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first presented to the emperor. He arrived very soon after us, mounted his throne, and gave the signal to begin. We had now wrestling, and dancing, and tumbling, and posture making, which appeared to us particularly awkward and clumsy, from the performers being mostly dressed according to the Chinese costume, one inseparable part of which, is a pair of heavy quilted boots, with the soles of an inch thick. The wrestlers, however, seemed pretty expert, and afforded much diversion to such as were admirers of the palaestra. A boy climbed up a pole, or bamboo, thirty or forty feet high, played several gambols, and balanced himself on the top of it, in various attitudes; but his performance fell far short of what I have often met with in India of the same kind. A fellow lay down on his back, and then raised his feet, legs, and thighs perpendicularly, so as to form a right angle with his body. On the soles of his feet was placed a large, round, empty jar, about four feet long, and from two and a half to three feet diameter. This he balanced for some time, turning it round and round, horizontally, till one of the spectators put a little boy in it, who, after throwing himself into various postures at the mouth of it, came out and sat on the top. He then stood up, then sell flat upon his back, then shifted to his belly, and after showing a hundred tricks of that sort, jumped down upon the ground, and relieved his coadjutor. A man then came forward, and, after fastening three slender sticks to each of his boots, took six porcelain dishes, of eighteen inches diameter, and balancing , them separately at the end of a little ivory rod, which
lac held in his hand, and twirling them about for some time, put them, one after the other, upon the points of the boot-sticks above mentioned, they continuing to turn round all the while. He then took two small sticks in his left hand, and put dishes upon them in the same manner as upon the other, and also one more upon the little finger of his right hand, so that he had nine dishes annexed to him at once, all twirling together, which in a few minutes he took off, one by one, and placed them regularly on the ground, without the slightest interruption or miscarriage.
There were many other things of the same kind, but I saw none at all comparable to the tumbling, ropedancing, wire-walking, and straw-balancing of Sadler's Wells; neither did I observe any feats of equitation in the style of Hughes's and Astley's amphitheatres, although I had been always told, that the Tartars were remarkably skilful in the instruction and discipline of their horses. Last of all were the fire-works, which, in some particulars, exceeded any thing of the kind I had ever seen. One piece of machinery I greatly admired; • green chest, of five feet square, was hoisted up by a pulley, to the height of fifty or sixty feet from the ground; the bottom was so constructed as then suddenly to fall out, and make way for twenty or thirty strings of lanterns, inclosed in the box, to descend from it, unfolding themselves from one another by degrees, so as at last to form a collection of at least five hundred, each having a light of a beautifully-coloured flame burning brightly within it. This devolution and development of lanterns, which appeared to me to be composed of gauze and paper, were several time* repeated, and every time exhibited a difference of colour and figure. On each side was a correspondence of smaller boxes, which opened in like manner as the others, and let down an immense net-work of fire, with divisions and compartments of various forms and dimensions, round and square, hexagons, octagons, and lozenges, which shone like the brightest burnished copper, and flashed like prismatic lightning with every impulse of the wind. The diversity of colours, indeed, with which the Chinese have the secret of clothing fire, seems one of the chief merits of their pyrotechny. The whole concluded with a volcano, or general explosion and discharge of suns and stars, squibs, bouncers, crackers, rockets, and grenadoes, which involved the gardens for above an hour after in a cloud of smoke. Whilst these entertainments were going forwards, the emperor sent to us a variety of refreshments, all which, as coming from him, the etiquette of the court required us to partake of, although we had dined but a short time before.
However meanly we must think of the taste and delicacy of the court of China, whose most refined amusements seem to be chiefly such as I have now described, together with the wretched dramas of the morning, yet it must be confessed, that there was something grand and imposing in the general effect that resulted from the whole spectacle. The emperor himself being seated in front upon his throne, and all his great men and officers attending in their robes of eeremony, and stationed on each side of him, some .standing, some sitting, some kneeling, and the guards and standard-bearers behind them in incalculable numbers. A dead silence was rigidly observed, not a «jrllable articulated, nor a laugh exploded during the whole performance.
INHABITANTS OF INDIA.
"The poppy, ar.d each numming plant dispense Their drowsy virtue and dull indolence. No passions interrupt his easy reign, . .
No problems puzzle his lethargic brain." Caith.
.... There are numerous works which treat of the inhabitants of India, and whence much important knowledge may be extracted. The 'Asiatic Researches' hold the first place, as in these volumes the learning and genius of the east may be said' to be combined. Amongst the works of Sir William Jones, his translation of 'The Institutes of Menu,' will be found the most advantageous. They make you acquainted with laws congenial to the dispositions and habits, to the religious prejudices, and approved immemorial usages of the people for whom they were enacted; and conformable, as far as the natives are affected by them, to theopmionsand manners of the natives themselves; an object which cannot possibly be obtained until those manners and opinions can be accurately and fully known. Halhed's translation of the 'Ordination of Brahmens,' contains knowledge very essential in our enquiry into Oriental habits and laws. 'Maurice's Indian Antiquities' afford very extensive instruction; and much rational information may be collected from the 'Arabian Nights,' aud other eastern tales, which probably afford the truest picture of Asiatic manners we have in onr possession. This work, which, as children, we have all heard with such fixed attention and rapturous delight, on account of the pleasing and interesting narration, is well worthy our notice as men, as disclosing to curious observation the inmost recesses of Indian customs and belief. The more minute our investigation, the more fruitful shall we find the soil, the produce of which must always afford a recompense equal to the labour we employ in reaping it.
.... When writing on the progress of national refinement, how is a standard for civility to be fixed? It has been generally accounted, that those countries alone are civilised, where laws have been framed for the protection of life, and for the safety of property. That country, therefore, can never be called civilised, where the priest stands before the altar of his idol with his hands reeking with the blood of the newly-slaughtered victim; whose laws permit the son to expose to the flood the being who gave him birth, when oppressed by years, and unable to labour for the support of life; where the youthful widow is compelled to finish a short life upon the pile of her deceased husband, or else must survive his loss in ignominy or servitude; •where human sacrifices are offered up to appease the demon of destruction; and where the woman, who has been long barren, offers her first born to her god, by exposing it to the birds and beasts of prey, or suffering it to be carried away by the flood of the Ganges.
The Indians at present under the British dominion, particularly those near the seats of government, appear inclined to dismiss many of their prejudices. The