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you and themselves, and to drown their reflections amid the pride and pomp of their palaces established at a remoter distance from you*. -Yes, ye Tombs ! 'tis you, who punish the powerful oppressor; 'tis you, who wrest from the hands of the merciless extortioner his ill gotten pelf, and avenge the wrongs of the distressed, who have become the victims of his rapacity. 'Tis you, who humble the proud heart of the wealthy favourite of fortune by a restless brood of upstart cares and anxieties, and take ample reprisals for all the painful privations of the sons of poverty. "Tis you, who afford a consolatory asylum to the aching bosom of the unfortunate, where aflliction, with all the lingering catalogue of sighs and tears that sorrow is heir to, shall close its account. In a word, 'tis you, who give to the mind that just equipoise, that uniform degree of energy and sensibility, in which the whole wisdom and philosophy of life consist. Conscious that all human posessions are held only by an uncertain and precarious tenure and must be yielded up to you at the last, the man of reflection, rich within himself, leaves to the groveling and luxurious worldling the delusive pleasures of short-lived grandeur and useles superfluity: he makes equity the moral circumference of his actions, the horrizon that bounds his every wish and erery thought : yet, not forgetful of the duty he owes to society, and unwilling that the portion of life that is allotted him should become a blank, he calculates the industrious moments of his existence by their utility, and enjoys with gratitude and moderation those blessings, which the bounty of nature has bestowed upon him. 'Tis thus ye give a salutary check to the impetuosity and greedy excursions of inordinate desire : 'tis thus ye calm the feverish tumult of sensual enjoyments: 'tis thus the soul finds in you a repose from the hurricane and storin of the jarring passions: and 'tis thus ye exalt it above all sordid and paltry interests at once the torment and delight of vulgar minds, while the understanding, perched on the lofty summit of your towering heights, looks around through the wide expanse of ages and of nations, and by wedding its attention to none but great and noble affections, frames to itself the most sublime and solid ideas of glory and virtue.
* It was on account of the steeple of the church of St. Dennis, where the Kings of France were interred, being so visible an ob. ject from the palace of St. Germain, that Louis the Fourteenth could pot endure to reside at this seat, though it was most admirably situi. ated.. This very circumstance induced him to build in the forests the palace of Versailles, which was eventually the ruin of his hereditary enpire.
But alas! when this fleeting dream of human existence shall be terminated, to what purpose will all this bustle of life, these impassioned agitations and emotions of the heart have conduced, if they leave behind them no traces of utility ?
Once more will I revisit you ye venerable ruins ! to receive your instructive lessons, and embellish my mind with your hoary truths! Once more will I resume my place among you to enjoy the sequestered privacy of your engaging and peaceful solitude: where, far secluded from the afflictive spectacle of the warring passions, I will love my own species in the affectionate feelings of recollection, and, while I am studying to advance the universal happiness of my fellow-creatures, I will build my own on the pleasing belief that I have accelerated theirs.