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ment you had no authority in these provinces, and it was construed to be only an act of meanness on your part. The time is now arrived for you to fhow it was the natural dictates of a just and beneficent mind... You now have it in your power to command what you will; let your will then order, in the hour of prosperity, what it formerly approved. Let it be proclaimed in all your Belgian provinces it is your royal will, that the people should enjoy the same privileges as they ever did enjoy under the government of their most favourite native princes; and let this be done with sincerity. I fhall be answerable for the succefs of this happy event. Proclaim at the same time a free and unlimited oblivion and indemnity to all persons, without a single exception, for every act performed by them before the day on which the proclamation shall be published among them; warning them that for every act contrary to their due allegiance, or in contravention of the law, from that day forward, fhall be punishable as the law awards. Do this, O prince! Go forward with confidence among them. Act with the candour that is natural to yourself, and I fhall be answerable with head for the succefs of this measure." my
Here he stopped. While he was yet speaking his eyes were animated with an unusual lustre; his voice gradually acquired an open clearness and force, very unlike to what was looked for at the beginning, and his countenance glowed with a kind of celestial ardour: but when he ceased, his countenance began to fall; he looked abashed, as if conscious that he had been hurried into an inadvertent for
235 wardnefs, and he sunk down into his seat in a kind of deliquium. The emperor, who eyed him all the time with a tender solicitude, hastily rose from his seat, and running to him, kindly grasped him by the hand; thanked him for the generous advice he had offered; said it accorded much with his own. feelings, but that he dared not to trust to these implicitly on the present occasion.
While he was thus engaged, a mefsenger hastily entered with a packet; and with a joyful countenance announced good news from the Netherlands,-another important victory gained near Louvain. Every one was now so anxious to know the particulars that the council broke up in a hurry, and I was left alone for a fhort time to ruminate on what I had just seen.
From the conversation of some attendants who afterwards entered, I understood that the young orator was the son of a nobleman of great eminence lately deceased; that he had been in some measure the companion and attendant of the emperor during the course of his education; that a cordial intimacy and mutual esteem subsisted be tween them; and that great hopes were entertained by the people, who admired the young nobleman on account of his candour and affability, that the dispositions of the emperor were naturally beneficent and humane. I also secretly rejoiced at the cordiality I had remarked. But I must for the present have done so good Sir adieu.
HE following letter, one of four on the seasons, fell with its companions into my hands by succefsion to the papers of a worthy gentleman in England lately deceased.
They all bear the date of the year sixteen hundred and eighty-five.
As they contain (although addrefsed to the imagination,) many curious circumstances relating to the appearances of nature, and some respecting economy and art, I have placed notes on the margin where elucidation might furnish agreeable or useful information, suited to our climate and country. I am, Sir, your constant reader,
To the Daughters of Sophia on the dawning of the Spring.
-Alathea, Isabella, Sophia, my dear girls, the daughters of my dearest friends! the delightful season of verdure is come. Rise up, my fair ones, and come away; for, lo! the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. Come my dearest, let us go forth into the field, let us lodge in the vil lages. Thus, my dear girls, did I apostrophise this morning, in the course of a charming walk to inhale the first freshness of reviving nature, and look at the opening of the spring.
The wind, which had long continued in the ruffian quarters of the continent, came now bland and genial from the south and from the west. How delightful the change! how pleasing the sensations I experienced in the course of this walk! "vernal delight and joy, enough to drive all sadnefs but despair."
You used to wonder at the carelefsnefs and inattention of the Mifs Woodfords on the subjects of beautiful nature that engrofsed your admiration at this season of the year in the country, and even in town, where your mother encouraged you to walk out of a morning early, with your aunts and the governess.
How thankful ye ought to be for the unspeakable blefsing of parents that taught you to enjoy the pleasures of science and sentiment. Pleasures which the common intercourse of the world cannot afford, which malevolence cannot take away, and in which a stranger cannot intermeddle.
The Mifs Woodfords were (ye know,) trained up amid the artificial, pleasures and luxuries of the town. You amid the natural and placid satisfaction of the country, surrounded with the fragrant beauties of the fields, and nursed as it were in the bountiful bosom of nature.
What sort of knowledge can an enervated foolish little daughter of city noise and bustle have of the country?
The charming hours of the morning, those sweet hours of prime! are consumed in sleep or in sloth.
Mifs gets out of bed at a late hour, and pules over some tastelefs breakfast. Then comes the learned Mr Matho to teach her geography, or some other science by rote, but entertains her more with the town talk, or the praises of her beauty and fashion, than with the charms of literature. Then succeed the labours of the virginals, or of the lute, and then of the toilet and the hurry of fashion.
How could the Mifs Woodfords live out of a crowd, or enjoy the placid delights of the country? But since you are happy enough to employ your leisure in rational amusements that never disgust, and can steal a little day of your own from the morning, before the great and fashionable world is awake, I will attempt to entertain you with an account of my morning walk.
You have never been at this place. This place of remote and profound retirement which I chose for myself in a foreboding moment, that I might remove myself from public and general insanity, from the close and immediate view of the return of those miserable times when it was dangerous to be virtuous, dangerous to exprefs the noblest emotions of the soul, dangerous to seem happy, criminal to be sad; when true philosophy was set down for atheism, true religion for fanaticism, and wit for. treason; when the writings, nay the words and looks of the innocent were marked and set down by spies and informers, for the direction of future persecution and proscription; and when all this was