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Legends of Lampidosa.-The Italian.


[VOL. 2 informed them, that ceremony would be vating his eyebrows, and fixing his performed by his daughter." I abhor round person precisely erect, "though all reference to female wisdom," said every code of laws and every national Dr. Busbequius" it always makes a opinion, from the lex Julia of the Roman more uneasy than his own: Why mans to the talk of a Catawba chief, almust we have a female signature?"lows us to form contracts, either public "Sir," replied the master of the villa, or domestic, without female aid, I am "I have been naturalized in this island instructed that your consent is necessary long enough to acquaint you with its before we can be domiciliated here."laws. Here the eldest daughter posses- Is talking your profession? said the ses all the rights allotted to a first-born Lesbian, fixing her large bright eyes on son in other countries: the second is her orator" if it is, you shall teach my her menial servant, wears only a coarse macaw. I want him to learn Italian brown garb, and is condemned to celi- with a pure academical accent; and I bacy. If unfortunately a third daugh- admit no strangers unless they conform ter arrives, she claims all that her parents to our customs. Have you any name may have accumulated since the eldest's or business here ?"-"My name," rebirth, and the fourth in succession is her torted her guest, "which was never askservant, or Calogria. Thus, gentlemen; ed before without respect, is Busbequius our daughters are alternately heiresses Buonavisa, physician and professor of and slaves, and our sons must seek their philology in Padua ; and when my nefortunes in other lands, or be humble phew has recovered his health, I thank vassals at home, since all the wealth, Heaven, I shall have no business here." liberty, and power belong to our wives." "Now!" said Lesbia, “does a phy"Why, then," exclaimed the philoso- sician dare to see a sick man ?"—“What pher, "this is worse than Egyptian bon- would our academy have to do, madam, dage; even in Cleopatra's days, her if men were not sick?"-" Nothing, subjects allowed women to command Mr. Busbequius; and therefore our only one day in the year! Sir, it is plain custom is to chastise a physician every you require a courageous leader to break day until his patient recovers."-" But, these hideous fetters; and if you dare good lady, my nephew is only sick in follow me, I will harangue your coun- mind, and requires no medicine except trymen in their senate-house till they wine and a clear atmosphere, which, as resolve on emancipation."-"You would Boerhaave saith"-"I have no obfind none but women there, Sir!" an- jection to hear you talk," interrupted swered Furbino, laughing; and your Lesbia, "provided you are useful in the own emancipation would be rather meantime either hold my lap-dog, or doubtful. As for myself, I am not very this skein of silk while I unwind it. unfortunate, being a widower with only But is not your real name Boerhaave? two daughters; but I must act as the I have seen your face before in his picsteward of the eldest, and one of you, ture; and if I could learn Latin, I gentlemen, must sign this contract in her would read his works, and be physicianpresence." general to the island."


Highly amused by his uncle's vehe- The latter part of this speech so nearment indignation and eagerness to com- ly resembled a compliment, that it rebat this prodigious system, Blandalına conciled him to the first; and Dr. Buswillingly ceded to his seniority the pri- bequius, forgetting how ill his portly revilege of guaranteeing the contract. With semblance to Boerhaave qualified him his college peruke placed on one side, for a silk winder, quietly performed that his left arm behind, and his right advan- office while he made an oration on medced with the roll of parchment in the ical science, and ended it by signing the posture of Cicero's statue, Dr. Busbe- contract as Lesbia dictated. It must quius presented himself before the Les- be confessed that she unravelled her silk bian lady, who sat alone in a superb with fingers of exquisite beauty, and apartment, leaning on her embroidery. employed eyes whose brilliance was "Madam;" said the philosopher, ele- heightened by the artificial eyebrow and

VOL. 2.]

Legends of Lampidosa.-The Italian.


rich complexion peculiar to Mytilene, their intercourse soon touched his imagThe philosopher returned to his ne- ination sufficiently to rouse him from inphew in a very eloquent mood, and dis- difference, and the obstacle created by turbed his rest more than half the night by the laws of Mytilene became an incitedescanting on the absurdity of this isi- ment. This mystery, and its enlivening and's customs, and the necessity of cor- effect on his mind, would not have esrecting them. Before day-break, he caped inquisition, if his uncle's attention had convinced himself that it would be had not been equally occupied. With wisest to enlighten and reform the ladies a serious and declared design to convince of Mytilene, and for this purpose he Lesbia of the follies authorized by the resolved to teach Lesbia Latin. Blan- custom of the isle, he visited her apartdalina shrugged his shoulders at his un- ment daily, and soon discovered that her cle's quixotism; but, as the sovereign mind, if properly enlightened, would inlady of the family did not require or per- cline to exchange an absurd prerogative mit his attendance, he resolved to enjoy for the softer influence allowed to fethe pleasures of her villa. And as his males. At first Lesbia seemed curiousformer sufferings had disposed him to ly interested in the enormous volumes, compassion, he took some pains to ac- brought by her new teacher, who colquaint himself with her younger sister, lected the most ancient and ample ones whom the fantastical laws condemned to on the subject of due supremacy and subperpetual servitude. After many solita- ordination. But Lesbia never reasoned, ry rambles in the orangery, he saw a though she argued continually; and it female there laboriously arranging its was not easy to debate with an oppotrellis in a dark brown habit of the nent who answered the gravest arguments coarsest cloth and most ungraceful form, by a laugh or a jest. And as she alwith a long and thick veil which con- ways found some employment for him cealed all her face. Her hair was close- during his harangues, poor Busbequius ly gathered under her hood, and her spent half his time in regulating her aviahands appeared of an olive tint roughen- ry, selecting bouquets, and holding her ed by labour. It was not difficult to music-book while she adapted the odes recognise the unfortunate Calogria in of the first Lesbian poetsss to the halfthis costume; and if her fate had been antique lyre still used in Mytilene. Afless entitled to benevolent concern, she ter a few interviews, he discovered that would have won it by the meek humility her figure in the picturesque costume of in her gestures, as she offered her basket her island would afford Italian sculptors of oranges. This simple action, though an admirable model of an Amazon ; probably due to the languor of his faded that her modern Greek manuscripts decountenance, was sufficient to claim served a place in the academy of Pisa; Blandalma's gratitude, and to manifest and that she might be rendered a very the natural grace and courtesy of the useful amanuensis if her notions of feCalogria. As the custom of Mytilene male independence could be subdued. forbids that unhappy class of females to Instigated, as he always said, by no moconverse with strangers, she made no tive but the public good, our professor verbal reply to his civility, but her si- lengthened his visits every day, and cerlence had more charms than eloquence. tainly enlarged his fund of science. For Nor was Ludovico slow in observing her Lesbia persecuted him with questions activity and skill in her father's household, respecting the dress of his country women, and patient submission to the tasks impos- and would not understand his descriped on her by her capricious and imperious tions till he endeavoured to exemplify sister. She had no leisure, perhaps no them by tying on his cloak and folding wish, to cultivate finer talents; yet she his official scarf in the style of a Paduan found means to display the sweetness of her voice in Lesbian songs, and to prove a delicate and ready wit in her brief replies to the billets hazarded by LudoviCo. For the mystery which involved

lady. And as she found his education very deficient, she told him, in the most important points; she compelled him to pour her coffee, arrange her work-table, and carry her parasol, which he endured


Legends of Lampidosa.-The Italian.

[VOL. 2

sister in the projected voyage, Blandalma instantly provided his felucca with a trusty crew, and took his station in the cabin, as his uncle requested, to receive the fair companion of their adventure with due respect. He had never yet been admitted into her presence, as his indolent indifference had provoked the capricious haughtiness of her temper; and he, on his part, expected to see a face as shrewishly forbidding as some degree of youth and beauty could permit in Lesbia, and the utmost softness

with tolerable grace, as his obedience was an easy price for her attention to his precepts. With all the dignity and self-approbation of a martyr to the cause of philosophy, Dr. Busbequius sat by her side, gravely learning to knit while Lesbia pretended to read Cicero's letters respecting his wife's domestic virtues of industry and meekness, in a tone of profound attention and respect. We must confess these studies were often interrupted by a symphony on the Lesbian lyre, which she touched with skill enough to have enchanted Ludovico himself, in her sister's, which he had never yet whose first quarrel with his deceased wife had been because she refused to learn the science he idolized.

After some weeks had passed, the philosopher, one day, accosted his nephew with a mysterious air; and having intimated, rather awkwardly, that public benefits sometimes require private sacrifices, announced his intended marriage with Lesbia." Superior reason," said he, assuming a sublime tone," has determined her to leave this seat of barbarous prejudices, and to learn the true graces of her sex in Italy. After this, Ludovico, let no one doubt the prevailing force of masculine rhetoric, wisdom, and perseverance."

seen unveiled. But when the lady entered, triumphantly ushered by his uncle, and threw aside her boat-cloak, be recognized, notwithstanding the artificial eyebrows and high vermillion added to suit her Lesbian costume, the features of his own wife. Astonishment at this resurrection, and perhaps a sensation not unlike horror, were so visible in his face, that Dr. Busbequius stood aghast, and mechanically felt for his lancet in expectation of a swoon. The Countess Blandalma, less surprised at the effect of her appearance, bent humbly to her husband, and inquired if he was still disposed to cultivate her Calogria's favour. Ludov ico made a confused and angry answer, Blandalma had not been wholly blind that it no longer depended on himself. to the progress of his uncle's wisdom; "It depends on you alone," she replied, but as it had furnished both a shelter laughing; "your uncle has learnt to and an excuse for his own, be made no excuse your former submission to my attempt to oppose it; and very com- fancies, and I have learnt how to render placently inquired how he intended to it easy. With all my fantastical preconvey a bride from a place where mar- tensions to dominion, he did not think riages with aliens are unfavourably me intolerable; and without wit, beauviewed. The philosopher had formed ty, or elegance, you found me very ina plan to elude all obstacles, and proposed that their felucca should be equipped as if for a short excursion, and Lesbia invited to partake it. Blandalma listened with unfeigned pleasure to a scheme which accorded so well with one he did not yet venture to avow. He felt, it is true, some pity on his uncle's Blandalma had good-humour and account, when he saw him fascinated by good-sense; and as he knew she had wit and beauty into a ridiculous union; acquired the art of being silent somebut congratulated himself that his second times, he very frankly forgave the stratachoice was founded on the sure attrac- gem practised to regain him. Her untions of a meek and well-subdued tem- cie Furbino, by whom the principal part per. Never doubting that the Calogria had been sustained, accompanied them would be permitted to accompany her back to their former residence in Italy,

teresting in the cloak and veil of a dumb Calogria. When I wish for success in the art of pleasing, I have only to remember the industry and meekness yoa admired at Mytilene: and you will probably forgive my pretended death, which allowed you so much happiness."

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'N our preceding Number we accom- tions of shrimps, eggs, &c. improve the panied our Embassy up the Peiho compound; the shark fins were not more river to Tien-sing, a city of the first mag- agreeable. The Chinese eat as well as nitude in China, of which and its inhabi- drink to each other; and a Mandarin, tants the view obtained by Mr. Ellis who stood behind us, regulated the times enabled him to give the following de- of commencement, both in the dishes and scription. cups of wine. The wine was heated In passing through the streets it was and had not an unpleasant flavour; it is impossible not to be struck with the si- not unlike Sherry. The dresses of the lence and regularity of the crowds of actors and the stage decorations were spectators: although every countenance very splendid, and there was noise and expressed curiosity, scarcely an observa- bustle enough to satiate the eyes and tion was made; there was no pointing ears; even those who understand Chiwith fingers; and though the streets may nese were not able to trace any story in be said to have been lined with soldiers the performance, which seemed to be at inconsiderable intervals, the exercise of their authority did not seem necessary to maintain tranquillity. The streets were narrow, regular, and paved with large stones, brought from some distance. Whatever taste belongs to Chinese architecture, seems chiefly directed to the roofs; the pediments are in general ele- the singing. Our admiration was justly gant and highly decorated. Dwellinghouses were of one story, built of solid brick-work. We crossed a bridge over the river, the surface of which was scarcely visible from junks.

more of the nature of the melo-drama than comic or tragic representation. The part of a stag was the best performed in the piece... The instrumental music, from its resemblance to the bagpipes, might have been tolerated by Scotchmen; to others it was detestable. Of the same description was

bestowed upon the tumblers, who yield to none I have ever seen in strength and agility; their feats were executed with particular neatness. In splendour of appearance, the Mandarins did not stand any competition with the actors, who were blazing with gold; it was suggested that their costumes were the ancient habits of the nation.

"On the hall of reception itself (where the Embassy had had a conference and entertainment with the Mandarins from Court) there was little to remark; it had altogether the appearance of a temporary "The dress of ceremony of the Manerection. We dined at the upper end, darins, consisting of blue gauze or crape, and the lower was occupied by the stage. with some flowered satin beneath, is plain Chinese dinners, with the succcession of and not unbecoming; an embroidered dishes served upon trays, one of which badge, marking their rank whether civil is placed before one or two persons, ac- or military, is fixed upon their robe becording to their rank, have been so accu- fore and behind. The peacock's feather, rately described, that I shall not pretend or more properly tail of peacock's feather, to enter into any detail. The custard answering to our orders of knighthood, and the preserved fruits with which the din- is worn behind. Two of these decoraner commenced were very palatable: I tions are equivalent to the garter. The cannot say that I much liked the bird-nest momentary rank of a person is not to be soup; it was too gelatinous and insipid ascertained from his Mandarin ornaments. for my taste; nor did the various addi- A Mandarin with a white button sat next

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Ellis's Journal of the late Embassy to China.

[VOL 2.

to the Chinese Commissioners with only that we were so beaten. We do not the intervention of a pillar, while one think either the Mandarins or their masin a clear blue button sat below him, and ter would have stood so good a chance, one with a peacock's feather walked about the court the whole time of the conference. The commission of present office would seem to fix the immediate rank. "There was no sign of extreme poverty among the people in the streets; on the contrary, the majority were clean and decently dressed, and their appearance bespoke them to be well fed; some of the younger were not ill-looking."

had diplomatic manoeuvring been altogether discarded, and no address used but the unreserved declarations of our purpose in the language of sincerity and truth. As it was, the Ko-tou became an endless topic of discussion, The Emperor sends word he will not receive the Embassy if it is to be omitted. It is offered, if a Mandarin of equal rank will perform the same to the Prince Regent's portrait, On the 14th, the day after their unsat- or if the first Chinese Ambassador sent isfactory congress, the Embassy left Tien- to London shall be ordered to fulfil our Sing, and proceeding through a double ceremonies; but these negociations end line of junks innumerable, held on their in smoke, and the Commissioners land course for Pekin. But they now began within eighty miles of Pekin to await the to feel the effects of their resistance to the "Son of Heaven's" determination. In prostrations required in approaching the consequence of an insincere compromise throne of this Emperor of slavish cere- they again set out, and the trackers, monies. The Mandarins durst not even singing as they go, drag them up the read our Prince Regent's letter, because river. These trackers, though hard it was forsooth too familiarly addressed worked, seem somewhat independent, for to the Chief of the Celestial Empire, as they more than once struck for wages. "Sir, my Brother ;" and many petty ob- The following traits of China are nostacles were raised to show our Commis- ticed, previous to their arrival at Tongsioners that they were no longer in favour. Chow. Complaining of the intolerable One of the most prominent, was a man- stench in the boat, occasioned by "a date from the Emperor to send back the choice preparation of stinking fish, which band on board the ships, which was (oh is eaten by the boatmen with their rice," fearful!) written in red ink; and great the Journal says,— displeasure was expressed on its being understood that the vessels had sailed, so as to render compliance with this childish command impracticable.


Eating is looked upon by the Chinese as a most important concern, and would seem to be going on all day, but they probably eat little at a time: their principal meal is in the evening; the character of their dishes is greasy insipidity, and they are prized by them in proportion to their invigorating effects.

"Some of the large junks we have passed seem handsomely fitted up, and their inhabitants have been observed to be of respectable appearance. Junks, on which officers of government are embarked, have placards to distinguish them; the characters inscribed are generally cautions to the people, to preserve tranquillity, and not to obstruct their passage. *

We confess that to us there does seem that something disingenuous was practised in dismissing the ships. Their having sailed was not stated at once in answer to the order to dismiss the band, but an equivocal answer was substituted. In truth, to speak our mind freely, this appears to have been the error of the whole Embassy. Chinese diplomacy and cunning, and over-reaching, and falsehood, were never distinctly and holdly met with characteristic British honesty, simplicity, and truth: but shifts and evasions were tried; less potent arts were resorted to as a protection against trickery which knew no bounds either moral or political; and it is not surprising that we were foiled at weapons so incongenial to our national feelings and habits. Indeed it is a subject of congratulation, on the river.



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