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beautiful that it seemed to reflect its own bright-sion ; he was succeeded, and even outdone, by a ness, and his feet were as the feet of a wild deer student of Tonquin, who was as well skilled in the which fleeth to the tops of the mountains.” There, Western learning as any scholar of Paris. Now, there is the true Eastern taste for you; every ad- sir, if youths, who never stirred from home, are so vance made towards sense is only a deviation from perfectly skilled in your laws and learning, surely sound. Eastern tales should always be sonorous, more must be expected from one like me, who have lofty, musical, and unmeaning.
travelled so many thousand miles; who have conI could not avoid smiling to hear a native of versed familiarly for several years with the English England attempt to instruct me in the true Eastern factors established at Canton, and the missionaries idiom; and after he looked round some time for sent us from every part of Europe. The unaffect‘applause, I presumed to ask him, whether he had ed of every country nearly resemble each other, ever travelled into the East; to which he replied in and a page of our Confucius and of your Tillotson the negative. I demanded whether he understood have scarcely any material difference. Paltry afChinese or Arabic; to which also he answered as fectation, strained allusions, and disgusting finery, before. Then how, sir, said I, can you pretend to are easily attained by those who choose to wear determine upon the Eastern style, who are en- them: and they are but too frequently the badges tirely unacquainted with the Eastern writings ? |of ignorance, or of stupidity, whenever it would Take, sir, the word of one who is professcdly a endeavour to please. Chinese, and who is actually acquainted with the I was proceeding in my discourse, when looking Arabian writers, that what is palmed upon you round, I perceived the company in no way attendaily for an imitation of Eastern writing no way tive to what I attempted, with so much earnestresembles their manner, either in sentiment or dic- ness, to enforce. One lady was whispering her tion. In the East, similes are seldom used, and that sat next, another was studying the merits of metaphors almost wholly unknown; but in China a fan, a third began to yawn, and the author himparticularly, the very reverse of what you allude to self fell fast asleep. I thought it, therefore, high time takes place; a cool phlegmatic method of writing to make a retreat; nor did the company seem to prevails there. The writers of that country, ever show any regret at my preparations for departure: more assidious to instruct than to please, address even the lady who had invited me, with the most rather the judgment than the fancy. Unlike many mortifying insensibility, saw me seize my hat, and authors of Europe, who have no consideration of rise from my cushion; nor was I invited to repeat the reader's time, they generally leave more to be my visit, because it was found that I aimed at apunderstood than they exprese.
pearing rather a reasonable creature than an outBesides, sir, you must not expect from an in- landish ideot. Adieu. habitant of China the same ignorance, the same unlettered simplicity, that you find in a Turk, Persian, or native of Peru. The Chinese are versed in the sciences as well as you, and are mas
LETTER XXXIV. ters of several arts unknown to the people of Europe. Many of them are instructed not only in their own national learning, but are perfectly well acquainted with the languages and learning of the The polite arts are in this country subject to as West. If my word in such a case is not to be many revolutions as its laws or politics : not only taken, consult your own travellers on this head, the objects of fancy and dress, but even of delicacy who affirm, that the scholars of Pekin and Siam and taste, are directed by the capricious influence sustain theological theses in Latin. The college of fashion. I am told there has been a time when of Masprend, which is but a league from Siam poetry was universally encouraged by the great; (says one of your travellers, *) came in a body to when men of the first rank not only patronized the salute our ambassador. Nothing gave me more poet, but produced the finest models for his imitasincere pleasure than to behold a number of priests, tion. It was then the English sent forth those venerable both from age and modesty, followed by glowing rhapsodies, which we have so often read a number of youths of all nations, Chinese, Ja-over together with rapture; poems big with all the panese, Tonquinese, of Cochin China, Pegu, and sublimity of Mentius, and supported by reasoning Siam, all willing to pay their respects in the most as strong as that of Zimpo. polite manner imaginable. A Cochin Chinese The nobility are fond of wisdom, but they are made an excellent Lalin oration upon this occa- also fond of having it without study; to read poetry
required thought; and the English nobility were Journal ou Suite du Voyage de Siam, en forme de Let- not fond of thinking: they soon therefore placed cres familières, fait en 1685 et 1636, par N. L V.C., p. 174. their affections upon music, because in this they
might indulge a happy vacancy, and yet still have
To the Same.
Eulit. Amstelod 1686.
pretensions to delicacy and taste as before. They piness of a picture-buyer as gazers are to the magsoon brought their numerous dependants into an nificence of an Asiatic procession. approbation of their pleasures; who in turn led I have enclosed a letter from a youth of distinctheir thousand imitators to feel or feign a similitude tion, on his travels, to his father in England; of passion. Colonies of singers were now im- in which he appears addicted to no vice, seems ported from abroad at a vast expense; and it was obedient to his governor, of a good natural disexpected the English would soon be able to set position, and fond of improvement, but at the examples to Europe. All these expectations, how- same time early taught to regard cabinets and gal. ever, were soon dissipated. In spite of the real leries as the only proper schools of improvement, which fired the great, the ignorant vulgar refused and to consider a skill in pictures as the properest to be taught to sing; refused to undergo the cere- knowledge for a man of quality. monies which were to initiate them in the singing fraternity: thus the colony from abroad dwindled “My LORD, by degrees; for they were of themselves unfortu- “We have been but two days an Antwerp, nately incapable of propagating the breed. wherefore I have sat down as soon as possible, to
Music having thus lost its splendour, painting give you some account of what we have seen since is now become the sole object of fashionable care. our arrival, desirous of letting no opportunity pass The title of connoisseur in that art is at present without writing to so good a father. Immediately the safest passport in every fashionable society; a upon alighting from our Rotterdam machine, my well-timed shrug, an admiring attitude, and one governor, who is immoderately fond of paintings, or two exotic tones of exclamation, are sufficient and at the same time an excellent judge, would let qualifications for men of low circumstances to curry no time pass till we paid our respects to the church favour. Even some of the young nobility are of the virgin-mother, which contains treasure bethemselves early instructed in handling the pencil, yond estimation. We took an infinity of pains in while their happy parents, big with expectation, knowing its exact dimensions, and differed half a foresee the walls of every apartment covered with foot in our calculation; so I leave that to some the manufactures of their posterity.
succeeding information. I really believe my go But many of the English are not content with vernor and I could have lived and died there. giving all their time to this art at home; some There is scarce a pillar in the whole church that young men of distinction are found to travel is not adorned by a Reubens, a Vander Meuylen, through Europe, with no other intent than that of a Vandyke, or a Wouverman. What attitudes, understanding and collecting pictures, studying carnations, and draperies! I am almost induced seals, and describing statues. On they travel from to pity the English, who have none of those exquithis cabinet of curiosities to that gallery of pictures; site pieces among them. As we were willing to waste the prime of life in wonder; skilful in pic- let slip no opportunity of doing business, we imtures, ignorant in men; yet impossible to be remediately after went to wait on Mr. Hogendorp, claimed, because their follies take shelter under the whom you have so frequently commended for his names of delicacy and taste.
judicious collection. His cameos are indeed beIt is true, painting should have due encourage-yond price: his intaglios not so good. He showed ment; as the painter can undoubtedly fit up our us one of an officiating flamen, which he thought apartments in a much more elegant manner than to be an antique; but my governor, who is not to the upholsterer; but I should think a man of fash- be deceived in these particulars, soon found it to be ion makes but an indifferent exchange who lays an arrant cinque cento. I could not, however, out all that time in furnishing his house which he sufficiently admire the genius of Mr. Hogendorp, should have employed in the furniture of his head. who has been able to collect, from all parts of the A person who shows no other symptoms of taste world, a thousand things which nobody knows the than his cabinet or gallery, might as well boast to use of. Except your lordship and my governor, me of the furniture of his kitchen.
I do not know any body I admire so much. He I know no other motive but vanity that induces is indeed a surprising genius. The next morning the great to testify such an inordinate passion for early, as we were resolved to take the whole day pictures. After the piece is bought, and gazed at before us, we sent our compliments to Mr. Van eight or ten days successively, the purchaser's plea- Sprokken, desiring to see his gallery, which request sure must surely be over; all the satisfaction he he very politely complied with. His gallery meacan then have is to show it to others; he may be sures fifty feet by twenty, and is well filled; but considered as the guardian of a treasure of which what surprised me most of all, was to see a holy he makes no manner of use; his gallery is furnish- family just like your lordship's, which this ingeed not for himself but the connoisseur, who is ge- nious gentleman assures me is the true original. nerally some humble flatterer, ready to feign a rap. I own this gave me inexpressible uneasiness, and ture he does not feel, and as necessary to the hap- I fear it will to your lordship, as I had flattered
myself that the only original was in your lodship's Into what a state of misery are the modera Perpossession; I would advise you, however, to take sians fallen! A nation famous for setting the your's down, till its merit can be ascertained, my world an example of freedom is now become a land governor assuring me, that he intends to write a of tyrants, and a den of slaves. The houseless long dissertation to prove its originality. One Tartar of Kamtschatka, who enjoys his herbs and might study in this city for ages, and still find bis fish in unmolested freedom, nay be envied, if something new : we went from this to view the compared to the thousands who pine here in hopecardinal's statues, which are really very fine; there less servitude, and curse the day that gave them were three spin:ria executed in a very masterly being. Is this just dealing, Heaven! to render manner, all arm in arm; the torse which I heard millions wretched to swell up the happiness of a you talk so much of, is at last discovered to be a few? can not the powerful of this earth be happy Hercules spinning, and not a Cleopatra bathing, without our sighs and tears? must every luxury of as your lordship had conjectured; there has been the great be woven from the calamities of the poor? a treatise written to prove it.
It must, it must surely be, that this jarring dis“My Lord Firmly is certainly a Goth, a Van- cordant life is but the prelude to some future hardal, no taste in the world for painting. I wonder mony: the soul attuned to virtue here shall go how any call him a man of taste : passing through from hence to fill up the universal choir where the streets of Antwerp a few days ago, and ob-Tien presides in person, where there shall be no serving the nakedness of the inhabitants, he was tyrants to frown, no shackles to bind, nor no whips 80 barbarous as to observe, that he thought the to threaten; where I shall once more meet my best method the Flemings could take, was to sell father with rapture, and give a loose to filial piety; their pictures, and buy clothes. Ah, Cogline! where I shall hang on his neck, and hear the wisWe shall go to-morrow to Mr. Carwarden's cabi- dom of his lips, and thank him for all the happinet, and the next day we shall sce the curiosities ness to which he has introduced me. collected by Van Rau, and the day after we shall The wretch whom fortune has made my master pay a visit to Mount Calvary, and after that- has lately purchased several slaves of both sexes ; but I find my paper finished ; so, with the most among the rest I hear a Christian captive talked sincere wishes for your lordship’s happiness, and of with admiration. The eunuch who bought with hopes, after having seen Italy, that centre of her, and who is accustomed to survey beauty with pleasure, to return home worthy the care and ex- indifference, speaks of her with emotion! Her pense which has been generously laid out in my pride, however, astonishes her attendant slaves nos mprovement, I remain, my Lord, yours," etc. less than her beauty. It is reported that she re
fuses the warmest solicitations of her haughty lord:
he has even offered to make her one of his four LETTER XXXV.
wives upon changing her religion, and conforming
to his. It is probable she can not refuse such exFrom flingpo, a Slave in Persia, to Altangi, a travelling Phi.traordinary offers, and her delay is perhaps intendo losopher of China, by the way of Moscow.
ed to enhance her favours. Fortune bas made me the slave of another, but I have just now seen her; she inadvertently apnature and inclination render me entirely subser- proached the place without a veil
, where 1 sat vient to you: a tyrant commands my body, but you writing. She seemed to regard the heavens alone are master of my heart. And yet let not thy inflexi- with fixed attention ; there her most ardent gazo ble nature condemn me when I confess, that I find was directed. Genius of the sun! what unex, my soul shrink with my circumstances. I feel my pected softness! what animated grace ! her beauty mind not less than my body bend beneath the ri- seemed the transparent covering of virtue. Ce gours of servitude; the master whom I serve lestial beings could not wear a look of more pergrows every day more formidable. In spite offection, while sorrow humanized her form, and reason, which should teach me to despise him, his mixeil my admiration with pity. I roso from the hideous image fills even my dreams with horror. bank on which I sat, and she retired; happy that
A few days ago, a Christian slave, who wrought none observed us; for such an interview might in the gardens, happening to enter an arbour, have been fatal. where the tyrant was entertaining the ladies of his I have regarded, till now, the opulence and the haram with coffee, the unhappy captive was in- power of my tyrant without envy. I saw him stantly stabbed to the heart for his intrusion. I with a mind incapable of enjoying the gifts of for have been preferred to his place, which, though tune, and consequently regarded him as one loaded less laborious than my former station, is yet more rather than enriched with its favours; but at preungrateful, as it brings me nearer him whose present, when I think that so much beauty is reservsence excites sensations at once of disgust and ap-ed only for him ; that so many charmis should be prenension.
lavished on a wretch incapable of feeling the greal.
From the Same.
ness of the blessing, I own I feel a reluctance to and they fill his ears with praise. Beauty, all-comwhich I have hitherto been a stranger.
manding beauty, sues for admittance, and scarcely But let not my father impute those uneasy sen- receives an answer: even love itself seems to wait sations to so trifling a cause as love. No, never upon fortune, or though the passion be only feigned, let it be thought that your son, and the pupil of the yet it wears every appearance of sincerity: and wise Fum Hoam, could stoop to so degrading a what greater pleasure can even true sincerity conpassion; I am only displeased at seeing so much fer, or what would the rich have more? excellence so unjustly disposed of.
Nothing can exceed the intended magnificence The uneasiness which I feel is not for myself, of the bridegroom, but the costly dresses of the bride: but for the beautiful Christian. When I reflect six eunuchs, in the most sumptuous habits, are to on the barbarity of him for whom she is designed, conduct him to the nuptial couch, and wait his I pity, indeed I pity her; when I think that she orders. Six ladies, in all the magnificence of Permust only share one heart, who deserves to com-sia, are directed to undress the bride. Their busimand a thousand, excuse me if I feel an emotion ness is to assist, to encourage her, to divest her of which universal benevolence extorts from me. As every encumbering part of her dress, all but the I am convinced that you take a pleasure in those last covering, which, by an artful complication of sallies of humanity, and particularly pleased with ribands, is purposely made difficult to unloose, and compassion, I could not avoid discovering the sen- with which she is to part reluctantly even to the sibility with which I felt this beautiful stranger's joyful possessor of her beauty. distress. I have for a while forgot, in her's, the Mostadad, O my father! is no philosopher; and 'miseries of my own hopeless situation; the tyrant yet he seems perfectly contented with ignorance. grows every day more severe ; and love, which soft- Possessed of numberless slaves, camels and women, ens all other minds into tenderness, seems only to he desires no greater possession. He never openhave increased his severity. Adieu.
ed the page of Mentius, and yet all the slaves tell me that he is happy.
Forgive the weakness of my nature, if I someLETTER XXXVI.
times feel my heart rixiliutis to the dictates of wisdom, and eager for happiness like his. Yet why
wish for his wealth with his ignorance? to be like The whole haram is filled with a tumultuous him, incapable of sentimental pleasures, incapable joy; Zelis, the beautiful captive, has consented to of feeling the happiness of making others happy, embrace the religion of Mahomet, and become one incapable of teaching the beautiful Zelis philosophy? of the wives of the fastidious Persian. It is im- What! shall I in a transport of passiou give up possible to describe the transport that sits on every the golden mean, the universal harmony, the unface on this occasion. Music and feasting fill changing essence, for the possession of a hundred every apartment, the most miserable slave seems
camels, as many slaves, thirty-five beautiful horses, to forget his chains, and sympathizes with the and seventy-three fine women? First blast me to happiness of Mostadad. The herb we tread be the centre! degrade me beneath the most degraded! neath our feet is not made more for our use than pare my nails, ye powers of Heaven! ere I would every slave around him for their imperious master; stoop to such an exchange. What! part with phimere machines of obedience, they wait with silent losophy, which teaches me to suppress my passions assiduity, feel his pains, and rejoice in his exulta- instead of gratifying them, which teaches me even tion. Heavens, how much is requisite to make to divest my soul of passion, which teaches serenity one man happy!
in the midst of tortures! philosophy, by which even Twelve of the most beautiful slaves, and I among now I am so very serene, and so very much at ease, the number, have got orders to prepare for carry- to be persuaded to part with it for any other ening him in triumph to the bridal apartment. The joyment! Never, never, even though persuasion blaze of perfumed torches are to imitate the day ; spoke in the accents of Zelis! the dancers and singers are hired at a vast expense. A female slave informs me that the bride is to be The nuptials are to be celebrated on the ap- arrayed in a tissue of silver, and her hair adorned proaching feast of Barboura, when a hundred taels with the largest pearls of Ormus: but why teaso of gold are to be distributed among the barren you with particulars, in which we both are so little wives, in order to pray for fertility from the ap- concerned. The pain I feel in separation throws proaching union.
a gloom over my mind, which in this scene of uniWhat will not riches procure! A hundred do- versal joy, I fear may be attributed to some other mestics, who curse the tyrant in their souls, are cause: how wretched are those who are, like me, commanded to wear a face of joy, and they are denied even the last resource of misery, their tears! joyful. A hundred flatterers are ordered to attend, | Adieu.
From the Sanie,
ants from below gazed with wonder at his intraLETTER XXXVII.
pidity ; some applauded his courage, others censur ed his folly ; still, however, he proceeded towards
the place where the earth and heavens seemed to I begin to have doubts whether wisdom be alone unite, and at length arrived at the wished-for height sufficient to make us happy: whether every step with extreme labour and assiduity. we make in refinement is not an inlet into new His first surprise was to find the skies, not as he disquietudes. A mind too vigorous and active expected within his reach, but still as far off as beserves only to consume the body to which it is fore; bis amazement increased when he saw a wide joined, as the richest jewels are soonest found to extended region lying on the opposite side of the wear their settings.
mountain, but it rose to astonishment when he When we rise in knowledge, as the prospect beheld a country at a distance more beautiful and widens, the objects of our regard become more alluring than even that he had just left behind. obscure; and the unlettered peasant, whose views As he continued to gaze with wonder, a genius, are only directed to the narrow sphere around him, with a look of infinite modesty, approaching, offerbeholds Nature with a finer relish, and tastes hered to be his guide and instructor. The distant blessings with a keener appetite than the philoso- country which you so much admire, says the anpher whose mind attempts to grasp a universal gelic being, is called the Land of Certainty: in that system.
charming retreat, sentiment contributes to refine As I was some days ago pursuing this subject every sensual banquet; the inhabitants are blessed among a circle of my fellow-slaves, an ancient with every solid enjoyment, and still more blessed Guebre of the number, equally remarkable for his in a perfect consciousness of their own fehcity: ig. piety and wisdom, seemed touched with my con- norance in that country is wholly unknown; all versation, and desired to illustrate what I had been there is satisfaction without allay, for e
every pleasure saying with an allegory taken from the Zendavesta first undergoes the examination of reason. As for of Zoroaster: by this we shall be taught, says he, me, I am called the Genius of Demonstration, and that they who travel in pursuit of wisdom walk am stationed here in order to conduct every adven only in a circle; and after all their labour, at last turer to that land of happiness, through those interreturn to their pristine ignorance; and in this also vening regions you see overhung with fogs and we shall see, that enthusiastic confidence or unsat- darkness, and horrid with forests, cataracts, cavisfying doubts terminate all our inquiries. erns, and various other shapes of danger. But fol.
In early times, before myriads of nations covered low me, and in time I may lead you to that distant the earth, the whole human race lived together in desirable land of tranquillity. one valley. The simple inhabitants, surrounded The intrepid traveller immediately put himself on every side by lofty mountains, knew no other under the direction of the genius, and both jourworld but the little spot to which they were confin- neying on together with a slow but agreeable pace, ed. They fancied the heavens bent down to meet deceived the tediousness of the way by conversathe mountain tops, and formed an impenetrable tion. The beginning of the journey seemed to wall to surround them. None had ever yet verr promise true satisfaction, but as they proceeded tured to climb the steepy cliff, in order to explore forward, the skies became more gloomy and the those regions that lay beyond it; they knew the way more intricate; they often inadvertently apnature of the skies only from a tradition, which proached the brow of some frightful precipice, or mentioned their being made of adamant : traditions the brink of a torrent, and were obliged to measure make up the reasonings of the simple, and serve to back their former way: the gloom increasing as silence every inquiry.
they proceeded, their pace became more slow; they In this sequestered vale, blessed with all the paused at every step, frequently stumbled, and their spontaneous productions of Nature, the honeyed distrust and timidity increased. The Genius of blossom, the refreshing breeze, the gliding brook, Demonstration now therefore advised his pupil to and golden fruitage, the simple inhabitants seemed grope upon hands and feet, as a method, though happy in themselves, in each other; they desired more slow, yet less liable to error. no greater pleasures, for they knew of none great- In this manner they attempted to pursue their er; ambition, pride, and envy, were vices unknown journey for some time, when they were overtaken among them; and from this peculiar simplicity by another genius, who with a precipitate pace of its possessors, the country was called the Valley seemed travelling the same way. He was instantof Ignorance.
ly known by the other to be the Genius of ProbaAt length, however, an unhappy youth, more bility. He wore two wide extended wings at his nspiring than the rest, undertook to climb the back, which incessantly waved, without increasing mountain's side, and examine the summits which the rapidity of his motion; his countenance bewere hitherto deemed inaccessible. The inhabit- trayed a confidence that the ignorant might mis