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been there; Rome fares little better ; with you myself, because walking and Geneva and Brussels are paid no during divine service I have always more respect to than Oxford and Eton. considered as improper, and I never A six months residence among the countenance it by my own practice.” musicians at Vienna, however, still De Vacquiesced in these latter gives one a title to be heard ; one who arrangements, and, accordingly, we has itinerated through Greece and the set out for St George's Church. Ionian Isles has a right to speak three
We walked silently along George quarters of an hour without being in- Street. Shortly after we became acterrupted ; and he who has visited quainted we had a long and serious the Holy Land may still, with im- discussion upon the merits of our difpunity, engross the whole conversa- ferent creeds, on which occasion my tion.
zeal carried me, I believe, an undue Whether or not I have acquired length in speaking against Roman this last privilege, I shall not, at pre- Catholic superstitions. We parted in sent, inform my readers; suffice it to mutual anger ; and, though the breach say, I was in France in 1802, and that, between us was quickly made up, during my residence there, I contract- we have since carefully avoided ened a friendship with Monsieur Fran- tering on the dangerous topic. I çois De V, which our difference suspect, however, that De Vof opinion on many subjects has not still remembers how completely I deprevented from being cordial and last- tected the fallacy of some of his ing. I had often pressed him to vi- favourite arguments, for I have fresit Scotland, and he so often promis- quently observed that he omits no ed to do so, and so frequently broke opportunity of giving a hit at the that promise, that I almost despaired Protestant religion, whenever he can of seeing him ; when, about three do so without challenging a retort. weeks since, I was one morning agree. As we passed the corner of Castle ably surprised by his entrance into Street I bowed to a party of ladies my breakfast parlour. I have been who were going to St Andrew's busily occupied, every day since his Church. “ 'l'hese are Episcopalians, arrival, in showing him the lions; I suppose," said he, “ as they are so and I have, upon the whole, much gaily dressed?" “ No," said I, rareason to be gratified with the im- ther pettishly, they are not; but pression our beautiful city has made do you suppose there is any virtue in upon him.
a shabby gown?” De V-- was aYesterday morning, after we had bout to reply, when his attention was finished breakfast, M. de V attracted towards a group which we yawning and stretching himself, said, were approaching, consisting of three
Well, what shall I do with inyself young ladies and a gentleman. “So all this long dismal day?” “ Dismal you won't come to church with us?' day!" said I,
call it said one of the former to the latter, dismal ?" “ Is not this," said he, looking up in his face with a bewitch
your day of fasting and humilias ing smile. No, d it," said he, tion?”
Yes," answered I, “ but “what is the use of going to church?” it is not—that is, we do not-in short “ Ah! le beau sentiment;" said De you know, François, that we do not V-,“pray who is this youth ?” deal in outward show in our religion; “ That,” said I, " is a Mr Précieux, we have no groanings or penances; a dandy, a would-be author, and a so that, whatever our internal feelings scoffer at religion, but I am happy to may be, I assure you, that you will say, not a Scotchmon.”.. Is he a counsee nothing either to offend you or to tryman of mine, as his name immake you sad. You may go and parts ?” “No, but I believe a counspend the day at P's; they are iryman of yours left him a fortune, Episcopalians, and, of course, are not
..” “ And an esprit fort, concerned in our Presbyterian forms." interrupted De V---," and you unHe looked a negative. Or if,” add reasonable Scotch people are angry ed I, “
you choose to accompany me because he makes use of all the three to church in the morning, I shall in- gifts.' As we entered Charlotte troduce you to one or two friends who Square, we perceived a gig standing will be very glad to join you in a
's door, and my young walk in the afternoon: I cannot go friends, Tom and Harry, busily su
“ Yes, I was,
perintending the arrangement of fish- sure no one judging from outward aping-rods, baskets, &c. De V-pearances would guess that their burburst into a loud laugh. “Voila les dens were very heavy. Of all the pecheurs," said he, giving the first sufferers I ever beheld they are the syllable that dubious length which most patient and magnanimous; parendered the meaning of the word tient, did I say? nay they seemed equivocal. “ That,” continued he, like the martyrs of old to rejoice in
reminds me of an old story, David. the midst of their troubles; for I obDo you recollect one day when I over- served several of their countenances looked you as you sat answering a adorned with a broad grin the whole witty billet-doux from my little cou- time of service. And now that it is sin Marguerite, I observed you put a over, see how amiably they strive to circumflex where no circumflex should conceal from each other their internal be? When I remarked the circum- feelings; how afraid they are lest anystance, you answered peevishly, (for thing in their deportment should of. you were at that time very vain of fend, or make their neighbours sad; your knowledge of French,) what there is my friend in the blue pelisse signifies a circumflex more or less ?' laughing heartily with a lady in the Now this, I suppose, is the opinion of next pew; there is another distribute your friends the Messrs - ; they ing bows and smiles to all around; think there is so little difference be there is a third " “ Come a. tween pécheurs and pêcheurs, that as way,” said I, " we cannot sit here all the latter has the more agreeable oc- day.” We soon, however, found, cupation, they give it the preference that we had quitted our station too over fasting and prayer.”
early, as the crowd obliged us to move I was not in a humour to answer at a very slow pace.
Were you at this sally, so we entered the church Mrs r's last night?" said a lady in silence. My seat is in the front of near us.
answered a one of the galleries, so De V-had dashing young damsel, who was ima full view of the whole interior. mediately before De V-- " A “ What a gay assemblage,” said he, pleasant party?" interrogated the first, with a meaning, smile. I said no * Oh! delightful. I did not come thing. “Look,” continued he, “at home until six this morning; and I that sweet creature in the blue pe- assure you it was a great effort getting lisse, how perfectly innocent she must up at ten; but I had promised if the feel herself, if we may judge by the day was fine to take a ride on Portocheerful expression of her counte- bello Sands with Damat two o'clock, nance." “ M. de V~," said I an- and I thought it would not look well grily, “ the Protestant religion does to be out of church all day.” “Charmnot consist in mummery and grimace; ing creature!” said De V-to me, a lady may be sensible that she is a “how carefully she strives to conceal sinner in the sight of Heaven, with- the pious motive that brought her here; out making contortions of face.” how successfully she hides her broken “Ah! I remember the first time I and repentant spirit, under an appearsaw my dear Gabrielle, it was on the ance of gay indifference to every thing eve of le Vendredi Saint; how deep- save how it would look.'” Tired ly did she then feel ! how piteously of his raillery, I hastily introduced she wept and wrung her hands, as she De Vto my friend 'C—, who threw herself, almost convulsed, upon just then met us, and left him under the ground !” Service now commenc- his auspices. ing, put an end to our conversation. We did not again meet until din
De V scarcely waited for the ner. “Well,” said De V-,"I conclusion of the blessing ere he ac am glad to find you don't fast literally costed me with, “ Well, David, of all to-day; for I have got a very good people under Heaven I give the appetite, and am not much inclined Scotch the greatest credit for ability for soupe maigre.” “Have you been in dissembling ; here are several hun- well amused this afternoon ” I dedreds met together for the purpose of manded. “Yes,” answered he," very humbling themselves and confessing much. What a set of innocent and their sins; as the clergyman said, virtuous young men you must have * We come this day groaning under about Edinburgh!" I stared with unhe weight of our offences;' but I am feigned astonishment at having such
an accusation preferred against them. evening of a day of fasting and humi“ In any walk with Mr C-,"con- liation” I turned back å few pages, tinued he, we met some twenty or and found two leaves uncut. I slit thirty of his acquaintance, none of them open and read : “ Retirement whom had been to church, or seemed from the cares and pleasures of the to have any intention of going. All world has been often recommended as appeared to enjoy the happy conscious. useful to repentance. Some suspenness, that they had no sins to repent sion of common affairs, some pause of of. Some had been to the country, temporal pain and pleasure, is doubtothers talked of going to the country, less necessary to him that deliberates but all seemed to consider themselves for eternity; who is forming the only perfectly exempted from the obliga- plan in which miscarriage cannot be tion to fasting and prayer, which 1 repaired, and examining the only questhought had been imposed upon all at tion in which mistake cannot be recthis time: but I find now, that the tified.” Oh, Mr M-"exclaimordinances of your church principally ed Caroline, “how could you be so concern the ladies.” Did C-pro- stupid as not to take M. De V-- to pose any place for your amusement Smart's last assembly? I am sure you this evening ?" “ Yes, he is to take could easily have procured a ticket for me with him to Mrs -'s, he says him.” Ere I could exculpate myself she is always happy to see her friends from the charge of stupidity, Mrs at tea on a Sunday evening, and he entered with the last number of supposes our company will be equally the Edinburgh Review in her hand. acceptable to-night." As he finished I paid my compliments, and introduspeaking, a note came from C-, to ced De V-, who was graciously resay he regretted much that the sud- ceived. No more customers being den arrival of a friend from the coun- likely to make their appearance, tea try would prevent him from going to was ordered. “ Where is Isabella?" Mrs -'s. “ Ah !” exclaimed De inquired Mrs
" In her room “what am I do? I cannot go reading, I suppose,” answered Cathealone, as I never saw the lady." rine, “ she is one of the saints you Français," said I, “I don't like know.” As she spoke, Isabella enterMrs
-, and I would rather stay at ed with a calm and composed countehome to-night; but our friendship nance, and bowing to the company, has not been so short that I (should quietly took her seat at the tea-table, hesitate to yield my wishes to yours. as president over the bread and butter. I will accompany you myself.” Aye, Mrs interrogated De Vdo,” said he, you will be much the about the literary characters of Paris, better for it."
so I was left exposed to the battery of To Mrs 's we went according, the Misses. From this I was at length ly. We found the young ladies alone, relieved by the entrance of several and seemingly employed. Miss Ca- young gentlemen, among whom was therine was looking out at the win- Mr Précieux. I was then left in perdow, with a quill in one hand, and a fect tranquillity, and drew my chair pen-knife in the other ; Maria held a closer to Miss Isabella's. I might relate newspaper, and Caroline a volume of the conversation that ensued between the Rambler. When the door open- the daughters of folly, and those who ed and Mr M was announced, I came to ameliorate the horrors of a perceived a cloud darken the brows of church day; but I am not in a huthe fair trio; but when I introduced mour to chronicle that which is better De V, a widower of forty, with a forgotten. Mr Précieux exerted any handsome person, and an elegant ad- little wit he had, in ridiculing the dress, the sunshine of smiles became employments of the day; asked Mamore brilliant than before. Catherine ria what good she got by going to left the window, and the other ladies church, and sported opinions for which their studies; and all forthwith be- he ought to have been kicked down gan to ply my friend with questions, stairs; while the complaisant Miss Mawhile I took up Caroline's discarded ria now laughed at his sallies, and now Rambler. It was open at “ Tranquil, attempted a weak defence of principles las's account of her lovers.” “ Could which she barely understood. At nothing in this volume,” thought I, length the gentleman, weary of an “ be found more appropriate to the opponent so unskilful, said to Miss
Isabella, who sat on the opposite side to a future world. The institutors of of the table ; “ Pray, ma'am, are you our religious rites were aware of this very religious ?”
Sufficiently so," impossibility; they therefore appointanswered she, "to induce me to avoid ed set times and seasons at which they all conversation with Mr Précieux.” counselled all those who look beyond So saying she left the room, and I rose this narrow sphere, to withdraw themto follow her example. '« Oh ! do selves for a little from the cares, and not go yet my bear Mr M-," said the pleasures, and the follies of this Mrs we are just going to have world. The men of business are adone of Blair's sermons read aloud." vised to quit, for a few hours, their “ You need not, madam,” said I, schemes of interest; the men of lite
put yourself so much out of your rature and science, to lay aside their way on my account, as I am about to uncertain speculations; and the votake my leave.” “ But you are not taries of pleasure, to bid adieu for one to take M. De V--- with you,” said night to the theatre and the ball; and Catherine, “ for he is going to write all are exhorted to ask themselves this some nice French énigmes in my question: “Am I, or am I not, walk
:“ I have no wish to ing in the narrow way that leads to hurry M. De V-, from such an everlasting happiness ?” agreeable occupation," said I; and The first of these injunctious is apDe V-having declared his wille parently obeyed; the office, the lecingness to remain to supper, I was ture room, and the place of public suffered to depart in peace. Such is amusement, are closed; and an air of a fast day in Edinburgh in 1820. quietness and solemnity pervades the
It is probably needless to inform my, streets of our metropolis. But enter readers that this account of my yes- into our houses, ascend to our drawterday's observations contains a moral, ing-rooms, and there you will find the for,
world reigning in all the plenitude of no doubt
There you will in rain
look for abstraction from earthly conThey all have wit enough to find it out;
cerns; they are too momentous to be but as I belong to the fraternity of forgotten for a single day. There you licensed prosers, it is a part of my vo- might reasonably expect to hear some cation to make assurance doubly sure; remark which would satisfy you, that I shall therefore force upon them a the beings with whom you associated few remarks, ere I dismiss them to were not altogether ignorant that they seek amusement from pages more had immortal souls. But vain is the flattering, and friends less sincere. hope, the sole objects of conversation
I am no enemy to innocent mirth ; are those beloved amusements which and I think life, without the sweets they are obliged to relinquish for of social intercourse, would be a bur- twenty-four hours. The more raden almost too heavy to be borne. I tional part of the community may talk am not a friend to those, who, acting, of the publications of the day, or of I suppose, upon the opinion that all the present state of the country, while extremes meet, wish to turn a room the more frivolous enliven the dulfull of gay company into a place of ness of that evening by laying plans worship, or a cheerful evening party for the morrow. Great would be the into an assemblage of theological dis- astonishment and contempt which that putants. Such endeavours, though man would excite, who should dare io well meant, materially injure the cause insinuate the insignificance of all that they mean to promote. They know relates to their present state, when little of human nature who suppose, compared to the awful importance of that the gay, the giddy, and the that state of endless duration, towards thoughtless, can reap any benefit from which time is swiftly, though silently, serious conversation, when their minds carrying them along. are wandering in search of the amus
Immortal made, what should we mind ing and the lulicrous: it is impossible that they who devote at least six of beings for a heaven designed,
So much as immortality, days out of seven to the pursuit of
What but a heaven the there should be? pleasure, should be able to make a sudden pause in their mirth, and If we admit that this is no poetical transfer their thoughts from a present fiction, is it not folly, is it not mad
ness, to think of every thing but im- many pious Christians “ who commortality, to talk of every thing but mune with themselves in their chamheaven?
bers, and are still,” on the evenings Such is an Edinburgh Fast-day in of those days set apart by the Vener1820. For the truth of this assertion able Church of our country for the I appeal to the consciences of all my purpose of self-examination, as there Presbyterian readers. And if their ever were in any former period of its consciences acquit me, need I say who history. The Bystander inay think they condemn?
that we are taking him up too much George Street, May 5th.
au pied de lettre,"-(we stand under M. de V.'s correction, if this is
bad French ;)—but, while the leviREMARKS ON DR Wilson's PRAYERS ties and thoughtlessness of mankind FOR FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS. are certainly fair game for the satirist,
his blows are boti unjust, and lose We suspect our friend the Bystand their aiin, when they are dealt too er is somewhat of a “satirical knave:” much at random. He must we print his lucubrations exactly as as not uncertainly, and fight so as not they come to our hand—but, when he to beat the air.” says, as he does in the close of his last The exertions of the Scotch clergy paper,
that lie appeals to the con- for the instruction and edification of sciences of all his Presbyterian read their flocks have certainly in no reers,” that his account of an Edinburgh spect abated, and the reasonable inferFast-day is quite correct, he surely ence is, that the fruits of their labours overshoots the mark. Is he a Papist are still as aburidant as ever. They or an Episcopalian in disguise ? and, are anxious, on the contrary, to supwhile he pretends so much zeal for ply every thing that may seem defithe institutions of the Established cient in their institutions, Sunday Church, is he really aiming at them schools have been lately established in an insiduous blow ? For our part, we our great cities, that the children of
have no doubt that a fast-day in 1820 the poor might be kept from wander· is observed with as real a spirit of pie- ing about the streets on that sacred
ty, and with as serious an eye to the day, and might be trained in the haservice of the ensuing Sabbath, as it bits and the knowledge of their reused to be in the days of our forefa- ligjous duty; and these are carefully thers. The young and the thought- and regularly inspected by the miniless, no doubt, will have their heads sters of religion. The gigantic labours running on parties of pleasure, in the of a Chalmers are something, indeed, midst of the most sacred solemnities ; sui generis; but they, too, arise in no but is that a feature of the present slight degree from the general and times only? and do we suppose that prevailing spirit of exertion. Even our grandsires and grandmothers, even
the little work now before us is a amidst the awakening sermons of a
fair instance of an attempt on the Webster, were never footing it in fan- part of a respectable clergyman to cy in the Auld Assembly Close ? and supply & desideratum,--and we can were there no graceless lawyers or safely recommend it to our readers, lairds deep in their claret in Clire- as an useful help to devotion. Faheugh's, when they ought to have mily prayer was more frequent, we been humbling themselves in repent- believe, in this part of the island in ance in Haddow's Hole ? Our hand- former days than it is now; its disuse some modern churches in the New we will not ascribe to a decay of piety Town are certainly as well attended so much, perhaps, as to a false moas the filthy cobwebbed dungeons, desty. There are many good men well denominated holes, in Auld who would willingly call their famiReekie of yore; the clergy of the pre- lies together in prayer, if they knew sent day are by no means behind well how:-occupied with pursuits their predecessors in zeal, knowledge, and studies much more multiplied or eloquence; and we have no reason and varied than those of “ their faa to suppose that there are not quite as thers and of the old time before them;"
they have by no means so rich a comEdinburgh, Macredie, Skelly, and Co. mand of Scriptural language, and can
not so readily find the appropriate