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a peep of blue distance, or silver gleam of water all these are managed with a delicate tact, a pervading yet quiet assiduity, like the magic touchings with which a painter finishes up a favorite picture.
The residence of people of fortune and refinement in the country, has diffused a degree of taste and elegance in rural economy, that descends to the lowest class. The very laborer, with his thatched cottage and narrow slip of ground, attends to their embellishment. The trim hedge, the grass-plot before the door, the little flower-bed bordered with snug box, the woodbine trained up against the wall, and hanging its blossoms about the lattice; the pot of flowers in the window; the holly, providently planted about the house, to cheat winter of its dreariness, and to throw in a semblance of green summer to cheer the fireside:all these bespeak the influence of taste, flowing down froin high sources, and pervading the lowest levels of the public mind. If ever Love, as poets sing, delights to visit a cottage, it must be the cottage of an English peasant.
In rural occupation, there is nothing mean and debasing. It leads a man forth among scenes of natural grandeur and beauty; it leaves him to the workings of his own mind, operated upon by the purest and most elevating of external influences. Such a man may be simple and rough, but he cannot be vulgar. The man of refinement, therefore, finds nothing revolting in an intercourse with the lower orders in rural life, as he does when he casually mingles with the lower orders of cities. He lays aside his distance and reserve, and is glad to waive the distinctions of
rank, and to enter into the honest, heart-felt enjoyments of common life. Indeed, the very amusements of the country bring men more and more together; and the sound of the hound and horn blend all feelings into harmony.
To this mingling of cultivated and rustic society, may also be attributed the rural feeling that runs through British literature; the frequent use of illustrations from rural life; those incomparable descriptions of Nature, that abound in the British poets-that have continued down from “ the Flower and the Leaf” of Chaucer, and have brought into our closets all the freshness and fragrance of the dewy landscape. The pastoral writers of other countries appear as if they had paid Nature an.occasional visit, and become acquainted with her general charms; but the British poets have lived and reveled with her — they have wooed her in her most secret haunts--they have watched her minutest caprices. A spray
could not tremble in the breeze-a leaf could not rustle to the ground—a diamond drop could not patter in the stream-a fragrance could not exhale from the humble violet, nor a daisy unfold its crimson tints to the morning, but it has been noticed by these impassioned and delicate observers, and wrought up into some beautiful morality.
The effect of this devotion of elegant minds to rural occupations, has been wonderful on the face of the country. A great part of the island is rather level, and would be monotonous, were it not for the charms of culture; but it is studded and gemmed, as it were, with castles and palaces, and embroidered with parks and gardens. It does not abound in grand and sub
lime prospects, but rather in little home scenes of rural repose and sheltered quiet. Every antique farm-house and moss-grown cottage is a picture; and as the roads are continually winding, and the view is shut in by groves and hedges, the eye is delighted by a continual succession of small landscapes of captivating loveliness.
The great charm, however, of English scenery, is the moral feeling that seems to pervade it. It is associated in the mind with ideas of order, of quiet, of sober, well-established principles, of hoary usage and reverend custom. Every thing seems to be the growth of ages of regular and peaceful existence.
The old church, of remote architecture, with its low massive portal ; its gothic tower; its windows, rich with tracery and painted glass, in scrupulous preservation—its stately monuments of warriors and worthies of the olden time, ancestors of the present lords of the soil—its tombstones, recording successive generations of sturdy yeomanry, whose progeny still plough the same fields, and kneel at the same altar—the neighboring village, with its venerable cottages, its public green, sheltered by trees, under which the forefathers of the present race have sported—the antique family mansion, standing apart in some little rural domain, but looking down with a protecting air on the surrounding scene-all these common features of English landscape evince a calm and settled security, a hereditary transmission of home-bred virtues and local attachments, that speak deeply and touchingly for the moral character of the nation.
TO A STAR.
Thou bright glittering star of even,
How calmly, brightly dost thou shine,
There, cloudless days and brilliant nights,
EULOGY ON WASHINGTON..
IN WASHINGTON seemed combined all the elements to constitute a man in the highest meaning of the term. His form was of the finest specimens of manly beauty, and his carriage full of grace and dignity. His constitution, both physical and mental, of the happiest mold. In power of mind he stood at the head of the human intellect. His perception of truth, in the vast and various concerns with which his life was charged, seemed to indicate the intuition of a superior being ; the unrivaled accuracy of his judgment was demonstrated in the extraordinary success of his wide and eventful range of action. His brightness was not indeed the glare of the meteor, but the steady light of the sun : it was not the brilliancy of a single act, but the finished series of his life : the combined results of all his action.
Hence the firmness of his resolution and the courage of his temper. Hence he shrunk not in the field of battle or the moral conflict; and conscious of the right, never trembled for the issue. Unlike the desperate few, who have achieved a bad eminence by indiscriminate means, he sought no results which virtue did not sanction; used no appliances which honesty did not advise. His character is unique, and stands alone on an eminence, unapproached—I had almost said, inaccessible. Its union of goodness and greatness, of moral beauty and intellectual strength, adorned