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the world. I was then at Verona, ignorant of the calamity that had befallen me. A letter I received at Parma, from my Ludovico, on the nineteenth of the following month, brought me the cruel information. Her body, so beautiful, so pure, was deposited on the day of her death, after vespers, in the church of the Cordeliers. Her soul, as Seneca has said of Africanus, I am confident, returned to heaven, from whence it came.

"For the purpose of often dwelling on the sad remembrance of so severe a loss, I have written these particulars in a book that comes frequently under my inspection. I have thus prepared for myself a pleasure mingled with pain. My loss ever present to my memory, will teach me, that there is now nothing in this life which can give me pleasure—That it is now time I should renounce the world, since the chain which bound me to it, with so tender an attachment, is broken. Nor will this, with the assistance of Almighty God, be difficult. My mind, turning to the past, will set before me all the superfluous cares that have engaged me; all the deceitful hopes that I have enter

tained, and the unexpected and afflicting consequences of all my projects."

But, independent of a train of thought produced by adverse circumstances, scenery of a stupendous and solitary cast, will ever have, upon a person of acute feeling, somewhat of a similar effect; it will dispose to contemplation, it will suggest a wish for seclusion, a romantic and visionary idea of happiness abstracted from society. Those, who possess a genius of which imagination is the strongest characteristic, are, of all others the most susceptible of enthusiasm; and, if placed amid scenes of this description, and where civilization has made little progress, they will eventually be the sons of poetry, melancholy, and superstition. To these causes we may ascribe the peculiarities of Ossian, his deep and uninterrupted gloom, his wild but impressive mythology. I do not, indeed, deny, that even in the most polished periods of society much of this cast of mind may be observed; it is ever, I think, attendant upon genius, but, at the same time, so tempered by the sober tints of science and philosophy, that it seldom breaks in upon the province of judg


ment and right ratiocination, The melancholy of Milton, Young, and Gray, was so repressed by the chastening hand of reason and education, as never to infringe upon the duties of life; the spirit, the energy of Milton's comprehensive soul, the rational and sublime piety of Young, the learning and morality of Gray, powerfully withheld the accession of a state of mind so inimical to the rights of society. I speak here, as I have before hinted, of a constitutional bias of mind, not of that deep sorrow which arises from the loss of a beloved relative, or from the unmerited pressure of adversity.

In addition to what has been observed concerning the effect of scenery, let it be added, that those whom misfortune has bowed down, and who have fled into retirement to indulge the luxury of grief, that those take peculiar pleasure in being witness to the decay and sad vicissitudes of nature, that the commencement and decline of autumn, the ravages of winter, the fury of the mountain torrent, the howling of the midnight storm, the terrors of a sultry noon, the burst of thunder and the flash of lightning, are to them sources of sympathy and

consolation. What sublime and pensive images may they not derive from the melancholy sighing of the gale, particularly from "that pause," observes Mr. Gray, "as the gust is recollecting itself, and rising upon the ear in a shrill and plaintive note, like the swell of an Æolian harp. There is nothing," adds he, "so like the voice of a spirit." And, indeed, however inconsiderable, in itself, such a sound may be, yet, from the association of ideas, and, from the general knowledge of its being the presage of a storm, it derives a degree of awful and impressive grandeur, admirably adapted to the nurture of reflection. In such a situation as this, every thing is in unison with their feelings, each object seems to suffer; and to a mind pregnant with images of distress, little is. wanting to immediate personification; they may exclaim, in the beautiful and descriptive language of Miss Seward,

'Twas here, e'en here! where now I sit reclin'd,
And winter's sighs sound hollow in the wind;
Loud, and more loud, the blast of evening raves,
And strips the oaks of their last ling'ring leaves,
The eddying foliage in the tempest flies,

And fills with duskier gloom the thick'ning skies,

Red sinks the sun behind the howling hill,

And rushes with hoarse stream, the mountain rill, And now with ruffling billows, cold and pale, Runs swoln and dashing down the lonely vale; While to these tearful eyes, Grief's faded form Sits on the cloud, and sighs amid the storm.

That this amiable and tender sorrow so frequently the concomitant of the best disposition. and principles, and the certain test of a generous and susceptible heart, that this should be so often carried to an extreme, should so often militate against our social and domestic duties, is an event which merits the most serious attention. It is not however uncommon; he, to whom these sweet but melancholy sensations have been once known, will not easily be persuaded to relinquish them; he shuns society, and, dwelling on the deprivations he has suffered, seeks to indulge what, when thus cherished, is but childish imbecility. It is the more necessary, perhaps, that an error of this kind be corrected, as from the fashionable rage of affected sensibility, many otherwise would suppose themselves evincing an undoubted claim to feelings "tremblingly alive," by a mode of conduct which convicts them of folly and hypocrisy.

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