LONDON: Printed for ROBINSON and ROBERTS, No. 25, in Pater-noster Row. MDCCXLIX.

THE History and Adventures OF AN ATOM.

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; [Page 2] 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 Soo­san-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. [Page 3] —With respect to the opera­tions of the campaign, don't you think"’—Here he was interrupted with ‘"Ka, ka, ka, ka!"’ ‘"Heigh­day!" (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 ginger­bread covered with gold-leaf for the Fatzman; and a rattle for my lord Cuboy. I have, likewise, sugar­plumbs 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 [Page 4] 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 [Page 5] 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 [Page 6] 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 [Page 7] 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 gew­gaws which I have provided for your [Page 8] 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 [Page 9] majesty for the great honour he in­tended him; but begged leave to decline the ceremony, on account of the haemorrhoids, 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 [Page 10] 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 Yaff­ray, 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 [Page 11] 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, [Page 12] 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 daemon 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 [Page 13] 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, nor 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 [Page 14] 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 [Page 15] 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. [Page 16] The Pisones were millers: the Cice­rones and the Lentuli were so called from the vetches 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 pro­praetor, because his great-great-great-grand-father had a nose of that [Page 17] 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, Rusi, 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 found 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 [Page 18] does not come from the Roman cog­nomen Hala, which signified stinking­breath. What need I mention the Plauti, Panci, Valgi, Vari, Vatiae, and Scauri; the Tuditani, the Ma­lici, Cenestellae, and Leccae; in other words, the Splay-foots, Bandy-legs, Shamble-shins, Baker-knees, Club­foots, 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 [Page 19] 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 [Page 20] 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 Snow­hill, 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 [Page 21] 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 [Page 22] 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, [Page 23] 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 [Page 24] 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 [Page 25] 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 [Page 26] 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 [Page 27] 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 [Page 28] 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. [Page 29] 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 [Page 30] 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 [Page 31] 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 [Page 32] 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 [Page 33] 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.

[Page 34] 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 Mant-choux, 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 [Page 35] 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 [Page 36] 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 [Page 37] 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 [Page 38] 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-rhé, 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 [Page 39] Yan-oni, and divers strong holds. In the neighbourhood of Yesso, Bron­xi-tic, 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 [Page 40] 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 [Page 41] 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 [Page 42] 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 [Page 43] 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 horse­blood 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, cork­jackets, 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, [Page 44] 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, [Page 45] 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 penny­weight averdupois of Great-Britain. Even Taycho himself was discom­posed.—In vain he presented the draught of yeast, and the goblet [Page 46] 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 [Page 47] 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 [Page 48] Ya-loff, the real conqueror of Quib-quab, was no more.—He fell in the battle by which the conquest was atchieved, 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 [Page 49] 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. [Page 50] 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 [Page 51] 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 compleat 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 [Page 52] 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 [Page 53] 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 bull-dogs 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 [Page 54] 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 [Page 55] 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 [Page 56] 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 [Page 57] 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 [Page 58] 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 [Page 59] 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, praedatory 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 [Page 60] 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 Got-hama-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 [Page 61] 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 seasible experiment for the recovery of Got-hama-baba: he therefore consented that the mouths of the council should be unpadlock­ed [Page 62] 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 Aelian, 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, [Page 63] 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. [Page 64] 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 rythm 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 [Page 65] 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 [Page 66] 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 [Page 67] 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 [Page 68] 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 nick-nacks 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 [Page 69] 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 [Page 70] 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 sac­tions, 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, [Page 71] 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, [Page 72] 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 dying­day.—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 [Page 73] 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 wag­gon. 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, [Page 74] 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 [Page 75] 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 [Page 76] 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 [Page 77] 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 [Page 78] 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 [Page 79] 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 Aegypt, 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 [Page 80] 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 [Page 81] 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 [Page 82] 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, Hoe­morrhoissa, 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 [Page 83] 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 free­booter had lately undergone strange vicissitudes of fortune. He had seen [Page 84] 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-xi­tic, 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-an­tiffi, 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 [Page 85] 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 [Page 86] 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 andscullions; shut up one of the kitchens, after having sold the grates, hand-irons, spits and sauce­pans; 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 soup­meagre thickened with oat-meal. In [Page 87] 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 anti­chamber; 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. [Page 88] 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 Yak­strot declared that Maecenas 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, [Page 89] 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 [Page 90] 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 [Page 91] 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.

[Page 92] 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 [Page 93] 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 [Page 94] 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 [Page 95] 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 [Page 96] 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 Soo­san-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 absolute­lutely 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 [Page 97] 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. Fokh-si-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 Fat-sisio: secondly, the loss and hardship [Page 98] 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 merchant­ships 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 [Page 99] usual form; and when that should be refused, it might be found 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 Yak­strot, he clapped his thumbs in his ears, and began to bray like an ass: [Page 100] 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, [Page 101] 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 [Page 102] 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 qnandary, 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 [Page 103] 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 [Page 104] 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 [Page 105] 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 [Page 106] 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, [Page 107] 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, [Page 108] 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 [Page 109] on 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 [Page 110] 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 [Page 111] 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, [Page 112] 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 [Page 113] 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 pe­periods, [Page 114] 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, [Page 115] 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 [Page 116] opinion that some effectual inqui­sition should be held on this phaenomenon, 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 [Page 117] 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-si­rokhu, who was at that instant the most unpopular man in the whole empire of Japan; and at the insti­gation of this collegue, deprived of [Page 118] 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, [Page 119] 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 full­stare, 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 [Page 120] 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 Yak­strot 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 [Page 121] 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 Yak­strot 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 [Page 122] 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, lanthorn­jaws, 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 [Page 123] 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 [Page 124] 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, [Page 125] 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 Sti­phi-rum-poo [Page 126] and Nin-kom-poo-poo, who had been turned adrist 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 sol­low 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 Gio­gio, 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 [Page 127] 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-it­kum-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. Thin­quo was reduced almost without op­position; and news arrived that the conquest of Fan-yah was already [Page 128] 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 [Page 129] 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 [Page 130] 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 [Page 131] 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, [Page 132] 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 [Page 133] 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 persidy, 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 [Page 134] 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 sorces and ships of war; declaring, at the same [Page 135] 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.

[Page 136] 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 [Page 137] 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 [Page 138] 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.

[Page 139] Mean while the enemies of Yak­strot 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 [Page 140] 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 [Page 141] 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 mal­administration 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, [Page 142] 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 [Page 143] 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 Fatz­man, 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 [Page 144] 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 hand­barrow, wrapped up in flannel, with three woollen night-caps on his head, efcorted 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 [Page 145] 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-si­rokhu [Page 146] 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 [Page 147] of quaint rhimes, which were said to be inspirations of the daemon 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 [Page 148] 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 daemon 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 [Page 149] 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 pro­per 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 [Page 150] 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 [Page 151] 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 [Page 152] 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 [Page 153] 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 [Page 154] with the same sentiment in the La­tin tongue.

Virtus repulsae nescia sordidae
Intaminatis fulget honoribus;
Nec sumit, aut ponit secures
Arbitrio popularis aurae.

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 [Page 155] 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 [Page 156] 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, [Page 157] 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 [Page 158] 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 [Page 159] 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. [Page 160] 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: [Page 161] 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.

[Page 162] 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 [Page 163] 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 [Page 164] 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 [Page 165] 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 good­natured 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 [Page 166] 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 [Page 167] 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 [Page 168] 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.

[Page 169] 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, that 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 [Page 170] 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 [Page 171] 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 Praff­fog should be ennobled and prefer­red to the most eminent place in the tribunals of Japan; and that all his friends and dependants should be [Page 172] 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 [Page 173] 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 [Page 174] 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 [Page 175] 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 [Page 176] 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 Yak­strot, [Page 177] 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 [Page 178] 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 Legionbegan 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. [Page 179] 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 [Page 180] 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. [Page 181] 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 [Page 182] 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 wrong­box; 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 [Page 183] 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, [Page 184] 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 [Page 185] 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 exe­creation 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, [Page 186] 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 [Page 187] 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 [Page 188] 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. [Page 189] He now summoned council after council to deliberate upon conciliatory expedients; but found the motley crew so divided by self­interest, 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 [Page 190] 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.


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