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I then turned to my friend and observed that the doctor was in rather a ticklish situation with so many pretty girls about him; for, if Falstaff speaks truly," he has more flesh than other men, and therefore more frailty!"
Although you do not give me much encouragement to “open shop" in Baltimore, I will try my luck with my dear fellow-citizens on my return.
I hope they will never make me regret having embraced a profession which offers but few chances of success to the young practitioner, and which presents no other indemnity for the great sacrifices it exacts, but the sweet pleasures of an active philanthropy: I have known the man who would remain cold at the spectacle of nature contending with disease,—whose cheek was never bedewed with the tear of pity, who exercises the noblest of professions as a mercenary trade. That person has arrived at the acme of his hopes-he is rich and admired: but I would rather
the poorest labourer than such a man as that.
Qui fait aimer les champs fait aimer la vertu. DELILLE.
London, July 22, 1819. The aspects of external nature present a perpetual feast to the contemplative mind. In the
gorgeous clouds of
spectacle of sublinity and grandeur-in the soft murmur of the rivulet an image of calmness and tranquillity-in the roaring of the torrent, he hears the echo of dark forebodingin the developing beauties of a flower, he discerns a picture of innocent loveliness, and the savage desolation of mountainous solitude, rouses in him
“ Thoughts that too often lie too deep for tears."
Such a person has a wider field of enjoyment than other men—his feelings are excited by the silent works of nature, which, to all others,
as a book sealed.” To him the stars are the poetry of heaven, the rainbow the arch of God's promise set in the firmament. He opens his heart to the genial impulses, and revels amid the innocent beauties of simple nature. He retires from the repellant horrors of artificial life, to the bower of happiness which he has formed for himself in the paradise of imagination.
Richmond is said to be the most picturesque spot in England: to me it displays ten-fold charms, from the magic beauty which Fame sheds over the habitations of Genius, and which mantles so many rural retreats in this most luxuriant vale. The town itself is not very remarkable—it is situated on the declivity of a “heaven-kissing hill,” which commands a variety of prospect and splendour of landscape not to be surpassed. Immediately on the banks of the Thames, is the seat of the duke of
Queensberry, of infamous memory; on the south bank is situated Putney, lately occupied by the chaste Mrs. Clarke, the bonne amie of the equally virtuous bishop of Oznaburgh-I walked to the summit of Richmond hill, from which opens to view a scene of unrivalled magnificence; I will refer you to the exquisite lines of Thomson for an idea of this splendid prospect. The atmosphere of this spot is pure, and appears to be embalmed with the exhala. tions from flowers which “ dance in the soft breeze in a fairy mass.” To use the beautiful expression of Shakspeare, “Heaven's breath smells wooingly here.' On one side is seen a wood of unshorn luxuriance; on the other the Thames sweeping through swelling hills and flowering rells; along its shelvy bank, picturesque cottages as white as snow, stud the rich expanse of the vale, like stars in the galaxythe prospect is diversified by rich hedges smiling under the dark foliage of frowning vaks, and by embowering walks enamelled with wild flowers:
“ Non vide el mondo si leggiadri rami
I crossed the Thames by an elegant bridge, and proceedel through the charming lawns which skirt the river, as far as Twickenham; I visited the spot consecrated to immortality by the genius of Pope, whose favourite grot stiil
* The world affords not such a charming scene
remains. Amidst the academic retreats of this place, the rural abodes where poets and statesmen spent their time “ veterum libris et iner. tibus horis,” that of Horace Walpole is distinguished. Strawberry Hill was first occupied by Colley Cibber; it was afterwards taken by different noblemen as an occasional summer residence; till, in 1747, Horace Walpole pur. chased it, and displayed great taste in the embellishments of the edifice, and in the choice collection of paintings, antiquities, &c. with which he enriched it. It became the resort of fashion, and the emporium of literature. “Strawberry Hill is grown a perfect Paphos; it is the land of beauties," says Walpole, in a letter to Montague. On entering the mansion, the stranger is quite dazzled with the profu. sion of richly painted windows, screens, beautiful tracery, and the other curiosities which adorn this Gothic baby-house! His mind, as well as his house, (observes an excellent wri. ter,) was piled up with Dresden china, and illuminated through painted glass; and we look upon
his heart to have been little better than a case full of enamels, painted eggs, ambers, cameos, vases and rock-crystals! He could not get a plain thought out of that cabinet of curiosities, his mind;-and he had no room for feeling-no place to plant it in, or leisure to cultivate it. His barbarity to poor Chatterton, (“ the sleepless child that perish'd in his prime,") and the contemptuous manner in which he speaks of Addison, Young, Rous
seau* and other master spirits, who“ have got the start of this majestic world,”-evince a sad want of feeling and dignity. His disgusting egotism is admirably depicted by the author above quoted: If such a man had had a voice in the management of the floud, he would have suffered no creeping thing to enter the ark but himself; and would have floated about the waters for 40 days, in lonely magnificence. Among the curiosities of Strawberry Hill, I observed the inkstand of Madame de Sevigné,
* The following imaginary Letter from the King of Prussia to
Rousseau, was written by Horace Walpole, who circulated it among the literary coteries of Paris. It was one cause of the rupture between the Genevan philosopher and David Hume, who was suspected to be the writer. It is worth preserving, as a specimen of Walpole's accurate knowledge of the French language:
« MON CHER JEAN-JACQUES, " Vous avez renoncé à Genève votre patrie; vous vous êtes fait chassé de la Suisse, pays tant vanté dans vos écrits; la France vous a décrété.–Venez donc chez moi; j'admire vos talens; je m'amuse de vos rêveries, qui (soit dit en passant) vous occupent trop long temps. Il faut à la fio être sage et heureux. Vous avez fait assez parler de vous par des singularités peu convenables à un véritable grand homme. Démontrez à vos ennemis que vous pouvez avoir quelquefois le sens commun: cela les fachera, sans vous faire tort. Mes états vous offrent une rétraite paisible; je vous veux du bien, et je vous en ferai si vous le trouvez bon. Mais si vous vous obstinez à rejetter mon secours, attendez vouz que je ne le dirai à personne. Si vous persistez à vous creuser l'esprit pour de nouveaux malheurs, choisissez-les tels que vous voudrez, Je suis Roi, je puis vous en procurer au gré de vos souhaits; et ce qui surement de vous arrivera pas vis. à-vis de vos ennemis, je cesserai de vous persécuter, quand vous cesserez de mettre votre gloire à l'être.
“ Votre bon ami,
FRÉDÉRIC.” VOL. II.