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Such was the effe t produced upon the pretty group of Bibb, s by this unexpected harangue; and, I confess, I participated so much in their feelings, that I was not a little alarmed when the orator, turning with a look of ineffable contempt from her dismayed auditors, addressed herself to me.— Nor did it greatly tend to relieve me, when I discovered that it was Miss Ardent, who thus did me the honour of introducing herself to my acquaintance. My friend, the Philosopher, had said enough to frighten me at the idea of holding any communication with a learned Lady. I found her, however, not quite so formidable as I had at first apprehended. She, indeed, soon found means not only to reconcile me to her company, but to render it quite charming. She directed the conversation to the delightful subject of my dear native country at her desire, I described to her the peculiar charms of the blooming landscape, whose exhilarating beauties gladden the hearts of the happy inhabitants of Almora. I painted to her

imagination the immeasureable forest, whose trees have their sky-touching heads overshadowed by the venerable mountains of Cummow : I talked of the thundering tor. rents which are dashed from the stupendous rocks, and which, delighted at their escape from the frozen North, run to hide themselves in the bosom of the Ganga. I told her of the names which they assumed upon their route, expatiated on the charming banks which adorned the course of the rapid Gumtry, and of the playful meanderings of the Gurra. I had likewise the honour of explaining to her the present political state of the country; it is a subject upon which, since I have been in England, I have seldom had any opportunity, and still seldomer any satisfaction in conversing. In all that relates to our country, I have indeed found these western lovers of science most deplorably ignorant. You may believe it impressed me with a very high idea of the superiour powers of Miss Ardent's mind, when I found that she had particular atten

tion to every thing connected with the history or literature of India. But even Miss Ardent has her prejudices, and I did not find it a very easy matter to convince her that the Mahhabaret was superiour to the Iliad of Homer: or that Calidas was a dramatick Poet equal in excellence to Shakspeare. You will smile at her prejudices; but consider, my dear friend, what you would think of the arrogance of any foreigner, who should have the presumption to put the works of his countrymen in competition with those divine Bards, and you will learn to make allowances for this Lady. She was surprised to hear that I had not yet been to see the representation of an English Natack, here called a play, and invited me to be of her party to see the performance of one the following evening. I was charmed with the invitation ; and did not fail in my attendance on the letter-loving Bibby at the time appointed. The building appropriated to this amusement belongs to the King, and is called his

Theatre; and to it he sends his servants for the diversion of the publick. They are not, however, paid by their Master, but, like all the servants of the English nobility, are paid by the visitors. Nor are they so modest as some that I have seen at the royal palaces and gardens, who never asked for their wages until they had gratified my curiosity; but these stipulated for a certain sum, and demanded it before they permitted me to enter. My expectations in respect to the magnificence of the building and the splendour of its decorations were somewhat disappointed: but upon the whole it is very well contrived for seeing and hearing the performers. —In front of the stage is an aisle larger than that in the church, in which the people are, however, treated with more respect, being all accommodated with seats: and I could perceive that here their marked approbation of any passage excited some degree of attention in the great people who sat in the little pews above them: and although WOL. 1 t . 10

among these great people some appeared to regard the Natack as little as the sermon, talking and whispering almost as much at the theatre as they had done in church; yet the performance was here, in general, much better attended to by all who had the enjoyment of their senses.—You will think this a strange exception—but you must know, that a part of the royal theatre is peculiarly appropriated to the reception of a species of lunaticks, called Bucks, who are indeed very noisy and troublesome ; but who are treated with an amazing degree of lenity and forbearance by the benevolent people, who bestow upon them the pity that is due to their unhappy situation. Great part of the entertainment seemed, indeed, calculated for their amusement, as it is well known that the eye can be gratified by the display of gaudy colours, even where the mind is destitute of the gift of reason. This respect to folly was, however, in my opinion, carried too far; and though I should have been well pleased to

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