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sublime; while the lonely vale, the hollow bank, or the shady wood, will present him a retreat suited to the thoughtfulness of his disposition.'
Such are the sentiments which have formed the character of Mr. Umphraville, which have regulated the choice and tenor of his life.
His father, a man of generosity and expense beyond his fortune, though that had once been considerable, left him at the age of twenty-five, full of the
high sentiments natural, at these years, to a young · gentleman brought up as tie heir of an ancient fa
mily, and a large estate, with a very inconsiderable income to support them; for though the remaining part of the family-fortune still afforded him a rentroll of 10001. a year, his clear revenue could scarcely be estimated at 3001.
Mr. Umphraville, though he wanted not a relish for polite company and elegant amusements, was more distinguished for an ardent desire of knowledge; in consequence of which he had made an uncommon progress in several branches of science. The classical writers of ancient and modern times, but especially the former, were those from whose works he felt the highest pleasure ; yet he had, among : other branches of learning, obtained a considerable knowledge of jurisprudence, and was a tolerable proficient in mathematics.
On these last circumstances his friends founded their hopes of his rising in the world. One part of them argued, from the progress he had made in jurisprudence, that he would prove an excellent lawyer; the other, that his turn for mathematics would be an useful qualification in a military life; and all agreed in the necessity of his following some profession in which he might have an opportunity of repairing his fortune.
Mr. Umphraville, however, had very different sen
timents. Though he had studied the science of jurisprudence with pleasure, and would not have declined the application of its principles, as a member of the legislature, he felt no inclination to load his memory with the rules of our municipal law, or to occupy himself in applying them to the uninteresting disputes of individuals; and though he neither wanted a taste for the art, nor a passion for the glory of a soldier, he was full as little disposed to carry a pair of colours at a review, or to line the streets in a procession. Nor were his objections to other plans of bettering his fortune, either at home or abroad, less unsurmountable.
In short, after deliberating on the propositions of his friends, and comparing them with his own feelings, Mr. Umphraville concluded, that, as he could not enter into the world in a way suited to his inclination and temper, the quiet and retirement of a country life, though with a narrow fortune, would be more conducive to his happiness than the pursuit of occupations to which he felt an aversion, even should they be attended with a greater degree of success than, from that circumstance, he judged to be probable.
Agreeably to this opinion he took his resolution; and, notwithstanding the opposition of his friends, retired, a few months after his father's death, to his estate in the country, where he has lived upwards of forty years; his family, since the death of his mother, a lady of uncommon sense and virtue, who survived her husband some time, having consisted only of himself, and an unmarried sister, of a disposition similar to his own.
Neither his circumstances nor inclination led Mr. Umphraville to partake much of the jollity of his neighbours. His farm has never exceeded what he found absolutely necessary for the convenience of his
little family; and though he employed himself for a few years in extending his plantations over the neighbouring grounds, even that branch of industry he soon laid aside, from a habit of indolence, which has daily grown upon him ; and since it has been dropped, his books, and sometimes his gun, with the conversation of his sister, and a few friends who now and then visit him, entirely occupy his time.
In this situation, Mr. Umphraville has naturally contracted several peculiarities, both of manner and opinion. They are, however, of a kind which neither lessen the original politeness of the one, nor weaken the natural force and spirit of the other. - In a word, though he has contracted rust, it is the rust of a great mind, which, while it throws a certain melancholy reverence around its possessor, rather enhances than detracts from the native beauty and dignity of his character.
These particulars will suffice for introducing this gentleman to my readers; and I may afterwards take occasion to gratify such of them as wish to know somewhat more of a life and opinions with which I have long been intimately acquainted.
No. 7. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1779.
TO THE AUTHOR OF THE MIRROR. SIR, I am a sort of retainer to the Muses; and though I cannot boast of much familiarity with themselves, hold a subordinate intimacy with several branches of their family. I never made verses, but I can repeat several thousands. Though I am not a writer, I am reckoned a very ready expounder of enigmas; and I have given many good hints towards the composition of some favourite rebuses and charades. I have also a very competent share of classical learning; I can construe Latin when there is an English version on the opposite column, and read the Greek character with tolerable facility; I speak a little French, and can make shift to understand the subject of an Italian opera.
With these qualifications, sir, I am held in considerable estimation by the wits of both sexes. I am sometimes allowed to clap first at a play, and pronounce a firm encore after a fashionable song. I am consulted by several ladies before they stick their pin into the catalogue of the circulating library; and have translated to some polite companies all the mottos of your paper, except the last, which, being somewhat crabbed, I did not choose to risk my credit by attempting. I have at last ventured to put myself
into print in the Mirror; and send you information of a scheme I have formed for making my talents serviceable to the republic of letters.
Everyone must have observed the utility of a proper selection of names to a play or a novel. The bare sounds of Monimia or Imoinda set a tenderhearted young lady a crying; and a letter from Edward to Maria contains a sentiment in the very title.
Were I to illustrate this by an opposite example, as schoolmasters give exercises of bad Latin, the truth of my assertion would appear in a still stronger
Suppose, sir, one had a mind to write a very pathetic story of the disastrous loves of a young lady and a young gentleman, the first of whom was called Gubbins, and the latter Gubblestones, two very respectable names in some parts of our neighbourcountry. The Gubinses, from an ancient familyfeud, had a mortal antipathy at the Gubblestones; this, however, did not prevent the attachment of the heir of the last to the heiress of the former: an attachment begun by accident, increased by acquaintance, and nourished by mutual excellence. But the hatred of the fathers was unconquerable; and old Gubbins having intercepted a letter from young Gubblestones, breathed the most horrid denunciations of vengeance against his daughter, if ever he should discover the smallest intercourse between her and the son of his enemy; and further, effectually to seclude any chance of an union with so hated a name, he instantly proposed a marriage between her and a young gentleman sately returned from his travels, a Mr. Clutterbuck, who had seen her at a ball, and was deeply smitten with her beauty. On being made acquainted with this intended match, Gubblestones grew almost frantie with grief and despair. Wandering round the house where his loved Gubbins was confined, he chanced to