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ferent instruments of music, in order that their charms and accomplishments may render them agreeable to the persons into whose hands they may chance to fall. The handsomest of them are generally bought for the Court and Mandarins of the first class. One who unites beauty with agreeable accomplishments fetches from four hun. dred and fifty to seven hundred louis d’ors, while there are some who sell for less than a hundred. The nature of the population in China affords two girls for a boy, a circumstance which admits of the speculations I am speaking of, and renders them highly beneficial, From this general practice, as well as from the custom of giving a price called a dowry to the parents of the girl whom a man marries, a custom prevalent even among the first personages of the empire, it is evident that all the women in China are an article of trade. The husband in certain cases, specified by the law, has a right to sell his lawful wife, unless her family choose to take her back and restore the dowry they received at the time of her marriage.

• There is no country in the world, in which the women live in a greater state of humiliation, or are less considered, than in China. Those, whose husbands are of high rank, are always confined ; thoro of the second class, are a sort of upper servants, deprived of all liberty; while those of the lower are partakers with the men of the hardest kind of labour. If the latter become mothers, it is an additional burthen, since, while at work, they carry the child tied upon the back, at least till it is able to go alone.'

As the Chic e silk is deemed the best in the known world, any inforüiatica concerning their cultivation of the mulberry tree, the kaves of which arord fool for the silk-worms, must be consided as important. We lament, therefore, that M. Van Praam had no opportunity of ascertaining, with scientific accuracy, the species (whether one or more) of the mulberrytree mose or excitively cultivated in Che-kiang. Throughout Irance and Italy, the plantations which we have seen were, to the best of our recollection, of ihe Morus alba; which species is also said to prevail in Spain, the leaves of it being deemed preferable for sikkvorms to those of the Morus nigra. Yet M. Van Praam, from rather loose anthority, inclines to think that the silk-worms in Che-kiang are fed with the leaves of the latter. This militaies against the more general opinion. Loureiro states the Chinese same of the incrus alba to be Xin-pe-xu ; and Sir G. Staunton (vol. 11. p. 246.) reports that some of the Chinese Viciberry-trees were said to bear white and some red or black fruit: but that osten they bore none. He also (vol. iii. p. 265.) expressly mentions that both species, the aiba as well as the nigra, grow in the middle of China.

In a celebrated Chinese convent and temple, M. Van Braam saw live hundred images of saints, nearly as large as life. The Emperor Kien Long, though then living and on the throne, was already included in the number; which is a farther proof

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of the abject attempt of the Chincse to raise their monarch above the level of human kind.

We must now conclude our extracts with the following passage :

• Having an opportunity yesterday of conversing with our third conductor, a man of experience, and a well informed literary character, he said that each province, and even each city, has particular works upon agriculture, with precepts concerning every thing necessary to be observed by the husbandmen throughout the extent of their district ; that these books are kept as sacred things, and deposited in the hands of commandants or governors of cities, who are not perinitted to entrust them to any one ; and that consequently it is in vain to think of procuring them, because they are not to be sold. The mandarins of the cities are bound to give to the individuals within their district all the information that the latter may ask for, which seldom happens, because a knowledge of agriculture, held in esteem for several centuries past, has been transmitted from generation to generation, from father to son, with every particular of both theory and practice. This 'has rendered the science so general, that it is scarcely possible for any one to stand in need of further instructiune? ;.

From a comparison of the prefixed list of Chinese towns and places through which the Embassy passed, with the author's journal, we find that his account is not yet completed.' As, however, if we be rightly informed, there is little probability of any additional volume being speedily published, we shall here subjoin a few remarks on the work in general.

It is, doubtless, a circumstance calculated strongly to prepossess the reader in favour of the present account, that M. Van Braam, according to his own statement, (vol. is. p. 185.) was for the space of six-and-thirty years personally acquainted with China ; and had made frequent inquiries of well informed men concerning the history, manners, and particulars of their native land, before the opportunity of travelling through that empire presented itself. He was thus enabled principally to fix his attention on such objects as were really curious, or imperfectly known in Europe ; and his work, accordingly, throws much light on a variety of very interesting subjects. The unassuming manner, also, in which it is written, has deeply impressed on it the stamp of authenticity. An artless narrative is the dress generally chosen by truth, and almost universally preferred to a laboured performance. Even many inaccuracies of composition are overlooked, if the candour and veracity of the author, and the interest of the subject, compensate for those deficiencies:--but this indulgence is seldom extended to tediousness. If a writer does not hope to amuse his readers, the at least should beware of tiring them; and we should re

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flect

flect that it has, perhaps, never been more incumbent on au. thors to be concise, than at the present period, which is so overstocked with books. A journal, intended for private amusement or information, can seldom be too minute : but, when offered to the public in its original shape, it often becomes excessively irksome and uninteresting. Against this inattention, M. Van Braam unfortunately has not been on his guard. We are somewhat at a loss to conceive in what manner the public will be either instructed or entertained, by being told that he regaled the Mandarins with Cape wine; that he accompanied them to the ladder of the ship; that they saw pretty women, with regret at being debarred from them, &c. Details and remarks of this kind are so frequent that, if they were removed, these two volumes might advantageously be reduced to one of a moderate size. In vol. i. the first forty pages might have been compressed into two. It is possible that the Dutch reader may be pleased with these minutiæ: but we presume to assert that the English public would not have regretted the omission of them. What a voluminous and tiresome account of the British Embassy to China must Sir G. Staunton have published, if he had proceeded according to this method, with the different journals from which he drew up his narrative!

We here find also some other observations and expressions which are not altogether calculated for the public eye. From the author's own description of those wretched men, the Coulies, we cannot deny them our compassion ; yet in vol. i. p. 211. he suffers himself to be so irritated as to call them cursed Coulies, for having, as he supposes, wilfully broken a few bottles of liquor. In general, the details about good or indifferent fare, however fit for private memorandums, ought not to have been committed to the press. That wine, spirits, hot suppers, protracted rest in the morning, &c. must have a particular relish in long and fatiguing journies, we are fully aware: but it may justly be doubted wliether the repeated mention of disappointment in these particulars (e. g. vol. i. 133. 144.187.) be suited to the gravity of a public character; who must be presumed to keep his grand object so much in view, as neither to covet sensual gratifications, nor to lament the want of them.-At p. 238, vol. i. M. Van B. relates that, being asked by the Emperor whether he understood Chinese, he answered Poton; which, in Chinese, means I do not understand it; at which the Emperor laughed heartily. The author dwells with peculiar complacency on this circumstance, construing the good humour apparent on the monarch's countenance into a mark of the highest predilection, and such as is even said no envoy ever ob

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tained

tained before.' Lest we should be thought too fastidious, we refrain from making an obvious remark on this incident; though we could borrow our excuse from an antient sage ;

'Απίστω και γέλωθα κινείν, ολισθηρός γαρ ο 16ος εις ιδιωλισμόν, και αμα ικανός την αιδώ την προς σε Των πλησίων ανιέναι. EPICTET.

When at Pekin, a letter was secretly brought to M. Van B. from his friend Grammont, who testified an earnest desire to give him some important information. If, as is very probable, this book should find its way to Pekin, migbt not this circumstance injure M. Grammont, either with his brethren, or even with the Chinese government; and would it not have been more prudent to have suppressed the name of his friend, on such an occasion. Letters were also privately conveyed to Lord Macartney, when a few miles from Pekin, as we learn from Sir G. Staunton's account, (vol. ii. p 197,) but the name of the writer is very properly omitted in that publication.

Of the translation of these volumes, our readers may judge from the specimens which we have given. We shall only observe that it bears many marks of haste, with a consequent mixture of Gallicisms.

Art. V. Fears in Solitude, written in 1798, during the Alarm of

an Invasion. To which are added, France, an Ode; and Frost at Midnight. By S. T. Coleridge. 4to. Pp. 23. 18. 6d. John

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1798.

HAD
AD poetry always been guided by reason and consecrated

to morality, it would have escaped the contemptuous reproach with which it has been loaded both by antient and modern philosophers. Had this divine art been appropriated with due effect to divine subjects, wisdom could not have withholden her admiration. It is matter of serious regret, therefore, that its professors seem to have been solicitous rather to please by the coruscations of a wild frenzy, than by a mild and steady ray, reflected from the lamp of truth. Poets have been called maniacs ; and their writings frequently too well justify the application of this degrading epithet. Too long has the modern copied the antient poet, in decorating folly with the elegant attractions of verse. It is time to enthrone reason on the summit of Parnassus; and to make poetry the strengthener as well as the enlivener of the intellect ;-the energetic instructor as well as the enchanting amuser of mankind.

Mr. Coleridge seems solicitous to consecrate his lyre to truth, virtue, and humanity. He makes no use of an exploded though elegant mythology, nor does he seek fame by singing

of

of what is called Glory. War he reprobates, and vice he deplores. Of his country he speaks with a patriotic enthusiasm, and he exhorts to virtue with a Christian's ardor. He tells, as he says,

1. Most bitter truth without bitterness ;' and though, as we learn from his own confession, he has been deemed the enemy of his country; yet, if we may judge from these specimens, no one can be more desirous of promoting all that is important to its security and felicity.

He begins, in the first poem, Fears in Solitude, with describing his rural retreat, suited by its stillness and beaaty. to the contemplative state of his mind: but scarcely' has he indulged himself with the view of the pleasures which it yields, than his heart is painfully affected by a recollection of the horrid changes which the march of armies, and the conflicts of war, would introduce on '' his silent hills. His fears realize an invasion to his imagination; and were the horrors of war brought into our island, he owns that it would be no more than our crimes deserve :

We have offended, O my countrymen !
We have offended very grievously,
And have been tyrannous.

From east to west
A groan of accusation pierces heaven!

j
The wretched plead against us, multitudes
Countless und vehement, the song of God,
Our brethren! Like a cloud that travels on,
Steam'd up from Cairo's swamps of pestilence,
Ev'n so, my countrymen ! have'we gone forth
And borne to distant tribes slavery and pangs,

And, deadlier far, our vices, whose deep taint phim. With slow perdition murders the whole man,

His body and his soul! Meanwhile, at home,
We have been drinking with a riotous thirst
Pollutions from the brimming cup of wealili,
A selfish, lewd, efi minated race,
Contemptuous of all honourable rule,
Yet bartering freedom, and the poor man's life,

For gold, as at a market! The sweet' words
NI.' 'Of christian promise, words that even yet.

Might stem destruction, were they wisely preach'd, 7? Are mutter'd o'er by men, whose tones proclaim

: How flat and wearisome they feel their trade, 1.2.- Rank scoffers some, but most too indolent,

To deem them falsehoods, or to know their truth.

O blasphemous ! the book of life is made i

A superstitious instrument, on which
We gabble o'er the oatiis we mean to break,
For all must swear

ear-all, and in every place,
College and wharf, council and justice-court,

All,

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