Imágenes de páginas

with a succession of ague fits, attended with profuse perspirations, excessive faintness, violent headaches, and a loss of appetite, that amounted to an absolute loathing of food. He was attacked also with a violent inflammation in his eyes, occasioned by a too free use of them during candlelight; and his sufferings from this 'cause were so violent, as to occasion no little apprehension, that they would terminate in a total loss of sight. Sea-bathing and a suspension of all mental exertion were recommended by his physician. Accordingly in the beginning of autumn he undertook a journey to the coast. In this retirement he abandoned himself to those pleasing sensations, which the mind experiences in the relaxation from its severer labours, when, secluded from the realities of life, the noise and interruption of the world, it sinks within itself, abandons itself to the train of its reveries, and indulges in all the luxury of fancy. In the following letter he has so beautifully described the pleasures flowing from this state of the

mind, that we shall offer no apology for inserting it.

“ I am later than my promise, neverthe“ less excuse me. My punctuality in letter“ writing I hope will never be admitted as a “ test of my friendship; as I am sure to

my own heart it is none of the real respect “ and love I bear to many, who have found

me grossly deficient in the article of correspondence. Since I left Leeds, I have

spent most of my time at the sea-side, “ much to my satisfaction, and I hope “ not less so to the benefit of my health. “ If my abilities corresponded with my, in“ clinations, I should never be contented till “I had procured a summer retreat on the

coast, which would still be rendered more agreeable by its vicinity to a frequented

harbour, which affords a variety of enter“ tainment to a speculative mind, that pos

sesses so much interest in humanity, as to “ partake in some measure of the feelings “ of the sea-faring-man, whose very happiness flows with the tide or turns with the d 3

" wind.

" wind. I have wandered for hours amidst “ rocks and sands in a pleasing absence of “ thought and care, when a pebble or a “ shell has afforded me as much pleasure as

a mathematical problem. At other times I “ would draw figures and diagrams on the

sand, which the next wave effaced, when “ suddenly a view of some natural conve

niency of situation would suggest the idea “ of a harbour, and by the magic aid of a “ certain powerful enchantress (hight Imagi.

nation) rocks were removed, piers were “ raised, channels were cut, and a port at

once created, which the same omnipotent

lady filled with those gallant 'wonders, c that so astonished the Indians. These “ romantic chimæras would then be anni“ hilated by some distant prospect at sea, “ which would raise a new train of imagi“ nations, till the object that occasioned " them vanished from my sight. I then “ walked idly sauntering along the shore,

gazing with a placid delight on the vast ocean, and the endless uniformity of its

“ motion,

[ocr errors]

motion, when some high-swelling wave, “ which over-topped the rest, and rolled on “ in state and majesty till on a sudden it “ broke with a loud noise upon the shore,

brought to my idea the picture of a proud

overgrown mortal, that swells for a while “ above his fellows with all the insolence of

pomp and imaginary greatness, only to “ make his fall the more conspicuous and “ violent. Weary at length with the tedi

ous uniformity of such a sight, I would

stoop to cockle-shells or whatever attract“ed my curiosity, and would thus idly

spend another hour, till the whole en“ chantment of the day would be broken

by an unmannerly knight, whose prowess none ever withstood, (known to mankind

by the name of Hunger, whose command “ unable to resist, I left my Paradise, like “ Adam, with weary steps and slow. Not “ however like him, never to return, for “ such was my daily occupation, when the “ weather permitted me, which was much “ finer than any we had had during the

d 4


summer, as if it sympathized with the ge“ nius of the place, and complaisantly with“ held every rude unmannerly blast, which “ might banish the graces that wantoned “ around. David speaks of the sun rushing “ like a bridegroom from the chambers of “ the east, but the month that I spent here

must certainly have been his honey-moon, "he wore so constant a face of joy, while “ all nature returned the smile; winter, “ which seemed already to have devoured " it's prey, was compelled to retreat with

precipitation ; summer and all it's gay at“ tendants were recalled, vegetables and “ animals rejoiced, pleasure danced around, « and health,

“ The best-lov'd gift of Heav'n to humankind, “ Came sweetly-smiling on each breeze of wind. « This was happiness too great, long * to continue. Summer is gone at last, “ winter has fixed it's hold, and all looks “ dreary and uncomfortable. Head-aches " and agues stare me in the face. The noise “ of a town, and the confinements of a study,


« AnteriorContinuar »