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WEAK and delicatë minds may, pers, haps, be alarmed by the title of this Work. The word “ SOLITUDE" may possibly engender melancholy ideas, But they have only to read a few pages to be undeceived. The Author is not one of those extravagant misanthropists who expect that men, formed by nature før the enjoyments of society, and impelled continually towards it by a multitude of powerful and invincible propensities, thould seek refuge in forests, and inhabit the dreary cave or lonely celt: he is a friend to the species, a rational philosopher, and a virtuous citizen, who, encouraged by the esteem of his Sovereign, endeavours to enlighten the minds of his fellow-creatures upon a subject of infinite importance to them, the attainment of true felicity.

No writer appears more completely convinced than M. ZIMMERMAN that man is born for society, or feels its duties with more refined sensibility,

It is the nature of human society, and its correspondent duties, which he here undertakes to examine. The important characters of Father Husband, Son, and Citizen, impofe on Man a variety of obligations, which are always dear to virtuous minds, and eftablish between him, his country, his family, and his friends, relations too necessary and attractive to be disregarded.

“ What wander, therefore, fince th’ endearing ties

“ Of passion link the univerfal kind i Of man fo clofe, what wonder if to search

This common nature through the various change « Of fek, and age, and fortune, and the frame " Of egeb peculiar, draw the busy mind « With unrelisted charms? The spacious Weft, “ And all the teeming regions of the South, • Hold not a quarry to the curious flight “ Of knowledge half fo tempting or fo fair " As Man to Man."

But it is not amidst tumultuous joys and noisy pleasures, in the chimeras of ambition, or the illusions of self-love, in the indulgence of feeling, or the gratification of desire, that men must expect to feel the charms of thofe mutual ties which link them fo firmly to so, ciety. It is not in such enjoyments that men can feel the dignity of those duties, the performance of which Nature has rendered productive of so many pleasures, or hope to taste that true felicity which results from an independent mind and a contented heart : á felicity feldom fought after, only because it is so little known, but which every individual may find within his own bofom. Who, alas! does not constantly experience the necessity of entering into that facred afylum 'to search for confolation under the real or imaginary misfortunes of life, or to alleviate indeed more frequently the fatigue of its painful pleasures? Yes, all men, from the mercenary trader, whọ finks under the anxiety of his daily task, to the proud statesman, intoxicated by the incense of popular applause, experience the defire of terminating their arduous career. Every bosom feels an anxiety for repose, and fondly withes to steal from the vortex of a busy and

a

perturbed

perturbed life to enjoy the tranquillity of Solitude.

“ Hackney'd in business, wearied at that oar
" Which thousands, once chain’d fast to, quit no more,
66 But which, when life at ebb runs weak and low,
" All wish, or seem to wish, they could forego.
" The statesman, lawyer, merchant, man of trade,
“ Pants for the refuge of a peaceful shade;
" Where, all his long anxieties forgot
“ Amidst the charms of a fequefter'd spot,

Or recollected only to gild o'er,
6 And add a smile to, what was sweet before,
“ He may possess the joys he thinks he sees,
Lay his old

age upon the lap of ease,
“ Improve the remnant of his wasted span,
“ And, having liv’d a trifter, die a man.

It 'is under 'the peaceful shades of Solitude that the mind regenerates and acquires fresh force; it is there alone that the happy can enjoy the fulness of felicity, or the miserable forget their woe; it is there that the bofom of sensibility experiences its moft delicious emotions; it is there that creative genius frees itself from the thraldom of society, and surrenders itself to the impetuous rays of an ardent imagination. To this desired goal all our ideas

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and desires perpetually tend. *. There “ is," says Dr. Johnson, scarcely

any writer who has not celebrated * the happiness of rural privacy, and

delighted himself and his readers “ with the melody of birds, the whif

per of groves, and the murmurs of

rivulets; nor any man eminent for “ extent of capacity, or greatness of exploits, that has not left behind him “ fome memorials of lonely wisdom - and filent dignity.”.

The original Work from which the following pages are selected, confifts of four large volumes, which have acquired the universal approbation of the German Empire, and obtained the suffrages of an Empress celebrated for the superior brilliancy of her mind, and who has signified her approbation in the most flattering manner.

On the 26th of January, 1785, a courier, dispatched by the Russian Envoy at Hamburgh, presented M. ZIMMERMAN with a fmall casket, in the name of her Majesty the Empress

of

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