תמונות בעמוד

I had received, like you, what is commonly called a capital education, that is, being made a very perfect automaton, to read, write, calculate, ride, dance, fence with the small sword, because pistols you know are now only used, perform the minuet de la cour; because you know country dances, a la mode champetre, are only to be practised in real life,--to play all kinds of music by the book and not by the heart, which you know destroys a performer totally ; to admire Handell's church anthems and prayers, and to laugh at the church and, churchmen! To know the title pages of an amazing number of fashionable bookő,-to dress negligently among my inferiors, to be dry, or non chalant, in company,-to avoid all brutal expressions of kindness to my relatia ons, and all odious connections with provincials, pedants, shopkeepers, mechanics, and unfashionable old people. To make a genteel little speech at a counry meeting, or move an address in either house of parliament, to repeat a few agreeable passages from the Latin and English classics, and a few more from Rochefoucault, Mandeville's fable of the bees, Voltaire's philosophical dictionary, the Pucelle d'Orleans, and a few other books of wit and humour,-to use the slang language of statuaries, painters, 'architects, musicians, and pugilists, with precision and proper effect, and to play all kinds of fashionable games at cards or dice, without making wry mouths, losing - my temper, or rising up from a table where I was vermatched by playing with gentlemen, who were as good as myself, though they might not perhaps sport

[ocr errors]

it in public, with silk stockings, from the same shops I might think it genteeler to deal with,--and last, though not least in importance, I was taught to apply a little hartshorn to a friend or neighbour, when I found him exceedingly uneasy about his domestic happinefs. - This I was taught to do with all imaginable grace and address; and to put a final period to his sorrows if he should apply to me for the utmost satisfaction!

These noble attainments was I taught, or rather attempted to be taught ; for I must tell you plainly, that I rebelled against my teachers, and would have none of their advice.

On the contrary, I kept my heart soft, my head hard, and my breast steelled, against all this mummery of barrel organ education.

I began with honouring my father and my mother, not that my days might be long upon the land ; but because I listened to the voice of nature that cried within me. Loving them, I loved my kindred ; loving my kindred, I wished to do good to their friends, and to shine in the eyes of my domestic circle, which was composed of their connections, This led me to aspire to the love of virtuous fame, in a more.extensive circle, and this attainment I soon found to be impossible, without that taste and discernment which enables us to judge intuitively of the insides of things, after having examined their outward forms and aspects.

My mind became a kingdom to me, from whence I travelled into those that were foreign to me, studied their manners, their principles, and their customs, without either partiality or disgust.

[ocr errors]



I did not attempt to be a wonderful Christian. I was satisfied with such attainments, and with such pursuits, as were suited to my genius and abilities.

Like a good general, I endeavoured always to keep upon strong ground; and, if dangerously attacked, without having the expectation of victory, to make a good and handsome retreat, keeping up a respectable petite guerre, without attempting pitched battles, except when absolutely necessary to my safety and học

By the constant :use and improvement of this faculty of taste and discernment of what is true, excellent, and beautiful, a faculty which, like the etherial fire, is universally diffused, and can be called forth always by the attention of social intercourse, I rendered myself independent and happy. In the pursuits of useful and agreeable knowledge and occupations, I did not bear down, like a mad admiral, upon a whole fleet of pursuits, but singled out objects for which I thought myself able; and breaking thus the line, I carried off my prizes, and discomfited the enemy. I had never any occasion, like the commissary, to throw myself down upon settees in despair, to exclaim, “My God what a fatigue it is to be a gentleman !*

No, no! it became my nature, but not my profefsion. .

It was not necessary for me always to sleep, or stretch, or yawn, or lounge, or sit in the silent grave of whist; or fret at ground games, when there were no blood and thundering erents to rouse up my mettle for the day.

[ocr errors]

These, my

I enjoyed the pacific flow of my full imagination, and the pleasing rotation of my rational sameness. I

joined the crowd always, when I had leisure ; and took my own road when I saw the finger post that pointed to my duty, and to my chosen pursuit.

dear friend, are the effusions of exa perience, and not of fancy ;-take them, living, as they rise use them, try the experiment, and "When we meet again let me know the result. But I hear Scratchoni's bell. Adieu, au revoir, vive la joye, et le bon gout.

Thus, Mr Editor, have I troubled you with a difsertation consisting only of one short paragraph, which I flatter myself, from its length, at least, will not prove tedious to your readers, and am, with regard, your humble servant,

A. B.


respeca ting the natural history of the pangolin, (an account of which singular animal, accompanied with a figure, was inserted in the Bee, vol. x. p. 85,) together with some interesting speculations on the mode of suppor. ting animal life in general, by Adam Burt, esq; inserted in the second volume of Miscellaneous Dissertations, &c. respecting Asia, I beg leave to lay the substance of these before the reader, with some farther observations on the same subject.

Mr Burt, who dissected the animal with care, had an opportunity of observing several particulars that eluded the notice of Mr Buffon, who had only seen a

VOL. xi.

dried specimen of it. In particular, he observes, that a general rule established by this celeb ated naturalist, viz. “ that all animals which are covered with scales are oviparous,” is clearly contradicted by the pangolin dissected by Mr Burt, which happened to be a female, whose uterus and organs of generation were evidently those of a viviparous animal. Its dugs: were two, seated on the breast.

In regard to other partimulars, he observes, “that there are on each foot five claws, of which the outer and inner are small when compared with the other three. There are no distinct toes ; but each nail is moveable by a joint at its root. It has no teeth ; and its feet are unable to grasp. The nails are well adapted for digging in the ground; and the animal is so dextrous in eluding its enemies, by concealing itself in holes, and among rocks, that it is extremely difficult to pro

cure one.

" The stomach is cartilaginous ; and, analogous to that of the gallinaceous tribe of birds : it was filled with small stones and gravel. The inner part of the stomach was gh to the feel, and formed into folds, the interstices of which were filled with a fro. ihy secretion. The guts were filled with a sandy pulp, in which, however, were interspersed a few small stones. No vestiges of any animal or vegetable food could be traced in the whole primæ viæ."

From the habits of this animal, and these particulars respecting the stomach and intestines, our ingenious naturalist hazards a conjecture, which, though, bold at first, sight, appears upon a nearer investiga. tion, to be not entirely destitute of probability. His

« הקודםהמשך »