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the theory lately promulgated by Mr. Galiffe, who, because the grammars of the Russian and Roman languages are both without any article, and the foundations of some of the most ancient cities in each country are exactly similar in structure, boldly pronounces that Rome was founded by a colony of Muscovites. Braced with all the vigour of a northern temperament, they had time to extend their empire to the extremities of the earth, and rear the magnificent edifices of Rome, before they began to experience the degenerating effects of the climate. In fact they were only an earlier eruption of Goths and Vandals, and did not properly become Italians until about the period of the decline and fall. So far, therefore, from militating against my theory, they afford a beautiful confirmation of its accuracy.
THE ENGLISHMAN IN FRANCE.
A FRENCHMAN seeing as he walk'd
One of those Johnny Bulls we meet
Prepared to take and give offence,
And partly from the want of sense!
So bustling to the Frenchman's side,
"Mounseer Jack Frog," he fiercely cried,
"Pourquoi vous faire Hem!' quand moi passe ?”
The Gaul replied, “ Monsieur God-dem,
"Here's fine revolution, an' we had the trick to see 't. Did these bones cost no more the breeding but to play at loggats with them? Mine ache to think on 't."
It was the latter end of April, which was ripening with a genial warmth into May; the flowers were every where emerging into the gaiety of the landscape that surrounded me, like young belles coming out for the first time at a ball-room; while the bees, like so many beaus, not only fluttered and sung around them, but occasionally kissed the honey from their lips with all that frankness of innocent enjoyment which is visibly inculcated by Nature: the south wind went merrily along, singing to the boughs "like a piping bacchanal amid the flowers;" birds and insects were enjoying in the sunny air their renovated being, new vegetation was gushing from bud and blossom, the ants were creeping out of the crevices of the soil; it appeared as
* That species of eagle termed the ossifrage or ospray is thus called from its breaking the bones of animals in order to feed upon them.
if re-animation was exuding from every pore of Nature, while her face seemed to be lighted up with a conscious smile, as if her mighty heart thrilled with complacent joy at the universal happiness she was diffusing.-A smoky shower, to use one of Chaucer's picturesque words, instead of disturbing, gave a keener relish to my sensations; for nothing is more delightful at this season than to contemplate in the quick alternations of rain and sunshine, carefully watering and warming the earth, the manifest presence of Nature, "dressing her plants visibly," as the author of The Months elegantly observes," like a lady at her window." We want no miraculous handwriting on the wall, for he who can fail to perceive it on the earth in the punctual recurrence of this vernal process must be wilfully blind, For my own part, I can scarcely help imagining upon these occasions that the visible arm of the Creator is outstretched from the heavens to till and cultivate the beautiful garden of the world, and so dispense sustenance and delight, corn, fruit and flowers, to the innumerable beings, human and animal, whom he has called into existence.
Spring is undoubtedly the most exhilarating of all seasons, not only from its moral associations and promises of a flowery future, but from certain involuntary impulses arising from a quickened circulation and developement of the senses, wherein we sympathise physically with the vegetable and animal kingdoms. But there is nothing gloomy in any period or appearance of Nature. To the superficial observer indeed, who has seen the winds of April rocking as it were the cradle
of the young flowers, and breathing the breath of life into birds and insects, it may appear melancholy to follow them to their graves in the great funeral procession of autumn; but in the beautiful provisions of our system there is in reality no such thing as death. Nature's great business is reproduction; and as she works always upon the same materials, spirit and matter, life and extinction, one organisation and another, are perpetually interchanging substances and natures without any annihilation of either. With all due deference to Shakspeare, "Imperial Cæsar dead and turned to clay" might be converted to nobler purposes than those which Hamlet has assigned; for there is no product or element of Nature with which he may not have become renewed and blended under the vivifying and mysterious mouldings of her hand
"The leprous corpse, touch'd by this spirit tender,
Nought we know dies. Shall that alone which knows,
By sightless lightning?" *
If Pythagoras had limited his system of transmigration to the body instead of the soul, he would not have been very remote from the truth; for he might have drawn from Nature abundant analogy for his
theory. The rains that fall to reascend in sap are but so much future leaves and flowers; wine is simply bottled sunshine and showers; corruption puts on incorruption, and even yonder dunghill, which has already passed through various stages of incarnation, is destined to others in the ceaseless round of reproduction, and changing into beauty, fragrance, and life, shall either be converted into tulips and roses, flutter in the air in the form of butterflies and moths, or reassuming a vegetable being, become again incorporated with men, beasts, or birds.
Never proposing to myself any definite object in my rural rambles, I know not whither they will conduct me, sometimes strolling to the uplands, at another roaming along the valleys, and not unfrequently exemplifying the " scriptorum chorus omnis amat nemus" of Horace by plunging into the woods, and exclaiming as I stretch myself beneath the trees
"Here let me, careless and unthoughtful lying,
With all the wanton boughs dispute,
It is exactly the same in writing. I begin with one intention, and end with another; start for Cornwall, and am carried away by some freak of the pen to Harwich or the Highlands. The dunghill which I just now introduced by way of illustration has occasioned a new subject to shoot up in my imagination, and determined me to write a profound essay on the very interesting subject of manure! Not that I mean to be