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if I could give an idea of the style of these agreeable poetesses by imitations, in the manner of the following specimen, for which I am indebted to the friendship of M. A. Soulie.
IMITATION OF CHARLOTTE SMITH.
Flambeau des nuits, astre plein de mysteries,
Quand tes rayons, a travers un nuage,
Astre charmant, descendent sur les mers,
Mon ceil te suit, et de mes jours d'orage
Les longs ennuis me semblent moins amers. ;'"
Puet-Otre un jour, exempt d'inquiétudes,
Ah 1 s'il est vrai qu'en ce monde paisible
I have heard M. De la Martine repeatedly read these lines, composed before the Meditations were known, and was told that they were his, which I should have had some difficulty in believing. M. Soulie has been equally fortunate in translating Gray's Elegy in a Country Church Yard.
TO M. A. D'HANTERIVE.
It is time to quit London; it is indeed so unfashionable to stay there, that persons comrne il faut, who have neither country-house nor post chaise to convey them on a tour to the lakes, shut themselves up in their apartments, and order their servants to say that they have quitted town.
I think, however, I should have quitted London with real regret, had I not expected to revisit it on my return from Scotland. Capitals have this advantage for a stranger, that he may easily contrive to pass unnoticed in the crowd, and that in a thousand places, his money places him on a footing of equality with a third of the inhabitants, who are as much * strangers to it as himself.
Fewer public places are doubtless to be found in London, where for a trifling remuneration, or even gratuitously, the last comer succeeds to the rights of the first occupant: but three months residence in London, is nevertheless insufficient for the purpose of seeing and visiting every thing. I should have greatly felt the loss
* It will be remarked here that the French Language wants the word foreigner, (forain,) as a contrasted meaning to that of Stranger (etranger.) An Englishman from the country is a ttranger in London, a Frenchman is a foreigner there.
of those reading rooms, where it is so agreeable to be enabled in a little quarter of an hour, to place yourself au courant of all that interests Europe: had I not obtained admission to a club, where one may read from morning to night, books orjournals, without interruption, except (according to the English custom, that of calls for refreshments. Fortunately for our vine growers, among the liquids comprehended under the latter designation, are the sparkling wines of Champagne, and the light nectar of Bourdeaux.
I have also attended the libraries and lecture rooms of institutions, where it is requisite to be contented with journals and books. Nor have I omitted to pay assiduous visits to the booksellers. To some of them I have so effectually paid my court, to the great advantage of my library, that among the letters of introduction I am about to carry with me to Edinburgh, there are fortunately two or three for their brethren in Scotland.* *****
Behold me at York, still dripping with the effects of a heavy rain, which I had not reckoned among the number ofagreeables which the dickey of a stage assembles. But is it a fitting moment to chuse for complaint, when one has one's feet outstretched before a grate loaded with blazing coal? My companion, however, appears to have an inclination to grumble at the
* I reserve till my return to London a few comments on these establishments, which are connected with literature and general education. VOL. II. R
climate, and eulogizes the cushions of the inside place; hence arises a germ of jealousy between us: acquaintanceship once formed, the prefatory condescensions diminish: discussions arise; each individual dares to form an opinion of his own: and character frankly developes itself on every fresh occurrence. Charles F. combines with the manners of a man of fashion, a certain degree of English gravity. By no means a stranger to poetry, indeed, strewing his conversation with happy quotations, borrowed from the most impassioned of poets, Lord Byron, he sometimes gratuitously declares war on all that quits the limits of the substantial. After proving that he is not incapable of resorting to a graceful gaity, or of elevating himself to the region of sublime emotions, he will confine himself to the precinct of a rigid critic, or an anti-poetic logician. I at least foresee that such will be the part he will enact with respect to me; but far from entrenching myself behind my reserve, I shall give full swing to my momentary impressions, satisfied of having a corrective to my enthusiasm by my side, which will quickly recall me to the gravitating central point of truth. Hence proceed some moments of impatience, and some painful disappointments, after the indulgence of brilliant speculations: but the charm incessantly revives; the air-built castles rise again from their ruins; the landscape re-invests itself with its usual brilliancy of colour, and sometimes imagination triumphs so far as to persuade and convert philosophy.
Double in extent to the greatest of the other counties of England, that of York is bounded on the east by the German sea, on the north by the mouth of the Tee, on the south by the Humber, and on the west by high mountains, intersected by vallies; it is not less remarkable for the variety of its products than that of its localities. Each of its principal towns exhibits a peculiar species of industry. At Sheffield, in the midst of the vapours engendered by innumerable forges, steel acquires its finest temper, and obedient to the hand of the workman, invests itself with the elegant forms of a thousand useful instruments. What a contrast between the rich knives of Sheffield manufacture, and the rough blades which Gurth the Saxon carried in his girdle, under the name of the Sheffield Whittle! Between Sheffield and Doncaster, the oaks of Wentworth Park have probably comprised a portion of that forest wherein Sir Walter Scott places the EumaeusofCedric, and his unmanageable flock. At that time the town of Leeds did not exist, and it has now obtained a substantial importance by its cloth manufactures, the wool for which is in a great measure supplied by the flocks pastured in the environs of York, which also afford pasture to the finest horses in England.
Hull is an exclusive maritime town, and its inhabitants were the first to send out whalers in 1598. Their trade places them in communication, not only with Greenland and the Baltic, but also with the United States, and the south of Europe,