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to sacrifice nothing to prejudice, to advance nothing in violation of truth, to obtain the approbation of the peaceful disciples of reason and philosophy, will be my anxious endear vour; and if affliction shall derive a ray of consolation from my labours; if melancholy, in forgetting the horrors of its situation, shall raise its dejected head to bless me; if I (hall be able to convince the innocent votaries of rural retirement that the springs of pleasure soon dry up in the heat of the metropolis; that the heart remains cold and senseless in the midst of all its noisy and factitious joys: if they shall learn to feel the superior pleasures of a country life, become sensible of tlie variety of resources they afford against idleness and vex
ation; what purity of sentiment, what peaceful thoughts, what unfading happiness the view of verdant meads, the sight of numerous flocks and herds quitting the fertile meadows on the close of day, instil into the mind; with what ineffable delight the sublime beauty of a wild romantic country, interspersed with distant cottage;, and occupied by freedom and content, ravishes the foul; how much more readily, in short, we forget all the pains and troubles of a wounded heart on the borders of a gentle stream, than amidst the concourse of deceitful joys so fatally followed in the courts of princes; my task will be accomplished, and all my wishes amply gratified!
The GENERAL ADVANTAGES of SOLITUDE.
By the fame.
SOLITUDE engages the affections of men, whenever it holds up a picture of tranquillity to their view. The doleful and monotonous found of the clock of a sequestered monastery, the silence of nature in a still night, the pure air on the summit of a high mountain, the thick darkness of an ancient forest, 'the sight of a temple fallen into ruins, inspire the soul with a soft melancholy, and banish all recollection of the world and its concerns. But the man who cannot hold a friendly correspondence with his own heart, who derives no comfort from the reflections of his mind, who dreads the idea of meditation, and is fearful ef passing a single moment with himself, looks with an equal eye on Solitude and on death. He endeavours to enjoy all the voluptuousness which the world affords; drains the pernicious cup of pleasure to its dregs; and until the dreadful moment approaches when he beholds his nerves mattered, and all the powers of his
soul destroyed, he has not courage to make thedelayedconfeffion, " /am tired of The World and all its idlt follies, and now prefer the mournful Jhade of the cypress to the intoxication of its noisy pleasures and tumultuous joys"
The dangers to which a life of Solitude is exposed, for even in Solitude many real dangers exist, afford no substantial argument against it; as by a judicious employment of the hours of activity and repose, and a proper vigilance upon the desires of the heart, they may be easily eluded. The adventurous navigator, when acquainted with the signal of approaching dangers, and the situation of those rocks and shoals which threaten his safety, no longer fears the perils to which he was before exposed. The advantages of Solitude are still less disproved by the complaints of those who, feeling a continual desire to escape from themselves, are incapable of every enjoyment but what the world affords; to
whom pear vapid and fatiguing; and who, unconscious of any nobler pleasure than that of paying or receiving visits, have of course no idea of the delights of Solitude.
whom retirement and tranquillity ap- æra is passed when a life of retireor substantial pleasure. The infatuation seizes on his brain, and his corrupted heart teems with idle fancies and vain imaginations. These illusions however, through which the plainest object comes distorted to his view, might easily be dispelled. Accustomed to a lonely life, and left to reflect in calmness and sobriety, during the silence of the solitary hour, upon the false joys and deceitful pleasures which the parade of visiting and the glare of public entertainments offer to our view, he would soon perceive and candidly acknowledge their nothingness and insipidity : soon ■would he behold the pleasures of the ivorld in their true colours, and feel that he had blindly wandered in pursuit of phantoms j possessing something in appearance, but nothing in rtaiity.
It is, therefore, only to those distinguished beings who can resort to their own bosoms for an antidote agianst disquiet, who are fearless of the numerous sacrifices which virtue may demand, whose souls are endowed with sufficient energy to drive away the dread of being alone, and whose hearts are susceptible of the pure and tranquil delights of domestic felicity, that I pretend to recommend the advantages of Solitude. The miserable being in whose bosom the corruptions of the world has already destroyed these precious gifts of nature; who kno.v s no other pleasure, is sensible to no other happiness than what cards or the luxury of a richly-furnished table afford j who disdains all exercise of the understanding, thinks all delicacy of sentiment unnatural, and, by a brutality almost inconceivable, laughs at the sacred name of sensibility; must be lost to virtue, and utterly incapable of pleasure from any operations of his own mind.
Philosophers, and ministers of the gospel, if they were entirely to deprive themselves of the pleasures of society, and to shun, with rigid severity, the honest comforts and rational amusements of life, would, without doubt, essentially injure the interests of wisdom and virtue; but there are not, at present, many preceptors who carry their doctrines to this extent: on the contrary, there exists a multitude, both in the country and the town, to whom Solitude would be insupportable, who shamefully devote their time to noisy dissipations and tumultuous pleasures altogether inconsistent with their characters and functions. The celebrated
ment and contemplation was alone esteemed, and when the approaches to heaven were measured in proportion as the mind receded from its attachments to the world.
After having examined the influence of Solitude upon the general habits of life, and upon thoie ordinary pleasures which are pursued with such unceasing avidity, I shall shew, that it enables Man to live independent and alone; that there is no misfortune it cannot alleviate, no sorrow that it will not soften; that it adds dignity to his character, and gives fresh vigour to the powers of his mind; that he cannot, in any other situation, acquire so perfect a knowledge of himself; that it enlarges the sphere of attention, and ripens the seeds of judgment: in short, that it is from the influence of Solitude alone that man can hope for the fruition of unbroken pleasures and never-fading felicity.
The Enjoyments of active life may easily be blended with the molt ordinary advantages of Solitude ; and we shall soon discover upon what foundations the opinions of those philosophers are built, who maintain that the tumults of the world, and the dissipation of its votaries, are incompatible with the calm exercise of reason, the decisions of a sober judgement, the investigation of truth, and the study of the human heart.
The legion of fantastic fashions to which a man of pleasure is obliged to sacrifice his time, impairs the rational faculties of his mind, and destroys the native energies of his soul. Forced continually to lend himself to the performance of a thousand little triflings, a thousand mean absurdities, he becomes by habit frivolous and absurd. The face of things no longer wears its true and genuine aspect; and his depraved taste loses all relish for rational entertainment
Languor and dissatisfaction axe ever the inevitable consequences of this ardent pursuit of entertainments and diversions. He who has drained the cup of pleasure to its last'drop; who is obliged to confess that his hopes are fled, and that the world no longer contains an object worthy ol his pursuit; who feels disappointment and disgust mingled with all his enjoyments; who seems astonished at his own insensibility; who no longer possesses the magic of the enchantress Imagination to gild and decorate the scene; calls in vain to his assistance the daughters of sensuality: their caresses can no longer charm his dark and melancholy mind; the soit and syren song of luxury no longer can dispel the cloud of oiscontent which hovers round his head.
For the New-york Magazine.
Copy os a Letter from a Gentlemen in R IJlani to hit Friend in thii City.
I AM sorry to hear of your loss by
good people of America begin to work like so many beer-castes in a brew-house !—and the ideas of profits, riches, parade, and making a figure, buzz about their ears like swarms of music-toes in a calm evening of August !—Then, my lad— then is the time for a fellow of parts like you, to raise himself.
I suppose you wonder why I have been so long silent—I will tell you. You must know, that besides my speculating in paper, &c. I have often been dabbling in chymical experiments. In this way I think I have now made a discovery that will mr.ke my fortune for ever, and besides be of the utmost advantage to the public. The discovery which I have made is no lcls than the mighty secret of pickling eggs! I can pickle eggs that will keep for any length of time, and
in any climate, and be as fresh as if me immediately
All these considerations, together with that of the intense study and great expence it has cost me, will, no doubt, induce congress to grant me a patent, as the sole and only pickler of eggs within the limits of the United States and their dependencies. I shall fay nothing more of my dis covery, until I am examined on it by a committee of congress. But in the mean time, I am ready to treat with any individual, or any incorporate body, concerning the price they are to pay me for a communication of my secret, and the privilege of being deputy picklers of eggs in the different districts throughout the continent.
As I must lay in a large stock of eggs, and of pickling materials, and procure a new chvtnical apparatus, I sliall want a large sum of ready specie. I therefore request you to send
twenty thousand dollars, which 1 will repay you, with extraordinary interest, in a way I (hall tell you by and by. If your late losses have disabled you from making up that sum yourself, some other ot our fraternity will readily help you out for the sake of a premium, and gladly too—for the scripts being now afleep, and no other great speculating enterprise yet going on, money will begin to tumble out.
Your gains in this speculation will be very great. First, I will appoint you my agent for the state of NewYork, and places under its influence, for selling my discovery, &c. on which sales I will allow you a broker's com million of five per cent.— Now, only look at the people you have to deal with, and then think what a sum this alone will fetch you! —Secondly, I will make you a present of twenty copies of my secret; or in other words, the privilege of erecting twenty different works for carrying it into effect. But as you may probably not incline to become an egg pickler yourself, you can sell the privilege on your own account. The disposing of these twenty shares, according to your dexterous way of managing, will be exceedingly productive: for, by buying and selling and selling and buying ten or a dozen times over, which you can do with the most dignified speculating address, you may easily raise them up to at leall ten times their original value. And as for buyers, there can be no difficulty in finding abundance of them: for you have only to de> clare, that the profit arising from the pickling of eggs will be immense, and immediately they will run out of their counting-houlcs, their warehouses, their stores, their shops, and their work-(hops—lamenting as they run, that they have io long been the unaspiring, spiritless dupes ot dull plodding industry, when thev might
Thus, my friend, I have informed you (as far as is proper at present) of iny very important discovery, together with the plan we are to follow in turning it to our mutual advantage. It will, I think, do my business completely; and I hope that not less than forty or fifty thousand dollars will fall to your share. •
But all this is nothing when compared with the infinite advantages hence arising to our country. What an enchanting, what a rapturous consideration this to men ol our character! For what class of men is thers any where to be found, who constantly study the honour and prosperity of their country so much as we brothers of the job? Where are there men who, by only speaking a word, turn what was hitherto seven er eight instantaneously into fifteen Or sixteen—who actually double the riches of their country by the breath of their mouth? Who, I fay, attempt to do this but speculators ?— What other men arc there, who thus put millions into the public treasury for every dollar they gain for themselves ?—These are the men—these the useful citizens, who will soon make this happy country as much richer than all other nations, as they themselves are wiser and more important than the common dull herd of the people.
But let us turn to more distant facts.—
What set of men were they who, about eighty years ago, in England, <lrew the rully guineas from the coffers ofmany a miser, to enable a chosen band of adventurers to carry on a South Sea Trade of vast national importance, which loon after induced thir parliament to pass one o( the julicst laws they ever made?—They ncre speculators.
What set of men were they, who in different ages have, by getting into the legislatures of free countries, procured the enacting of laws, tending to accomplish some particular designs, and the next year the repeal of these very laws, and the passing of others of a quite opposite kind, yet still tendening to promote the fame great designs; these men all the while making such prudent uses of those contradictory laws as, in the course of a few years, to sweep a great part Of the property of the silly, useless multitude, into the hps of a select few, a tried band of brothers, who, by their abilities and patriotism, had often shown themselves the only sit persons to enjoy wealth, as being those who alone could employ it in promoting the fame, the glory, and the happiness of their country ? Who, I fay, could achieve such feats but speculators?
Who were the makers, or, who were capable of being the makers of the many useful and patriotic Ten;Der Laws that have, in former times, rendered many countries so famous all over the rest of the world, and caused them to be pointed out to this day, and will for ages yet to come, as the admired models of JusTice and true national Honour ?—None but speculators! And who but they could have so ingeniously contrived to apply the property of individuals of other nations,tothe benefit of themselves and friends?
What was it even in our own country, that has at one time raised a paper security above its nominal value in gold and silver, and at other times funk it down to one tenth part of that value—but the mystic touch of a speculator?
What could reconcile the jarring claims of funding and assumption, so that they could cordially join residence, but the wonderful address of speculators? How could a few individuals