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Essays from Elia.
ANKIND, says a Chinese manuscript Nia which my friend M. was obliging emus enough to read and explain to me,
for the first seventy thousand ages ate their meat raw, clawing or biting it from the living animal, just as they do in Abyssinia to this day. This period is not obscurely hinted at by their great Confucius in the second chapter of his “Mundane Mutations,” where he
* According to Charles Lamb's own acknowledgment, he was indebted for the motif of this delicious morsel of drollery to his old associate, Thomas Manning, who had passed many years of his life as a resident among the Chinese. Mr. Carew Hazlitt has, however, very clearly demonstrated that it was not a Chinese manuscript at all that was read and explained to Elia by his friend Manning, but something quite " as good as Chinese” to Charles Lamb; to wit, a printed quarto poem in Italian (of which he understood little or nothing), written in the terza rima, by Tigrinio Bistonio, and published in 1761 at Modena, the theme of the book being "The Praises of the Pig," as its title plainly intimated : “ Gli Elogi del Porco Capitoli Berneschi, di i'iprinio Bistonio."