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prehend more parts of philosophy, than any one profession, art, or science in the world besides ; and therefore Cicero says, the pleasures of a husbandman, “ mihi ail sapientis vitam proximè videntur accedere," come very nigh to those of a philosopher. There is no other sort of life that affords so many branches of praise to a panegyrist: the utility to a man's self; the usefulness or rather necessity of it to all the rest of mankind; the innocence, the pleasure, the antiquity, the dignity
If great delights be joined with so much innocence, I think it is ill done of men not to take them here, where they are so tame and ready at hand, rather than hunt for them in courts and cities, where they are so wild, and the chace so troublesome and dangerous. We are here among the vast and noble scenes of nature; we are there among the pitiful shifts of policy: we work here in the light and open ways of the divine bounty: we grope there in the dark and confused labyrinths of human malice : our senses are here feasted with the clear and genuine taste of their objects; which are all sophisticated there, and for the most part overwhelmed with their contraries: here is harmless and cheap plenty ; there guilty and expensive luxury.
I shall only instance one delight more, the most natural and best-natured of all others, and a perpetual companion of the husbandman; and that is the satisfaction of looking round about him, and seeing nothing but the effects and improvements of his own art and diligence; to be always gathering some fruits of it, and at the same time to behold others ripening and others budding; to see all his fields and gardens covered with the beauteous creatures of his own industry ; and to see, like God, that all his works are good . .
A man would think, when he is in serious humour, that it were but a vain, irrational, and ridiculous thing for a great company of men and women to run up and down in a room together, in a hundred several postures and figures, to no purpose and with no design. Yet who is there among our gentry, that does not entertain a dancing-master for his children as soon as they are able to walk ?
But did ever any father provide a tutor for his son, to instruct him betimes in the nature and improvements of that land which he intended to leave him ?
To have travelled has many advantages, and one is, that annoyances and dangers, in recollection, become sources of pleasure;-add to which, in the language of Scripture, “ the affliction is but for a moment," whilst the recollection endures for years. I advise those who are beginning their travels to bear this in mind.
A few days after the eruption of Vesuvius, in February 1822, I ascended the mountain, in company with a friend, and attended by Salvatore, the well-known chief guide. It was night before we arrived at the crater, which at that time, we were told, was near three quarters of a mile in circumference. We lay down looking over the edge of this vast caldron, whilst the lava sometimes boiled up as if it would overwhelm us, roaring like a stormy pent-up sea, and presenting the fiery appearance of molten iron obscured by smoke ;-then it would sink down in silence, and leave us in total darkness. We forgot ourselves in the awfulness of the scene, till Salvatore reminded us that it was scarcely safe to remain. We had not left the place, above two minutes, before we heard a crash. Salvatore went back to see whence it proceeded, and on his return informed us that the very spot where we had been lying was precipitated into the crater. I thought he said so to enhance the interest of the expedition. When we arrived at the beginning of the descent, he shouted as loud as he could, by way of signal, to a boy whom he had stationed at the foot of the cone, with orders to hold up a torch for us to steer by. No torch appeared, and fearing the boy had perished, we proceeded in darkness, except where lighted by the very brilliant colours of the yet burning lava. Salvatore, notwithstanding his experience, missed his way, and became somewhat confused. He knew we were in danger of falling into hollow places, crusted over. We got knee deep into hot ashes, which burnt off a pair of very thick hose drawn over my feet and legs for their protection. A sulphureous smoke became so suffocating that we must have sunk under its effects, had not Salvatore suggested the expedient of breathing through two or three folds of our silk handkerchiefs, which to our surprise afforded instant and almost complete relief. At length, after repeated shoutings, the torch was raised ; and when we reached the boy, we found he had been engaged in roasting eggs for us on the lava instead of listening for the signal. After sleeping at the Hermitage, a sort of inn upon the mountain, we re-ascended in the morning to see the sun rise; and we were then made fully sensible how narrowly we had escaped destruction, for the part where we had been lying had wholly disappeared.
Later in the spring I made two other ascents—the first with a party of thirty-five, including ladies and gentlemen servants, and guides. Whilst we were resting on the summit of the mountain, one of the gentlemen proposed, in a sort of joke, to Salvatore, to descend into the crater, then in a state of repose. Salvatore took him at his word, and they immediately set off, followed by degrees by every male present, more after the manner of sheep than of rational beings. We arrived rapidly at the bottom, which was at a considerable depth. It was full of small fissures, through which issued short pale flames, and we were obliged to keep changing our places on account of the heat through our shoes. The stooping position necessary in re-ascending the steep sides exposed us to a sulphureous vapour, which was extremely annoying, and my hurry to escape made me neglect the expedient of the handkerchief. On mustering at the top, we found that one of the servants was missing, but before we could take steps for his safety, he crawled out nearly suffocated. It was a rash adventure, undertaken too precipitately to guard against danger, had there been any, of which we were ignorant.
My last expedition afforded nothing worthy of note except a scene at Salvatore's, where I arrived by night with a party of ladies, on their way to sleep at the Hermitage, preparatory to an ascent the next morning. Salvatore's house stands in a court-yard, and has the stairs on the outside. As our arrival was expected, the court was soon completely filled with asses and mules, each under the conduct of a boy carrying a torch. Salvatore posted himself at the foot of the stairs, with his jacket slung like a military pelisse, and a truncheon in his hand. The steps above him were occupied by blooming English girls, waiting their turns to be seated on such animals as he should select. The eagerness of the boys for preference--Salvatore's vehement but graceful action as he poured forth his oaths and brandished his truncheon-the passiveness of the ladies—the contrast between their complexions and the swarthy ones of the Italians, a contrast much heightened by the waving torches, the incessant vociferation, and the triumph of each successful candidate as he navigated his fair charge through yielding rivals—formed altogether a scene of such striking effect, that the lapse of thirteen years has effaced from my recollection nothing of its freshness.
IBOTSON AND PALMER, PRINTERS, SAVOY STREET, STRAND.
BY THOMAS WALKER, M. A.
TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,
BARRISTER AT LAW, AND ONE OF THE POLICE MAGISTRATES OF THE METROPOLIS.
PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 12 O'CLOCK, BY H. RENSHAW,
I shall begin this article with some explanations of my last on the same subject ; and here let me advertise my readers that my plan, throughout my writings, will be to proceed in a familiar and desultory manner, rather than by formal and unconnected dissertations, and that those who wish to draw any profit from my labours, if any profit is to be drawn, must read me, not cursorily, and now and then, but regularly and with attention, and must preserve my numbers for the purpose of reference. My object is to induce my readers to put their minds in training, “ by setting before them,” as I expressed myself in my preliminary address, “ an alterative diet of sound and comfortable doctrines." Now, it is the nature of an alterative diet to require time and perseverance. But to return to my subject.
I must repeat that good government is only to be expected from the selection of men of honourable and business-like repute in the conduct of their own affairs; and any system