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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. cleman, 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 Fam 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 carrie 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 each 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 profession 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 apoplesy? in: men of science should leave controversy to I 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 to quacks; frequently cautioning the public to be careful into what hands they com
From the Same. mit 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 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 honout 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. will maintain, “That the heart is the son of the answer
, in which the Doctor seems to be of opinion that won
* The day after this was published the editor receiver un liver, which has the kidneys for its mother, and the apoplesy is most fatal
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 cup. when 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 circumstances 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 describIn 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 over, 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 acquisted of the charge, but drown- her looks; she desired me, if I had any regard for ed in the experiment. In the saine 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 nas 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
neighbour, who heard it from very good au- not there; wherever you see a beautiful woman thority.
good-natured and obliging, be convinced Fortune Were most stories of this nature thoroughly ex- is never there. In short, she is ever seen accom amined, it would be found that numbers of such as panying industry, and as often trundling a wheel have been said to suffer were no way injured; and barrow as lolling in a coach and six. that of those who have been actually bitten, not If you would make Fortune your friend, or, to one in a hundred was bit by a mad dog. Such ac- personize her no longer, if you desire, my son, to counts, in general, therefore, only serve to make be rich, and have money, be more eager to save the people miserable by false terrors, and some than acquire: when people say, Money is to be got times fright the patient into actual phrenzy, by here, and money is to be got there, take no notice ; creating those very symptoms they pretended to mind your own business; slay where you are, and deplore.
secure all you can get, without stirring. When But even allowing three or four to die in a season you hear that your neighbour has picked up a purse of this terrible death (and four is probably too large of gold in the street, never run out into the same a concession), yet still it is not considered, how street, looking about you in order to pick up such many are preserved in their health’and in their another; or when you are informed that he has property by this devoted animal's services. The made a fortune in one branch of business, never midnight robber is kept at a distance; the insidi- change your own in order to be his rival. Do not ous thief is often detected; the healthful chase re- desire to be rich all at once; but patiently add pairs many a worn constitution; and the poor man farthing to farthing. Perhaps you despise the finds in his dog a willing assistant, eager to lessen petty sum; and yet th-y who want a farthing, and his toil, and content with the smallest retribution. have no friend that will lend them it, think farth
“A dog," says one of the English poets, "is an ings very good things. Whang, the foolish miller, honest creature, and I am a friend to dogs.” Of when he wanted a farthing in his distress, found all the beasts that graze the lawn or hunt the for- that no friend would lend, because they knew he est, a dog is the only animal that, leaving his fel. wanted. Did you ever read the story of Whang, lows, attempts to cultivate the friendship of man; in our books of Chinese learning ? he who, deto man he looks in all his necessities with a speak- spising small sums, and grasping at all
, lost even ing eye for assistance; exerts for him all the little what he had. service in his power with cheerfulness and plea- Whang, the miller, was naturally avaricious ; sure: for him bears famine and fatigue with pa- nobody loved money better than he, or more retience and resignation; no injuries can abate his spected those that had it. When people would fidelity; no distress induce him to forsake his talk of a rich man in company, Whang would say, benefactor; studious to please, and fearing to I know him very well; he and I have been long offend, he is still an humble, steadfast depen- acquainted; he and I are intimate; he stood for a dant; and in him alone fawning is not Aattery. child of mine: but if ever a poor man was menHow unkind then to torture this faithful creature, tioned, he had not the least knowledge of the man; who has left the forest to claim the protection of he might be very well for aught he knew: but he man! how ungrateful a return to the trusty ani- was not fond of many acquaintances, and loved to mal for all his services! Adieu,
choose his company.
Whang, however, with all his eagerness for LETTER LXX.
riches, was in reality poor; he had nothing but
the profits of his mill to support bim; but though From Lien Chi Altangi to Hingpo, by the way of Moscow. I these were small they were certain; while his mill
The Europeans are themselves blind, who de- stood and went, he was sure of eating, and his fruscribe Fortune without sight. No first-rate beauty gality was such, that he every day laid some moever had finer eyes, or saw more clearly; they who ney by, which he would at intervals count and have no other trade but seeking their fortune, need contemplate with much satisfaction. Yet still his never hope to find her; coquette like, she flies acquisitions were not equal to his desires; he only from her close pursuers, and at last fixes on the found himself above want, whereas he desired 10 plodding mechanic, who stays at home and minds be possessed of affluence. his business.
One day as he was indulging these wishes, he I ani amazed how men can call her blind, when, was informed, that a neighbour of his had found a by the company she keeps, she seems so very dis- pan of money under ground, having dreamed of it cerning. Wherever you see a gaming-table, be three nights running before. These tidings were very sure Fortune is not there; wherever you see daggers to the heart of poor Whang. “Here am a house with the doors open, be very sure Fortune I," says he, "toiling and moiling from morning til is not there; when you see a man whose pocket- night for a few paltry farthings, while neighbour holes are laced with gold, be satisfied Fortune is Hunks only goes quietly to bed, and dreams him.
self into thousands before morning. O that I fal entertainments of the citizens here in summer, could dream like him! with what pleasure would I is to repair about nightfall to a garden not far from dig round the pan ; how slily would I carry it town, where they walk about, show their best home; not even my wife should see me; and then, clothes and best faces, and listen to a concert pro O the pleasure of thrusting one's hand into a heap vided for the occasion. of gold up to the elbow !"
I accepted an invitation a few evenings ago from Such reflections only served to make the miller my old friend, the man in black, to be one of a unhappy; he discontinued his former assiduity, he party that was to sup there ; and at the appointed was quite disgusted with small gains, and his cus-hour waited upon him at his lodgings. There I tomers began to forsake him. Every day he re- found the company assembled and expecting my peated the wish, and every night laid himself down arrival. Our party consisted of my friend in suin order to dream. Fortune, that was for a long time perlative finery, his stockings rolled, a black velvet unkind, at last, however, seemed to smile upon his waistcoat which was formerly new, and a gray wig distresses and indulged him with the wished-for combed down in imitation of hair; a pawnbroker's vision. He dreamed, that under a certain part of widow, of whom, by the by, my friend was a pro the foundation of his mill
, there was concealed a fessed admirer, dressed out in green damask, with monstrous pan of gold and diamonds, buried deep three gold rings on every finger; and Mr. Tibbs, in the ground, and covered with a large flat stone. the second-rate beau I have formerly described, to He rose up, thanked the stars, that were at last gether with his lady, in flimsy silk, dirty gauze in pleased to take pity on his sufferings, and conceal. stead of linen, and a hat as big as an umbrella. ed his good luck from every person, as is usual in Our first difficulty was in settling how we should money dreams, in order to have the vision repeated set out. Mrs. Tibbs had a natural aversion to the the two succeeding nights, by which he should be water, and the widow being a little in flesh, as certain of its veracity. His wishes in this also warmly protested against walking: a coach was were answered; he still dreamed of the same pan therefore agreed upon; which being too small to of money, in the very same place.
carry five, Mr. Tibbs consented to sit in his wife's Now, therefore, it was past a doubt; so getting lap. up early the third morning, he repairs alone, with In this manner, therefore, we set forward, being a mattock in his hand, to the mill, and began to entertained by the way with the bodings of Mr. undermine that part of the wall which the vision Tibbs, who assured us he did not expect to see a directed. The first omen of success that he met single creature for the evening above the degree of was a broken mug; digging still deeper, he turns a cheesemonger : that this was the last night of up a house tile, quite new and entire. At last, the gardens, and that consequently we should be after much digging, he came to the broad flat stone, pestered with the nobility and gentry from Thamesbut then so large, that it was beyond one man's street and Crooked lane, with several other prostrength to remove it. “Here," cried he in rap- phetic ejaculations, probably inspired by the un. tures to himself, “ here it is ! under this stone there easiness of his situation. is room for a very large pan of diamonds indeed ! I The illuminations began before we arrived, and must e'en go home to my wife, and tell her the I must confess, that upon entering the gardens ! whole affair, and get her to assist me in turning it found every sense overpaid with more than exup." Away therefore he goes, and acquaints his pected pleasure; the lights every where glimmering wife with every circumstance of their good fortune. through the scarcely moving trees, the full-bodlied Her raptures on this occasion easily may be ima- concert bursting on the stillness of the night, the gined; she flew round his neck, and embraced him natural concert of the birds, in the more retired part in an agony of joy; but those transports, however, of the grove, vieing with that which was formed by did not delay their eagerness to know the exact art; the company gaily dressed, looking satisfacsum; returning, therefore, speedily together to the tion, and the tables spread with various delicacies, place where Whang had been digging, there they all conspired to fill my imagination with the visionfound- not indeed the expected treasure, but the ary happiness of the Arabian lawgiver, and lifted mill, their only support, undermined and fallen. me into an ecstasy of admiration. “Head of ConAdieu.
fucius!" cried I to my friend, "this is fine! this unites rural beauty with courtly magnificence! if
we except the virgins of immortality, that hang on LETTER LXXI.
every tree, and may be plucked at every desire, 1
do not see how this falls short of Mahomet's Para. From Lien Chi Aluangi, to Fum Hoam, First President of dise!“ As for virgins,” cries my friend, "it is Hie Ceremonial Academy at Pekin, in China.
true they are a fruit that do not much abound in 1 he people of London are as fond of walking as our gardens here; but if ladies, as plenty as apples our friends at Pekin of riding; one of the princi- in autumn, and as complying as any houri of them all, can content you, I fancy we have no need to go tory, and for the rest of the night to listen and imto heaven for Paradise.”
prove. It is true, she would now and then forget I was going to second his remarks, when we herself, and confess she was pleased, but they soon were called to a consultation by Mr. Tibbs and the brought her back again to miserable refinement. rest of the company, to know in what manner we She once praised the painting of the box in which were to lay out the evening to the greatest advan- we were sitting, but was soon convinced that such tage. Mrs. Tibbs was for keeping the genteel walk paltry pieces ought rather to excite horror than of the garden, where, she observed, there was al- satisfaction : she ventured again to commend one ways the very best company; the widow, on the of the singers, but Mrs. Tibbs soon let her know, contrary, who came but once a season, was for se- in the style of a connoisseur, that the singer in curing a good standing place to see the water-works, question bad neither ear, voice, nor judgment. which she assured us would begin in less than an Mr. Tibbs, now willing to prove that his wife's hour at farthest ; a dispute therefore began, and as pretensions to music were just, entreated her to fait was managed between two of very opposite cha- vour the company with a song; but to this she gave racters, it threatened to grow more bitter at every a positive denial — "for you know very well, my reply. Mrs. Tibbs wondered how people could dear,” says she," that I am not in voice to-day, pretend to know the polite world, who had received and when one's voice is not equal to one's judg. all their rudiments of breeding behind a counter; ment, what signifies singing ? besides, as there is to which the other replied, that though some people no accompaniment, it would be but spoiling music." sat behind counters, yet they could sit at the head All these excuses, however, were overruled by the of their own tables too, and carve three good dishes rest of the company, who, though one would think of hot meat whenever they thought proper; which they already had music enough, joined in the enwas more than some people could say for them- treaty. But particularly the widow, now willing selves, that hardly knew a rabbit and onions from to convince the company of her breeding, pressed a green goose and gooseberries.
so warmly, that she seemed determined to take no It is hard to say where this might have ended, refusal. At last then the lady complied, and after had not the husband, who probably knew the im- humming for some minutes, began with such a petuosity of his wife's disposition, proposed to end voice, and such affectation, as I could perceive gave the dispute, by adjourning to a box, and try if there but little satisfaction to any except her husband. was any thing to be had for supper that was sup. He sat with rapture in his eye, and beat time with portable. To this we all consented: but here a his hand on the table. new distress arose ; Mr. and Mrs. Tibbs would sit You must observe, my friend, that it is the cusin none but a genteel box, a box where they might tom of this country, when a lady or gentleman see and be seen, one, as they expressed it
, in the happens to sing, for the company to sit as mute very focus of public view; but such a box was not and motionless as statues. Every feature, every easy to be obtained, for though we were perfectly limb, must seem to correspond in fixed attention; convinced of our own gentility, and the gentility and while the song continues, they are to remain of our appearance, yet we found it a difficult matter in a state of universal petrifaction. In this mortito persuade the keepers of the boxes to be of our fying situation we had continued for some time, opinion; they chose to reserve genteel boxes for listening to the song, and looking with tranquillity, what they judged more genteel company. when the master of the box came to inform us, that
At last, however, we were fixed, though some- the water-works were going to begin. At this inwhat obscurely, and supplied with the usual enter- formation I could instantly perceive the widow tainment of the place. The widow found the sup- bounce from her seat; but correcting herself, she per excellent, but Mrs. Tibbs thought every thing sat down again, repressed by motives of gooddetestable. “Come, 'come, my dear," cries the breeding. Mrs. Tibbs, who had seen the water husband, by way of consolation, "to be sure we works a hundred times, resolving not to be intercan't find such dresssing here as we have at Lord rupted, continued her song without any share of Crump's, or Lady Crimp's; but for Vauxhall dress- mercy, nor had the smallest pity on our impatience, ing it is pretty good: it is not their victuals indeed The widow's face, I own, gave me high entertainI find fault with, but their wine; their wine,” cries ment; in it I could plainly read the struggle she felt he, drinking off a glass, "indeed, is most abomina- between good-breeding and curiosity: she talked ble."
of the water-works the whole evening before, and By this last contradiction, the widow was fairly seemed to have come merely in order to see them; conquered in point of politeness. She perceived but then she could not bounce out in the very midnow that she had no pretensions in the world to dle of a song, for that would be forfeiting all precaste, her very senses were vulgar, since she had tensions to high life, or high-lived company, ever praised detestable custard, and smacked at wretched after. Mrs. Tibbs therefore kept on singing, and wine; she was therefore content to yield the vic-l we continued to listen, till at last, when the song