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(happily-for-us,) carried it exactly to the si'de/ opposite to thˇat/ where'on we were placed. The crater is so h'ot, that it is very dan'gerous, if not impossible, to go do'wn-into-it; besides, the smoke/is very incomm'odious, and/ in many places, the surface is so s'oft/ that there have been instances of people sinking do'wn-in-it, and pa`ying/ for their teme'rity/ with their live's. Near the centre of the cr'ater/ is the grea't-mouth of the vo`lthat tremendous-gulf/ so celebrated in all a'ges, looked-upon/ as the terror and sco'urge/ bo'th of this/ and another-life. We beheld it with awe' and with horror.
On our arrival within the confines of the Regione Sylv'osi, (which is the temperate-region,)—we seemed to have gʻot/ into another-world.* The a'ir, (which before was sultry and h'ot,) was now co'ol and refre'shing; and every breeze was loa'ded/ with a thousand pe'rfumes, (the whole ground being covered o'ver/ with the richest/ aroma'tic-plants.)-Many parts of this region are surely the most heavenly-spots upon earth; a'nd/ if Ætna resembles hell with`in, it m'ay (with equal justice) be said to resemble pa^radise with out!
It is indeed a curious considera'tion, that this mountain should r`e-un'ite every beauty and every hoˇrror; an'd, in sho`rt, all the most opposite and dissimilar objects/in'-nature. He're/ you observe a g'ulf, that formerly threw out torrents of fi're, no'w covered with the most luxuriant vegetation, a'nd, from an object of terror, become one of delight! He're/ you gather the most delicious fruit, rising from what was lately but a black/ and barren-rock. H'ere/ the ground is covered with every flower, a'nd/ we wander over these be'auties, and contem'plate this wilderness of sweets, without considering that h'ell (with all its te'rrors,) is immediately under our feet; and, that but a few ya`rds/ se'parate us/ from la'kes of liqu'id-fire and brim'stone.
But our astonishment sti'll-increases/ on casting our eyes on the higher regions of the mountain. The`re we beh'old, (in perpetual u'nion,) the two'-elements/ that are at perpetual wa'r; an immen'se-gulf of fir'e, (for ever existing in the midst of sno'ws, whi'ch/ it has not power/ to m'elt ;) and immense fields of snow and i'ce (for ever surrounding this gulf of fi're,) whi'ch/ they have not power/ to extinguish.
*Though in general use, it is not strictly correct for the present perfect of the Infinitive Mood to succeed the past of the Indicative ;-" We seemed to get," would therefore be more agreeable to Rule.
THE COUNTRY NEAR PALERMO, CONTRASTED WITH SWITZERLAND.
We were amazed at the richness of the crops, far superior to any thing I had ever se ́en/ either in England or Flanders, where the happy soil is assis'ted by all the arts of cultivation; whilst here, the wretched hu'sbandman/ can hardly afford to give it a furrow; and ga'thers-in, (with a heavy heart,) the most luxuriant har vest. The fertility of many of the plains/ is truly aston'ishing, without inclo'sures, without man'ure, and/ almo'st/ without culture. It is with reason that Sicily/ was styled the granary of the R'oman-Empire.-Were it cultivated, it would still be the great granary of Europe. Pliny sa'ys, it yielded a hundred for one; and Diodorus, (who was a native of the Island, and wrote on the spot,) as'suresus/ that it produced wheat and other gr'ain/ spontaneously; and Homer/ advances the same fa'ct/ in the O'dyssey.
The soil untilled/ a ready ha'rvest yiel`ds,
B'ut/ to what purpose is all this bounty/ bestowed upon the h'usbandman? o'nly to lie a dead weight upon his hand, sometimes/ till it is entirely lo'st; (exportation being prohibited to a'll/ who cannot pay ex'orbitantly-for-it/ to the so'vereign.) The poor people of the village (a village in the vicinity of Palermo) have found us out; an'd/ with looks full of misery, have surrounded our do'or. Accursed-tyranny! what despicable-objects/ we become in th'y-hands! is it not inconce'ivable/ how an'y-government should be able to render poo'r and wretched, a country/ which produces (almost sponta'neously,) e'very-thing/ that even luxury can desi're? B'ut ala's poverty and wretchedness/ have ever attended the Spanish yo'ke, both on thi's, and the other-side-the-globe. They make it their bo'ast/ that the sun never se^ts/ on their dom'inions, but for'get, th'at/ since they became such, they have left him nothing to see in his course, but-deserted fields, barren wildernesses, oppressed tenants, and lazy,
lying, worth less-monks. Such are the fruits of their boasted con'quests! They ought rather to be ashamed that ever the sun should see them at all! The sight-of-these-poor-pe'ople/ has filled me with indigna'tion. This village is surrounded by the finest country in the world, yet there was neither bre'ad nor win'e to be fou'nd-in-it, and the poor inh'abitants/ appeared more than half-starved. What a contrast is there between th'is, and the li'ttle/ uncouth-country of Swi'tzerland! The dreadful consequences of oppression, can never be set in a more strik`ing-opposition/ to the blessings and the char'ms-of liberty! Switzerland, the very excres'cence of Europe, (where nature seems to have thrown out all her cold and sta`gnating h'umours,) full of la'kes, mar`shes, and wo’ods, and surrounded by immense rocks, and everlasting mountains of ice,-(the ba'rren, but sacred-ramparts of liberty !)-S'witzerland, enjoy'ing every ble'ssing, where every bles'sing seems to have been den'ied; whilst Sicily, (covered by the most luxuriant h ́and of Nature, where heaven seems to have showered-d'own its ri'chest-blessings/ with the utmost prodig'ality,) gro`ans under the most a'bject-poverty, a'nd/ with a pa'le and wa'n vi'sage, starves in the midst of plenty. It is LIBERTY alo`ne/ that works this standing m'iracle! Under her plastic h'ands/ the mountains sink, the lak'es are drained; and these rocks, these mar'shes, these woods, become so many sources of we'alth/ and of pleasure.
"Here' reigns cont ́ent,
And Nature's ch'ild, Simplicity; long since
""Tis in'dustry/ suppl'ies
The little/Temperance w'ants; and rosy He'alth
-We shall shortly leave Italy, for the delightful, co`ol-mountains-of Switzerland; where Liberty and Simpli'city, (long since banished from po`lished na'tions,) still flou`rish/ in their original p'urity; where the temperature and mo`deration of the climate, and that of the inh'abitants, are mutually emblem'atical of eac'h-other. For whilst other-nations are scorched by the heat of the su'n, and the still more scorching heats of tyranny and superstition; here/ the genial breezes for ever fa'n the air, and heighten that ala'crity and jo`y/ which liberty and innocence alone can inspi're;-h'ere/ the genial
flow of the soul/ has never yet been che'cked by i’dle and us'eless refin ́ements, but op'ens and expan ́ds-itself to all the c'alls of affec'tion and bene'volence.
ON READING THE COMMON PRAYER.
THE reading of the Common Prayer we'll, is of so great impor'tance, and so much negl'ected, that I take the liberty to offer to your consider'ation/ some parti'culars/ on the subject.
It is indeed wonderful, that the frequent e'xercise-of it/ should not make the performers of that duty more expert-init. This inability, (as I conceive,) proceeds from the little car'e/ that is taken of their read'ing, while bo'ys, and at school, where, (when they are got into L'atin,) they are looked upon as abo've English, the rea'ding-of-which/ is wholly neglected, or at lea'st/ read' to very little-purpose, without any due observations made to them of the proper ac'cent and man`nerof-reading; by this me'ans/ they have acqui'red such ill-h'abits,* as will not easily be removed. The only way that I know of to remedy-this, i's/ tot propose some person of great ability th'at-way, as a pattern-to-them; (exam`ple/ being most effectual, to convince the learned, as well as to instruct the i'gnorant.)
You must know, Sir, I have been a constant frequenter of the service of the Church of England/ for above these four years, an'd/ till last Sunday, never discovered/ to so great a degree the e'xcellency of the Co`mmon-Prayer; I heard the s'ervice-read/ s'o distin'ctly, s'o empha'tically, and s'o fe'rvently, that it was next to an impossibility/ to be in'attentive. My ey'es and thoughts/ could not wander as u'sual, but were confin'ed to my prayers; I then considered I addressed myself to the Almighty; and/ when I reflected on my for`mer per
*Whether "acquired" is considered as an adjective or a participle, Mr. Walker seems to think the "ed" should be pronounced as a distinct syllable.
For the pause coming between the verbs, see page 29 of the "Outline."
It is to be lamented that we rarely hear this thrillingly sublime and beautiful word rightly pronounced, even in "the reading desk and pulpit!" If judiciously spoken, with two accents, as here marked, it can hardly fail distinctly to elicit the comprehensive meaning of this wonderful appellation of “the Great First Cause," and produce a corresponding EFFECT.
formances of that'-duty, I found I had run it over as a matter of for'm, in comparison to the man'ner/ in'-which/ I the`n dischar'ged it. My mind was really affected, and fervent wishes/ accompanied my wo'rds. The CONFES'SION/ was read with such a resigned humility, and the THANKSGIVING/ with such a religious-joy, as made me feel those affec'tions of the mind/ in a man'ner I never d'id-before. To re'medy, the`refore, the grievance above complai'ned-of, I humbly propo'se, that this e'xcellent-reader (upon the n'ext, and every annual assembly of the clergy of Sion-co ́llege) should read prayers beforethem. For then', tho'se/ that are afraid of stretching their mouths, and spoiling their soft voices, will learn to read with clearness, lo'udness, and strength. Others/ that affect a ra'kish, ne'gligent-air (by fol'ding their arm's, and lol'`ling on their book) will be taught a de'cent-behaviour, and a comely ere'ction of bo`dy. Tho'se/ that read fa'st (as if impatient of their work) may learn to speak deliberately. There is another-sort-of-persons/ whom I call Pinda'ric-readers, as being confined to no se't-measure; the'se/ pronounce five or six wor'ds/ with great deliberation, and the five or six s'ubsequent-ones/ with as great cele'rity: the first part of the se'ntence/ with a very ex'alted-voice, and the la'tter-part/ with a very submis'sive one; sometimes, aga'in, with on'e sort of a tone, and immediately after/ with a very di'fferent one: These ge'ntlemen/ will learn of my adm`ired-reader/ an e'venness of voice and delivery; and a'll/ who are innocent of these affecta'tions, but read with such an indi'fferency, as if they did not understand the language, may then be informed of the art of reading mo'vingly and fervently, h'ow to place the e'mphasis, and give the proper ac'cent to each wo'rd, and how to vary the voice/ according to the n'ature of the se'ntence. There is certainly a very great difference between the reading a prayer and a gaz'ette, which I beg of you to inform a set of readers, who affect, (forsooth) a certain/ gentleman
* In the pronunciation of humble and humbly, Mr. Walker contends that the h should not be aspirated, and that this adjective and adverb should be pronounced as if written umble and umbly. Mrs. Siddons and Mr. Kemble, however, and some other individuals hardly less eminent, distinctly sounded the h in these words; and considered the withholding of the aspiration as weakening the force of their meaning. My opinion is, that it should be aspirated, though as slightly as possible.-ED.