« 上一頁繼續 »
vidence, that such a one, who is a mean dirty fellow, should have amassed wealth enough to buy half a nation ??? Not in the least. He made himself a mean dirty fellow for that very end. He has paid his health, his conscience, his liberty, for it; and will you envy his bargain ? Will you hang your head and blush in his presence, 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 independence, 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 honour and profit. "Could I but get over some nice points, and conform to the practice and opinion of those about me, I might stand as fair a chance as others for dignities 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 per, turbation, 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.
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 truth, 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 twenty miles. Instead of a meagre rivulet, a noble living lake ten miles round, of an oblong form, adorned with a variety of wooded islands. The rocks indeed of Dovedale are finely wild, pointed, and irregular; but the hills 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 fine inequalities, with noble groves of oak, happily dispersed, and climbing the adjacent hills, shade above shade, in the most various and picturesque 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 climbing up their steep and shaggy sides, where mortal foot never yet approached. On these dreadful heights the eagles build their nests; a variety of water-falls are seen pouring from their summits, and tumbling in vast sheets 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 Dovedale. To this I must add the frequent and bold projections of the cliffs into the lake, forming noble bays and promontories : In other parts they finely retire from it, and often open in abrupt chasms or clefts, through which, at hand, you see rich and uncultivated vales; and beyond these, at various distance, mountain rising over mountain ; among 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 analyze the two places into their constituent principles, I should tell you, that the full perfection of: Keswick consists in three circumstances; beauty, horror, and immensity, united; the second of which alone, is found in Dovedale. Of beauty it hath little, nature having 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 cultivated vales, the. scattered cots, the groves, the lake, and wooded islands. The second should dash out the horror of the rugged cliffs, the steeps, the hanging woods, and foaming water-falls; 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 as long upon its varying or accidental beauties. I would sail round the lake, anchor in every bay, and land you on every promontory 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 gilding 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 colouring 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 corn-fields; these are finely contrasted by the gray rocks and clifts; and the whole beightened by the yellow streams of light, the purple hues, and misty azure of the mountains. Sometimes, a serene air . and clear sky disclose the tops of the highest hills ; at other times you see the clouds involving their summits, resting on their sides, or descending to their base, and rolling among the vallies, as in a vast furnace. When the winds are high, they roar among the cliffs and caverns, like peals of thunder; then, too, the clouds are seen in vast bodies, sweeping along the hills in gloomy greatness, while the lake joins the tumult, and tosses like a sea. But in calm weather, . the whole scene becomes new; the lake is a perfect mirror,
and the landscape in all its beauty ; islands, fields, woods, rocks, and mountains, are seen inverted, and floating on its surface. I will now carry you to the top of a cliff, where, if you dare approach the ridge, a new scene of astonishment presents itself; where the valley, lake, and islands, seem lying at your feet; where this expanse of water appears diminished to a little pool, amidst the vast and unmeasurable objects that surround it ; for here the summits of more distant hills appear beyond those you have already seen ; and, rising behind each other, in successive ranges, and azure groups of craggy and broken steeps, form an immense and awful picture, which can only be expressed by the image of a tempestuous sea of mountains. Let me now conduct you down again to the valley, and conclude with one circumstance more ; which is, that a walk by a still moonlight (at which time the distant waterfalls are heard in all their variety of sound) among these enchanting dales, opens such scenes of delicate beauty, repose, and solemnity, as exceed all description.
. VIII.- Pity, an Allegory. IN the happy period of the golden age, when all the celestial inhabitants descended to the earth, and conversed familiarly with mortals, among the most cherished of the heavenly powers, were twins, the offspring of Jupiter, LOVE and Joy. Wherever they appeared, the flowers sprung up beneath their feet, the sun shone with a brighter radiance, and all nature seemed embellished by their presence. .
They were inseparable companious; and their growing: attachment was favoured by Jupiter, who had decreed that a lasting union should be solemnized between them, so soon as they were arrived at maturer years. But, in the mean time, the sons of men deviated from their native innocence ; vice and ruin over-ran the earth with giant strides; and Astrea, with her train of celestial visitants, forsook their polluted abodes. Love alone remained, having been stolen away by Hope, who was his nurse, and conveyed by her to the forests of Arcadia, where he was brought up among the shepherds. But Jupiter assigned him a different partner, and commanded him to espouse SORROW, the daughter of Ate. He complied, with reluctance ; for her features were harsh and disagreeable, her eyes sunk, her forehead contracted into perpetual wrinkles, and her temples were covered with a wreath of cyprus and wormwood.
From this union sprang a virgin, in whom might be traced a strong resemblance to both her parents ; but the sullen and unamiable features of her mother, were so mixed and blended with the sweetness of her father, that her counte. nance, though mournful, was highly pleasing. The maids and shepherds of the neighbouring plains gathered round, and called her Pity. . A red breast was observed to build in the cabin where she was born ; and, while she was yet an infant, a dove, pursued by a hawk, flew into her bosom. The nymph had a dejected appearance ; but so soft and gentle a mein, that she was beloved to a degree of enthusiasm. Her voice was low and plaintive, but inexpressibly sweet, and she loved to lie, for hours together, on the banks of some wild and melancholy stream, singing to her lute. She taught men to weep, for she took a strange delight in tears; and often, when the virgins of the bamlet were assembled at their evening sports, she would steal in among them, and captivate their hearts by her tales, full of charming sad-1 ness. She wore on her head a garland, composed of her father's myrtles, twisted with her mother's cyprus.
One day, as she sat musing by the waters of Helicon, her tears by chance fell into the fountain, and ever since, the muse's spring has retained a strong taste of the infusion. Pity was commanded by Jupiter to follow the steps of her mother through the world, dropping balm into the wounds she made, and binding up the hearts she had broken. She follows with her hair loose, her bosom bare and throbbing, her garments torn by the briers, and her feet bleeding with the roughness of the path. The nymph is mortal, for her mother is so; and when she has fulfilled her destined course upon the earth, they shall both expire together, and Love be again united to Joy, his immortal and long betrothed bride.
IX.-Advantages of Commerce, THERE is no place in town which I so much love to frequent, as the Royal Exchange. It gives me a secret satisfaction, and in some measure gratifies my vanity, as I am an Englishman, to see so rich an assembly of my coun: trymen and foreigners, consulting together upon the private business of mankind, and making this metropolis a kind of emporium for the whole earth. I must confess I look upon High Change to be a grand council, in which all considerable nations have their representatives. Factors, in the trading world, are what ambassadors are in the politic world.