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was easy for me to give in English; it having been my custom to write down" such conversations as I intended to recite to you, in that language, and after having given it to some English friend to translate, have from the corrected copy made translations intended for your use.
Mr. Denbeigh was much entertained with my account of the philosophers, but said, " if it was known in England, people would think that I intended to turn philosophy itself into ridicule." Thus it is that the designs of authors are mistaken! Perhaps this is not the only passage in my letters that might, to an English reader, appear to be absurd.—Happily they will never be exposed to any eye, save that of my friend.— It is therefore sufficient if to him they convey a picture of the truth, such as it appears to the* mind of Zaarmilla.
I have already hinted my astonishment at the number of new books that are every year produced in England; but now that I know what these books have to encounter, before they fight their way into the world, my astonishment is increased tenfold! many and various are the evils which these poor adventurers have to encounter. Besides the smarting, though superficial wounds, which they may expect to receive from the small-shot of the ladies and gentlemen,genteely educated; who call every thingJluftd that is beyond the limits of their slender comprehensions, they have to sustain the heavy blows of those who cut down every thing as nonsense, that swerves from the beaten track over which they have been accustomed to trot. Should they be endowed with sufficient strength to survive the attack of both these adversaries, they have still to pass before the formidable phalanx of Reviewers, each of whom, like the mighty Carticeya*, brandishes in his hundred arms a hundred instruments of destruction. These terrible Genii are said to judge of books by the smell, and when that has happened to be offensive to their nostrils, have been known, by one wellaimed dart, to transfix an unfortunate book to the shelves of the booksellers' lhops for ever. But with the powerful is found mercy. Instead of the dread weapons of war, these imitators of the sons of the Mountain-born Goddess, sometimes condescend gently to tickle the trembling adventurer with a feather plucked from the plumage of the Peacock.
* The Hindoo God os War. He is represented with six faces, and a number of hands, in each of which he brandiflies a weapon. He rides upon a peacock- and is usually sound in company with his Mother Parvati, or the Mountain Goddess, one of the characters of the coasor; of Seera. See Asiatic Researches, vol. ii.
Ah! if ever a friend of Zaarmilla's ventures to fend forth a book into the world, may it find these terrible Reviewers in this favourable mood! May its perfume be pleasing to their nostrils, and its form find favour in their fight!!
I have just received a letter from my friend Severan, it contains the desirable information, that a ship will in a few weeks fail for India—the commander of which, is his particular friend. In it I shall take my passage—and if the powerful Varuna is favourable to my prayers, shall, in the progress of a few returning moons, again behold the blessed shores of Hindoostan. O thought replete with extacy ! How does the bosom of Zaarmilla pant, for the period of thy realization !—Yet shall Lnot purchase that felicity, without having paid the debt of Anguish, in many a tear; before my eyes can be solaced by beholding the companions of my youth, they must have been moistened with the sorrow of an eternal separation from every English friend.
From this amiable family, from the
worthy Denbeigh, and the excellent Seve
. ran, I shall have been parted for ever.— But the remembrance cf their virtues shall be the companions of my lise; and the idea of their happiness shall solace every hour of my existence.
Nothing can equal the delight of my friend Severan, at the success of his experiment; which has opened a new field for discovery, of which he will not be slow to take possession. It is a peculiar advantage attendant upon science, that the gratification it affords is not more delightful to the individual, than beneficial to society; and it is this consideration that enhances every enjoyment of the scientific philosopher.
I cannot help thinking, that this fort of philosophy is more savourable to the happiness of its votaries, than that fort professed at Ardent-Hall; but this may be owing to the advantages enjoyed by the former, of a happier method of conducting their experiments. It certainly does not arise iu the latter from any want of zeal, or from a backwardness to repeat experiments, that have already been found unsuccessful. As a proof of this, my friend Severan informs me, that Mr. Axiom, has persuaded Miss Ardent to accompany him ro the Continent, on an experiment oiabjlraft principle, which, he fays—" should put a learned female
above the censure of the world." My friend seems to doubt whether the result of this experiment, will bring peace to the poor Lady's bosom; and adds, "that it would be no less surprising, to see the flame of the taper brighten, on being plunged into mephitic air, than that a female, who bids defiance to modesty and decorum, should preserve her honour and her peace."
Miss Ardent has resigned her charge of the younger daughter of Sir Caprice, to Lady Grey. The eldest daughter of the Baronet, the Novel-reading Julia, has -it seems, suffered much from the unexpected metamorphosis of a charming swain; who, soon after he had introduced himself to her acquaintance, as a hero of exalted sentiment and tender sensibility, was unfortupately recognized by certain sagacious men, from a place called Bowstreet to be one of the tribe of Swindlers— the discovery gave such a shock to the nerves of the young Lady, that she has been ordered to a place called Bath, for the recovery of her health. Thither her father and mother have accompanied her; and there the former, at the iiistigarion of a teacher of a sect called Methodists, has renounced the pooiah ofSvstem; and, instead of buildiuar