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"Of teasing suitors a luxurious train,

| ludicrous for serious reproof. While we censure From neighbouring isles, have cross'd the liquid as critics, we feel as men, and could sincerely wish plain.

that those, whose greatest sin, is perhaps, the veHere uncontrollid the audacious crews resort, nial one of writing bad verses, would regard their Rifle in your wealth, and revel in your court. failure in this respect as we do, not as faults, but Pisander, Polybus, and Medon lead,

foibles; they may be good and useful members of Antinous and Eurymachus succeed,

society, without being poets. The regions of taste With others, whose rapacious throats devour can be travelled only by a few, and even those The wealth you purchased once, distained with often find indifferent accommodation by the way. gore.

Let such as have not got a passport from nature be Melanthius add, and Irus, hated name! content with happiness, and leave the poet the unA beggar rival to complete our shame.

rivalled possession of his misery, his garret, and

his fame. "Three, helpless three! are here; a wife not strong,

We have of late seen the republic of letters A sire too aged, and a son too young,

crowded with some, who have no other pretensions He late, by fraud, embark'd for Pylos' shore,

to applause but industry, who have no other merit Nigh from my arms for ever had been tore."

but that of reading many books, and making long These two lines are replete with beauty: nigh, quotations; these we have heard extolled by symwhich implies approximation, and from, which pathetic dunces, and have seen them carry off the implies distance, are, to use our translator's expres- rewards of genius; while others, who should have sions, drawn as it were up in line of battle. Tore been born in better days, felt all the wants of povis put for torn, that is, torn by fraud, from her erty, and the agonies of contempt. Who then arms; not that her son played truant, and embark- that has a regard for the public, for the literary ed by fraud, as a reader who does not understand honours of our country, for the figure we shall one Latin might be apt to fancy.

day make among posterity, that would not choose

to see such humbled as are possessed only of talents "Heaven grant the youth survive each parent's that might have made good cobblers, had fortune date,

turned them to trade? Should such prevail, the And no cross chance reverse the course of fate.

real interests of learning must be in a reciprocal Your nurse and herdsman join this wish of mine, proportion to the power they possess. Let it be And the just keep of your bristly swine.”

then the character of our periodical endeavours, and Our translator observes in a note, that "the sim- hitherto we flatter ourselves it has ever been, not to plicity expressed in these lines is so far from being permit an ostentation of learning to pass for merit, a blemish, that it is, in fact, a very great beauty; nor to give a pedant quarter upon the score of his and the modern critic, who is offended with the industry alone, even though he took refuge behind mention of a sty, however he may pride himself Arabic, or powdered his hair with hieroglyphics. upon his false delicacy, is either too short-sighted Authors thus censured may accuse our judgment, to penetrate into real nature, or has a stomach too or our reading, if they please, but our own hearts nice to digest the noblest relics of antiquity. He will acquit us of envy or ill-nature, since we remeans, no doubt, to digest a hog-sty; but, antiquity prove only with a desire to reform. apart, we doubt if even Powel the fire-eater him- But we had almost forgot, that our translator is self could bring his appetite to relish so unsavoury to be considered as a critic as well as a poet; and

in this department he seems also equally unsuc

cessful with the former. Criticisin at present is "By age your sire disarm’d, and wasting woes,

different from what it was upon the revival of taste The helm resigns, amidst surrounding foes.

in Europe; all its rules are now well known; the This may your son resume (when years allow), But oh! a father's aid is wanted now.

only art at present is, to exhibit them in such lights

as contribute to keep the attention alive, and excite Nor have I strength his title to maintain,

a favourable audience. It must borrow graces Haste, then, our only refuge, o’er the main."

from eloquence, and please while it aims at instruc" A son, and long may Heaven the blessing grant,

tion : but instead of this, we have a combination of You have, whose years a sire's instruction want.

trite observations, delivered in a style in which Think how Laertes drags an age of woes,

those who are disposed to make war upon words, In hope that you his dying eyes may close;

will find endless opportunities of triumph. And I, left youthful in my early bloom,

He is sometimes hypercritical ; thus, page 9. Shall aged seem; how soon soe'er you come.”

“ Pope in his excellent Essay on Criticism (as will,

in its place, when you come to be lectured upon it, But let not the reader imagine we can find plea- at full be explained, ) terms this making the sound an sare in thus exposing absurdities, which are too lecho to the sense. But I apprehend that definition

a repast.

takes in but a part, for the best ancient poets ex- Sometimes contradictory: thus, page 3. "Style celled in thus painting to the eye as well as to the says he) is used by some writers, as synonymous ear. Virgil, describing his housewife preparing her with diction, yet in my opinion, it has rather a wine, exhibits the act of the fire to the eye. complex sense, including both sentiment and dic

tion.” Oppose to this, page 135. "As to con"Aut dulcis musti Vulcano decoquit humorem,

cord and even style, they are acquirable by most Et foliis undam trepidi dispumat aheni.'

youth in due time, and by many with ease; but “For the line (if I may be allowed the expres- the art of thinking properly, and choosing the best sion) boils over; and in order to reduce it to its sentiments on every subject, is what comes later." proper bounds, you must, with her, skim off the And sometimes he is guilty of false criticism : as redundant syllable.” These are beauties, which, when he says, Ovid's chief excellence lies in dedoubtless, the reader is displeased he can not scription. Description was the rock on which be discern.

always split ; Nescivit quod bene cessit relinquere, Sometimes confused: “There is a deal of artful as Seneca says of him : when once he embarks in and concealed satire in what Enone throws out description, he most commonly tires us before he against Helen : and to speak truth, there was fair has done with it. But to tire no longer the reader, scope for it, and it might naturally be expected. or the translator with extended censure; as a critic, Her chief design was to render his new mistress this gentleman seems to have drawn his knowledge suspected of meretricious arts, and make him ap- from the remarks of others, and not his own reflecprehensive that she would hereafter be as ready to tion; as a translator, he understands the language leave him for some new gallant, as she had be-- of Ovid, but not his beauties; and though he may fore, perfidiously to her lawful husband, followed be an excellent schoolmaster, he has, however, no him."

pretensions to taste.

LETTERS

FROM A

CITIZEN OF THE WORLD

TO HIS

FRIENDS IN THE EAST.

THE EDITOR'S PREFACE. Their formality our author carefully preserves.

Many of their favourite tenets in morals are illusThe schoolmen had formerly a very exact way trated. The Chinese are always concise, so is he. of computing the abilities of their saints or authors. Simple, so is he. The Chinese are grave and senEscobar, for instance, was said to have learning as

tentious, so is he. But in one particular the resem. five, genius as four, and gravity as seven. Cara-blance is peculiarly striking: the Chinese are often muel was greater than he. His learning was as dull

, and so is he. Nor has any assistance been eight, his genius as six, and his gravity as thir- wanting. We are told in an old romance, of a certain teen. Were I to estimate the merits of our Chi- knight errant and his horse who contracted an intinese Philosopher by the same scale, I would not mate friendship. The horse most usually bore the hesitate to state his genius still higher; but as to knight; but, in cases of extraordinary dispatch, his learning and gravity, these, I think, might the knight returned the favour, and carried his safely be marked as nine hundred and ninety-nine, horse. Thus, in the intimacy between my author within one degree of absolute frigiility.

and me, he has usually given me a list of his eastYet, upon his first appearance here, many were ern sublimity, and I have sometimes given him a angry not to find him as ignorant as a Tripoline return of my colloquial ease. ambassador, or an envoy from Mujac. They were

Yet it appears strange, in this season of panesurprised to find a man born so far from London, gyric, when scarcely an author passes unpraised, that school of prudence and wisdom, endued even either by his friends or himself, that such merit as with a moderate capacity. They expressed the our Philosopher's should be forgotten. While the bame surprise at his knowledge that the Chinese epithets of ingenious, copious, elaborate, and redo at ours. *How comes it, said they, that the fined, are lavished among the mob, like medals at Europeans so remote from China, think with so a coronation, the lucky prizes fall on every side, much justice and precision? They have never but not one on him. I could, on this occasion, read our books, they scarcely know even our let- make myself melancholy, by considering the caters, and yet they talk and reason just as we do. priciousness of public taste, or the mutability of The truth is, the Chinese and we are pretty much fortune: but, during this fit of morality, lest my alike. Different degrees of refinement, and not of reader should sleep, I'll take a nap myself, and distance, mark the distinctions among mankind. when I awake tell him my dream. Savages of the most opposite climates have all but

1 imagined the Thames was frozen over, and I one character of improvidence and rapacity; and stood by its side. Several booths were erected tutored nations, however separate, make use of

upon the ice, and I was told by one of the spectathe very same method to procure refined enjoy- tors, that Fashion Fair was going to begin. He

added, that every author who would carry his The distinctions of polite nations are few, but works there, might probably find a very good resuch as are peculiar to the Chinese, appear in every ception. I was resolved, however

, to observe the page of the following correspondence. The me humours of the place in safety from the shore; taphors and allusions are all drawn from the East. sensible that the ice was at best precarious, and *Le Comte, vol i. p. 210.

having been always a little cowardly in my sleep.

ment,

LETTERS FROM A

TO HIS

Several of my acquaintance seemed much more hardy than 1, and went over the ice with intrepidity. Some carried their works to the fair on sledges, some on carts, and those which were more volu- CITIZEN OF THE WORLD minous, were conveyed in wagons. Their temerity astonished nie, I knew their cargoes were heavy, and expected every moment they would have gone to the bottom. They all entered the

FRIENDS IN THE EAST. fair, however, in safety, and each soon after returned to my great surprise, highly satisfied with his entertainment, and the bargains he had brought

LETTER I. away.

To Mr. ***', Merchant in London. The success of such numbers at last began to Sir,

Amsterdam. operate upon me. If these, cried I, meet with fa- Yours of the 13th instant, covering two bills, vour and safety, some luck may, perhaps, for once, one on Messrs. R. and D. value 4781. 10s. and the attend the unfortunate. I am resolved to make a other on Mr. ****, value 2851., duly came to hand, new adventure. The furniture, frippery, and fire- the former of which met with honour, but the other works of China, have long been fashionably bought has been trifled with, and I am afraid will be reup. I'll try the fair with a small cargo of Chinese turned protested. morality. If the Chinese have contributed to viti

The bearer of this is my friend, therefore let him ate our taste, I'll try how far they can help to im- be yours. He is a native of Honan in China, and prove our understanding. But as others have one who did me signal services, when he was a driven into the market in wagons, I'll cautiously mandarine, and I a factor, at Canton. By frebegin by venturing with a wheelbarrow. Thus quently conversing with the English there, he has resolved, I baled up my goods, and fairly ventured; learned the language, though he is entirely a stranwhen, upon just entering the fair, 1 fancied the ice ger to their manners and customs. I am told be that had supported a hundred wagons before, is a philosopher; I am sure he is an honest man: cracked under me, and wheelbarrow and all went that to you will be his best recommendation, next to the bottom.

to the consideration of his being the friend of, sir,

Yours, etc. Upon awaking from my reverie with the fright, I can not help wishing that the pains taken in giving this correspondence an English dress, had been

LETTER II. employed in contriving new political systems, or new plots for farces. I might then have taken my From Lien Chi Altangi, to ****

**', Merchant in Amsterdam station in the world, either as a poet or a philosopher, and made one in those little societies where Friend Of My Heart,

London. men club to raise each other's reputation. But at

May the wings of peace test upon thy dwelling, present I belong to no particular class. I resemble and the shield of conscience preserve thee from one of those animals that has been forced from its vice and misery! For all thy favours accept my forest to gratify human curiosity. My earliest wish gratitude and esteem, the only tributes a poor phiwas to escape unheeded through life ; but I have losophic wanderer can return. Sure, fortune is been set up for halfpence, to fret and scamper at resolved to make me unhappy, when she gives the end of my chain. Though none are injured others a power of testifying their friendship by acby my rage, I am naturally too savage to court any

tions, and leaves me only words to express the sinfriends by fawning; too obstinate to be taught new

cerity of mine. tricks; and too improvident to mind what may hap

I am perfectly sensible of the delicacy with which pen. I am appeased, though not contented.' Too you endeavour to lessen your own merit and my indolent for intrigue, and too timid to push for fa- obligations. By calling your late instances of vour, I am—but what signifies what I am.

friendship only a return for former favours, you

would induce me to impute to your justice what Ελπις και ου τυχη μιγα χαιρετι' του λιμαν ευρoν.

I owe to your generosity.
Ουδεν εμοι χ' υμιν παιζετε τους μετ' με.

The services I did you at Canton, justice, hu

manity, and my office, bade me perform; those you Fortune and Hope, adieu !—I see my Port:

have done me since my arrival at Amsterdam, no Too long your dupe; be others now your sport. | laws obliged you to, no justice required, even half

your

favours would have been greater than my up every passage; so that a stranger, instead of findmost sanguine expectations.

ing time for observation, is often happy if he has The sum of money, therefore, which you pri- time to escape from being crushed to pieces. Fately conveyed into my baggage, when I was The houses borrow very few ornaments from arleaving Holland, and which I was ignorant of till chitecture ; their chief decoration seems to be a palmy arrival in London, I must beg leave to return. try piece of painting hung out at their doors or You have been bred a merchant, and I a scholar; windows, at once a proof of their indigence and you consequently love money better than I. You vanity: their vanity, in each having one of those can find pleasure in superfluity; I am perfectly con- pictures exposed to public view; and their indi. tent with what is sufficient. Take therefore what gence, in being unable to get them better painted. is yours, it may give you some pleasure, even in this respect, the fancy of their painters is also though you have no occasion to use it ; my happi- deplorable. Could you believe it? I have seen five Dess it can not improve, for I have already all that black lions and three blue boars, in less than the I want.

circuit of half a mile; and yet you know that aniMy passage by sea from Rotterdam to England mals of these colours are no where to be found exwas more painful to me than all the journeys I cept in the wild imaginations of Europe. ever made on land. I have traversed the immea- From these circumstances in their buildings, and surable wilds of Mogul Tartary; felt all the ri- from the dismal looks of the inhabitants, I am ingours of Siberian skies: I have had my repose a duced to conclude that the nation is actually poor; hundred times disturbed by invading savages, and and that, like the Persians, they make a splendid have seen, without shrinking, the desert sands rise figure every where but at home. The proverb of like a troubled ocean all around me: against these Xixofou is, that a man's riches may be seen in his calamities I was armed with resolution; but in my eyes : if we judge of the English by this rule, there passage to England, though nothing occurred that is not a poorer nation under the sun. gave the mariners any uneasiness, to one who was I have been here but two days, so will not be never at sea before, all was a subject of astonish-hasty in my decisions. Such letters as I shall ment and terror. To find the land disappear, to write to Fipsihi in Moscow, I beg you'll endeavour see our ship mount the waves, swift as an arrow to forward with all diligence; I shall send them from the Tartar bow, to hear the wind howling open, in order that you may take copies or translathrough the cordage, to feel a sickness which de- tions, as you are equally versed in the Dutch and presses even the spirits of the brave; these were Chinese languages. Dear friend, think of my abunexpected distresses, and consequently assaulted sence with regret, as I sincerely regret yours; even me unprepared to receive them.

while I write, I lament our separation. Farewell. You men of Europe think nothing of a voyage by sea. With us of China, a man who has been from sight of land is regarded upon his return with admiration. I have known some provinces where

LETTER III. there is not even a name for the Ocean. What a

From Lien Chi Altangi, to the care of Fipsihi, resident in strange people, therefore, am I got amongst, who

Moscow, to be forwarded by the Russian caravan to Fum have founded an empire on this unstable element,

Hoam, First President of the Ceremonial Academy at Pe. who build cities upon billows that rise higher than kin in China. the mountains of Tipertala, and make the deep more formidable than the wildest tempest !

Think not, O thou guide of my youth! that abSuch accounts as these, I must confess, were my sence can impair my respect, or interposing trackfirst motives for seeing England. These induced less deserts blot your reverend figure from my me to undertake a journey of seven hundred pain- memory. The farther I travel I feel the pain of ful days, in order to examine its opulence, build- separation with stronger force; those ties that bind ings

, sciences, arts, and manufactures, on the spot. me to my native country and you, are still unJudge then my disappointment on entering Lon-broken. By every remove, I only drag a greater don, to see no signs of that opulence so much talked length of chain. * of abroad : wherever I turn, I am presented with a

Could I find aught worth transmitting from so gloomy solemnity in the houses, the streets, and remote a region as this to which I have wandered, the inhabitants; none of that beautiful gilding 1 should gladly send it; but, instead of this, you which makes a principal ornament in Chinese ar- must be contented with a renewal of my former chitecture. The streets of Nankin are sometimes professions, and an imperfect account of a people strewed with gold-leaf; very different are those of London : in the midst of their pavements, a great • We find a repetition of this beautiful and affecting image lazy puddle moves muddily along; heavy laden ma- in the Traveller: chines, with wheels of unwieldy thickness, crowd "And drags at each remove a lengthening chain."

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