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and who has been for many years For the Literary Magazine. employed in constructing a map of his native state, North Carolina. He VISIT TO THE PRISONS OF VE. has encamped, hundreds of times,
NICE. on the borders of the dismal he describes, and has penetrated further DR. MOSELY has given the forinto it than any of his countrymen. lowing account of the prisons at VeHis calculations, therefore, though, nice : from the nature of the subject, not “I was conducted,” says he, infallibly or mathematically true, " through the prison, with one of its may yet claim a considerable degree inferior dependents. We had torches of credit.
with us. We crept along narrow That part of the Great Dismal, passages, as dark as pitch : in some lying between Albermarle Sound of them two people could scarcely and the frontier of Virginia, contains pass each other. The cells are made about two hundred and fifty square of massy marble, the architecture miles. It is a vast plain, slightly in- of the celebrated Sansovino. clined, the greatest elevation of the The cells are not only dark, highest above the lowest part being and black as ink, but, being surabout thirty feet. This inclination, rounded and confined with huge though insufficient to drain off all the walls, the smallest breath of air can moisture, does yet occasion a consi- scarcely find circulation in them. derable flow of waters, south-east. They are about nine feet square, on ward, into a space called Lake the floor, arched at the top, and beDrummond. This lake is a sort of tween six and seven feet in the highstanding pool, whose bottom resem- est part. There is to each cell a bles the soil of the swamp. It is round hole, of eight inches diameter, apparently motionless, and transpa- through which the prisoner's daily rent as air ; thronged with fish, and allowance of twelve ounces of bread between three and four feet deep. and a pot of water is delivered to The banks or borders of this lake him. There is a small iron door to are of somewhat firmer footing than the cell. The furniture of the cell the neighbouring spaces, the timber is a little straw, and a small tub : is taller, and the undergrowth less nothing else. The straw is remov. perplexing. They have even af. ed, and the tub emptied, through the forded an asylum and subsistence to iron door, occasionally. fugitive negroes for several years. " The diet is ingeniously contrived
The margin of the swamp abounds for the perpetuation of punishment. with pine, oak, poplar, gum, and an Animal food, or a cordial nutritious evergreen called laurel, all of gigan- regimen, in such a situation, would tic size. The swamp itself produces bring on disease, and defeat the end the same species, but here they de- of this Venetian justice. generate into pigmies, whose height “ Neither can the soul, if so inis from fifteen to twenty feet, and clined, steal away, wrapt up in slumwhose trunk is generally equal to bering delusion, or sink to rest, from the wrist. The smallness of the the admonition of her sad existence, trees is compensated by their num- by the jailor's daily return. ber, and the exuberance of flower- “I saw one man, who had been ing or berry-bearing plants amazing. in a cell thirty years; two who had
Lake Drummond, though supplied been twelve years; and several who chiefly by that part of the dismal had been eight and nine years in now under our view, lies within the their respective cells. frontier of Virginia. Exclusive of “ By my taper's light, I could disthis, and of the Virginian part of the cover the prisoners' horrid counte. swamp, the area of the Great Dis. nances. They were all naked. The mal is 250 square miles, or 160,000 man who had been there thirty years acres.
in face and body was covered with VOL. III. NO. XVIII.
long hair. He had lost the arrange- thetic Sterne! if still thou wander. ment of words, and the order of lan- est amidst the scenes of earth; if guage. When I spoke to him, he still thou art sensible of what is passmade an unintelligible noise ; ex. ing among thy fellow creatures ; if pressed fear and surprize ; and, like still thy sensibility can suffer beneath some wild animals in deserts, which the attempts which envy may make have suffered by the treachery of to depreciate thy merit; think not the human race, or have an instinc- I rank among those who would entive abhorrence of it, he would have deavour to exalt the living, by at. filed like lightning, if he could.” tacking the dead. No: thou wilt
Here, in several circumstances at- rather receive pleasure at beholding tending the fate of one of the priso- justice rendered to thy fellow morners, we perceive a close resem. tal, though it may partially interfere blance between what I suppose is a with thy own claims. But the effu. faithful relation, and Sterne's fancied sions of so humble a scribe can never description of his “ Captive.” The pain thy spirit, or interrupt its relatter describes his situation in the pose. most pathetic and affecting manner. “He had lost the arrangement of
“I beheld,” says he, “ his body words, and the order of language.” half wasted away with long expec- This simple relation paints at once tation and confinement, and felt what his situation, better than whole pages kind of sickness of the heart it is of elaborate description. If we are which arises from hope deferred. melted at the picture of Sterne, here Upon looking nearer, I saw him we are completely overpowered ; pale and feverish. In thirty years, we are struck dumb with horror, the western breeze had not once pity, and indignation; it strikes fanned his blood. He had seen no with the force of a thunderbolt; a sun, no moon, in all that time; nor dreadful weight of inexpressible senhad the voice of friend or kinsman sations suspends the use of every breathed through his lattice. His faculty. Before we wept; here our children-but here my heart be- feelings are too painful, too intoleragan to bleed, and I was forced to ble, to be relieved by tears, or ventgo on with another part of the por- ed by utterance. trait.”
“ When I spoke to him, he made Where is that being who can read an unintelligible noise ; expressed unmoved this pathetic description ? fear and surprize ; and, like some where is the heart unaffected by the wild animals of the desert, which miseries of the unfortunate captive? have suffered by the treachery of It affects even to weeping, and we the human race, or have an instincmelt at the recital of such intolera- tive abhorrence of it, he would have ble misery.
fied like lightning, if he could.” To But how are we affected by the him language had become useless ; doctor's relation? here is only a state. he had none to converse with, none ment of facts, plain and unadorned. to whom he might impart a know" He was covered in face and body ledge of his sufferings, or communiwith long hair.” The hardships he cate his ideas. For thirty years he had endured were too terrible for had not heard the sound of the hunature; her noblest work, the form, man voice. For thirty years, rewas defaced; the general outline fection alone could present him with still remained, but like some noble any subject for contemplation ; the edifice defaced by the hand of war, view of nature was obstructed by its shattered remains exhibited but the narrow and blackened walls of a the shadow of its former glory. He loathsome and detested cell. “He was rendered like a wild beast, a had seen no sun, no moon, in all that monster ; an alien from his species, time, nor had the western breeze and an outcast from society.
once fanned his blood.” Language Shade of the sentimental, the pa- could only employ itself in curses on
his tyrants, or in petitions to his nor awoke until the brighest rays God. Memory sunk beneath a load of a winter's sun accounted to him of miseries, and words were no for the taciturnity of his comrade, longer recollected.
by presenting to his astonished view Alas! to him the sight of man a huge bear, luckily for him muzwas dreadful. His detested prison zled and confined, in a sitting poshad not for thirty years been cheer ture. ed by his presence. He remembered him only as the author of his woes, as a cruel and unrelenting tyrant. To him he came not as a For the Literary Magazine. friend, as a brother, to pity and assist him, or sympathise with him in
ADVERSARIA. his sufferings ; no wife, no children came to comfort him in his inex
NO. VI. pressibly horrid confinement. The appearance of man, who ought to PROPERTY AND MARRIAGE. be the friend of man, was torture to his soul. He rushed not to his em ALMOST all the relative duties brace ; he folded him not to his bo- of human life will be found more som ; to him he looked not for immediately, or more remotely, to friendship; he knew him not as a arise out of the two great instituman, but as an object of terror; he tions of PROPERTY AND MARfied from him like a wild beast ; he RIAGE ; they constitute, preserve, had lost all his native dignity ; his and improve society. Upon their mental faculties were destroyed by gradual improvement depends the the sufferings he had endured. Oh progressive civilization of mankind; horrid picture !
on them rests the whole order of
VALVERDI. civil life. These two great instituMarch 5th, 1805.
tions convert the selfish as well as the social passions of our nature into the firmest bands of a peaceable and
orderly intercourse; they change For the Literary Magazine. the sources of discord into principles
of quiet; they discipline the most A STAGE COACH ANECDOTE. ungovernable ; they refine the gros
sest, and they exalt the most sordid, TWO passengers set out from propensities; so that they become their inn in London, early on a the perpetual fountain of all that December morn. It was dark as strengthens, and preserves, and pitch ; and one of them, not being adorns society; they sustain the sleepy, and wishing for a little individual, and they perpetuate the conversation, endeavoured, in the race. Around these institutions all usual travelling mode, to stimulate our social duties will be found, at his neighbour to discourse. " A various distances, to range them. very dark morn, sir.” “ Shocking selves; some more near, obviously cold weather for travelling.” “ Slow essential to the good order of human going in these heavy roads, sir.” life; others more remote, and of None of these questions producing which the necessity is not, at first a word of answer, the sociable man view, so apparent; and some so made one more effort. He stretch- distant that their importance has ed out his hand, and feeling the been sometimes doubted; though, other's habit, exclaimed, What upon more mature consideration, a very comfortable coat, sir, you they will be found to be outposts and have got, to travel in!" No answer advanced guards of these fundamenwas made, and the enquirer, fatigued tal principles; that man should enand disgusted, fell into a sound nap, joy the fruits of his labour, and that the society of the sexes should be so make of the familiarity and levity wisely ordered as to make it a school which distinguish the behaviour of of the kind affections, and a fit nur their beaux. The fact is, the evils sery for the commonwealth.
they lament they themselves create. It is in the power of any lady to
command the respect of her adFEMALE DRESS.
mirers. It is they who polish the
manners and soften the rugged naMy great attention to the interests of those of my female friends
ture of man. In ancient times, in who may honour my scraps with
the gallant days of chivalry, the their notice, has, no doubt, been dis
slightest favour was prized with a
sort of reverence, because it was covered before now, and, I hope, has received its merited thanks. As
rare, and was only the reward of few things excite their curiosity so
merit. But by degrees such marks much as the dresses of their neigh
were bestowed on all who could bours, I copy, for their amusement,
make a well turned compliment, Homer's description of the garments
and according to the degree of its of Irene, when employed in a much
absurdity. As women value their more important undertaking than
favours so will they be prized.an exhibition at a birth-night, or an
There is an old proverb on this subattack on the heart of a beau: and ject, out il 18 musly. I beg them to imitate her simplicity, whatever they may think of her nudity. A modest commentator, the learned Eusebius, exults not a
The din of politics, in all compalittle at finding that Irene resorted
nies, makes one sometimes envy the to none of those contemptible arti
Carthusian monks, of whom it is fices to embellish her face, and that
said, they lived a life of tranquillity, she could decorate herself without
amidst the general tumults which the aid of a mirror or a maid.
distracted the rest of the world, of
which they hardly heard the ruHer artful hands the radiant tresses ty’d; inours, and knew nothing of the Part on her head in shining ringlets mighty sovereigus but by name,
rollid, Part o'er her shoulders wav'd like melted
when they prayed for them. Volt.
Hist. iv. i 28. Around her next a heavenly mantle
The same writer makes use of a
simile, which is as happily conceivflow'd, That rich with Pallas' labour'd colours
ed as it is elegantly expressed. glow'd;
The artificers and merchants, Large clasps of gold the foldings ga
whose humble station had protected thered round;
them from the ambitious fury of the A golden zone her swelling bosom great, were like ants who dug thembound.
selves peaceable and secure habitaFar beaming pendents tremble in her tions, while the eagles and vultures ear,
of the world were tearing one anoEach gem illumined with a precious ther in pieces. star.
Although retirement is my dear Then o'er her head she casts her veil delight, says Melmoth, yet, upon more white
some occasions, I think I have too Than new-fall’n snow, and dazzling as
much of it, and I agree with Bal. the light.
sac, Que la solitude est certainement Last her fair feet celestial sandals grace.
une belle chose, mais il y a plaisir d'avoir quelqu'un a qui on puisse
dire de tems en tems que la solitude MANNERS.
est une belle chose. Solitude is cerI am sometimes amused at listen- tainly a fine thing, but there is a ing to the complaints which ladies pleasure in having some one whom
we may tell, from time to time, that and a duck pond, by wishing to consolitude is a fine thing.
quer the art of his mistress, and It is the disadvantage of retire- pointing out to her the haltar of ment and solitude, that men fall into 'ymen. erroneous and fantastical opinions, for want of sifting and proving them in conversation and friendly debate.
Matthew Paris has left us an account of the Devil's Stage-Plays,”
as he terms them, said to have been I observe a turbulent and face exhibited, with many other curious tious spirit is just beginning to ma- sights, to the soul of a pious catholic nifest itself, in some parts of this rustic, under the special patronage still unsettled country, which would of the saints. The following is a tear up the ancient land marks of specimen of this very singular pergovernment, and eradicate every formance. principle of a really free constitution. Innovations are always dan
The scene, Hel. gerous, and innovators have always been feared. Diodorus Siculus in- “ First, they (the devils) introforms us of a regulation of Charon- duced a very proud man, in his das, the legislator of Thurium, in robes, strutting along big, cocking Magna Græcia, which, with some his eye-brows, uttering swelling mitigation of its severity, I should words; in short, braving all the be glad to see in force here. manners of imperiousness and arro
Charondas is said to have insti. gancy: but while he was threatentuted a most strange regulation, ing horrible executions, and priding with regard to the amendment of himself in his trappings, all on a laws; for, observing, in most states, sudden they turned into a flame the established forms and govern- around him, burning him most disment disturbed, and the people mally, and then the devils seizing drawn into insurrection, by the him, tormented him beyond what number of persons who undertook human malice can imagine.” to reform the constitution, he made The other characters, composing this singular and unprecedented this diabolical drama, were a priest, law. He ordained, that any person a soldier, a lawyer, his rib, an adulwho wished to amend any law, teress with her gallants, two backshould attend, when the senate met biters, and, lastly, a chorus of to consider it, with his head in a thieves, incendiaries, and violators noose, and there continue till the of holy places. sentiments of the people on the proposed amendment were declared. If it was confirmed by the assembly, he was released; but, if it was ne. No less a personage than St. Angatived, he was immediately stran- thony, in propria persona, is mar.
shal-general of the troops of Portu- ,
and being dressed up, he was at The mistakes which some of the length elevated to that of marshalEnglish, whose pronunciation is vi- general, with a pension of one huntiated by habit or affectation, may dred and fifty ducats. The first commit, are ludicrous. A well. cannon ball, fired by the army of meaning politician might endanger the duke of Brunswick, unfortuhis neck, by wishing the present nately took off the head of the holy administration was all haltered; and general, who had been placed in an a whining lover be driven to despair open chaise. It is said, that the