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cost the farmer 2s. a day; but that in one parish the labourer only receives 1s. 6d. the 6d. being kept back, and put into a fund, to be paid to him upon certain conditions. Suppose also, that in the other parish, at the end of each week, each man receives for each day he has worked his full wages of 28. and suppose that he has nothing farther to look to. You understand, as he does his work, he receives the whole of his wages of 2s. a day; and upon his wages alone he is to depend in sickness and in health, whether he has work, or whether he has none, and for the maintenance of his family whether large or small, and in his old age he is to have nothing to look to but the savings of his youth. Let us see how it is likely he will conduct himself. As he has good wages, he will be able to live well, and to work hard ;* now, as there is nothing so good for health as hard work with good living, he will seldom lose any time from sickness, or be at any expense for the doctor. As he will have no pay if he cannot get work, he will take care to keep a good character, and satisfy his employer. As he will have no allowance for a large family, he will not marry till a reasonable time, and will most likely look out for a wife like himself, who can work hard and manage well. As he knows the comforts of his old age must depend entirely upon the prudence of his early years, he will constantly be laying by part of his wages, and as a steady man generally keeps his strength long, he will be able to save enough to spend his latter days in ease and independence. In such a parish is not this the way that people would generally go on?
(To be continued.)
LETTERS FROM THE CONTINENT.
Lerici, January 16, 1822. Yesterday we travelled on horseback all day over wild and barren mountains, the road often very steep and rugged; but
* This was written in a county where living is very cheap and
where it would permit, we generally went at full gallop. We changed horses at every post, and a man meant for a postillion, though perfectly unlike our idea of one, rode before
The cattle and furniture were of the most curious description-rather of a beggarly description, or rather, they beggar description ; however, the beasts get along, and are much safer than they look. A priest and a lady riding astride, or rather sitting on the top of her horse with one foot on each side, as is the manner here, accompanied us part of the way. The felucca arived this morning with our carriage; but because the captain had taken a passenger on board who was not mentioned in his papers a council of health deliberated before it could be landed. You have no idea how strict they are on this coast, for fear of infection.
Florence, February 2nd. I do not like Florence as a city so much as I expected ; but the statues and paintings are above all praise. I idolize the Venus, and go to worship her almost every morning. There is an air of divinity about her, which did not break in upon me till after repeated contemplation, and which, I dare say,
the many never discover at all, though they praise her as if they did. Pieced, restored, discoloured, what must she have been when fresh from the sculptor's chisel ?-On Thursday we went to a grand ball, given by the Prince Borghese, Bonaparte's brother-in-law, on the opening of his palace, after a complete refitting. He is the richest man in Florence. All the best people here, both natives and foreigners, with many ladies from Sienna and Bologna, were present. The vestibule was filled with orange trees, so as to form a delicious grove for the company to pass through, and the staircase was lined with beautiful plants and flowers amongst which was a profusion of the finest lilies of the valley I ever saw. There were sixteen rooms open, all newly and superbly decorated. The ball-room, which is large, lofty, and wellproportioned, is lined, as far as is seen, with mirrors, partially concealed by pink and white silk hangings. The ceiling is newly painted with the triumph of Scipio. The whole was most brilliantly lighted, the music excellent, and the company in their best. The Englishmen were superior in appearance to the English women-the contrary as to the Florentines. The Italian ladies dress beautifully, especially the head. Indeed this is truly the land of taste, and I never saw such a display of it as the other night, in many particulars. Several of the Italian women were very fine-looking--two beautiful; one so much so, that she was constantly the centre of a circle of gazers, in which situation custom, I suppose, had made her perfectly, but becomingly at her ease. I preferred the other, from a nameless something in her appearance, and I was glad to learn that, though of high rank and great riches, her fame is as fair as her person--a very singular case here. I am happy to say my companion was the most elegant looking man in the room by much, and I think the most gentleman-like dancer. The Italians do not appear to me to dance well, and what surprised me, I observed several out of time.
Italian horses do not well understand English riding, and many are the accidents in consequence. I was one of a party the other day in the Cascine, or Hyde Park of Florence, when it was proposed to charge a ditch. The foremost horse fell, and in rising contrived to drive in with his forefoot the lower part of his rider's nose, so as in appearance utterly to annihilate it. He was horribly disfigured ; and as he is a
gay fellow, when he felt the full extent of the injury, he was naturally a good deal affected. He had all our sympathies. Two of us galloped off for medical assistance, and the rest put him into a carriage, which a Russian nobleman lent on the occasion. By the time the patient arrived, in our zeal we had collected five doctors, surgeons, and apothecaries, English and Italian, but happily little remained for them to do. During his inelancholy progress accompanied by
as our own.
one of the party, the sufferer, by an irresistible impulse, kept applying his hand to the part affected, till most unexpectedly, and precisely after the manner of the toy called Jack-in-thebox, the nose started into its proper place again, and at the same instant despair was converted into extravagant joy. This accident has had the effect of making us rather more careful hitherto, which may contribute to the safety of others, as well
A few days since, in making a sharp turn quick, I was very near riding over the Grand Duke, who was walking with his family. Such things, which might be attended with unpleasant consequences to natives, are overlooked in the English ; partly, I suppose, from consideration of our national character, and partly, no doubt, from motives of interest. I must give you another little anecdote of the hero of the nose. One day when a party of us had sat at table till after midnight, he sallied forth alone, and “hot with the Tuscan grape.” Apprehensive of the consequences, I followed him, and found him on one of the bridges over the Arno, engaged with a solitary Frenchman with whom he was insisting upon having a boxing match. The Frenchman, with the instinctive horror of his nation of an English fist, deprecated most earnestly any such proceeding. With much difficulty I induced my friend to go away, and I received for my successful interference a shake by the hand more expressive of gratitude than I ever experienced before.
There is a society here, called the Misericordia Society, of which I have heard the following account, but do not know if it is accurate. It is composed of men of the highest rank, whose business it is, in case of accident or sudden death, to assemble at the sound of a bell, and render what assistance may be necessary. That there may be no personal ostentation, they wear black masks. I met about a dozen of them the other day bearing a dead body through the streets. They were all dressed in black dominos, and, as it rained, in very broad slouched hats. They never spoke, and relieved one another in carrying with great dexterity and quickness
Their step struck me as unusually majestic, probably from their dress, and the solemnity of their occupations. It was a very imposing sight. I am told that sometimes the Grand Duke himself goes out and assists.
It is very, very cold here—much colder than I ever felt it in England. The air is so thin, and the wind often so strong, that it seems literally to blow through one. The men constantly wear cloaks, ordinarily hanging open, but the moment they come upon the wind, they throw them over the left shoulder, and carefully cover their mouths. The houses are contrived with reference to hot weather, and are very comfortless to English feeling at this season. After dinner we often sit in our travelling cloaks, with napkins put upon our heads like judges wigs, which is very efficacious. The streets are kept extremely clean, not I apprehend so much from a love of cleanliness, as from economy of manure to keep up the very high cultivation of the surrounding country.
Florence abounds with palaces of a severe and prison-like appearance, built for defence by her grandees in turbulent but highly interesting times—the very opposite of the peace, security and dulness, which reign at present. Then all the faculties of the soul were called into action, and virtues and vices were both prominent. Now every thing is decent in appearance through the watchfulness of the government; but the absence of all political interest necessarily reduces the moral standard to a low level-so that we may almost say here, with Hamlet,
“What is a man,
To rust in us unus'd.” [The Art of Attaining High Health will be continued in the next number.]
IBOTSON AND PALMER, PRINTERS, SAVOY STREET, STRAND.