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The learning of this people is very defečtive, confisting only in morality, history, poetry. and mathematics, wherein they must be allowed to excel. But the last of these is wholly applied to what may be useful in life, to the improvement of agriculture, and all mechanical arts; so that among us it would be little esteemed. And as to ideas, entities, abstraćtions, and transcendantals, I could never
drive the least conception into their heads. No law of that country must exceed in words the number of letters in their alphabet, which confists only in two and twenty. But indeed few of them extend even to that length. They are expresfed in the most plain and simple terms, wherein those people are not mercurial enough to discover above one interpretation : and to write a comment upon any law is a capital crime. As to the decision of civil causes, or proceedings against criminals, their precedents are so few, that they have little reason to boast of any extraordinary skill in either. They have had the art of printing, as well as the Chinese, time out of mind: but their libraries are not very large ; for that of the King, which is reckoned the largest, doth not amount to above a thousand volumes, placed in a gallery of twelve hundred feet long, from whence I had liberty to borrow what books I pleased. The Queen's joiner had contrived, in one of Glumdalclitch's rooms, a kind of wooden machine five and twenty feet high, formed like a standing ladder, the steps were each fifty feet long : it was indeed a moveable pair of stairs, the lowest end placed at ten feet distance from the wall of the chamber. The book I had a mind to read was put up leaning against the wall : I first mounted to the upper step of the ladder, and turning my face towards the book, began at the top of . the page, and so walking to the right and left about eight or ten paces, according to the length of the lines, till I had gotten a little below the level of
* The author’s zeal to justify Providence has before been remarked; and these quarrels with Nature, or, in other words, with God, could not have been more forcibly reproved, than by shewing, that the complaints upon which they are founded, would be equally specious among beings of such astonishing superiority of stature and strength.