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sudden encircled by a rain-bow; soon after which she became pregnant, and at the end of twelve years was delivered of a fon radiant as herself, who, among other titles, had that of Su'l, or Star of the Year. Now in the mythological system of the Hindus, the nymph Ro'zini', who presides over the fourth lunar mansion, was the favourite mistress of So'MA, or the Moon, among whose numerous epithets we find Cumudanáyaca, or Delighting in a species of water-flower, that blossoms at night; and their offspring was BUDHA, regent of a planet, and called also, from the names of his parents, RAUHINE'YA or SAUMYA: it is true, that the learned missionary explains the word Su'í by Jupiter; but an exact resemblance between two such fables could not have been expected; and it is sufficient for my purpose, that they seem to have a family likeness. The God Budha, say the Indians, married ILA, whose father was preserved in a miraculous ark from an universal deluge: now, although I cannot insist with confidence, that the rain-bow in the Chinese fable alludes to the Mofaick narrative of the flood, nor build any solid argument on the divine personage Niu-va, of whose character, and even of whose sex, the historians of China speak very doubtfully, I may, nevertheless, assure

you, after full inquiry and consideration, that the Chinese, like the Hindus, believe this

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earth to have been wholly covered with water, which, in works of undisputed authenticity, they describe as flowing abundantly, then subsiding, and separating the bigher from the lower age of mankind; that the division of time, from which their poetical history begins, just preceded the appearance of Fo-hi on the mountains of Chin, but that the great inundation in the reign of YAO was either confined to the lowlands of his kingdom, if the whole account of it be not a fable, or, if it contain any allusion to the flood of Noah, has been ignorantly misplaced by the Chinese annalists.

The importation of a new religion into China, in the first century of our era, must lead us to suppose, that the former system, whatever it was, had been found inadequate to the purpose of reftraining the great body of the people from those offences against conscience and virtue, which the civil

power could not reach ; and it is hardly possible that, without such restrictions, any government could long have subsisted with felicity; for no government can long subsist without equal justice, and justice cannot be administered without the fanctions of religion. Of the religious opinions, entertained by Confucius and his followers, we may glean a general notion from the fragments of their works translated by Couplet: they professed a firm belief in the fupreme God, and gave a demonstration of his being and of his providence from the exquisite beauty and perfection of the celestial bodies, and the wonderful order of nature in the whole fabrick of the visible world. From this belief they deduced a system of Ethicks, which the philosopher sums up in a few words at the close of the Lún-: “He,” says CONFUCIUS, “ who “ shall be fully persuaded, that the Lord of “ Heaven governs the universe, who shall in all

things chuse moderation, who shall perfectly “ know his own species, and so act among them, “ that his life and manners may conform to his “ knowledge of God and man, may be truly “ said to discharge all the duties of a fage, and “ to be far exalted above the common herd of o the human race.” But such a religion and such morality could never have been general; and we find, that the people of China had an ancient system of ceremonies and superstitions, which the government and the philosophers appear to have encouraged, and which has an apparent affinity with some parts of the oldest Indian worship: they believed in the agency of genii or tutelary spirits, presiding over the stars and the clouds, over lakes and rivers, mountains, valleys, and woods, over certain regions and towns, over all the elements (of which, like the Hindus, they reckoned five) and particularly

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over fire, the most brilliant of them : to those deities they offered victims on high places; and the following passage from the Shi-cin, or Book of Odes, is very much in the style of the Brábmans : “ Even they, who perform a sacrifice with “ due reverence, cannot perfectly assure them“ selves, that the divine spirits accept their ob“ lations; and far less can they, who adore the “ Gods with languor and ofcitancy, clearly per“ ceive their sacred illapses.” These are imperfect traces indeed, but they are traces, of an affinity between the religion of Menu and that of the Chinas, whom he names among the apostates from it: M. Le Gentil observed, he says, a strong refemblance between the funeral rites of the Chinese and the Sraddha of the Hindus: and M. BAILLY, after a learned investigation, concludes, that “ Even the puerile and absurd « stories of the Chinese fabulists contain a rem“ nant of ancient Indian history, with a faint “ sketch of the first Hindu ages.” As the Bauddbas, indeed, were Hindus, it may naturally be imagined, that they carried into China many ceremonies practifed in their own country; but the Bauddhas positively forbad the immolation of cattle ; yet we know, that various animals, even bulls and men, were anciently facrificed by the Chinese; besides which we difcover many singular marks of relation between them and the old Hindus: as in the remarkable period of four hundred and thirty two thousand, and the cycle of fixty, years ; in the predilection for the mystical number nine ; in many

similar fasts and great festivals, especially at the folftices and equinoxes; in the juft-mentioned obsequies consisting of rice and fruits offered to the manes of their ancestors; in the dread of dying childless, left such offerings should be intermitted ; and, perhaps, in their common abhorrence of red objects, which the Indians carried so far, that Menu himself, where he allows a Brábmen to trade, if he cannot otherwise support life, absolutely forbids “his trafficking in any sort of red cloths, whether linen or woollen, or made “ of woven bark.” All the circumstances, which have been mentioned under the two heads of literature and religion, seem collectively to prove (as far as such a question admits proof) that the Chinese and Hindus were originally the same people, but having been separated near four thousand years, have retained few strong features of their ancient consanguinity, especially as the Hindus have preserved their old language and ritual, while the Chinese very soon lost both, and the Hindus have constantly intermarried among themselves, while the Chinese, by a mixture of Tarturian blood from the time of their first establishment, have at length formed a race

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