« 上一頁繼續 »
birth, and breathe a spirit becoming the Romans in their days of untainted virtue, too steady to be feduced by ministerial influence; and thus, being above all temptation to their country's ruin, are forbidden to bear or poffefs arms for its defence. Nothing is fo dreadful to a corrupted adminiftration as untainted probity.
BUT why am I painting the fituation of these people, or upbraiding the ministry that, undoes them? I am an alien here; what charm has this land for me? Alas! it is or ought to be the universal affliction of mankind to think that without some fudden intervention, the rofy cheek of health must fade in pining flavery; the heart, which at present prompts the spirit of mirth in evening fongs beneath the fhady beach, mufti be loaded with anxiety, and fighs burst from that bofom, that now breathes the voice of jollitry Such the dreary moment paints them to my imagination.
AMONGST the rural inhabitants of all the nations I have seen, none equal the natives of this country; the farmer has a liberal air, and the
the females a beauty not to be found in any other place. The peasants of Italy have a famished mein and poverty of afpect. The French the fame, or even worfe; they feem another race of mortals from the people of condition in their refpective countries; nothing of this kind appears in England, all is of another caft.
METHINKS the very horfes and cattle participate of this ftate, and have an air of freedom not to be feen in those of other nations; at least they are handsomer than the animals of our country. Perhaps it is that prevalent love of beauty in us which creates this fentiment of freedom in their favour.
WHEREVER We pass, there are no remains but those of abbies, ruined houses, where once the church triumphed in splendour and magnificence. Alas! the fatted ox comes no more to thefe habitations, and the fleek monk bleffes the teeming board no more, nor quaffs the fparkling liquor down his rofey throat! Such revolutions have attended the fons of St. Peter in this kingdom.
THE good fenfe of the common people is amazing to thofe ftrangers who visit this country: in all converfation where they can be fuppofed to understand the fubject at all, they fhew a degree of knowledge not to be found amongst the peasants of any nation; the meanest labourer has fomething to fay in his favour, which cannot be met with in any other place.
THIS advantage they draw from being accustomed to think for themselves; their minds are naturally inquifitive; and not being flavishly. dependant on priest or master, there is a liberality of thinking amongst them all, and a probity not eafily conceived: the poor of the country-villages, who gain their daily bread, are extremely honeft, and have not yet loft the influence of religion. Liberty effects this amongft fmall numbers and ruins great,
IN London amongst the lower clafs all is anarchy, drunkenness, and thievery; in the country good order, fobriety and honefty, unless in manufacturing towns, where the resemblance of London is more confpicuous. No country can be
be more inviting to pass the fummer in than this; the heats are temperate, the verdure in the fields the most brilliant, and continues through the year; even the autumn is far from being difagreeable; but alas! the dreary winter makes me figh for the funny shores of Baja; the ferenity of fky, and tepid breezes of that place, added to this clime, would make the whole Elyfium. Adieu,
To the Reverend Father DOMINICO
MANZONI, at Rome.
where is the word liberty mention'd with fo much ardour as in England, and no where lefs understood. The general meaning of it, as it is received in this nation, is the power of each man doing what he pleafes, and preventing the rest from doing the same thing: this is rather fovereignty than freedom; and as people know in this country, that property and title beget a kind of defpotifm, it is a common thing to add in the advertisement of the fale of an eftate, as a recommendatory confideration, a nota bene, "No Lord within ten miles of it."
THIS defire of liberty fo conftantly in the mouth of man, and yet in his practice fo little to be found with an inclination to allow it to others, has often made me reflect whether this was fo natural a paffion as has been afferted? and