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'water-works; and what now remained to be done? what, but to look up to turrets, of which when they were once raised I had no farther use, to range over apartments where time was tarnishing the furniture, to stand by the cascade of which I scarcely now perceived the sound, and to watch the growth of woods that must give their shade to a distant generation. N
In this gloomy inactivity, is every day begun and ended: the happiness that I have been so long procuring is now at an end, because- it has been procured; I wander from room to room till I am weary of myself; I ride out to a neighbouring hill in the centre of my estate, from whence all my lands lie in prospect round me; I see nothing that I have not seen before, and return home disappointed, thopgh I knew that I had nothing to expect.
In my happy days of business I had been accustomed to rise early in the morning; and remember the time when I grieved that the night came so soon upon me, and obliged me for a sew hours to shut out affluence and profperity. I now seldom see the rising sun, but to "tell him," with the fallen angel, "how I hate his beams." I awake from sleep as to languor or imprisonment, and have no employment for the first hour but to consider by what art I shall rid myself of the second. I protract the breakfast as long as I can, because when it is ended I have no call for my attention, till I can with some degree of decency grow impatient for my dinner. -If I could dine all my lise, I should be happy; I eat not because I am hungry, but because I am idle: but, alas! the time quickly comes when I can eat no longer ( and so ill docs my constitution second my inclination, that I cannot bear strong liquors: seven hours must then be endured before 1 shall sup; but supper comes at last, the more welcome as it is in a short time succeeded by sleep.
Such, Mr. Adventurer, is the happiness, the hope? of which seduced me from the duties and pleasures of a mercantile lise* I shall be told by those who fead my narrative, that there are many means of innocent amusement, and many schemes of useful employment, which I do not appear ever to have known; and that nature and art have provided pleasures, by which, without the drudgery of settled business, the active may be engaged, the solitary soothed, and the social entertained. /
These arts, Sir, I have tried. When first I took possession of my estate, in consormity to the taste of my neighbours, I bought guns and nets, filled my kennel with dogs and my stable with horses -, but a little experience shewed me, that these instruments of rural selicity would afford me sew gratifications. I never shot but to miss the mark, and, to consess thetruth, was asraid of the fire of my own gun. I could discover no rnufick in the cry of the dogs, por could divest myself of pity for the animal whose peaceful and inoffensive lise was facrificed to our sport. I was not, indeed, always at leisure to reflect upon her danger; for my horse, who had been bred to the chace, did not always regard my choice either of speed or way, but leaped hedges and ditches at his own discretion, and hurried me along with the dogs, to the great diversion of my brother en. His eagerness of persuit once incited him to swim a river; and I had leisure to resolve in the water, that I would never hazard my lise again for the destruction of a hare.
I then ordered books to be procured, and by the direction of the vicar had in a sew weeks a closet elegantly furnished. You will, perhaps, be surprised when I shall tell you, that when once I had ranged them according to their sizes, and piled them up in regular gradations, I had received all the pleasure which they could give me. I am not able to excite in myself any curiosity aster events which have been long pasted, and in which I can, therefore, have no interest: I am utterly unconcerned to know whether Yully or Demosthenes excelled in oratory, whether Hannihal lost Italy by his own negligence or the corruption of his countrymen. I have no skill in controversial learning, nor can conceive why so many volumes should have been written upon questions, which I have lived so long and so happily without understanding. I once resolved to go through the volumes relating to the office of justice of the peace, but found them so crabbed and intricate, that in less than a month I desisted in despair, and resolved to supply my deficiences by paying a competent falary to a skilsul clerk.'
I am naturally inclined to hofpitality, and for some time kept up a constant intercourse of visits with the neighbouring gentlemen: but though they are easily brought about me by better wine than they can find at any other house, I am not much relieved by their converfation; they have no skill in commerce or the stocks, and 1 have no knowledge
of of the history of families or the faction! of the country; so that when the first civilities are over, they usually talk to one another, and I am left alone in the midst of the company. Though I cannot drink myself, I am obliged to encourage the circulation of the glass; their mirth grows more turbulent and obstreperous; and before their merriment is at an end, I am sick with disgust, and, perhaps, reproached with my sobriety, or by some fly insinuations insulted as a cit.
Such, Mr. Adventurery is the lise to which I am condemned by a foolish endeavour to be happy by imitation; such is the happiness to which I pleased myself with approaching, and which I considered as the chief end of my cares and my labours. I toiled year aster year with cheersulness, in expectation of the happy hour in which I might be idle; the privilege of idleness is attained, but has not brought with it the blessing of tranquillity.
Numb. 107. Tuesday, November 13,. 1753.
1 Sub judice lit est. Ho R.
And of their vain difj)ut$ngs find no end. Fr Axcis.
IT has been sometimes alked by thofe, Who find the appearance of wisdom more easily attained by questions than solutions, how it comes to pass, that the world is divided by such difference of opinion -, and why men, equally reasonable, and equally lovers of truth, do not always think in the fame manner?
With regard to simple propofitions, where the terms are understood, and the whole subject is comprehended at once, there is such an unisormity of sentiment among all human beings, that, for many ages, a very numerous set of notions were suppofed to be innate, or necessarily co-existent with the faculty of reason: it being imagined, that univerfal agreement could proceed only from the invariable dictates of the univerfal parent.
In questions diffuse and compounded, this similarity of determination is no longer to be expected. vAt our first fally into the intellectual world, we all march together along one straight and open road; but as we proceed surther, and wider profpects open to our view, every eye fixes upon a different scene; We divide into various paths, and, as we move forward, are still at a greater distance from each other.
Vol. IX. H As