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be abroad, or to confine myself to the cockloft, that I may not disgrace her among her visitants of quality Her footmen, as I said before, are such beaux, that I do not much care for asking them questions; when I do, they answer me with a saucy frown, and say that every thing, which I find fault with, was done by my Lady Mary's order. She tells me that she intends they shall wear swords with their next liveries, having lately observed the footmen of two or three persons of quality, hanging behind the coach with swords by their sides. As soon as the first honey-moon was over, I represented to her the unreasonableness of those daily innovations which she made in my family, but she told me I was no longer to consider myself as Sir John Anvil, but as her husband; and added with a frown, that I did not seem to know who she was. I was surprised to be treated thus, after what had passed between us. But she has since given me to know, that if we do live on terms of familiarity, she expects in general to be treated with the respect that is due to her birth and quality. Our children have been trained up from their infancy, with so many accounts of their mother's family, that they know the stories of all the great men and women it has produced. Their mother tells them, that such a one commanded in such a sea-engagement, that their great-grandfather had a horse shot under him at Edge-hill, that their uncle was at the siege of Buda, and that her mother danced at a ball at court, with the Duke of Monmouth; with abundance of fiddle-faddle of the same nature. I was, the other day, a little out of countenance at a question of my little daughter Harriot, who asked me, with a great deal of innocence, why I never told them of the generals and admirals that had been in my family.. As for my eldest son, Oddly, he has been so spirited up by his mother, that if he do not mend his manners, I shall go near to disinherit him. He drew his sword upon me before he was nine years old, and told me, that he expected to be used like a gentleman; upon my offering to correct him for his insolence, my Lady Mary stepped in between us, and told me, that I ought to consider there was some difference between his mother and mine. She is perpetually finding out the features of her own relations in every one of my children, though, by the way, I have a little chubfaced boy, as like me as he can stare, if I durst say so; but what most angers me, when she sees me playing with any of them upon my knee, she has begged me more than once to converse with the children as little as possible, that they may į not learn any of my awkward tricks.
You must farther know, since I am opening my heart to you, that she thinks herself my superior in sense, as much as she is in quality, and therefore treats me like a plain well-meaning man, who does not know the world. She dictates to me in my own business, sets me right in points of trade, and if I disagree with her about any of my ships at sea, wonders that I will dispute with her, when I know very well that her greatgrandfather was a flag-officer.
To complete my sufferings, she has teased me for this quarter of a year past, to remove into one of the squares, at the other end of the town, promising for my encouragement, that I shall have as good a cockloft as any gentleman in the square; to which the honorable Oddly Enville, Esq. always adds, like a jackanapes as he is, that he hopes it will be as near the court as possible.
In short, I am so much out of my natural element, that to recover my old way of life, I would be content to begin the world again, and be plain Jack Anvil; but alas! I am in for life, and am bound to subscribe myself, with great sorrow of heart,
Your humble servant,
LONDON, Feb. 12th, 1712
JOHN ENVILLE, KNT.
LXXXV.—A CHINAMAN'S VIEW OF ENGLAND.
THINK not, O thou guide of my youth! that absence can impair my respect, or interposing trackless deserts blot your reverend figure from my memory. The farther I travel, I feel the pain of separation with stronger force; those ties that bind me to my native country and you, are still unbroken. By every remove, I only drag a greater length of chain.
Could I find aught worth transmitting from so remote a region as this, to which I have wandered, I should gladly send it; but instead of this you must be contented with a renewal of my former professions, and an imperfect account of a people with whom I am as yet but superficially acquainted. The remarks of a man who has been but three days in the country, can only be those obvious circumstances which force themselves upon the imagination: I consider myself here as a newly created being introduced into a new world; every object strikes with wonder and surprise. The imagination, still
unsated, seems the only active principle of the mind. The most trifling occurrences give pleasure, till the gloss of novelty is worn away. When I have ceased to wonder, I may possibly grow wise; I may then call the reasoning principle to my aid, and compare those objects with each other, which were before examined without reflection.
Behold me then in London, gazing at the strangers, and they at me. It seems they find somewhat absurd in my figure; and had I been never from home, it is possible I might find an infinite fund of ridicule in theirs; but by long travelling I am taught to laugh at folly alone, and find nothing truly ridiculous but villany and vice.
When I had just quitted my native country, and crossed the Chinese wall, I fancied every deviation from the custom and manners of China was a departing from nature; I smiled at the blue lips and red forehead of the Tonguese; and could hardly contain when I saw the Daures dress their heads with horns; the Ostiacks powdered with red earth; and the Calmuck beauties, tricked out in all the finery of sheepskin, appeared highly ridiculous; but I soon perceived that the ridicule lay not in them but in me; that I falsely condemned others of absurdity, because they happened to differ from a standard originally founded in prejudice or partiality.
I find no pleasure therefore in taxing the English with departing from nature in their external appearance, which is all I yet know of their character; it is possible they only endeavor to improve her simple plan, since every extravagance in dress proceeds from a desire of becoming more beautiful than nature made us; and this is so harmless a vanity, that I not only pardon but approve it. A desire to be more excellent than others is what actually makes us so; and as thousands find a livelihood in society by such appetites, none but the ignorant inveigh against them.
You are not insensible, most reverend Fum Hoam, what numberless trades, even among the Chinese, subsist by the harmless pride of each other. Your nose-borers, feet-swathers, tooth-stainers, eyebrow pluckers, would all want bread, should their neighbors want vanity. These vanities, however, employ much fewer hands in China than in England; and a fine gentleman or fine lady here, dressed up to the fashion, seems scarcely to have a single limb that does not suffer some distortions from art.
To make a fine gentleman several trades are required, but
chiefly a barber: you have undoubtedly heard of the Jewish champion, whose strength lay in his hair: one would think that the English were for placing all wisdom there. To appear wise nothing more is requisite here, than for a man to borrow hair from the heads of all his neighbors, and clap it like a bush upon his own the distributors of law and physic stick on such quantities, that it is almost impossible, even in idea, to distinguish between the head and hair.
Those whom I have been now describing affect the gravity of the lion; those whom I am going to describe more resemble the pert vivacity of smaller animals. The barber, who is still master of the ceremonies, cuts their hair close to the crown; and then, with a composition of meal and hog's lard, plasters the whole in such a manner as to make it impossible to distinguish whether the patient wears a cap or a plaster but to make the picture more perfectly striking, conceive the tail of some beast, a greyhound's tail, or a pig's tail, for instance, appended to the back of the head, and reaching down to that place where tails in other animals are general seen to begin; thus be-tailed and be-powdered, the man of taste fancies he improves in beauty, dresses up his hardfeatured face in smiles, and attempts to look hideously tender. Thus equipped, he is qualified to make love, and hopes for success, more for the powder on the outside of the head, than the sentiments within.
Yet, when I consider what sort of a creature the fine lady is, to whom he is supposed to pay his addresses, it is not strange to find him thus equipped in order to please. She is herself every whit as fond of powder, and tails, and hog's lard as he : to speak my secret sentiments, most reverend Fum, the ladies here are horridly ugly; I can hardly endure the sight of them; they no way resemble the beauties of China: the Europeans have a quite different idea of beauty from us; when I reflect on the small-footed perfections of an Eastern beauty, how is it possible I should have eyes for a woman whose feet are ten inches long? I shall never forget the beauties of my native city of Nangfew. How very broad their faces; how very short their noses; how very little their eyes; how very thin their lips; how very black their teeth; the snow on the tops of the Bao is not fairer than their cheeks; and their eyebrows are small as the line by the pencil of Quamsi. Here a lady with such perfections would be frightful; Dutch and Chinese beauties, indeed, have some resem
blance, but English women are entirely different; red cheeks, big eyes, and teeth of the most odious whiteness, are not only seen here, but wished for; and then they have such masculine feet, as actually serve some for walking!
Yet, uncivil as nature has been, they seem resolved to undo her in unkindness; they use white powder, blue powder, and black powder, for their hair, and a red powder for their face on some particular occasions.
They like to have the face of various colors, as among the Tartars of Coreki, frequently sticking on with spittle little black patches on every part of it, except on the tip of the nose, which I have never seen with a patch. You will have a better idea of their manner of placing these spots, when I have finished a map of an English face patched up to the fashion, which shall shortly be sent to increase your curious collection of paintings, medals, and monsters.
But what surprises more than all the rest is, what I have just now been credibly informed of by one of this country: "Most ladies here," says he, "have two faces; one face to sleep in, and another to show in company; the first is generally reserved for the husband and family at home, the other put on to please strangers abroad; the family face is often indif. ferent enough, but the out-door one looks somewhat better this is always made at the toilet, where the looking-glass and toadeater sit in council, and settle the complexion of the day."
I cannot ascertain the truth of this remark; however, it is actually certain that they wear more clothes within doors than without; and I have seen a lady, who seemed to shudder at a breeze in her appartment, appear half naked in the streets. Farewell.LIEN CHI ALTANGI.
TO FUM HOAM, Peking.
LXXXVI. THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD AND HIS FAMILY.
I was ever of opinion that the honest man, who married and brought up a large family, did more service than he who continued single, and only talked of population. From this motive, I had scarce taken orders a year, before I began to think seriously of matrimony, and chose my wife as she did her wedding gown-not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well. To do her justice, she was a goodnatured, notable woman; and as for education, there were few