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warblers of the spring. Nor has the most luxu, riant imagination been able to describe the serenity and happiness of the golden age, otherwise than by giving a perpetual spring as the highest reward of uncorrupted innocence.

There is, indeed, something inexpressibly pleas, ing in the annual renovation of the world, and the new display of the treasures of nature. The cold and darkness

of winter, with the naked deformity of every object on which we turn our eyes, make us rejoice at the succeeding season, as well for what we have escaped, as for what we may enjoy ; and every budding flower, which a warm situation brings early to our view, is considered by us as a messenger to notify the approach of more joyous days.

The Spring affords to a mind so free from the disturbance of cares or passions as to be vacant to. calm 'amusements, almost every thing that our present state makes us capable of enjoying. The variegated verdure of the fields and woods, the succession of grateful odours, the voice of pleasure pouring out its notes on every side, with the gladness apparently conceived by every animal, from the growth of his food, and the clemency of the weather, throw over the whole earth an air of gaiety, significantly expressed by the smile of nature.

Yet there are men to whom these scenes are able to give no delight, and who hurry away from all the varieties of rural beauty, to lose their hours and divert their thoughts by cards, or assemblies, * tavern dinner, or the prattle of the day.




be laid down as a position which will seldom deceive, that when a man cannot bear his own company there is something wrong. He must Ay from himself, either because he feels a tediousness in life from the equipoise of an empty mind, which, having no tendency to one motion more than another but as it is impelled by some external power, must always have recourse to foreign objects ; or he must be afraid of the intrusion of

some unpleasing ideas ; and, perhaps, is struggling to escape from the remembrance of a loss, the fear of a calamity, or some other thought of greater horror.

Those whom sorrow incapacitates to enjoy the pleasures of contemplation, may properly apply to such diversions, provided they are innocent, as lay strong hold on the attention; and those whom fear of any future affliction chains down to misery, must endeavour to obviate the danger.

My considerations shall, on this occasion, be turned on such as are burdensome to themselves, merely because they want subjects for reflection, and to whom the volume of nature is thrown open, without affording them pleasure or instruction, be. cause they never learned to read the characters.

A French author has advanced this seeming paradox, that very few men know how to take a walk; and, indeed, it is true, that few know how to take a walk with a prospect


other pleasure, than the same company would have afforded them at home.

There are animals that borrow their colour from the neighbouring body, and consequently vary their hue as they happen to change their place.

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In like manner, it ought to be the endeavour of every man to derive his reflections from the objects about him ; for it is to no purpose that he alters his position, if his attention continues fixed to the same point. The mind should be kept open to the access of every new idea, and so far disengaged from the predominance of particular thoughts, as easily to accommodate itself to occa, sional entertainment.

A man that has formed this habit of turning every new object to his entertainment, finds in the productions of nature an inexhaustible stock, without any temptations to envy or malevolence ; faults, perhaps, seldom totally avoided by those whose judgment is much exercised upon the works of art. He has always a certain prospect of discovering new reasons for adoring the Author of the universe, and probable hopes of making some disa covery of benefit to others, or of profit to himself, There is no doubt but many vegetables and animals have qualities that might be of great use, to the knowledge of which there is not required much force of penetration or fatigue of study, but only frequent experiments and close attention, What is said by the chemists of their darling mercury, is, perhaps, true of every body through the whole creation, that, if a thousand lives should be spent upon it, all its properties would not be found out.

Mankind must necessarily be diversified by various tastes, since life affordsand requires such multiplicity of employments, and a nation of naturalists is neither to be hoped nor desired; but it is surely not improper to point out a fresh amuse,



ment to those who languish in health and repine in plenty, for want of some source of diversion that

may be less easily exhausted, and to inform the multitudes of both sexes, who are burdened with every new day, that there are many shows which they have not seen,

He that enlarges his curiosity after the works of nature, demonstrably multiplies the inlets to happiness ; and, therefore, the younger part of my readers, to whom I dedicate this vernal speculation, must excuse me for calling upon them, to make use at once of the spring of the year,

and the spring of life ; to acquire, while their minds may be yet impressed with new images, a love of innocent pleasures, and an ardour for useful knowledge ; and to remember, that a blighted spring makes a barren year, and that the vernal flowers, however beautiful and gay, are only intended by natyre as preparatives to autumnal fruits.

N° 6. SATURDAY, APRIL 7. 1750.

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Strenua nos exercet inertia, navibus atque
quadrigis petimus bene vivere : quod petis, hic ef;
En Ulubris, animus si te non deficit æquus.

Active in indolence, abroad we roam
In quest of happiness, which dwells at home :
With vain pursuits fatigu’d, at length you'll find
No place excludes it from an equal mind.

ELPHINSTON. That man should never suffer his happiness to depend upon external circumstances, is one of the chief precepts of the Stoical philosophy ; a precept, indeed, which that lofty sect has extended beyond the condition of human life,andin which some of them seem to have comprised an utter exclusion of all corporal pain and pleasure from the regard or attention of a wise man.

Such sapientia insaniens, as Horace calls the doctrine of another sect, such extravagance of philosophy, can want neither authority nor argument for its confutation ; it is overthrown by the experience of every hour, and the powers of nature rise up against it. But we may very properly enquire, how near to this exalted state it is in our power to approach, how far we can exempt ourselves from outward influences, and secure to our minds a state of tranquillity : for, though the boast of absolute independence is ridiculous and vain, yet a mean flexibility to every impulse, and a patient submission to the tyranny of casual trou.



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