« AnteriorContinuar »
mountains, and the tuneful falls of water, to which we came in Weftmorland. In all the world, I believe, there is not a more glorious rural fcene to be feen, in the fine time of the year.
• In this fine vale, I found one pretty little house, which had gardens very beautifully laid out, and usefully, filled with the fineft dwarf fruit trees and ever-greens, vegetables, herbs, and shrubs. The manfion, and the improved spot of ground, were at the end of the beautiful lake, so as to have the whole charming piece of water before the door.
The projecting faded fells seemed to nod or hang over the habitation, and on either hand, a few yards from the front of the house, cascades much higher than that of dread Lodore, in Cumberland, fell into the lake. There is not any thing so beautiful and striking as the whole in any part of the globe that I have seen : and I have been in higher latitudes, north and south, than most men living. I have conversed with nations who live many degrees beyond the poor frozen Laplander. I have travelled among the barbarians who scorch beneath the burning zone.
• Who lived in this delightful valley, 'was, in the next place, my enquiry, after I had admired for an hour the amazing beauties of the place. I walked up to the house, and in one of the parlour windows, that had a view up the loch, I saw a young Beauty fitting with a mufic-book in her hand, and heard her sing in a masterly manner. She could not see me, but I had a full view of her fine face, and as I remembred to have seen her somewhere, I stood gazing at her with wonder and delight, and was striving to recollect where I had been in her company, when another young one came into the room, whom I had reason to remember very well, on account of an accident, and then I knew they were the two young ladies I had seen at Mr. Harcourt's, (see p. 374. of Memoirs of several Ladies of Great Britain,) and admired very greatly for the charms of their persons, and the beauties of their minds. Upon this I walked up to the window, and after a little astonishment at seeing me, they behaved with the greatest civility, and seemed to be highly pleased with the accidental meeting. While we were talking, their mamma came into the appartment, and on their letting her know who I was,' and where they had been acquainted with me, the old lady was pleased to ask me to stay at her house that night, and to assure me lhe was glad to see me, as she had often heard her daughters speak of me. Three days I paired with great plea!ure in this Tweet place, and then with regret took my leave.' • What foundation our wonder-loving Author may have for his furprizing representations of the wildsthe met with in these dels frequented parts of our island, -whether there is much ground
for his very romantic defcriptions and adventures, and how far he may have exaggerated the truth; we cannot pretend to say, having travelled but little, ourselves, into those northern counties : such of our readers as are better acquainted with those remote parts, will better judge of his regard both to truth and probability, in these extraordinary instances.
On the 5th Mr. B. left the pleasing habitation of Mrs. Thurloe and her two lovely daughters, and at night, in a very retired place, he fell in with a Carthufian monastery, consisting of seven monks, men of some fortune, who had agreed to live together, in this remote fituation, and pass their lives in piety, itudy, and gardening. He had a letter of recommendation, from a friend often mentioned in these memoirs, to the superior of this society, which procured him all the kindness and how nours these gentlemen could bestow. They were all learned and devout persons; had a large collection of books, and many manuscript volumes, the productions of their own pens. With these recluses he staid two days, which he chiefly spent in conversing with them, on the works of the Rabbies, the usefulness of which, fictitious and extravagant as they are, the good friars endeavoured to demonstrate. Here our Author makes a considerable display of his Talmudical learning, through several pages, handfomely mottled with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew criticisms: at the close of which he expresses his fatisfaction on account of the advantages we may gain by reading the books of the Rabbins.' He adds,,“ to me it is pleasing to fee: these great Hebrew masters granting so much to us for our Meffias, while they hate our holy religon beyond every thing. Even the gay among the Jews, (if I have been truly informed by one who danced a night with them) have, in contempt and abhorrence of our faith, a country-dance, called, The Little Jefus.”
At length, July 8. our Author actually does arrive at Knaresborough; of which, and its fulphurous and petrifying waters, he gives an entertaining and perhaps useful detail. Next comes a curious postilla, containing a pleasing account of Wardrew fulphur-water, the life of Claudius Hobart, and a learned differtation on Reafon and Revelation. The story of Mr. Hobart, the worthy and amiable hermit; is, we apprehend, purely fictitious; but the tract on the rule of reason, and the discourse on revelation, are very entertaining, and will be generally agreeable to readers of every perfuafion, who are not bigotted to the doctrine of tritheism, and who can bear to hear the name and doctrines of Socinus spoken of with approbation.
We are now arrived at fection 8. which mentions our Au. thor's departure from Knareíborough, and arrival at Harrogate; where he found a letter from Miss Spence, in confe
quence of which, he accompanied that lady to London, where he had the happiness to become her husband. Of this peerless lady we have the following account, prefaced by a description of Cleator- lodge, her seat in Westmorland; the reader, if he has any taste for landscape-painting, and is not too cynical, will be pleased with the latter :
iCleator is one of the finest spots that can be seen, in a wild romantic country. The natural views are wonderful, and afford the eye vast pleasure. The charming prospects of different kinds, from the edges of the mountains, are very fine. The winding hills, pretty plains, vast precipices, hanging woods, deep vales, the eafy falls of water in some places, and in others cataracts tumbling over rocks,- form all together the most beautiful and delightful scenes. All the decorations of art are but foils and shadows to such natural charms.
« In the midst of these scenes, and in a theatrical space of about two hundred acres, which the hand of nature cut, or hol. lowed out, on the side of a mountain, stands Cleator-lodge, a neat and pretty mansion. Near it were groves of various trees, and the water of a strong spring murmured from the front down to a lake at the bottom of the hill.',
This was Miss Spence's country residence. • Here, adds Mr. B. the wise and excellent Maria passed the best part of her time, and never went to any public place but Harrogate once a year. In reading, riding, fishing, and some visits to and from three or four neighbours now and then, her hours were happily and usefully employed. . History and mathematics she took great delight in, and had a very surprising knowledge in the lait. She was another of those ladies I met with in my travels, who understood that method of calculation, beyond which nothing further is to be hoped or expected; I mean the arithmetic of fluxions.'
There is something very uncommon, indeed, in the character of this female mathematician; and, fuppofing it a real one, we hardly know whether to approve such an example; although Mr. Buncle so strongly recommends it. What he says in praisc of the fluxionary method of calculation, is undoubtedly just, but this austere and profound science seems to be no part of a lady's province ;~-yet Miss Spence, our Author says, in the 24th year of her age, was a master of it: perhaps he would have deemed it a diminution of her excellence in this way, to have styled her mistress of this art.- Be this as it may,-- in the course of his journey with this lady, from Westmorland to London, he had a very scientific conversation with her, on the doctrine of fluxions ; in which they entered deeply into some investigations of this nature, which, at least, serve to fhew how well Mr. B. himself. understands the fubjeéta He seems con
fcious, however, that the picture of a mathematical lady would, in all likelihood, prove no very alluring object to the generality of his readers * ; and therefore he takes care to inform us, that this accomplishment was not, even with him, the principal of Miss Spence's charms: for, he adds, besides this excellence, the advantages of a faultless person, a modesty more graceful than her exquisite beauty, her conversation, (than which nothing could be more lively and delightful) and her fine fortunes - there was yet a perfection above them all :-- it was her mo
She was, he continues, a Christian Deif, and confidered benevolence and integrity as the essentials of her religion. She imitated the piety and devotion of Jesus Christ, and worthipped his God and our God, his father and our father, as St. John expressly styles the God of Christians, xx. 17.-'
But what availed it to Mr. B. that the possessed all these virtues and endowmen's ? He was not, it seems, fated to be long happy in the enjoyment of matrimonial society. This wife, too, was very soon torn from his arms, by the cruel hand of
• He, nevertheless, firongly afferts the propriety of a learned educa. tion for ladies : he certainly stretches this point too far; but let us hear what he says on the subject. He is of opinion, that the mental faculties of women, properly cultivated, may equal those of the greatest men. • And, since women, be continues, have the same improvable minds as the male part of the species, why 'hould they not be cultivated by the same method ? Why should reason he left to itself in one of the fexes, and be disciplined with so much care in the other. Learning and knowledge are perfections in us not as we are men, but as we are fational creatures, in which order of beings the female world is upoa the same level with the male. We ought to consider in this particular, not what is the fex, but what is the species they belong to. And if women of fortune were so considered, and educated accordingly, I am sure the world would soon be the better for it. It would be so far from making them those ridiculous mortals Moliere has described under the character of learned ladies; that it would render them more agreeable and useful, and enable i hem by the acquisition of true sense and know. ledge, to be superior :o gairry and spiele, drefs and dissipation. They would see that the livereign good can be placed in noihing else but in rectitude of condus ; as that is agreeable ro our nature ; conducive to well-being; accommodate to all places and times; durable, self derived, indeprivable; and of con equence, that on rational and masculine religion only they can rest the foal of the foot, and the sooner they turn 10 it, the happier here and hereafter they shall be. Long before the power of Jense, like the setting fun, is gradually forsaking them, (that power on which the pleasures of the world depend) they would, by their acquired under landing and knowledge, see the foily of plealuri, and that they were born not only to virtue, friendihip, honesty, and Jarih, but to religion, piety, adorat on, and a generous furren:er of their minds to the lupreme caule. They would be glorious creatures then. Every family would be happy.' This argument we fubinit to the des c.fion of our leasned readers, both male and female.
Death, at the end of about six months from the date of their union :- and the disconfolate husband ( went into the world again, to relieve his mind, and try his fortune once more !! But before he proceeds to relate what steps he took towards renewing the Hymeneal connection, he gives some account of the case of his last deceased wife, and tells a droll story of the four physicians who attended her. We shall give the narrative in his own words :
• This young lady was seized with that fatal distemper, called a maiignant fever : Something foreign to nature got into her blood, by a cold, and other accidents, it may be, and the lucius or strife to get clear thereof became very great. The effervescence or perturbation was very foon fo violent as to Thew, that it not only endangered, but would quickly subvert the animal fabrick, unless the blood was speedily dispersed, and nature got the victory by an exclusion of the noxious fhut-in particles. The thirst, the dry tongue, the coming causus, were terrible, and gave me too much reason to apprchetid this charming woman would fink under the conflict. To save her, if polible, I sent immediately for a great physician, Dr. Sharp, a man who talked with great fuericy of medicine and diseases.
• This gentleman told me, the alkaline was the root of fevers, as well as of other distempers, and therefore, to take off the effervescence of the blood in the ebullitions of it, to incide the viscous humour, to drain the tartarous salts from the kidnies, to allay the prefcrnatural ferment, and to brace up the relaxed tones, he ordered orange and vinegar in whey, and prescribed spirit of sulphur, and vitriol, the cream, chrystals, and vitriolate tartar in other vehicles. If any thing can relieve; it must be plenty of acid. In acidis pofta eft omni cıradio. But these things gave no relief to the sufferer.
I sent then in all hafte for Dr. Hough, a man of great reputation, and he differed so much in opinion from Sharp, that he called an acid the chief enemy. It keeps up the inciis ct struggle, and if not expelled very quickly, will certainly prove fatal. Our fhcet anchor then must be the teslaca, in iehicles of nineral water, and accordingly he ordered the absorbent powders to confict with this acidity, the principal cause of all diseases. Pearl and coral, crabs eyes, and crabs claws, he prefcribed in diverse forins ; but they were of no use to the sick woman. She became worse every hour.
i Dr. Pym was next called in, a great practitioner, and i learned man. His notion of a fever was quite different from the opinions of Sharp and Hough. He maintained that a fer was a poisonous ferment or vengin; which frized on the anime! :Rev. August, 1766.