Page:A Tour Through the Batavian Republic.djvu/30

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
18
TOUR THROUGH

and as they both speak either English or French with considerable fluency, we find no difficulty in communicating our ideas. They are both men of good information, and well read in English and French literature. But I shall pass over their mental acquirements, which are truly respectable, to introduce you to one of the most extraordinary persons I ever met with, the first officer of the commodore's ship. A learned sailor seems to border upon the marvellous, but nearly the whole of this man's life was spent at sea, and the extent of his reading is such as is rarely obtained by those who pass their lives in the tranquil cultivation of letters. I have not often seen a man better acquainted with ancient authors than he is; but for his intimate knowledge of the whole circle of modern literature he stands unrivalled. I was not able to name an English author of reputation with whose works he was not critically acquainted. He had read the most difficult of our poets with an attention which could not have been bestowed on them, had he not been sensible of their beauties and his