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• While my fellow-travellers amused themselves by wander. ing over that world of ice, a difficult and dangerous enterprize, I sat down on the border of the glacier, to enjoy the new and magnificent vision around me. On the right, rocks and mountains of ice arose in dread and sublime perspective; before me, St. Bernardin lifted its barren and uncovered lop; and nearly in the same direction, the eye wanders over a chain of glaciers which separates the valley of the Rhine from the subject countries of the Grisons, Bormeo, and the Valteline. These were the glaciers which mid-way, we regretted not having scaled, and which our guides told us we should reach sooner in the direction we had already taken. So far as we might trust to the testimony of our senses, they were not mistaken. These glaciers appeared to touch that on which we were now placed; and it seemed as if we had only to descend a little from our present elevation, in order to climb the savage and naked pyramids of rocks which raised themselves up from the far-spread desert of ice, like barren islands from a troubled

We were, however, separated from those objects by a space of several miles, measured on the ground; but the intervening gulph was hid from our sight by the swell of the mountains. On the left, the eye was borne over the amphitheatre of hills, green with pasturage, up to the ridge of ice, stretching along its own sullen and perhaps incroaching bounclary. The cattle were cropping the herbage on the steep, and the chamois bounding over the rocks, for such the Grison peasant told me were a few playful animals I pereeived at a great distance at the edge of the glacier, orer which my fellowtravellers were wandering. I employed the hours of meditation in throwing together the new images with which the Alpine scenery had filled my mind, into the form of an hymn, to the author of nature; and no spot can surely be more congenial to devotional feelings, than that theatre where the divinity has displayed the most stupendous of his earthly works.

• The lengthening shadow of the icy wall, at the foot of which I was sitting, drew me from my meditations, and I began to be seriously alarmed at the absence of my friends. The opposite glaciers were now lighted up with that glowing

Tose-coloured hue, with which they are tinged at parting day. I gazed with rapture on this glorious vision, which I had before seen at an immerise distance, and with feeble impressions compared to the enthusiastic, the solemn emotion I now experienced. The clouds were rolling high above the valley, but remotely beneath the spot where I stood, in gorgeously coloured billows, as their upper surfaces were tinged by the last rays of the sun.

While I was contemplating these majestic images, my fellow-travellers hailed us from a distant part of the mountain, to which they had descended from the glacier. There was no time left to listen to their

« Travels' history, Of Anters vast, and deserts idle, Rough quarries, rocks, and hills, whose heads touch heaven,"

all of which I should have been very seriously inclined to hear, if our guides had not reminded us, that though the tops of the mountains where we stood, were still rejoicing in the light of day, darkness already brooded over the face of the vallies.

• The vapours gathered thicker as the evening advanced; and from the brow of the first slope where we descended, we paused a moment to snatch a nearer view of the tumultuous swelling tide of clouds into which we were about to plunge, rolling in silent but awful discordance along the valley, between the majestic streights of the glaciers.

• We had scarcely gained the spot where we had left our mule, before the sun had taken his last leave of the pointed rocks on the opposite glacier, and night seemed rising from the valley. We found the bridle in the place where we had tied it to the rock, but the mule, in whose reputation for patience we had placed too much confidence, or who had formed a better judgment of the fit hour of retreat than ourselves, had withdrawn his head, and absconded. I had rather been borne, than supported to this spot, between two of our guides; a mode of conveyance which was both disagreeable and inconvenient. To walk down to the valley was for me impossible, to look for the mule along the mountains would

have been a vain attempt, and to have sought another from below, would have delayed our return till midnight. In this perplexity, one of our Grison guides, who had rambled a few paces in search of the animal, returned with his arms full of shrubs, which he placed in two leathern girdles fastened to the long poles that are the walking sticks of the glaciers, and tied them together, so as to form a sort of chair, or litter; on this I placed myself, not without some apprehension, but was carried in perfect safety down to the cottage where we had breakfasted in the morning, and where we found our mule, who had been caught marching homewards early in the evening, and detained by the cottagers till our return.'

Miss Williams next visited the source of the Rhine, and various other parts of Switzerland, after which, a milder government having been established in France, she returned to Paris, where says she, “I had only scenes of gratulation to witness, and only tears of luxury to shed !'

LETTERS

FROM

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL,

BY

ROBERT SOUTHEY.

SPAIN and Portugal, from being lately the seat of war, and

the object of contest, have excited the curiosity of all classes, respecting their political, civil, and religious institutions. Some parts of these subjects have been ably illustrated by several learn. ed travellers, and some amusing sketches relative to the same points, have been published by British officers who served in the peninsular war; but none have excelled the writer of these letters in accuracy of description, and liveliness of narration. It is scarcely necessary to remark, that they are the productions of Mr. Robert Southey, the celebrated poet, now known as Robert Southey, esquire, poet-laureat.

Mr. Southey arrived at Corunna, on Sunday Dec. 13th 1795, when he exclaims, Oh the luxury of arriving at Tartarus, if the river Styx be as broad and as rough as the bay of Biscay, and Charon's boat accommodated like the Spanish packet of Senor Don Raimundo Aruspini ! When I first went on board, the mate was employed in cutting a cross upon the side of his birth, and the sailors were feasting upon a mess of biscuit, onions, liver, and horse beans, boiled into a brown pap, which they were all pawing out of a bucket. The same taste and cleanliness of cookery were displayed in the

only dinner they afforded us on the passage; and the same spirit of devotion made them, when the wind blew hard, turn in to bed and to prayers.

The weather was bad and I was terrified; but, though I had not a brass heart, the ship had a copper bottom; and on the fifth morning we arrived in sight of cape Finisterre.

•We dropt anchor in the harbour at one o'clock, as hungry as Englishmen may be supposed to be, after five days imprisonment in a Spanish packet; and with that eagerness to be on shore, which no one can imagine who has never been at sea. We were not, however, permitted to land, till we had received a visit from the custom-house officers. To receive these men in office, it was necessary that Senor Don Raimudo Aruspini should pulchrify his person : after this metamorphosis took place, we were obliged to wait, while these unmerciful visitors drank the captain's porter, bottle after bottle, as fast as he could supply them; and though their official business did not occupy five minutes, it was five o'clock in the evening before we were suffered to depart, and even then we were obliged to leave our baggage behind us.

• Other places attract the eye of a traveller, but Corunna takes his attention by the nose. My head is still giddy from the motion of the ship, is confused by the multiplicity of novel objects ---the dress of the people---the projecting roofs and balconies of the houses---the filth of the streets, so strange and so disgusting to an Englishman : but, what is most strange, is to hear a language which conveys to me only the melancholy reflection, that I am in a land of strangers.

• We are at the Navio (the Ship) a POSADA kept by an Italian. Forgive me for using the Spanish name, that I may not commit blasphemy against all English pot-houses. Our dinner was

fowl fried in oil, and served up in an attitude not unlike that of a frog, taken suddenly with the cramp. With this we had an omelet of eggs and garlic, fried in the same execrable oil; and our only drink was a meagre wine, price about two-pence the bottle---value worse than nothing, which by comparison, exalts small beer into nectar. In this land of olives, they poison you with the most villainous oil;

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