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OLIVER GOLDSMITH, M. B.
A NEW EDITION, IN FOUR VOLUMES.
TO WHICH IS PREFIXED,
SOME ACCOUNT OF HIS LIFE AND WRITINGS.
PRINTED FOR J. JOHNSON, G. AND J. ROBINSON,
By Nichols and Son, Red Lion Paffage, Fleet-ftrest.
THE schoolmen had formerly a very exact way of computing the abilities of their Saints or authors. Efcobar, for instance, was faid to have learning as five, genius as four, and gravity as feven. Caramuel was greater than he. His learning was as eight, his genius as fix, and his gravity as thirteen. Were I to eftimate the merits of our Chinefe Philofopher by the fame fcale, I would not hesitate to ftate his genius ftill higher; but as to his learning and gravity, these I think might fafely be marked as nine hundred and ninety nine, within one degree of abfolute frigidity.
Yet upon his first appearance here, many were angry not to find him as ignorant as a Tripoline ambaffador, or an Envoy from Mujac. They were surprised to find a man born so far from London, that fchool of prudence and wisdom, endued even with a moderate capacity. They expreffed the fame furprize at his knowledge that the Chinese do at ours.
How comes it, faid they, that the Europeans fo remote from China, think with so much juftice and precifion? They have never read our books, they scarcely know even our letters, and yet they talk and reafon just as we do. The truth is, the Chinese and we are pretty much alike. Different degrees of refinement, and not of diftance, mark the diftinctions among mankind. Savages of the moft oppofite climates have
* Le Comte, Vol. I. p. 210.