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make shift to gather out of one of them, that this island was very much infested with a monstrous kind of animals, in the shape of men, called Whigs; and he often told us that he hoped we should meet with none of them in our way, for that, if we did, they would be apt to knock us down for being kings.
“Our other interpreter used to talk very much of a kind of animal called a Tory, that was as great a monster as the Whig, and would treat us ill for being foreigners. These two creatures, it seems, are born with a secret antipathy to one another, and engage when they meet as naturally as the elephant and the rhinoceros. But as we saw none of either of these species, we are apt to think that our guides deceived us with misrepresentations and fictions, and amused us with an account of such monsters as are not really in their country. These particulars we made a shift to pick out from the discourse of our interpreters; which we put together as well as we could, being able to understand but here and there a word of what they said, and afterwards making up the meaning of it among ourselves. The men of the country are very cunning and ingenious in handicraft works, but withal so very idle, that we often saw young lusty raw-boned fellows carried up and down the streets in little covered rooms by a couple of porters, who are hired for that service. Their dress is likewise very barbarous ; for they almost strangle themselves about the neck, and bind their bodies with many ligatures, that we are apt to think are the occasion of several distempers among them, which our country is entirely free from. Instead of those beautiful feathers with which we adorn our heads, they often buy up a monstrous bush of hair, which covers their heads, and falls down in a they walk
of the great
large fleece below the middle of their backs; with which
and down the streets, and are as proud of it as if it was of their own growth.
“ We were invited to one of their public diversions, where we hoped to have seen the great men of their country running down a stag, or pitching a bar, that we might have discovered who were the
persons est abilities among them; but, instead of that, they conveyed us into a huge room lighted up with abundance of candles, where this lazy people sat still above three hours, to see several feats of ingenuity performed by others, who it seems were paid for it.
“ As for the women of the country, not being able to talk with them, we could only make our remarks upon them at a distance. They let the hair of their heads grow to a great length; but as the men make a great show with heads of hair that are none of their own, the women, who they say have very fine heads of hair, tie it up in a knot and cover it from being seen. The women look like angels ; and would be more beautiful than the sun, were it not for little black spots that are apt to break out in their faces, and sometimes rise in
odd figures. I have observed that those little blemishes wear off very soon ; but when they disappear in one part of the face, they are very apt to break out in another, insomuch, that I have seen a spot upon the forehead in the afternoon, which was upon the chin in the morning.”
The author then proceeds to shew the absurdity of breeches and petticoats ; with many other curious observations, which I shall reserve for another occasion. I cannot, however, conclude this paper without taking notice, that amidst these wild remarks there now and then appears something very reasonable. I cannot likewise
forbear observing, that we are all guilty, in some measure, of the same narrow way of thinking which we meet with in this abstract of the Indian journal, when we fancy the customs, dresses, and manners of other countries are ridiculous and extravagant, if they do not resemble those of our own.
In the Spectator, No. 575, August 2, 1714, the following article was proposed by Dr Swift :
“ The following question is started by one of the schoolmen : Supposing the body of the earth were a great ball or mass of the finest sand, and that a single grain or partiele of this sand should be annihilated
thousand years. Supposing, then, that you had it in your choice to be happy all the while this prodigious mass of sand was consuming by this slow method, until there was not a grain of it left, on condition you were to be miserable for ever after; or supposing that you might be happy for ever after, on condition you would be miserable until the whole mass of sand were thus annihilated at the rate of one sand in a thousand years; which of these two cases would you make your choice ?”
THE GUARDIAN, No. XCVI.
AN ESSAY ON NATIONAL REWARDS;
BEING A PROPOSAL FOR BESTOWING THEM ON A PLAN MORE
DURABLE AND RESPECTABLE.*
Cuncti adsint, meritæque expectent proemia palmæ.
There is no maxim in politics more indisputable, than that a nation should have many honours to reserve for those who do national services. This raises emulation, cherishes public merit, and inspires every one with an ambition which promotes the good of his country. The less expensive these honours are to the public, the more still do they turn to its advantage.
The Romans abounded with these little honorary rewards, that, without conferring wealth and riches, gave only place and distinction to the person who received them. An oaken garland, to be worn on festivals and public ceremonies, was the glorious recompence of one who had covered a citizen in battle. A soldier would not only venture his life for a mural crown, but think the most hazardous enterprize sufficiently repaid by so noble a donation.
* This paper is usually attributed to Swift, but has been retained by the editor of the 4to edition of Addison's works. Addison's Dissertation on Medals seems to justify this resumption, as well as the allusion in the paper to a recent communication with the Lord Treasurer Godolphin.
But, among all honorary rewards which are neither dangerous nor detrimental to the donor, I remember none so remarkable as the titles which are bestowed by the Emperor of China. “ These are never given to any subject,” says Monsieur Le Comte,“ till the subject is dead. If he has pleased his emperor to the last, he is called in all public memorials by the title which the emperor confers on him after his death, and his children take their ranks accordingly.” This keeps the ambitious subject in a perpetual dependence, making him always vigilant and active, and in everything conformable to the will of his sovereign.
There are no honorary rewards among us which are more esteemed by the persons who receive them, and are cheaper to the prince, than the giving of medals. But there is something in the modern manner of celebrating a great action in medals, which makes such a reward much less valuable than it was among the Romans. There is generally but one coin stamped upon the occasion, which is made a present to the person who is celebrated on it. By this means the whole fame is in his own custody. The applause that is bestowed
him is too much limited and confined. He is in possession of an honour which the world perhaps knows nothing of. He
may be a great man in his own family ; his wife and children may see the monument of an exploit, which the public in a little time is a stranger to. The Romans took a quite different method in this particular. Their medals were their current money. When an action deserved to be recorded on a coin, it was stamped perhaps up