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lingering look upon my favourite little town of Totnes, where, as a characteristic, family alliances are so carefully preserved, that one death generally stains half the town black; and where Nature has so united the charms of enlightened society, to those of romantic scenery, that had a certain wit but tasted of the former, he would have spared the whole county in which it stands, and would not have answered, when requested to declare his opinion of the good people of Devon, that the further he travelled westward, the more persuaded he was that the wise men came from the east.
decrees of renovated war had closed the gates of the south; the north alone lay expanded before me; if she is less enchanting, thought I, perhaps she is the less known, and whereever man is, (women of course included) there must be variety: she has hitherto been contemplated, clad in fur, and gliding with the swiftness of a light cloud before the wind, upon her roads of shining snow. I will take a peep at her in her summer garb, and will endeavour to form a nosegay of polar flowers.
There is always a little bustle of action and confusion of ideas, when a man, about to slip from his friends, is in the agonies of packing up. My mind alternately darted from my portmanteau, to the political appearances with which I was surrounded; and, with all the vanity which generally be
longs to a traveller, I resolved to commemorate the period of my flight, by a cursory comment upon the state of
my country, which, by the time the last strap was buckled, was simply this: A great man had succeeded a good one in the direction of its august destinies, and another being who may be considered as the wonder of the west, was preparing amidst the blaze of brilliant novelties to mount the throne of a new dynasty; amongst them was a threat to cover the shores of England, with his hostile legions. Nine hundred and ninetynine Englishmen, out of one thousand, had started into martial array, on the sound of the haughty menace-patriotism, with the bright velocity of a wild-fire, ran through the valley and over the mountain, till at last it was discovered that we might be invaded whenever we pleased. Ministers were more puzzled by their friends, than their enemies; where streams were expected to flow, torrents rolled headlong, and whatever
be our animosities, we are at least under an everlasting obligation to the French, for having enabled us to contemplate such a spectacle of loyalty. How I happened to leave my country at this time, it may be proper to explain : Devonshire offered, to her lasting honour, twenty thousand volunteer defenders of their homes and altars, nine thousand were only wanted or could be accepted; in the latter, a spirited body of my fellow-townsmen, who honoured me by an election to command them, were not included; after encountering (and it was equal to a demi-campaign) the scrutinizing
eye of militia-men, and the titter of nursery-maids, until awkwardness yielded to good discipline, and improvement had taught our observers to respect us, we found that our intended services were superfluous, and I was at full liberty to go any point of the compass; so, after the touching scene of bidding adieu to an aged and a beloved mother, whilst she poured upon me many a half-stifled prayer and benediction, I hastened to the capital, where, having furnished myself with the necessary passports and letters of introduction to our embassadors from the minister of foreign affairs, a circular letter of credit and bills from the house of Ransom, Morland, and company, upon their foreign correspondents, and with a packet of very handsome letters of private introduction, which were swelled by the kindness of Mr. Grill, the Swedish consul, and a passport (indispensably necessary to the visitor of Sweden) from the baron Silverhjelm, the enlightened and amiable representative of a brave and generous nation, I proceeded to Harwich, and at midnight passed under the barrier arch of its watch-tower, which was thrown into strong picturesque varieties of shade, by its propitious light, which from the top flung its joyous lustre over many a distant wave, so gladdening to the heart of the homeward mariner.
In the morning we went (I had a companion with me) to the packet-agency office, where we paid four guineas each for our passage to Husum; 11. 11s. 6d. for provisions
THE POOR NORWEGIAN'S TOMB.
on board (seldom tasted); after which douceurs of 10s. 6d. each remained to be paid to the mate, and 78. each to the crew, and 5s. apiece to a personage who contributes so largely to human happiness, and particularly to that of Englishmen, the cook; we also paid ten guineas for the freight of a chariot belonging to an acquaintance at Petersburg, 2s. per ton on the tonnage of the vessel, and ls. in the pound upon the value of the said carriage; this accomplished, I had nothing further to do, but to amuse the time until four o'clock in the afternoon, when the foreign mail from London arrives.
The church-yard lay adjoining to the inn: in this solemn spot, we are not always enabled to indulge in those serious and salutary reflections, which it ought alone to inspire; the quaint or ridiculous effusions of the village schoolmaster, and the sexton, those prolific mortuary laureates, too often awaken an irresistible smile, by commemorating the ravages of death in some pious pun or holy conundrum; a perversion which well merits the interposition of the ecclesiastical officer whose power extends over these regions of the dead.
I had not wandered far, before a fresh plain slab attracted
my notice, and by its inscription informed me that it was raised to the memory of captain Christensen, of Krajore in Norway, who fell by the bite of his dog, when mad; the tale was simply, but touchingly, told, and drew from me the following lines:
Ah! hapless stranger! who without a tear
Can this sad record of thy fate survey?
Nor hostile sword, nor Nature's soft decay.
The fond companion of thy pilgrim feet,
Who watch'd when thou would'st sleep, and moan'd if miss'd
Impress'd with death the hand he oft had kiss'd.
And here, remov'd from love's lamenting eye,
Far from thy native cat'racts' awful sound;
Thy poor remains repose on alien ground.
Soon after we had quitted the tomb of the poor Norwegian, the mail arrived, and at five o'clock a favouring breeze bore us from the lessening shore. Now, as I am one of those unhappy beings who, like Gonzalo in the Tempest, would at any time give one thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground; and as there may be
many more who
find the rocking of the ocean somewhat unfriendly to the regularity of appetite; let me advise them to lay in some anchovies, lemons, oranges, and a little brandy: and as we are upon the subject of travelling economy, let me also recommend the packing up of a pair of leather sheets and a leather pillow-case, in addition to their linen ones; the former will prevent the penetration of damp, and repel vermin. As we passed Orfordness-castle, the sun was setting in great glory; and several ships working to windward,