« TrướcTiếp tục »
very moderate-My fervants were on board wages, at the rate of three livres each per day.
12th September. Dined at the Tete de Beuf, at Abbeville, very well, with a bottle of good burgundy, for a reckoning of fix livres-Supped and staid at the poft houfe Felixcourt, and fared well, for feven livres -In feveral articles, the expence of pofting here is more moderate than in Britain-The rate per mile is lefs-We pay no tolls, no charge to waiters, hoftler, or boot-catch-The waiting maids and drivers are well contented with one livre each.
13th September. I breakfasted at the Duke de Burgogne Arms-The French people are joyous and happy in all ranks, down to the lowest poverty-They are more properly objects of our envy than pity-My ragged driver this morning enjoyed his pipe, and fung a merry song by turns-Whilft, with fome British thoufands of income, I could not divert a fit of British melancholy. To me, every thing appeared under a gloom -The ill condition of villages I had paffed throughHalf inhabited-Houfes in dreary difrepair-Numbers of beggars, of whom the most deteftable are CapuchinsCustom-house extortions-A fine country, ill cultivated and uninclofed-Nothing like the accommodations for travelling in Britain.-N. B. I had been reading my friend Smollet's observations on this route.
14th September. I dined and slept at Bretuil-After dinner, I imbibed with my excellent burgundy, a portion of French fpirit and good humour-I perceived that the ill condition and ruinous ftate of villages, as described, was exaggerated-I confidered that it was better idle people be allowed to beg, than that the induftrious fhould be obliged to maintain them --The disgrace of begging is some restraint on the practice, and the miferable uncertainty of its fuccefs, a ftill greater difcouragement-But legal maintenance is the reverse-It is a never-failing incitement to idlenefs, and difcouragement to industry-The Ca VOL. III. Q
puchins are respectful, generally modeft in their applications, and very pioufly thankful, returning prayers as value for our charity; and what better pennyworths have we from our own established clergy?-The cuftom-houfe officers are on public duty-A moderate bounty contents them, and they are always polite— The farmers begin to make some improvements in this country, and they feem to be in a good train-In the north of England and Scotland, the theory and practice of ornamental and profitable agriculture, are of a very modern date-If the accommodations for travelling in the articles of hired carriages, drivers, harnefs, are not yet fo good as in Britain, they are cheaper, and this advantage is alfo a modern improvement, in which, with other more important reforms, it is not improbable that they may foon excell us.-Moft kinds of provifions are good and plentiful in this countryCookery, to the general tafte, is fuperior; the wine better, and cheaper Good burgundy for the price of adulterated port, in the English inns.-Thefe are capital articles for honeft 'fellows who love good cheer, and defire not to join any of those multitudes who difturb this world fo often about ferious, and, for the moft part, incomprehenfible matters.
To be continued.
To the Editor of the Bee. is
A few evenings ago, having accidentally caft my cye upon the queries of Arcturus, in the 9th number of the second volume of your useful mifcellany, concerning the great revolution of the heavens, or the Platome year, as explained by Mr. de la Grange, of the academy of Berlin; I fell into a profound and pleafing meditation (after fupper, when I had retired to reft),
on the regularity and beauty of the univerfe,and on the divine energy of its creator,
Aftronomy and natural philofophy have always been my favourite ftudies, and I may fay, the attendants of my devotion; fo that while thefe delightful thoughts had taken full poffeffion of my imagination, I fell into a sweet fleep, that called up before me the following most enchanting delufion.
Methought I was feated on the ruins of a stately edifice, that feemed to be the remains of an ancient abbey.
The architecture exhibited a mixture of Greek, Roman, and Gothic; yet it was exceedingly pleafing and majestic.
All over the huge fragments of this magnificent building, I saw the ufurpation of nature over art, that indicated the great antiquity of its deftruction.
Oaks, elms, and yews, of an immenfe bulk, grew from the rubbish within the walls.
The fhapes of the doors and windows feemed but little altered; fome of them were quite obfcured; others only partially shaded by tufts of ivy; one circular window was edged only with its flender tendrils, and lighter foliage, wreathing about the fides and divifions of its aftragal carvings, which were radiated from the centre to the circumference.
From the crevices of the ruins, there fprung a profufion of flowers, in the wildeft, but most beautiful diforder.
The gold and purple gleam of the fetting fun fhone through the doors and windows, and the open aifles of the structure, beyond which there was a beautiful meadow, sprinkled with venerable trees of various hue and fhape, amid the stems of which I obferved a beautiful flock of fheep, and a shepherd reclining on the turf, playing on a flute to a fhepherdess who stood by him, leaning on her crook, in a beautiful attitude of attention to his mufic.
From the reverberation of rocks that were beyond, a beautiful river that flowed through the meadow, echo brought to my delighted ear the mellow wooings of the fhepherd's pipe.
Beyond the river, the horizon was bounded by a mountain that feemed like the fabled mountain of Parnaffus, but rofe with three conical eminencies, whofe tops were intercepted from my view by the clouds.
A gentle zephyr raifed a voluptuous fragrance all around me; and during the intervals of the fhepherd's mufic, I heard the refponfive notes of the wood-lark, the thrush, and the nightingale..
An inexpreffible fenfation of pleasure thrilled through my nerves. Then there was an awful ceffation of found, and of motion, and a ftillness that gave me the prefage of an earthquake. Then the ruins feemed to fhake below me, and a delightful found of vocal mufic, at a distance, immediately fucceeded to the fhock; and I heard, as it were, the founding of the pinions of gigantic birds. Suddenly I beheld feated befide me, upon the ruins, a young woman of enchanting beauty, who, before I could recover from my aftonishment, laid her hands upon my mouth, and upon my eyes, and breathed upon me, when I perceived her to be an inhabitant of the celeftial regions, yet I was not afraid.
She looked upon me with divine complacency.
Her features were overspread with all the wellknown marks of human intelligence, but lighted up, and exalted to a degree, that filled me with the most pleasing awe and aftonishment.
My fon, faid fhe, (with a tone, accent, and expreffion, that is still upon my foul), I have been with thee from the beginning of your exiftence, though unfeen; I have been the anxious fpectator of your warfare with the paffions and prejudices of this ftormy life; and I congratulate you on the profpect of a sweetlyfetting fun, after the fuccefsful bufinefs of the day.
"To choose like Hercules, required the ftrength of Hercules; but you have made his choice under the protection of a greater and a stronger Deity than even the Jupiter of Olympus.
The univerfe is like its author, boundlefs, infinite, and eternal: But it is boundlefs, infinite, and eternal, not in itself, but as having for ever emanated from the infinite activity and benevolence of the creator.
"To meet the powers of your limited understanding, and the extent of your experience, I fhall figure matter to you, as the alphabet, and modified matter as the language by which the infinite mind of the creator communicates itself to the creature, the whole having been brought forth from eternity to eternity, to operate the final purposes for ever of his power and of his goodness. The fyftem of worlds, which we now inhabit, is as a mathematical point, as nothing, when compared to the boundlefs universe. This fyftem of ours fills a sphere, the diameter of which would require nearly two thousand millions of our years, to allow a ray of light to pafs along it with the fame velocity that it is fped from the fun to this earth, which it travels in less than seven minutes! With a good telefcope, you can see many thousands of fuch fyitems as this, which feem like little circular clouds in a bed of Derbyshire marble, or in a piece of polished agate. But the telescope, improved to the utmost extent of human mechanism, will never be able to fhew any thing that can bear the fmalleft proportion to the magnitude. of the universe.
“There are, in our system, twenty-fix millions of inhabited globes, the greatest part of which exceed our globe, both in magnitude and importance. This fyftem of ours, with the infinite and boundless systems of the universe, are perpetually moving and revolving, in obedience to the eternal laws of the Creator. Matter is ultimately determined by the divine energy, which, acting equally, and in all directions through infinity,