Page images

»nd moderation. Repress the impetuous feelings of his nature: never be the slave of his caprice, and seek the friendship of your pupil, not by a dangerous complaisance, but by rational confidence, by the pure caresses of affection and well-directed affability.

Do not superfluously fatigue his memory, but let every moment of his existence be occupied. Let alternate labour and recreation fill up the moments which are passed with you. Use all your efforts to lead him to wish to see you, to be with you, and to regret your absence.

I had transcribed for the use of my son, the late dauphin, a great number of ideas upon education; some errors, borrowed from modern philosophy, had glided themselves into my work: experience has taught me better. I think I have sent you a copy of my treatise; make a choice from it, but beware of all those erroneous principles which are the offspring of novelty, of the spirit of the age, and of the poison of incredulity.

Far be from him all those works, or that philosophy, which pretends to judge God, his worship, his church, and his divine law. The passions will one day but too powerfully incline your pupil to shake off the yoke of religion; and flatterers will avail themselves of that moment. Teach him to respect holy things; and unveil before him false philosophy.

I should have many things*to say to you, which my tenderness for my son would dictate, and my wish to form his heart and mind; but I fear taking too sententious s. tone, and having the air of giving laws to his preceptor. I have perfect confidence, Sir, that mjr letter will sometimes be consulted by youj but/ldo not desire that it should be the only rule of your conduct. I must see you from time to time: come and see me with your pupil. Amidst the griefs that rend my soul, my consolation is in my son; and I observe, with complacency, the .progress he daily makes, and which he owes to your care and your friendship*.


"Oh, happy shepherds! who, secure from fear,
On open downs preserve your fleecy care;
Oh, happy fields! unknown to noise and strife,
The kind rewarder of industrious life." Anon.

O Blest Britannia! on thy favour'd isle,
The mildest suns, the softest seasons smile;
Not long the breath of winter chills thy plains,
Or fervid summer melts thy toiling swains,
Ere genial spring the mellow'd soil unbinds,
Ere lib'ral autumn glads thy lab'ring hinds.

Calm are thy seasons, fruitful is thy soil,
Yet much to art is due, and manual toil.
Thy herds and flocks a thousand meads adorn,
Oaks clothe thy hills, thy valleys golden corn;

* To these counsels, which wear the forms of unaffected philanthropy and enlarged benevolence, we have not added the observations of their editor, Helen Maria Williams, a ferii'J1•who often loses herself amidst the wilderness of politics, in •which she delights. We could have wished to have the cor* respondence of the unfortunate Lewis XVI. without such erroneous accompaniments.

Adown thy dales meand'ring currents glide,
Whose silver waves reflect thy various pride;
And farms and cottages, on ev'ry hand,
Pour forth their rural groups to dress the fertile land.

Around my natal soil I see,

The bless'd effects of peaceful industry;
And thine, fair Freedom! thine the gen'rous hand
That guards, improves, and dignifies the land.
If them but smile, fair Ceres' jocund train
Spread o'er the trembling swamp, th'unfertile plain;
Or, spend on wilds, or frowning heaths, the day,
While seasons rise, and gradual roll away:
At length subdu'd and tam'd th' obdurate soil,
Abundant harvests crown their various toil.
Pomona decks their trees with flow'ry gems,
With gold and rubies load the burden'd stems;
Or, vegetation's humbler powers expand
A painted carpet o'er the smiling land.
Hence population, in the arms of peace
Reclining, sees the social train increase;
Sees farms and cottages innumerous rise,
With recent churches pointing to the skies;
And Commerce, proudly bids her gay canals
Pierce through the hills, and shine alone the dales;
While o'er her streams the waving pennants fly,
And wealthy cities meet th' astonished eye.

Whose are yon roofs that rise beside the hill?
Whose humble names these decent mansions fill?

What, though nor stone, nor brick the walls sustain,
Nor slate, nor tile, avert the falling rain;
Content and happiness may there reside,
Nor breathe one sigh for seats of costly pride.
His little field th' industrious peasant plants.
Richly supplying all his domestic wants.

Whate'er of fruits the British islands know,
There bloom in spring, in fervid summer glow;
And though, Britannia, climates mild as thine,
Not India's spices boast, nor Gallic wine;
Though here no fig, nor priz'd anana grows,
Nor golden orange in thy vineyards glows;
Nor that sweet cane—the curse of many an isle—
Nor gold, nor diamonds sleep beneath thy soil;
Yet, thy own wealth attracts the richest stores,
With power magnetic, to thy favour'd shores.
And chief thy flocks, that crown each mountain's brow,
And deck each vale, from these thy riches flow;
These meet my view, innumerous, grazing wide,
Their unshorn lambs, yet sporting by their side,
Some destin'd soon, by unrelenting fate,
To smoke on tables of the rich and great;
But those of finest shape, and noblest size,
Again must view the vernal year arise,
Spread their young progeny around the land,
And yield their fleeces to the shearer's hand.
These eyes have seen when ant hills cloth'd yon fields,
And gorse where clover now its fragrance yields,
And swells its cluster'd flowers: behold how tall
The stem uprise, and waving wait their fall!

Hence fragrant ricks and glowing cones shall rise,
Reserv'd till vegetation shrinks and dies;
Till yon fair spotted tribes, that range the dale,
And frequent wait the ruddy milk-maid's pail,
View the gay plains where verdure wont to glow,
Incas'd in ice, or buried deep in snow.

Benignant clime! here autumn's choicest store
Fails not, while winter's latest tempests roar!
Far other scenes proclaim his tyrant reign,
Where chill Siberia bounds the northern main;
All powers of life and vegetation fled,
The fields repose as nature's self lay dead,
The earth to rock, the sea to crystal turns,
Till the bright sun with tropic splendor burns.

Yet, sure yon patient, woolly tribes demand The generous care of man's providing hand; Unless for them his shivering limbs must bear Th' enfeebling rigours of th' inclement year; And Ceres, still thy fostering care supplies Abundant food when wintry glooms arise.

But chief, when Phoebus' vivifying ray
Glows on the painted scenes of rosy May,
Where'er thy hand its plastic power applies,
Herbs, flowers, and fruits in rich profusion rise;
Vanish the glooms that mark the steril soil,
The rocks relent, the wildest deserts smile.

« PreviousContinue »