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(ha'ppily-for-us,) carried it exactly to the side 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 incoinm'odious, and/ in many pla'ces, the sur face is so s'oft/ that there have been instances of people sinking do'wn-in-it, and pa'ying/ for their temesrity/ with their live's. Near the cen tre of the cr'ater/ is the grea't-mouth of the vo'l
that tremen-dous-gulf/ so celebrated in all a'ges, looʻked-upon/ as the terror and sco'urge/ bo`th of th’is 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 coʻol and refreshing; and every bree'ze was loa'ded with a thousand pe'rfumes, (the whole gro'und being covered o'ver, with the ric'hest/ aroma'tic-plants.)-Many parts of this region are surely the most hea'venly-spots upon ear'th ; 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 beauty and every hoʻrror ; an'd, in sho'rt, all the most op'posite and dissimilar obțjects/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 delig'ht! He're/ you gather the most delicious fruit, rising from what was lately but a black/ and bar'ren-rock.' H'ere/ the ground is covered with every flo'wer, a’nd/ we wander over these beauties, and contem plate this wilderness of sweets, 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 brimstone.
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 crops, 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 heore, the wretched hussbandman/ can hardly affo'rd to give it a fu'rrow; and gathers-in, (with a heavy he'art, the most lu'xuriant har'vest. The fertil'ity of many of the pla'ins/ is truly aston'ishing, without inclo'sures, without man'ure, a'nd/ almo'st/ without cu^lture. It is with reason that Si'cily/ was styled the gra'nary of the R'oman-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 on'e ; and Diodorus, (who was a native of the Is'land, and wrote on the sp'ot,) as'suresus/ that it produced whe'at and other gr’ain/ spontane'ously ; and Hoʻmer/ advances the same fa'ct/ in the O'dyssey.
The soil untilled / a ready ha'rvest yiel'ds,
And Jove desce'nds/ in ea'ch, 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 out; 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 inconcesivable/ how an'y-government should be able to render poo'r and wretched, a country/ which produces (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 for'get, th'at/ since they became su'ch, they
have left him nothing to se'el in his coʻurse, but--deserted fields, barren wildernesses, oppressed te'nants, and la'zy,
lyoing, wortholess-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 indignation. This village is surrounded by the finest country in the world, yet there was neither bread 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 li'ttle/ uncou'th-country of Swi'tzerland! The dreadful consequences of oppr'ession, can never be set in a more strik'ing-opposition to the blessings and the char'ms-of li'berty! Switzerland, the very excres'cence of Eu'rope, (where nature seems to have thrown out all her cold and stagnating h'umours,) full of la'kes, mar'shes, and wo'ods, and surrounded by immense rocks, and everlasting moʻuntains of ic'e,-(the barren, but sa'cred-ramparts of liberty !)—S'witzerland, enjoy'ing every ble’ssing, where every blessing 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 vi'sage, 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 rocks, 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, suppl'ies
-We shall shortly leave I'taly, for the delightful, co‘ol-mountains-of Swi°tzerland; where Li'berty and Simpli'city, (long since banished from po'lished na'tions, still flou'rish in their original purity; where the te'mperature and moderation of the cli'mate, and thaʻt of the inh'abitants, arę mutually emblem'atical of eac'h-other. For/ whilst o'ther-nations are scorched by the he'at 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 ;-h'ere 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 bene'volence.
ON READING THE COMMON PRAYER.
Swift. The reading of the Common Prayer we'll, is of so great impor'tance, and so much neglected, that I take the liberty to offer to your consider’ation/ some parti'culars/ on the subject.
It is indeed wonderful, that the frequent e'xercise-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 car'e/ that is taken of their read'ing, while boʻys, and at school, wheʼre, (when they are got into L'atin,) they are looked upon as abo've English, the rea'ding-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 meʼans/ they have acqui'red such ill-h'abits, * as will not e'asily be removed. 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; (exam ple/ being most effectual, to convince the le’arned, as wel'l 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 discov'ered/ to so great a degʻree/ the excellency of the Co'mmon-Prayer ; I heard the s'ervice-read/ s'o distinctly, s'o empha'tically, and so fe'rvently, that it was next to an impossibili'ty/ to be in'atteľntive. My ey'es and thoug'hts/ could not wander as usual, but were confin'ed to my pray'ers ; I then considered I addressed myself to the A'lmighty ;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'panied my woʻrds. The confes'sion/ was read with such a res'igned humility, and the THANKSGIVING/ with such a religious-joy, as made me feel those affections of the mi’nd/ in a man'ner/ I never d'id-before. To reʼmedy, the'refore, 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 clergy of Sion-coʻllege) should read prayers befo'rethem. For then', thoʻse that are afraid of stretching their mout'hs, and spoiling their soft voʻices, will learn to read with cle'arness, lo'udness, and strength. Ot'hers/ that affect a ra'kish, negligent-air (by folding their arm's, and lol'ling on their b'ook) will be taught a de'cent-behaviour, and a comely ere'ction of body. Those 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 seșt-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'șive one; sometimes, aga'in, with on'e sort of a ton'e, and immediately a'fter/ with a very di'fferent one: These ge'ntlemen/ will learn of my adm'ired-reader/ an e'venness of vo'ice and deliv'ery; and a'll/ who are innocent of these affecta'tions, but read with such an indi'fferency, 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 pla'ce the e'mphasis, and give the proper ac'cent to each woʻrd, and how
* 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. 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 affect, (forsooth) a 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.