: he swore that I took away my desire of eating. When we understood my business perfectly well, came ashore, we were sold to the planters. but that I shammed Abraham merely to I was bound for seven years, and as I was be idle. God knows, I knew nothing of no scholar-for I had forgot my letters - sea business: he beat me without con. I was obliged to work among the negroes; sidering what he was about. But still and served out my time, as in duty bound my forty pounds was some comfort to me to do.
under every beating: the money was my “When my time was expired, I worked comfort, and the money I might have had my passage home, and glad I was to see to this day, but that our ship was taken old England again, because I loved my by the French, and so I lost it all. country. O liberty ! liberty! liberty! that Our crew was carried into a French is the property of every Englishman, and prison, and many of them died, because I will die in its defence. I was afraid, they were not used to live in a gaol; but, however, that I should be indicted for a for my part, it was nothing to me, for I vagabond once more ; so I did not much was seasoned. One night, however, as care to go into the country, but kept I was sleeping on a bed of boards, with a about town ; and did little jobs when I warm blanket about me, (for I always could get them. I was very happy in loved to lie well,) I was awakened by the this manner for some time; till one even- boatswain, who had a dark lantern in his ing, coming home from work, two men hand. "Jack,' says he to me, will you knocked me down, and then desired me knock out the French sentry's brains ?' to stand still. They belonged to a presso l'I don't care,' says I, striving to keep