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in respect to weather, ever remembered in this country. The days were so mild, so pure, so radiant; and the evenings so serene ; that it might be said, that England, for one season, was converted into the south of France ! In August, such was the dryness of the air, that the leaves fell from the trees, as in autumn ; the harvest moon being the third of a series of ten years, in which it proves most beneficial to farmers. During these remarkable heats, it was observed, that they were nearly equal in many European latitudes; the thermometer of Reaumur standing at the same point at Rome, Madrid, Vienna, and Berlin. In November the narcissus was seen to bloom in Hampshire; in some districts grass was mown; and, in others, wheat was seen coming into ear. Indeed, a miracle seemed to be effected in the vegetable world, almost every day. In the county of Perth, garden strawberries were in full blossom; the berries of the arbutus were ripe; the buds of many forest trees swelled, and those of many hazel bushes expanded; tulips appeared in leaf above the ground ; and sweet pease and mignionette were luxuriantly in flower. In December, tulips were seen in Scotland, five inches in height; flowers of ten weeks' stocks, and marigolds, were as fresh and vigorous as in August: on Wanstead Flats, in the county of Essex, leaves of lime-trees fully expanded ; a snow-drop was in blossom; and swallows were still seen. At Appledore, in Devonshire, a second crop of apples were gathered, full grown, the tree being in bloom, when the former crop was gathered. Near Plymouth, jonquils, hyacinths, anemonies, pinks, stocks, and monthly roses bloomed in great perfection; there were, also, ripe raspberries. In the fields and hedges violets, hearts'-ease, purple vetches, red-robins, and other flowers blossomed; the oak and elm retained much of their foliage; and birds were sometimes heard, as if it were spring: and on the 24th, a robin's nest, with four young ones, nearly fledged, was found in the thatch of a poor man's cottage at Hemington, near Salisbury.
During the first six days in January, the air was calm, but foggy; the wind fluctuated between the south and east ; from the 7th to the 14th, fell several heavy showers; but; during the month, there were not less than twelve serene days, and no snow had fallen from the commencement of the winter. On Eskdale Moor, in Cumberland, a young brood of red grouse were hatched; and by the 24th, they were able to fly. In the first week of February, bean plants were from ten to twelve inches high, with all their perfection of foliage, similar to what they are in June. The German tamarisk was observed in full bloom, and in the beginning of the month, the blossoms of the Erica herbacea began to open.
In Sweden and Norway there was neither frost nor snow; and in Russia great inconvenience was felt from that want of regular intercourse between one province and another, which snow, frozen, contributes so much to facilitate. Not only Mount St. Bernard but Mount St. Gotharda and the Simplon b were crossed without difficulty. In the beginning of February, too, several swallows were seen in the gardens of the Tuileries at Paris.
Such was the season in Europe during the winter of 1818 and 1819. But of all climates the island of Teneriffe presents the most delightful; since it is suited to the wheat and vines of Europe; the bread-tree of Otaheite ; the coffee-tree of Arabia ; the figs of India; plants common to Jamaica and to Lapland ;' the cinnamon of Moluccas; the cocoa of America'; the date of Provence; the laurels of Italy; the olives of Greece ; and trees, resembling the oaks of Thibet. " Montesquieu was accustomed to observe, that “Germany was the country to travel in ; Italy to sojourn in ; England to think in; and France to live in.”- Tempora mutantur! And Pompey being, one day, on a visit to Lucullus, at-Tusculum, enquired of that general, how he could be so absurd, as to make his villa fit only for a summer residence. “What?” said · Canton of Uri.
6 Canton of Valois.
Lucullus with a smile,“ do you imagine, that I have less“sense, than storks and cranes ? shall they change their habitations with the season, and Lucullus remain in one residence all the year?” The great khans of Tartary, as well as the present emperors of China, are accustomed also to change their residences according to the seasons... . . .. Since then the emoluments of Nature are not to be enjoyed; to the fullest advantage, all the year, I would in this aspire to imitate the conduct of Lucullus. January, therefore, I would spend in Portugal; February in the Madeiras ; and March in Spain. April in Sicily; May in Lapland ; June in Italy ; July in Switzerland ; and August in France. September in England; October among the variegated forests of America ; November in Crete; and December in the islands of the Cape de Verd. . We have now travelled the globe ; from east to west ; from south to north ; noticed every description of climate; alluded frequently to the natural productions of the various soils; traced men in various stages of society; and noticed many of their peculiar customs. What is the result? We find, that in islands, and in countries the most beautiful, as well as in those, the most savage and forlorn, great crimes disgrace the inhabitants. Warm climates dispose to indolence; cold ones to labour. In some islands, where Nature is most luxuriant and profuse, we observe, not only no genius, but no humanity; whether those islands are in the temperate, or the torrid zones. There are differences in manners; and modifications in the display of mental capacities : but for the causes of all these, we must look to other reasons than to those, arising from the difference of climate. For whence proceeds it, that, in Persia and Arabia, poetry is almost characteristic of the people; and yet in Egypt, nearly in the same parallel of latitude, though it is, as it were, the eldest of nations, not a single poet has ever been known in the country! Then as to times and seasons : Orpheus lived in the infancy, as it were, of the human mind; Euripides in the vigour of Grecian liberty; Virgil in the morning of Roman slavery; Boethius in the evening of learning ; Dante in the darkness of violence and superstition; and Camoens in the dawn of maritime discovery. Genius depends, then, not on climates, nor on countries ; on times, nor on seasons. It nowhere rises or falls with the barometer. It is the gift of Nature only; and its developments depend on an infinite variety of circumstances.
Arguing on the principles of Montesquieu, Raynal, Winklemana, Du Bos, and other plausible writers, it would be impossible to account for that distinct variation, which is observed in the dispositions, habits, and genius of those people, residing on the opposite banks of frontier rivers; on the transverse sides of high mountains ; and particularly of the same people, at different periods of their history. Of this the ancient and the modern Greeks afford a curious exemplification. Both enjoyed the same soil, and the same climate ; yet the former as much excelled the latter, as purple and white surpass yellow and brown b. An artist may yet enliven the forests of America, or the solitudes of Siberia : a Gessner may soothe the savannahs of Africa: a Raphael may delineate near the wall of China; a Palladio may adorn 'the harbour of St. Peter and St. Paul; and even a Newton may arise in Lapland.
· Winkleman insists, that Englishmen are incapable of much excellence in painting ; not only from natural incapacity, but from the unfavourable nature of their climate!
b This may serve to remind us of a passage in Theophrastus :-“ I have often wondered," says he, in his Proem to the Characteristics, written in the ninetyfirst year of his age, “and perhaps shall never cease to wonder, how it shall come to pass, that there should be so great a diversity in our manners, since all Greece lies under the same air, and all its inhabitants receive a like education.” Theophrastus was mistaken ;-the Greek states had, by no means, the same education.
Before I quit this subject, let me say something of the AZORES a. They are full of beauty, combining every thing that can be wished or imagined by the painter or poet:Mountains, rocks, precipices, and the ocean, beheld through vistas of the most splendid and luxuriant vegetation, peculiar to tropical regions; as well as other vegetable existences (if we may so call them), belonging to many other parts of the globe. The climate is the most delicious upon earth! The poor live with ease. The cold is never intense ; and, what is still better, the heats are seldom inconvenient. The perfumes, in certain times of the year, from the trees in blossom, the fruits ripe, and myriads of flowers, are scarcely to be imagined by an European. The springs are past all description; and during the greater part of the year, the air is pure, and the temperature soft. As to the splendour of the vegetation, we may judge from the circumstance, that the fuschia is arborescent, and the camellia japonica a tree of the forest. Singing birds ! their numbers are incredible : especially canaries, black-birds, thrushes, totonegroes, and avenigneiras. These, of a night and morning, sing vespers and matins, as it were, beyond all that is heard in any other quarter of the world.
Then the depth, blueness, and purity of the waves below; and the splendour and sublimity of the skies above! The moon appears of virgin silver; and sometimes, when the sun is setting, its colour resembles that of a rose-leaf. A botanist might revel here by day; and an astronomer might, also, adjust his telescope with a sublime rapture by night; so splendid are the stars; so pure and balmy is the midnight breeze.
This, thought I, some years ago, should I ever be fortunate enough to be able to plant a colony ;—this is the spot I would select beyond all others. It lies between the old world and the new. It has the vegetation of both : it might have the enlightenment of both: and here a little society of
* Discovered by some Flemings: they were uninhabited ; and peopled by the Portuguese in 1449.