« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
without a mountain.' Well, but here are mountains enough,' resumed the other; look around you.' Mountains!' cried the Caledonian,
very pretty mountains, truly! They call that castle Gondolfo of theirs a castle too, and a palace, forsooth! but does that make it a residence fit for a prince? Why, upon my word, I do not
! think it much amiss,' said the other; ' it looks full as well as the palace of St. James's. . The palace of St. James's,' exclaimed the Scot, " is a scandal to the nation; it is both a shame and a sin, that so great & monarch as the king of Scotland, England, and Ireland, with his royal consort, and their large family of small children, should live in a shabby old cloister, hardly good enough for monks. The palace of Holyroodhouse, indeed, is a residence 'meet for a king. . And the gardens: pray what sort of gardens have you belonging to that palace ?' said the Englishman ; "I have been told
do not excel in those.' . But we excel in gardeners,' replied the other, which are as much preferable as the creator is preferable to the created.' 'I am surprised, however,' rejoined the South Briton, that, in a country like yours, where there are so many creators,
, so very few fruit-gardens are created.' • Why, sir, it is not to be expected,' said Mr. B-, that any one country will excel in every thing. Some enjoy a climate more 'favourable for peaches, and vines, and nectarines; but, by G-, sir, no country on earth produces better men and women than Scotland. 6 I dare say none does,' replied the other. So as France excels in wine, England in wool and oxen, Arabia in horses, and other countries in other animals, you imagine Scotland excels all others in the human species.'What I said, sir, was, that the human species in no country excel those in Scotland ; and that. I assert again, and will maintain, sir, to my last gasp.' 'I do not intend to deny it,' said the Englishman; you
will permit me to observe, that, men being its staple commodity, it must be owned that Scotland carries on a brisk trade ; for I know no country that has a greats
er exportation, you will find Scotchmen in all the countries of the world.' So much the better for all the countries of the world, said Mr. B; for every body '
' knows that the Scotch cultivate and improve the arts and sciences wherever they go.' . They certainly improve their own fortunes wherever they go,' rejoined the other : • like their gardeners, though they can create little or nothing at home, they often create very good fortunes in other countries ; and this is one reason of our having the pleasure of so much of their company in London. Whe- . ther it affords you pleasure or not, sir, nothing can be more certain,' replied the Scot in the most serious tone,
than that you may improve very much by their company and example. But there are various reasons, continued he, for so many of my countrymen sojourning in London. That city is now, in some measure, the capital of Scotland as well as of England. The seat of government is there ; the king of Scotland, as well as of England, resides there; the Scotch nobility and gentry have as good a right to be near the person of their sovereign as the English ; and you must allow, that, if some Scotchmen make fortunes in England, many of our best estates are also spent there. But you mean to say, that the Scotch, in general, are poor in comparison of the English. This we do not deny, and cannot possibly forget, your countrymen refresh our memories with it so often. We allow, therefore, that you have this advantage over us; —and the Persians had the same over the Macedonians at the battle of Arbela. But, whether Scotland be poor or rich, those Scots who settle in England must carry industry, talents, or wealth with them, otherwise they will starve there as well as elsewhere; and when one country draws citizens of this description from another, I leave you to judge which has the most reason to complain. And let me tell you, sir, upon the whole, the advantages which England derives from the Union, are manifest and manifold.” • I cannot say,' replied the Englishman, that I have thought much on this subject ; but I shall be a
bliged to you if you will enumerate a few of them.' the first place,' resumed the Scot, · Has she not greatly increased in wealth since that time?' • She has so,' replied the other, smiling, and I never knew the real cause before.' In the next place, Has she not acquired a mil
. lion and a half of subjects, who otherwise would have been with her enemies ? For this, and other reasons, they are equivalent to three millions. In the third place, Has she not acquired security, without which riches are of no value ? There is no door open now, sir, by which the French can enter into your country. They dare as soon be das attempt to invade Scotland; so if
your own coast, there is no fear of you ; but without a perfect union with Scotland, England could not enjoy the principal benefit she derives from her insular situation. Not till Scotland should be subdued,' said the
' Englishman. Subdued !' repeated the astonished Scot;
• ☆ let me tell you, sir, that is a very strange hypothesis ; the fruitless attempts of many centuries might have taught you that the thing is impossible; and, if you are conversant in history, you will find, that, after the decline of the Roman empire, the course of conquest was from the north to the south.' • You mean,' said the South Briton, • that Scotland would have conquered England.' 'Sir, replied the other, I think the English as brave a nation as ever existed, and therefore I will not say that the Scotch are braver; far less shall I assert, that they, consisting of only a fifth part of the numbers, could subdue the English ; but I am sure, that rather than submit they would try; and you will admit that the trial would be no advantage to either country. Although I am fully con
' vinced,' said the Englishman, how the experiment would end, I should be sorry to see it made, particularly at this time.' • Yet, sir,' rejoined the Scot, there are people of your country, as I am told, who, even at this time, en deavour to exasperate the minds of the inhabitants of one part of Great Britain against the natives of the other, and to create dissension between two countries, whose
mutual safety depends on their good agreement; two countries whom Nature herself, by separating them from the rest of the world, and encircling them with her azure bond of union, seems to have intended for one. I do assure you, my good sir,' said the English gentleman, 'I am not of the number of those who wish to raise such dissension. I love the Scotch ; I always thought them a sensible and gallant people ; and some of the most valued friends I have on earth, are of your country. You are a man of honour and discernment,' said the Caledonian, seizing him eagerly by the hand; and I protest, without prejudice or partiality, that I never knew a man of that character who was not of your way of thinking.'
We arrived in this city the third day after leaving Rome, though I have delayed writing till now. I wish. ed to know something of the place, and to be a little acquainted with the people. The last is not difficult; because the Florentines are naturally affable, and the hospitality and politeness of the British minister afford his countrymen frequent opportunities of forming an acquaintance with the best company in Florence. This gentleman has been here about thirty years, and is greatly esteemed by the Florentines. It is probably owing to this circumstance, and to the magnificent style in which some English noblemen live, who have long resided here, that the English, in general, are favourites with the inhabitants of this place. Lord Cooper's conduct and disposition confirm them in the opinion they long have had of the good-nature and integrity of the nation to which he belongs. His lady is of an amiable character, and affords them a very favourable specimen of English beauty,
We have had no opportunity of seeing the grand duchess. She is of a domestic turn, and lives much in the country with her children, of which she has a comfortable
number ; but the grand duke having come to town for two days, we had the honour of being presented to him at the Palazzo Pitti. There is a striking resemblance of each other in all the branches of the Austrian family. Wherever I had met with the grand duke, I should immediately have known that he belonged to it. He, as well his brother who resides at Milan, has, in a remarkable degree, the thick lip, which has long been a distinguishing feature in the Austrian family. He is a handsome man, is rapid in his words and motions, and has more vivacity in his manner than either the emperor or archduke ; like them, he is good-humoured, condescending, and affable. After the extinction of the Medici family, the Florentines grumbled on account of the disadvantage and inconveniency of having sovereigns who did not reside among them. They exclaimed that their money was carried away to a distant country, and the most profitable offices at home filled by foreigners. They have now got a sovereign who resides and spends his revenue among them, and has provided the state most plen. tifully in heirs ; yet they still grumble. They complain of the taxes But in what country of Europe is there not the same complaint ?
Florence is, unquestionably, a very beautiful city. Independent of the churches and palaces, some of which are very magnificent, the architecture of the houses in general is in a good taste, the streets are remarkably clean, and paved with large broad stones, chiseled so as to prevent the horses from sliding. This city is divided into two unequal parts by the river Arno, over which there are no less than four bridges in sight of each other. That called the Ponte della Trinità is uncommonly ele. gant. It is built entirely of white marble, and ornamented with four beautiful statues, representing the four seasons. The quays, the buildings on each side, and the bridges, render that part of Florence through which the river runs, by far the finest. The same is the case at Paris; and it happens fortunately for those two cities,