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To you blessed above the blessed, great emperor of bishops and pastor of Christians, dispenser of the oil of the kings of Europe, Clement XI.
THE favorite friend of God, Gionetta the VIIth, the most powerful above the most powerful of the earth, highest above the highest under the sun and moon, who sits on a throne of emerald of China, above 100 steps of gold, to interpret the language of God to the faithful, and who gives life and death to 115 kingdoms, and 170 islands; he writes with the quill of a virgin ostrich, and sends health and increase of old age.
• Being arrived at the time of our age, in which the flower of our royal youth ought to ripen into fruit towards old age, to comfort therewith the desire of our devoted people, and to propagate the seed of that plant which must protect them; we have determined to accompany ourselves with an high amorous virgin, suckled at the breast of a wild lioness, and a meek lamb; and, imagining with ourselves that your European Roman people is the father of unconquerable and chaste ladies, we stretch out our powerful arm to embrace one of them, and she shall be one of your nieces, or the niece of some other great Latin priest, the darling of God's right eye. Let the authority of Sarah be sown in her, the fidelity of Esther, and the wisdom of Abba. We would have her eye like that of a dove, which look upon may heaven and earth, with the mouth of a shell-fish to feed upon the dew of the morning, her age must not exceed 200 courses of the moon; let her stature be equal to that of an ear of green corn, and her girth a handful. • We will send our mandarines embassadors to
clothe her, and to conduct her to us, and we will meet her on the bank of the great river, making her to leap up into our chariot. She may with us worship her own God, together with twenty-four virgins of her own choosing; and she may sing with them as the turtle in the spring.
'You, O father and friend, complying with this our desire, may be an occasion of uniting in perpetual friendship our high empire with your European kingdoms, and we may embrace your laws as the ivy embraces the tree; and we ourselves may scatter our royal blood into your provinces, warming the chief of your princes with the amorous fire of our amazons, the resembling pictures of some of which our said mandarines embassadors shall convey to you.
We exhort you to keep in peace two good religious families of missionaries, the sons of Ignatius, and the black and white sons of Dominicus; that the counsel, both of the one and the other, may serve as a guide to us in our government, and a light to interpret the divine law, as the oil cast into the sea produces light.
To conclude, we rising up in our throne to embrace you, we declare you our ally and confederate; and have ordered this leaf to be sealed with our im❤ perial signet, in our royal city the head of the world, the eight day of the third lunation, and the fourth year of our reign.'
Letters from Rome say, the whole conversation both among gentlemen and ladies has turned upon the subject of this epistle, ever since it arrived. The jesuit who translated it says, it loses much of the majesty of the original in the Italian. It seems there was an offer of the same nature made by the predecessor of the present emperor to Lewis XIII. of
France; but no lady of that court would take the voyage, that sex not being at that time so much used in public negociations. The manner of treating the pope is, according to the Chinese ceremonial, very respectful: for the emperor writes to him with the quil of a virgin ostrich, which was never used before but in writing prayers. Instructions are preparing for the lady who shall have so much zeal as to undertake this pilgrimage, and be an empress for the sake of her religion. The principal of the Indian missionaries has given in a list of the reigning sins in China, in order to prepare indulgencies necessary to this lady and her retinue, in advancing the interests of the Roman catholic religion in those king, doms.
‹ TO THE SPECTATOR GENERAL.
May it please your Honour,
I HAVE of late seen French hats of a prodigious magnitude pass by my observatory.
N° 546. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 1712.
Omnia patefacienda, ut ne quid omnino quod venditor nôrit, emptor ignoret.
Every thing should be fairly told, that the buyer may not be ignorant of any thing which the seller knows."
It gives me very great scandal to observe, whereever I go, how much skill, in buying all manner of goods, there is necessary to defend yourself from being cheated in whatever you see exposed to sale. My reading makes such a strong impression upon me, that I should think myself a cheat in my way, if I should translate any thing from another tongue, and not acknowledge it to my readers. I understood from common report, that Mr. Cibber was introducing a French play upon our stage, and thought myself concerned to let the town know what was his, and what was foreign*. When I came to the rehearsal, I found the house so partial to one of their own fraternity, that they gave every thing which was said such grace, emphasis, and force in their action, that it was no easy matter to make any judgment of the performance. Mrs. Oldfield, who, it seems, is the heroic daughter, had so just a conception of her part, that her action made what she spoke appear decent, just, and noble. The passions of terror and compassion they made me believe were
* Ximena, or the Heroic Daughter; a tragedy taken from the Cid of Racine, by C. Cibber.
very artfully raised, and the whole conduct of the play artful and surprising. We authors do not much relish the endeavours of players in this kind, but have the same disdain as physicians and lawyers have when attorneys and apothecaries give advice, Cibber himself took the liberty to tell me, that he expected I would do him justice, and allow the play well prepared for his spectators, whatever it was for his readers. He added very many particulars not uncurious concerning the manner of taking an audience, and laying wait not only for their superficial applause, but also for insinuating into their affections and passions, by the artful management of the look, voice, and gesture of the speaker. I could not but consent that The Heroic Daughter appeared in the rehearsal a moving entertainment wrought out of a great and exemplary virtue.
The advantages of action, show, and dress, on these occasions, are allowable, because the merit consists in being capable of imposing upon us to our advantage and entertainment. All that I was going to say about the honesty of an author in the sale of his ware was, that he ought to own all that he had borrowed from others, and lay in a clear light all that he gives his spectators for their money, with an account of the first manufactures. But I intended to give the lecture of this day upon the common and prostituted behaviour of traders in ordinary commerce. The philosopher made it a rule of trade, that your profit ought to be the common profit; and it is unjust to make any step towards gain, wherein the gain of even those to whom you sell is not also consulted. A man may deceive himself if he thinks fit, but he is no better than a cheat who sells any thing without telling the exceptions against it, as well as what is to be said to its advantage. The