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to unknown blackamoors. I paid however such respect to the preju dices of the day, as to confine my license to a fingle ship, and shall be cautious in extending it till the proper authority fhall have decided this point, which feems to have been at iffue for fome years paft between rafhnefs and experience, thoughtleffness and reflection, ancient wifdom, and modern philofophy." I. 389, 390.
Mr Barrow has thus brought on Lord Macartney the heavy charge of holding certain ferious opinions on a most important fubject, and yet concealing them; nay, adopting the very worst language of the oppofite party, in a letter to the leader of that party. No man who understands the question, however, can read the paffage to which we have referred, without perceiving that Mr Barrow, in his zeal to praife, and in his utter ignorance of the fubject, (a hackneyed one furely), has miftated Lord Macartney's opinions. We will not believe him guilty of fuch mean duplicity. We are fatisfied that he was not an abolitionist with regard to the trade; that he was what is called a gradual abolitionist;-and that Mr Barrow has confounded this with his being a friend to gradual abolition of flavery, and to the immediate abolition of the trade. If his volumes ever fee another edition, he should correct this, in jus tice to his patron's memory, which he has unwittingly afperfed.
The Second of these volumes is compofed of feveral tracts from the pen of Lord Macartney; and the whole publication fhould, in our humble opinion, have been limited to the most interesting of them, with a fhort biographical sketch by the editor. The tracts are four in number, extracts from an account of the Ruffian empire; a sketch of the Hiftory of Ireland; his journal of the Chinese Embaffy; and an appendix upon the ftate of China.
The account of Ruffia, though diftinctly, and we prefume very correctly, drawn up, has now loft the greater part of the interest which it may have had when it was written. That great empire is indeed fo much changed fince the acceffion of Catherine, that we can scarcely recognize in an old sketch of it, the features by which it is known at prefent. Some of the traits, however, ftill remain; and among others, the character of the Ruffian nobles is much lefs improved than might have been expected, fince the period of Lord Macartney's million. The following paffage is not without merit as a piece of compofition; and from its coming pretty near the mark even at prefent, we guefs that it was a most accurate delineation when it was taken.
The Ruffian gentlemen are certainly the leaft informed of all others in Europe; the chief point of their inftruction is a knowledge of modern languages, particularly the French and German; both which they ufually speak with very great facility, though incapable of writing ei ther with precifion or propriety, Thofe who can afford the expenfe, and indeed many who canhot afford it, complete their education by a
tour to France; where, ignorant and unprincipled as they are, they catch at every thing that feeds the fancy or inflames the paffions; there they find ample fuel for both; they greedily devour all that is fet before them without felection, and lofe their delicacy of tafte in enormity of appetite to Frenchmen they become defpicable Ruffians, to Ruffians defpicable Frenchmen, to others equal objects of pity and contempt. So feldom do they derive advantage from thofe circumftances which form and accomplish the gentleman of other countries, that, inftead of inftruction or real improvement, they rarely acquire more than perfonal affectation and mental diftortion, and, after all their travels, return home far inferior, in the virtues of a good citizen, to thofe who have never travelled at all.
Their natural parts are tolerably good, but they univerfally want the difcriminating faculty; whence they fall into the moft abfurd imitations of foreign life and manners, and, abandoning the common fenfe of nature, adopt fashions and customs totally contrary to their climate and troublesome to themselves. Though freezing under the 60th des gree of northern latitude, they build their houfes like the airy palaces of Florence and Sienna. In France it is the etiquette of fashion to begin the spring season at Eafter, and to mark it by drefs; the imitative Ruffian does the fame, and flings off his winter garments whilft the earth is covered with fnow, and himself shivering with cold. It is the peculiar privilege of the nobleffe at Paris to have Swifs porters at the gates of their hotels; at Petersburg a Rufs gentleman of any fashion must have a Swifs alfo, or fome tall fellow with a laced belt and hanger, which it feems are the indifpenfable accoutrements of a Parifian janitor. It would be an endless task to recite the follies and abfurdities of this kind, which they every day fall into; but these few examples will, I prefume, appear fufficient. II. 35, 36, 37,
There is much good fenfe, too, in the author's criticism on Peter the Great; though, in defining the difcriminating faculty, as he calls it, he falls into his worft tafte. We prefume he means by that expreffion, common fenfe, or found practical understanding, as oppofed to genius and fancy.
This reign forms the grand era of that reformation which, though much more extenfive than the preceding, is falfely believed to have to tally changed and civilized the whole Ruffian nation. Peter, though endowed with ftrong natural abilities, and with wonderful talents, yet, like moft Ruffians I have met with, he poffeffed not the difcriminating faculty, that divine fagacity which explores the diamond in the mine, feizes its value, and at once decides, amidft various degrees of excellence, which is most excellent.
To the want of this power are to be attributed all the imperfections which his plans were attended with: for, in the ardour of alteration and improvement, he indifcriminately adopted a thousand foreign cuftoms and inftitutions, without regarding time, place, propriety, or eircumftance: instead of forming his people upon originality, he moulded
them into imitators, and injudiciously deprived them of their ancient character, without afcertaining the practicability of giving them a better.' 11. 53.
The historical sketch of Ireland is general indeed, and for the most part void of details; but the fubject is in itself far from interesting or important, until we come to the later periods; and thefe are very well handled by Lord Macartney, confiftently with his object of only exhibiting an outline. We meet, no doubt, with frequent marks of his courtly and official prejudices; his refpectful adherence to Poynings's law; his invariable and unqualified contempt for the Patriots; and his horror of all measures which, by exhaufting the fixed, hereditary revenue, tended to fecure the existence of Parliaments. He feems, too, ftrangely inattentive to the very progrefs of the country and its conftitution, which he is himself relating, when he forgets how impoffible it was for any established revenue to have placed the crown above the neceflity of calling parliaments. The measures which he afcribes to the factious views of the oppofition, were exact counterparts of the ftruggles between the Commons and the Crown in England, a century and a half before: and the political independence of Ireland, which was gradually growing up under his eyes with the growth of her refources, though he does not feem ever to have dreamt of it, was deftined to attain maturity a few years afterwards, much more furely than the liberties of this country in 1688 flowed from the reigns of James I. and his fucceffor. For one part of this tract, however, the noble author is entitled to almost unmingled praife. He defcribes in its true colours, the abominable fyftem of perfecution, embodied into law, in the various ftatutes against popery; and he delivers his fentiments at fuch length, and with fuch honeft indignation against those odious acts, that though the greater part of them are now repealed, yet we should be afraid to follow him, or quote all his invectives, left, peradventure, in this moft proteftant æra, we should expose to risk, or at least be accused of disrespect to the wifdom of our ancestors. Indeed, with the exception of a fingle qualifying clause in p. 118, the whole of Lord Macartney's differtation on this topic claffes him among the warmest antagonists of the prefent courtly doctrines. He wrote, it is true, before the royal confcience had been disturbed by the jefuitical arts of intriguing hypocrites; yet do we marvel how his difcreet biographer could venture, under the exifting administration, to edite fuch paffages as the following, with the debate on the Maynooth grant before his eyes. The laws of Ireland against papifts are the harsh dictates of perfecution, not the calm fuggeftions of reafon and policy. They threaten the papifts with penalties, in cafe of foreign education; and yet al
low them no education at home. They fhut the doors of their own univerfity against them; and forbid them to enter any other. No man fhall go to lecture, who will not go to church,' &c. The whole of the bitter invective against these wretched and wicked prejudices, from p. 115 to p. 123, is well worthy of attention, though, for the reafon above giten, we must decline extracting any more of it.
The journal of the Chinese embaffy is however, in every point of view, the most interesting part of the prefent publication; and we lament exceedingly that the length which this article has already reached, must prevent us from giving our readers either a full account of its contents, or a fufficient specimen of it by copious extracts. It contains an ample but not tedious or over-minute narrative of each day's transactions and obfervations, in the courfe of a journey and refidence, every hour of which prefented fomething interefting and novel. We here get rid of Lord Macartney's heavy and artificial ftyle of writing; and as he was taking notes for himself, not preparing defpatches for an office, he is natural and easy, as well as perfpicuous. Many additional lights are thrown upon the character of the Chinese, which, indeed, finks in our estimation every step we approach to it. A variety of the most curious and authentic particulars are recorded of the ftate of the empire, its refources and inftitutions. The history of the embaffy, and the progrefs of the negotiation, are detailed ina way calculated to give us ftill more accurate notions of the Chinese policy and manners. And what renders the general inference from the whole facts the more conclufive against this boated people, we plainly perceive that the noble author went among them with the ordinary prejudices in favour of their virtue, wif dom, and happiness; and came away without experiencing in himself that complete cure of fuch notions which the labours of his miffion have done fo much to effect in the literary world at large.
The following passage contains a specimen of the kind of trifles on which the Chinese exhaust their ingenuity as negocia
They then introduced the fubject of the court ceremonies, with -a degree of art, address and infinuation, that I could not avoid admiring. They began by turning the converfation upon the different modes of drefs that prevailed among different nations, and, after pretending to examine ours particularly, feemed to prefer their own on account of its being loose and free from ligatures, and of its not impeding or obftructing the genuflexions and proftrations which were (they faid) cuftomary to be made by all perfons, whenever the emperor appeared in public. They therefore apprehended much inconvenience to us from our kneebuckles and garters, and hinted to us that it would be better to difen
cumber ourselves of them, before we should go to court. I told them, that they need not be uneafy about that circumftance, as I fuppofed whatever ceremonies were ufual for the Chinese to perform, the emperor would prefer my paying him the fame obeifance which I did to my own fovereign. They faid they fuppofed the ceremonies in both countries must be nearly alike; that in China the form was to kneel down upon both knees, and make nine proftrations or inclinations of the head to the ground; and that it never had been and never could be difpenfed with. I told them that ours was fomewhat different, and that though I had the moft earneft defire to do every thing that might be agreeable to the emperor, my firft duty must be to do what might be agreeable to my own king; but that if they were really in earnest in objecting to my following the etiquette of the English court, I fhould deliver to them my reply in writing, as foon as I arrived at Pekin. They then talked of the length and dangers of our voyage, and faid that as we had come to fuch a distance from home, our king would naturally be anxious for our return, and that the emperor did not mean to hunt this autumn as ufual, but to remove with his court very early to Pekin, on purpose that we might not be delayed. I told them that his Imperial Majefty would judge from the King's letter, and from my reprefentations, what was expected from me at my return to England, and what time would be fufficient to enable me to tranfact the bufinefs I was charged with, and to defcribe to my fovereign the glory and virtues of the emperor, the power and fplendour of his empire, the wifdom of his laws and moral inflitutes, the fame of all which had already reached to the moft diftant regions. II. 199-201.
Our ambassador, it appears, could enter con amore into similar discussions of etiquette. About half of his diplomatic labour seems to have been employed in adjusting the ceremonial, and obtaining, by his dexterity, good terms for his sovereign in this important affair.
Thursday, Auguft 29th. This day I put up the ftate canopy and their Majefties' pictures in the prefence chamber, and delivered my paper relative to the ceremonial, to be tranfmitted to Gehol. I had experienced a good deal of difficulty in perfuading Father Raux to get it tranflated into Chinese, and to put it into the proper diplomatic form, fo much is every perfon here afraid of intermeddling in any state matter without the fpecial authority of government; and he only confented, on condition, that neither his writing nor that of his fecretary should appear, but that I fhould get it copied by fome other hand. Little Staunton was able to fupply my wants on this occafion; for, having very early in the voyage begun to ftudy the Chinese under my two interpreters, he had not only made confiderable progrefs in it, but had learned to write the characters with great neatness and celerity, so that he was of material use to me on this occafion, as he had been already before in tranfcribing the catalogue of the prefents. In the paper, I expreffed the