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I HAVE already mentioned to you Signior Adini. This
name denoted him to be Italian; his real country was a problem
until the period of my story, at which he removed in some de-
gree the mysterious veil that hung over his character. It will
be useful to return, and as an introduction to the events that
here took place, and which rendered him an object of uncom-
mon attention in our little circle, to state various particulars
that had occurred at former periods.

The incidents that compose the succeeding narrative, did
not all of them fall within my own observation; though a wit-
ness to most of them, my youth rendered me an inattentive or
unconscious witness. They are for the most part extracted
from the papers of Mr. Ellen, who as he taught us the useful-
ness, was careful likewise to set us the example of reading at
the conclusion of each day, every incident of moment that had
occurred during that day.

This person first became known to us in the year 1785. It
was about a year after his arrival in America. He came hither
according to the best information we could obtain, from Leg-
horn. Yet even this circumstance could never be satisfactorily
ascertained. The ship which brought him to our shores was a
Danish one. It was certain that she came from and returned to
Leghorn. But whether Adini embarked in her at this port, my
father had no means of ascertaining. His knowledge of Adini
began, as I have just said, not less than twelve months after her
departure from America, and she never returned to it.

He was accompanied by a girl of 10 years of age, whom he
permitted to be styled his daughter. There is an inhabitant of
this city, by name Theresby, whose family was small, and
mode of life orderly and decent. Of this person he hired two
rooms, which for some years he occupied occasionally with his
daughter. This daughter was his sole companion at home and
abroad. Her instruction appeared to constitute his chief
amusement, and employment. What was chiefly remarkable
in his deportment to the family with whom he resided was, an
impenetrable reserve, and an almost uninterrupted silence. His
provisions which were in the highest degree sparing and simple,

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were procured and prepared by the family, but he ate his
meals apart with his daughter. He soon fell into that familia-
rity which is produced by a perfect knowledge of the habits and
manners of our associates; though we are wholly ignorant of
their real characters and condition. What was singular and
mysterious for a while excited and employed their curiosity,
but this passion finding no encouragement in the success of its
efforts, the means which it suggested answering no end, but
that of augmenting their doubts, it gradually subsided. The
novelty of his manners disappeared with time, and he grew to
be merely regarded with unalterable complaisance, as one who,
though reserved was kind, and though singular respectable.

His garb and aspect were that of a foreigner, but when he
spoke he discovered the accents of an Englishman. The girl
too was familiar with that language, though her speech was
somewhat tinctured with Italian peculiarities. She had all the
vivacity and innocence to be expected from her age. Her form
and features if they did not merit the praise of beauty, were
full of grace and sweetness. She even then displayed that for-
wardness and sprightliness of talents which have since unfolded
into excellence not easily rivalled. Those who endeavoured to
extract from answers to their inquiries some knowledge of her
father were for the most part disappointed. Of her mother she
knew nothing. She was not conscious of ever having seen her.

They found however that this man paid an anxious atten-
tion to the improvement of his child: that he spent many
hours daily in superintending her employments. She read to
him; she wrote; she walked with him. An inquisitive-
ness not very scrupulous, discovered that he had laid aside
with her his usual taciturnity, and held long and animating
conversations. His discourse on these occasions but partly
gratified the listener. It was merely adapted to unfold her
latent powers, and furnish her with information on general to-
pics. If ever his stateliness forsook him, it was at the sight of
this darling object.

His appearance was not calculated to impress us with the
idea of moroseness. The solemnity that occupied his features
was benign. In his countenance were discernible the tokens of
past, rather than of present sufferings. A sadness whose causes

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had already vanished, but which had been established in such
firm possession of his features that ordinary accidents had no
power to remove it.

His manners were distinguished by the most scrupulous po-
liteness, so far as was consistent with his attachment to silence
and loneliness. To these he refused no sacrifice; least of all
those attentions and observances which custom exacts. He
took no trouble to amuse the casual visitant, offered his at-
tendance to no one, and cultivated no acquaintance.

Mr. Ellen was the friend of this family. In his occasional
visits he seldom failed to meet with this person. The intelli-
gent solemnity of his aspect and dignified deportment power-
fully arrested his attention. He admired the captivating sweet-
ness and playful vivacity of the child. He could gain only ge-
neral information or crude conjectures from the family. Their
answers to his interrogations excited instead of allaying his cu-
riosity. The more he reflected on what he heard, the more
cause did he find for wonder and kindness.

This person could in no light be regarded as an object of sus-
picion. No selfish or iniquitous purpose could be reasonably
imputable to him. He apparently consulted merely his own
convenience. He sought no change or improvement of his
condition. His behaviour was directly the reverse of the for-
wardness, assiduity and flattery which characterize an adven-
turer. He came from Italy. Could he be a voluntary exile
from a land in which his religious or political opinions might
render his continuance dangerous? Yet the same reserve which
he displayed here would have rendered him secure any where.
He exhibited no tokens of a devout spirit. He frequented no
place of public worship. He was not known to have ever per-
formed any chamber rites. His apartments were never lock-
ed. The family were allowed to have free access to them.
A chest or two, a cabinet and bureau comprised the whole fur-
niture which belonged to him. No traces of religion, no de-
votional books or symbols of any kind, were ever discovered.
On questioning his daughter, she showed perfect ignorance of
any creed or catechism, though she manifested a sagacity be-
yond her years. The sum of her knowledge respecting her-

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self was that the voyage hither was the first she had undertak-
en, and that previously to embarkation, the people among
whom she lived, talked a language, which, by her account, ap-
peared to be the dialect of Tuscany.

Could he have been the heir of nobility? perhaps a violator
of monastic institutions; such instances were not unfrequent.
This child might be the daughter of broken vows. His safety
for a time unmenaced might at length be exposed to danger.
America, at the conclusion of a revolutionary war, might appear
to his fancy like the abode of liberty and virtue, and obviously
present itself as a suitable asylum. High birth, though not to
be regarded as conveying physical advantages may often ope-
rate as a moral cause. He thought he perceived in this man,
grandeur, a loftiness of manner expressive of illustrious descent,
and unmingled with pride. But his words and accents were
English. His diction, so far as he could judge from the few
sentences that he sometimes uttered, and which were reported
by the family, was correct and classical. Could he be an Eng-
lishman, still his conduct was inexplicable.

He was totally without curiosity. On his arrival at this
city, he immediately changed his cabin for his present abode.
About a year had since elapsed, yet he had never made excur-
sions beyond the day, and these were always on foot and most-
ly in his daughter's company. He had no visitants. He was
the guest of no one. So far as could be known, no messenger
had ever called or letter been left for him. His daughter
sometimes, though rarely, read to him, but he had never been
seen with a book or pen in his hand. He appeared to have no
pecuniary dealings with others, but was exact and liberal in
his payments. His life moved on in a smooth unvaried tenor;
though with some mark of age upon him, he enjoyed perfect
health, but his diet contributed probably to this, both by its
simplicity and uniformity. Milk and bread, with fruit and
water, were his only viands. His clothing was slight and va-
ried not with the variations of temperature or seasons. He was
unacquainted with a bed. He would tolerate nothing more
luxurious than a mat or hair sopha.

What chiefly attracted Mr. Ellen's attention was, the mode
in which he conducted his daughter's education. He display-

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ed the most passionate fondness for this bewitching child. He
meditated her countenance and watched her motions with visi-
ble rapture, yet, if it were in the presence of others, without
breaking silence, except upon one occasion in the presence of
Mr. Theresby, when after surveying her for some time, while
she was sitting in an amusing attitude, and employed with twirl-
ing a piece of silk about her fingers, he exclaimed with emphatic
tenderness, stretching his arms towards her, “come hither my

Though unacquainted with the books or topics with which
he exercised the growing reason of his daughter, the mode
which he pursued had too much resemblance to his own not
to prepossess him in its favour. The habits of the man, though
singular, were respectable, and rendered his acquaintance and
society desirable. But how to accomplish this purpose, was
the difficulty.

During Mr. Ellen's visits to Theresby, the signior was most-
ly invisible, either in his own chamber, or absent. Sometimes
however, they met. To Mr. Ellen's salutation, a civility that
never was omitted, he was wont to return a mere silent obei-
sance. His demeanour was sufficiently respectful and friendly,
except that he spoke not, after this he quickly retired. His
reserve however, was confined to himself. It extended not to
his daughter. Attentions bestowed upon her he regarded with
more complacency than jealousy, and never appeared desirous
of interrupting them.

Mr. Ellen sometimes compensated himself for his disap-
pointment in the father's reserve, by caressing and talking with
the child. One day he found her with a piece of written pa-
per in her hand. She readily complied with his desire to see
it. He found it a quotation from Tasso's Amyntas, written
with an exquisiteness of penmanship that he had seldom
seen surpassed.

Is this your writing my dear?

No (said she in her ill accented English) that part is mine,
but the other my father's.

She pointed out the different lines. On close examination
he perceived a difference of penmanship, yet that claimed by

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the girl, was executed with a delicacy and exactness that sur-
prised him in so young an artist. This incident gave birth to
various reflections in his mind.

Elegance, correctness and facility in the use of the pen, were
in his opinion, no mean accomplishments. He was particular-
ly desirous of bestowing them on his pupil. He had cultivated
them but little himself. He was, therefore, little qualified to
be an instructor in this art, nor had he hitherto met with any
one who was both able and willing to undertake this province.
At sight of this piece of writing, the first idea that suggested
itself was, may not my children find an instructor in this man?
yet that is sufficiently improbable. A man whose qualities are
so austere and unsociable would hardly condescend to play
the tutor. Yet he does not disdain the employment in the
case of his own child. Where he discerns equal merit, he may
contract an equal affection and be equally disposed to impart
instruction. He may not harbour the same antipathy to the
society of children, as to that of men.

There was an obvious tract for Mr. Ellen to pursue. He
had only to communicate his thoughts to the stranger. He
knew but little of him. He desired to know more. He felt
affection for him. He wished to cultivate his friendship, to be
on a footing of familiarity with him. There was nothing un-
reasonable in these ideas, they sprung from an honest and
liberal mind. Mr. Ellen saw no reason to suppress them.
Why did he not simply request an hearing, and communicate
his wishes without reserve or circuitousness? Nothing could
restrain him, but the fear of giving offence, of subjecting the
stranger to painful or awkward emotions. He apparently dis-
couraged all advances, and withheld from him even the oppor-
tunity of making them. Immured in his strong hold of silence
he had baffled hitherto all the attempts of the adversaries of
his peace, and, as if that security were doubtful, he had
commonly betaken himself to flight ere any assault could be

By way of experiment, he desired me to accompany him in
one of these visits. My age at this time was eleven years.
An age when all the graces and promises of youth are in their
fullest bloom: when the rudest features are soft and flexible un-

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hackneyed in wickedness or sorrow, arrayed in cheerfulness
and pregnant with curiosity. In personal qualities, I was not
deficient. There was somewhat in me that never failed to
attract, and bespoke more than was warranted by the mere
consideration of age.

We entered Mr. Theresby's parlour, and found the lady of
the house economically employed, as usual. The stranger hap-
pened to be present, as was also his daughter. The usual salu-
tations were exchanged. I did not escape the notice of sig-
nior Adini. The girl looked at me with all the inquisitiveness
of innocent confusion with which children are accustomed to
regard strangers, particularly of their own age. My glances
were no less keen and curious, though my feelings were less

Mr. Ellen at first entered into conversation with Mrs.
Theresby, but suddenly turning to the girl, ah! sweet Adela!
how do you do? see here (pointing to me) I have brought you
a new acquaintance. Come Raff, you must be acquainted with
this good girl. No reluctance my boy: give her your hand in
token of your wishes to know her better.

I advanced and offered my hand with more sedateness than
it was received. Meanwhile the father was an attentive spec-
tator. He eyed me with earnestness and complacency. He
was pleased with the scene before him, but maintained his si-
lence, and the same attitude with which he received us.

I have a little girl too at home (resumed Mr. Ellen)
she would be highly delighted with such a companion as

This discourse was addressed to the child, though it was also
intended for the parent.

Raff (continued Mr. Ellen) invite your new acquaintance to
come and see you.

Won't you come? (said I simply).

Her confusion would not allow her to make any answer.
The father seemed preparing as usual to retire; but this scene
was unexpected. He involuntarily lingered. The part which
his daughter bore in it, made him attentive. Mr. Ellen
perceived, and profited by the opportunity; turning therefore to

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Pray, my dear sir, allow your daughter to accept our invita-
tion. She will find companions of her own age, and of a cha-
racter resembling her own. There are three of them. It is the
labour of my life to make them wise and happy. Could I
persuade you to add this charming creature to the number.
At this age she wants companions, as well as an instructor.

This was uttered in a tone of cheerful benevolence, yet
with a visible sort of consciousness, that the proposal was haz-
ardous. It was, in the highest degree calculated to win con-
sent. The stranger was taken by surprise. He had so long
been unused to direct addresses, that this was wholly unex-
pected. He said that he knew not how to part with an object
so dear to him, even for an hour, acknowledging at the same
time the kindness of the offer.

Oh my dear sir (replied Mr. Ellen with quickness, not a
little encouraged by this opening) it need not cost you any
self denial. You will exceedingly heighten the obligation, if
you will add your own company also. I live at a few miles
distance from town; will you favourus with your and your
daughter's company to-morrow? I promise you a friendly re-

He was startled, he knew not how to refuse an invitation so
politely and warmly urged, and yet wished to elude it. He
had no apology to make. He could plead no engagement. It
was well known that he was always disengaged. At last he

Your civility deserves a better return than I can make it.
My habits allow me not to impart pleasure, and hardly to re-
ceive it from social intercourse. Your kindness demands can-
dour. You will pardon me when I say, what cannot but be
evident from a knowledge of my mode of life, that solitude is
always my choice.

It may seem improper (returned Mr. Ellen) to urge a pro-
posal which is confessedly disagreeable, but I own I cannot re-
linquish this without extreme reluctance. Let us try what we
can do. Strange if your happiness allows of no increase or
your misery no alleviation from intercourse with those whose
intentions are pure, and their hearts affectionate; spend one

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day among us, and then if the experiment fail, I will not di-
rect it to be repeated.

A reluctant consent was at length extorted. It evidently
gave him acute uneasiness. He retired, and the end being ac-
complished, my father returned home, congratulating himself
on the success of his project.

Signior Adini and his daughter, accordingly made their ap-
pearance next day at Ellendale. Mr. Ellen had offered to ac-
commodate him with a carriage, but he declined it, declaring
that he always preferred going on foot. It was expected that
he would retain his usual coldness and distance. This was
indeed a sort of implied condition to which Mr. Ellen had
prepared himself to submit. The signior Adini had expressed
the sincerest reluctance for the scheme, yet when it was un-
avoidable, his good sense taught him to contribute all in his
power to the satisfaction of the visit.

He was in some degree communicative. He showed a dis-
position to be pleased. Yet there was still the appearance of
constraint, and occasional deviation into fits of silence and
musing. The affectionate candour of Mr. Ellen, and the
winning attentions of his wife, were not wholly ineffectual.
The stranger was conducted through the grounds. Economi-
cal arangements were explained to him with perfect frankness.
They dwelt upon their schemes of education, explained their
motives in adopting them, and the success or failure with which
they had been attended; requested his opinion and advice, and
treated him precisely as they would have done a confidential
friend or revered brother.

It is not in human nature to resist persevering benevolence.
Our visitant felt his austerity gradually deserting him. The
appearance of constraint sometimes vanished, and he display-
ed indubitable proofs of extensive knowledge and energies of
mind. But no words can describe the enchantments of Adela.
The scene was to her, all novelty and rapture. Social propen-
sities are peculiarly strong in children. She had been secluded
for the most part from all intercourse with play-fellows. She
came to the banquet, therefore with uncommon relish. Rural
airs, rural dainties, and childish sports afforded her unceasing
delight. She obeyed the summons to depart with reluctance,

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and could not suppress her tears when she bade her new ac-
quaintance, farewel.

Adini was persuaded to make a kind of half promise that
he would repeat his visit the next week, but he did not comply.
He was prevailed upon to allow a fortnight to his Adela.
This expedient was tried chiefly with a view to subdue his own
reluctance, Mr. Ellen supposing that his desire to see his
child, and the forlorn state in which her absence would leave
him, who had been so much accustomed to her company, would
oblige him to make his visits more frequent. It had the desir-
ed success. He gradually grew attached to the society of his
new friends. Ellendale became almost constantly the abode of
Adela, and her father found no pleasure equal to that which
this happy spot afforded him. Yet it was, as yet only occa-
sionally that his love of silence deserted him. He could sup-
port the right of others, provided he was not compelled to
bear a part in their conversation. As he always enjoyed the
utmost liberty in this respect at Ellendale, it was more support-
able to him.

He found in Mr. Ellen and his wife, attentive observers of
his actions and sentiments. Their curiosity was naturally alive
on the subject of his birth and adventures. These however
were topics to which he was obstinately averse. The slightest
allusion to them was certain of restoring him to all his pristine
austerity and reserve.

One day he stood beside Mr. Ellen, where he was examining
the performances of us his pupils at the pen; after a long in-
terval of silent observation, he said, do you wish your chil-
dren to write well?

Yes (Mr. Ellen replied) it is certainly my wish, but I my-
self am unable to instruct them. Nor have I met with any
one who could teach them. To write legibly and quickly is of
chief value. This I hope they will acquire from me.

These qualities (said the other) are nearly connected with
beauty. I think I could give them some useful lessons.

Mr. Ellen eagerly accepted this proposal.

But what is writing? (continued he) one mode of transferring
thoughts or rather words. The present mode is tedious.
If words could flow with the celerity of thoughts, it would be

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well. If writing could keep pace or even outstrip the rapidity
of speech, it would be well. How insupportably tedious is the
present mode? I suppose what is read or spoken in one mi-
nute will take twenty minutes to put down upon paper. Can-
not a better scheme be invented? Short hand is no unpopular
accomplishment. Some hands there are, who, without any in-
distinctness or confusion can equal the flight of the most vehe-
ment oratory. I am much mistaken if I am not equal to this
exploit. What think you? Shall we teach the art of which I
am possessed to your children?

This proposal could not fail of being as acceptable as the

Alphabets (continued he) are chance-famed. It was late be-
fore the elements of speech were discovered. No alphabet of
yours exhibits an example of a complete series or methodical
arrangement of them. But it is easy to make such a one.
Characters are prolix, confused and tedious. Nothing easier
than to make them simple, concise and regular. The purpo-
ses of daily life, philosophy and reason, demand a reformation.
To simplify and expedite the mode of communicating thoughts,
is no inconsiderable step to the goal of happiness and wisdom.
The condition in this respect of that nook called Europe is
mournful in one view, hatefully stupid and ludicrously forlorn
in another. The whole mass, indeed, wants a thorough shift-

He paused a moment; then vehemently exclaimed: would
I were a ruler in Socratic land, the change should come quick-

You may easily suppose that the last effusion, was not heard
without surprise; as soon as Adini had made it he sunk into
reverie. He walked about the room, immersed in meditation.
It was wholly unintelligible to Mr. Ellen. It was an enigma
which the closest scrutiny could not explain. He trusted that fu-
ture opportunities would occur of dispelling the darkness that
environed it. He dropped all discourse for the present. A
fit of musing had seized his friend, which he knew must take
its course and exhaust itself.

Adini's reveries were of a kind, in which there was neither
joy nor sorrow, but simply the appearance of a mind wholly

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absorbed in contemplating abstract or remembered ideas. He
had an eye for the objects around him, but they seemed to pro-
duce none of these associations and inferences which are ad-
mitted into common minds. They suggested occasions to with-
draw himself as it were from the external universe, and wrap
himself up in a system of his own.

The scenes which surrounded this mansion were suited to
inspire the most tranquil delight. A summer-house was erect-
ed on the verge of an abrupt descent, whose bottom was laved
by the river. The opposite bank, which for some miles was
uniformly towering and steep, fell away when it came in from
off this promontory, as if it were on purpose to allow us the
spectacle of the setting sun, and a limited but charming pros-
pect of corn fields and meadow. The evening generally found
us collected on this spot. When here, Adini would frequently
cast his look towards the western horizon and gaze upon it
for a moment. He would then turn to his friend, as if anxious
to find some one to whom he could communicate his thoughts.
Instantly his face would exhibit marks of extreme vexation,
which would finally subside into a benign solemnity, the seem-
ing result of a resolution to accommodate himself to circum-
stances, and if he could not fashion others to his own stan-
dard, to be content with self converse, and show his fortitude
by descending to their level.

In this temper he was not averse to discourse, and he talked
on general topics with singular eloquence indeed, but there
was nothing more in his sentiments than might be expected
from a man of rectitude and observation. He never appeal-
ed to facts in his own history in confirmation of his remarks.
He seemed to have an instinctive abhorrence of every topic
that might lead to the mention of his own adventures.

The dialogue I have just repeated was the first exception to
the intelligibleness of his discourse; it excited proportionable
curiosity. “Socratic land.” A metaphor rather harsh, if me-
taphor it were. If he possessed supernatural power, he would
doubtless exercise it, to the production of natural or universal
happiness. Yet to miscal the empire of good geniuses the
kingdom of Socrates was no very obvious mistake. The na-

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tive country of this sage was Greece. The fate of Europe can
hardly be thought at this period, to depend upon the caprice
of the present rulers of Greece. Time was when a very slight
variation of circumstances would have rendered the torrent of
Arabian victories irresistible, and Europe might have lived un-
der the third, instead of the second, scheme of religion invent-
ed among the children of the desert, but this time has passed.

These were sportive conjectures; something was concealed
behind this phrase. To draw forth that something was the
task that seemed at least to amuse; present conjectures might
be vague, but they exercised sagacity, and furnished food for
speculation. The period of full discovery would doubtless ar-
rive: and much entertainment might be hoped from comparing
the truth with the result of previous researches.

Some time after this they were walking together, when Adini
was in a communicative mood. It was evening; Mr. Ellen
looked towards the west, and observed Columbus looked to-
wards that quarter, and thought upon a western world. So do
we. Yet how different are our conceptions.

These words were addressed to Adini, Mr. Ellen of course
looked at him. He perceived something like a startle in his
companion. He regarded Mr. Ellen for a moment with an
half joyful surprise, but speedily recollecting himself, he re-
sumed his usual placidness and was silent.

But perhaps (continued Mr. Ellen) he thought only of spi-
ces and pearls. It was ocean rather than land that he hoped
for: merely to transfer the mart of silk and cinnamon from
the Hadriatic to the Mediterranean. The most important ef-
fects are thus produced by causes the most insignificant.

Adini was still silent, but not inattentive to what was said.

Yet Columbus is exalted into heroship. A desperate pur-
suer of wealth is adored as the benefactor of mankind. Chris-
tians might as well deify Judas, whose agency is necessary to
their redemption. It would be as wise to worship the cable
that held his anchor, or the binnacle that held his compass.
The same spirit it is that invests with the majesty of a sage
legislator, that wild and incorrigible enthusiast William Penn.
An axe is neither more nor less than an axe, whether it top a
rotten branch or sever the head of a Sidney or a Raleigh.

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Men judge of the cause by its effects. They are partly right.
This is the way to estimate its efficacy, but the error lies in
overating the cause; in ascribing to foresight and wisdom,
what with respect to any views entertained by the agent is
mere contingency, sometimes indeed, falling out adversely to
his intentions. What think you Signior?

I am of your opinion (he answered sedately.)

But our regards (resumed Mr. Ellen) are not limited to gold
and nutmegs. The curtain is drawn from a spectacle of true
magnificence; populous empires, the abode of liberty and virtue,
are the objects that present themselves to us.

On his saying this Adini suddenly turned, and looked sted-
fastly at Mr. Ellen, his frame seemed to be actuated by new

What (cryed he) have I at last met with one in possession of
his understanding! who ventures to confess so much.

In the observations of Mr. Ellen, there was nothing very
new or profound. They coincided with his usual sentiments,
and with such as had frequently furnished discourse to him
and his friend. This sort of approbation was therefore unex-

But how (continued Adini with eagerness) how did you ob-
tain this information?

This question was somewhat obscure, but putting the easiest
construction upon it, he answered: methinks, my friend, the
reflexion is very obvious, and not at all uncommon. The
germ is planted, what the Greeks were in southern Italy, will
the Europeans be in America. Such appears to me to be the
necessary series of events.

Then you speak merely of the European colonies, replied he,
in a tone of dissatisfaction.

Certainly said Mr. Ellen, I know not by what accident the
natives could be civilized, or how indeed they can be saved
from extirpation, at least in those northern regions.

True (replied the other, still seeming to doubt) it was folly
to suppose your meaning different. And yet the northern re-
gions, you say. Why not in the southern also.

Perhaps indeed (said Mr. Ellen) in the southern likewise.
Yet we know so little. The Spaniards are so wary. The

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foreigners no doubt predominate already. In time the natives
may vanish, or at least be blended and confounded with their

To all this Adini listened with an expression of the most
uneasy perplexity. He looked at one time as if he desired to
remove his uncertainty by further questions. At another he
betrayed a sort of mortified acquiescence as if his doubts had
been removed merely by his own reflexions. This was not
unobserved by Mr. Ellen.

Have you any knowledge (said he) of the condition of the
natives in South America?

Why should you suppose (again startled) that I have any
knowledge on that subject?

Nay why should I suppose the contrary? You may have had
opportunities denied to others.

You are right (said Adini emphatically) I have had them.

This confession was hastily made. He seemed to shrink at
the recollection of his own imprudence. Mr. Ellen was agree-
ably surprised; perhaps (rejoined he) you have been in South
America. I am acquainted with a late traveller Mr. De
Pages. His information is very scanty.

I have seen that drum (said Adini) do you believe it

It has the appearance of authenticity, yet my ignorance
may be easily misled. Have you reason to think it otherwise?

I know it to be false.

That indeed, is a curious fact. Will you favour one with
the grounds of your belief.

This tale confutes itself. If I had not perpetual proof of
the credulity of Europeans, I should grow mad with asto-
nishment. Allow yourself a moments reflection. You know
not my previous opinions. You cannot therefore mean to
mock me. If you believe De Pages, you must believe that
cunning romancer Robertson.

Mr. Ellen was somewhat disconcerted, but he said: it is
true, I have been accustomed to credit him.

Adini said no more. He retired into the asylum of his own
thoughts. They walked along in silence, but Adini at length
exclaimed, without addressing himself to his companion,

 image pending 374

The delusion is complete. What a thing is the “homo
sapeons Europæus.” (He spoke this with a mixture of compas-
sion and scorn.) What fact so mournfully singular is this in
the history of human beings. So stupendous is phrenzy, and so

This was uttered in a manner that showed it to be no interrup-
tion of his reverie. It produced no verbal animadversion from
Mr. Ellen. It furnished ample topics of reflexion. He had
sometimes admitted the supposition that his friend's intellects
were not perfectly sound. A transient suspicion. This was one of
the many modes which occurred for accounting for appearances,
but it was too vague, and built on evidence too slight, to be sin-
cerely adopted.

Some days elapsed. They were again together. The sight
of new mown hay suggested to Mr. Ellen, some remarks on
climate. The climate of Greece was mentioned. To a ques-
tion of Adini, by describing some appearances of a Levant sky,
for (continued he,) I had opportunities of judging, I was a
practitioner of surgery for five years in Constantinople.
How long since?

It is now twenty years ago.

Perhaps you visited the isles of the Archipelago.

I came from Stramboli to Venice in a Venetian barque. We
went on shore at Antiparos, attracted by the fame of its subter-
ranean wonders. I was there but a few days.

You should visit it now (returned Adini.)

This was said with an air of mysterious exultation.

Why? (said Mr. Ellen) at that time, I thought there was
little to provoke a second visit.

Why? (repeated his companion,) can you be ignorant of the
changes that have taken place in that and the neighbouring
islands? but you are excusable. You are not aware of the mag-
nitude of that change. Light shall once more visit that be-
nighted land. A pure and immortal day, not to be succeeded
by a second darkness. The seed plat of wisdom shall become
its unalienable inheritance. He paused, and Mr. Ellen imme-
diately said,

What changes do you allude to. It is still I presume, a
Turkish province.

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It is impossible to paint the astonishment which took posses-
sion of Adini's features on hearing this assertion. He was si-
lent. The astonishment was mutual. Mr. Ellen found him-
self painfully perplexed. It was plain that he and his friend
misunderstood each other. As their intimacy increased, occa-
sions of perplexity multiplied. In a conversation of any length
it was a rare case that they did not fall upon some topic that
struck at the peculiar opinions of Adini; and overwhelmed him
with embarrassment and vexation. It was at length observed,
that the difficulty chiefly arose, when the question related to the
condition of certain countries.

Mr. Ellen had passed many years of his life in the East,
first in India, and afterwards in the Levant; with these coun-
tries, he was familiarly acquainted. He naturally recurred to
scenes and facts with which he had been intimately conversant,
and quoted them to illustrate or justify his remarks, but at
these times, Adini became ambiguously impatient, and usually
cut short the conversation by a fit of silence.

It may be asked why he did not explain his suspicions and
doubts to Adini himself? why did he not directly address to
him those inquiries which so frequently suggested themselves?
Such was the dictate of sincerity. This mode was obvious, and
could hardly fail of success. At last, by extorting explicit
declarations, it would appear how much it was possible to know,
and how much he was willing or resolved to keep silence. Mr.
Ellen was often inclined to pursue this mode, but was as often
deterred from the attempt by the chilling coldness, and reserve
which his friend assumed whenever the conversation verged to-
wards this point.

How my dear (said Mr. Ellen to his wife) shall I pene-
trate this mystery. How should I know what the man would
be at?

Ask him.

That is truly a convenient mode, but I fear it will hardly


He is unwilling to explain himself. I have laid a thousand
opportunities in his way, I think it but right to allow him the
alternative of silence.

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And you see he chooses this alternative.

He does so, but I would fain see him make a different

You must render this alternative more difficult, I know no
other way. You must either fairly or bluntly ask who and
what he is. What are the causes of the embarrassment so of-
ten visible, when certain topics are discussed: what is the
meaning of his mysterious exclamations, and frequent fits of
silence. You must do this, or go on in your present track:
that of merely laying opportunites in his way of being explicit,
perhaps at some time or other he may accept them.

But meanwhile, he subjects us to painful perplexity. I would
not willingly give him pain; were I fully acquainted with the
state of his mind I might regulate the discourse accordingly,
and instead of talking as now in some degree at random, I
might then make my behaviour conform to some end.

I know of no better mode than that I have recommended,
but if you are unwilling to be thus frank, allow me to be so. It
is evident that I enjoy his good opinion, he does not disdain
my company, but rather prefers it to yours; because I suppose
he does not fear that I will molest him by unseasonable hints.
Let me take him in hand, perhaps I may make something of
him. I will answer for the success of my project.

But would you really demand from him an account of his
situation in plain terms?

Surely, the curiosity is laudable. How can he suppose us
indifferent? Have we not given him sufficient proofs that we
feel considerable interest in his happiness? remember that the
knowledge we seek is with a view not merely to our own
gratification, but likewise to his benefit. It will enable us so
to conduct ourselves, as to avoid giving him offence. Surely
this motive is commendable. It must be an irresistable apolo-
gy for any freedom.

You may try. I am sure that you will perform so delicate an
office with all the skill that it demands.

A few days after Mr. Ellen and his wife and Adini were
seated in the summer house. The four children were rambling
in the garden. A shower had just blown over, and a delicious
sky had succeeded. The rain stood upon the leaves, and added

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the most vived lustre to their green. The sprightly voices of
the children, mingled with the melody of birds, and the strains
of my father's Oboe formed an assemblage of all that would en-
liven the heart or ravish the senses. The mind of Adini
seemed to be in unison with the scene.

Mrs. Ellen whose soul vibrated to every impulse of benevo-
lence or harmony, ever and anon chanted parts of an High-
land ditty to her husband's music, and prolonged this amuse-
ment till she had wound up the feelings of her guest, to a pitch
of the most thrilling delight. She then stopped. Mr. Ellen
laid aside his instrument. She turned to Adini,

Signior, I have a request to make to you.

A request, said he, do favour me with it, that I may make
what poor return is in my power for the pleasure you have just
given me.

That is just the temper, replied she gaily, I wanted to find
you in. My request is that you would put it still more in our
power to oblige you.

How, dearest lady, can that be done?

Easily, said she, merely by treating us with candour. Si-
lence and reserve are your inmates at times when we think they
ought not to be so. These are marks of an uneasy mind. We
love and respect you. Can you then wonder that we wish to
know the cause of your disquiet? You must, my good friend,
acquaint us with it, it may be in our power to remove it. We
may at least forbear to exasperate it. Do we not perceive that
certain topics, or at least our mode of discussing them, gives
you displeasure? Explain to us the reason that we may either
wholly avoid them, or handle them in such a manner that they
may at least contribute nothing to your disquiet.

This request was unexpected. He seemed at a loss for an
answer, but his countenance betrayed no inclination to comply.

Deem it not presumptuous, continued she. Why should you
not enable us to add somewhat to your pleasant thoughts, and
take somewhat away from the unpleasant? If you have found
in our deportment causes of vexation, the fault is not in our
inclination. You must impute it to our ignorance. Let us know
so much that we may not unwittingly offend.

Adini's features betokened his internal perturbation.

 image pending 378

Madam, I cannot deny that my temper is irritable. This is
an infirmity for which I know not a cure. The kindness of
your intention is unquestionable. I acknowledge it with grati-
tude, let that suffice.

No, indeed, cried she, we should cease to merit that praise
if it were sufficient. Your irritability, you say, cannot be cu-
red. Be it so; then it is our duty to forbear wounding it. Ena-
ble us to practise this forbearance. This is all that we request.

She paused. His perplexity would not allow him to make
her any answer.

It would be unkind, she continued, to demand of you more
than is necessary. The occasions on which your uneasiness is
most observable are those on which allusions are made by Mr.
Ellin or myself to countries which he has visited.

Adini's disturbance increased.

Be not offended at our watchfulness, it is the result of our
esteem. Come, if you will not be more explicit, tell us at least,
whether we shall drop all such allusions. If you will not enable
us to do any thing, or much, we shall be rejoiced to obtain the
favour of doing little.

Impossible, muttered he, after some suspense, the folly is
extreme, but it must take its course.

Mrs. Ellen now changed her pathetic seriousness into some-
thing like half irony. Well, resumed she, our ignorance, how-
ever great, will not excuse us from making the best use of what
we know. We must do all that we can towards the happiness of
those around us. Our hearts will not allow us to do less. Here-
after Mr. Ellen shall blot from his remembrance the years that
he spent in Asia. He shall immediately prepare to make ano-
ther visit to Antiparos. He shall treat with suitable contempt the
liar Condamine and the romancer Robertson. In his future
journeys he shall take Socrates for his companion.

It was in vain to watch the countenance of Adini while this
was saying. It was vehemently agitated, but it was impossible
to form any probable conjecture respecting what passed in his
mind. The lady resumed,

Signior do you not approve of this resolution? Nay he shall
take you for his guide in his travels in Socratic land.

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The repetition of this phrase appeared to startle him. He
looked at her as if to ascertain the temper in which it was
spoken. He marked a smile playing on her features. The
sight inspired him with sudden indignation. He turned away
and exclaimed, I would fain think this infatuation. Is the
world leagued to overwhelm me with insult and scorn? Yet
there is a folly more tremendous and equally pitiable. They
that seek delight in the misery of others; let their machinations
be baffled. That is their worst punishment, the punishment
they merit. It is for me to lift myself above their paltry ma-

He started up with a suddenness that alarmed them; and
striking his foot with violence against the floor—Dæmon of
wrath, he exclaimed, get thee behind me.

This action though vehement, was not dictated by rage.
His countenance, that was at first inflamed with resentment,
was now serene. He began in a tone of reproach, but ended
in that of calm exultation. As to his audience, their astonish-
ment held them mute. Adini immediately resumed his seat,
and relapsed into reverie; he afterwards behaved with his usual

What shall we think of this man? (said Mr. Ellen to his
wife, when they retired in the evening) Your experiment does
not seem to have succeeded. I was somewhat surprised when
I perceived your seriousness for levity.

My seriousness (she replied) was ineffectual. It was time
to abandon it. I thought raillery was the best mode, and am
still of that opinion. It is plain that his intellects have received
some injury. It must be our business to discover it, and if it
be curable, to administer the cure. But of what kind can his
insanity be? He suspects that we hold him in contempt. This
persuasion must if possible be removed. By what means, time
and further observation must discover.

Adini had at first, as I have already told you, taken up his
residence in the city; he experienced various inconveniences
from this arrangement. He patiently endured them for some
time, but at length, prompted by the suggestions of his friends,
who thought a rural retirement would be more favourable to
his habits, since he was pertinaciously bent upon restraining

 image pending 380

them; he made himself a member of a family who resided
about three miles from Ellendale, and whose mode of living
was as simple, unostentatious, and lonely as he could desire.
His daughter took up her abode at Ellendale. He approved of
my father's mode of education, and consented that his daugh-
ter should partake of its advantages. He himself condescend-
ed to instruct the whole set in short hand, and the elegancies of
penmanship. He never allowed himself to spend the night
with us, but delayed setting out on his return home to a late

Some months had now elapsed since his first visit. He had
borne his part in many an instructive conversation. In his in-
tercourse with the young people he was volatile and accommo-
dating. He was peculiarly skilful in reducing the majestic
events and revolutions of history to the standard of ease and
plainness, so as to make them intelligible, and interesting to
our boyish capacities.

He found me one day with lieutenant Robert's chart of the
discoveries of Cook before me. He looked over it awhile.
My boy would you like to travel?

Yes very much.

You would like for instance to embark to-morrow, and go
where they say captain Cook went?

No, not to-morrow: next spring perhaps. I should like to
have time to get ready.

What preparation would be needful?

I must have money and goods, many things would be need-
ful. I must have Mr. Malcombe's consent.

You would not go then without the approbation of your

No, to be sure.

But if you had their consent, and money and goods, and all
things needful, you would go to Owyhee, and Otaheite?

Why I cannot say that. Captain Cook saw all that was to
be seen there I suppose. I should like to go along the southern
or northern coast of New Holland.

What would you expect to find there.

I do not well know. New people may be; new languages;
new manners; may be no people at all. It may be a perfect

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desert. Yet I cannot but think I should see many curious

Thou art in the right my boy. Thou wouldst find much
stranger things than thou dreamest of. To thee this (pointing
to the ocean between America and Asia) is nothing but a waste
of waters. Alas! how fond and blind are thy deceivers. To
thee it is a realm of barren and inhospitable turbulence, popu-
lous only in the mute and scaly kind. To the better informed
it is a world of intellectual beings, whose majesty is faintly re-
flected on the diminutive stage, and by the pigmy actors of

Mr. Ellen had previously been in another part of the room.
Adini had entered without perceiving him, but at this mo-
ment some casual noise excited his attention. He turned and
beheld Mr. Ellen. My father was engaged in looking at some
book he had taken from the shelf. On discovering him, Adini
was filled with confusion. Mr. Ellen had not been inattentive,
but he thought proper to appear so. He lifted not his eyes
from the book till the perturbation of his friend had subsided,
in consequence of the belief that he had not been overheard or
attended to.

The mystery (said my father to himself) is beginning to un-
fold itself. This man is the dupe of some illusion. Yet if his
belief be sincere, why unwilling to declare it, or why alarmed
and ashamed when detected. He mentioned this incident to
his wife. She concurred with him in opinion that their guest
was really disordered in his understanding, but was equally at
a loss to account for the confusion which this incident had oc-
casioned. The nature or extent of his phrenzy was wholly a

At a subsequent interview my name happened to be called.
Raphael! (said he) that name is somewhat singular. He had
never noticed it before, though it had been so often used in his
hearing. He had made no inquiries respecting it, supposing
me the son of his host. Mr. Ellen had never had occasion to
mention any particulars respecting my birth. How came you
to bestow upon him that name? Was it in honour of Raffaille

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He does not owe it to us (said Mr. Ellen) we found him in
possession of it.

What is he not your child?

No, his lot is singular. A circumstance disastrous in most
cases, has to him been peculiarly fortunate. His real parents
are wholly unknown, and yet ever since his birth there has
been a certain contention among several, who shall discharge
the duties of that relation to him. He then related some of
my adventures, to which he listened very attentively; when
he had finished, this is well (exclaimed he with ardour) just
the machine which a wise instructor would wish to manage.
That boy is the destined heir of greatness. Will you part with

Not (said Mr. Ellen) but in hopes of improving his condi-

I know not (answered he) how that can be improved. But
Raffaille! he was not found I suppose, with his name written
on his forehead?

No, (said Mrs. Ellen) his name is the gift of Mr. Malcombe.
He desired that he should be called Raphael Hightlody. This
Malcombe (continued he looking significantly at Adini) is a
kind of lunatic. He, no doubt, thought his name would be
some recommendation to him when he travelled into Eutopia.
Would his name, you can tell us perhaps, having visited Eu-
topia, would his name be of any service to him among that
sage people?

An electrical shock would have not more instantaneously
discomposed the feelings of Adini; but the emotion was tran-
sient and quickly gave place to his wonted composure.

True madam, I have visited Eutopia. Sir Thomas Moore
had an agreeable invention; some depth in his views consider-
ing the age in which he lived. Raphael may vie with his name-
sake if he lives long enough. A period has elapsed long
enough to introduce many important changes on the stage. If
Henry VIII, should re-visit his kingdom, he would be more
astonished than gratified. Perhaps a second Raphael might
witness an equally unpleasant and surprising revolution in the
system of Eutopia. While he said this, his hearers were employ-
ed in settling the precise meaning of these words. Did he mean

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any thing more than to declare in his figurative way, that he
had read the book? Would he insinuate that he had actu-
ally made this visit. Was Raphael in his opinion a real
voyager, a precursor of himself to that miraculous land; or
was his imagination filled with phantoms, that might with suf-
ficient aptness be designated by the appellation of Eutopian?
The southern ocean where nothing is visible to us but water
interspersed with groups of small islands, is to him it should
seem a theatre transcending that of Europe in dignity, per-
haps in amplitude. The dream of the English knight might
possibly be his dream, modelled however it was likely, by the
standard of a more accurate philosophy. And instead of be-
ing regarded as a dream, might by some singular, but not un-
exampled perversity be fostered as a reality.

This idea was new to Mr. Ellen: but that ingenious men
should amuse themselves with drawing practical deductions from
their theory, with giving the reins to their invention, and painting
as real what is only desirable or possible: not that some mas-
terly contrivers should aim at imposing themselves upon man-
kind as something other or better than they really are, and for
this purpose weave a plausible tale of some remote and un-
visited region where human nature appears in a new garb, and
the fabric of society is raised on foundations different from
those with which we have been familiar; but that a tempora-
ry and voluntary illusion should become invisible and perma-
nent was a subject of wonder.

My father was no stranger to mankind. Cases of religious
phrenzy which flattered itself with having gained admission
into the world of spirits, into Heaven or Hell, had fallen un-
der his observation as they have occured to that of most peo-
ple. The passions of hope and fear, nourished by a pious edu-
cation, and fixed upon the world to come, are guilty of num-
berless vagaries. Their voyages are to regions more remote
than the Antipodes. The tidings they bring back, are more
sincerely believed, and imparted with more confidence than
those which are gleaned by the humbler imitators of Dampier
and Cooke. But this man had always appeared exempted
from the prejudices of superstition. A greater oppositeness of
sentiment could scarcely be conceived than between this man

 image pending 384

and the tribe Behman's and Swedenborgers. But he also knew
that religion was not the only thing liable to the abuses of en-
thusiasm: that the fancy is not enfeebled, but rather invigo-
rated by descending from Heaven to earth. In his inter-
course with mankind, he had met with characters of all kinds,
his experience evinced the error of the common opinion that a
deliberate doctrinal and systematic atheist was chimerical.
He had learned that there is no error, however dreary and ab-
surd which had not found its way into some minds, had not
associated itself with genius and eloquence and zeal, and had
not been frequently maintained at the hazard of life and all its
gratifications. A powerful and cultivated capacity without
exempting the possessor from the grossest illusions had a
tendency in his opinion, to render his mistake more incurable
by conferring on them the colours of speciousness and plau-

But however extensive the sphere of his observation, such an
one as he suspected Adini to be, was a specimen altogether
new. He began to regard him with the pleasure and inquisi-
tiveness of one who expects in the object he meets with,
somewhat that might fill up a chasm in his system, might sup-
ply a link that was deficient in his chain. He was eager to
discover the particular features of his insanity: those modifi-
cations which it must receive from its alliance with a degree of
genius and knowledge in which he was inclined to believe his
friend had but few competitors.

He did not admit, that, absolutely speaking, truth and hap-
piness were necessarily companions. To discern the error of our
notions was not always desirable. The discovery might make
us gainers on the side of knowledge, but losers as to that of
happiness. He was benevolent. Happiness in general he con-
ceived it his duty to propagate, but this duty he imagined
would sometimes compel him not only to forbear inculcating
the truth but to foster the error; not that this was unalterably
or even frequently the case. Error in the majority of in-
stances was the parent of wretchedness. Truth, without en-
titling us to perfect felicity was generally preferable to false-

 image pending 385

These observations are not impertinent. These principles
influenced the behaviour of Mr. Ellen in his treatment of his
guest. He was inclined to humour his peculiarities because
truth was less beatific than such an error, and because he doubt-
ed whether any excess would attend contrary efforts, however
strenuous. A physician might exasperate, but could not cure
a malady of this kind.

These were not Mrs. Ellen's sentiments. She set an higher
value on the benefits conferred by the possession of a sound un-
derstanding. She had more confidence in the force of demon-
stration, but if that should fail, she was perfectly secure of the
efficacy of ridicule. Her heart overflowed with good will. If
she wounded, it was with a view ultimately to cure. Painful
remedies were employed by her, merely because they were more
efficacious than lenient methods. They both however, admitted
that the lunacy on the supposition of which they reasoned so
gravely, was, as yet, problematical.

The next day had been allotted for an extensive ramble.
Adini had agreed to be of the party. The river was to be
crossed in the morning. A simple repast was to be taken at a
cottage some miles distant, and the walk was to be prolonged
till evening. This scheme was frustrated by a stormy day.
The ensuing morning arose wet, blustering and gloomy, Adini
however, appeared at the stated hour.

The maxims of our education taught us to disregard the
intemperature of the elements; of this Adini was a remarkable
example. He was ever superior to the skyery influences. The
tenor of his thoughts and actions disdained the slightest de-
pendance on the state of the atmosphere. Dry or wet, turbu-
lent or calm, serene or gloomy, hot or cold were difference
with which his sensations appeared to have no concern. He
never commented on the weather in a way which showed that
he made his own feelings the standard. Did some one exclaim
how cold, or how hot it is, he seldom made any answer. If he
did, it was by referring to the scale of Reaumur. In settling the
proceedings of the morrow, he never on his own account ad-
mitted the calculations of the weather wise. If his companion
sagaciously affirmed that it rained, he would notice the asser-

 image pending 386

tion perhaps by subjoining, “I see it does.” Cloak, surtout,
umbrella, were only known to him, if I may so speak, his-

Considered in relation to body, mind, or more properly
speaking the will, is an agent more or less potent. What are
the limits of its empire, no one knows. In what degree it can
forbid or retard the approaches of disease, old age and death,
either indirectly by means of temperance and exercise, or di-
rectly, by the mere energy of resolution, I cannot pretend to
affirm. Adini exemplified the force of both these principles.
The fulness and fervour of his mind seemed to leave him no
leisure to be sick. Cold had no perceptible effect upon him
merely because his attention was too much absorbed by other
objects to feel it. Tempest however took away in his opinion
as well as in ours from the pleasures of such excursions as these.
It was therefore determined on this occasion to remain at

In the course of the morning, Mr. Ellen and his guest hap-
pened to find themselves together in the library. The former
was contemplating a map of the western hemisphere. Adini
had silently taken his station beside him. At length my father
observed, how little do we know of this portion of the globe.

Little indeed.

It is hard to say (resumed my father) to what degree of con-
fidence that information which we possess, slender as it is, is
entitled. He paused. But Adini seemed indisposed to speak.
Travellers assure us that the whole of this space is water.
Judging by analogy, there ought to be a portion of land here at
least equal to the area of America.

Perhaps there is.

I cannot deny it. Their evidence that there is not, may pro-
bably be fallacious. Captain Cook you know, is said to have
traversed this region in various directions.

Adini seemed desirous of speaking, but his perplexity com-
pelled him to be silent.

I should be glad (continued my father) to be acquainted
with one who was able and willing to explain the real condi-
tion of affairs in that quarter.

 image pending 387

Why do you not travel? (said Adini) how could your cu-
riosity be so sluggish?

It was not in my power (returned my father) to gratify my
inclination at the age suitable for such enterprizes. We Scots
my dear sir must travel to live, not live to travel. I have gone
to a sufficient distance from home. But that part of my life
which I passed in the East, was employed not in investigating
the manners of the people or surveying the kingdoms of nature,
but in warding off pestilence and repairing the havoc of war.

Adini seemed to wait for further explanation.

My profession of a surgeon engrossed that attention which
I would willingly have bestowed upon the Hindoos.

Your curiosity never wandered farther than the Hindoos?
Did the question never occur, what might their conquerors be?

This was uttered with apparent hesitation, which my
father ascribed to a disinclination to give offence, supposing
his friend alluded to the English whose maxims of Indian war-
fare were sufficiently censurable.

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