« PředchozíPokračovat »
First of all, He is exceedingly given to little apish tricks and buffooneries.
Secondly, He so much delights in mimicry that it is all one to him whether he exposes by it vice and folly, luxury and avarice; or, on the contrary, virtue and wisdom, pain and poverty.
Thirdly, He is wonderfully unlucky, insomuch that he will bite the hand that feeds him, and endeavour to ridicule both friends and foes indifferently. For having but small talents he must be merry where he can, not where he should.
Fourthly, Being entirely void of reason he pursues no point either of morality or instruction, but is ludicrous only for the sake of being so.
Fifthly, Being incapable of anything but mock representations, his ridicule is always personal, and aimed at the vicious man or the writer, not at the vice or at the writing.
I have here only pointed at the whole species of false humourists; but as one of my principal designs in this paper is to beat down that malignant spirit which discovers itself in the writings of the present age, I shall not scruple 20 for the future to single out any of the small wits that infest the world with such compositions as are ill-natured, immoral, and absurd. This is the only exception which I shall make to the general rule I have prescribed myself, of attacking multitudes. Since every honest man ought to look upon himself as in a natural state of war with the libeller and lampooner, and to annoy them wherever they fall in his way. This is but retaliating upon them, and treating them as they treat others. C.
WHEN the four Indian kings were in this country about a twelvemonth ago, I often mixed with the rabble, and followed them a whole day together, being wonderfully struck with the sight of everything that is new or uncommon. I have, since their departure, employed a friend to make many inquiries of their landlord, the upholsterer, relating to their manners and conversation, as also concerning the remarks 10 which they made in this country; for, next to the forming a right notion of such strangers, I should be desirous of learning what ideas they had conceived of us.
The upholsterer, finding my friend very inquisitive about these his lodgers, brought him some time since a little bundle of papers, which he assured him were written by King Sa Ga Yean Qua Rash Tow, and, as he supposes, left behind. by some mistake. These papers are now translated, and contain abundance of very odd observations, which I find this little fraternity of kings made during their stay in the isle of 20 Great Britain. I shall present my reader with a short specimen of them in this paper, and may perhaps communicate more to him hereafter. In the article of London are the following words, which, without doubt, are meant of the Church of St. Paul.
"On the most rising part of the town there stands a huge house, big enough to contain the whole nation of which I
am king. Our good brother, E Tow O Koam, King of the Rivers, is of opinion it was made by the hands of that
great God to whom it is consecrated. The kings of Grana-
"The queen of the country appointed two men to attend
us that had enough of our language to make themselves understood in some few particulars. But we soon perceived these two were great enemies to one another, and did not always agree in the same story. We could make a shift to gather out of one of them, that this island was very much infested with a monstrous kind of animals, in the shape of men, called Whigs; and he often told us that he hoped we should meet with none of them in our way, for that if we did they would be apt to knock us down for 10 being kings.
“Our other interpreter used to talk very much of a kind of animal called a Tory, that was as great a monster as the Whigs, and would treat us as ill for being foreigners. These two creatures, it seems, are born with a secret antipathy to one another, and engage when they meet as naturally as the elephant and the rhinoceros. But as we saw none of either of these species, we are apt to think that our guides deceived us with misrepresentations and fictions, and amused us with an account of such monsters as are not 20 really in this country.
"These particulars we made a shift to pick out from the discourse of our interpreters, which we put together as well as we could, being able to understand but here and there a word of what they said, and afterwards making up the meaning of it among ourselves. The men of the country are very cunning and ingenious in handicraft works, but withal so very idle that we often saw young lusty raw-boned fellows carried up and down the streets in little covered rooms by a couple of porters who are hired for that service. Their dress 30 is likewise very barbarous, for they almost strangle them
selves about the neck, and bind their bodies with many ligatures, that we are apt to think are the occasion of several distempers among them which our country is entirely free from. Instead of those beautiful feathers with which we adorn our heads, they often buy up a monstrous bush of hair which covers their heads, and falls down in a large fleece
below the middle of their backs, with which they walk up and down the streets, and are as proud of it as if it was of their own growth.
"We were invited to one of their public diversions, where we hoped to have seen the great men of their country running down a stag or pitching a bar, that we might have discovered who were the persons of the greatest abilities among them; but instead of that they conveyed us into a huge room lighted up with abundance of candles, where this lazy people sat still above three hours to see several feats of 10 ingenuity performed by others, who it seems were paid for it.
"As for the women of the country, not being able to talk with them, we could only make our remarks upon them at a distance. They let the hair of their heads grow to a great length; but as the men make a great show with heads of hair that are not of their own, the women, who,they say,have very fine heads of hair, tie it up in a knot and cover it from being seen. The women look like angels, and would be more beautiful than the sun were it not for little black spots that are apt to break out in their faces, and sometimes rise in very 20 odd figures. I have observed that those little blemishes wear off very soon, but when they disappear in one part of the face they are very apt to break out in another, insomuch that I have seen a spot upon the forehead in the afternoon, which was upon the chin in the morning."
The author then proceeds to show the absurdity of breeches and petticoats, with many other curious observations, which I shall reserve for another occasion. I cannot, however, conclude this paper without taking notice that amidst these wild remarks there now and then appears something very 30 reasonable. I cannot likewise forbear observing that we are all guilty in some measure of the same narrow way of thinking which we meet with in this abstract of the Indian journal, when we fancy the customs, dress, and manners of other countries are ridiculous and extravagant, if they do not resemble those of our own. C.