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Oh! that this lovely vale were mine-
My years would gently glide ;
By peace be sanctified.
There would unto my soul be given,
A piety sublime;
Eternity of Time!
Unutterable love. Sound needed none,
A Herdsman, on the lonely mountain tops Such intercourse was his; and in this sort Was his existence oftentimes possessed. Oh, then, how beautiful, how bright appeared The written pronrise! He had early learned To reverence the Volume which displays The mystery, the life that cannot die ; But in the mountains did he feel his faith ; There did he see the writing ;-all things there Breathed immortality, revolving life, And greatness still revolving ;-infinite! There littleness was not;—the least of things Seemed infinite; and there his spirit shaped Her prospects; nor did he believe,-he saw. What wonder if his being thus became Sublime and comprehensive ! low desires, Low thoughts had there no place; yet was his heart Lowly; for he was meek in gratitude, Oft as he called those ecstasies to mind, And whence they flowed ;-and from them he acquired Wisdom which works through patience; thence he learned In many a calmer hour of sober thought, To look on nature with an humble heart, Self-questioned where he did not understand, And with a reverential eye of love.
Her giant form
Oh! many a dream was in the ship
To the dangers his father had passed ;
-He wakes at the vessel's sudden roll,
Dr. Slop and Obadiah, meeting.-STERNE. IMAGINE to yourself, a little squat, uncourtly figure of a Dr. Slop, of about four feet and a half, perpendicular height, with a breadth of back, and a sesquipedality of belly, which might have done honor to a sergeant* in the horse-guards.
Such were the outlines of Dr. Slop's figure, which—if you have read Hogarth's analysis of beauty, (and if you have not, I wish you would ;)—you must know, may as certainly be caricatured, and conveyed to the mind by three strokes as three hundred.
Imagine such a one,—for such, I say, were the outlines of Dr. Slop's figure, coming slowly along, foot by foot, waddling through the diri. upon the vertebræ of a little diminutive pony, of a pretty color—but of strengthalack! scarce able to have made an amble of it, under such a fardel, had the roads been in an ambling condition.—They wero not. Imagine to yourself, Obadiah mounted upon a strong monster of a coach-horse, pricked into a full gallop, and making all practicable speed the adverse way.
* Pron. săr'-gent.
Pray, Sir, let me interest you a moment in this description.
Had Dr. Slop beheld Obadiah a mile off, posting in a narrow lane directly towards him, at that monstrous rate, splashing and plunging like a devil through thick and thin as he approached, would not such a phenomenon, with such a vortex of mud and water moving along with it, round its axis,--have been a subject of juster apprehension to Dr. Slop in his situation, than the worst of Whiston's comets ? -To say nothing of the nucleus ; that is, of Obadiah and the coach-horse. In my idea, the vortex alone of them was enough to have involved and carried, if not the doctor, at least the doctor's pony, quite away with it.
What then do you think must the terror and hydrophobia of Dr. Slop have been, when you read (which you are just going to do) that he was advancing thus warily along towards Shandy Hall, and had approached within sixty yards of it, and within five yards of a sudden turn, made by an acute angle of the garden wall,—and in the dirtiest part of a dirty lane,—when Obadiah and his coach-horse turned the corner, rapid, furious,-pop,-full upon him Nothing, I think, in nature can be supposed more terrible than such a rencounter,--so imprompt! so ill prepared to stand the shock of it as Dr. Slop was !
What could Dr. Slop do ?- -he crossed himself- -Pugh! -but the doctor, Sir, was a Papist.-No matter; he had better have kept hold of the pommel.—He had so; nay, as it happened, he had better have done nothing at all; for in crossing himself he let go his whip, and in attempting
to save his whip between his knee and his saddle's skirt, as it slipped, he lost his stirrup,—in losing which he lost his seat; and in the multitude of all these losses (which, by the by, shew what little advantage there is in crossing) the unfortunate doctor lost his presence of mind. So that without waiting for Obadiah's onset, he left his pony to its destiny, tumbling off it diagonally, something in the style and manner of a pack of wool, and without any
other consequence from the fall, save that of being left (as it would have been) with the broadest part of him sunk about twelve inches deep in the mire.
Obadiah pulled off his cap twice to Dr. Slop ;-once as he was falling, and then again when he saw him seated.-Illtimed complaisance Shad not the fellow better have stopped