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wear a load till we have discharged the obligation. wisdom. “Mention not the name of man,” cries Every acknowledgment of gratitude is a circum- the hermit with indignation ; "here let me lire restance of humiliation; and some are found to sub- tired from a base ungrateful world; here among mit to frequent mortifications of this kind, pro- the beasts of the forest I shall find no flatterers: claiming what obligations they owe, merely be the lion is a generous enemy, and the dog a faithful cause they think it in some measure cancels the friend; but man, base man, can poison the bowl, debt.
and smile while he presents it!"-"You have been Thus love is the most easy and agreeable, and used ill by mankind," interrupted the philosopher gratitude the most humiliating affection of the shrewdly. “Yes,” returned the hermit, "on manmind: we never reflect on the man we love, with kind I have exhausted my whole fortune, and this out exulting in our choice, while he who has bound staff, and that cup, and those roots, are all that I us to him by benefits alone, rises to our idea as a have in return.”—“Did you bestow your fortune, person to whom we have in some measure forfeited or did you only lend it?" returned Mencius. "I our freedom. Love and gratitude are seldom there- bestowed it undoubtedly,” replied the other, "for fore found in the same breast without impairing where were the merit of being a money-lender?"_ each other; we may tender the one or the other "Did they ever own that they received it?” still singly to those we converse with, but can not com- adds the philosopher. "A thousand times,” cries mand both together. By attempting to increase, the hermit; "they every day loaded me with prowe diminish them; the mind becomes bankrupt fessions of gratitude for obligations received, and under too large obligat s; all additional benefits solicitations for future favours.”—“If, then," says lessen every hope of future return, and bar up Mencius smiling, "you did not lend your fortune every avenue that leads to tenderness.
in order to have it returned, it is unjust to accuse In all our connexions with society, therefore, it them of ingratitude; they owned themselves obliged, is not only generous, but prudent, to appear insen- you expected no more, and they certainly earned sible of the value of those favours we bestow, and each favour by frequently acknowledging the obliendeavour to make the obligation seem as slight as gation." The hermit was struck with the reply, possible. Love must be taken by stratagem, and and surveying his guest with emotion,—"I have not by open force: we should seem ignorant that heard of the great Mencius, and you certainly are we oblige, and leave the mind at full liberty to give the man: I am now fourscore years old, but still a or refuse its affections; for constraint may indeed child in wisdom; take me back to the school of man, leave the receiver still grateful, but it will certainly and educate me as one of the most ignorant and produce disgust.
the youngest of your disciples!" If to procure gratitude be our only aim, there is Indeed, my son, it is better to have friends in our no great art in making the acquisition ; a benefit passage through life than grateful dependants; and conferred demands a just acknowledgment, and we as love is a more willing, so it is a more lasting have a right to insist upon our due.
tribute than extorted obligation. As we are uneasy But it were much more prudent to forego our when greatly obliged, gratitude once refused can right on such an occasion, and exchange it, if we never after be recovered: the mind that is base can, for love. We receive but little advantage from enough to disallow the just return, instead of feelrepeated protestations of gratitude, but they costing any uneasiness upon recollection, triumphs in him very much from whom we exact them in re- its new-acquired freedom, and in some measure is turn: exacting a grateful acknowledgment, is de- pleased with conscious baseness. manding a debt by which the creditor is not ad- Very different is the situation of disagreeing vantaged, and the debtor pays with reluctance. friends; their separation produces mutual uneasi
As Mencius the philosopher was travelling in ness: like that divided being in fabulous creation, pursuit of wisdom, night overtook him at the foot their sympathetic souls once more desire their forof a gloomy mountain remote from the habitations mer union; the joys of both are imperfect; their of men. Here, as he was straying, while rain and gayest moments tinctured with uneasiness ; each thunder conspired to make solitude still more hide- seeks for the smallest concessions to clear the way ous, he perceived a hermit's cell, and approaching, to a wished-for explanation; the most trifling acasked for shelter: "Enter,” cries the hermit, in a knowledgment, the slightest accident, serves to efsevere tone, "men deserve not to be obliged, but it fect a mutual reconciliation. would be imitating their ingratitude to treat them But instead of pursuing the thought, permit me as they deserve. Come in: examples of vice may to soften the severity of advice, by a European sometimes strengthen us in the ways of virtue." story, which will fully illustrate my meaning.
After a frugal meal, which consisted of roots and A fiddler and his wife, who had rubbed through tea, Mencius could not repress his curiosity to life, as most couples usually do, sometimes good know why the hermit had retired from mankind, friends, at others not quite so well, one day hapthe actions of whom taught the truest lessons of pened to have a dispute, which was conducted with
becoming spirit on both sides. The wife was sure attachments, and steadfast in enmity, he treats she was right, and the husband was resolved to every creature as a friend or foe; expects from those have his own way. What was to be done in such he loves unerring integrity, and consigns his enea case? the quarrel grew worse by explanations, mies to the reproach of wanting every virtue. On and at last the fury of both rose to such a pitch, this principle he proceeds; and here begin his disthat they made a vow never to sleep together in appointments. Upon a closer inspection of human the same bed for the future. This was the most nature he perceives, that he should have moderated rash vow that could be imagined, for they still were his friendship, and softened his severity; for ho friends at bottom, and, besides, they had but one often finds the excellencies of one part of mankind bed in the house: however, resolved they were to clouded with vice, and the faults of the other go through with it, and at night the fiddle-case was brightened with virtue; he finds no character so laid in bed between them, in order to make a sanctified that has not its failings, none so infamous separation. In this manner they continued for but has somewhat to attract our esteem: he beholds three weeks; every night the fiddle-case being impiety in lawn, and fidelity in fetters. placed as a barrier to divide them.
He now, therefore, but too late, perceives that By this time, however, each heartily repented of his regards should have been more cool, and his their vow, their resentment was at an end, and hatred less violent; that the truly wise seldom their love began to return; they wished the fiddle-court romantic friendships with the good, and case away, but both had too much spirit to begin. avoid, if possible, the resentment even of the wickOne night, however, as they were both lying awake cd: every moment gives him fresh instances that with the detested fiddle-case between them, the the bonds of friendship are broken if drawn too husband happened to sneeze, to which the wife, as closely, and that those whom he has treated with is usual in such cases, bid God bless him: “Ay disrespect more than retaliate the injury; at length, but," returns the husband, “woman, do you say therefore, he is obliged to confess, that he has dethat from your heart?" "Indeed I do, my poor clared war upon the vicious half of mankind, withNicholas," cries his wife ; “I say it with all my out being able to form an alliance among the virheart." "If so, then," says the husband, "we had tuous to espouse his quarrel. as good remove the fiddle-case."
Our book-taught philosopher, however, is now too far advanced to recede; and though poverty be the just consequence of the many enemies his con
duct has created, yet he is resolved to meet it withLETTER LXVII.
out shrinking. Philosophers have described poverty in most charming colours, and even his vanity is
touched in thinking, that he shall show the world, Books, my son, while they teach us to respect in himself, one more example of patience, fortitude, the interests of others, often make us unmindful of and resignation. "Come, then, O Poverty! for our own; while they instruct the youthful reader what is there in thee dreadful to the Wise? Tem
grasp at social happiness, he grows miserable in perance, Health, and Frugality walk in thy train ; detail and, attentive to universal harmony, often Cheerfulness and Liberty are ever thy companions. forgets that he himself has a part to sustain in the Shall any be ashamed of thee, of whom Cincinconcert. I dislike therefore the philosopher who natus was not ashamed? The running brook, the describes the inconveniencies of life in such pleas- herbs of the field, can amply satisfy nature; man ing colours that the pupil grows enamoured of dis- wants but little, nor that little long.* Come, then, tress, longs to try the charms of poverty, meets it O Poverty! while kings stand by, and gaze with without dread, nor fears its inconveniencies till he admiration at the true philosopher's resignation.” severely feels them.
The goddess appears; for Poverty ever comes A youth who had thus spent his life among at the call; but, alas! he finds her by no means the .books, new to the world, and unacquainted with charming figure books and his warm imagination man but by philosophic information, may be con- had painted. As when an Eastern bride, whom sidered as a being whose mind is filled with the her friends and relations had long described as a Fulgar errors of the wise ; utterly unqualified for a model of perfection, pays her first visit, the longing journey through life, yet confident of his own skill bridegroom lifts the veil to see a face he had never in the direction, he sets ont with confidence, blunders on with vanity, and finds himself at last
Our author has repeated this though, nearly in the same
words, in his Hermit: He first has learned from books, and then lays it down as a maxim, that all mankind are virtuous
Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;
All earth-born cares are wrong: or vicious in excess; and he has been long taught Man wants but liule bere below, to detest vice, and love virtue : warm, therefore, in Nor wants that liule long.
From the Same.
seen before; but instead of a countenance blazing In other countries, the physician pretends to with beauty like the sun, he beholds deformity cure disorders in the lump; the same doctor who shooting icicles to his heart ; such appears Poverty combats the gout in the toe, shall pretend to preto her new entertainer; all the fabric of enthusiasm scribe for a pain in the head, and he who at one is at once demolished, and a thousand miseries rise time cures a consumption, shall at another give up on its ruins, while Contempt, with pointing drugs for a dropsy. How absurd and ridiculous! finger, is foremost in the hideous procession. this is being a mere jack-of-all-trades. Is the ani.
The poor man now finds, that he can get no mal machine less complicated than a brass pin? kings to look at him while he is eating; he, finds, Not less than ten different hands are required to that in proportion as he grows poor, the world make a pin; and shall the body be set right by one turns its back upon him, and gives him leave to single operator? act the philosopher in all the majesty of solitude. The English are sensible of the force of this It might be agreeable enough to play the philoso- reasoning; they have, therefore, one doctor for the pher while we are conscious that mankind are eyes, another for the toes; they have their sciatica spectators; but what signifies wearing the mask of doctors, and inoculating doctors; they have one sturdy contentment, and mounting the stage of doctor who is modestly content with securing them restraint, when not one creature will assist at the from bug-bites, and five hundred who prescribe for exhibition! Thus is he forsaken of men, while the bite of mad dogs. his fortitude wants the satisfaction even of self-ap- The learned are not here retired, with vicious plause; for either he does not feel his present modesty, from public view; for every dead wall is calamities, and that is natural insensibility, or he covered with their names, their abilities, their disguises his feelings, and that is dissimulation. amazing cures, and places of abode. Few patients
Spleen now begins to take up the man : not dis- can escape falling into their hands, unless blasted tinguishing in his resentments, he regards all man- by lightning, or struck dead with some sudden diskind with detestation, and, commencing man-hater, order. It may sometimes happen, that a stranger seeks solitude to be at liberty to rail.
who does not understand English, or a countryIt has been said, that he who retires to solitude man who can not read, dies, without ever hearing is either a beast or an angel. The censure is too of the vivifying drops, or restorative electuary; severe, and the praise unmerited ; the discontented but, for my part, before I was a week in town, I being, who retires from society, is generally some had learned to bid the whole catalogue of disorders good-natured man, who has begun life without ex- defiance, and was perfectly acquainted with the perience, and knew not how to gain it in his in- names and the medicines of every great man, or tercourse with mankind. Adieu.
great woman of them all.
But as nothing pleases curiosity more than anetdotes of the great, however minute or triffing, I
must present you, inadequate as my abilities are to LETTER LXVIII.
the subject, with some account of those personages
who lead in this honourable profession. From Lien Chi Altangi to Fum Foam, First President of the Ceremonial Academy at Pekin, in China.
The first upon the list of glory is Doctor Richard
Rock, F. U. N. This great man, short of stature, I FORMERLY acquainted thee, most grave Fum, is fat, and waddles as he walks. He always wears with the excellence of the English in the art of a white three-tailed wig, nicely combed, and frizhealing. The Chinese boast their skill in pulses, zed upon cach cheek, sometimes he carries a cane, the Siamese their botanical knowledge, but the but a hat never. It is indeed very remarkable, that English advertising physicians alone, of being the this extraordinary personage should never wear a great restorers of health, the dispensers of youth, hat, but so it is, he never wears a hat. He is and the insurers of longevity. I can never enough usually drawn at the top of his own bills, sitting in admire the sagacity of this country for the en- his arm chair, holding a little bottle between his . couragement given to the professors of this art : finger and thumb, and surrounded with rotten with what indulgence does she foster up those of teeth, nippers, pills, packets, and gallipots. No her own growth, and kindly cherish those that man can promise fairer nor better than he; for, as come from abroad! Like a skilful gardener, she he observes, “Be your disorder never so far gone, invites them from every foreign climate to herself. be under no uneasiness, make yourself quite easy; Here every great exotic strikes root as soon as im- I can cure you." ported, and feels the genial beam of favour; while The next in fame, though by some reckoned of the mighty metropolis, like one vast munificent equal pretensions, is Doctor Timothy Franks, F. dunghill
, receives them indiscriminately to her O. G. H., living in a place called the Old Bailey. breast, and supplies each with more than native As Rock is remarkably squab, his great rival nourishment.
Franks is as remarkably tall. He was born in the year of the Christian era, 1692, and is, while I now stomach for its wife."* I have, therefore, drawn write, exactly sixty-eight years, three months and up a disputation challenge, which is to be sent four days old. Age, however, has no way impair- speedily, to this effect: ed his usual health and vivacity: I am told, he “I, Lien Chi Altangi, D. N. R. W. native generally walks with his breast open. This gen- of Honan in China, to Richard Rock, F. U. N. teman, who is of a mixed reputation, is particularly native of Garbage-alley, in Wapping, defiance. remarkable for a becoming assurance, which carries Though, sir, I am perfectly sensible of your imhim gently through life; for, except Dr. Rock, none portance, though no stranger to your studies in the are more blessed with the advantages of face than path of nature, yet there may be many things in Doctor Franks.
the art of physic with which you are yet unacAnd yet the great have their foibles as well as quainted. I know full well a doctor thou art, great the little. I am almost ashamed to mention it: let Rock, and so am I. Wherefore, I challenge, and the foibles of the great rest in peace. Yet I must do hereby invite you to a trial of learning upon hard impart the whole to my friend. These two great problems, and knotty physical points. In this demen are actually now at variance: yes, my dear bate we will calmly investigate the whole theory Fum Hoam, by the head of our grandfather, they and practice of medicine, botany and chemistry; are now at variance like mere men, mere common and I invite all the philomaths, with many of the mortals. Tho champion Rock advises the world lecturers in medicine to be present at the dispute; to beware of bog-trotting quacks, while Franks re- which, I hope, will be carried on with due decotorts the wit and the sarcasm (for they have both a rum, with proper gravity, and as befits men of world of wit) by fixing on his rival the odious ap- erudition and science among cach other. But bepellation of Dumplin Dick. He calls the serious fore we meet face to face, I would thus publicly, Doctor Rock, Dumplin Dick! Head of Confucius, and in the face of the whole world, desire you to what profanation! Dumplin Dick! What a pity, answer me one question; I ask it with the same ye powers, that the learned, who were born mutu- earnestness with which you have often solicited the ally to assist in enlightening the world, should public; answer me, I say, at once, without having thus differ among themselves, and make even the recourse to your physical dictionary, which of those prokession ridiculous! Sure the world is wide three disorders, incident to the human body, is the enough, at least, for two great personages to figure most fatal, the syncope, parenthesis, or apoplexy? in: men of science should leave controversy to 1 beg your reply may be as public as this my dethe little world below them; and then we might mand.t lam, as hereafter may be, your admirer, see Rock and Franks walking together hand in or rival. Adieu. hand, smiling onward to immortality.
Next to these is Doctor Walker, preparator of his own medicines. This gentleman is remarkable
LETTER LXIX. for an aversion 10 quacks; frequently cautioning the public to be careful into what hands they cominit their safety: by which he would insinuate, that if they did not employ him alone, they must
INDULGENT Nature seems to have exempted this be undone. His public spirit is equal to his suc
island from many of those epidemic evils which are cess, Not for himself, but his country, is the so fatal in other parts of the world. A want of gallipot prepared, and the drops sealed up with rain but for a few days beyond the expected season proper directions, for any part of the town or coun- in China spreads famine, desolation, and terror, try. All this is for his country's good; so that he over the whole country; the winds that blow from is now grown old in the practice of physic and vir- the brown bosom of the western desert are impregtue; and, to use his own elegance of expression, nated with death in every gale; but in this fortu" There is not such another medicine as his in the nate land of Britain, the inhabitant courts health world again."
in every breeze, and the husbandman ever sows in This, my friend, is a formidable triumvirate ; joyful expectation. and yet, formidable as they are, I am resolved to
But though the nation be exempt from real evils, defend the honour of Chinese physic against them think not, my friend, that it is more happy on this all. I have made a vow to summon Doctor Rock account than others. They are afflicted, it is true, to a solemn disputation in all the mysteries of the with neither famine or pestilence, but then there is profession, before the face of every philomath, stu- a disorder peculiar to the country, which every dent in astrology, and member of the learned socie-season makes strange ravages among them; it ties. I adhere to and venerate the doctrines of old Wang-shu-ho. In the very teeth of opposition I
* See Du llalde, Vol. II. fol. p. 185.
| The day after this was published the editor received an will maintain, " That the heart is the son of the answer, in which the Doctor seems to be os opinion, that the liver, which has the kidneys for its mother, and the apoplexy is most fatal.
From the Same.
spreads with pestilential rapidity, and infects almost first feebly enters with a disregarded story of a little every rank of people ; what is still more strange, dog, that had gone through a neighbouring village, the natives have no name for this peculiar malady, that was thought to be mad by several that had though well known to foreign physicians by the seen him. The next account comes, that a masappellation of epidemic terror.
tiff ran through a certain town, and had bit five A season is never known to pass in which the geese, which immediately ran mad, foamed at the people are not visited by this cruel calamity in one bill, and died in great agonies soon after. Then shape or another, seemingly different though ever comes an affecting history of a little boy bit in the the same: one year it issues from a baker's shop in leg, and gone down to be dipped in the salt water. the shape of a six-penny loaf; the next, it takes the When the people have sufficiently shuddered at appearance of a comet with a fiery tail; a third, it that, they are next congealed with a frightful acthreatens like a flat-bottomed boat; and a fourth, count of a man who was said lately to have died it carries consternation at the bite of a mad dog. from a bite he had received some years before. The people, when once infected, lose their relish This relation only prepares the way for another, for happiness, saunter about with looks of despond- still more hideous, as how the master of a family, ence, ask after the calamities of the day, and re- with seven small children, were all bit by a mad ceive no comfort but in heightening each other's lapdog; and how the poor father first perceived the distress. It is insignificant how remote or near, infection, by calling for a draught of water, where how weak or powerful the object of terror may be; he saw the lapdog swimming in the cupwhen once they resolve to fright and be frighted, When epidemic terror is thus once excited, every the merest trifles sow consternation and dismay; morning comes loaded with some new disaster: as, each proportions his fears, not to the object, but to in stories of ghosts, each loves to hear the account, the dread he discovers in the countenance of others; though it only serves to make him uneasy, so here for when once the fermentation is begun, it goes each listens with eagerness, and adds to the tidings on of itself, though the original cause be discon- new circumstances of peculiar horror. A lady, for tinued which first set it in motion.
instance, in the country, of very weak nerves, has A dread of mad dogs is the epidemic terror been frighted by the barking of a dog; and this which now prevails; and the whole nation is at alas! too frequently happens. This story soon is present actually groaning under the malignity of improved and spreads, that a mad dog had frighted its influence. The people sally from their houses a lady of distinction. These circunstances begin with that circumspection which is prudent in such to grow terrible before they have reached the neighas expect a mad dog at every turning. The phy- bouring village, and there the report is, that a lady sician publishes his prescription, the beadle pre- of quality was bit by a mad mastiff. The account pares his halter, and a few of unusual bravery arm every moment gathers new strength, and grows themselves with boots and buff gloves, in order to more dismal as it approaches the capitol; and by face the enemy if he should offer to attack them. the time it has arrived in town, the lady is describ* In short, the whole people stand bravely upon their ed with wild eyes, foaming mouth, running mad defence, and seem, by their present spirit, to show upon all fours, barking like a dog, biting her sera resolution of not being tamely bit by mad dogs vants, and at last smothered between two beds by any longer.
the advice of her doctors; while the mad mastiff is Their manner of knowing whether a dog be mad in the mean time ranging the whole country orer, or no, somewhat resembles the ancient European slavering at the mouth, and seeking whom he may custom of trying witches. The old woman sus- devour. pected was tied hand and foot, and thrown into the My landlady, a good-natured woman, but a little water. If she swam, then she was instantly car-credulous, waked me some mornings ago before ried off to be burnt for a witch; if she sunk, then the usual hour, with horror and astonishment in indeed she was acquitted of the charge, but drown- her looks; she desired me, if I had any regard for ed in the experiment. In the same manner a my safety, to keep within; for a few days ago so crowd gathers round a dog suspected of madness, dismal an accident had happened, as to put all the and they begin by teasing the devoted animal on world upon their guard. A mad dog, down in the every side; if he attempts to stand upon the de- country, she assured me, had bit a farmer, who, fensive and bite, then is he unanimously found soon becoming mad, ran into his own yard, and bit guilty, for a mad dog always snaps at everything; a fine brindled cow; the cow quickly became as if, on the contrary, he strives to escape by running mad as the man, began to foam at the mouth, and away, then he can expect no compassion, for mad raising herself up, walked about on her hind legs, dogs always run straight forward before them. sometimes barking like a dog, and sometimes at
It is pleasant enough for a neutral being like me, tempting to talk like the farmer. Upon examinwho has no share in these ideal calamities, to mark ing the grounds of this story, I found my landlady the stages of this national disease. The terror at had it from one neighbour, who had it from another