صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

countenance, and seemed intrepid. Just at the palace gate was a great crowd of statues; and as we made up to them, I observed some footsoldiers placed as sentinels on every side : one made a compliment with his weapon, which was like a battle-axe; I turned my eyes, and perceived an officer in stone just by. When we came nearer, I found a number raised above the rest, in seats in a circular position: here was the king himself distributing justice, and many learned statues in the law assisting him: his countenance was majestic, but not terrible, and he seemed about the middle part of life. The grandeur of this assembly, and the silence here, struck me with much regard : the Gauls stopt not with greater reverence, when they found the elders of Rome sitting with all the dignity and decorum becoming that august senate. It scarcely ever rains in this country, which made them have an open court. .

My curiosity would fain have led me into the king's palace, and the houses of the great men (for to look all over the city I thought would be an endless task); but my guide told me, that in those places many things were doing which it was not proper for me to see.

This answer did not, however, satisfy me; and with pressing

him too eagerly I lost my dream, and found I had been no farther than the Minories.

UNIVERSAL SPECTATOR, vol. i. p. 113. The story in the Arabian Nights, to which this entertaining paper alludes, is in the History of Zobeide, vol. i. p. 264, of Forster's translation. The Arabs, ignorant of the effects of chemical solution and deposition, very generally attributed phenomena of this kind to the operation of magic. Dr. Shaw, in his Travels through Barbary, has recorded some striking instances of this credulity.--" At the distance of some leagues (he relates) to the eastward of Constantia, are the Silent, or Enchanted Baths. They issue from a low ground, surrounded with mountains. Several of the springs have an intense heat, and at a small distance others are comparatively cold, near which are the ruins of some houses, probably erected for the convenience of bathers.

“The steam of those springs is strongly sulphureous, and the heat is so great as to boil a large piece of mutton very tender in fifteen minutes. The rocky ground, over which the water runs for the space of one hundred feet, is in a manner dissolved, or rather calcined by it. These rocks, being originally soft and uniform, the water, by making equal impressions on them all round, has left them in the shape of cones and hemispheres, which being six feet high, and nearly of the same diameter, the Arabs believe to have been the tents of some aboriginal inhabitants, turned into stone.

“ Where these rocks contain a mixture of harder matter with their usual chalky substance, and consequently cannot be equally and uniformly dissolved, you are entertained with a confusion of traces and channels, distinguished by the Arabs into camels, horses, and sheep, men, women, and children, whom they suppose to have undergone similar transformation with their tents.

« On riding over this place, it reverberates such a hollow

sound, that we were every moment apprehensive of sinking through it. The ground being thus evidently hollow, it is probable that air, pent up in these caverns, produces that mixture of shrill murmuring, and deep sounds, which, according to the direction of the winds and the agitation of the external air, issue out along with the water. These sounds the Arabs affirm to be the music of the Jenoure, or fairies, who are supposed to take a peculiar delight in this place, and to be the grand agents in all these remarkable appearances." Mavor's Voyages and Travels, vol. xii. p. 91.


Hic multum in Fabia valet, ille velina ;
Cuilibet hic fasces dabit, eripietque curule;
Cui volet, importunus ebur, frater, pater, adde ;
Ut cuique est ætas, ita quem que facetas adopta.


The Fabian tribe his interest largely sways;
This the Velinian ; there a third, with case,
Can give or take the honours of the state,
The consul's fasces, and the prætor's seat;
According to their age adopt them all,
And brother, father, most facetious call.


Human nature, though every where the same, is so seemingly diversified by the various habits and customs of different countries, and so blended with the early impressions we receive from our education, that they are often confounded together, and mistaken for one another. This makes us look with astonishment upon all customs that are extremely different from our own, and hardly allow those nations to be of the same nature with ourselves, if they are unlike us in their manners; whereas all human actions may be traced up to those two great motives—the pursuit of pleasure, and the avoidance of pain; and, upon strict examination, we shall find that those customs which at first view seem the most different from our own, have in reality a great analogy with them.

What more particularly suggested this thought to me was, an account which a gentleman, who was lately returned from China, gave, in a company where I happened to be present, of a pleasure held in high esteem and extremely practised by that luxurious nation. He told us, that the tickling of the ears was one of the most exquisite sensations known in China ; and that the delight administered to the whole frame, through this organ, could, by an able and skilful tickler, be raised to whatever degree of ecstasy the patient should desire.

The company, struck with this novelty, expressed their surprise, as is usual on such occasions, first by a silly silence, and then by many silly questions. The account too, coming from so far as China, raised both their wonder and their curiosity, much more than if it had come from any European country, and opened a larger field for many impertinent questions. Among others, the gentleman was asked whether the Chinese ears and fingers had the least resemblance to ours; to which having answered in the affirma tive, he went on thus :-“I perceive I have excited your curiosity so much by mentioning a custom so unknown to you here, that I believe

« السابقةمتابعة »