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Who foremost now delight to cleave,
The captive Linnet which enthrall ?
Or urge the flying Ball ?
Johnson angrily remarks, “ FATHER THAMES has no better means of knowing than himself !” But the surly Critic had forgotten that in his own Rasselas he makes his hero supplicate the mighty river NILE to tell him whence came his rolling waters !—It might be observed, that the river Nile had no better means of knowing than himself. Besides, personification (as all rhetoricians will acknowledge) is not so admissible in prose as it is in poetry.
We now pushed on to the little village of Slough, and paid our respects to the venerable Herschel, of astronomic renown. Introduced to him by a letter, he received us politely, and in shewing us his wonderful apparatus in the garden paid every possible attention. His immense Te LESCOPE, forty feet long, raised and supported by complicated appendages, is seen by every passing traveller from the public road. The lesser instruments are rangerl around, like so many Satellites in the PLANETARY SYSTEM !
Dr. HERSCHEL, a native of Germany, and originally a musician in the army, was the discoverer (13th of March, 1781,) of a new planet, denominated the Georgium Sidus, out of compliment to his Majesty,
SONNET ON ASTRONOMY.
It is apparently at the extreme boundary of the solar system. Other discoveries have been made by this indefatigable astronomer. He was pleased to present me with a well-executed engraving of his great Telescope, upon my telling him that I always explained its construction to my pupils at the conclusion of my lecture on astronomy. Mentioning, also, an excellent ORRERY I had lately purchased, he replied, with great good humour, “ Orreries are pretty play-thingsMY Orrery is up there !"-pointing to the sky. The old gentlenian was very affable, and, notwithstanding his extraordinary merit, is distinguished for his modesty. He is evidently an enthusiast in his profession, enamoured of the divine science of astronomy; its pleasures are ineffable :
I Love to roam amidst the starry height,
To leave the little scenes of Earth behind, And let Imagination wing her flight
On eagle pinions swifter than the wind!
I LOVE the Planets in their course to trace,
To mark the Comets speeding to the Sun, Then launch into immeasurable
space, Where, lost to human sight, remote they run!
I love to view the Moon when high she rides
Amidst the heav'ns, in borrow'd lustre bright; To fathom how she rules the subject tides,
And how she borrows from the Sun ber light!
0! these are wonders of th’Almighty hand Whose Wisdom first the circling Orbits plann'd!
The centre of astronomical science in this country, whence the Longitude is reckoned, and where the columns of the Nautical Almanac are calculated for the use of the adventurous mariner, is the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. This curious edifice, seen far and wide, is, with its valuable instruments, minutely described in
my JUVENILE TOURIST, under the article Greenwich. The very interesting account was furnished by my worthy and intelligent relative Thomas Simpson Evuns, LL.D., who lived for some years with the late Astronomer Royal, Dr. Maskelyne, and conducted for him the practical operations of the Observatory. Dr. Evans is now Mathematical Master at Christ's Hospital; his professional talents, known and duly appreciated, cannot fail of being rendered serviceable to his country.
I must conclude this epistle with a summary account of Windsor FOREST. This Royal Domain, like the New Forest, in Hampshire, was formerly of great ex, tent, embracing a circumference of one hundred and twenty miles! At this time, having been much reduced, it is only fifty-six miles. In 1789 it contained 59,000 acres, including twelve parishes, and parts of others. The number of Deer, the ornament of all forests, is latterly diminished; sufficient, however, remain of these delicate and timorous animals, with their spotted hides, to vary and enliven the scenery.
The Officers of the Forest are a Lord Warden and his Deputy, with many inferior attendants. The present Lieutenant or Lord Warden is his Royal High
ness thé Duke of York, and the Earl of Harcourt Deputy Lieutenant of Windsor Forest.
In describing WINDSOR FOREST, we enter by the LONG WALK, near Frogmore; it is skirted by a double row of trees, “whose seeming boundless continuity fills the mind with an idea of something like infinitude; for the line is extended not only along the whole of a very spacious plain, but up the distant hill, over whose summit it appears to curve, so that nothing like termination is discernible!” The eminence commands a delightful prospect; and near is Cumberland Lodge, a spacious edifice, originally given to the illustrious Duke of Cumberland, who quelled the rebellion of 1745 by the battle of Culloden. Here he reposed after victory. The Regent's Cottage, reared with considerable expense, is the subject of general commendation.
The Forest of Windsor has been much improved by his Majesty. The Norfolk, Suffolk and Flemish farms are in high cultivation. Sunning-hill with its mineral waters, and Leonard's-hill with its Roman encampment, are worthy of attention. Nor must we forget BINFIELD, a pleasant village,' in whose parish church lies the celebrated Admiral Vernon, who, in 1739, took Porto-Bello from the Spaniards in its day an event of no small importance. Hence it is that we here and there faintly trace the features of this heroic far on some old sign-posts in town and country! And within the walls of this parochial edifice may be seen a Tablet to the memory of the famous Mrs. Catherine
Macaulay Graham, who died June, 1791. She wrote a voluminous History of England, with the view of reprobating (what Hume had extenuated) the tyranny of the Stuarts--a Work once much extolled, now generally neglected, and almost forgotten. This was the lady to whom Dr. Wilson (son of the good Bishop of Sodor and Man), the Rector of Walbrook, erected a statue in the chancel of his own church, during her life-time, by way of commemorating her distinguished zeal in behalf of Civil and RELIGIOUS LIBERTY !
But the village of Bin field will be always known as the scene of the early years of Pope, mentioned in my account of the Poet, under 'Twickenham, and frequently alluded to in his writings ;
First in these fields he tried the sylvan strains,
HERE Pope sung-are words inscribed, in capital letters, on the bark of a TREE, beneath whose shade the Bard is said to have composed several of his juvenile poems. Nor will the admirers of Pope ever forget that finely descriptive poem Windsor FOREST, with an Extract from which, of some length, this Epistle shall be brought to a termination. The lines selected shall relate to the River THAMES, which, (although one hundred miles from its commencement, and fifty miles from its termivation,) by its meanderings and innumerable beauties, sheds a profusion of charms on Windsor and its vicinity. Nor should it be forgotten that “ Royal-towered Thame," as Milton