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“ For me no minstrels' raptures swell,”
although I have done much for the muses, and have generously sounded their praises, and given the best editions of the classics to the public. Public men and politicians praise and patronize me most; indeed any, the least infringement of my rights and privileges would doubtless excite a tumult in this land of liberty. My picture, like that of many celebrated authors, is often prefixed to my works; and I am considered as the standard or emblem of political liberty. Dr. Benjamin Franklin was the chief support of my interest and success in his day in North America. I can boast of much greater age and honors than either old Jenkins or old Parr, who lived in the reign of ten kings and queens, I have survived eighteen English monarchs, and am still, I trust, in the vigor of my intellect. Those who speak of the glorious march of intellect, too often forget how much is due to me-information would have slumbered but for my awakening powers, or it would have travelled as slowly as it did for endless ages previous to my birth. I have been as a steam-carriage for knowledge,
compared with the single-horse, or hand-barrow conveyance of former times. A man is often reproached with being a man of words and not of deeds. You will be surprised when I tell you, without vanity, that though I have an infinity of words at command, and make most unlimited professions of virtue, not one word is unaccompanied by its corresponding deed. My words and deeds are one and the same thing.
I cannot but lament that Socrates and all the virtuous ancients had not known me. Many of their works which we have lost might then have been preserved to us, and never can I forgive those stupid old monks who scribbled their superstitions and idle controversies on the valuable manuscripts of the classic authors. Had they known my works, they would have been convinced of the uselessness of their proceedings. I shall not sign my name, and if you
do not find me out I shall think you remarkably dull, as you have read some of my compositions every day since you
knew your letters, and you must know me if you know your
A B C.
A WELL KNOWN TRAVELLER.
AMONGST the heathen Gods was one named Proteus, who, when he did not choose to give answers to the questions put to him, used to change his form and elude inquiry. Sometimes he changed into a lion, sometimes into a gentle lamb, sometimes he disappeared in a flame of fire, and not unfrequently as a rushing stream or a whirlwind. Hence his name has been given to all changeable people, and they are called Protean or Proteus-like. To confess my most besetting sin first-I am a very Proteus. I am lionlike, lamb-like, like a flame of fire, and often very similar to a rushing stream! I oft-times appear before
you in the most gentle mien, soothing with my softest, gentlest caresses; but such is the uncertainty of my temper that without any apparent aggravation, I am in a moment ready to knock you down with my violent boisterous attacks upon your person. It would be in vain to call a policeman, you would have no redress-I set all law at defiance: he could not take me up, and he would soon fall prostrate by my blows.
In fact all unruly tempers are likened unto me. I have been very candid in openly declaring my faults first, and you will find, that although they are those of temper, and often injurious to many, they are not the faults of a mind intent on mischief or of a corrupt heart. I have often brought sorrow into the bosom of families. I have often separated a beloved brother from the sister he protected and cherished. I have often prevented the meeting of a parent and a darling child. I have often interposed between a returning prodigal and a forgiving Christian father; but, when you know me, you will confess that I premeditated no evil; and that if I were the innocent cause of so much mischief, I have at times united early friends, whom land and sea had separated :-brought peace into families by restoring a parent who was supposed to have been swallowed up by the devouring deep ;—and have led to his beloved home some shipwrecked son, whose memory a mother's and a sister's tears had honored. In fine, I am generally supposed to do some good to some one, act as I may—so says the proverb, and proverbs you know are the concentrated wisdom of nations. You
must have already concluded that I am a great traveller; indeed I surpass all others. Bruce, Burchell, and Bowditch were snails and tortoises compared with
There is not a nook in the wide world I have not explored. “I have put the wild waters in a roar.” I have crossed the Pampas in South America; penetrated through New Holland, from Sydney to the Swan River; traversed North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I have wintered in Siberia, and spent many summers at Quito. I frequently cross the Deserts, and am the scourge of the caravans. I have travelled in a palanquin on the banks of the Ganges. I have been almost suffocated in a tackhteravan in Persia by the side of the Sultana. I have glided on the ice in a sledge in Lapland, and skaited at St. Petersburgh; and I have been slowly dragged along in the trackschuyts of Holland. I have wandered by the “calm Bendemeer,” and crossed the terrific rapids at the falls of Niagara. The celebrated traveller, Ledyard, surprised the official person who asked him how soon he could be ready to set off for the interior of Africa, by answering promptly “ Tomorrow." I could set off to-day! Notwithstanding