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only pleasurable employment, is looking backwards and forwards in a moral and religious way, I am quite transported at the thought, that ere long, perhaps very soon, I shall bid an eternal adieu to all the pains, and uneasinesses, and disquietudes of this weary life; for I assure you, I am heartily tired of it, and if I do not very much deceive myself, I could contentedly and gladly resign it.
"The soul uneasy and confined at home,
"Rests and expatiates in a life to come."
It is for this reason I am more pleased with the 15th. 16th. and 17th. verses of the 7th. chapter of Revelations,* than with any ten times as many verses in the whole Bible, and would not exchange the noble enthusiasm with which they inspire me, for all that this world has to offer. As for this world, I despair of ever making a figure in it. I am not formed for the bustle of the busy, nor the flutter of the gay. I shall never again be capable of entering into such scenes. Indeed I am altogether unconcerned at the thoughts of this life. I forsee that poverty and obscurity probably await me, and
"Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
I am in some measure prepared, and daily preparing to meet them. I have but just time and paper to return you my grateful thanks, for the lessons of virtue and piety you have given me, which were too much neglected at the time of giving them, but which, I hope, have been remembered ere it is yet too late. Present my dutiful respects to my mother, and my compliments to Mr. and Mrs. Muir; and, with wishing you a merry New-year's day, I shall conclude. I am, honoured Sir,
As I have an opportunity of sending you a letter without putting you to that expence, which any production of mine would but ill repay; I embrace it with pleasure to tell you that I have not forgotten, nor ever will forget, the many obligations I lie under to your kindness and friendship.
I do not doubt, sir, but you will wish to know what has been the result of all the pains of an
indulgent father, and a masterly teacher; and I wish I could gratify your curiosity with such a recital as you would be pleased with; but that is what I am afraid will not be the case. 1 have, indeed, kept pretty clear of vicious habits ; and in this respect, I hope, my conduct will not disgrace the education I have gotten; but as a man of the world, I am most miserably deficient. One would have thought that, bred as I have been, under a father who has figured pretty well as un homme des affaires, I might have been what the world calls, a pushing, active fellow; but to tell you the truth, sir, there is hardly any thing more my reverse. I seem to be one sent into the world, to see, and observe; and I very easily compound with the knave who tricks me of my money, if there be any thing original about him, which shews me human nature in a different light from any thing 1 have seen before. In short, the joy of my heart is to "study men, their manners, and their ways;" and for this darling subject, I cheerfully sacrifice every other consideration. I am quite indolent about those great concerns that set the bustling, busy sons of care agog, and if I have to answer for the present hour, I am very easy with regard to any thing further. Even the last, worst shift of the unfortunate and the wretched, does not much terrify me: I know that even then, my talent for, what coun
try folks call" a sensible crack," when once it is sanctified by a hoary head, would procure me so much esteem, that even then-I would learn to be happy.* However, I am under no apprehensions about that, for though indolent, yet so far as an extremely delicate constitution permits, I am not lazy; and in many things, especially in tavern matters, I am a strict economist; not, indeed, for the sake of the money; but one of the principal parts in my composition is a kind of pride of stomach; and I scorn to fear the face of any man living: above every thing, I abhor as hell, the idea of sneaking in a corner to avoid a dun-possibly some pitiful, sordid wretch, who in my heart I despise and detest. "Tis this, and this alone, that endears economy to me. In the matter of books, indeed, I am very profuse. My favourite authors are of the sentimental kind, such as Shenstone, particularly his Elegics; Thomson; Man of Feeling, a book I prize next to the Bible; Man of the World; Sterne, especially his Sentimental Journey; M Pherson's Ossian, &c. these are the glorious models after which I endeavour to form my conduct; and 'tis incongruous, 'tis absurd to suppose that the man whose mind glows with sentiments lighted up at their sacred flame-the
The last shift alluded to here, must be the condition of an itinerant beggar.
man whose heart distends with benevolence to all the human race-he "who can soar above "this little scene of things"-can he descend to mind the paltry concerns about which the terræfilial race fret, and fume, and vex themselves! O how the glorious triumph swells my heart! I forget that I am a poor insignificant devil, unnoticed and unknown, stalking up and down fairs and markets, when I happen to be in them, reading a page or two of Mankind, and "catching the manners living as they rise," whilst the men of business jostle me on every side, as an idle incumbrance in their way.-But I dare say I have by this time tired your patience; so I shall conclude with begging you to give Mrs. Murdoch-not my compliments, for that is a mere common place story; but my warmest, kindest wishes for her welfare; and accept of the same for yourself, from,
Dear Sir, yours, &c.
The following is taken from the Manuscript prose presented by our Bard to Mr. Riddel.
ON rummaging over some old papers I lighted on a MS. of my early years, in which I had determined to write myself out; as I was