Page images

tations of wealth, as she had sustained vity in the narrative of this tour, in the hardships of indigence. The ge- which somewhat more than a year nius of her husband has exalted him (April 1764-May 1765) was agreeto the most conspicuous station in Eu- ably employed. Content with tracrope. In every change of prosperity ing my line of march, and slightly and disgrace he has reclined on the touching on my personal feelings, I bofom of a faithful friend; and made shall wave the minute investigation of moiselle Carchord is now the wife of the scenes which have been viewed M. Necker, the minister, and perhaps by thousands, and described by hun. the legislator, of the French mo- dreds, of our modern travellers. Rome narchy

is the great object of our pilgrimage:

and, it, the journey ; 2d, the resiCharafiers of the Style of Szwifi, Addi- dence; and 3d, the return; will form

fon, Robertson, and Hunk. the most proper and perfpicuous diThe favourite companions of my and descended into the plain of Pied

vision. 1. I climbed Mount Cenis, leisure were our English writers since the revolution : they breathe the spirit mont, not on the back of an elephant, of reason and liberty; and they moft but on a light qfier feat, in the hands seasonably contributed to restore the

of the dextrous and intrepid chairmen purity of my own language, which of the Alps. The architecture and had been corrupted by the long use of government of Turin presented the a foreign idiom. By the judicious

fame aspect of tame and tiresome uniadvice of Mr. Mallet, I was directed formity : but the court was regulated to the writings of Swift and Addison ; and I was introduced to his Sardinian

with decent and {plendid economy. ; wit and fimplicity, are their common majesty Charles Emanuel, who, after attributes : but the style of Swift is the incomparable Frederic, held the Supported by manly original vigour; second rank (proximus longo tamen that of Addison is adorned by the female graces of elegance and mildness. intervallo) among the kings of EuThe old reproach, that no British al. rope. The size and populousness of tars had been raised to the muse of Milan could not surprise an inhabitant history, was recently disproved by the

of London : but the fancy is amused firft performances of Robertson and by a visit to the Boromean Iands, an Hume, the histories of Scotland and enchanted palace, a work of the fairies of the Stuarts. I will assume the pre- mountains, and far removed from the

in the midst of a lake encompaffed with sumption of saying, that I was not unworthy to read them : nor will I dir- haunts of men. I was lefs amused by guise my different feelings in the

the marble palaces of Genoa, than by peated perufals. The perfect com

the recent memorials of her deliverposition, the nervous language, the ance. (in December 1746) from the

Àustrian well-turned periods of Dr. Robertson,

tyranny ; and I took a miliinflamed 'me to the ambitious hope within the inclosure of her double walls.

tary survey of every scene of action that I might one day tread in his footsteps: the calm philosophy, the care. My steps were detained at Parma lels inimitable beauties of his friend and Modena, by the precious relics

of the Farnese and Efte collections: and rival, often forced me to close the volume with a mixed sensation of de- but, alas ! the far greater part had light and despair.

been already transported, by inheritance or purchase, to Naples and

Dresden. By the road of Bologna Visit to Rome, Obfervations on Foreign and the Apennine I at laft reached

Travel, and Origin of bis Roman Florence, where I reposed from June History.

to September, during the heat of the I SHALL advance with rapid bre- summer months. In the gallery, and


especially in the tribune, I first ac- from the secretary of state to the Royal knowledged, at the feet of the Venus Society and British Museum, has eluof Medicis, that the chissel may dif- cidated a country of such inestimable pute the preeminepce with the pencil, value to the naturalist and antiquarian. à truth in the fine arts which cannot On my return, I fondly embraced, for on this side of the Alps be felt or un- the last time, the miracles of Rome ; derstood. At home I had taken fome but I departed without killing the lessons of Italian : on the spot I read, feet of Rezzonico (Clement XIII.) with a learned native, the classics of who neither poffeffed the wit of his the Tuscan idiom : but the shortness predeceffor Lambertini, nor the vire. of my time, and the use of the French tues of his successor Ganganelli 3. In. language, prevented my acquiring my pilgrimage from Rome to Loretto any facility of speaking ; and I was a I again crofled the Apennine; from silent spectator in the conversations of the coast of the Adriatic I craversed a our envoy, fir Horace Mann, whose fruitful and populous country, which most serious business was that of en- could alone disprove the paradox of tertaining the English at his hospita- Montesquieu, that modern Italy is a ble table. After leaving Florence, I desert. Without adopting the exclucompared the folitude of Pisa with the five prejudice of the natives, I fininduitry of Lucca and Leghorn, and cerely admire the paintings of the continued my journey through Sienna Bologna school. I haftened to escape to Rome, where I arrived in the be- from

the fad solitude of Ferrara, which ginning of O&ober. 2. My temper in the age of Cæsar was still more deis not very susceptible of enthusiasm: folate. The spectacle of Venice afe and the enthufiafm which I do not forded fome hours of aftonishment; feel, I have ever scorned to affect. the university of Padua is a dying tàBut, at the distance of twenty-five per : but Verona ftill boasts her amyears, I can neither forget nor express phitheatre, and his native Vicenza is the strong emotions which agitated my adorned by the classic architecture mind as I firft approached and entered of Palladio : the road of Lombardy the eternal city. After a sleepless and Piedmont (did Montesquieu find night, I trod, with a lofty step, the them without inhabitants :) led me ruins of the forum ; each memorable back to Milan, Turin, and the par{pot where Romulus food, or Tully fage of Mount Cenis, where I again spoke, or Cæsar fell, was at once crossed the Alps in my way to Lyons. present to my eye; and several days The use of foreign travel has been of intoxication were lost or enjoyed often debated as a general questions before I could descend to ą cool and but the conclusion must be finally apminute investigation. My guide was plied to the character and circumMr. Byers, a Scotch antiquary of ex. Itances of each individual. With the perience and taste ; but, in the daily education of boys, where or how they labour of eighteen weeks, the powers may pass over fome juvenile years with of attention were sometimes fatigued, the leaft mischief to themselves or till I was myself qualified, in a laft others, I have no concern. But after review, to felect and study the capital supposing the previous and indispensaworks of ancient and modern art. Six ble requisites of age, judgment, a weeks were borrowed for my tour of competent knowledge of men and Naples, the most populous of cities, books, and a freedom from domestic relative to its fize, whose luxurious prejudices, I will briefly describe the inhabitants seem to dwell on the con qualifications which I deem fines of paradise and hell-fire. , I was. sential to a traveller. He should be presented to the boy-king by our new endowed with an active, indefatigable envoy, fir William Hamilton ; who, vigour of mind and body, whici can wisely diverting his correspondence feize every mode of conveyance, and

support, with a careless smile, 'every may be ranked as one of the last dita hardship of the road, the weather, or ciples of the school of Fontenelle. the inn. The benefits of foreign travel will correspond with the degrees of these qualifications ; but, in this ketch, those to whom I am known

Parliamentary Characters. will not accuse me of framing my own By the friendlhip of Mr. (now panegyric. It was at Rome, on the lord) Eliot, who had married my first 15th

of O&tober 1764, as I fat mufing cousin; I was returned at the general amid the ruins of the capitol, while election for the borough of Lelkeard. the bare-footed fryars were singing I took my feat at the beginning of the vespers in the temple of Jupiter*, that memorable contest between Great Bri: the idea of writing the decline and fall tain and America, and fupported, of the city first started to my mind. with many a sincere and filent vote, But my original plan was circum- the rights, though not, perhaps, the scribed to the decay of the city rather intereit, of the mother country. After than of the empire: and, though my a fleeting illusive hope, prudence conreading and reflections began to point demned me to acquiefce in the humtoward that object, some years elapsed, ble station of a mute. I was not armand several avocations intervened, be- ed by nature and education with the fore I was seriously engaged in the intrepid energy of mind and voice. execution of that laborious work.

Vincentum ftrepitus, et natum rebus

agendis. Character of Dr. Maty.

Timidity was fortified by pride, and By descent and education Dr. Maty, even the success of my pen discouraged though born in Holland, might be the trial of my voice. But I affifted considered as a Frenchman”; but he at the debates of a free assembly; I was fixed in London by the practice listened to the attack and defence of of physic, and an office in the British eloquence and reason; I had a near Museum. His reputation was jultly prospect of the characters, views, and founded on the eighteen volumes of passions of the first men of the age. the Journal Britannique, which he The cause of government was ably had lupported, almost alone, with vindicated by lord North, a statesman perseverance and success. This hum- of spotless integrity, a consummate ble though useful labour, which had master of debate, who could wield, once been dignified by the genius of with equal dexterity, the arms of reaBayle and the learning of Le Clerc, fon and of ridicule. He was seated was not disgraced by the taste, the on the treasury-bench between his at: knowledge, and the judgment of torney and folicitor general, the two Maty: he exhibits a candid and pleaf- pillars of the law and state, magis ing view of the state of literature in pares. quam fimiles; and the" miniiter England during a period of fix years might indulge in a short slumber, (January 1750--December 1755); while he was upholden on either hand and, far different from his angry son, by the majestic sense of Thurlow, and he handles the rod of criticism with the skilful eloquence of Wedderburne. the tendernets and reluctance of a pa- From the adverse side of the house an rent.

The author of the Journal ardent and powerful oppofition' was Britannique fometimes afpires to the supported, by the lively declamation chara&ter of a poet and philosopher : of Barré, the legal acuteness of Dunne his style is pure and elegant, and in 'ing, the profuse and philosophic fancy his virtues, or even in his defects, he of Burke, and the argumentative vee

Now the church of the Zoccolants, or Franciscan friars,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

hemence of Fox *, who in the con- fended; and the subject of the moduct of a party approved himself equal mentous contest was the union or few to the conduct of an empire. By paration of Great Britain and Amefueh men every operation of peace rica. The eight sessions thao. I. fat in and war, every principle of justice or parliament were a school of civil pru. policy, every queflion of authority dence, the firft and moft effential virand freedom, was attacked and de. tue of an historian.

In another place, Mr. Gibbon this characterizes Mr. Fox : In his tour of Švifferland, (September 1988) Mr. Fox gave me two days of free and private fociety, He leemed to feel, and eyen to envy, the happiness of my situation; while I admired the powers of a fuperior man, as they are blendet in his attractive character with the fofiness and simplicity of a child. Perhaps no human being was ever more perfe&tly exempt from the taint of malevolence, vanity, or fa!sehood. In another place, where Mr. Giblyon again mentions Mr. Fox, he ihus characterizes Mr. Pitt, in a letter to lyrd Shefield, Jated March 21, 1785 : « Of the publie 1 tave little to fay; I never was a very warm patriot, and I grow every day a citizen of the world. The scramble for power or profit at Westminster or St. James', and the names of Pitt and Fox, beco ne lels interesting to me than those of Cæfar and Pompey. Your are not a friend of the young minister, but he is a great favourite on the continent, as he appears to be till; and you muft own that the fairnels of his character, his claq:rence, his applicae tion to buliness, and even his youth, must pợepossess at least the ignorant in his favour. of the merit or defects of his administration I cannot pretend to speak ; bat I find, from the complaints of some intereited persons, that his reitraints on the smuggling of tea have already ruined the Eatt India companies of Antwerp and Sweden, and that even the Dutch will icarcely find it worth their while to send any Mips to China.


To the Editor of the Universal Magazine.
A of

S. it is customary with you to other nourishment but that small quana with valuable selections from different ble particles, which the rain and air, publications ; I presume the following bring thither. Thele liverworts dya extracts, from the tracts colle:led by ing, at latt turn into a very fine earth;, the late very ingenious and amiable on this bed, the imbricated or scaly Mr. Benjamin Stilling fleet, on the liverwort find a place wherein to ftrike Economy of Nature, will not be less their roots : there also die after a time, intructive and entertaining to your rot and turn to mould; and then the readers in general. The insertion various kinds of mofius find their prowill greatly oblige yours, &c. per place, and nourishment : lastly,

C. these dying in their turn, and rotting,

afford such a plenty of new-formed The crustaceous lichens or liver- mould, that herbs and shrubs easily worts are the first foundation of ve root and live upon it. getation, and therefore are plants of Thistles are peculiarly useful in althe utmoft consequence in the eco- fisting and promoting the growth of nomy of nature, though despised by other plants. Suppose a heap of clay, us. When rocks first emerge out of which for many years has supplied no the sea, they are so poliihed by the vegetation ; let the feeds of the thistle force of the waves, that scarce any blow there and grow, these plants herb can find a fixed habitation upon will not only thrive themselves, but them. The very minute crustaceous attracting by their leaves the moisture liverworts begin soon to cover these of the air, send it into the clay by dry rocks, although they have no means of their roots, and render the


ground more nutritious. Under these mushrooms find a fit place for nourish:
circumstances, lefs hardy plants will ment, and corrupt them ftill more.
take root, and, sheltered under the The musk-beetle next forces a way
leaves of the thistles, will flourish between the bark and the wood.

Other beetles and caterpillars form an
The bog-moss covers, deep bogs infinite number of holes through the
with its fpungy substance, and thus trunk. : Lastly, the wood-pickers, in
by degrees turns. them into fertile seeking for insects, wear away the tree
meadows ; other kinds of mosles pre- already corrupted, till the whole passes
serve the minute feeds of plants during into earth.
the winter, shelter their roots, and Thus the first vegetation is pro-
prevent them from freezing. duced, and thus it is continued, till it

The greatest part of all the black enables us to raise those innumerable
mould which covers the earth, is com- plants, which afford a study for the
posed of dead vegetables ; for when a whole life of man; and though all
plant has lost its stem, the root re- have not time to acquire confiderable
mains, rots by degrees, and changes knowledge on this subject, yet every
into mould. By these means, this one may contrive to obtain a tolerable
kind of earth is mixed with fandy foils, degree of curious information.
by the contrivance of nature nearly in There are persons, who call them-
the same way as dung thrown upon felves rational creatures, that come
Fields is wrought into the earth by the into the world, and remain there even
industry of the husbandman.

to old

who never faw the creation
The earth thus prepared, again but from afar: just like the brute beaft,
offers to plants from its borom that which cannot fail of seeing the ver-
support, which it has received from dure and various colours that clothe
them. When seeds are committed to the earth, but proceed no farther. If
the ground; they draw to themselves, any one should be carried into a bo-
accommodate to their nature and turn tanic garden to see the immense quan-
into plants, the more subtle parts of city of plants brought together from
this mould wonderfully compounded all countries, with incredible trouble,
with air and water. The truth of care and expence, shovid he only ob-
this assertion is proved from a chymi- ferve that the leaves were green, and
cal experiment: a piece of oak, when the powers of various colours,'could
decompounded, yields one-third of he be truly and juftly said to have seen
alr, a third of water, and a third of the garden ?
charcoal or earth. From these plants, Linnæus lised to excite the attention
when they die, just the same mould is of his audience by apt fimilitudes when
formed as gave birth to them origi- he was reading upon natural philoso-
nally, but in such a manner, as to phy to his pupils; one of his fables
yield a greater quantity than before. was as follows: the seven wise men of
Vegetables therefore increase the black Greece, meeting at Athens, agreed
mould; and thus fertility remains that every one should mention what
continually uninterrupted. For earth he thought !he greatet wonder in the
could not furnish its annual consuinp- creation. One of them, of higher
tion, unless it was constantly recruited conceptions than the rest, proposed
by new supplies.

the opinion of some of the astronomers That trees when they are dry or about the fixed stars, which they be cát down may not remain useless, na- lieved to be so many suns, each with ture haftens their destruction in a sin- its revolving planets well stored with gular way. Firit, the liverworts be- plants, animals, and other producgin to strike root in them, afterward tions, like the earth. Fired with this the moisture is drawn out of them, thought, they agreed to fupplicate and putrefaction follows. Then the Jupiter that he would permit them to

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »