« 前へ次へ »
what they had received from the benevo- || self to the study of it with such assiduity, lence of Nature. I was present at the opening | as to make a rapid progress. of the chests, and witnessed the astonish- || The appointed day arrived ; Polaslos was ment occasioned by what they contained. inundated by the multitude that assembled The governor knowing that the people in || from every corner of the empire. There the north of that vast country used clothes, was not a village, not a hamlet, which had of which I was ignorant, determined to || not furnished its sage, and when I beheld send the chests to Polaslos. If these peo- || these crowds, I could not forbear thinking, ple had been surprized at the sight of the surely the sciences must have reached articles, my astonishment was much greater il their zenith in Polaslia! to see them take possession of them. | The oldest sage presided over this bril“ Wherefore," said I to myself, “ do they l liant assembly. An orator gave an account keep clothes, when they wear none?"- ll of our shipwreck. In a corner of the hall, I was just going to inscribe this nation in which was of immense magnitude, and of my tablets among the number of foolish which the eye could scarcely discern the people, but I resolved not to act with such farthest extremity, the packages were deprecipitation, but to endeavour to learn | posited, and we were placed in another what they meant to do with the goods. It part on an amphitheatre. will presently be seen what reason I had | Those in whom the greatest confidence to congratulate myself on my prudence. I was reposed, or who possessed the highest
After travelling without interruption for || reputation were chosen, three months, we reached Polaslus. The II 1. To examine us. report of our arrival was soon spread over 2. To discover what relation could exist the city, and as Nature has not forgotten | between our persons, and the articles conto mingle curiosity among the ingredients || tained in the packages. of which the Polaslians are composed, These two questions gave occasion to sethey thronged in crowds to see us as we || veral subdivisions. passed.
Are the strangers of the same nature as To know what the chests contained, and the Polaslians ? to determine what was to be done with |Have they ideas? them, a meeting of ali the learned men of Are they capable of thinking? Polaslia was summoned. The assembly | Can they speak? was to be held on the first day of the third | Are they susceptible of the same funcmonth. In consequence of a singularity |tions? peculiar to that country, the men of They were proceeding to the discussion science never met but on extraordinary of these important questions, when another cases.
was accidentally stated. Are they all of It was made known throughout the the same nation? said one of the commis. whole country of Polaslia, that all the sioners. We were then examined sepalearned, and even all those who were accus- | rately. tomed to reason upon a subject and to form Lord K- was the first. Full of spirits in conjectures, should meet in the capital for prosperity, his courage forsook him in adthe following purposes:
versity, and like all the rest of his nation, 1. To give an explanation of certain | he declared, that the only resource in mis. strange creatures, in the shape of Po-|| fortune, was to put an end to life. Senlaslians, who had been cast upon the sible, however, that this resolution, when coast.
once executed, is irremediable, his Lord2. To inspect some curious articles of ship wisely delayed to adopt the desperate an unknown form.
measure. The philosophy of the English 3. To concert how to dispose of the for- ll evaporates with the fumes of their punch. mer, and what was to be done with the lat- || and the hiccup of their porter. Ever since ter.
our shipwreck, his Lordship had been dull I had three months before me to learn and melancholy; his lips, from which, in the Polaslian language, which is smooth, France, issued the keepest satires on our sonorous, and harmonious. l applied my- ll countrymen, no longer smiled; his gait
was heavy and his face inclined towards || must be square, or roued, or oblong, or the ground. He was directed to ascend || sharp-pointed; lastly, that there was a class into a kind of alcove, where, after an at- of men without heads. The dress-hat led tentive examination, it was decided. them to draw the last inference. I eu
1. That his Lordship was not of the deavoured, but to no purpose, to make same nation as the other stranger.
them understand that this kind of hat 2. That it is doubtful whether he has was carried under the arm; they burst inideas and is capable of thinking.
to a loud laugh; repeating, that people 3. Ile appears absolutely dumb.
must be mad to carry under their arms 4. He seems to be habitually in the state what ought to cover their heads. They of a person amicted with indigestion. imagined that all those different kinds of
My countrymen were treated more fa- || hats belonged to as many different nations. vourably. Slow in judging, and proceed- | I suffered them to remain in their error, ing with prudent and methodical precau- | and took care not to tell them that they tion, the sages of Pola:lia agreed that it were used not only by the same nationi, was probable we could think, that we had | but by the inhabitants of the same town. ideas, and that we were of a nature some-|| | On seeing such great variety in the what similar to their own. As to the gift | form of these hats, they descanted on the of speech, they were not long in doubt construction of the head, and in particular on that subject. This opinion was favour of the brains of Europeans; asserting, that able, but the impression it produced to our according to appearances the men who advantage was almost entirely effaced by use dress-hats must be totally destitute the examination of the packages, and the l of brains; that the brain must be hollow conjectures to which this inspection gave || in those that wear hats a l'Anglaise; and rise.
that those with Suwarow hats, can have As I knew sufficient of the Polaslian || nothing on their shoulders but that part language to act as interpreter, I was se- 1 of the head called the cranium. lected to fulfil that important duty. Self- || This was sufficient to convince me in love is a native of every country: it is | what errors the method of analogy may found in every part of the globe, with || sometimes lead us. shades and modifications, which produce | I shall not repeat the conjectures made, the variety that exists in the manners and on the women's hats; while they approved customs of different nations. The Polas- ll of the form of the straw hats with edges, lians entertain a high notion of themselves, they could not possibly conceive that the and have a great regard for those who same person could wear a hat in the form speak their language. When I addressed l of a cap, and without any edges; and them in their native idiom, they shewed || afterwards a hat made of velvet, of stuff, me very great respect.
or of silk. Still less could they imagine They proceeded to open the packages. || the use of bows of ribbons, of feathers, &c. The first contained a quantity of mens' and I “ If there be any relation," said the save womens' hats of every form and of every Polaslians," between all these head-covers colour: hats a la Prussiene, a la Suwarow, li and the heads that wear them, there must a l'Anglaise, &c. I was asked what those exist an inconceivable variety in the figure things were. I replied by two Polaslian and the construction of all those heads; words, which signify head-corers. Hence and if no such relation exist, those counthey sagely concluded, that these articles trics must be inhabited by mad people." were destined in Europe to cover the The sage Polaslians could form no conhead.. They examined, with surprise, the ception of any other alternative. variety of all our hats, their form, their | The same variety that they had just disdepth, their size, their weight, their colour, | covered in the heads of Europeans, was and their brims. From these circumstances found, from an examination of their shoes, they formed conjectures concerning the to exist among their feet. Some of their shapes of European heads, and agreed that shoes were round, others square, and others some must be enormously large, and others pointed: they concluded that the Euro. exceedingly small; while others again, peans must skip along, instead of walking,
No. ), Vol. I.
that is, if they were capable of using their men of a very strange figure. A thick feet at all. The shoes that ended in a long l volume soon appeared describing this peak, led them to suppose, that some of species of animal, with all his varieties; the natives of Europe had tails at the ends || and another on the tails that grew at the of their feet; and in confirmation of this ends of the feet. The last-mentioned work opinion, the most celebrated naturalist of produced a wonderful sensation; and to Pulaslia transmitted to the museum of the pacify the ladies of Polaslia, a public nocity a pair of those shoes.
tice appeared, stating that among the The general conclusion from all this strangers who had recently arrived, there was, that the Europeans form a class of was not a single foot with a tail.
ORIGIN OF TWELFTH CAKES.
MR. EDITOR, As I am convinced that the object of your Work is to admit Miscellanies of every class, which relate to the Fashions and Amusements of the Age, and not to reject them though they may appear at first somewhat too abstruse for female investigation, I am induced te send you the following Inquiry into the origin of Twelfth Cakes.
AMONG the modern nations of Europe, he punctually obeyed the laws of the there are customs, the origin of which table.” is lost in the obscurity of remote ages, and This profound respect for the kings which seem to have survived the revolu- of the table, was manifested by all the tions of states, the reforms of religion, exterior signs which denote the most aband the changes of laws and of manners.solute authority on the one hand, and the Such is the custom of the twelfth cake, or, most perfect dependence on the other. It as it is called in France, the cake of kings; even appears that the honours paid to this a custom constantly kept up in that coun- transient dignity, but which was held untry, even at a time when its inhabitants der a circumstance considered by the ancould not tolerate it without endangering cients as one of the most important in life, their lives. At a period when the name of excited a considerable degree of pride in king was not permitted to mingle with the the minds of those who received them. most innocent games, solitary families met, How necessary it was to inculcate the sento divide in silence the cake of kings. timents of modesty on those occasions, is
The poets and historians of antiquity apparent from the advice given to such have given us some curious details con- persons among the Hebrews. cerning this custom; and it is at present “ If thou be made the master of a feast," matter of astonishment, that, during such says Ecclesiasticus, lift not thyself up, but a long period, in such different climates, be among them as one of the rest, take diwith such opposite manners and religions, ligent care for them, and so sit down. And men have observed this kind of general when thou hast done all thy office, take approximation.
|| thy place, that thou mayest be merry with "At the Saturnalia,” says the philoso. them, and receive a crown for thy well pher Arrian, “ the king elected by lot, ex-ordering of the feast.” Tertullian, indeed, ercises his authority, cominanding one to in his treatise, De Corona, censures this drink, another to pour out wine; ordering custom; but the very asperity of Tertullian this man to go, and that to come." Taci-is a demonstration of the universal retus observes, that Nero never missed these spect paid in his time to this ancient infeasts, and that he was always extremely stitution. anxious to be the king of the festival. The kings of the festival were not always “ Verres," says Cicero, “ had trampled elected by lot. One of the passages quoted upon the laws of the Roman people, but above, pre-supposes a free and rational
election. Plautus, in one of his comedies, || himself, unless he had been from the beintroduces persons who appoint a king orginning the only one whom the lot had a queen over them, and one of the num- | thus favoured. When children elected a ber addresses these words to a young and || king, in their sports, they made use of beautiful wonian:-“I give this crown of beans; and in various republics, beans flowers to her who is in the flower of her | were likewise employed at the election of age; you shall be our sovereign." It would, magistrates. Hence that precept of Pyhowever, appear, that the most usual me- || thagoras; A fabis abstine. Abstain from thod was to have recourse to the lot in | beans; that is, abstain from intermeddling the disposal of this kind of sovereignty. | in the affairs of the government. It is well It is well known, that at a repast at which known that the followers of this philosopher Agesilaus presided, he issued an order, the shunned public employment, and courted equity of which was highly admired by all silence and retirement. the friends of the table. He directed that| When the king was elected, on assumif there were plenty of wine, each should ins his dignity he commonly made a have as much as he should chuse to drink; 1 speech, of which some of the ancient wribut if the quantity was small, one was not il ters have preserved the following passages : to receive more than another; and when " Let us drink, my friends; let us drain that great man gave this decision, so the flowing goblet; let us intoxicate ourgravely recorded by Plutarch, he had been selves with this delicious liquor, with this just elected the king by lot.
beverage of the gods! 0 Bacchus! thou Anacrcon supposes that billets, such | who art accompanied by the sports and by as we make use of at present, were the smiles, be present in our circle with a employed. “ Slaves," says he, “bring ll crown upon thy head, and an ample bowl the billets that I may mix them, and in thy hand: warm our spirits. Laste, ye that we may have a king of the festi- || slaves! give me three cups, then nine, then val." Horace gives us to understand, | three times nine; and then give them unthat this innocent crown was conferred by ll told: I will resign myself to a delightful the dice. " When thou shall be in the madness. Hercules, agitated by the fugloomy mansion of Pluto, says he to his ries, broke the bow and the ponderous friend Sextus, the dice will no more givell quiver of Iphitus; Ajar, a prey to rage, thee the sovereignty at the festival." Pol- ll struck his buckler with the sword of Hec. lur the rhetorician, and several other men tor; but I, with cup in hand, my hair of learning, conceived that these dice were | crowned with flowers, without bow and not like ours, but had figures and em without sword, I will resign myself to a blems engraved upon them. These were pleasing delirium: I would rather lose my in general a dog and a Venus, or, accord- || reason than my life.” ing to the statement of Plautus, a vulture. These amusements were seasoned with and a basilisk. The vulture and the dog wit, mirth, and good humour; it cannot excluded the candidate; he who had the therefore be unprofitable to recall them to basilisk or the Venus, again tried his for- ll our recollection. tune with those who had been as lucky as ||
FATHER AND SON:
ABDALLAH, born in the extreme of po-||tion in which they resided. After the faverty, scarcely, by the most assiduous la- | tigues of the day he returned with the setbour, could earn sufficient for his own, and I ting sun to his cot, and spending a happy aged father's subsistence. This did not evening in the bosom of his family, dividprevent him from marrying the young anded with them the produce of his toils. lovely Ismena. To her he confided the Ismena, presented him with a son. In the care of his parent, and the humble habita- i midst of the joy occasioned by his birth,
Abdallah reflected on the poverty to which he was too feeble to walk. Abilallah took this infant was heir. Ile had hitherto never him on his shoulders, and proceeded toknown what it was to be discontented; norwards the hospital. The road being long even then would he have murmured against and broken he was obliged to rest, and, hi, fortune, but that he wished his child having deposited his burthen in the corner a bappier !ot. lle perceived it was nie- of a street, he sat down to take breath. . cessary to accquire some portion of inde- From the very moment he departe peudence, but with his small caruings how from the house, the old man grogned most could independence be purchased ? pitcously, and shed abundance of tears.
Thilst he was employed with these ideas, Suddenly he ceased, and appeared, during his mind reverted to his father, enfcebled some moments, lost in the most promund by age, and rendered incapable of contri-meditation. In a short time le leaned tobuting to his own support? for the first wards his son, and ensbracing him, said, time, he regarded him as an incumbrance," I pardon tree, my son, I have merited and conceived that he alone prevented this treatment. I receive it as a chastise. him from acquiring riches. Ile, now, only ment from heaven. The Almiglity Prophet saw in him an infirm and t'oublesome old sees into our hearts, and our most secret man, continually complaining, and evaci movements are known to him. He keeps ing the most tiresome attentions. Ile no an exact register of all our actions, and, longer remembered that he had a right to in tinie, either recompences or punishes exact them.
them. It is now forty-five years, my child, The munificence and humanity of the since I conducted your grandfather into Sultans of the East had founded public this very asylum to which you are now asylums for indigent old age. The riches conveying me. I have been ungrateful, of these hospitable buildings were convert-1 vou have become so, and perhaps your son ed to every other purpose but the relief of will be the same. We have both learned, the poor. Avarice had applied to its own and propagated the same lesson, and the use the treasures destined for the support effects of it will be visited upon us by of the charity. The unfortunate beings the retributive justice of heaven in the who were obliged to seek refuge in these inhumanity of our children. What I have abodes of misery, entered them trembling, been to my father, thou hast been to thine, and fearful of meeting treatment which and so will thy son be to thee. lieaven is would abridge their melancholy days. just, let us not murmur at his will." .
Abdallah, who had never seen these re- Abdallah heard him with astonishment, treats without shuddering, now recollected a ray of light flashed across his soul; he that they were open to his father. Eager made no reply, but placing the old man to be discharged from the expence and on his back, ret'uned with him to his trouble, and vexed at some of the caprices bouse. The project he had formed filled which generally accompany age and in- him with horror, and he testified his refirmities, he announced to him that they pentance ever after by reiloubled care and must separate.
tenderness. The old man sighed without replying,
USEFULNESS OF AN OLD WOMAN.
On my return, I found an old woman at of your coming home so late?“ I bare a door, where she seemed unable to gain been to take care of a sick person; but, as admittance. I knocked for her. At last a I bave already sat up two nights, they are man put his head out of the window. afraid I shall fall asleer, and have sent me “Ila! it is this everlasting hag that wakes away." “ They should have let you sleep us: she will never die."
at the house that employed you.” “I fcarI was shocked at this brutal answer.ed lest I should be troublesome. At my “Madam," said I, “ may I ask the reason age, Sir, we are not sufferable but in cases