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house, told us as civilly as she could, that it was the rule of the house not to allow visitors to sit down. This is a rule of which that gentleman (a rich banker) has the merit of the invention. We have not met with any thing of the sort anywhere else; and there really seems to be less reason for it out of London, and in a place rather out of di. rect roads.
The upper part of the grounds is very high, scooped out in the middle by a gentle descent, which becomes a deep dell or valley, where several springs unite to form the head of the Stour, ma rapid little river. The grandfather of the present possessor dammed up this valley, which became a little irregular-shaped lake, covering perhaps thirty acres; the outlet, a fall of about twenty feet; the whole surrounded with woody banks and sloping lawns. Three temples peep out of the woods, marking the best points of view. An easy path leads to these stations, round the lake, passing by several fine springs, issuing clear and cool from the bosom of the mountain, one of them in a grotto. There is certainly great beauty in all this ; but the water of the lake is dull and muddy, full of reeds and aquatic plants, which mark its stagnation. The lawns are half covered and belittled by shrubs, planted cverywhere, particularly endless tufts and thick. ets of laurels ; beautiful in themselves, but in
too great profusion. The woods also are too close, resembling rather an American thicket. None of those magnificent single trees, so peculiar to English landscape, are to be seen here ; in fact, I think there is as much done to spoil as to adorn this fine spot. I have not yet seen an artificial piece of water that bore any resemblance to the water of a natural lake, always so clear ; and it seems strange. Perhaps if the surface of a valley intended to be flooded, which is generally a rich soil, was first peeled off a few inches, or spade deep, according to the depth of the mould, aquatic plants would not be so apt to grow in the poor under-soil; worms and insects also would not meet with so much food as among the decayed sod and vegetable mould: The Serpentine River in Hyde Park is, I think, the clearest artificial water I have yet seen.
The highest part of these grounds is marked by tradition as the spot where the great Alfred raised his standard against the Danes, in 867 ; and the Hoares have erected there a stupendous triangular tower, 150 feet high, with a staircase. to the top, where you may go and get as giddy as you please, and gaze at an immense prospect like a geographical map. There is a charm cer. tainly, and a deep feeling of interest in the idea. of treading the soil where such a man stood.
July 7.-After going the same round again this
morning, we left Stourhead for Bristol, 37 miles of most beautiful country, a continual garden, full of gentlemen's houses and grounds, and of neat cottages, single, and in villages; too much chequered with inclosures for picturesqueness ; but exhibiting every appearance of prosperity. The road very billy, but in perfect repair, and the horses excellent, as we have found them every where, except in Cornwall and Devonshire. The multitude of gentlemen's houses, scattered over the country, is a feature quite peculiar to Eng. lish landscape. The thing is unknown in France, where the country, at a distance from large towns, presents only farm-houses and peasants? cottages, and now and then a castle, old and neglected ; but none of these houses which are the habitual residence of comfort and elegance. In France, the landed proprietors have their houses in the nearest little town.
July 9.-Bristol. I rode this morning to a gentleman's, a few miles from town, to whom I had a letter, and I found a place, like all the others, neat, green, and shady. On one side, at a little distance from the house, was a sort of terrace of rocks, sixty feet high, at the bottom of which a rivulet was seen, winding over a broad expanse of black viscous mud; this was the Avon, which, at high water, fills the abyss level with the top of the terrace ! On the other side of the house was a green slope, with a flock of Merino sheep grazing. In the distance the Severn, which is there an estuary.
Land in this part of the country rents at 30s. to 40s. per annum, and sells at thirty years purchase.
As we get farther from London, I think I per. ceive more moderation in political opinions ; fewer people speak of revolution, either to wish or fear it, or believe the people ripe for it. The party of which Cobbett is the mouth-piece, does not appear numerous out of the capital. The masterly caricatures of this Hogarth of the pen, so well known in America, are quite character. istic of the manners and government of England. Foreigners, who read some of the party publications which swarm from the English press, and particularly Cobbett, conceive, certainly, very erroneous opinions of the real state of things. I believed, in America, with many others, and I know that several persons at the head of the American government believe now, that Eng. land is on the eve of a revolution, which, it is supposed, will free them from her maritime
pre. tensions; and if it is possible to be thus deceived in a country so similar to England, what must it be in France, where no adequate idea can be formed of party exaggeration ? Far from taking these party writers literally, I find the greatest part of the English public look upon them only as professed wrestlers, whose display of strength and abilities interests and amuses them, but whose object, besides the gratification of some malice and vanity, is merely money. They are not believed sincere, and without that belief there is no real persuasion. To be fully sensible of this, it is sufficient to observe, with how much more attention the simple charge of the judge is listened to at the close of a trial, than all the eloquent pleadings that preceded it. Mixed with abundance of undeniable facts, and under the garb of downright truth and honest surliness, Mr Cob. bett deals out principles the most fallacious, with great art, and wonderful force of popular elo. quence; but his frequent and outrageous con. tradictions of his own principles have, in a great degree, neutralized them. He is to receive judg. ment this day, having been tried for a libel, with intention to excite the troops to mutiny.
There is not another government in Europe which could long withstand the attacks to which this one is continually exposed. The things published here would set on fire any other heads in the world ; but either from insensibility, reason, or habit, they make but little impression. This sort of impassibility extends in some degree to