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May g. T Performed my pilgrimage to the ."■ place of my nativity, with all the devotion of a real pilgrim: I was affected much beyond what I expected. Near the great elm, which is a quarter of a league from the village on the side of S—, I got out of the carriage, and sent it on before, that alone and on foot I might more fully and without interruption enjoy all my recollections. I was then under the same elm which formerly. was the term and object of my walks. How things have since
changed! changed! Then, in happy igno ranee, I languished after a world I did not know, and where I hoped to find all the enjoyments my heart fo often felt the want of: and now I was returned from that world so much desired > and what, my dear friend* did I bring back? Disappointed hopes, unsuccessful plans.
I observed the opposite mountains,. and I remembered how often they had excited my wishes. I used to sit sometimes for whole hours looking at them, and ardently longing to wander under the shade of those woods which make so delightful anobject; in the distance. "With what
reluctancf reluctance I quitted this favourite spot when the play-hour was over, and my leave of absence expired! As I drew near to the village, I recognised all the little gardens and summer-houses that I was acquainted with. I disliked the new ones, as I do all the alterations that have been made since my time. I went into the village, and felt quite at home again. I cannot, my dear friends in detail relate all the circumstances with which I was affected; however interesting they were to me, there would be a sameness in the relation. I had intended to lodge in the market-place near our old
house: as soon as I entered, I perceived that the school-room, where we were taught by that good old woman, was turned into a shop. I remembered the sorrow, the dullness, the anxiety, the oppression of heart I had experienced in that confinement. Every step was marked by some particular impression. A pilgrim in the holy land does not meet with so many spots which bring tender recollections to his mind; and scarcely feels more devotion. One sensation I will relate, of the thousand I experienced: Having followed the course of the stream to a farm, which was formerly a favourite walk
likewise. likewise, and where we used to divert ourselves with making ducks and drakes upon the water; I was most forcibly struck with the memory of what I then was, when I looked at the water as it flowed, and form'd romantic ideas of the countries it was going to pass through. My imagination was soon exhausted; but the water continued flowing farther and farther, till I was bewildered in the idea of invisible distance. Exactly such, my dear friend, were the thoughts of our good ancestors.—And when Ulyfles talks; of the immeasurable sea, and the unlimited earth, is it not more Vol. II. E natural,