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nacabo, Messenger of Morning, Enlightner of the Sun, Possessor of the whole Earth, and mighty Monarch of the brass-handled Sword.
This method of mixing majestic and paltry titles, of quartering the arms of a great empire, and an obscure province, upon the same medal here, had its rise in the virtuous partiality of their late monarchs. Willing to testify an affection to their native country, they gave its name and ensigns a place upon their coins, and thus in some measure ennobled its obscurity. It was indeed but just that a people which had given England up their king, should receive some honorary equivalent in return; but at present these motives are no more; England has now a monarch wholly British, and has some reason to hope for British titles upon British coins.
However, were the money of England designed to circulate in Germany, there would be no flagrant impropriety in impressing it with German names and arms; but though this might have been so upon former occasions, I am told there is no danger of it for the future; as England therefore designs to keep back its gold, I candidly think Lunenburg, Oldenburg, and the rest of them, may very well keep back their titles.
It is a mistaken prejudice in princes to think that a number of loud sounding names can give new claims to respect. The truly great have ever disdained them: When Timur the Lame had conquered Asia, an orator by profession came to compliment him upon the occasion. He began his harangue, by styling him the most omnipotent, and the most glorious object of the creation. The emperor seemed displeased with his paltry adulation, yet still he went on, complimenting bim, as the most mighty, the most valiant, and the most perfect of beings. Hold there, my friend, criesthe lame emperor; hold there, h h
till I have got another leg. In fact, the feeble or the despotic alone find pleasure in multiplying these pageants of vanity, but strength and freedom have nobler aims, and often find the finest adulation in majestic simplicity. The
young monarch of this country has already testified a proper contempt for several unmeaning appendages on royalty ; cooks and scullions have been obliged to quit their fires; gentlemen's gentlemen, and the whole tribe of necessary people, wbo did nothing, have been dismissed from further services. A youth, who can thus bring back simplicity and frugality to a court will soon probably have a true respect for his own glory, and while he has dismissed all useless employments, may disdain to accept of empty or degrading titles. Adieu.
L L E T T E R CXX.
FROM THE SAME.
WHENEVER I attempt to characterize the English in general, some unforeseen difficulties constantly occur to disconcert my design; I hesitate be tween censure and praise : when I consider them as a reasoning philosophical people, they have my applause; but when I reverse the medal, and ohserve their inconstancy and irresolution, I can scarcely persuade myself that I am observing the same people.
Yet upon examination, this very inconstancy, so remarkable here, flows from no other source than their love of reasoning. The man who examines a complicated subject on every side, and calls in reason
to his assistance, will frequently change; will find himself distracted by opposing probabilities and contending proofs; every alteration of place will diversify the prospect, will give some latent argument new force, and contribute to maintain an anarchy in the mind.
On the contrary, they who never examine with their own reason, act with more simplicity. Ignorance is positive, instinct perseveres, and the human being moves in safety within the narrow circle of brutal uniformity. What is true with regard to individuals, is not less so when applied to states. A reasoning government like this is in continual fluctuation, while those kingdoms where men are taught not to controvert but obey, continue always the same. In Asia, for instance, where the monarch's authority is supported by force, and acknowledged through fear, a change of government is entirely unknown. All the inhabitants seem to wear the same mental complexion, and remain contented with hereditary oppression. The sovereign's pleasure is the ultimate rule of duty, every branch of the administration is a perfect epitome of the whole : and if one tyrant is deposed, another starts up in his room to govern as his predecessor. The English, on the contrary, instead of being led by power, endeavour to guide themselves by reason ; instead of appealing to the pleasure of the prince, appeal to the original rights of mankind. What one rank of men assert is denied by others, as the reasons on opposite sides happen to come home with greater or less conviction. The people of Asia are directed by precedent, which never alters; the English by reason, which is ever changing its appearance.
The disadvantages of an Asiatic government acting in this manner by precedent are evident; original errors are thus continued, without hopes of H h 2
redress, and all marks of genius are levelled down to one standard, since no superiority of thinking can be allowed its exertion in mending obvious defects. But to recompence those defects, their governments undergo the new alterations, they have no new evils to fear, nor no fermentations in the constitution that continue : the struggle for power is soon over, and all becomes tranquil as before; they are habituated to subordination, and men are taught to form no other desires, than those which they are allowed to satisfy.
The disadvantages of a government acting from the immediate influence of reason, like that of England, are not less than those of the former. It is extremely difficult to induce a number of free beings to co-operate for their mutual benefit; every possible advantage will necessarily be sought, and every at. tempt to procure it must be attended with a new fermentation; various reasons will lead different ways, and equity and advantage will often be balanced by a combination of clamour and prejudice. But though such a people may be thus in the wrong, they have been influenced by an happy delusion, their errors are seldom seen till they are felt; each man is himself the tyrant he has obeyed, and such a master he can easily forgive. The disadvantages he feels may in reality be equal to what is felt in the most despotic government; but man will bear every calamity with patience, when he knows himself to be the author of his own misfortunes,
LETTER L E T T E R CXXI.
FROM THE SAME.
My long residence here begins to fatigue me, as every object ceases to be new, it no longer continues to be pleasing ; some minds are so fond of variety that pleasure itself, if permanent, would be insupportable, and we are thus obliged to solicit new happiness even by courting distress; I only therefore wait the arrival of my son to vary this tritling scene, and borrow new pleasure from danger and fatigue. A life, I own, thus spent in wandering from place to place, is at best but empty dissipation. But to pursue trifles is the lot of humanity; and whether we bustle in a pantomime, or strut at a coronation; whether we shout at a bonfire, or harangue in a senate house; whatever object we follow, it will at last surely conduct as to futility and disappointment. The wise bustleand laugh as they walk in the pageant, but fools bustle and are important; and this probably is all the difference between them.
This may be an apology for the levity of my former correspondence; I talked of trifles, and I knew that they were trifles; to make the things of this life ridiculous, it was only sufficient to call them by their
In other respects, I have omitted several striking circumstances in the description of this country, as supposing them eitheralready known to you, or as not being thoroughly known to myself: but there is one omission for which I expect no forgiveness, namely, by being totally silent upon their buildings, roads,