« PrécédentContinuer »
thin. They consist only of a fole, without upper-leather or quarters. Before there passes over, transversely, a bow of linen, of a finger’s breadth : from the point of the shoe to this bow, goes a thin round band, which, running within the great toe, serves to keep the shoe fixed to the foot. The hoe, being without quarters, slides, during walking, like a flipper. Travellers have three bands of twisted ftraw, by which they fasten the shoe to the foot and leg, to prevent its falling off. Some carry several pairs of Thues with them when they undertake a journey. Shoes may, moreover, be bought, at a cheap rate, in every city and village. When it rains, and when the roads are miry, these strạw-shoes absorb the voiture, and keep the feet wet.
On the roads you may every where see worn-oạt shoes thrown aside by travellers ; particularly at the brooks, where they can wash their feet when they change fhoes. In rainy and dirty weather, lumps of wood, excavated in the middle, with a bow and a band for the toe, are used instead of shoes ; so that they can walk without fuiling their feet. Some have the common straw-shoes fastened on such pieces of wood, three inches high. The Japanese never enter their houses with shoes, but put them off in the entrance, or on a
near the entrance. This precaution is taken for the fake of their neat carpets. During the time the Dutch reside in Japan, as they have sometimes occasion.co pay the natives visits in their houses, and as they have their own apartment at
factory covered with the same sort of carpets, they do not wear European shoes, but have, in their stead, red, green, or black flippers, which can easily be put off at entering in. They, however, wear stockings, with shoes of cotton, fastened by buckles. These thoes are made in Japan, and may be washed whenever they become dirty.
The way of dressing the hair is not less peculiar to this people, and less universally prevalent among them, than the use of their long gowns. The men have the head from the forehead to the neck; and the hair remaining on the temples, and in the nape, is well besmeared with oil, turned upwards, and then tied with a white paper thread, which is wrapped round several times. The ends of the hair beyond the head, áre cut crossways, about a finger's length being left. This part, after being parted together with oil, is bent in such a manner, that the point is brought to the crown of the head, in which situation it is fixed, by passing the same thread round it once. Great attention is paid to this head-dress; and the hair is shaved every other day, that the sprouting points may not disfigure the bald part. Priests and physicians, with interpreters, that are not arrived at maturity, make the only ex
ception to this rule. Priests and physicians shave the whole head, by which they are diftinguished from all other ranks ; and interpreters retain all their hair till the beard begins to appear. Women, except such as happen to be separated from their husbands, shave no part of their head. Such a person I had occasion to see at Jeddo. She was wandering about the country, and, with her bald head, looked particularly ill. Other women turn their hair upwards with oil and viscid sub ! Atances, sometimes quite close to the head, and at others spread out at the sides in the form of wings. The unmarried are frequently distinguished by these wings. Before the knot is placed a broad comb, which, among the lower fort, is of japanned wood; but, among the higher, of tortoise-shell. Some wear flowers in their hair ; but vanity has not yet led them to load their ears with ornaments.
The head is never covered with hat or bonnet in winter or in summer, except when they are on a journey; and then they ufe a conical hat, made of a sort of grass, and fixed with a ribband. I have seen such a hat worn by fishermen. Some travelling women, who are met with on the roads, have a bonnet like a shaving-bafon inverted, on the head, which is made of cloth, in which gold is interwoven. On other occafions, their naked heads are preserved, both from rain and the sun, by umbrellas. Travellers, moreover, have a sort of riding-coat, made of thick paper oiled. They are worn by the upper servants of princes, and the suite of other travellers. I and my fellow-travellers, during our journey to court, were obliged to provide such for our attendants, when we passed through the place where they are made.
A Japanese always has his arms painted on one or more of his garments, especially on the long and short gowns, on the fleeves, or between the shoulders; so that nobody can steal ; which otherwise might easily happen in a country where the clothes are so much alike in stuff, shape, and lize.
The houses are, in general, of wood and plaster, whitewashed on the outside, so as perfectly to resemble a house built of stone. The beams are all perpendicular and horizontal; none go in an oblique direction, as elsewhere is usual in houses constructed of such materials. Between the pieces of wood, which are square, and but thin, bamboos are interwoven. which are afterwards plastered with a mixture of clay, sand, and chalk. Thus the walls are not very thick, but, when whitewashed, they make a tolerably good appearance. There are no partition-walls within the house; it is supported by upright pieces, which, at the ceiling, and at the floor, have crosspieces passing between them, with grooves, which afterwa ds serve for parting the rooms. The whole house, at first, makes
but a single room, which can be parted into several, by sliding boards in the grooves of the cross-pieces. They use, for this purpose, thin boards varnished over and covered with thick opake and painted paper. The ceiling is made of boards jointed close together ; but the floor, which is always elevated above the ground, consists of loose planks. The roof consists of tiles, made in a peculiar manner, very thick and heavy. The meaner houses are covered with Nabs, upon which an heap of stones is laid to fix them down.
The houses commonly consist of two stories, of which the upper is seldom inhabited; it is very low, and serves for lumber-room.' The houses of the rich and great are larger, and make a greater shew than those of others; but they are not above two stories, or at most twenty feet in height.
[ To be continued. ]
MONTHLY CATALOG U E.
[ For MARCH, 1786. ]
Art. 17. The Novelties of a Year and a Day, in a Series of Pieturesque
Letters, on the Characters, Manners, and Customs of the Spanish, French, and English Nations ; interspersed with Real Anecdotes. By Figaro. London, printed for the Author, at the Logographic Press. Izmo 35 sewed. Sold by J. Murray.
HE author, knowing that Figaro is a favourite, both here and
in France, has endeavoured to profit by his celebrity. The work is a mere sketch, of which the touch, in some parts, is not amiss : had the canvas been properly filled up, it would have acquired more interest and importance. Some of the leading traits in the characters, manners, and customs of the French and English nations, are marked with sufficient force and correctness; of the Spanish, little or nothing is said. The work, flight as it is, will afford information to fome, and entertainment to many.
ART. 18. The Gamefiers; a Novel. By the Authoress of Burton Wood,
and Josepb. izmo. 3 vols. 7s, 6d. sewed, Baldwin, 1786.
This novel has more to recommend it, than most publications of the kind, which every day make their appearance. The characters are well supported, and sufficiently various ; the story well toid, and the language above mediocrity. While it possesses the merit of placing, in
the most ftriking light, the fatal consequences of gaming, and illicit amour, there is not a thought or expression in the whole, that can bring a blush into the cheek of modesty, or taint the youthful imagination. But the performance is not without its blemishes ; fomething like what is called stage trick in the drama, not seldom makes its appearance; the story is sometimes not sufficiently probable; and the boundless culpability of Mr. Wilmot often tempts us to despise him, though he is represented in other respects as a sensible man. It is, however, a considerable acquisition to the circulating libraries; and we heartily wish, that these repositories of idle occupation were filled with works of equal innocence and respectability. Art. 19. The Patriad: An Heroic Poem, in Three Books. 4to. 2s. 6d.
The design of this performance is to ridicule the patriots, whe. ther English or Irish, who opposed Mr. Pitt's twenty propositions. The propositions, in the opinion of our author, included a commercial system, full of the wifeft policy, and the most enlightened beneficience. The moral of his performance is included in one couplet.
• Patriots I hate you, great and small,
One HoNEST MAN is worth you all.' The Atile of the performance is intended to be Hudibraftic, and the two first books are employed in what our author calls an invoca. tion. A number of muses are supposed to pass in review ; and one of them is at length selected, by whose means we are kindly informed, that our author writes in the spirit of Ariftophanes, Plautus, Terence, Horace, Juvenal, Martial, Ariosto, Boccace, Rabelais, Le Fontaine, Moilere, Boileau, La Motte, Scarron, Shakespeare, Butler, Prior, Buckingham, Swift, Arbuthnot, Gay, Congreve, Garrick, Thornton, Coleman, Foot, Churchill, Sterne, and Peter Pindar. Having thus stated our author's modest pretensions, we will present our readers with one example of his execution.
« That mufe, who feems so won'drous coy,
be rude; but, on my life,
Could make a pudding or a pye
So far, fair sisters, 'tis agreed,
To other bards you may proceed.' The character of the Patriad may be given in two words. The author has a few glimmerings of humour, but a full fhunshine of illiterateness and ignorance. His great skill lies in understanding, according to the prescription of Horace, the quid valeant humani. Had he pretended to write with thought and deliberation, he would have been intolerable, but he luckily enters into the file of a man already half seas over with fun and strong beer. Art. 20. An Authentic Account of Forgeries and Frauds, of various
kinds, commited by that most Consummate Adept in Deception, Charles Price, otherwise Patch, many years a Lottery Office Keeper, in London and Westminster; who, to avoid a shameful and ingnominious Death, destroyed himself in Tothill-Fjelds Bridewell, on the 24th of January, 1786. Published principally to gratify the Curiosity of the People, concerning a Man, who bad baffled every Mode of Detection set on Foot by the Directors the Bank of England, and the Magiftrates of Bow-ftreet, for upwards of five years. With which is given, as a Frontispiece, an exacī Representation of his Person, in the Disguise which he wore when he negociated his first Parcel of Counterfeit Bank Notes, in the Year 1780; and likewise bis Portrait in his usual Dress. Small 8vo, Kearsley. 1786.
These memoirs of villany, although written in a very valgar manner, and without that perspicuity and clearness, which are sometimes to be found in the most vulgar narratives, fufficiently illustrate the truth of the maxim, that honesty is the best policy: and furnish no uninteresting comment on the famous verses of the pfalmift, on the excellence of moral wisdom, “ I have more understanding than all my teachers; for thy testimonies are my meditation : I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.” Had this unhappy man but known the peace of them that reverence the laws of God, this conviction would have availed him more than all his penetration, ENG. Rev. VOL. VI. Mar:h, 1786. Р