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• myself from business. You know with what ar• dour I have longed for that period, when Fortune
should bless me with a competence just sufficient ' to prosecute my favourite scheme of retiring to the
country. It was that darling prospect which • made the toils of business (for which, Ġod knows, • I never was intended by nature) light, and even
pleasant to me. I have acquired, by honest indus. 'try, a fortune equal to my wishes. These were • always moderate; for my aim was not wealth, but • happiness. Of that, indeed, I have been truly can ' vetous; for I must confess, that, for these thirty ' years past, I have never laid my head to my pillow • without that ardent wish which my favourite • Horace so beautifully expresses :
O rus! quando ego te aspiciam, quandoque licebit
• Or the same sentiment in the words of the pensive • moral Cowley :
· That blissful period, my dear friend, is at length ' arrived. I yesterday made a formal resignation of
all concern in the house in favour of my nephew, a deserving young man, who, I doubt not, will have • the entire benefit of those numerous connections
with persons in trade, whose good opinion his ' uncle never, to his knowledge, forfeited..
I have made a purchase of a small estate in '- shire, of about 200 acres. The situation ' is delightfully romantic;
« My house is small, but wonderfully commodious. • It is embosomed in a tall grove of oak and elm, • which opens only to the south. A green hill rises « behind the house, partly covered with furze, • and seamed with a winding sheep-path. On one • side is an irregular garden, or rather border of • shrubbery, adorning the sloping bank of a rivulet ; • but intermixed, without the smallest injury to its • beauty, with all the variety of herbs for the kitch& en. On the other side, a little more remote, but • still in sight of the house, is an orchard filled with • excellent fruit-trees. The brook which runs " through my garden retires into a hollow dell, • shaded with birch and hazel copse, and, after a ( winding course of half a mile, joins a large river.
These are the outlines of my little paradise. And • now, my dear friend, what have I more to wish, • but that you, and a very few others, whose souls • are congenial to my own, should witness my hap• piness? In two days hence I bid adieu to the town, ra long, a last adieu !
• Farewell, thou busy world! and may
• The remainder of my life I dedicate to those pur• suits in which the best and wisest of men did not • blush to employ themselves ; the delightful occu.
pations of a country life, which Cicero well said, • and after him Columella, are next in kindred to true • philosophy. What charming schemes have I al• ready formed ; what luxurious plans of sweet and ( rational entertainment! But these, my friend, you • must approve and participate, I shall look for you
about the beginning of May; when, if you can
• spare me a couple of months, I can venture to pro• mise that time will not linger with us. I am, with • much regard, yours,' &c.
As I am, myself, very fond of the country, it was with considerable regret that I found it not in my power to accept of my friend's invitation, an unexpected piece of business having detained me in town during the greatest part of the summer. I heard nothing of Euphanor till about nine months after, when he again wrote me as follows:
. My dear Sir, . It was a sensible mortification to me not to have • the pleasure of seeing you last summer in • shire, when I should have been much the better for • your advice in a disagreeable affair, which, I am • afraid, will occasion my paying a visit to town much • sooner than I expected. I have always had a hor• ror at going to law, but now I find myself una. • voidably compelled to it. Sir Ralph Surly, whose « estate adjoins to my little property, has, for the • purpose of suppling a new barley-mill, turned • aside the course of a small stream which ran through • my garden and inclosures, and which formed, in• deed, their greatest ornaments. In place of a • beautiful winding rivulet, with a variety of fine na• tural falls, there is now nothing but a dry ditch, or • rather crooked gulph, which is hideous to look at. • The malice of this procedure is sufficiently conspi. • cuous, when I tell you, that there is another, and • a larger stream, in the same grounds, which I have • offered to be at the sole expence of conducting to • his mill. I think the law must do me justice. At • any rate, it is impossible tamely to bear such an • injury. I shall probably see you in a few days. To • say the truth, my dear friend, even before this last • mortification, I had begun to find, that the expec
· tations I had formed of the pleasures of a country• life were by far too sanguine. I must confess, that • notwithstanding the high relish I have for the • beauties of nature, I have often felt, amidst the « most romantic scenes, that languor of spirit which • nothing but society can dissipate. Even when oc• cupied with my favourite studies, I have sometimes • thonght, with the bard of Mantua, that the ease • and retirement which I courted were rather ignoble. • I have suffered an additional disappointment in the • ideas I had formed of the characters of the country• people. It is but a treacherous picture, my friend, • which the poets give us of their innocence and ho( nest simplicity. I have met with some instances • of insincerity,chicane, and even downright knavery, • in my short acquaintance with them, that have • quite shocked and mortified me.
• Whether I shall ever again enter into the busy • world (a small concern in the house, without al• lowing my name to appear, would perhaps be some • amusement) I have not yet determined. Of this, • and other matters, we shall talk fully at meeting. • Meantime believe me, dear Sir, yours,
Euphanor has been, for this month past, in town. I expected to have found him peevish, chagrined, and out of humour with the world. But in this I was disappointed. I have never seen my friend in better health, or higher spirits. I have been with him at several convivial meetings with our old acquaintances, who felt equal satisfaction with himself at what they term his recovery. He has actually resumed a small share in trade, and purposes, for the future, to devote one half of the year to business. His counsel have given him assurance of gaining his Law-suit : he expects, in a few months, to return in
triumph to - shire, and has invited all his friends to be present at a Fête Champêtre he intends to celebrate, on the restoration of his beloved rivulet to its wonted channel.
The life of Euphanor must be a series of disappointments; but, on the whole, I must consider him as a HAPPY MAN.
N°38. SATURDAY, JUNE 5, 1779.
The following letter I received only yesterday; but as I am particularly interested in every project of ingenious men, I postponed another Essay which was ready for publication, and put my printer to considerable inconvenience to get it ready for this day's paper. I was the more solicitous, likewise, to give it a place as soon after my 35th Number as possible, in order to shew my impartiality. This paper (as the London Gazetteer says) is open to all parties; with this proviso, however, which is exactly the reverse of the terms of admission into the Gazetteer, that my Correspondents do not write politics.
To the Author of the Mirror, Sir, In a late paper, you shewed the necessity of accommodating ourselves to the temper of persons with whom we are particularly connected, by sometimes submitting our own taste, inclination, and opinions, to the taste, inclination and opinions of those persons. I apprehend, Sir, you might have care