Page images
PDF
EPUB

a little party to travel to the Mediterranean in company: the lady comes gliding along through I he fruitful plains of Burgundy, incredibili lenitate, ita ut oculis in utram partem fluit judicari non possit; the gentleman runs all rough and roaring down from the mountains of Switzerland to meet her; and with all her soft airs she likes him never the worse: she goes through the middle of the city in state, and he passes incog, without the walls, but waits for her a little below. The houses here are so high, and the streets so narrow, as would be sufficient to render Lyons the dismallest place in the world; but the number of people, and the face of commerce diffused about it, are, at least, as sufficient to make it the liveliest. Between these two sufficiencies, you will be in doubt what to think of it; so we shall leave the city, and proceed to its environs, which are beautiful beyond expression: it is surrounded with mountains, and those mountains all bedropped and bespeckled with houses, gardens, and plantations of the rich Bourgeois, who have from thence a prospect of the city in the vale below on one hand, on the other the rich plains of the Lyonnois, with the rivers winding among them, and the Alps, with the mountains of Dauphin^, to bound the view. All yesterday morning we were busied in climbing up Mount Fourviere, where the ancient city stood perched at such a height, that nothing but the hopes of gain could certainly ever persuade their neighbours to pay them a visit. Here are the ruins of the emperors' palaces, that resided here, that is to say, Augustus and Se» verus: they consist in nothing but great masses of old wall, that have only their quality to make them respected. In a vineyard of the Minims are remains of a theatre; the fathers, whom they belong to, hold them in no esteem at all, and would have showed us their sacristy and chapel instead of them. The Ursuline Nuns have in their garden some Roman baths, but we having the misfortune to be men, and heretics, they did not think proper to admit us. Hard by are eight arches of a most magnificent aqueduct, said to be erected by Antony, when his legions were quartered here: there are many other parts of it dispersed up and down the country, for it brought the water from a river many leagues off in La Forez. Here are remains too of Agrippa's seven great roads which met at Lyons; in some places they lie twelve feet deep in the ground. In short, a thousand matters that you shall Dot know, till you give me a description of the Pais de Tombridge, and the effect its waters have upon you.

[ocr errors]

FROM MR. WEST.

Temple, Sept, 28,1739.

If wishes could turn to realities, I would fling down my law books, and sup with you to-night. But, alas.! here I am doomed to fix, while you are fluttering from city to city, and enjoying all the pleasures which a gay climate can afford. It is out of the power of my heart to envy your good fortune, yet I cannot help indulging a few natural desires; as far example, to take a walk with you on the banks of the Rhone, and to be climbing up mount Fourviere;

Jam mens praetreptdans avet vagari:
Jam leti studio pedes vigvacnnt.

However, so long as I am not deprived oi your correspondence, so long shall I always find some pleasure in being at home. And, setting all vain curiosity aside, when the fit is over, and my reason begins to come to herself, I have several other powerful motives which might easily cure me of my restless inclinations. Amongst these, my mother's ill state of health is not the least, which was the reason of our going to J'unbridge; so that you cannot expect much description or amusement from thence. Nor indeed is there much room for eitiier; for ftll diversions there may be reduced to two articles, gaming and going to church. They were pleased to publish certain Tunbrigiana this season; but such ana! 1 believe there were never so many vile little verses put together before. So much for Tqubri.ige. London affords me as little to say. What! J30 huge a town as London? Yes, consider only how I live in that town. I never go into the gay or high world, and consequently, receive nothing Iroip thence to brighten my imagination. The busy world l leave to the busy; and am resolved never to talk politics till I can act at the same time. To tell old stories, or prate of old books, seems a little musty; and toujours chapon bouilii, won't do. However, for want of better fare, take another little mouthful of my poetry.

O meae juciunia comes quictis!
Quse fere aegrotum suliia t* levare

VOL. IV. *

Pectus, et senrim, ab! nimis ingruentes
Fallere curas:

Quid canes? quanto Lyra dic furore
Gestics, quando hac redticem sodalem
Glaueiam* gaudere sinml videbis
Meque sub umbra?

XXVI.

TO HIS MOTHER.

Lyons, Oct. 13, N. S. 1730.

It is now almost five weeks since I left Dijon, one of the gayest and most agreeable little cities of France, for Lyons, its reverse in all these particulars. It is the second in the kingdom in bigness and rank; . the streets excessively narrow and nasty; the houses immensely high and large; (that, for instance, where we are lodged, has twenty-five rooms on a floor, and that for five stories); it swarms with inhabitants like Paris itself, but chiefly a mercantile people, too much given up to commerce to think of their own, much less of a stranger's diversions. We have no acquaintance in the town,'

* He gives Mr. Gray the name of Glaueias frequently in bU Latin rerse, as Mi. Gray calls Dim Farenius,

« PreviousContinue »