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(24) During the siege of Harlem, when that city was reduced to the last extremity, and on the point of opening its gates to a base and barbarous enemy, a design was formed to relieve it; and the intelligence was conveyed to the citizens by a letter which was tied under the wing of a pigeon. - Thuanus, lv. 5.
The same messenger was employed at the siege of Mutina, as we are informed by the elder Pliny.- Hist. Nat. x. 37.
(25) This little animal, from the extreme convexity of her eye, cannot see many inches before her.
(1) True glory, says one of the ancients, is to be acquired by doing what deserves to be written, and writing what deserves to be read ; and by making the world the happier and the better for our having lived in it.
(2) There is a future existence even in this world,- an existence in the hearts and minds of those who shall live after us.*
It is a state of rewards and punishments ; and, like that revealed to us in the gospel, has the happiest influence on our lives. The latter excites us to gain the favor of God, the former to gain the love and esteem of wise and good men ; and both lead to the same end ; for, in framing our conceptions of the Deity, we only ascribe to him exalted degrees of wisdom and goodness.
(3) The highest reward of virtue is virtue herself, as the severest punishment of vice is vice herself.
(4) The astronomer chalking his figures on the wall in Hogarth's view of Bedlam is an admirable exemplification of this idea. --- See the Rake's Progress, plate 8.
(5) The following stanzas † are said to have been written on a blank leaf of this poem. They present so affecting a reverse of the picture, that I cannot resist the opportunity of introducing them here.
“ Pleasures of Memory! O! supremely blest,
And justly proud beyond a poet's praise ;
By me how envied ! --for to me,
By sighs, and tears, and grief alone :
“ She tells of time misspent, of comfort lost,
Of fair occasions gone forever by ;
Of many a cause to wish, yet fear to die;
* De tous les biens humains c'est le seul que la mort ne nous peut ravir.
For what, except the instinctive fear
What, but the deep inherent dread
(6) On the road side between Penrith and Appleby there stands a small pillar with this inscription :
“This pillar was erected in the year 1656, by Ann, Countess Dowager of Pembroke, &c., for a memorial of her last parting, in this place, with her good and pious mother, Margaret, Countess Dowager of Cumberland, on the 2d of April, 1616 ; in memory whereof she hath left an annuity of 41. to be distributed to the poor of the parish of Brougham, every second day of April forever, upon the stone table placed hard by. Laus Deo!"
The Eden is the principal river of Cumberland, and rises in the wildest part of Westmoreland.
(7) " I would not exchange my dead son,” said he, "for any living son in Christendom.” - Hume.
The same sentiment is inscribed on an urn at the Leasowes. “Heu, quanto minus est cum reliquis versari, quam tui meminisse !"
(8) A small island covered with trees, among which were formerly the ruins of a relia gious house.
(9) In a mountain-lake the agitations are often violent and momentary. The winds blow in gusts and eddies ; and the water no sooner swells than it subsides. - See Bourn's Hist. of Westmoreland.
(10) The several degrees of angels may probably have larger views, and some of them be endowed with capacities able to retain together, and constantly set before them, as in one picture, all their past knowledge at once. -- Locke.
AN EPISTLE TO A FRIEND.
et pauper agelle,
Me tibi, et hos und mecum, quos semper amavi,
Every reader turns with pleasure to those passages of Horace, and Pope, and Boileau, which describe how they lived and where they dwelt; and which, being interspersed among their satirical writings, derive a secret and irresistible grace from the contrast, and are admirable examples of what in painting is termed repose.
We have admittance to Horace at all hours. We enjoy the company and conversation at his table ; and his suppers, like Plato's, “non solum in præsentia, sed etiam postero die jucundæ sunt.” But, when we look round as we sit there, we find ourselves in a Sabine farm, and not in a Roman villa. His windows have every charm of prospect; but his furniture might have descended from Cincinnatus ; and gems, and pictures, and old marbles, are mentioned by him more than once with a seeming indifference.
Ilis English imitator thought and felt, perhaps, more correctly on the subject ; and embellished his garden and grotto with great industry and
But to these alone he solicits our notice. On the ornaments of his house he is silent ; and he appears to have reserved all the minuter touches of his pencil for the library, the chapel, and the banqueting-room of Timon. “ Le savoir de notre siècle,” says Rousseau, “tend beaucoup plus à détruire qu'à édifier. On censure d'un ton de maître ; pour proposer, il en faut prendre un autre.”
It is the design of this Epistle to illustrato the virtue of True Taste ; and to show how little she requires to secure, not only the comforts, but even the elegances of life. True Taste is an excellent economist. She confines her choice to few objects, and delights in producing great effects by small means : while False Taste is forever sighing after the new and the rare ; and reminds us, in her works, of the Scholar of Apelles, who, not being able to paint his Helen beautiful, determined to make her fine.