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THE hinds how blest, who ne'er beguiled
To quit their hamlet's hawthorn-wild, Nor haunt the crowd, nor tempt the main, For splendid care and guilty gain!
When morning's twilight-tinctured beam Strikes their low thatch with slanting gleam, They rove abroad in ether blue, To dip the scythe in fragrant dew; The sheaf to bind, the beech to fell, That nodding shades a craggy dell.
'Midst gloomy glades, in warbles clear, While Nature's sweetest notes they hear, On green untrodden banks they view The hyacinth's neglected hue. In their lone haunts, and woodland rounds, They spy the squirrel's airy bounds; And startle from her ashen spray, Across the glen, the screaming jay. Each native charm their steps explore Of solitude's sequester'd store.
For then the moon, with cloudless ray, Mounts to illume their homeward way; Their weary spirits to relieve, The meadows' incense breathe at eve, No riot mars the simple fare, That o'er a glimmering hearth they share; But when the curfew's measured roar, Duly, the darkening valleys o'er, Has echo'd from the distant town, They wish no beds of cygnet-down, No trophied canopies, to close Their drooping eyes in quick repose.
Their little sons, who spread the bloom Of health around the clay-built room ; Or through the primrosed coppice stray, Or gambol in the new-mown hay ;
Or quaintly braid the cowslip twine,
Their humble porch with honey'd flowers The curling woodbine's shade embowers : From the small garden's thymy mound Their bees in busy swarms resound : Nor fell disease, before his time, Hastes to consume life's golden prime: But when their temples long have wore The silver crown of tresses hoar; As studious still calm peace to keep, Beneath a flowery turf they sleep.
UNCLE TOBY'S GARDEN CAMPAIGNS.
F the reader has not got a clear conception of the rood and the half of
ground which lay at the bottom of my uncle Toby's kitchen-garden. and which was the scene of so many of his delicious hours, the fault is not in me, but in his imagination, for I am sure I gave him so minute a description, I was almost ashamed of it. My uncle Toby came down, as the reader has been informed, with plans along with him of almost every fortified town in Italy and Flanders; so let the Duke of Marlborough, or the allies, have set down before what town they pleased, my uncle Toby was prepared for them.
His way, which was the simplest one in the world, was this : as soon as ever a town was invested, (but sooner when the design was known,) to take the plan of it, (let it be what town it would,) and enlarge it upon a scale to the exact size of his bowling-green ; upon the surface of which, by means of a large roll of packthread, and a number of small piquets driven into the ground, at the several angles and redans, he transferred the lines from his paper; then taking the profile of the place, with its works, to determine the depths and slopes of the ditches, he set the Corporal to work, and sweetly it went on. The nature of the soil, the nature of the work itself, and, above all, the good-nature of my uncle Toby, sitting by from
orning to night, and chatting kindly with the Corporal upon past-done deeds, left labour little else but the ceremony of the name.
When the place was finished in this manner, and put into a proper posture of defence, it was invested ; and my uncle Toby and the Corporal began to run their first parallel. I beg I may not be interrupted in my story by being told that the first parallel should be at least three hundred toises distant from the main body of the place, and that I have not left a single inch for it; for my uncle Toby took the liberty of encroaching upon his kitchen.garden, for the sake of enlarging his works on the bowling-green ; and, for that reason, generally ran his first and second parallels betwixt two rows of his cabbages and cauliflowers; the conveniences and inconveniences of which will be considered at large in the history of my uncle Toby's campaigns, of which this I 'm now writing is but a sketch.
When the town with its works was finished, my uncle Toby and the
Corporal began to run their first parallel, not at random, or anyhow, but from the same points and distances the allies had begun to run theirs; and regulating their approaches and attacks by the accounts my uncle Toby received from the daily papers, they went on, during the whole siege, step by step, with the allies. When the Duke of Marlborough inade a lodgment, my uncle Toby made a lodgment too; and when the face of a bastion was battered down, or a defence ruined, the Corporal took his mattock and did as much ; and so on, gaining ground, and making themselves masters of the works, one after another, till the town fell into their hands. To one who took pleasure in the happy state of others, there could not have been a greater sight in the world, than on a post-morning, in which a practicable breach had been made by the Duke of Marlborough in the main body of the place, to have stood behind the hornbeam hedge, and observed the spirit with which my uncle Toby, with Trim behind him, sallied forth, the one with the Gazette in his hand, the other with a spade on his shoulder, to execute the contents. What an honest triumph in my uncle Toby's looks as he marched up to the ramparts! what intense pleasure swimming in his eye as he stood over the Corporal, reading the paragraph ten times over to him, as he was at work, lest, peradventure, he should make the breach an inch too wide, or leave it an inch too narrow! But when the chamade was beat, and the Corporal helped my uncle up it, and followed with the colours in his hand, to fix them upon the ramparts,-Heaven! Earth! Sea!
- But what avail apostrophes ?--with all your elements, wet or dry, ye never compounded so intoxicating a draught.
In this track of happiness, for many years, without one interruption to it, except now and then when the wind continued to blow due west for a week or ten days together, which detained the Flanders mail, and kept them so long in torture,—but still it was the torture of the happy,-in this track, I say, did
uncle Toby and Trim move for many years, every year of which, and sometimes every month, from the invention of either the one or the other of them, adding some new conceit or quirk of improvement to their operations, which always opened fresh springs of delight in carrying them on. The first year's campaign was carried on, from beginning to end, in the plain and simple method I 've related. In the second year, in which my uncle Toby took Liege and Ruremond, he thought he might afford the expense of four handsome drawbridges. At the latter end of