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stream, which acquired a chrysolite tinge from the rock over which it ran, and the dazzling whiteness of the birds, heightened by the sunshine, composed a picture, which, like that of Wordsworth’s daffodils, when it has once been seen, the inward eye can re-create, but which no painter could represent. Our dear N. felt this, and regretted the impossibility of preserving any adequate representation of what he declared to be the most striking and beautiful incident he had ever the good fortune to behold. I thought of the story in Musæus's Tales, (a fiction known to the Arabians as well as the Germans,) and had they been swans instead of geese, could almost have fancied they were Fairies in that form, and have looked about for a veil.
THE MANUFACTURING SYSTEM.
FRANKLIN, who of all philosophers seems to have possessed the greatest share of good, practical, every-day sense, (and the least of comprehensive philosophy,) has written a playful essay upon early rising, wherein he assures his readers that the sun actually appears during the greater part of the year many hours before they are in the habit of leaving their beds; and he endeavours to convince them that it would be worth their while to profit by this discovery, and save the expense of candles in the evening by making use of the early daylight. In this instance he has well applied his favourite principle of trying every thing by the rule of profit and loss, ..a principle which he has been but too successful in impressing upon his countrymen. Wesley has published an excellent sermon upon the same subject. The better to enforce his precepts, he required his preachers to hold forth at five in the morning, and expected his people to attend them.
Whoever has tasted the breath of morning, knows that the most invigorating and most delightful hours of the day are commonly spent in bed, though it is the evident intention of nature that we should enjoy and profit by them. Children awake early and would be up and stirring long before the arrangements of the family permit them to use their limbs. We are thus broken in from childhood to an injurious habit: and yet were we not necessarily the slaves of society, that habit might be shaken off with more ease than it was imposed. We rise with the sun at Christmas; it were but continuing so to do till the middle of April, and without any perceptible change we should find ourselves then rising at five o'clock; at which hour we might continue till September, and then accommodate ourselves again to the change of season, regulating always the time of retiring in the same proportion. They who require eight hours sleep would upon such a system go to bed at nine during four months. The propriety and the easiness of such an arrangement cannot be disputed; I confess, however, that my mode of life, independent as it is, is not independent enough for me to follow it. “ Inter causas malorum nostrorum est, quod vivimus ad exempla : nec ratione componimur, sed consuetudine abducimur.”
But though not habitually an early riser, few men in my rank of life have made more use of the morning hours, for composition, or for exercise, as the weather or inclination might determine. I had risen with the sun on one of those days toward the end of November which might make winter welcome, if we did not know what a tremendous artillery must be expected in his train. It had frozen during the night hard enough to dry the roads. A mist lay over the lake and extended along the foot of the mountains, which were covered nearly halfway down with new-fallen snow. light shone upon their summits; and above was the blue sky, cold and clear.
Starting for Appelthwaite at a cold-weather pace, ..which for one of the Longshanks family is nearer five miles an hour than four,..I perceived Sir Thomas on the bridge. He was standing in the sunshine, but his body cast no shadow; and while my own breathing was visible at every 'expiration in the frosty air, there was no such indication of the breath of life in his nostrils. At the moment when I joined him a cock crew. You are a good Ghost, said I, to come at cock-crow instead of taking
The first rosy
your departure at that sound. Why is it that, according to popular belief, such apparitions occur only during the night?
SIR THOMAS MORE. It will be a sufficient answer if I reply that the visible world is then as it were withdrawn, and men being left to themselves and to their own hearts, are in a fitter state for communion with spiritual intelligences. Night is therefore the likelier season for a real appearance; the imagination is also obviously at that time more apt and more able to delude itself with an ideal one; and you must be well aware that where one relation of this kind is true, five hundred fictitious ones have been invented by falsehood and by fear. Were such communion* frequent,
* The reader may be pleased to see Sir Thomas More's opinion upon this subject in his own words. He says, “Surely in this world the goodnes of God so temperyth such apparycyons, as hys bygh wysedome seeth yt most profytable for help and reliefe of the dede, and instruccyon and amendment of the quyck : kepynge suche apparecyons of hys great marcy most comenly from the syght of such as wold turn hys goodnes in to theyre owne harme. And surely of hys tender favoure toward you, doth hys great goodnes provyde that such apparycyons, revelacyons and myracles shold not be to copyouse and commune; whereby good men seyng the thynge at eye, should lese the great parte of that they now meryte by fayth; and evyll folke when they were onys famelyer wyth yt, wolde then as lytle regard yt, as they now lytte beleve it.”--Supplycacyon of Soulys, ff. 33.