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was good for my health, and by drinking, to quench my burning thirst, half a bottle of Moselle wine, (mixed with cool water, bien entendu,) alınost as soon as it was possible to swallow it.
The cathedral of Liège is a beautiful building,—not by any means so vast and imposing as that of Antwerp, but highly ornamented, and having a striking air of neatness and elegance epithets that seem not quite in character with such a structure, and yet are applicable to it. There are some very fine pictures in it. I was delighted, especially, with the Baptism, by Carlier. The savage solitude of the place, -the naked form of the Baptist,—the meek, downcast eyes and reverential posture of the Saviour,—the expressive countenances of the deeply interested spectators of the divine ceremony,—the descent of the dove upon the head of "the beloved Son,"_every thing is perfectly well done. Another famous and able picture is the "St. Jerome and the Doctors of the Church"; and a third is St. Borromeo offering up the prayer by which the plague of Milan was arrested. This latter is an admirable little picture. They were both carried to Paris by the French, together with so many other masterpieces, and have been restored since the peace. I am become, as you perceive, quite an amateur of painting, and wish I were as great a connoisseur.
The road from Liège hither is also MacAdamised,-a circumstance worth mentioning on the Continent, where the highways are all paved, like the streets of their towns, with large stones, jostling and stunning the traveller to his heart's content. This unusual improvement is due to a Mr. Cockerell, an Englishman established at Liège, who has done immense good to this whole country by his enterprise. The road I speak of, during the whole distance of nearly twenty-five miles, runs thro' a valley, crossing and re-crossing a small stream twenty times. As you have travelled over the Alleghanies, you can form a very just idea of a valley, or, as they call it in North-Carolina, a gap road : but what you cannot have any conception of is the pleasure I enjoyed during the whole of my progress through this mountain solitude. You know I went to the upper country, four years ago,
in my own carriage, in the same way, with no other company but any coachman. I was thinking all the way this morning of Boatswain (the black servant I then had) and the Blue Ridge, and wondering how long it would be before the streams of the latter would turn so many mills, and its green spots be adorned with such pretty country-seats and pleasuregrounds. It is delightful to me to indulge in my love of nature in her retired grandeur : I feel, in these still mountain regions, as if I were in her presence-chamber. Manufactures, to be sure, are a profanation and here the Alleghanies, in their virgin
wildness, have the advantage of European mountains,—though I remember how shocked I was when I saw that the famous fall of Montmorency, near Quebec, had been turned into a mill-seat.
15th August. There is very little company at Spa, and that little not much. I went to bed quietly at 10 last night, and at 6 this morning rose, and, after losing an hour and a half at my toilette, got into my carriage and visited the Geronstere spring, which is on the summit of one of the neighboring heights, and very hard to be got at, except as people generally visit it,-on a donkey. The sun beat on me unmercifully as I labored up the steep, the top of my landaulette having been thrown open--but the delicious temperature which I found in the shady walks of the Geroustere, and the fine prospect from it, fully indemnified me for what I suffered. From the Geronstere, I crossed the mountain, which is quite barren and covered with a wild dwarf shrubbery, (bruyère,) to two other fountains, of which the waters are somewhat different, though all containing carbonic acid and iron, and, therefore, good for indigestion in its ten thousand infernal shapes. At the Groesbeck spring, I saw a person, apparently about thirty-five years of age, whose complexion indicated a bad liver, and whose malady is a perpetual vigil; he has, for some time past, hardly slept half an hour a night! Great God! think of that. What an insupportable idea, a life which is all one day; and yet we tremble at death, without which we should suffer the same thing, aggravated ten thousand fold. Visiting watering-places is a good course of moral study,-far more impressive than Young's Night Thoughts or Hervey's Meditations. The first time you feel disposed to be discontented and querrulous about things of no real consequence, go to the springs and speak with the invalids there.
LOUVAIN, 17th Aug., 71 o'clock, P. M. Looking over what I wrote at Spa, I have great scruples about sending you an account of my pleasures, which it will give you so much pain to decipher. But I never copied what I wrote for the Southern Review,-how should I copy a letter ? Besides, you will have a specimen of the pen, ink and paper they use at the Hotel de l'Orange at Spa,-and, generally, of the sort of discomforts, under the name of pleasures, one is willing to exchange his own home for, even when, like mine at Brussels, it combines every thing necessary, or not necessary, to a life of the most perfect epicurean ease and voluptuousness.
I arrived in this famous old town about two hours ago, and expect to be at Brussels (eighteen miles off) to-morrow evening. As soon as I had ordered dinner, I sallied out to see the Hotel de Ville and the principal church. The former is a renowned specimen of Gothic architecture, four hundred years old, and deserves all its reputation. It is, without doubt, the most re
markable monument of the sort I ever saw. But I shan't attempt to describe it, as I mean that you shall see, sooner or later, an engraving of it. At the church, I found them in the midst of the evening service, and passed half an hour there, as I always do in such a place at such an hour, with the deepest interest. I am, as I always have been, in my heart or my imagination, I don't exactly know which, more than half a Catholic; and it is positively no exaggeration to say that nothing in the world has such attractions for me as that service, in the evening especially, performed with good music and the pomp of some solemn occasion. This evening there was a procession within the vast building itself, with wax-lights, a cohort of priests and acolytes, thundering forth their Latin psalmody in concert with the peal of the organ above, while all these sounds were nearly drowned in the tolling of the mighty bells of the cathedral.
To return to Spa. While there, although remarkably well, I was tempted to try the waters of the several fountains. Í became convinced of their virtues by their vicious effects on me. For a couple of days afterwards, I felt precisely as one does after taking a dose of laudanum. The first day my appetite was voracious, though quite healthy,—the second and third it was still great, but morbid, attended with an occasional feeling of disgust. I am now quite restored, and am in most excellent condition. I am satisfied that, with all necessary prudence in taking them, their efficacy must be very great; and I shall certainly pass some weeks there next summer. There can be no doubt, how ever, that the effects of the water are wonderfully increased by the manner of living at Spa, -breathing the air of the mountains at six o'clock in the morning, walking, riding and driving many miles a day, banishing all care, going to bed early, etc., etc. How strange it is to meet people there whom one has seen in the midst of Courts and capitals, with all their trumpery and constraint, negligently dressed, mounted on donkeys, talking with the first comer, without distinction of persons, and acknowledging themselves happier and healthier, both in body and mind, than in those envied (but not enviable) circles where it is the silly ambition of mankind to shine! Watering-places are a sort of confessionals or shrines, set apart by nature, to which pilgrims of all nations resort to renounce, for a moment, the lying vanities of the world, and get absolution for sins and errors they are sure to return to as soon as opportunity presents. Of these pilgrims by far the greater portion (at least, of any one nation) are English. It is inconceivable what multitudes of them are swarming over the whole face of this country, paying twice and thrice as much as they ought for every thing they stand in need of.
H. S. L.
An Oration, delivered on the Fourth of July, 1823, before the '76 Association ;
and published at their request. Charleston. A. E. Miller. 1823.
Cicero begins a celebrated oration by congratulating himself upon the felicity of his subject-in the discussion of which he thought that an orator, were he never so feeble or unpractised, could not fail to be more embarrassed with the choice, than the invention of his topics, and to carry along with him the entire sympathy of his audience. For the occasion required him to dwell upon the virtues and achievements of the great POMPEYa man, who had been, from his earliest youth, identified with the glory of his country--who had transcended and eclipsed the recorded honours of her Scipios and Metellus'-and, under whose auspices, "victory flew with her eagles" from Lusitania to Caucasus and the Euphrates. But what would not the genius of the Roman orator, who found so much scope for the amplifications of his unrivalled eloquence, in the events of a single life, and the glory of a few campaigns, have made of a subject—so interesting in itself—so peculiarly affecting, and so dear to his auditors—so fertile, so various, so inspiring--as that to which he who now addresses you will have been indebted, for whatever of interest, or of attention it may be his good fortune to awaken? What were the exploits of a single individual, to the efforts of a whole people-heated with all the enthusiasm of a mighty contest, and rushing into the battles of Liberty, under the impulses of a patriotism, the most heroic and self-devoting? What were the victories of POMPEY-to the united achievements of our Washingtons and Montgomerys and Greens—our Franklins and Jeffersons and Adams' and Laurens'-of the Senate of Sages, whose wisdom conducted--of the band of warriors, whose valour accomplished--of the "noble army of martyrs”, whose blood sealed and consecrated the Revolution of 76? What were the events of a few campaigns--however brilliant and successful—in the wars of Italy, or Spain, or Pontus--to by far the greatest era--excepting, perhaps, the Reformation--that has occurred in the political history of modern times—to an era that has fixed forever the destinies of a whole quarter of the globe, with the numbers without number that are soon to inhabit it—and has already had, as it will probably continue to
have, a visible influence upon the condition of society in all the rest? Nay--shall I be accused of extravagance, if going still further 1 ask, what is there even in the most illustrious series of victories and conquests, that can justly be considered as affording, to a mind that dares to make a philosophic estimate of human affairs, a nobler and more interesting subject of contemplation and discourse, than the causes which led to the foundation of this mighty empire-than the wonderful and almost incredible history of what it has since done and is already grown to-than the scene of unmingled prosperity and happiness that is opening and spreading all around us--than the prospect as dazzling as it is vast, that lies before us—the uncircumscribed career of aggrandizement and improvement which we are beginning to run under such happy auspices and with the advantage of having started at a point where it were well for the species had it been the lot of many nations even to have ended theirs.
It is true, we shall not boast to day that the pomp of triumph has three hundred times ascended the steps of our capitol-or that the national temple upon its brow blazes in the spoils of a thousand cities. True, we do not send forth our prætors to plunder and devastate the most fertile and beautiful portions of the earth, in order that a haughty aristocracy may be enriched with booty, or a worthless populace be supplied with breadnor in every region under the sun, from the foot of the Grampian hills, to the land of frankincense and myrrh, is the spirit of man broken and debased by us beneath the iron yoke of a military domination. No, my friends! This is, indeed, what the world calls glory--but let us be glad that we are not come here to boast of such things. Our triumphs are the triumphs of reason-of happiness--of human nature. Our rejoicings are greeted with the most cordial sympathy of the cosmopolite and the philanthrophist : and the good and the wise all round the globe give us back the echo of our acclamations. It is the singular fortune-or I should rather say—it is the proud distinction of Americans-it is what we are now met to return thanks for and to exult in that in the race of moral improvement, which society has been every where running for some centuries past, we have outstripped every competitor and have carried our institutions, in the sober certainty of waking bliss, to a higher pitch of perfection than ever warmed the dreams of enthusiasm or the speculations of the theorist. It is that a whole continent has been set apart, as if it were holy ground, for the cultivation of pure truth—for the pursuit of happiness upon rational principles, and, in the way that is most agreeable to nature—for the development of all the sensibilities, and capacities, and powers of the human mind, without any artificial restraint or bias, in the broad daylight of modern science and