« AnteriorContinuar »
As Sir Roger was going on in his story, the gentleman we were talking of came up to us; and, upon the knight's asking him who preached to-morrow (for it was Saturday night) told us the Bishop of St. Asaph, in the morning, and Br. South in the afternoon. He then shewed us bis list of preachers for the whole year; where I saw with a great deal of pleasure, Archbishop Tillotson, Bishop Saunderson, Dr. Barrow, Dr. Calamy, with sev. eral living authors, who have published discourses of practical divinity. I no sooner saw this venerable nan in the pulpit, but I very much approved of my friend's insisting upon the qualifications of a good asspect, and a clear voice; for I was so charmed with the gracefulness of his figure and delivery, as well as with the discourses he pronounced, that I think I never passed any time more to my satisfaction. A sermon repeated after this man. ner, is like the composition of a poet, in the mouth of a graceful actor,
VI- The folly of inconsistent Expectations.--AITKIN.
commerce, where fortune exposes to our view ya.
ee then Wha
schools, must be considerably lowered, and mixed with the baser alioy of a jealons and worldly minded prudence, You must learn to do hord, if not unjust things ; and for the nice embarrassments of a delicate and ingenuous spirit, it is necessary for you to get rid of them as fast as possible. You must shut your heart against the Muses, and be content to teed your understanding with plain household truths. In short you must not attempt to en. large your ideas, or polish your taste, or refine your sentiments; but must keep on in one beaten track, without turning aside, either to the right hand or to the left. "But I cannot submit to drudgery like this, I feel a spirit above it.” It is well ; be above it then; only do not repine that you are not rich.
Is knowledge the pearl of price! That too, may be purchased-by steady application, and long solitary hours of stody and reflection.-Bestow these, and you shall be learned. “ But,” says the man of letters, " what a hardship it is, that many an illiterate fellow, who cannot construe the motto of the arms of his coach, sball raise a fortune and make a figure, while I have little more than the common conveniencies of life !" Was it in order to raise a fortune, that you consumed the sprightly hours of youth in study and retirement ? Was it to be rich, that you grew pale over the midnight lamp, and distilled the sweetness from the Greek and Roman spring ? You have then mistaken your path, and ill employed.your industry. " What reward have I then for all my labors ?” What reward ! a large comprehensive soul, well purged from vulgár ears, and perturbations, and prejudices, able to comprehend and interpret the works of man--of God. A rich, flourishing, cultivated mind, pregnant with inexhaustible stores of entertainment and reflection. petual spring of fresh ideas, and the conscious dignity of superior intelligence. Good Heaven! and what reward can you ask besides ?
“ But is it not some reproach upon the economy of Providence, that such a one, who is a mean dirty fellow, should have amassed wealth enough to buy balf a nation ?" Not in the least. . He made himself a mead dirty fellow for that very end. He has paid his health, his conscience, hie liberty, for it; and will you envy his bar
gain ? Will you hang your head and blush in his pres, ence, because he outshines you in equipage and show ? Lift up your brow, with a noble confidence and say to yourself, “ I have not these things, it is true ; but it is because I have not sought, because I have not desired them ; it is because I possess something better; I have chosen my lot; I am content and satisfied."
You are a modest man--you love quiet and indepen. dence, and have a delicacy and reserve in your temper, which renders it impossible for you to elbow your way in the world, and be the herald of your own merits. Be content then with a modest retirement, with the esteem of your intimate friends, with the praises of a blameless heart, and a delicate ingenuous spirit; , but resign the splendid distinctions of the world to those who can better scramble for them.
The man whose tender sensibility of conscience and strict regard to the rules of morality makes him scrupulous and fearful of offending, is often heard to complain of the disadvantages he lies under, in every path of honor and profit. 6 Could I but get over some nice points, and conform to the practice and opinion of those abou me, I might stand as fair a chance as others for dignity and preferment." And why can you not ? What hinders you from discarding this troublesome scrupulosity of yours, which stands so grievously in your way ? If it be a small thing to enjoy a healthful mind, sound at the very core, that does not shrink from the keenest inspection; inward freedom from remorse and perturbation, unsullied whiteness and simplicity of manners; a genuine integrity,
Pure in the last recesses of the mind : if you think these advantages an inadequate recompense for what you resign, dismiss your scruples this instant, and be a slave-merchant, a director-or what you please. VII.-Description of the Vale of Keswick, in Cumberland.
BROWN. THIS delightful vale is thus elegantly described by
the late ingenious Dr. Brown, in a letter to a friend.
In my way to the north from Hagley, I passed through Dovedale; and to say the truih, was disappointed in it:
When I came to Buxton, I visited another or two of their romantic scenes ; but these are inferior to Dovedale. They are all but poor miniatures of Keswick, which exceeds them more in grandeur than you can imagine ; and more, if possible, in beauty, than in grandeur.
Instead of a narrow slip of valley, which is seen at Dovedale, you have at Keswick a vast amphitheatre, in circumference above tweniy miles. Instead of a meagre rivulet, a noble living lakrien miles round, of an ob. long form, adorned with a variety of wooded islands The rocks indeed of Dovedale are finely wild, pointed and irregular ; but the bills are both little and unanimated; and the margin of the brook is poorly edged with weeds, morass and brushwood. But at Keswick, you will on one side of the lake, see a rich and beautiful landscape of cultivated fields, rising to the eye in due ineq alities, with noble groves of oak, happily dispersed, and climbing the adjacent hills, shade above shade, in the most various and piciuresque forms. On the opposite shore, you will find rocks and cliffs of stupendous height hanging broken over the lake, in horrible grandeur, some of them a thousand feet high, the woods cliniting up their steep and shaggy sides, where mortal foot never yet approached. On these dreadful heights the eagles build their besis ; a variety of waterfalls are seen pouring from their summits, and tumbling in vast sl.eets from rock to rock, in rude and terrible magnificence; while, on all sides of this immense amphitheatre, the lofty mountains rise round, piercing the clouds, in shapes as spiry and fantastic as the very rocks of Doredale. To this I must add the frequent and bold projections of the cliffs into the lake, forming poble bieys and promontories: In other parts they finally rétire from it, and often open in abrupt chasms, or cleft-, through which at hand you see rich and uncultivated vales ; and beyond these at va. rious distance, mountain rising over mountain ; ainong which, new prospects present themselves in mist, till the eye is lost in an agreeable perplexity;
Where active fancy travels beyond sense,
And pictures things unseen.-Were I to analyse the two places into their constituent principles, I should tell you, that the full perfection
of Keswick consists in three circumstances ; beauty, bor. ror and immensity unitel; the second of which alone is found in Dovedale. Of heaviy it hath little, nature hav: ing left it almost a desert; neither its small extent nor the diminutive and lifeless form of the bills, admits magnificence ; but to give you a complete idea of these three perfections, as they are joined in Keswick, would require the united powers of Claude, Salvator and Poussin. The first should throw his delicate sunshine over the cultiva.. ted vales, the scattered cois, the groves, the lake and wooded islands. The second should dash out the horror of the rugged cliffs, the steep, the hanging woods, and foaming waterfalls; while the grand pencil of Poussin should crown the whole, with the majesty of the impending mountains.
So much for what I would call the permanent beauty of this astonishing scene. Were I not afraid of being tiresome, I could now dwell long upon its varying or accidental beautier. I would sail round the lake, anchor in every bay, and land you on every prorr.ontory and island. I would point out the perpetual change of prospect; the woods, rocks, cliffs and mountains, by turns vanishing or rising into view ; now gaining on the sight, hanging over our heads in their full dimensions, beautifully dreadful, and now, by a change of situation, assuming new romantic shapes ; retiring and lessening on the eye, and insensibly losing themselves in an azure mist. I would remark the contrast of light and shade, produced by the morning and evening sun! the one gliding the western, the other the eastern side of this immense amphitheatre ; while the vast shadow, projected by the mountains, buries the opposite part in a deep and purple gloom, which the eye can hardly penetrate The natural variety of coloring which the several objects produce, is no less wonderful and pleasing; the ruling tints in the valley being those of azure, green and gold; yet ever various, arising from an intermixture of the lake, the woods, the grass, and cornfields; these are finely contrasted by the grzy rocks and cliffs ; and the whole heightened by the yellow streams of light, the purple hues, and misty a zure of the mountains Sonne. times a serene air and clear sky disclose the tops of the