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Pastor's apology and apprehensions that he might have detained his Auditors too long, with the Pastor's invitation to his house-Solitary disinclined to comply-rallies the Wanderer-and playfully draws a comparison between his itinerant profession and that of the Knight-errant-which leads to Wanderer's giving an account of changes in the Country from the manufacturing spirit.-Favourable effects.-The other side of the picture, and chiefly as it has affected the humbler classes.-Wanderer asserts the hollowness of all national grandeur if unsupported by moral worth.-Physical science unable to support itself. Lamentations over an excess of manufacturing industry among the humbler Classes of Society.-Picture of a Child employed in a Cotton-mill.-Ignorance and degradation of Children among the agricultural Population reviewed.-Conversation broken off by a renewed Invitation from the Pastor.-Path leading to his House. Its appearance described. His Daughter. His Wife.-His Son (a Boy) enters with his Companion. Their happy appearance. —The Wanderer how affected by the sight of them.
THE pensive Sceptic of the lonely vale
Life, death, eternity! momentous themes 10 Are they-and might demand a seraph's tongue, Were they not equal to their own support; And therefore no incompetence of mine Could do them wrong. The universal forms Of human nature, in a spot like this, Present themselves at once to all men's view: Ye wished for act and circumstance, that make The individual known and understood; And such as my best judgment could select 19 From what the place afforded, have been given; Though apprehensions crossed me that my zeal To his might well be likened, who unlocks A cabinet stored with gems and picturesdraws
His treasures forth, soliciting regard
To this, and this, as worthier than the last, 25 Till the spectator, who awhile was pleased More than the exhibitor himself, becomes
Weary and faint, and longs to be released. -But let us hence! my dwelling is in sight, And there-"
At this the Solitary shrunk 30 With backward will; but, wanting not address That inward motion to disguise, he said To his Compatriot, smiling as he spake;
"The peaceable remains of this good Knight Would be disturbed, I fear, with wrathful
If consciousness could reach him where he lies
Yet, by the good Knight's leave, the two estates
Are graced with some resemblance. Errant those,
Exiles and wanderers-and the like are these; Who, with their burthen, traverse hill and dale, Carrying relief for nature's simple wants.
-What though no higher recompense be sought Than honest maintenance, by irksome toil Full oft procured, yet may they claim respect, Among the intelligent, for what this course Enables them to be and to perform. Their tardy steps give leisure to observe, While solitude permits the mind to feel; Instructs, and prompts her to supply defects. By the division of her inward self
For grateful converse: and to these poor men Nature (I but repeat your favourite boast)
Is bountiful-go wheresoe'er they may;
Rude intercourse; apt agents to expel,
-Within their moving magazines is lodged
"Happy," rejoined the Wanderer, "they who
A panegyric from your generous tongue!