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factures and agriculture so much prevails, and has been so successfully cultivated, an invention of this kind should never have been attempted, which must tend so powerfully to facilitate labour, by distributing it in such due proportions, and with such just appropriations and appointments.
"I shall conclude my application to you with suggesting, that, as there is probably a numerous class of men who sympathize exactly with me in the case which I have submitted to you, a particular attention to my complaint may be of public service, and will greatly console “ Your distressed and obedient humble servant,
No. 18. TUESDAY, MAY 8.
Oh, how canst thou renounce the boundless store
Of gifts, which Nature to her votaries yields, The warbling woodlands, the resounding shore,
The pomp of groves, the garniture of fields,
And all that echoes to the song of Even,
And all the dread magnificence of Heaven-
I have often thought it a sad reflection on my countrymen, that at this season of the year, and in this month especially, when the country puts on a new dress to attract us, and spreads out her green carpet “ The Petition of a very innocent, useful, and much abused
grave Reformer, the Rev. Simon Olive-Branch,
person, to that
“ Humbly showeth,
“ That your petitioner has most seriously to complain of divers abuses and outrages, which he humbly conceives it is within your province to chastise. He will begin, however, with stating his claims and pretensions, and then proceed to enumerate the instances in which his merits are despised, and his rights trampled under foot.
“ That your petitioner is the healthiest, floridest, and comeliest of twelve brothers; and is the father of thirty children; all of whom have been well brought up, and preserve their posts, and execute their functions with unfailing order and punctuality.
“Your petitioner's exemplary mildness of temper should give him a peculiar claim to the attention of one of the Olive-Branch family, as sympathy of character generally begets mutual kindness. He can plead, besides, that he has known your whole race these many centuries; and can carry his
personal recollection back to anecdotes and facts concerning them, much beyond the compass of your mother's records, ancient as they are. He nursed your great-grandfather on his lap, when he was yet unable to walk; and
before he could lisp out tobacco-stopper. He has the honour of informing you, that he brought into the world a great-grandson of Shem, who was the son of Noah, &c.: that this great-grandson of Shem attached a considerable number of followers to himself, by reason of his pacific qualities, and settled on the borders
of the Euphrates, where, it is said, he planted the first Olive; for that which the dove brought to the ark was only a branch of the wild species. His youngest son was named 9-77y or Olive-Branch; and with him the race of Olive-Branches properly began. That your petitioner has ever looked with great affection on this goodly race, and has always received particular honours at their hands. That he humbly hopes, therefore, that the last of this ancient family will not refuse to listen to his requisitions, which are founded on such just pretensions.
“ That he has also great merits to plead, independent of his connections with the house of Olive. Branch. That he is the only even-tempered character out of twelve brothers, the rest being all either too warm and passionate, or too cold and severe; and the one, especially, who was born just before him, is so fretful and fickle, that there is no knowing what to do with him, not to mention that he has a malignant pleasure in making fools of his majesty's subjects. That, besides the negative merit of preserving his temper in the midst of such examples, he and his thirty sons are employed in the active office of dressing out our general mother the Earth, and promoting her fruitfulness and abundance.
“ That your petitioner is not only prodigal of his benefits and kindnesses to man, but may claim, in a very high degree, the merit of impartiality in the distribution of them, holding all ranks in the same estimation, and oftentimes drying up the tears of the wretched, and creating a sunshine in luis thoughts. That his thirty sons too, who join him in this humble petition, are always occupied, whenever their turn comes round, in spreading joy, and love and beauty, and abundance, over the face of the earth. Ever sludious of the honour of their family, they are tainted
for us to tread upon, we should still prefer the tinselled frippery and artificial splendor of public places in town, to the unpurchasable beauties and chaste decorations of rural scenery. It is to be admired that a nation so studious of novelty should still love to linger in the dull confines of fashionable uniformity, while Nature, with an universal and progressive variety, in her great plan, is painting the fields and the gardens with a rich succession of colours, deepening the gloom of her arbours, heightening the vivacity of her lawns, and purpling over the distant hills to terminate her groves and her vistas. But there is a something in the pleasures of the country, that reaches much beyond the gratification of the eye; a something that invigorates the mind, that erects its hopes, that allays its perturbations, that mellows its affections; and it will generally be found, that our happiest schemes and wisest resolutions are formed under the mild influence of a country scene, and the soft obscurities of rural retirement.
I don't know how it is, but, to my abstracted notions of things, man always appears a much less important animal when I view him in all his relations with society, in the midst of a large city, than when I behold him in his retirement, walking over his fields, and contemplating his prospects. A real and relative importance, I consider as different things; and while all around me are paying their homage to what we call personal influence, and power of connections, I keep all my veneration for him who has obtained the greatest command over himself, and lives the most independently of others. I look upon such as are engaged in the busy pursuits of gain, as subordinate characters to those who are arrived at the actual relish of innocent pleasure; and the man who has enlarged his mind to the enjoyment of all the beauties of nature which his eye can encircle, is in my thoughts a greater personage, and has a larger property in effect, than one who has risen to what is called weight in the country, by the force of connections or riches.
It is doubtless a great unhappiness to want a sense of rural pleasures: he who has no heart for delights so pure and natural, must bribe his appetite with a forced and artificial kind of enjoyment, for which costly preparations must sometimes be made, sometimes the invention must be racked, and sometimes the principles subdued. This mortality, which mixes with our rural pleasures, gives to them that security of innocence, which is so necessary to constitute complete happiness, and vindicates their superiority over all the gaieties of town dissipation, which are at best but negative in a moral view, and which, in feeling minds, are generally attended with a sense of unworthiness, and the disquietude of inward reproach.
But, when I talk of the charms of a country life, I have not in my contemplation the sports and exercises of the field, which, however, I have no intention to disparage; but my thoughts are turned towards those deep and durable pleasures, which are supported by their connections with great objects and noble conclusions, and require no effort or uproar to maintain their vigour and vivacity. Such pleasures are those which we feel in contemplating the blue canopy of the heavens, reflected on the hazy valleys, and wrapping them in rich confusion, when our minds catch the sympathy, and open their internal prospects into visions of immensity, varied by the colours of fancy, and brightened by the radiance of hope; such pleasures are