Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

in order to see them; but then the could • Dess,' replied the fellow,' to contri not bounce out in the very middle of a • di&t your ladyfhip; I'll run again and fong, for that would be forfeiting all • fee.' He went, and soon returned with pretensions to high life, or high-lived a confirmation of the dismal tidings. Company, ever after: Mrs. Tibbs theré- No ceremony could now bind my friend's fore kept on singing, and we continued disappointed mistress, the testified her, to listen, till at last, when the song was displeasure in the openeft manner ; in just concluded, the waiter came to in- short, she now began to find fault in form us that the water-works were turn, and at last infifted upon going over!

home, just at the time that Mr. and Mrs. • The water-works over !" cried the Tibbs assured the coinpany that the widow; the water works over al. polite hours were going to begin, and • ready! that's impossible! they can't be that the ladies would initantaneonsly be

over ro foon !- It is not my bufio entertained with the horns. Adieu.

LETTER LXXII.

FROM THE SAME:

no

JOT far from this city lives a poor though in some measure a clog upen

, , fons, all at this very time in arms and to. There are laws which ordain, that fighting for their country; and what re- no woman fhall marry against her father ward do you think has the tinker from and mother's consent, unless arrived at the state for such important services ? an age of maturity; by which is underNone in the world; his fons, when the stood those years when women, with usj. war is over, may probably be whipped are generally palt child-bearing. This from parish to paris as vagabonds; and muit be a clog upon matrimony, as it the old man, when past labour, may is more difficult for the lover to please die a prisoner in some house of correc. three than one, and much more difficult tion,

to please old people than young ones: Such a worthy subject in China The laws ordain, that the consenting would be held in universal reverence; couple shall take a long time to confider his services would be rewarded, if not before they marry; this is a very grea, with dignities, at least with an exemp- clog, because people love to have ali tion from labour; he would take the left. rash actions done in a hurry. It is orband at feasts, and mandarines themdained, that all marriages ihall be proselves would be proud to shew their fubclaimed before celebration; this is a semission. The Englith laws punish vice; vere clog, as many are ashamed to have the Chinese laws do more, they reward their marriage made public, from movirtue!

tives of vicions modelty, and many Conadering the little encouragement afraid from views of temporal interest: given to matrimony here, I am not It is ordained, that there is nothing safurprized at the discouragements given cred in the ceremony, but that it may to propagation. Would you believe it, be dislolved, to all intents and purposes my dear Fwin Hoam, there are Jaws by the authority of any civil magistrate. made which even forbid the peoples And yet, opposite to this, it is ordained, marrying each other? By the head of that the prieit shall be paid a large sum Confucius, 1 jeit not; there are such of money for granting his sacred perJaws in being here; and yet their law. missions givers have neither been instructed Thus you fee, my friend, that ma among the Hottentots, nor imbibed their trimony here is hedged round with fo principles of equity from the natives of many obstructions, that those who are Adamaboo.

willing to break through or furmouni There are laws which ordain, that no them must be contented, if at last they man shall marry a woman against her find it a bed of thorns. The laws are own consent. This, though contrary pot to blame, for they have deterred the to what we are taught in Afia, and people from engaging as inuch as they

cold.

sould." It is indeed become a very serie another keeps him in unambitious india ous affair in England, and none but se- gence; but the moderately rich are ge. rious people are generally found willing nerally active; not too far removed from to engage. The young, the gay, and poverty to fear it's calamities, nor too the beautiful, who have motives of pain near extreme wealth to sacken the nervę hon only to induce them, are feldom of labour, they remain itill between found to embark, as those inducements both in a fate of continual flu&uation, are taken away; and none but the old, How impolitic, therefore, are those laws the ugly, and the mercenary, are seen which promote the accumulation of to unite; who, if they have any postę- vealth ainong the rich, more impolitic rity at all, will probably be an ill-fa. Áill in attempting to iscrease the de voured race like themselves.

prefion on poverty! What gave rise to those laws might Bacon, the Engliņ philofopher, comhave been some fuch accidents as these. pares money to manure. If gathered It sometimes happened that a miser, who in heaps,' says he, it does no good; had spent all his youth in scraping up on the contrary, it becomes offensive. money to give his daughter such a for- • But being spread, though never fo tune as might get a mandarine husband, • thinly, over the surface of the earth, found his expectations disappointed at ! it enriches the whole country. Thus lait, by running away with his foot- the wealth a nation poffesses muft expa man; this must have been a sad shock tiate, or it is of no benefit to the public to the poor disconsolate parent, to see it becomes rather a grievance, where his poor daughter in a one-horse chaise, matrimonial laws thus confine it to a. when he had designed her for a coach few. and fix. What a ftioke from Proviąence) But this vestraint ypon matrimonial to see his dear money go to enrich a community, even considered in a physibeggar;"all Nature cried out at the pro- cal light, is injurious. As those who Fanation!

rear up animals take all possible pain It fometimes happened, also, that a to cross the Atrain, in order to improve lady who had inherited all the titles and the breed; so, in those countries where all the nervous complaints of nobility, marriage is moft free, the inhabitants thought fit to impair her dignity, and are found every age to improve in stamend her conftitution, by marrying a ture and in beauty; on the contrary, farmer: this must haye been a sad fhock where it is confined to a cast, a tribe, to her inconsolable relations, to see so or an hord, as among the Gaurs, the fine a flower snatched from a flourishing Jews, or the Tartars, each division foon family, and planted in a dunghill; this assumes a fainily likeness, and every was an absolute inversion of the first tribe degenerates into peculiar deformi. principles of things.

ty: From hence it may be easily infera In order, therefore, to preyent the red, that if the mandarines here are regreat from being thus contaminated by solved only to marry among each other, vulgar alliances, the obstacles to matri- they will soon produce a posterity with mony have been so contrived, that the mandarine faces; and we shall see the rich only can marry amongst the rich; heir of some honourable family scarce and the poor, who would leave celibacy, equal to the abortion of a country must be content to encrease their poverty farmer. with a wife. Thus have their lays fairly These are a few of the obstacles to inverted the inducements to matrimony: marriage here; and it is certain they have Nature tells us, that beauty is the pro- in some measure answered the end, for per allureinent of those who are rich, celibacy is both frequent and fashion and money of those who are poor; butable. Old batchelors appear abroad things here are so contrived, that the without a mask; and old maids, my dear tich are invited to marry by that fortune Fum Hoam, have been absolutely known which they do not want, and the poor to ogle. _To confess in friendship, if I have no inducement but that beauty were an Englishman, I fancy I thould which they do not feel.

be an old batchelor myself; I should An equal diffusion of riches through never find courage to run through all any country ever constitutes it's happi- the adventures prescribed by the law. Į nels. Great wealth in the pofseflion of could submit to court my mistress her: one ftagnates, and extreme poverty with felf upon reasonable terms, but to court

hes

her father, her mother, and a long tribe and convert Hymen to a broker. 'Tis of cousins, aunts, and relations, and yours to behold fmall obje&s with a then fand the butt of a whole country microscopic eye, but to be blind to church; I would as soon turn tail and those which require an extent of vision, make love to her grandmother.

'Tis yours, O ye discerners of manI can conceive no other reason for thus • kind, to lay the line between society, Ioading matrimony with so many prohi- • and weaken that force by dividing, bitions, unless it be that the country (which should bind with united vigour. was thought already too populous, and < 'Tis yours, to introduce national real this was found to be the most effe&tual distress, in order to avoid the imagimeans of thinning it. If this was the 'pary distresses of a few. Your actions motive, I cannot but congratulate the can be justified by a hundred reasons wile projectors on the success of their ' like truth; they can be opposed but by fcheine.' Hail, Oye dim-lighted po- a few reasons, and those reasons are E liticians, ye weeders of men! 'Tis true.' Farewel, yours to clip the wing of industry,

LETTER LXXIII.

TROM LIEN EHI ALTANGI, TO HINGPO, BY THE WAY OF MOSeor,

as the robs the senses of every pleasures AGF, ehatele ostet hele enjoyining

lise, encreases our desire of living. equips imagination in the spoil? Life Thofe dangers which, in the vigour would be intupportable to an old man, of youilt, we had learned to despise, ar- who, loaded with infirmities, feared fume new terrors as we grow old. Our death no more than when in the vigour caution encreafing as our years encrease, of manhood; the nun:berless calamities fear becomes at lait the prevailing pare of decaying nature, and the consciouffion of the inind; and the imall remain. ness of surviving every pleasure, would der of life is taken up in useless efforts at once induce him with his own hand to keep off our end, or provide for a to terminate the scene of misery; but continued exittence.

bappily the contempt of death forsakes Strange contradiction in our nature, him at a time when it could only be pre, and to which even the wife are liable! judicial; and life acquires an imaginary If I should judge of that part of life value, in proportion as it's real value ii which lies before me, by that which I no more. have already seen, the prospect is hide- Our attachment to every object around ons. Experience tells ine, that my paft us encreases, in general, from the length enjoyments have brought ine no real fe- of our acquaintance with it. 'I would jicity; and sensation affures me, that not chufe,' says a French philosopher, those I have felt are fronger than those to fee an old poft pulled up, with which are yet to come. Yet experience ! which I had been long acquainted. and sensation in vain persuade; hope, A mind long habituated to a certain fet more powerful than either, dresses out of objects, insensibly becomes fond of the distant prospect in fancied beauty; seeing them; visits them from habit, and fome happinels in long perspe&tive still parts from them with reluctance: from beckons me to pursue; and, like a losing hence proceed the avarice of the old in gamefier, every new disappointment en- every kind of pofTefiion. They love the creases my ardeur to continue the game, world, and all that it produces; they

Whence, my friend, this encreased love life, and all it's advantages; not Jove of life, which grows upon us with because it gives them pleasure, but leour years ; whence comes it, that we cause they have known it long. thus make greater efforts to preserve our Chinvang the Chalte ascending the exiftence, ar a period when it becomes throne of China, commanded that all fcarce worth the keeping? Is it that Na- who were unjustly detained in prison, turt, attentive to the preservation of during the preceding reigns, should be matkied, encreases our wishes to live, set free. Among the number who came phile fie lekans our enjoyments; and, to thank their deliverer on this occalume

there

there appeared a majestic old man, who, once instructive and amusing; it is com falling at the emperor's feet, addressed pany pleases; yet for all this it is but him as follows. "Great father of Chi- little regarded. To us, who are de

na, behold a wretch, now eighty-five clined in years, life appears like an old years old, who was shut up in a dun- friend; it's jests have been anticipated geon at the age of twenty-two. I in former conversation; it has no new

was imprisoned, though a stranger to story to make us smile, no new improve' crime, or without being even con- ment with which to surprize, yet still • fronted by my accusers. I have now we love it; destitute of every agreement, • lived in solitude and darkness for more still we love it; huiband the waiting " than fifty years, and am grown fami- treasure with encreased frugality, and • liar with distress. As yet dazzled feel all the poignancy of anguish in the • with the splendour of that fun to which fatal separation. * you have restored me, I have been Sir Philip Mordaunt was young, • wandering the streets to find some beautiful, sincere, brave, an English• friend that would affift, or relieve, man. He had a complcat fortune of his

or remember me; but my friends, own, and the love of the king his mamy family, and relations, are all Iter, which was . equivalent to riches.

dead, and I am forgotten. Permit Life opened all her treasure before him, • me then, O Chinvang, to wear out and promised a long succession of future • the wretched remains of life in my happiness. He came, tasted of the en• former prison; the walls of my dun- tertainment, but was disgusted even in • geon are to me more pleasing than the the beginning. He professed an aver

mott splendid palace; I have not long fion to living; was tired of walking

10 live, and mall be unhappy, except round the same circle; had tried every • I spend the rest of my days where my enjoyment, and found them all grow

youth was passed; in that prison from weaker at every repetition. If life be

whence you were pleased to release in youth fo 'displeasing,' cried he to • me.'

himself, what will it appear when age The old man's passion for confine- ' comes on! if it be at present indifa 'ment is fimilar to that we all have for « ferent, sure it will then be execrable.' life. We are habituated to the prison; This thought embittered every reflection; we look round with discontent, are dis. till, at last, with all the serenity of perpleased with the abode, and yet the verted reason, he ended the debate with length of our captivity only encreases a pistol! Had this self-deluded man been our fondness for the cell. The trees apprized, that existence grows more dewe have planted, the houses we have firable to us the longer we exist, he built, or the posterity we have begotten, would have then faced old age without all ferve to bind us closer to earth, and Irinking, he would have boldly dared embitter our parting. Life sues the to live, and served that fociety, by his young like a new acquaintance; the future afhduity, which he barely incompanion, as yet unexhautted, is at jured by his defertion. Adieu.

LETTER LXXIV.

FROM LIEN CHI ALTANGI, TO FUM HOAM, FIRST PRESIDENT OF THL

CEREMONIAL ACADEMY AT PEKIN, IN CHINA.

[ocr errors]

have reckoned up not less than a year, amounts just to ninety-two in a twenty-five great men, feventeen very year. I wonder how pofterity will be 'great men, and nine very extraordinary able to remember them all; or whether men, in lets than the compass of half a the people, in future times, will have any year. "Thele,' say the Gazettes, are other business to mind, but that of get** the men that porterity are to gaze at ting the catalogue by heart. • with almiration; these the names that Does the mayor of a corporation maká * fame will he employed in holding up for a speech ? he is instantly let down for a • the aitonishment of succeeding ages.' great man, Does a pedant digeft his

R

common

comnion place-book into a folio? he are dispatched among the people to cry quickly becomes great. Does a poet up his piety, gravity, and love of raw ftring up trite sentiments in rhyme ? he flesh; the people take them at their word, also becomes the great man of the hour. approach the Lama, now become an How diminutive loever the object of ad- idol, with the most humble prottration; miration, each is followed by a crowd he receives their addresles without moof Itill more diminutive admirers. The . tion, commences a god, and is ever afthout begins in his train, onward he ter fed by his priests with the spoon of marches toward immortality, looks back immortality. The same receipt in this at the pursuing crowd with self-fatisfac- country ferves to make a great man. tion; catching all the oddities, thewhim- The idol only keeps.clore, sends out fies, the absurdities, and the littlenesles his little emissaries to be hearty in his of conscious greatness, by the way. praise; and Itraight, whether itatesman

I was yesterday invited by a gentle- or author, he is set down in the list of man to dinner, who promised that our fame, continuing to be praised while it entertainment should confift of an haunch is fashionable to praite, or while he of venison, a turtle, and a great man, prudently keeps his minuteness conI came, according to appointment. The cealed from the public. venison was fine, the turtle good, but I have vilited many countries, and the great man insupportable. The mo. have been in cities without number, yet meut I ventured to speak, I was at once never did I enter a town which could contradicted with a snap. I attempted, not produce ten or twelve of those little by a second and third alfault, to retrieve great men; all fancying themselves my loft reputation, but was still beat known to the rest of the world, and back with confufion. I was resolved complimenting each other upon their to attack him once more from entrench: extensive reputation. It is amusing ment, and turned the conversation upon enough when two of those domestic the government of China: but even hiere prodigies of learning mount the stage he asserted, snapped, and contradi&ted, of ceremony, and give and take praile as before. “Heavens,' thought I, 'this from each other. I have been present

man pretends to know China even when a German doctor, for having pro• better than myself!' I looked round nounced a panegyric upon a certain 'to see who was on my fide, but every monk, was thought the most ingenious eye was fixed in admiration on the man in the world; till the monk soon great man; I therefore at lait thought after divided this reputation by returnproper to fit tilent, and at the prettying the compliment; by which means gentleman during the ensuing convería- they both marched off with universal tion.

applause. When a man las once fecured a circle The fame degree of undeserved aduof admirers, le may be as ridiculous fation that attends our great man while here as he thinks proper; and it all pasies living, often also follows him to the for elevation of sentiment, or learned tomb. It frequently happens that one abfence. If he tranfgreflies the common of his little admirers sits down big with forins of brccling, mistakes even a tea- the important subject, and is delivered pot for a tobacco-box, it is faid that of the history of his life and writings. his thoughts are fixed on more important This may properly be called the revolu. objects; to speak and act like the rest of tions of a life between the fire-fide and mankind is to be no greater than they. the easy-chair. In this we learn the There is something of oddity in the very year in which he was born, at what an idea of greatness; for we are fellom early age he gave symptoms of unaltonished at a thing very much refem- common genius and application, to. bling ourselves.

gether with forme of his imart.sayings, When the Tartars make a Lama, their collected by his aunt and mother, while firit care is to place him in a dark corner yet but a boy. The next book intro. of the temple; here he is to sit, half con- duces hiin to the university, where we cealed from view, to regulate the mo. are informed of his amazing progress in tion of his hands, lips, and eyes; but, learning, his excellent fill in darning above all, he is enjoined gravity and ftockings, and his new invention for filence. This, how ever, is but the pre- papering books to save the covers. He lude to his apoiheosis: a set of emisläries next makes his appearance in the re•

public

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PredošláPokračovať »