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BOOK VII.

DESCRIPTIVE PIECE S.

CHAPTER I.

SENSIBILITY.

DEAR Sensibility; source inexhausted of all that's precious in our joys, or costly in our sorrows ! thou chainest thy martyr down upon his bed of straw, and it is thou who liftest him up to Heaven. Eternal fountain of our feelings ! It is here I trace thee, and this is the divinity which stirs within me: not that in some sad and sickening moments, “my soul shrinks back upon herself, and startles at destruction" -mere pomp of words ! but that I feel some generous joys and generous cares beyond myself—all comes from thee, great, great Sensorium of the world! which vibrates if a hair of our head but fall upon the ground, in the remotest desert of thy creation. Touched with thee, Eugenius draws my curtain when I languish ; hears my tale of symptoms, and blames the weather for the disorder of his nerves.

Thou givest a portion of it sometimes to the roughest peasant who traverses the bleakest mountains. He finds the lacerated lamb of another's flock. This moment I behold him leaning with his head against his crook, with piteous inclination looking down upon it.-Oh! had I come one moment sooner !—it bleeds to death-his gentle heart bleeds with it.

Peace to thee, generous swain! I see thou walkest off with anguish—but thy joys shall balance it ; for happy is thy cottage, and happy is the sharer of it, and happy are the lambs which sport about you.

STERNE.

CHAPTER II.

LIBERTY AND SLAVERY.

Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still, Slavery! still thou art a bitter draught; and though thousands in all ages have been made to drink of thee, thou art no less bitter on that account. It is thou, Liberty! thrice sweet and gracious goddess, whom all in public or in private worship, whose taste is grateful, and ever will be so, till nature herself shall change- -no tint of words can spot thy snowy mantle, or chymic power turn thy sceptre into iron--with thee to smile upon him as he eats his crust, the swain is happier than his monarch, from whose court thou art exiled. Gra. cious Heaven! grant me but health, thou great bestower of it, and give me but this fair goddess as my companion; and shower down thy mitres, if it seems good unto thy divine providence, upon those heads which are aching for them.

Pursuing these ideas, I sat down close to my table, and leaning my head upon my hand, I began to figure to myself the miseries of confinement. I was in a right frame for it, and so I gave full scope to my imagination.

I was going to begin with the millions of my fellow-creatures born to no inheritance but slavery; but finding, however affecting the picture was, that I could not bring it nearer me, and that the multitude of sad groups in it did but distract me

I took a single captive, and having first shut him up in his dungeon, I then looked through the twilight of his grated door to take his picture.

I beheld his body half wasted away with long expectation and confinement, and felt what kind of sickness of the heart it was which arises from hope deferred. Upon looking nearer, I saw him pale and feverish: in thirty years the

western breeze had not fanned his blood-he had seen no sun, no moon, in all that time—nor had the voice of friend or kinsman breathed through his lattice. His children

But here my heart began to bleed—and I was forced to go on with another part of the portrait.

He was sitting upon the ground upon a little straw, in the farthest corner of his dungeon, which was alternately his chair and bed : a little calendar of small sticks was laid at the head, notched all over with the dismal days and nights he had passed there—he had one of these little sticks in his hand, and with a rusty nail he was etching another day of misery, to add to the heap. As I darkened the little light he had, he lifted up a hopeless eye towards the door, then cast it down-shook his head, and went on with his work of affliction. I heard his chains upon his legs as he turned his body to lay his little stick upon the bundle. He gave a deep sigh-I saw the iron enter into his soul-I burst into tears

- I could not sustain the picture of confinement, which my fancy had drawn.

STERNE.

CHAPTER III.

CORPORAL TRIM'S ELOQUENCE.

-My young master in London is dead, said Obadiah. -Here is sad news, Trim, cried Susannah, wiping her eyes as Trim stepped into the kitchen-master Bobby is dead.

I lament for him from my heart and my soul, said Trim, fetching a sigh. Poor creature !-poor boy !-poor gentleman !

He was alive last Whitsuntide, said the coachman.Whitsuntide! alas! cried Trim, extending his right arm, and falling instantly into the same attitude in which he read the sermon,--what is Whitsuntide, Jonathan (for that was the coachman's name), or Shrofetide, or any tide or time past, to this ? Are we not here now, continued the corporal (striking the end of his stick perpendicularly upon the floor, so as to give an idea of health and stability), and are we not

(dropping his hat upon the ground) gone! in a moment ! -It was infinitely striking ! Susannah burst into a flood of tears—We are not stocks and stones—Jonathan, Obadiah, the cook maid, all melted. The foolish fat scullion herself, who was scouring a fish kettle upon her knees, was roused with it. The whole kitchen crowded about the corporal.

“ Are we not here now,—and gone in a moment?" There was nothing in the sentence—it was one of your self evident truths we have the advantage of hearing every day, and if Trim had not trusted more to his hat than his head, he had made nothing at all of it.

" Are we not here now, continued the corporal, and are we not” (dropping his hat plump upon the ground-and pausing before he pronounced the word) "gone! in a moment?” The descent of the hat was as if a heavy lump of clay had been kneeded into the crown of it.-Nothing could have expressed the sentiment of mortality, of which it was the type and forerunner, like it; his hand seemed to vanish under it, it fell dead, the corporal's eye fixed upon it as upon a corpse, and Susannah burst into a flood of tears.

STERNE.

CHAPTER IV.

THE MAN OF ROSS.

-ALL our praises why should Lords engross?
Rise, honest Muse! and sing the Man of Ross :
Pleas'd Vaga echoes through her winding bounds,
And rapid Severn hoarse applause resounds.
Who hung with woods yon mountain's sultry brow
From the dry rock who bade the waters flow?
Not to the skies in useless columns tost,
Or in proud falls magnificently lost,
But clear and artless, pouring through the plain
Health to the sick, and solace to the swain.
Whose causeway parts the vale with shady rows?
Whose seats the weary traveller repose ?
Who taught that Heav'n-directed spire to rise ?
6. The Man of Ross,” each lisping babe replies.
Behold the market-place with poor o'erspread !
The Man of Ross divides the weekly bread :

He feeds yon almshouse, neat, but void of state,
Where age and want sit smiling at the gate:
Him portion'd maids, apprentic'd orphans bless,
The young who labour, and the old who rest.
Is
any

sick ? The Man of Ross relieves,
Prescribes, attends, the med'cine makes, and gives.
Is there a variance ? Enter but his door,
Balk'd are the courts, and contest is no more.
Despairing quacks with curses fled the place,
And vile attorneys, now a useless race.
Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue
What all so wish, but want the power to do !
() say! what sums that gen'rous hand supply?
What mines, to swell that boundless charity ?

Of debts and taxes, wife and children clear,
This man possess'd— five hundred pounds a year.
Blush, Grandeur, blush ! proud Courts withdraw your blaze !
Ye little stars! hide diminished rays.

And what! no monument, inscription, stone ? His race, his form, his name almost unknown?

Who builds a Church to God, and not to Fame, Will never mark the marble with his name: Go search it there, where to be born and die, Of rich and poor makes all the history ; Enough, that virtue fill’d the space between ; Prov'd, by the ends of being, to have been. PoPE. .

your

CHAPTER V.

THE COUNTRY CLERGYMAN.

NEAR yonder copse, where once the garden smild,
And still where many a garden flow'r grows wild ;
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
The village preacher's modest mansion rose.
A man he was to all the country dear,
And passing rich with forty pounds a year;
Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor e'er had chang'd, nor wish'd to change his place;

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