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warms and expands the heart, it produces no other intoxication than that intellectual abandonment which gives up the whole soul to a mingled overflowing of gratitude to Heaven, and benevolence towards man.— "Were I not Alexander," said the Emathian madman, "I would wish to be Diogenes;" so when feasting upon this aërial beverage, which is like swallowing so much vitality, I have been tempted to ejaculate,Were I not a man, I should wish to be a cameleon. In Pudding-lane and the Minories, I am aware that this potation, like Irish whiskey, is apt to have the smack of the smoke somewhat too strong; and even the classic atmosphere of Conduit-street, may occasionally require a little filtering: but I speak of that pure, racy, elastic element, which I have this morning been inhaling in one of the forests of France, where, beneath a sky of inconceivable loveliness, I reclined upon a mossy bank, moralizing like Jacques; when, as if to complete the scene, a stag emerged from the trees, gazed at me for a moment, and dashed across an opening into the far country. Here was an end of every thing Shakspearian, for presently the sound of horns made the welkin ring, and a set of grotesque figures, bedizened with lace dresses, cocked hats, and jackboots, deployed from the wood, and followed the chase with praiseworthy regularity-the nobles taking the lead, and the procession being brought up by the "valets des chiens à pied."-Solitude and silence again succeeded to this temporary interruption, though in the amazing clearness of the atmosphere I could see the stag and his pursuers scouring across the distant
plain, like a pigmy pageant, long after I had lost the sound of the horns and the baying of the dogs. A man must have been abroad to form an idea of the lucidness and transparency, which confers upon him a new sense, or at least enlarges an old one, by the additional tracts of country which it places within the visual grasp, and the heightened hues with which the wide horizon is invested by the crystal medium through which it is surveyed.
In the unfavoured regions, where Heaven seems to look with a scowling eye upon the earth, and the hand of a tremendous Deity is perpetually stretched forth to wield the thunder and the storm, men not only learn to reverence the power on whose mercy they feel themselves to be hourly dependant, but instinctively turn from the hardships and privations of this world to the hope of more genial skies and luxurious sensations in the next. The warmth of religion is frequently in proportion to the external cold: the more the body shivers, the more the mind wraps in ideal furs, and revels in imaginary sunshine; and it is remarkable, that in every creed climate forms an essential feature in the rewards or punishments of a future state. The Scandinavian hell was placed amid "chilling regions of thick-ribbed ice," while the attraction of the Mahometan paradise is the coolness of its shady groves. By the lot of humanity, there is no proportion between the extremes of pleasure and pain. No enjoyment can be set off against an acute tooth-ach, much less against the amputation of a limb, or many permanent diseases; and our distributions of a future
state strikingly attest this inherent inequality. The torments are intelligible and distinct enough, and lack not a tangible conception; but the beatitudes are shadowy and indefinite, and, for want of some experimental standard by which to estimate them, are little better than abstractions.
In the temperate and delicious climates of the earth, which ought to operate as perpetual stimulants to grateful piety, there is, I apprehend, too much enjoyment to leave room for any great portion of religious
fervour. The inhabitants are too well satisfied with this world to look much beyond it. "I have no objection," said an English sailor, "to pray upon occasion of a storm or a battle; but they make us say prayers on board our ship when it is the finest weather possible, and not an enemy's flag to be seen!" This is but a blind aggravation of a prevalent feeling among mankind, when the very blessings we enjoy, by attaching us to earth, render us almost indifferent to heaven. When they were comforting a king of France upon his death-bed, with assurances of a perennial throne amid the regions of the blessed, he replied, with a melancholy air, that he was perfectly satisfied with the Tuilleries and France. I myself begin to feel the enervating effects of climate, for there has not been a single morning, in this country, in which I could have submitted, with reasonable good humour, to be hanged: while in England, I have experienced many days, in and out of November, when I could have gone through the operation with stoical indifference; nay, could have even felt an extraordinary respect for the Ordinary,
and have requested Mr. Ketch to " accept the assurances of my distinguished consideration," for taking the trouble off my own hands. I am capable of feeling now why the Neapolitans, in the last invasion, boggled about exchanging, upon a mere point of honour, their sunny skies, "love-breathing woods and lute resounding waves," and the sight of the dancing Mediterranean,-for the silence and darkness of the cold blind tomb. Falstaffs in every thing, they "like not such grinning honour as Sir Walter hath." From the same cause, the luxurious Asiatics have always fallen an easy prey to the invader; while the Arab has invariably been ready to fight for his burning sands, and the Scythian for his snows, not because they overvalued their country, but because its hardships had made them undervalue life. Many men cling to existence to perpetuate pleasures, as there are some who will even court death to procure them. Gibbon records what he terms the enthusiasm of a young Mussulman, who threw himself upon the enemy's lances, singing religious hymns, proclaiming that he saw the black-eyed Houris of Paradise waiting with open arms to embrace him, and cheerfully sought destruction that he might revel in lasciviousness. This is not the fine courage of principle, nor the fervour of patriotism, but the drunkenness of sensuality. The cunning de vice of Mahomet, in offering a posthumous bonus to those who would have their throats cut for the furtherance of his ambition, was but an imitation of Odin and other northern butchers; and what is glory, in its vulgar acceptation, stars, crosses, ribbons, titles,
public funerals, and national monuments, but the blinding baubles with which more legitimate slaughterers lure on dupes and victims to their own destruction? These sceptred jugglers shall never coax a bayonet into my body, nor wheedle a bullet into my brain; for I had rather go without rest altogether, than sleep in the bed of honour. So far from understanding the ambition of being turned to dust, I hold with the old adage about the living dog and the dead lion. I am pigeon-livered, and lack gall to encounter the stern scythe-bearing skeleton. When I return to the land of fogs I may get courage to look him in the skull; but it unnerves one to think of quitting such delicious skies, and rustling copses, and thick-flowered meads, and Favonian gales, as these which now surround me; and it is intolerable to reflect, that yonder blazing sun may shine upon my grave without imparting to me any portion of his cheerful warmth, or that the blackbird, whom I now hear warbling as if his heart were running over with joy, may perch upon my tombstone without my hearing a single note of his song.
As it has been thought that the world existed many ages without any inhabitants whatever, was next subjected to the empire of brutes, and now constitutes the dominion of man, it would seem likely, that in its progressive advancement to higher destinies it may ultimately have lords of the creation much superior to ourselves, who may speak compassionately of the degradation it experienced under human possession, and congratulate themselves on the extinction of that pugnacious and mischievous biped called Man. The face of Nature