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year renews the treasures of the peaceful husbandman; freedom and the smile of happiness lighten his serene countenance, that speaks a soul at ease; he rises to inhale the sweet breath of morning, and lies down upon his humble couch at peace with all mankind.
"Whilst the sun illumines the horizon, plants, animals, and a thousand pleasing objects gratify our view; and when night throws her sable mantle over the earth, the majestic grandeur of the firmament occasions rapture and astonishment. Everywhere Nature works to procure us new enjoyment; even the smallest insects, leaves, and grains of sand, offer subjects of admiration. The same brook that waters the valleys, murmurs sweet music in our ear, invites us to soft repose, and refreshes the parched tongue. The grove which shields us from the piercing rays of the sun by its protecting shade makes us experience a delicious coolness; reclining at ease beneath the lofty trees, whilst we listen to the joyful songs of the birds, a thousand sweet sensations soothe our souls, The trees, whose beautiful blossoms so lately delighted us, will soon produce the most delicious fruits; and the meadows, waving with the ripening corn, promise an abundant harvest.
"Nature presents us with no objects pleasing and useful in only one respect; she clothes and adorns the earth with green, a colour the most beneficial and agreeable to the eye, and adds to its beauty by diversifying its shades; for, though pleasing in itself, its charms are much increased by this happy distribution of shade. Each species of plant has its peculiar colour; landscapes covered with woods, bushes, plants, vegetables, and corn, present a most beautiful scene of verdure, where the colouring is infinitely varied, and its shades insensibly blended, increasing from the lightest tints to the darkest hue, and yet a perfect harmony is always preserved.
"But to whom are we indebted for these numerous and diversified presents? Go and ask universal Nature: the hills and the valleys will inform thee, the earth will teach thee, and
the heaven is a mirror in which thou mayest behold the Author of these blessings. The storm and the tempest announce him; the voice of thunder and the fire of lightning, the bow painted in the heavens, the rain and the snow, proclaim his wisdom and goodness! The green meadows, the fields yellow with the ripe grain, the mountains whose lofty summits are lost in the clouds, the trees bending with fruit, gardens variegated with flowers, and the rose's delicious bloom, all bear the stamp of his impression! The birds celebrate him in their melodious concerts, the sportive lambs, the stag bounding through the vast forests; the worm that crawls in the dust, the ocean monarch-the huge whale, that with its gambols sinks ships, and tumbling in the foam makes the waves roar-all these proclaim the existence of Omnipotence !
"Summer has inexpressible charms. We see all around us, in the fields and in the gardens, fruits which, after having delighted us with their beauty, and gratified our taste with their sweets, may be collected and preserved for our future convenience. The flowers present us with the most agreeable variety; we admire their rich colours, and rejoice at the inexhaustible fecundity of nature in their multiplied species. What a beautiful variety is displayed in plants, from the lowly sprig of moss to the majestic oak! Our eye glances from flower to flower; and whether we climb the steep mountain, descend into the valley, or seek the friendly shade of the woods, we everywhere find new beauties, all differing from one another, but each possessing charms sufficient to engage our attention. There we see innumerable flowers diffusing their sweetness to the air, that softly kisses their, blushing leaves; and here various creatures sporting wild, free from care, We look up, and a clear blue sky presents itself: beneath, the fresh verdure smiles; our ear is ravished with the tuneful notes of the winged songsters; their various and simple melody wraps our soul in joy, and sweet sensations fill our bosoms. The soft murmuring of the distant brook, and the silver waves of a
clear smooth stream, gently gliding beneath the overhanging willows, lull our souls to ease."
"Oh! blest art thou, whose steps may rove
And gaze afar o'er cultured plains,
For man can show thee nought so fair
For thee the stream in beauty flows,
But happier far, if then the soul
If, in whate'er is bright or grand,
Thy song of gratitude and praise;
If heaven and earth, with beauty fraught,
I cannot omit some remarks made by Mr. Alison on the
Principles of Taste," or the different feelings which pervade the minds of those who look on Nature. The various asso
ciations called up by sounds and scenery, and the variety of emotions which they awaken-all these are admirably discussed in an introduction to the new edition of "Gilpin's Forest Scenery," edited by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, Bart.
"It is easy to understand how the sight of a picture or a statue should affect us nearly in the same way as the original; nor is it much more difficult to conceive how the sight of a cottage should give us something of the same feeling as the sight of a peasant's family, and the aspect of a town raise many of the same ideas as the appearance of a multitude of persons. A common English landscape, green meadows, with cattle, canals, or navigable rivers-well-fenced, well-cultivated fields—neat, clean, scattered cottages; humble, antique church, with churchyard elms, and crossing hedgerows all seen under bright skies, and in good weather. There is much beauty, as every one will acknowledge, in such a scene. But in what does the beauty consist? Not, certainly, in the mere mixture of colours and forms; for colours more pleasing, and lines more graceful, (according to any theory of grace that may be preferred,) might be spread upon a board or a painter's pallet, without engaging the eye to a second glance, or raising the least emotion in the mind: but in the picture of human happiness that is presented to our imaginations and affections in the visible and unequivocal signs of comfort, and cheerful and peaceful enjoyment, and of that secure and successful industry that ensures its continuance, and of the piety with which it is exalted, and of the simplicity by which it is contrasted with the guilt and the fever of a city life—in the images of health, and temperance, and plenty, which it exhibits to every eye, and the glimpses which it affords to warmer imaginations of those primitive or fabulous times when man was uncorrupted by luxury and ambition, and of those humble retreats in which we still delight to imagine that love and philosophy may find an unpolluted asylum.
"At all events, however, it is human feeling that excites
our sympathy and forms the object of our emotions. It is man that we see in the beauties of the earth which he inhabits; or, if a more sensitive and extensive sympathy connect us with the lower families of animated nature, and make us rejoice with the lambs that bleat on the uplands, or the cattle that ruminate in the valley, or even with the living plants that drink the bright sun and the balmy air, it is still the idea of enjoyment of feelings that animate the existence of sentient beings, that calls forth all our emotions, and is the parent of all that beauty with which we invest the objects of inanimate creation around us.
"Instead of this quiet and tame English landscape, let us now take a Welsh or Highland scene, and see whether its beauties will admit of being explained on the same principle. Here we shall have mountains, and rocky and lonely recesses, woods hung over precipices, lakes intersected with castled promontories, ample solitudes of untrodden valleys, nameless and gigantic ruins, and mountain echoes repeating the roar of the cataract. This, too, is beautiful-and to those who can interpret the language it speaks, far more beautiful than the prosperous scene with which we have contrasted it. Yet, lovely as it is, it is to the recollection of man, and of human feelings, that its beauty is also owing. The mere forms and colours that compose its visible appearance are no more capable of exciting any emotion in the mind than the form and colour of a Turkey carpet."
Here I must beg to dissent. The hues of flowers-the rich tints of the sky, both at day-dawn and sunset-the varied dyes of trees in autumn, are all beautiful on account of their colours, or contrasts only. That the mind revels in a gaudy world, and fills it with creations of its own, is true; but this is done without blending it with feelings of deep emotion or human affection. The colours of Nature, even taken as colours alone, never can (in my humble opinion) be either contemplated or compared with those of a Turkey carpet for the