« PreviousContinue »
essays on electricity. Their ininds sures not to be purchased. The trees in this respect were congenial, ever which we ourselves have planted, the intent upon promoting public good. fruits we have raised, the plants we
Perhaps in some future period, the base cultivated, seem to be like our account be procured of the manage: children, a kind of new creation ; ment of sneep in Spain, in respect their thade, their taite, their fragrance to their migrations from the moun. and their beauties, affect us with a tains to the plains, and their stated richer repaft than any others. What returns, may not be considered among a pleasing scene, would he observe, the least of the benefits accruing from lies open to a young man of fortune his extensive and inquisitive correspon- devoted to such amusements! Each suc. dence. When America is better peo- ceeding year produces new shades, other pled, the mountainous parts inore fruits, fresh beauties and brings besides habitable, the plains unloaded of their most certain profit. To behold the rising vaft forests and cultivated, the finest groves, barienne's made fertile, our Theep in the world may possibly cover country improved, ourselves made the plains of Carolina, Georgia, and useful and hippy, and posterity enthe Floridas in the winter months, riched! Whed on this favourite sub. and retreat to the mountains as the ject, a very natural reflection often summer heats increase, and dry up escaped him, that he seldom knew a the herbage. Probably it might be man poslefed of a taste for such pleapractised even in this island to ad- sures, who was not at the same time temvantage, with this difference, that perate and virtuous. And ir. deed he the highest ground Mould be chosen had a right to make the observation ; for the winter residence of these ani for he had the satisfaction of reckonmals, proper shelter being made for ing among his most intimate friends, them, and the wetter low lands left men of the moit amiable and unble. for summer.
milhed characters in all itations, parMr. Collinson's conversation was ties, and distinctions. chearful, and usefully entertaining- Nor was he only employed in proit generally turned to some interesting moting this taite amongit bis friends, difquisition, or imparting some bene- in enlarging their views, correcting ficial information. With some of the and refining their judgment, but also most eminent personages in the king. in furnishing them with the means of dom, as distinguished by their taste in increasing their plantations; and it is planting and horticulture, as by their but doing justice to his memory, to jank, he frequently spent a few days mention that he was the first who inat their seats, imparting many advan- troduced the great variety of seeds and tageous hints as to the inprovements thrubs, which are now the principal they were designing. By his exten- ornaments of every garden ; and that five observation and experience of the it was owing to his indefatigable inefiects of different methods of cultiva. deftry, that so many persons of the tion; what soil, what aspect best suit- firit distinction are now enabled to beed different plants and trees; how hold groves transplanted froin the belt to cover incurable defects ; how western continent flourishing so luxu. to improve beauties, &c.—he often riantly in their several domains, as it prevented young planters from com- they were already become indigenous mitting capital mistakes, rectified to Britain. others who had been mised, and pre- His business in the mercantile way. vailed upon many of his friends, and was chiefly to North America and the young people of fortune, to embark in WeftIndies, the former particularly. this rational amusement, and to per- He had perused every performance fevere in it greatly toļtheir own emolu- that was wrote respecting the natural ment and the lasting advantage of history and produce of all our own set'their country,
tlements, and indeed of all the Eura. Planting, he used to say, and gar: pean colonies in the new world. This dening, supply a fund of entertain- enabled him to make enquiries after ment, the most lafting and reasonable every thing that was curious and useof any occupation in this life ; plea. ful, and brought him acquainted with
1706. One of the chief Promoters of Nat. Hift. and Botany. 5 the most intelligent people who came a fufficient quantity of the fruit to over from America ; his enquiries make trial of the wine. A few have raised fume curiosity in those countries, done it with succels, and the fault and excited a taste for natural history seems not so much in the fruit, as and botanical researches. It perhaps want of skill or care in making the may safely be faid, that every thing wine. It is certainly now high time of this sort that has appeared in those for the Americans to apply themselves parts of the world, was chiefly owing diligently to cultivate their native to bis encouragement. That eminent produce, and the measures of admininaturalist, John Bartram, may almoft ftration have at length forced them to be said to have been created such by do it, whether they chose it or not. Mr. Collinson's allittance; he first re- He was a member of the society of commended the collecting of seeds, and Antiquarians from its first institution, afterwards affifted in disposing of them and supplied them often with many in this country, and constantly, exci- curious articles of intelligence and ted him to persevere in investigating observations respecting this and other the plants of America, which he has countries-for wherever he was, or executed with indefatigable labour however seemingly engaged, nothing through a long course of years, and escaped his notice, if it appeared like, with amazing Tuccess.
ly to be useful or instructive. He had The quantities of new seeds he re- no greater ambition than to collect ceived from America, not only sup- what knowledge he could, and to renplied his own garden with every thing der this knowledge subservient as that was curious, but furnished him much as possible to the good of manwith the means of procuring others, kind. He lived many years in great jo exchange, from other parts of the domestic happiness, and his family globe. He had some correspondents took the fame bias, and aided his in almost every nation in Europe; pursuits. He had a pleasing and sofome in Asia, and even at Pekin ; cial aspect-his temper open and who all transmitted to him the most communicative — capable of feeling valuable feeds they could collect, in for distress, and ready to relieve. He retu.n for the treasures of America. rose very early, and whilst in the In this exchange of good offices, there country his time was alınost conftantis abundant cause to believe no man ly employed in his garden, observing ever exceeded him in respect to punc. and allilling the operations of nature, tuality, care, or generosity ; few or in the study of other parts of phyhad ever more intelligent correspon. fical knowledge, which contributed dents, or succeeded better in enriching to his health and pleasure. this country with the vegetable pro- He was fond of fruit to an extreme, duce of every other, that could either and of flowers a perpetual admirer : add to its advantage or ornament. he was seldom without them in his
The great Linnæus, during his re- house, from the early Inou drop to fidence in England, contracted an the autumn cyclamen. He would ofintimate friendihip with him, which ten relate with pleasure the aftonishing was reciprocally increased by good of. advancement made in his time in horfices, and continued to the last without ticulture; gave instances of many any diminution. Mr. Collinson fre. plants, which at their first introducquently prompted the Americans to tion would not bear our win!ers' withpursue improvements alike beneficial out melter, and now endured almost to themselves and to his country. He our bardelt frosts ; lo that foreigners often urged the benefit, nay necesïity stood amazed at the power of vegetaof cultivating fax, hemp, wine, filk, tion in this country, and the happy and other products. In most of the temperature we enjoy, notwithstandnorthern and southern colonies, there ing the unmerited murmurs of the are a variety of native grapes grow. unthinking and injuilicious against a ing wild in the woods, and thriving climate the most favourable of all among the trees and bushes for their others to the real happiness of manTupport. These yield fruit in plenty kind.. of different kinds, and many of them He hath left bebind him a vast capable of producing a rich good wine. treasure of dried specimens of plants, It would be easy in autumn to collect and in spite of repeated and cruel de
predations on his garden, whereby hè lieve it, proved fatal on, the anth of loft a multitude of valuable plants August, 1768, and deprived his faand fruts, and had many others de. mily, his friends, and country of a Atroyed by the villains in the act of man devoted to their interest and adplunder, he has nevertheless left a vantage. Inclosed in his will was finall treasure of rare plants, in greater found a paper, importing, “ that he perfection than can be seen perhaps in hoped he should leave behind him a any other spot.
good name, which he valued more Excepting some attacks of the gout, iban riches; that he had endeavoured in general he enjoyed perfect health not to live uselessly; and that all his and great equality of spirits; bearing days he constantly aimed to be a friend thote trials which are incident to man to mankind." Such indeed he was, with fortitude and resignation. to the utinost of his ability; and he
In such a course he arrived at his may justiy be considered as a latent Isth year ; when being on a visit to fpring to many important improveLord' Petre in Essex, for whom be ments, as well as one of the prin. had a fingular regard, he was seized cipal promoters of natural history in with a total suppression of urine, general, and of horticulture in partiwhich baffling every attempt to re- cular, in the age in which he lived.
Anecdote of King George the First.
stewed in brandy, in a particu- to use ceconomy, for they would barely cular manner, which he first tasted at serve him the year at one each night. Lady Luxborough's father's house ; Being thus forced by necessity to reever after, till his death, this lady's trench, he said he would then eat mother furnished him with a fuffi
two every other night; and valued cient quantity to last the year round himself on having mortified himself (be eating two every night.) This lefs than if he had yielded to the relittle present he took kindly ; but one gulation of one each night. An exfeafon proved fatal to fruit trees, and cellent compromise between economy the could present his majesty but with and epicurism.
An Anecdote of a King's Friend. out a favourite. Cardinal Rich- took such a dillike to his favourite,
' lieu, hated by every one who was that he banished him from his preabout the king, gave him one in the sence ; so that Cinq Mars conceived person of young Eliiat Cinq Mars, an equal hatred to the king and his that he might have a creature of his minifter. He carried on a corresponown about the throne. This young dence with the duke of Bouillon and man, who was soon made master of the king's brother : The chief object the horse, wanted to be in the coun. was the Cardinal's death. Richlieu's cil, and the Cardinal, who would not good fortune discovered the plot. The fuffer it, bad immediately an irrecon- conspirators treaty with Spain fell into cileable enemy in bim. The king's his hands. This coft Cinq Mars his oun behaviour, who, offended with life; he was beheaded at Lyons. At his minister's pride and state, used to the hour appointed for his execution, impart his diflike to his favourite, Louis pulled out his watch, and turnwhom he always called his dear friend, ing to the couriers about him, said, the more emboldened Cinq Mars to “ I fancy my dear frie.d makes a plot against biin. He proposed to his very sorry figure just now." majesty several times to have him al
liament of Great Britain, which met and was bolden at Weltminster, et
no form a true-judgement of the had drawn his first breath in Middle. the commencement of the present of the fourelt nonconforming minifeffion, and the general system of po. fters of the latt century. If therefore, licy on which thole proceedings were the author of the following historical engrafted, it will be necessary to take abltract should undefignedly offend a sort retrospective view of the Itate some of his readers of a particular of public affairs during the preceding complexion, he trurts that they will feffion, and the leading transactions arraign his judgement, and net' querin both Houses, which more particu. tion his intention, as he folemnly allarly mark that state.
firres them, he neither wishes to misree, It is no vulgar or common under. prejent nor milieail. taking, for a perfon, born and eda- Though the minister was supported, cated under this government, to en. by very great inajorities on every mater into political and historical details; terial measure be proposed to parlia and to execute them in such a manner ment last leflion, the beginning of it as to avoid the appearance of pas. bore a very difagreeable aspect. Whę. tiality. The attempt has been often ther he found himself thwarted in the made, but the want of fuccefs would cabinet,' or was not fire of the support lead one to believe it impracticable. of the country gentleinen, or dreaded In the most earnelt pursuit of truth, the weight of the mercantile ince: and with the beft and most capable rert, or did not secretly approve of difpofitions for discovering it, the the measures he was called to carry author, if he be a man of principle, into execution; or, lastly, whether will be at least tinctured with the pre- his conduct was the effect of great art, judices of that party which he has we will not pretend to deciile ; but it been taught to think ofteneft in the is certain, he appeared much embarright; (for perfection in politics, is no ralled and perplexed ; and seemed to more to be expected than in morals) feel the disagreeableness of his fitua. if he be not, motives of personal and tion very fenfibly. He attended but private confideration will induce him seldom before the Christmas recess, to espouse that caufe, and enlift under and avoided as much as posible, every that standard, which in præenti or in thing, which in its nature and probable effe promise moft liberally to gratify confequences might iead to or be prohis views of faction or self interest. ductive of explanation. The landed inEven foreigners, when treating of the terest had not yet been tried. The affairs of this country, have uniform- merchants and manufacturers were ly, laboured under the same impedi• clamorous. He therefore, we may ment in some degree ; compelled to presume, shrunk from the contelt, collect their materials from lystems of and industrioufly with-held the whole error, and party misrepreientation, plan relative to his intentions respect they are whigs or tories, royalists or ing America. In Itrict conformity to republicans, according to the original this miniiterial reserve and caution, bias on their own minds, and the the national estimates were formed, preconceived notions of government, The army and ordnance for land serwhich their principles and mode of vice renained on their former foo:education led thein to adopt. Rapin ing ; that of the usual peace estahas given repected proots of this,' in blishment. The navy was reduced bis flittory of England, and has hewn 4000 men below it ; and the land-iax himself as rank a partizan, as if he was voted at three millings in the
pound. The gentlemen in opposition this nation, confidered as a member of the pointed out the absurdity of coercing grand European republic, unknown, America, with sucb a force; and the not only in the annals of Britain but of direct repugnancy there was, between any other people perhaps in the western the estimates now voted, and the mea- part of Europe, since the dismemberfures recommended in the speech from ment and diffolution of the Roman the throne. This argument was fre- empire. But from the established quently pressed. Two or three days mode of conducting public business ; however before the House rose, Mr. and more particularly of all measures Cornwall, one of the gentlemen in connected with the national finances, administration, pulled the masque a, the blow, though, in loine degree ju, little aside; and said it would be very diciously aimed, lof its intended ef. improper to form war estimates at fect. The minister, it is true, felt a this season, as it might alarm the temporary trepidation ; but the thunmerchants: therefore the explanations ders of that voice, which was wont to desired could not be properly given, strike ministers dumb, and fill the till the measures at large, and the Treasury Bench with terror and dismeans of executing them, were taken may, now was vox & præterea nihil, and connected in one view ; which, and went off in mere found ; or it he said, was intended to be done im- might be aptly compared to an exmediately after the recess,
plofion at too great a distance and in The alarm spread through the whole an improper place; not perhaps body of merchants and manufacturers owing to the present unskillfulness of concerned in the American trade, was the engineer, but to his imprudence much dreaded by the friends of go- in, chuling an improper situation, and vernment; and on the meeting of being compelled to carry on his operaparliament after the adjournment, tions there, or entirely to delift. gave a weight to oppofition, which As soon therefore as this storin blew caused great uneasiness to the mini- over, the minister recovered his spi. fter. An opposition from the mer- rits. The firlt step he took was to cantile intereit, mif ] ways be a mat- produce the documents, on which ter of serious consequence to those the future measures were to be framwho are called to the alministration of ed. The American papers were accordpublic affairs, as long as trade and dingly laid before the House of Com· commerce constitute the great source mons. They were well calculated for and bulwark of our internal prospe- the purposes for which they were marity and external strength.
nifefly intended; but they appeared While all mens expectations and then, as the event has lince incontrowishes were raised to the highelt pitch, vertibly proved them, partial extracts to know the nature and extent of the from a partial correspondence. We intended measures, and the event of the would not be understood to adopt the part the merchants had taken in this sentiments and language of opposition business was anxiously sought, an unex- on that occasion, and say they were pected mode of opposition broke out purposely mutilated and garbled; on in the House of Lords. It was a motion the contrary, we are willing to sup. for withdrawing the troops from Ame. pose the extracts were made consonant rica, and desilting from all further to the usage of office on such occa. hostilities against the people of that fions; yet it was evident, from the country. Several of the members of that very face of them, that bis majesty's House were men of the first rate abi. servants, both here and in America, lities; some of them had been tried were predetermined in their opinions ; and approved in the most arduous and and on that predetermination had taken important ftations. One of them, theno- all their measures. It was evidet ble lord (Lord Chathain) who made the that they had all along only considered motion, directed the affairs of thiscoun- one side of the queition, and yet it try at a most critical season; and had was equally clear, that they had neggiven a luftre to our arms,a digni'y,ef. lected or forgot, to avail themselves ficacy and steadinessto our councils, and of the advantages arising from a prea national weiglit and conseqaence to concerted plan of coercion : for hi