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OLIVER GOLDSMITH, M. B.
A NEW EDITION, IN FOUR VOLUMES.
TO WHICH IS PREFIXED,
SOME ACCOUNT OF HIS LIFE AND WRITINGS.
PRINTED FOR J. JOHNSON, G. AND J. ROBINSON, W. I.
AND SON, F AND C.
By Nichols and Son, Red Lion Passage, Fleet-street.
Τ Η Ε .
HE schoolmen had formerly a very exact way of computing the abilities of their Saints or authors. Elcobar, for instance, was said to have learning as five, genius as four, and gravity as seven. Caramuel was greater than he. His learning was as eight, his genius as fix, and his gravity as thirteen. Were I to estimate the merits of our Chinese Philosopher by the same scale, I would not hesitate to state his genius still higher ; but as to his learning and gravity, these I think might safely be marked as nine hundred and ninety nine, within one degree of absolute frigidity.
Yet upon his first appearance here, many were angry not to find him as ignorant as a Tripoline ambaffador, or an Envoy from Mujac. They were surprised to find a man born so far from London, that school of prudence and wisdom, endued even with a moderate
capacity. They expressed the fame furprize at his knowledge that the Chinese do at ours. * How comes it, said they, that the Europeans so remote from China, think with so much justice and precision? They bave never read our books, they scarcely know even our letters, and yet they talk and reason just as we do. The truth is, the Chinese and we are pretty much alike. Different degrees of refinement; and not of distance, mark the distinctions among mankind. Savages of the most opposite climates have
* Le Comte, Vol. I. p. 210.