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turally to memoirs and anecdotes, in wards all strangers is indifferent. He which there is no improvement to de- has little inclination to show any comsire but that they were true. A plaisance or obligingness in trifles : bon mot has not that fugitive value in on the other hand, where he feels sinFrance which it has elsewhere: it is cere friendship, he is disposed to exeagerly propagated, and treasured up press it by important services. He in books, as if it were the weightiest gives himself very little trouble to of events. The Frenchman is a display wit in conversation, or to repeaceable citizen, and revenges him- commend himself by any politeness self for any oppressive acts of the* of manner: on the other hand his Farmers-General by satires or by demeanour expresses high good sense parliamentary remonstrances--which, and sobriety of mind. The Englishhaving fulfilled their purposes by man is bad at imitation : he asks shedding a patriotic éclat over the little about other people's opinions, fathers of the people, are dismissed and follows nothing but his own to be celebrated by the poets. The taste and humour. In relation to great object, to which the meritorious women he does not manifest the qualities and national capacities of French spirit of courtly homage, but this people are mainly referred, is the nevertheless testifies far more of sin. female sex. Not that woman is in cere respect for them : indeed he France more loved or esteemed than pushes this too far, and in the marelsewhere, but because it is woman ried state usually allows his wife an that furnishes the occasion for exhi- unlimited influence. He is firm, at biting in the best attitude the darling times even to obstinacy ; bold, and talents of wit-good breeding—and resolute even to rashness; and he polished manners: in fact a vain per- acts in general upon principle in a son loves in either sex nobody but degree amounting almost to obduhimself; all other persons are simply racy. He is prone to fall into eccenthe engines by which he makes the tricity of habits or opinions, not from most favourable display of his own vanity—but because he has a slight advantages. As the French are not regard for what others say or think, wanting in noble qualities, which and because he is not forward to put however can be animated and excited any force on his own inclinations out only by the feeling of the Beautiful, of complaisance or out of imitation: -it is evident that the fair sex would on this account he is rarely so much have it in its power to animate the beloved as the Frenchman ; but, men to noble actions beyond what is when he is once known, much more seen in any other part of tle world, respected.--The German has a if there were any disposition to favour mised temper
composed of the Engthis direction of the national temper. lish and the French, but partaking Pity that the lilies do not spinThe much more of the first; and, when fault, to which the character of this ever a German discovers a closer renation most verges, is the tendency semblance to the Frenchman, it is to trifling, or (to express it by à undoubtedly an artificial or mimical more courteous expression) to levity. resemblance. He has a happy equiMatters of weight are treated as librium of sensibility to the Sublime jests; and trifles serve for the most and the Beautiful: and if he does not serious occupation of the faculties. rival the Englishman in the first nor In old age the Frenchman is still sing- the Frenchman in the second, yet he ing songs of pleasure, and to the best surpasses either separately in so far of his power is still gallant to the as he combines them both. He dis
In speaking thus I have covers more urbanity in social interhigh authorities to warrant me from course than the Englishman; and, if amongst the French themselves; and he does not bring into company so I shall shelter myself from any dis- much wit and agreeable vivacity as pleasure which I might else incur by the Frenchman, he manifests more pleading the sanction of a Montesquieu modesty and good sense. In love, and a D'Alembert.—The Englishman, as in every other direction of taste, atthe commencement ofeveryacquain- he is tolerably methodic ; and, betance, is cold and reserved ; and to- cause he combines the sense of the
* The reader must remember that this essay was written as early as 1764.
Beautiful with the sense of the Sub- bation of others: his deportment is lime, he is cold enough, in contem-' stiff and unbending. Pride is, strictly plating either separately, to keep his speaking, nothing more than a greater head free for considerations of deco- consciousness of one's own merits ; rum, of pomp, and show. Hence it and this consciousness may often be is that, in his civil relations no less very justly founded ; whence it is than in love, family-rank—and titles that we talk of a “noble pride;" but are matters of supreme importance. we can never attribute to a man a He inquires far more earnestly than noble arrogance, because this always either the Frenchman or the English indicates an ill-founded and exaggerman—what people will think of him: ated self-estimation: the deportment and, if there is any one feature of of the proud man towards others is his character which calls aloud for a cold and expressive of indifference. capital improvement, it is this very The haughty man is a proud man weakness--which is the cause that that is at the same time a vain one.* he shrinks with timidity from the The approbation, however, which he hardiness of originality even when solicits from others, must be shown he has all the talents for it; and, in testimonies of respect. Therefore through this over-anxiety about the it is that he would willingly glitter opinions of others, his moral quali- with titles-genealogies and exterties lose all ground of stability-and nal pageantry. The German beyond become fickle as the weather, hollow, all other people is infected with this and artificial. The Dutchman is of infirmity. The words · Gracious,' a regular and pains-taking temper ; High-born,” “Well-born,' and the rest and, looking only to the Useful, he of that bombastic diction, make the has little sensibility to that which in German language stiff and unwieldy a finer sense is either Beautiful or -and stand
in the way of that beauSublime. A great man is equivalent tiful simplicity which other nations in his vocabulary to a rich man; by have been able to communicate to a friend he means a correspondent'; their style. The characteristic of the and a visit is exceedingly tedious to haughty man's demeanour in comhim, unless it returns some nett pro- pany is ceremoniousness. The pomfit. He is the ideal contrast to the pous man is he who expresses his selfFrenchman as well as to the Eng- conceit by clear marks of contempt lishman ; and may be briefly de- for others. The characteristic of his scribed as a phlegmatic German. behaviouris coarseness. This wretch
If we make an attempt to apply ed temper is of all the furthest rethese thoughts to any particular case, moved from polished taste, because -as for instance to the feeling for obviously and unequivocally stupid ; honour and distinction,—the follow- for assuredly it is no rational means ing national differences discover of gratifying the passion for honourthemselves. The sensibility to honour to challenge every body about one is, in the Frenchman vanity; in the by undisguised contempt to hatred Spaniard arrogance ; in the English- and caustic ridicule. man pride; in the German haughti- Religion, in our quarter of the ness; and in the Dutchman (sit venia globe, is not the offspring of taste verbo !) pomposity. These expresa but has a more venerable derivation. sions may seem at first sight to be Hence it is only the aberrations of equipollent ; but they denote very men in religion, and that which may remarkable differences. Vanity courts be regarded as strictly of human oriapprobation, is inconstant and change- gin, which can furnish any means of able, but its outward demeanour is determining the differences of nacourteous. The arrogant man is tional characters. These aberrations bloated with a false and pleasurable I arrange under the following classes conceit of himself, which he takes -credulity, superstition, fanaticism, little trouble to support by the appro- and indifference. Credulity is, for
• It is by no means necessary that a haughty man should be at the same time an ar. rogant man-i.e. should make an exaggerated and fanciful estimate of his advantages : it is possible that he may value himself at no higher rate than his just worth. ‘His error lies in a false taste which presides over his manner of giving expression and importance to his claims externally.
the most part, the characteristic of stitious man spreads before these the uninformed part of every nation, great images a veil of wonder-workalthough they have no remarkable ing saints, and rests his whole confifineness of feelings. Their convic- dence upon the imaginary and inimitions depend merely upon hear-say table perfections of other persons and 'upon plausible appearances; and participating a common nature with with the impulses to these convic- himself. I have before remarked tions no refinement of feeling is blend- that the intellectual aberrations carry ed. Illustrations of this must be signs along with them of the national sought for amongst the nations of character of feeling: and hence it is the north. The credulous man, that fanaticism has been chiefly found when his taste is at all barbaresqué, (formerly at least) in Germany and becomes superstitious. Nay, this in England, and is to be regarded as
, taste is of itself a ground of creduli- an unnatural product of the noble ty: and if we suppose the case of feeling which belongs to the charactwo men, one of them infected with ters of these two nations. And let this taste and the other of a colder it be observed that fanaticism is not and less passionate frame of mind,— by many degrees so injurious as suthe * first, even though he should pos- perstition, although at first it is more sess a much můre powerful under- outrageous: for the fervours of a fastanding, will nevertheless be soon- natical mind cool and effervesce by er seduced by his predominant feel- degrees, and agreeably to the geneing to believe any thing unnatural than ral analogies of nature must at length the other—whom not his discernment subside to the ordinary level of tembut his common-place and phlegma- perature: whereas superstition roots tic feelings have preserved from this itself continually deeper and deeper aberration of the judgment. The in a quiet and passive frame of mind, superstitious man places between and robs the fettered being of all the himself and the supreme object of confidence requisite for ever liberathis adoration certain mighty and ing itself from a pestilent delusion. marvellous men-giants, if I may so — Finally, the vain and frivolous express myself, of religion—whom man is always without any powerful nature obeys—whose adjuring voice feeling for the Sublime : his religion opens and shuts the iron gate of therefore is unempassioned and geTartarus--and who, whilst with their nerally an affair of fashion which he heads they reach the heavens, plant goes through with the utmost goodtheir feet upon the earth. Intellec- breeding and entire cold-heartedtual culture will on this account have ness. This is practical indiffergreat obstacles to overcome in Spain ; ence, to which the French national not so much from the ignorance with mind seems to be the most inclined; which it has to contend, as because from this to the prophanest mockery it is thwarted by a perverted taste of religion there is but one step: which never feels itself in a state of and, to say the truth, estimated by elevated emotion unless where its its inner value-indifference seems object is barbaresque. Fanaticism but trivially preferable to the entire is a sort of devout temerity, and is rejection of religion. occasioned by a peculiar pride and
If we throw a hasty glance over excess of self-confidence-with the other quarters of the world, we the view of stepping nearer to the find the Arabs—the noblest people divine nature, and raising itself above of the East, but of a temperament in the ordinary and prescribed course of respect to taste which tends much to things. The fanatic talks of nothing the barbaresque and the unnaturally but immediate revelations, and of romantic. The Arab is hospitable, direct intuitions; whereas the super- magnanimous, and observant of his
* By the way, it has been noticed as a singular fact that so wise a nation as the Eng. lish are notwithstanding easily moved to put faith in any marvellous and absurd statement which is boldly advanced ; and many examples of this are on record. But a bold style of intellect like the English, previously trained by an extensive experienee in which many inexplicable difficulties occur to a meditative mind, bursts more vigorously through all the little jealous considerations and scruples by which a weak and mistrustful intellect is checked and fettered in its assents: and thus the inferior mind, without any merit of its own, is sometimes preserved from crror.--Note of Kant's.
word: but his fictions and his his- lenges any man to allege a single tory and his whole feelings are vein- case in which a negro has shown the *ed and coloured with the marvellous. least talent, and maintains-that, out "His inflamed imagination presents of all the hundreds of thousands of 'objects in unnatural and distorted Blacks who have been transported images; and even the propagation of from their native homes to other his religion was a great romance. countries, not one (though many * If the Arabs are as it were the Asi- have been manumitted) has been atic Spaniards, the Persians are the found that has ever performed any Asiatic Frenchmen. They are good thing great either in art-science-or poets, courteous, and of tolerably any other creditable path of exertion; refined taste. They are not rigorous whereas among
the Whites many are followers of Islam; and they allow continually rising to distinction from to their own voluptuous tendencies a the lowest classes of the people: so pretty latitudinarian interpretation radical is the difference between of the Koran. The Japanese may these two races of men; a difference be regarded partially as the English- which seems to be not less in regard man of the Oriental world; but to the intellectual faculties than in hardly for any other qualities than regard to colour. The religion which their firmness which degenerates into is so widely diffused amongst them, obstinacy-their courage—and their viz. the Fetish, is probably that form of contempt of death. In all other re- idolatry which descends as profoundspects they show few marks of the ly into imbecile folly as human nagrand English style of mind. The ture can tolerate. A bird's feather, nations of India discover a domineer- a cow's horn, a cockle-shell, or any ing taste for fooleries of that class other trifle, is no sooner consecrated which run into the barbaresque. by a few words, than itzbecomes an Their religion is made up of fooleries. object of adoration-and of adjuraIdols of hideous forms, the invalu- tion in the taking of oaths. The able tooth of the mighty, ape Hanu- Blacks are very vain, but after a nemann, the unnatural penances of the gro fashion; and so talkative that Fakir (the mendicant friar of Pagan- it is necessary to cudgel them asunism), are all in this taste. The self-im- der. molations of women, on the same fu- Amongst all savages there are no neral pile which consumes the corpses tribes which discover so elevated a of their husbands, are abominable character as those of North America. instances of the barbaresque. What They have a strong passion for hosenseless fooleries are involved in the nour; and, whilst in chace of it, they prolix and elaborate compliments of pursue wild adventures for hundreds the Chinese ! even their paintings of miles, they are exceedingly cauare senseless, and exhibit marvellous tious to avoid the slightest violations forms that are nowhere to be seen in of it when an enemy as stern as nature. They have also, more than themselves, having succeeded in any people on earth besides, tradi- making them prisoners, endeavours tional fooleries that are consecrated to extort from their agonies sighs of by ancient usage; such for instance weakness and of fear. The Canaas the ceremony still retained at Pe- dian savage is veracious and upright. kin, during an eclipse of the sun or The friendship, which he contracts, the moon, of driving away the dra- is as romantic and as enthusiastic as gon that is attempting to swallow any thing which has descended to us up those heavenly bodies—a cere- from the fabulous times of antiquity, mony derived from the elder ages of He is proud in excess, is sensible of grossest ignorance and still retained the whole value of freedom, and even in defiance of better information, through the period of education he
The negroes of Africa have from brooks no treatment which could subnature no feeling which transcends ject him to a degrading submission. the childish level. Mr. Aume chal- Lycurgus in all probability gave laws
* How many, Mr. Professor Kant ? And at what age ? Be this as it may, common sense demands that we should receive evidence to the intellectual pretensions of the Blacks from the unprejudiced judges who have lived amongst them, not from those who are absurd enough to look for proofs of negro talent in the shape of books.
to just such savages : and, if a great enough to look any body in the face lawgiver were to arise amongst the when he steps out of doors. Pere Six Nations, the world would behold Libat indeed tells us that a negro a Spartan republic arise amongst the gentleman, whom he had been re, savages of the new world; as in fact proaching with his tyrannical treatthe voyage of the Argonauts is not ment of liis women, returned this very dissimilar to the military ex- answer: “ You Whites are down, peditions of the Indians; and Jason right fools: for you first of all allow has little advartage of Attakakulla- your wives too much liberty; and kulla except in the honour of a Gre then you complain when they abuse cian name. All these savages have it—and make your heads ache.” At little sensibility to the Beautiful in a first sight it might seem as if there moral sense; and the magnanimous was something in this remark which forgiveness of an injury, which is at merited a little attention: but, to the same time noble and beautiful, cut the matter short, the fellow was is wholly unknown to savages as a a Black-black as soot from head to virtue, and despised as a miserable foot: an unanswerable proof that weakness. Courage is the supreme what he said was bestially stupid. merit of the savage ; and Revenge his Of all savages there are none amongst sweetest pleasure. The other natives whom women enjoy more real conof this quarter of the globe show few sideration and influence than the traces of a temperament open to the poble savages of North America. In finer impressions of sentiment; and this point indeed, perhaps the Canaindeed the general characteristic of dian women have the advantage of this division of mankind is an extra- those even in our refined quarter of ordinary defect of sensibility. the globe. I do not mean that any
If we examine the state of the sex. submissive attentions and homage ual relations in these various re- are there paid to women: these are gions of the earth, we find that the mere forms of hollow compliment. European only has discovered the No, the Canadian women enjoy acsecret of adorning the sensual attrac- tual power: they meet and delibetions of a mighty passion with so rate upon the weightiest ordinances many flowers, and of interweaving it of the nation-whether regarding with so much of moral feeling, that peace or war. Upon the result of he has not only exalted its fascina- their debates they dispatch delegates tions, but has also brought it entire- to the male council ; and commonly ly within the limits of social deco- it is their voice which prevails, This rum. The Orientalist is, in this privilege however they purchase point, of very false taste. Having no dearly: all the household concerns idea of the morally Beautiful that are thrown on their shoulders; and may be connected with this instinct, they take their share in all the hardhe forfeits even the better part of the ships and toils of the men. mere sensual pleasure; and his Ha- Finally, if we cast a glance over rem becomes to him a perpetual the page of history, we perceive the source of inquietude. Woman on taste of men-like a Proteus-everher part, degraded to the level of the lastingly assuming new and variamere instrument and means of sen- ble forms. The ancient times of the sual pleasures, loses all her dignity- Greeks and Romans exhibited unequiand consequently her personal rights. vocal marks of a legitimate feeling Whether as an unmarried virgin, or for the Beautiful as well as the Subas the wife of a jealous and intract- lime in Poetry, Sculpture, Architecable brute, she is in the east eternally ture, Legislation, and even in Morals. a prisoner.-Amongst the Blacks, The government of the Roman Emwhat can a man look for better than perors changed the noble as well as what in fact is everywhere found the beautiful simplicity into the magthat is to say, the whole female sex nificent and gorgeous--and at length in a state of the profoundest slavery? into that spurious glitter of finery A faint-hearted man is always a se- which still survives for our instrucvere master to his weaker depend- tion in their rhetoric, their poetry, ants; just as with us that man is and even in the history of their mansure to play the tyrant in his own ners. Gradually, and in sympathy kitchen, who has hardly courage with the general decline of the state,