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rough and difficult paths, when conducted by the hand of Love? What species of instruction can be more successful than soft lessons from a female tongue, dictated by a mind profound in understanding, and elevated in sentiment, where the heart feels all the affection that her precepts inspire ? Oh! may every mother, fo endowed, be blessed with a child who delights to listen in private to her edifying observations; who, with a book in his hand, loves to seek among the rocks some fequeftered spot favourable to study; who, when walking with his dogs and gun, frequently reclines under the friendly shade of some majestic tree, and contemplates the great and glorious characters which the pages of Plutarch present to his view, instead of toiling through the thickets of the surrounding woods to search for game.

The wishes of a mother are accomplished when the silence and folitude of the forests seize and animate the mind of her beloved child ; * when he begins to feel that he has seen fufficiently the pleasures of the world; when he begins to perceive that there are greater and more valued characters than'noblemen or squires, than ministers or kings; characters who enjoy a more elevated sense of pleasure than gaming tables and assemblies are capable of affording; who seek, at every interval of leisure, the shades of Solitude with rapturous delight, whose minds have been inspired with a love of literature and philosophy from their earliest infancy; whose bosoms have glowed with a love of science through every subsequent period of their lives; and who, amidst the greatest calamities, are capable of banishing, by a secret charm, the deepest melancholy and most profound dejection.


* “ Mirum eft,says the younger PLINY, “ ut animus agi« tatione motuque corporis excitetur. Jam undique filva et solitude

ipsorumque illud filentium, quod verationi datur, magna cogitationis incitamenta funt.

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The advantages of Solitude to a mind that feels a real disgust at the tiresome intercourses of society are inconceivable. Freed from the world, the veil which obscured the intellect suddenly falls, the clouds which dimmed the light of reason disappear, the painful burthen which oppressed the soul is alleviated; we no longer wrestle with surrounding perils; the apprehension of danger vanishes ; the sense of misfortune becomes softened ; the difpensations of Providence no longer excite the murmur of discontent; and we enjoy the delightful pleasures of a calm, serene, and happy mind. Patience and resignation follow and reside with a contented heart; every corroding care fies away on the wings of gaiety; and on every side agreeable and interesting scenes present themselves to our view: the brilliant fun finking behind the lofty mountains, tinging their snow-crowned turrets with golden rays; the feathered choir haftening to seek within their moffy cells, a soft, a filent, and secure repose; the shrill crowing of the amorous cock; the solemn and stately march of oxen returning from their daily toil; and the graceful paces of the generous steed. But, amidst the vicious pleasures of a great METROPOLIS, where sense and truth are constantly despised, and integrity and conscience thrown aside as inconvenient and oppressive,* the fairest forms of fancy are obscured, and the purest virtues of the heart corrupted. C




* In speaking thus of the dangers of a Metropolis, the Author can only mean to point out the effects produced by the bad company that infeft it; for in another part of his work he has given an instance in which the town is preferable to THE COUNTRY. « The poet Martial,” says he, “ on his return to Bibilis, the village of his nativity, in Spain, after having lived thirty-four years among the most learned and enlightened men of Rome, found it a dreary desert, a frightful solitude! Forced to associate with persons who felt no pleasure in the elegant occupations of literature and the sciences, a painful languor feized his mind, and he sighed incessantly to revisit the beloved METROPOLIS where he had acquired such universal fame; where his good sense, his penetration, his fagacity, were duly applauded ; and immortality promised to his writings, by the encomiums they received from the younger Pliny, as possessing equal acumen, wit, and ease : but, on the contrary, in the stupid village of Bibilis, his fame and learning only acquired him envy and contempt."

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But the first and most inconteftible advantage of SOLITUDE is, that it accuftoms the mind to think: the imagination becomes more vivid, and the memory more faithful, while the senses remain undifturbed, and no external object agitates the foul.. Removed far from the tirefore tumults of public society, where a multitude of heterogeneous objects dance before our eyes, and fill the mind with incoherent notions, we learn to fix our at. tention to a single subject, and to contemplate that alone. An author, * whose works I could read with pleasure every hour of my life, says, “ It is “ the power of attention which in a great measure “ distinguishes the wise and the great from the « vulgar and trifling herd of men.

The latter u are accustomed to think, or rather to dream, “ without knowing the subject of their thoughts. « In their unconnected rovings they pursue no « end; they follow no track. Every thing floats « loose and disjointed on the surface of their minds; « like leaves scattered and blown about on the (6 face of the waters."


* Dr. Blair, the author of the highly celebrated Sermons, and of an excellent work, intitled, “ Lectures on Rhetoric and “ Belles Lettres," printed at London, for the first time, in the year 1783, and indispensably necessary to be studied by every person who wishes to speak and write with elegance and propriety.

The habit of thinking with steadiness and attention, can only be acquired by avoiding the distraction which a multiplicity of objects always create; by turning our observation from external things; and seeking a situation in which our daily occupations are not perpetually shifting their course, and changing their direction,

Ipleness and inattention foon destroy all the advantages of retirement ; for the most dangerous passions, when the mind is not properly employed, rise into fermentation, and produce a variety of eccentric ideas and irregular desires. It is neceffary, also, to elevate our thoughts abovę the mean confideration of sensual objects: the unincumbered mind then recalls all that it has read; all that has pleased the eye, or delighted the ear; and reflecting on every idea which either observation, experience, or discourse, has produced, gains new information by every reAlection, and conveys the purest pleasures to the soul. The intellect contemplates all the former scenes of life; views by anticipation those that are yet to come; and blends all ideas of past and future in the actual enjoyment of the present moment. To keep, however, the mental powers in proper tone, it is necessary to direct our attention invariably towards fome noble and interefting ftudy. C 2

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