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nese; nor perhaps ought we to wonder at it. While we give them full credit, however, for the dexterous management of that suspicious vigilance which they exercised without giving offence, we must not withhold the praise due to Captain Maxwell for the patience and forbearance exemplified in his own person, and which influenced the conduct of all those under his orders. It was an instance of no slight degree of self-denial, to remain for a whole fortnight patiently on board, when anchored close to the shore, after a long voyage, or to refrain from entering the town, close to the gates of which they were quartered for a full month. Such conduct in the officers and crews of two ships of war is above all praise; and the good effects of it cannot fail of being experienced by such English vessels as may hereafter touch at Loo-choo. The British flag is not likely to meet with that rude repulse here which Captain Pellew, of the Phaeton frigate, is said to have experienced in the bay of Nangasaki, when he exacted from the Japanese that which they could not well spare, and the payment for which they refused with an observation, that all they asked was that he would leave their coast and never come near them again.
In conclusion, we are not quite sure that the two accounts of Captain Hall and Mr. MʻLeod, though perfectly correct in every thing that came under their own observation, are not calculated to raise the national character of the Loo-choos somewhat above
level. Limited as the intercourse of our navigators was to a few persons especially appointed to superintend their wants and observe their movements; ignorant altogether, for some time at least, of the language, and communicating only by means of a Chinese servant, speaking broken English and provincial Chinese, it cannot be supposed that they enjoyed the means of obtaining either very extensive or very accurate information. The narrative of Su-poa-quang, a learned Chinese, who was sent by Kanghi, in 1719, to Loo-choo, with instructions to note down
every thing curious or interesting with regard to those islands and their inhabitants, may probably therefore be considered as the most accurate account which has yet been given of these islanders. It was published at Pekin in two volumes ; and as it differs in some respects from that of Captain Hall, it may not be aniss to notice one or two of these points of disagreement.
Captain Hall observes, that the tombs of the Loo-choos are, like those of the Chinese, generally in the form of a horse-shoe; that the coffin is placed in the vault under the tomb, and remains untouched for six or seven years, by which time the flesh is found to have separated and wasted away; when the bones are collected and put into jars, which are ranged in rows on the inside of the vault. Burning,' he adds, 'is never used at any stage of the proceedings, nor under any circumstances.' Su-poa-quang says that
they burn the flesh of the dead bodies, and collect and preserve the bones.'
Polygamy,' says Captain Hall, is not allowed in Loo-choo as in China'-—' they invariably spoke with horror of the Chinese practice, which allows a plurality of wives, and were much gratified on learning that the English customs in this respect were similar to those of Loo-choo.' Su-poa-quang asserts, on the contrary, that polygamy is allowed as in China; but that the young men and women see each other before marriage, and chuse for themselves. The complete state of degradation in which the females are, from both accounts, placed, detracts not a little from the many good qualities of these islanders; and the contempt and ridicule with which the priesthood appears to be treated is an unfavourable trait in the national character.
Captain Hall says, 'they appear to have no money, and, from all we could see or hear, they are even ignorant of its use'— they set no value upon Spanish dollars.' The Spanish dollar is as little known in China beyond the province of Canton as in Loo-choo; and that extensive and populous empire has no other current coin than their base metal piece, which is the thousandth part of six and eight-pence; and which, as appears by Su-poa-quang, is carried away from the eastern coast of China in great abundance. Captain Hall further says, We saw no arms of any kind, and the natives always declared that they had none.'
Yet Su-poa-quang says, they manufacture arms as an article of commerce, and that a military board forms one of the departments of government. We rather incline to the Chinese writer :—that a people should subsist in a high state of civilization without money or arms, appears allogether so extraordinary that we cannot wonder at the degree of scepticism with which the account has been received. When Lord Amherst mentioned this part of the Loo-choo polity to Buonaparte, he broke forth— No arms! Sacre ! how do they carry on war then ? When the same circumstances were related to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he is said to have exclaimed, “No money! Bless me! how do they carry on the governinent ?'
During our intercourse with these people, says Captain Hall, 'there did not occur one instance of theft;' and he adds, this degree of honesty is a feature which distinguishes the people of Loochoo from the Chinese.' Is Captain Hall aware that, of the many tholisand articles which the labouring Chinese transported both in Lord Macartney's and Lord Amherst's embassies--in the former, several hundred miles by land into the mountains of Tartary and back again-not a single article was missing? We have heard indeed that he had himself an example of the honesty of the Chinese on the coast of Pe-tche-lee, where, having through forgetfulness left
VOL. XVIII. NO. XXXVI.
his watch among a crowd of Chinese in a town at some distance from the coast, on sending for it the following morning, he immediately recovered it. The common Chinese of Canton, it is true, are addicted to thieving and cheating; but are our own countrymen on the Point of Portsmouth, in Wapping, or in Houndsditch, quite immaculate in these respects? Do all foreigners who visit the port of Canton deal honestly with the Chinese? We refer to Mr. Barrow's book for an answer. Su-poa-quang, however, agrees with our navigators, and affirms that the Loo-choos are enemies to falsehood and dishonesty; yet we believe that, bad Captain Maxwell put into any of the northern ports of China, under the same circumstances as into Napakiang, his reception from the Chinese would not have been very different from that which he experienced at the hands of these good people.
In fact, though originally Japanese or eastern Tartars, the Loo. choos for the last thousand years or more have been so completely under the influence of the Chinese religion, government, laws, and customs, that they may be said to differ very little from them. Not long since a Loo-choo junk, on her voyage to Fokien, was driven to Macao, and we have been informed by an English gentleman, who went on board the vessel, that the Chinese of that place were delighted to see the crew, and hailed them as the descendants of the ancient Chinese, their dress and mode of pinning up their hair on the top of the head being the old costume of their countrymen, before they were conquered and shorn by the Tartars. if, therefore, they are found to excel the Chinese in virtue, it is not improbably to be ascribed, in some degree, to their seclusion from the rest of the world, and to the limited extent of their numbers, which requires a less rigid and a less suspicious administration of the government, than that which prevails in an empire containing , the largest mass of population which exists, under the same code of laws, in the whole world.
Art. III. Foliage; or, Poems Original and Translated. By
Leigh Hunt. 8vo. London. 1818. WINTER has at length passed away: spring returns upon
us, like a reconciled mistress, with redoubled smiles and graces; and even we poor critics, in populous city pent,' feel a sort of ungainly inspiration from the starved leaflets and smutty buds in our window-pots; what, then, must be the feelings with which the Arcadian Hunt,
half-stretched on the ground, With a cheek-smoothing air coming taking him round,'-p. Ixxxi. must welcome the approach of the fair-limbed' goddess to his
Erural retreat at Hampstead? He owes her indeed especial grati
tude; and it would be unpardonable in him to suffer his daysweet voice, and * smoothing-on’sleeking-up’harp to be mute upon this occasion. The spring is to Mr. Hunt, what the night was to Endymion, the season for receiving peculiar favours; the
smiling Naiads,' and even the coy Ephydriads' will soon again admit him'in sun-sprinkled ease' to their bath and toilette; while the bolder Nepheliads' will leave their chariots in the air to kiss with breathless lips serene' their 'little ranting' favourite adoncino i d'amore.
Mr. Hunt's offering to the season (we do not mean the booka making and bookselling season) consists of foliage' and evers greens.' Of each in order,--but first a few words of the dedication and preface. The former is addressed to a gentleman, of whom we know nothing, but who deserves, we doubt not, more than his friend's delicacy permitted him to record in his praise. Yet the good qualities which are with exquisite judgment selected, as entitling him to the honourable post which he occupies, must we think a little surprize even the possessor himself.
You are not one of those, who pay the strange compliment to heaven of depreciating this world, because you believe in another; you admire its beauties both in nature and art.' These are certainly very uncommon merits; but further- A rational piety and a manly patriotism does (do) not hinder you from putting the Phidian Jupiter over your organ, or flowers at the end of your room. While we give the writer all due credit for the admirably close connection between the first and last part of this sentence, we must be excused if we hesitate to believe in the existence of magnanimity so super-human. The partiality of the friend is but too manifest in such praise; indeed Mr. Hunt seems to feel this bimself, for he concludes by soothing the offended modesty of his hero—Pray pardon me this public compliment, for my own sake, and for sincerity's.
The dedication is followed by a very entertaining preface; but we will take shame to ourselves, and honestly confess, that a certain beautiful and indefinite vagueness in the expression has made it difficult for us to understand parts—while the excursiveness of
Mr. Hunt's mind prevents our following him so as to connect the į whole. We are aware of the ready answer—' intellectum non
We think it but candid to state thus early, that we claim no other praise than that of selection, for the many new and beautiful epithets, with which this article is adorned. The whole merit of original invention, as far as we know, is Mr. Hunt's,for our own sakes we could have wished that he had subjoined an explanation of some of them, as we fear that in our ignorance of their meanings we may sometimes, with all our care, have been guilty of misapplying them.
adfero,' and we bow to it; but as a specimen of what we mean in both ways, we quote the following passage. It follows a few remarks on the downfall of the French school of poetry and the consequences of that downfall, with a definition of the true principles of poetry
An unattractive creed, however the hypocritical or envious may affect to confound the cheerful tendencies of our nature with vicious ones, or the melancholy may be led really to do so, is an argument against itself. Shall we never have done with begging the question against enjoyment, and denying or doubting the earthly possibility of the only end of virtue itself, with a dreary wilfulness that prevents our obtaining it! The fatality goes even farther-for let them say what they please to the contrary, they who are most doubtful of earth, are far from being the most satisfied with regard to heaven. Even when they think they have got at their security in the latter respect, it is through the medium of opinions which make humanity shudder; and this, except with the most brutal selfishness, comes round to the same thing. The depreciators of this world—the involuntary blasphemers of Nature's goodness-have tried melancholy and partial systems enough, and talked enough of their own bumility. It is high time for them and for all of us to look after health and sociality; and to believe that although we cannot alter the world with an ipse dixit, we need not become desponding, or mistake a disappointed egotism for humility. We should consider ourselves as what we really are-creatures made to enjoy more than to know, to know infinitely nevertheless in proportion as we enjoy kindly, and finally to put our own shoulders to the wheel, and get out of the mud upon the green sward again, like the waggoner, whom Jupiter admonishes in the fable. But we persist in being unhealthy, body and mind, and taking our jaundice for wisdom, and then because we persist, we say we must persist on. We admire the happiness, and sometimes the better wisdom of children; and yet we imitate the worst of their nonsense—“ I can't–because I can't.”—p. 15.
Now we would humbly ask how all this is connected with that which precedes it; or passing over the transition, we would beg Mr. Hunt to tell us what it means by itself. Is nothing intended which the mere words do not express? Is all this argumentation lavished on a few gloomy and disordered ascetics, who will never read Mr. Hunt's book, and could not be benefited by it if they should? We suspect he would disclaim such beating of the air; and when we find him asserting in the next page that the story of Rimini was written with a moral aim; and shortly after talking of a man’s ‘posing his apprehension with these involved riddles and enigmas of the Divinity, with incarnation and resurrection'; when we are told in a Sonnet on degrading Notions of the Deity, without limitation or caution, that men in general have set up
A phantom swelled into grim size