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feelings, and comes fhapeless and difcoloured to his difordered eyes. The gentle voice of pity grates his ears with harfh and hollow founds, and feems to reproach him with infulting tones. Stricken by this dreadful malady, the lamentable effects of which a cruel and unfeeling world too often ridicule and despise, and constantly tearing open the wound it has occafioned, the afflicted spirit flies from every scene of social joy and animating pleasure, feeks, as a sole resource, to hide its forrows in folitary feclufion, and awaits, in lingering sufferance, the stroke of death.
So the struck deer, with fome deep wound oppress'd,
There hid in fhades, and wafting day by day,
COWLEY, the celebrated English poet, feems to have laboured under this melancholy disorder, when he tells us that he had a vehement intention to retire to one of the American plantations; not to feek for gold, or to enrich himself by traffic, but to forfake this world for ever, with all the vanities and vexations of it; and to bury himself there in fome obfcure retreat, with no other confolation than that of letters and philofophy. "If," fays Dr. JOHNSON," he had proceeded in his project, and fixed his habitation in the most delightful part of the new world, it may be doubted whether his distance from the vanities of life would have enabled him to keep away the vexations. It ' is
The erroneous opinions, perverse dispositions, and inveterate prejudices of the world, are sometimes the causes which induce men to retire from Society, and feek in Solitude the enjoyments of innocence and truth. Careless of a commerce with those for whom they can entertain no esteem, their minds naturally incline towards those scenes in which their fancy paints the fairest forms of felicity. He, indeed, whose free and independent spirit is refolved to permit his mind to think for itself, who difdains to form his feelings, and to fashion his opinions, upon the capricious notions of the world; who is too candid to expect that others fhould be guided by his notions, and sufficiently firm not to obey implicitly the hafty notions of others; who feeks to culti E 2
common for a man who feels pain, to fancy he could bear it better in any other part. CowLEY, having known the troubles and perplexities of a particular condition, readily perfuaded himself, that nothing worse was to be found, and that every alteration would bring some improvement: he never suspected that the causes of his unhappiness were within; that his own paffions were not fufficiently regulated; and that he was harrassed by his own impatience, which could never be without something to awaken it, but would accompany him over the fea, and find its way to the American elyfium. He would, upon the trial, have been foon convinced, that the fountain of CONTENT must Spring up in the mind; and that he who has fo little knowledge of human nature, as to feek happiness by changing any thing but his own difpofition, will wafte his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the griefs which he purposes to remove."
vate the juft and manly feelings of the heart, and to pursue TRUTH in the paths of science, must detach himself from the degenerate crowd, and feek his enjoyments in Retirement.* For to those who love to confult their own ideas, to form opinions upon their own reasonings and discernment, and to express only such sentiments as they really feel, a society whose judgments are borrowed, whose literature is only fpecious, and whose principles are unfounded, must not only be irksomely infipid, but morally dangerous. The firm and noble-minded difdain to bow their necks to the flavish yoke of vulgar prejudice, and appeal, in support of their opinions, to the higher tribunal of sense and reason, from the partial and ill-formed fentences of conceited critics, who, deftitute themselves of any sterling merit, endeavour to depreciate the value of that coin whose weight and purity render it current, and to fubftitute their own bafe and varnished com
It is faid by a celebrated French writer of the old school, "That there is a neceffity for men either to imitate others or to hate them; but that both of them ought to be avoided by OCCASIONAL RETIREMENT: that a wife man, although he is enabled to live every where with content, and to be retired even amidst the crowd of a palace, will, if left to his own choice, fly from the very fight of the court, and feek a happy SOLITUDE; for that, however able he may be to endure, if need be, the corruptions of the world, he will not think himfelf fufficiently rid of vice, while he has to contend with it in other men."
pofitions in its ftead. Those self-created wits, who proudly place themselves in the profeffor's chair, look with an envious and malignant eye on all the works of genius, taste, and sense; and as their interefts are intimately blended with the deftruction of every fublime and elegant produc-. tion, their cries are raised against them the moment they appear. To blaft the fame of merit is their chief object and their highest joy; and their lives are industriously employed to stifle the difcoveries, to impede the advancement, to condemn the excellency, and to pervert the meaning of their more ingenious contemporaries. Like loathfome toads, they grovel on the ground, and, as they move along, emit a nasty flime or frothy venom on the sweetest shrubs and faireft flowers of the fields.
From the fociety of such characters, who seem to confider the noble productions of superior intellect, the fine and vigorous flights of fancy, the brilliant effufions of a fublime imagination, and the refined feelings of the heart, as fancied conceits or wild deliriums, those who examine them by a better standard than that of fashion or common tafte fly with delight.
The reign of envy, however, although it is perpetual as to the existence of the paffion, is only
only transitory as to the objects of its tyranny; and the merit which has fallen the victim of its rage, is frequently raised by the hand of Truth, and placed on the throne of public applause. A production of genius, however the ears of its au thor were deafened, during his life, by the clamours of calumny, and hiffes of ignorance, is reviewed with impartiality when he dies, and revived by. the acclamations of ingenuous applause. The reproach which the life of a great and good man. is continually cafting on his mean and degenerate contemporaries, is filenced by his death. He is remembered only in the character of his works; and his fame increases with the fucceffive generations which his fentiments and opinions contribute to enlighten and adorn.
Envy will merit as its shade purfue;
But like a fhadow proves the substance true:
The hiftory of the celebrated English philofopher DAVID HUME,* affords, perhaps, a stronger
* HUME was born on the 26th of April, 1711, at Edinburgh; of a good family, both by father and mother. His