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LETTER L.

FROM LIEN CHI ALTANGI, TO FUMHOAN, FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE CE.

REMONIAL ACADEMY AT PEKIN, IN CHINA.

А

SK an Englishman what nation in frequently enacted, but the old ones are

the world enjoys moft freedoen, observed with unremitting severity. In and he immediately answers, his own.. fuch republics therefore the people are Ask him in what that freedom princi- flaves to laws of their own making, lit. pally contists, and he is infiantly filent. tle less than in unmixed mona: chies, This happy pre-eminence does not arile where they are flaves to the will of one from the people's enjoying a lager (hare subject to frailties like themselves. in legislation than elsewhere; for in this In England, from a variety of happy particular, several states in Europe ex- accidents, their constitution is just Itrong cel them; nor does it arise from a enough, or, if you will, monarchical greater exemption from taxes, for few enough, to permit a relaxation of the countries pay inoie; it does not proceed feverity of laws, and yet those laws still from their being restrained by fewer to remain fufficiently Itrong to govem laws, for no people are burthened with the people. This is the most perfect fo many; nor does it particularly contist state of civil liberty, of which we can in the security of their property, for pro- form any idea; here we see a greater perty is pretty well fecured in every po- number of laws than in any other counlite state of Europe.

try, while the people at the fame time How then are the English more free, obey only tuch as are immediately con(for more free they certainly are) than ducive to the intereits of fociety; fevethe people of any other country, or un- ral are unnoticed, many unknown; some der any other form of governinent what kept to be revived and enforced upon ever? Their freedom contilts in their proper occasions, others left to grow obenjoying all the advantages of democra. folete, even without the necesity of abrocy with this fupcrior prerogative bor- gation. rowed from mənarchy, that-- the se. Scarce an Englishman who does not, • verity of their laws may be relaxed almost every day of his life, offend with • without endangering the constitution.' impunity against some express law, and

In a monarchical itate, in which the for which, in a certain conjuncture of conftitution is strongeit, the laws may circumftances, he would not receive puu be relaxed without danger; for though nishment. Gaming-houses, preaching the people should be unanimous in the at prohibited places, assembleu crowds, breach of any one in particular, yet still nocturnal amusements, public shows, there is an effective power superior to and an hundred other instances, are forthe people, capable of enforcing obe- bid, and frequented. These prohibidience, whenever it inay be proper to in- tions are useful; though it be prudent culcate the law either towards the fup. in their magistrates, and happy for their port or welfare of the community. people, that they are not enforced; and

But all those governments, where laws none but the venal or mercenary atderive their fanction from the people tempt to enforce them. alone, trangreliions cannot be overlook- The law, in this case, like an indul. et without bringing the constitution into gent parent, ftill keeps the rod, though danger. They wlio transgress the law the child is feldom corrected. Were in such a cases are those who prescribe those pardoned offences to rise into enor. it; by which means it lofes not only it's mity, were they likely to obstruct the influerce, but it's sanction. In every happiness of society, or endanger the republic the laws must be itrong, because ftate, it is then that Justice would resume the constitution is feeble; they must re- her terrors, and punish thote faults the femble an Ahatic husband, who is just had so ofien overlooked with indulgence. !y jealous, becarile he knows himself It is to this ductility of the laws that an impotent. Thus in Holland, Swit- Enc't nan owes :he freedom he enjoys zerland, and Genoa, new laws are not fupcrior to others in a more popular yo.

vernment;

vernment; every step therefore the con- The constitution of England is at ftitution takes towards a Democratic present pollified of the strength of it's form, cvery diminution of the legal au- native oak, and the flexibility of the thority is, in fact, a diminution of the bending tamarisk; but should the people subjeéts freedom ; but every attempt to at any time, with a mistaken zeal, pant render the government more popular, after an imaginary freedom, and fancy not only impairs natural liberty, but that abridging monarchy was encrealeven will, at laft, dissolve the political ing their privileges, they would be very conftitution.

much inittiken, tince every jewel pluckEvery popular government seems cal- et from the crown of majesty, would culated to last only for'a time; it grow's only be made use of as a bribe to corrigid with age; new laws are multiply- ruption; it might enrich the few who ing, and the old continue in force; the shared it among them, but would, in subjects are oppressed, burthened with a fast, impoverish the public. multiplicity of legal injun&tions; there As the Roman fenators by flow and are none from whom to expect redress, imperceptible degrees became masters of and nothing but a strong convulsion in the people, yet still Aattered them with the state can vindicate them into former a few of freedom, while themselves liberty : thus the people of Rome, a few only were free ; so is it possible for a great ones excepted, found more real body of men, while they stand up for freedom under their emperors, though privileges, to grow into an exuberance tyrants, than they had experienced in the of power themielves, and the public beold age of the commonwealth, in which

come actually dependent, while some of their laws were become numerous and it's individuals only governed. painful; in which new laws were every If then, my friend, there should in day enacting, and the old ones executed this country ever be on the throne a with rigour. They even refused to be king, who through good-nature or age reinstated in their former prerogatives, lhould give up the Imallest part of his upon an offer made them to this purpole; prerogative to the people; if there should for they actually found emperors the come a minilter of merit and popularity only means of softening the rigours of But I have room for no more. their conititution.

Adicu.

LETTER LI.

TO THE SAME.

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SI was yesterday seated at break- not the season; books have their time

as well as cucumbers. I would no melitations were interrupted by my old more bring out a new work in sum. friend and companion, who introduced mer, than I would sell pork in the a stranger, dressed pretty much like him- dog-days. Nothing in my way goes felf. The gentleman made several apo- • off in summer, except very light goods logies for his visit, begged of me to im- indeed. A review, a magazine, or a pute his intrusion to the fincerity of his . fellions paper, may amuse a summer respect, and the warmth of his curiosity. ' reader; but all our stock of value we

As I anı very suspicious of my com- • reserve for a spring and winter trade.' pany, when I find them very civil with- - I muit confess, Sir,' says I, “a cuout any apparent reason, I answered the riosity to know what you call a valuthanger's caresses at first with reserve; "able stock, which can only bear a which my friend perceiving, instantly ' winter perusal.'— Sir,' replied the let me into my visitant's trade and cha- bookseller, it is not my way to cry racter, asking Mr. Fudge, whether he up my own goods; but without exaghad lately published any thing new? Igeration I will venture to thew with now conjectured that my gueit was no any of the trade; my books at least other than a bookseller, and his answer • have the peculiar advantage of being confirmed my suspicions.

I always new; and it is my way to clear Excuse me, Sir,' says he,' it is ' off my old to the trunk-makers every

• season.

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feason. I have ten new title-pages strokes—and dames-Sir, a well

now about me, which only want books placed ciath makes half the wit of our (to be added to make them the finett writers of modern humour. I hought • things in nature. Others may pre- • last season a piece that had no other • tend to direct the vulgar; but that is ' merit upon earth than nine hundred

not my way; I always ler the vulgar andi. ninety five breaks, seventy-two • direct me; wherever popular clamour ha ha's, ibree good things, and a anifes, I always echo the million. For

garler. And yet it played off

, and • instance, should the peos

ople in general "bounced, and cracked, and made ! say that such a man is a rogue, I in- more sport than a fire-work.'-I • itanUy give orders to let him down in fancy then, Sir, you were a consider

print a villain: thu every man buys "able gainer?'- It must be owned the • the book, nct to learn new sentiments, piece did pay; but upon the whole I <but to have the pleafire of seeing his cannot much boast of last winter's luc.

own reflected,'--' But, Sir,' inter- 'cer; I gained by two murders; but rupted I, you speak as if you yourself • then I lost by an ill-timed charity fer. wrote the books you publish; may I

I was a considerable sufferer che lo bold as to alk a light of fome of by my Direct Road to an Estate; but & those intended publications which are the Internal Guide brought me up 'Thortly to furprize the world? - As ' again. A!, Sir, that was a piece ' to that, Sir,' replied the talkative ' touched off by the hand of a master, book lelier, I only draw out the plans filled wiih good things from one end • Rivief; and though I am very cau. to the order. The author had nothing 'lious of communicating them to any, • but the jett in view; no dull moral

yet, as in the end I have a favour to • Jurking beneath, nor ill-natured la"afk, you shall fee a few of them. ' tire to four the reader's good humour; • H-re, Sir, here they are; diamonds 'he wisely confidered that moral and s of the first water, I afure you. Im - • imunour, at the same time, were quite primis, a Tranflation of leveral Me

over-doing the bulineis.'--' To what dicul Precepts for the Ule of such Phi. purpose was the book then published?"

licians as do not understand Latin. cried l. Sir, the book was publithed Item, the Young Clergvman's Art of "in oriler to be fold; an

no book feld ' placing Patches regularly, with a Dil beiter, except the critici!ms upon it, < sertation on the different Manner of (which came out soon after. Of all • Smiling without diitorting the Face. ' kinds of writings, that goes off beit at Ilem, ihe Whole Art of Love made prefent; and I generally falten a ci

perfectly Ealy, hy a Broker of 'Change ' ticilin upon every telling book that is • Alley. Item, the Proper Minner of "published.

cutting Black Load Pencils, and mak. I once had an author who never left

iny Crayons, by the Right Hon. the the least opening for the critics; close " Earl of ****. Item, the Mutter Ma. was the word; always very right, and • fter General, or the Review of Re- very dull; ever on the fale fide of an • viewsm • Sir, cried I, interrupting argini; yet, with all his qualificahim, ' my curiosity with regard to titie ' tions, in pable of coming into fapages is fatisfied; I Nould be glad

I on perceived that his bent to see some longer manuscript; an was for criticism; and as he was good « history, or an epic poem.'— Bless ' for nothing elie, fupplied bin with • me,' cries the man of industry,' now

paper, and planted him at you speak of an epic poem, you ' the beginning of every month as a

mall sie an excellent farce. Here it ' confor on the works of others. In ' is; dip into it where you will, it will ' fhort, I found him a treure; no ine• be found replere with true modern hu- 'rit could escape him: but what is mort

mour. Strokes, Sir; it is filled with Temakable of all, he ever wrote best < ftrokes of wit an. latire in every line.' card biitereit when drunki'But are

- Do you call these dashes of the pen • there not fome works,' interruptel I, • strokes,' replied I, 'for I must confess • that, from the very inander of their

I can see no other?'--' And pray, composition, must be exempted from • Sir,' returned he, 'what do

call criticilim; particular y such as profess • them? Do yon fee any thing good to disregard ii's laws?' - There is ' now-a-days that is not filled with no work whatsoever but lie can criti.

you!

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cise,' replied the book feller; • at least I would not suppress what though you wrote in Chinese he would

« little I had; nor would I appear more have a pluck at you. Suppose you stupid than Nature made me.' Here should take it into your head to publish " then,' cries the bookseller,' we thou!!

a book, let it be a volume of Chinese let- • have vou entirely in our power: “Un• ters, for instance; write how you will, he “ natural, unealtern; quite out of cha" he shall shew the world you could have “ racter; erroneously sensible;" would

written better. Should you, with the ' be the whole cry. Sir, we should then • most local exactness, itick to the man-hunt you down like a rat.'-Head

ners and customs of the country from of my father!' said I, “sure there are ! whence you come; should you confine ' but the two ways; the door mult either • yourself to the narrow limits of “ be shut, or it must be open. I must • Eaitern knowledge, and be perfectly either be natural or unnatural.'' Be

fimple, and perfectiy natural, he has what you will, we shall criticise you,'

then the strongett reason to exclaim. returned the bookseller,' and prove you • He may with a fneer send you back to ,' a dunce in spite of your teeth. But, < China for readers. He may observe, “Sir, it is time that I should come to s that after the first or second letter the • business. I have just now in the press • iteration of the same fimplicity is in- ' an history of China; and, if you will

fupportably tedious; but the worst of but put your name to it as the author,

all is, the public in such a case will "I mall repay the obligation with gra! anticipate his censures, and leave you, <titude.'--* What, Sir,' replied I, ‘put 6 with all your uninttructive simplicity, . ' my name to a work which I have not " to be mauled at discretion.'

written! Never while I retain a proper • Yes,' cried I; ' but, in order to réfpet for the publicand my eif.' The • avoid his indignatiori, and what I bluntness of my reply quite abated the < fhould fear more, that of the public, ardour of the bookfeller's conversation; " I would, in such a case, write with all and, after about half an hour's disagree• the knowledge I was master of. As able reserve, he, with fome ceremony, ! I am not possessed of much learning, took his leave and withdrew. Adicu.

LETTER LII.

TO THE SAME.

I

'N

Hoam, the rich are distinguished by injo contempt, that at present even their their drets. In Pertia, China, and moit mandarines are afhameil of finery. parts of Europe, thole who are poflefed I mult own myself a convert to Enga of much gold or silver, put some of it lith fimplicity; I'am no more for ottenupon their cloaths; but in England, tation of wealth than of learning; the those who carry much upon their cioaths, person who in company mondj preend are remarked' for having but little in to be wiser than oihers, I ain apt to retheir pockets. A tawdry outside is re- gard as illiterate and ill-bred; the perfon gardei as a badge of poverty; and those whose cloaths are extremely fine, I am who can fit at home; and glote over their too apt to consider as not being poflehed thousands in filent fatisfaction, are gene- of any fuperiority of fortune, but reiem rally found to do it in plain cloaths. bling those Indians who are foui to

This diversity of thinking froin the wear all the goid they have in the world rest of the world which prevails here, I in a bob at the nole. was firk at a loss to account for; but am I was lately introduced into a comsince informed that it was introduced by pany of the best drelied men I have feen an intercourse between them and their fince my arrival. Upon entering the neighbours the French; who, whenever room, I was ftruck with awe at the they came in order to pay those illanders grandeur of the different dreilis. “That a visit, were generally very well dresful, personage,' thought I, 'in vue and and very poor, daubed with lace, but all s gold, must be forre emperor's ion; the gilding on the outside. By this means • that, in green and Ailver, a prince of

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• the blood; he, in embroidered scarlet, • friend,' replied my companion,' were . a prime minister; all first rate noble- your reformation to take place, as

men, I suppose, and well looking no. dancing.masters and fiddlers now mi. • bleinen too. I late for fome time • mic gentlemen in appearance, we with that uneasiness which conicious in- · Mould then find our fine gentlemen feriority produces in the ingenuous mind, ' conforming to theirs. A beau might all attention to their discourse. How- ' be introduced to a lady of fashion with ever, I found their conversation more a fiddle-cale hanging at his neck by a vulgar than I could have expected from ' red ribband; and, initead of a cane, perfonages of such distinction. "If

might carry a fiddle-itick. Though .thele, thought I to myself,' be ' to be as dull as a firtt-rate dancing, s princes, they are the most stupid princes • master might be used with proverbial • I have ever converted withi. Yet still I ! justice; yet, duil as he is, many a fine continued to venerate their dress; for gentleman fets him up as the proper diefs bas a kind of mechanical influence • itandard of politeness; copies not only on the mind.

the peri vivacity of his air, but the My friend in black indeed did not be- 'fat insipidity of his conversation. In have with the time deference, but con- ! short, it you make a law against tradicted the finest of them all in the dancing-matters imitating the fine molt peremptory tones of conteinpt. But gentleman, you should with as much I had scarce time to wonder at the im- seafon enact, that no fine gentleman prudence of his conduct, when I found • fhall imitate the dancing- matter.' occafion to be equally furprized at the After I had left my friend, I made absurdity of theirs; for, upon the entry of towards home, reflecting as I went upon a iniddle-aged man, dressed in a cap, dirty the difficulty of diftinguishing men by Thirt, and boots, the whole circle seemed their appearance. Invited, however, by diminished of their former importance, the fielhness of the evening, I did not and contended who Nhould be tirti to pay return directly, but went to rummate their obeisance to the ttranger. They on what had pafled in a public garden

somewhat retembled a circle of Kalmucs belonging to the city. Here, as I late I offering incense to a bear.

upon one of the benches, and felt the Eager to know the cause of so much piealing, fympathy which Nature in seeming contradi&tion, I whispered my bloom inspires, a disconfolate figure, friend out of the room, and found that who sat on the other end of the feat, che august company confiited of no other seemed no way to enjoy the ferenity of uian a dancing-malter, two ridders, and the season.a third-rate actor, all aslembled in order His dress was miserable beyond de. to make a set at country-dançes; as the scription; a thread-bare coat of the aniddle-aged gentleman whorn I saw en- riideit materials; a thirt, though clean, ter was a squire from the country, and yet extremely coarse; hair that seemed delirious of learning the new manner of to have been long unconscious of the footing, and finothing up the rudi- comb; and all the rest of his equipage menis of his rural minuet.

impreiled with the marks of genuine I was no longer surprized at the au. poverty, thority which my friend afluined anang As he continued to ligh, and testify them; nay, was even displeated (pardon every symptom of despair, I was natumy Eattern education) that he had not rally led, from a motive of humanity, kicked every creature of the an down to offer comfort and aflittance. You stairs. What,' said 1,'fhail a set of know my heart; and that all who are • such paltry fellows dress theinselves up miserable may claim a place there. The • like fons of kings, and claim even the pensive ftranger at first declined any

tranfitory respect of half an hour! conversation; but at last, perceiving a " There thouid be foune law to restrain. peculiarity in my accent and manner of

fo manilett'a breach of privilege; they thinking, he began to unfold himself "lhould go from house to houle, as in by degrees. "China, with the instruments of their I now found that he was not so very • profitiiou trung round their necks; miferable as he at first appeared; upon • by this ineads we might be able to my offering him a Imall piece of money, • distinguish, and treat them in a itile of he refused my favour, yet without apbecoming contempti'Hold, my pearing displeased at my intended gente

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