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crannies of my apartment, I feel the divine mood of melancholy upon me; I imagine myself placed upon an eminence, above the crowds who pant below in the dusty tracks of wealth and honour. The black catalogue of crimes and of vice; the sad tissue of wretchedness and woe, passes in review before me, and I look down upon man with an eye of pity and commiseration. Though the scenes which I survey be mournful, and the ideas they excite equally sombre; though the tears gush as I contemplate them, and my heart feels heavy with the sorrowful emotions they inspire, yet are they not unaccompanied with sensations of the purest and most ecstatic bliss.
It is to the spectator alone that melancholy is fora bidding; in herself she is soft and interesting, and capable of affording pure and unalloyed delight. Ask the lover why he muses by the side of the purling brook, or plunges into the deep gloom of the forest ? Ask the unfortunate, why he seeks the still shades of solitude? or the man who feels the pangs of disappointed ambition, why he retires into the silent walks of seclusion? and he will tell you, that he derives a pleasure therefrom, which nothing else can impart. It is the delight of melancholy; but the melancholy of these beings is as far removed from that of the philosopher, as are the narrow and contracted complaints of selfishness, from the mournful regrets of expansive philantlırophy; as are the desponding intervals of insanity, from the occasional depressions of benevolent sensibility.
The man who has attained that calin equanimity which qualities him to look down upon the petty evils of life with indifference; who can so far conquer the weakness of nature, as to consider the sufferings of the individual of little moment, when put in competition with the welfare of the community, is alone the true philosopher. His melancholy is not excited by the retrospect of his own misfortunes; it has its rise from the contemplation of the miseries incident to life, and the evils which obtrude themselves upon society, and interrupt the harmony of nature. It would be arrogating too much merit to myself, to assert that I have a just claim to the title of a philosopher, as it is here defined; or to say that the speculations of my melancholy hours are equally disinterested: be this as it may, I have determined to present my solitary effusions to the public: they will at least have the merit of novelty to recommend them, and may possibly, in some measure, be instrumental in the melioration of the human heart, or the correction of false prepossessions. This is the height of my ambition: this once attained, and my end will be fully accomplished. One thing I can safely promise, though far from being the coinages of a heart at ease, they will contain neither the querulous captiousness of misfortune, nor the bitter taunts of misanthrophy, Society is a chain of which I am merely a link; all men are my associates in error, and though some may have gone farther in the ways of guilt than myself, yet it is not in me to sit in judgment upon them: it is mine to treat them rather in pity than in anger, to lament their
crimes, and to weep over their sufferings. As these papers will be the amusement of those hours of relaxation, when the mind recedes from the vexations of business, and sinks into itself, for a moment of solitary ease, rather than the efforts of literary leisure; the reader will not expect to find in them unusual elegance of language, or studied propriety of style. In the sbort and necessary intervals of cessation from the anxieties of an irksome employment, one finds little time to be solicitous about expression. If, therefore, the fervour of a glowing mind express itself in too warm and luxuriant a manner, for the cold ear of dull propriety; let the fastidious critic find a 'selfish pleasure in descrying it. To criticism melancholy is indifferent. If learning cannot be better employed, than in declaiming against the defects, while it is insensible to the beauties of a performance, well may we exclaim with the poet:
Ω έυμένης άγνοια ως άμωμός τις 1.
But (wel-a-day) who loves the Muses now?
Wm. Browne's Shepheard's Pipe. Eg. 5.
IT is a melancholy reflection, and a reflection which often sinks heavily on my soul,' that the sons of Genius generally seem predestined to encounter the rudest storms of adversity, to struggle, unnoticed, with poverty and misfortune. The annals of the world present us with many corroborations of this remark; and, alas! who can tell how many unhappy beings, who might have shone with distinguished lustre among the stars wlrich illumine our hemisphere, may have sunk unknown beneath the pressure of untoward circumstances; who knows how many may have shrunk, with all the exquisite sensibility of genius, from the rude and riotous discord of the world, into the peaceful slumbers of death. Among the number of those whose talents might have elevated them to the first rank of eminence, but who have been overwhelmed with the accumulated ills of poverty and misfortune, I do not hesitate to rank a young man whom I once accounted it my greatest happiness to be able to call my friend.
CHARLES WANELY was the only son of an humble village rector, who just lived to give him a liberal education, and then left him, unprovided for and unprotected, to struggle through the world as well as he could. With a heart glowing with the enthusiasm of poetry and romance, with a sensibility the most exquisite, and with an indignant pride, which swelled in his veins, and told him he was a man—my friend found himself cast upon the wide world, at the age of sixteen, an adventurer, without fortune and without connection. As his independent spirit could not brook the idea of being a burthen to those whom his father had taught him to consider only as allied by blood, and not by affection, he looked about him for a situation, which would ensure to him, by his own exertions, an honourable competence. It was not long before such a situation offered, and Charles precipitately articled himself to an attorney, without giving himself time to consult his own inclinations, or the disposition of his master. Tlie transition from Sophocles and Euripides, Theocritus and Ovid, to Finche and Wood, Coke and Wynne, was striking and difficult; but Charles applied himself with his wonted ardour to his new study, as considering it not only his interest, but his duty so to do. It was not long however, before he discovered that he disliked the law, that be disliked his situation, and that he despised his master. The fact was, my friend had many mortifications to endure, which his haughty soul could ill brook. The attorney to whom he was articled was one of those narrowminded beings, who consider wealth as alone entitled to