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the fandy Beach; and, loft in penfive Attention, liftens to the Murmurings of the restless Flood; is agreeably alarmed by the gay Decorations of the Surface. With Entertainment, and with Wonder, he fees the curling Waves, here gliftering with White, there glowing with Purple; in one Place, wearing an azure Tincture, in another, glancing a Caft of undulating Green; in the whole, exhibiting a Piece of fluid Scenery, that may vie with yonder penfil Tapestries, though wrought in the Loom, and tinged with the Dyes of Heaven.

BUT, while I am tranfported by Fancy to the Shores of the Ocean, the great Luminary is funk beneath the Horizon, and totally difappears. The whole Face of the Ground is overfpread with Shades; or with, what one of the fineft Painters of Nature calls, a dun Obfcurity. Only a few very fuperior Eminencies are tipt with ftreaming Silver. The Tops of Groves, and lofty Towers, catch the last Smiles of Day *; are still irradiated by the departing Beams.-But oh! how tranfient is the Diftinction! how momentary the Gift! Like all the Bleffings, which B 4 Mortals

*See this remarkable Appearance delicately defcribed, and wrought into a Comparison, which, in my Opinion, is one of the most juft, beautiful, and noble Pieces of Imagery, to be found in modern Poetry.

Night Thoughts. No II. p. 42. 4to Edit.

Mortals enjoy below, it is gone, almost as foon as granted. See! how languishingly it trembles. on the leafy Spire; and glimmers, with a dying Faintnefs, on the Mountain's Brow. The little Vivacity, that remains, decays every Moment. It can no longer hold its Station. While I speak, it expires; and refigns the World to the gra dual Aproaches of Night.

-Now Twilight grey Has in her fober Liv'ry all Things clad*.

EVERY Object, a little while ago, glared with Light; but now All appears under a more qualified Luftre. The Animals harmonize with the infenfible Creation; and what was gay in thofe, as well as glittering in this, gives place to an univerfal Gravity. In the Meadows, all was jocund and sportive: but now the gamesome Lambs, are grown weary of their Frolicks; and the tired Shepherd, has impofed Silence on his Pipe. In the Branches, all was Sprightliness and Song: but now the lively Green, is wrapt in the defcending Glooms; and no tuneful Airs are heard, but only the plaintive Stock-dove, cooing mournfully through the Grove.-Should I now be vain and trifling, the Heavens and the Earth would rebuke my unfeasonable Levity. Therefore,

MILT. Par. Loft. B. iv. 1. 598.

fore, be thefe Moments devoted to Thoughts, fedate as the clofing Day, folemn as the Face of Things. And, indeed, however my focial Hours are enlivened with innocent Pleafantry; let every Evening, in her fable Habit, toll the Bell to Serious Confideration. Nothing can be more proper for a Creature that borders upon Eternity, and is hafting continually to his final Audit; than daily to flip away from the Circle of Amufements, and frequently to relinquish the Hurry of Bufinefs, in order to confider and adjust "the "Things that belong to his Peace."

SINCE the Sun is departed, from whence can it proceed, that I am not involved in pitchy Darkness? Whence, these Remainders of dimi nished Brightness? which, though scarcely form→ ing a Refulgence, yet fmooth the rugged Brow of Night. I fee not the fhining Orb, and yet am cheared with a Portion of his foftned Splen dours.--Does He remember Us, in his Progrefs through other Climes; and fend a Detachment of his Rays, to efcort Us in our further Motions; or cover (if I may use the military Term) our Retreat from the Scene of Action? Has He bequeathed Us a Dividend of his Beams, fufficient to render our Circumstances eafy, and our Situation agreeable? till Sleep pours its foft Oppreffion on the Organs of Senfe; till Sleep fufpends all the Operations of our Hands; and entirely

entirely fuperfedes any more Occafion for the Light.

No it is ill-judged and unreasonable, to ascribe this beneficent Conduct to the Sun. Not unto Him; not unto Him; but unto his Almighty Maker We are obliged, for this noble Prefent, this valuable Legacy. The gracious Author of our Being, has fo difpofed the Collection of circum-ambient Air; as to make it productive of this fine and beneficial Effect. The Sun Beams, falling on the higher Parts of the aerial Fluid, inftead of paffing on in ftrait Lines, are bent inward, and inflected to our Sight. Their natural Course is over-ruled, and they are bidden to wheel about; on purpose, to favour Us with a welcome and falutary Visit. -By which Means, the Bleffing of Light, and the Seafon of Bufinefs, are confiderably prolonged. And, what is a very endearing Circumftance, prolonged most confiderably; when the vehement Heats of Summer, incline the Student to poftpone his Walk, till the temperate Evening prevails; when the important Labours of the Harvest, call the Hufbandman abroad, before the Day is fully risen.

AFTER all the Ardors of the fultry Day, how reviving is this Coolness!-This gives new Verdure to the fading Plants; new Vivacity to


the withering Flowers; and a more exquisite Fragrancy to their mingled Scents.-By this the Air alfo receives a new Force, and is qualified to exert itself with greater Activity: to brace our Limbs; to heave our Lungs; and co-operate, with a brisker Impulse, in perpetuating the Circulation of our Blood.-This I might call the grand Alembic of Nature, which diftils her most fovereign Cordial, the refreshing Dews. Inceffant Heat would deftroy the pearly Drops, or oblige them to evaporate in imperceptible Exhalations. Turbulent Winds, or even the gentler Motions of Aurora's Fan, would diffipate the rifing Vapours, and not suffer them to come to a Coalition. But, favoured by the Stilnefs, and condensed by the Coolness of the Night, they form that finely-tempered Humidity, which chears the vegetable World, as Sleep exhilarates the animal.

SUCH are the Advantages of Solitude. The World is a troubled Ocean; and who can erect stable Purposes, on its fluctuating Waves. The World is a School of Wrong; and Who does not feel Himself warping, to its pernicious Influences *? On this Sea of Glass †, how infenfibly we flide from our Stedfaftnefs! Some facred


* Nunquam a turba mores, quos extuli, refero. Aliquid, ex eo quod compofui, turbatur: aliquid, ex bis que fugavi, redit. Inimica eft multorum converfatio. Seneca. + Rev. xv. 2.

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