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who died two days afterwards, and left this babe, which nobody on earth seemed to take care about. Almost all the village had been burned down, and all the inhabitants had run away; so that when our soldiers marched, I begged them to take the poor child with them; but then, they said to me-" What could we do with it?"-And that was very true; but, to let the child stay, and die with hunger, was impossible; so I resolved to take it, let what would happen: and I set out, to return to my own home, with the young thing in mine arms. In my way I was weary enough; but I never met with any body that took compassion on me or my burden, so I walked on; but I fell sick, as you may see by my looks, and spent the little money I had left, and then I sold my clothes and every thing I could spare-all went, except these poor rags: yet, still, I thought, if I could but get home I should do very well. I am used to hard work, and I could even do for this little creature, who has nobody in the world but me to put a morsel of bread into its poor mouth; so I can't bear to let it starve!"
As she said this, she pressed the child to her bosom, and her tears dropped upon it whilst she repeated— "If I was but able to work-or, I could but get enough to keep it till I reach my home!"
"Poor babe," said Walden, "poor, yet happy creature, who, in losing her who gave thee birth, found a second mother!-eyes that drop tears of pity' on thy lot, and a heart that loves thee!-No, thou shalt not from hard necessity be deserted!"
Walden then wrote upon a leaf of his pocket-book the name of the woman, and that of the village where, she informed him, she lived with her family; and, giving her a small sum of money, promised that he would remit the same to her every year.
The woman, on holding the gold in her hand, which had never contained so much before, exclaimed-“ Oh! this is too much, worthy Sir,"-and be
ing desired to keep it, she added-" we shall now be rich, indeed!-my own little ones, and this one, and their grandmother, we shall all be rich!"
"Good creature !" exclaimed Walden, with emotion, "you are rich indeed, in a heart to which all other riches are dross! your humanity to this orphan will be better rewarded; but, if this were my last crown, you should have it.—Hasten away, or I may be tempted to take the child, to have the pleasure of bringing it up, that it may love me as it will you."
On hearing this, the woman hastily pressed the infant to her bosom, and giving Walden a farewell benediction, pursued her journey with alacrity.
ET every one who wishes to think with dignity, or live with ease, seek the retreats of Solitude, and enter into a friendly intercourse with his own heart. How small a portion of true philosophy, with an enlightened understanding, will render it humble and compliant: But in the mists of prejudice, dazzled by the intellectual glimmer of false lights, every one mistakes the true path, and seeks for happiness in the shades of darkness, and in the labyrinths of obscurity. The habits of retirement and tranquillity can alone enable us to make a just estimate of men and things; and it is by renouncing all the prepossessions which the corruptions of society have implanted in the mind, that we make the first advances towards the restoration of reason, and the attainments of felicity.
We have hitherto only pointed out one class of the general advantages which may be derived from rational Solitude, but there are many others which apply still
more closely to men's business and bosoms. Who, alas is there that has not experienced its comforting influence in the keenest adversities of life? Who is there that does not seek relief from its shades in the languors of convalescence, in the pangs of affliction, and even in that distressful moment when death deprives us of those whose company was the charm and solace of our lives? Happy are they who know the advantages of a religious retirement, of that holy rest in which the virtues rivet themselves more closely to the soul, and in which every man, when he is on the bed of death, devoutly wishes to have lived.
ONTENT cannot be procured, except by social
whom congenial tastes, and similar talents and dispositions, point out for our companions. The civilization of man, from whence the species derives such happy consequences, results entirely from a proper management of the social principle: even the source of his support, the amelioration of the otherwise rude and unprofitable earth, can only be attained by social combination. How erroneous a notion, therefore, must the minds of those men have formed of "their being, end, and aim," and how strong must their antipathies to the species be, who, like a certain celebrated French hermit, would choose a station among the craters of Vesuvius, as a place which afforded them greater security than the society of mankind! The idea of being able to produce our own happiness from the stores of amusement and delight which we ourselves may possess, independently of all communication with, or as
sistance from others, is certainly extremely flattering to the natural pride of man; but even if this were possible, and that a solitary enthusiast could work up his feelings to a higher and more lasting degree of felicity, than an active inhabitant of the world, amidst all its seducing vices and enchanting follies, is capable of enjoying, it would not follow that Society is not the province of all those whom peculiar circumstances have not unfitted for its duties and enjoyments. It is, indeed, a false and deceitful notion, that a purer stream of happiness is to be found in the delightful bowers of Solitude, than in the busy walks of men. Neither of these stations enjoy exclusively this envied stream; for it flows along the vale of peace, which lies between the two extremes; and those who follow it with a steady pace, without deviating too widely from its brink on either side, will reach its source, and taste it at its spring. But devious, to a certain degree, must be the walk; for the enjoyments of life are best attained by being varied with judgment and discretion. The finest joys grow nauseous to the taste when the cup of pleasure is drained to its dregs. The highest delight loses its attraction by too frequent recurrence. It is only by a proper mixture and combination of the pleasures of society with those of solitude, of the gay and lively recreations of the world with the serene and tranquil satisfactions of retirement, that we can enjoy each in its highest relish. Life is intolerable without society; and society loses half its charms by being too eagerly and constantly pursued. Society, indeed, by bringing men of congenial minds and similar dispositions together, and uniting them by a community of pursuits, and a reciprocal sympathy of interests, may greatly assist the cause of Truth and Virtue, by advancing the means of human knowledge, and multiplying the ties of human affections.
THE TWO RIVERS.
EALOUS of each other, two rivers one day presented themselves to Neptune, disputing their priority of rank. The god was seated on a throne of gold, in the centre of a profound cavern, under its vault of pumice-stone, intermingled with pebbles and sea-shells: immense fountains issued from all sides, and suspended themselves archwise over the head of the god. There were old Nereus, wrinkled and bent like Saturn, great Ocean, father of so many nymphs, Thetis in all her charms, Amphitrite with the little Palemon, Ino and Melicerta, the crowd of young and flower-crowned nereids, and Proteus himself with his marine herds, which, through their large open nostrils swallowed the briny wave, to discharge its torrents like impetuous rivers from the broken rocks. Each lucid fountain, bounding and bubbling brook, earthbathing river, and surrounding sea, came to bring, to pour the tribute of its waters into the eternal bosom of the sovereign father of floods.
The two rivers, of which the one was Nilus, and the other Ganges, approached. Nilus held in his hand a palm, and Ganges that Indian reed, the pith of which affords a juice so sweet that men call it sugar; both were crowned with rushes: the ages of both were venerable. Their muscular frames possessed a vigour and grandeur more than human. Their beards of a bluish green, hung down to their girdle. Their eyes were lively and brilliant, in spite of their humid dwellings their thick and wetted eye-brows fell on their lids. They crossed the crowd of marine monsters; the herds of wanton tritons, sounded their curved conks, the dolphins threw aloft the waters, made them foam with the motion of their tails, and