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The dissimilarity of disposition manifested by the Twins, as they grow
up-Their mutual complaisance-A sketch of some of the inconveniences attendant upon a double life-The introduction of Mr. Hodges; the valuable truths discovered by that great traveller, as solely indigenous to Siam—The ungracious reception experienced by Mr. Hodges, in his zeal to reform the Bancok noblemen-His publicspirited resolution; his harangue, and the equivocal honours wherewith it is rewarded-The dangers of having greatness thrust upon us, exemplified by a certain fall-The influence which the consequences of that fall exercise over Chang and Ching—Simile, which concludes the chapter.
I THINK, my own beloved Helvetius,
Your reasoning was less sound than specious,
When you averred, howe'er the frame
Varied—all minds were made the same;
That every colouring or gradation,
Was but the effect of education,
And rear'd alike, there had been no
Difference 'twixt David Hume and Joe!
I think 'tis clear, my Twins, who ne'er
A moment could be separated,
Must almost every influence * share
That e'er to either might be fated ;
And little to the one or other
Could happen, nor affect the brother.
And yet they were as much dissimilar
As ever Honesty and Miller are;
For me, I have the Spurzheim mania,
And trace the mystery to their crania.
Now one—but first-a serious thing
To choose-upon their names we waver"Tis done! the gayer's Master Ching
And Master Chang shall be the graver.
Now Chang was slow, he learnt his letters
As if his memory moved in fetters,
Crippled his pace, and made him gain
The goal of Knowledge grain by grain ;
Yet must you not believe at once,
That Chang was therefore quite a dunce;
His memory, like a trusty hound,
Swept, gathering vigour, o'er the ground;
Was firm of foot, and sure of breath,
And ne'er done up before the death.
Besides, he was a deep reflector,
A silent, but a shrewd inspector;
And early loved, with patient ken,
into the hearts of men ;
Often—while Ching good things was saying,
Or noisily at drafts was playing ;
Often for hours, he sate-so mute,
You'd thought some hand from stone had shaped him, Yet not a wrinkle in your boot,
A twinkle of your eye, escaped him:
Nor did whate'er he might discover,
Content, or for a while relax him,
But still the shell was brooded over,
Until it burst into a maxim.
His mind thus slowly gathered matter,
Which musing sharpened into satire;
I own I think that the sagacious,
Are very seldom found loquacious ;
at times abash us : But-oh! the mute bite of a Cassius !
But Ching was hasty, quick, and clever,
His soul's glad stream flowed out for ever;
He learnt his tasks by glancing o'er them,
(Though not, like Chang, with care to store them,)
He loved his jest, although a sad one,
Nor shunn d a bottle, tho' forbade one ;
He swore that thought was made for asses,
And talked already of the lasses.
Chang, tho' austere, was mild in bearing,
Calm as a smile from Lady Bury ;
But Ching perpetually was swearing,
And fidgetting himself to fury.
Yet Ching's wrath bore not aught unpleasant,
Was up, and o'er, quite effervescent,
No more conceiving of revenge,
Than Siam's masons of Stonehenge;