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CHAPTER THE SIXTH.
THE ADVANTAGES OF SOLITUDE IN EXILE.
THE advantages of Solitude are not confined to
rank, to fortune, or to circumftances. Fragrant breezes, magnificent forefts, richly tinted meadows, and that endless variety of beautiful objects which the birth of spring spreads over the face of nature, enchant not only Philofophers, Kings, and Heroes, but ravish the mind of the meaneft fpectator with exquifite delight. An English author has very justly observed, that "it is not ne"ceffary that he who looks with pleasure on the "colour of a flower, should study the principles of "vegetation; or that the Ptolemaick and Coperni 66 can systems should be compared, before the light "of the Sun can gladden, or its warmth invigo"rate. Novelty in itself is a source of gratifica"tion; and Milton juftly obferves, that to him "who has been long pent up in cities, no rural "object can be prefented, which will not delight or refresh fome of his fenfes.*"
The lines of Milton upon this fubject are fo extremely beautiful, that we shall make no apology for transcribing them. On Satan's entrance into Paradise,
EXILES themselves frequently experience the advantages and enjoyments of Solitude. Inftead of the world from which they are banished, they form, in the tranquillity of retirement, a new world for themselves; forget the false joys and fictitious pleasures which they followed in the zenith of greatness, habituate their minds to others of a nobler kind, more worthy the attention of rational beings;* and, to pass their days with
EVE feparate he spies,
Veil'd in a cloud of fragrance, where the ftood,
"Nearer he drew, and many a walk traversed
Imbordered on each bank
"Much he the place admir'd, the perfon more.
PARADISE LOST, Book 9, line 438.
* CICERO fays, " Multa præclare DIONYSIUS PHALEREUS non in ufum aliquem fuum, quo erat orbatus ; erat ei quafi quidam humanitatis cibus.”
« in illo exilio fcripfit;
❝ fed animi, cullus ille,
tranquillity, invent a variety of innocent felicities, which are only thought of at a distance from fociety, far removed from all confolation, far from their country, their families, and their friends,
BUT exiles, if they wish to insure happiness in retirement, muft, like other men, fix their minds upon some one object, and adopt the pursuit of it in fuch a way as to revive their buried hopes, or to excite the prospect of approaching pleasure.
MAURICE, Prince of Isenbourg, distinguished himself by his courage during a fervice of twenty years under Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, and Marshal Broglio, and in the war between the Ruffians and the Turks. Health and repose were facrificed to the gratification of his ambition and love of glory, During his service in the Ruffian army, he fell under the displeasure of the Emprefs, and was fent into exile. The calamitous condition to which perfons exiled by this government are reduced is well known; but this philo fophic Prince contrived to render even a Ruffian banishment agreeable. While oppressed both in body and in mind, by the painful reflection which his fituation at firft created, and reduced by his anxieties to a mere skeleton, he accidentally met with the little Effay written by Lord Bolingbroke on the fubject of Exile. He read it feveral
times, and "in proportion to the number of times "I read," said the Prince, in the preface to the elegant and nervous translation he made of this work, "I felt all my forrows and difquietudes vanish."
THIS Effay by Lord Bolingbroke upon Exile is a mafter-piece of ftoic philosophy and fine writing. He there boldly examines all the adverfities of life. "Let us," fays he, " fet all our paft " and present afflictions at once before our eyes: "let us refolve to overcome them, inftead of "flying from them, or wearing out the sense of "them with long and ignominious patience. In❝ftead of palliating remedies, let us use the in"cifion knife and the cauftic, search the wound "to the bottom, and work an immediate and "radical cure."
PERPETUAL banishment, like uninterrupted Solitude, certainly ftrengthens the powers of the mind, and enables the sufferer to collect fufficient force to fupport his misfortunes. Solitude, indeed, becomes an easy fituation to those exiles who are inclined to indulge the pleasing sympathies of the heart; for they then experience pleasures that were before unknown, and from that moment forget those they tafted in the more flourishing and profperous conditions of life.
BRUTUS, when he visited the banished Marcellus in his retreat at Mytilene, found him enjoying the highest felicities of which human nature is fufceptible, and devoting his time, as before his banishment, to the study of every useful fcience. Deeply impreffed by the example this unexpected scene afforded, he felt, on his return, that it was Brutus who was exiled, and not Marcellus whom he left behind. Quintus Metellus Numidicus had experienced the like fate a few years before. While the Roman people, under the guidance of Marius, were laying the foundation of that tyranny which Cafar afterwards completed, Metellus fingly, in the midst of an alarmed Senate, and furrounded by an enraged populace, refused to take the oath imposed by the pernicious laws of the tribune Saturnius; and his intrepid conduct was converted, by the voice of faction, into an high crime against the State; for which he was dragged from his fenatorial feat by the licentious rabble, expofed to the indignity of a public impeachment, and sentenced to perpetual exile. The more virtuous citizens, however, took arms in his defence, and generously resolved rather to perish than behold their country unjustly deprived of so much merit: but this magnanimous Roman, whom no perfuafion could induce to do wrong, declined to increase the confufion of the Commonwealth. by encouraging refiftance, conceiving