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all but one character of improvidence and rapacity ; and tutored nations, however separate, make use of the very same methods to procure refined enjoyment.
The distinctions of polite nations are few ; but such as are peculiar to the Chinese, appear in every page of the following correspondence. The metaphors and allusions are all drawn from the East. Their formality our author carefully preserves. Many of their favourite tenets in morals are illustrated. The Chinese are always concise, so is he. Simple, so is he. The Chinese are grave and sententious, so is he. But in one particular, the resemblance is peculiarly striking : the Chinese are often 'dull; and so is he. Nor has my assistance been wanting. We are told in an old romance of a certain knight-errant and his horse who contracted an intimate friendship. The horse most usually bore the knight, but, in cases of extraordinary dispatch, the knight returned the favour, and carried his horse. Thus in the intimacy between my author and me, he has usually given me a lift of his Eastern sublimity, and I have sometimes given him a return of my colloquial ease.
Yet it appears strange in this season of panegyric, when scarcely an author passes unpraised either by his friends or himself, that such merit as our Philosopher's should be forgotten. While the epithets of ingeni( us, copious, elaborate, and refined, are lavished among the mob, like medals at a coronation, the lucky prizes fall on every fide, but not one on him. I could on this occasion make myself melancholy, by considering the capriciousness of public taste, or the mutability of fortune ; but during this fit of morality, left my reader should seep, I'll take a nap myself, and when I awake tell him
dream. I imagined the Thames was frozen over, and I ftood by its side. Several booths were erected upon the ice, and I was told by one of the spectators, that
Fashion FAIR was going to begin. He added, that every author who would carry his works there, might probably find a very good reception. I was resolved however to observe the humours of the place in safety from the shore, sensible that ice was at best precarious, and having been always a little cowardly in my sleep.
Several of my acquaintance seemed much more hardy than I, and went over the ice with intrepidity. Some carried their works to the fair on sledges, fome on carts, and those which were more voluminous, were conveyed in waggons. Their temerity astonished me.
I knew their cargoes were heavy, and expected every moment they would have gone to the bottom. They all entered the fair, however, in fafety, and each foon after returned to my great surprize, highly satisfied with his entertainment, and the bargains he had brought away,
The success of such numbers at last began to operate upon ine. If these, cried I, meet with favour and safety, fome luck may, perhaps, for once attend the unfortunate. I am resolved to make a new adventure. The furniture frippery and fire-works of China have long been fashionably bought up. I'll try the fair with a small cargo of Chinese morality. If the Chinese have contributed to vitiate our taste, I'll try how far they can help to improve our understanding. But as others have driven into the market in waggons, I'll cautiously begin by venturing with a wheel-barrow. Thus resolved, I baled up my goods and fairly ventured ; when, upon just entering the fair, I fancied the ice that had supported an hundred waggons before, cracked under me, and wheel-barrow and all went to the bottom.
Upon awaking from my reverie with the fright, I cannot help wishing that the pains taken in giving this correspondence an English dress, had been em
ployed ployed in contriving new political systems, or new plots for farces. I might then have taken my station in the world, either as a poet or a philosopher, and made one in those little societies where men club to raise each others reputation. But at present I belong to no particular class. I resemble one of those animals, that has been forced from its forest to gratify human curiosity. My earliest wish was to escape unheeded through life ; but I have been set up
for halfpence, to fret and scaiper at the end of my chain. Though none are injured by my rage, I am naturally too favage to court any friends by fawning ; too obftinate to be taught new tricks; and too improvident to mind what may happen : I am appeased, though not contented. Too indolent for intrigue, and toq timid to puth for favour, I am-But what signifies what I am.
Ελπίς κανσύ τυχη μέγα χαίρε» τον λιμένο εύρο».
Ουδεν έμοί ' υμίν» παίζετε τες μετ' εμέ.
CONL E T T E R S