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there threepence, I farm it from one, who rents it from another, who hires it from a third, who leases it from the guardians of the temple, and we all must live." I expected, upon paying here, to see something extraordinary, since what I had seen for nothing filled me with so much surprise ; but in this I was disappointed; there was little more within than black coffins, rusty armour, tattered standards, and some few slovenly figures in wax. I was sorry I had paid, but I comforted myself by considering it would be my last payment. A person attended us, who, without once blushing, told a hundred lies; he talked of a lady who died by pricking her finger; of a king with a golden head, and twenty such pieces of absurdity.“ Look ye there, gentlemen,” says he, pointing to an old oak chair, " there's a curiosity for ye ; in that chair the kings of England were crowned; you see also a stone underneath, and that stone is Jacob's pillow.” I could see no curiosity either in the oak chair or the stone; could I, indeed, see one of the old kings of England seated in this, or Jacob's head laid upon the other, there might be something curious in the sight; but in the present case there was no more reason for my surprise than if I should pick a stone from their streets and call it a curiosity, merely because one of their kings happened to tread upon it as he passed in a procession.
From hence our conductor led us through several dark walks and winding ways, uttering lies, talking to himself, and flourishing a wand which he held in his hand. He reminded me of the black magicians of Kobi. After we had been almost fatigued with a variety of objects, he at last desired me to consider attentively a certain suit of armour, which seemed to show nothing remarkable. 66 This armour,” said he,“ belonged to General Monk.” “Very surprising that a general should wear armour !" added he,“ observe this cap; this is General Monk's
6 And pray,
cap.” “Very strange, indeed, very strange, that a general should have a cap also! Pray, friend, what might this cap have cost originally ?" " That, sir,” says he, “I don't know; but this cap is all the wages I have for my trouble.” “A very small recompense, truly,” said I. “ Not so very small,” replied he," for every gentleman puts something into it, and I spend the money!" What, more money! still more money !" Every gentleman gives something, sir." " I'll give thee nothing,” returned I; “the guardians of the temple should pay your wages, friend, and not permit you to squeeze thus from
every spectator. When we pay our money at the door to see a show, we never give more as we are going out. Sure the guardians of the temple can never think they get enough. Show me the gate ; if I stay longer, I may probably meet with more of those ecclesiastical beggars.”
Thus leaving the temple precipitately, I returned to my lodgings in order to ruminate over what was great, and to despise what was mean, in the occur. rences of the day.
FROM THE SAME.
The Reception of the Chinese from a Lady of Distinction.
I was some days ago agreeably surprised by a message from a lady of distinction, who sent me word that she most passionately desired the pleasure of my acquaintance; and, with the utmost impatience, expected an interview. I will not deny, my dear Fum Hoam, but that my vanity was raised by such an invitation; I flattered myself that she had seen me in some public place, and had conceived an affection for my person, which thus induced her to deviate from the usual decorums of the sex. My imagination painted her in all the bloom of youth and beauty. I fancied her attended by the loves and graces, and I set out with the most pleasing expectation of seeing the conquest I had made.
When I was introduced into her apartment, my expectations were quickly at an end; I perceived a little shrivelled figure indolently reclined on a sofa, who nodded by way of approbation at my approach. This, as I was afterward informed, was the lady herself, a woman equally distinguished for rank, politeness, taste, and understanding. As I was dressed after the fashion of Europe, she had taken me for an Englishman, and consequently saluted me in her ordinary manner; but when the footman informed her grace that I was the gentleman from China, she instantly listed herself from the couch, while her eyes sparkled with unusual vivacity. “ Bless me! can this be the gentleman that was born so far from home? What an unusual share of somethingness in his whole appearance! Lord, how I am charmed with the outlandish cut of his face! how bewitching the exotic breadth of his forehead! I would give the world to see him in his own country dress. Pray turn about, sir, and let me see you behind. There! there's a travelled air for you. You that attend there, bring up a plate of beef cut into small pieces; I have a violent passion to see him eat. Pray, sir, have you got your chopsticks about you? It will be so pretty to see the meat carried to the mouth with a jerk. Pray speak a little Chinese ; I have learned some of the language myself. Lord, have you nothing pretty from China about you; something that one does not know what to do with s I have got twenty things from China that are of no use in the world. Look at those jars, they are of the right pea-green; these are the furniture.”
" Dear madam,” said I, “these, though they may appear fine in your eyes, are but paltry to a Chinese; but, as they are useful utensils, it is proper they should have a place in every apartment.”
6 Quite 66 Then
replied the lady ; sure you mistake; they are of no use in the world.” “What! are they not filled with an infusion of tea, as in China ?” replied I. empty and useless, upon my honour, sir." they are the most cumbrous and clumsy furniture in the world, as nothing is truly elegant but what unites use with beauty." “I protest," says the lady, “I shall begin to suspect thee of being an actual barbarian. I suppose you hold my two beautiful pagods in contempt.” ( What!” cried I,“ has Fohi spread his gross superstitions here also ? Pagods are my aversion." "A Chinese, a traveller, and want taste! it surprises me. Pray, sir, examine the beauties of that Chinese temple which you see at the end of the garden. Is there anything in China more beautiful ?" 6. Where I stand I see nothing, madam, at the end of the garden that may not as well be called an Egyptian pyramid as a Chinese temple ; for that little building in view is as like the one as t'other.” “What! sir, is not that a Chinese temple ? you must surely be mistaken. Mr. Frieze, who designed it, calls it one, and nobody disputes his pretensions to taste." I now found it vain to contradict the lady in anything she thought fit to advance; so was resolved rather to act the disciple than the instructer. She took me through several rooms, all furnished, as she told me, in the Chinese manner; sprawling dragons, squatting pagods, and clumsy mandarines, were stuck upon every shelf; in turning round, one must have used caution not to demolish a part of the precarious furniture.
In a house like this, thought I, one must live continually upon the watch ; the inhabitants must resemble a knight in an enchanted castle, who expects to meet an adventure at every turning. madam,” said I,“ do no accidents ever happen to all this finery ?" “ Man, sir,” replied the lady, “is born to misfortunes, and it is but fit I should have a share. Three weeks ago, a careless servant snap
“ But, ped off the head of a favourite mandarine : I had scarce done grieving for that, when a monkey broke a beautiful jar ; this I took the more to heart, as the injury was done me by a friend : however, I sur; vived the calamity; when, yesterday, crash went half a dozen dragons upon the marble hearthstone ; and yet I live; I survive it all : you can't conceive what comfort I find under afflictions from philosophy. There is Seneca, and Bolingbroke, and some others, who guide me through life, and teach me to support its calamities.” I could not but smile at a woman who makes her own misfortunes, and then deplores the miseries of her situation. Wherefore, tired of acting with dissimulation, and willing to indulge my meditations in solitude, I took leave just as the servant was bringing in a plate of beef, pursuant to the directions of his mistress. Adieu.
FROM THE SAME.
Against Cruelty to Animals. The better sort here pretend to the utmost compassion for animals of every kind; to hear them speak, a stranger would be apt to imagine they could hardly hurt the gnat that stung them; they seem so tender and so full of pity, that one would take them for the harmless friends of the whole creation; the protectors of the meanest insect or reptile that was privileged with existence. And yet, would you believe it? I have seen the very men who have thus boasted of their tenderness, at the same time devouring the flesh of six different animals tossed up in a fricassee.
Strange contrariety of conduct ! they pity, and they eat the objects of their compassion! The lion roars with terror over its captive; the tiger sends forth its hideous shriek to in.