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he then looked round about him for some more commodious path. He saw, on his right hand, a grove that seemed to wave its shades as a lign of invitation ; he entered it, and found the coolness and verdure irrefiftably pleasant. He did not, however, forget whither he was travelling, but found a narrow way bordered with flowers, which appeared to have the same direction with the main road, and was pleased that, by this happy experiment, he had found means to unite pleasure with business, and to gain the rewards of diligence, without suffering its fatigues. He, therefore, ftill continued to walk for a time, without the least remillion of his ardour, except that he was sometimes tempted to stop by the music of the birds, whom the heat had afsembled in the shade, and sometimes amused himself with plucking the flowers that covered the banks on either side, or the fruits that hung upon the branches. At last the green path began to decline from its first tendency, and to wind among hills and thickets, cooled with fountains, and murmuring with water-falls. Here Obidah paused for a time, and began to consider whether it were longer safe to forsake the known and common track; but remembering that the heat was now in its greatest violence, and that the plain was dusty and uneven, he resolved to pursue the new path, which he supposed only to make a few meanders, in compliance with the varieties of the ground, and to end at last in the common road.
Having thus calmed his folicitude, he renewed his pace, though he suspected that he was not gaining ground. This uneasiness of his mind inclined him to lay hold on every new object, and give way to every sensation that might soothe or divert him. He listened to every echo, he mounted every hill for a fresh profpect, he turned afide to "every cascade, and pleased himself with tracing the course of a gentle river that rolled among the trees, and watered a large region with innumerable circumvolutions. In these amusements the hours pafled away unaccounted; his deviations had perplexed his memory, and he knew not towards what point to travel. He stood pensive and confused, afraid to go forward left he should go wrong; yet conscious that the time of loitering was now paft. While he was thus tortured with uncertainty, the sky was overspread with clouds, the day vanished from before him, and a sudden tempest gathered round his head. He was now roused by his danger to a quick and painful remembrance of his folly; he now saw how happiness is lost when eafe is consulted; he lamented the unmanly impatience that prompted him to feek shelter in the grove, and despised the petty curiosity that led him on from trifle 'to trifle. While he was thus reflecting, the air grew blacker, and a clap of thunder broke his meditation.
tions He advanced to.
He now resolved to do what remained yet in his power; to tread back the ground which he had passed, and try to find some issue where the wood might open into the plain. He prostrated himself on the ground, and commended his life to the Lord of nature. He rose with confidence and tranquillity, and prefsed on 'with his fabre in his hand, for the beasts of the desert were in motion, and on every hand were heard the mingled howls of rage and fear, and ravage and expiration; all the horrors of darkness and folitude furrounded him; the winds roared in the woods, and the torrents tumbled from the hills.
Work'd into sudden ragę by wint'ry showers,
The mountain shepherd hears the distant noise. Thus forlorn and distressed, he wandered through - the wild without knowing whither he' was going, or whether he was every moment drawing nearer to safety or to destruction. At length, not fear, but labour began to overcome him ; his breath grew short, his knees trembled, and he was on the point of lying down in resignation to his fate, when he beheld through the brambles the glimmer of a taper.
wards the light, and finding that it proceeded from the cottage of a hermit, he called humbly at the door, and obtained admission. The old man set before him such provisions as he had collected for himself, on which Obidah fed with eagerness and gratitude.
When the repast was over, Tell me,' said the hermit, by what chance thou haft been brought hither; I have been now twenty years an inhabitant of this wilderness, in which I never saw a man before.' Obidah then related the occurrences of his journey, without any concealment or palliation.
Son,' said the hermit, let the errors and follies, the dangers and escape of this day, fink deep into thy heart. Remember, my son, that human life is the journey of a day. We rise in the morning of youth, full of vigour and full of expectation; we set forward with fpirit and hope, with gaiety and diligence, and travel on a while in the straight road of piety towards the mansions of reft. In a short time we remit our fervour, and endeavour to find some mitigation of our duty, and some more easy means of obtaining the famę end. We then relax our vigour, and resolve no longer to be terrified with crimes at a distance, but rely upon our own constancy, and venture to approach what we resolve never to touch. We thus enter the bowers of ease, and repose in the shades of security. Here the heart softens, and vigilance subsides; we are then willing to inquire whether another advance cannot be made, and whether we may not, at least, turn our eyes upon the gardens of pleasure. We approach them with scruple and hesitation; we enter them, but enter timorous and trembling, and always hope to pass through them without losing the road of virtue, which we, for a while, keep in our fight, and to which we propose to return. But temptation succeeds temptation, and one compliance prepares us for another; we in timė lose the happiness of innocence, and solace our disquiet with sensual gratifications. By degrees we let fall the remembrance of our original intention, and quit the only adequate object of rational desire. We entangle ourselves in business, immerge ourselves in luxury, and rove through the labyrinths of inconftancy, till the darkness of old age begins to invade us, and disease and anxiety obstruct our way. We then look back upon our lives with horror, with forrow, with repentance; and wish, but too often vainly wish, that we had not forsaken the ways of virtue. Happy are they, my son, who shall learn from thy example not to despair, but shall remember, that though the day is past, and their strength is wasted, there yet remains one effort to be made ; that reformation is never hopeless, nor sincere endeavours ever unaffifted; that the wanderer may at length return after all his errors; and that he who implores strength and courage from above, shall find danger and difficulty give way before him. Go now, my son, to thy repose; commit thyself to the care of Omnipotence, and when the morning calls again to toil, begin anew thy journey and thy life."
expressly upon the beauty and loveliness of virtue, without considering it as a duty, and as the means of making us happy both now and hereafter. I design therefore this speculation as an essay upon that subject ; in which I will consider virtue no farther than as it is in itself of an amiable nature, after having premised, that I understand by the word virtue such a general notion as is affixed to it by the writers of morality, and which by devout men generally goes under the name of religion, and by, men of the world under the name of bonour.
Hypocrisy itself does great honour, or rather justice, to religion, and tacitly acknowledges it to be an ornament to human nature. The hypocrite would not be at so much pains to put on the appearance of virtue, if he did not know it was the most proper and effectual means to gain the love and esteem of mankind.
We learn from Hierocles, it was a common saying among the heathens, that the wise man hates nobody, but loves only the virtuous.
Tully has a very beautiful gradation of thoughts to shew how amiable virtue is. We love a virtuous man, says he, who lives in the remotest parts of the earth, though we are altogether out of the reach of his virtue, and can receive from it no manner of benefit; nay, one who died several years ago, raises a secret fondness and benevolence for him in our minds, when we read his story : Nay, what is still more, one who has been the enemy of our country, provided his wars were regulated by justice and humanity, as in the instance of Pyrrhus, whom Tully mentions on this occasion in opposition to Hannibal." Such is the natural beauty and loveliness of virtue !