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thousand years ago have certainly no connection at all. However, the learned have written on and pursued the fubject through all the labyrinths of antiquity; though the early dews and the tainted gale be paffed away, though no footsteps remain to direct the doubtful chace, yet ftill they run forward, open upon the uncertain fcent, and though in fact they follow nothing, are earneft in the purfuit. In this chace, however, they all take different ways. One, for example, confidently affures us, that China was peopled by a colony from Egypt. Sefoftris, he obferves, led his army as far as the Ganges; therefore, if he went fo far, he might ftill have gone as far as China, which is but about a thousand miles from thence; therefore he did go to China; therefore China was not peopled before he went there; therefore it was peopled by him. Befides, the Egyptians have pyramids; the Chinese have in like manner their porcelane tower; the Egyptians used to light up candles upon every rejoicing, the Chinese have lanthorns upon the fame occafion; the Egyptians had their great river, fo have the Chinese; but what ferves to put the matter patt a doubt is, that the ancient kings of China and thofe of Egypt were called by the fame names, The Emperor Ki is certainly the fame with King Atoes; for, if we only change K into A, and i into toes, we fhall have the name Atoes; and with equal eafe Menes may be proved to be the fame with the Emperor Yu; therefore the Chinese are a colony from Egypt.

Bitt another of the learned is entirely different from the laft; and he will have

the Chinese to be a colony planted by Noah juft after the deluge. First, from the vaft fimilitude there is between the name of Fohi, the founder of the Chinefe monarchy, and that of Noah, the preferver of the human race: Noah, Fohi, very like each other truly; they have each but four letters, and only two of the four happen to differ. But to ftrengthen the argument, Fohi, as the Chinese chronicle afferts, had no father. Noah, it is true, had a father, as the European Bible tells us; but then, as this father was probably drowned in the flood, it is just the fame as if he had no father at all; therefore Noah and Fohi are the fame. Juft after the flood, the earth was covered with mud; if it was covered with mud, it must have been incruftated mud; if it was incrustated, it was cloathed with verdure; this was a fine, unembarraffed road for Noah to fly from his wicked children; he therefore did fly from them, and took a jour ney of two thousand miles for his own amufement; therefore Noah and Fohi are the fame.

Another fect of literati, for they all pafs among the vulgar for very great fcholars, affert, that the Chinese came neither from the colony of Sefoftris, nor from Noah, but are defcended from Magog, Melhec, and Tubal, and there fore neither Sefoftris, nor Noah, nor Fohi, are the fame..

It is thus, my friend, that indolence affumes the airs of wisdom; and while it toffes the cup and ball with infantine folly, defires the world to look on, and calls the ftupid paftime Philofophy and Learning, Adieu.

LETTER XC.

FROM THE SAME.

the men of this tarnished coat, or hat, are fore

are once turned of thirty, they regularly retire every year at proper intervals to lie in of the spleen, The vul gar, unfurnished with the luxurious comforts of the foft cushion, down bed, and eafy chair, are obliged, when the fit is on them, to nurfe it up by drinking, idlenefs, and ill-humour. In fuch difpofitions, unhappy is the foreigner who happens to cross them; his long chin,

to receive no quarter. If they meet no foreigner however to fight with, they are in fuch cafes generally content with beating each other.

The rich, as they have more fentbility, are operated upon with greater violence by this diforder. Different from the poor, inkead of becoming more in folent, they grow totally unfit for op pofition. A general here, who would

have

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have faced a' culverin when well, if the fit be on him, shall hardly find courage to fouff a candle. An admiral, who could have opposed a broadfide without Thrinking, thall fit whole days in his chamber, mobbed up in double night caps, fhuddering at the intrufive breeze, and diftinguishable from his wife only by his black beard and heavy eyebrows.

In the country, this diforder moftly attacks the fair-fex; in town it is molt unfavourable to the men. A lady, who has pined whole years amidst cooing doves and complaining nightingales in rural retirement, fhall refume all her vivacity in one night at a city gaming-table; her husband who roared, hunted, and got drunk at home, fhall grow fplenetic in town, in proportion to his wife's good-humour. Upon their arrival in London, they exchange their diforders. In confequence of her parties and excurfions, he puts on the furred cap and fearlet ftomacher, and perfectly refembles an Indian hufband; who, when his wife is fafely delivered, permits her to transact business abroad, while he undergoes all the formality of keeping his bed, and receiving all the condolence in her place.

But those who refide conftantly in town, owe this diforder moftly to the influence of the weather. It is impoffible to defcribe what a variety of tranfmutations an Eaft wind fhall produce; it has been known to change a lady of fashion into a parlour couch; an alder. man into a plate of cuftards; and a difpenfer of justice into a rat-trap. Even philofophers themselves, are not exempt from it's influence; it has often converted a poet into a coral and bells, and a patriot fenator into a dumb-waiter.

To this he made no reply; but groaning, and still holding the flute to his lip, continued to gaze at me for fome moments very angrily, and then proceeded to practife his gammut as be fore. After having produced a variety of the moft hideous tones in nature; at laft, turning to me, he demanded, whether I did not think he had made a furprizing progrefs in two days? You fee, continues he, I have got the 'Ambusheer already; and as for fingering, my mafter tells me, I shall

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have that in a few leffons more. I was fo much aftonifhed with this inftanee of inverted ambition, that I knew not what to reply, but foon difcerned the caufe of all his abfurdities; my friend was under a metamorphofis by the power of spleen, and flute-blowing was unluckily become his adventitious paffion.

In order, therefore, to banish his anxiety imperceptibly, by feeming to indulge it, I began to defcant on thefe gloomy topics by which philofophers often get rid of their own pleen, by communicating it; the wretchedness of a man in this life, the happiness of fome wrought out of the miferies of others, the neceffity that wretches fhould expire under punishment, that rogues might enjoy affluence in tranquillity; I led him on from the inhumanity of the rich to the ingratitude of the beggar from the infincerity of refinement to the fiercenefs of rufticity; and, at laft, had the good fortune to reftore him to his ufual ferenity of temper, by permitting him to expatiate upon all the modes of human mifery.

Some nights ago," fays my friend, fitting alone by my fire, I happened

to look into an account of the detec⚫tion of a set of men oalled the Thief

Some days ago, I went to vifit the man in black, and entered his houfe with that chearfulness which the certainty of a favourable reception always infpires. Upon opening the door of his apartment, I found him with the moft ruefül face imaginable, in a morninggown and flannel night-cap, earnestly employed in learning to blow the German-flute. Struck with the abfurdity of a man in the decline of life thus blowing away all his conftitution and fpirits, even without the confolation of being mufical, I ventured to afk what could induce him to attempt learning" To difficult an instrument fo late in life.

takers. I read over the many hideous cruelties of thofe haters of mankind, of their pretended friendship to wretches they meant to betray, of their fending men out to rob, and then hanging them. I could not avoid fometimes interrupting the narrative, by crying out-Yet thefe are men!" As I went on, I was informed that they had lived by this practice several years, and had been enriched by the price of blood-" And yet," cried I, "I have been fent into this world, and am defired to call thefe men my brothers !" I read, that the very man U 2

who

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and ftrove to refume my ferenity. But the watchman foon gave me a fe cond alarm. I had scarcely recovered from this, when my peace was affaulted by the wind at my window; and, when that ceafed to blow, I liftened for death-watches in the wain"fcot. I now found my whole fyftem difcompofed, I ftrove to find a resource in philofophy and reason; but what could I oppofe, or where direct my blow, when I could fee no enemy to combat? I faw no mifery approach

who led the condemned wretch to the
gallows, was he who falfely fwore his
life away" And yet," continued I,
that perjurer had juft fuch a nofe, fuch
lips, fuch hands, and fuch eyes, as
Newton." I at laft came to the ac-
count of the wretch that was fearched
after robbing one of the thief-takers
of half a crown. Thofe of the con-
federacy knew that he had got but
that fingle half-crown in the world;
after a long fearch, therefore, which
they knew would be fruitlefs, and
taking from him the half-crown, whiching,
they knew was all he had, one of the
gang compaffionately cried out--
Alas! poor creature, let him keep all
the rest he has got, it will do him fer-
vice in Newgate, where we are fend-
ing him."This was an inftance of
fuch complicated guilt and hypocrify,
that I threw down the book in an ago-
ny of rage, and began to think with
malice of all the human kind. I fat
filent for fome minutes; and foon per-
ceiving the ticking of my watch be-
ginning to grow noify and troublefome,
I quickly placed it out of hearing,

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nor knew any I had to fear; yet ftill I was miferable. Morning came, I fought for tranquillity in diffipation, fauntered from one place of pub<lic refort to another; but found myfelf difagreeable to my acquaintance, and ridiculous to others. I tried at different times dancing, fencing, and riding; I folved geometrical problems, fhaped tobacco-ftoppers, wrote verses, and cut paper. At laft I placed my affections on mufic; and find, that earneft employment, if it cannot cure, at least will palliate every anxiety." Adieu.

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LETTER XCI.

FROM THE SAME.

Tis no unpleafing contemplation to climate have upon the difpofition of the inhabitants, the animals, and vegetables, of different countries. That among the brute creation is much more vifible than in man, and that in vegetables more than either. In fome places, thofe plants which are entirely poisonous at home, lofe their deleterious quality by being carried abroad. There are ferpents in Macedonia fo harmless as to be used as play-things for children; and we are told that, in fome parts of Fez, there are lions fo very timorous as to be fcarsed away, though coming in herds, by the cries of women.

I know of no country, where the influence of climate and foil is more vifible than in England; the fame hidden caufe which gives courage to their dogs and cocks, gives alfo fierceness to their men. But chiefly this ferocity appears among the vulgar. The polite of every country pretty nearly refemble each ther. But as in fimpleing, it is among

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the uncultivated productions of nature, ferences of climate and foil; so in an eftimate of the genius of the people, we must look among the fons of unpolifhed rufticity. The vulgar English, therefore, may be eafily diftinguished from all the reft of the world by fuperior pride, impatience, and a peculiar hardinefs of foul.

Perhaps no qualities in the world are more fufceptible of a fine polish than these; artificial complaifance and easy deference being fuperinduced over thefe, generally forms a great character; fomething at once elegant and majestic; affable, yet fincere. Such, in general, are the betterfort; but they who are left in primitive rudenefs, are the leaft difpofed for fociety with others, or comfort internally, of any people under the fun.

The poor, indeed, of every country, are but little prone to treat each other with tendernefs; their own miferies are too apt to engross all their pity; and perhaps, too, they give but little c

mi

miferation, as they find but little from others. But, in England, the poor treat each other upon every occafion with more than favage animosity, and as if they were in a itate of open war by nature., In China, if two porters should meet in a narrow street, they would lay down their burthens, make a thousand - excuses to each other for the accidental Finterruption, and beg pardon on their knees, if two men of the fame occupation should meet here, they would first begin to fcold, and at laft to beat each other. One would think they had miferies enough refulting from penury and labour, not to encrease them by ill-nature among themselves, and subjection to new penalties; but fuch confiderations never weigh with them.

4 But, to recompenfe this strange abfurdity, they are in the main generous, .brave, and enterprifing. They feel the lighteft, injuries with a degree of ungoverned impatience, but rehit the greatest calamities with furprising fortitude. Thofe miferies under which any other people in the world would fink, they have often fhewed they were capable of enduring: if accidentally caft upon fome defolate coaft, their perfeverance is be"yond what any other nation is capable of fuftaining; if imprisoned for crimes, their efforts to escape are greater than among others. The peculiar ftrength of their prisons, when compared to those elsewhere, argues their hardiness; even the strongest prifons I have ever feen in other countries, would be very infufficient to confine the untameable spirit of an. Englishman. In short, what man 'dares do in circumstances of danger, an Engishman will. His virtues feem to fleep in the calm, and are called out only to combat the kindred storm.

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But the greateft eulogy of this people, is the generofity of their miscreants; the tenderness in general of their robbers and highwaymen. Perhaps no people can produce inftances of the fame kind, where the defperatę mix pity with injuftice; ftill fhew that they understand a diftinction in crimes, and even in acts of violence have still some tincture of remaining virtue. In every other country, robbery and murder go almost always together; here it feldom happens, except upon ill-judged refiitance or purfuit. The banditti of other countries are unmerciful to a fupreme degree; the highwayman and robber here are generous, at least, in their intercourfe among each other. Taking therefore my opinion of the English from the virtues and vices practifed among the vulgar, they at once prefent to a stranger all their faults, and keep their virtues up only for the enquiring eye of a philoforeigners are generally shocked at fopher, their infolence upon first coming among them; they find themfelves ridiculed and infulted in every ftreet; they meet with none of thofe trifling civilities fo frequent elfewhere, which are inftances of mutual good-will without previous acquaintance; they travel through the country either too ignorant or too obLinate to cultivate a clofer acquaintance; meet every moment fomething to excite their difgult, and return home to characterife this as the region of fpleen, infolence, and ill-nature," In short, England would be the lat place in the world I would travel to by way of amufement; but the first for inftruction. I would chufe to have others for my acquaintance, but, Englishmen for my friends.

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HE mind is ever ingenious in mak- afcends, he finds himself in affluence ing it's own diftrefs. The wandering and tranquillity indeed, but indolence beggar, who has none to protect, to feed, foon breeds anxiety; and he defires not or to fhelter him, fancies compleat hap-only to be freed from pain, but to be piness in labour and a full, meal; take him from rags and want, feed, cloath, and employ him, his wishes now rife one ftop above his ftation; he could be hapspy were he polled of raiment, food, and eafe. Suppofe his wifhes gratified even in these, his profpects widen as he

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poffeffed of pleafure: pleafure is granted him, and this but opens his foul to ambition; and ambition will be fure to taint his future happiness either with jealoufy, difappointment, or fatigue.

But of all the arts of diftrefs found out by man for his own torment,

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haps that of philofophic mifery is most truly ridiculousca paffion no where carried to fo extravagant an excess, as in the country where I now refide. It is not enough to engage all the compaffion of a philofopher here, that his own globe is harraffed with wars, peftilence, or barbarity; he shall grieve for the inha bitants of the moon, if the fituation of her imaginary mountains happen to alter; and dread the extinction of the fun, if the fpots on it's furface happen to encreafe. One should imagine that philofophy was introduced to make men happy, but here it ferves to make hundreds miferable.

My landlady, fome days ago, brought me the diary of a philofopher of this defponding fort, who had lodged in the apartment before me. It contains the history of a life which feems to be one continued tiffue of forrow, apprehenfion, and diftrefs. A fingle week will ferve as a fpecimen of the whole...

MONDAY.

IN what a tranfient decaying fituation are we placed; and what various rea➡ fons does philosophy furnish to make mankind unhappy! A fingle grain of muflard shall continue to produce it's militude through numberlefs fucceffions; yet what has been granted to this little feed,, has been denied to our planetary fyftem; the muftard-feed is ftill unaltered, but the fyftem is growing old, and muit quickly fall to decay.

How terrible will it be, when the mo

tions of all the planets have at laft become fo irregular as to need repairing; when the moon fhall fall into frightful paroxyfms of alteration; when the earth, deviating from it's ancient track, and with every other planet forgetting it's circular revolutions, fhall become fo eccentric, that, unconfined by the laws of fyftem, it hall fly off into boundless Space, to knock against fome diftant world, or fall in upon the fun, either extinguishing his light, or burned up by his flames in a moment! Perhaps, while I write, this dreadful change is begun. Shield me from univerfal ruin! Yet, idiot man laughs, fings, and re joices, in the very face of the fun, and feems no way touched with his fituation.

TUESDAY.

Went to bed in great distress, awaked and was comforted, by confidering that

this change was to happen at fome in-, definite time; and therefore, like death, the thoughts of it might early be borne. But there is a revolution, a fixed determined revolution, which muft certainly come to pass; yet which, by good fortune, I shall never feel, except in my pofterity. The obliquity of the equa tor with the ecliptic is new twenty minutes lefs than when it was obferved" two thousand years ago by Piteas. If this be the cafe, in fix thousand the obliquity will be ftill lefs by a whole degree. This being fuppofed, it is evident that our earth, as Louville has clearly proved, has a motion, by which the climates m ft neceffarily change place; and, in the space of one million of years, England hall actually travel to the Antarctic pole. I shudder at the change! How fhall our unhappy grandchildren endure the hideous climate! A million of years will foon be accomplished; they are but a moment, when compared to eternity; then shall our charming country, as I may fay, in a moment of time, refemble the hideous wilderness of Nova Zembla.

WEDNESDAY.

To-night, by my calculation, the long-predicted comet is to make it's first appearance. Heavens! what terrors are impending over our little dim fpeck... of earth! Dreadful vifitation! Are we to be fcorched in it's fires, or only imois the question! Thoughtless mortals, thered in the vapour of it's tail? That go build houses, plant orchards, pur chafe eftates, for to-morrow you die. That would be equally fatal! But what if the comet fhould not come? Comets are fervants, which periodically return. to fupply the fun with fuel. If our fung therefore, fhould be disappointed of the expected fupply, and all his fuel be in the mean time burnt out, he must expire like an exhaufted taper. What a mis ferable fituation muft our earth be in not feen feveral neighbouring funs en without his enlivening ray! Have we tirely difappear? Has not a fixed ftar, near the tail of the Ram, lately been quite extinguished?

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