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of the count: his vassals joyfully greet their lord and father, whom they had given up for lost, and with looks of curiosity beheld his companion, whose face is concealed beneath a veil. On their arrival at the castle, the countess rushes into his embrace"That you, my dear wife, see me again,” said he, "you have to thank her, pointing to his deliverer; she has, for my sake, left her father and her native land.” The count covers his streaming eyes with his hands; the beauteous Saracen drops her veil, and throwing herself at the feet of the countess, exclaims, “I am thy vassal!"“Thou art my sister,” replied the countess, raising and embracing her. “My husband shall be thine also; we will share his heart.” The count, astonished at the magnanimity of his wife, presses her to his heart; all these are united in one embrace, and they swear to love each other till death. Heaven blessed this threefold union, and the pope himself confirmed it. The count's habitation was the abode of peace and happiness, and he, with his two faithful wives, were, after their death, laid in one grave. A large stone covers it, on which the chissel of sensibility has represented them*.
* Their tomb is to be seen in the Benedictine convent at Erfurth, in Germany.
TIE ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHINESE EMPEROR'S
.“ Hast thou not seen my morning chambers fill'd
With sceptred slaves, who waited to salute me?''
The following Account, given by Lord Macartney, of the Em.
peror's Birth-day Solemnities, in China, which his Lordship has obligingly permitted Mr. Barrow to extract from his Journal, will serve to convey to our Readers a tolerably exact Idea of the State, Pleasures, and Amusements of the great Monarch of that celebrated Country.
The 17th of September being the emperor's birth-day, we set out for the court *, at three o'clock in the morning, conducted by Van-ta-gin, Chou-ta-gin, and our usual attendants. We reposed ourselves, about two hours, in a large saloon at the entrance of the palace inclosure, where fruit-trees, warm milk, and other refreshments were brought to us. At last, notice was given that the festival was going to begin, and we immediately descended into the garden, where we found all the great men and mandarins, in their robes of state, drawn up before the imperial pavilion. The
* The court then resided at the palace of Yeuen-min. Yeuen, at some distance from Pekin. Some writer has ob. served, that the king of England is worse lodged, at St James's paluce, than any sovereign of Europe. But Mr. Barrow as. serts, that were he to compare some of the imperial palaces in China to any royal residence in Europe, it would certainly be to St. James's; but the apartments, the furniture, and conveniences of the latter, bad as they are, infinitely, according to his account, transcend any of those in China.
emperor did not show himself", but remained concealed behind a screen, from whence, I presume, he could see and enjoy the ceremonies without inconvenience or in terruption. All eyes were turned towards the place where his majesty was imagined to be enthroned, and seemed to express an impatience to begin the devotions of the day. Slow, solemn music, muffied drums, and deep-toned bells, were heard at a distance;-on a sudden the sounds ceased, and all was still again they were renewed, and then intermitted with short pauses; during which several persons passed backwards and forwards in the proscenium, or fore ground of the tent, as if engaged in preparing some grand coup de theatre.
At length the great band, both vocal and instrumental, struck up with all their powers of harmony, and instantly the whole court fell fat upon their faces before this invisible Nebuchadnezzar, whilst
“ He, in his cloudy tabernacle 'shrin'd,
Sojourned the while.”
The music might be considered as a sort of birth-day ode, or state anthem, the burthen of which was, “ Bow down your heads, all ye dwellers upon earth, bow down your heads before the great Kien-long, the great Kienlong.” And then all the dwellers upon China earth there present, except ourselves, bowed down their heads, and prostrated themselves upon the ground at every renewal of the chorus. Indeed, in no religion, either ancient or modern, has the Divinity ever been addressed, I believe, with stronger exterior marks of worship and adoration than were this morning paid to the phantom of his Chinese majesty. Such is the mode of celebrating the emperor's anniversary festival, according to the court ritual. We saw nothing of him the whole day, nor did any of his ministers, I imagine, approach him, for they all seemed to retire at the same moment that we did.
* The emperor rarely shows himself in public among the Chinese part of his subjects, except on solemn occasions : and even then, the exhibition is confined within the precincts of the palace, from which the populace are entirely ex
In the course of a tour that we made in the gardens, with the prime minister and the great officers of state whom the emperor had directed to attend us, we were entertained at one of the palaces with a collation of petit patis, salt relishes, and other savoury dishes, with fruits and sweet meats, milk and ice water; and as soon as we rose from table, a number of yellow boxes, or drawers, were carried in procession before us, containing several pieces of silk and porcelain, which we were told were presents to us from the emperor, and we consequently made our bows as they passed. We were also amused with a Chinese puppet-show, which differs but little from an English one. There are a distressed princess confined in a castle, and knight er: rant, who, after fighting wild beasts and dragons, sets her at liberty, and marries her; wedding-feasts, jousts and tournaments. Besides these, there was also a comic drama, in which some personages, not unlike punch and his wife, Bandemeer, and Scaramouch, performed capital parts. This puppet-show, we were told, properly
belongs to the ladies' apartments*, but was sent out; as a particular compliment, to entertain us; one of the performances was exhibited with great applause from our conductors, and I understand it is a favourite piece at court.
On the morning of the 18th of September, we again went to court, in consequence of an invitation from the emperor, to see the Chinese comedy and other diver. sions given on occasion of his birth-day. The comedy began at eight o'clock and lasted till noon. The emperor was seated on a throne, opposite the stage, which projected a good deal into the pit. The boxes were on each side, without seats or divisions. The women were placed above, behind the lattices, so that they might enjoy the amusements of the theatre without being observed.
Soon after we came in, the emperor sent for Sir George Staunton and me, to attend him, and told us, with great condescension of manners, that we ought not
* Of the women belonging to the monarch, one only has the rank of empress; after whom are two queens and their nume. rous attendants, which constitute the second class of the esta. blishment; and the third consists of six queens and their at. tendants. To these three ranks of the emperor's wives are attached one hundred ladies, who are usually called his concu. bines. They would seem to be of the same description, and to hold the same rank as the handmaids of the ancient Israelites. Their children are all considered as branches of the imperial fa. mily, but the preference to the succession is generally given to the male issue of the first empress, provided there should be any. The daughters are usually married to Tartar princes, and other Tartars of distinction, but rarely, if ever, to a Chinese.