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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 iystems, 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 iky, with the crimson blush of gladness! In vain, for him, do the robes of the seasons, wove in the changeful looms of Nature, present the ceaseless charm of variety! In vain, for him, smiles the soft beauties of the blooming valley, when the liunet, fitting on his rose-bush, sings 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 philosopher sees nothing beautiful, but the system 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 observation, 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 Asiatic Poetry.
good sense, I received more real and usesill 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 abouuds in trees, which, though they boast not the height of the Mango, or the vast circumserence of the Banyan, are neither destitute of grandeur, nor'of beauty. These are not clumped together in solemn groves, or gloomy jungles; but are so planted, as to surround the small fields into which the country is divided; each of which small enclosures, now fraught with die riches of the yeTlow harvest, appears like a " Topaz in a setting of Emeralds." The chearful aspect 0/ 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 philosopher, can "breathe the air of hilarity, and not partake of the intoxication of delight *?''
The scene, however, soon changed: anextensive plain opened before us, where no
* In several passages of this Letter, the Raiah feems to have adopted the imagery of the Persian
Poet Inatulla, of Delhi with whose writings,
ke was, doubtless, well acquainted.
yellow harvest waved its golden head— where 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 perceivedy that it was from reasons of slate, that these great portions of land (for Commons 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 geese appeared to have here art exclusive right of pasturage, I was inclined ro think, that they might, perhaps, be the objects of superstitious veneration to the English court; but on applying to my guide, I found, that geese were not of the number of protected animals; and1 that fir from being honoured'in the manner of those which are called Game, the murder of a goose might be performed -w ithout ceremony,- by the most ignoble hand*. Perhaps, thought I, it is from the benevolent regard of.the minister towards the old women who keep these noisy flocks; but, alas! a little reflection convinced me, that the age of reason, is not yet sufficiently established, to countenance the supposition. It must, then, be from the pious apprehension of endangering the virtue of the people, by an overflow of plenty.—If this be really the cafe—it must be confessed, that a more .effectual method could not be taken to bring about the desired end.
Having passed the commons, we entered into a deep and narrow valley, overhung with frowning rocks; these seemed frequently to tlose upon us, and sternly to deny all access to the interior scene. A silver stream, which alternately kissed the sect of the precipices on each side, encouraged us to proceed, and gently conducted U3 to the furthermost end 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, stun the ears of Maandaara, with the thunder of the falling waters; or, present to his imagination, the grotesque iigures of the rocks, surrounding the magnificent bason into which they fell? Can I bring terror to his bosom, by the mention of the over-jutting crags, which, on one side, topped the precipice;
or produce in his mind, the sensation of delight, by a minute description of the various] trees and shrubs, whose thick foliage ornamented the opposite bank?— Ah no! The task is impossible; or possible only to the magic pen of poetry. By Zaarmilla, it must be passed over in silence!
We returned to Ardent-Hall, as the thaiiot of Suiraya was sinking tehind the distant hills. On approaching the house, we beheld a scene of extraordinary commotion. All was hurry and confusion.— Men and boys, household servants and labourers, all seemed engaged - in the pursuit of some invisible object. At one part of the lawn, we beheld Doctor Sceptic and Mr. Puzzledorf, cautiously stepping along, and carefully peeping into every bush they passed; at another place, we saw Sir Caprice, attended by the rest of the philosophers, carrying a large net—which, with much care, they softly spread upon a hedge, and then began to beat the roots of the shrubs that composed it, in the most furious manner.
"What is the matter?" cried my companion, to a lad who was running pall us. "What is the occasion of all this bustle? What, in the name of goodness, are you all about?" "Catching