« ZurückWeiter »
erly for themselves, and unnecessary to those who are. Besides, the reasons which render it improper and unseemly for a man to celebrate his own performances, or those of his nearest relatives, will have some influence in suppressing much of what he might otherwise wish to say in favour of a friend, when that friend is indeed an alter idem, and excites almost the same emotions of sensibility and affection as he feels for himself.
It is very probable these Poems may come into the hands of some persons, in whom the sight of the Author's name will awaken a recollection of incidents and scenes, which, through length of time, they had al most forgotten. They will be reminded of one, who was once the companion of their chosen hours, and who set ont in early life with them in the paths which lead to literary honours, to influence and afflueuce, with equal prospects of success. But he was suddenly and power. fully withdrawn from those pursuits; and he left them without regret ; yet not till he had sufficient oppor. tunity of counting the cost, and of knowing the val. ue of what he gave up. If happiness could have been foued in classical attainments, in an elegant taste, in the exertions of wit, fancy, and genius, and in the esteem and converse of such persons as, in these respects, were most congenial with himself, he would have been happy. But he was not. He wondered (as thousands in a similar situation still do) that he should .continue dissatisfied, with all the means apparently conducive to satisfaction within his reach. But in due tou, the cause of his disappoinment was discovered to him. He had lived without God in the world. In a memorable hour, the wisdom which is from a. bove visited his heart. Then he felt himself a wan. derer, and then he found a guide. Upon this change of views, a change of plan and conduct followed of course. When he saw the busy and the gay world in its true light, he left it with as little reluctance, as a prisoner, when called to liberty, leaves his dun. geon. Not that he became a Cynic or an Ascetic.
A heart, filled with love to God, will assuredly breathe benevolence to men. But the turn of his temper inclining him to rural life, he indulged it, and the providence of God evidently preparing his way, and marking out his retreat, he retired into the coun. try. By these steps the good hand of God, unknown to me, was providing for me one of the principal blessings of my life ;, a friend and a counsellor, in whose company for almost seven years, though we were seldom seven successive waking hours separated, I always found new pleasure. A friend, who was not only a comfort to myself, but a blessing to the affectionate poor people, among whom I then lived.
Some time after inclination had thus removed him from the hurry and bustle of life, he was still more secluded by a long indisposition, and my pleasure was succeeded by a proportionable degree of anxiety and concern. But a hope, that the God whom he serva