« הקודםהמשך »
populous, they grow powerful, and by becoming powerful they become independent also. Thus subordination is destroyed, and a country swallowed up in the extent of its own dominions. The Turkish empire would be more formidable were it less extensive: were it not for those countries which it can neither command nor give entirely away, which it is obliged to protect, but from which it has no power to exact obedience.
Yet, obvious as these truths are, there are many Englishmen who are for transplanting new colonies into this late acquisition, for peopling the deserts of America with the refuse of their countrymen, and (as they express it) with the waste of an exuberant nation. But who are those unhappy creatures who are to be thus drained away? Not the sickly, for they are unwelcome guests abroad as well as at home; nor the idle, for they would starve as well behind the Apalachian mountains as in the streets of London. This refuse is composed of the laborious and enterprising; of such men as can be serviceable to their country at home; of men who ought to be regarded as the sinews of the people, and cherished with every degree of political indulgence. And what are the commodities which this colony, when established, are to produce in return? Why, raw silk, hemp, and tobacco. England, therefore, must make an exchange of her best and bravest subjects for raw silk, hemp, and tobacco; her hardy veterans and honest tradesmen must be trucked for a box of snuff or a silk petticoat. Strange absurdity! Sure the politics of the Daures are not more strange, who sell their religion, their wives, and their liberty for a glass bead or a paltry penknife. Fare. well.
FROM THE SAME.
The Story of the Chinese Matron. The English love their wives with much passion, The Hollanders with much prudence; the English, when they give their hands, frequently give their hearts; the Dutch give the hand, but keep the heart wisely in their own possession. The English love with violence, and expect violent love in return; the Dutch are satisfied with the slightest acknowledgments, for they give little away. The English expend many of the matrimonial comforts in the first year ; the Dutch frugally husband out their pleasures, and are always constant because they are always indifferent.
There seems very little difference between a Dutch bridegroom and a Dutch husband. Both are equally possessed of the same cool, unexpecting serenity; they can see neither Elysium nor Paradise behind the curtain, and Yiffrow is not more a goddess on the wedding-night than after twenty years' matrimonial acquaintance. On the other hand, many of the English marry in order to have one happy month in their lives; they seem incapable of looking beyond that period; they unite in hopes of finding rapture, and, disappointed in that, disdain ever to accept of happiness. From hence we see open hatred ensue; or, what is worse, concealed disgust under the appearance of fulsome endearment. Much formality, great civility, and studied compliments, are exhibited in public; cross looks, sulky silence, or open recrimination, fill up their hours of private entertainment.
Hence I am taught, whenever I see a new-married couple more than ordinarily fond before faces, to consider them as attempting to impose upon the company or themselves, either hating each other heartily, or consuming that stock of love in the beginning of their course which should serve them through their whole journey. Neither side should expect those instances of kindness which are inconsistent with true freedom or happiness to bestow. Love, when founded in the heart, will show itself in a thousand unpremeditated sallies of fondness; but every cool, deliberate exhibition of the passion only argues little understanding or great insincerity.
Choang was the fondest husband, and Hansi the most endearing wife, in all the kingdom of Korea; they were a pattern of conjugal bliss; the inhabitants of the country around saw and envied their felicity; wherever Choang came, Hansi was sure to follow; and in all the pleasures of Hansi, Choang was admitted a partner. They walked hand in hand wherever they appeared, showing every mark of mutual satisfaction, embracing, kissing, their mouths were for ever joined, and, to speak in the language of anatomy, it was with them one perpetual anastomosis.
Their love was so great that it was thought nothing could interrupt their mutual peace, when an accident happened which in some measure diminished the husband's assurance of his wife's fidelity; for love so refined as his was subject to a thousand little disquietudes.
Happening to go one day alone among the tombs that lay at some distance from his house, he there perceived a lady dressed in the deepest mourning (being clothed all over in white), fanning the wet clay that was raised over one of the graves with a large fan which she held in her hand. Choang, who had early been taught wisdom in the school of Lao, was unable to assign a cause for her present employment; and, coming up, civilly demanded the
“Alas !" replied the lady, her eyes bathed in tears, “how is it possible to survive the loss of my husband, who lies buried in this grave; he was the best of men, the tenderest of husbands, with his dying breath he bid me never marry again till the earth over his grave should be dry; and here you see me steadily resolving to obey his will, and endeavouring to dry it with my fan. I have employed two whole days in fulfilling his commands, and am determined not to marry till they are punctually obeyed, even though his grave should take up four days in drying."
Choang, who was struck with the widow's beauty, could not, however, avoid smiling at her haste to be married; but, concealing the cause of his mirth, civ. illy invited her home; adding, that he had a wife who might be capable of giving her some consolation. As soon as he and his guest were returned, he imparted to Hansi in private what he had seen, and could not avoid expressing his uneasiness that such might be his own case if his dearest wife should one day happen to survive hiin.
It is impossible to describe Hansi's resentment at so unkind a suspicion. As her passion for him was not only great, but extremely delicate, she employed tears, anger, frowns, and exclamations to chide his suspicions; the widow herself was inveighed against, and Hansi declared she was resolved never to sleep under the same roof with a wretch who, like her, could be guilty of such barefaced inconstancy. The night was cold and stormy; however, the stranger was obliged to seek another lodging, for Choang was not disposed to resist, and Hansi would have her way.
The widow had scarce been gone an hour, when an old disciple of Choang's, whom he had not seen for many years, came to pay him a visit. He was received with the utmost ceremony, placed in the most honourable seat at supper, and the wine began to circulate with great freedom. Choang and Hansi exhibited open marks of mutual tenderness, and unfeigned reconciliation; nothing could equal their apparent happiness; so fond a husband, so obedient a wife, few could behold without regretting their own infelicity. When, lo! their happiness was at once disturbed by a most fatal accident. Choang fell lifeless in an apoplectic fit upon the floor. Every method was used, but in vain, for his recovery. Hansi was at first inconsolable for his death; after some hours, however, she found spirits to read his last will. The ensuing day she began to moralize and talk wisdom ; the next day she was able to comfort the young disciple; and, on the third, to shorten a long story, they both agreed to be married.
There was now no longer mourning in the apartments; the body of Choang was now thrust into an old coffin, and placed in one of the meanest rooms, there to lie unattended until the time prescribed by law for his interment. In the mean time, Hansi and the young disciple were arrayed in the most magnificent habits; the bride wore in her nose a jewel of immense price, and her lover was dressed in all the finery of his former master, together with a pair of artificial whiskers that reached down to his toes. The hour of their nuptials was arrived ; the whole family sympathized with their approaching happiness; the apartments were brightened up with lights that diffused the most exquisite perfume, and a lustre more bright than noonday. The lady expected her youthful lover in an inner apartment with impatience; when his servant, approaching with terror in his countenance, informed her that his master was fallen into a fit, which would certainly be mortal unless the heart of a man lately dead could be obtained, and applied to his breast. She scarcely waited to hear the end of his story, when, tucking up her clothes, she ran with a mattock in her hand to the coffin where Choang lay, resolving to apply the heart of her dead husband as a cure for the living. She therefore struck the lid with the utmost violence. In a few blows the coffin flew open, when