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that these externals are of great importance in the fyftem of health.
But I know of no kind of weather, which affects my countrymen more feriously than rainy weather, and there are fundry reasons why this fhould be the cafe. In the first place, a rainy day is a day of disappointment, often in matters of business, but more frequently in engagements of pleafure. Hence, of all rainy days, a rainy Sunday is pregnant with the greatest mortifications, and when we may fee the most lively representation of the pains of a party of pleasure. It is what no perfon calculates upon, and therefore no preparation is made to avert its probable confequences. Over night, the plan is laid of a pleasant day, a pleafant ride, or walk, a pleasant party, a pleasant dinner, in a pleafant fpot on the banks of the Thames, or on thofe formidable infpectors of the metropolis, Hampstead or Highgate. The new clothes are ready; the new caps are made up, the laft new fashion is to be fported, and the laft new folly to be humbly imitated. The parties retire to fleep, with a perfect confidence that they shall wake to joy and pleasure. Some of them, unable to fleep, for thinking of it,' withdraw the curtain at an early hour, when alas!
The dawn is overcaft; the morning lours,
And heavily in clouds brings on-the
that is to dash the cup of pleafure from their lips, and confign them to fretful impatience, or helpless folitude-fir the party is broke up.
The motto to this letter was a common faying of the celebrated lord Falkland; I pity unlearned gentlemen in a rainy day,' and moft pitia able objects they are, for having, according to our parliamentary language, made up their minds to a plea furable employment, the bitterness of difappointment will not permit them to recur to domeftic topics; they cannot comfort themselves with what they
are, and where they are, but torment their imaginations with what they might have been, and where they might have been, and having no tafte for reading, they almoft cease to be objects of ridicule, and are, indeed, as lord Falkland confiders them, objects of pity.
There are, perhaps, few things that difplay more of a man's character than the manner in which he bears difappointments of this kind, and in general, I am forry to fay it, we do not find many who do bear them with a tolerable fliare of good humour, the reason of which is the want of a subftitute, which would always be found, where they leaft think of feeking it, in an agreeable or inftructive book. It is one of the greatest misfortunes of life not to have acquired, and it is truly blame worthy to have lost a tafte for reading, because univerfal experi'ence has proved that it is the best and the only infallible antidote against those varieties of weather to which we are expofed in this country. Perhaps I may be partial to it, but befide thinking that a man who has such a taste may defy all weathers, I queftion very much whether the many fudden exits, peculiar to an English November, might not be averted in fome measure by it.
The experiment is at leaft worth trying, though I muft warn my readers from expecting that this like a quack medicine, by the taking remedy will operate like a charm, or of one or two dofes only. Highly as I think of its efficacy, I am perfuaded I that nothing but a courfe regularly followed for years will afford a complete antidote to the afperities of wind and weather.
It will, I prefume, be readily allowed, that the greateft misfortune attending a rainy day, is the breaking up of a party, and the confining the individuals of it to their own houses. Now, in reading, a remedy is immediately found for this. What company can any one expect better than that of the most celebrated English authors? Men who will fet down with you
coolly, clearly, and deliberately, to impart their fentiments, without rudely controverting yours, offering you a bet, which perhaps may not be convenient for you to pay, far lefs, throwing a bottle at your head, a glafs of wine in your face, or any of thofe arguments, which are not unfrequent in what is termed genteel company. I do not wish to place an invidious difference between the living and the dead, nor to praise the latter fo extravagantly, as leave no merit at all for the former, but I am fure, upon calm recollection, there are few perfons who would not prefer a volume of many English authors I could mention, to most conversations they ever took part in with their acquaintances. And there is this particular advantage attending our keeping up an intimacy with the dead, that whereas with the living we are often exposed to hear very unpleafant converfation upon very odious fubjects, and compelled to spend what we call a moft difagreeable day, we may, from our libraries, felect the fubject that is most agreeable to us, and the author who handles it moft agreeably, and enjoy the full feast of reafon and the flow of foul,' without the possibility of the interruptions of impertinence, the clamours of intoxication, or the repentance of an ill-spent day.
Whenever, therefore, a difappointment defcends from the clouds, we may confole ourselves that the earth will certainly profit by it, and that there is at least a chance, or more than a chance, that in our fecluded employment, we may be more agreeably entertained than we fhould have been with our party. In a party of pleasure, we cannot tell what a day may bring forth,' but in the amusements of our clofet, in converfing with the wife and learned of former times, we can at least tell, what a day will not bring forth. We can affure ourfelves that it will be followed by no unpleasant reflections, and that in blending instruction with amufement, we mult have gained something, and
can have loft nothing. The man, who confiders the fubject in this light, will think very little of the disappointment which depends upon weather, and will, in many cafes, have reason to felicitate himself that he has made an exchange fo worthy of a rational creature.
Wifdom is fo indifpenfable an ingredient in happiness, that fome have refolved all vice into ignorance. Perhaps this is carrying the principle rather too far, fince the wifeft of men are not immaculate, but furely one chief means of fecuring our happiness is by holding converfe with men of wifdom and learning, whose writings are fo eafy of accefs, that he who feldom confults them must stand without all excufe. And of whatever other and more important uses they may be, they are highly valuable, if it were only for the purpose which forms the fubject of this letter, namely, to avert the horrors of a rainy day. The want of temper, peevishness, liftleffnefs, and other uncomfortable fymptoms, are in themfelves very ferious misfortunes, and require a remedy, Whether the one I have propofed will be acceptable, I know not, but I am from long experience fo well convinced of its utility, that I do not hesitate, as far as my opinion may have weight, to add probatum eft. A man who has refources within himself has little to fear from externals. Wind and weather are to him merely objects of fpeculation; their ferious confequences he leaves to the mariner, but the pitilefs pelting of the ftorm,' has no effect upon his temper, and he can meet his friends with cheerfulness, though even in the circumftances which Shakspeare attributes to the meetings of witchesIn thunder, lightning, or in rain? I am, fir, &c. OLD LILLY.
P. S. Does not Solomon allude fome how to my fubject, when he fays,” A continual dropping in a very rainy day, and a contentious woman, are alike?'
Interefting EXTRACT'S from Mr. PENNANT'S Hiftory of the Parishes of Whiteford and Holywell.'
Having bad Reafon to apprehend, from a former Intimation, that Mr. Pennant had entirely relinquished his literary Labours, it is with Pleasure that we fee him refume his agreeable and inftructive Pen. The Work before us is a Hiftory of his native Fields; and we are perfuaded, that we shall highly gratify our Readers by the following Extracts from it.
Remarkable Inftances of the Affection of Juliet, calls for it amain, under the
Account of the Origin of Brandy.
BRANDY, it is probable, was not, at that time (1642) in fashion in Wales: yet nurfe, in Romeo and
aqua vitæ :
Some aqua vita, ho! my lord,
Guinea, there was brandy on board for In captain Wyndham's voyage to the ufe of the fick failors. It was faid to have been invented by Raymundus Lullius, the famous alchymit, who died in the year 1315. Charles the Bad, king of Navarre, came to a moft horrible end, fays Mezerey, who, to restore his ftrength, weakened by debauchery, was wrapped in fheets accident fet fire to them: after the fteeped in eau de vie. His valet by third day he died in the most dreadful tortures, and it is to be hoped thus crable life. I am indebted for the expiated the crimes of his moft exeorigin of brandy to a moft elaborate effay on it which I received from Mr. William Taylor, of Norwich, by favour of my friend Dr. Aikin.
A Singular Event.
Ar one end of the gallery, at Mostyn Hall, in Flintshire, is a great During the time that Henry earl of room, remarkable for a fingular event. Richmond was fecretly laying the foundation of the overthrow of the houfe of York, he paffed concealed from place to place, in order to form an intereft among the Welsh, who favoured his caufe on account of their refpect to his grandfather Owen Tudor, their countryman. While he was at Molyn, a party attached to Richard III, arrived there to appre
hend him. He was then about to dine, but had just time to leap out of a back window, and make his escape through a hole, which, to this day, is called the King's. Richard ap Howe, then lord of Moftyn, joined Henry at the battle of Bolworth; and after the victory, received from the king, in token of gratitude for his prefervation, the belt and fword he wore on that day; he alfo preffed Richard greatly to follow him to court: but he nobly anfwered, like the Shunamitifh woman: I dwell a
mong mine own people.' The fword andet were preserved in the house till within thefe few years. It is obfervable, that none of our hiftorians account for a certain period of Henry's life, previous to his acceffion. It is very evident that he paffed the times when he difappeared from Bretagny, in Wales. Many cotemporary bards, by feigned names, record this part of his life, under thofe of the Lion, the Eagle, and the like, which were to reflore the empire to the Britons: for the infpired favourers of the houfe of Lancaster did not dare to deliver their verses in other than terms allegorical, for fear of the reigning prince.
At this time money was fo fcarce. that 41. was a price for a pair of oxen; and the baronet of Mollyn was thought very liberal in fending his heir apparent to the univerfity with zol. in his pocket.
A fingular Typographical Anecdote.
MR. Pennant, after having given an account of the curious manuscripts and ancient books in the Moftyn Library. adds: To this claffical lift let me add a modern edition of the Bible, remarkable for its magnificence, but more fo for a fingular erratum. It was printed by Basket, at the Clarendon prefs, in 1717, in two vaft volumes. It is adorned with a frontispiece, and various head-pieces, from paintings by fir J. Thornhill, and others, engraven by Vander Gutch, de Bosche, &c. The ridiculous miftake is in the runningtitle to the twentieth chapter of St. Luke; in which " Parable of the vineyard," is printed "Parable of the vinegar;" and on that account the edi tion is better known by the name of the Vinegar Bible, than any other.
On the Cultivation of Potatoes.
EVERY cottage in Whiteford has its garden; and if that is not large enough, any landlord or neighbour allots him a piece in one of his fields, for the purpofe of a potatoe-garden, and this fpot is prepared and manured by the landlord, and for which not more than 18d. per rood is demanded. The last comfort is not of long date, for I can remember the time in which it was almost unknown to the poorer people; neither did the rich extend the culture beyond the garden. How fingular does appear to us the following quotation from old Gerard, who fpeaks of it as being also a meate for pleasure, equall in goodneffe and wholefamencffe vnto the fame, being either rosted in the embers, or boyled and eaten with oyle, vinegar, and pepper, or dreffed any other way by the hand of fome cunning in cookerie.' -At prefent our gardeners, and a few
others of the parish, raised fufficient to fupply their neighbours, and to, for fale to the adjacent market. The fiff foil of the parish is unfavourable to the culture. If we want potatoes in any quantities, we must import them from the vale of Conwy, from Chefhire, and Lancashire. In the prefent time of scarcity, (May 1795) the cultivat on has been unusually encreafed in Whiteford parish. Before this feafon, I never raised more than was neceflary for the ufe of my family: this year increafed my potatoeground many fold, even before I had read the fpeech made by fir John Sinclair. Thoufands have done the fame in a fimilar ftate of ignorance, fome from benevolence, fome from view of gain, and others on the principle of felf-prefervation. I may predict alfo, from the former motives, that wheat will be in the next feafon fown fourfold. Admonitions furely are unne ceffary. In the next year we may rejoice in plenty, even in fuperfluity, and have the happiness of feeing the poor man exult in our fuccefs.But the. halcyon days are arriving faft. Let us comfort ourselves with the fair profpect before us, and devoutly pray for the accomplishment of thofe hopes delivered to us in the following prophetic effufion :
Let us cut off thofe legal bars Which crush the culture of our fertile ifle! Were they remov'd, unbounded wealth
Our waftes would then with varied pro
And England foon a fecond Eden prove?
WHEAT grows remarkably well in our clayey land; it is the red kind, that the farmer prefers for feed; it is the hardiest, and the fureft of finding fale; the white and the grey being in our country lefs in request. We raife much more than the parish would confume. The reft is exported to Liver. pool, to fupply the county of Lancahire with bread, that vaft county not being productive of much wheat. The
demand, therefore, from the numerous populous towns is very confiderable, and at times occafions a great rife in the price, and a confequential clamour at home. The complaints are the draining of our county of grain, and the imaginary evil of great farms. Grain is one of the articles of commerce of the parish; and weaving the fupport of thousands and thousands of poor in the great county I have mentioned. We feed them, they fupply us with various fpecies of clothing. As to food, let me add, that the farmers of that county even make us a return in that article; for they supply us with potatoes, as we do them with wheat. We all depend upon one another: fo true is it, that
God never form'd an independant man! Without fuch means of fale, or, we may call it, exchange of commodities, the great farmer would cease to plough, would ceafe to form those magazines of corn, on which, at all times, our markets depend, and which are the great prefervative from famine in thefe kingdoms. At times, bad feafons occafion bad crops, and of courfe enhance the price. An inordinate luft of gain may fometimes occafion criminal confederacies; which, criminal as they are, have hitherto baffled every attempt of the legislature to prevent. The poor are now left quite defenceless against the inithe repeal of the 5th and 6th Edward quitous race of forestallers, &c. by VI. It is much to be lamented that thofe humane laws are not revived, modified in any manner adapted to the times. A middle man in great contracts is often requifite: it is not that defcription of men at whom I aim, but those who in fmall bargains tempt the farmer, by offers of exorbitant prices, and contribute to the diftreffes of the poor, and difcontents of the country, to a degree unspeakable. At prefent a calamitous war affifts that evil; but furely we cannot grudge food to our brave countrymen, who are fighting for all that is dear to us.