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A PROVINCIAL SCOTSMAN.
PUBLISHED BY OLIVER & BOYD;
LONDON, BRUSSELS, AND PARIS.
ABOUT the year eighteen hundred and , while I studied at the University of , a relation of the excellent clergyman, under whose charge I had the good fortune to dwell, made his escape from French prison, where he had been confined by Bonaparte among other subjects of Great Britain. The picture which Mr. drew of Italy and France, after his return, and the delights of those countries, physical and intellectual, so wrought upon the imaginations of the young students who lived in Dr. — 's house, that I truly believe we should all have set out on a pilgrimage to Rome via Paris, on our bare feet, with unbounded alacrity, had such an expedition been but hinted at by our wise and experienced teacher. This mission, however, formed no part of our academic course, and we were forced to rest content with the splendid recollections of our new foreign friend touching the Tuillieries, Vallombrosa, Florence and the “Eternal City;" towers, temples, kingdoms, and the glorious achievements of art and science, which crowded the auspicious realms through which he had roamed. The burning thirst which possessed me to see those affecting scenes, was no ways allayed by studying the witchery of M. Stael's Italy, or the mystery of Mrs, Radcliffe's Udolpho: I had no other view of earthly bliss at that time, than to find myself on the “ lilied fields of France;" and that the stern dominion of Napoleon made such a consummation to be in some respects impossible, only added to the intensity of boyish desire, already sufficiently exalted. The precious soil of the most christian kingdom, was not then to be trodden by every Englishman who might possess time and inclination for that object, for in those days it was said of Napoleon and his dominions,
“ France like a Turkish haram, was close shut,
Crouching thy sad and iron yoke beneath,
Of gallant foes, heart break, and nameless death.
And mourn'd fair freedom's lily trodden down;
And pois’d the foremost swoop at England's crown.” The lapse of years, however, and tougher work than playing at cricket in college gárden, somewhat dissipated the intoxicating illusions of youth ; neverthe