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guided by prejudice, and a long predilection for old customs, and always walk the same road which their fathers and grandfathers used to take, without taking any trouble of examining whether they were wrong or right in so doing.
When you have long journeys to make on foot, a glass of water on setting out in the morning, and a cup of coffee and some bread and butter after two hours' walk, will prove very wholesome and refreshing. A glass of wine now and then will do you no harm; but every kind of spirits will make you feel fatigued and sleepy.
Travellers on foot should never be without arms, at least not without a good stick.
In the present times, we have reason to be on our guard against strangers, on account of the great number of adventurers and knaves who find means of introducing themselves every where under the denomination of travellers, intruding upon our time, and endeavouring to plant in our hearts the seeds of discontent, with a view of eradicating those inestimable blessings accruing from our thrice happy country. On the other hand, we ought to treat kindly those strangers who do not intrude, but are recommended to us by persons on whose honour and integrity we can rely, and who, therefore, have a strong claim to our protection and assistance, to our kindness and undissembled politeness; and, by thus deporting ourselves, we do credit to the confidence reposed in us by our correspondents. In foreign countries, we cannot be too circumspect in conversation from various considerations. It is always very necessary not to slight certain relations, whether we travel for the sake of instruction, or on political or economical concerns, or only to amuse ourselves. If we travel to gather instruction, we ought above all things to consider in what country we are, and whether we may speak of and inquire after every thing without exposing ourselves to danger or vexation. There are but too many states where the government severely punishes those that bring certain works of darkness to light. In such countries, circumspection is highly necessary, as well in our conversations and inquiries, as in the choice of those with whom we form connections. On this occasion I must observe, that very few travellers have a right to trouble their heads about the internal constitution of other countries; yet curiosity, and a certain impulse of restless activity, incite in our age large numbers, to collect, in foreign hotels, inns, and clubs, dubious anecdotes for the composition of some undigested work, while they would have found at home sufficient to do and to learn, if they really had the welfare of mankind as much at heart as they pretend. It is obvious that this precaution is doubly necessary when we have something to ask or to transact for our own benefit in a foreign place.
As, in such a case, many eyes are directed to us, we must avoid all connection with people, who, being dissatisfied with the existing government, are eager to throw themselves into the way of foreigners, because they have injured their character by their imprudent conduct, and thus deprived themselves of the means of obtaining civil advantages, which they, however, seem to scorn as the fox did the grapes. They seek to raise themselves a little in the opinion of their fellow-citizens by intruding themselves upon foreigners, attending them every where on their walks, and thus leading others to suppose that they have connections abroad. A foreigner who intends to stop only a few days at a place, may, without danger, rove about at pleasure, with these generally garrulous Ciceronis, who commonly are provided with a large store of jocular and scandalous tales and anecdotes: no man of sense will blame him for it. But a person that means to stay some time at a place, and wishes to be introduced to politer circles, or has to transact business of consequence, will do well to consult the opinions of the public in the choice of his connections.
Almost every town contains a party of such malcontents, who are dissatisfied either with the government or with the majority of their fellow-citizens. Do not associate with such people, nor choose your connections from among them. They either imagine they do not receive that attention to which they are entitled, or are of a turbulent, calumniating, malevolent, artful, immoral, and arrogant disposition. As they are shunned by their fellow-citizens for one or the other of these reasons, they establish among themselves an association which they endeavour to strengthen, by alluring people of understanding and probity, through fattery and other despicable means. Avoid as much as possible all intercourse with such people, and every thing in general that breathes party spirit, if you wish to live comfortably.
Shenstone the poet, whose lines have been quoted in this chapter, had no taste for travelling into foreign countries; and, in declining an invitation from Lord Temple to travel with him, he wrote the following Elegy, in which he takes occasion to intimate the advantages of his own country :
While others, lost to friendship, lost to love,
Waste their best minutes on a foreign strand,
And court the genius of my native land.
To catch the follies of an alien soil !
Return exultant, and import the spoil !
No more it blooms, to British climes convey'd;
See its fresh vigour in a moment fade!
An awkward stranger, if we waft it o'er;
To spread soft poison on our happy shore ?
In search of foreign modes I scorn to rove;
Would change the meanest warbler of my grove.
Or form these limbs with pliant ease to play ;
That steals my lov'd rusticity away.',
'Tis long since Freedom fled th' Hesperian clime;
Her citron-groves, her flow'r-embroider'd shore; She saw the British oak aspire sublime,
And soft Campania's olive charms no more. Let partial suns mature the western mine,
To shed its lustre o'er the Iberian maid; Mien, þeauty, shape, 'O native soil, are thine,
Thy peerless daughters ask no foreign aid. Let Ceylon's envy'd plant
perfume the seas,
Nor need a drug to meliorate the soul.
Or with rude lips th’ Aonian fount profane,
She seeks her Thomson on the British plain. Tell not of realms by ruthless war dismay'd,
Ah! hapless realms that war's oppression feel! In vain may Austria boast her Noric blade,
If Austria bleed beneath her boasted steel. Beneath her palm Idume vents her moan;
Raptur'd, she once beheld its friendly shade : And hoary Memphis boasts her tombs alone,
The mournful types of mighty pow'r decay'd ! No crescent here displays his baneful horns,
No turban'd host the voice of truth reproves; Learning's free source the sage's breast adorns,
And poets, not inglorious, chaunt their loves. Boast, favour'd Media, boast thy flow'ry stores ;
Thy thousand hues by chymic suns refin'd; 'Tis not the dress or mien my soul adores,
'Tis the rich beauties of Britannia's mind! While Grenville's breast could virtue's stores afford,
What envy'd flota bore so fair a freight? The mine compar'd in vain its latent hoard,
The gem its lustre, and the gold its weight. Thee, Grenville, thee, with calmest courage fraught,
Thee, the lov'd image of my native shore Thee, by the virtues arm’d, the graces taught,
When shall we cease to boast, or to deplore ! Presumptuous war, which could thy life destroy,
What shall it now in recompense deeree ? While friends that merit ev'ry earthly joy,
Feel ev'ry anguish ; feel—the loss of thee.
Bid me no more a servile realm compare,
No more the muse of partial praise arraign;
And if she glory, glories not in vain. Every true lover of his country will agree with the poet's praise of his native land.
Britain possesses that happy form of government which best secures the natural rights of men. The British constitution has advantages which no other form of government ever possessed; it stands forth, the envy of neighbouring nations, and a pattern to succeeding times. Liberty is the birthright of every Briton; that grand charter of Nature to her children is established and confirmed by law: the constitution, like the providence of Heaven, extends its gracious regards to all ; while it protects the poor in the possession of their legal rights, it checks the insolence of the great, and sets bounds to the prerogative of majesty itself, saying to the king, “Thus far, and no farther, does thy power extend.'
All the members of the state are represented in the great council of the nation, and have a voice in the legislature; the subjects are taxed by their own consent; there is no despotic or discretionary power in any part of the constitution; no action must be deemed a crime, but what the laws have plainly determined to be such; no crime must be imputed to a man, but from a legal proof before his judges; and these judges must be his fellow-subjects and his peers, who are obliged, by their own interest, to have a watchful eye over encroachments and violence. We must ever admire, as a master-piece of political wisdom, and as the keystone of civil liberty, that statute which forces the secrets of every prison to be revealed, the cause of every commitment to be declared, and the person of the accused to be produced, that he may claim his enlargement, or his trial, within a limited time. By these means, Great Britain has become what ancient patriots wished, a government of laws, and not of men. Highlyfavoured nation, and happy people, if they knew their felicity, and did not, upon occasions, by their