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(ha'ppily-for-us,) carried it exactly to the si'de/ opposite to thoat/ where'on we were pla'ced. The crater is so h'ot, that it is very dan'gerous, if not impossible, to go do wn-into-it; bes'ides, the smoʻke/ is very incomm'odious, and/ in many pla'ces, the surface is so s'oft/ that there have been instances of people sinking do'wn-in-it, and paying/ for their teme'rity/ with their live's. Near the centre of the cr'ater/ is the grea't-mouth of the vo'lcano ;
that tremen^dous-gulf/ so celebrated in all a'ges, looked-upon/ as the terror and sco'urge/ bo`th of this and another-life. We beheld it with awe and with hor'ror.
On our arrival within the confines of the Regione Sylv'osi, (which is the tem'perate-region,)—we seemed to have g'ot/ into ano'ther-world.* The a'ir, (which before was su'ltry and h'ot,) was now cool and refreshing; and every bree'ze was loa'ded with a thousand perfumes, (the whole gro'und being covered oʻver/ with the ric'hest/ aroma'tic-plants.)—Many parts of this region are surely the most hea'venly-spots upon earth; a'nd/ if Ætna resembles hell with in, it m'ay (with equal ju'stice) be said to resemble pa“radise with out!
It is indeed a curious considera'tion, that this mountain should r'e-un'ite every beau'ty and every hoorror ; an'd, in sho'rt, all the most op'posite and dissimilar ob'jects/in'-nature. He're/ you observe a g'ulf, that formerly threw out torrents of fi're, no'w covered with the most luxuriant vege’tation, a'nd, from an ob'ject of terror, become one of delight! He're/you gather the most delicious fruit, rising from what was lately but a black/ and bar'ren-rock. Here the ground is covered with every fo'wer, a’nd/ we wander over these beauties, and contem plate this wilderness of sw'eets, without considering that h'ell (with all its te'rrors,) is immediately under our fe'et; and, that but a few ya'rds/ se'parate us from la'kes of liqu'id-fire and brim'stone.
But our astonishment sti'll-increases/ on casting our eyes on the higher regions of the mou'ntain. The're we beh'old, (in perpetual u’nion,) the two'-elements, that are at perpetual wa'r; an immen'se-gulf of fir'e, (for ever existing in the mi'dst of sno'ws, whi'ch/ it has not pow'er/ to m'elt ;) and immense fields of sno'w and i'ce (for ever surrounding this gulf of fi're,) whi'ch/ they have not po wer/ to exti'nguish.
* Though in general use, it is not strictly correct for the present perfect of the Infinitive Mood to succeed the past of the Indicative ;=“We seemed to get," would therefore be more agreeable to Rule.
THE COUNTRY NEAR PALERMO, CONTRASTED
BRYDONE. We were amazed at the richness of the croʻps, far superior to any thing I had ever se'en/ either in Eng'land or Fla’nders, where the happy soil is assis'ted by all the arts of cultivation ; whilst here, the wretched hu'sbandman can hardly affo'rd to give it a fu'rrow; and gathers-in, (with a heavy heart, the most lu'xuriant har'vest. The fertil'ity of many of the pla'ins/ is truly aston'ishing, without inclosures, without man'ure, a'nd/ almo'st/ without culture. It is with reason that Si’cily/ was styled the gra'nary of the Roman-Empire.-Were it cu'ltivated, it would still be the great gra’nary of E'urope. Pliny sa'ys, it yielded a hu'ndred for one; and Diodorus, (who was a native of the Island, and wrote on the sp'ot,) as'suresus/ that it produced wheat and other gr’ain/ spontaneously ; and Hoomer/ advances the same fa'ct/ in the Odyssey.
The soil untilled / a ready ha'rvest yiel'ds,
And Jove desce'nds/ in eaʼch, proli'fic-shower. B'ut/ to what pu^rpose is all this bou’nty/ bestowed upon the h'usbandman ? o'nly/ to lie a dead weight upon his h'and, som'etimes till it is entirely lo'st; (exportation being prohibited to a'll/ who cannot pay ex'orbitantly-for-it/ to the so'vereign.) The poor people of the village (a village in the vicinity of Pale'rmo) have found us ou't ; an'd/ with looks full of mi’sery, have surrounded our do'or. Accurs'ed-tyranny ! what despicable-objects we become in th'y-hands! is it not inconce'ivable/ how an'y-government should be able to render poo'r and wretched, a country/ which prod'uces (almost sponta'neously,) e'very-thing/ that even lu xury can desi’re ? B'ut ala's ! poverty and wretchedness/ have ever attended the Spanish yo'ke, both on thi's, and the other-side-the-globe. They make it their bo‘ast/ that the sun never se^ts/ on their dom’inions, but forget, th'at/ since they became su'ch, they have left him nothing to see in his coʻurse, but-deserted fields, barren wildernesses, oppressed te'nants, and la zy,
ly’ing, worth less-monks. Suc'h are the fruits of their boasted con quests! They ought rather to be ashamed that ever the sun should see them at all! The sight-of-these-poor-pe'ople/ has filled me with indigna'tion. This village is surrounded by the finest country in the world, yet there was neither bre’ad nor win'e/ to be fou'nd-in-it, and the poor inh'abitants/ appeared more than ha'lf-starved. What a contrast is there between th'is, and the little uncou'th-country of Swi'tzerland! The dreadful consequences of oppression, can never be set in a more strik'ing-opposition to the bl'essings and the char'ms-of liberty! Switzerland, the very excres'cence of Eu'rope, (where nature seems to have thrown out all her cold and stagnating h'umours,) full of lakes, mar'shes, and wo'ods, and surrounded by immense rocks, and everlasting mo'untains of ic'e,-(the barren, but sa'cred-ramparts of liberty !)—S'witzerland, enjoy'ing every ble’ssing, where every bles'sing seems to have been den'ied ; whilst Sicily, (covered by the most luxuriant h’and of Nature, where heaven seems to have showered-down its ri chest-blessings/ with the utmost prodigʻality,) gro'ans under the most a'bject-poverty, a'nd/ with a pa'le and wa'n vissage, sta'rves in the m'idst of plen'ty. It is LIBERTY alo'ne/ that works this standing m'iracle ! Under her plastic h’ands/ the mou'ntains si'nk, the lak’es are drai'ned ; and these roc'ks, these mar'shes, these wo'ods, become so many sources of we'alth/ and of plea'sure.
“ Here'l reigns cont’ent,
6 'Tis in'dustry, supplies
-We shall shortly leave I'taly, for the deligʻhtful, cool-mountains-of Swiotzerland; where Liberty and Simpli'city, (long since banished from po'lished na'tions,) still flou'rish/ in their original p'urity ; where the te'mperature and moderation of the climate, and tha’t of the inh'abitants, are mutually emblem'atical of eac'h-other. For/ whilst o'ther-nations are scorched by the heʼat of the su'n, and the still more scorching heats of tyr'anny and superstition ; he're the genial breezes for ever fa'n the ai'r, and heighten that ala'crity and jo'y/ which liberty and innocence alone can inspi’re ;-here the genial flow of the sou'l/ has never yet been cheʼcked by i'dle and useless refin'ements, but op'ens and expan'ds-itself to all the c'alls of affec'tion and benevolence.
ON READING THE COMMON PRAYER.
Swift. The reading of the Common Prayer we'll, is of so great importance, and so much negl’ected, that I take the liberty to offer to your consider'ation/ some parti'culars/ on the su'bject.
It is indeed wonderful, that the frequent exercise-of its should not make the performers of that duty more exp'ert-init. This i'nability, (as I conc'eive,) proceeds from the little care/ that is taken of their read'ing, while boʻys, and at school, whe're, (when they are got into L'atin,) they are looked upon as abo've En‘glish, the reading-of-which/ is wholly negle'cted, or/ at lea'st/ read' to very little-purpose, without any due observations made to them of the proper ac'cent and man'nerof-reading ; by this means they have acqui'red such ill-h'abits,* as will not e'asily be rem'oved. The only way that I know of to remedy-this, is/ tot propose some person of great ability th’at-way, as a pa'ttern-to-them; (example/ being most effectual, to convince the le’arned, as well as to ins'truct the i'gnorant.)
You must know, Sir, I have been a constant fr'equenter of the service of the Church of E'ngland, for above these four ye'ars, an'd/ till last Su'nday, never discovered/ to so great a degʻree/ the excellency of the Co'mmon-Prayer ; I heard the s'ervice-read/ s'o distinctly, s'o emphatically, and s'o fe'rvently, that it was next to an impossibili ty/ to be in'atte’ntive. My ey'es and thoug'hts/ could not wander as u'sual, but were confin'ed to my pray'ers ; I then considered I addressed myself to the Almighty ;I and/ when I reflected on my for mer performances of that-duty, I found I had run it over as a matter of for'm, in compa'rison to the man'ner/ in'-which/ I the'n dischar'ged it. My mind was really affe'cted, and fervent wi'shes/ accom
* Whether “ acquired” is considered as an adjective or a participle, Mr. Walker seems to think the “ed” should be pronounced as a distinct syllable.
† For the pause coming between the verbs, see page 29 of the " Outline."
It is to be lamented that we rarely hear this thrillingly sublime and beautiful word rightly pronounced, even in “the reading desk and pulpit !" If judiciously spoken, with two accents, as here marked, it can hardly fail distinctly to elicit the comprehensive meaning of this wonderful appellation of “the Great First Cause,” and produce a corresponding EFFECT.
'panied my woʻrds. The conFESSION/ was read with such a res'igned humility, and the THAN^KSGIVING/ with such a religious-joy, as made me feel those affec'tions of the mi’nd/ in a man'ner/ I never d'id-before. To re'medy, theʼrefore, the grievance above complai'ned-of, I humbly* propo'se, that this e'xcellent-reader (upon the n'ext, and every annual assembly of the cler'gy of Sion-coʻllege) should read prayers
befo'rethem. For then', thoʻse that are afraid of stretching their mout'hs, and spoiling their soft vo'ices, will learn to read with cle'arness, loʻudness, and strength. Ot'hers/ that affect a ra'kish, ne'gligent-air (by folding their arm's, and lol'ling on their b'ook) will be taught a decent behaviour, and a comely ere'ction of body. Tho'se/ that read fa'st (as if impa'tient of their woʻrk) may learn to speak delib'erately. There is ano'ther-sort-of-persons/ whom I call Pinda'ric-readers, as being confined to no se't-measure ; the’se/ pronounce five or six words with great deliber'ation, and the five or six s'ubsequent-ones with as great cele'rity: the first part of the se'ntence with a very ex'alted-voice, and the la'tter-part/ with a very submis sive one; sometimes, aga in, with one sort of a ton'e, and immediately a'fter/ with a very different one : These ge’ntlemen/ will learn of my adm`ired-reader/ an e'venness of vo'ice and delivery; and a'll/ who are innocent of these affecta'tions, but read with such an indifferency, as if they did not understand the la'nguage, may then be informed of the art of reading mo'vingly and fer'vently, h'ow to place the e'mphasis, and give the proper ac'cent to each woʻrd, and how to vary the vo'ice/ according to the n'ature of the se'ntence. There is certainly a very great difference between the reading a prayer and a gaz'ette, which I beg of you to inform a set of readers, who aff'ect, (forsooth) à certain/ gentleman
* In the pronunciation of humble and humbly, Mr. Walker contends that the h should not be aspirated, and that this adjective and adverb should be pronounced as if written umble and umbly. Mrs. Siddons and Mr, Kemble, however, and some other individuals hardly less eminent, distinctly sounded the h in these words; and considered the withholding of the aspiration as weakening the force of their meaning. My opinion is, that it should be aspirated, though as slightly as possible. ED.