Page images

The price of the Port Folio is Six Dollars yearly, payable by new subscribers in advance. Single Numbers 75 cents. No Subscription will be taken for less than twelve months; nor discontinued without written notice before the expiration of the of arrears. and payment year,










In Two Vols. Price $1 75. Eight plates.

It is the object of the author to give a plain but comprehensive view of the sacred writings. The style is adapted to young minds, and the narrative is illustrated by coincidences and explanations derived from modern books; so that it will be novel and interestin to all who have not studied the subject in the great original. The author indulges a hope that by this popular manner of treating the subject, the gay and the different may be persuaded to peruse these sacred volumes; of which it has been said with not less elegance than truth, that they contain "not only the true origin of the world, the rise of the several nations upon the earth, and the first institution of civil government; not only the earliest account of all useful callings and employments: such as gardening, husbandry, pasturage of cattle, &c. but all the politer arts and sciences likewise; such as poetry and music, history and geography, physic, anatomy, and philosophy of all kinds, the arts of war and ornaments of peace, are primarily to be found in this book: that it is, in short, not only a record of the most antient learning, but a magazine of all learning, whatever, and that he who affects to appear in the capacity of a scholar, either as a critic, a chronologer, an historian, a poet, an orator, a disputant, a lawyer, a statesman, a pleader, or a preacher, must not be unacquainted with this INEXHAUSTIBLE FUND." Stackhouse, part 1. ch. IV.

[blocks in formation]

Persons residing in the Northern Liberties, (Philad.) may apply to Mr. Joseph

Delaplaine, Second Street, ear Poplar Lane




VARIOUS, that the mind

Of desultory man, studious of change

And pleased with novelty, may be indulged.-Cowper.

[blocks in formation]

ART. 1.-Letters written by an American gentleman from the south of France in the year 1819.


DEAR H.-BETWEEN St. Remy and Nismes, we crossed the Rhone upon a bridge more remarkable for its length than its architectural beauties. Half of it is built upon boats, and the remaining portion upon piles. Each extremity is connected with a town; the eastern has Tarascon, and the western, Beaucaire. In crossing this bridge we were exposed to considerable danger by a young and unruly post-horse, which was very near precipitating us into the rapid flood below.

The population of Tarascon is computed at 12,000, a great part of which finds constant employment in constructing boats, for the navigation of the Rhone. The principal object of attraction for strangers at this place, is the ancient Chateau du Roi René, once the residence of the Counts of Provence. It is built and ornamented in the Gothic style, and still remains in good preservation; but in the vicissitudes of time it has lost the dignity of a palace in the humble character of a prison.

Beaucaire, the Belloquadra of antiquity, is celebrated in the present day for its annual fair, which is said to be the largest in Europe. It lasts from the 22d to the 28th of July, during which time business to the amount of 40, or 50 millions of livres is transacted.

[blocks in formation]

Not far from Beaucaire, the road mounts upon a hill commanding a picturesque view of the beautiful and highly cultivated country, through which the rapid Rhone pursues its course towards the Gulf of Lyons. Whilst my eye roved with gladness over this delightful scene, my mind was diligently engaged in search of interesting recollections to associate with the prospect. And here a remark of Addison was forcibly revived. "I have seen" says that inimitable writer, "great part of the course of this river, and cannot help thinking it has been guided by the particular hand of Providence. Had a river like this been left to itself to find its way out from among the Alps, whatever windings it had made, it must have formed several little seas, and have laid many countries under water, before it had reached the end of its course."

Whilst yet at a distance from Nismes, you see the Tour Magne or Great Tower, looking like a huge mishapen ruin. Fortunately, the testimony of those who have seen it in a better state, enables us to supply the waste of time, and to ascertain the form in which it was left by the Romans. What now remains of this once stupendous structure which was built in the Doric style, is about 80 feet in height, its base being covered by its own ruins to the depth of twelve feet.

Among the various surmises respecting its rise, I think the most plausible is, that it once formed part of the walls of the city when larger and more populous than at present, and besides its object of defence served as a look out post from which the approach and motions of an enemy might be discovered at a distance. It may also have been used as a beacon from which signals were made to the inhabitants of the country in time of war by fires lighted at the top. The interior arrangement of the building favours this conclusion, for it has no other opening than the one leading above.

Nismes, anciently called Nema-usis, was founded by a Roman colony in the days of Augustus Cæsar. It is still of considerable extent, and reported to contain 40,000 inhabitants who are mostly occupied in the manufacture of silk and woollen. The former opulence and extent of this city may be estimated by the vestiges remaining, all of which are upon a grand and magnificent scale. Besides being handsomely situated, its promenades, garden, and above all, its superb fountain, contribute greatly to its ornament and must render it a delightful residence. The garden is formed by a large semicircle which includes the Temple of Diana and the fountain. Here are distributed several statues, among which four of a large size personify the seasons. The most interesting object of this kind is a fine Apollo which was found among the ruins of the Baths, in a mutilated state, but has since been repaired and placed upon its pedestal by an eminent artist. It represents a young man naked and without beard, his curling hair descending upon his finely turned shoulders. The artist has ably

succeeded in uniting strength and elegance, the freshness of youth with the stability of manhood, bodying forth, as it were

-"a dream of Love

Shaped by some solitary nymph, whose breast
Long'd for a deathless lover from above

And madden'd in that vision."

The clear water that issues in prodigious abundance from the foot of the rock upon which the Great Tower stands, fills two large marble reservoirs, from which a grand canal, also of white marble proceeds as a main branch to supply the city for the different purposes of domestic economy and manufacture. Some idea of the immense quantity of water which springs from this fountain, may be drawn from the size of the basin at the source, the Roman basin, two large and deep canals upwards of 500 feet long, together with two capacious basins from which the great canal proceeds. This last canal is nearly two thousand feet long, fifty broad, twenty deep, and has three handsome bridges thrown over it. The modern architect, with great taste and judgment, has preserved as many things in their original state as possible. The wall inclosing the fountain stands upon the ancient line, and the steps descending to it are the antique. The beautiful bridge under which the waters glide into the first basin, had formerly three arches where there are now but two. At present there are no baths as the chambers where the ancients had them in the place now improperly called the Nymphæ, have not been preserved. Several fine statues found on clearing away the rubbish have been restored to their pedestals. After all 1 fear you will have but a faint idea of the beauties of the fountain and garden at Nismes.

I forbear saying much about the inhabitants of a country whose manners and customs you are already well acquainted with through the medium of several eminent tourists. There are two in particular, to whom I would again call your attention. I allude to Sterne and Smollett; but you must believe neither of them entirely, as the glowing and amiable pictures of the one, are scarcely more faithful than the foul and disingenuous delineations of the other. As usual in such instances, a medium is nearest the truth. For myself I can say, that, whilst my heart has never yet been melted by the soft and touching scenes described by Sterne, I have never experienced those feelings of hatre:l and distrust which might be anticipated from the letters of Smollett.

Το say the truth, the mind does not delight to dwell on the ordinary scenes of the present day, whilst we have before us so many noble monuments of antiquity as are here collected together. We are transported to the heroic times which laid the foundation of these magnificent structures, and feel something bordering on contempt for the degenerate race that surrounds us; but certainly little or no disposition to abandon the contemplation of these glorious objects in order to take a survey of men and things standing

« PreviousContinue »