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study upon earth; let us, therefore, that yet remain here, as our 5 days and friends waste, reinforce our love to each other; which of
all virtues, both spiritual and moral, hath the highest privilege, because death itself cannot end it. And my good Nick,' &c.
“This is a part of his sorrow thus expressed to his Nick. Pey: the other part is in this following elegy, B of which the reader may safely conclude, it was too
hearty to be dissembled.”
Tears at the Grave of Sir Albertus MORTON, (who was buried at
Southampton), wept by Sir Henry Wotton.
O my unhappy lines! you that before
This is that sable stone, this is the cave,
Here will I paint the characters of Woe,
Where though I mourn my matchless loss alone,
But is he gone? and live I rhyming here,
I cannot find a better place for adding the folSlowing affecting letter: “A late Letter written towards the end of Lent, by Sir HENRY
Wotton, Provost of his Majesty's College at Eton.
“To the Right Worthy, his ever truly honoured, Sir EDMUND Bacon, Knight and Baronet, touching the Loss of Friends, and final Resignation of ourselves.
“All the faculties of my mind, (if they had ever been of Sany value), and all the strength of my body, must yield to the
seignory and sovereignty of time over us. But the last thing that will die, or decay in me, is the remembrance, how, amidst that inestimable contentment which I enjoyed (as all others do) in the benefit and pleasure of your conversation, (being then with you at Redgrave in Suffolk, both your delightful mansion and philosophical retreat, where you are best, because there you are most yourself, though every where well imparted to your friends), I was then surprised with an advertisement from court, of the death of Sir Albertus Morton, my dear nephew, in the vernality (as I may term it) of his employments and fortunes under the best king and master of the world. And how no great time after (as adversities are seldom solitary) there succeeded in the same place the departure of my no less dear niece, your long, and I dare say, your still beloved consort, (for love and life are not conterminable), as well appeareth by your many
tender expressions of that disjuncture, and by that monument of your own excellent invention, which you have raised to her memory.
“This, Sir, ever freshly bleeding in me, and withal revolving often in my retired thoughts, how I have long since overlived my loving parents, all mine uncles, brothers and sisters,
besides many of mine especial friends and companions of my SS youth, who have melted away before me; and that I am now
myself arrived near those years which lie in the suburbs of oblivion, being the sole masculine branch of my good father's house in the county of Kent: so as that poor name and reputation which my ancestors have heretofore sustained by God's permission, must expire and vanish in my unworthiness: I say, Sir, again and again, debating often these circumstances with myself, (and truly not without the common weaknesses and passions of humanity, from which I am of all men least exempted), an extreme desire did lately assail me to entertain between my other private studies, some such discourse as might work upon mine own mind, and at least abstract awhile, if not elevate, my cogitations above all earthly objects. Whereupon, towards the end of this last Lent (a time of contracted thoughts) I fell to think of that theme, which I have now entituled, “The Loss of Friends, and final Resignation of ourselves." Intending, though it be the highest and uttermost point of Christian philosophy, to familiarize it between us as much as I can, and to address it in form of a letter to yourself. For, with whom can I treat of this matter more properly, being both of us almost precisely of equal age, and by the love which you are pleased to bear me, all joy in the fruition, and all grief in the privation of friends common between us? Now, Sir,” &c.
Mere Existence amid the Scenes of Nature is Happiness---Rural
Scenery can revive the blighted Flowers of Poetry.
August 31, 1813. “It has been truly said, that there are times when mere existence is delight, when we are content to breathe, and feel the genial air around us, and let our ideas flow involuntarily, and without a purpose.
The spell is broken by exertion or controul; by atįtempting to direct, or analyse, or record the train of <
our thoughts; and we are satisfied to live only for k ourselves, and involve ourselves in our own pleasure.
“The season, which is most adapted to generate this frame of body and mind, is the first coming on of Spring. The heart opens at a genial day of this period, like the young leaves that begin to expand their bosoms with new fragrance, and fresh tints of inexpressible beauty. At these precious moments, I desire only to be left to the uninterrupted enjoyment of my being, and to the silent emotions of gratitude to the PARENT OF Nature!
“In such a mood the bosom is too full to speak, and the head to distinguish. Labour becomes irksome; reading a task; and composition is deemed too
fatiguing an effort. We saunter; lean upon stiles; and rest on banks of primroses, and watch, with a pensive kind of rapture, every “rural sight and sound."
“It is this frame of temper, which must often be my apology, for a more than ordinary deficiency on my own part in this work. I cannot withdraw myself from the fields, from the charms of the reviving scenery, and an indescribably luxurious langour of feeling, which dullness and hard-heartedness will condemn.”
Such was the language in which my feelings discharged themselves on some vernal day of a former year, as appears by one of the numerous written fragments which lie scattered among my books, and in the drawers of the various apartments which have been my abode. I know not how many Springs have shone upon me, since sentiments so expressive of tranquil bliss have ruled over my bosom. I know that it has been my fate to live in a succession of conflicting agitations. I know that my pen is always guided by an hand hurried and trembling with cares, anxieties, and regrets; that Treachery haunts me; Malice pursues me; and, above all, Detraction never ceases to persecute me. I love fame; it is the disease of my mind: I cannot endure to be calumniated; it is the weakness which most aggravates my sufferings.
I remember, that, from a very boy, it was only in the scenery of Nature I could obtain a short respite