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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 favour 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.
P. 46, 1. 7.
Ah, why should Virtue fear the frowns of Fate ?
The highest reward of Virtue is Virtue herself, as the severest punishment of Vice is Vice herself.
P. 48, l. 1.
Yet still how sweet the soothings of his art !
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.
P. 48, 1. 21.
Turns but to start, and gazes but to sigh !
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!-oh! supremely blest,
And justly proud beyond a Poet's praise ;
* By IIenry F. R. Soame of Trinity College, Cambridge.
If the pure confines of thy tranquil breast
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 for ever by ;
For what, except the instinctive fear
What, but the deep inherent dread,
P. 50, l. 13.
Hast thou thro' Eden's wild-wood vales pursued
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 2nd of April, 1616; in memory whereof she hath left an annuity of 4l. to be distributed to the poor of the parish of Brougham, every 2nd day of April for ever, 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.
P. 50, 1. 24.
O'er his dead son the gallant ORMOND sighed.
“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!"
P. 56, 1. 23.
Down by St. Herbert's consecrated
A small island covered with trees, among which were formerly the ruins of a religious house.
P. 57, 1. 17.
When lo! a sudden blast the vessel blew.
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.
P. 59, l. 3.
To what pure beings, in a nobler sphere,
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.
Introduction-Ringing of bells in a neighbouring Village on the
Birth of an Heir-General Reflections on Human Life-The Subject proposed-Childhood-Youth-Manhood-Love-Marriage- Domestic Happiness and Affliction—War- Peace Civil Dissension-Retirement from Active Life-Old Age and its Enjoyments-Conclusion.