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I am not aware of any particular value being attached to this book, but never having heard of any other copy, conceive my time not thrown away, in a description.
It is dedicated “ to the High and Excellent Princesse, the Lady Elizabeth, her Grace, Daughter to the High and mightie King of Great Brittaine, and Wife to the Illustrious Prince, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, D. L. wisheth all grace and prosperity here, and glory in the world to come.”
“ Counsell to my Children.
I doe you not intreat
you the same to reade.
would do for me,
And for to serve herself at need,
A sweet and pleasant wholesome food
And then as she did rest too soone,
For why, within, her store is spent
Lest you be unprovided found,
D. L." Bound up with my copy of the above, but unfortunately imperfect at the beginning, is the Father's Blessing. I do not know the author, but from the similarity of type, &c. I conclude that it forms a part of the other work. There are two or three pieces of poetry, from which I select the following.
" David's account of Man's life, from seventie
yeares to a spanne.
In holy David's eyes seem'd but a span;
Art. XV. The Ruminator. Containing a series
of moral, sentimental, and critical Essays.
Letter to the Ruminator.
I write from an impulse of gratitude. At this delightful season, when a poetic imagination acquires redoubled influence, I reflect with enthusiasm on the many hours of enjoyment which your lucubrations have bestowed on me. In those essays, Sir, I have ever met with sentiments with which has afforded me the purest pleasure to feel my own ideas in unison; though I know not with what propriety I now trouble you with this declaration, coming from an unknown and obscure individual. Sir, there is a certain mode of life, and peculiarity of situation, which is more likely than any other to produce and cherish poetic enthusiasm. To be accustomed from infancy to the deepest seclusion, and to the wild and majestic scenery of nature, though accompanied with some disadvantages, is perhaps the greatest means of laying a foundation for this temper of mind. The placid tranquillity of verdant woods, the roaring of the mountain torrent, the sweet interchange, and inexpressible influence of morn and evening, contemplated in the bosom of magnificent scenery, must sooner or later, produce, in a mind possessed of any feeling, a correspondent glow of sentiment and imagination. Even Johnson, whose indif. ference to rural beauty is well known, has yet borne testimony in one of the most striking passages of his Journey through Scotland to its powerful influence. I have not the book within reach, and therefore cannot quote; but the passage is probably known to every reader whom I should wish to interest.
From my earliest recollections, I have been familiarized to seclusion, in a beautiful and sequestered corner of the country. To you, Sir, it is unnecessary to describe the various enjoyments, which, in a situation of this kind, must await a mind attached to contemplation, and which can employ itself in pursuit of the Muses. It has been my supreme delight to wander through groves, and sequestered vallies, where no intruder was ever known to disturb the freedom of solitary meditation; and to indulge myself in pouring forth, amid the blast that swept over the neighbouring forest, innumerable attempts at poetical composition, with but little consideration of their fate, or regard to correctness, But heavens ! how boundless are the intenlions ! how wild and impossible the designs! and above all, how glorious and transporting the poetical visions, which have adorned the day-dreams in which I so much delighted to indulge! Even now, I cannot help reflecting with enthusiasm on the unmixed happiness which I then enjoyed. One remark very forcibly occurs to my recollection, which is, that of all the classical authors known to me at present, those which formerly became my associates, in wandering through the woods, and which I was accustomed to read aloud to the dashing waterfall, are recollected with most gratitude, and above all others most forcibly imprinted on the memory. I cannot however, when talking of a country life, use the words of Cowper,
“ I never framed a wish, or formed a plan,
But here I laid the scene!”