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I retired with my guide beyond the precincts | my head. I then cleaned my hat, and thereby of the town, absorbed in reflections on the im deprived them so entirely of all matter for merripertinence and presumption of the people whom ment, that they relapsed into melancholy silence, we had just quitted, and probably should have Not being much inclined to keep them comgiven a longer audience to my thoughts, had not pany in gaping, I stole away from them, and in my meditations been suddenly interrupted by a another company of ladies met with the soul of a violent blow which I received un my head, and French marquis, who in his lifetime had frewhich was struck with so much force, that I grew quently amused the same company, that were quite dizzy, and my hat dropped on the ground, pleased to call his humourons sallies elegant, natuI turned round in a violent passion to see who it ral, witty, and charming; but I now found him, was that had dared to treat me in so rude a man contrary to the nature of other departed souls, ner. “ You are very impudent,” exclaimed I totally changed. He was mute, and barren of in a violent tone, “ for treating in such a rude invention, and not a single person in the com. manner people whom you do not know, and who pany seemed to entertain the same opinion they have not given the least offence to you.” “And

had of him upon earth. I told him I was sure you are a great fool,” replied he with a loud

prised at this unexpected alteration. He shrug. laugh, “ for being offended at a piece of humour.

ged up his shoulders, assuring me that he was Do you not perceive that I am a satirist ?”

the most unhappy of all mortals, adding that This disagreeable accident made me extremely death had come upon him so suddenly, that he uneasy, as I apprehended some witty blaile might

| had no time to take his watch-chain and snufftake it into his head to satyrise me black and blue;

box with him, “two articles,” exclaimed he therefore I proposed to my conductor to retire to

mournfully, “in which all my wit and liveliness a shadowy spot, which lay before us, and where

consisted ! when I wish to sport an humourous I hoped to be, if not more solitary, at least more

sally I miss my watch-chain, and am not capable secure.

of producing a witty thought. I am not even I was, however, disappointed, as I descried on

capable of giving my opinion of literary and pomy arrival a large company consisting chiefly of

litical matters, or of a poem, because I cannot ladies. As they had lived in my native town,

take a pinch of snuff.” I sincerely lamented the I knew every one of them, and soon found that

fate of the unfortunate marquis; but not having they had not madeany alteration in their manner

it in my power to assist him in regaining his wit, of living: they played, drank tea, some of them

I invented a plausible pretext, which compelled were totally silent, but the majority laughed so

me to leave him, and retired. loudly, that I was impatient to observe them

My conductor was just going to relate to me closely. I enquired what was the reason of it?

the history of the departed soul of a Merry. but they were so malicious as to refuse giving me Andrew, who had lost his party.coloured jacket, she least explanation. One of them, however, and with it all his laughter-moving faculties, to whom I had rendered a most essential service

when we were interrupted by a new adventure. by a most elegant and witty sonnet which I had

The departed soul of a lady, whom I had not made upon her pug-dog, was so grateful as to re

perceived because my back was turned towards lieve me from my painful perplexity. “I will tell

her, had stolen upon nie from behind, and sudyou,” said she, “ why we are so merry. We had

denly Aung one arm round my neck, while she sat many hours in the most tedious silence, be

with her other hand pressed mine so tenderly, cause we had been tired of criticising the dress,

that I could guess the ineaning of this voluptuous ahe gait, and the features of all the souls who pass eloquence more plainly than if she had made an ed by : nor had we any thing more to say about

oral declaration. I could easily guess that she our absent acquaintances. In this state we hap

was a roving fair one, and the gloom of the solipened to descry you from afar in a situation im.

tary place where we were, confirmed me in this portanı enough to set us all a laughing." Here

suspicion. She seemed to be as violently enshe broke off abruptly, at the same time holding

amoured of me as a person of that description is both her sides with her hands, and bursting out capable of. I perceived plainly that she became in concert with the whole company into such an every moment more inflamed, and more impuexcessive laughter, that I was confounded with dentin her familiarity, which rendered me curious shame. “Do you not perceive it yet?" resurned to see her face. Succeeding, after some struggles, she, after having collected herself a little. “ For in disengaging myself from her arm, I turned heaven's sake, only look at your har! it is entirely round. Heavens, wliat a sight! I started back. covered with dust.” “ If this be the only thing I ~ Is it you?” said she contemptuously, and withwhich renders me a subject of so much mirth,” | drew abruptly. My readers may easily guess that replied I, “ I can easily remove it.” I informed { it was the departed soul of my wife ; she had them that a wit whom I had met had joked it off | mistaken me for another person, which was the

sole cause of her ardent caresses; but as soon as i and had many opportunities of seeing how diffi. she recognized me, she was vexed and fled; and, cult a task it is to rule a country. In one word, I confess, I was glad of it.

I was butler to the Lord Chancellor. The Whilst I was revolving in my mind this singu finances were the favourite subject of m; medilar adventure, I had the misfortune to be descried tations, and if my advice had been followed, the by the departed soul of my barber. It was im state would have annually gained several millions. possible for ine to avoid him. I was compelled But you know men of talents always have eneto listen to his political rant. His joy at meet

mies. The Chancellor of the Exchequer pering me was unspeakable; he put more than an ceived that I was likely to eclipse him, and this hundred questions to me, without giving me time was sufficient to induce him to ruin me. My to reply to one. “I hope you have been well country is to be pitied for having been deprived since I had the honour of seeing you last ?” said of my services. I meditated day and night how he, “Your relations were in good health when the finances of our country Inight be inaproved. you left them ? And your niece ?-you under I have proposed several excellent projects to the stand me? I really mean no harm; she deserves minister, but they were always rejected; an evi. it. Is the old caplain still alive? he has made me dent proof of the deplorable state to which we laugh a thousand times; he was uncomniouly are reduced. I made a plan for the abolition of entertaining when in good humour; he had at the clergy, proposing that the aldermen should his finger's end all the events of the Pomeranian be compelled to preach gratis in their room, and war. I do not Aatter! matters would unduubt am sure that a considerable sum might thus have edly have taken a different turn had he not been been saved in one year; but our government dismissed the service. But, let me tell you, I would not listen to this patriotic proposal. I Europe is in a most critical state. It was not tried another method of rendering myself useful with my consent that Prince Charles crossed the ! to the state, presenting a memorial in which I Rhine; a great deal might be said on that head. had plainly proved that the treasury would every As for the Turk, that sanguinary dog has no rea month gain at least three thousand pounds, if son to boast. But what was I going to tell you? every wife exercising petticoat government over I could plainly foresee it! My late grandmother her husband were compelled to take out a I know not whether you recollect the good wo- | monthly licence at the low rate of one shilling. man? she was a little deformed woman. I fear Could any proposal have been more rational and some roguery was at the bottom when she just ? but the only effect which this plan promade her will; but it cannot be altered now.' duced was, that all married women conspired But what was I going to say? I have entirely against my life, and threatened to tear me to forgot it! Aha! now I recollect! the Turk!" pieces. What do you think of these projects ? Yes, yes, the Turk,” replied I angrily, “I tell me frankly whether they were not excellent.” know him well enough; but this is no proper 1 declined at first to give my opinion, but conplace for talking of this subjeet. I have no time fessed at last that I could not approve of his proto stop any longer.” So saying I retired abruptly. posal to licence wives' to exercise à dominion

I had not proceeded far when Kheard soinel over their husbands, as this would produce the person behind me laugh aloud. Turning round, greatest confusion in many families. As for his I descried a soul appearing as famished as an plan to abolish the clergy, I candidly confessed alchymist, and as malicious as a public informer; that it was so extremely absurd, that only a butler he squeezed my hand very familiarly, and said: could have devised it; adding that the clergy at “ You are perfectly right in getting rid of that all times had the misfortune of displeasing those foolish talker. I have overheard your whole who were most destitute of common sense, and conversation, and was astonished at your patience; that the populace- “What populace ?" it is to be lamented that there are so many people exclaimed the projector in a furious accent. who trouble themselves about matters of which “ Do you know who I am ? Don't you know they have no conception; it would not be of any that I am a government man? You are a traitor consequence, and at inost excite pily, if none but | to your country, a rebel, a blasphemer! I will barbers meddled with politics, but there are men convince you ” So saying, be laid hold of of greater consequence who act as foolishly as me, and beat me so uninercifully, that I should your barber; instead of watching over the welfare have become most painfully sensible of his paof the state, as they are in duty bound, they sil triotic zeal, had not my conductor pacified him together and talk over the newspapers. I have by a handful of money. He quitted me instantly, been employed in politics, as you may perceive, l) and withdrew.

22

ADDITIONS TO THE NATURAL HISTORY OF CERTAIN ANIMALS.

[Continued from Page 141.]

The two following articles are taken from | against every assailant; for the most robust mad an account of Guiana, in South America, lately l or anjinal who might approach the ant-bill, published in Paris, by M. Malouet:

would in an instant be covered and devoured by

myriads of ants. * ANTS.

“Since this, I saw, in Cayenne, another spe« In the middle of an immense Savannah, 'cies of ants no less wonderful, and more useful as or swamp, perfectly level as far as the eye could

it remains in peace and alliance with man, and it carry, I observed a little hill, which appeared to

pursues only fies, lizards, caterpillars, scorpions, be formed by mnen. My companion told me it

rats and mice. I have seen themi arrive from the was an ant-hill. What! said 1, is this gigantic

! country in columns, enter the town by the gate, construction made by an insect? He proposed 10 il run over the houses, where they were fearlessly conduct me, not to the bill, where we might have allowed to enter, and return after their execution, been devoured, but near the road of the labour in the same order, and out of the same gate. I ers. We soon discovered several columns of I leave to naturalists the care of classing and deants going to, and coming from the forest, and scribing the species; it is the moral part of anibringing back pieces of leaves, roots, and seeds || mals which interests me.” or grains. Those ants were of the largest size, but I did not venture to obserte them too nearly.

SERPENTS. Their habitation, which I examined at about « In the Savannahs of Iracubo, in Guiana, 1 forty paces off, appeared to be about fifteen or

saw the most wonderful, the most terrible spectwenty feet high, and about thirty or forty in di tuele that can be seen; and although it be not ameter at the base. Its shape was that of a py uncommon to the inhabitants, no traveller has ramid cut off at a third of its proper height. I ever mentioned it. We were ten men on horsewas informed that when a planter had the mis- | back,' two of whom took the lead, in order to fortune to discover one of these formidable for sound the passages; for I chose to traverse the tresses in clearing his newly-acquired lands, he country in various directions, and to skirt the was obliged to abandon his establishment, unless great forests. One of the negroes, who formed he was powerful enough to carry on a regular the vanguard, returned full gallop, and called to siege. My informer said this had happened to Tiine, “ Here, Sir, come see serpents in pile."himself; he wished to extend his plantations, He pointed out to me something elevated in the and discovered such a hut as was then before us. middle of ihe Savannah, which appeared like a He caused a deep circular ditch to be dug, and bundle of arms. One of my company then said, filled with pieces of dry wood, and after having this is certainly one of those assemblages of ses. set fire to the whole circumference, he attacked pents, which heap themselves on each other after the ant-hill with cannon. The demolition of the a violent tempest; I have heard talk of these, fabric dispersed the army of ants, which having li but have never seen any; let us proceed cauno means of retreat, perished in the flames which tiously, and not go too near. We continued our issued from the ditch.

way slowly; I fixed my eyes on the pyramid, " What can be the cause of this immense re which appeared immovable. When we were union of ants, in the same place, and engaged in within ten or twelve paces of it, the terror of our the same direction of labour, of collecting pro- | horses prevented our nearer approach, to whicb, visions, and of cohabitation, whilst they have at | however, none of us were inclined. their disposal vast extents of lands, and plentiful « On a sudden the pyramidal mass became fvod? It appears probable, that in these deserts agitated; horrible hissings issued from it, and they find a number of enemies among the birds, thousands of serpents rolled spirally on eack the repriles, and even the quadrupeds, such as other, shot forth out of the circle their hideous the ant-bear, against whom their numbers, if dis

heads, presenting their envenomed darts, and persed, can do nothing.

fiery eyes to us. I own I was one of the first to « They have conceived the plan of a confe. deration so powerful and so harmonic, that even * In the Philosophical Transactions may be the curious, who appear at the limits of their em- i found a circumstantial account of this species of pire, are not tempted to encroach. In may truly i ants, with several plates of their habitations, by be said that this population is raised in mass Mr. Smeathman.

drax back; but when I saw that this formidable || lying, of love, and of anger; and may they not phalanx remained at its post, and appeared to be also have those requisite to combine their chaces, more disposed to defend itself than to attack us, ll to distribute the posts of attack and defence, the I rode round it, in order to view its order of bat different labours for tlieir common constructions, te, which faced the enemy from every side. I || as well as for supplying their common habitations then sought, as I had done with regard to the with necessaries? Can we conceive that beavers an-hills, what could be the design of this mon cut down great trees, drag them to the river, strous assemblage; and I concluded that this form and plant piles, beat mortar, build their species of serpents dreaded, like the ants, some lodge without speaking to, and understanding colossean enemy, which might be the great ser | each other? Wherever there are different parts, pent, † or the cayman, and that they reunite and a common or general direction, there is pothemselves after having seen this enemy, in order lice and government. We are not yet acquainted to attack or resist him in mass.

with the legislative power of bees and wasps, “ On this occasion, I shall hazard an opinion | although we are so with their executive power; which I found on several other observations; it and who knows but what their humming and is, that the animals in the new world are more | buzzing, monotonous to our gross organs, have advanced than the men in developing their in not the variety of accent necessary for the prostinct, and in the social combinations of which ' mulgation and the execution of their laws? As they are susceptible; the silence and the solitude to those species which are, or appear to be dumb, of the woods, leasing the greatest liberty to all like ants, it was enough for me to have seen their their motions, the individuals of the same species vast capital to be convinced that their populaEasily meet; and those species which are the best tion (which must be twice as considerable as that organized feel, without doubt, that impulsion of of Pekin*) understands itself, and is governed a common interest which announces and pro- infinitely better than the empire of China. vokes to the same end, the concurrence of all “ It is difficult that the spectacle of so many their means; but after having acknowledged in wonders should not inspire us with a religious animals different degrees of intelligence, such as sentiment for their Divine Author, who has memory, deliberation, will, we are reduced to willed that, in the midst of all animated beings, mere conjecture as to their means of communica there should be one superior to all the others, tion. It is certain, that those which possess the and marked with a celestial seal, that of conorgans of voice, have their cries of alarm, of ral- science.”

ON THE IMAGINATION.

" IMAGINATION is the power which every that the faculty places us above animals, and apman feels of being able to represent sensible l' proximates us to the Deity; but I am almost things to his mind. This faculty depends on tempted to ascribe these attributes to imaginamemory. Perceptions enter by the senses; the tion. Instinct, more sure than reason, guides

Demory retains them, and the imagination com- . beasts after an infallible manner, and preserves bines them.”

VOLTAIRE. them from error; and reason, which inspires us

with so much pride, very often makes us commit Animals may be endowed with memory; man' gross faults. Less reason and more instinct might alone possesses imagination. Vain of a reason perhaps be to our advantage. Upon what founwhich deceives us and leads us astray, we pretend Jation would our ostentation rest, if, as some

persons pretend, reason is no more than instinct † “ Some of these serpents are from thirty to perfected; and if, in the state of nature, man forty feet in length, and four or five in circum

had only the instinct of animals? ference. I brought the stuffed skin of one of 'Thus, the barrier between us and animals, the species back to France, and gave it to the

// which they can never surmount, is the imaginaMuseum-it was twenty-one feet long, and thir

tion; that brilliant faculty which at will disposes teen inches in diameter. "

of events, of times, of places, of space, and " The cayman is of the oviparous species of

which by a kind of creative power forms other crocodiles, the egg from which it proceeds is no larger than that of a goose, the aniinal grows to * According to Sir George Staunton, Pekin the same enormous length as the above men- || contained, in 1793, three millions of inhationed serpents."

bitants.

worlds, peoples them, and causes us to consider wrong bias of the mind, give a peculiar turn all objects as it were through a prism which em- to the imagination. Pascal, Nicole, Rousseau, bellishes them.

are sad examples. The first fancied he was When iinagination creates, it is called genius. always on the edge of a precipice; the second, Genius evidently consists in strength of imagina perpetually dreading the fall of a tile, generally tion and extent of mind.

remained shut up in his room, and when obliged There are those who pretend that a man born to go out, instead of walking, ran, to avoid the blind must necessarily be without imagination; |imaginary danger; and the third, more unfortunate however, the remembrance which he retains of || than the other two, discovered in every face the the other sensations which he receives, being the mask of an enemy, and the expression of hatred. more lively, the pleasures of imagination are The deranged fancy of the two first appears perhaps not entirely lost to him; and if he wan puerile : the unjust persecutions which the last ders not in ideal landscapes, he may transport | suffered, ought to justify him, and raise our himself into the land of harmony, and of per- || pity. fumes, and enjoy his fancies. He who loses his A man of a brilliant and active imagination sight, but not the reinembrance of the places he passes many happy hours. His time flies swiftly; has seen, and the persons he has known, can still he complains only of its rapidity. Froin an apartrove in delightful countries, in cool groves, alung ment in an obscure house, in a dirty street in the shady vallies : but this dream is too soon dissi midst of the city, he hears alternately the singpated; it terminates in the sad certainty that he ing of birds, the murmurs of the brook, the noise no longer possesses what constitutes the charm of the torrent, the whistling of the winds, the of life-that his eyes never more will behold a claps of thunder, the song of the shepherd, the woman, a wife, beloved children, a friend, the bleating of the flocks; he beholds the enamel of sun rising, and all the grand spectacle of nature, the fields, flowery groves, verdant hills and fruitwith which we are never satiated!

ful dales; he follows the windings of the valley, It has been remarked, that from the manner in the prolongation of the shadows, and the degrawhich we receive perceptions, depends likewise dation of objects when the sun is on his decline. that of our recalling them to mind. This obser A man never writes better on the spectacle of vation is founded on experience: nevertheless, at nalure, than when he is deprived of it: the de. the long run, the disagreeable impression effaces | lightful impressions he received crowd on his itself; and as it is connected with others of a imagination, which combines them and renders pleasant nature, it augments their value and loses them still more delightful. * its bitterness.

What pleasure does not imagination give to Many persons have such an active and power- || the man who lives in the midst of his beloved ful imagination, that it poisons reality, and their family? Other men are in his eyes divested of enjoyment ceases at the moment it ought to all their imperfections; they are all loving and commence. That of Rousseau is an example: sensible, good and virtuous; their language and it transported him so far into the land of fancy, their intentions are in harmony, their actions acthat all the objects, which mighi otherwise have cord with their words, and the earth is an Eden, contented him, were afterwards of no value. inhabited by brothers, who seek every opportuHis rich and fertile imagination, anticipating the nity of being reciprocally serviceable. The mofuture, painted the morrow, or the day selected ther traces out a track for her daughter of duties by him to enjoy some particular pleasure, and 10 fulfil, of virtues to practise, and of good to be painted it to his fancy in so seducing a manner, done. The father marks each day with some that when the day came it had no charm. He il | honourable act; and they all reap a rich harvest himself asserted, that the land of chimeras was from their benevolent actions. the best.

Let us penetrate into that obscure dungeon This great writer was fortunate in possessing a || wherein a good man, the victim of injustice, faculty which alleviated his misfortunes, and languishes. He has no other companion than plunged him in pleasing reveries.

his imagination. As his character is mild and Much good, as well as much evil, may be said peaceable, his soul is not soured by misfortune. about imagination. It effectively assumes the From the serenity of his looks, and the smile different forms which it borrows from the dif. which appears on his lips, I perceive his mind ferent qualities of the soul. It is prejudicial to has bounded far beyond the limits of his loath. a suspicious and susceptible mind, which it ter some prison-he is free and walks without fetrifies with innumerable phantoms, at the same time nourishing and increasing its morosity. To # It is said, that Thompson wrote his Summer such a mind it is a fatal gift.

in bed, at noon day, in the month of July, i Certain passions, different circumstances, al London,

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