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*■ which I am decked, as the charms of beauteous simplicity. What you call "the weeds which darken and obscure "my waves, afford to the botanist a pleas** ing speculation of the works of nature; '* and the poet and painter think the lultre "of my stream greatly improved by glit'' tering through them. The pebbles which diversify my bottom, and make these ** ripplings in my current, are pleasing * objects to the eye of taste; and my sim"pie murmurs are more melodious to the "learned ear than all the rude noises of "your banks,, or even the music that re*' sounds from your stately barges. If "the uaseeling sons of Wealth and Com"merce judge of me by the mere standard ** of usefulness, I may claim no undistm*' guished rank. While your waters, con"fined in deep ch.-.nnels, or lifted above "the valleys, roll on, a useless burden to "the fields, and only subservient to the "drudgery of bearing temporary mer"chandizes, my stream will bestow unvary"ing fertility on the meadows, during the "summers of suture ages. Yet 1 scorn to "submit my honours to the decision of "those whose hearts are stiut up to taste "and sentiment: let me appeal to nobler "judges. The philosopher and poet, by "whose labours the human iniiid is elevated and refined, and opvned to plea"sores bevond the conception of vulgar "fouls, will acknowledge that the elegant — deities who preside over simple and na"tural beauty, have inspired them with "their charming and instructive ideas. "The sweetest and most majestic bird that "ever song, has t.iken a pride in owning "his affection to woeds and streams; and, "while the stupendous monuments of Ro"man grandeur, the columns w hich pierced "the fleits, and the aqueducts which poured "their waves over mountains and vallies, "arc funk in oblivion, the gently-winding "Mincii s still retains his tranquil honours. « And when thy glories, proud Genius! "arc lost and forgotten; w hen the flood of "commerce, v. hich now supplies thy urn, "is turned into another course, and has «' left thy channel dry and desolate; the '* softly flowing Avon sliall still murmur in "song, and his banks receive the homage "of all who are beloved by Phœbus and "the Muses." Aikin's Mt/cell.
$11. The Stcry of a disabled Soldier. No observation is more common, and at the seme time more true, than, That
one half of the world are ignorant how the other half lives. The misfortunes of the great are held up to engage our attention; arc enlarged upon in tones of declamation; and the world is called upon to gaze at the noble sufferers: the great, under the pressure of calamity, are conscious of several others sympathizing with their distress; and have, at once, the comfort of admiration and pity.
There is nothing magnanimous in bearing misfortunes with fortitude, when the whole world is looking on: men in soch circumstances will act bravely, even from motives of vanity; but he who, in the vale of obscurity, can brave adversity; who, without friends to encourage, acquaintances to pity, or even without hope to alleviate his misfortunes, can behave with tranquillity and indifference, is truly great; whether peasant or courtier, he deserves admiration, and should be held up for our imitation and respect.
While the slightest inconveniencies of the great are magnified into calamities; while tragedy mouths out their sufferings, in all the strains of eloquence; the miseries of the poor are entirely disregarded; and yet some of the lower ranks of people undergo more real hardships in one day, than thole of a more exalted station suffer in their whole lives. It is inconceivable what difficulties the meanest of our common sailors and soldiers endure without murmuring or regret; without passionately decl.iiming against Providence, or calling their fellows to be gazers on their intrepidity. Every day is to them a day of misery, and yet they entertain their hard fate without repining.
With what indignation do I hear an Ovid, a Cicero, or a Rabutin, complain of their misfortunes and hardsoips, whose greatest calamity was that of being unable to visit a certain spot of earth, to which they had foolisoly attached an idea of happiness 1 Their distresses were pleasures, compared to what many of the adventuring poor every day endure without murmuring. They ate, drank, and slept; they had slaves to attend them; and were sure of subsistence for life: while many of their fellow-creatures are obliged to wander without a friend to comfort or assist them, and even without shelter from the severity of the season.
I have been led into these reflection* from accidentally meeting, some days ago, a poor fellow, whom I knew when a boy, dressed in a sailor's jacket, and begging at one of the outlets of the town wit ha wooden leg. I knew him to have been honest and industrious when in the country, and was curious to learn what h»d reduced him to his present situation. Wherefore, after having; given him what I thought proper, I desired to know the history of his life and misfortunes, and the manner in which he was reduced to his present distress. The disabled soldier, for such he was, though dressed in a sailor's habit, scratching his head, and leaning on his crutch, put himself into an attitude to comply with my request, and gave me his history as follows:
"As for my misfortunes, master, I can't — pretend to nave gone through any more "than other folks; for, except the loss of
my limb, and my being obliged to beg, "I don't know any reason, thank Heaven, "that I have to complain: there is Bill "Tibbs, of our regiment, he his lost « both his legs, and an eye to boot; but, "thank Heaven, it is not so bad with me « yet.
"I was born ;:i Shropshire ; my father u was a labourer, and died when I was five "years old; so i was put upon the parish. ■*« As he had been a wandering sort of a "man, the parishioners were not able to "tell to what parilh I belonged, or where •' I was born, so they sent me to another '* parish, and that parish sent me to a third. "I thought in mv heart, they kept send"ing me about lo long, that they would *• not let me be born in any parilh at all; "but at last, however, they fixed me. I "had some disposition to be a scholar, and "was resolved, at least, to know my let"ters; but the master of the workhouse "put me to buliness as soon as I was able "to handle a mallet; and here I lived an "easy kind of life for five years. 1 only "wrought ten hours in the day, and had "my meat and drink provided for my la"bour It is true, 1 was not suffered to "stirout of the house, for fear, as they said, "I should ran away; but what of that, I "had the liberty of the whole house, and "the yard before the door, and that was "enough for me. I was then bound out "to a farmer, where I was up both early "and late; hut I ate and drank well, and "liked my business well enough, till he "died, when I was obliged to provide for "myself; sol was resolved to go seek my "fortune.
"In this manner I went from town to
"town, worked when I could get employ"merit, and starved when I could get none: *' when happening one day to go through "a field belonging to a justice of peace, I "spyed a hare crossing the path just before "me; and I believe the devil put it in my "head to fling my stick at it:—well, what "will you hjve o'nt? I killed the hare, "and was bringing it away, when the jus"tice himself mot me; he called me a "poacher and a villain ; and, collaring me, "desired 1 would give an account ot my"self. I fell upon my knees, begged his "worship's pardon, and began to give a "full account of all that I knew of my "breed,feed, and generation; bTM though "I gave a very true account, the justice "said I could give no account; so I was *' indicted at sessions, found guilty of be"ing poor, and sent up to London to "Newgate, in order to be transported as "a vagabond.
"People may fay this and that of being "in jail, but, for my part, I found New"gate as agreeable a place as ever I was "in in all my life. I had my belly-full to "eat a id drink, and did no work at all. "Tnis kind of life was too good to last "for ever; so I was taken out of prison, "after five months, put on board a stiip, "and feat off, with two hundred more, to "the plantations. We had but an indif"ferent passage, for, being all confined in "the hold, more than a hundred of our "people died for want of sweet air; and "those that remained were sickly enough, "God knows. When we came-alhore, we "were sold to the planters, and 1 was "bound for seven years more. As I was "no scholar, for I did not know my let"ters, I was obliged to work among the "negroes; and I served out my time, as "in duty bsund to da.
"When my time was expired, I worked "my passage home, and glad I was to fee "Old England again, because 1 loved my "country. I was afraid, however, that L "should be indicted for a vagabond once "more, so I did not much care to go down "into the country, but kept about the "town, and did little jobs when I could "get them.
"I was very happy in this manner for «' some time, till one evening, coming home "from work, two men knocked me down, "and then desired me to stand. They be"longed to a press-gang: I was carried "before the justice, and, as I could give "no account of myself, I had my choice 3 F 4 «' lest "lest, whether to go on board a man of "war, or list for a soldier: I chose the lat"ter; and, in this post of a gentleman, I "served two campaigns in Flanders, was "at the battles of Val and Fontenoy, and "received but one wound, through the "breast here; bnt the doctor of our regi"ment soon made me well again.
"When the peace came on I was dif"charged; and, as I could not wcrk, be"cause my wound was sometimes trouble*• some, I listed for a landman in the East "India company's service. I have fought "the French in six pitched battles; and I "verily believe that, if I could read or « write,fl^tr ca;;tain would have made me "a corporal. But it was not my good "fortune to have any promotion, for I «« soon fell sick, and so got leave to return "hoi e again with forty pounds in my ** pecket. This was at the beginning of "tlie present war, and 1 hoped to be set "on more, and to have the pleasure of «' spending my money; but the govern"ment wanted men, and so I was pressed "for a sailor before ever I could set soot
"The boatswain found me, as he slid, "an obstinate fellow: he swore he knew "that I understood my business well, but «* that I sliamr.icd Abraham, to be idle: "but, God know*, I knew nothing of sea"business, and he beat me without con"side-ring what he was about. 1 had still, "however, my forty pounds, and that «» was some comfort to me under every "beating; and the money I might have "had to this day, but that our ship "was taken by the French, and so I lost "my money.
"Our crew was carried into Brest, and ** many of them died, because they were "not used to live in a jail; but, for my "part, it was nothing to me, for I was "seasoned. One night, as 1 was asleep on *' the bed of boards, wi:h a warm blanket "about me, for 1 always loved to lie well, "I was awakened by the boatswain, who "had a dark lanthorn in his hand : ' Jack,' "fays he to me, ' will you knock out the "Fiench centries brains?' * I don't care,' "fays I, striving to keep myself awake, ' if "1 lend a hand.' « Then follow me,' says "he, ' and I hope we shall do business.' "So up I got, and tied my blanket, which "was all thecloaths 1 had, about mymid«• die, and went with him to fight the "Frenchmen. I hate the French, because
all slaves, and wear wooden
*' they are "ihoes.'
"Though we had no arms, one Englisti"man is able to beat five French at any "time; so we went down to the door, "where both the centries were posted, and, "rustling upon them, seized their arms in "a moment, and knocked them down. *• From thence nine of us ran together to ** the quay, and seizing the first boat we "met, got out of the harbour, and put to "sea. We had not been here three days '* before we were taken up by the Dorset "privateer, who were glad of so many "good hands, and we consented to run our "chance. However, we had not as much "luck as we expected. In three days we "fell in with ihe Pompadour privateer, "of forty guns, while we had but twen"ty-three; so to it we went, yard arm "and yard-arm. The fight lasted for "three hours, and I verily believe we "sliould have taken the Frenchman, had "we but had some more men It ft be"hind; but, unfortunately, we lost all our "men just as we were going to get the "victory.
"1 was once more in the power of the "French, and I believe it would have gone "hard with me had 1 been brought back "to Brest; but, by good fortune, we were
retaken by the Viper. I had almost for"got to tell you that, in that engagement, "I was wounded in two places: 1 lost four "fingers off the left hand, and my leg was "soot off. If I had had the good fortune "to have lost my leg and use of my hand "onboard a king's sliip, and not on board "a privateer, I soould have been entitled •' to cloathingand maintenance during the "rest of my life! but that was not my "chance: one man is born with a silver "spoon in his mouth, and another with a "wooden ladle. However, blessed be God, "I enjoy good health, and will for ever "love liberty and Old England. Liberty, "property, and Old England for ever, "huzza!"
Thus saying, he limped off, leaving me in admiration at his intrepidity and content; nor could I avoid acknowledging, that an habitual acquaintance with misery serves better than philosophy to teach us to despise it. Goldsmith.
§ IZ. A Dialogue between Ul Ysses and Cl net, in Ci Rcev Island.
Circt. You will go then, Ulysses; but
why why will you go? I desire you to speak the thoughts ot your heart. Speak without reserve.—What carries you from me?
Vlyffes. Pardon, goddess, the weakness of human nature. My heart will sigh for my country. It is a tenderness which all my attachment to you cannot overcome.
Circe. This is not all. I perceive you are afraid to declare your whole mind: but what do you fear? my terrors are gone. The proudest goddess on earth, when (he has favoured a mortal as I have favoured you, has laid her divinity and power at his feet.
Vlyffes. It may be so, while there still remains in her heart the fondness of love, or in her mind the fear of ihame. But you, Circe, are above those vulgar sensations.
Circe. I understand your caution, it belongs to your character; and, therefore, to take all diffidence from you, I swear by Styx, I will do no harm to you or your friends forany thing which you fay, though it fliould offend me ever so much, but will fend you away with all the marks of my friendstiip. Tell me now, truly, what pleasures you hope to enjoy in the barren island of Ithaca, which can compensate for those you leave in this paradise, exempt from all cares, and overflowing with all delights?
Vlyffes. The pleasures of virtue; the supreme happiness of doing good. Here I do nothing: my mind is in a palsy; its faculties are benumbed. I long to return into action again, that I may employ those talents and virtues which I have cultivated from the earliest days of my youth. Toils and cares fright not me: they arc the exercise of my soul; they keep it in health and in vigour. Give me again the fields of Troy, rather than those vacant groves; there I could reap the bright harvest of glory; here I am hid from the eyes of mankind, and begin to appear contemptible in my own. The image of my former self haunts and seems to upbraid me wherever I go: I meet it under the gloom of every siiade; it even intrudes itself into your presence, and chides me from your arms. 0 goddess! unless you have power to lay that troublesome spirit, unless you tan make me forget myself, I cannot be happy here, I shall every day be more wretched.
Circe. May not a wise and good man
who has spent all his youth in active life and honourable danger, when he begins to decline, have leave to retire, and enjoy the rest of his days in quiet and pleasure?
Vlyffes. No retreat can be honourable to a wise and good man, but in company with the Muses; I am deprived of that sacred society here. The Muses will not inhabit the abodes of voluptuousness and sensual pleasure. How can I study, how can I think, while so many beasts (and the worst beasts I know are men turned into beasts) are howling, or roaring, or grunting about me? ■
Circe. There is something in this; but this is not all: you suppress the strongest reason that draws you to Ithaca. There is another image, besides that of your former self, which appears to you in all parts of this ifland, which follows your walks, which interposes itself between you and me, and chides you from my arms: it is Penelope, Ulysses: I know it is.—Do not pretend to deny it: you sigh for her in my bosom itself.—And yet she is not an immortal.—She is not, as I am, endowed with the gift of unfading youth: several years have past since her's has been faded. I think, without vanity, that she was never so handsome as I. But what is she now?
Vlyffes. You have told me yourself, in a former conversation, when 1 enquired of you about her, that she is true to my bed, and as fond of me now, after twenty years absence, as when I left her to go to Troy. I left her in the bloom of her youth and her beauty. How much must her constancy have been tried since that time! how meritorious is her fidelity! Shall I reward her with fallhood! mall I forget her who cannot forget me? who has nothing so dear to her as my remembrance?
Circe. Her love is preserved by the continual hope os your speedy return. Take that hope from her: let your companions return, and let her know that you have fixed your abode here with me; that you have fixed it forever: let her know that she is free to dispose of her heart and her hand as she pleases. Send my picture to her; bid her compare it with her own face.—If all this does not cure her of the remains of her passion, if you do not hear of her marrying Eurymachus in a twelvemonth, I understand nothing of womankind.
Vlyffes. O cruel goddess! why will you
force force me to tell you those truths T with to conceal? If by such unjust, such barbarous usage, I could lose her heart, it would break mine. How should I endure the torment of thinking that I had wronged such a wise? what could make me amends for her not being mine, for her being another's ? Do not frown, Circe; I own, (since you will have me speak) I own you could not: with all your pride of immortal beauty, with all your magical charms to assist those of nature, you are not such a powerful charmer as Ihe. You feel desire, and you give it; but you never felt love, nor can you inspire it. Ham can I love one who would have degraded me into a beast? Penelope raised me into a hero: her love cnobled, invigorated, exalted my mind. She bid me go to the siege of Troy, though the parting with me was worse than death to herself: Ihe bid me expose myself there to all perils among the foremost heroes of Greece, though her poor heart trembled to think of the least I mould meet, and would have given all its own blood to save a drop of mine. Then there was such a conformity in all our inclinations'; when Minerva taught me the lesions of wisdom, flie loved to be present; ihe heard, (lie retained the moral inductions, the sublime truths of nature, she gave thorn back to me, softened and sweetened with the peculiar graces of her own mind. When we unbent our thoughts with the charms of poetry, when we read together the poems of Orpheus, Musæus, and Linus, with what taste did (he mark every excellence in them? My feelings were dull, compared to her's. She seemed herself to be the Muse who had inspired those verses, and had tuned their lyres to infuse into the hearts of mankind the love of wisdom and virtue, and the fear of the gods. How beneficent was she, how good to my people! what care did (he take to instruct them in the finer and more elegant ai ts; to relieve the necessities of the sick and the aged: to superintend the education of children; to do my subjects every good office of kind intercession; to lay before me their wants; to assist their petitions; to mediate for those who were objects of mercy; to sue for those who deserved the favours of the crown! And shall I banilh myself for ever from such a consort? shall I give up her society for the brutal joys of a sensual life, keeping indeed the form of a man, but having lost the hujn..n soul, or at least all its noble and god
like powers? Oh, Circe, forgive me; I cannot bear the thought.
Circe. Be gone—do not imagine I ask you to stay. The daughter of the Sun is not so mean-spirited as to solicit a mortal to stiare her happiness with her. It is a happiness which I find you cmnot enjov. I pity you and despise you. That which you seem to value so much, I have no notion of. All you have said seems to me a jargon of sentiments fitter for a silly woman than for a great man. Go, read, and spin too, if you please, with your wise. 1 forbid you to remain another day in my island. You (hall have a fair wind to carry you from it. Aster that, may every storm that Neptune can raise pursue and overwhelm you! Begone, I say; quit my sight.
Ulyjses. Great goddess, I obey—but remember your oath.
§ I j. Love and Joy, a Tale.
In the happy period of the golden age, when all the celestial inhabitants descended to the earth, and conversed familiarly with mortals, among the most cherished of the heavenly powers were twins, the offspring of Jupiter, Love and Joy. Where they appeared the flowers sprung up beneath their feet, the fun ihone with a brighter radiance, and all nature seemed embellished by their presence. They were inseparable companions, and theirgrowing attachment was favoured by Jupiter, who had decreed that a lasting union should be solemnized between them so soon as they were arrived at maturer years: but in the mean time the sons of men deviated from their native innocence; vice and ruin overran the earth with giant strides; and Astrea, with her train of celestial visitants, forsook their polluted abodes: Love alone remained, having been stolen away by Hope, who was his nurse, and conveyed by her'to the forests of Arcadia, where he was brought up among the shepherds. But Jupiter assigned him a different partner, and commanded him to espouse Sorrow, the daughter of A'e: he complied with reluctance; for her features were harsh and disagreeable; her eyes funk, her forehead contracted into perpetual w rinkles, and her temples were covered with a wreath of cypress and wormwood. From this union sprung a virgin, in whom might be traced a strong resemblance to both her parents; but the sullen and unamiable features of her mother were so mixed and blended with the