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turn of thought. The, one comprehends those speculations which relate to heavenly operations, the attributes of God, and the survey of his mercies, which none but the pure in heart can conceive or relish and to them these divine perfections unfold their charms with even additional lustre, as the rays of the sun increase their force when collected in a mirror of crystal. By the other we enjoy those more congenial subjects of intellectual pleasure, which arise from events within our common observation, the prosperity of our friends (for our own is too interested to deserve the name), the virtues we observe in others, the composure of the state, the fertility of the earth, and the operations of But it will not be ever in our power to follow either of these ways, till we can gain that noble triumph over our passions, which Sir Thomas Brown so touchingly describes in his Christian Morals; "till anger walks hanging down the head, till malice goes manacled, and envy fettered after us, till we lead our own captivity captive, and are Cæsars within ourselves."
When this conquest is gained, the pleasures of the intellect will open to our view a new world of beauties, satisfying our thirst of knowledge, and demanding our attention; equally
solid and substantial in our serious, pleasing and entertaining in our gayer hours. We shall not be then indebted to a combination of events, or the actions of others, for our happiness; but every observation, every incident, will increase the stock of our contemplations; we shall be pleased with the successful opening of a flower, and behold with refined pleasure a field waving with grain, though the ground belongs to another the success of the virtuous will put us in humour with this world, while the prosperity of the wicked will naturally incline the stream of our thoughts towards a better. The same turn of reflection, which thus collects all the scattered and (by themselves) inconsiderable advantages of life into a regular system of felicity, will likewise disperse all disagreeable circumstances, and reduce them to nothing by dividing their forces.
STUDENT, vol. i. p. 220.
The perusal of these papers on intellectual pleasure brings to my recollection the philosophic enthusiasm of Akenside:
Mind, mind alone, (bear witness earth and heaven!)
Of beauteous and sublime :-to man alone
To truth's eternal measures; thence to frame
Gemitus lachrymabilis imo
Auditur tumulo, et vox reddita fertur ad aures.
From the tomb I hear
A hollow groan, that shock'd my trembling ear.
PRODIGUS was left by his father in possession of a large estate well-conditioned, but by his continued extravagances had greatly impaired it. At one time particularly a considerable sum was wanted; the only resource left was to fell a sufficient number of trees that grew in a wood near the mansion-house. Among the rest an old venerable oak was marked out to fall a victim to his owner's necessities. The youth stood by with a secret satisfaction while the labourers were preparing to give the fatal stroke. But lo, a hollow murmuring was heard within the trunk, and the oak (or, if you will, the Hamadryad that inhabited it) spoke distinctly in the follow ing manner:
My young master,
"Your great grandfather planted me when
he was much about your age; and though he intended me perhaps for the use of his posterity, yet I cannot help repining at my present usage. I am the ancientest tree in all the forest, and have largely contributed by my products to the peopling of it: I therefore think some respect due to my services, if none to my years. Though I cannot well remember your great grandfather, I with pleasure recollect with what favour your grandfather used to treat me. Your father too was not neglectful of me; many a time has he rested under my hospitable shade when fatigued with the sultry heat of the weather, or sheltered himself from an unexpected shower. You was always his darling, and if the wrinkles of old age have not quite obliterated it, you may trace your name in several places cut out on my bark; for this was his constant amusement whenever with me.
"Nobleness of descent, I know, signifies nothing in a tree, or else I could boast of as noble sap in me as any tree in England: for I came from that oak which is so famous for the preservation of King Charles. I have often with pleasure sup plied your whole household with leaves, and with pride I can tell you, that you yourself have worn some of my broadest and most flourishing, properly gilded, on that occasion.
"But I do not mention this as an inducement for you to spare me; I could fall without re gret, if it were to do any real service to my master. If I were designed to repair your old mansion house by supplying the place of my rotten predecessors, or to furnish materials for your: tenants' ploughs, carts, and the like, I could still be useful to my owner. But to be trucked away for vile gold, which perhaps is to satisfy the demand of some honourable cheat, to be subservient to luxury, or to stop the importunities of some profligate madam, is more than a tree of any spirit can bear.
"Your ancestors, I fancy, never thought of what havoc you would make among their woods. 'Twas a pleasure to be a tree while they lived; we old ones were honoured and caressed by them, and young ones were continually springing up around us. But now we must all fall without distinction, and the rooks in a short time will not find a branch to roost on. Yet, why should we complain? all your old country friends are equally neglected; your farms and your manors have almost all followed you to London already, and we must take the same journey. Indeed, while your father was contented to wear a plain drugget, this was needless; but my young