Back to the Index Page


The Adventures of an Atom by Tobias Smollett



  • Vol. 1
    • The Editor's Declaration.
  • Vol. 2

  • Vol. 1


    In these ticklish times, it may be necessary to give such an account of the following sheets, as will exempt me from the plague of prosecution.

    On the 7th of March, in the present year 1748, they were offered to me for sale, by a tall thin woman, about the age of threescore, dressed in a gown of Bombazine, with a cloak and bonnet of black silk, both a little the worse for the wear. —She called herself Dorothy Hatchet, spinster, of the parish of Old-street, administratrix of Mr. Nathaniel Peacock, who died in the said parish on the fifth day of last April, and lies buried in the church-yard of Islington, in the north-west corner, where his grave is distinguished by a monumental board inscribed with the following tristich:

    Hic, hæc, hoc, Here lies the block Of old Nathaniel Peacock.

    In this particular, any person whatever may satisfy himself, by taking an afternoon's walk to Islington, where, at the White House, he may recreate and refresh himself with excellent tea and hot rolls for so small a charge as eight-pence.

    As to the MS, before I would treat for it, I read it over attentively, and found it contained divers curious particulars of a foreign history, without any allusion to, or resemblance with, the transactions of these times. I likewise turned over to Kempfer and the Universal History, and found in their several accounts of Japan, many of the names and much of the matter specified in the following sheets. Finally, that I might run no risque of misconstruction, I had recourse to an eminent chamber-council of my acquaintance, who diligently perused the whole, and declared it was no more actionable than the Vision of Ezekiel, or the Lamentations of Jeremiah the prophet. Thus assured, I purchased the copy, which I now present in print, with my best respects, to the Courteous Reader, being his very humble servant,


    S. Etherington.

    Vivant Rex & Regina.

    The Editor's Declaration.

    I Nathaniel Peacock, of the parish of St. Giles, haberdasher and author, solemnly declare, That on the third of last August, sitting alone in my study, up three pair of stairs, between the hours of eleven and twelve at night, meditating upon the uncertainty of sublunary enjoyment, I heard a shrill, small voice, seemingly proceeding from a chink or crevice in my own pericranium, call distinctly three times, "Nathaniel Peacock, Nathaniel Peacock, Nathaniel Peacock." Astonished, yea, even affrighted, at this citation, I replied in a faultering tone, "In the name of the Lord, what art thou?" Thus adjured, the voice answered and said, "I am an atom." I was now thrown into a violent perturbation of spirit; for I never could behold an atomy without fear and trembling, even when I knew it was no more than a composition of dry bones; but the conceit of being in presence of an atomy informed with spirit, that is, animated by a ghost or goblin, increased my terrors exceedingly. I durst not lift up mine eyes, lest I should behold an apparition more dreadful than the handwriting on the wall. My knees knocked together: my teeth chattered: mine hair bristled up so as to raise a cotton night-cap from the scalp: my tongue cleaved to the roof of my mouth: my temples were bedewed with a cold sweat. —Verily, I was for a season entranced.

    At length, by the blessing of God, I recollected myself, and cried aloud, "Avaunt Satan, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." "White-livered caitiff! said the voice, (with a peculiar tartness of pronunciation) what art thou afraid of, that thou shouldest thus tremble, and diffuse around thee such an unsavoury odour? --What thou hearest is within thee—is part of thyself. I am one of those atoms, or constituent particles of matter, which can neither be annihilated, divided, nor impaired: the different arrangements of us atoms compose all the variety of objects and essences which nature exhibits, or art can obtain. Of the same shape, substance, and quality, are the component particles, that harden in rock, and flow in water; that blacken in the negro, and brighten in the diamond; that exhale from a rose, and steam from a dunghill. Even now, ten millions of atoms were dispersed in air by that odoriferous gale, which the commotion of thy fear produced; and I can foresee that one of them will be consolidated in a fibre of the olfactory nerve, belonging to a celebrated beauty, whose nostril is excoriated by the immoderate use of plain Spanish. Know, Nathaniel, that we atoms are singly endued with such efficacy of reason, as cannot be expected in an aggregate body, where we croud and squeeze and embarrass one another. Yet, those ideas which we singly possess, we cannot communicate, except once in a thousand years, and then only, when we fill a certain place in the pineal gland of a human creature, the very station which I now maintain in thine. —For the benefit of you miserable mortals, I am determined to promulge the history of one period, during which I underwent some strange revolutions in the empire of Japan, and was conscious of some political anecdotes now to be divulged for the instruction of British ministers. Take up the pen, therefore, and write what I shall unfold.

    By this time my first apprehension vanished; but another fear, almost as terrible, usurped its place. I began to think myself insane, and concluded that the voice was no other than the fantastic undulation of a disturbed brain. I therefore preferred an earnest orison at the throne of grace, that I might be restored to the fruition of my right understanding and judgment. "O incredulous wretch, (exclaimed the voice,) I will now convince thee that this is no phantasma or hideous dream. —Answer me, dost thou know the meaning and derivation of the word atom?" I replied, "No, verily!" "Then I will tell thee, (said the voice) thou shalt write it down without delay, and consult the curate of the parish on the same subject. If his explanation and mine agree, thou will then be firmly persuaded that I am an actual, independent existence; and that this address is not the vague delirium of a disordered brain. Atomos is a Greek word, signifying an indivisible particle, derived from alpha privativa, and temno to cut."

    I marvelled much at this injunction, which, however, I literally obeyed; and next morning sallied forth to visit the habitation of the curate; but in going thither, it was my hap to encounter a learned physician of my acquaintance, who hath read all the books that ever were published in any nation, or language: to him I refered for the derivation of the word atom. He paused a little, threw up his eyes to heaven, stroaked his chin with great solemnity, and hemming three times, "Greek, Sir, (said he) is more familiar to me than my native tongue. —I have conversed, Sir, with Homer and Plato, Hesiod and Theophrastus, Herodotus, Thucydides, Hippocrates, Aretæus, Pindar, and Sophocles, and all the poets and historians of antiquity. Sir, my library cost me two thousand pounds. I have spent as much more in making experiments; and you must know that I have discovered certain chemical specifics, which I would not divulge for fifty times the sum. —As for the word atomos, or atime, it signifies a scoundrel, Sir, or as it were, Sir, a thing of no estimation. It is derived, Sir, from alpha privativa, and time, honour. Hence, we call a skeleton an atomy, because, Sir, the bones are, as it were, dishonoured by being stripped of their cloathing, and exposed in their nakedness."

    I was sorely vexed at this interpretation, and my apprehension of lunacy recurred: nevertheless, I proceeded in my way to the lodgings of the curate, and desired his explanation, which tallied exactly with what I had written. At my return to my own house, I ascended to my study, asked pardon of my internal monitor; and taking pen, ink, and paper, sat down to write what it dictated, in the following strain.

    "It was in the æra of Foggien, one thousand years ago, that fate determined I should exist in the empire of Japan, where I underwent a great number of vicissitudes, till, at length, I was enclosed in a grain of rice, eaten by a Dutch mariner at Firando, and, becoming a particle of his body, brought to the Cape of Good Hope. There I was discharged in a scorbutic dysentery, taken up in a heap of soil to manure a garden, raised to vegetation in a sallad, devoured by an English supercargo, assimilated to a certain organ of his body, which, at his return to London, being diseased in consequence of impure contact, I was again separated, with a considerable portion of putrefied flesh, thrown upon a dunghill, gobbled up, and digested by a duck, of which duck your father, Ephraim Peacock, having eaten plentifully at a feast of the cordwainers, I was mixed with his circulating juices, and finally fixed in the principal part of that animalcule, which, in process of time, expanded itself into thee, Nathaniel Peacock.

    Having thus particularized my transmigrations since my conveyance from Japan, I shall return thither, and unfold some curious particulars of state-intrigue, carried on during the short period, the history of which I mean to record: I need not tell thee, that the empire of Japan consists of three large islands or that the people, who inhabit them, are such inconsistent, capricious animals, that one would imagine they were created for the purpose of ridicule. Their minds are in continual agitation, like a shuttlecock tossed to and fro, in order to divert the demons of philosophy and folly. A Japonese, without the intervention of any visible motive, is, by turns, merry and pensive, superficial and profound, generous and illiberal, rash and circumspect, courageous and fearful, benevolent and cruel. They seem to have no fixed principle of action, no certain plan of conduct, no effectual rudder to steer them through the voyage of life; but to be hurried down the rapid tide of each revolving whim, or driven, the sport of every gust of passion that happens to blow. A Japonese will sing at a funeral, and sigh at a wedding; he will this hour talk ribaldry with a prostitute, and the next immerse himself in the study of metaphysics or theology. In favour of one stranger, he will exert all the virtues of hospitality; against another he will exercise all the animosity of the most sordid prejudice: one minute sees him hazarding his all on the success of the most extravagant project; another beholds him hesitating in lending a few copans to his friend on undeniable security. To-day, he is afraid of paring his corns; to-morrow, he scruples not to cut his own throat. At one season, he will give half his fortune to the poor; at another, he will not bestow the smallest pittance to save his brother from indigence and distress. He is elated to insolence by the least gleam of success; he is dejected to despondence by the slightest turn of adverse fortune. One hour he doubts the best established truths; the next, he swallows the most improbable fiction. His praise and his censure is what a wise man would choose to avoid, as evils equally pernicious: the first is generally raised without foundation, and carried to such extravagance, as to expose the object to the ridicule of mankind the last is often unprovoked, yet usually inflamed to all the rage of the most malignant persecution. He will extol above Alexander the great, a petty officer who robs a hen-roost; and damn to infamy, a general for not performing impossibilities. The same man whom he yesterday flattered with the most fulsome adulation, he will to-morrow revile with the most bitter abuse and, at the turning of a straw, take into his bosom the very person whom he has formerly defamed as the most perfidious rascal.

    The Japanese value themselves much upon their constitution, and are very clamorous about the words liberty and property; yet, in fact, the only liberty they enjoy is to get drunk whenever they please, to revile the government, and quarrel with one another. With respect to their property, they are the tamest animals in the world; and, if properly managed, undergo, without wincing, such impositions, as no other nation in the world would bear. In this particular, they may be compared to an ass, that will crouch under the most unconscionable burthen, provided you scratch his long ears, and allow him to bray his belly-full. They are so practicable, that they have suffered their pockets to be drained, their veins to be emptied, and their credit to be cracked, by the most bungling administrations, to gratify the avarice, pride, and ambition, of the most sordid and contemptible sovereigns, that ever sate upon the throne.

    The methods used for accomplishing these purposes are extremely simple. You have seen a dancing bear incensed to a dangerous degree of rage, and all at once appeased by firing a pistol over his nose. The Japonese, even in their most ferocious moods, when they denounce vengeance against the Cuboy, or minister, and even threaten the throne itself; are easily softened into meekness and condescension. A set of tall fellows, hired for the purpose, tickle them under the noses with long straws, into a gentle convulsion, during which they shut their eyes, and smile, and quietly suffer their pockets to be turned inside out. Nay, what is still more remarkable, the ministry is in possession of a pipe, or rather bullocks's horn, which being sounded to a particular pitch, has such an effect on the ears and understanding of the people, that they allow their pockets to be picked with their eyes open, and are bribed to betray their own interests with their own money, as easily as if the treasure had come from the remotest corner of the globe. Notwithstanding these capricious peculiarities, the Japonese are become a wealthy and powerful people, partly from their insular situation, and partly from a spirit of commercial adventure, sustained by all the obstinacy of perseverance, and conducted by repeated flashes of good sense, which almost incessantly gleam through the chaos of their absurdities.

    Japan was originally governed by monarchs who possessed an absolute power, and succeeded by hereditary right, under the title of Dairo. But in the beginning of the period Foggien, this emperor became a cypher, and the whole administration devolved into the hands of the prime minister, or Cuboy, who now exercises all the power and authority, leaving the trappings of royalty to the inactive Dairo. The prince, who held the reins of government in the short period which I intend to record, was not a lineal descendant of the antient Dairos, the immediate succession having failed, but sprung from a collateral branch which was invited from a foreign country in the person of Bupo, in honour of whom the Japonese erected Fakkubasi , or the temple of the white horse. So much were all his successors devoted to the culture of this idol, which, by the bye, was made of the vilest materials, that, in order to enrich his shrine, they impoverished the whole empire, yet still with the connivance, and by the influence of the Cuboy, who gratified this sordid passion or superstition of the Dairo, with a view to prevent him from employing his attention on matters of greater consequence.

    Nathaniel, You have heard of the transmigration of souls, a doctrine avowed by one Pythagoras, a philosopher of Crotona. This doctrine, though discarded and reprobated by christians, is nevertheless sound, and orthodox, I affirm on the integrity of an atom. Further I shall not explain myself on this subject, though I might with safety set the convocation and the whole hierarchy at defiance, knowing, as I do, that it is not in their power to make me bate one particle of what I advance: or, if they should endeavour to reach me through your organs, and even condemn you to the stake at Smithfield, verily, I say unto thee, I should be a gainer by the next remove. I should shift my quarters from a very cold and empty tenement, which I now occupy in the brain of a poor haberdasher, to the nervous plexus situated at the mouth of the stomach of a fat alderman fed with venison and turtle.

    But to return to Pythagoras, whom one of your wise countrymen denominated Peter Gore, the wise-acre of Croton, you must know that philosopher was a type, which hath not yet been fully unveiled. That he taught the metempsychosis, explained the nature and property of harmonies, demonstrated the motion of the earth, discovered the elements of geometry and arithmetic, enjoined his disciples silence, and abstained from eating any thing that was ever informed by the breath of life are circumstances known to all the learned world: but his veneration for beans, which cost him his life, his golden thigh, his adventures in the character of a courtezan, his golden verses, his epithet of autos epha, the fable of his being born of a virgin, and his descent into hell, are mysteries in which some of the most important truths are concealed. —Between friends, honest Nathaniel, I myself constituted part of that sage's body and I could say a great deal--but there is a time for all things. —I shall only observe, that Philip Tessier had some reason for supposing Pythagoras to have been a monk and there are shrewd hints in Meyer's dissertation, Utrum Pythagoras Judæus fuit, an monachus Carmelita .

    Waving these intricate discussions for the present, (though I cannot help disclosing that Pythagoras was actually circumcised) know, Peacock, that the metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls, is the method which nature and fate constantly pursue, in animating the creatures produced on the face of the earth; and this process, with some variation, is such as the eleusinian mysteries imported, and such as you have read in Dryden's translation of the sixth book of Virgil's Æneid. The Gods have provided a great magazine or diversorium, to which the departed souls of all animals repair at their dismission from the body. Here they are bathed in the waters of oblivion, until they retain no memory of the scenes through which they have passed; but they still preserve their original crasis and capacity. From this repository, all new created beings are supplied with souls; and these souls transmigrate into different animals, according to the pleasure of the great disposer. For example, my good friend Nathaniel Peacock, your own soul has within these hundred years threaded a goat, a spider, and a bishop; and its next stage will be the carcase of a brewer's horse.

    In what manner we atoms come by these articles of intelligence, whether by intuition, or communication of ideas, it is not necessary that you should conceive—Suffice it to say, the gods were merry on the follies of mankind, and Mercury undertook to exhibit a mighty nation, ruled and governed by the meanest intellects that could be found in the repository of pre-existing spirits. He laid the scene in Japan, about the middle of the period Foggien, when that nation was at peace with all her neighbours. Into the mass, destined to sway the sceptre, he infused, at the very article of conception, the spirit, which in course of strangulation had been expelled a posteriori from a goose, killed on purpose to regale the appetite of the mother. The animalcule, thus inspired, was born, and succeeded to the throne, under the name of Got-hama-baba. His whole life and conversation was no other than a repetition of the humours he had displayed in his last character. He was rapacious, shallow, hotheaded, and perverse; in point of understanding, just sufficient to appear in public without a slavering bib; imbued with no knowledge, illumed by no sentiment, and warmed with no affection; except a blind attachment to the worship of Fakku-basi, which seemed indeed to be a disease in his constitution. His heart was meanly selfish, and his disposition altogether unprincely.

    Of all his recreations, that which he delighted in most, was kicking the breech of his Cuboy, or prime minister, an exercise which he every day performed in private. It was therefore necessary that a Cuboy should be found to undergo this diurnal operation without repining. This was a circumstance foreseen and provided for by Mercury, who, a little after the conception of Got-hama-baba, impregnated the ovum of a future Cuboy, and implanted in it a changling soul, which had successively passed through the bodies of an ass, a dottril, an apple-woman, and a cow-boy. It was diverting enough to see the rejoicings with which the birth of this Quanbuku was celebrated; and still more so to observe the marks of fond admiration in the parents, as the soul of the cow-boy proceeded to expand itself in the young Cuboy. This is a species of diversion we atoms often enjoy. We at different times behold the same spirit, hunted down in a hare, and cried up in an Hector; fawning in a prostitute, and bribing in a minister; breaking forth in a whistle at the plough, and in a sermon from the pulpit; impelling a hog to the stye, and a counsellor to the cabinet; prompting a shoe-boy to filch, and a patriot to harangue; squinting in a goat, and smiling in a matron.

    Tutors of all sorts were provided betimes for the young Quanbuku, but his genius rejected all cultivation; at least the crops it produced were barren and ungrateful. He was distinguished by the name of Fika-kaka, and caressed as the heir of an immense fortune. Nay, he was really considered as one of the most hopeful young Quanbukus in the empire of Japan; for his want of ideas was attended with a total absence of pride, insolence, or any other disagreeable vice: indeed his character was founded upon negatives. He had no understanding, no oeconomy, no courage, no industry, no steadiness, no discernment, no vigour, no retention. He was reputed generous and good-humoured; but was really profuse, chicken-hearted, negligent, fickle, blundering, weak, and leaky. All these qualifications were agitated by an eagerness, haste, and impatience, that compleated the most ludicrous composition, which human nature ever produced. He appeared always in hurry and confusion, as if he had lost his wits in the morning, and was in quest of them all day. —Let me whisper a secret to you, my good friend Peacock. All this bustle and trepidation proceeded from a hollowness in the brain, forming a kind of eddy, in which his animal spirits were hurried about in a perpetual swirl. Had it not been for this Lusus Naturæ, the circulation would not have been sufficient for the purposes of animal life. Had the whole world been searched by the princes thereof, it would not have produced another to have matched this half-witted original, to whom the administration of a mighty empire was wholly consigned. Notwithstanding all the care that was taken of his education, Fika-kaka never could comprehend any art or science, except that of dancing bareheaded among the Bonzas at the great festival of Cambadoxi. The extent of his knowledge in arithmetic went no farther than the numeration of his ten fingers. In history, he had no idea of what preceded a certain treaty with the Chinese, in the reign of queen Syko, who died within his own remembrance and was so ignorant of geography, that he did not know that his native country was surrounded by the sea. No system of morality could he ever understand; and of the fourteen sects of religion that are permitted in Japan, the only discipline he could imbibe was a superstitious devotion for Fakku-basi, the temple of the white horse. This, indeed, was neither the fruit of doctrine, nor the result of reason; but a real instinct, implanted in his nature for fulfilling the ends of providence. His person was extremely aukward; his eye vacant, though alarmed; his speech thick, and embarrassed; his utterance ungraceful; and his meaning perplexed. With much difficulty he learned to write his own name, and that of the Dairo; and picked up a smattering of the Chinese language, which was sometimes used at court. In his youth, he freely conversed with women; but, as he advanced in age, he placed his chief felicity in the delights of the table. He hired cooks from China at an enormous expence, and drank huge quantities of the strong liquor distilled from rice, which, by producing repeated intoxication, had an unlucky effect upon his brain, that was naturally of a loose flimsy texture. The immoderate use of this potation was likewise said to have greatly impaired his retentive faculty; inasmuch as he was subject upon every extraordinary emotion of spirit, to an involuntary discharge from the last of the intestines.

    Such was the character of Fika-kaka, entitled by his birth to a prodigious estate, as well as to the honours of Quanbuku, the first hereditary dignity in the empire. In consequence of his high station, he was connected with all the great men in Japan, and used to the court from his infancy. Here it was he became acquainted with young Got-hama-baba, his future sovereign; and their souls being congenial, they soon contracted an intimacy, which endured for life. They were like twin particles of matter, which having been divorced from one another by a most violent shock, had floated many thousand years in the ocean of the universe, till at length meeting by accident, and approaching within the spheres of each other's attraction, they rush together with an eager embrace, and continue united ever after.

    The favour of the sovereign, added to the natural influence arising from a vast fortune and great alliances, did not fail to elevate Fika-kaka to the most eminent offices of the state, until, at length, he attained to the dignity of Cuboy, or chief-minister, which virtually comprehends all the rest. Here then was the strangest phænomenon that ever appeared in the political world. A statesman without capacity, or the smallest tincture of human learning; a secretary who could not write; a financier who did not understand the multiplication table; and the treasurer of a vast empire, who never could balance accounts with his own butler.

    He was no sooner, for the diversion of the Gods, promoted to the Cuboyship, than his vanity was pampered with all sorts of adulation. He was in magnificence extolled above the first Meckaddo, or line of emperors, to whom divine honours had been paid; equal in wisdom to Tensio-dai-sin, the first founder of the Japanese monarchy; braver than Whey-vang, of the dynasty of Chew; more learned than Jacko, the chief pontiff of Japan; more liberal than Shi-wang-ti, who was possessed of the universal medicine; and more religious than Bupo, alias Kobot, who, from a foreign country, brought with him, on a white horse, a book called Kio, containing the mysteries of his religion.

    But, by none was he more cultivated than by the Bonzas or clergy, especially those of the university Frenoxena , so renowned for their learning, sermons, and oratory, who actually chose him their supreme director, and every morning adored him with a very singular rite of worship. This attachment was the more remarkable, as Fika-kaha was known to favour the sect of Nem-buds-ju, who distinguished themselves by the ceremony of circumcision. Some malicious people did not scruple to whisper about, that he himself had privately undergone the operation: but these, to my certain knowledge, were the suggestions of falshood and slander. A slight scarification, indeed, it was once necessary to make, on account of his health; but this was no ceremony of any religious worship. The truth was this. The Nem-buds-ju, being few in number, and generally hated by the whole nation, had recourse to the protection of Fika-kaka, which they obtained for a valuable consideration. Then a law was promulgated in their favour; a step which was so far from exciting the jealousy of the Bonzas, that there was not above three, out of one hundred and fifty-nine thousand, that opened their lips in disapprobation of the measure. Such were the virtue and moderation of the Bonzas, and so loth were they to disoblige their great director Fika-kaka.

    What rendered the knot of connection between the Dairo Got-hama-baba, and this Cuboy altogether indissoluble, was a singular circumstance, which I shall now explain. Fika-kika not only devoted himself intirely to the gratification of his master's prejudices and rapacity, even when they interfered the most with the interest and reputation of Japan; but he also submitted personally to his capricious humours with the most placid resignation. He presented his posteriors to be kicked as regularly as the day revolved and presented them not barely with submission, but with all the appearance of fond desire: and truly this diurnal exposure was attended with such delectation as he never enjoyed in any other attitude.

    To explain this matter, I must tell thee, Peacock, that Fika-kaka was from his infancy afflicted with an itching of the podex, which the learned Dr. Woodward would have termed immanis aidoion pruritus. That great naturalist would have imputed it to a redundancy of cholicky salts, got out of the stomach and guts into the blood, and thrown upon these parts, and he would have attempted to break their colluctations with oil, &c. but I, who know the real causes of this disorder, smile at these whims of philosophy.

    Be that as it may, certain it is, all the most eminent physicians in Japan were consulted about this strange tickling and tingling, and among these the celebrated Fan-sey, whose spirit afterwards informed the body of Rabelais. This experienced leech, having prescribed a course of cathartics, balsamics, and sweeteners, on the supposition that the blood was tainted with a scorbutical itch; at length found reason to believe that the disease was local. He therefore tried the method of gentle friction: for which purpose he used almost the very same substances which were many centuries after applied by Gargantua to his own posteriors; such as a night cap, a pillow-bier, a slipper, a poke, a pannier, a beaver, a hen, a cock, a chicken, a calf-skin, a hare-skin, a pigeon, a cormorant, a lawyer's bag, a lamprey, a coif, a lure, nay even a goose's neck, without finding that volupté merifique au trou de cul, which was the portion of the son of Grangousier. In short, there was nothing that gave Fika-kaka such respite from this tormenting titillation as did smearing the parts with thick cream, which was afterwards licked up by the rough tongue of a boarcat. But the administration of this remedy was once productive of a disagreeable incident. In the mean time, the distemper gaining ground became so troublesome, that the unfortunate Quanbuku was incessantly in the fidgets, and ran about distracted, cackling like a hen in labour.

    The source of all this misfortune was the juxta position of two atoms quarrelling for precedency, in this the Cuboy's seat of honour. Their pressing and squeezing and elbowing and jostling, tho' of no effect in discomposing one another, occasioned all this irritation and titillation in the posteriors of Fika-kaka—What! dost thou mutter, Peacock? dost thou presume to question my veracity? now by the indivisible rotundity of an atom, I have a good mind, caitiff, to raise such a buzzing commotion in thy glandula pinealis, that thou shalt run distracted over the face of the earth, like Io when she was stung by Juno's gadfly! What! thou who hast been wrapt from the cradle in visions of mystery and revelation, swallowed impossibilities like lamb's wool, and digested doctrines harder than iron three times quenched in the Ebro! thou to demur at what I assert upon the evidence and faith of my own consciousness and consistency! —Oh! you capitulate: well, then beware of a relapse—you know a relapsed heretic finds no mercy.

    I say, while Fika-kaka's podex was the scene of contention between two turbulent atoms, I had the honour to be posted immediately under the nail of the Dairo's great toe, which happened one day to itch more than usual for occupation. The Cuboy presenting himself at that instant, and turning his face from his master, Got-hama-baba performed the exercise with such uncommon vehemence, that first his slipper, and then his toe-nail flew off, after having made a small breach in the perineum of Fika-kaka. By the same effort, I was divorced from the great toe of the sovereign, and lodged near the great gut of his minister, exactly in the interstice between the two hostile particles, which were thus in some measure restrained from wrangling; though it was not in my power to keep the peace entirely. Nevertheless, Fika-kaka's torture was immediately suspended; and he was even seized with an orgasm of pleasure, analogous to that which characterises the extacy of love.

    Think not, however, Peacock, that I would adduce this circumstance as a proof that pleasure and pain are meer relations, which can exist only as they are contrasted. No: pleasure and pain are simple, independent ideas, incapable of definition and this which Fika-kaka felt was an extacy compounded of positive pleasure ingrafted upon the removal of pain: but whether this positive pleasure depended upon a particular center of percussion hit upon by accident, or was the inseparable effect of a kicking and scratching conferred by a royal foot and toe, I shall not at present unfold: neither will I demonstrate the modus operandi on the nervous papillæ of Fika-kaka's breech, whether by irritation, relaxation, undulation, or vibration. Were these essential discoveries communicated, human philosophy would become too arrogant. It was but the other day that Newton made shift to dive into some subaltern laws of matter; to explain the revolution of the planets, and analyse the composition of light; and ever since, that reptile man has believed itself a demi-god— I hope to see the day when the petulant philosopher shall be driven back to his Categories and the Organum Universale of Aristotle, his ousia, his ule, and his upokeimenon.

    But waving these digressions, the pleasure which the Cuboy felt from the application of the Dairo's toe-nail was succeeded by a kind of tension or stiffness, which began to grow troublesome just as he reached his own palace, where the Bonzas were assembled to offer up their diurnal incense. Instinct, on this occasion, performed what could hardly have been expected from the most extraordinary talents. At sight of a grizzled heard belonging to one of those venerable doctors, he was struck with the idea of a powerful assuager; and taking him into his cabinet, proposed that he should make oral application to the part affected. The proposal was embraced without hesitation, and the effect even transcended the hope of the Cuboy. The osculation itself was soft, warm, emollient, and comfortable; but when the nervous papillæ were gently stroaked, and as it were fondled by the long, elastic, peristaltic, abstersive fibres that composed this reverend verriculum, such a delectable titillation ensued, that Fika-ka was quite in raptures.

    That which he intended at first for a medicine he now converted into an article of luxury. All the Bonzas who enrolled themselves in the number of his dependants, whether old or young, black or fair, rough or smooth, were enjoined every day to perform this additional and posterior rite of worship, so productive of delight to the Cuboy, that he was every morning impatient to receive the Dairo's calcitration, or rather his pedestrian digitation; after which he flew with all the eagerness of desire to the subsequent part of his entertainment.

    The transports thus produced seemed to disarrange his whole nervous system, and produce an odd kind of revolution in his fancy; for tho' he was naturally grave, and indeed overwhelmed with constitutional hebetude, he became, in consequence of this periodical tickling, the most giddy, pert buffoon in nature. All was grinning, giggling, laughing, and prating, except when his fears intervened; then he started and stared, and cursed and prayed by turns. There was but one barber in the whole empire that would undertake to shave him, so ticklish and unsteady he was under the hands of the operator. He could not sit above one minute in the same attitude, or on the same seat; but shifted about from couch to chair, from chair to stool, from stool to close-stool, with incessant rotation, and all the time gave audience to those who sollicited his favour and protection. To all and several he promised his best offices, and confirmed these promises with oaths and protestations. One he shook by the hand; another he hugged; a third he kissed on both sides the face; with a fourth he whispered; a fifth he honoured with a familiar horse-laugh. He never had courage to refuse even that which he could not possibly grant; and at last his tongue actually forgot how to pronounce the negative particle: but as in the English language two negatives amount to an affirmative, five hundred affirmatives in the mouth of Fika-kaka did not altogether destroy the efficacy of simple negation. A promise five hundred times repeated, and at every repetition confirmed by oath, barely amounted to a computable chance of performance.

    It must be allowed, however, he promoted a great number of Bonzas, and in this promotion he manifested an uncommon taste. They were preferred according to the colour of their beards. He found, by experience, that beards of different colours yielded him different degrees of pleasure in the friction we have described above; and the provision he made for each was in proportion to the satisfaction the candidate could afford. The sensation ensuing from the contact of a grey beard was soft and delicate, and agreeably demulcent, when the parts were unusually inflamed; a red, yellow, or brindled beard, was in request when the business was to thrill or tingle: but a black beard was of all others the most honoured by Fika-kaka, not only on account of its fleecy feel, equally spirited and balsamic, but also for another philosophical reason, which I shall now explain. You know, Peacock, that black colour absorbs the rays of light, and detains them as it were in a repository. Thus a black beard, like the back of a black cat, becomes a phosphorus in the dark, and emits sparkles upon friction. You must know, that one of the gravest doctors of the Bonzas, who had a private request to make, desired an audience of Fika-kaka in his closet at night, and the taper falling down by accident, at that very instant when his beard was in contact with the Cuboy's seat of honour, the electrical snap was heard, and the part illuminated, to the astonishment of the spectators, who looked upon it as a prelude to the apotheosis of Fika-kaka. Being made acquainted with this phænomenon, the minister was exceedingly elevated in his own mind. He rejoiced in it as a communication of some divine efficacy, and raised the happy Bonza to the rank of Pontifex Maximus, or chief priest, in the temple of Fakku-basi. In the course of experiments, he found that all black beards were electrical in the same degree, and being ignorant of philosophy, ascribed it to some supernatural virtue, in consequence of which they were promoted as the holiest of the Bonzas. But you and I know, that such a phosphorus is obtained from the most worthless and corrupted materials, such as rotten wood, putrefied veal, and stinking whiting.

    Fika-kaka, such as I described him, could not possibly act in the character of Cuboy, without the assistance of counsellors and subalterns, who understood the detail of government and the forms of business. He was accordingly surrounded by a number of satellites, who reflected his lustre in their several spheres of rotation; and though their immersions and emersions were apparently abrubt and irregular, formed a kind of luminous belt as pale and comfortless as the ring of Saturn, the most distant, cold, and baleful of all the planets.

    The most remarkable of these subordinates, was Sti-phi-rum-poo, a man, who, from a low plebeian origin, had raised himself to one of the first offices of the empire, to the dignity of Quo, or nobleman, and a considerable share of the Dairo's personal regard. He owed his whole success to his industry, assiduity, and circumspection.

    During the former part of his life, he studied the laws of Japan with such severity of application, that though unassisted by the least gleam of genius, and destitute of the smallest pretension to talent, he made himself master of all the written ordinances, all the established customs, and forms of proceeding in the different tribunals of the empire. In the progress of his vocation, he became an advocate of some eminence, and even acquired reputation for polemical eloquence, though his manner was ever dry, laboured, and unpleasant—Being elevated to the station of a judge, he so far justified the interest by which he had been promoted, that his honesty was never called in question; and his sentences were generally allowed to be just and upright. He heard causes with the most painful attention, seemed to be indefatigable in his researches after truth; and though he was forbidding in his aspect, slow in deliberation, tedious in discussion, and cold in his address; yet I must own, he was also unbiassed in his decisions —I mean, unbiassed by any consciousness of sinister motive: for a man may be biassed by the nature of his disposition, as well as by prejudices acquired, and yet not guilty of intentional partiality. Sti-phi-rum-poo was scrupulously just, according to his own ideas of justice, and consequently well qualified to decide in common controversies. But in delicate cases, which required an uncommon share of penetration; when the province of a supreme judge is to mitigate the severity, and sometimes even deviate from the dead letter of the common law, in favour of particular institutions, or of humanity in general; he had neither genius to enlighten his understanding, sentiment to elevate his mind, nor courage to surmount the petty inclosures of ordinary practice. He was accused of avarice and cruelty; but, in fact, these were not active passions in his heart. The conduct which seemed to justify these imputations, was wholly owing to a total want of taste and generosity. The nature of his post furnished him with opportunities to accumulate riches; and as the narrowness of his mind admitted no ideas of elegance or refined pleasure, he knew not how to use his wealth so as to avoid the charge of a sordid disposition. His temper was not rapacious but retentive: he knew not the use of wealth, and therefore did not use it at all: but was in this particular neither better nor worse than a strong-box for the convenience and advantage of his heir. The appearance of cruelty remarkable in his counsels, relating to some wretched insurgents who had been taken in open rebellion, and the rancorous pleasure he seemed to feel in pronouncing sentence of death by self-exenteration , was in fact the gratification of a dastardly heart, which had never acknowledged the least impulse of any liberal sentiment. This being the case, mankind ought not to impute that to his guilt which was, in effect, the consequence of his infirmity. A man might, with equal justice, be punished for being purblind. Sti-phi-rum-poo was much more culpable for seeking to shine in a sphere for which nature never intended him; I mean for commencing statesman, and intermeddling in the machine of government: yet even into this character he was forced, as it were, by the opinion and injunctions of Fika-kaka, who employed him at first in making speeches for the Dairo, which that prince used to pronounce in public, at certain seasons of the year. These speeches being tolerably well received by the populace, the Cuboy conceived an extraordinary opinion of his talents; and thought him extremely well qualified to ease him of great part of the burthen of government. He found him very well disposed to engage heartily in his interests. Then he was admitted to the osculation a posteriori ; and though his beard was not black, but rather of a subfuscan hue, he managed it with such dexterity, that Fika-kaka declared the salute gave him unspeakable pleasure: while the bystanders protested that the contact produced, not simply electrical sparks or scintillations, but even a perfect irradiation, which seemed altogether supernatural. From this moment, Sti-phi-rum-poo was initiated in the mysteries of the cabinet, and even introduced to the person of the Dairo Got-hama-baba, whose pedestrian favours he shared with his new patron. It was observed, however, that even after his promotion and nobilitation, he still retained his original aukwardness, and never could acquire that graceful ease of attitude with which the Cuboy presented his parts averse to the contemplation of his sovereign. Indeed this minister's body was so well moulded for the celebration of the rite, that one would have imagined nature had formed him expressly for that purpose, with his head and body projecting forwards, so as to form an angle of forty-five with the horizon, while the glutæi muscles swelled backwards as if ambitious to meet half-way the imperial encounter.

    The third connexion that strengthened this political band was Ninkom-poo-po, commander of the Fune, or navy of Japan, who, if ever man was, might surely be termed the child of fortune. He was bred to the sea from his infancy, and, in the course of pacific service, rose to the command of a jonkh, when he was so lucky as to detect a crew of pyrates employed on a desolate shore in concealing a hoard of money which they had taken from the merchants of Corea. Nin-kom-poo-po, falling in with them at night, attacked them unawares, and having obtained an easy victory, carried off the treasure. I cannot help being amused at the folly of you silly mortals, when I recollect the transports of the people at the return of this fortunate officer, with a paultry mass of silver parading in covered waggons escorted by his crew in arms. The whole city of Meaco resounded with acclamation; and Nin-kom-poo-po was extolled as the greatest hero that ever the empire of Japan produced. The Cuboy honoured him with five kisses in public; accepted of the osculation in private, recommended him in the strongest terms to the Dairo, who promoted him to the rank of Sey-seo-gun, or general at sea. He professed himself an adherent to the Cuboy, entered into a strict alliance with Stiphi-rum-poo, and the whole management of the Fune was consigned into his hands. With respect to his understanding, it was just sufficient to comprehend the duties of a common mariner, and to follow the ordinary route of the most sordid avarice. As to his heart, he might be said to be in a state of total apathy, without principle or passion; for I cannot afford the name of passion to such a vile appetite as an insatiable thirst of lucre. He was, indeed, so cold and forbidding, that, in Japan, the people distinguished him by a nick-name equivalent to the English word Salamander not that he was inclined to live in fire, but that the coldness of his heart would have extinguished any fire it had approached. Some individuals imagined he had been begot upon a mermaid by a sailor of Kamschatka; but this was a mere fable. ——-I can assure you, however, that when his lips were in contact with the Cuboy's posteriors, Fika-kaka's teeth were seen to chatter. The pride of this animal was equal to his frigidity. He affected to establish new regulations at the council where he presided: he treated his equals with insolence, and his superiors with contempt. Other people generally rejoice in obliging their fellow-creatures, when they can do it without prejudice to their own interest. Nin-kom-poo-po had a repulsive power in his disposition: and seemed to take pleasure in denying a request. When this vain creature, selfish, inelegant, arrogant, and uncouth, appeared in all his trappings at the Dairo's court, upon a festival, he might have been justly compared to a Lapland idol of ice, adorned with a profusion of brass leaf and trinkets of pewter. In the direction of the Fune, he was provided with a certain number of assessors, counsellors, or co-adjutors; but these he never consulted, more than if they had been wooden images. He distributed his commands among his own dependants; and left all the forms of the office to the care of the scribe, who thus became so necessary, that his influence sometimes had well nigh interfered with that of the president: nay, they have been seen, like the electrical spheres of two bodies, repelling each other. Hence it was observed, that the office of the Seyseo-gun-sialty resembled the serpent called Amphisbæna, which, contrary to the formation of other animals in head and tail, has a head where the tail should be. Well, indeed, might they compare them to a serpent, in creeping, cunning, coldness, and venom; but the comparison would have held with more propriety, had Nature produced a serpent without ever a head at all.

    The fourth who contributed his credit and capacity to this coalition, was Foksi-Roku, a man who greatly surpassed them all in the science of politicks, bold, subtle, interested, insinuating, ambitious, and indefatigable. An adventurer from his cradle, a latitudinarian in principle, a libertine in morals, without the advantages of birth, fortune, character, or interest; by his own natural sagacity, a close attention to the follies and foibles of mankind, a projecting spirit, an invincible assurance, and an obstinacy of perseverance proof against all the shocks of disappointment and repulse; he forced himself as it were into the scale of preferment; and being found equally capable and compliant, rose to high offices of trust and profit, detested by the people, as one of the most desperate tools of a wicked administration; and odious to his colleagues in the m—y, for his superior talents, his restless ambition, and the uncertainty of his attachment.

    As interest prompted him, he hovered between the triumvirate we have described, and another knot of competitors for the ad—n, headed by Quamba-cun-dono, a great Quo related to the Dairo, who had bore the supreme command in the army, and was stiled Fatzman, kat' exoken, or, by way of eminence. This accomplished prince was not only the greatest in his mind, but also the largest in his person of all the subjects of Japan; and whereas your Shakespeare makes Falstaff urge it as a plea in his own favour, that as he had more flesh, so likewise he had more frailty than other men; I may justly convert the proposition in favour of Quamba-cun-dono, and affirm that as he had more flesh, so he had more virtue than any other Japonese; more bowels, more humanity, more beneficence, more affability. He was undoubtedly, for a Fatzman, the most courteous, the most gallant, the most elegant, generous, and munificent Quo that ever adorned the court of Japan. So consummate in the art of war, that the whole world could not produce a general to match him in foresight, vigilance, conduct, and ability. Indeed his intellects were so extraordinary and extensive, that he seemed to sentimentize at every pore, and to have the faculty of thinking diffused all over his frame, even to his fingers ends or, as the Latins call it ad unguem: nay, so wonderful was his organical conformation, that, in the opinion of many Japonese philosophers, his whole body was enveloped in a kind of poultice of brain, and that if he had lost his head in battle, the damage with regard to his power of reflection would have been scarce perceptible. After he had atchieved many glorious exploits, in a war against the Chinese on the continent, he was sent with a strong army to quell a dangerous insurrection in the northern parts of Ximo, which is one of the Japonese islands. He accordingly by his valour crushed the rebellion; and afterwards, by dint of clemency and discretion, extinguished the last embers of disaffection. When the insurgents were defeated, dispersed, and disarmed, and a sufficient number selected for example, his humanity emerged, and took full possession of his breast. He considered them as wretched men misled by false principles of honour, and sympathized with their distress: he pitied them as men and fellow-citizens: he regarded them as useful fellow-subjects, who might be reclaimed and reunited to the community. Instead of sending out the ministers of blood, rapine, and revenge, to ravage, burn, and destroy, without distinction of age, sex, or principle; he extended the arms of mercy to all who would embrace that indulgence: he protected the lives and habitations of the helpless, and diminished the number of the malcontents much more effectually by his benevolence than by his sword.

    The southern Japonese had been terribly alarmed at this insurrection, and in the first transports of their deliverance, voluntarily taxed themselves with a considerable yearly tribute to the hero Quamba-cun-dono. In all probability, they would not have appeared so grateful, had they stayed to see the effects of his merciful disposition towards the vanquished rebels: for mercy is surely no attribute of the Japonese, considered as a people. Indeed, nothing could form a more striking contrast, than appeared in the transactions in the northern and southern parts of the empire at this juncture. While the amiable Quamba-cun-dono was employed in the godlike office of gathering together, and cherishing under his wings the poor, dispersed, forlorn, widows and orphans, whom the savage hand of war had deprived of parent, husband, home, and sostenance; while he, in the North, gathered these miserable creatures, even as a hen gathereth her chickens; Sti-phi-rum-poo, and other judges in the South, were condemning such of their parents and husbands as survived the sword, to crucifixion, cauldrons of boiling oil, or exenteration; and the people were indulging their appetites by feasting upon the viscera thus extracted. The liver of a Ximian was in such request at this period, that if the market had been properly managed and supplied, this delicacy would have sold for two Obans a pound, or about four pounds sterling. The troops in the North might have provided at the rate of a thousand head per month for the demand of Meaco; and tho' the other parts of the carcase would not have sold at so high a price as the liver, heart, harrigals, sweet-bread, and pope's eye; yet the whole, upon an average, would have fetched at the rate of three hundred pounds a head; especially if those animals, which are but poorly fed in their own country, had been fattened up and kept upon hard meat for the slaughter. This new branch of traffick would have produced about three hundred and sixty thousand pounds annually: for the rebellion might easily have been fomented from year to year; and consequently it would have yielded a considerable addition to the emperor's revenue, by a proper taxation.

    The philosophers of Japan were divided in their opinions concerning this new taste for Ximian flesh, which suddenly sprung up among the Japonese. Some ascribed it to a principle of hatred and revenge, agreeable to the common expression of animosity among the multitude, "You dog, I'll have your liver." Others imputed it to a notion analagous to the vulgar conceit, that the liver of a mad dog being eaten is a preventive against madness; ergo, the liver of a traitor is an antidote against treason. A third sort derived this strange appetite from the belief of the Americans, who imagine they shall inherit all the virtues of the enemies they devour; and a fourth affirmed that the demand for this dainty arose from a very high and peculiar flavour in Ximian flesh, which flavour was discovered by accident: moreover, there were not wanting some who supposed this banquet was a kind of sacrifice to the powers of sorcery; as we find that one of the ingredients of the charm prepared in Shakespear's cauldron was "the liver of blaspheming Jew:" and indeed it is not at all improbable that the liver of a rebellious Ximian might be altogether as effectual. I know that Fika-kaka was stimulated by curiosity to try the experiment, and held divers consultations with his cooks on this subject. They all declared in favour of the trial; and it was accordingly presented at the table, where the Cuboy eat of it to such excess as to produce a surfeit. He underwent a severe evacuation both ways, attended with cold sweats and swoonings. In a word, his agony was so violent, that he ever after loathed the sight of Ximian flesh, whether dead or alive.

    With the Fatzman Quamba-cun-dono was connected another Quo called Gotto-mio, viceroy of Xicoco, one of the islands of Japan. If his understanding had been as large as his fortune, and his temper a little more tractable, he would have been a dangerous rival to the Cuboy. But if their brains had been weighed against each other, the nineteenth part of a grain would have turned either scale; and as Fika-kaka had negative qualities, which supported and extended his personal influence, so Gotto-mio had positive powers, that defended him from all approaches of popularity. His pride was of the insolent order; his temper extremely irascible; and his avarice quite rapacious: nay, he is said to have once declined the honour of a kicking from the Dairo. Conceited of his own talents, he affected to harangue in the council of Twenty Eight; but his ideas were embarrassed; his language was mean; and his elocution more discordant than the braying of fifty asses. When Fika-kaka addressed himself to speech, an agreeable simper played upon the countenances of all the audience: but soon as Gotto-mio stood up, every spectator raised his thumbs to his ears, as it were instinctively. The Dairo Got-hama-baba, by the advice of the Cuboy, sent him over to govern the people of Xicoco, and a more effectual method could not have been taken to mortify his arrogance. His deportment was so insolent, his oeconomy so sordid, and his government so arbitrary, that those islanders, who are remarkably ferocious and impatient, expressed their hatred and contempt of him on every occasion. His Quanbukuship was hardly safe from outrage in the midst of his guards; and a cross was actually erected for the execution of his favourite Kow-kin, who escaped with some difficulty to the island of Niphon, whither also his patron soon followed him, attended by the curses of the people whom he had been sent to rule.

    He who presided at the council of Twenty Eight was called Soo-san-sin-o, an old experienced shrewd politician, who conveyed more sense in one single sentence, than could have been distilled from all the other brains in council, had they been macerated in one alembic. He was a man of extensive learning and elegant taste. He saw through the characters of his fellow-labourers in the ad—n. He laughed at the folly of one faction, and detested the arrogance and presumption of the other. In an assembly of sensible men, his talents would have shone with superior lustre: but at the council of Twenty Eight, they were obscured by the thick clouds of ignorance that enveloped his brethren. The Dairo had a personal respect for him, and is said to have conferred frequent favours on his posteriors in private. He kicked the Cuboy often ex officio, as a husband thinks it incumbent upon him to caress his wife: but he kicked the president for pleasure, as a voluptuary embraces his mistress. Soo-san-sin-o, conscious that he had no family interest to support him in cabals among the people, and careless of his country's fate, resolved to enjoy the comforts of life in quiet. He laughed and quaffed with his select companions in private; received his appointments thankfully; and swam with the tide of politicks as it happened to flow. —--It was pretty extraordinary that the wisest man should be the greatest cypher: but such was the will of the gods.

    Besides these great luminaries that enlightened the cabinet of Japan, I shall have occasion, in the course of my narrative, to describe many other stars of an inferior order. At this board, there was as great a variety of characters, as we find in the celebrated table of Cebes. Nay, indeed, what was objected to the philosopher, might have been more justly said of the Japonese councils. There was neither invention, unity, nor design among them. They consisted of mobs of sauntering, strolling, vagrant, and ridiculous politicians. Their schemes were absurd, and their deliberations like the sketches of anarchy. All was bellowing, bleating, braying, grinning, grumbling, confusion, and uproar. It was more like a dream of chaos than a picture of human life. If the DAIMON, or Genius was wanting, it must be owned that Fika-kaka exactly answered Cebes's description of TPSXE, or Fortune, blind and frantic, running about every where; giving to some, and taking from others, without rule or distinction; while her emblem of the round stone, fairly shews his giddy nature; kalos menuei phusin autes. Here, however, one might have seen many other figures of the painter's allegory; such as Deception tendering the cup of ignorance and error, opinions and appetites; Disappointment and Anguish; Debauchery, Profligacy, Gluttony, and Adulation; Luxury, Fraud, Rapine, Perjury, and Sacrilege: but not the least traces of the virtues which are described in the groupe of true education, and in the grove of happiness.

    The two factions that divided the council of Japan, tho' inveterate enemies to each other, heartily and cordially concurred in one particular, which was the worship established in the temple of Fakkubasi, or the White Horse. This was the orthodox faith in Japan, and was certainly founded, as St. Paul saith of the Christian religion, upon the evidence of things not seen. All the votaries of this superstition of Fakkubasi subscribed and swore to the following creed, implicitly, without hesitation, or mental reservation. "I believe in the White Horse, that he descended from heaven, and sojourned in Jeddo, which is the land of promise. I believe in Bupo his apostle, who first declared to the children of Niphon, the glad tidings of the gospel of Fakkubasi. I believe that the White Horse was begot by a black mule, and brought forth by a green dragon; that his head is of silver, and his hoofs are of brass; that he eats gold as provender, and discharges diamonds as dung; that the Japonese are ordained and predestined to furnish him with food, and the people of Jeddo to clear away his litter. I believe that the island of Niphon is joined to the continent of Jeddo; and that whoever thinks otherwise shall be damned to all eternity. I believe that the smallest portion of matter may be practically divided ad infinitum: that equal quantities taken from equal quantities, an unequal quantity will remain: that two and two make seven: that the sun rules the night, the stars the day; and the moon is made of green cheese. Finally, I believe that a man cannot be saved without devoting his goods and his chattels, his children, relations, and friends, his senses and ideas, his soul and his body, to the religion of the White Horse, as it is prescribed in the ritual of Fakkubasi." These are the tenets which the Japonese ministers swallowed as glib as the English clergy swallow the thirty-nine articles.

    Having thus characterised the chiefs that disputed the administration, or, in other words, the empire of Japan, I shall now proceed to a plain narration of historical incidents, without pretending to philosophize like H—e, or dogmatize like S—tt. I shall only tell thee, Nathaniel, that Britain never gave birth but to two historians worthy of credit, and they were Taliessin and Geoffrey of Monmouth. I'll tell you another secret. The whole world has never been able to produce six good historians. Herodotus is fabulous even to a proverb; Thucydides is perplexed, obscure, and unimportant; Polybius is dry and inelegant; Livy superficial; and Tacitus a coxcomb. Guicciardini wants interest; Davila, digestion; and Sarpi, truth. In the whole catalogue of French historians, there is not one of tolerable authenticity

    In the year of the period Foggien one hundred and fifty four, the tranquility of Japan was interrupted by the incroachments of the Chinese adventurers, who made descents upon certain islands belonging to the Japonese a great way to the southward of Xicoco. They even settled colonies, and built forts on some of them, while the two empires were at peace with each other. When the Japonese governors expostulated with the Chinese officers on this intrusion, they were treated with ridicule and contempt: then they had recourse to force of arms, and some skirmishes were fought with various success. When the tidings of these hostilities arrived at Meaco, the whole council of Twenty-Eight was overwhelmed with fear and confusion. The Dairo kicked them all round, not from passion, but by way of giving an animating fillip to their deliberative faculties. The disputes had happened in the island of Fatsissio: but there were only three members of the council who knew that Fatsissio was an island, although the commerce there carried on was of the utmost importance to the empire of Japan. They were as much in the dark with respect to its situation. Fika-kaka, on the supposition that it adjoined to the coast of Corea, expressed his apprehension that the Chinese would invade it with a numerous army; and was so transported when Foksi-roku assured him it was an island at a vast distance from any continent, that he kissed him five times in the face of the whole council; and his royal master, Got-hama-baba, swore he should be indulged with a double portion of kicking at his next private audience. The same counsellor proposed, that as the Fune or navy of Japan was much more numerous than the fleet of China, they should immediately avail themselves of this advantage. Quamba-cun-dono the Fatzman was of opinion that war should be immediately declared, and an army transported to the continent. Stiphi-rum-poo thought it would be more expedient to sweep the seas of the Chinese trading vessels, without giving them any previous intimation; and to this opinion admiral Nin-kom-poo-po subscribed, not only out of deference to the superior understanding of his sage ally, who undertook to prove it was not contrary to the law of nature and nations, to plunder the subjects of foreign powers, who trade on the faith of treaties; but also from his own inclination, which was much addicted to pillage without bloodshed. To him, therefore, the task was left of scouring the seas, and intercepting the succours which (they had received intelligence) were ready to sail from one of the ports of China to the island of Fatsissio. In the mean time, junks were provided for transporting thither a body of Japonese troops, under the command of one Koan, an obscure officer without conduct or experience, whom the Fatzman selected for this service: not that he supposed him possessed of superior merit, but because no leader of distinction cared to engage in such a disagreeable expedition.

    Nin-kom-poo-po acted according to the justest ideas which had been formed of his understanding. He let loose his cruisers among the merchant ships of China, and the harbours of Japan were quickly filled with prizes and prisoners. The Chinese exclaimed against these proceedings as the most perfidious acts of piracy; and all the other powers of Asia beheld them with astonishment. But the consummate wisdom of the sea Sey-seo-gun appeared most conspicuous in another stroke of generalship, which he now struck. Instead of blocking up in the Chinese harbour the succours destined to reinforce the enemy in Fatsissio, until they should be driven from their incroachments on that island, he very wisely sent a strong squadron of Fune to cruise in the open sea, midway between China and Fatsissio, in the most tempestuous season of the year, when the fogs are so thick and so constant in that latitude, as to rival the darkness of a winter night; and supported the feasibility of this scheme in council, by observing, that the enemy would be thus decoyed from their harbour, and undoubtedly intercepted in their passage by the Japonese squadron. This plan was applauded as one of the most ingenious stratagems that ever was devised; and Fika-kaka insisted upon kissing his posteriors, as the most honourable mark of his approbation.

    Philosophers have observed, that the motives of actions are not to be estimated by events. Fortune did not altogether fulfil the expectations of the council. General Koan suffered himself and his army to be decoyed into the middle of a wood, where they stood like sheep in the shambles, to be slaughtered by an unseen enemy. The Chinese succours perceiving their harbour open, set sail for Fatsissio, which they reached in safety, by changing their course about one degree from the common route; while the Japonese Fune continued cruising among the fogs, until the ships were shattered by storms, and the crews more than half destroyed by cold and distemper.

    When the news of these disasters arrived, great commotion arose in the council. The Dairo Got-hama-baba fluttered, and clucked and cackled and hissed like a goose disturbed in the act of incubation. Quamba-cun-dono shed bitter tears: the Cuboy snivelled and sobbed: Sti-phi-rum-poo groaned: Gotto-mio swore: but the sea Sey-seo-gun Nin-kom-poo-po underwent no alteration. He sat as the emblem of insensibility, fixed as the north star, and as cold as that luminary, sending forth emanations of frigidity. Fi-ka-ka, mistaking this congelation for fortitude, went round and embraced him where he sat, exclaiming, "My dear Day, Sey-seo-gun, what would you advise in this dilemma?" But the contact had almost cost him his life; for the touch of Nin-kom-poo-po, thus congealed, had the same effect as that of the fish called Torpor. The Cuboy's whole body was instantly benumbed; and if his friends had not instantly poured down his throat a considerable quantity of strong spirit, the circulation would have ceased. This is what philosophers call a generation of cold, which became so intense, that the mercury in a Japonese thermometer constructed on the same principles which were afterwards adopted by Fahrnheit, and fixed in the apartment, immediately sunk thirty degrees below the freezing point.

    The first astonishment of the council was succeeded by critical remarks and argumentation. The Dairo consoled himself by observing, that his troops made a very soldierly appearance as they lay on the field in their new cloathing, smart caps, and clean buskins; and that the enemy allowed they had never seen beards and whiskers in better order. He then declared, that should a war ensue with China, he would go abroad and expose himself for the glory of Japan. Foksi-roku expressed his surprize, that a general should march his army through a wood in an unknown country, without having it first reconnoitred: but the Fatzman assured him, that was a practice never admitted into the discipline of Japan. Gotto-mio swore the man was mad to stand with his men, like oxen in a stall, to be knocked on the head without using any means of defence. "Why the devil (said he) did not he either retreat, or advance to close engagement with the handful of Chinese who formed the ambuscade?" "I hope, my dear Quanbuku, (replied the Fatzman) that the troops of Japan will always stand without flinching. I should have been mortified beyond measure, had they retreated without seeing the face of the enemy:—-- that would have been a disgrace which never befel any troops formed under my direction; and as for advancing, the ground would not permit any manoeuvre of that nature. They were engaged in a cul de sac, where they could not form either in hollow square, front line, potence, column or platoon. —-It was the fortune of war, and they bore it like men:—-we shall be more fortunate on another occasion." The president Soo-san-sin-o, took notice, that if there had been one spaniel in the whole Japonese army, this disaster could not have happened; as the animal would have beat the bushes and discovered the ambuscade. He therefore proposed, that if the war was to be prosecuted in Fatsissio, which is a country overgrown with wood, a number of blood-hounds might be provided and sent over, to run upon the foot in the front and on the flanks of the army, when it should be on its march through such impediments. Quamba-cun-dono declared, that soldiers had much better die in the bed of honour, than be saved and victorious, by such an unmilitary expedient; that such a proposal was so contrary to the rules of war and the scheme of enlisting dogs so derogatory from the dignity of the service, that if ever it should be embraced, he would resign his command, and spend the remainder of his life in retirement. This canine project was equally disliked by the Dairo, who approved of the Fatzman's objection, and sealed his approbation with a pedestrian salute of such momentum, that the Fatzman could hardly stand under the weight of the compliment. It was agreed that new levies should be made, and a new squadron of Fune equipped with all expedition; and thus the assembly broke up.

    Fortune had not yet sufficiently humbled the pride of Japan. That body of Chinese which defeated Koan, made several conquests in Fastsissio, and seemed to be in a fair way of reducing the whole island. Yet, the court of China, not satisfied with this success, resolved to strike a blow, that should be equally humiliating to the Japonese, in another part of the world. Having by specious remonstrances already prepossessed all the neighbouring nations against the government of Japan, as the patrons of perfidy and piracy; they fitted out an armament, which was intended to subdue the island of Motao on the coast of Corea, which the Japonese had taken in a former war, and now occupied at a very great expence, as a place of the utmost importance to the commerce of the empire. Repeated advices of the enemy's design were sent from different parts, to the m—y of Japan: but they seemed all overwhelmed by such a lethargy of infatuation, that no measures of prevention were concerted.

    Such was the opinion of the people; but the truth is, they were fast asleep. The Japonese hold with the antient Greeks and modern Americans, that dreams are from heaven; and in any perplexing emergency, they, like the Indians, Jews, and natives of Madagascar, have recourse to dreaming as to an oracle. These dreams or divinations are preceded by certain religious rites analagous to the ceremony of the ephod, the urim and the thummim. The rites were religiously performed in the council of Twenty-Eight; and a deep sleep overpowered the Dairo and all his counsellors.

    Got-hama-baba the emperor, who reposed his head upon the pillowy sides of Quamba-cun-dono, dreamed that he was sacrificing in the temple of Fakkubasi, and saw the deity of the White Horse devouring pearls by the bushel at one end, and voiding corruption by the ton at the other. The Fatzman dreamed that a great number of Chinese cooks were busy buttering his brains. Got-to-mio dreamed of lending money and borrowing sense. Sti-phi-rum-poo thought he had procured a new law for clapping padlocks upon the chastity of all the females in Japan under twenty, of which padlocks he himself kept the keys. Nin-kom-poo-po dreamed he was metamorphosed into a sea-lion, in pursuit of a shoal of golden gudgeons. One did laugh in's sleep, and one cried murder. The first was Soo-san-sin-o, who had precisely the same vision that disturbed the imagination of the Cuboy. He thought he saw the face of a right reverend prelate of the Bonzas, united with and growing to the posteriors of the minister. Fika-kaka underwent the same disagreeable illusion, with this aggravating circumstance, that he already felt the teeth of the said Bonza. The president laughed aloud at the ridiculous phænomenon: the Cuboy exclaimed in the terror of being encumbered with such a monstrous appendage. It was not without some reason he cried, "Murder!" Foksi-roku, who happened to sleep on the next chair, dreamed of money-bags, places, and reversions; and in the transport of his eagerness, laid fast hold on the trunk-breeches of the Cuboy, including certain fundamentals, which he grasped so violently as to excite pain, and extort the exclamation from Fika-kaka, even in his sleep.

    The council being at last waked by the clamours of the people, who surrounded the palace, and proclaimed that Motao was in danger of an invasion; the sea Sey-seo-gun Nin-kom-poo-po, was ordered to fit out a fleet of Fune for the relief of that island; and directions were given that the commander of these Fune should, in his voyage, touch at the garrison of Foutao, and take on board from thence a certain number of troops, to reinforce the Japonese governor of the place that was in danger. Nin-kom-poo-po for this service chose the commander Bihn-goh, a man who had never signalized himself by any act of valour. He sent him out with a squadron of Fune ill manned, wretchedly provided, and inferior in number to the fleet of China, which was by this time known to be assembled in order to support the invasion of the island of Motao. He sailed, nevertheless, on this expedition, and touched at the garrison of Foutao to take in the reinforcement: but the orders sent for this purpose from Nob-o-di, minister for the department of war, appeared so contradictory and absurd, that they could not possibly be obeyed; so that Bihn-goh proceeded without the reinforcement towards Motao, the principal fortress of which was by this time invested. He had been accidentally joined by a few cruisers, which rendered him equal in strength to the Chinese squadron which he now descried. Both commanders seemed afraid of each other. The fleets, however, engaged; but little damage was done to either. They parted as if by consent. Bihn-goh made the best of his way back to Foutao, without making the least attempt to succour, or open a communication with Fi-de-ta-da, the governor of Motao, who, looking upon himself as abandoned by his country, surrendered his fortress, with the whole island, to the Chinese general. These disgraces happening on the back of the Fatsissian disasters, raised a prodigious ferment in Japan, and the ministry had almost sunk under the first fury of the people's resentment. They not only exclaimed against the folly of the administration, but they also accused them of treachery; and seemed to think that the glory and advantage of the empire had been betrayed. What increased the commotion was the terror of an invasion, with which the Chinese threatened the islands of Japan. The terrors of Fika-ka had already cost him two pair of trunk hose, which were defiled by sudden sallies or irruptions from the postern of his microcosm; and these were attended with such noisome effluvia, that the Bonzas could not perform the barbal abstersion without marks of abhorrence. The emperor himself was seen to stop his nose, and turn away his head, when he approached him to perform the pedestrian exercise.

    Here I intended to insert a dissertation on trousers or trunk breeches, called by the Greeks brakoi, & perisomata, by the Latins braccæ laxæ, by the Spaniards bragas anchas, by the Italians calzone largo, by the French haut de chausses, by the Saxons bræcce, by the Swedes brackor, by the Irish briechan, by the Celtæ brag, and by the Japonese bra-ak. I could make some curious discoveries touching the analogy between the Perisomata and Zonion gunaikeion, and point out the precise time at which the Grecian women began to wear the breeches. I would have demonstrated that the cingulum muliebre was originally no other than the wife's literally wearing the husband's trousers at certain orgia, as a mark of dominion transferred pro tempore, to the female. I would have drawn a curious parallel between the Zonion of the Greek, and the shim or middle cloth worn by the black ladies in Guinea. I would have proved that breeches were not first used to defend the central parts from the injuries of the weather, inasmuch as they were first worn by the Orientals in a warm climate; as you may see in Persius, Braccatis illita medis—-porticus. I would have shewn that breeches were first brought from Asia to the northern parts of Europe, by the Celtæ sprung from the antient Gomanaus: that trousers were wore in Scotland long before the time of Pythagoras; and indeed we are told by Jamblychus, that Abaris, the famous Highland philosopher, contemporary, and personally acquainted with the sage of Crotona, wore long trousers. I myself can attest the truth of that description, as I well remember the person and habit of that learned mountaineer. I would have explained the reasons that compelled the posterity of those mountaineers to abandon the breeches of their forefathers, and expose their posteriors to the wind. I would have convinced the English antiquaries that the inhabitants of Yorkshire came originally from the Highlands of Scotland, before the Scots had laid aside their breeches, and wore this part of dress, long after their ancestors, as well as the southern Britons were unbreeched by the Romans. From this distinction they acquired the name of Brigantes, quasi Bragantes; and hence came the verb to brag or boast contemptuously: for the neighbours of the Brigantes being at variance with that people, used, by way of contumelious defiance, when they saw any of them passing or repassing, to clap their hands on their posteriors, and cry Brag-Brag. —-I would have drawn a learned comparison between the shield of Ajax and the seven-fold breeches of a Dutch skipper. Finally, I would have promulgated the original use of trunk breeches, which would have led me into a discussion of the rites of Cloacina, so differently worshipped by the southern and northern inhabitants of this kingdom. These disquisitions would have unveiled the mysteries that now conceal the orgin, migration, superstition, language, laws, and connexions of different nations ——sed nunc non erit his locus. I shall only observe, that Linschot and others are mistaken in deriving the Japonese from their neighbours the Chinese; and that Dr. Kempfer is right in his conjecture, supposing them to have come from Media immediately after the confusion of Babel. It is no wonder, therefore, that being Braccatorum filii, they should retain the wide breeches of their progenitors.

    Having dropped these hints concerning the origin of breeches, I shall now return to the great personage that turned me into this train of thinking. The council of Twenty-Eight being assembled in a great hurry, Fika-kaka sat about five seconds in silence, having in his countenance, nearly the same expression which you have seen in the face and attitude of Felix on his tribunal, as represented by the facetious Hogarth in his print done after the Dutch taste. After some pause he rose, and surveying every individual of the council through a long tube, began a speech to this effect: "Imperial Got-hama-baba, my ever-glorious master; and you, ye illustrious nobles of Japan, Quanbukus, Quos, Days, and Daygos, my fellows and colleagues in the work of administration; it is well known to you all, and they are rascals that deny it, I have watched and fasted for the public weal. —By G—d, I have deprived myself of two hours of my natural rest, every night for a week together. —Then, I have been so hurried with state affairs, that I could not eat a comfortable meal in a whole fortnight; and what rendered this misfortune the greater, my chief cook had dressed an olio a la Chine. —I say an olio, my Lords, such an olio as never appeared before upon a table in Japan—by the Lord, it cost me fifty Obans; and I had not time to taste a morsel. —Well, then, I have watched that my fellow-subjects should sleep; I have fasted that they should feed. —I have not only watched and fasted, but I have prayed—no, not much of that— yes, by the Lord, I have prayed as it were—I have ejaculated—I have danced and sung at the Matsuris, which, you know, are religious rites—I have headed the multitude, and treated all the ragamuffins in Japan. —To be certain, I could not do too much for our most excellent and sublime emperor, an emperor unequalled in wisdom, and unrivalled in generosity. —Were I to expatiate from the rising of the sun to the setting thereof, I should not speak half his praise. —O happy nation! O fortunate Japan! happy in such a Dairo to wield the sceptre; and let me add, (vanity apart) fortunate in such a Cuboy to conduct the administration. —Such a prince! and such a minister!—a ha! my noble friend Soo-san-sin-o, I see your Dayship smile—I know what you think, ha! ha! —Very well, my Lord—you may think what you please; but two such head-pieces—pardon, my royal master, my presumption in laying our heads together, you wo'n't find again in the whole universe, ha! ha! —I'll be damn'd if you do, ha! ha! ha!" The tumult without doors was, by this time, increased to such a degree, that the Cuboy could utter nothing more ab anteriori; and the majority of the members sat aghast in silence. The Dairo declared he would throw his cap out of the window into the midst of the populace, and challenge any single man of them to bring it up: but he was dissuaded from hazarding his sacred person in such a manner. Quamba-cun-dono proposed to let loose the guards among the multitude: but Fika-kaka protested he could never agree to an expedient so big with danger to the persons of all present. Sti-phi-rum-poo was of opinion, that they should proceed according to law, and indict the leaders of the mob for a riot. Nin-kom-poo-po exhorted the Dairo and the whole council to take refuge on board the fleet. Gotto-mio sweated in silence: he trembled for his money-bags, and dreaded another encounter with the mob, by whom he had suffered severely in the flesh, upon a former occasion. The president shrugged up his shoulders, and kept his eye fixed upon a postern or back-door. In this general consternation, Foksi-roku stood up and offered a scheme, which was immediately put in execution. "The multitude, my Lords, (said he) is a many headed monster—it is a Cerberus that must have a sop:—it is a wild beast, so ravenous that nothing but blood will appease its appetite: —it is a whale, that must have a barrel for its amusement:—it is a dæmon to which we must offer up human sacrifice. Now the question is, who is to be this sop, this barrel, this scape-goat? —Tremble not, illustrious Fika-kaka—be not afraid— your life is of too much consequence. —But I perceive that the Cuboy is moved—an unsavoury odour assails my nostrils—brief let me be— Bihn-goh must be the victim—happy, if the sacrifice of his single life can appease the commotions of his country. To him let us impute the loss of Motao:—let us, in the mean time, soothe the rabble with solemn promises that national justice shall be done;—let us employ emissaries to mingle in all places of plebeian resort; to puzzle, perplex, and prevaricate; to exaggerate the misconduct of Bihn-goh; to traduce his character with retrospective reproach; strain circumstances to his prejudice; inflame the resentment of the vulgar against that devoted officer; and keep up the flame by feeding it with continual fuel."

    The speech was heard with universal applause: Foksi-roku was kicked by the Dairo and kissed by the Cuboy, in token of approbation. The populace were dispersed by means of fair promises. Bihn-goh was put under arrest, and kept as a malefactor in close prison. Agents were employed through the whole metropolis to vilify his character, and accuse him of cowardice and treachery. Authors were enlisted to defame him in public writings; and mobs-hired to hang and burn him in effigie. By these means the revenge of the people was artfully transferred, and their attention effectually diverted from the ministry, which was the first object of their indignation. At length, matters being duly prepared for the exhibition of such an extraordinary spectacle, Bihn-goh underwent a public trial, was unanimously found guilty, and unanimously declared innocent; by the same mouths condemned to death and recommended to mercy: but mercy was incompatible with the designs of the ad—n. The unfortunate Bihn-goh was crucified for cowardice, and bore his fate with the most heroic courage. His behaviour at his death was so inconsistent with the crime for which he was doomed to die, that the emissaries of the Cuboy were fain to propagate a report, that Bihn-goh had bribed a person to represent him at his execution, and be crucified in his stead.

    This was a stratagem very well calculated for the meridian of the Japonese populace; and it would have satisfied them intirely, had not their fears been concerned. But the Chinese had for some time been threatening an invasion, the terror of which kept the people of Japan in perpetual agitation and disquiet. They neglected their business; and ran about in distraction, inquiring news, listening to reports, staring, whispering, whimpering, clamouring, neglecting their food and renouncing their repose. The Dairo, who believed the Tartars of Yesso (from whom he himself was descended) had more valour, and skill and honesty, than was possessed by any other nation on earth, took a large body of them into his pay, and brought them over to the island of Niphon, for the defence of his Japonese dominions. The truth is, he had a strong predilection for that people: he had been nursed among them, and sucked it from the nipple. His father had succeeded as heir to a paultry farm in that country; and there he fitted up a cabin, which he preferred to all the palaces of Meaco and Jeddo. The son received the first rudiments of his education among these Tartars, whose country had given birth to his progenitor Bupo. He therefore loved their country; he admired their manners, because they were conformable to his own; and he was in particular captivated by the taste they shewed in trimming and curling their mustachios.

    In full belief that the Yessites stood as high in the estimation of his Japonese subjects, as in his own, he imported a body of them into Niphon, where, at first, they were received as saviours and protectors; but the apprehension of danger no sooner vanished, than they were exposed to a thousand insults and mortifications arising from the natural prejudice to foreigners, which prevails among the people of Japan. They were reviled, calumniated, and maltreated in every different form, by every class of people; and when the severe season set in, the Japonese refused shelter from the extremities of the weather, to those very auxiliaries they had hired to defend every thing that was dear to them, from the swords of an enemy whom they themselves durst not look in the face. In vain Fika-kaka employed a double band of artists to tickle their noses. They shut their eyes, indeed, as usual: but their eyes no sooner closed, than their mouths opened, and out flew the tropes and figures of obloquy and execration. They exclaimed, that they had not bought, but caught the Tartar; that they had hired the wolves to guard the sheep; that they were simple beasts who could not defend themselves from the dog with their own horns; but what could be expected from a flock which was led by such a pusillanimous bell-weather? —In a word, the Yessites were sent home in disgrace: but the ferment did not subside; and the conduct of the administration was summoned before the venerable tribunal of the populace.

    There was one Taycho, who had raised himself to great consideration in this self-constituted college of the mob. He was distinguished by a loud voice, an unabashed countenance, a fluency of abuse, and an intrepidity of opposition to the measures of the Cuboy, who was far from being a favourite with the plebeians. Orator Taycho's eloquence was admirably suited to his audience; he roared, and he brayed, and he bellowed against the m—r: he threw out personal sarcasms against the Dairo himself. He inveighed against his partial attachment to the land of Yesso, which he had more than once manifested to the detriment of Japan: he inflamed the national prejudice against foreigners; and as he professed an inviolable zeal for the commons of Japan, he became the first demagogue of the empire. The truth is, he generally happened to be on the right side. The partiality of the Dairo, the errors, absurdities, and corruption of the ministry, presented such a palpable mark as could not be missed by the arrows of his declamation. This Cerberus had been silenced more than once with a sop; but whether his appetite was not satisfied to the full, or he was still stimulated by the turbulence of his disposition, which would not allow him to rest, he began to shake his chains anew, and open in the old cry; which was a species of musick to the mob, as agreeable as the sound of a bagpipe to a mountaineer of North Britain or the strum-strum to the swarthy natives of Angola. It was a strain which had the wonderful effect of effacing from the memory of his hearers, every idea of his former fickleness and apostacy.

    In order to weaken the effect of orator Taycho's harangues, the Cuboy had found means to intrude upon the councils of the mob, a native of Ximo called Mura-clami, who had acquired some reputation for eloquence, as an advocate in the tribunals of Japan. He certainly possessed an uncommon share of penetration, with a silver tone of voice, and a great magazines of words and phrases, which flowed from him in a pleasing tide of elocution. He had withal the art of soothing, wheedling, insinuating, and misrepresenting with such a degree of plausibility, that his talents were admired even by the few who had sense enough to detect his sophistry. He had no idea of principle, and no feeling of humanity. He had renounced the maxims of his family, after having turned them to the best account by execrating the rites of Fakkubasi or the White Horse, in private among malcontents, while he worshipped him in public with the appearance of enthusiastic devotion. When detected in this double dealing, he fairly owned to the Cuboy, that he cursed the White Horse in private for his private interest, but that he served him in public from inclination.

    The Cuboy had just sense enough to perceive that he would always be true to his own interest; and therefore he made it his interest to serve the m—y to the full extent of his faculties. Accordingly Mura-clami fought a good battle with orator Taycho, in the occasional assemblies of the populace. But as it is much more easy to inflame than to allay, to accuse than to acquit, to asperse than to purify, to unveil truth than to varnish falshood; in a word, to patronize a good cause than to support a bad one; the majesty of the mob snuffed up the excrementitious salts of Taycho's invectives, until their jugulars ached, while they rejected with signs of loathing the flowers of Mura-clami's elocution; just as a citizen of Edinburgh stops his nose when he passes by the shop of a perfumer.

    While the constitution of human nature remains unchanged, satire will be always better received than panegyric, in those popular harangues. The Athenians and Romans were better pleased with the Philippics of Demosthenes and Tully, than they would have been with all the praise those two orators could have culled from the stores of their eloquence. A man feels a secret satisfaction in seeing his neighbour treated as a rascal. If he be a knave himself, (which ten to one is the case) he rejoices to see a character brought down to the level of his own, and a new member added to his society; if he be one degree removed from actual roguery, (which is the case with nine-tenths of those who enjoy the reputation of virtue) he indulges himself with the Pharisaical consolation, of thanking God he is not like that publican.

    But, to return from this digression, Mura-clami, though he could not with all his talents maintain any sort of competition with Taycho, in the opinion of the mob; he, nevertheless, took a more effectual method to weaken the force of his opposition. He pointed out to Fika-kaka the proper means for amending the errors of his administration: he proposed measures for prosecuting the war with vigour: he projected plans of conquest in Fatsissio; recommended active officers; forwarded expeditions; and infused such a spirit into the councils of Japan, as had not before appeared for some centuries.

    But his patron was precluded from the benefit of these measures, by the obstinate prejudice and precipitation of the Dairo, who valued his Yessian farm above all the empire of Japan. This precious morsel of inheritance bordered upon the territories of a Tartar chief called Brut-an-tiffi, a famous freebooter, who had inured his Kurd to bloodshed, and enriched himself with rapine. Of all mankind, he hated most the Dairo, tho' his kinsman; and sought a pretence for seizing the farm, which in three days he could have made his own. The Dairo Gothama-baba was not ignorant of his sentiments. He trembled for his cabin when he considered its situation between hawk and buzzard; exposed on one side to the talons of Brut-an-tiffi, and open on the other to the incursions of the Chinese, under whose auspices the said Brut-an-tiffi had acted formerly as a zealous partizan. He had, indeed, in a former quarrel exerted himself with such activity and rancour, to thwart the politics of the Dairo, and accumulate expences on the subjects of Niphon, that he was universally detested through the whole empire of Japan as a lawless robber, deaf to every suggestion of humanity, respecting no law, restricted by no treaty, scoffing at all religion, goaded by ambition, instigated by cruelty, and attended by rapine.

    In order to protect the farm from such a dangerous neighbour, Gothama-baba, by an effort of sagacity peculiar to himself, granted a large subsidy from the treasury of Japan, to a remote nation of Mantchoux Tartars, on condition that they should march to the assistance of his farm, whenever it should be attacked. With the same sanity of foresight, the Dutch might engage in a defensive league with the Ottoman Porte, to screen them from the attempts of the most Christian king, who is already on their frontiers. Brut-an-tiffi knew his advantage, and was resolved to enjoy it. He had formed a plan of usurpation, which could not be executed without considerable sums of money. He gave the Dairo to understand, he was perfectly sensible how much the farm lay at his mercy: then proposed, that Got-hama-baba should renounce his subsidiary treaty with the Mantchoux; pay a yearly tribute to him Brut-an-tiffi, in consideration of his forbearing to seize the farm; and maintain an army to protect it on the other side from the irruptions of the Chinese.

    Got-hama-baba, alarmed at this declaration, began by his emissaries to sound the inclinations of his Japonese subjects touching a continental war, for the preservation of the farm; but he found them totally averse to this wise system of politicks. Taycho, in particular, began to bawl and bellow among the mob, upon the absurdity of attempting to defend a remote cabin, which was not defensible; upon the iniquity of ruining a mighty empire, for the sake of preserving a few barren acres, a naked common, a poor, pitiful, pelting farm, the interest of which, like Aaron's rod, had already, on many occasions, swallowed up all regard and consideration for the advantage of Japan. He inveighed against the shameful and senseless partiality of Got-hama-baba: he mingled menaces with his representations. He expatiated on the folly and pernicious tendency of a continental war: he enlarged upon the independence of Japan, secure in her insular situation. He declared, that not a man should be sent to the continent, nor a subsidy granted to any greedy, mercenary, freebooting Tartar; and threatened, that if any corrupt minister should dare to form such a connexion, he would hang it about his neck, like a millstone, to sink him to perdition. The bellows of Taycho's oratory blew up such a flame in the nation, that the Cuboy and all his partizans were afraid to whisper one syllable about the farm.

    Mean while Brut-an-tiffi, in order to quicken their determinations, withdrew the garrison he had in a town on the frontiers of China, and it was immediately occupied by the Chinese; an army of whom poured in like a deluge through this opening upon the lands adjoining to the farm. Got-hama-baba was now seized with a fit of temporary distraction. He foamed and raved, and cursed and swore in the Tartarian language: he declared he would challenge Brut-an-tiffi to single combat. He not only kicked, but also cuffed the whole council of Twenty-Eight, and played at foot-ball with his imperial tiara. Fika-kaka was dumb-founded: Sti-phi-rum-poo muttered something about a commission of lunacy: Nin-kom-poo-po pronounced the words flat-bottomed junks; but his teeth chattered so much, that his meaning could not be understood. The Fatzman offered to cross the sea and put himself at the head of a body of light horse, to observe the motions of the enemy; and Gotto-mio prayed fervently within himself, that God Almighty would be pleased to annihilate that accursed farm, which had been productive of such mischief to Japan. Nay, he even ventured to exclaim, "Would to God, the farm was sunk in the middle of the Tartarian ocean!" "Heaven forbid! (cried the president Soo-san-sin-o) for in that case, Japan must be at the expence of weighing it up again."

    In the midst of this perplexity, they were suddenly surprised at the apparition of Taycho's head nodding from a window that overlooked their deliberations. At sight of this horrid spectacle the council broke up. The Dairo fled to the inmost recesses of the palace, and all his counsellors vanished, except the unfortunate Fika-kaka, whose fear had rendered him incapable of any sort of motion but one, and that he instantly had to a very efficacious degree. Taycho bolting in at the window, advanced to the Cuboy without ceremony, and accosted him in these words: "It depends upon the Cuboy, whether Taycho continues to oppose his measures, or becomes his most obsequious servant. Arise, illustrious Quanbuku, and cast your eyes upon the steps by which I ascended." Accordingly Fika-kaka looked, and saw a multitude of people who had accompanied their orator into the court of the palace, and raised for him an occasional stair of various implements. The first step was made by an old fig-box, the second by a nightman's bucket, the third by a cask of hempseed, the fourth by a tar-barrel, the fifth by an empty kilderkin, the sixth by a keg, the seventh by a bag of soot, the eighth by a fishwoman's basket, the ninth by a rotten pack-saddle, and the tenth by a block of hard wood from the island of Fatsissio. It was supported on one side by a varnished lettered post, and on the other by a crazy hogshead. The artificers who erected this climax, and now exulted over it with hideous clamour, consisted of grocers, scavengers, halter-makers, carpenters, draymen, distillers, chimney-sweepers, oyster-women, ass-drivers, aldermen, and dealers in waste paper. —To make myself understood, I am obliged, Peacock, to make use of those terms and denominations which are known in this metropolis.

    Fika-kaka, having considered this work with astonishment, and heard the populace declare upon oath, that they would exalt their orator above all competition, was again addressed by the invincible Taycho. "Your Quanbukuship perceives how bootless it will be to strive against the torrent. —What need is there of many words? admit me to a share of the administration——I will commence your humble slave—I will protect the farm at the expence of Japan, while there is an Oban left in the island of Niphon; and I will muzzle these bears so effectually, that they shall not shew their teeth, except in applauding our proceedings." An author who sees the apparition of a bailiff standing before him in his garret, and instead of being shewn a capias, is presented with a bank note; an impatient lover stopped upon Bagshot heath by a person in a masque, who proves to be his sweetheart come to meet him in disguise, for the sake of the frolick; a condemned criminal, who, on the morning of execution-day, instead of being called upon by the finisher of the law, is visited by the sheriff with a free pardon; could not be more agreeably surprised than was Fika-kaka at the demagogue's declaration. He flew into his embrace and wept aloud with joy, calling him his dear Taycho. He squeezed his hand, kissed him on both cheeks, and swore he should share the better half of all his power: then he laughed and snivelled by turns, lolled out his tongue, waddled about the chamber, wriggled and niggled and noddled. Finally, he undertook to prepare the Dairo for his reception, and it was agreed that the orator should wait on his new colleague next morning. — This matter being settled to their mutual satisfaction, Taycho retreated through the window into the courtyard, and was convoyed home in triumph by that many-headed hydra the mob, which shook its multitudinous tail, and brayed through every throat with hideous exultation.

    The Cuboy, mean while, had another trial to undergo, a trial which he had not foreseen. Taycho was no sooner departed, than he hied him to the Dairo's cabinet, in order to communicate the happy success of his negotiation. But at certain periods, Got-hama-baba's resentment was more than a match for any other passion that belonged to his disposition, and now it was its turn to reign. The Dairo was made of very combustible materials, and these had been kindled up by the appearance of orator Taycho, who (he knew) had treated his person with indecent freedoms, and publickly vilified the worship of the White Horse. When Fika-kaka, therefore, told him he had made peace with the demagogue, the Dairo, instead of giving him the kick of approbation, turned his own back upon the Cuboy, and silenced him with a boh! Had Fika-kaka assailed him with the same syllogistical sophism which was used by the Stagyrite to Alexander in a passion, perhaps he might have listened to reason: e orge ou pros isous, alla pros tous kreittonas ginetai, Soi de oudeis isos. —"Anger should be raised not by our equals, but by our superiors; but you have no equal." —Certain it is, that Got-hama-baba had no equal; but Fika-kaka was no more like Aristotle, than his master resembled Alexander. The Dairo remained deaf to all his remonstrances, tears, and intreaties, until he declared that there was no other way of saying the farm, but that of giving charte blanche to Taycho. This argument seemed at once to dispel the clouds which had been compelled by his indignation: he consented to receive the orator in quality of minister, and next day was appointed for his introduction.

    In the morning Taycho the Great repaired to the palace of the Cuboy, where he privately performed the ceremony of osculation a posteriori, sung a solemn Palinodia on the subject of political system, repeated and signed the Buponian creed, embraced the religion of Fakkubasi, and adored the White Horse with marks of unfeigned piety and contrition. Then he was conducted to the antichamber of the emperor, who could not, without great difficulty, so far master his personal dislike, as to appear before him with any degree of composure. He was brought forth by Fika-kaka like a tame bear to the stake, if that epithet of tame can be given with any propriety to an animal which no body but his keeper dares approach. The orator perceiving him advance, made a low obeisance according to the custom of Japan, that is, by bending the body averse from the Dairo, and laying the right hand upon the left buttock; and pronounced with an audible voice, "Behold, invincible Got-hama-baba, a sincere penitent come to make atonement for his virulent opposition to your government, for his atrocious insolence to your sacred person. I have calumniated your favourite farm, I have questioned your integrity, I have vilified your character, ridiculed your understanding, and despised your authority" —This recapitulation was so disagreeable to the Dairo, that he suddenly flew off at a tangent, and retreated growling to his den; from whence he could by no means be lugged again by the Cuboy, until Taycho, exalting his voice, uttered these words: —"But I will exalt your authority more than ever it was debased—I will extol your wisdom, and expatiate on your generosity; I will glorify the White Horse, and sacrifice all the treasures of Japan, if needful, for the protection of the farm of Yesso." By these cabalistical sounds the wrath of Got-hama-baba was intirely appeased. He now returned with an air of gaiety, strutting, sideling, circling, fluttering, and cobbling like a turkey-cock in his pride, when he displays his feathers to the sun. Taycho hailed the omen; and turning his face from the emperor, received such a salutation on the os sacrum, that the parts continued vibrating and tingling for several days.

    An indenture tripartite was now drawn up and executed. Fika-kaka was continued treasurer, with his levees, his Bonzas, and his places; and orator Taycho undertook, in the character of chief scribe, to protect the farm of Yesso, as well as to bridle and manage the blatant beast whose name was Legion. That a person of his kidney should have the presumption to undertake such an affair, is not at all surprising; the wonder is, that his performance should even exceed his promise. The truth is, he promised more than he could have performed, had not certain unforeseen incidents, in which he had no concern, contributed towards the infatuation of the people.

    The first trial to which he brought his ascendency over the mob, was his procuring from them a free gift, to enable the Dairo to arm his own private tenants in Yesso, together with some ragamuffin Tartars in the neighbourhood, for the defence of the farm. They winked so hard upon this first over-act of his apostacy, that he was fully persuaded they had resigned up all their senses to his direction; and resolved to shew them to all Europe, as a surprising instance of his art in monster-taming. This furious beast not only suffered itself to be bridled and saddled, but frisked and fawned, and purred and yelped, and crouched before the orator, licking his feet, and presenting its back to the burthens which he was pleased to impose. Immediately after this first essay, Qamba-cun-dono the Fatzman was sent over to assemble and command a body of light horse in Yesso, in order to keep an eye on the motions of the enemy; and indeed this vigilant and sagacious commander conducted himself with such activity and discretion, that he soon brought the war in those parts to a point of termination.

    Mean while, Brut-an-tiffi continuing to hover on the skirts of the farm, at the head of his myrmidons, and demanding of the Dairo a categorical answer to the hints he had given, Got-hama-baba underwent several successive fits of impatience and distraction. The Cuboy, instigated by his own partizans, and in particular by Mura-clami, who hoped to see Taycho take some desperate step that would ruin his popularity; I say the Cuboy, thus stimulated, began to ply the orator with such pressing intreaties as he could no longer resist; and now he exhibited such a specimen of his own power and the people's insanity, as transcends the flight of ordinary faith. Without taking the trouble to scratch their long ears, tickle their noses, drench them with mandragora or geneva, or make the least apology for his own turning tail to the principles which he had all his life so strenuously inculcated, he crammed down their throats an obligation to pay a yearly tribute to Brut-an-tiffi, in consideration of his forbearing to seize the Dairo's farm; a tribute which amounted to seven times the value of the lands, for the defence of which it was payed. When I said crammed, I ought to have used another phrase. The beast, far from shewing any signs of loathing, closed its eyes, opened its hideous jaws, and as it swallowed the inglorious bond, wagged its tail in token of intire satisfaction.

    No fritter on Shrove Tuesday was ever more dexterously turned, than were the hydra's brains by this mountebank in patriotism, this juggler in politicks, this cat in pan, or cake in pan, or kata pan in principle. Some people gave out that he dealt with a conjurer, and others scrupled not to insinuate that he had sold himself to the evil spirit. But there was no occasion for a conjurer to deceive those whom the dæmon of folly had previously confounded; and as to selling, he sold nothing but the interest of his country; and of that he made a very bad bargain. Be that as it may, the Japonese now viewed Brut-an-tiffi either through a new perspective, or else surveyed him with organs intirely metamorphosed. Yesterday they detested him as a profligate ruffian lost to all sense of honesty and shame, addicted to all manner of vice, a scoffer at religion, particularly that of Fakkubasi, the scourge of human nature, and the inveterate enemy of Japan. To-day, they glorified him as an unblemished hero, the protector of good faith, the mirror of honesty, the pattern of every virtue, a saint in piety, a devout votary to the White Horse, a friend to mankind, the fast ally and the firmest prop of the Japonese empire.

    The farm of Yesso, which they had so long execrated as a putrid and painful excrescence upon the breech of their country, which would never be quiet until this cursed wart was either exterminated or taken away; they now fondled as a favourite mole, nay, and cherished as the apple of their eye. One would have imagined that all the inconsistencies and absurdities which characterise the Japonese nation, had taken their turns to reign, just as the interest of Taycho's ambition required. When it was necessary for him to establish new principles, at that very instant their levity prompted them to renounce their former maxims. Just as he had occasion to fascinate their senses, the dæmon of caprice instigated them to shut their eyes, and hold out their necks, that they might be led by the nose. At the very nick of time when he adopted the cause of Brut-an-tiffi, in diametrical opposition to all his former professions, the spirit of whim and singularity disposed them to kick against the shins of common sense, deny the light of day at noon, and receive in their bosoms as a dove, the man before whom they had shunned as a serpent. Thus every thing concurred to establish for orator Taycho, a despotism of popularity; and that not planned by reason, or raised by art, but founded on fatality and finished by accident. Quos Jupiter vult perdere priùs dementat.

    Brut-an-tiffi being so amply gratified by the Japonese for his promise of forbearance with respect to the farm of Yesso, and determined, at all events, to make some new acquisition, turned his eyes upon the domains of Pol-hassan-akousti, another of his neighbours, who had formed a most beautiful colony in this part of Tartary; and rushed upon it at a minute's warning. His resolution in this respect was so suddenly taken and quickly executed, that he had not yet formed any excuse for this outrage, in order to save appearances. Without giving himself the trouble to invent a pretence, he drove old Pol-hassan-akousti out of his residence; compelled the domestics of that prince to enter among his own banditti; plundered his house, seized the archives of his family, threatened to shoot the antient gentlewoman his wife, exacted heavy contribution from the tenants; then dispersed a manifesto in which he declared himself the best friend of the said Akousti and his spouse, assuring him he would take care of his estate as a precious deposit to be restored to him in due season. In the mean time, he thought proper to sequester the rents, that they might not enable Pol-hassan to take any measures that should conduce to his own prejudice. As for the articles of meat, drink, clothing, and lodging, for him and his wife and a large family of small children, he had nothing to do but depend upon Providence, until the present troubles should be appeased. His behaviour on this occasion, Peacock, puts me in mind of the Spaniard whom Philip II. employed to assassinate his own son Don Carlos. This compassionate Castilian, when the prince began to deplore his fate, twirled his mustachio, pronouncing with great gravity these words of comfort: "Calla, calla, Senor, todo que se haze es por su bien ." "I beg your highness wont' make any noise; this is all for your own good:" or the politeness of Gibbet in the play called the Beaux Stratagem, who says to Mrs. Sullen, "Your jewels, Madam, if you please—don't be under any uneasiness, Madam—if you make any noise, I shall blow your brains out—I have a particular regard for the ladies, Madam."

    But the possession of Pol-hassan's demesnes was not the ultimate aim of Brut-an-tiffi. He had an eye to a fair and fertile province belonging to a Tartar princess of the house of Ostrog. He saw himself at the head of a numerous banditti trained to war, fleshed in carnage, and eager for rapine; his coffers were filled with the spoils he had gathered in his former freebooting expeditions; and the incredible sums payed him as an annual tribute from Japan, added to his other advantages, rendered him one of the most formidable chiefs in all Tartary. Thus elated with the consciousness of his own strength, he resolved to make a sudden irruption into the dominions of Ostrog, at a season of the year when that house could not avail itself of the alliances they had formed with other powers; and he did not doubt but that, in a few weeks, he should be able to subdue the whole country belonging to the Amazonian princess. But I can tell thee, Peacock, his views extended even farther than the conquest of the Ostrog dominions. He even aspired at the empire of Tartary, and had formed the design of deposing the great Cham, who was intimately connected with the princess of Ostrog. Inspired by these projects, he, at the beginning of winter, suddenly poured like a deluge into one of the provinces that owned this Amazon's sway; but he had hardly gained the passes of the mountains, when he found himself opposed by a numerous body of forces, assembled under the command of a celebrated general, who gave him battle without hesitation, and handled him so roughly, that he was fain to retreat into the demesnes of Pol-hassan, where he spent the greatest part of the winter in exacting contributions and extending the reign of desolation.

    All the petty princes and states who hold of the great Cham, began to tremble for their dominions, and the Cham himself was so much alarmed at the lawless proceedings of Brut-an-tiffi, that he convoked a general assembly of all the potentates who possessed fiefs in the empire, in order to deliberate upon measures for restraining the ambition of this ferocious freebooter. Among others, the Dairo of Japan, as lord of the farm of Yesso, sent a deputy to this convention, who, in his master's name, solemnly disclaimed and professed his detestation of Brut-an-tiffi's proceedings, which, indeed, were universally condemned. The truth is, he, at this period, dreaded the resentment of all the other co-estates rather more than he feared the menaces of Brut-an-tiffi; and, in particular, apprehended a sentence of outlawry from the Cham, by which at once he would have forfeited all legal title to his beloved farm. Brut-an-tiffi, on the other hand, began to raise a piteous clamour, as if he meant to excite compassion. He declared himself a poor injured prince, who had been a dupe to the honesty and humanity of his own heart. He affirmed that the Amazon of Ostrog had entered into a conspiracy against him, with the Mantchoux Tartars, and prince Akousti: he published particulars of this dreadful conjuration, which appeared to be no other than a defensive alliance formed in the apprehension that he would fall upon some of them, without any regard to treaty, as he had done on a former occasion, when he seized one of the Amazon's best provinces. He publickly taxed the Dairo of Japan with having prompted him to commence hostilities, and hinted that the said Dairo was to have shared his conquests. He openly intreated his co-estates to interpose their influence towards the re-establishment of peace in the empire; and gave them privately to understand, that he would ravage their territories without mercy, should they concur with the Cham in any sentence to his prejudice.

    As he had miscarried in his first attempt, and perceived a terrible cloud gathering around him, in all probability he would have been glad to compound matters at this juncture, on condition of being left in statu quo; but this was a condition not to be obtained. The princess of Ostrog had by this time formed such a confederacy, as threatened him with utter destruction. She had contracted an offensive and defensive alliance with the Chinese, the Mantchoux, and the Serednee Tartars; and each of these powers engaged to furnish a separate army to humble the insolence of Brut-an-tiffi. The majority of the Tartar fiefs agreed to raise a body of forces to act against him as a disturber of the publick peace; the great Cham threatened him with a decree of outlawry and rebellion; and the Amazon herself opposed him at the head of a very numerous and warlike tribe, which had always been considered as the most formidable in that part of Tartary. Thus powerfully sustained, she resolved to enjoy her revenge; and at any rate retrieve the province which had been ravished from her by Brut-an-tiffi, at a time when she was embarrassed with other difficulties. Brut-an-tiffi did not think himself so reduced as to purchase peace with such a sacrifice. The Mantchoux were at a great distance, naturally slow in their motions, and had a very long march through a desert country, which they would not attempt without having first provided prodigious magazines. The Serednee were a divided people, among whom he had made shift to foment intestine divisions, that would impede the national operations of the war. The Japonese Fatzman formed a strong barrier between him and the Chinese; the army furnished by the fiefs, he despised as raw, undisciplined militia: besides, their declaring against him afforded a specious pretence for laying their respective dominions under contribution. But he chiefly depended upon the coffers of Japan, which he firmly believed would hold out until all his enemies should be utterly exhausted.

    As this freebooter was a principal character in the drama which I intend to rehearse, I shall sketch his portrait according to the information I received from a fellow-atom who once resided at his court, constituting part in one of the organs belonging to his first chamberlain. His stature was under the middle size; his aspect mean and forbidding, with a certain expression which did not at all prepossess the spectator in favour of his morals. Had an accurate observer beheld him without any exterior distinctions, in the streets of this metropolis, he would have naturally clapped his hands to his pockets. Thou hast seen the character of Gibbet represented on the stage by a late comedian of expressive feature. Nature sometimes makes a strange contrast between the interior workmanship and the exterior form; but here the one reflected a true image of the other. His heart never felt an impression of tenderness: his notions of right and wrong did not refer to any idea of benevolence, but were founded entirely on the convenience of human commerce; and there was nothing social in the turn of his disposition. By nature he was stern, insolent, and rapacious, uninfluenced by any motive of humanity; unawed by any precept of religion. With respect to religion, he took all opportunities of exposing it to ridicule and contempt. Liberty of conscience he allowed to such extent, as exceeded the bounds of decorum and disgraced all legislation. He pardoned a criminal convicted of bestiality, and publickly declared that all modes of religion, and every species of amour, might be freely practised and prosecuted through all his dominions. His capacity was of the middling mould, and he had taken some pains to cultivate his understanding. He had studied the Chinese language, which he spoke with fluency, and piqued himself upon his learning, which was but superficial. His temper was so capricious and inconstant, that it was impossible even for those who knew him best, to foresee any one particular of his personal demeanour. The same individual he would caress and insult by turns, without the least apparent change of circumstance. He has been known to dismiss one of his favourites with particular marks of regard, and the most flattering professions of affection; and before he had time to pull off his buskins at his own house, he has been hurried on horseback by a detachment of cavalry, and conveyed to the frontiers. Thus harrassed, without refreshment or repose, he was brought back by another party, and reconveyed to the presence of Brut-an-tiffi, who embraced him at meeting, and gently chid him for having been so long absent. —The fixed principles of this Tartar were these: insatiable rapacity, restless ambition, and an insuperable contempt for the Japonese nation. His maxims of government were entirely despotic. He considered his subjects as slaves, to be occasionally sacrificed to the accomplishment of his capital designs; but, in the mean time, he indulged them with the protection of equitable laws, and encouraged them to industry for his own emolument.

    His virtues consisted of temperance, vigilance, activity, and perseverance. His folly chiefly appeared in childish vanity and self-conceit. He amused himself with riding, reviewing his troops, reading Chinese authors, playing on a musical instrument in use among the Tartars, trifling with buffoons, conversing with supposed wits, and reasoning with pretended philosophers: but he had no communication with the female sex; nor, indeed, was there any ease, comfort, or enjoyment to be derived from a participation of his pastime. His wits, philosophers, and buffoons, were composed of Chinese refugees, who soon discovered his weak side, and flattered his vanity to an incredible pitch of infatuation. They persuaded him that he was an universal genius, an invincible hero, a sage legislator, a sublime philosopher, a consummate politician, a divine poet, and an elegant historian. They wrote systems, compiled memoirs, and composed poems, which were published in his name; nay, they contrived witticisms, which he uttered as his own. —They had, by means of commercial communication with the banks of the Ganges, procured the history of a Western hero, called Raskalander, which, indeed, was no other than the Memoirs of Alexander wrote by Quintus Curtius, translated from the Indian language, with an intermixture of Oriental fables. This they recommended with many hyperbolical encomiums to the perusal of Brut-an-tiffi, who became enamoured of the performance, and was fired with the ambition of rivalling, if not excelling Raskalander, not only as a warrior, but likewise as a patron of taste and a protector of the liberal arts. As Alexander deposited Homer's Iliad in a precious casket; so Brut-an-tiffi procured a golden box for preserving this sophistication of Quintus Curtius. It was his constant companion: he affected to read it in public; and to lay it under his pillow at night.

    Thus pampered with adulation and intoxicated with dreams of conquest, he made no doubt of being able to establish a new empire in Tartary, which should entirely eclipse the kingdom of Tum-ming-qua, and raise a reputation that should infinitely transcend the fame of Yan, or any emperor that ever sat upon the throne of Thibet. He now took the field against the Amazon of the house of Ostrog; penetrated into her dominions; defeated one of her generals in a pitched battle; and undertook the siege of one of her principal cities, in full confidence of seeing her kneeling at his gate before the end of the campaign. In the mean time, her scattered troops were rallied and reinforced by another old, experienced commander, who being well acquainted with the genius of his adversary, pitched upon an advantageous situation, where he waited for another attack. Brut-an-tiffi, flushed with his former victory, and firmly persuaded that no mortal power could withstand his prowess, gave him battle at a very great disadvantage. The consequence was natural:—he lost great part of his army; was obliged to abandon the siege, and retreat with disgrace. A separate body, commanded by one of his ablest captains, met with the same fate in a neighbouring country; and a third detachment at the farthest extremity of his dominions, having attacked an army of the Mantchoux, was repulsed with great loss.

    These were not all the mortifications to which he was exposed about this period. The Fatzman of Japan, who had formed an army for the defence of the farm of Yesso against the Chinese, met with a terrible disaster. Notwithstanding his being outnumbered by the enemy, he exhibited many proofs of uncommon activity and valour. At length they came to blows with him, and handled him so roughly, that he was fain to retreat from post to pillar, and leave the farm at their mercy. Had he pursued his route to the right, he might have found shelter in the dominions of Brut-an-tiffi, and this was his intention; but, instead of marching in a straight line, he revolved to the right, like a planet round the sun, impelled as it were by a compound impulse, until he had described a regular semicircle; and then he found himself with all his followers engaged in a sheep-pen, from whence there was no egress; for the enemy, who followed his steps, immediately blocked up the entrance. The unfortunate Fatzman being thus pounded, must have fallen a sacrifice to his centripetal force, had not he been delivered by the interposition of a neighbouring chief, who prevailed upon the Chinese general to let Quamba-cun-dono escape, provided his followers would lay down their arms, and return peaceably to their own habitations. This was a bitter pill, which the Fatzman was obliged to swallow, and is said to have cost him five stone of suet. He returned to Japan in obscurity; the Chinese general took possession of the farm in the name of his emperor; and all the damage which the tenants sustained, was nothing more than a change of masters, which they had no great cause to regret.

    To the thinking part of the Japanese, nothing could be more agreeable than this event, by which they were at once delivered from a pernicious excrescence, which, like an ulcerated tumour, exhausted the juices of the body by which it was fed. Brut-an-tiffi considered the transaction in a different point of view. He foresaw that the Chinese forces would now be at liberty to join his enemies, the tribe of Ostrog, with whom the Chinese emperor was intimately connected; and that it would be next to impossible to withstand the joint efforts of the confederacy, which he had brought upon his own head. He therefore raised a hideous clamour. He accused the Fatzman of misconduct, and insisted, not without a mixture of menaces, upon the Dairo's reassembling his forces in the country of Yesso.

    The Dairo himself was inconsolable. He neglected his food, and refused to confer with his ministers. He dismissed the Fatzman from his service. He locked himself in his cabinet, and spent the hours in lamentation. "O my dear farm of Yesso! (cried he) shall I never more enjoy thy charms! —Shall I never more regale my eye with thy beauteous prospects, thy hills of heath; thy meads of broom; and thy wastes of sand! Shall I never more eat thy black bread, drink thy brown beer, and feast upon thy delicate porkers! Shall I never more receive the homage of the sallow Yessites with their meagre faces, ragged skirts, and wooden shoes! Shall I never more improve their huts, and regulate their pigstyes! O cruel Fate! in vain did I face thy mud-walled mansion with a new freestone front! In vain did I cultivate thy turnep-garden! In vain did I enclose a piece of ground at a great expence, and raise a crop of barley, the first that ever was seen in Yesso! In vain did I send over a breed of mules and black cattle for the purposes of husbandry! In vain did I supply you with all the implements of agriculture! In vain did I sow grass and grain for food, and plant trees, and furze and fern for shelter to the game, which could not otherwise subsist upon your naked downs! In vain did I furnish your houseless sides, and fill your hungry bellies with the good things of Japan! In vain did I expend the treasures of my empire for thy melioration and defence! In vain did I incur the execrations of my people, if I must now lose thee for ever; if thou must now fall into the hands of an insolent alien, who has no affection for thy soil, and no regard for thy interest! O Quamba-cun-dono! Quamba-cun-dono! how hast thou disappointed my hope! I thought thou wast too ponderous to flinch; that thou wouldst have stood thy ground fixed as the temple of Fakkubasi, and larded the lean earth with thy carcase, rather than leave my farm uncovered: but, alas! thou hast fled before the enemy like a partridge on the mountains; and suffered thyself at last to be taken in a snare like a foolish dotterel!"

    The Cuboy, who overheard this exclamation, attempted to comfort him through the key-hole. He soothed, and whined, and wheedled, and laughed and wept all in a breath. He exhorted the illustrious Got-hama-baba to bear this misfortune with his wonted greatness of mind. —He offered to present his Imperial majesty with lands in Japan that should be equal in value to the farm he had lost: or, if that should not be agreeable, to make good at the peace, all the damage that should be done to it by the enemy. Finally, he cursed the farm, as the cause of his master's chagrin, and fairly wished it at the devil. —Here he was suddenly interrupted with a "Bub-ub-ub-boh! my lord Cuboy, your grace talks like an apothecary. —Go home to your own palace, and direct your cooks; and may your bonzes kiss your a— to your heart's content. —I swear by the horns of the Moon and the hoofs of the White Horse, that my foot shall not touch your posteriors these three days." — Fika-kaka, having received this severe check, craved pardon in a whimpering tone, for the liberty he had taken, and retired to consult with Mura-clami, who advised him to summon orator Taycho to his assistance.

    This mob-driver being made acquainted with the passion of the Dairo, and the cause of his distress, readily undertook to make such a speech through the key-hole, as should effectually dispel the emperor's despondence; and to this enterprize he was encouraged by the hyperbolical praises of Mura-clami, who exhausted all the tropes of his own rhetoric in extolling the eloquence of Taycho. —This triumvirate immediately adjourned to the door of the apartment in which Got-hama-baba was seqestered, where the orator kneeling upon a cushion, with his mouth applied to the keyhole, opened the sluices of his elocution to this effect:

    "Most gracious!" "Bo, bo, boh!" —"Most illustrious!" "Bo, boh!" —"Most invincible Got-hama-baba!" —"—Boh!" —"When the sun, that glorious luminary is obscured, by envious clouds, all nature saddens, and seems to sympathize with his apparent distress. —Your Imperial majesty is the sun of our hemisphere, whose splendour illuminates our throne; and whose genial warmth enlivens our hearts; and shall we your subjects, your slaves, the creatures of your nod—shall we unmoved behold your ever-glorious effulgence overcast? No! while the vital stream bedews our veins, while our souls retain the faculty of reason, and our tongues the power of speech, we shall not cease to embalm your sorrow with our tears; we shall not cease to pour the overflowings of our affection—our filial tenderness, which will always be reciprocal with your parental care: these are the inexhaustible sources of the nation's happiness. They may be compared to the rivers Jodo and Jodo-gava, which derive their common origin from the vast lake of Ami. The one winds its silent course, calm, clear, and majestic, reflecting the groves and palaces that adorn its banks, and fertilizing the delightful country through which it runs: the other gushes impetuous through a rugged channel and less fertile soil; yet serves to beautify a number of wild romantic scenes; to fill an hundred aqueducts, and to turn a thousand mills: at length, they join their streams below the imperial city of Meaco, and form a mighty flood devolving to the bay of Osaca, bearing on its spacious bosom, the riches of Japan." —Here the orator paused for breath:—the Cuboy clapped him on the back, whispering, "Super-excellent! O charming simile! Another such will sink the Dairo's grief to the bottom of the sea; and his heart will float like a blown bladder upon the waves of Kugava." Mura-clami was not silent in his praise, while he squeezed an orange between the lips of Taycho; and Got-hama-baba seemed all attention: at length the orator resumed his subject: — "Think not, august emperor, that the cause of your disquiet is unknown, or unlamented by your weeping servants. We have not only perceived your eclipse, but discovered the invidious body by whose interposition that eclipse is effected. The rapacious arms of the hostile Chinese have seized the farm of Yesso! --"Oh, oh, oh!"--that farm so cherished by your Imperial favour; that farm which, in the north of Tartary, shone like a jewel in an Æthiop's ear;—yes, that jewel hath been snatched by the savage hand of a Chinese freebooter:—but, dry your tears, my prince; that jewel shall detect his theft, and light us to revenge. It shall become a rock to crush him in his retreat;—a net of iron to entangle his steps; a fallen trunk over which his feet shall stumble. It shall hang like a weight about his neck, and sink him to the lowest gulph of perdition. —Be comforted, then, my liege! your farm is rooted to the center; it can neither be concealed nor removed. Nay, should he hide it at the bottom of the ocean; or place it among the constellations in the heavens; your faithful Taycho would fish it up intire, or tear it headlong from the starry firmament. —We will retrieve the farm of Yesso—"But, how, how, how, dear orator Taycho?" "The empire of Japan shall be mortgaged for the sake of that precious —that sacred spot, which produced the patriarch apostle Bupo, and resounded under the hoofs of the holy steed. —Your people of Japan shall chant the litany of Fakkubasi. --They shall institute crusades for the recovery of the farm; they shall pour their treasury at your imperial feet;— they shall clamour for imposition;— they shall load themselves with ten-fold burthens, desolate their country, and beggar their posterity in behalf of Yesso. With these funds I could undertake even to overturn the councils of Pekin. —While the Tartar princes deal in the trade of blood, there will be no want of hands to cut away those noxious weeds which have taken root in the farm of Yesso; those vermin that have preyed upon her delightful blossoms! Amidst such a variety of remedies, there can be no difficulty in choosing. —Like a weary traveller, I will break a bough from the first pine that presents, and brush away those troublesome insects that gnaw the fruits of Yesso,—Should not the mercenary bands of Tartary suffice to repel those insolent invaders; I will engage to chain this island to the continent; to build a bridge from shore to shore, that shall afford a passage more free and ample than the road to Hell. Through this avenue I will ride the mighty beast whose name is Legion. —I have studied the art of war, my Liege: — I had once the honour to serve my country as Lance-presado in the militia of Niphon. —I will unpeople these realms, and overspread the land of Yesso with the forces of Japan."

    Got-hama-baba could no longer resist the energy of such expressions. He flew to the door of his cabinet, and embraced the orator in a transport of joy; while Fika-kaka fell upon his neck and wept aloud; and Mura-clami kissed the hem of his garment.

    You must know, Peacock, I had by this time changed my situation. I was discharged in the perspiratory vapour from the perinæum of the Cuboy, and sucked into the lungs of Mura-clami, through which I pervaded into the course of the circulation, and visited every part of his composition. I found the brain so full and compact, that there was not room for another particle of matter. But instead of a heart, he had a membranous sac, or hollow viscus, cold and callous, the habitation of sneaking caution, servile flattery, griping avarice, creeping malice, and treacherous deceit. Among these tenants it was my fate to dwell; and there I discovered the motives by which the lawyer's conduct was influenced. He now secretly rejoiced at the presumption of Taycho, which he hoped had already prompted him to undertake more than he could perform; in which case he would infallibly incur disgrace either with the Dairo or the people. It is not impossible but this hope might have been realized, had not fortune unexpectedly interposed, and operated as an auxilliary to the orator's presumption. Success began to dawn upon the arms of Japan in the island of Fatsisio; and towards the end of the campaign, Brut-an-tiffi obtained two petty advantages in Tartary against one body of Chinese, and another of the Ostrog. All these were magnified into astonishing victories, and ascribed to the wisdom and courage of Taycho, because during his ministry they were obtained; though he neither knew why, nor wherefore; and was in this respect as innocent as his master Got-hama-baba, and his colleague Fika-kaka. He had penetration enough to perceive, however, that these events had intoxicated the rabble, and began to pervert their ideas. Success of any kind is apt to perturb the weak brain of a Japonese; but the acquisition of any military trophy, produces an actual delirium. —The streets of Meaco were filled with the multitudes who shouted, whooped, and hollowed. They made processions with flags and banners; they illuminated their houses; they extolled Ian-on-i, a provincial captain of Fatsisio, who had by accident repulsed a body of the enemy, and reduced an old barn which they had fortified. They magnified Brut-an-tiffi; they deified orator Taycho; they drank, they damned, they squabbled, and acted a thousand extravagancies which I shall not pretend to enumerate or particularize. Taycho, who knew their trim, seized this opportunity to strike while the iron was hot. —He forthwith mounted an old tub, which was his public rostrum, and waving his hand in an oratorial attitude, was immediately surrounded with the thronging popoulace. —I have already given you a specimen of his manner, and therefore shall not repeat the tropes and figures of his harangue: but only sketch out the plan of his address, and specify the chain of his argument alone. He assailed them in the way of paradox, which never fails to produce a wonderful effect upon a heated imagination and a shallow understanding. Having, in his exordium, artfully fascinated their faculties, like a juggler in Bartholomew-fair, by means of an assemblage of words without meaning or import; he proceeded to demonstrate, that a wise and good man ought to discard his maxims the moment he finds they are certainly established on the foundation of eternal truth. That the people of Japan ought to preserve the farm of Yesso, as the apple of their eye, because nature had disjoined it from their empire; and the maintenance of it would involve them in all the quarrels of Tartary: that it was to be preserved at all hazards, because it was not worth preserving: that all the power and opulence of Japan ought to be exerted and employed in its defence, because, by the nature of its situation, it could not possibly be defended: that Brut-an-tiffi was the great protector of the religion of the Bonzas, because he had never shewn the least regard to any religion at all: that he was the fast friend of Japan, because he had more than once acted as a rancorous enemy to this empire, and never let slip the least opportunity of expressing his contempt for the subjects of Niphon: that he was an invincible hero, because he had been thrice beaten, and once compelled to raise a siege in the course of two campaigns: that he was a prince of consummate honour, because he had in the time of profound peace, usurped the dominions and ravaged the countries of his neighbours, in defiance of common honesty; in violation of the most solemn treaties: that he was the most honourable and important ally that the empire of Japan could choose, because his alliance was to be purchased with an enormous annual tribute, for which he was bound to perform no earthly office of friendship or assistance; because connexion with him effectually deprived Japan of the friendship of all the other princes and states of Tartary; and the utmost exertion of his power could never conduce, in the smallest degree, to the interest or advantage of the Japonese empire.

    Such were the propositions orator Taycho undertook to demonstrate; and the success justified his undertaking. After a weak mind has been duly prepared, and turned as it were, by opening a sluice or torrent of high-sounding words, the greater the contradiction proposed the stronger impression it makes, because it increases the puzzle, and lays fast hold on the admiration; depositing the small proportion of reason with which it was before impregnated, like the vitriol acid in the copper-mines of Wicklow, into which if you immerse iron, it immediately quits the copper which it had before dissolved, and unites with the other metal, to which it has a stronger attraction. — Orator Taycho was not so well skilled in logic as to amuse his audience with definitions of concrete and abstract terms; or expatiate upon the genus and the difference; or state propositions by the subject, the predicate, and the copula; or form syllogisms by mood and figure: but he was perfectly well acquainted with all the equivocal or synonimous words in his own language, and could ring the changes on them with great dexterity. He knew perfectly well how to express the same ideas by words that literally implied opposition:— for example, a valuable conquest or an invaluable conquest; a shameful rascal or a shameful villain; a hard head or a soft head; a large conscience or no conscience; immensely great or immensely little; damned high or damned low; damned bitter, damned sweet; damned severe, damned insipid; and damned fulsome. He knew how to invert the sense of words by changing the manner of pronunciation; e.g. "You are a very pretty fellow!" to signify, "You are a very dirty scoundrel."— "You have always spoke respectfully of the higher powers!" to express, "You have often insulted your betters, and even your sovereign!" "You have never turned tail to the principles you professed!" to declare, "You have acted the part of an infamous apostate." He was well aware that words alter their signification according to the circumstances of times, customs, and the difference of opinion. Thus the name of Jack, who used to turn the spit and pull off his master's boots, was transferred to an iron machine and a wooden instrument now substituted for these purposes: thus a stand for the tea-kettle, acquired the name of Footman; and the words Canon and Ordinance, signifying originally a rule or law, was extended to a piece of artillery, which is counted the ultima lex, or ultima ratio regum. —In the same manner the words infidel, heresy, good man, and political orthodoxy, imply very different significations, among different classes of people. A Mussulman is an infidel at Rome, and a Christian is distinguished as an unbeliever at Constantinople. A Papist by Protestantism understands heresy; to a Turk, the same idea is conveyed by the sect of Ali. The term good man, at Edinburgh, implies fanaticism; upon the Exchange of London it signifies cash; and in the general acceptation, benevolence. Political orthodoxy has different, nay opposite definitions, at different places in the same kingdom; at O— and C— at the Cocoa-tree in Pall-mall; and at Garraway's in Exchange-alley. Our orator was well acquainted with all the legerdemain of his own language, as well as with the nature of the beast he had to rule. He knew when to distract its weak brain with a tumult of incongruous and contradictory ideas: he knew when to overwhelm its feeble faculty of thinking, by pouring in a torrent of words without any ideas annexed. These throng in like city-milliners to a Mile-end assembly, while it happens to be under the direction of a conductor without strength and authority. Those that have ideas annexed may be compared to the females provided with partners, which, though they may croud the place, do not absolutely destroy all regulation and decorum. But those that are uncoupled, press in promiscuously with such impetuosity and in such numbers, that the puny master of the ceremonies is unable to withstand the irruption; far less, to distinguish their quality, or accommodate them with partners: thus they fall into the dance without order, and immediately anarchy ensues. Taycho having kept the monster's brain on a simmer, until, like the cow-heel in Don Quixote, it seemed to cry, Comenme, comenme; Come, eat me, come, eat me; then told them in plain terms, that it was expedient they should part with their wives and their children, their souls and their bodies, their substance and their senses, their blood and their suet, in order to defend the indefensible farm of Yesso, and to support Brut-an-tiffi, their insupportable ally. —The hydra, rolling itself in the dust, turned up its huge unwieldy paunch and wagged its forky tail; then licked the feet of Taycho, and through all its hoarse discordant throats, began to bray applause. The Dairo rejoiced in his success, the first-fruits of which consisted in their agreeing to maintain an army of twenty thousand Tartar mercenaries, who were reinforced by the flower of the national troops of Japan, sent over to defend the farm of Yesso; and in their consenting to prolong the annual tribute granted to Brut-an-tiffi, who, in return for this condescension, accommodated the Dairo with one of his free-booting captains to command the Yessite army. This new general had seen some service, and was counted a good officer: but it was not so much on account of his military character that he obtained this command, as for his dexterity in prolonging the war; his skill in exercising all the different arts of peculation; and his attachment to Brut-an-tiffi, with whom he had agreed to co-operate in milking the Japonese cow. This plan they executed with such effect, as could not possibly result from address alone, unassisted by the infatuation of those whom they pillaged. Every article of contingent expence for draught-horses, waggons, postage, forage, provision, and secret service, was swelled to such a degree as did violence to common sense as well as to common honesty. The general had a fellow-feeling with all the contractors in the army, who were connected with him in such a manner as seemed to preclude all possibility of detection. In vain some of the Japonese officers endeavoured to pry into this mysterious commerce; in vain inspectors were appointed by the government of Japan. The first were removed on different pretences: the last were encountered by such disgraces and discouragements, as in a little time compelled them to resign the office they had undertaken. In a word, there was not a private mercenary Tartar soldier in this army who did not cost the empire of Japan as much as any subaltern officer of its own; and the annual charge of this continental war, undertaken for the protection of the farm of Yesso, exceeded the whole expence of any former war which Japan had ever maintained on its own account since the beginning of the empire: nay, it was attended with one circumstance which rendered it still more insupportable. The money expended in armaments and operations, equipped and prosecuted on the side of Japan, was all circulated within the empire; so that it still remained useful to the community in general; but no instance could be produced, of a single copan that ever returned from the continent of Tartary; therefore all the sums sent thither, were clear loss to the subjects of Japan. Orator Taycho acted as a faithful ally to Brut-an-tiffi, by stretching the bass-strings of the mobile in such a manner, as to be always in concert with the extravagance of the Tartar's demands, and the absurdity of the Dairo's predilection. Fika-kaka was astonished at these phænomena; while Mura-clami hoped in secret, that the orator's brain was disordered; and that his insanity would soon stand confessed, even to the conviction of the people. —"If, (said he to himself) they are not altogether destitute of human reason, they must, of their own accord, perceive and comprehend this plain proposition: A cask of water that discharges three by one pipe, and receives no more than two by another, must infallibly be emptied at the long-run. Japan discharges three millions of obans every year for the defence of that blessed farm, which, were it put up to sale, would not fetch one sixth part of the sum; and the annual ballance of her trade with all the world brings in two millions: ergo, it runs out faster than it runs in, and the vessel at the long-run must be empty." Mura-clami was mistaken. He had studied philosophy only in profile. He had endeavoured to investigate the sense, but he had never fathomed the absurdities of human nature. All that Taycho had done for Yesso, amounted not to one-third of what was required for the annual expence of Japan while it maintained the war against China in different quarters of Asia. A former Cuboy, (rest his soul!) finding it impossible to raise within the year the exorbitant supplies that were required to gratify the avarice and ambition of the Dairo, had contrived the method of funding, which hath been lately adopted with such remarkable success in this kingdom. You know, Peacock, this is no more than borrowing a certain sum on the credit of the nation, and laying a fresh tax upon the public, to defray the interest of every sum thus borrowed; an excellent expedient, when kept within due bounds, for securing the established government, multiplying the dependants of the m—ry, and throwing all the money of the empire into the hands of the administration. But those loans were so often repeated, that the national debt had already swelled to an enormous burthen; such a variety of taxes was laid upon the subject, as grievously inhanced all the necessaries of life; consequently the poor were distressed, and the price of labour was raised to such a degree, that the Japonese manufactures were every-where undersold by the Chinese traders, who employed their workmen at a more moderate expence. Taycho, in this dilemma, was seized with a strange conceit. Alchemy was at that period become a favourite study in Japan. Some bonzas having more learning and avarice than their brethren, applied themselves to the study of certain Chaldean manuscripts, which their ancestors had brought from Assyria; and in these they found the substance of all that is contained in the works of Hermes Trismegistus, Geber, Zosymus, the Panapolite, Olympiodorus, Heliodorus, Agathodæmon, Morienus, Albertus Magnus, and, above all, your countryman Roger Bacon, who adopted Geber's opinion, that mercury is the common basis, and sulphur the cement of all metals. By the bye, this same friar Bacon was well acquainted with the composition of gun-powder, though the reputation arising from the discovery, has been given to Swartz, who lived many years after that monk of Westminster. Whether the Philosopher's stone, otherwise called the Gift Azoth, the fifth Essence, or the Alkahest; which last Van Helmont pilfered from the tenth book of the Archidoxa, that treasure so long deposited in the occiput of the renowned Aureolus, Philippus, Paracelsus, Theophrastus, Bombast, de Hohenheim; was ever really attained by human adept, I am not at liberty to disclose; but certain it is, the philosophers and alchemists of Japan, employed by orator Taycho to transmute baser metals into gold, miscarried in all their experiments. The whole evaporated in smoke, without leaving so much as the scrapings of a crucible for a specific against the itch. Tickets made of a kind of bamboo, had been long used to reinforce the circulation of Japan; but these were of no use in Tartary: the mercenaries and allies of that country would receive nothing but gold and silver, which, indeed, one would imagine they had a particular method of decomposing or annihilating; for, of all the millions transported thither, not one copan was ever known to revisit Japan. "It was a country (as Hamlet says) from whose bourn no travelling copan e'er returned." As the war of Yesso, therefore, engrossed all the specie of Niphon, and some currency was absolutely necessary to the subsistence of the Japonese, the orator contrived a method to save the expence of solid food. He composed a mess that should fill their bellies, and, at the same time, protract the intoxication of their brains, which it was so much his interest to maintain. —He put them upon a diet of yeast; where this did not agree with the stomach, he employed his emissaries to blow up the patients à posteriori, as the dog was blown up by the madman of Seville, recorded by Cervantes.

    The individuals thus inflated were seen swaggering about the streets, smooth and round, and sleek and jolly, with leering eyes and florid complexion. Every one seemed to have the os magna sonaturum . He strutted with an air of importance. He broke wind, and broached new systems. He declared as if by revelation, that the more debt the public owed, the richer it became; that food was not necessary to the support of life; nor an intercourse of the sexes required for the propagation of the species. He expatiated on yeast, as the nectar of the gods, that would sustain the animal machine, fill the human mind with divine inspiration, and confer immortality. From the efficacy of this specific, he began to prophesy concerning the White Horse, and declared himself an apostle of Bupo. —Thus they strolled through the island of Niphon, barking and preaching the gospel of Fakku-basi, and presenting their barm goblets to all who were in quest of political salvation. The people had been so well prepared for infatuation, by the speeches of Taycho, and the tidings of success from Tartary, that every passenger greedily swallowed the drench, and in a little time the whole nation was converted; that is, they were totally freed from those troublesome and impertinent faculties of reason and reflection, which could have served no other purpose but to make them miserable under the burthens to which their backs were now subjected. They offered up all their gold and silver, their jewels, their furniture and apparel, at the shrine of Fakkubasi, singing psalms and hymns in praise of the White Horse. They put arms into the hands of their children, and drove them into Tartary, in order to fatten the land of Yesso with their blood. They grew fanatics in that cause, and worshipped Brut-an-tiffi, as the favourite prophet of the beatified Bupo. All was staggering, staring, incoherence and contortion, exclamation and eructation. Still this was no more than a temporary delirium, which might vanish as the intoxicating effects of the yeast subsided. Taycho, therefore, called in two reinforcements to the drench. He resolved to satiate their appetite for blood, and to amuse their infantine vanity with the gew-gaws of triumph. He equipped out one armament at a considerable expence to make a descent on the coast of China, and sent another at a much greater, to fight the enemy in Fatsisio. The commander of the first disembarked upon a desolate island, demolished an unfinished cottage, and brought away a few bunches of wild grapes. He afterwards hovered on the Chinese coast; but was deterred from landing by a very singular phænomenon. In surveying the shore, through spying-glasses, he perceived the whole beach instantaneously fortified, as it were, with parapets of sand, which had escaped the naked eye; and at one particular part, there appeared a body of giants with very hideous features, peeping, as it were, from behind those parapets: from which circumstances the Japonese general concluded there was a very formidable ambuscade, which he thought it would be madness to encounter, and even folly to ascertain. One would imagine he had seen Homer's account of the Cyclops, and did not think himself safe, even at the distance of some miles from the shore; for he pressed the commander of the Fune to weigh anchor immediately, and retire to a place of more safety. —I shall now, Peacock, let you into the whole secret. This great officer was deceived by the carelessness of the commissary, who, instead of perspectives, had furnished him with glasses peculiar to Japan, that magnified and multiplied objects at the same time. They are called Pho-beron-tia. —The large parapets of sand were a couple of mole-hills; and the gigantic faces of grim aspect, were the posteriors of an old woman sacrificing sub dio, to the powers of digestion. —There was another circumstance which tended to the miscarriage of this favourite expedition. —The principal design was against a trading town, situated on a navigable river; and at the place where this river disembogued itself into the sea, there was a Chinese fort called Sarouf. The admiral of the Fune sent the second in command, whose name was Sel-uon, to lay this fort in ashes, that the embarkation might pass without let or molestation. A Chinese pilot offered to bring his junk within a cable-length of the walls: but he trusted to the light of his own penetration. He ran his junk aground, and solemnly declared there was not water sufficient to float any vessel of force, within three miles of Sa-rouf. This discovery he had made by sounding, and it proved two very surprising paradoxes: first, that the Chinese junks drew little or no water, otherwise they could not have arrived at the town where they were laid up; secondly, that the fort Sarouf was raised in a spot where it neither could offend, nor be offended. But the Sey-seo-gun Sel-uon was a mighty man for paradoxes. His superior in command, was a plain man, who did not understand these niceties: he therefore grumbled, and began to be troublesome; upon which, a council of war was held; and he being over-ruled by a majority of voices, the whole embarkation returned to Niphon re infecta. You have been told how the beast called Legion brayed, and bellowed, and kicked, when the fate of Byn-goh's expedition was known; it was disposed to be very unruly at the return of this armament: but Taycho lulled it with a double dose of his Mandragora. It growled at the giants, the sand-hills, and the paradoxes of Sel-uon: then brayed aloud Taycho for ever! rolled itself up like a lubberly hydra, yawned, and fell fast asleep. —The other armament equipped for the operations in Fatsisio, did not arrive at the place of destination till the opportunity for action was lost. The object was the reduction of a town and island belonging to the Chinese: but before the Fune with the troops arrived from Niphon, the enemy having received intimation of their design, had reinforced the garrison and harbour with a greater number of forces and Fune than the Japonese commander could bring against them. He, therefore, wisely declined an enterprize which must have ended in his own disgrace and destruction. The Chinese were successful in other parts of Fatsisio. They demolished some forts, they defeated some parties, and massacred some people, belonging to the colonies of Japan. Perhaps the tidings of these disasters would have roused the people of Niphon from the lethargy of intoxication in which they were overwhelmed, had not their delirium been keept up by some fascinating amulets from Tartary: these were no other than the bubbles which Brut-an-tiffi swelled into mighty victories over the Chinese and Ostrog; though, in fact, he had been severely cudgelled, and more than once in very great danger of crucifixion. Taycho presented the monster with a bowl of blood, which he told it this invincible ally had drawn from its enemies the Chinese, and, at the same time, blowed the gay bubbles athwart its numerous eyes. The hydra lapped the gore with signs of infinite relish; groaned and grunted to see the bubbles dance; exclaimed, "O rare Taycho!" and relapsed into the arms of slumber. Thus passed the first campaign of Taycho's administration.

    By this time Fika-kaka was fully convinced that the orator actually dealt with the devil, and had even sold him his soul for this power of working miracles on the understanding of the populace. He began to be invaded with fears, what the same consideration would be demanded of him for the ease and pleasure he now enjoyed in partnership with that magician. He no longer heard himself scoffed, ridiculed, and reviled in the assemblies of the people. He no longer saw his measures thwarted, nor his person treated with disdain. He no longer racked his brains for pretences to extort money; nor trembled with terror when he used these pretences to the public. The mouth of the opposition was now glewed to his own posteriors. Many a time and often, when he heard orator Tycho declaiming against him from his rostrum, he cursed him in his heart, and was known to ejaculate "kiss my a-se, Taycho;" but little did he think the orator would one day stoop to this compliance. He now saw that insolent foulmouthed demagogue ministring with the utmost servility to his pleasure and ambition. He filled his bags with the treasures of Japan, as if by inchantment; so that he could now gratify his own profuse temper without stint or controul. He took upon himself the whole charge of the administration; and left Fika-kaka to the full enjoyment of his own sensuality, thus divested of all its thorns. It was the contemplation of these circumstances, which inspired the Cuboy with a belief that the devil was concerned in producing this astonishing calm of felicity; and that his infernal highness would require of him some extraordinary sacrifice for the extraordinary favours he bestowed. He could not help suspecting the sincerity of Taycho's attachment, because it seemed altogether unnatural; and if his soul was to be the sacrifice, he wished to treat with Satan as a principal. Full of this idea, he had recourse to his Bonzes as the most likely persons to procure him such an interview with the prince of darkness, as should not be attended with immediate danger to his corporeal parts: but, upon enquiry, he found there was not one conjurer among them all. Some of them made a merit of their ignorance; pretending they could not in conscience give application to an art which must have led them into communication with demons: others insisted there was no such thing as the devil; and this opinion seemed to be much relished by the Cuboy: the rest frankly owned they knew nothing at all of the matter. For my part, Peacock, I not only know there is a devil, but I likewise know that he has marked out nineteen twentieths of the people of this metropolis for his prey. —How now! You shake, sirrah! —You have some reason, considering the experiments you have been trying in the way of sorcery; turning the sieve and sheers; mumbling gibberish over a goose's liver stuck with pins; pricking your thumbs, and writing mystical characters with your blood; forming spells with sticks laid across; reading prayers backwards; and invoking the devil by the name, style, and title of Sathan, Abrasax Adonai. I know what communication you had with goody Thrusk at Camberwell, who undertook for three shillings and four-pence to convey you on a broomstick to Norway, where the devil was to hold a conventicle; but you boggled at crossing the sea, without such security for your person as the beldame could not give. I remember your poring over the treatise De volucri arborea, until you had well-nigh lost your wits; and your intention to enrol yourself in the Rosicrusian society, until your intrigue with the tripe-woman in Thieving-lane destroyed your pretensions to chastity. Then you cloaked your own wickedness with an affectation of scepticism, and declared there never was any such existence as devil, demon, spirit, or goblin; nor any such art as magic, necromancy, sorcery, or witchcraft. —O infidel! hast thou never heard of the three divisions of magic into natural, artificial, and diabolical? The first of these is no more than medicine; hence the same word Pharmacopola signified both a wise-acre and apothecary. To the second belong the glass sphere of Archimedes, the flying wooden pigeon of Archytus, the emperor Leo's singing birds of gold, Boetius the Consolator's flying birds of brass, hissing serpents of the same metal, and the famous speaking head of Albertus Magnus. The last, which we call diabolical, depends upon the evocation of spirits: such was the art exercised by the magicians of Pharaoh; as well as by that conjurer recorded by Gaspar Peucerus, who animated the dead carcase of a famous female harper in Bologna in such a manner, that she played upon her instrument as well as ever she had done in her life, until another magician removing the charm, which had been placed in her arm-pits, the body fell down deprived of all motion. It is by such means that conjurers cure distempers with charms and amulets; that, according to St. Isidore, they confound the elements, disturb the understanding, slay without poison or any perceptible wound, call up devils, and learn from them how to torment their enemies. Magic was known even to the ancient Romans. Cato teaches us how to charm a dislocated bone, by repeating these mystical words, Incipe; cantare in alto, S. F. motas danata dardaries, Astotaries, dic una parite dum coeunt, &c. Besides, the virtues of Abracadabra are well known; though the meaning of the word has puzzled some of the best critics of the last age; such as Wendelinus, Scaliger, Saumaise, and father Kircher; not to mention the ancient physician Serenus Sammonicus, who describes the disposition of these characters in hexameter verse. I might here launch out into a very learned dissertation to prove that this very Serenus formed the word Abracadabra from the Greek word Abrasax, a name by which Basilides the Ægyptian heretic defined the Deity, as the letters of it imply 365, the number of days in the year. This is the word still fair and legible on one of the two talismans found in the seventeenth century, of which Baronius gives us the figure in the second volume of his Annals. By the bye, Peacock, you must take notice, that the figure of St. George encountering the dragon, which is the symbol of the order of the Garter, and at this day distinguishes so many inns, taverns, and ale-houses, in this kingdom, was no other originally than the device of an abraxas or amulet wore by the Basilidians, as a charm against infection: for, by the man on horseback killing the dragon, was typified the sun purifying the air, and dispersing the noxious vapours from the earth. An abraxas marked with this device, is exhibited by Montfaucon out of the Collection of Sig. Capello. This symbol, improved by the cross on the top of the spear, was afterwards adopted by the Christian crusards, as a badge of their religious warfare, as well as an amulet to ensure victory; the cross alluding to Constantine's labarum, with the motto en touto nika, "In this you shall conquer." The figure on horseback they metamorphosed into St. George, the same with George the Arian, who at one time was reckoned a martyr, and maintained a place in the Roman Martyrology, from which he and others were erased by pope Gelasius in the fifth century, because the accounts of their martyrdom were written by heretics. This very George, while he officiated as bishop of Alexandria, having ordered a temple of the god Mythras to be purified, and converted into a Christian church, found in the said temple this emblem of the sun, which the Persians adored under the name of Mythras; and with the addition of the cross, metamorphosed it into a symbol of Christian warfare against idolatry. It was on this occasion that the Pagans rose against George, and murdered him with the utmost barbarity; and from this circumstance he became a saint and martyr, and the amulet or abraxas became his badge of distinction. The cross was considered as such a sure protection in battle, that every sword-hilt was made in this form, and every warrior, before he engaged, kissed it in token of devotion: hence the phrase, "I kiss your hilt," which is sometimes used even at this day. With respect to the mystical words ABRASAS, IAO, DOONAI, which are found upon those amulets, and supposed to be of Hebrew extract, tho' in the Greek character of termination; if thou wouldst know their real signification, thou mayest consult the learned De Croy, in his Treatise concerning the genealogies of the Gnostics. Thou wilt find it at the end of St. Irenæus's works, published by Grabius at Oxford.—

    But, to return to magic, thou must have heard of the famous Albertus Magnus de Bolstadt, who indifferently exercised the professions of conjurer, bawd, and man-midwife; who forged the celebrated Androides, or brazen-head, which pronounced oracles, and solved questions of the utmost difficulty: nor can the fame of Henry Cornelius Agrippa have escaped thee; he, who wrote the Treatises De occulta Philosophia; & de coecis Ceremoniis; who kept his demon secured with an inchanted iron collar, in the shape of a black dog; which black dog being dismissed in his last moments with these words: Abi perdita bestia quæ me totum perdidisti; plunged itself in the river Soame, and immediately disappeared. But what need of those profane instances to prove the existence of magicians who held communication with the devil? Don't we read in the scripture of the magicians of Pharaoh and Manasses? of the witch of Endor; of Simon and Barjesus, magicians; and of that sorceress of whose body the apostle Paul dispossessed the devil? Have not the fathers mentioned magicians and sorcerers? Have not different councils denounced anathemas against them? Hath not the civil law decreed punishments to be inflicted upon those convicted of the black art? Have not all the tribunals in France, England, and particularly in Scotland, condemned many persons to the stake for sorceries, on the fullest evidence; nay, even on their own confession? Thou thyself mayest almost remember the havock that was made among the sorcerers in one of the English colonies in North-America, by Dr. Encrease Mather, and Dr. Cotton Mather, those luminaries of the New-England church, under the authority and auspices of Sir William Phipps, that flower of knighthood and mirror of governors, who, not contented with living witnesses, called in the assistance of spectral evidence, to the conviction of those diabolical delinquents. —This was a hint, indeed, which he borrowed from the famous trial of Urban Grandier, canon of Loudun in France, who was duly convicted of magic, upon the depositions of the devils Astaroth, Eusas, Celsus, Acaos, Cedon, Asmodeus, Alix, Zabulon, Nephthalim, Cham, Uriel, and Acbas . I might likewise refer thee to king James's History of Witchcraft, wherein it appears, upon uncontrovertible evidence, that the devil not only presided in person at the assemblies of those wise women; but even condescended to be facetious, and often diverted them by dancing and playing gambols with a lighted candle in his breech. I might bid thee recollect the authenticated account of the earl of Gowry's conspiracy against the said king, in which appears the deposition of a certain person, certifying that the earl of Gowry had studied the black art: that he wore an amulet about his person, of such efficacy, that although he was run several times through the body, not one drop of blood flowed from the wounds until those mystical characters were removed. —Finally, I could fill whole volumes with undeniable facts to prove the existence of magic: but what I have said shall suffice. I must only repeat it again, that there was not one magician, conjurer, wizard, or witch, among all the Bonzes of Japan, whom the Cuboy consulted: a circumstance that astonished him the more, as divers of them, notwithstanding their beards, were shrewdly suspected to be old women; and 'till that time, an old woman with a beard upon her chin had been always considered as an agent of the devil. —It was the nature of Fika-kaka to be impatient and impetuous. Perceiving that none of his Bonzes had any communication with the devil, and that many of them doubted whether there was any such personage as the devil, he began to have some doubts about his own soul: "For if there is no devil (said he), there is no soul to be damned; and it would be a reproach to the justice of heaven to suppose that all souls are to be saved, considering what rascally stuff mankind are made of." This was an inference which gave him great disturbance; for he was one of those who would rather encounter eternal damnation, than run any risque of being annihilated. He therefore assembled all those among the Bonzes who had the reputation of being great philosophers and metaphysicians, in order to hear their opinions concerning the nature of the soul. The first reverend sage who delivered himself on this mysterious subject, having stroked his grey beard, and hemmed thrice with great solemnity, declared that the soul was an animal; a second pronounced it to be the number three, or proportion; a third contended for the number seven, or harmony; a fourth defined the soul the universe; a fifth affirmed it was a mixture of elements; a sixth asserted it was composed of fire; a seventh opined it was formed of water; an eighth called it an essence; a ninth, an idea; a tenth stickled for substance without extension ; an eleventh, for extension without substance; a twelfth cried it was an accident; a thirteenth called it a reflecting mirrour; a fourteenth, the image reflected; a fifteenth insisted upon its being a tune; a sixteenth believed it was the instrument that played the tune; a seventeenth undertook to prove it was material; an eighteenth exclaimed it was immaterial ; a nineteenth allowed it was something; and a twentieth swore it was nothing. —By this time all the individuals that composed this learned assembly, spoke together with equal eagerness and vociferation. The volubility with which a great number of abstruse and unintelligible terms and definitions were pronounced and repeated, not only resembled the confusion of Babel, but they had just the same effect upon the brain of Fika-kaka, as is generally produced in weak heads by looking stedfastly at a mill-wheel or a vortex, or any other object in continual rotation. He grew giddy, ran three times round, and dropped down in the midst of the Bonzes, deprived of sense and motion. When he recovered so far as to be able to reflect upon what had happened, he was greatly disturbed with the terror of annihilation, as he had heard nothing said in the consultation which could give him any reason to believe there was such a thing as an immortal soul. In this emergency he sent for his counsellor Mura-clami, and when that lawyer entered his chamber, exclaimed, "My dear Mura, as I have a soul to be saved! —A soul to be saved! —ay, there's the rub!—the devil a soul have I! —Those Bonzes are good for nothing but to kiss my a—se;—a parcel of ignorant asses! —Pox on their philosophy! Instead of demonstrating the immortality of the soul, they have plainly proved the soul is a chimæra, a will o' the wisp, a bubble, a term, a word, a nothing! —My dear Mura! prove but that I have a soul, and I shall be contented to be damned to all eternity!" —"If that be the case, (said the other) your Quambucuship may set your heart at rest: for, if you proceed to govern this empire, in conjunction with Taycho, as you have begun, it will become a point of eternal justice to give you an immortal soul (if you have not one already) that you may undergo eternal punishment, according to your demerits." The Cuboy was much comforted by this assurance, and returned to his former occupations with redoubled ardour. He continued to confer benefices on his back-friends the Bonzes; to regulate the whole army of tax-gatherers; to bribe the tribunes, the centurions, the decuriones, and all the inferior mob-drivers of the empire; to hire those pipers who were best skilled in making the multitude dance, and find out the ablest artists to scratch their long ears, and tickle their noses. These toils were sweetened by a variety of enjoyments. He possessed all the pomp of ostentation; the vanity of levees, the pride of power, the pleasure of adulation, the happiness of being kicked by his sovereign and kissed by his Bonzes; and, above all, the delights of the stomach and the close-stool, which recurred in perpetual succession, and which he seemed to enjoy with a particular relish: for, it must be observed, to the honour of Fika-kaka, that what he eagerly received at one end, he as liberally refunded at the other. But as the faculties of his mind were insufficient to digest the great mess of power which had fallen to his share, so were the organs of his body unable to concoct the enormous mass of aliments which he so greedily swallowed. He laboured under an indigestion of both; and the vague promises which went upwards, as well as the murmurs that passed the other way, were no other than eruptive crudities arising from the defects of his soul and body.

    As for Taycho, he confined himself to the management of the war. He recalled the general in chief from Fatsisio, because he had not done that which he could not possibly do: but, instead of sending another on whose abilities he could depend, he allowed the direction of the armaments to devolve upon the second in command, whose character he could not possibly knows because, indeed, he was too obscure to have any character at all. The fruits of his sagacity soon appeared. The new general Abra-moria, having reconnoitred a post of the enemy, which was found too strong to be forced, attacked it without hesitation, and his troops were repulfed and routed with considerable slaughter. It was lucky for Taycho that the tidings of this disaster were qualified by the news of two other advantages which the arms of Japan had gained. —A separate corps of troops, under Yaf-frai and Ya-loff, reduced a strong Chinese fortress in the neighbourhood of Fatsisio; and a body of Japonese, headed by a factor called Ka-liff, obtained a considerable victory at Fla-sao, in the farther extremity of Tartary, where a trading company of Meaco possessed a commercial settlement. The Hydra of Meaco began to shake its numerous heads and growl, when it heard of Abramoria's defeat. At that instant, one of its leaders exclaimed, "Bless thy long ears! It was not Taycho that recommended Abra-moria to this command. He was appointed by the Fatz-man." This was true. It was likewise true, that Taycho had allowed him quietly to succeed to the command, without knowing any thing of his abilities;—it was equally true, that Taycho was an utter stranger to Yaf-frai and Ya-loff, who took the fortress, as well as to the factor Ka-liff, who obtained the victory at the farther end of Tartary. —Nevertheless, the beast cried aloud, "Hang Abra-moria! and a fig for the Fatz-man. But let the praise of Taycho be magnified! It was Taycho that subdued the fortress in the Isle Ka-frit-o. It was Taycho that defeated the enemy at Fla-sao. —Yaf-frai has slain his thousands; —Ya-loff has slain his five thousands;—but Taycho had slain his ten thousands.

    Taycho had credit not only for the success of the Japonese arms, but likewise for the victories of Brut-an-tiffi, who had lately been much beholden to fortune. I have already observed what a noise that Tartar made when the Fatz-man of Japan found himself obliged to capitulate with the Chinese general. In consequence of that event, the war was already at an end with respect to the Japonese, on the continent of Tartary. The emperor of China took possession of the farm of Yesso; the peasants quietly submitted to their new masters; and those very free-booting Tartar chiefs, who had sold their subjects as soldiers to serve under the Fatz-man, had already agreed to send the very same mercenaries into the army of China. It was at this juncture that Brut-an-tiffi exalted his throat. In the preceding campaign he had fought with various success. One of his generals had given battle to the Mantchoux Tartars, and each side claimed the victory Another of his leaders had been defeated and taken by the Ostrog. The Chinese had already advanced to the frontiers of Brut-an-tiffi's dominions. In this dilemma he exerted himself with equal activity and address: he repulsed the Chinese army with considerable loss; and in the space of one month after this action, gained a victory over the general of the Ostrog. These advantages rendered him insufferably arrogant. He exclaimed against the Fatz-man; he threatened the Dairo; and, as I have taken notice above, a new army was raised at the expence of Japan, to defend him from all future invasions of the Chinese. Already the Tartar general Bron-xi-tic, who was vested at his desire with the command of the mercenary army of Japan, had given a severe check to a strong body of the Chinese, and even threatened to carry the war into the empire of China; but his progress was soon stopt, and he was forced to retreat in his turn towards the farm of Yesso. —But from nothing did orator Taycho reap a fuller harvest of praise, than from the conquest of Tzin-khall, a settlement of the Chinese on the coast of Terra Australis; which conquest was planned by a Banyan merchant of Meaco, who had traded on that coast, and was particularly known to the king of the country. This royal savage was uneasy at the neighbourhood of the Chinese, and conjured the merchant, whose name was Thum-Khummqua, to use his influence at the court of Meaco, that an armament should be equipped against the settlement of Tzin-khall, he himself solemnly promising to co-operate in the reduction of it with all his forces. —Thum-Khumm-qua, whose zeal for the good of his country got the better of all his prudential maxims, did not fail to represent this object in the most interesting points of view. He demonstrated to Taycho the importance of the settlement; that it abounded with slaves, ivory, gold, and a precious gum which was not to be found in any other part of the world; a gum in great request all over Asia, and particularly among the Japonese, who were obliged to purchase it in time of war at second-hand from their enemies the Chinese, at an exorbitant price. He demonstrated that the loss of this settlement would be a terrible wound to the emperor of China; and proved that the conquest of it could be atchieved at a very trifling expence. He did more. Tho' by the maxims of his sect he was restrained from engaging in any military enterprize, he offered to conduct the armament in person, in order the more effectually to keep the king of the country steady to his engagements. Though the scheme was in itself plausible and practicable, Mr. orator Taycho shuffled and equivocated until the season for action was past. But Thum-Khumm-qua was indefatigable. He exhorted, he pressed, he remonstrated, he complained; and besieged the orator's house in such a manner, that Taycho at length, in order to be rid of his importunity, granted his request. A small armament was fitted out; the Banyan embarked in it, leaving his own private affairs in confusion; and the settlement was reduced according to his prediction. When the news of this conquest arrived at Meaco, the multifarious beast brayed hoarse applause, and the minister Taycho was magnified exceedingly. As for Thum-Khumm-qua, whose private fortune was consumed in the expedition, all the recompence he received, was the consciousness of having served his country. In vain he reminded Taycho of his promises; in vain he recited the minister's own letters, in which he had given his word that the Banyan should be liberally rewarded, according to the importance of his services: Taycho was both deaf and blind to all his remonstrances and representations; and, at last, fairly flung the door in his face.

    Such was the candour and the gratitude of the incomparable Taycho. —The poor projector Thum-Khumm-qua found himself in a piteous case, while the whole nation refounded with joy for the conquest which his sagacity had planned, and his zeal carried into execution. He was not only abandoned by the minister Taycho; but also renounced by the whole sect of the Banyans, who looked upon him as a wicked apostate, because he had been concerned with those who fought with the arm of flesh. It was lucky for him that he afterwards found favour with a subsequent minister, who had not adopted all the maxims of his predecessor Taycho. —The only measures which this egregious demagogue could hitherto properly call his own, were these: His subsidiary treaty with Brut-an-tiffi; his raising an immense army of mercenaries to act in Tartary for the benefit of that prince; his exacting an incredible sum of money from the people of Japan; and finally, two successive armaments which he had sent to annoy the sea-coast of China. I have already given an account of the first, the intent of which was frustrated by a mistake in the perspectives. The other was more fortunate in the beginning. Taycho had by the force of his genius, discovered that nothing so effectually destroyed the oiled paper which the Chinese use in their windows instead of glass, as the gold coin called Oban, when discharged from a military engine at a proper distance. He found that gold was more compact, more heavy, more malleable, and more manageable than any other metal or substance that he knew: he therefore provided a great quantity of obans, and a good body of slingers; and these being conveyed to the coast of China, in a squadron of Fune, as none of the Chinese appeared to oppose these hostilities, a select number of the troops were employed to make ducks and drakes with the obans, on the supposition that this diversion would allure the enemy to the sea-side, where they might be knocked on the head without further trouble: but the care of their own safety got the better of their curiosity on this occasion; and fifty thousand obans were expended in this manner, without bringing one Chinese from his lurking-hole. Considerable damage was done to the windows of the enemy. Then the forces were landed in a village which they found deserted. Here they burned some fishing-boats; and from hence they carried off some military machines, which were brought to Meaco, and conveyed through the streets in procession, amidst the acclamations of the Hydra, who sung the praise of Taycho. —Elevated by this triumph, the minister sent forth the same armament a second time under a new general of his own choosing, whose name was Hylib-bib, who had long entertained an opinion, that the inhabitants of China were not beings of flesh and blood, but mere fantastic shadows, who could neither offend nor be offended. Full of this opinion, he made a descent on the coast of that empire; and to convince his followers that his notion was right, he advanced some leagues into the country, without having taken any precautions to secure a retreat, leaving the Fune at anchor upon an open beach. Some people alledged, that he depended upon the sagacity of an engineer recommended to him by Taycho; which engineer had such an excellent nose, that he could smell a Chinese at the distance of ten leagues: but it seems the scent failed him at this juncture. Perhaps the Chinese general had trailed rusty bacon and other odoriferous substances to confound his sense of smelling. Perhaps no dew had fallen over night, and a strong breeze blew towards the enemy. Certain it is Hylib-bib, in the evening, received repeated intelligence that he was within half a league of a Chinese general, at the head of a body of troops greatly superior in number to the Japonese forces which he himself commanded. He still believed it was all illusion; and when he heard their drums beat, declared it was no more than a ridiculous inchantment. He thought proper, however, to retreat towards the seaside; but this he did with great deliberation, after having given the enemy fair notice by beat of drum. His motions were so slow, that he took seven hours to march three miles. When he reached the shore where the Fune were at anchor he saw the whole body of the Chinese drawn up on a rising ground ready to begin the attack. He ordered his rear-guard to face about on the supposition that the phantoms would disappear as soon as they shewed their faces; but finding himself mistaken, and perceiving some of his own people to drop, in consequence of missiles that came from the enemy, he very calmly embarked with his van, leaving his rear to amuse the Chinese, by whom they were, in less than five minutes, either massacred or taken. From this small disgrace the general deduced two important corollaries; first, that the Chinese were actually material beings capable of impulsion; and secondly, that his engineer's nose was not altogether infallible. The people of Meaco did not seem to relish the experiments by which these ideas were ascertained. The monster was heard to grunt in different streets of the metropolis; and these notes of discontent produced the usual effect in the bowels of Fika-kaka: but orator Taycho had his flowers of rhetoric and his bowl of mandragora in readiness. He assured them that Hylib-bib should be employed for the future in keeping sheep on the island of Xicoco, and the engineer be sent to hunt truffles on the mountains of Ximo. Then he tendered his dose, which the Hydra swallowed with signs of pleasure; and lastly, he mounted upon its back, and rode in triumph under the windows of the astonished Cuboy, who, while he shifted his trowsers, exclaimed in a rapture of joy, "All hail, Taycho, thou prince of monster-taming men! the Dairo shall kick thy posteriors, and I will kiss them in token of approbation and applause."

    End of the First Volume.

    Vol. 2

    The time was now come when Fortune, which had hitherto smiled upon the Chinese arms, resolved to turn tail to that vain-glorious nation; and precisely at the same instant Taycho undertook to display his whole capacity in the management of the war. But before he assumed this province, it was necessary that he should establish a despotism in the council of Twenty-eight, some members of which had still the presumption to offer their advice towards the administration of affairs. This council, being assembled by the Dairo's order, to deliberate upon the objects of the next campaign, the president began by asking the opinion of Taycho, who was the youngest member; upon which the orator made no articulate reply, but cried "Ba-ba-ba-ba!" The Dairo exclaimed "Boh!" The Fatzman ejaculated the interjection "Pish!" The Cuboy sat in silent astonishment. Gottomio swore the man was dumb, and hinted something of lunacy. Foksi-rokhu shook his head; and Soo-san-sin-o shrugged up his shoulders. At length, Fika-kaka going round and kissing Taycho on the forehead, "My dear boy (cried he)! —Gad's curse! what's the matter? Do but open the sluices of your eloquence once more, my dear orator; —let us have one simile—one dear simile; and then I shall die contented. —With respect to the operations of the campaign, don't you think"—Here he was interrupted with "Ka, ka, ka, ka!" "Heigh-day!" (cried the Cuboy) Ba-ba-ba, ka-ka-ka! that's the language of children!" "And children you shall be (exclaimed the orator). Here is a two-penny trumpet for the amusement of the illustrious Got-hama-baba; a sword of ginger-bread covered with gold-leaf for the Fatzman; and a rattle for my lord Cuboy. I have, likewise, sugar-plumbs for the rest of the council." So saying, he, without ceremony, advanced to the Dairo, and tied a scarf round the eyes of his imperial majesty: then he produced a number of padlocks, and sealed up the lips of every Quo in council, before they could recollect themselves from their first astonishment. The assembly broke up abruptly; and the Dairo was conducted to his cabinet by the Fatzman and the Cuboy, which last endeavoured to divert the chagrin of his royal master, by blowing the trumpet and shaking the rattle in his ears: but Got-hama-ba-ba could not be so easily appeased. He growled like an enraged bear, at the indignity which had been offered to him, and kicked the Cuboy before as well as behind. Mr. Orator Taycho was fain to come to an explanation. He assured the Dairo, it was necessary that his imperial majesty should remain in the dark, and that the whole council should be muzzled for a season, otherwise he could not accomplish the great things he had projected in favour of the farm of Yesso. He declared, that while his majesty remained blindfold, he would enjoy all his other senses in greater perfection; that his ears would be every day regaled with the shouts of triumph, conveyed in notes of uncommon melody; and that the less quantity of animal spirits was expended in vision, the greater proportion would flow to his extremities; consequently, his pleasure would be more acute in his pedestrian exercitations upon the Cuboy and others whom he delighted to honour. He, therefore, exhorted him to undergo a total privation of eye-sight, which was at best a troublesome faculty, that exposed mankind to a great variety of disagreeable spectacles. This was a proposal which the Dairo did not relish: on the contrary, he waxed exceedingly wroth, and told the orator he would rather enjoy one transient glance of the farm of Yesso, than the most exquisite delights that could be procured for all the other senses. "To gratify your majesty with that ineffable pleasure, (cried Taycho) I have devoted myself, soul and body, and even reconciled contradictions. I have renounced all my former principles without forfeiting the influence which, by professing those principles, I had gained. I have obtained the most astonishing victories over common sense, and even refuted mathematical demonstration. The many-headed Mob, which no former demagogue could ever tame, I have taught to fetch and to carry; to dance to my pipe; to bray to my tune; to swallow what I present without murmuring; to lick my feet when I am angry; and kiss the rod when I think proper to chastise it. I have done more, my liege; I have prepared a drench for it, which, like Lethe, washes away the remembrance of what is past, and takes away all sense of its own condition. I have swept away all the money of the empire; and persuaded the people not only to beggar themselves, but likewise to entail indigence upon their latest posterity; and all for the sake of Yesso. It is by dint of these efforts I have been able to subsidize Brut-an-tiffi, and raise an army of one hundred thousand men to defend your imperial majesty's farm, which, were the entire property of it brought to market, would not fetch one-third part of the sums which are now yearly expended in its defence. I shall strike but one great stroke in the country of Fatsisio, and then turn the whole stream of the war into the channel of Tartary, until the barren plains of Yesso are fertilized with human blood. In the mean time, I must insist upon your majesty's continuing in the dark, and amusing yourself in your cabinet with the trumpet and other gew-gaws which I have provided for your diversion; otherwise I quit the reins of administration, and turn the monster out of my trammels; in which case, like the dog that returns to its vomit, it will not fail to take up its former prejudices against Yesso, which I have with such pains obliged it to resign." —"O my dear Taycho! (cried the affrighted Dairo) talk not of leaving me in such a dreadful dilemma. Rather than the dear farm should fall into the hands of the Chinese, I would be contented to be led about blindfold all the days of my life. —Proceed in your own way. —I invest you with full power and authority, not only to gag my whole council, but even to nail their ears to the pillory, should it be found necessary for the benefit of Yesso. In token of which delegation, present your posteriors, and I will bestow upon you a double portion of my favour." Taycho humbly thanked his imperial majesty for the great honour he intended him; but begged leave to decline the ceremony, on account of the hæmorrhoids, which at that time gave him great disturbance.

    The orator having thus annihilated all opposition in the council of Twenty-eight, repaired to his own house, in order to plan the operations of the ensuing campaign. Tho' he had reinforced the army in Tartary with the flower of the Japonese soldiery, and destined a strong squadron of Fune, as usual, to parade on the coast of China; he foresaw it would be necessary to amuse the people with some new stroke on the side of Fatsisio, which indeed was the original, and the most natural scene of the war. He locked himself up in his closet, and in consulting the map of Fatsisio, he found that the principal Chinese settlement of that island, was a fortified town called Quib-quab, to which there was access by two different avenues; one by a broad, rapid, navigable river, on the banks of which the town was situated; and the other by an inland route over mountains, lakes, and dangerous torrents. He measured the map with his compass, and perceived that both routes were nearly of the same length; and therefore he resolved that the forces in Fatsisio, being divided into two equal bodies, should approach the place by the two different avenues, on the supposition that they would both arrive before the walls of Quib-quab at the same instant of time. The conduct of the inland expedition was given to Yaff-ray, who now commanded in chief in Fatsisio; and the rest of the troops were sent up the great river, under the auspices of Ya-loff, who had so eminently distinguished himself in the course of the preceding year.

    Orator Taycho had received some articles of intelligence which embarrassed him a little at first; but these difficulties soon vanished before the vigour of his resolutions. He knew, that not only the town of Quib-quab was fortified by art, but also, that the whole adjacent country was almost impregnable by nature: that one Chinese general blocked up the passes with a strong body of forces, in the route which was to be followed by Yaff-rai; and that another commanded a separate corps in the neighbourhood of Quib-quab, equal, at least, in number to the detachment of Ya-loff, whom he might therefore either prevent from landing, or attack after he should be landed: or finally, should neither of these attempts succeed, he might reinforce the garrison of Quib-quab, so as to make it more numerous than the besieging army, which, according to the rules of war, ought to be ten times the number of the besieged. On the other hand, in order to invalidate these objections, he reflected that Fortune, which hath such a share in all military events, is inconstant and variable; that as the Chinese had been so long successful in Fatsisio, it was now their turn to be unfortunate. He reflected that the dæmon of folly was capricious; and that as it had so long possessed the rulers and generals of Japan, it was high time it should shift its quarters, and occupy the brains of the enemy; in which case they would quit their advantageous posts, and commit some blunder that would lay them at the mercy of the Japonese. —With respect to the reduction of Quib-quab, he had heard, indeed, that the besiegers ought to be ten times the number of the garrison besieged; but as every Japonese was equivalent to ten subjects of China, he thought the match was pretty equal. He reflected, that even if this expedition should not succeed, it would be of little consequence to his reputation, as he could plead at home, that he neither conceived the original plan, no appointed any of the officers concerned in the execution. It is true, he might have reinforced the army in Fatsisio, so as to leave very little to Fortune: but then he must have substracted something from the strength of the operations in Tartary, which was now become the favourite scene of the war; or he must have altogether suspended the execution of another darling scheme, which was literally his own conception. There was an island in the great Indian ocean, at a considerable distance from Fatsisio; and here the Chinese had a strong settlement. Taycho was inflamed with the ambition of reducing this island, which was called Thin-quo; and for this purpose he resolved to embark a body of forces which should co-operate with the squadron of Fune destined to cruize in those latitudes. —The only difficulty that remained was to choose a general to direct this enterprize. —He perused a list of all the military officers in Japan; and as they were all equal in point of reputation, he began to examine their names, in order to pitch upon that which should appear to be the most significant: and in this particular, Taycho was a little superstitious. Not but that surnames, when properly bestowed, might be rendered very useful terms of distinction: but I must tell thee, Peacock, nothing can be more preposterously absurd than the practice of inheriting cognomina, which ought ever to be purely personal. I would ask thee, for example, what propriety there was in giving the name Xenophon, which signifies one that speaks a foreign language, to the celebrated Greek who distinguished himself, not only as a consummate captain, but also as an elegant writer in his mother-tongue? What could be more ridiculous than to denominate the great philosopher of Crotona Pythagoras, which implies a stinking speech? Or what could be more misapplied than the name of the weeping philosopher Heraclitus, signifying military glory? The inheritance of surnames, among the Romans, produced still more ludicrous consequences. The best and noblest families in Rome derived their names from the coarsest employments, or else from the corporeal blemishes of their ancestors. The Pisones were millers: the Cicerones and the Lentuli were so called from the vetohes and the lentils which their forefathers dealt in. The Fabij were so denominated from a dung-pit, in which the first of the family was begot by stealth in the way of fornication. A ploughman gave rise to the great family of the Serrani, the ladies of which always went without smocks. The Suilli, the Bubulci, and the Porci, were descended from a swine-herd, a cow-herd, and a hogbutcher. —What could be more disgraceful than to call the senator Strabo, Squintum; or a fine young lady of the house of Poeti, Pigsnies? or to distinguish a matron of the Limi, by the appellation of Sheep's-eye? —What could be more dishonourable than to give the surname of Snub-nose to P. Silius, the proprætor, because his great-great-great-grand-father had a nose of that make? Ovid, indeed, had a long nose, and therefore was justly denominated Naso: but why should Horace be called Flaccus, as if his ears had been stretched in the pillory: I need not mention the Burrhi Nigri, Rufi, Aquilij, and Rutilij, because we have the same foolish surnames in England; and even the Lappa; for I myself know a very pretty miss called Rough-head, tho' in fact there is not a young lady in the Bills of Mortality, who takes more pains to dress her hair to the best advantage. The famous dictator whom the deputies of Rome found at the plough, was known by the name of Cincinnatus, or Ragged-head. Now I leave you to judge how it would sound in these days, if a footman at the play-house should call out, "My Lady Ragged-head's coach. Room for my Lady Ragged-head." I am doubtful whether the English name of Hale does not come from the Roman cognomen Hala, which signified stinking-breath . What need I mention the Plauti, Panci, Valgi, Vari, Vatiæ, and Scauri; the Tuditani, the Malici, Cenestellæ, and Leccæ; in other words, the Splay-foots, Bandy-legs, Shamble-shins, Baker-knees, Club-foots, Hammer-heads, Chubby-cheeks, Bald-heads, and Letchers. —I shall not say a word of the Buteo, or Buzzard, that I may not be obliged to explain the meaning of the word Triorchis, from whence it takes its denomination; yet all those were great families in Rome. But I cannot help taking notice of some of the same improprieties, which have crept into the language and customs of this country. Let us suppose, for example, a foreigner reading an English news-paper in these terms: "Last Tuesday the right honourable Timothy Sillyman, secretary of state for the Southern department, gave a grand entertainment to the nobility and gentry at his house in Knavesacre . The evening was concluded with a ball, which was opened by Sir Samuel Hog and Lady Diana Rough-head. —We hear there is purpose of marriage between Mr. Alderman Small-cock and Miss Harriot Hair-stones, a young lady of great fortune and superlative merit. —By the last mail from Germany we have certain advice of a compleat victory which General Coward has obtained over the enemy. On this occasion the general displayed all the intrepidity of the most renowned hero:— by the same canal we are informed that Lieutenant Little-fear has been broke by a court-martial for cowardice. —We hear that Edward West, Esq; will be elected president of the directors of the East-India company for the ensuing year. It is reported that Commodore North will be sent with a squadron into the South-Sea. —Captains East and South are appointed by the Lords of the Admiralty, commanders of two frigates to sail on the discovery of the North-west passage. —Yesterday morning Sir John Summer, bart. lay dangerously ill at his house in Spring-garden: he is attended by Dr. Winter: but there are no hopes of his recovery. —Saturday last Philip Frost, a dealer in Gunpowder, died at his house on Snowbill, of a high fever caught by overheating himself in walking for a wager from No Man's Land to the World's End. —Last week Mr. John Fog, teacher of astronomy in Rotherhith, was married to the widow Fairweather of Puddledock. —We hear from Bath, that on Thursday last a duel was fought on Lansdown, by Captain Sparrow and Richard Hawke, Esq; in which the latter was mortally wounded. —Friday last ended the sessions at the Old Bailey, when the following persons received sentence of death. Leonard Lamb, for the murder of Julius Wolf; and Henry Grave, for robbing and assaulting Dr. Death, whereby the said Death was put in fear of his life. Giles Gosling, for defrauding Simon Fox of four guineas and his watch, by subtle craft, was transported for seven years; and David Drinkwater was ordered to be set in the stocks, as an habitual drunkard. The trial of Thomas Green, whitster at Fulham, for a rape on the body of Flora White, a mulatto, was put off till next sessions, on account of the absence of two material evidences, viz. Sarah Brown, clear-starcher of Pimlico, and Anthony Black, scarletdyer of Wandsworth." I ask thee, Peacock, whether a sensible foreigner, who understood the literal meaning of these names, which are all truly British, would not think ye were a nation of humorists, who delighted in cross-purposes and ludicrous singularity? But, indeed, ye are not more absurd in this particular, than some of your neighbours. —I know a Frenchman of the name of Bouvier, which signifies Cow-keeper, pique himself upon his noblesse; and a general called Valavoir, is said to have lost his life by the whimsical impropriety of his surname, which signifies Go and see. —You may remember an Italian minister called Grossa-testa, or Great-head, though in fact he had scarce any head at all. That nation has, likewise, its Sforzas, Malatestas, Boccanigras, Porcinas, Giudices; its Colonnas, Muratorios, Medicis, and Gozzi; Endeavours, Chuckle-heads, Black Muzzles, Hogs, Judges, Pillars, Masons, Leeches, and Chubby-chops. Spain has its Almohadas, Girones, Utreras, Ursinas, and Zapatas; signifying Cushions, Gores, Bullocks, Bears, and Slippers. The Turks, in other respects a sensible people, fall into the same extravagance, with respect to the inheritance of surnames. An Armenian merchant, to whom I once belonged at Aleppo, used to dine at the house of a cook whose name was Clockmaker; and the handsomest Ichoglan in the Bashaw's seraglio was surnamed Crook-back. —If we may believe the historian Buck, there was the same impropriety in the same epithet bestowed upon Richard III. king of England, who, he says, was one of the best-made men of the age in which he lived: but here I must contradict the said Buck, from my own knowledge. Richard had, undoubtedly, one shoulder higher than the other, and his left arm was a little shrunk and contracted: but, notwithstanding the ungracious colours in which he has been drawn by the flatterers of the house of Lancaster, I can assure thee, Peacock, that Richard was a prince of a very agreeable aspect, and excelled in every personal accomplishment; neither was his heart a stranger to the softer passions of tenderness and pity. The very night that preceded the fatal battle of Bosworth, in which he lost his life, he went in disguise to the house of a farmer in the neighbourhood, to visit an infant son there boarded, who was the fruit of an amour between him and a young lady of the first condition. Upon this occasion, he embraced the child with all the marks of paternal affection, and doubtful of the issue of the approaching battle, shed a flood of tears at parting from him, after having recommended him to the particular care of his nurse, to whom he gave money and jewels to a considerable value. After the catastrophe of Richard this house was plundered, and the nurse with difficulty escaped to another part of the country; but as the enemies of Richard now prevailed, she never durst reveal the secret of the boy's birth; and he was bred up as her own son to the trade of brick-laying, in which character he lived and died in an advanced age at London. —Moreover, it is but justice in me, who constituted part of one of Richard's yeomen of the guard, to assure thee that this prince was not so wicked and cruel as he has been represented. The only share he had in the death of his brother Clarence, was his forbearing to interpose in the behalf of that prince with their elder brother king Edward IV. who, in fact, was the greatest brute of the whole family: neither did he poison his own wife; nor employ assassins to murder his two nephews in the Tower. Both the boys were given by Tyrrel in charge to a German Jew, with directions to breed them up as his own children, in a remote country; and the eldest died of a fever at Embden, and the other afterwards appeared as claimant of the English crown:—all the world knows how he finished his career under the name of Perkin Warbeck. —So much for the abuse of surnames, in the investigation of which I might have used thy own by way of illustration; for, if thou and all thy generation were put to the rack, they would not be able to give any tolerable reason why thou shouldest be called Peacock rather than Crablouse. —But it is now high time to return to the thread of our narration. Taycho, having considered the list of officers, without finding one name which implied any active virtue, resolved that the choice should depend upon accident. He hustled them all together in his cap, and putting in his hand at random, drew forth that of Hob-nob; a person who had grown old in obscurity, without ever having found an opportunity of being concerned in actual service. His very name was utterly unknown to Fika-kaka; and this circumstance the orator considered as a lucky omen; for the Cuboy had such a remarkable knack at finding out the least qualified subjects, and overlooking merit, his new collegue concluded (not without some shadow of reason) that Hob-nob's being unknown to the prime minister, was a sort of negative presumption in favour of his character. This officer was accordingly placed at the head of an armament, and sent against the island of Thin-quo, in the conquest of which he was to be supported by a squadron of Fune already in those latitudes, under the command of the chief He-Rhumn.

    The voyage was performed without loss: the troops were landed without opposition. They had already advanced towards a rising-ground which commanded the principal town of the island, and He-Rhumn had offered to land and draw the artillery by the mariners of his squadron, when Hob-nob had a dream which disconcerted all his measures. He dreamed that he entertained all the islanders in the temple of the White Horse; and that his own grand-mother did the honours of the table. —Indeed he could not have performed a greater act of charity; for they were literally in danger of perishing by famine. Having consulted his interpreter on this extraordinary dream, he was given to understand that the omen was unlucky; that if he persisted in his hostilities, he himself would be taken prisoner, and offered up as a sacrifice to the idol of the place. While he ruminated on this unfavourable response, the principal inhabitants of the island assembled, in order to deliberate upon their own deplorable situation. They had neither troops, arms, fortifications, nor provision, and despaired of supplies, as the fleet of Japan surrounded the island. In this emergency, they determined to submit without opposition; and appointed a deputation to go and make a tender of the island to general Hob-nob. This deputation, preceded by white flags of truce, the Japonese commander no sooner descried, than he thought upon the interpretation of his dream. He mistook the deputies with their white flags for the Bonzas of the idol to which he was to be sacrificed; and, being sorely troubled in mind, ordered the troops to be immediately reimbarked, notwithstanding the exhortations of He-Rhumn, and the remonstrances of Rha-rin-tumm, the second in command, who used a number of arguments to dissuade him from his purpose. The deputies seeing the enemy in motion, made a halt, and, after they were fairly on board, returned to the town, singing hymns in praise of the idol Fo, who, they imagined, had confounded the understanding of the Japonese general.

    The attempt upon Thin-quo having thus miscarried, Hob-nob declared he would return to Japan; but was with great difficulty persuaded by the commander of the Fune and his own second, to make a descent upon another island belonging to the Chinese, called Qua-chu, where they assured him he would meet with no opposition. As he had no dream to deter him from this attempt, he suffered himself to be persuaded, and actually made good his landing: but the horror occasioned by the apparition of his grand-mother, had made such an impression upon his mind, as affected the constitution of his body. Before he was visited by another such vision, he sickened and died; and in consequence of his death, Rha-rin-tumm and He-Rhumn made a conquest of the island of Qua-Chu, which was much more valuable than Thin-quo, the first and sole object of the expedition. —When the first news of this second descent arrived in Japan, the ministry were in the utmost confusion. Mr. Orator Taycho did not scruple to declare that general Hobnob had misbehaved; first, in relinquishing Thin-quo, upon such a frivolous pretence as the supposed apparition of an old woman; secondly, in attempting the conquest of another place, which was not so much as mentioned in his instructions. The truth is, the importance of Qua-chu was not known to the cabinet of Japan. Fika-kaka believed it was some place on the continent of Tartary, and exclaimed in a violent passion, "Rot the block-head, Hob-nob; he'll have an army of Chinese on his back in a twinkling!" When the president Soo-san-sin-o assured him that Qua-chu was a rich island at an immense distance from the continent of Tartary, the Cuboy insisted upon kissing his excellency's posteriors for the agreeable information he had received. In a few weeks arrived the tidings of the island's being totally reduced by Rha-rin-tumm and He-Rhumn. —Then the conquest was published throughout the empire of Japan with every circumstance of exaggeration. The blatant beast brayed applause. The rites of Fakkubasi were celebrated with unusual solemnity; and hymns of triumph were sung to the glory of the great Taycho. Even the Cuboy arrogated to himself some share of the honour gained by this expedition; inasmuch as the general Rha-rin-tumm was the brother of his friend Mr. Secretary No-bo-dy. Fika-kaka gave a grand entertainment at his palace, where he appeared crowned with a garland of the Tsikkburasiba, or laurel of Japan; and eat so much of the soup of Joniku or famous Swallow's-nest, that he was for three days troubled with flatulencies and indigestion.

    In the midst of all this festivity, the emperor still growled and grumbled about Yesso. His new ally Brut-an-tiffi had met with a variety of fortune, and even suffered some shocks, which orator Taycho, with all his art, could not keep from the knowledge of the Dairo. —He had been severely drubbed by the Mantchoux, who had advanced for that purpose even to his court-yard: but this was nothing in comparison to another disaster, from which he had a hair-breadth scape. The Great Khan had employed one of his most wily and enterprising chiefs to seize Brut-an-tiffi by surprize, that he might be brought to justice, and executed as a felon and perturbator of the public peace. Kunt-than, who was the partisan pitched upon for this service, practised a thousand stratagems to decoy Brut-an-tiffi into a careless security; but he was still baffled by the vigilance of Yam-a-Kheit, a famous soldier of fortune, who had engaged in the service of the outlawed Tartar. At length the opportunity offered, when this captain was sent out to lay the country under contribution. Then Kunt-than marching solely in the dead of night, caught Brut-an-tiffi napping. He might have slain him upon the spot; but his orders were to take him alive, that he might be made a public example; accordingly, his centinels being dispatched, he was pulled out of bed, and his hands were already tied with cords, like those of a common malefactor, when, by his roaring and bellowing, he gave the alarm to Yam-a-Kheit, who chanced to be in the neighbourhood, returning from his excursion. —He made all the haste he could, and came up in the very nick of time to save his master. He fell upon the party of Kunt-than with such fury, that they were fain to quit their prey: then he cut the fetters of Brut-an-tiffi, who took to his heels and fled with incredible expedition, leaving his preserver in the midst of his enemies, by whom he was overpowered, struck from his horse, and trampled to death. The grateful Tartar not only deserted this brave captain in such extremity, but he also took care to asperse his memory, by insinuating that Yam-a-Kheit had undertaken to watch him while he took his repose, and had himself fallen asleep upon his post, by which neglect of duty the Ostrog had been enabled to penetrate into his quarters. 'Tis an ill wind that blows no-body good: —the same disaster that deprived him of a good officer, afforded him an opportunity to shift the blame of neglect from his own shoulders to those of a person who could not answer for himself. —In the same manner, your general A—y acquitted himself of the charge of misconduct for the attack of T—a, by accusing his engineer, who, having fallen in the battle, could not contradict his assertion. In regard to the affair with the Mantchoux, Brut-an-tiffi was resolved to swear truth out of Tartary by meer dint of impudence. In the very article of running away, he began to propagate the report of the great victory he had obtained. He sent the Dairo a circumstantial detail of his own prowess, and expatiated upon the cowardice of the Mantchoux, who he said had vanished from him like quick-silver, at the very time when they were quietly possessed of the field of battle, and he himself was calling upon the mountains to cover him. It must have been in imitation of this great original, that the Inspector, of tympanitical memory, assured the public in one of his lucubrations, that a certain tall Hibernian was afraid of looking him in the face; because the said poltroon had kicked his breech the night before in presence of five hundred people.

    Fortune had now abandoned the Chinese in good earnest. Two squadrons of their Fune had been successively taken, destroyed, or dispersed, by the Japonese commanders Or-nbos and Fas-khan; and they had lost such a number of single junks, that they were scarce able to keep the sea. On the coast of Africa they were driven from the settlement of Kho-rhe, by the commander Kha-fell. In the extremity of Asia, they had an army totally defeated by the Japonese captain Khutt-whang, and many of their settlements were taken. In Fatsisio, they lost another battle to Yan-oni, and divers strong holds. In the neighbourhood of Yesso, Bronxi-tie, who commanded the mercenary army of Japan on that continent, had been obliged to retreat before the Chinese from post to pillar, till at length he found it absolutely necessary to maintain his position, even at the risque of being attacked by the enemy, that outnumbered him greatly. He chose an advantageous post, where he thought himself secure, and went to sleep at his usual time of rest. The Chinese general resolving to beat up his quarters in the night, selected a body of horse for that purpose, and put them in motion accordingly. It was happy for Bron-xi-tic that this detachment fell upon a quarter where there happened to be a kennel of Japonese dogs, which are as famous as the bull-dogs of England. These animals, ever on the watch, not only gave the alarm, but at the same time fell upon the Chinese horses with such impetuosity, that the enemy were disordered, and had actually fled before Bron-xi-tic could bring up his troops to action. All that he saw of the battle, when he came up, was a small number of killed and wounded, and the cavalry of the enemy scampering off in confusion, tho' at a great distance from the field. No matter;—he found means to paint this famous battle of Myn-than in such colours as dazzled the weak eye-sight of the Japonese monster, which bellowed hoarse applause through all its throats; and in its hymns of triumph equalled Bron-xi-tic even to the unconquerable Brut-an-tiffi, which last, about this time, received at his own door another beating from the Mantchoux, so severe that he lay for some time without exhibiting any signs of life; and, indeed, owed his safety to a very extraordinary circumstance. An Ostrog chief called Llha-dahn, who had reinforced the Mantchoux with a very considerable body of horse before the battle, insisted upon carrying off the carcase of Brut-an-tiffi, that it might be hung up on a gibbet in terrorem, before the pavilion of the great Khan. The general of the Mantchoux, on the other hand, declared he would have it flayed upon the spot, and the skin sent as a trophy to his sovereign. This dispute produced a great deal of abuse betwixt those barbarians; and it was with great difficulty some of their inferior chiefs, who were wiser than themselves, prevented them from going by the ears together. In a word, the confusion and anarchy that ensued, afforded an opportunity to one of Brut-an-tiffi's partisans to steal away the body of his master, whom the noise of the contest had just roused from his swoon. Llha-dahn perceiving he was gone, rode off in disgust with all his cavalry; and the Mantchoux, instead of following the blow, made a retrograde motion towards their own country, which allowed Brut-an-tiffi time to breathe. Three successive disasters of this kind would have been sufficient to lower the military character of any warrior, in the opinion of any public that judged from their own senses and reflexion: but, by this time, the Japonese had quietly resigned all their natural perceptions, and paid the most implicit faith to every article broached by their apostle Taycho. The more it seemed to contradict common reason and common evidence, the more greedily was it swallowed as a mysterious dogma of the political creed. Taycho then assured them that the whole army of the Mantchoux was put to the sword; and that Bron-xi-tic would carry the war within three weeks, into the heart of China; he gave them goblets of horse-blood from Myn-than; and tickled their ears and their noses: they snorted approbation, licked his toes, and sunk into a profound lethargy.

    From this, however, they were soon arroused by unwelcome tidings from Fatsisio. Yaff-rai had proceeded in his route until he was stopped by a vast lake, which he could not possibly traverse without boats, cork-jackets, or some such expedient, which could not be supplied for that campaign. Ya-loff had sailed up the river to Quib-quab, which he found so strongly fortified by nature, that it seemed rashness even to attempt a landing, especially in the face of an enemy more numerous than his own detachment. Land, however he did, and even attacked a fortified camp of the Chinese; but, in spite of all his efforts, he was repulsed with considerable slaughter. He sent an account of this miscarriage to Taycho, giving him to understand, at the same time, that he had received no intelligence of Yaff-rai's motions; that his troops were greatly diminished; that the season was too far advanced to keep the field much longer; and that nothing was left them but a choice of difficulties, every one of which seemed more insurmountable than another. Taycho having deliberated on this subject, thought it was necessary to prepare the monster for the worst that could happen, as he now expected to hear by the first opportunity, that the grand expedition of Fatsisio had totally miscarried. He resolved therefore to throw the blame upon the shoulders of Ya-loff and Yaff-rai, and stigmatize them as the creatures of Fika-kaka, who had neither ability to comprehend the instructions he had given, nor resolution to execute the plan he had projected. For this purpose he ascended the rostrum, and with a rueful length of face opened his harangue upon the defeat of Ya-loff. The Hydra no sooner understood that the troops of Japan had been discomfited, than it was seized with a kind of hysteric fit, and uttered a yell so loud and horrible, that the blind-fold Dairo trembled in the most internal recesses of his palace: the Cuboy Fika-kaka had such a profuse evacuation, that the discharge is said to have weighed five Boll-ah, equal to eight and forty pounds three ounces and two penny-weight averdupois of Great-Britain. Even Taycho himself was discomposed. —In vain he presented the draught of yeast, and the goblet of blood:—in vain his pipers soothed the ears, and his tall fellows tickled the nose of the blatant beast. It continued to howl and grin, and gnash its teeth, and writhe itself into a thousand contortions, as if it had been troubled with that twisting of the guts called the iliac passion. Taycho began to think its case desperate, and sent for the Dairo's chief physician, who prescribed a glyster of the distilled spirit analogous to your Geneva; but no apothecary nor old woman in Meaco would undertake to administer it on any consideration, the patient was such a filthy, aukward, lubberly, unmanageable beast. —"If what comes from its mouths (said they) be so foul, virulent, and pestilential, how nauseous, poisonous, and intolerable must that be which takes the other course?" —When Taycho's art and foresight were at a stand, accident came to his assistance. A courier arrived, preceded by twelve postilions blowing horns; and he brought the news that Quib-quab was taken. The orator commanded them to place their horns within as many of the monster's long ears, and blow with all their might, until it should exhibit some signs of hearing. The experiment succeeded. The Hydra waking from its trance, opened its eyes; and Taycho seizing this opportunity, hollowed in his loudest tone, "Quib-quab is taken." This note being repeated, the beast started up; then, raising itself on its hind legs, began to wag its tail, to frisk and fawn, to lick Taycho's sweaty socks: in fine, crouching on its belly, it took the orator on its back, and proceeding through the streets of Meaco, brayed aloud, "Make way for the divine Taycho! Make way for the conqueror of Quib-quab!" —But the gallant Ya-loff, the real conqueror of Quib-quab, was no more. —He fell in the battle by which the conquest was achieved, yet not before he saw victory declare in his favour. He had made incredible efforts to surmount the difficulties that surrounded him. At length he found means to scale a perpendicular rock, which the enemy had left unguarded, on the supposition that nature had made it inaccessible. This exploit was performed in the night, and in the morning the Chinese saw his troops drawn up in order of battle on the plains of Quib-quab. As their numbers greatly exceeded the Japonese, they did not decline the trial; and in a little time both armies were engaged. The contest, however, was not of long duration, tho' it proved fatal to the general on each side. —Ya-loff being slain, the command devolved upon Tohn-syn, who pursued the enemy to the walls of Quib-quab, which was next day surrendered to him by capitulation. Nothing was now seen and heard in the capital but jubilee, triumph, and intoxication; and, indeed, the nation had not for some centuries, seen such an occasion for joy and satisfaction. The only person that did not heartily rejoice was the Dairo Got-hama-baba. By this time he was so Tartarised, that he grudged his subjects every advantage obtained in Fatsisio; and when Fika-kaka hobbled up to him with the news of the victory, instead of saluting him with the kick of approbation, he turned his back upon him, saying "Boh! boh! What do you tell me of Quib-quab? The damned Chinese are still on the frontiers of Yesso." As to the beast, it was doomed to undergo a variety of agitation. Its present gambols were interrupted by a fresh alarm from China. It was reported that two great armaments were equipped for a double descent upon the dominions of Japan: that one of these had already sailed north about for the island of Xicoco, to make a diversion in favour of the other, which, being the most considerable, was designed for the southern coast of Japan. These tidings, which were not without foundation, had such an effect upon the multitudinous monster, that it was first of all seized with an universal shivering. Its teeth chattered so loud, that the sound was heard at the distance of half a league; and for some time it was struck dumb. During this paroxysm it crawled silently on its belly to a sand-hill just without the walls of Meaco, and began to scratch the earth with great eagerness and perseverance. Some people imagined it was digging for gold: but the truth is, the beast was making a hole to hide itself from the enemy, whom it durst not look in the face; for, it must be observed of this beast, it was equally timorous and cruel; equally cowardly and insolent. —So hard it laboured at this cavern, that it had actually burrowed itself all but the tail, when its good angel Taycho whistled it out, with the news of another complete victory gained over the Chinese at sea, by the Sey-seo-gun Phal-khan, who had sure enough discomfited or destroyed the great armament of the enemy. As for the other small squadron which had steered a northerly course to Xicoco, it was encountered, defeated, taken, and brought into the harbours of Japan, by three light Fune, under the command of a young chief called Hel-y-otte, who happened to be cruising on that part of the coast. —The beast hearing Taycho's auspicious whistle, crept out with its buttocks foremost, and having done him homage in the usual stile, began to react its former extravagances. It now considered this demagogue as the supreme giver of all good, and adored him accordingly. The apostle Bupo was no longer invoked. The temple of Fakkubasi was almost forgotten; and the Bonzas were universally despised. The praise of the prophet Taycho had swallowed up all other worship. —Let us enquire how far he merited this adoration: how justly the unparalleled success of this year was ascribed to his conduct and sagacity. Kho-rhé was taken by Kha-fell, and Quib-quab by Ya-loff and Thon-syn. By land, the Chinese were defeated in Fatsisio by Yan-o-ni; in the extremity of Asia, by Khutt-whang; and in Tartary, by the Japonese bull-dogs, without command or direction. At sea one of their squadrons had been destroyed by Or-nbos; a second by Fas-khan; a third was taken by Hel-y-otte; a fourth was worsted and put to flight in three successive engagements near the land of Kamtschatka, by the chief Bha-kakh; and their grand armament defeated by the Sey-seo-gun Phal-khan. But Kha-fell was a stranger to orator Taycho: Ya-loff he had never seen: the bulldogs had been collected at random from the shambles of Meaco: he had never heard of Yan-o-ni's name, till he distinguished himself by his first victory; nor did he know there was any such person as Khutt-whang existing. As for Or-nbos, Fas-khan, Phal-khan, and Bha-kakh, they had been Sey-seo-guns in constant employment under the former administration; and the youth Hel-y-otte owed his promotion to the interest of his own family. —But it may be alledged, that Taycho projected in his closet those plans that were crowned with success. —We have seen how he mutilated and frittered the original scheme of the campaign in Fatsisio, so as to leave it at the caprice of Fortune. The reduction of Kho-rhé was part of the design formed by the Banyan Thum-khumm-qua, which Taycho did all that lay in his power to render abortive. The plan of operations in the extremity of Tartary, he did not pretend to meddle with;—it was the concern of the officers appointed by the trading company there settled: and as to the advantages obtained at sea, they naturally resulted from the disposition of cruises, made and regulated by the board of Sey-seo-gun-sealty, with which no minister ever interfered. He might, indeed, have recalled the chiefs and officers whom he found already appointed when he took the reins of administration, and filled their places with others of his own choosing. How far he was qualified to make such a choice, and plan new expeditions, appears from the adventures of the generals he did appoint; Moria-tanti, who was deterred from landing by a perspective view of whiskers; Hylib-bib, who left his rear in the lurch; and Hob-nob, who made such a masterly retreat from the supposed Bonzas of Thin-quo. —These three were literally commanders of his own creation, employed in executing schemes of his own projecting; and these three were the only generals he made, and the only military plans he projected, if we except the grand scheme of subsidizing Brut-an-tiffi, and forming an army of one hundred thousand men in Tartary, for the defence of the farm of Yesso. —Things being so circumstanced, it may be easily conceived that the Orator could ask nothing which the Mobile would venture to refuse; and indeed he tried his influence to the utmost stretch; he milked the dugs of the monster till the blood came. For the service of the ensuing year, he squeezed from them near twelve millions of obans, amounting to near twenty-four millions sterling, about four times as much as had ever been raised by the empire of Japan in any former war. But, by this time, Taycho was become not only a convert to the system of Tartary, which he had formerly persecuted, but also an enthusiast in love and admiration of Brut-an-tiffi, who had lately sent him his poetical works in a present. This, however, would have been of no use, as he could not read them, had not he discovered they were printed on a very fine, soft, smooth Chinese paper made of silk, which he happily converted to another fundamental purpose. In return for this compliment, the Orator sent him a bullock's horn bound with brass, value fifteen pence, which had long served him as a pitch-pipe when he made harangues to the Mobile; —it was the same kind of instrument which Horace describes; Tibia vincta orichalco: and pray take notice, Peacock, this was the only present Taycho ever bestowed on any man, woman, or child, through the whole course of his life, I mean out of his own pocket; for he was extremely liberal of the public money, in his subsidies to the Tartar chiefs, and in the prosecution of the war upon that continent. The Orator was a genius self-taught without the help of human institution. He affected to undervalue all men of literary talents; and the only book he ever read with any degree of pleasure, was a collection of rhapsodies preached by one Ab-ren-thi, an obscure fanatic Bonza, a native of the island Xicoco. Certain it is, Nature seemed to have produced him for the sole purpose of fascinating the mob, and endued him with faculties accordingly.

    Notwithstanding all his efforts in behalf of the Tartarian scheme, the Chinese still lingered on the frontiers of Yesso. The views of the court of Pekin exactly coincided with the interest of Bron-xi-tic, the mercenary general of Japan. The Chinese, confounded at the unheard-of success of the Japonese in Fatsisio and other parts of the globe, and extremely mortified at the destruction of their fleets and the ruin of their commerce, saw no other way of distressing the enemy, but that of prolonging the war on the continent of Tartary, which they could support for little more than their ordinary expence; whereas Japan could not maintain it without contracting yearly immense loads of debt, which must have crushed it at the long-run. It was the business of the Chinese, therefore, not to finish the war in Tartary by taking the farm of Yesso, because, in that case, the annual expence of it would have been saved to Japan; but to keep it alive by forced marches, prædatory excursions, and undecisive actions; and this was precisely the interest of general Bron-xi-tic, who in the continuance of the war enjoyed the continuance of all his emoluments. All that he had to do, then, was to furnish Taycho from time to time with a cask of human blood, for the entertainment of the blatant beast; and to send over a few horse-tails, as trophies of pretended victories, to be waved before the monster in its holiday processions. He and the Chinese general seemed to act in concert. They advanced and retreated in their turns betwixt two given lines, and the campaign always ended on the same spot where it began. The only difference between them was in the motives of their conduct; the Chinese commander acted for the benefit of his sovereign, and Bron-xi-tic acted for his own.

    The continual danger to which the farm of Yesso was exposed, produced such apprehensions and chagrin in the mind of the Dairo Gothama-baba, that his health began to decline. He neglected his food and his rattle, and no longer took any pleasure in kicking the Cuboy. He frequently muttered ejaculations about the farm of Yesso: nay, once or twice in the transports of his impatience, he pulled the bandage from his eyes, and cursed Taycho in the Tartarian language. At length he fell into a lethargy, and even when roused a little by blisters and caustics, seemed insensible of every thing that was done about him. These blisters were raised by burning the moxa upon his scalp. The powder of menoki was also injected in a glyster; and the operation of acupuncture, called Senkei, performed without effect. His disorder was so stubborn, that the Cuboy began to think he was bewitched, and suspected Taycho of having practised sorcery on his sovereign. He communicated this suspicion to Muraclami, who shook his head, and advised that, with the Orator's good leave, the council should be consulted. Taycho, who had gained an absolute empire over the mind of the Dairo, and could not foresee how his interest might stand with his successor, was heartily disposed to concur in any feasible experiment for the recovery of Got-hama-baba: he therefore consented that the mouths of the council should be unpadlocked pro hac vice, and the members were assembled without delay; with this express proviso, however, that they were to confine their deliberations to the subject of the Dairo and his distemper. By this time the physicians had discovered the cause of the disorder, which was no other than his being stung by a poisonous insect produced in the land of Yesso, analogous to the tarantula, which is said to do so much mischief in some parts of Apuglia, as we are told by Ælian, Epiphanius Ferdinandus, and Baglivi. In both cases the only effectual remedy was music; and now the council was called to determine what sort of music should be administered. You must know, Peacock, the Japonese are but indifferently skilled in this art, tho', in general, they affect to be connoisseurs. They are utterly ignorant of the theory, and in the practice are excelled by all their neighbours, the Tartars not excepted. For my own part, I studied music under Pythagoras at Crotona. He found the scale of seven tones imperfect, and added the octave as a fixed, sensible, and intelligent termination of an interval, which included every possible division, and determined all the relative differences of sounds: besides, he taught us how to express the octave by ½, &c. &c. But why should I talk to thee of the antient digramma, the genera, &c. of music, which with their colours, were constructed by a division of the diatessaron. Thou art too dull and ignorant to comprehend the chromatic species, the construction of the tetrachord, the Phrygian, the Lydian, and other modes of the antient music: and for distinction of ear, thou mightest be justly ranked among the braying tribe that graze along the ditches of Tottenham-court or Hockley-i'the-hole. I know that nothing exhilarates thy spirits so much as a sonata on the salt-box, or a concert of marrow-bones and cleavers. The ears of the Japonese were much of the same texture; and their music was suited to their ears. They neither excelled in the melopoeia, and rhythm or cadence; nor did they know any thing of the true science of harmony, compositions in parts, and those combinations of sounds, the invention of which, with the improvement of the scale, is erroneously ascribed to a Benedictine monk. The truth is, the antients understood composition perfectly well. Their scale was founded upon perfect consonances: they were remarkably nice in tempering sounds, and had reduced their intervals and concords to mathematical demonstration.

    But, to return to the council of Twenty-eight, they convened in the same apartment where the Dairo lay; and as the business was to determine what kind of music was most likely to make an impression upon his organs, every member came provided with his expedient. First and foremost, Mr. Orator Taycho pronounced an oration upon the excellences of the land of Yesso, of energy (as the Cuboy said) sufficient to draw the moon from her sphere; it drew nothing, however, from the patient but a single groan: then the Fatzman caused a drum to beat, without producing any effect at all upon the Dairo; tho' it deprived the whole council of their hearing for some time. The third essay was made by Fika-kaka; first with a rattle, and then with tongs and gridiron, which last was his favourite music; but here it failed, to his great surprize and consternation. Stiphi-rum-poo brought the crier of his court to promulgate a decree against Yesso, in a voice that is wont to make the culprit tremble; but the Dairo was found Ignoramus. Nin-com-poo-po blew a blast with a kind of boatswain's whistle, which discomposed the whole audience without affecting the emperor. Fokh—si—rokhu said he would try his imperial majesty with a sound which he had always been known to prefer to every other species of music; and pulling out a huge purse of golden obans, began to chink them in his ear. —This experiment so far succeeded, that the Dairo was perceived to smile, and even to contract one hand: but further effect it had none. At last Gotto-mio starting up, threw a small quantity of aurum fulminans into the fire, which went off with such an explosion, that in the same instant Fika-kaha fell flat upon his face, and Got-hama-baba started upright in his bed. This, however, was no more than a convulsion that put an end to his life; for he fell back again, and expired in the twinkling of an eye. — As for the Cuboy, tho' he did not die, he underwent a surprising transformation or metamorphosis, which I shall record in due season.

    Taycho was no sooner certified that Got-hama-baba had actually breathed his last, than he vanished from the council in the twinkling of an eye, and mounting the beast whose name is Legion, rode full speed to the habitation of Gio-gio, the successor and descendant of the deceased Dairo. —Gio-gio was a young prince who had been industriously sequestered from the public view, and excluded from all share in the affairs of state by the jealousy of the last emperor. —He lived retired under the wings of his grand-mother, and had divers preceptors to teach him the rudiments of every art but the art of reigning. Of all those who superintended his education, he who insinuated himself the farthest in his favour, was one Yak-strot, from the mountains of Ximo, who valued himself much upon the antient blood that ran in his veins, and still more upon his elevated ideas of patriotism. Yak-strot was honest at bottom, but proud, reserved, vain, and affected. He had a turn for nicknacks and gim-cracks, and once made and mounted an iron jack and a wooden clock with his own hands. But it was his misfortune to set up for a connoisseur in painting and other liberal arts, and to announce himself an universal patron of genius. He did not fail to infuse his own notions and conceits into the tender mind of Gio-gio, who gradually imbibed his turn of thinking, and followed the studies which he recommended. —With respect to his lessons on the art of government, he reduced them to a very few simple principles. —His maxims were these: That the emperor of Japan ought to cherish the established religion, both by precept and example; that he ought to abolish corruption, discourage faction, and balance the two parties by admitting an equal number from each, to places and offices of trust in the administration: that he should make peace as soon as possible, even in despite of the public, which seemed insensible of the burthen it sustained, and was indeed growing delirious by the illusions of Taycho, and the cruel evacuations he had prescribed: that he should retrench all superfluous expence in his houshold and government, and detach himself intirely from the accursed farm of Yesso, which some evil genius had fixed upon the breech of Japan, as a cancerous ulcer thro' which all her blood and substance would be discharged. These maxims were generally just enough in speculation, but some of them were altogether impracticable;—for example, that of forming an administration equally composed of the two factions, was as absurd as it would be to yoke two stone-horses and two jack-asses in the same carriage, which, instead of drawing one way, would do nothing but bite and kick one another, while the machine of government would stand stock-still, or perhaps be torn in pieces by their dragging in opposite directions. — The people of Japan had been long divided between two inveterate parties known by the names of Shit-tilk-ums-heit, and She-it-kums-hi-til, the first signifying more fool than knave; and the other, more knave than fool. Each had predominated in its turn, by securing a majority in the assemblies of the people; for the majority had always interest to force themselves into the administration; because the constitution being partly democratic, the Dairo was still obliged to truckle to the prevailing faction. —To obtain this majority, each side had employed every art of corruption, calumny, insinuation, and priest-craft; for nothing is such an effectual ferment in all popular commotions as religious fanaticism. —No sooner one party accomplished its aim than it reprobated the other, branding it with the epithets of traitors to their country, or traitors to their prince; while the minority retorted upon them the charge of corruption, rapaciousness, and abject servility. In short, both parties were equally abusive, rancorous, uncandid, and illiberal. Taycho had been of both factions more than once. —He made his first appearance as a Shi-tilk-ums-heit in the minority, and displayed his talent for scurrility against the Dairo to such advantage, that an old rich hag, who loved nothing so well as money, except the gratification of her revenge, made him a present of five thousand obans, on condition he should continue to revile the Dairo till his dying-day. —After her death, the ministry, intimidated by the boldness of his tropes, and the fame he began to acquire as a mal-content orator, made him such offers as he thought proper to accept; and then he turned She-it-kums-hi-til. —Being disgusted in the sequel, at his own want of importance in the council, he opened once more at the head of his old friends the Shi-tilk-ums-hitites; and once more he deserted them to rule the roast, as chief of the She-it-kums-hi-tilites, in which predicament he now stood. And, indeed, this was the most natural posture in which he could stand; for this party embraced all the scum of the people, constituting the blatant beast, which his talents were so peculiarly adapted to manage and govern. Another impracticable maxim of Yak-strot, was the abolition of corruption, the ordure of which is as necessary to anoint the wheels of government in Japan, as grease is to smear the axle-tree of a loaded wagon. His third impolitic (tho' not impracticable) maxim, was that of making peace while the populace were intoxicated with the steams of blood, and elated with the shews of triumph. Be that as it will, Giogio, attended by Yak-strot, was drawing plans of windmills, when Orator Taycho, opening the door, advanced towards him, and falling on his knees, addressed him in these words: "The empire of Japan (magnanimous prince!) resembles at this instant, a benighted traveller, who by the light of the star Hesperus continued his journey without repining, until that glorious luminary setting, left him bewildered in darkness and consternation: but scarce had he time to bewail his fate, when the more glorious sun, the ruler of a fresh day, appearing on the tops of the Eastern hills, dispelled his terrors with the shades of night, and filled his soul with transports of pleasure and delight. The illustrious Got-hama-baba, of honoured memory, is the glorious star which hath set on our hemisphere. —His soul, which took wing about two hours ago, is now happily nestled in the bosom of the blessed Bupo; and you, my prince, are the more glorious rising sun, whose genial influence will chear the empire, and gladden the hearts of your faithful Japonese. —I therefore hail your succession to the throne, and cry aloud, Long live the ever-glorious Gio-gio, emperor of the three islands of Japan." To this salutation the beast below brayed hoarse applause; and all present kissed the hand of the new emperor, who, kneeling before his venerable grandame, craved her blessing, desiring the benefit of her prayers, that God would make him a good king, and establish his throne in righteousness. Then he ascended his chariot, accompanied by the Orator and his beloved Yak-strot, and proceeding to the palace of Meaco, was proclaimed with the usual ceremonies, his relation the Fatz-man and other princes of the blood assisting on this occasion.

    The first step he took after his elevation, was to publish a decree, or rather exhortation, to honour religion and the Bonzes; and this was no impolitic expedient: for it firmly attached that numerous and powerful tribe to his interest. His next measures did not seem to be directed by the same spirit of discretion. He admitted a parcel of raw boys, and even some individuals of the faction of Shi-tilk-ums-heit into his council; and though Taycho still continued to manage the reins of administration, Yak-strot was associated with him in office, to the great scandal and dissatisfaction of the Niphonites, who hate all the Ximians with a mixture of jealousy and contempt.

    Fika-kaka was not the last who payed his respects to his new sovereign, by whom he was graciously received, altho' he did not seem quite satisfied; because when he presented himself in his usual attitude, he had not received the kick of approbation. New reigns, new customs: This Dairo never dreamed of kicking those whom he delighted to honour. —It was a secret of state which had not yet come to his knowledge; and Yak-strot had always assured him, that kicking the breech always and every-where implied disgrace, as kicking the parts before, betokens ungovernable passion. Yak-strot, however, in this particular, seems to have been too confined in his notions of the etiquette: for it had been the custom time immemorial for the Dairos of Japan to kick their favourites and prime ministers. Besides, there are at this day different sorts of kicks used even in England, without occasioning any dishonour to the Kickee. —It is sometimes a misfortune to be kicked out of place, but no dishonour. A man is often kicked up in the way of preferment, in order that his place may be given to a person of more interest. Then there is the amorous kick, called Kick 'um, Jenny, which every gallant undergoes with pleasure: hence the old English appellation of Kicksy-wicksy, bestowed on a wanton leman who knew all her paces. As for the familiar kick, it is no other than a mark of friendship: nor is it more dishonourable to be cuffed and cudgelled. Every body knows that the alapa or box o' the ear, among the Romans, was a particular mark of favour by which their slaves were made free; and the favourite gladiator, when he obtained his dismission from the service, was honoured with a found cudgelling; this being the true meaning of the phrase rude donatus. In the times of chivalry, the knight when dubbed, was well thwacked across the shoulders by his god-father in arms. —Indeed, dubbing is no other than a corruption of drubbing . It was the custom formerly here and elsewhere, for a man to drub his son or apprentice as a mark of his freedom, and of his being admitted to the exercise of arms. The Paraschistes, who practised embalming in Ægypt, which was counted a very honourable profession, was always severely drubbed after the operation, by the friends and relations of the defunct; and to this day, the patriarch of the Greeks once a year, on Easter-eve, when he carries out the sacred fire from the holy sepulchre of Jerusalem, is heartily cudgelled by the infidels, a certain number of whom he hires for that purpose; and he thinks himself very unhappy and much disgraced, if he is not beaten into all the colours of the rain-bow. You know the Quakers of this country think it no dishonour to receive a slap o' the face; but when you smite them on one cheek, they present the other, that it may have the same salutation. The venerable father Lactantius falls out with Cicero for saying, "A good man hurts no-body, unless he is justly provoked;" nisi lacessitur injuria . O, (cries the good father) quam simplicem veramque sententiam duorum verborum adjectione corrupit!—non minus enim mali est, referre injuriam, quam inferre. The great philosopher Socrates thought it no disgrace to be kicked by his wife Xantippe; nay, he is said to have undergone the same discipline from other people, without making the least resistance, it being his opinion that it was more courageous, consequently more honourable, to bear a drubbing patiently, than to attempt any thing either in the way of self-defence or retaliation. —The judicious and learned Puffendorf, in his book De Jure Gentium & Naturali, declares, that a man's honour is not so fragile as to be hurt either by a box on the ear, or a kick on the breech, otherwise it would be in the power of every saucy fellow to diminish or infringe it. —It must be owned, indeed, Grotius De Jure Belli & Pacis, says, that charity does not of itself require our patiently suffering such an affront. The English have with a most servile imitation, borrowed their punto, as well as other modes, from the French nation. Now kicking and cuffing were counted infamous among those people for these reasons. A box on the ear destroys the whole oeconomy of their frisure, upon which they bestow the greatest part of their time and attention; and a kick on the breech is attended with great pain and danger, as they are generally subject to the piles. This is so truly the case, that they have no less than two saints to patronize and protect the individuals afflicted with this disease. One is St. Fiacre, who was a native of the kingdom of Ireland. He presides over the blind piles. The other is a female saint, Hæmorrhoissa, and she comforts those who are distressed with the bleeding piles. No wonder, therefore, that a Frenchman put to the torture by a kick on those tender parts, should be provoked to vengeance; and that this vengeance should gradually become an article in their system of punctilio.

    But, to return to the thread of my narration. —Whatever inclination the Dairo and Yak-strot had to restore the blessings of peace, they did not think proper as yet to combat the disposition and schemes of Orator Taycho; in consequence of whose remonstrances, the tributary treaty was immediately renewed with Brut-an-tiffi, and Gio-gio declared in the assembly of the people, that he was determined to support that illustrious ally, and carry on the war with vigour. —By this time the Chinese were in a manner expelled from their chief settlements in Fatsisio, where they now retained nothing but an inconsiderable colony, which would have submitted on the first summons: but this Taycho left as a nest-egg to produce a new brood of disturbance to the Japonese settlements, that they might not rust with too much peace and security. To be plain with you, Peacock, his thoughts were entirely alienated from this Fatsisian war, in which the interest of his country was chiefly concerned, and converted wholly to the continent of Tartary, where all his cares centered in schemes for the success of his friend Brut-an-tiffi. This free-booter had lately undergone strange vicissitudes of fortune. He had seen his chief village possessed and plundered by the enemy; but he found means, by surprize, to beat up their quarters in the beginning of winter, which always proved his best ally, because then the Mantchoux Tartars were obliged to retire to their own country, at a vast distance from the seat of the war. —As for Bron-xi-tic, who commanded the Japonese army on that continent, he continued to play booty with the Chinese general, over whom he was allowed to obtain some petty advantages, which, with the trophies won by Brut-an-tiffi, were swelled up into mighty victories, to increase the infatuation of the blatant beast. —On the other hand, Bron-xi-tic obliged the generals of China with the like indulgences, by now and then sacrificing a detachment of his Japonese troops, to keep up the spirits of that nation.

    Taycho had levied upon the people of Japan an immense sum of money for the equipment of a naval armament, the destination of which was kept a profound secret. Some politicians imagined it was designed for the conquest of Thin-quo, and all the other settlements which the Chinese possessed in the Indian ocean: others conjectured the intention was to attack the king of Corea, who had, since the beginning of this war, acted with a shameful partiality in favour of the emperor of China, his kinsman and ally. But the truth of the matter was this: Taycho kept the armament in the harbours of Japan ready for a descent upon the coast of China, in order to make a diversion in favour of his friend Brut-an-tiffi, in case he had run any risque of being oppressed by his enemies. However, the beast of many heads having growled and grumbled during the best part of the summer, at the inactivity of this expensive armament, it was now thought proper to send it to sea in the beginning of winter: but it was soon driven back in great distress, by contrary winds and storms;—and this was all the monster had for its ten millions of Obans.

    While Taycho amused the Mobile with this winter expedition, Yak-strot resolved to plan the scheme of oeconomy which he had projected. He dismissed from the Dairo's service about a dozen of cooks and scullions; shut up one of the kitchens, after having sold the grates, hand-irons, spits and sauce-pans; deprived the servants and officers of the houshold of their breakfast; took away their usual allowance of oil and candles; retrenched their tables; reduced their proportion of drink; and persuaded his pupil the Dairo to put himself upon a diet of soup-meagre thickened with oat-meal. In a few days there was no smoke seen to ascend from the kitchens of the palace; nor did any fuel, torch, or taper blaze in the chimnies, courts, and apartments thereof, which now became the habitation of cold, darkness, and hunger. Gio-gio himself, who turned peripatetic philosopher merely to keep himself in heat, fell into a wash-tub as he groped his way in the dark through one of the lower galleries. Two of his body-guard had their whiskers gnawed off by the rats, as they slept in his anti-chamber; and their captain presented a petition declaring, that neither he nor his men could undertake the defence of his imperial majesty's person, unless their former allowance of provision should be restored. They and all the individuals of the household were not only punished in their bellies, but likewise curtailed in their clothing, and abridged in their stipends. The palace of Meaco, which used to be the temple of mirth, jollity, and good cheer, was now so dreary and deserted, that a certain wag fixed up a ticket on the outward gate with this inscription: "This tenement to be lett, the proprietor having left off house-keeping."

    Yak-strot, however, was resolved to shew, that if the new Dairo retrenched the superfluities of his domestic expence, he did not act from avarice or poorness of spirit, inasmuch as he should now display his liberality in patronizing genius and the arts. A general jubilee was now promised to all those who had distinguished themselves by their talents or erudition. The emissaries of Yak-strot declared that Mæcenas was but a type of this Ximian mountaineer; and that he was determined to search for merit, even in the thickest shades of obscurity. All these researches, however, proved so unsuccessful, that not above four or five men of genius could be found in the whole empire of Japan, and these were gratified with pensions of about one hundred Obans each. One was a secularized Bonza from Ximo; another a malcontent poet of Niphon; a third, a reformed comedian of Xicoco; a fourth, an empiric, who had outlived his practice; and a fifth, a decayed apothecary, who was bard, quack, author, chymist, philosopher, and simpler by profession. The whole of the expence arising from the favour and protection granted by the Dairo to these men of genius, did not exceed seven or eight hundred Obans per annum, amounting to about fifteen hundred pounds sterling; whereas many a private Quo in Japan expended more money on a kennel of hounds. I do not mention those men of singular merit, whom Yak-strot fixed in established places under the government; such as architects, astronomers, painters, physicians, barbers, &c. because their salaries were included in the ordinary expence of the crown: I shall only observe, that a certain person who could not read, was appointed librarian to his imperial majesty.

    These were all the men of superlative genius, that Yak-strot could find at this period in the empire of Japan.

    Whilst this great patriot was thus employed in executing his schemes of oeconomy with more zeal than discretion, and in providing his poor relations with lucrative offices under the government, a negociation for peace was brought upon the carpet by the mediation of certain neutral powers; and Orator Taycho arrogated to himself the province of discussing the several articles of the treaty. —Upon this occasion he shewed himself surprizingly remiss and indifferent in whatever related to the interest of Japan, particularly in regulating and fixing the boundaries of the Chinese and Japonese settlements in Fatsisio, the uncertainty of which had given rise to the war: but when the business was to determine the claims and pretensions of his ally Brut-an-tiffi, on the continent of Tartary, he appeared stiff and immoveable as mount Athos. He actually broke off the negotiation, because the emperor of China would not engage to drive by force of arms the troops of his ally the princess of Ostrog, from a village or two belonging to the Tartarian free-booter, who, by the bye, had left them defenceless at the beginning of the war, on purpose that his enemies might, by taking possession of them, quicken the resolutions of the Dairo to send over an army for the protection of Yesso.

    The court of Pekin perceiving that the Japonese were rendered intolerably insolent and overbearing by success, and that an equitable peace could not be obtained while Orator Taycho managed the reins of government at Meaco, and his friend Brut-an-tiffi found any thing to plunder in Tartary; resolved to fortify themselves with a new alliance. They actually entered into closer connections with the king of Corea, who was nearly related to the Chinese emperor, had some old scores to settle with Japan, and because he desired those disputes might be amicably compromised in the general pacification, had been grossly insulted by Taycho, in the person of his ambassador. He had for some time dreaded the ambition of the Japonese ministry, which seemed to aim at universal empire; and he was, moreover, stimulated by this outrage to conclude a defensive alliance with the emperor of China; a measure which all the caution of the two courts could not wholly conceal from the knowledge of the Japonese politicians.

    Mean while a dreadful cloud big with ruin and disgrace seemed to gather round the head of Brut-an-tiffi. The Mantchoux Tartars, sensible of the inconvenience of their distant situation from the scene of action, which rendered it impossible for them to carry on their operations vigorously in conjunction with the Ostrog, resolved to secure winter-quarters in some part of the enemy's territories, from whence they should be able to take the field, and act against him early in the spring. With this view they besieged and took a frontier fortress belonging to Brut-an-tiffi, situated upon a great inland lake which extended as far as the capital of the Mantchoux, who were thus enabled to send thither by water-carriage all sorts of provisions and military stores for the use of their army, which took up their winter-quarters accordingly in and about this new acquisition. It was now that the ruin of Brut-an-tiffi seemed inevitable. Orator Taycho saw with horror the precipice to the brink of which his dear ally was driven. Not that his fears were actuated by sympathy or friendship. Such emotions had never possessed the heart of Taycho. No; he trembled because he saw his own popularity connected with the fate of the Tartar. It was the success and petty triumphs of this adventurer which had dazzled the eyes of the blatant beast, so as to disorder its judgment, and prepare it for the illusions of the Orator: but, now that Fortune seemed ready to turn tail to Brut-an-tiffi, and leave him a prey to his adversaries, Taycho knew the dispositions of the monster so well as to prognosticate that its applause and affection would be immediately turned into grumbling and disgust; and that he himself, who had led it blindfold into this unfortunate connexion, might possibly fall a sacrifice to its resentment, provided he could not immediately project some scheme to divert its attention, and transfer the blame from his own shoulders.

    For this purpose he employed his invention, and succeeded to his wish. Having called a council of the Twenty-eight, at which the Dairo assisted in person, he proposed, and insisted upon it, that a strong squadron of Fune should be immediately ordered to scour the seas, and kidnap all the vessels and ships belonging to the king of Corea, who had acted during the whole war with the most scandalous partiality in favour of the Chinese emperor, and was now so intimately connected with that potentate, by means of a secret alliance, that he ought to be prosecuted with the same hostilities which the other had severely felt. The whole council were confounded at this proposal: the Dairo stood aghast: the Cuboy trembled: Yak-strot stared like a skewered pig. After some pause, the president Soo-san-sin-o ventured to observe, that the measure seemed to be a little abrupt and premature: that the nation was already engaged in a very expensive war, which had absolutely drained it of its wealth, and even loaded it with enormous debts; therefore little able to sustain such additional burthens as would, in all probability, be occasioned by a rupture with a prince so rich and powerful. Gotto-mio swore the land holders were already so impoverished by the exactions of Taycho, that he himself, ere long, should be obliged to upon the parish. Fika-kaka got up to speak; but could only cackle. Sti-phi-rum-poo was for proceeding in form by citation. Nin-kom-poo-po declared he had good intelligence of a fleet of merchant-ships belonging to Corea, laden with treasure, who were then on their return from the Indian isles; and he gave it as his opinion, that they should be way-laid and brought into the harbours of Japan; not by way of declaring war, but only with a view to prevent the money's going into the coffers of the Chinese emperor. Fokhsi-rokhu started two objections to this expedient: first, the uncertainty of falling in with the Corean fleet at sea, alledging as an instance the disappointment and miscarriage of the squadron which the Sey-seo-gun had sent some years ago to intercept the Chinese Fune on the coast of Fatsisio: secondly, the loss and hardship it would be to many subjects of Japan who dealt in commerce, and had great sums embarked in those very Corean bottoms. Indeed Fokh-si-rokhu himself was interested in this very commerce. The Fatz-man sat silent. Yak-strot, who had some romantic notions of honour and honesty, represented that the nation had already incurred the censure of all its neighbours, by seizing the merchant-ships of China, without any previous declaration of war: that the law of nature and nations, confirmed by repeated treaties, prescribed a more honourable method of proceeding, than that of plundering like robbers, the ships of pacific merchants, who trade on the faith of such laws and such treaties: he was, therefore, of opinion, that if the king of Corea had in any shape deviated from the neutrality which he professed, satisfaction should be demanded in the usual form; and when that should be refused, it might be sound necessary to proceed to compulsive measures. The Dairo acquiesced in this advice, and assured Taycho that an ambassador should be forthwith dispatched to Corea, with instructions to demand an immediate and satisfactory explanation of that prince's conduct and designs with regard to the empire of Japan.

    This regular method of practice would by no means suit the purposes of Taycho, who rejected it with great insolence and disdain. He bit his thumb at the president; forked out his fingers on his forehead at Gotto-mio; wagged his under-jaw at the Cuboy; snapt his fingers at Sti-phi-rum-poo; grinned at the Sey-seo-gun; made the sign of the cross or gallows to Fokh-si-rokhu; then turning to Yak-strot, he clapped his thumbs in his ears, and began to bray like an ass: finally, pulling out the badge of his office, he threw it at the Dairo, who in vain intreated him to be pacified; and wheeling to the right-about, stalked away, slapping the flat of his hand upon a certain part that shall be nameless. He was followed by his kinsman the Quo Lob-kob, who worshipped him with the most humble adoration. He now imitated this great original in the signal from behind at parting, and in him it was attended by a rumbling sound; but whether this was the effect of contempt or compunction, I could never learn.

    Taycho having thus carried his point, which was to have a pretence for quitting the reins of government, made his next appeal to the blatant beast. He reminded the many-headed monster of the uninterrupted success which had attended his administration; of his having supported the glorious Brut-an-tiffi, the great bulwark of the religion of Bupo, who had kept the common enemy at bay, and filled all Asia with the fame of his victories. He told them, that for his own part, he pretended to have subdued Fatsisio in the heart of Tartary: that he despised honours, and had still a greater contempt for riches; and that all his endeavours had been solely exerted for the good of his country, which was now brought to the very verge of destruction. He then gave the beast to understand that he had formed a scheme against the king of Corea, which would not only have disabled that monarch from executing his hostile intentions with respect to Japan, but also have indemnified this nation for the whole expence of the war; but that his proposal having been rejected by the council of Twenty-eight, who were influencd by Yak-strot, a Ximian mountaineer without spirit or understanding, he had resigned his office with intention to retire to some solitude, where he should in silence deplore the misfortunes of his country, and the ruin of the Buponian religion, which must fall of course with its great protector Brutan-tiffi, whom he foresaw the new ministry would immediately abandon.

    This address threw Legion into such a quandary, that it rolled itself in the dirt, and yelled hideously. Mean while the Orator retreating to a cell in the neighbourhood of Meaco, hired the common crier to go round the streets and proclaim that Taycho, being no longer in a condition to afford any thing but the bare necessaries of life, would by public sale dispose of his ambling mule and furniture, together with an ermined robe of his wife, and the greater part of his kitchen utensils. At this time he was well known to be worth upwards of twenty thousand gold Obans; nevertheless, the Mobile discharging this circumstance entirely from their reflection, attended to nothing but the object which the Orator was pleased to present. They thought it was a piteous case, and a great scandal upon the government, that such a patriot, who had saved the nation from ruin and disgrace, should be reduced to the cruel necessity of selling his mule and his houshold furniture. Accordingly they raised a clamour that soon rung in the ears of Gio-gio and his favourite.

    It was supposed that Mura-clami suggested on this occasion to his countryman Yak-strot, the hint of offering a pension to Taycho, by way of remuneration for his past services. "If he refuses it, (said he) the offer will at least reflect some credit upon the Dairo and the administration; but, should he accept of it, (which is much more likely) it will either stop his mouth entirely, or expose him to the censure of the people, who now adore him as a mirrour of disinterested integrity." The advice was instantly complied with: the Dairo signed a patent for a very ample pension to Taycho and his heirs; which patent Yak-strot delivered to him next day at his cell in the country. This miracle of patriotism received the bounty as a turnpike-man receives the toll, and then slapped his door full in the face of the favourite: yet, nothing of what Mura-clami had prognosticated, came to pass. The many-tailed monster, far from calling in question the Orator's disinterestedness, considered his acceptance of the pension as a proof of his moderation, in receiving such a trifling reward for the great services he had done his country; and the generosity of the Dairo, instead of exciting the least emotion of gratitude in Taycho's own breast, acted only as a golden key to unlock all the sluices of his virulence and abuse.

    These, however, he kept within bounds until he should see what would be the fate of Brut-an-tiffi, who now seemed to be in the condition of a criminal at the foot of the ladder. In this dilemma, he obtained a very unexpected reprieve. Before the army of the Mantchoux could take the least advantage of the settlement they had made on his frontiers, their empress died, and was succeeded by a weak prince, who no sooner ascended the throne than he struck up a peace with the Tartar freebooter, and even ordered his troops to join him against the Ostrog, to whom they had hitherto-acted as auxiliaries. Such an accession of strength would have cast the balance greatly in his favour, had not Providence once more interposed, and brought matters again to an equilibrium.

    Taycho no sooner perceived his ally thus unexpectedly delivered from the dangers that surrounded him, than he began to repent of his own resignation; and resolved once more, to force his way to the helm, by the same means he had so successfully used before. He was, indeed, of such a turbulent disposition as could not relish the repose of private life, and his spirit so corrosive, that it would have preyed upon himself, if he could not have found external food for it to devour. He therefore began to prepare his engines, and provide proper emissaries to bespatter, and raise a hue-and-cry against Yak-strot at a convenient season; not doubting but an occasion would soon present itself, considering the temper, inexperience, and prejudices of this Ximian politician, together with the pacific system he had adopted, so contrary to the present spirit of the blatant beast.

    In these preparations he was much comforted and assisted by his kinsman and pupil Lob-kob, who entered into his measures with surprizing zeal; and had the good luck to light on such instruments as were admirably suited to the work in hand. Yak-strot was extremely pleased at the secession of Taycho, who had been a very troublesome collegue to him in the administration, and run counter to all the schemes he had projected for the good of the empire. He now found himself at liberty to follow his own inventions, and being naturally an enthusiast, believed himself born to be the saviour of Japan. Some efforts, however, he made to acquire popularity, proved fruitless. Perceiving the people were, by the Orator's instigations, exasperated against the king of Corea, he sent a peremptory message to that prince demanding a categorical answer; and this being denied, declared war against him, according to the practice of all civilized nations: but even this measure failed of obtaining that approbation for which it was taken. The monster, tutored by Taycho and his ministers, exclaimed, that the golden opportunity was lost, inasmuch as, during the observance of those useless forms, the treasures of Corea were safely brought home to that kingdom; treasures which, had they been interrupted by the Fune of Japan, would have payed off the debts of the nation, and enabled the inhabitants of Meaco to pave their streets with silver. By the bye, this treasure existed no where but in the fiction of Taycho and the imagination of the blatant beast, which never attempted to use the evidence of sense or reason to examine any assertion, how absurd and improbable soever it might be, which proceeded from the mouth of the Orator.

    Yak-strot, having now taken upon himself the task of steering the political bark, resolved to shew the Japonese, that altho' he recommended peace, he was as well qualified as his predecessor for conducting the war. He therefore, with the assistance of the Fatzman, projected three naval enterprizes; the first against Thin-quo, the conquest of which had been unsuccessfully attempted by Taycho; the second was destined for the reduction of Fan-yah, one of the most considerable settlements belonging to the king of Corea, in the Indian ocean; and the third armament was sent to plunder and destroy a flourishing colony called Lli-nam, which the same prince had established almost as far to the southward as the Terra Australis Incognita. Now the only merit which either Yak-strot, or any other minister could justly claim from the success of such expeditions, is that of adopting the most feasible of those schemes which are presented by different projectors, and of appointing such commanders as are capable of conducting them with vigour and sagacity.

    The next step which the favourite took was to provide a help-mate for the young Dairo; and a certain Tartar princess of the religion of Bupo, being pitched upon for this purpose, was formally demanded, brought over to Niphon, espoused by Gio-gio, and installed empress with the usual solemnities. But, lest the choice of a Tartarian princess should subject the Dairo to the imputation of inheriting his predecessor's predilection for the land of Yesso, which had given such sensible umbrage to all the sensible Japonese who made use of their own reason; he determined to detach his master gradually from those continental connexions, which had been the source of such enormous expence, and such continual vexation to the empire of Japan. In these sentiments, he with-held the annual tribute which had been lately payed to Brut-an-tiffi; by which means he saved a very considerable sum to the nation, and, at the same time, rescued it from the infamy of such a disgraceful imposition. —He expected the thanks of the public for this exertion of his influence in favour of his country; but he reckoned without his host. What he flattered himself would yield him an abundant harvest of honour and applause, produced nothing but odium and reproach, as we shall see in the sequel.

    These measures, pursued with an eye to the advantage of the public, which seemed to argue a considerable share of spirit and capacity, were strangely chequered with others of a more domestic nature, which savoured strongly of childish vanity, rash ambition, littleness of mind, and lack of understanding. He purchased a vast ward-robe of tawdry cloaths, and fluttered in all the finery of Japan: he prevailed upon his master to vest him with the badges and trappings of all the honorary institutions of the empire, altho' this multiplication of orders in the person of one man, was altogether without precedent or prescription. This was only setting himself up as the more conspicuous mark for envy and detraction.

    Not contented with engrossing the personal favour and confidence of his sovereign, and, in effect, directing the whole machine of government, he thought his fortune still imperfect, while the treasure of the empire passed through the hands of the Cuboy, enabling that minister to maintain a very extensive influence, which might one day interfere with his own. He therefore employed all his invention, together with that of his friends, to find out some specious pretext for removing the old Cuboy from his office; and in a little time accident afforded what all their intrigues had not been able to procure.

    Ever since the demise of Got-hama-baba, poor Fika-kaka had been subject to a new set of vagaries. The death of his old master gave him a rude shock: then the new Dairo encroached upon his province, by preferring a Bonze without his consent or knowledge: finally, he was prevented by the express order of Gio-gio from touching a certain sum out of the treasury, which he had been accustomed to throw out of his windows at stated periods, in order to keep up an interest among the dregs of the people. All these mortifications had an effect upon the weak brain of the Cuboy. He began to loath his usual food, and sometimes even declined shewing himself to the Bonzes at his levee; symptoms that alarmed all his friends and dependants. Instead of frequenting the assemblies of the great, he now attended assiduously at all groanings and christenings, grew extremely fond of caudle, and held conferences with practitioners, both male and female, in the art of midwifry. When business or ceremony obliged him to visit any of the Quos or Quanbukus of Meaco; he, by a surprising instinct, ran directly to the nursery, where, if there happened to be a child in the cradle, he took it up, and if it was foul, wiped it with great care and seeming satisfaction. He, moreover, learned of the good women to sing lullabies, and practised them with uncommon success: but the most extravagant of all his whims, was what he exhibited one day in his own court-yard. Observing a nest with some eggs, which the goose had quitted, he forthwith dropped his trowsers, and squatting down in the attitude of incubation, began to stretch out his neck, to hiss and to cackle, as if he had been really metamorphosed into the animal whose place he now supplied.

    It was on the back of this adventure that one of the Bonzes, as prying, and as great a gossip as the barber of Midas, in paying his morning worship to the Cuboy's posteriors, spied something, or rather nothing, and was exceedingly affrighted. He communicated his discovery and apprehension to divers others of the cloth; and they were all of opinion that some effectual inquisition should be held on this phænomenon, lest the clergy of Japan should hereafter be scandalized, as having knowingly kissed the breech of an old woman, perhaps a monster or magician. Information was accordingly made to the Dairo, who gave orders for immediate inspection; and Fika-kaka was formally examined by a jury of matrons. Whether these were actuated by undue influence, I shall not at present explain; certain it is, they found their verdict, The Cuboy non mas; and among other evidences produced to attest his metamorphosis, a certain Ximian, who pretended to have the second sight, made oath that he had one evening seen the said Fika-kaka in a female dress, riding through the air on a broom-stick. The unhappy Cuboy being thus convicted, was divested of his office, and confined to his palace in the country; while Gio-gio, by the advice of his favourite, published a proclamation, declaring it was not for the honour of Japan that her treasury should be managed either by a witch or an old woman.

    Fika-kaka being thus removed, Yak-strot was appointed treasurer and Cuboy in his place, and now ruled the roast with uncontrouled authority. On the very threshold of his greatness, however, he made a false step, which was one cause of his tottering, during the whole sequel of his administration. In order to refute the calumnies and defeat the intrigues of Taycho in the assemblies of the people, he chose as an associate in the ministry Fokh-si-rokhu, who was at that instant the most unpopular man in the whole empire of Japan; and at the instigation of this collegue, deprived of bread a great number of poor families, who subsisted on petty places which had been bestowed upon them by the former Cuboy. Those were so many mouths opened to augment the clamour against his own person and administration.

    It might be imagined, that while he thus set one part of the nation at defiance, he would endeavour to cultivate the other; and, in particular, strive to conciliate the good-will of the nobility, who did not see his exaltation without umbrage. But, instead of ingratiating himself with them by a liberal turn of demeanour; by treating them with frankness and affability; granting them favours with a good grace; making entertainments for them at his palace; and mixing in their social parties of pleasure; Yak-strot always appeared on the reserve, and under all his finery, continually wore a doublet of buckram, which gave an air of stiffness and constraint to his whole behaviour. He studied postures, and, in giving audience, generally stood in the attitude of the idol Fo; so that he sometimes was mistaken for an image of stone. He formed a scale of gesticulation in a great variety of divisions, comprehending the slightest inclination of the head, the front-nod, the side-nod, the bow, the half, the semi-demi-bow, with the shuffle, the slide, the circular, semi-circular, and quadrant sweep of the right foot. With equal care and precision did he model the oeconomy of his looks into the divisions and sub-divisions of the full-stare, the side-glance, the pensive look, the pouting look, the gay look, the vacant look, and the stolid look. To these different expressions of the eye he suited the corresponding features of the nose and mouth; such as the wrinkled nose, the retorted nose, the sneer, the grin, the simper, and the smile. All these postures and gesticulations he practised, and distributed occasionally, according to the difference of rank and importance of the various individuals with whom he had communication.

    But these affected airs being assumed in despite of nature, he appeared as aukward as a native of Angola, when he is first hampered with cloaths; or a Highlander, obliged by act of parliament to wear breeches. —Indeed, the distance observed by Yak-strot in his behaviour to the nobles of Niphon, was imputed to his being conscious of a sulphureous smell which came from his own body; so that greater familiarity on his side might have bred contempt. He took delight in no other conversation but that of two or three obscure Ximians, his companions and counsellors, with whom he spent all his leisure time, in conferences upon politics, patriotism, philosophy, and the Belles Lettres. Those were the oracles he consulted in all the emergencies of state; and with these he spent many an Attic evening.

    The gods, not yet tired of sporting with the farce of human government, were still resolved to shew by what inconsiderable springs a mighty empire may be moved. The new Cuboy was vastly well disposed to make his Ximian favourites great men. It was in his power to bestow places and pensions upon them; but it was not in his power to give them consequence in the eyes of the public. The administration of Yak-strot could not fail of being propitious to his own family, and poor relations, who were very numerous. Their naked backs and hungry bellies were now clothed with the richest stuffs, and fed with the fat things of Japan. Every department civil and military was filled with Ximians. Those islanders came over in shoals to Niphon, and swarmed in the streets of Meaco, where they were easily distinguished by their lank sides, gaunt looks, lanthorn-jaws, and long sharp teeth. —There was a fatality that attended the whole conduct of this unfortunate Cuboy. His very partiality to his own countrymen, brought upon him at last the curses of the whole clan.

    Mr. Orator Taycho and his kinsman Lob-kob were not idle in the mean time. They provided their emissaries, and primed all their engines. Their understrappers filled every corner of Meaco with rumours, jealousies, and suspicions. Yak-strot was represented as a statesman without discernment, a minister without knowledge, and a man without humanity. He was taxed with insupportable pride, indiscretion, pusillanimity, rapacity, partiality, and breach of faith. It was affirmed that he had dishonoured the nation, and endangered the very existence of the Buponian religion, in withdrawing the annual subsidy from the great Brut-an-tiffi: that he wanted to starve the war, and betray the glory and advantage of the empire by a shameful peace: that he had avowedly shared his administration with the greatest knave in Japan: that he treated the nobles of Niphon with insolence and contempt: that he had suborned evidence against the antient Cuboy Fika-kaka, who had spent a long life and an immense fortune in supporting the temple of Fak-ku-basi: that he had cruelly turned adrift a great number of helpless families, in order to gratify his own worthless dependants with their spoils: that he had enriched his relations and countrymen with the plunder of Niphon: that his intention was to bring over the whole nation of Ximians, a savage race, who had been ever perfidious, greedy, and hostile towards the natives of the other Japonese islands. Nay, they were described as monsters in nature, with cloven feet, long tails, saucer eyes, iron fangs and claws, who would first devour the substance of the Niphonites, and then feed upon their blood.

    Taycho had Legion's understanding so much in his power, that he actually made it believe Yak-strot had formed a treasonable scheme in favour of a foreign adventurer who pretended to the throne of Japan, and that the reigning Dairo was an accomplice in this project for his own deposition. Indeed, they did not scruple to say that Gio-gio was no more than a puppet moved by his own grandmother and this vile Ximian, between whom they hinted there was a secret correspondence which reflected very little honour on the family of the Dairo.

    Mr. Orator Taycho and his associate Lob-kob left no stone unturned to disgrace the favourite, and drive him from the helm. They struck up an alliance with the old Cuboy Fika-kaka, and fetching him from his retirement, produced him to the beast as a martyr to loyalty and virtue. They had often before this period, exposed him to the derision of the populace; but now they set him up as the object of veneration and esteem; and every thing succeeded to their wish. Legion hoisted Fika-kaka on his back, and paraded through the streets of Meaco, braying hoarse encomiums on the great talents and great virtues of the antient Cuboy. His cause was now espoused by his old friends Sti-phi-rum-poo and Nin-kom-poo-poo, who had been turned adrift along with him, and by several other Quos who had nestled themselves in warm places under the shadow of his protection: but it was remarkable, that not one of all the Bonzes who owed their preferment to his favour, had gratitude enough to follow his fortune, or pay the least respect to him in the day of his disgrace. —Advantage was also taken of the disgust occasioned by Yak-strot's reserve among the nobles of Japan. Even the Fatz-man was estranged from the councils of his kinsman Gio-gio, and lent his name and countenance to the malcontents, who now formed themselves into a very formidable cabal, comprehending a great number of the first Quos in the empire.

    In order to counterballance this confederacy, which was a strange coalition of jarring interests, the new Cuboy endeavoured to strengthen his administration, by admitting into a share of it Gotto-mio, who dreaded nothing so much as the continuation of the war, and divers other noblemen, whose alliance contributed very little to his interest or advantage. Gotto-mio was universally envied for his wealth, and detested for his avarice: the rest were either of the She-it-kum-sheit-el faction, which had been long in disgrace with the Mobile; or men of desperate fortunes and loose morals, who attached themselves to the Ximian favourite solely on account of the posts and pensions he had to bestow.

    During these domestic commotions, the arms of Japan continued to prosper in the Indian ocean. Thin-quo was reduced almost without opposition; and news arrived that the conquest of Fan-yah was already more than half atchieved. At the same time, some considerable advantages were gained over the enemy on the continent of Tartary, by the Japonese forces under the command of Bron-xi-tic. It might be naturally supposed that these events would have, in some measure, reconciled the Niphonites to the new ministry: but they produced rather a contrary effect. The blatant beast was resolved to rejoice at no victories but those that were obtained under the auspices of its beloved Taycho; and now took it highly amiss that Yak-strot should presume to take any step which might redound to the glory of the empire. Nothing could have pleased the monster at this juncture so much as the miscarriage of both expeditions, and a certain information that all the troops and ships employed in them had miserably perished. The king of Corea, however, was so alarmed at the progress of the Japonese before Fan-yah, that he began to tremble for all his distant colonies, and earnestly craved the advice of the cabinet of Pekin touching some scheme to make a diversion in their favour.

    The councils of Pekin have been ever fruitful of intrigues to embroil the rest of Asia. They suggested a plan to the king of Corea, which he forthwith put in execution. The land of Fumma, which borders on the Corean territories, was governed by a prince nearly allied to the king of Corea, although his subjects had very intimate connexions in the way of commerce with the empire of Japan, which, indeed, had entered into an offensive and defensive alliance with this country. The emperor of China and the king of Corea having sounded the sovereign of Fumma, and found him well disposed to enter into their measures, communicated their scheme, in which he immediately concurred. They called upon him in public, as their friend and ally, to join them against the Japonese, as the inveterate enemy of the religion of Fo, and as an insolent people, who affected a despotism at sea, to the detriment and destruction of all their neighbours; plainly declaring that he must either immediately break with the Dairo, or expect an invasion on the side of Corea. The prince of Fumma affected to complain loudly of this iniquitous proposal; he made a merit of rejecting the alternative; and immediately demanded of the court of Meaco, the succours stipulated in the treaty of alliance, in order to defend his dominions. In all appearance, indeed, there was no time to be lost; for the monarchs of China and Corea declared war against him without further hesitation; and uniting their forces on that side, ordered them to enter the land of Fumma, after having given satisfactory assurances in private, that the prince had nothing to fear from their hostilities.

    Yak-strot was not much embarrassed on this occasion. Without suspecting the least collusion among the parties, he resolved to take the prince of Fumma under his protection, thereunto moved by divers considerations. First and foremost, he piqued himself upon his good faith: secondly, he knew that the trade with Fumma was of great consequence to Japan; and therefore concluded that his supporting the sovereign of it would be a popular measure: thirdly, he hoped that the multiplication of expence incurred by this new war, would make the blatant beast wince under its burden, and of consequence reconcile it to the thoughts of a general pacification, which he had very much at heart. Mean while he hastened the necessary succours to the land of Fumma, and sent thither an old general called Le-yaw-ter, in order to concert with the prince and his ministers the operations of the campaign.

    This officer was counted one of the shrewdest politicians in Japan, and having resided many years as ambassador in Fumma, was well acquainted with the genius of that people. He immediately discovered the scene which had been acted behind the curtain. He found that the prince of Fumma, far from having made any preparations for his own defence, had actually withdrawn his garrisons from the frontier places, which were by this time peaceably occupied by the invading army of Chinese and Coreans: that the few troops he had, were without cloaths, arms, and discipline; and that he had amused the court of Meaco with false musters, and a specious account of levies and preparations which had been made. In a word, though he could not learn the particulars, he comprehended the whole mystery of the secret negotiations. He upbraided the minister of Fumma with perfidy, refused to assume the command of the Japonese auxiliaries when they arrived, and returning to Meaco, communicated his discoveries and suspicions to the new Cuboy. But he did not meet with that reception which he thought he deserved for intelligence of such importance. Yak-strot affected to doubt; perhaps, he was not really convinced; or, if he was, thought proper to temporize; and he was in the right for so doing. A rupture with Fumma at this juncture, would have forced the prince to declare openly for the enemies of Japan; in which case the inhabitants of Niphon would have lost the benefit of a very advantageous trade. They had already been great sufferers in commerce by the breach with the king of Corea, whose subjects had been used to take off great quantities of the Japonese manufactures, for which they payed in gold and silver; and they could ill bear such an additional loss as an interruption of the trade with Fumma would have occasioned. The Cuboy, therefore, continued to treat the prince of that country as a staunch ally, who had sacrificed every other consideration to his good faith; and, far from restricting himself to the number of troops and Fune stipulated in the treaty, sent over a much more numerous body of forces and ships of war; declaring, at the same time, he would support the people of Fumma with the whole power of Japan.

    Such a considerable diversion of the Japonese strength could not fail to answer, in some measure, the expectation of the two sovereigns of China and Corea; but it did not prevent the success of the expeditions which were actually employed against their colonies in the Indian ocean. It was not in his power, however, to protect Fumma, had the invaders been in earnest: but the combined army of the Chinese and Coreans had orders to protract the war; and, instead of penetrating to the capital, at a time when the Fummians, tho' joined with the auxiliaries of Japan, were not numerous enough to look them in the face, they made a full-stop in the middle of their march, and quietly retired into summer quarters.

    The additional incumbrance of a new continental war, redoubled the Cuboy's desire of peace; and his inclination being known to the enemy, who were also sick of the war, they had recourse to the good offices of a certain neutral power, called Sab-oi, sovereign of the mountains of Cambodia. This prince accordingly offered his mediation at the court of Meaco, and it was immediately accepted. —The negotiation for peace, which had been broke off in the ministry of Taycho, was now resumed; an ambassador plenipotentiary arrived from Pekin; and Gotto-mio was sent thither in the same capacity, in order to adjust the articles, and sign the preliminaries of peace.

    While this new treaty was on the carpet, the armament equipped against Fan-yah under the command of the Quo Kep-marl, and the brave admiral, who had signalized himself in the sea of Kamtschatka, reduced that important place, where they became masters of a strong squadron of Fune belonging to the king of Corea, together with a very considerable treasure, sufficient to indemnify Japan for the expence of the expedition. This, though the most grievous, was not the only disaster which the war brought upon the Coreans. Their distant settlement of Lli-nam was likewise taken by general Tra-rep, and the inhabitants payed an immense sum in order to redeem their capital from plunder.

    These successes did not at all retard the conclusion of the treaty, which was indeed become equally necessary to all the parties concerned. Japan, in particular, was in danger of being ruined by her conquests. The war had destroyed so many men, that the whole empire could not afford a sufficiency of recruits for the maintenance of the land-forces. All those who had conquered Fatsisio and Fan-yah, were already destroyed by hard duty and the diseases of those unhealthy climates: above two-thirds of the Fune were rotten in the course of service; and the complements of mariners reduced to less than one half of their original numbers. Troops were actually wanting to garrison the new conquests. The finances of Japan were by this time drained to the bottom. One of her chief resources was stopped by the rupture with Corea; while her expences were considerably augmented; and her national credit was stretched even to cracking. All these considerations stimulated more and more the Dairo and his Cuboy to conclude the work of peace.

    Mean while the enemies of Yak-strot gave him no quarter nor respite. They vilified his parts, traduced his morals, endeavoured to intimidate him with threats which did not even respect the Dairo, and never failed to insult him whenever he appeared in public. It had been the custom, time immemorial, for the chief magistrate of Meaco to make an entertainment for the Dairo and his empress, immediately after their nuptials, and to this banquet all the great Quos in Japan were invited. The person who filled the chair at present, was Rhum-kikh, an half-witted politician, self-conceited, head-strong, turbulent, and ambitious; a professed worshipper of Taycho, whose oratorial talents he admired, and attempted to imitate in the assemblies of the people, where he generally excited the laughter of his audience. By dint of great wealth and extensive traffick he became a man of consequence among the mob, notwithstanding an illiberal turn of mind, and an ungracious address; and now he resolved to use this influence for the glory of Taycho and the disgrace of the Ximian favourite. Legion was tutored for the purpose, and moreover, well primed with a fiery caustic spirit in which Rhum-kikh was a considerable dealer. The Dairo and his young empress were received by him and his council with a sullen formality in profound silence. The Cuboy was pelted as he passed along, and his litter almost overturned by the monster, which yelled, and brayed, and hooted without ceasing, until he was housed in the city-hall, where he met with every sort of mortification from the entertainer as well as the spectators. At length Mr. Orator Taycho, with his cousin Lob-kob, appearing in a triumphal car at the city-gate, the blatant beast received them with loud huzzas, unharnessed their horses, and putting itself in the traces, drew them through the streets of Meaco, which resounded with acclamation. They were received with the same exultation within the hall of entertainment, where their sovereign and his consort sat altogether unhonoured and unnoticed.

    A small squadron of Chinese Fune having taken possession of a defenceless fishery belonging to Japan, in the neighbourhood of Fatsisio, the emissaries of Taycho magnified this event into a terrible misfortune, arising from the mal-administration of the new Cuboy: nay, they did not scruple to affirm, that he had left the fishing-town defenceless on purpose that it might be taken by the enemy. This clamour, however, was of short duration. The Quo Phyl-Kholl, who commanded a few Fune in one of the harbours of Fatsisio, no sooner received intelligence of what had happened, than he embarked what troops were at hand, and sailing directly to the place, obliged the enemy to abandon their conquest with precipitation and disgrace.

    In the midst of these transactions, the peace was signed, ratified, and even approved in the great national council of the Quos, as well as in the assembly of the people. The truth is, the minister of Japan has it always in his power to secure a majority in both these conventions, by means that may be easily guessed; and those were not spared on this occasion. Yak-strot, in a speech, harangued the great council, who were not a little surprised to hear him speak with such propriety and extent of knowledge; for he had been represented as tongue-tied, and in point of elocution, little better than the palfrey he rode. He now vindicated all the steps he had taken since his accession to the helm: he demonstrated the necessity of a pacification; explained and descanted upon every article of the treaty; and finally, declared his conscience was so clear in this matter, that when he died, he should desire no other encomium to be engraved on his tomb, but that he was the author of this peace.

    Nevertheless, the approbation of the council was not obtained without violent debate and altercation. The different articles were censured and inveighed against by the Fatz-man, the late Cuboy Fika-kaka, Lob-kob, Sti-phi-rum-poo, Nin-kom-poo-poo, and many other Quos; but, at the long-run, the influence of the present ministry predominated. As for Taycho, he exerted himself in a very extraordinary effort to depreciate the peace in the assembly of the people. He had for some days pretended to be dangerously ill, that he might make a merit of his patriotism by shewing a contempt for his own life, when the good of his country was at stake. In order to excite the admiration of the public, and render his appearance in the assembly the more striking, he was carried thither on a kind of hand-barrow, wrapped up in flannel, with three woollen night-caps on his head, escorted by Legion, which yelled, and brayed, and whooped, and hollowed, with such vociferation, that every street of Meaco rung with hideous clamour. In this equipage did Taycho enter the assembly, where, being held up by two adherents, he, after a prelude of groans to rouse the attention of his audience, began to declaim against the peace as inadequate, shameful, and disadvantageous: nay, he ventured to stigmatize every separate article, though he knew it was in the power of each individual of his hearers, to confront him with the terms to which he had subscribed the preceding year, in all respects less honourable and advantageous to his country. Inconsistencies equally glaring and absurd he had often crammed down the throats of the multitude: but they would not go down with this assembly of the people, which, in spite of his flannel, his night-caps, his crutches, and his groans, confirmed the treaty of peace by a great majority. Not that they had any great reason to applaud the peace-makers, who might have dictated their own terms, had they proceeded with more sagacity and less precipitation. But Fokh-si-rokhu and his brother undertakers, having the treasure of Japan at their command, had anointed the greatest part of the assembly with a certain precious salve, which preserved them effectually from the fascinating arts of Taycho.

    This Orator, incensed at his bad success within doors, renewed and redoubled his operations without. He exasperated Legion aganst Yak-strot to such a pitch of rage, that the monster could not hear the Cuboy's name three times pronounced without falling into fits. His confederate Lob-kob, in the course of his researches, found out two originals admirably calculated for executing his vengeance against the Ximian favourite. One of them, called Llurchir, a profligate Bonze, degraded for his lewd life, possessed a wonderful talent of exciting different passions in the blatant beast, by dint of quaint rhimes, which were said to be inspirations of the dæmon of obloquy, to whom he had sold his soul. These oracles not only commanded the passions, but even influenced the organs of the beast in such a manner, as to occasion an evacuation either upwards or downwards, at the pleasure of the operator. The other, known by the name of Jan-ki-dtzin, was counted the best marksman in Japan in the art and mystery of dirt-throwing. He possessed the art of making balls of filth, which were famous for sticking and stinking; and these he threw with such dexterity, that they very seldom missed their aim. Being reduced to a low ebb of fortune by his debaucheries, he had made advances to the new Cuboy, who had rejected his proffered services, on account of his immoral character: a prudish punctilio, which but ill became Yak-strot, who had payed very little regard to reputation in choosing some of the colleagues he had associated in his administration. Be that as it may, he no sooner understood that Mr. Orator Taycho was busy in preparing for an active campaign, than he likewise began to put himself in a posture of defence. He hired a body of mercenaries, and provided some dirt-men and rhymers. Then, taking the field, a sharp contest and pelting-match ensued: but the dispute was soon terminated. Yak-strot's versifiers turned out no great conjurers, on the trial. They were not such favourites of the dæmon as Llur-chir. The rhimes they used, produced no other effect upon Legion, but that of setting it a-braying. The Cuboy's dirt-men, however, played their parts tolerably well. Though their balls were inferior in point of composition to those of Jan-ki-dtzin, they did not fail to discompose Orator Taycho and his friend Lob-kob, whose eyes were seen to water with the smart occasioned by those missiles: but these last had a great advantage over their adversaries, in the zeal and attachment of Legion, whose numerous tongues were always ready to lick off the ordure that stuck to any part of their leaders; and this they did with such signs of satisfaction, as seemed to indicate an appetite for all manner of filth.

    Yak-strot having suffered wosully in his own person, and seeing his partisans in confusion, thought preper to retreat. Yet, although discomfited, he was not discouraged. On the contrary, having at bottom a fund of fanaticism which, like camomile, grows the faster for being trod upon, he became more obstinately bent than ever upon prosecuting his own schemes for the good of the people in their own despite. His vanity was likewise buoyed up by the flattery of his creatures, who extolled the passive courage he had shewn in the late engagement. Tho' every part of him still tingled and stunk from the balls of the enemy, he persuaded himself that not one of their missiles had taken place; and of consequence, that there was something of divinity in his person. Full of this notion, he discarded his rhymsters and his dirt-casters as unnecessary, and resolved to bear the brunt of the battle in his own individual.

    Fokh-si-rokhu advised him, nevertheless, to fill his trowsers with gold Obans, which he might throw at Legion in case of necessity, assuring him that this was the only ammunition which the monster could not withstand. The advice was good; and the Cuboy might have followed it, without being obliged to the treasury of Japan; for he was by this time become immensely rich, in consequence of having found a hoard in digging his garden: but this was an expedient which Yak-strot could never be prevailed upon to use, either on this or any other occasion. Indeed, he was now so convinced of his own personal energy, that he persuaded his master Gio-gio to come forth and see it operate on the blatant beast. Accordingly the Dairo ascended his car of state, while the Cuboy, arrayed in all his trappings, stood before him with the reins in his own hand, and drove directly to the enemy, who waited for him without flinching. Being arrived within dung-shot of Jan-ki-dtzin, he made a halt, and putting himself in the attitude of the idol Fo, with a simper in his countenance, seemed to invite the warrior to make a full discharge of his artillery. He did not long wait in suspence. The balls soon began to whizz about his ears; and a great number took effect upon his person. At length, he received a shot upon his right temple which brought him to the ground. All his gewgaws fluttered, and his buckram doublet rattled as he fell. Llur-chir no sooner beheld him prostrate, than advancing with the monster, he began to repeat his rhymes, at which every mouth and every tail of Legion was opened and listed up; and such a torrent of filth squirted from these channels, that the unfortunate Cuboy was quite overwhelmed. Nay, he must have been actually suffocated where he lay, had not some of the Dairo's attendants interposed and rescued him from the vengeance of the monster. He was carried home in such an unsavoury pickle, that his family smelled his disaster long before he came in sight; and when he appeared in this woeful condition, covered with ordure, blinded with dirt, and even deprived of sense and motion, his wife was seized with hysterica passio. He was immediately stripped and washed, and other means being used for his recovery, he in a little time retrieved his recollection.

    He was now pretty well undeceived, with respect to the divinity of his person: but his enthusiasm took a new turn. He aspired to the glory of martyrdom, and resolved to devote himself as a victim to patriotic virtue. While his attendants were employed in washing off the filth that stuck to his beard, he recited in a theatrical tone, the stanza of a famous Japonese bard, whose soul afterwards transmigrated into the body of the Roman poet Horatius Flaccus, and inspired him with the same sentiment in the Latin tongue.

    Virtus repulsæ nescia sordidæ Intaminatis fulget honoribus;    Nec sumit, aut ponit secures       Arbitrio popularis auræ.

    His friends hearing him declare his resolution of dying for his country, began to fear that his understanding was disturbed. They advised him to yield to the torrent, which was become too impetuous to stem; to resign the Cuboyship quietly, and reserve his virtues for a more favourable occasion. In vain his friends remonstrated: in vain his wife and children employed their tears and intreaties to the same purpose. He lent a deaf ear to all their sollicitations, until they began to drop some hints that seemed to imply a suspicion of his insanity, which alarmed him exceedingly; and the Dairo himself signifying to him in private, that it was become absolutely necessary to temporize, he resigned the reins of government with a heavy heart, though not before he was assured that he should still continue to exert his influence behind the curtain,

    Gio-gio's own person had not escaped untouched in the last skirmish. Jan-ki-dtzin was transported to such a pitch of insolence, that he aimed some balls at the Dairo, and one of them taking place exactly betwixt the eyes, defiled his whole visage. Had the laws of Japan been executed in all their severity against this audacious plebeian, he would have suffered crucifixion on the spot: but Gio-gio, being good-natured even to a fault, contented himself with ordering some of his attendants to apprehend and put him in the public stocks, after having seized the whole cargo of filth which he had collected at his habitation for the manufacture of his balls. Legion was no sooner informed of his disgrace, than it released him by force, being therein comforted and abetted by the declaration of a puny magistrate, called Praff-patt-phogg, who seized this, as the only opportunity he should ever find of giving himself any consequence in the commonwealth. Accordingly, the monster hoisting him and Jan-ki-dtzin on their shoulders, went in procession through the streets of Meaco, hollowing, huzzaing, and extolling this venerable pair of patriots as the Palladia of the liberty of Japan.

    The monster's officious zeal on this occasion, was far from being agreeable to Mr. Orator Taycho, who took umbrage at this exaltation of his two understrappers, and from that moment devoted Jan-ki-dtzin to destruction. The Dairo finding it absolutely necessary for the support of his government, that this dirt-monger should be punished, gave directions for trying him according to the laws of the land. He was ignominiously expelled from the assembly of the people, where his old patron Taycho not only disclaimed him, but even represented him as a worthless atheist and sower of sedition: but he escaped the weight of a more severe sentence in another tribunal, by retreating without beat of drum, into the territories of China, where he found an asylum, from whence he made divers ineffectual appeals to the multitudinous beast at Niphon.

    As for Yak-strot, he was every thing but a down-right martyr to the odium of the public, which produced a ferment all over the nation. His name was become a term of reproach. He was burnt or crucified in effigy in every city, town, village, and district of Niphon. Even his own countrymen, the Ximians, held him in abhorrence and execration. Notwithstanding his partiality to the natale solum, he had not been able to provide for all those adventurers who came from thence in consequence of his promotion. The whole number of the disappointed became his enemies of course; and the rest finding themselves exposed to the animosity and ill offices of their fellow-subjects of Niphon, who hated the whole community for his sake, inveighed against Yak-strot as the curse of their nation.

    In the midst of all this detestation and disgrace, it must be owned for the sake of truth, that Yak-strot was one of the honestest men in Japan, and certainly the greatest benefactor to the empire. Just, upright, sincere, and charitable; his heart was susceptible of friendship and tenderness. He was a virtuous husband, a fond father, a kind master, and a zealous friend. In his public capacity he had nothing in view but the advantage of Japan, in the prosecution of which he flattered himself he should be able to display all the abilities of a profound statesman, and all the virtues of the most sublime patriotism. It was here he over-rated his own importance. His virtue became the dupe of his vanity. Nature had denied him shining talents, as well as that easiness of deportment, that affability, liberal turn, and versatile genius, without which no man can ever figure at the head of an administration. Nothing could be more absurd than his being charged with want of parts and understanding to guide the helm of government, considering how happily it had been conducted for many years by Fika-kaka, whose natural genius would have been found unequal even to the art and mystery of wool-combing. Besides, the war had prospered in his hands as much as it ever did under the auspices of his predecessor; though, as I have before observed, neither the one nor the other could justly claim any merit from its success.

    But Yak-strot's services to the public, were much more important in another respect. He had the resolution to dissolve the shameful and pernicious engagements which the empire had contracted on the continent of Tartary. He lightened the intolerable burthens of the empire: he saved its credit when it was stretched even to bursting. He made a peace, which, if not the most glorious that might have been obtained, was, at least, the most solid and advantageous that ever Japan had concluded with any power whatsoever; and, in particular, much more honourable, useful, and ascertained, than that which Taycho had agreed to subscribe the preceding year; and, by this peace, he put an end to all the horrors of a cruel war, which had ravaged the best parts of Asia, and destroyed the lives of six hundred thousand men every year. On the whole, Yak-strot's good qualities were respectable. There was very little vicious in his composition; and as to his follies, they were rather the subjects of ridicule than of resentment.

    Yak-strot's subalterns in the ministry, rejoiced in secret at his running so far into the north of Legion's displeasure. Nay, it was shrewdly suspected that some of their emissaries had been very active against him in the day of his discomfiture. They flattered themselves, that if he could be effectually driven from the presence of the Dairo, they would succeed to his influence; and in the mean time would acquire popularity by turning tail to, and kicking at, the Ximian favourite, who had associated them in the administration in consequence of their vowing eternal attachment to his interest, and constant submission to his will. Having held a secret conclave to concert their operations, they began to execute their plan, by seducing Yak-strot into certain odious measures of raising new impositions on the people, which did not fail, indeed, to increase the clamour of the blatant Beast, and promote its filthy discharge upwards and downwards; but then the torrents were divided, and many a tail was lifted up against the real projectors of the scheme which the favourite had adopted. They now resolved to make a merit with the Mobile, by picking a german quarrel with Strot, and insulting him in public. Gotto-mio caused a scrubbing-post to be set up in the night, at the Cuboy's door. —The scribe Zan-ti-fic presented him with a scheme for the importation of brimstone into the island of Ximo: the other scribe pretended he could not spell the barbarous names of the Cuboy's relations and countrymen, who were daily thrust into the most lucrative employments. As for Twitz-er the Financier, he never approached Yak-strot without clawing his knuckles in derision. At the council of Twenty-Eight, they thwarted every plan he proposed, and turned into ridicule every word he spoke. At length they bluntly told the Dairo, that as Yak-strot resigned the reins of administration in public, he must likewise give up his management behind the curtain; for they were not at all disposed to answer to the people for measures dictated by an invisible agent. This was but a reasonable demand, in which the emperor seemed to acquiesce. But the new ministers thought it was requisite that they should commit some overt act of contempt for the abdicated Cuboy. One of his nearest relations had obtained a profitable office in the island of Ximo; and of this, the new cabal insisted he should be immediately deprived. The Dairo remonstrated against the injustice of turning a man out of his place for no other reason but to satisfy their caprice; and plainly told them he could not do it without infringing his honour, as he had given his word that the possessor should enjoy the post for life. Far from being satisfied with this declaration, they urged their demand with redoubled importunity, mixed with menaces which equally embarrassed and incensed the good-natured Dairo. At last Yak-strot, taking compassion upon his indulgent master, prevailed upon his kinsman to release him from the obligation of his word, by making a voluntary resignation of his office. The Dairo fell sick of vexation: his life was despaired of; and all Japan was filled with alarm and apprehension at the prospect of an infant's ascending the throne: for the heir apparent was still in the cradle.

    Their fears, however, were happily disappointed by the recovery of the emperor, who, to prevent as much as possible the inconveniences that might attend his demise, during the minority of his son, resolved that a regency should be established and ratified by the states of the empire. The plan of this regency he concerted in private with the venerable princess his grandmother, and his friend Yak-strot; and then communicated the design to his ministers, who knowing the quarter from whence it had come, treated it with coldness and contempt. They were so elevated by their last triumph over the Ximian favourite, that they overlooked every obstacle to their ambition; and determined to render the Dairo dependant on them, and them only. With this view they threw cold water on the present measure; and to mark their hatred of the favourite more strongly in the eyes of Legion, they endeavoured to exclude the name of his patroness the Dairo's grandmother, from the deed of regency, though their malice was frustrated by the vigilance of Yak-strot, and the indignation of the states, who resented this affront offered to the family of their sovereign.

    The tyranny of this junto became so intolerable to Gio-gio, that he resolved to shake off their yoke, whatever might be the consequence: but before any effectual step was taken for this purpose, Yak-strot, who understood mechanics, and had studied the art of puppet-playing, tried an experiment on the organs of the cabal, which he tempered with individually without success. Instead of uttering what he prompted, the sounds came out quite altered in their passage. Gotto-mio grunted; the Financier Twitz-er bleated, or rather brayed; one scribe mewed like a cat; the other yelped like a jackall. In short, they were found so perverse and refractory, that the master of the motion kicked them off the stage, and supplied the scene with a new set of puppets made of very extraordinary materials. They were the very figures through whose pipes the charge of mal-administration had been so loudly sounded against the Ximian favourite. They were now mustered by the Fatzman, and hung upon the pegs of the very same puppet-shew-man against whom they had so vehemently inveighed. Even the superannuated Fika-kaka appeared again upon the stage as an actor of some consequence; and insisted upon it, that his metamorphosis was a meer calumny. But Taycho and Lob-kob kept aloof, because Yak-strot had not yet touched them on the proper keys.

    The first exhibition of the new puppets, was called Topsy-turvy, a farce in which they overthrew all the paper houses which their predecessors had built: but they performed their parts in such confusion, the Yak-strot interposing to keep them in order, received divers contusions and severe kicks on the shins, which made his eyes water; and, indeed, he had in a little time reason enough to repent of the revolution he had brought about. The new sticks of administration proved more stiff and unmanageable than the former; and those he had discarded, associating with the blatant Beast, bedaubed him with such a variety of filth, drained from all the sewers of scurrility, that he really became a public nuisance. Gotto-mio pretended remorse of conscience, and declared he would impeach Yak-strot for the peace which he himself had negotiated. Twitz-er snivelled and cried, and cast figures to prove that Yak-strot was born for the destruction of Japan; and Zan-ti-fic lured an incendiary Bonze called Toks, to throw fire-balls by night into the palace of the favourite.

    In this distress Strot cast his eyes on Taycho the monstertamer, who alone seemed able to over-ballance the weight of all other opposition; and to him he made large advances accordingly; but his offers were still inadequate to the expectations of that Demagogue, who, nevertheless, put on a face of capitulation. He was even heard to say that Yak-strot was an honest man and a good minister: nay, he declared he would ascend the highest pinnacle of the highest pagod in Japan, and proclaim that Yak-strot had never, directly nor indirectly, meddled with administration since he resigned the public office of minister. Finding him, however, tardy and phlegmatic in his proposals, he thought proper to change his phrase, and in the next assembly of the people swore, with great vociferation, that the said Yak-strot was the greatest rogue that ever escaped the gallows. This was a necessary fillip to Yak-strot, and operated upon him so effectually, that he forthwith sent a charte blanche to the great Taycho, and a treaty was immediately ratified on the following conditions: That the said Taycho should be raised to the rank of Quanbuku, and be appointed conservator of the Dairo's signet: that no state measure should be taken without his express approbation: that his creature the lawyer Praff-fog should be ennobled and preferred to the most eminent place in the tribunals of Japan; and that all his friends and dependants should be provided for at the public expence, in such a manner as he himself should propose. His kinsman Lob-kob, however, was not comprehended in this treaty, the articles of which he inveighed against with such acrimony, that a rupture ensued betwixt these two originals. The truth is, Lob-kob was now so full of his own importance, that nothing less than an equal share of administration would satisfy his ambition; and this was neither in Taycho's power nor inclination to grant.

    The first consequence of this treaty was a new shift of hands, and a new dance of ministers. The chair of precedency was pulled from under the antiquated Fika-kaka, who fell upon his back; and his heels flying up, discovered but too plainly the melancholy truth of his metamorphosis. All his colleagues were discarded, except those who thought proper to temporize and join in dancing the hay, according as they were actuated by the new partners of the puppet-shew. This coalition was the greatest master-piece in politics that ever Yak-strot performed. Taycho, the formidable Taycho! whom in his single person he dreaded more than all his other enemies of Japan united, was now become his coadjutor, abettor, and advocate; and, which was still of more consequence to Strot, that Demagogue was forsaken of his good genius Legion.

    The many-headed Monster would have swallowed down every other species of tergiversation in Taycho, except a coalition with the detested favourite, and the title of Quo, by which he formally renounced its society: but these were articles which the mongrel could not digest. The tidings of this union threw the Beast into a kind of stupor, from which it was roused by blisters and cauteries applied by Gotto-mio, Twitz-er, Zan-ti-fic, with his understrapper Toks, now reinforced by Fika-kaka, and his discarded associates: for their common hatred to Yak-strot, like the rod of Moses, swallowed up every distinction of party, and every suggestion of former animosity; and they concurred with incredible zeal, in rousing Legion to a due sense of Taycho's apostacy. The Beast, so stimulated, howled three days and three nights successively at Taycho's gate; then was seized with a convulsion, that went off with an evacuation upwards and downwards, so offensive, that the very air was infected.

    The horrid sounds of the Beast's lamentation, the noxious effluvia of its filthy discharge, joined to the poignant remorse which Taycho felt at finding his power over Legion dissolved, occasioned a commotion in his brain; and this led him into certain extravagancies, which gave his enemies a handle to say he was actually insane. His former friends and partizans thought the best apology they could make for the inconsistency of his conduct, was to say he was non compos ; and this report was far from being disagreeable to Yak-strot, because it would at any time furnish him with a plausible pretence to dissolve the partnership, at which he inwardly repined: for it was necessity alone that drove him to a partition of his power with a man so incapable of acting in concert with any collegue whatsoever.

    In the mean time Gotto-mio and his associates left no stone unturned to acquire the same influence over Legion, which Taycho had so eminently possessed: but the Beast's faculties, slender as they were, seemed now greatly impaired, in consequence of that arch empiric's practices upon its constitution. In vain did Gotto-mio hoop and hollow: in vain did Twitz-er tickle its long ears: in vain did Zan-ti-fic apply sternutatories, and his Bonze administer inflammatory glysters; the monster could never be brought to a right understanding, or at all concur with their designs, except in one instance, which was its antipathy to the Ximian favourite. This had become so habitual, that it acted mechanically upon its organs, even after it had lost all other signs of recognition. As often as the name of Yak-strot was pronounced, the Beast began to yell; and all the usual consequences ensued: but whenever his new friends presumed to mount him, he threw himself on his back, and rolled them in the kennel at the hazard of their lives.

    One would imagine there was some leaven in the nature of Yak-strot, that soured all his subalterns who were natives of Niphon; for howsoever they promised all submission to his will before they were admitted into his motion, they no sooner found themselves acting characters in his drama, than they began to thwart him in his measures; so that he was plagued by those he had taken in, and persecuted by those he had driven out. The two great props which he had been at so much pains to provide, now failed him. Taycho was grown crazy, and could no longer manage the monster; and Quam-bacundono the Fatzman, whose authority had kept several puppets in awe, died about this period. These two circumstances were the more alarming, as Gotto-mio and his crew began to gain ground, not only in their endeavours to rouse the Monster, but also in tampering with some of the acting puppets, to join their cabal and make head against their master. These exoterics grew so refractory, that when he tried to wheel them to the right, they turned to the left about; and, instead of joining hands in the dance of politics, rapped their heads against each other with such violence, that the noise of the collision was heard in the street; and if they had not been made of the hardest wood in Japan, some of them would certainly have been split in the encounter.

    By this time Legion began to have some sense of its own miserable condition. The effects of the yeast potions which it had drank so liberally from the hands of Taycho, now wore off. The fumes dispersed; the illusion vanished; the flatulent tumor of its belly disappeared with innumerable explosions, leaving a hideous lankness and such a canine appetite as all the eatables of Japan could not satisfy. After having devoured the whole harvest, it yawned for more, and grew quite outrageous in its hunger, threatening to feed on human flesh, if not plentifully supplied with other viands. In this dilemma Yak-strot convened the council of Twenty-Eight, where, in consideration of the urgency of the case, it was resolved to suspend the law against the importation of foreign provisions, and open the ports of Japan for the relief of the blatant Beast.

    As this was vesting the Dairo with a dispensing power unknown to the constitution of Japan, it was thought necessary at the next assembly of the Quos and Quanbukus that constitute the legislature, to obtain a legal sanction for that extraordinary exercise of prerogative, which nothing but the salus populi could excuse. Upon this occasion it was diverting to see with what effrontery individuals changed their principles with their places. Taycho the Quo, happening to be in one of his lucid intervals, went to the assembly, supported by his two creatures Praff-fog, and another limb of the law, called Lley-nah, surnamed Gurg-grog, or Curse-mother; and this triumvirate, who had raised themselves from nothing to the first rank in the state, by vilifying and insulting the kingly power, and affirming that the Dairo was the slave of the people, now had the impudence to declare in the face of day, that in some cases the emperor's power was absolute, and that he had an inherent right to suspend and supersede the laws and ordinances of the legislature.

    Mura-clami, who had been for some time eclipsed in his judicial capacity by the popularity of Praff-fog, did not fail to seize this opportunity of exposing the character of his upstart rival. Though he had been all his life an humble retainer to the prerogative, he now made a parade of patriotism, and in a tide of eloquence bore down all the flimsy arguments which the triumvirate advanced. He demonstrated the futility of their reasoning, from the express laws and customs of the empire; he expatiated on the pernicious tendency of their doctrine, and exhibited the inconsistency of their conduct in such colours, that they must have hid their heads in confusion, had they not happily conquered all sense of shame, and been well convinced that the majority of the assembly were not a whit more honest than themselves. Mura-clami enjoyed a momentary triumph; but his words made a very slight impression; for it was his misfortune to be a Ximian; and if his virtues had been more numerous than the hairs in his beard, this very circumstance would have shaved them clean away from the consideration of the audience.

    Taycho, opening the flood-gates of his abuse, bespattered all that opposed him. Lleynah, alias Curse-mother, swore that he had got into the wrong-box; then turning to Praff-fog, "Brother Praff, (cried he) thou hast now let down thy trowsers, and every rascal in Japan will whip thy a—se!" Praff was afraid of the Beast's resentment; but Taycho bestrid him like a Colossus, and he crept through between his legs into a place of safety. This was the last time that the Orator appeared in public. Immediately after this occurrence it was found necessary to confine him to a dark chamber, and Yak-strot was left to his own inventions.

    In this dilemma he had recourse to the old expedient of changing hands; and as a prelude to this reform, made advances to Gotto-mio, whom he actually detached from the opposition, by providing his friends and dependants with lucrative offices, and promising to take no steps of consequence without his privity and approbation. A sop was at the same time thrown to Twitz-er; Zan-ti-fic, lulled with specious promises, discarded Toks the incendiary Bonze; Lob-kob signed a neutrality, and old Fika-kaka was deprived of the use of speech: —in a word, the ill-cemented confederacy of Strot's exoteric foes fell asunder; and Legion had now no rage but the rage of hunger to be appeased. But the Ximian favourite was still thwarted in his operations behind the curtain; for he had so often chopped and changed the figures that composed his motion, that they were all of different materials; so wretchedly sorted and so ill-toned, that when they came upon the scene, they produced nothing but discord and disorder.

    The Japonese colony of Fatsisio had been settled above a century, and in the face of a thousand dangers and difficulties raised themselves to such consideration, that they consumed infinite quantities of the manufactures of Japan, for which they payed their mother-country in gold and silver, and precious drugs, the produce of their plantations. The advantages which Japan reaped from this traffic with her own colonists, almost equalled the amount of what she gained by her commerce with all the other parts of Asia. Twitz-er, when he managed the finances of Japan, had in his great wisdom planned, procured, and promulgated a law saddling the Fatsisians with a grievous tax to answer the occasions of the Japonese government; an imposition which struck at the very vitals of their constitution, by which they were exempt from all burthens but such as they fitted for their own shoulders. They raised a mighty clamour at this innovation, in which they were joined by Legion, at that time under the influence of Taycho, who, in the assembly of the people, bitterly inveighed against the authors and abettors of such an arbitrary and tyrannical measure. Their reproach and execration did not stop at Twitz-er, but proceeded, as usual, to Yak-strot, who was the general butt at which all the arrows of slander, scurrility, and abuse, were levelled. The puppets with which he supplied the places of Twitz-er and his associates, in order to recommend themselves to Legion, and perhaps, with a view to mortify the favourite, who had patronized the Fatsisian tax, insisted upon withdrawing this imposition, which was accordingly abrogated, to the no small disgrace and contempt of the law-givers: but when these new ministers were turned out, to make way for Taycho and his friends, the interest of the Fatsisians was again abandoned. Even the Orator himself declaimed against them with an unembarrassed countenance, after they had raised statues to him as their friend and patron; and measures were taken to make them feel all the severity of an abject dependance upon the legislature of Japan. Finally, Gotto-mio acceded to this system, which he had formerly approved in conjunction with Twitz-er; and preparations were made for using compulsory measures, should the colonists refuse to submit with a good grace.

    The Fatsisians, far from acquiescing in these proceedings, resolved to defend to the last extremity those liberties which they had hitherto preserved; and, as a proof of their independence, agreed among themselves to renounce all the superfluities with which they had so long been furnished, at a vast expence, from the manufactures of Japan, since that nation had begun to act towards them with all the cruelty of a step-mother. It was amazing to see and to hear how Legion raved, and slabbered, and snapped its multitudinous jaws in the streets of Meaco, when it understood that the Fatsisians were determined to live on what their own country afforded. They were represented and reviled as ruffians, barbarians, and unnatural monsters, who clapped the dagger to the breast of their indulgent mother, in presuming to save themselves the expence of those superfluities, which, by the bye, her cruel impositions had left them no money to purchase. Nothing was heard in Japan but threats of punishing those ungrateful colonists with whips and scorpions. For this purpose troops were assembled and fleets equipped; and the blatant Beast yawned with impatient expectation of being drenched with the blood of its fellow-subjects.

    Yak-strot was seized with horror at the prospect of such extremities; for, to give the devil his due, his disposition was neither arbitrary nor cruel; but he had been hurried by evil counsellors into a train of false politics, the consequences of which he did not foresee. He now summoned council after council to deliberate upon conciliatory expedients; but found the motley crew so divided by self-interest, faction, and mutual rancour, that no consistent plan could be formed: all was nonsense, clamour, and contradiction. The Ximian favourite now wished all his puppets at the devil, and secretly cursed the hour in which he first undertook the motion. He even fell sick of chagrin, and resolved, in good earnest, to withdraw himself intirely from the political helm, which he was now convinced he had no talents to guide. In the mean time, he tried to find some temporary alleviation to the evils occasioned by the monstrous incongruity of the members and materials that composed his administration. But before any effectual measures could be taken, his evil genius, ever active, brewed up a new storm in another quarter, which had well-nigh swept him and all his projects into the gulph of perdition.


    Back to the Index Page