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bliged to you if you will enumerate a few of them.' 'In

' 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 million 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 you can defend 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 convinced,' 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 deayour 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

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mutụal 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, with

1; out prejudice or partiality, that I never knew a man of that character who was not of your way of thinking.'

LETTER LXXI.

Florence.

We arrived in this city the third day after leaving Rome, though I have delayed writing till now. I wished 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

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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 remark, able degree, the thick lip, which has long been a distinguishing feature in the Austrian family. He is a hand. some 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, condescend. ing, 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 plentifully 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. dependent 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 sea

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,

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that those parts are almost constantly before the eye, on account of the necessity people are continually under of passing and repassing those bridges; whereas in London, whose river and bridges are far superior to any in France or Italy, people may live whole seasons, attend all the public amusements, and drive every day from one end of the town to the other, without ever seeing the Thames or the bridges, unless they go on purpose. For this reason, when a foreigner is asked which he thinks the finest city, Paris or London ; the moment Paris is mentioned, the Louvre, and that striking part which is situated between the Pont Royal and Pont Neuf, presents itself to his imagination. He can recollect no part of London equal in magnificence to this ; and ten to one, if he decides directly, it will be in favour of Paris; but if he takes a little more time, and compares the two capitals, street by street, square by square, and bridge with bridge, he will probably be of a different opinion. The number of inhabitants in Florence is calculated by some at eighty thousand. The streets, squares, and fronts of the palaces are adorned with a great number of statues; some of them by the best modern masters, Michael Angelo, Bandinelli, Donatello, Giovanni di Bologna, Benvenuto, Cellini, and others. A taste for the arts must be kept alive, independent almost of any other encouragement, in a city where so many specimens are continually before the eyes of the inhabitants. There are towns in Europe, where statues, exposed night and day within the reach of the common people, would run a great risk of being disfigured and mutilated ; here they are as safe as if they were shut up in the great duke's gallery.

Florence has been equally distinguished by a spirit for commerce and for the fine arts; two things which are not always united. Some of the Florentine merchants formerly were men of vast wealth, and lived in a most magnificent manner. One of them, about the middle of the fifteenth century, built that noble fabric, which, froin the name of its founder, is still called the Palazzo Pitti. The

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man was ruined by the prodigious expense of this build. ing, which was immediately purchased by the Medici family, and has continued, ever since, to be the residence of the sovereigns. The gardens belonging to this palace are on the declivity of an eminence. On the summit there is a kind of fort, called Belvedere. From this, and from some of the higher walks, you have a complete view of the city of Florence, and the beauteous vale of Arno, in the middle of which it stands. The prospect is bounded on every side by an amphitheatre of fertile hills, adorned with country-houses and gardens. In no part of Italy, that I have seen, are there so many villas, belonging to private persons, as in the neighbourhood of this city; the habitations of the peasants, likewise, seem much more neat and commodious. The country all around is divided into small farms, with a neat farm-house on each. Tuscany produces a considerable quantity of corn, as well as excellent wine, and great quantities of silk. The peasants have a look of health and contentment; the natural beauty of the Italian countenance not being disgraced by dirt, or deformed by misery, the women in this country seem handsomer, and are, in reality, more blooming, than in other parts of Italy. When at work, or when they bring their goods to market, their hair is confined by a silk net, which is also much worn at Naples; but on holidays they dress in a very picturesque manner. They do not wear gowns, but a kind of jacket without sleeves. They have no other covering for the upper part of the arm but their shift sleeves, which are tied with riband. Their petticoats are generally of a scarlet colour. They wear ear-rings and necklaces. Their hair is adjusted in a becoming manner, and adorned with flowers. Above one ear they fix a little straw hat; and on the whole have a more gay, smart, coquetish air, than any country-girls I ever saw.

Churches, and palaces, and statues, are no doubt ornamental to a city; and the princes are praiseworthy who have taken pains to rear and collect them; but the greal

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