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with that curiosity which is natural to a man on finding himself in some place quite strange to bim. He was come, he said, late in the night to Siena; and was altogether uncertain whether or no he should find a lodging. He now drew a book out of his pocket, placed himself under the nearest lantern, and began to read.--Scarcely had be read a few lines, when another being, from one of the cross-streets, drew the attention of the audience. Seeing the German so intently employed in reading, he came up to him and looked over his shoulder into the book, showed his astonishment by gestures.
The German soon put up his book, pulled out his repeater, made it strike. At every successive stroke, the astonishment increased, of the creature that stood behind, and the eagerness of curiosity was visible in his countenance. "No later than twelve!” exclaimed the German; " that is not so very late; especially in a country where they are known to turn the day into night, and the night into day. Perhaps, I may, somewhere, be able to awaken either a compassionate or a self-interested soul.”—He knocked at all the doors, but in vain.
“ Well, then," said he, disgusted," if knock
ing will not awaken you, perhaps you may be roused at this.” So saying, he drew out one of his pistols and fired it off;--the poor white thing started back with terror, and his shriek caused the traveller to look around him. He instantly asked, who he was? “ Thou wert reading just now, in a packet, full of such crooked and extraordinary figures, as I never saw before, and yet it cannot have been written?"_" No, that it was not; don't you know it to be printed ?"“ Printed ! Printed! No; the idea is altogether foreign to me. Tell me, then, in what consists the difference between printing and writing ?"“ In this; that one hundred and fifty men could not write, in a day, the half of what one single man can print within that space of time; that it is fairer, more uniform, and more lasting, than the other method; and that the price of it does not amount to one-sixth part of the former.”“ Important advantages ! indeed, very important!" exclaimed the inquisitive native.--" An invention by which literature, and the communication of the arts and sciences, must have been great gaipers, no doubt! And who was the inventor of this useful art ?"-"A countryman of mine :-a German.' “ He does thee
honour, friend. He must have had a good head-piece, I would have given a great deal for such an one. But my curiosity is not yet satisfied. Thou hast there another contrivance which gave the hour with astonishing exactitude; what might that ' be?"_" What but a repeating watch !"_"A watch? Hum! in my time we only knew of water-clocks, sand-vessels, and sun-dials; but, not to mention their bulky size, their inconvenience and expensiveness, they were extremely deceptive and uncertain. I should think, that a thing so easily carried about in the pocket, and so exact in its notices, must be an excellent companion on loug journeys, and must be of equal utility, both to the traveller and the merchant.”—“I am glad to see that thou art so quick at guessing the utility of things, which, to my great surprise, thou seemest still unacquainted with-Who art thou then? Of what epocha dost thou pretend to be? Aye, what epocha!”-“Why art thou so curious ? Tell me, first, who invented this ?” -“ Likewise a German.” “ A noble race! It deserves my praise. A German! Who would have thought it of those blue-eyed barbarians ? But let it be! Now that I have once begun to question thee, my old motto
comes into my mind. Thou hast yet another thing, that imitated thunder and lightning in miniature; and even struck into that door, though at so great a distance. What name dost thou give it?"“ A pistol.”_" And the nature of it? The manner whereby it produces this effect?"— The German, who was now once entered into conversation, took out the other pistol, explained to him its construction, the quality of the powder, its force in great and little quantities, and
gave him as good an idea of it, as could be done in few words. The wonder of the inquirer now rose to its highest pitch. “How useful must this be in war !” exclaimed he; “ How serviceable in taking strong places ! How quickly decisive in battle! Oh, I pray thee, tell me, who invented it ?". 26 Who else but a German!” The spirit-for why should we any longer conceal that it was a spirit ?-here started. “ Always German, and again, a German! Whence, in all the world, did you come by so much wisdom? Know, that as sure as I stand here before thee, I was once the spirit of Cicero, the wisest man.of his times, the father of his country, the-but who does not know me?
But in my times, to speak honestly, thy countrymen were the stupidest set of people that ever the sun shone upon ; rude and even savage, destitute of even agriculture and arts, totally ignorant of all sciences, for ever hunting, perpetually at war, wrapped up in the skins of beasts, and they themselves no better than brutes; yet, to all appearance, you must have undergone a great alteration since. When I now reflect on my ancient fellow citizens, according to the vast progress they had made beyond you; great both in peace and wars; or as actors, poets, historians,-lords of half the world, and the first nation under the sun,-Oh, for certain, they must, by this time, border on divine perfection !-That I could but see them! Yet, a few minutes, and the coming on of the first hour compels me back to the world below, from whence, perhaps, in the next eighteen hundred years, I may not be able to depart; and must only mutter by myself in some vast desart.”
The German smiled. “ Such as I am,” said he, “ are all my countrymen; or, at least, they may be such.-Does then the ap