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Keep. My lord, the winter now creeps on apace :
Ed. Glanced to the up-risen sun! Ay, such fair morns,
Keep. Yes, good my lord, the cold chill year advances, Therefore I pray yon, let me close that wall.
Ed. I tell thee no, man; if the north air bites, Bring me a cloak. Where is thy dog to-day?
Keep. Indeed I wonder that he came not with me As he is wont.
Ed. Bring him, I pray thee, when thou comest again, He wags his tail and looks up to my face With the assured kindness of one Who has not injured me.
LESSON CLXXX. i.
Through the Hesperian gardens of the west, And shuts the gates of day. 'Tis now the hour When Contemplation, from her sunless haunts, The cool damp grotto, or the lonely depth Of unpierced woods, where wrapt in solid shade She mused away the gaudy hours of noon, And fed on thoughts unripened by the sun, Moves forward ; and with radiant finger points
To yon blue concave swelled by breath divine, Where, one by one, the living eyes of heaven Awake, quick kindling o'er the face of ether One boundless blaze; ten thousand trembling fires, And dancing lustres, where the unsteady eye, Restless and dazzled, wanders uncontined O’er all this field of glories ; spacious field, And worthy of the Master; he, whose hand With hieroglyphicks older than the Nile Inscribed the mystick tablet; hung on high To publick gaze, and said, Adore, O man! The finger of thy God! How deep the silence, yet how loud the praise ! But are they silent all? or is there not A tongue in every star, that talks with man, And wooes him to be wise ? or wooes in vain. This dead of midnight is the noon of thought, And wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars. At this still hour, the self-collected soul Turns inward, and beholds a stranger there Of high descent, and more than mortal rank; An embryo God; a spark of fire divine, Which must burn on for ages, when the sun (Fair transitory creature of a day!) Has closed his golden eye, and, wrapt in shades, Forgets his wonted journey through the east.
Seized in thought, On fancy's wild and roving wing I sail, From the green borders of the peopled earth, And the pale moon, her duteous fair attendant; From solitary Mars; from the vast orb Of Jupiter, whose buge gigantick bulk Dances in ether like the lightest leaf; To the dim verge the suburbs of the system, Where cheerless Sãturn 'midst his watery moons Girt with a lucii zone, in gloomy pomp,
Sits like an exiled monarch: fearless thence
Richmond, October 10, 1803. ' I have been, my dear S......., on an excursion through the counties which lie along the eastern side of the Blue · Ridge. A general description of that country and its inhabi.
tants may form the subject of a future letter. For the present, I must entertain you with an account of a most singular and interesting adventure, which I met with, in the course of the tour.
It was one Sunday, as I travelled through the county of Orange, that my eye was caught by a cluster of horses tied near a ruinous, old, wooden house, in the forest, not far from the road side. Having frequently seen such objects before, in travelling through these states, I had no difficulty in understanding that this was a place of religious worship
Devotion alone should have stopped me, to join in the duties of the congregation; but I must confess, tbat curiosity, to hear the preacher of such a wilderness, was not the least of my motives. On entering, I was struck with his preternatural appearance. He was a tall and very spare old man; his bead, which was covered with a white linen cap, his shrivelled hands, and his voice, were all shaking under the influence of a palsy; and a few moments ascer. tained to me that he was perfectly blind.
The first emotions which touched my breast, were those of mingled pity and veneration. But how soon were all my feelings changed! The lips of Plato were never more worthy of a prognostick swarm of bees, than were the lips of this holy man! It was a day of the administration of the sacrament; and his subject, of course, was the passion of our Saviour. I had heard the subject handled a thousand times: I had thought it exhausted long ago. Little did I suppose, that in the wild woods of America, I was to meet with a man whose eloquence would give to this topick a new and more sublime pathos, than I had ever before witnessed.
As he descended from the pulpit, to distribute the mystick symbols, there was a peculiar, a more than human sv. lemnity in his air and manner, which made my blood run cold, and my whole frame shiver.
He then drew a picture of the sufferings of our Saviour; his trial before Pilate; his ascent up Calvary; his cruci. fixion; and his death. I knew the whole history; but never, until then, had I heard the circumstances so select. ed, so arranged, so coloured! It was all new : and I seemed to have heard it for the first time in my life. His enunciation was so deliberate, that his voice trembled on every syllable ; and every heart in the assembly trembled in unison. His peculiar phrases had that force of description,
that the original scene appeared to be, at that moment, acting before our eyes. We saw the very faces of the Jews: the staring, frightful distortions of malice and rage. We saw the buffet: my soul kindled with a flame of indignation; and my hands were involuntarily and convulsively clinched.
But when he came to touch on the patience, the forgiva ing meekness of our Saviour; when he drew, to the life, his blessed eyes streaming in tears to heaven; his voice breathing to God, a soft and gentle prayer of pardon on his enemies, 66 Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”—the voice of the preacher, which had all along faltered, grew fainter and fainter, until, his utterance being entirely obstructed by the force of his feelings, he raised his handkerchief to his eyes, and burst into a loud and irrepressible flood of grief. The effect is inconceivable. The whole house resounded with the mingled groans, and sobs, and shrieks of the congregation.
It was some time before the tumult had subsided, so far as to permit him to proceed. Indeed, judging by the usual, but fallacious standard of my own weakness, I began to be very uneasy for the situation of the preacher. For I could not conceive, how he would be able to let his audience down from the height to which he had wound them, without impairing the solemnity and dignity of his subject, or perhaps shocking them by the abruptness of the fall. Butno: the descent was as beautiful and sublime, as the elevation had been rapid and enthusiastick.
The first sentence, with which he broke the awful silence, was, a quotation from Rousseau: “ Socrates died like a philosopher, but Jesus Christ, like a God!”
I despair of giving you any idea of the effect produced by this short sentence, unless you could perfectly conceive the whole manner of the man, as well as the peculiar crisis in the discourse. Never before, did I completely understand what Demosthenes meant by laying such stress on delivery. You are to bring before you the venerable figure of the preacher: his blindness, constantly recalling to your recolIection old Homer, Ossian and Milton, and associating with bis performance, the melancholy grandeur of their geniuses; you are to imagine that you hear his slow, solemn, well-accented enunciation, and his voice of affecting, trembling melody ; you are to remember the pitch of passion and enthusiasm to which the congregation were raised; and then,