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Theme this but little heard of among Men,
Such grateful haunts foregoing, if I oft
The transitory Being that beheld
SUMMARY OF CONTENTS.
A summer forenoon–The Author reaches a ruined Cottage upon a Common,
and there meets with a revered Friend, the Wanderer, of whom he gives an
The Author describes his travels with the Wanderer, whose character is further
illustrated-Morning scene, and view of a Village Wake-Wanderer's ac-
- Descent into the Valley-Observations drawn from the Wanderer at sight
Images in the Valley-Another Recess in it entered and described—Wanderer's
sensations—Solitary's excited by the same objects—Contrast between these-Despondency of the Solitary gently reproved—Conversation exhibiting the Solitary's past and present opinions and feelings, till he enters upon
his own History at length-His domestic felicity-afflictions—dejection-roused by the French Revolution-Disappointment and disgustVoyage to America-disappointment and disgust pursue him—his returnHis languor and depression of mind, from want of faith in the great truths of Religion, and want of confidence in the virtue of Mankind.
State of feeling produced by the foregoing Narrative A belief in a superintend
ing Providence the only adequate support under affliction—Wanderer's ejaculation to the supreme Being-Account of his own devotional feelings in youth involved in it-Iinplores that he may retain in age the power to find repose ainong enduring and eternal things-What these latter areAcknowledges the difficulty of a lively faith—Hence immoderate sorrowbut doubt or despondence not therefore to be inferred—And proceeds to administer consolation to the Solitary-Exhortations—How these are re'ceived-Wanderer resumes—and applies his discourse to that other cause of dejection in the Solitary's mind—the disappointment of his expectations from the French Revolution-States the rational grounds of hope—and insists on the necessity of patience and fortitude with respect to the course of the great revolutions of the world—Knowledge the source of tranquillityRural life and Solitude particularly favourable to a knowledge of the inferior Creatures-Study of their habits and ways recommended for its influence on the affections and the imagination-Exhortation to bodily exertion and an active Communion with Nature - Morbid Solitude a pitiable thing-If the elevated imagination cannot be exerted—try the humbler fancy-Superstition better than apathy-Apathy and destitution unknown in the infancy of society—The various modes of Religion prevented it—this illustrated in the Jewish, Persian, Babylonian, Chaldean and Grecian modes of belief-Solitary interposes—Wanderer, in answer, points out the influence of religious and imaginative feeling on the mind in the humble ranks of society, in rural life especially—This illustrated from present and past times—Observation that these principles tend to recal exploded superstitions and popery-Wanderer rebuts this charge, and contrasts the dignities of the Imagination with the presumptive littleness of certain modern Philosophers, whom the Solitary appears to esteem-Recommends to him other lights and guides, Asserts the power of the Soul to regenerate herself—Solitary agitated, and asks how - Reply-Personal appeal—Happy for us that the imagination and affections in our own despite mitigate the evils of that state of intellectual Slavery which the calculating understanding is so apt to produce-Exhortation to activity of Body renewed—How Nature is to be communed with -Wanderer concludes with a prospect of a legitimate union of the imagination, the affections, the understanding, and the reason-Effect of the Wanderer's discourse-Evening-Return to the Cottage.
Farewell to the Valley—Reflections-Sight of a large and populous Vale-Soli
tary consents to go forward-Vale described— The Pastor's Dwelling, and some account of him—The Church-yard— Church and Monuments—The Solitary musing, and where—Roused-In the Church-yard the Solitary communicates the thoughts which had recently passed through his mindLofty tone of the Wanderer's discourse of yesterday adverted to-Rite of Baptism, and the professions accompanying it, contrasted with the real state of human lifel n consistency of the best men-Acknowledgment that practice falls far below the injunctions of duty as existing in the mind—General complaint of a falling-off in the value of life after the time of youth-Outward appearances of content and happiness in degree illusive-Pastor approaches-Appeal made to him-His answer-Wanderer in sympathy with