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to conduct us to the next. I have seen a A LETTER FROM A TRAVELLER.
woman travel thus on horseback before us Cracow, August 2, 1758. for thirty miles, and think herself highly MY DEAR WILL,—You see, by the date paid, and make twenty reverences, upon of my letter, that I am arrived in Poland. receiving, with ecstasy, about twopence When will my wanderings be at an end? for her trouble. In general, we were When will my restless disposition give me better served by the women than the men leave to enjoy the present hour? When on these occasions. The men seemed at Lyons, I thought all happiness lay be directed by a low sordid interest alone : yond the Alps; when in Italy, I found they seemed mere machines, and all their myself still in want of something, and thoughts were employed in the care of expected to leave solicitude behind me by their
horses. If we gently desired them going into Romelia ; and now you find me to make more speed, they took not the turning back, still expecting ease every- least notice: kind language was what they where but where I am. It is now seven had by no means been used to.
It was years since I saw the face of a single crea- proper to speak to them in the tones of ture who cared a farthing whether I was anger, and sometimes it was even necessary dead or alive. Secluded from all the to use blows, to excite them to their duty. comforts of confidence, friendship, or How different these from the common society, I feel the solitude of a hermit, people of England, whom a blow might but not his ease.
induce to return the affront sevenfold ! The Prince of has taken me in his These poor people, however, from being train, so that I am in no danger of starving brought up to vile usage, lose all the for this bout. The prince's governor is respect which they should have for thema rude ignorant pedant, and his tutor a selves. They have contracted a habit of battered rake; thus, between two such regarding constraint as the great rule of characters, you may imagine he is finely their duty. When they were treated with instructed. I made some attempts to dis- mildness, they no longer continued to perplay all the little knowledge I had acquired ceive a superiority. They fancied themby reading or observation; but I find my- selves our equals, and a continuance of self regarded as an ignorant intruder. The our humanity might probably have rentruth is, I shall never be able to acquire dered them insolent: but the imperious a power of expressing myself with ease in tone, menaces, and blows, at once changed any language but my own; and, out of their sensations and their ideas ; their ears my own country, the highest character I and shoulders taught their souls to shrink can ever acquire is that of being a philo- back into servitude, from which they had sophic vagabond.
for some moments fancied themselves When I consider myself in the country disengaged. which was once so formidable in war, and The enthusiasm of liberty an Englishspread terror and desolation over the whole man feels is never so strong as when Roman empire, I can hardly account for presented by such prospects as these. I the present wretchedness and pusillanimity must own, in all my indigence, it is one of its inhabitants: a prey to every invader'; of my comforts, (perhaps, indeed, it is my their cities plundered without an enemy; only boast,) that am of that happy their magistrates seeking redress by com- country; though I scorn to starve there; plaints, and not by vigour. Everything though I do not choose to lead a life of conspires to raise my compassion for their wretched dependence, or be an object miseries, were not my thoughts too busily for my former acquaintance to point at. engaged by my own. The whole king- While you enjoy all the ease and elegance dom is in a strange disorder : when our of prudence and virtue, your old friend equipage, which consists of the prince and wanders over the world, without a single thirteen attendants, had arrived at some anchor to hold by, or a friend, except towns, there were no conveniences to be you, to confide in. found, and we were obliged to have girls
The oddity of character which great A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE LATE MR. MAUPERTUIS.
men are sometimes remarkable for, Mau.
pertuis was not entirely free from. If we MR. MAUPERTUIS, lately deceased, was can believe Voltaire, he once attempted the first to whom the English philosophers to castrate himself; but whether this be owed their being particularly admired by true or no, it is certain he was extremely the rest of Europe. The romantic system whimsical. Though born to a large forof Des Cartes was adapted to the taste tune, when employed in mathematical of the superficial and the indolent ; the inquiries he disregarded his person to such foreign universities had embraced it with a degree, and loved retirement so much, ardour, and such are seldom convinced of that he has been more than once put on their errors till all others give up such the list of modest beggars by the curates false opinions as untenable. The philo. of Paris, when he retired to some private sophy of Newton and the metaphysics of quarter of the town, in order to enjoy his Locke appeared ; but, like all new truths, meditations without interruption. The they were at once received with opposition character given of him by one of Voltaire's and contempt. The English, it is true, antagonists, if it can be depended upon, studied, understood, and, consequently, is much to his honour. “You,” says this admired them: it was very different on writer to Mr. Voltaire, were entertained the Continent. Fontenelle, who seemed by the King of Prussia as a buffoon, but to preside over the republic of letters, Maupertuis as a philosopher.
It is cerunwilling to acknowledge that all his life tain that the preference which this royal had been spent in erroneous philosophy, scholar gave to Maupertuis was the cause joined in the universal disapprobation, of Voltaire's disagreement with him. and the English philosophers seemed Voltaire could not bear to see a man entirely unknown.
whose talents he had no great opinion of Maupertuis, however, made them his preferred before him as president of the study: he thought he might oppose the Royal Academy, His “Micromegas." physics of his country, and yet still be a was designed to ridicule Maupertuis; and, good citizen; he defended our countrymen, probably, it has brought more disgrace on wrote in their favour, and, at last, as he the author than the subject. Whatever had truth on his side, carried his cause. absurdities men of letters have indulged, Almost all the learning of the English, till and how fantastical soever the modes of very lately, was conveyed in the language science have been, their anger is still more of France. The writings of Maupertuis subject to ridicule. spread the reputation of his master, Newton, and by a happy fortune have united
No. II.-Saturday, October 13, 1759. his fame with that of our human prodigy. The first of his performances, openly
ON DRESS. in vindication of the Newtonian system, is his treatise entitled “ Sur la Figure des FOREIGNERS observe that there are no Astres,” if I remember right; a work at ladies in the world more beautiful, or more once expressive of a deep geometrical ill dressed, than those of England. Our knowledge and the most happy manner countrywomen have been compared to of delivering abstruse science with ease. those pictures where the face is the work This met with violent opposition from a of a Raphael, but the draperies thrown people, though fond of novelty in every- out by some empty pretender, destitute thing else, yet, however, in matters of of taste, and entirely unacquainted with science, attached to ancient opinions with design. bigotry. As the old and obstinate fell If I were a poet, I might observe on this away, the youth of France embraced the occasion, that so much beauty set off with new opinions, and now seem more eager all the advantages of dress would be too to defend Newton than even his country- powerful an antagonist for the opposite
sex; and, therefore, it was wisely ordered
that our ladies should want taste, lest their all my poetry on this occasion, and fancied admirers should entirely want reason. twenty Cupids prepared for execution in
But, to confess a truth, I do not find they every folding of her white negligee. I have a greater aversion to fine clothes than had prepared my imagination for an the women of any other country whatso- angel's face; but what was my mortifica
I cannot fancy that a shopkeeper's tion to find that the imaginary goddess was wife in Cheapside has a greater tenderness no other than my cousin Hannah, four for the fortune of her husband than a years older than myself, and I shall be citizen's wife in Paris, or that Miss in a sixty-two the twelfth of next November. boarding-school is more an economist in After the transports of our first salute dress than Mademoiselle in a nunnery. were over, I could not avoid running my
Although Paris may be accounted the eye over her whole appearance. Her soil in which almost every fashion takes gown was of cambric, cut short before, its rise, its influence is never so general in order to discover a high-heeled shoe, there as with us. They study there the which was buckled almost at the toe. Her happy method of uniting grace and fashion, cap, if cap it might be called that cap was and never excuse a woman for being awk- none, consisted of a few bits of cambric, wardly dressed by saying her clothes are and flowers of painted paper stuck on one made in the mode. A French woman is side of her head. Her bosom, that had a perfect architect in dress: she never, felt no hand but the hand of time these with Gothic ignorance, mixes the order; twenty years, rose suing, but in vain, to she never tricks out a squabby Doric shape be pressed. I could, indeed, have wished with Corinthian finery; or, to speak with- her more than a handkerchief of Paris net out metaphor, she conforms to general to shade her beauties; for, as Tasso says fashion only when it happens not to be of the rosebud,“ Quanto si mostra men repugnant to private beauty.
tanto e piu bella,” I should think hers Our ladies, on the. contrary, seem to most pleasing when least discovered. have no other standard for grace but the As my cousin had not put on all this run of the town. If fashion gives the finery for nothing, she was at that time word, every distinction of beauty, com- sallying out to the Park, when I had overplexion, or stature
Sweeping taken her. Perceiving, however, that I trains, Prussian bonnets, and trollopees, had on my best wig, she offered, if I as like each other as if cut from the same would squire her there, to send home piece, level all to one standard. The the footman. Though I trembled for our Mall, the gardens, and the playhouses reception in public, yet I could not with are filled with ladies in uniform, and their any civility refuse; so, to be as gallant as whole appearance shows as little variety possible, I took her hand in my arm, and or taste as if their clothes were bespoke thus we marched on together. by the colonel of a marching regiment, or When we made our entry at the Park, fancied by the same artist who dresses the two antiquated figures, so polite and so three battalions of Guards.
tender as we seemed to be, soon attracted But not only ladies of every shape and the eyes of the company., As we made complexion, but of every age too, are pos- our way among crowds who were out to sessed of this unaccountable passion of show their finery as well as we, wherever dressing in the same manner. A lady of we came I perceived we brought good no quality can be distinguished from a humour in our train. The polite could lady of some quality only by the redness not forbear smiling, and the vulgar burst of her hands; and a woman of sixty, out into a horse-laugh at our grotesque masked, might easily pass for her grand- figures. Cousin Hannah, who was perdaughter. I remember, a few days ago, fectly conscious of the rectitude of her own to have walked behind a damsel, tossed appearance, attributed all this mirth to out in all the gaiety of fifteen; her dress the oddity of mine, while I as cordially was loose, unstudied, and seemed the placed the whole to her account. Thus, result of conscious beauty. I called up from being two of the best-natured crea
tures alive, before we got half-way up the Miss Biddy Evergreen. Miss Biddy, it Mall, we both began to grow peevish, seems, has money; and as she considers and, like two mice on a string, endea- that money was never so scarce as it is voured to revenge the impertinence of now, she seems resolved to keep what she others upon ourselves. “I am amazed, has to herself. She is ugly enough you cousin Jeffrey,” says Miss, “that I can see; yet I assure you she has refused never get you to dress like a Christian. I several offers, to my own knowledge, within knew we should have the eyes of the Park this twelvemonth. Let me see, three upon us, with your great wig so frizzed, gentlemen from Ireland who study the and yet so beggarly, and your monstrous law, two waiting captains, a doctor, and muff. I hate those odious muffs.” I a Scotch preacher, who had like to have could have patiently borne a criticism on carried her off. All her time is passed all the rest of my equipage; but as I had between sickness and finery. Thus she always a peculiar veneration for my muff, spends the whole week in a close chamber, I could not forbear being piqued a little; with no other company but her monkey, and, throwing my eyes with a spiteful air her apothecary, and cat; and comes dressed on her bosom, “I could heartily wish, out to the Park every Sunday, to show her madam,” replied I, “that for your sake airs, to get new lovers, to catch a new cold, my muff was cut into a tippet."
and to make new work for the doctor. As my cousin, by this time, was grown “There goes Mrs. Roundabout— I mean heartily ashamed of her gentleman usher, the fat lady in the lutestring trollopee. and as I was never very fond of any Between you and I, she is but a cutler's kind of exhibition myself, it was mutually wife. See how she's dressed, as fine as agreed to retire for a while to one of the hands and pins can make her, while her seats, and from that retreat remark on two marriageable daughters, like bunters others as freely as they had remarked in stuff gowns, are now taking sixpenny
worth of tea at the White Conduit House. When seated, we continued silent for Odious puss ! how she waddles along, some time, employed in very different spe with her train two yards behind her! She culations. I regarded the whole company, puts me in mind of my Lord Bantam's now passing in review before me, as drawn Indian sheep, which are obliged to have out merely for my amusement. For my their monstrous tails trundled along in a entertainment the beauty had all that go-cart. For all her airs, it goes to her morning been improving her charms; the husband's heart to see four yards of good beau had put on lace, and the young lutestring wearing against the ground, like doctor a big-wig, merely to please me. one of his knives on a grindstone. To But quite different were the sentiments of speak my mind, cousin Jeffrey, I never cousin Hannah; she regarded every well-liked tails ; for suppose a young fellow dressed woman as a victorious rival, hated should be rude, and the lady should offer every face that seemed dressed in good to step back in a fright, instead of retiring, humour, or wore the appearance of greater she treads upon her train, and falls fairly happiness than her own. I perceived her on her back; and then, you know, cousin uneasiness, and attempted to lessen it by her clothes may be spoiled. observing that there was no company in “Ah, Miss Mazzard ! I knew we should the Park to-day. To this she readily not miss her in the Park; she in the assented ; "and yet,” says she, “it is full monstrous Prussian bonnet. Miss, though enough of scrubs of one kind or another.” so very fine, was bred a milliner, and My smiling at this observation gave her might have had some custom if she had spirits to pursue the bent of her inclination, minded her business; but the girl was and now she began to exhibit her skill in fond of finery, and instead of dressing her secret history, as she found me disposed to customers, laid out all her goods in adornlisten. “Observe,” says she to me, “that ing herself. Every new gown she put on old woman in tawdry silk, and dressed impaired her credit : she still, however, out even beyond the fashion. That is went on improving her appearance, and
NOT COMMONLY KNOWN.
lessening her little fortune, and is now, make them practical philosophers without you see, become a belle and a bankrupt.' the pains of study.
My cousin was proceeding in her re- As to their persons, they are perfectly marks, which were interrupted by the well made, and the men particularly have approach of the very lady she had been so a very engaging air.
The greatest part freely describing. Miss had perceived of the boys whom I saw in the country her at a distance, and approached to salute had very white hair. They were as beauher. I found, by the warmth of the tiful as Cupids, and there was something two ladies' protestations, that they had open and entirely happy in their little been long intimate esteemed friends and chubby faces. The girls, on the contrary, acquaintance. Both were so pleased at have neither such fair nor such even comthis happy rencounter, that they were plexions, and their features are much less resolved not to part for the day. So we delicate, which is a circumstance different all crossed the Park together, and I saw from that of almost every other country. them into a hackney coach at the gate of Besides this, it is observed that the women St. James's. I could not, however, help are generally afflicted with the itch, for observing, That they are generally most which Scania is particularly remarkable. ridiculous themselves, who are apt to see I had an instance of this in one of the most ridicule in others.
inns on the road. The hostess was one
of the most beautiful women I have ever SOME PARTICULARS RELATIVE TO
seen : she had so fine a complexion, that CHARLES XII.
I could not avoid admiring it. But what
was my surprise, when she opened her STOCKHOLM.
bosom in order to suckle her child, to SIR, -I cannot resist your solicitations, perceive that seat of delight all covered though it is possible I shall be unable to with this disagreeable distemper.
The satisfy your curiosity. The polite of every careless manner in which she exposed to country seem to have but one character. our eyes so disgusting an object sufficiently A gentleman of Sweden differs but little, testifies that they regard it as no very except in trifles, from one of any other extraordinary malady, and seem to take country. It is among the vulgar we are no pains to conceal it. Such are the to find those distinctions which charac- remarks, which probably you may think terise a people, and from them it is that I trifling enough, I have made in my jour. take my picture of the Swedes.
ney to Stockholm, which, to take it all Though the Swedes, in general, appear together, is a large, beautiful, and even a to languish under oppression, which often populous city. renders others wicked or of malignant The arsenal appears to me one of its dispositions, it has not, however, the same greatest curiosities : it is a handsome, influence upon them, as they are faithful, spacious building, but, however, scantily civil, and incapable of atrocious crimes. supplied with the implements of war. To Would you believe that, in Sweden, high- recompense this defect, they have almost way robberies are not so much as heard filled it with trophies and other marks of ? For my part, I have not in the whole of their former military glory. I saw country seen a gibbet or a gallows. They there several chambers filled with Danish, pay an infinite respect to their ecclesiastics, Saxon, Polish, and Russian standards. whom they suppose to be the privy council. There was at least enough to suffice half lors of Providence, who, on their part, turn a dozen armies ; but new standards are this credulity to their own advantage, and more easily made than new armies can be manage their parishioners as they please. enlisted. I saw, besides, some very rich In general, however, they seldom abuse furniture, and some of the crown jewels, their sovereign authority. Hearkened to as of great value ; but what principally enoracles, regarded as the dispensers of eter- gaged my attention, and touched me with nal rewards and punishments, they readily passing melancholy, were the bloody, yet influence their hearers into justice, and precious, spoils of the two greatest heroes