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Ask the swain,
An English cottager is, in fact, a great admirer of Nature ; —for while his wife has her geraniums in the window, he has frequently his crocus, polyanthus, sweetbriars, and honeysuckle ; his bow at the gate; and a bower at the farther end of his garden. If to these we add a room, frequently white washed, walls hung with sacred pictures, ballads, and portraits of the king, queen, and royal family; we have a complete idea of a British cottage. In Glamorganshire this picture might be improved : and often among the rocks, precipices and mountains, among storms of hail, and tempests of wind, in scenes, seldom visited even by the woodman, and not by men of education for centuries, how delightful have appeared the warmth, quiet, and repose of the cottages, occasionally half hid by woodbines and eglantines, down in the vales of that beautiful province ; and which, when seen from the wild precipices of the distant mountains, have appeared like cottages of Arcadian land.
*A love of Nature is said peculiarly to distinguish the Dooraunes. “ The delight, with which they dwell,” says an observing traveller, “ on the moments, passed in their beautiful valleys; and the enthusiasm, with which they speak of the varieties, through which they pass, when travelling in other countries, can never, in such an unpolished people, be heard without pleasure and surprise b.”
a Akenside. • Elphinstone's Caubul. A curious instance of the susceptibility of the Brazilian slaves is recorded in Mr. Luccock's Notes on Rio de Janeiro, p. 63, 4to.
Mr. Coxe, in his travels through Switzerland, says“, that he was so captivated with scenes in the canton of Glaris, that he could not refrain from stopping, every moment, to admire them; but that his guide could not be made to understand, that he stopped by choice: he not being able to comprehend, that the cause of Mr. Coxe's horse every now and then stopping arose from any thing than his laziness.
In Spain, however, the peasantry are far from being insen- · sible to the charms of Nature; and Mr. Irving assures us that he has often remarked their sensibility in this respect. “The lustre of a star,” says heb, “ the beauty and fragrance of a flower, the crystal purity of a fountain, will inspire them with a poetical delight ; and then what words their magnificent language affords with which to give utterance to their thoughts !"
In general, however, few natives of fine countries have any power of appreciation in this respect ;-neither are they lovers of poetry or the fine arts ; nor are they possessed of imaginative feelings or of rich associative faculties,
The public walks of the Athenians were along the banks of the Cephisus and Ilyssus : while those around the city of Smyrna, whose atmosphere is frequently charged with a light vapour, tinged with crimson, and whose wells are washed by the waters of one of the most beautiful bays in all the world, are represented as highly pleasant and agreeable; particularly on the west side of the Frank : 'where there are groves of orange and lemon trees; which, being clothed with leaves, blossoms, and fruit, regale three of the senses at the same time.
The public promenade, on the banks of the Neva, at St. Petersburg, is represented as being as fine as any in the world. At Berlin the squares, which are the most elegant, are those, in which are planted shrubs and trees. The entire city is surrounded by gardens; while that of Vienna, whose dirty and narrow streets inspire nothing but disgust, is encircled by a wide field, having a singular appearance ; and such as no other . a Vol. i. 49.
Alhambra, vol. i. p. 212. . VOL. II.
capital can boast. Most of the genteeler sort live within the ramparts in winter, but among the suburbs in summer. The gallery of this city contains upwards of thirteen hundred paintings; forty-five of which are by Rubens, and fortynine by Titian. Why is not this gallery translated to the suburbs?
Even the Dutch merchant, dull, cold, and phlegmatic, as he generally is, and whom no one would accuse of being feelingly alive to imaginary delights, pleases his imagination, during youth, with the hope of retiring to a villa, on the banks of a canal; and on its portico inscribing a sentence, indicative of his happiness. “ Rest and pleasure ;"_" shade and delight ;" _" pleasure and peace ;”—“ rest and extensive prospect ;" — 66 peace and leisure :”—These, and similar inscriptions are frequently observed on the porticos of the villas near Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Leyden.
Nothing can be more agreeable than the terrace or Belvidere of the castle of Beziers, in France; commanding, we are told, a most enchanting prospect of the fine country, adjacent to the town, and the valley (through which runs the Orbe); rising gradually on each side, and forming an amphitheatre, enriched with fields, vineyards and olive-trees. The city of Dijon, the ancient capital of the dukes of Burgundy, has delightful walks, both within and without the town :—the streets of DANTZIC are studded with trees : and the inhabitants of Bruges have planted several stately rows, even in the public market place. Most of the cities in France are embellished with public walks. Those at Toulouse, particularly the esplanade on the banks of the Garonne, and the promenade at Aix, in Provence, called the Ortibelle, are represented as being exceedingly delightful. The terrace, too, at MONTPELLIER, called La Place de Peyron, and the esplanade shaded by olives, are remarkably fine. The latter enjoys a noble domestic landscape ; while from the former on a clear day may be seen, to the east, the Alps, forming the frontiers of Italy; to the west, the Pyrenees; to the south, the magnificent waters of the Mediterranean sea.—But of all the public walks in Europe, the Marina of Palermo is said to possess the greatest advantagesa : the Parks of Westminster, the Elysian Fields of Paris, and the Prado at Madrid, having, we are told by the Abbate Balsamo, nothing to compare with it. The cities of SUCHEU and HANG-CHEU, in China, too, are said to have so many public walks, that the Chinese believe them to be upon earth", what the heavens are above.
In England many are the towns and cities, which boast of agreeable walks and promenades. At Oxford, Cambridge, Hereford, Worcester, Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Southampton, Carmarthen, and at Brecon, we have witnessed them. Among the last Helvidius and Constance stopt “to dry their clothes after their shipwreck.” Their hearts were touched with all that they had suffered. Constance shed tears; but Helvidius walked into the groves adjoining the priory, sub silentia lunce, and cast his eyes towards the east and south-western horizon, beheld the planets, rolling, as it were, round the summits of the Beacons ; and lifted his contemplation to that exalted Being, who alone has power “ to bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, and to loosen the bands of Orion.” He returned soothed and satisfied ! and the more so, since it was on that very evening that your letter reached him, in which you were pleased to offer incense to his vanity, by lamenting, with so much earnestness and so much affection, that it should be his fate, as well as that of Constance, so frequently to suffer from persons, so entirely beneath themselves.
a The great boast of modern Palermo (and a beautiful thing it is !) is the promenade of the Marina, outside of the Porta Felice. Here a noble line of palaces facing the bay, a fine carriage road, and a broad pavement, called “ Banchetta,”' for pedestrians, present themselves. At the eastern extremity of the Marina, which is a mile long, there is a botanical garden with a graceful modern building, in which lectures are occasionally delivered, and adjoining to this there is another garden called the “ Flora,” open to the public at all times, and affording the most delightful walks through avenues of acacias, or orange, lemon, citron, and lime trees. Part of the ground is laid out in parterres of flowers and sweet-smelling plants, which are watered by several fountains. Statues, small temples, and sculptured cenotaphs, all of pure white marble, are scattered here and there with happy effect. This gay and lovely garden is said to occupy the very spot on which the Inquisitors were wont to celebrate their auto da fé.
b Thevenot, p. 124.
But London is the city; and its parks the Paradise of intellectual beings. The most picturesque views of this metropolis of the earth,—superior to ancient Thebes, Memphis, Nineveh, Babylon, and even Rome, in every point but architecture,—are from the Hampstead and Highgate Hills on the north, the Surrey hills on the south, and from Greenwich Park on the south-east. The last of these is, of its kind, the finest in the world. There are other scenes in Nature, far more beautiful and sublime, in reference to landscape ; but it is impossible to fix upon any spot, on the entire globe, where the reflections, excited by a combination of objects, created by man, are so varied and profound ;-and where the emotions, which those reflections create, are so powerful and transporting.–Here--innumerable evidences bear witness to the astonishing powers of man; and operate, as so many arguments to prove the divinity of his origin. In other scenes it is the God of Nature, that speaks to us;- in this it is the GENIUS OF MAN. All the wealth, that the industry of nations has gathered together, seems to be extended before us :-and on this spot, the east, west, south, and north, appear to concentrate. From the multitude of objects, presented to our sight, the idea of infinity shoots into the mind :- The first feeling is the feeling of matter; the last feeling is the feeling of spirit. Tired of this diurnal sphere,—the soul acknowledges the divinity of its origin ; it gravitates towards its centre; it springs forward, and rests, as it were, in the bosom of the Eternal Power,