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the memory of persons whose bodies were perhaps buried in the plains of Blenheim, or in the bosom of the ocean.
I could not but be very much delighted with several modern epitaphs, which are written with great elegance of expression and justness of thought, and therefore do honour to the living as well as to the dead. As a foreigner is very apt to conceive an idea of the ignorance or politeness of a nation, from the turn of their public monuments and inscriptions, they should be submitted to the perusal of men of learning and genius, before they are put in execution. Sir 10 Cloudesly Shovel's monument has very often given me great offence : instead of the brave rough English Admiral, which was the distinguishing character of that plain gallant man, he is represented on his tomb by the figure of a beau, dressed in a long periwig, and reposing himself upon velvet cushions under a canopy of state. The inscription is answerable to the monument; for instead of celebrating the many remarkable actions he had performed in the service of his country, it acquaints us only with the manner of his death, in which it was impossible for him to reap any honour. The Dutch, 20 whom we are apt to despise for want of genius, show an infinitely greater taste of antiquity and politeness in their buildings and works of this nature, than what we meet with in those of our own country. The monuments of their admirals, which have been erected at the public expense, represent them like themselves ; and are adorned with rostral crowns and naval ornaments, with beautiful festoons of seaweed, shells, and coral.
But to return to our subject. I have left the repository of our English kings for the contemplation of another day, 30 when I shall find my mind disposed for so serious an amusement. I know that entertainments of this nature are apt to raise dark and dismal thoughts in timorous minds and gloomy imaginations ; but for my own part, though I am always serious, I do not know what it is to be melancholy ; and can therefore take a view of nature in her deep and
solemn scenes, with the same pleasure as in her most gay and delightful ones. By this means I can improve myself with those objects which others consider with terror. When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tomb-stone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider
the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly 10 follow ; when I see kings lying by those who deposed them,
when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.
XI. REMARKS ON THE ENGLISH BY THE INDIAN
April 27, 1711.
Nunquam aliud natura, aliud sapientia, dixit. ---Juv.
Good taste and nature always speak the same.
WHEN the four Indian kings were in this country about a twelvemonth ago, I often mixed with the rabble, and followed them a whole day together, being wonderfully struck with the sight of everything that is new or uncommon. I have, since their departure, employed a friend to make many inquiries of their landlord, the upholsterer, relating to their manners and conversation, as also concerning the remarks which they made in this country: for, next to the forning
REMARKS ON THE ENGLISH BY INDIAN KINGS. 45
a right notion of such strangers, I should be desirous of learning what ideas they have conceived of us.
The upholsterer, finding my friend very inquisitive about these his lodgers, brought him some time since a little bundle of
papers, which he assured him were written by King Sa Ga Yean Qua Rash Tow, and, as he supposes, left behind by some mistake. These papers are now translated, and contain abundance of very odd observations, which I find this little fraternity of kings made during their stay in the Isle of Great Britain. I shall present my reader with a short speci- 10 men of them in this paper, and may perhaps communicate more to him hereafter. In the article of London are the following words, which, without doubt, are meant of the Church of St. Pau).
“On the most rising part of the town there stands a huge house, big enough to contain the whole nation of which I am king. Our good brother E Tow 0 Koam, king of the rivers, is of opinion it was made by the hands of that great god to whom it is consecrated. The kings of Granajah, and of the six nations, believe that it was created with the earth, and 20 produced on the same day with the sun and moon. But, for my own part, by the best information that I could get of this matter, I am apt to think, that this prodigious pile was fashioned into the shape it now bears by several tools and instruments, of which they have a wonderful variety in this country. It was probably at first an huge misshapen rock that grew upon the top of the hill, which the natives of the country (after having cut it into a kind of regular figure) bored and hollowed with incredible pains and industry, till they had wrought in it all those beautiful vaults and caverns 30 into which it is divided at this day. As soon as this rock was thus curiously scooped to their liking, a prodigious number of hands must have been employed in chipping the outside of it, which is now as smooth as the surface of a pebble; and is in several places hewn out into pillars, that stand like the trunks of so many trees bound about the top with gar
lands of leaves. It is probable that when this great work was begun, which must have been
years ago, there was some religion among this people, for they give it the name of a temple, and have a tradition that it was designed for men to pay their devotion in. And, indeed, there are several reasons which make us think, that the natives of this country hail formerly among them some sort of worship: for they set apart every seventh day as sacred: but upon my
going into one of these holy houses on that day, I could not 10 observe any circumstance of devotion in their behaviour :
there was, indeed, a man in black who was mounted above the rest, and seemed to utter something with a great deal of vehemence ; but as for those underneath him, instead of paying their worship to the deity of the place, they were most of them bowing and curtseying to one another, and a considerable number of them fast asleep.
“The queen of the country appointed two men to attend us, that had enough of our language to make themselves
understood in some few particulars. But we soon perceived 20 these two were great enemies to one another, and did not
always agree in the same story. We could make a shift to gather out of one of them, that this island was very much infested with a monstrous kind of animals, in the shape of men, called Whigs; and he often told us, that he hoped we should meet with none of them in our way, for that, if we did, they would be apt to knock us down for being kings.
“Our other interpreter used to talk very much of a kind of animal called a Tory, that was as great a monster as the
Whig, and would treat us as ill for being foreigners. These 30 two creatures, it seems, are born with a secret antipathy to
one another, and engage when they meet as naturally as the elephant and the rhinoceros. But as we saw none of either of these species, we are apt to think that our guides deceived us with misrepresentations and fictions, and amused us with an account of such monsters as are not really in their country.
“These particulars we made a shift to pick out from the
REMARKS ON THE ENGLISH BY INDIAN KINGS. 47
discourse of our interpreters ; which we put together as well as we could, being able to understand but here and there a word of what they said, and afterwards making up the meaning of it among ourselves. The men of the country are very cunning and ingenious in handicraft works; but withal so very idle, that we often saw young, lusty, raw-boned fellows carried
and down the streets in little covered rooms by a couple of porters, who are hired for that service. Their dress is likewise very barbarous, for they almost strangle themselves about the neck, and bind their bodies with many 10 ligatures, that we are apt to think are the occasion of several distempers among them, which our country is entirely free from. Instead of those beautiful feathers with which we adorn our heads, they often buy up a monstrous bush of hair, which covers their heads, and falls down in a large fleece below the middle of their backs; with which they walk up and down the streets, and are as proud of it as if it was of their own growth.
“We were invited to one of their public diversions, where we hoped to have seen the great men of their country run- 20 ning down a stag, or pitching a bar, that we might have discovered who were the persons of the greatest abilities among them ; but instead of that, they conveyed us into an huge room lighted up with abundance of candles, where this lazy people sat still above three hours to see several feats of ingenuity performed by others, who it seems were paid for it.
“As for the women of the country, not being able to talk with them, we could only make our remarks upon them at a distance. They let the hair of their heads grow to a great length; but as the men make a great show with heads of 30 hair that are none of their own, the women, who they say have very fine heads of hair, tie it up in a knot, and cover it from being seen. The women look like angels, and would be more beautiful than the sun, were it not for little black spots that are apt to break out in their faces, and sometimes rise in very odd figures. I have observed that those little