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tinguished praise; it appears strange to me that men should be valued for their superabundant wealth, when that wealth is employed entirely for the support of false wants, lawful vice, or destructive luxury. Did every man who is in possession of more riches than he can usefully employ for his own necessities, aid those of his fellow.creatures who were in distress, or who required a small sum to forward their means of existence, he would then indeed be worthy of praise and honour; even though his mind was not highly cultivated. And this mode of employing. superabundant wealth can alone render the possessor respectable in the sight of every good and great man in this world, and insure him eternal bliss hereafter.
Notwithstanding I found the influence of wealth was amazingly powerful and extensive upon society, as it is at present organized, I perceived that knowledge was yet, and ever must be, the only power that could not be affected by adventitious circumstances, and which alone could extend its influence to after-ages, even unto all eternity.
I soon perceived that a handful of highly intellectual men, supported and wielded all the
nations of the world, and led the rest of their species by the nose, or directed them in what manner they thought proper, making them submit, upon all occasions, to the laws which they had formed; and, in fact, making use of all the human species according to their own will.
All that I saw, and all that I read, inflamed my ardent imagination with the love of learning, and being determined to perfect my education by all the advantages I could obtain, I solicited my father to send me to the university of Cambridge, where I remained until my twenty-first year. Having, during my abode there, perfected myself in the mathematics and the classics, I was now considered as a most excellent scholar, by all the students and professors of the various colleges, and my fame spread abroad with great rapidity.
Finding that I should not gain more by a longer stay at Cambridge, than I could now obtain by study at home, I took my
final leave of the university, in which I had laid such a noble ground-work for a compleat education, and returned to my paternal roof.
house, than I began to divide my time between the sports of the field, and the intensity of my studies. I found great advantages from this division of my time. The delighful diversions of the field, formed a pleasing re: laxation, from which I derived more advantages than many pretended' wiseacres (who af. fect to despise all rural sports, because they have no relish for them) would imagine.
My constitution, which was not naturally strong, was by these means rendered extremely hardy, I found my spirits greatly exhilarated by having my imagination perpetually employed upon pleasing objects. I found my mind be. came expanded by the frequent excursions I made amongst the grand and beautiful ob. jects of nature, and I am indebted to the sports of the field for planting resources of perpetual pleasure in my mind, which I be. lieve I should otherwise never have attained, I mean for teaching me how to relish the beauties of Nature, to which I found myself gradually becoming so much attached, that I could afterwards scarcely endure the confinement of a town.
Another very material advantage accrued
to me from indulgencies of this nature; I always returned with increased ardour to the delights of study, after I had enjoyed a few hours sporting amongst the wild recesses of the neighbouring country.
But to detain you no longer upon this, comparatively, inactive period of my life, I will hasten to a more interesting one, wherein I have to relate those few important incidents which together, concurred to wean me from all connections with society, and place me amongst my native rocks and mountains, there to dwell in peace and solitary happiness, surrounded by all the animate, and inanimate beauties of the creation, and where
“ Th’unbusied shepherd, stretch'd beneath the hawthoro,
The books I had read during my solitude had fired my mind with an ardent desire to see more of the world than I was yet acquainted with, for notwithstanding my long acquaintance with my fellow-students, and have ing never made, any extensive excursions, I was, comparatively, very, ignorant, of the then present state of society, and knew still less of the geneal face of the country.
Being determined to commence my travels without any further delay, I proceeded to Inverness, which is considered the metropolis of the northern districts of Scotland, in order to proceed through the western Highlands, and enter England by the way of Cumberland, with the intention of continuing my route first through Great Britain, and afterwards to visit the most interesting of the continental nations of Europe. The first part of this tour I have always considered as the most delightful period of my life, and I shall with pleasure recount its principal incidents.