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other object but to raise money. The Spanish government is one of those which conceives it to be its chief duty to promote the industry of its subjects, and to direct them in the right path to opulence, and to these ends its fixed regulations are made subservient The colonies are sacrificed, as usual, to the mother country; and their heaviest tax is the tribute which they are compelled to pay to the laziness, ignorance, and unskilfulness of Spanish workmen and manufacturers. With the same well-meaning views, one colony, one province, or one city, is continually sacrificed to some other ; and an order often arrives unexpectedly from Madrid, which suspends the most flourishing trade, and condemns a whole province to idleness and want. If there are abuses which would be corrected by a government resident in America, and acquainted with its local necessities, the Spanish colonies cannot but gain by emancipation. Nor are the same evils and disorders to be apprehended in Spanish America from a change of government, which would follow any disturbances in the West India islands, or such as befel the unfortunate colony of St. Domingo. The natural aristocracy of the Spanish colonies resides in the country, and consists of men born and educated in the midst of their inferiors and dependants. The people of colour are sober and religious. The African negroes are few in number ; and the blacks born in the colonies are reconciled to their situation, and accustomed to the same easy and indolent life with their masters. The Indians are the least of all to be feared. The form of government best suited to a people like the Spanish Americans, is monarchy; and if the monarch presented to them were of the royal family of Spain, or nearly related to it, they - would probably submit to him without reluctance. Some of these colonies are capable, even in their present state, of forming great and powerful empires.
Mexico alone contains more than four millions of inhabitants. Peru, including Potosi and Quito, contains as many. The provinces watered by the Orinoco are less populous, and less able to maintain their independence without the protection of some foreign state; but such is the fertility of those regions, and so admirably are they situated for commerce, that if emancipated from the mother country, they would advance with the rapidity of the United States. With their present means and resources, they are infinitely less able to maintain an independent government, than the populous and opulent regions of Mexico and Peru.
For the Literary Magazine. AN ECDOT. E.
IMBECILE minds are apt to protect themselves under the mask of humble hesitation. When a candidate for a degree at a British university was asked whether the sun moved round the earth, or the earth round the sun, he, after some delay and embarrassment, replied, “Sometimes the one, and sometimes the other.”
For the Literary Magazine.
SOUTH AMERICAN MODE OF B L E ED IN G.
THEY perform the operation in a very dexterous manner; not with a lancet, as our surgeons do, but with an Indian instrument very curiously made. It is a small and remarkable sharp flint, ground to an almost imperceptible point, and set in a small bit of ebony or cedar, in much the same manner as our glaziers’ diamonds; with this difference, as theirs is placed perpendi
cularly in the wood, so this is set morizontally, with as much of the flint projecting as is sufficient to make the incision. The arm is bound up as with us; the instrument is then laid on the vein, and struck with a kind of small hammer; the blood flows copiously : and so skilful are the Indian surgeons, that the patient runs no hazard of having the artery injured by this peculiar mode of bleeding. In that part of the world, the priests are the only Europeans who profess any skill in medicine; and this knowledge is chiefly limited to the properties of a great variety of simples, which, in the hands of an able botanist, are found to counteract the noxious qualities of the waters of the Plata.
== For the Literary Magazine. avaric E: AN ExAMPLE.
THE following narrative contains a curious and amusing instance of the misdirection of human passions.
There lately died in England, of a broken heart, Mir. Farmer, well known as a retailer of newspapers. He had acquired, by extraordinary industry, parsimony, and methods, peculiar to himself, a sum amounting to 9000l. His manners and extermal appearance indicated extreme poverty; his plaintive stories very often excited pity, and induced many to act with tenderness towards him. An old man, a news-dealer, being much afflicted with disorders incident to advanced age, wished to dispose of his business; the sum demanded for it was 50i. Mr. F. seemed inclined to purchase, but could not think of advancing so large a sum as 50l. at one time, but supsing the old man could not live long, agreed to allow him 27s. per week during his natural life. These terms were agreed to ; the old man retired into the country, recovered his health, returned to London, exhibited his person before Mr. Farmer,
which operated on him so powerfully, that his thoughts were engrossed with it; he gradually declined in health, his spirits became depressed, sharsh misery seemed to have worn him to the bone ; and, at last, distressed to part with the darling object of his soul, in a flood of tears he retired to his garret, and in a few hours expired.
For the Literary Magazine.”
TRAVELLING MEMORANDUMS, MADE IN 1789, 1790.
FRENCH inns are in general better in two respects, and worse in all the rest, than those in Fngland or America. We live better in point of eating and drinking, beyond a question, than we should do in going from London to Edinburgh, or from Baltimore to Boston, at double the expence. But if in England the best of every thing is ordered, without any attention to the expence, we should, for double the money, live better than we do in France ; the common cookery of the French gives great advantage. It is true they roast every thing to a chip, if you are not cautious : but they give such a number and variety of dishes, that if you do not like some, there are others to please your palate. The dessert at a French inn has no rival at an English one ; nor are the liquors to be despised. We sometimes meet with bad wine, but, on the whole, far better than such port and Madeira as English and American inns give. Beds are better in France; in England they are good only at good inns; and we have none of that torment, which is so perplexing in England, to have the sheets aired; for here, as in America, we never trouble our heads about them, doubtless on account of the climate. After these two points, all is a blank: You have have no parlour to eat in ; only a room with two, three, or four beds. Apartments badly fitted up; the walls white-washed ; or paper of different sorts in the same room ; or tapestry so old, as to be a fit nidus for moths and spiders; and the furniture such, that one of our innkeepers would light his fire with it. For a table, you have every where a board laid on cross bars, which are so conveniently contrived, as to leave room for your legs only at the end. Oak chairs with rush bottoms, and the back universally a direct perpendicular, that defies all attempt at rest after fatigue. Doors give music as well as entrance; the wind whistles through their chinks; and hinges grate discord. Windows admit rain as well as light; when shut they are not easy to open; and when open not easy to shut. Mops, brooms, and scrubbing brushes are not in the catalogue of the necessaries of a French inn. Bells there are none ; the fille must always be bawled for ; and, when she appears, is neither neat, well dressed, nor handsome. The kitchen is black with smoke; the master commonly the cook, and the less you see of the cooking, the more likely you are to have a stomach to your dinner; but this is not peculiar to France, Copper utensils always in great plenty, but not always well tinned. The mistress rarely classes civility or attention to her guests among the requisites of her trade.
French Comfanionshift and Conversation.
As to the conversation of French assemblies, I am inclined to praise them for equanimity, but condemn them for insipidity. All vigour of thought seems so excluded from expression, that characters of ability and of inanity meet nearly on a par; tame and elegant, uninteresting and polite, the mingled mass of communicated ideas has powers neither to offend nor instruct; where there is much polish of character there is little argument; and if you neither
v QL. VI. No. XXXVIII,
argue nor discuss, what is conversation? Good temper, and habitual ease, are the first ingredients in private society; but wit, knowledge, or originality, must break their even surface into some inequality of feeling, or conversation is like a journey on an endless flat.
At Nismes I dined and supped at the table d’hote: the cheapness of these tables suits one’s finances, and one sees something of the manners of the people: we sat down from twenty to forty at every meal, most motley companies of French, Italians, Spaniards, with a Greek and Armenian; and I was informed, that there is hardly a nation in Europe or Asia, that have not merchants at the great fair of Beaucáire, chiefly for raw silk, of which many millions in value are sold in four days: all the other commodities of
the world are to be found there. One circumstance I must remark on this numerous table d’hote, because it has struck me repeatedly, which is the taciturnity of the French. I came here expecting to have my ears constantly fatigued with the infinite volubility and spirits of the people, of which so many persons have written, sitting, I suppose by their own fire-sides. At Montpellier, though fifteen persons, and some of them ladies, were present, I found it impossible to make them break their inflexible silence with more than a monosyllable, and the whole company sat more like an assembly of tongue-tied quakers, than the mixed company of a people famous for loquacity. Here also, at Nismes, with a different party at every meal, it is the same thing; no Frenchman will open his mouth. Today at dinner, hopeless of that nation, and fearing to lose the use of an organ they had so little inclination to employ, I fixed myself by a Spaniard, and having been so lately in his country, I found him ready to • 8
converse, and tolerably communicative ; but we had more conversation than thirty other persons maintained among themselves.
The theatre at Bourdeaux, built in 1280, is by far the most magnificent in France. I have seen nothing that approaches it. The building is insulated, and fills up a space of 306 feet by 165, one end being the
principal front, containing a portico .
the whole length of it, of twelve very large Corinthian columns. The entrance from this portico is by a noble vestibule, which leads, not only to the different parts of the theatre, but also to an elegant oval concertroom and saloons for walking and refreshments. The theatre itself is of a vast size; in shape the segment of an oval. The establishment of actors, actresses, singers, dancers, orchestra, &c. speak the wealth and luxury of the place. I have been assured, that from thirty to fifty louis a night have been paid to a favourite actress from Paris. Larrive, the first tragic actor of that capital, is now here, at 500 livres (100 dollars) a night, with two benefits. Dauberval, the dancer, and his wife, the made moiselle Theodore of London, are retained as principal balletmaster and first female dancer, at a salary of 28,000 livres (near 6000 dollars). Pieces are performed every night, Sundays not excepted, as every where in France.
and all the signs I have yet seen of their greatness, are wastes, landes, deserts, fern, ling. Go to their residence, wherever it may be, and you would probably find them in the midst of a forest, very well peopled with deer, wild boars, and wolves, with a domestic establishment of a hundred servants, two hundred dogs, and five hundred horses. This was literally the establishment at Chantille before the prince became a beggar.
I have had an opportunity of seeing numbers of Bas Bretons collected, as well as their cattle. The men dressin great trowsers like breeches, many with naked legs, and most with wooden shoes, strong marked features like the Welch, with countenances a mixture of half energy and half laziness; their persons stout, broad, and square. The women furrowed without age by labour, to the utter extinction of all softness The eye discovers them at first glance to be a people absolutely distinct from the French. Wonderful that they should be found so, with distinct language, manners, dress, &c., after having #een settled here 1300 years :
Theatre at JWantz.
The theatre at Nantz is new built of fine white stone, and has a magnificent portico front of eight elegant Corinthian pillars, and four others within, to part the portico from a grand vestibule. Within, all is gold and painting, and a couf, d’aeil at entering, that struck me forcibly. It is, I believe, twice as large as Drury Lane, and five times as magnificent. It was Sunday, and therefore full. Mon Dieu ! cried I to myself, do all the wastes, the deserts, the heath, ling, furze, broom, and bog, that I have passed for 300 miles, lead to this spectacle : What a miracle, that all this splendour and wealth of the cities in France should be so unconnected with the country : There are no gentle transitions from ease to comfort, from comfort to wealth : you pass at once from beggary to profusion; from misery in mud cabins to mademoiselle St. Huberti, in splendid spectacles at 500 livres a night (100 dollars). The country deserted, or if a gentleman in it, you find him in some wretched hole, to save that money which is lavished with profusion in the luxuries of a capital.
Among my letters was one to monsieur de la Livioniere, perpetual secretary of the Society of Agriculture here. I found he was at his country-seat, two leagues from Anjou, at Mignianne. On my arrival at his seat, he was sitting down to dinner with his family; not being past twelve, I thought to have escaped this awkwardness; but both himself and madame prevented all embarrassment by very unaffectedly desiring me to partake with them, and making not the least derangement either in table or looks, placed me at once at my ease, to an indifferent dinner, garnished with so
much ease and cheerfulness, that I found it a repast more to my taste than the most splendid tables could afford. An English family in the country, similar in situation, taken unawares in the same way, would receive you with an unquiet hospitality, and an anxious politeness; and, after waiting for a hurry-scur. ry derangement of cloth, table, plates, sideboard, pot, and spit, would give you perhaps so good a dinner, that none of the family, between anxiety and fatigue, could supply one word of conversation, and you would depart under cordial wishes that you might never return. This folly, so common in England, is never met with in France: the French are quiet in their houses, and do things without effort.
France and Great Britain comflared.
France is superior to England in soil. The proportion of poor land in England, to the total of the kingdom, is greater than the similar proportion in France; nor have they any where such tracts of wretched blowing sand as are to be met with in Norfolk asid Suffolk. Their heaths, moors, and wastes not mountainous, what they term lande, and which are so frequent in Bretagne, Anjou, Maine, and Guienne, are infinitely better than the English northern moors; , and the mountains of Scotland and Wales cannot be compared, in point of soil, with those of the Pyrenees, Auvergne, Dauphine, Provence, and Languedoc. Another advantage almost inestimable is, that their tenacious loams do not take the character of clays, which in some parts of Fngland are so stubborn and harsh, that the expence of culture is almost equal to a moderate produce. Such clays as are in Sussex, I never met with in France. The smallness of the quantity of rank clay in the latter country is indeed surprising.
Which, relatively to agriculture, is the best climate, that of France,