« הקודםהמשך »
VI. The Folly of inconfiftent Expectations. THIS world may be considered as a great mart of
commerce, where fortune exposes to our view va. rious commodities, riches, ease, tranquillity, fame, integrity, knowledge. Every thing is marked at a settled price. Our time, our labour, our ingenuity, is so much ready money which we are to lay out to the best advantage. Examine, compare, choose, reject : but ftand to your own judgment; and do not, like children, when you have purchased one thing, repine that you do not possess another which you did not purchase. Such is the force of well-regulated industry, that a steady and vigorous exertion of our faculties, directed to one end, will generally insure success. Would you, for instance, be rich! Do you think that single point worth the facrificing every thing else to? You may then be rich. Thou. fands have become so from the lowest beginnings, by toil, and patient diligence, and attention to the minutest ar. icles of expence and profit. But you must give up the pleasures of leisure, of a vacant mind, of a free unsufpicious temper. If you preserve your integrity, it must be a coarle spun and vulgar honesty. Those high and lofty notions of morals which you brought with you from: the schools must be considerably lowered, and mixed with the baser alloy of a jealous and worldly-minded pru. dence. You must learn to do hard, if not unjust things ; and, for the nice embarassments of a delicate and ingenuous fpirit, it is necessary for you to get rid of them as fast as poflible. You must shut your heart against the Mufes, and be content to feed your understanding with plain household truths. In thort, you must not attempt to enlarge your ideas, or polish your taste, or refine your fentiments; but must keep on in one beaten track, without turning aside either to the right hand or to the left.
“ But'I cannot submit to drudgery. like this I feel a fpirit above it.” 'Tis well :. be above it then; only do not repine that you are not rich.
Is knowledge the pearl of price?. That, too, may be purchased-by steady application, and long folitary hours of study and reflection. Bestow these, and you shall be learned..“ But,” says the man of letters, "what a hard
slip is it, that many an illiterate fellow, who cannot con' ftrue the motto of the arms of his coach, fhall raise a fora tune and make a figure, while I have little mor
ore than the common conveniencies of life! Was it in order to raise a fortune that you consumed the sprightly hours of youth in 1tudy and retirement ? Was it to be rich that you grew pale over the midnight-lamp, and distilled the sweetnets from the Greek and Roman spring? You have then mistaken your path, and ill employed your induftry. What reward have I then for all my labours ?” What reward! A large comprchensive foul, well purged from vulgar fears, and perturbations, and prejudices; able to comprehend and interpret the works of manof God. A rich, flourishing, cultivated mind, pregnant with inexhaustible stores of entertainment and reflection. A perpetual spring of fresh ideas, and the conscious dig. nity of superiour intelligence. Good Heaven ! and what reward can you ask belides ?
* But is it not fome reproach upon the economy of Providence, 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 bar, gain? Will you hang your head and blush in his pre, lence 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 fought, 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 indepen dence, and have a delicacy and reserve in your temper. which renders it impoflible 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 fpirit; but resign the splendid difinctions of the world to those who can bet, ter scramble for them.
The man, whose tender fenfibility of conscience and strict regard to the rules of morality make him scrupu..
lous and fearful of offending, is often heard to complain of the disadvantages lie 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 scru. pulotity of yours, which stands fo grievously in your way? If it be a small thing to enjoy a healthful mind, found at the very core, that does not shrink from the keeneft inspection'; inward freedom from remorse and pertur. bation; unsullied whiteness and simplicity of manners ; a genuine integrity,
Pure in the last recesses of the mind; if you think these advantages an inadequate recompence for what you resign, difini's your fcruples this inftant, and be a nave-merchant, a director or what you please,
VIl. Description of the vale of Keswick in Cumberland. THIS delightful vale is thus elegantly described by the
late ingenuous Dr Brown, in a leiter to a friend. In my way to the north from Hagley, I passed through Dovedale ; and, to fay the truth, was dilappointed in it. When I came to Buxton, I visited another or two of their romantic scenes; but these are infesiour to Dovedale. They are all but poor, miniatures of Kefwick; which exceeds them more in grandeur than you can imagine ; and more, if possible, in beauty than in grandeur.
Instead of the narrow lip of valley which is seen at Dovedale, you have at Keswick a vast amphitheatre, in circumference above i wenty 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 :adeed of Dovedale are finely wild, pointed, and irregular; but thi hills are both little and unanimated; and the margin of ihe brook is poorly edged with weeds, morals, 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 in, equalities, with noble groves of oak, happily difperfed,
and climbing the adjacent hills, shade above shade, in the most various and picturesque forms. On the opposite fhore, you will find rocks and cliffs of ftupendous height, hanging broken over the lake in horrible grandeur, fome. 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 tlie eagles build their nests; a variety of water.jalls are seen
from their summits, and tumbling in vaft fheets from rock to rock in rude and terrible magnificence: while on all fides of this iinmense amphitheatre the lofty niountains rise round, piercing the clouds in thapes as fpiry and fantastic as the very rocks of Dovedale. To this I must add the frequent and bold projection 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 there, at various distance, mountain rising over, mountain ; among which, new prospects present themselves in mift, till the eye is loft in an agreeable perplexity;
Where active fancy travels beyond fense,
And pictures things unse an. * Were I to analyse the two places in their constituent principles, I should tell you, that the full perfection of Ketwick consists of three circumstances; beauty, horrour, and immensity, united ; the second of which alone is found in Dovedale. · Of beauty it hath little, nature having left it alinoft a desert: neither its finall extent, nor the din inutive and lifelofs form of the hills, admit mágniticence; 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 Poor. fin. The first should throw his delicate funthine over the cultivated vales, the scattered cots, the groves, the Jake, and woocied islands. The second should dash out the horronr of the rugged cliffs, the steeps, the hanging woods, and foaming water-falls; while the grand pencil of Pouslin should crown the whole with the majesty of the impending mountains.
So much for what I would call the permanent beauties of this aftonishing scene. Were I not afraid of be
ing tire fome, I could now dwell as long on 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 profpeet; the woods, rocks, cliffs, and mountains, by turna vanishing or rising into view : now gaining on the fight, 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 Tun; 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 natiral variety of colouring which the several objects produce, is no less wonderful and pleasing: the ruling tincts 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 cliffs ; and the whole heightened by the yellow Itreams 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, refting on their fides, or descending to their base, and roiling among the valleys, as in a vast furnace. When the winds are high, they roar among the cliffs and caverns like peals of thunder ; then, too, ihe clouds are seen in vast bedies sweeping along the hills in gloomy greatness, while the lake joins the tumult, and tofies like a fea. But, in calm weather, the whole scene becomes new: the lake is a perfect mirror, and the landfcape in all its beauty: illands, fielels, woods, rocks, and mountains, are seen inverted, and forting on its surface. I will now carry you to the top of a cliff, where, if you care 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 diminillied to a little pool, ainidit the vast and immealurable objects that surround it ; for here the