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dict, it then attacks our lives, since in such a case the whole community suffers with the innocent victim ; if therefore in order to secure the effects of one man, I should make a law which may take away the life of another, in such a case to attain a smaller good, I am guilty of a greater evil; to secure society in the possession of a bauble, I render a real and valuable possession precarious. And indeed the experience of every age may serve to vindicate the assertion : no law could be more just than that called lesæ Majestatis, when Rome was governed by Emperors. It was but reasonable, that every conspiracy against the administration should be detected and punished; yet what terrible slaughters succeeded in consequence of its enactment? proscriptions, stranglings, poisonings, in almost every family of distinction; yet all done in a legal way, every criminal had his trial, and lost his life by a majority of witnesses.
And such will ever be the case, where punishments are numerous, and where a weak, vicious, but above all, where a mercenary magistrate is concerned in their execution ; such a man desires to see penal laws increased, since he too frequently has it in his power, to turn them into instruments of extortion : in such hands the more laws, the wider means, not of satisfying justice, but of satiating avarice.
A mercenary magistrate who is rewarded in proportion, not to his integrity, but to the number he convicts, must be a person of the most unblemished character, or he will lean on the side of cruelty; and when once the work of injustice is begun, it is impossible to tell how far it will proceed: it is said of the Hyæna that naturally it is no way ravenous, but when once it has tasted human flesh, it becomes the most voracious animal of the forest, and continues to persecute mankind ever after : a corrupt magistrate may
be considered as a human Hyæna; he begins perhaps by a private snap, he goes on to a morsel among friends, he proceeds to a meal in public, from a meal he advances to a surfeit, and at last sucks blood like a vampyre.
Not into such hands should the administration of justice be intrusted, but to those who know how to reward as well as to punish. It was a fine saying of Nangfu the emperor, who being told that his enemies had raised an insurrection in one of the distant provinces ; come then, my friends, said he, follow me, and I promise you that we shall quickly destroy them; he marched forward, and the rebels submitted upon his approach.
All now thought that he would take the most signal revenge, but were supprised to see the captives treated with mildness and humanity. How! cries his first minister, is this the manner in which you fulfil your promise ? your royal word was given that your enemies should be destroyed, and behold you have pardoned all, and even caressed some ! I promised, replied the emperor, with a generous air, to destroy my enemies; I have fulfilled my word, for see they are enemies no longer; I have made friends of them.
This, could it always succeed, were the true method of destroying the enemies of a state ; well it were if rewards and mercy alone could regulate the commonwealth ; but since punishments are sometimes necessary, let them at least be rendered terrible, by being executed but seldom, and let justice lift her sword rather to terrify than revenge.
FROM THE SAME.
I HAVE as yet given you but a short and imperfect description of the Ladies of England. Woman, my friend, is a subject not easily understood, even in China; what therefore can be expected from my knowledge of the sex in a country where they are universally allowed to be riddles, and I but a stran
To confess a truth, I was afraid to begin the description, lest the sex should undergo some new revolution before it was finished : and my picture should thus become old before it could well be said to have ever been new. To day they are lifted upon stilts, tomorrow they lower their heels and raise their heads ; their clothes at one time are bloated out with whalebone ; at present they have laid their hoops aside, and are become as slim as mermaids. All, all is in a state of continual fluctuation, from the Mandarine's wife, who rattles through the streets in her chariot, to the humble sempstress, who clatters over the pavement in iron-shod pattens.
What chiefly distinguishes the sex at present is the train. As a Lady's quality or fashion was once determined here by the circumference of her hoop, both are now measured by the length of her tail. Women of moderate fortunes are contented with tails mode rately long; but ladies of true taste and distinction set no bounds to their ambition in this particular. I am told the Lady Mayoress, on days of ceremony, carries one longer than a bell-wether of Bantam, whose tail you know is trundled along in a wheel-bar
Sun of China, what contradictions do we find in this strange world! not only the people of different countries think in opposition to each other, but the inhabitants of a single island are often found inconsistent to themselves ; would you believe it? this very people, my Fum, who are so fond of seeing their women with long tails, at the same time dock their horses to the very rump!!
But you may easily guess that I am no way displeased with a fashion which tends to increase a demand for the commodities of the East, and is so very beneficial to the country in which I was born. Nothing can be better calculated to increase the price of silk than the present manner of dressing. A lady's train is not bought but at some expense, and after it has swept the public walks for a very few evenings, it is fit to be worn no longer: more silk must be bought in order to repair the breach, and some ladies of peculiar economy are thus found to patch up their tails eight or ten times in a season. This unnecessary consumption may introduce poverty here, but then we shall be the richer for it in China,
The man in black, who is a professed enemy to this manner of ornamenting the tail, assures me, there are numberless inconveniences attending it, and that a lady dressed up to the fashion is as much a crippie as any in Nankin. But his chief indignation is levelled at those who dress in this manner, without a proper fortune to support it. He assures me, that he has known some, who would have a tail, though they wanted a petticoat, and others, who, without any other pretensions, fancied they became ladies merely from the addition of three superfluous yards of ragged silk; I know a thrifty good woman, continues he, who, thinking herself obliged to carry a train like her betters, never walks from home without the uneasy apprehensions of wearing it out too soon; every excursion she makes gives her new anxiety, and her train is every bit as importunate, and wounds her peace as much as the bladder we sometimes see tied to the tail of a cat.
Nay, he ventures to affirm, that a train may often bring a lady into the most critical circumstances ; for should a rude fellow, says he, offer to come up to ravish a kiss, and the lady attempt to avoid it, in retiring she must necessarily tread upon her train, and thus fall fairly upon her back, by which means every one knows—her clothes may be spoiled.
The ladies here make no scruple to laugh at the smallness of a Chinese slipper, but I fancy our wives at China would have a more real cause of laughter, could they but see the immoderate length of an Eu
Head of Confucius! to view a human being crippling herself with a great unwieldy tail for our diversion ; backward she cannot go, forward she must move but slowly, and if ever she attempts to turn round, it must be in a circle not smaller than that described by the wheeling crocodile, when it would face an assailant. And yet to think that all this confers importance and majesty! to think that a lady acquires additional respect from fifteen yards of trail. ing taffety! I cannot contain ; ha, ha, ha; this is cer tainly a remnant of European barbarity ; the female Tartar dressed in sheep skins, is in far more conven ient drapery. Their own writers have sometimes inveighed against the absurdity of this fashion, but per haps it has never been ridiculed so well as upon the Italian theatre, where Pasquarielo being engaged to attend on the countess of Fernambroco, having one his hands employed in carrying her muff, and the