Imatges de pÓgina
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deep investigation, and who is the final disposer of character.*

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King, basileus, tyrannos, rex, dux, imperator, melch, baal, bel, pharaoh, eli, shadai, adoni, shak, sophi, padisha, bogdan, chạzan, kan, krall, kong, koenig, &c.-all expressions which signify the same office, but which convey very different ideas.

In Greece, neither basileus' nor tyrannos' ever conveyed the idea of absolute power. He who was able obtained this power, but it was always obtained against the inclination of the people.

It is clear, that among the Romans kings were not despotic. The last Tarquin deserved to be expelled, and was so. We have no proof that the petty chiefs of Italy were ever able at their pleasure to present a bowstring to the first man of the state, as is now done to a vile Turk in his seraglio, and like barbarous slaves, still more imbecile, suffer him to use it without complaint.

There was no king on this side the Alps, and in the north, at the time we became acquainted with this large quarter of the world. The Cimbri, whó marched towards Italy, and who were exterminated by Marius, were like famished wolves, who issued from those forests with their females and whelps. As to a crowned head among these animals, or orders on the part of a secretary of state, of a grand butler, of a chancellorany notion of arbitrary taxes, commissaries, fiscal edicts, &c. &c. they knew no more of any of these, than of the vespers and the opera.

* This curious narrative has been retained, because it may pair off with various similar imprudent deliveries of bills of exchange for negociation to suspicious characters, which have produced so much kindred litigation in our own courts of law. In England, however, the confession of fraud of the plaintiffs would have been most likely final them, for the bills do not appear to bave been negociated ;-that it was otherwise in France, was probably owing to a knowledge of the impunity with which a highly connected man of family under the old regime could often oppress, and of the fear which he might naturally inspire among roturiers.-T.

It is certain that gold and silver, coined and uncoined, form an admirable means of placing him who has them not, in the power of him who has found out the secret of accumulation. It is for the latter alone to possess great officers, guards, cooks, girls, women, gaolers, almoners, pages, and soldiers.

It would be very difficult to ensure obedience with nothing to bestow but sheep and sheep-skins. It is also very likely, after all the revolutions of our globe, that it was the art of working metals which originally made kings, as it is the art of casting cannon which now maintains them.

Cæsar was right when he said, that with gold we may procure men, and with men acquire gold.

This secret had been known for ages in Asia and Egypt, where the princes and the priests shared the benefit between them.

The prince said to the priest,—Take this gold, and in return uphold my power and prophecy in my favour; I will be anointed, and thou shalt anoint me; constitute oracles, manufacture miracles; thou shalt be well paid for thy labour, provided that I am always master.—The priest, thus obtaining land and wealth, prophecies for himself, makes the oracles speak for himself, chases the sovereign from the throne, and very often takes his place. Such is the history of the shotim of Egypt, the magi of Persia, the soothsayers of Babylon, the chazin of Syria (if I mistake the name, it amounts to little)—all which holy persons sought to rule. Wars between the throne and the altar have in fact existed in all countries, even among the miserable Jews.

We inhabitants of the temperate zone of Europe have known this well for a dozen centuries. Our minds not being so temperate as our climate, we well know what it has cost us. Gold and silver form so entirely the primum mobile of the holy connection between sovereignty and religion, that many of our kings still send it to Rome, where it is seized and shared by priests as soon as it arrives.

When, in this eternal conflict. for dominion, leaders have become powerful, each has exhibited his pre-eminence in a mode of his own. It was 'a crime to spit in the presence of the king of the Medes. The earth must be stricken nine times by the forehead in the presence of the emperor of China.* A king of England imagines that he cannot take a glass of beer unless it be presented on the knees. Another king will have his right foot saluted, and all will take the money of their people. In some countries the krale, or chazan, is allowed an income, as in Poland, Sweden, and Great Britain. In others, a piece of papert is sufficient for his treasury to obtain all that it requires.

. Since we write upon the rights of the people, on taxation, on customs, &c. let us endeavonr by profound reasoning, to establish the novel maxim, that a shepherd ought to shear his sheep, and not flay them.

As to the due limits of the prerogatives of kings, and of the liberty of the people, I recommend you to examine that question at your ease in some hotel in the town of Amsterdam.

KISS.

I DEMAND pardon of young ladies and gentlemen, for they will not find here what they may possibly expect. This article is only for learned and serious people, and will suit very few of them.

There is too much of kissing in the comedies of the time of Molière. . The valets are always requesting kisses from the waiting-women, which is exceedingly flat and disagreeable, especially when the actors are ugly and must necessarily exhibit against the grain.

If the reader is fond of kisses, let him peruse the Pastor Fido: there is an entire chorus which treats only of kisses, and the piece itself is founded only on a kiss which Mirtillo one day bestows on the fair Amaryllis, in a game at blind-man's buff—" un bacio molto saporito.”

In a chapter on kissing by John de la Casa, arch

* Poor Lord Amherst !T.

VOL. IV.

+ An edict, we presume.-T.

B B

bishop of Benevento, he says, that people may kiss from the head to the foot. He complains, however of long noses, and recommends ladies who possess such, to have lovers.with short ones.

To kiss was the ordinary manner of salutation throughout all antiquity. Plutarch relates, that the conspirators, before they killed Cæsar, kissed his face, his hands, and his bosom. Tacitus observes, that when his father-in-law Agricola returned to Rome, Domitian kissed him coldly, said nothing to him, and left him disregarded in the surrounding crowd. An in-, ferior, who could not aspire to kiss his superior, kissed his own hand, and the latter returned the salute in a similar manner, if he thought proper.

The kiss was ever used in the worship of the gods. Job, in his parable, which is possibly the oldest of our known books, says that he had not adored the sun and moon like the other Arabs, or suffered his mouth to kiss his hand to them.

In the west, there remains of this civility only the simple and innocent practice yet taught in country places to children--that of kissing their right hands in return for a sugar-plumb.

It is horrible to betray while saluting; the assassination of Cæsar is thereby rendered much odious. It is unnecessary to add, that the kiss of Judas has become a proverb.

Joab, one of the captains of David, being jealous of Amasa, another captain, said to him, “ Art thou in health, my brother?” and took him by the beard with his right hand to kiss him, while with the other he drew his sword and smote him so that his bowels were “ shed upon the ground.

We know not of any kissing in the other assassinations so frequent among the Jews, except possibly the kisses given by Judith to the Captain Holofernes, before she cut off his head in his bed; but no mention is made of them, and therefore the fact is only to be regarded as probable.

In Shakspeare's tragedy of Othello, the hero, who is a Moor, gives two kisses to his wife before he

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strangles her. This appears abominable to orderly persons, but the partisans of Shakspeare say, that it is a fine specimen of nature, especially in a Moor. *

When John Galeas Sforza was assassinated in the cathedral of Milan, on St. Stephen's day; the two Medicis, in the church of Reparata; admiral Coligni, the prince of Orange, marshal d'Ancre, the brothers De Witt, and so many others, there was at least no kissing.

Among the ancients there was something, I know not what, symbolical and sacred attached to the kiss, since the statues of the gods were kissed, as also their beards, when the sculptors represented them with beards. The initiated kissed one another in the

mysteries of Ceres, in sign of concord.

The first christians, male and female, kissed with the mouth at their Agapæ or love-feasts. They bestowed the holy kiss, the

kiss of peace, the brotherly and sisterly kiss, ' agion philema.' This custom lasted for four centuries, and was finally abolished in distrust of the consequences. It was this custom, these kisses of peace, these love-feasts, these appellations of brother and sister, which drew on the christians, while little known, those imputations of debauchery bestowed upon them by the priests of Jupiter and the priestesses of Vesta. We read in Petronius and in other authors, that the dissolute called one another brother and sister; and it was thought, that among christians the same licentiousness was intended. They innocently gave occasion for the scandal

upon themselves. In the commencement seventeen different christian societies existed, as there had been nine among the Jews, including the two kinds of Samaritans. Those bodies which considered themselves the most orthodox accused the others of inconceivable impurities. The term 'gnostic,' at first so honourable, and which signifies the learned, enlightened, pure, became an epithet of horror and of contempt, and a reproach of heresy. St. Epiphanius, in the third century, pre

* This criticism is altogether Gallic-a“ telum imbelle."-T.

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