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rily either happier or more virtuous in consequence of living in a situation the most highly favoured by nature ;-unless his taste is improved by education and culture, he receives little delight from viewing them; and a short acquaintance with him will convince unprejudiced inquirers, that his heart is often a prey to disquietude, and subject to the influence of violent contending passions.
That we may be enabled to enjoy whatever advantages rural scenery is capable of yielding, it is therefore necessary that we cultivate a taste for its beauties. In proportion as the mind is elevated and expanded, our pleasures in contemplating them will increase. Objects which before seemed too insignificant to attract attention, will then appear in their true relative importance; and from even the tamest landscape, some feature or other may always be selected, worthy of our notice and admiration. To the enlightened observer, every different herb, fruit, and flower, every variety of soil or product, of prospect or of season, will convey information, and inspire sensations, to which a mind differently constituted must ever remain a stranger. While the untutored peasant is suffering his eye vacantly to wander over the surrounding scenery, or merely employing it in ascertaining the proper
mode of cultivation, the former is perhaps tracing the progress of vegetation, from the first vernal bud, to the matured productions of autumn; remarking the numberless instances of transcendent skill, ingenuity, and benevolence, displayed in every part of creation; seleeting and combining their various beauties by the aid of fancy; strengthening and invigorating his reasoning faculties, by meditating on the wonders that
every where surround him; and from such pursuits deriving additional motives for acquiescing in the divine dispensations, and fulfilling the duties of that station in which the author of such stupendous works has been pleased to place him. Nothing will contribute more to produce these effects, than the study of the best poets. Although their enthusiasm has led them to ascribe powers to nature which she never possessed, they are best capable of developing her intrinsic beauties. Ever observant of those nice discriminations which more peculiarly manifest the hand of a master, their remarks are generally combined with the purest morality. In the Seasons of Thomson, or the Task of Cowper, the reader will find his attention directed to many beauties, which, without such assistance, had in all probability escaped his notice; and the moral lessons which they are calculated to
convey, are, in these works, pointed out and enforced in the most pleasing and energetic manner.
Besides this cultivation of the mind, however, something else is necessary to give even the most enchanting scenery its proper zest. The passions must be regulated, and kept in due subjection. Wherever this is not done, the landscape will exhibit its charms in vain; or if they should forcibly attract notice, the impression they make will only be momentary.-Ovid, in one of his epistles, has introduced a lover, lamenting his folly in hoping to find relief from a change of scenery, while the dart that wounded him still rankled in his bosom. This remark is still more applicable to the malevolent passions. To him who is sickening with envy, every opening grace will only convey additional torment; especially when he reflects, that the charms which press themselves upon his attention, are equally open to the inspection of a hated rival. The ambitious man, whose heart is perpetually panting after honours and distinctions, would be unhappy although surrounded by Arcadian scenery, or even placed in Elysium itself. The music of birds, the crystal rill, the gale embued with Arabian fragrance, will be found ineffectual to sooth the pangs of remorse, to silence the
upbraidings of conscience, or alleviate the anguish of
despair. In proportion as the path of virtue is deserted, nature will appear bereft of her charms; and the recollection of that pleasure which the contemplation of them yielded in the hours of innocence, will continually aggravate those harrassing sensations attendant on a consciousness of guilt.
My readers, I trust, will not accuse me of assuming an unsuitable degree of seriousness, if, in addition to what has already been said, I beg leave to recommend to their notice, the precept of our excellent Cowper,
Acquaint thyself with God, if thou would'st taste
With a few lines from the same poet, expressive of the advantages which such a mode of conduct will ensure to the person who adopts it, I shall conclude the present paper :
He looks abroad into the varied field
When female cheeks refuse to glow,
TO THE INSPECTOR.
SIR, Your functions as an INSPECTOR, I trust, are not confined merely to observing the manners and behaviour of mankind, but have also a view to the distribution of that applause or censure which their conduct deserves at the hand of impartiality. I call upon you, therefore, for your animadversions on a prevalent evil, by which myself and many others have frequently been incommoded.
I am a young woman, Mr. INSPECTOR, and in consequence of my rank and situation in life, am entitled to some little respect. My fortune enables me to dress up to the fashion, and also to attend most of those public places whitherthegenteel part of the community resort. Excepta lively flow of spirits, the consequence of youth and health, but which some few censorious people are pleased to term levity, my character, I trust, is irreproachable; and I hope you will not accuse me of vanity, if I tell you, that there are not wanting persons to inform me that I am both beautiful and accomplished. To you, Sir, who are doubtless well acquainted with the female heart, it would appear