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The pensive Sceptic of the lonely vale
To those acknowledgments subscribed his own,
With a sedate compliance, which the Priest
Failed not to notice, inly pleased, and said :
“ If ye, by whom invited I began
These narratives of calm and humble life,
Be satisfied, 't is well, the end is gained ;
And in return for sympathy bestowed
And patient listening, thanks accept from me.

- Life, death, eternity! momentous themes 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 From what the place afforded, have been given

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Though apprehensions crossed me that my zeal
To his might well be likened, who unlocks
A cabinet stored with gems and pictures,

His treasures forth, soliciting regard
To this, and this, as worthier than the last,
Till the spectator, who awhile was pleased
More than the exhibiter himself, becomes
Weary and faint, and longs to be released.

But let us hence! my dwelling is in siglit, And there

At this the Solitary shrunk 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 scorn, If consciousness could reach him where he lies That one, albeit of these degenerate times, Deploring changes past, or dreading change Foreseen, had dared to couple, even in thought, The fine vocation of the sword and lance With the gross aims and body-bending toil Of a poor brotherhood who walk the earth Pitied, and, where they are not known, despise...

“ 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 burden, traverse hill and dale, Carrying relief for nature's simple wants.

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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 favorite boast)
Is bountiful, — go wheresoe'er they may;
Kind Nature's various wealth is all their own.
Versed in the characters of men ; and bound,
By ties of daily interest, to maintain
Conciliatory manners and smooth speech ;
Such have been, and still are in their degree,
Examples efficacious to refine
Rude intercourse ; apt agents to expel,
By importation of unlooked-for arts,
Barbarian torpor, and blind prejudice ;
Raising, through just gradation, savage life
To rustic, and the rustic to urbane.
- Within their moving magazines is lodged
Power that comes forth to quicken and exalt
Affections seated in the mother's breast,
And in the lover's fancy; and to feed
The sober sympathies of long-tried friends.
- By these Itinerants, as experienced men,
Counsel is given; contention they appease

With gentle language; in remotest wilds,
Tears wipe away, and pleasant tidings bring;
Could the proud quest of chivalry do more ?"

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Happy,” rejoined the Wanderer, “they who gain A panegyric from your generous tongue! But, if to these Wayfarers once pertained Aught of romantic interest, it is gone. Their purer service, in this realm at least, Is past for ever.

An inventive Age llas wrought, if not with speed of magic, yet To most strange issues. I have lived to mark A new and unforeseen creation rise From out the labors of a peaceful Land Wielding her potent enginery to frame And to produce, with appetite as keen As that of war, which rests not night or day, Industrious to destroy! With fruitless pains Might one like me now visit many a tract Which in his youth he trod, and trod again, A lone pedestrian with a scanty freight, Wished for, or welcome, wheresoe'er he came, Among the tenantry of thorpe and vill, Or straggling burgh, of ancient charter proud, And dignified by battlements and towers Of some stern castle, mouldering on the brow Of a green hill or bank of rugged stream. The footpath faintly marked, the horse-track wild, And formidable length of plashy lane, (Prized avenues ere others had been shaped,

Or easier links connecting place with place.)
Have vanished, — swallowed up by stately roads
Easy and bold, that penetrate the gloom
Of Britain's farthest glens. The Earth has lent
Her waters, Air her breezes ; and the sail
Of traffic glides with ceaseless intercourse,
Glistening along the low and woody dale ;
Or, in its progress, on the lofty side
Of some bare hill with wonder kenned from far.

From the germ

“ Meanwhile, at social Industry's command,
How quick, how vast an increase !
Of some poor hamlet, rapidly produced
Here a huge town, continuous and compact,
Hiding the face of earth for leagues, — and there.
Where not a habitation stood before,
Abodes of men irregularly massed
Like trees in forests, — spread through spacious

O'er which the smoke of unremitting fires
Hangs permanent, and plentiful as wreaths
Of vapor glittering in the morning sun.
And, wheresoe'er the traveller turns his steps,
He sees the barren wilderness erased,
Or disappearing ; triuinplı that proclaims
How much the mild Directress of the plough
wes to alliance with these new-born arts !

Hence is the wide sea peopled, — hence the shores
Of Britain are resorted to by ships
Freighted from every climate of the world

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