Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

striking: And in the Eighth, of the seventh beauty, or Expression. These distinctions, however, are not in our opinion altogether necessary, as the subjects of the 3d and 6th, might have been considered under one, as also those of the 7th and 8th. On the whole, our learned Professor hath acquitted himself in this investigation with much ingenuity, and with that degree of pleasantry which may be naturally expected on such a subject.

K-n-k.

I

Conclusion of Psalmanazar's Memoirs.

Sce Page 385.
N our last, we attended our Hero to the opening of what he,'
in his penitential language, justly styles a scene

of the black-
est shame and guilt. We are now to accompany him in his
tour through Germany, &c. and his voyage to England.
- His first design was, to visit all the considerable cities on both
sides of the Rhine, as they lay in his way to Cologn; whither
he pretended to go on a religious pilgrimage to the three Kings *,
(as they are styled in the Romith Calendar) whose remains are
said to be there interred, in the cathedral.–At Landau he was
seized as a spy, by the French garrison in that city; but the
Governor, not knowing well what to make of the whimsical ac-
count which our Adventurer gave of himself, and of his pre-
tended country, fent him out of the city, with a strict charge,
under the severeft penalties, to come there no more.

This was but poor encouragement to proceed; however, on
he went; and travelled feveral hundred leagues, through Ger-
many, Brabant, and Flanders, under the notion of a Japanese
converted to Christianity, by some Jesuit Missionaries, and
brought to Avignon, to avoid the dreadful punishment inflicted
on all who turn Christians in the dominions of the Emperor of
Japan t. His religious deportment, his frequent appearance at
church, his fluency in the Latin tongue, his fmattering of lo-
gic, philosophy, and theology, generally procured him more
regard, and a greater share of berteficence than was commonly
thewn to other Travellers or Pilgrims; but his carelessness and
extravagance, nevertheless, foon reduced him to fo shabby an
appearance, that in respect to dress, and even in the article of
linen, he made a worse figure than the very common beg-
gars. This, at length, gave such an ill face to all his pretences,
as almost totally to discredit them; and, moreover, when he
came into some considerable cities which he was desirous to see,
and where they have hospitals for pilgrims and strangers, with

* The wise men that came to worship our infant Saviour.

+ Pfalmanazar had given out, that Formoza was fulject to that Prince, although it is well known to belong to the Chinese.

suitable

fuitable accommodations, according to their rank, appearance, or recommendation, he in vain thewed his counterfeit pals, which, if he had been in a more decent trim, would have procured him a much better reception than he met with : for those who attend on such occasions, would feldom give themselves the

trouble of reading it, but taking it for granted that he was one lof, the lowest rank, disposed of him accordingly; so that in a Thort time he found himself covered with rags and vermin, and infected with a moft virulent itch.

In this evil plight he had the farther mortification to perceive, that all his fair shew of learning, only made him appear the more despicable in the eyes of fober discerning people; for even those who gave any credit to his strange tale, could not but fuppofe that he must have been guilty of some great fault, or the Jesuits, by whom he pretended to have been brought from Japan, would hardly have given him to so shameful a vagabond life, -Thus did he find his affairs grow from bad to worse, infomuch that he was often pinched with want, and would have been glad to have returned home to his mother ; but that was too mortifying, and too difficult a step to be taken. I have, however, says he, had season to think it a mercy that I had such an inveterate itch--for I perceived, that in several great cities of Brabant and Flanders, there are a sort of procurelles, who wander about the streets, under the character of Begines *, and pick up all the likely fellows they meet with, in order to make a lewd trade of them; and I being then young, fanguine, and likely in person, have now and then been led by them, in a seeming hospitable manner, to some charitable Ladies, to receive, as was pretended, fome token of their generosity ; but, in reality, to return a less commendable one to the benefactress. But my distemper, whether or no it was imagined to be of a worse kind than it was, proved such a disgustful bar, that I never was put to the trial.'

Being at length arrived at the city of Liege, he there enlisted for a soldier in the Dutch service. The pretended officer who engaged him, proved not to be a military man, but a person who acted as an agent for procuring recruits, and who was himself in reality the master of a noted coffee-house at Aix-la-Chapelle,

The true Begines, it seems, are a good sort of unmarried women, who dedicate themselves to works of charity ; visiting the houses of the poorer fort, the fick, the lame, prisoners and ftrangers, and procuring them all proper relief from the charitable rich. They are known by : particular plain dress, not unlike that of the nuns ;- but there are also many vile women who, under the appearance of that dress and character, carry on the trade of procureljes: in which they are but too much encouraged and supported.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

He, on hearing our Author's patched-up story, conceived the
design of turning the young Adventurer to some better account
than that of carrying a musket; and accordingly took him home
to the last-named place, had him scoured, scrubbed, and decently
equipped; but found it too difficult a jobb to get him cured of
his filthy cutaneous eruption. He was physicked, anointed, blooda
ed, bathed, but without success. However, he was appointed
to wait on his master's customers, and to teach a boy of his to
read.

His new master had entertained hopes, that so extraordinary
a waiter would occafion an extraordinary resort to his house:
but the event was not altogether answerable to his expectations;
and after some time, this his hopeful servant being sent on a jour-
ney to the Spa, the young rover thought it expedient to miss his
way, and he once more repaired to Cologne.

From hence he went to Bon, the residence of the Elector of Cologn; and then repaired to another city of that Electorate ; where he again enlisted for a soldier, in the Elector's fervice. Being now in a herd of the most licentious profligates, for of such, he says, was the corps he belonged to composed, he here became, in some respects, as abandoned as his comrades, and was particularly remarkable for his spirit and excess, in the horrid vice of prophane cursing and swearing: but he tells us, that in regard to drinking and lewdness, he did not chufe to follow their example. He still pretended to be a Japanese; but he now thought it a more consistent part to profess himself an heathen, and as yet unconverted to Christianity. This induced some of the more sober sort of people, with whom he occasionally conversed, to think of his conversion in good carnest; and his vanity now prompted him to enter the lifts, as the Champion of paganism, with fome of the learned Priests or Monks, --who, on their part, made little doubt that they fhould easily convince him of his errors.

But this great undertaking produced very little effect. The good Fathers, he tells us, with whom he had the honour of difputing, were better provided for a controversy against the Protestants than against Heathens; which gave him no small advantage over them: and, in the end, it seems, they were fa backward in repeating the conferences, that all came to nothing; and the pretended idolater plumed himself on his imaginary victory. However, if this ridiculous controversy had not died of itself, it must have been cut short by another revolution in our Author's affairs : he was discharged from his military seryice, by order of his Colonel, who found him too short for the standard, and too young and tender for the fatigues of a soldier's life.

He

1

, commonly known by He now repaired once more to Cologn, where he again enlisted in the company of an officer who had taken a liking to him, and on whom, as usual, he passed for a Japanese.-- Pretending allo still to be an Heathen, he here entered upon fresh controversies, and engaged both with Protestants and Papists : but to as little purpose as before. —From Cologn, the corps in which he now served, was ordered into Holland; and our Hero being in garrison at Sluys, became known to Brigadier Lauder, Colonel of a Scotch regiment in that garrison. This Gentleman had the curiosity to send for Pfalmanazar to his house, where he engaged him in a religious conference with the Minister of the French' church, and Mr. Innes, Chaplain to the Scottish regiment. Of this conference our Author inserted some account, but by no means a just one, in his pretended Hiftory of Formosa.

This Innes, it seems, was an artful man, and soon formed a scheme for making a fine jobb of the conversion of the suppofed heathen Japanese. With this view, he found means to attach the young Adventurer to him, by the most specious and infinuating behaviour; and artful as Pfalmanazar was, he now met with his match. By this time he began to be heartily tired of a foldier's life. The place where he was in garrifon, was very cold and bleak, the duty hard, and the pay so small, that it was very difficult to subsist on it; so that the little sums of money which Innes now and then gave him, were peculiarly acceptable to a man in such circumstances, and could not fail of anfwering the purpose intended by the politic Chaplain. In short, there was no likelihood that the poor Pagan should make a long opposition to such cogent arguments as were brought from this quarter; especially as Innes took care to back them with large promises of procuring his Convert's discharge, and carrying him to England, where he made him hope he should meet with the greatest encouragement. The prospect of such a change of life, made so great an impression upon him, that he rather seemed too forward in acquiefcing with the Chaplain's scheme, and more ready than was consistent with prudence, to be wholly directed by him. In fine, matters went on so smoothly, that Innes wrote a letter to the Bishop of London, Dr. Compton, wherein he said so many things in his Convert's favour, that it was not doubted but he should soon be sent for, and meet with a kind reception.

The wished-for answer to this letter not arriving, however, till fix or seven weeks after, the zeal of Mr. Innes began to cool, and fearing after all, left his views might be frustrated, he grew somewhat more shy of his pupil, saw him but seldom, was lefs cordial in his behaviour towards him, and even withheld his hand from making him the usual presents.—But in the midst of this chagrin and distrust, a jealous thought struck the apprehensive Chaplain, who now began to fear lest certain other Ministers in that place, who had also attempted Pfalmanazar's conversion, should rob him of the credit of his new Convert. This fufpicion made him all at once alter his behaviour, and resolve to baptise his Disciple without farther loss of time. This abrupt procedure, with some other parts of his odd behaviour, convinced our Author, that a charitable zeal for saving a soul, was no part of Innes's motive; and that he was so far from believing his Convert to be what he pretended to be, that he had some time before taken a most effectual way to convince himself to the contrary, beyond all possibility of doubting. His stratagem was, to make the pretended native of Formofa translate a paffage in Cicero de Natura Deorum, of fome length, into his Formosan language, and give it to him in writing. • This, says our Artist, I easily did, by means of that unhappy readinefs I had at inventing characters, languages, &c. But after he had made me construe it, and desired me to write another version of it on another paper; his proposal, and the manner of his exacting it, threw me into such visible confusion, having had so little time to excogitate the first, and less to commit it to memory, that there were not above one half of the words in the second, that there were in the first. His desiring me to construe this likewise, confuled me still more, especially when he shewed me the palpable difference! The serious air' he assumed upon it, made me expect nothing less than a total rupture, and his exposing the imposture in the manner I was conscious it deserved. I was, however, agreeably deceived; and he finding, by this unexpected trial, what a memory and readiness I had, and how qualified I was to carry on such a cheat, began to clear his brow, and calm the disorder he had thrown me into, by a more chearful and friendly look; but did not forget, at the same time, to give me to understand, that I ought to take care to be better provided for the future. I promised to take his advice, and did so in part; but was become too indolent to go through the fatigue of forming a whole language-at least till I was convinced that it would stand me in some stead; tho', by what I have tried fince I came into England, I cannot say but I could have composed it with less difficulty than can be conceived.'

held

What a consummate wretch must this Innes have been ! Pfalmanazar himself was an honest man in comparison. His desperate circumstances were some excuse for his impofture; but his vile associate had not the same plea. The one wanted but to fubfif by his roguery; the other's view was unmerited PREFERMENT,too often attained by means equally indirect, hypocri

« PreviousContinue »