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mingled with, and eventually issuing from, all the variety of human trials.

But, independent of all this, my venerated dwelling-place still stands out to my regard with all the solemn interest of a place, in which the good-the wise—and the renowned have flourished -- which has been coeval with a system of opinions and institutions which are now fast passing away—and of which I am, to all human appearance, to be the last inhabitant—and therefore the appropriate herald of its funeral honours.

And can I better employ the quiet which I enjoy, and the leisure that has so abundantly fallen

share-while so many thousands are overwhelmed with the tormenting cares, or distracted by the feverish contentions, or harassed by the ceaseless employments of life,-than in calmly comparing the times that are past, with those which are now in progress--or which, in all human probability, are yet to come forth ? Great lessons cannot but be involved in every such review, when it is impartially and carefully conducted ;--and, in times like the present, these lessons furnish, perhaps, the very best compensation which it is

pos. sible to obtain for the many evils with which great changes are fraught, and for the temporary de

to my

rangement of all private and public comfort, which they unavoidably generate. Perhaps, too, when both my old house and my

: self shall have passed away–when other homes, other men, and other times—shall have taken place of those which now meet our eyes,—when, at any rate, a new system of opinions and of institutions, in all probability, shall have come forth—and when those who then live shall be in a condition to estimate more impartially than any living man can do, both the good of the days that are past, and the exaggerated hopes that are now entertained of those that are to follow them--perhaps then, the history and character of the old house may awaken some small portion of interest—and this

my

affectionate memorial of its times and its inhabitants-a memorial which was framed within its walls, and inspired by its recollections, may serve to perpetuate the remembrance of a home, which had not many external attractions beside the romantic beauty of its situation-but to which a fate of more than ordinary distinction was granted by Providence-and which, at any rate, may be regarded as a symbol of the times, the opinions, the tastes, and the transitions amidst which it flourished—and with whose decline it also went to the dust.

PAST TIMES.

« The bright and glorious past.”

ANONYMOUS.

“ Great Britain, in the course she seems at present disposed to pursue, requires a mind less imbued than mine, with ancient recollections.”

TALLEYRAND.

There is at all times great folly—to say no worse -in the disposition which some men manifest to speak of all the past, in terms of unmeasured ridicule and contempt--to believe that in the days which are gone, there could be nothing truly “bright and glorious”--that darkness and folly are the only attributes that can be considered as justly applicable to all that has occurred--and that the future or the present only are the periods of which

brightness and glory” can, with any propriety, be predicated.

There is, I say, at all times great folly—at the least—in this habit of speaking and thinking ;--for the state of society, at almost any period, is suited to the time in which it has occurred-and nothing

is more certain than that the ages of “great lights," --and of great talents or great virtues, are not always

the same-men of the most gigantic stature in mind and in heart, as well as in physical structure, having often adorned the ages of comparative ignorance—and actions having been performed in such periods, which, so long as history is cultivated, will be recorded among the most brilliant exploits of human energy and human skill. Such ages, too, are often as distinguished for the happiness which prevailed in them, as for the energies they called forth, or the great men which they formed. And, as in private life, it is true that there is often more peace and enjoyment in the cottage of the peasant than in either the palace of the monarch or in the school of the sage, so in the different periods of human society, its earliest, and what we are sometimes disposed to reckon its rudest and least cultivated periods, are often far more productive of the truest happiness of life, than times when the lights of knowledge are supposed to be more widely spread, or the attainments of the human race to have reached a far more advanced state of their progress.

. But, if there be at all times folly in underrating either the talents or the happiness of past times, there is also occasionally something far worse than

folly in the disposition which men shew to speak with ridicule or contempt of the ages that have preceded them ;-there are times when the human mind becomes perverted in all its most natural and becoming sentiments—and as in private life there are persons who, when they have gained a station above that of the home from which they have sprung, cast all their earliest recollections behind them, and permit themselves to indulge in the very worst and most unjustifiable feelings towards persons and scenes which they ought never to have thought or spoken of but with veneration and delight-so in society generally, there are periods when the minds of the community undergo a similar perversion, and when, especially, amidst extravagant anticipations of coming good to the world, and of an entire change in all its hitherto established institutions, they feel no compunction in uttering the most unmeasured expressions of scorn respecting periods which ought for ever to have been hallowed in their imaginations—but, of which they are induced to speak harshly, only because they feel themselves in a condition to put forth a violent and destructive hand against all that these past years or ages contained.

And who could have supposed, but a few years ayo, that a time would ever come when the “ bright

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