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siderable period of whose existence her capricious desertion had embittered.
I am charmed with your description of Aix, and its emerald avenues—with your picture of the gloomy and infested passage between the cleft rocks on the road to Marseilles, in which the gentle Mrs Whalley was an armed heroine; and with the town itself, that splendid and filthy city, that stands and stinks in state," and whose operasingers must, to a blind person, suggest the idea of holding their noses while they warble.
I long to wander in the orange-groves of Heiles, Whence comes it, that poetry has not celebrated this Gallic Arcadia ? How infinitely more lovely is France in her vegetable than in her human productions ? The first perfume the air with their balmy gales and delicious odours, while the latter pollute it with the most odious degree of uncleanliness. The want of taste and solicitude for external purity always destroys my confidence in the internal worth.
Having never seen a large town on the margin of the extended ocean, I had annexed an idea of loneliness to the sea-shore. You describe an extent of coast, many miles in length, populous and busy as the banks of the Thames, and make
White Cotolleto gleaming on the strand,
And is it no more than thus with the descendants of the great Columbus ? Ah ! since they must labour for their daily bread, I hope they are unconscious of their illustrious origin, lest reflection, on a degeneracy so cruel, should make the sweat of their brows corrosive to their
But Genoa, the magnificent city which seems to possess a right to that boast, which the enamoured Andre thought could belong only to little Lichfield, even to that celebrated exclamation which the Prophet makes for Babylon, “ I am, and there is none beside me.”
The image in your nocturnal navigation is truly poetic—the moon dropping her brilliants in the sea, and edging its curling waves with silver; --but O! how have you muddied the poetically crystal Arno, by dashing the torch of truth into its waters!
A new star is arisen in our poetic hemisphere, with very powerful lustre ; yet I by no means
* Towns on the Italian coast.
think its generally red and angry beams very auspicious to human happiness, or to human virtue. The name of this luminary is Cowper; his work, v entitled The Task, has many and great poetic beauties, both as to imagery, landscape, and sentiment; yet the author perpetually shews himself to be a sarcastic misanthropist. It opens, however, with a gay and enchanting genealogy of seats, from the three-legged stool of Alfred to the accomplished sofa of George the Third ; but this delicious gaiety of spirit soon shuts in. Do you remember these lines in an old Scotch balled, called The Flowers of the Forest?
“ I have seen Tweed streaming
So it is with the muse of Cowper.
But Bristol seems the soil where poetic plants, of wonderful strength and luxuriance, spring up amidst the weeds and brambles of vulgar life. The milk-woman's celebrity must have reached you across the seas. She is said to have behaved most ungratefully to her humane and energetic patroness, Miss H. More. Inflexible moral honesty, stern uncomplaining patience, that silently endured the bitterest evils of want, are re
corded by the pen of that celebrated lady, in the anecdotes she formerly gave us of this muse-born wonder. Her writings breathe a gloomy and jealous dignity of spirit. Great delicacy was required in the manner of conferring obligation on a mind so tempered. Miss More's letter to Mrs Montague, prefixed to Lactilla's first publication, struck me with an air of superciliousness towards the Being she patronized ; and the pride of genius in adversity revolted. So, in a similar situation, would surly Samuel Johnson bave spurned the hand that, after it had procured him the bounty of others, sought to dictate to him as to its use; and that resentment, which, in her, is universally execrated, would, coming down to us now as a record of his emerging talents, have been generally excused, and probably, with whatever little reason, admired. I should not wonder if this sudden reverse of public esteem should send this kindred spirit of the unfortunate Chatterton's to attend his manes in the dreary path of suicide.
From a blind alley of the same distinguished city, a third * illiterate genius has started up, with powers little inferior to Lactilla's. He sets his compositions to pleasing, though wild, airs of his own. The world, however, refuses to celebrate and protect him, as it did her; sheltering its con
Bryant, the maker of tobacco-pipes.
tempt under declamations upon the ingratitude of the milk-woman.
Critics are also started up, producing books abounding with the spawn of Johnsonian envy, unsupported with Johnsonian ability, and unadorned with Johnsonian wit.
The sweet syren, Mrs Smith, is at Bath, and very kindly received. She writes us extremely pretty and pathetic letters. We learn from them, that matrimony has not extinguished Mrs Velley's enthusiasm about your talents and virtues. I draw a pleasing prognostic for that lady's future happiness, from her having, with her own hands, dressed Mrs Smith for her first essay in the con. cert-room. It shews that Major Velley throws no damp of disapprobation upon her active and affable benevolence, from the strutting jealousy of false dignity. Sophia kindly regrets your and Mrs Wi's absence from Bath on Mrs Smith's account, conscious as she is, how warmly you would have patronized that pleasing young woman !
The drowsy hour has stolen upon memy eyes are heavy-so is my heart, at times, when I think of friends whom I might search for in vain over this island, of no narrow bounds.