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something peculiar to it. The food often grows in one country, and the sauce in another. The fruits of Portugal are corrected by the products of Barbadoes, and the infusion of a China plant is sweetened with the pith of an Indian cane. The Philippic islands give a flavour to our European bowls. The single dress of a woman of quality is often the product of an hundreit climates. The muff and the fan come together from the different ends of the earth. The scarf is sent from the torrid zone, and the tippet from beneath the pole. The brocade petticoat rises out of the mines of Peru, and the diamond necklace out of the bowels of Indostan.
If we consider our own country in its natural prospect, without any of the benefits and advantages of commerce, what a barren uncomfortable spot of earth falls to our share! Natural historians tell us, that no fruit grows originally among us, besides hips and haws, acorns and pig-puts, with other delicacies of the like nature; that our climate of itself, and without the assistance of art, can make no further advances towards a plumb than to a sloe, and carries an apple to no greater a perfection than a crab: that our melons, our peaches, our figs, our apricots, and cherries, are strangers among us, imported in different ages, and naturalized in our English gardens; and that they would all degenerate and fall away into the trash of our own country, they were wholly neglected by the planter, and left to the mercy of our sun and soil. Nor has traffic more enriched our vegetable world, than it has improved the whole face of nature among us. Our ships are laden with the harvest of every climate. Our tables are stored with spices, and oils, and wines. Our rooms are filled with pyramids of China, and adorned with the workmanship of Japan. Our morning's draught comes to us from the remotest corners of the earth. We repair our bodies by the drugs of America, and repose ourselves under Indian canopies. The vineyards of France are our gardens; the spice-islands our bot-beds; the Persians our silk weavers, and the Chinese our potters. Nature indeed furnishes us with the bare necessaries of life, but traffic gives us a great variety of what is useful, and at the same time supplies us with every thing that is convenient and ornanievtal. Nor is it the least part of this our happiness, that whilst we enjoy the remotest products of the north and south, we are free from those extremities of weather which give them birth; that our eyes are refreshed with the green fields of Britain, at the saine time that our palates are feasted with fruits that rise between the tropics.
For these reasons there are not more useful members in a commonwealth than merchants. They knit mankind together in a mutual intercourse of good offices, distribute the gifts of nature, find work for the poor, add wealth to the rich, and magnificence to the great. Our English merchant converts the tin of his own country into gold, and exchanges its wool for rubies. The Mahometans are clothed in our British manufacture, avd the inhabitants of the frozen zone warmed with the fleeces of our sheep.
When I have been upon the 'Change, I bave often fancied one of our old kings standing in person, where he is represented in effigy, and looking down upon the wealthy concourse of people with wbich that place is every day filled. In this case, how would be be sur. prised to hear all the languages of Europe spoken in this little spot of his former dominions, and to see so many private men, who in his time would have been the vassals of some powerful baron, negotiating like princes for greater sums of money than were formerly to be met with in the royal treasury! Trade, without enlarging the British territories, has given us a kind of additional empire. It has multiplied the number of the rich, made onr landed estates infinitely more vala. able thau they were formerly, and added to them an accession of other estates as valuable as the lands themselves.
THE CAVE OF TROPHONIUS*.
Ubique Luctus, ubique pavor
VIRG. All parts resound with tumults, plaints, and fears.
IT has been my custom, as I grow old, to allow my
self some little indulgences, which I never took in my youth. Among others is that of an afternoon's nap, which I fell into in the fifty-fifth year of my age, and have continued for the three last years past. By this meaus I enjoy a doable morning, and rise twice a day fresh to my speculations. It happens very luckily for me, that some of my dreams have proved instructive to my countrymen, so that I may be said to sleep, as well as to wake, for the good of the public. I was yesterday meditating on the Cave of Trophonius. I was vo sooner fallen into my usual slumber, but I dreamed that this cave was put into my possession, and that I gave public notice of its virtue, inviting every one to it who had a mind to be a serious man for the remaining part of his life. Great multitudes immediately resorted to me. The first who made the experiment was a merry-andrew, who was put into
* Pausanias has given a very particular description of this cave: he tells us, that it was made in the form of a huge oven, and had many particular circumstan. ces, which disposed the person who was in it to be more pensive and thoughtful than ordinary. It was usual in these times, when any one carried more than common gloominess in his features, to tell him that he looks like one just come out of Trophonius's cave.
Plutarch mentions, that prophecies of evil events were uttered from the cave of Trophonius; but the allegorical story, that whoever entered this cavern were never again seen to smile, seems to have heen designed to warn the contemplative from considering too much the dark side of nature.
my hands by a neighbouring justice of peace, in order to reclaim him from that profligate kind of life. Poor pickle-herring bad not taken above one turn in it, when he came out of the cave like a hermit from his cell, with a penitential look, and a most raeful coante
I then put in a young laughing fop, and watching for his return, asked him), with a smile, how he liked the placehe replied, Prithee, friend, be not impertinent; and stalked by me as grave as a judge. A citizen then desired me to give free ingress and egress to his wife, who was dressed in the gayest coloured ribbons I had ever seen. She went in with a flirt of her fan and a smirking countenance, but came out with the severity of a vestal, and throwing from her several fernale gewgaws, told me with a sigh, that she resolved to go into deep mourning, and to wear black all the rest of her life. As I had many coquettes recommended to me by their parents, their husbands, and their lovers, I let them in all at once, desiring them to divert themselves together as well as they could. Upon their einerging again into day light, you would have fancied my cave to have been a nunnery, and that you had seen a solemn procession of religious marching out, one behind another, in the most pru. found silence and the most exeinplary decency. As I Was very much delighted with so edifying a sight, there came towards me a great company of males and fe. males laughing, singing, and dancing, in such a man. ner, that I could hear thein a great while before I saw them. Upon my asking their leader, what brought them thither? they told me all at once, that they were French protestants lately arrived in Great Britain, and that finding themselves of too gay a humour for my country, they applied themselves to me in order co compose them for British conversation, I told them that to oblige them I would soon spoil their mirth; apon which I admitted a whole shoal of them, wbo, after having taken a survey of the place, came out in very good order, and with looks entirely English I
! afterwards put in a Dutchman, who had a great fancy in to see the kelder, as he called it, but I could not observe that I had made any alteration in him.
A comedian, who had gained great reputation in parts of humour, told me that he had a mighty mind to act Alexander the Great, and fancied that he should succeed very well in it, if he could strike two or three
laughing features out of his face: he tried the experi. - ment, but contracted so very solid a look by it, that I
am afraid he will be fit for no part hereafter but à | Timon of Athens, or a mute in the Funeral. 3 I then clapped up an empty fantastic citizen, in order
to qualify him for an alderman. He was succeeded
by a young rake of the Middle Temple, who was E brought to me by bis grandmother; but to her great
sorrow and surprise, he came out a Quaker. Seeing myself surrounded with a body of free-thinkers, and scoffers at religion, who were making themselves merry at the sober looks and thoughtful brows of those who had been in the cave, I thirust them all in, one after another, and locked the door upon them. Upon my opening it, they all looked as if they had been frighted out of their wits, and were marching away with ropes in their hands to a wood that was within sight of the place. I found they were not able to bear themselves in their first serious thoughts; but knowing these would quickly bring them to a better frame of mind, 1 gave them into the custody of their friends until that happy change was wrought in them.
The last that was brought to me was a young woman, who at the first sight of my short face fell into au immoderate fit of langhter, and was forced to hold her sides all the while her mother was speaking to me. Upon this I interrupted the old lady, and taking her daughter by the hand, Madam, said I, be pleased to retire into my closet, while your mother tells me your case. I then put her into the mouth of the cave, when the mother, after having begged pardon for the girl's rudeness, told me, that she often treated ber