페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

THE

CITIZEN OF THE WORLD.

THE CITIZEN OF THE WORLD.

THE EDITOR'S PREFACE.

The schoolmen had formerly a very exact way of computing the abilities of their turnyro or authors. Escobar, for instance, was said to have learning as five, genius as frar, and gravity as seven. Caramuel was greater than he. His learning was ask, his genius as sir, and his gravity as thirteen. Were I to estimate the mierits of Chinese Philosopher by the same scale, I would not hesitate to state his genius

ki, her ; but as to his learning and gravity, these, I think, might safely be marked As time kundred and ninety-nine, within one degree of absolute frigidity. Yet

, apon his first appearance here, many were angry not to find him as ignorant as e Tripoline ambassador or an envoy from Mujac. They were surprised to find a Es tera so far from London, that school of prudence and wisdom, endued even with i madral capacity. They expressed the same surprise at his knowledge that the Chinese do at ours. How comes it," said they, " that the Europeans, so remote from Cimi, think with so much justice and precision? They have never read our books, Ay Harrely know even our letters, and yet they talk and reason just as we do." The k is, the Chinese and we are pretty much alike. Different degrees of refinement, d not of distance, mark the distinctions among mankind. Savages of the most pe site climates have all but one character of improvidence and rapacity; and tutored estions, however separate, make use of the very same methods to procure refined soyment.

The distinctions of polite nations are few; but such as are peculiar to the Chinese star in every page of the following correspondence. The metaphors and allusions sre all drawn from the East. Their formality our author carefully preserves. Many of their favourite tenets in morals are illustrated. The Chinese are always concise ; 25 ke. Simple; so is he. The Chinese are grave and sententious ; so is he. But :: ene particular the resemblance is peculiarly striking: the Chinese are often dull ; sed so is he. Nor has my assistance been wanting. We are told in an old romance se certain knight-errant and his horse who contracted an intimate friendship. The 82731 most usually bore the knight; but, in cases of extraordinary dispatch, the knight returned the favour, and carried his horse. Thus, in the intimacy between my author ind me, he has usually given me a lift of his eastern sublimity, and I have sometimes zzzten him a return of my colloquial ease.

Yd it appears strange, in this season of panegyric, when scarcely an author passes afraised either by his friends or himself, that such merit as our Philosopher's should te forgotten. While the epithets of ingenious, copious, elaborate, and refined are lavished apuong the mob, like medals at a coronation, the lucky prizes fall on every side, but at one on him. I could on this occasion make myself melancholy, by considering the capriciousness of public taste, or the mutability of fortune; but during this fit of sorality, lest my reader should sleep, I'll take a nap myself, and when I awake tell him my dream.

I imagined the Thames was frozen over, and I stood by its side. Several booths were crected upon the ice, and I was told by one of the spectators, that Fashion Fair was zuing to begin. He added, that every author who would carry his works there might probably find a very good reception. I was resolved, however, to observe the humours of the place in safety from the shore ; sensible that ice was at best precarious, as having been always a little cowardly in my sleep.

Several of my acquaintance seemed much more hardy than 1, and went over te ice with intrepidity. Some carried their works to the fair on sledges, some on cart. and those which were more voluminous were conveyed in waggons. Their te meri. astonished me. I know their cargoes were heavy, and expected every moment the would have gone to the bottom. They all entered the fair, however, in safety, an each soon after returned, to my great surprise, highly satisfied with his entertainmes and the bargains he had brought away.

The success of such numbers at last began to operate upon me. If these, cried i meet with favour and safety, some luck may, perhaps, for once attend the unfortunate I am resolved to make a new adventure. The furniture, frippery, and fireworks o China have long been fashionably bought up.. i'll try the fair with a small cargo Chinese morality. If the Chinese have contributed to vitiate our taste, I'll try homo fa they can help to improve our understanding. But, as others have driven into the market in waggons, I'll cautiously begin by venturing with a wheelbarrow. Thu resolved, I baled up my goods, and fairly ventured; when, upon just entering the fair, I fancied the ice, that had supported an hundred waggons before, cracked under me, and wheel-barrow and all went to the bottom.

Upon awaking from my reverie with the fright, I cannot help wishing that the pains taken in giving this correspondence an English dress had been employed in contriving new political systems, or new plots for farces. I might then have taken my station in the world, either as a poet or a philosopher, and made one in those little societies where men club to raise cach other's reputation. But at present I belong to no particular class. I resemble one of those animals that has been forced from its forest to gratify human curiosity. My earliest wish was to escape unheeded througå life ; but I have been set up for half-pence

, to fret and scamper at the end of my chain. Though none are injured by my rage, I am naturally too savage to court any friend's by fawning, too obstinate to be taught new tricks, and too improvident to mind wiar may happen. I am appeased, though not contented. Too indolent for intrigue, and too timid to push for favour, I am-But what signifies what am I?

'Ελπίς και συ τύχη μέγα χαίρετε' τον λιμέν' εύρον.

Ουδέν έμοί χ' υμίν παίζετε τους μετ' εμέ.

[1760–62.] LETTER I.

stranger to their manners and customs. I To Mr. Merchant in London.

am told he is a philosopher; I am sure he

is an honest man : that to you will be his

Amsterdam. SIR, - Yours of the 13th instant, covering best recommendation, next to the contwo bills, one on Messrs R. and D., value sideration of his being the friend of, sir, £.478 ios., and the other on Mr-value yours, &c. £285, duly came to hand, the former of

LETTER II. which met with honour, but the other has From Lien Chi Altangi to Merchant been trifled with, and I am afraid will be

in Awsterdam.

London, returned protested.

FRIEND OF MY HEART,—May the wings The bearer of this is my friend, therefore of peace rest upon thy dwelling, and the let him be yours. He is a native of Honan shield of conscience preserve thee from vice in China, and one who did me signal and misery! For all thy favours accept my services, when he was a mandarine, and gratitude and esteem. the only tributes a I a factor, at Canton. By frequently con- poor philosophic wanderer can return. versing with the English there he has Sure, fortune is resolved to make me arned the language, though entirely a unhappy, when she gives others a power

« 이전계속 »