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weather, and every way calculated to carry this science to perfection; yet no nation that has arrived at a mediocrity of knowledge can be more deficient in it. The little progress that they have hitherto reached in it, can be ascribed to no other cause but that dulness of perception, so palpably manifested in all their actions; for as every natural advantage seems to have concurred to render China the observatory of the world, as far as natural gifts could make it, their being so far in the rear of it, must undoubtedly, be owing to the absence of that inventive genius, and subtle penetration, which appears to have been the only ingredient wanting for the purpose. What diminutive knowledge they have acquired of it is to be rather regarded as the mere effect of unavoidable observation, on the passing physical appearances and phenomenæ, and to have accumulated by length of time, than as flowing from any rational curiosity, or spontaneous effort of the mind, prying into the mysteries, and investigating the secrets of nature.* In fine, to all mathematical science they are strangers† further than has been stated; and their knowledge of geography, which has already been mentioned, is consequently inconsiderable, being proportionate to that of astronomy.

In the less profound, and more agreeable parts of science, they are wanting, as in every other. Logic which is essential to the regulation of reason, and to just argumentation, they are wholly devoid of, except what undisciplined nature yields them.§ And though in every external, they are methodical and formal, to a ridiculous and contemptible degree, yet in that which is essential to a proper use of reason, to accuracy of thought, to perspicuity of discourse, and to the enlargement of the bounds of knowledge, they know nothing of: an invincible evidence of mental imbecility, abasement, and indolence!

It might, however, be speciously alleged by those, who are inclined to think more favourably of this people, than facts bespeak them deserving, that notwithstanding they are destitute of any such science as logic, yet they may have a process of thought, and a mode of intellectual classis, equally as efficient, and as infallible in the result. That such a thing is possible, † Staunton, 241.

* See Staunton, vol. 2. p. 236. Barrow, 195. #2d part, essay 1.

§ Du Halde, vol. 3. p. 64.

must be allowed; but by what rule are we to judge of its subsistence, if it be not manifested in their works? The Chinese, it is well known, possess a sufficiency of logic, properly to direct their understandings in the ordinary affairs of life; but farther they cannot reach, nor do they attempt it by aspiring; they cannot by induction, and a chain of propositions in continuity, ascend step by step to general principles, and arrive at hidden, and unimagined truths: consequently they hold not the means of great proficiency in philosophy.

During one age in the same country it rarely occurs that there is a disparity of excellence in the several sciences, and this disparity if at all existing, will be the less the nearer the affinity between the sciences. For the truth of this proposition we appeal to the history of literature, in ancient and modern nations. In consonance with this principle, we find the rhetoric of China, not the least degree paramount to her logic, and her logic in about an equal ratio to her other attainments. Experience and custom, also bear the sceptre in this province, but without bringing it to that degree of improvement, which might be reasonably expected if applied with discernment and propriety; but which it is not possible that the Chinese should exercise, being void of the taste requisite to produce such discernment. Observation and experience of the manner in which the mind is affected by particular parts of a discourse, and its tendency to the desired end, by the impression it makes on the whole, give the models of eloquence, which, by repetition, and correction, become as perfect as so defective a system will admit. Rigid imitation, then, supplies the place of systematic precept, in the formation of an eloquent discourse; and there must consequently be all the imperfection in this method, which variety of copies, by inexpert, or negligent hands naturally produce. Indeed there is no trait in the Chinese character, no method in their education, no disposition to genius, nor no excellency in their sciences, which could induce one to suspect that their rhetoric was concocted to a system, or their eloquence sublimated to perfection. If freedom, as Cicere hath said, as well as those who preceded, and those who followed him, be necessary to beget, nourish, and perfect eloquence, there exists in the Chinese polity, a radical and insuperable obstacle to its advancement;

and in the method of education, which flows in part from the nature of the language, an opake mass of useless and laborious formality, intercepts the beauty and charms of eloquence from the sight of their youth; who compelled to drudge perpetually to form the characters of this cumbersome language, and then to learn their meaning, have as little leisure as genius, to beautify and adorn it. And when it is considered, that the literature and science of China, in their present state of depression and obscurity, require a whole life addicted to study, to acquire a knowledge of them,* it can scarcely be hoped, that they will hereafter improve, what they now have no leisure to scrutinise and inspect; or that a revolution in their tastes, with which their works now accord, would not be resisted with the same resolution, though not perhaps excite the same dreadful apprehensions, as a revolution in their polity.

Except the therapeutic part, the science of medicine is wholly unknown to the Chinese, and even in that part they have little rational system, and it is far below perfection. In this particular, it unfortunately happens, for the reputation of their wisdom and learning, that they cannot adduce for its deficiency, that panacea for their ignorance, the great lion-fire kindled by the emperor (a barbarous emperor!) Shee-whang tee,† for the destruction of the books of learning, as the writings on medicine, if there were such writings then, were either graciously saved, or accidentally escaped from the common demolition. It is therefore a little wonderful, that the experience and knowledge of so many additional ages, should have had a tendency to depress this science, beneath the level of excellence of others not near so ancient! The sciences subordinate, and subservient to the perfection of medicine, they are likewise ignorant of; and pharmacy, botany, chemistry, mineralogy, and all others, necessary or incidental to it, are alien from China. A crude and imperfect treatise, entitled, "the natural history of China for the use of medicine," has been published by them; and though its title might be supposed to bespeak its character entire, yet it shows but a diminutive feature of it. In this is detailed, in a heterogenous and superficial manner, the nature Staunton, vol. 2. p. 251.

Two hundred years anterior to the christian epoch.

of the elements, and of the earth, the physical properties of plants, trees, and shrubs, the uses of old garments and utensils;* the nature and condition of all kinds of animals; and lastly, it treats of the human system.† Like the ancient, and some of the modern philosophers, in investigating the human mind, and natural phenomena, who supplied the want of knowledge, by learned unmeaning words, expressive of no determinate and intelligible idea, the Chinese conceal their ignorance of the qualities and nature of their medicinal plants, by the use of generic terms, equally applicable to fifty different kinds; thus in the above natural history it is said, "that one hundred and twenty-five sorts, partake of the nature of the earth, and have all great malignity." In what sense the term malignity should be taken is left to the fancy of the reader; this however appears to be the utmost knowledge they have of the qualities of the medicines they most frequently use.‡ Than the "secret of the pulse," as they denominate it, nothing can be more fallacious, and there is nothing in which they more exult. They fancy that every part of the body has a distinct peculiar pulse, which points out in what part of the system the disease lies, and that the pulse always corresponding to the actual state of animal life, they can by this criterea, ascertain the seat and cause of the disease, without any exact knowledge of the constitution, habits, or circumstances of the patient.§ Sir George Staunton gives a curious statement of a Chinese consultation, on a malady with which the Colao was afflicted, and it fully evinces their proud ignorance, and formal presumption. He says, after a full examination of the Colao's pulses, they had early decided "that the whole of his complaints, were owing to a malignant vapour or spirit, which had infused itself into or was generated "in his flesh, which shifted from place to place, always excit"ing pain in the part in which it fixed itself. In consequence

*This must at first appear very ludicrous to the reader, but his muscles will assume a sedate aspect, when he is told, the very philosophical reason for explaining the nature and uses of old garments, &c. It is, because "the matter of which is taken out of the preceding kinds,” or in other words, because the materials from which the said old garments and utensils were fabricated, were produced from the plants and trees antecedently mentioned.

Du Halde, vol. 3. p. 467. Ib. 469. Staunton. § Staunton, 2 vol. p. 85.

"of this opinion of the nature and cause of the disease, the "method of cure was to expel the vapour or spirit immediately; "and this was to be effected by opening passages for its escape, "directly through the parts affected. The operation had been "frequently performed, and many deep punctures made with "gold and silver needles, (which two metals only are admissible "for the purpose,) with exquisite pain to the patient. Still, "however, the disease continued its usual course; but this, "from the authority and information of his pulses, was entirely "owing to the obstinacy of the vapour, which either remained "in part in the body, in spite of every effort to dislodge it, or "was generated in fresh quantities in other parts, after having "been expelled from the seat it had at first occupied. In their "treatment of this disorder, the physicians had exhausted all, "their skill to no purpose. The original complaints still con"tinued to recur, and were now more violent than at any former "period." In fine, the physician attached to the embassy, having examined the Colao's malady, in the manner which reason and European practice has established, discovered, that the malignant vapour and spirit, was nothing greater than the rheumatism, and a completely formed hernia! That dissection is not prevalent in China, is sufficient to account for their not understanding the nature of the disease, or the proper remedy.


How far the excellence or imperfection of music, should influence our judgments, in a just appreciation, of the refinement, or barbarity of nations, cannot perhaps be precisely determined; as we find many people extolled for their proficiency in the art, who are little above barbarism; and many who are perfectly civilized and rational. Poets, who are amenable to no authority, have in the raptures of ecstasy, denominated music divine, and philosophers, in the sedateness of reason, have thought it little proof of energy of intellect, or sensibility of feeling: both may be right; for though their opinions appear repugnant, yet they are not irreconcilable: The poet judges from the brilliancy of fancy, and its effects on the soul; the philosopher, from the sternness of investigating reason, and its tendency to melt the soul to imbecility. Not, however, acquainted with its nature, nor being susceptible of its impressions,

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