« PředchozíPokračovat »
" The old Englis plainncfs and sincerity, that gene‘rous integrity of nature, and honesty of difpofition, • which always argues true greatness of mind, and is u• sually accompanied with undaunted courage and resolu• tion, is in a great measure lost among us.
· The dialect of conversation is now-a-days so swelled * with vanity and compliment, and fo surfeited (as I may • say) of expressions of kindness and respect, that if a man that lived an age or two ago should return into the world again, he would really want a dictionary to help him to * understand his own language, and to know the true in• trinsic value of the phrase in fashion; and would hardly, • at first, believe at what a low rate the highest strains • and expressions of kindness imagin.blc do commonly
pass in current payment: and when he should come to • understand it, it would be a great while before he could
bring himself, with a good countenance and a good conscience, to converse with men upon equal terms, and in o their own way.'
I have by me a letter which I look upon as a great curiosity, and which may serve as an exemplification to the foregoing passage, cited out of this most excellent prelate. It is said to have been written in King Charles II's reign by the ambassador of Bartam, a little after his arzival in England, • Master,
HE people where I am,
from their hearts than from London to Bantam, and thou knowest the inhabitants of one of these places * do not know what is done in the other. They call 'thee and thy subjects barbarians, because we speak what
we mean; and account themselves a civilized people, • because they speak one thing, and mean another : truth they call barbarity, and falsehood politeness. Upon
my first landing, one who was sent from the king of this place to meet me, told me, That he was extremely sorry for the form I had met with just before my arri
I was troubled to hear him grieve and afflict him• self upon my account; but in less than a quarter of an • hour he smiled, and was as merry as if nothing had hap* pened. Another who came with him, told me, by my
Themeople were now amor have tongues further
• interpreter, He should be glad to do me any service that • lay in his power. Upon which I desired him to carry one • of my portmantuas for me; but instead of serving me according to his promise, he laughed, and bid another do it. I lodged, the first week, at the house of one who 'desired me to think my self at home, and to consider his house as my own. Accordingly I the next morning began to knock down one of the walls of it, in order to let in the • fresh air, and had packed up some of the household goods,
of which I intended to have made thee a present; but • the false varlet no sooner saw me falling to work, but • he sent word to defire me to give over, for that he would ' have no such doings in his house. I had not been long ' in this nation, before I was told by one, for whom I had • asked a certain favour from the chief of the king's fer'vants, whom they here call the lord treasurer, that I had
eternally obliged him. I was so surprised at this grati
tude, that I could not forbear saying, What service is . there which one man can do for another, that can oblige ' him to all eternity! however, I only asked him for my reward, that he would lend me his eldest daughter during my stay in this country; but I quickly found that • he was as treacherous as the rest of his countrymen.
* At my first going to court, one of the great men almost put me out of countenance, by asking ten thousand *pardons of me for only treading by accident upon my toe. They call this kind of lie a compliment; for when
they are civil to a great man, they tell him untruths, ' for which thou wouldst order any of thy officers of state
to receive a hundred blows upon his foot. I do not know how I shall negotiate any thing with this people, since • there is so little credit to be given to them. When [
go to see the king's scribe, I am generally told that he is 'not at home, though perhaps I saw him go into his house • almost the very moment before. Thou wouldst fancy • that the whole nation are physicians, for the first que'stion they always ask me, is, How I do: I have this que• stion put to me above a hundred times a-day. Nay, they
are not only thus inquisitive after my health, but with it • in a more folemn manner, with a full glass in their hands,
every time I sit with them at table, though at the same • time they would persuade me to drink their liquors in B 2
• such quantities as I have found by experience will make 'me sick. They often pretend to pray for thy health al• fo in the same manner; but I hare more reason to expe&t it from the goodness of thy conftitution, than the fincerity of their wilhes. May thy have cscape in safety from * this double-tongued race of men, and live to lay himself once more at thy fect in thy royal city of Bantam.'
Wednesday, June 23.
Qui fit, Macinas, ut nemo, quam fibi fortem
fortunati nercatores, gravis annis
Hor. fat. 1. l. 1. v. 1.
ilence is't, Macenas, that fo few approve
There an engagement foon decides your doom,
T is a celebrated thought of Socrates, that if all the
in order to be equally distributed among the whole fpecies, thofe who now think themselves the most unhappy, would prefer the share they are already poffeffed of, before that which would fall to them by such a division. Horace has carried this thought a great deal further in the motto of my paper, which implies, that the hardships or misfortunes we lie under, are more easy to us than those of any other person would be, in case we could change conditions with him.
As I was ruminating on these two remarks, and seated in my elbow-chair, I insensibly fell asleep; when on a fudden, methought, there was a proclamation made by Jupiter, that every mortal should bring in his griefs and calamities, and throw them together in a heap. There was:a large plain appointed for this purpose. I took my stand in the centre of it, and saw with a great deal of pleasure the whole human species marching one after another, and throwing down their several loads, which im
riediately grew into a prodigious mountain, that seemed to rise above the clouds.
THERE was a certain lady of a thin airy shape, who was very active in this folemnity. She carried a magnifying glass in one of her hands, and was clothed in a loose flowing robe, embroidered with several figures of fiends and spectres that discovered themselves in a thousand chiEr erical shapes, as her garment hovered in the wind. There was something wild and distracted in her looks. Her game v:as FANGY. She led up every mortal to the appointed place, after having very officiously affifted him in making up his pack, and laying it upon his shoulders. My heart inelted within me to see my fellow-creatures groaning under their respective burdens, and to consider That prodigious bulk of human calamities which lay be
THERE were however several persons who gave me
this occasion. I observed one bringang in a fardel very carefully concealed under an old embroidered cloak, which, upon his throwing it into the zicap, 1 discovered to be Poverty. Another, after a great deal of puffing, threw down his luggage, which, upon «xamining, I found to be his wife.
THERE were multitudes of lovers saddled with very whimsical burdens composed of darts and flames; but what was very odd, though they sighed as if their hearts would break under these bundles of calamities, they could not persuade themselves to cast them into the heap, when they came up to it; but after a few faint efforts, shook their heads and marched away, as heavy loaden as they
I saw multitudes of old women throw down their wrinkles, and several young ones who stripped themselves of a tawny skin. There were very great heaps of red coses, large lips, and rusty teeth. The truth of it is, I was surprised to see the greatest part of the mountain made up of bodily deformities. Observing one advancing towards the heap, with a larger cargo than ordinary upon his back, I found, upon his near approach, that it was only a natural hump, which he disposed of, with great joy of heart, among this collection of human miseries. There were likeways distempers of all forts, though I could not but obserye, that there were many more ima