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times tempted to stop by the music of the birds, which the heat had assembled in the shade; and sometimes amused himself with phucking the flowers that covered the banks on either side, or the fruits that hung upon the branches. At last, the green path began to decline from its first tendency, and to wind among hills and thickets, cooled with fountains, and murmuring with water-falls. Here Obidah paused for a time, and began to consider whether it were longer safe to forfake the known and common track; but remembering that the heat was now in its greatest violence, and that the plain was dusty and uneven, he resolved to pursue the new path, which he supposed only to make a few meanders, in compliance with the varieties of the ground, and to end at last in the common road.
Having thus calmed his solicitude, he renewed his pace, though he suspected that he was not gaining ground. This uneasiness of his mind inclined him to lay hold on every new object, and give way to every sensation that might footh or divert him. He listened to every echo; he mounted every hill for a fresh profpect; he turned aside to every cascade; and pleased himself with tracing the course of a gentle river that rolled among the trees, and watered a large region with innumerable circumvolutions. In these amuse. ments, the hours passed away unaccounted; his deviations had perplexed his memory, and he knew not towards what point to travel. He stood pensive and confused, afraid to go forward left he should go wrong, yet conscious that the time of loitering was now palt. While he was thus tortured with uncertainty, the sky was overspread with clouds; the day vanithed from before him; and a sudden tempest gathered round his head. He was now roused by his danger to a quick and painful remembrance of his folly; he now faw how happiness is lost when case is consulted; he lamented the unmanly impatience that prompted him to seek pielter in the grove; and despised the petty curiosity that led him on from trifle to trifle. While he was thus reflecting, the air grew blacker, and a clap of thunder broke his meditation.
He now resolved to do what yet remained in his power, to tread back the ground which he had passed, and try to find some issue where the wood might open into the plain. He profirated himself on the ground, and commended his life to the Lord of Nature. He role with confidence and tranquillity, and pressed on with resolution. The beasts of the desert were in motion, and on every hand were heard the mingled howls of rage and fear, and ravage and expiration. All the horrors of darkness and solitude furrounded him: the winds roared in the woods; and the torrents tumbled from the hills.
Thus forlorn and distressed, he wandered through the wild, without knowing whither he was going, or whether he was every moment drawing nearer to safety or to destruction. At length, not fear, but la. bour began to overcome him; his breath grew short, and his knees trembled; and he was on the point of lying down in resignation to his fate, when he beheld, through the brambles, the glimmer of a taper. He advanced towards the light; and finding that it proceeded from the cottage of a hermit, he called humbly at the door, and obtained admission. The old man set before him such provifions as he had collected for himself, on which Obidah fed with eagerness and grae titude.
When the repast was over, “ Tell me," said the her mit, “ by what chance thou hast been brought hither? I have been now twenty years an inhabitant of the wilderness, in which I never saw a man before.” Obidah then related the occurrences of his journey, without any concealment or palliation.
“ Son," said the hermit, “ let the errors and follies, the dangers and escape of this day, fink deep into thy heart. Remember, my son, that human life is the journey of a day. We rise in the morning of youth, full of vigour and full of expectation; we set forward with spirit and hope, with gaiety and with diligence, and travel on a while in the direct road of piety towards the mansions of rest. In a short time, we remit our fervour, and endeavour to find some mitigation of our duty, and some more easy means of obtaining the fame end. We then relax our vigour, and resolve no longer to be terrified with crimes at a distance; but rely upon our own constancy, and venture to approach what we resolve never to touch. We thus enter the bowers of ease, and repose in the shades of security. Here the heart softens, and vigilance subfides; we are then willing to inquire whether another advance cannot be made, and whether we may not, at least, turn our eyes upon the gardens of pleasure. We approach them with scruple and hesitation ; we enter them, but enter timorous and trembling; and always hope to pass through them without losing the road of virtue, which, for a while, we keep in our fight, and to which we purpose to return. But temptation succeeds temptation, and one compliance prepares us for another; we in time lose the happiness of innocence, and folace our disquiet with sensual gratifications. By de
grees, we let fall the remembrance of our original intention, and quit the only adequate object of rational defire. We entangle ourselves in business, immerge ourselves in luxury, and rove through the labyrinths of inconftancy; till the darkness of old age begins to invade us, and disease and anxiety obstruct our way. We then look back upon our lives with horror, with forrow, with repentance; and wish, but too often vainly wish, that we had not forsaken the ways of vir. tue. Happy are they, my son, who shall learn from thy example, not to despair; but shall remember, that, though the day is past, and their strength is wasted, there yet remains one effort to be made: that reformation is never hopeless, nor fincere endeavours ever unassisted; that the wanderer may at length return after all his errors; and that he who implores strength and courage from above, shall find danger and difficulty give way before him. Go now, my son, to thy repofe; commit thyself to the care of Omnipotence; and when the morning calls again to toil, begin anew thy journey and thy life.”
The Importance of a good Education.
I CONSIDER a human soul, without education, like marble in the quarry; which shows none of its inherent beauties, until the skill of the poliflier fetches out the colours, makes the surface shine, and discovers every ornamental cloud, spot, and vein, that runs through the body of it. Education, after the same manner, when it works upon a noble mind, draws out to view every latent virtue and perfection, which, without such belps, are never able to make their appearance.
If my reader will give me leave to change the allufion so soon upon him, I shall make use of the same instance to illustrate the force of education, which Aristotle has brought to explain his doctrine of subftantial forms, when he tells us, that a statue lies hid in a block of marble; and that the art of the statuary only clears away the superfluous matter, and removes the rubbish. The figure is in the stone, and the sculptor only finds it. What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul. The philosopher, the faint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lies hid and concealed in a plebeian, which a proper education might have disinterred, and have