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my present way of life: I cultivate a few vegetables to support me; and the little well there is a very clear
I am now an useless individual; little able to benefit mankind; but a prey to shame, and to confusion, on the first glance of every eye that knows me. My spirits are, indeed, something raised by a clear sky, or a meridian sun; but as to extensive views of the country, I think them well enough exchanged for the warmth and comfort which this vale affords me. Ease, is at least, the proper ambition of age, and it is confessedly my supreme one.
Yet will I not permit you to depart from a hermit, without one instructive lesson. Whatever situation in life you ever wish or propose for yourself, acquire a clear and lucid idea of the inconveniencies attending it. I utterly contemned and rejected, after a monil's experience, the very post I had all my lifetime been solicitous to procure.'
IDLENESS AND IRRESOLUTION.
ORACE, a celebrated Roman poet, relates,
that a countryman, who wanted to pass a river, stood loitering on the banks of it, in the foolish expectation that a current so rapid, would soon discharge its waters. But the stream still flowed ; increased, perhaps, by fresh torrents from the mountains; and it must for ever flow, because the sources from which it is derived are inexhaustible. Thus the idle and irresolute youth trifles over his books, or wastes in play his precious moments; deferring the task of improvement, which at first is easy to be accomplished, but which will become more and more difficult the longer it is neglected.
AFFECTION TO PARENTS.
N amiable youth was lamenting, in terms of the
sincerest grief, the death of a most affectionate parent. His companion endeavoured to console bim by the reflection, that he had always behaved to the deceased with duty, tenderness, and respect. So I thought, replied the youth, whilst my parent was living : but now I recollect, with pain and sorrow, many instances of disobedience and neglect, for which, alas! it is too late to make atonement.
NOPHRON had passed the day, in very intense
application to a favourite study. The shades of the evening insensibly stole on him. He called for his lamp, and supplied it with an extraordinary quantity of oil, that it might burn till midnight. The flame was languid and glimmering --He added more oil.-It yielded a still fainter light. Again he replenished the lamp. The flame became dimmer.—He closed his book; and was soon left in total darkness. Ah! sludious youth, use not with profusion the sacred oil of learning! Thus lavishly applied, it will extinguish, not brighten the intellectual lamp that burns within thee.
ANNINGAIT AND AJUT.
A GREENLAND HISTORY.
F the happiness and misery of our présent state,
part arises from our sensations, and part from our opinions; part is distributed by nature, and part is in a great measure apportioned by ourselves. Positive pleasure we cannot always obtain, and positive pain we often cannot remove. No man can give to his own plantations the fragrance of the Indian groves; nor will any precepts of philosophy enable him to withdraw his attention from wounds or diseases. But the negative infelicity which proceeds, not from the pressure of sufferings, but the absence of enjoyments, will always yield to the remedies of reason.
One of the great arts of escaping superfluous uneasiness, is to free our minds from the habit of comparing our condition with that of others on whom the blessings of life are more bountifully bestowed, or with imaginary states of delight and security, perhaps unattainable by mortals. Few are placed in a situation so gloomy and distressful, as not to see every day beings yet more forlorn and miserable, from whom they may learn to rejoice in their own lot.
No inconvenience is less superable by art or diligence than the inclemency of climates, and therefore none affords more proper exercise for this philosophical abstraction. A native of England, pinched with the frosts of December, may lessen his affection for his own country, by suffering his imagination to wander in the vales of Asia, and sport among the woods that are always green, and streams that always murmur; but if he turns his thoughts towards the polar regions, and considers the nations to whom a great portion of the year is darkness, and who are condemned to pass weeks and months amidst mountains of snow, he will soon recover his tranquillity, and while he stirs his fire, or throws his cloak about him, reflect how much he owes to Providence, that he is not placed in Greenland or Siberia.
The barrenness of the earth and the severity of the skies in these dreary countries, are such as might be expected to confine the mind wholly to the contemplation of necessity and distress, so that the care of escaping death from cold and hunger, should leave no room for those passions which, in lands of plenty, influence, conduct, or diversify characters; the summer should be spent only in providing for the winter, and the winter in longing for the summer.
Yet learned curiosity is known to have found its way into these abodes of poverty and gloom; Lapland and Iceland have their historians, their critics, and their poets; and love, that extends his dominion wherever humanity can be found, perhaps exerts the same power in the Greenlander's hut as in the palaces of eastern monarchs,
In one of the large caves to which the families of Greenland retire together, to pass the cold months, and which may be termed their villages or cities, a youth and maid, who came from different parts of the country, were so much distinguished for their beauty, that they were called by the rest of the inhabitants Anningait and Ajut, from a supposed resemblance to their ancestors of the same names, who had been transformed of old into the sun and moon.
Anningait for some time heard the praises -of Ajut with little emotion, but at last, by frequent interviews, became sensible of her charms, and first made a discovery of his affection, by inviting her with her parents to a feast, where he placed before Ajut the tail of a whale. Ajut seemed not much delighted by this gal
lantry; yet, however, from that time, was observed rarely to appear but in a vest made of the skin of a white deer; she used frequently to renew the black dye upon her hands and forehead, to adorn her sleeves with coral and shells, and to braid her hair with great exactness,
The elegance of her dress and the judicious disposition of her ornaments, had such an effect upon Anningait that he could no longer be restrained from a declaration of his love, He therefore composed a poem in her praise, in which, among other heroic and tender sentiments, he protested, that “She was beau“ tiful as the vernal willow, and fragrant as thyme
upon the mountains : that her fingers were white
as the teeth of the morse, and her smile grateful as " the dissolution of the ice: that he would pursue “ her, though she should pass the snows of the mid“ land cliffs, or seek shelter in the caves of the “ eastern cannibals; that he would tear her from the “ embraces of the genius of the rocks, snatch her “ from the paws
of Amaroc, and rescue her from the “ ravine of Hafgufa.” He concluded with a wish, that, " whoever shall attempt to hinder his union “ with Ajut, might be buried without his bow, and " that in the land of souls his skull might serve for
no other use than to catch the droppings of the “starry lamps."
This ode being universally applauded, it was expected that Ajut would soon yield to such fervour and accomplishments, but Ajut, with the natural haughtiness of beauty, expected all the forms of courtship; and before she would confess herself conquered, the sun returned, the ice broke, and the season of labour called all to their employments.
Anningait and Ajut for a time always went out in the same boat, and divided whatever was caught, Anningait, in the sight of his mistress, lost no opportunity of signalizing his courage; he attacked the sea