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The wight, whose tale these artless lines unfold,
And yet poor Edwin was no vulgar boy:
The neighbors stared, and sigh'd, yet bless d the lad:
But why should I his childish feats display?
There would he wander wild, till Phæbus' beam,
Th' exploit of strength, dexterity, or speed,
Tyrant far less, or traitor, of the field.
Lo! where the stripling, rapt in wonder, roves
And oft he traced the uplands, to survey,
Far to the west the long, long vale withdrawn,
And villager abroad at early toil:
And oft the craggy cliff he loved to climb,
And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound,
In truth he was a strange and wayward wight,
And down his cheek a tear of pity roll,
But who the melodies of morn can tell?
The humn of bees, and linnet's lay of love,
The cottage-curs at early pilgrim bark;
Deep mourns the turtle in sequester'd bower,
Brightness, splendor. The word is used by some late writers as well as by Milton.
THE HUMBLE WISI.
The end and the reward of toil is rest.
All that art, fortune, enterprise, can bring,
Let Vanity adorn the marble tomb
Fast by a brook, or fountain's murmuring wave.
And thither let the village swain repair;
Let not the blooming band make haste to go;
At the close of the day, when the hamlet is still, And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove, When nought but the torrent is heard on the hill, And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove; 'Twas thus, by the cave of the mountain afar, While his barp rung symphonious, a hermit began; No more with himself or with nature at war, He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man. "Ah! why, all abandoned to darkness and woe, Why, lone Philomela, that languishing fall? For spring shall return, and a lover bestow, And sorrow no longer thy bosom inthral. But, if pity inspire thee, renew the sad lay, Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to mourn; O soothe him, whose pleasures like thine pass away: Full quickly they pass—but they never return.
Now gliding remote on the verge of the sky,
WILLIAM PALEY, 1743-1805.
“No writers are rewarded with a larger share of immediate celebrity than those who address themselves to the understandi of general readers, who investigate truths, develop principles, and convey instruction in that popular style, and that plain, expressive language, which all read with plea. sure, and comprehend with ease.' Such was eminently the characteristic of Dr. William Paley. He was the son of the head-master of Giggleswick grammar-school, in Yorkshire, and was born in July, 1743. After having
Read two articles on Dr. Paley in the « Quarterly Review," vol. ii. p. 75, and vol. ix. p. 388; and another in the “Edinburgh Review,” vol. i. p. 287.
acquired the rudiments of learning under the tuition of his father, he was admitted, in November, 1758, a sizer of Christ's College, Cambridge. For some time he attracted notice only as an uncouth but agreeable idler. “I spent," he says, "the first two years of my under-graduateship happily, but unprofitably. I was constantly in society, where we were not immoral, but idle and rather expensive. At the commencement of my third year, how. ever, after having left the usual party at rather a late hour in the evening, I was awakened, at five in the morning, by one of my companions, who stood at my bedside, and said, 'Paley, I have been thinking what a fool you are. I could do nothing profitably were I to try, and can afford the life I lead : you could do everything, and cannot afford it. I have had no sleep during the whole night on account of these reflections, and I am now come solemnly to inform you that, if you persist in your indolence, I must renounce your society. I was so struck with the visit and the visitor, that I lay in bed a great part of the day and formed my plan.” The result was that he changed his whole habits, became a close student, and at the close of his college course was the first in his class.
Soon after taking his degree, he obtained the situation of usher at a private school at Greenwich; but being elected, in June, 1766, a fellow of the college to which he belonged, he fixed his residence at the university, became a tator of his college, and delivered lectures on metaphysics, morals, and the Greek Testament. His reputation, in this situation, rose extremely high, as he was remarkable for the happy talent of adapting his lectures singularly well to the apprehensions of his pupils. In 1775, he was presented to the rectory of Musgrove, in Westmoreland; and in the following year he va. cated his fellowship by marrying. He was soon advanced by his friend Dr. Law, then Bishop of Carlisle, to various preferments, until he was finally, in 1782, made archdeacon and chancellor of that diocese. Here he digested and prepared his celebrated work, the “Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy," which appeared in 1785. His “Horæ Paulinæ" followed in 1790, and his “Evidences of Christianity” in 1794. Soon after this, he became so infirm as to be incapable of preaching, and he devoted his attention almost exclusively to the preparation of his “Natural Theology, or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of a Deity, collected from the Appearances of Nature,” which was published in 1802. He died on the 25th of May, 1805, leaving a wife and eight children.
“Dr. Paley was, in private life, a cheerful, social, unassuming character, and of an equable temper. He entered with great zest into the common enjoyments of life, and was anxious to promote good humor and harmless mirth on all occasions. His conversation was free and unreserved: he had a strong relish of wit, a copious fund of anecdote, and told a story with peculiar archness and naïveté."
" As a writer, he did not possess a comprehensive and grasping genius, nor was he endowed with a rich and sparkling imagination. His mind was well informed, but not furnished with deep, extensive, ponderous erudition. His distinguishing characteristic is a penetrating understanding, and a clear logical head: what he himself comprehends fully, that he details luminously.