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been guilty of some ill thing, for which they did not dare to fhew their faces. The beauty and ftateliness of the trees which he faw then for the first time, as in his own island there grows not a fhrub, equally furprized and delighted him but he obferved, with a kind of terror, that as he passed among their branches, they pulled him back again. He had been perfuaded to drink a pretty large dose of strong waters; and upon finding himfelf drowsy after it, and ready to fall into a flumber, which he fancied was to be his last, he expreffed to his companions the great fatisfaction he felt in so easy a paffage out of this world: for, faid he, it is attended with no kind of pain.
Among such sort of men it was that Aurelius fought refuge from the violence and cruelty of his enemies.
The time appears to have been towards the latter part of the reign of King Charles the fecond: when those who governed Scotland under him, with no lefs cruelty than impolicy, made the people of that country defperate; and then plundered, imprisoned, or butchered them, for the natural effects of fuch defpair. The best and worthiest men were oft the objects of their moft unrelenting fury. Under the title of fanatics, or feditious, they affected to herd, and of course perfecuted, whoever wished well to his country, or ventured to stand up in defence of the laws and a legal government. I have now in my hands the copy of a warrant, figned by King Charles himself, for military execution upon them without procefs or conviction: and I know that the original is still kept in the secretary's office for that part of the united kingdom. Thus much I thought it neceffary
to fay, that the reader may not be misled to look upon the relation given by Aurelius in the second canto, as drawn from the wantonnefs of imagination, when it hardly arises to strict historical truth.
What reception this poem may meet with, the author cannot foresce: and, in his humble, but happy retirement, he needs not be over-anxious to know. He has endeavoured to make it one regular and confiftent whole; to be true to nature in his thoughts, and to the genius of the language in his manner of expreffing them. If he has fucceeded in these points, but above all in effectually touching the paffions, which, as it is the genuine province, fo is it the great triumph, of poetry; the candor of his more difcerning readers will readily overlook mistakes or failures in things of lefs importance.
TO MRS. MALLET.
THOU faithful partner of a heart thy own,
AR in the watery waste, where his broad wave
From world to world the vast Atlantic rolls,
On from the piny fhores of Labrador
To frozen Thulé east, her airy height
Of pleasing bane, that foothes at once and kills,
That lives to reafon; ancient Faith that binds
In love and union; Innocence of ill
Their guardian genius: thefe," the powers that rule
Daughter of heaven and nature, deign thy aid, 40 Spontaneous Mufe! O whether from the depth Of evening forest, brown with broadest shade; Or from the brow fublime of vernal alp As morning dawns; or from the vale at noon, By some soft stream that flides with liquid foot Through bowery groves, where Inspiration fits And fiftens to thy lore, aufpicious come! O'er thefe wild waves, o'er this unharbour'd fhore,
Thy wing high-hovering spread; and to the gale,
Here, good Aurelius-and a scene more wild
That faw him bleft, now wretched and unknown,
Wore out the flow remains of setting life
In bitterness of thought: and with the furge,
And with the founding storm, his murmur'd moan
Th' unhappy paft recall'd; a faithful wife,
Whom Love firft chofe, whom Reafon long endear'd, 65
With one fair daughter, in her rofy prime,
If this was life, to load the blast with fighs;