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IN perusing the very entertaining narrative of a philosophical traveller, to whose elegant and instructive letters we have always given a cheerful welcome, we should be unjust to Merit, if we did not explicitly declare that, in our unbiassed opinion, they are superior to a majority of similar compositions, which appear from the presses of Europe. In the Monthly Magazine, a work of established reputation, and in the Athenæum, adorned by the distinguished name of DR. AIKIN, the copious narratives of indefatigable tourists are constantly occurring. Rambles through France or Spain; excursions to Switzerland and the Alps; descriptions of the olive groves of Pisa; the vales of Arno; the myrtles of Tuscany, and the shores of the Mediterranean crowd the ephemeral page. Moreover we are treated with Tours to the Lakes, Tours to Wales, and Tours to Scotland, Sir John Carr visits Ireland for our edification and his own, returns to make a book of his adventures, George Keate trips to Margate, and Mr. Moonshine visits Brighton,

"And wind the lengthened tale through many a page."

The remotest sections of Great Britain are explored by curious visitants, who, on their return to the capital, generously impart to some Maecenas Magaziner" all the gleanings and gatherings of a summer's ramble. The hills of Yorkshire are strode over by many a sturdy pedestrian for no other purpo se, as it might seem, than to tell wondering mortals that he saw the outside of Lord Revel's house, or made a very comfortable breakfast at the Sign of the Harrow.

* On the authority of GOLDSMITH, the purest writer in the English language, the Editor employs this very happy and humorous word to designate that luckless wight, the conductor of a Literary Journal.

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In addition to all this sort of lore, for which both writers and readers appear to have a mutual passion, we find the Public Journals overflowing with Tours to Bath, or Trips to Scarborough, and, to add to our astonishment, even the woods and the red men of our western wilderness, have their historian, and Mr. Thomas Ashe or Mr. R. Dinsmore perfectly amaze us with prodigious and most marvellous accounts of the dry bones of the Mammoth, or the Salt Licks of Kentucky. As we are much addicted to the reading of Magazines and other fugitive pamphlets of a similar complexion, scarcely any of these narratives have escaped our attention. Notwithstanding that many of them flow from the pens of scholars, and men of Genius and Observation, still we are often disgusted with idle trash and trivial details. To the honour of the American Gentleman, the author of the Letters before us, we find nothing in his agreeable story but what challenges our approbation. We are much more than amused by his Letters, we are instructed too. On the important topics of the French and Swiss Revolutions we have derived much valuable information. We have a perfect reliance upon his fidelity as a narrator, and he appears to us to be remarkably studious of philosophical precision. The style of these Letters is appropriate and happy, and may securely invite a liberal comparison with any European compositions by fashionable Tourists.

This opinion, however frank, it is highly probable may not be much valued by our Traveller, because it is the opinion of one, who, cloistered from the world, and conversant chiefly with books, sees men only at a distance, and “ migrates only from the blue bed to the brown." But if the Editor's judgment be wholly contemned, our friend Mr. K-, may be gratified by the assurance, that the general suffrage is greatly in his favour, that the Editor, hearkening at the avenue of public opinion, listens to no murmurs but those which should be sweet to the ears of our Tourist; and, above all, that many enlightened foreigners speak with high respect of his work, and quote him as valid authority.

LETTERS FROM GENEVA AND FRANCE.

Written during a residence of between two and three years in different parts of those countries, and addressed to a lady in Virginia.

LETTER LXI.

ALL that appears externally of the Temple, are three or four gloomy towers, which have succeeded to the Bastile of former times; and it is in these, and in the subterraneous vaults below, if we are to believe the reports of Paris, that scenes take place, whose lightest word" would harrow up the soul;" it was here the gallant Pichegru died, and it was here that captain Wright breathed his last. Whatever may have been the fate of the first, I cannot believe that the latter suffered from the hand of violence; for I cannot perceive any advantage that could possibly result from it to the person, who alone

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might order the perpetration of such a deed. It is certain, however, (I have it from such good authority that I may venture to assert it;} it is certain that his nephew and another young man, who were transferred with him to the Temple, when he was taken, were threatened with the torture, to make them confess some circumstance which the government was desirous of being able to prove; they were resolute, however, in their refusal, and afterwards sent to Verdun. If you stretch a thread from the corner of the Rue Corderie, near the Temple, to the centre of the Place Royale, which is not far from the Bastile, you will pass through the middle of the Pont of Paris, which is called the Marais; in Madame de Sevigne's time, it was fashionable to reside there, and La Bruyere mentions its being the ton to go to mass in the Marais. It is at present the peaceful retreat of persons of small fortune, or of such as have become moderately rich elsewhere, and wish to pass the rest of their days in tranquil obscurity. There are few or no equipages in the streets, and not many people; and they, as well as the shops, have an air of belonging to a different age, or a different nation, from every thing that one sees in the Rue St. Honori, or at the Palais Royalc. The hours of these quiet people too, are entirely different from those of the other end of the town; they dine at twelve, as their ancestors used to do, and are in bed before the gayer part of Paris have taken their tea. If you follow the thread which I have placed in your hands, it will lead you across the Vieille Rue du Temple, not far from the former Convent of St. Gervais, and near the spot where the Duke of Orleans was assassinated, by the orders of that Duke of Burgundy who was afterwards assassinated himself, at Montereau: he was a handsome, gay and good-humoured man, but indiscreet in his avowed admiration of every face that pleased him, and careless in the recital of his adventures; it was a circumstance of this sort, that drew down upon him the vengeance of the Duke of Burgundy. The same direction will immediately afterwards, carry you to the Rue Culture Saint Catherine, at the corner of which, and the Rue Franc Bourgeois, stands the Hotel de Carnevalet, where Madame de Sevignè resided: it is a large and handsome house, with court-yard in front; it remains precisely as it was in her time, and is let out to a variety of lodgers, who know by tradition, that Madame de Sevigne's apartments were on the first floor in front. We entered the court for a moment, and could not but think of Mr. de la Rochefoucault and

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Gourville, and Madame de la Fayette, and the amiable and spritely Madame de Coulanges, and the little round man her husband, and of the numbers of high rank, of distinguished beauty, of great abilities, and of singular character, who had entered the same gateway, and gone up the same steps before us, and have since been carried down the stream of time: I am too much indebted for amusement, at various moments of my life, to Madame de Sevignè, not to have paid this mark of respect to her memory; I even regret, that I did not visit the ruins of the Castle of Grignan, notwithstanding the outrages that had taken place there. If ever there was a book for all hours, and for all situations, it is Madame de Sevigne's letters. With hardly any greater effort of the mind, than the lazy exercise of smoaking would require, we enjoy the conversation of an amiable and well-informed woman; and whether she is sitting by the fire with the Chevalier, and talking of their common interests and of the ways of Providence, or at a supper at Gourville's, or in conversation with Louis XIV, after the play at St. Cyr, or going to visit a sick friend, or going to prayers, or on a journey, we feel ourselves by her side, and make one of the company-there are few people, there are none perhaps, so situated as not to benefit by her advice on a variety of important subjects; and there are few opinions decidedly useful for the regulation of ordinary life, which she has not recommended, and in a very impressive style. It may seem singular, but I hardly ever met with a Frenchman or even a Genevan, who was acquainted with these letters in any other way, than as a book which had been put into his hands when young, from its affording a good model for letter-writing; there are other books far more important on the government of life, which never acquire their proper weight in our estimation, and from this very circumstance perhaps, of their having been, in some measure, made school-books.

I might now conduct you to the Place Royale, where all is solitude and silence, and to the place the Bastile stood, or to the Arsenal, where an assemblage of gloomy buildings, and some remains of ancient fortifications are rendered interesting by the name of Sully, or we might visit the great looking-glass manufactory in the Fauxbourg St. Antoine; but I must refer you for an idea of these, to some printed account, and conduct you to the Quinze Vingt, which is in this quarter of Paris; it was originally a hospital for the reception of 300 blind people, and liable, as all hospitals are, to very great abuses,

to such as you will see alluded to in Montesquieu's Persian Letters, but is now appropriated to a master and assistants, who have the care and instruction of blind people, who are here taught several useful .arts, and soon cease to be a burthen to society. That they should make purses and sticks, and different toys for children, did not surprise me, and I was prepared to find among them some good musicians, and others who were well grounded in the principles of moral and natural philosophy, and in all the usual branches of education. Providence, which has not thought proper that the organs of our senses should be reproduced in case of accident, as happens to some of the reptile and insect race, has bestowed a capability of improve ment, that enables the senses, which remain, to supply, in great mea sure, the loss of those we may be deprived of; the ears, and even the sense of smelling, acquire in cases of blindness, a degree of increased sensibility, but it is the touch which appears most wonder. fully improved; it becomes so delicately sensible of every modification of form, that the blind may be said to see by their fingers; geography is taught by maps in relief; and I saw a little girl of twelve years of age, do a sum in the Rule of Three, with the utmost accuracy; it was proposed by one of the audience, and contained some fractions; the figures she made use of were at the extremity of pieces of metal, larger and longer than printers' types; these she selected from a heap before her, as they were proper for stating the question, and then added others in the same manner, confining them in a moveable frame, as she proceeded, and feeling their extremities from time to time, with the action of a person who plays upon a piano forte. In one corner of the room was a printing-press, and a compositor and workmen busily employed, nor would it have been possible to have judged, either from their manner of working, or their work, that they were blind, except that the compositor had a person who read to him they have another mode of printing, peculiarly adapted to the use of the institution; the characters being deeply impressed on the surface of the paper, appear in projection on the other side, and the blind musician who wishes to study an air, or any one of them who is desirous of consoling himself with some treatise of devotion, or has perhaps received a letter from a friend, for the same mode is applied to writing, turns over the paper, and reads backwards with his fingers. But if sight can almost be dispensed with in the usual

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