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you seen? how many faithful friendships? too much intimacy lays you bare; your little infirmities diminish respect, perhaps excite disgust; perhaps end in hatred. With the same persons, and those few, what chance of having yourself, or finding in them, the attachment, the good temper, and good sense necessary for bearing and forbearing? You have complained of being spit upon; but you can easily curse them, make a polite bow, and go away; but that would be no cause for breaking a closer attachment. Are not you conscious that you have observed since we have been so much together, some faults in me, not observed before? Have you no suspicion of reprisal ? ' All this I treated as misanthropic cant. He retorted upon me. 'What is your select attachment, but general intolerance? What is this syrup of concentrated affection, but an extraet from the wormwood of embittered irritability? When has any man ever found the male or the female inmate always equal, patient, and amiable? or even suppose it, will not sickness or death rend the bond, and leave you or them in a desert? As to me, I can bear almost every body, The grave digger I laugh at; I cannot weep over myself when I am gone, and I will not over any
body else.' He pressed me to say, if I seriously thought there was nothing in these topics. I told him that I had frequently been presented with them before, but was not exactly in a frame for an ulterius concilium.
“In truth, it was rather memory awakened than opinion shaken; but of this enough for the present.
"I found myself all abaft. We agreed to go to the Chambre des Deputés-I continue to feel an increasing dislike of everything here. I probably shan't remain long;-I have left some things in Ireland unsettled, that I must arrange. However I may dispose of myself hereafter, England cannot arrest me long. My malady, a constitutional dejection, can hope for no remedy in water or in wine. In general, the benefit of those places is attributed to the attendant temperance; but, a person little given to excess anywhere, has not much to add in that way; and as to evening parties, I never liked them, nor was fit for them, I have therefore given my evenings to the theatres. I prefer them to the English, notwithstanding the difficulty of a foreign language. I prefer the style of their stage to ours; ours always appears to me flat and dull, with never more than one
or two of tolerable merit; on the contrary, here you never find any very bad, &c.
"I am not sorry for having come hither when I did; perhaps you see society better when cut into piecemeal; as in anatomy, everything is laid bare to the student. Perhaps it is seen to great disadvantage. The best lesson that man can learn, is toleration, and travelling ought to be the best school. There are many points in which this people must be allowed praise: lively, cheerful, a constitutional philosophy, disposing them to be always satisfied. I wish, as to government, they could be brought to an anchor. Whether this is to happen, who can tell ? Nothing can be more divided than the general sentiment: the higher military men have got safe into harbour, and wish, perhaps, for quiet; all under them most discontented: long arrears due. They cannot employ them abroad for want of money, and when the devil is raised, and can't be kept at work, we know the story.
"I had almost made up my mind to bestow a citizen upon France, and I am mortified to find any drag upon the intention—yet a drag there is. I have no poubt that the revolution has thrown that country
a century back; yet she has qualities that might have hoped a better destiny. It has been suggested to me that a winter in Paris might answer better.
A few days must now, I think, take me across. think of meeting some persons at Cheltenham ; as to waters, I suspect they are seldom of use; I am quite decided against them, until Charon pledges me on the Styx."
Mr. Curran's health was evidently declining when he wrote these letters (he died at Brompton, of apoplexy, on the 14th October, 1817, in the 68th year of his age), which, probably, induced him to look at objects in a melancholy point of view. And yet, what is melancholy? but:
"The telescope of truth,
Which strips the distance of its fantasies,
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream," on account of Captain Maxwell having presented me today with "The Picture of Manchester," embellished with the map of the town, and numerous engravings; an interesting and an acceptable gift, a sort of an
"Oasis in the desert," it being a pleasant thing to meet with a picture of one's native town in a strange place-thousands of miles off,—a sort of melancholy pleasure, in which, I verily believe, the soul delighteth. As Savage sings
Oh, memory! thou soul of joy and pain,
(Our captain says the difference to-day, (our latitude being 41, 39,) between our time and Greenwich, is thus:-When it is one, p. m. to-day with us, it is sixteen minutes past five at Greenwich).
Captain M. also offers to sell me a handsome black girl, seventeen years old, and her (not his) boy, one and a half years old, ready cut and dried, for £7. (Memdum.-think about this.) But had better, perhaps, examine first of all into his title, as I find upon enquiry, that in 1820 the Legislature of New York passed an act, to take effect on the 4th ult., to abolish slavery in that state,-so might buy a pig in a poke." He says he paid £6 for Africana before the birth of young Scipio.