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and his remarks go someway towards nullifying his hypothetical Concessions.
In short, if the stage were regulated as I could wish it, even clergymen almost might be actors upon it. As it is now managed, they cannot well, I think, be innocent spectators. Tacitus, I remember, somewhere speaking of the modesty of the German ladies, attributes it in a great measure to their not being suffered to attend public diversions. I should wish only to make one improvement on this German fashion, which is, neither to permit gentlemen nor ladies to attend them till they are better regulated. The historian might have reference to the public amusements of his own country, with which he thought it happy the German ladies had no opportunities of being corrupted. Whatever his precise meaning was, it shows his general opinion of such amusements and I suppose you will allow Tacitus, though not an apostle, to be a very good judge of men and manners. Besides, added the Dean, the very profession of a player is rendered so disreputable, that nobody ought to encourage it. Take the matter home with you. Would you wish either your son or daughter to seek a livelihood on the stage? If not, do you think it shows much moral rectitude, to encourage in other people's children, what, on virtuous principles, you would shudder at in your own?'
The more delicate and difficult part of the subject, the spe cification of innocent and instructive amusements, is treated with great propriety and liveliness in the third dialogue, which contains some very useful hints to sedentary students in general, as well as to the clergy. Music is especially recommended, with a needful restriction.
I know no amusement so adapted to the clerical life as music. And indeed not only as an amusement, but as a mean often, as Saul used it, to drive away the evil spirit. Sedentary men are subject to nervous complaints; and I have known many a man who could at any time fiddle away a fit of the spleen.
I am myself, said I, musical enough to have sometimes felt the relief you mention, though I can, on no instrument, charm any ears but my own.
And what other ears, replied the Dean, do you wish to charm? To tell you the truth, I should think excellence rather a disadvantage. I have known several clergymen, who were masters of music, get into disagreeable connections by being called on frequently to assist in concerts with people whom it would have been more prudent to avoid. We are willing indeed to suppose, that music makes a part of our heavenly enjoyments: but on earth, I am persuaded it is sometimes found among very unharmonized souls. It may drive away a fit of the spleen, or moderate some momentary passion; but I fear it has not often much effect in meliorating the heart by subduing inordinate affections.-If, therefore, continued the Dean, you can fiddle so as to amuse yourself, I should desire no more.'
Gardening receives its due honours, as a most clerical amusement. Bowls and Billiards, with only good company, and for
♦ no stake,' are also included in the good Bishop's book of sports; and a game of humble pretensions, but of most salutary efficiency, is thus deservedly eulogised,
I then asked the Dean, if he had ever heard of the game of shuttlecock; or if he would laugh at me for mentioning it to him as good domestic exercise.
Laugh at you! said the Dean; I know no game that I value more. It has all the characters of the amusement we want. It gives us good exercise-it makes us cheerful-and has no connection with our pockets: and if I may whisper another truth in your ear, it does not re quire much skill to learn. When my legs were in better order, I have spent many a rainy half-hour with Sir Roger, at shuttlecock, in his hall. The worst of it is, few parsonage houses have a room large enough for it; though perhaps the tithe barn, if it be not better en ployed, may furnish one. I could say more in favour of shuttlecock. You may play at it alone. It is also an exercise too violent to last long. We need not fear, as at billiards, to mispend a morning at it. -Laugh at you! so far from it, that I respect the man who invented shuttlecock.
I asked the Dean next, if he had any objection to some little handicraft business, as domestic exercise for a clergyman? And I particularised that of a carpenter, or a turner; both which, I said, were very well fitted to put the blood in motion.
Aye, aye, replied the Dean, I like them both. I have known very worthy clergymen good carpenters and turners. I knew one who had a shop in his house, and made his own tables and chairs. They were substantial and not ill made; though he did not think them neat enough for his parlour, they did very well for his chambers and study. I knew another clergyman, added the Dean, and an exem plary man he was, who was an excellent turner. He used to work in box, ebony, and ivory; and made a number of little, pretty conve niences both for himself and his friends. In the coldest weather, I have heard him say, he could put his whole frame in a glow by work ing his lathe. Did not you see in the prints, that Mons. Pascal, who died the other day, had retired, a few years ago, to the learned seminary of Port-Royal, where he, and other eminent men made it a rule to intermix their studies with manual labour?
I told the Dean I had seen it, and that I rather wondered at the choice which Pascal had made of his own employment, which was that of making wooden shoes.
Aye, good man, said the Dean, he made them for the poor pea sants in his neighbourhood: and I should be glad to give more than double their value for a pair of them to keep for his sake.'
Upon the whole, we think that the Public are under obligations to the Editor for this amusing and useful work on a hack neyed but far from exhausted subject, and one of great practical importance.
Art. XII. A Memoir of the Principal Occurrences during an Embassy from the British Government to the Court of China, in the Year 1816. By the Rev. Dr. Robert Morrison, Author of the Chinese Dictionary, &c. 8vo. pp. 96. Price 3s. 6d. London. 1820.
If pamphlet did not reach us till some time after its publication, and the interest attaching to the unsuccessful and unproductive Embassy, has long since subsided. But, as the present narrative comprises, in a cheap form, some enter taining descriptions of the manners and customs of the Chinese, and is in some of its details more minute than the heavy quarto of Mr. Commissioner Ellis; as, moreover, the object of the Editor, Dr. Morton, in availing himself of his excellent relative's permission to publish it, is to afford, by means of its profits, some relief to a widow with ten children; we cannot withhold our recommendation of the work, and havé only to regret that it should not have been more timely. Dr. Morrison, who was attached to the Embassy in the character of Interpreter, had, in being acquainted with the language, an advantage over the Commissioners, which he did not fail to turn to the best possible ac count. He could not only see with his own eyes, but, which they could not, hear with his own ears; and he both saw and heard with other feelings than those of a diplomatist,-with the views and emotions of a man whose youthful studies and maturer labours have all been devoted to the great work of preparing, in that vast portion of the Pagan world," the way of the Lord."
The decay and ruin in which the temples were frequently found, seems to denote, as Dr. M. remarks, a decay of the superstition which reared them; but a senseless idolatry still prevails.
On the hill above Teih-keang was a temple dedicated to Newshin, the god of kine.' A figure of a black cow, with a person sitting on it, stood in the temple; and by the side were several marble inscriptions, containing the names of the founders, and the views and feelings of the original proposer, who invited all the farmers in the neighbourhood to join in the expense.'
On the top of a lofty mountain seen from the river Yang-tsze Keang, near Ta-tung, is a temple erected to the god Kew-hwa, which gives its name to the mountain. The ascent is said to be so difficult in some places, that, in going up, it is necessary to attach a rope from above to the persons ascending.' In this temple, there are stated to be upwards of a thousand priests. A tolerable establishment! In the adjacent island of Ho-ye Chow, the Author
was interested by the appearance of a family containing four generations, amounting to about twenty persons, in the same house. The patriarch was only seventy years of age. At his feet stood his great grand-child, whilst his son was working at his father's coffin. I VOL. XVI. N. S. 2 Z
asked the old man why he now prepared his coffin. He said he felt his health decline, and he wished to have a place ready in which to rest after death. An opportunity did not offer to ascertain his views of a future state of existence. When asked if the sight of his coffin did not excite mournful ideas, he replied A mandarin with me remarked, "His mouth says No, but it is not the "language of his heart.">
At Woo-ching-Chin, on the left bank of the Tanho, is,
' a very spacious and elegant temple, dedicated to a man whose name was Heu Chin Keun, who is deified, and is called, "The Happy Lord. of Keang-se." His temple was by some emperor denominated Wanshow Kung, which is the name by which it is now known. The front is decorated with various devices on porcelain, and with handsome masonry. A large court is formed in front, and a fine building raised on the opposite side for the public performance of plays.'
At Nau-chang Foo, the capital of Keang-se, is a temple called Hwa Wang Meaou, the temple of the king of flowers,' in which the figures of the idol and the twelve Months of the Year, by whom he is surrounded, appeared quite new, and were painted in the most lively colours. This temple, an exception to the general appearance of these edifices,
was supported by the salt-merchants in the neighbourhood, who, in an adjoining hall, had placed an idol denominated Tsae-shin," the god of wealth." Before him was a stage for theatrical exhibitions, which are blended with the service of all the temples.'
Thus, in China, the imagined and desired alliance betweenwe may not say the pulpit and the stage, but-the stage and the altar, seems actually realised.
While the Embassy remained at Nan-chang Foo, an alarming fire broke out in the suburbs on the banks of the river. Our fire-engines,' says Dr. M., were offered to the Legate, who, with ❝ many professions of thanks, declined accepting them, as it was the duty of the local officers to see the fire extinguished, not 'his. In about the space of two hours, they succeeded.' This might be brutal nonchalance; but, possibly, it was conformable to the requisitions of Chinese etiquette: which etiquette would doubtless have forbidden at all events the extinguishing of a Chinese fire by an English engine. We have another illustration of the national sang froid, in the remark made by General Wang, in the course of conversation with our Author, the wars which preceded and accompanied the reigning family, thinned the population so much, that the earth produced great abundance for the wants of the people; but, since that period, there has been a vast increase of population, the consequences of which are scarcity and poverty. In the Ge'neral's opinion,' adds Dr. Morrison, another war to di
minish the population, would be a good thing.' One would think General Wang had been reading Malthus. A very sound political economist this General Wang!
As in other countries, so, in the celestial empire, there is quackery of various kinds. In the suburbs of Nan-kin, there are hotbaths for poor people, admittance one penny, the price of a clean shave in this country; and the sign of one of these baths holds forth in large characters the flattering promise, Heang shrouy yu Tang, the bath of fragrant water.' Just as in London, we have the Peerless Pool, or the Wellington chop house. The baths are in a small room, which continues filled with steam; and here all the bathers are together. They come out to dry themselves and dress in a public room, in which are cupboards numbered to contain the separate clothes of each bather. Some of the gentlemen of the Embassy put their heads into the bath, and found the effluvia any thing but fragrant. Fortune-telling is a good trade in some of the towns. The professors of the art keep regular shops. Dr. M. met with one of these gentry sitting at the gate of a temple, with his apparatus about him-he does not say what apparatus; but the gifted adept could not tell to whom the temple was dedi'cated.'
Mahommedans were found in every part of the country which was traversed by the Embassy. At Nang-chang Foo they have three mosques. In Keang-nan, they are said to have thirtysix. The prayers are not translated from the Arabic, and there are no books in Chinese containing their service or doctrines. They call the Deity Choo, Lord;' not Shin, a god or spi'rit;' because, they say, the Shin are included in things created, and Choo made all things. The Jews appear to be known under the name of the sinew-plucking sect:' but our Author did not meet with one of that dispersed nation, and the information he could gain, was but doubtful and scanty.