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the sun was just darting his first beams to gild its various turrets and spires. Two mighty rivers, whose sources are among nations and regions yet unexplored, embracing each other before us, rolled their united food in silent majesty to the main. On each bank vast woods and forests, planted by Na. ture's own hand, time immemorial, waved their graceful verdure to every gale; while, between these woods, at different distances, vales and savannahs, opening interminable, gave a beautiful diversity to thescene-Here gentle brooks meandering along their pebbly channels, to pour their tributary urns into these larger rivers; and there a rich profusion of hillocks, tufted with various trees, among
groups of tame animals fed in mingled peace and happiness with their wild brothers of the woods, as yet undisturbed by the barbarous huntsman's toils. The whole rural prospect was closed by vast mountains, piled into the clouds, whose enormous height even ake the beholder's eye, and charm the soul with delightful grandeur.
Turning to this landscape, and dropping the small plant that he held in his hand, “ Look round you, my dear friends! loook round you, said Aratus! Who can confine his attention to a single production of nature, when such immense scenes lie before him? How inseparably connected are beauty and utility, magnificence and frugality, in all the works of God! These inequalities and varieties, on the surface of the earth, not only serve to form those prospects, which now enchant us, but also to fructify and enrich the scil! These hillocks and lesser vallies form rivu
lets, and drain off the supervacaneous moisture. These rivulets form rivers; and these rivers supply the expense of evaporations from the ocean. These evaporations form magazines of dews and rains; and, lastly, these magazines of dews and rains are condensed, and brought down upon the earth, by the help of the high mountains. Thus the globe is ever supplied with fresh recruits of moisture, and saline juices. And thus, though all things differ, all agree to promote the same wise ends. Order walks hand in hand with variety. The mountains but stand the lofty ministers of the vales. Unless they thus reared their gelid crests into the sky, to arrest and condense the fluctuating vapours, the hotter countries would probably be left destitute of rain, and the whole moisture of the globe might, by degrees, evavagate towards the colder regions, and be at length congealed round the poles; not to mention that the mountains also produce many curious minerals and vegetables of sovereign use, which are not to be found elsewhere. Such, for instance, is this plant, which we ascended hither in search of, and which I shall afterwards give you a further account of. But let us, in the meanwhile, return homewards, to avoid the increasing heat of the day.”
Aratus having finished, and taken a few of the plants with him, which he might readily have procured with less labour to himself, we were at no less to guess what had been his principal motive in leading us to this delightful place.
But you will excuse this digression, if you should esteem it such. The last study to be spoken of is
history, which, as Aratus managed it, is nothing else but religion and philosophy taught by examples.
When the mirror of ages was held up to us, and all the celebrated names of antiquity made to pass in bright review before us; when we beheld the glorious effects of virtue, with the train of private and public miseries, which have always been the consequence of vice; when we saw the public villain branded with eternal infamy, and delivered down as a malefactor to all posterity, while the patriot's name is embalmed, and rendered forever illustrious, by the concurring plaudits of the world; could we, do think, forbear, in our own imaginations and resolu. tions, to enlist ourselves for life, under the banner of virtue? Could we forbear to glow with a generous desire of earning the fair esteem of good men, and partaking some share of fame with those venerable worthies we read of? Or could we once think of committing a base and dishonest action, without shrinking from it with horror, at the apprehension of the lasting reproaches of mankind?
The study of history, and a view of the greatness, illustrious achievements, and manners of other nations, may, in some degree, supply the place of traveiling, and make youth shake off that narrowness of mind, which is apt to substitute the customs, manners, and actions of the small spot wherein they were born, as the standard of right and wrong, the model of every thing great and good. It begets in them a more noble and generous turn of thought, extends their views, and teaches them, as citizens of the world,
to do impartial justice to the virtues of every people and nation.
Indeed there is some danger, that history, with all its advantages, should go too far in this respect, and beget a love of false magnificence and external shew. The partiality of historians to their own great men, the pompous accounts of victories and triumphs, with the colourings often employed to heighten actions that have little or no intrinsic greatness, are apt to dazzle the eyes of unwary readers. But here it was, that Aratus, ever watchful and sagacious, took particular care to make the proper distinctions, and to cultivate in us the taste of solid glory.
He would ask us, whether, in our own private judgment, Timoleon, when he declined all the digni. . ties offered him by a grateful people, and retired to practise in silence the virtues of a private life, only saving to hiinself the pleasure of seeing thousands happy by his means, did not appear as venerably great, as when he came at the head of an army, resolved either to die, or rescue that people from slavery and oppression? Whether Curius, when he rejected the vast sums offered him by the Samnite ambassadors, though they found him so poor as to be cooking his own supper, did not shew as much magnanimity, as when in the front of creadful war he conquered where. ever he came? Whether Fabius hath not been as much applauded for saving from destruction his rival and adversary, Minucius, who had endeavoured to supplant him in the esteem of the people, as for defeating the great Hannibal, and saving the Republic? Whether Cincinnatus deserved more praises for his
triumph over the Æqui, or his immediate abdication of the dictatorship (when he could be of no farther public service), and stealing away from the acclamations of his fellow-citizens, to manure his little farm, and cheer his lovely Racilia, to whom in his absence he had committed the care of it? Whether he might not appear as great, when seated on an humble turf he decided a difference among his neighbour-pea. sants, and restored peace to a poor family, as when seated on the high tribunal of Rome, and vested with uncontroulable authority, he gave law and peace to half the world.
These renowned worthies (Aratus would observe) when they conquered nations, saved their country, and triumphed over its enemies, did that which was great indeed ! Nevertheless many others have equalled them in this. But when they conquered themselves ; when they saved their bitterest enemies; when they triumphed over poverty, and would not stoop to gather gold, diadems and kingdoms, for their own private emolument;-they did that in which they have had but few equals.
By contrasts like these, and questions frequently asked, I have known Aratus labour to form and improve our notions of true greatness. By laying before us those bright examples of public virtue, who managed the treasures and filled the most eminent posts of their country with unsullied integrity; who conquered the most opulent kingdoms without adding a single drachm to their private fortune; and, whenever their country's service did not require their immediate presence, descended voluntarily from the