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interest ħe supported with great warmth at an election : this was two years afterwards followed by the School-mistress..
Mr. Dolman, to whose care he was indebted for his ease and leisure, died in 1745, and the care of his own fortune now. fell upon him. He tried to escape it a while, and lived at his house with his tenants, who were distantly related ; but finding that imperfect poffefsion inconvenient, he took the whole estate into his own hands, more to the im, provement of its beauty than the increase of its produce.
Now began his delight in rural pleafures, and his ambition of rural elcgance: he began from this time to point his prospects, ta diversify his surface, to
entangle his walks, and to wind his waters; which he did with such judgement and such fancy, as made his little domain the envy of the great, and the admiration of the skilful; a place to be visited by travellers, and copied by defigners. Whether to plant a walk in undulating curves, and to place a bench at every turn where there is an object to catch the view; to make water run where it will be heard, or to ftagnate where it will be seen; to leave intervals where the eye will be pleased, and to thicken the plantation where there is something to be hidden, demands any great powers of mind, I will not enquire; perhaps a sullen and surly speculator may think such performances rather the sport than
the business of human reason. But it must be at least confessed, that to embellish the form of Nature is an innocent amusement; and some praise must be allowed by the most supercilious observer to him, who does best what such multitudes are contending to do well.
This praise was the praise of Shenstone; but, like all other modes of felicity, it was not enjoyed without its abatements. Lyttelton was his neighbour and his rival, whose empire, spacious and opulent, looked with disdain on the petty State that appeared behind it. For a while the inhabitants of Hagley affected to tell their acquaintance of the little fellow that was trying to make himself admired; but when by degrees
the Leafowes forced themfelves into notice, they took care to defeat the curiofity which they could not fupprefs, by conducting their visitants perversely to inconvenient points of view, and introducing them at the wrong end of a walk to detect a deception ; injuries of which Shenstone would heavily complain. Where there is emulation there will be vanity, and where there is vanity there will be folly.
The pleasure of Shenstone was all in his eye; he valued what he valued merely for its looks; nothing raised his indignation more than to ask if there were any fishes in his water.
His house was mean, and he did not improve it; his care was of his grounds.
When he came home from his walks he might find his floors flooded by a shower through the broken roof; but could spare no money for its reparation.
In time his expences brought clamours about him, that overpowered the lamb's bleat and the linnet's song; and his groves were haunted by beings very different from fawns and fairies. He spent his eftate in adorning it, and his death was probably haftened by his anxieties. He was a lamp that spent its oil in blazing. It is said, that if he had lived a little longer he would have been affifted by a pension: fuch bounty could not have been ever more properly bestowed; but that it was ever asked