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Description os the ABBEr os L IN C LV DEN.
1HE Abbey of Lincluden, about half a mile distant from Dumfries, is seated on the water of the Cluden. It was sounded and filled with Benedictine Nuns, in the time of Malcolm IV. by Uthred, father to Roland, Lord of Galloway. These were expelled by the Earl of Douglas, who fixed in their places a Provostry, with twelve beadsmen, and changed the name to that of the College.
Part of the house and chancel, and some of the South wall of the church, are the sole remains of this ancient structure: in the chancel is the elegant tomb of Margaret, daughter of Ruben III. and wife of Archibald Earl of Douglas, first Duke ofTerouan, and son of Archibald the Grim. Her effigy, at full length, lay on the stone, her head resting on two cushions ; but the figure is now mutilated. The tomb is in form of an arch, with all parts most beautifully carved. Beneath one of the windows are two rows of figures; the upper of angels, the lower of a corps and other figures; all much defaced, but seemingly designed to express the preparations for the interment of our Saviour.—Behind the house are vestiges of a flower garden, with the parterres and scrolls very visible ; and near that a great artificial mount, with a spiral walk to the top, which is hollowed, and has a turf feat around to command the beautiful views; so that the Provost and his beadsmen seem to have consulted the lux.uries.as well as necessaries of life.
Os Filial Piety in China4
EVERY civilized nation has its civil, as well as criminal laws. By the siist, the citizen becomes acquainted with his own rights, and learas to respect those of his neighbour; by the second, he is informed what punishment he must expect, if be infringes the former, disturbs the peace of society, or transgresses against the inviolable laws of nature. There is still a third kind of law, which derives its force more from custom and national manners, than from authority. Filial piety is so much honoured and respected in China, that no instances is known of a legislator's having been under the necessity of enforcing it by enacting laws in its favour. In China, it is not considered as a simple rule of decency, or duty purely natural: it is a point of religion—and a point of religion that is observed with the greatest strictness and attention.
3 • Crosier't Central
It is, at the fame time, one of the main spiings of the Chinese government; it may justly be called the principal cause of its existence, as the atnor patria was that of the ancient republics: but filial piety in this empire is understood in a more extensive sense than it generally is in Europe. Its principal object here, is, that the subjects should behave to their sovereign as children, and the sovereign protect his subjects as the common father of the nation.—The ancients called him even the father and mother os the empire } a mode of expression peculiar to the orientals, but an expression full of energy.
Filial piety regulates in China the duties of fathers, as well as of children, and those, too, of the emperor, considered as the father or patriarch of all. The authority with which he is invested corresponds to this title; D 2 a;; j
Description os Ctina,
and po attempt has ever yet been made to dispute it. There have been, it is true, some bad emperors in the course of sour thousand years; and there have been also some instances of rebellion ; but these have been always viewed in the fame light as those momentary phenomena which appear contrary to the established laws of nature. Such phenomena pass; good order is re-establiflicd, and the system of the world remains still the fame as before.
Filial reverence (recommended by the most ancient philosophers of the empire, and sometimes forgotten) was restored to its former vigour by the lesions of the celebrated Confucius, or Con-fou-tfee, whose writings are entirely confined to morality; and who is considered as the legislator of China, although there have been a great many others. The ideas of that celebrated philosopher respecting filial piety, which he calls the basis of all other virtues, are as follow:
To filial piety he attributes all, the virtuous actions of the ancient emperors whose reigns were so mild, -peaceful, and flourishing. He says, that, if the emperor and princes give to the people an example of their obedience and respectful submission to their pa tents, no person will dare to behave with contempt, or shew aversion to those to whom he owes hi? existence; that, step by step, subordination will be established in the empire ; and that this subordination will pioduce tranquillity: for, when concord reigns in every family, all the subjects of the prince will endeavour to promote the internal peace of the empire. Let the emperor give an example of filial reJpect; he will be imitated by his courtiers; the mandarins will be regulated by these, and the people by the mandarins. Of all the works of natgre, pothing is nobler than map ; the best action a man, therefore, can do, is to honour those who produced him: but a father is, in respect of his son, what peaven is, in respect of its creatures:
a son is, consequently, to his father, what a subject is to his sovereign.
The l.'t-ki (this is the fourth of the classical books of the Chinese called the Kirg) is also a kind of code respecting'filial piety. We ca'l it a code, because the precepts delivered in that book have acquired the force of laws. We shall here select some passages from it.
'A son, impressed with a doe fense
• of filial piety, listens, to his panxTs 'when they address him: he fees 'them, without being in their pic*. fence.
'A son possesses no property of his ! own during the life of his parents;
• he cannot even expose his life to 'save that of a friend.'—This precept would ill agree with our manners; and, on that account, we are undoubtedly no losers.
'An ingenuous youth equally af voids whatever may conceal, ot cx'pose his talents, because his reputa'tion is not his own j it belongs to 'his parents.
* A son ought not to fit any where 'on the fame mat with his father.
♦, When a father or mother meets with 'any cause of discontentment or sor
• row, a son neither pays nor receives 'visit;. Is either of them sick—his 'concern appears in the negligence of
< his dress, the sadness of his looks,
• and by embarrassment in speaking; 'he touches no musical instrument, 'and avoids, above all things, being 'in a passion.
* A son who respects the Li (that
< is to fay, the Rule of Filial Respect) 'takes cue that his father and mother 'be kept warm in Winter, and cool •in Summer; evening and motnief, 'he visits their chamber, to be fully 'assured, that they are in want of
«. An ingenuous youth never goes 'abroad without acquainting his f*> 4 ther, nor ever enters without going
• to salute him.
« He never speaks of infirmities w
'old age in the presence of the authors
• of his '.'xifrenec.
'A son no where sits upon the fame
• mat wiih his father; in his paternal 'home, he never occupies the middle
• „j.anmcnt, and never goes out by
• the middle of the door.
4 A son mould quit every engage
• ment, and without the least delay,
• to obey the voice of his father, when
• he calls.
• 'A son who has lost his father and 'mother, ever after renounces brilli
• ancy of dress, ar.d abstains from wear''"g gaudy colours. His mourning is 4 long and ligid : part of it consists in
• fasting. During that interval, he can4 not eat fiefh, except he happens to
• be sick. This is also the only circum4 stance which permits him to drink 4 wine.
4 A well-disposed youth never visits 4 the friend of his father but when he 4 is invited; he does not retire till he
• obtains permission, and speaks only 'when he is spoken to.'
When he walks in company with his ciders, he never turns aside to speak to another.—' Honour, as your father and mother,' fays the Li-Hi, him whose age is double of your own; and as your eldest brother, him whose years exceed yours by ten.'
4 A son who has attained to the age of fifty, is not obliged to carry the abstinence prescribed by the rules of mourrjing, to such rigour, as to suffer himself to become emaciated; greater indulgence shall be still granted him, if he has reached sixty j at the age of seventy, mourning is confined to the colour of his cloathes.' 4 When any of the literati is desirous of quitting his country, you must endeavour to dissuade him from his resolution, and say to him—
4 be purchased before all others. These • must never be sold, nor must those 4 trees be cut down which grow round 4 places of sepulture, however needy 4 the owner may be.'
But let us return to the duties of a son towards his father and mother in their life-time. 4 A son must ho4 nour his parents, without any regard 4 to their bad qualities; he must care4 fully hide their faults, and conceal, 4 even from them, whatevet knowledge 4 he has of their detects : he may, how4 ever, if he judges it necessary, remori4 strate with them upon their conduct; 4 and this he is authorised to do three 4 times. Are his admonitions negleo 4 ted—he vents his grief in sighs ; but 4 he remains silent, and continues to 4 serve them with the same teipect and 4 affection as before.
4 When a son accompanies his fa• ther, he must only follow him, and 4 keep at the distance of a pace be4 hind. A younger son most pay the 4 fame respectful deference to one who 4 is older.
4 A son must never quarrel with his 4 father, or an old friend.
4 If a son makes any attempt against 4 the life of his father or mother, eve4 ry officer and domestic belonging to 4 the family is authorised to kill the 4 parricide. The house snail be de4 molilhed, and rased from the foun4 dation; and the place on which it 4 steod shall be changed into a com4 mon fewer.'
This law, published by Ting-kong, king of Tchou, seems to have been adopted throughout the whole empire; but seldom does there occur any necessity of putting it in execution. Tingkong imposed upon himself a kind os penance, for not having prevented a crime of this nature ; or rather, to expiate the disgrace which it cast upon
What I "willyou abandon the tombs of his reign: he condemned himself to
4 If any one builds a palace, let him first construct the hall of his ancestors. The vases necessary for the *. persormiog'offuneraloeremoniesmusl:
abstain from wine during a whole month.
4 A son who wears mourning for 4 his father or mother (mourning which • lasts three years) is exempted from
* all public service. The only son of
* a father who has reached the age of
* fouiscore, enjoys the fame privilege;
* the whole family of him who has
* reached ninety; and, lastly, the sons fcof all those who are obliged to at4 tend upon the sick.'
When we read these instructions, can we help exclaiming—What excellent morality ! what i»ife precepts rcspefiing relative duties ! and what lessons os humanity! We shall row procsed to some others, of a different kind which will afford ample matter for certain reflections.
'Permit notthe murderer of your
* father to breathe the fame air with you.
* Never lay aside your arms, while he 'lives who hath deprived a brother of 'existence j and inhabit not the fame
* kingdom with him who hath destroy
* ed your friend.
'When Confucius was asked, in
* what manner a son ought to b-h.ive
* towards the enemy of his father, this
* philosopher replied—He ought (o/Ieep
* dressed in mourning, and to httve no
* other pillow but his arms'
These two articles seem contradictory to the law, which punishes with death every murdteter, and even those vho act in self-defence.
It may, however, be supposed, that it contains an exception in favo.ur of those who have taken away the life of another in defending a father, or to revenge his death. We have already seen, that the Emperor of China is considered as the common father of the Whole nation : filial piety extends even to him; and he himself gives an example of this virtue before he succeeds his father. He never really assumes his place until the time prescribed for mourning be expired; and the term os mourning continues three years. during this interval, the helm of affairs is managed by a certain number of mandarins, who are appointed for "that purpose.
The respect which the Chinese shew towards the dead, is equal to that yrhich they ihew to parents of an ad
vanced age, while Irving. If the enperor happens to meet a funeral proceffion when he goes abroad, he never fails to send some of his attendants to condole with the relations of the deceased.
The heii-apparent to the throne is carefully instructed in the reciprocal duties of a father and son, prince and subject. He is often told, that a son who knows and practises his duty, will equiHy discharge the obligations of a father; that" a prince, born tor the throne, qualifies himself for being a sovereign, when he has learned what is required in a good subject; and, lastly, that to be able to command, one must first study to obey.
The endeavours of moralists to maintain and promote filial respect, hare received no small support ftom the influence of government and the authority of laws. The observance*of this virtue is strongly inculcated in all die public schools of the empire ; it it even that part of education which is first taught, and on which the greatest attention is bestowed. The laws also have regulated, with the greatest precision and accuracy, the relative obligations of children and parents; of younger and elder children ; of husbands and wives; of uncles and nephews, &c. Gentle chastisement is employed to restrain cm the one hand, while flattering rewards give encouragement on the other.
One of the most powerful means employed by the emperor of China, to. maintain and encourage the observance of filial duty, has always been, to grant only to fathers, whether living or dead, those marks of distinction which their sons might have merited on their own account. The example we are going to give is ancient; but we think proper to relate it, because it is striking. Cbouantzee, whose son had been the prime minister of the prince of Ouei, having died, the son begged that some title of honour might be conferred upon his father. Thr prince replied, ' When the kingdom
* os Out! Was desolated by famine, your
* father distributed rice to those who
* were in greatest distress—-What be
* nesicence! The kingdom otOuei was
* then almost on the eve of its decline;
* your father defended its interests at
* the hazard of his life—What fideli
* ty! the government of the kingdom 'of Ouei, having been intrusted to the 'care of your father, he enacted ma'ny excellent laws, maintained peace 'and friendship with all the neigh'bouring princes, and preserved the
* rights and prerogatives of my crown
* —What wisdom! The title of honour
* therefore which I confer upon him,
* is that of Tcbin-attei-avcn, wife, faith
* ful, and beneficent.'
Every thing here attributed to the father, had been effected by the son; but in China the father has the merit of every good action which the son performs.
Before we finish, we must touch upon some of the manners and customs of the Chinese; for in this singular empire filial duty depends as much upon these as on the laws themselves; and what decidedly proves it, is, that the emperor conforms to customary etiquette with as much strictness as the meanest of his subjects. Should he appear deficient in this respect, he would be guilty of the greatest political error he could possibly commit. Filial duty commences in families, and rises step by step to the common father, who surpasses even the meanest of his subjects, either in that kind of reverence which is considered as due to ancestors, or in his conduct to the impress mother, if she survives her husband. No- mother in the world, of whatever sank (he may be, is so highly honoured and respected, and in so public a manner.
It is above all on the first day of «very new year, that these masks'of respect and attention are renewed with the greatest minuteness, and in a very striking manner. We shall here give the outlines of them from the relation #f those who were eye-witnesses,
Scarcely has the fun appeared above the horizon, when the mandarins of all the tribunals repair to the palace, where they range themselves in a line according to their rank, in tkat court, which separates the hall of audience from the interior gate of the palace: they are all dressed in their robes of ceremony. The princes and lords of the royal family, invested with particular distinguishing badges, are placed in a line in the fame court according to the rank which they hold in the empire. When the empetor leaves his chamber to pay his respects to his mother, he enters his chair of state, in which he is carried to her apartment, although the distance is very small. This apartment is situated in the interior part of the palace, and is separated from that of the emperor only by a few courts. * Those who bear the insignia of the empire, that is to fay, the maces, pikes, standards, &c. have scarcely advanced a few paces, altho' they stand so close, that they almost touch one another, when they are arrived at the first court of die palace of the empress-mother, where they range themselves in two lines. The mandarins also range themselves in two lines, and the princes of the blood and lords of the royal family do the fame in the third court, which is opposite to the hall that contains the throne of the empress-mother.The emperor quits his chair in the vestibuse of this court, and crosses \i on foot. He then ascends the east-' enr stair-case (it would be disrespect* sol to go up by that in the middle J which conducts to the platform oil which the empress-mother's hall of audience is placed. When he reaches the covered gallery, which forrr.i the front of the building, a manda-f rin of the Li-fox (or Tribunal of Ceremonies), throws himself on his knees, and presents a petition from the emperor, the purport of which is to beg that her imperial majesty/ would be pleased to receive-on her throne the humble marks of duty