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have felt an inclination to view a scene, to the description of which, it appeared, they were «no strangers.- But, alas! to the worshipper of systems, the fair face of Nature has no charms!-In vain, for him, does the appearance of Arjoon tinge the cheeks of the * cup-bearers of the sky, with the crimson blush of glad. nels! In vain, for him, do the robes of the feasons, wove in the changeful looms of Nature, present the ceaseless charm of variety! În vain, for him, fimiles the soft beauties of the blooming valley, when the linnet, fitting on his rofe-bush, fings forth the praises of the spring! And equally in vain, for him, doth Nature expose to view the terrors of her wonder-working arm, in the scenes of sublimity and grandeur ! Midst all the beauties of creation, a phi. losopher fees nothing beautiful, but the jystem which be worships !
Happily for me, Mr. Trueman, the steward of Sir Caprice, was a stranger to systems; but had cultivated so much taste for the beauties of rural landscape, as enabled him to point out to my obfervation, a thousand charms, which might otherwise have escaped my notice. Nor was this the only benefit I derived from his society. From his plain
* An appellation for the Clouds, which frequently occurs in Alaric Poetry.
good fense, I received more real and use. ful information ; in our ride of four hours, than I had gained in nearly as many weeks, in the company of the philosophers..
For the distance of many miles round Ardent-Hall, the country is irregular and undulating. It abounds in trees, which, though they boast not the height of the Mango, or the vast circumference of the Banyan, are neither deftitute of grandeur, nor of beauty. These are not clumped · together in folenn groves, or gloomy jungles; but are so planted, as to furround the small fields into which the country is divided; each of which fmall enclosures, now fraught with the riches of the yellow harvest, appears like a “ Topaz in a setting of Emeralds.” The chearful aspect of the peasants, busily employed in cutting down the grain, while their fancies seemed to revel in the scene of plenty, excited the most pleasurable emotions in my heart; for who but a philofopher, can “ breathe the air of hilarity, and not partake of the intoxication of delight *?"
The scene, however, soon changed: an extensive plain opened before us, where no
* In several passages of this Letter, the Rajah feems to have adopted the imagery of the Perfian Poet Inatulla, of Delhi with whose writirgs, he was, doubtless, well acquainted.
yellow harvest waved its golden headwhere no tall trees afforded shelter to. the traveller-all was waste and barren. Upon inquiring of my intelligent companion, the reason of this wonderful change, he could only inform me, that this was called a Common, and that it could not be cultivated, without a solemn act of the Legislature. I now perceived, that it was from reasons of state, that these great portions of land (for Comnions occur very frequently in England) were suffered to remain desolate; but in vain did I endeavour to discover the motives, which could induce the government to lay this restraint on cultivation.
As geefe appeared to have here an exclusive right of pasturage, I was inclined tò think, that they might, perhaps, be the objects of fuperftitious veneration to the English court; but on applying to my guide, I found, that geese were not of the number of protetied animals; and that far from being honoured' in the manner of those which are called Game, the murder of a goofe might be performed without ceremony, by the most ignoble hands. Perhaps, thought I, it is from the benevolent regard of the minifter towards the old women who keep these
noisy flocks; but, alas! a little reflection convinced me, that the age of reason, is not yet fufficiently established, to countenance the fuppofition. It must, then, be from the pious apprehension of en. dangering the virtue of the people, by an overflow of plenty.-If this be really the case-it must be confessed, that à more
effectual method could not be taken to : briug about the desired end.
Having passed the commons, we entered into a deep and narrow valley, overhung with frowning rocks; these seemed frequently to close upon us, and fternly to deny all access to the interior scene. A filver stream, which alternately kissed the fect of the precipices on each side, encouraged us to proceed, and gently conducted us to the furthermoft eod of the valley. It was here, that the glories of the cataract burst upon our lenses:--- But how shall my feeble pen, do justice to such a scene? Can I, by description, ftun the ears of Maandaara, with the thunder of the falling waters; or, present to his imagination, the grotesque figures of the rocks, surrounding the magnificent bason into which they fell? Can I bring terror to his bosom, by the meation of the over-jutting crags, which, on one side, topped the precipice;
gently the valle cataract bung feeble pehy
or produce in his mind, the senfation of delight, by a minute description of the various trees and shrubs, whose thick foliage ornamented the opposite bank?Ah no! The talk is impossible; or poffible only to the magic pen of poetry. By Zaarmilla, it must be passed over in filence!, . We returned to Ardent-Hall, as the chariot of Suiraya was finking behind the distant bills. On approaching the house, we beheld a scene of extraordinary conmotion. All was hurry and confusion. Men and boys, household fervants and labourers, all seemed engaged in the pursuit of some invisible object. At one part of the lawn, we beheld Doctor Scepiic and Mr. Puzzledorf, cautiously itepping along, and carefully peeping into every bush they paffed; at another place, we saw Sir Caprice, attended by the rest of the philosophers, carrying a large net-which, with much care, they foftly spread upon a hedge, and then be. gan'to beat the roots of the flirubs that composed it, in the most furious manper.
.66 What is the matter?” cried my companion, to a lad who was running palt us. " What is the occasion of all this bustle? What, in the name of good. ness, are you all about?” “ Catching
faw Sir Lofophers., care, there