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In justice, however, to our correspondents, I must add, that they continued to honour us with their favours, notwithstanding the liberties we took with their compositions, and although it was not in our power to explain the reasons which induced us to take those liberties.

“ But, Sir, one never ceasing fur of amusement to us, was communicating the observations we had occasion to hear, in different societies and different companies, upon the Mirror, and its supposed authors. The supercilious, who despised the paper because they did not know by whom it was written, talked of it as a catchpenny performance, carried on by a set of needy and obscure scribblers. Those who entertained a more favourable opinion of it, were apt to fall into an opposite mistake, and to suppose that the Mirror was the production of all the inen of letters in Scotland. This last opinion is not yet entirely exploded, and perhaps has rather gained ground from the favourable reception of the Mirror since its publication in volumes. The last time I was in London I happened to step into Mr. Cadell's shop, and while I was amusing myself in turning over the prints in Cook's last voyage, Lord B came in, and taking up a volume of the Mirror, asked Mr. Cadell, who were the authors of it. Cadell, who did not suspect that I knew any more of the matter than the Great Mogul, answered, that he could not really mention particular names; but he believed that all the literati of Scotland were concerned in it. Lord B walked off, satisfied that this was truly the case; and about a week after I heard him say at Lord M—'s levee, that he was well assured the Mirror was the joint production of all the men of letters in Scotland.

“I will now, Sir, tell you in confidence, that, one of our number excepted, whose writings have long been this or that private person.

Hitherto you

have not offended in this way; and if you continue in the same proper course, I shall drink success to the Lounger at our next anniversary meeting; for you must know, that our Club still meets once a-year on the day our first number was published. There it would do your heart good to hear us talk over the little anecdotes which gave us so much pleasure in the Mirror. I shall propose, Sir, that you be received as a guest at our anniversary next year, that you may see what sort of folks your predecessors were. There is one point in which I trust you will agree with us, and that is, in preferring good claret to port wine. Hoping to have the bonour of drinking a glass of our favourite liquor with you,

“ I am, &c.
A MEMBER OF THE MIRROR CLUB."

I feel myself much honoured by this mark of attention from one of mypredecessors, and much flattered by his approbation. At the same time, I hesitated whether I ought or ought not to publish his letter. Indeed I am not at this moment perfectly clear in my own mind, whether he meant or wished that it should be published. It is written so much in the style of private confidence and friendship, that it seems not to have been intended for the public.Besides, I was aware that the scoffers might be apt to smile at that air of importance with which we authors,' even of periodical sheets, are apt to regard everything which concerns ourselves and our works, and of which, it must be owned, there are some plain enough marks in this letter. Notwithstanding all this, I at length resolved to publish it, partly to gratify my own vanity, and partly because I could in no other shape return my acknowledgements to my correspondent for the notice with which he has been so kind as to honour me. I have only to add, that I have long felt a strong desire to be personally acquainted with the members of the Mirror Club, and therefore I am much pleased with the hint given, in the close of the letter, of an invitation to attend their anniversary meeting.

R

No. 31. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1785.

Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes.

VIRG. GEORG, ïi. 485.

ONĘ of the most natural, as well as one of the purest pleasures, arising from the effect of external objects on the mind, is the enjoyment of rural prospects and rural scenery. The ideas of health, contentment, peace,

and innocence, are so interwoven with those of the country, that their connexion has become proverbial ; and the pleasures arising from it are not only celebrated by those who have experienced their sweets, but they are frequently supposed by thousands to whom they never were known, and described by many by whom they have long been forgotten.

Of them, as of every other enjoyment, the value is enhanced by vicissitude;, and long exclusion is one great ingredient in the delight of their attainment. Few have been so unfortunate as to have an opportunity of forming a full idea of that pleasure which a great state-criminal is said to have felt, when, on being taken from his dungeon, he saw the light, and breathed the open air, tho'but for that short space which conducted him to his scaffold. But it may in

some measure be conceived from the satisfaction which most men have at times experienced in chang. ing the smoky atmosphere and close corrupted vapour of a crowded town, for the pure elastic breeze of a furze-hill, or the balmy perfume of a bean-field.

With such increased enjoyment do I now feel the pleasures of the country, after being, as Milton says,

long in populous city pent. A very pressing invitation from my friend Colonel Caustic prevailed over that indolence, which was always a part of my constitution, and which I feel advanced life nowise tend to diminish. Having one day missed half-adozen acquaintance, one after another, who, I was informed, had gone into the country, I came home in the evening, found a second letter from the Colonel, urging my visit, read part of Virgil's second Georgic, looked from my highest window on the sun just about to set amidst the golden clouds of a beautiful western sky, and, coming down stairs, ordered my man to pack up my portmanteau, and next morning set out for my

friend's country-seat, whence I now address my readers.

To me, who am accustomed to be idle without being vacant, whose thoughts are rather wandering than busy, and whose fancy rather various than vivid, the soft and modest painting of nature in this beautiful retirement of my friend's is particularly suited. Here where I am seated at this moment, in a little shady arbour with a sloping lawn in front covered with some sheep that are resting in the noonday heat, with their lambkins around them; with a grove of pines on the right hand, through which a scarcely stirring breeze is heard faintly to whisper; with a brook on the left, to the gurgle of which the willows on its side seem to listen in silence; this landscape, with a back ground of distant hills, on which one can discover the smoke of the shepherd's been so kind as to honour me. I have only to add, that I have long felt a strong desire to be personally acquainted with the members of the Mirror Club, and therefore I am much pleased with the hint given, in the close of the letter, of an invitation to attend their anniversary meeting.

R

No. 31. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1785.

Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes.

VIRG. GEORG. ii. 485.

One of the most natural, as well as one of the purest pleasures, arising from the effect of external objects on the mind, is the enjoyment of rural prospects and rural scenery. The ideas of health, contentment, peace, and innocence, are so interwoven with those of the country, that their connexion has become proverbial ; and the pleasures arising from it are not only celebrated by those who have experienced their sweets, but they are frequently supposed by thousands to whom they never were known, and described by many by whom they have long been forgotten.

Of them, as of every other enjoyment, the value is enhanced by vicissitude;, and long exclusion is one great ingredient in the delight of their attainment. Few have been so unfortunate as to have an opportunity of forming a full idea of that pleasure which a great state-criminal is said to have felt, when, on being taken from his dungeon, he saw the light, and breathed the open air, tho'but for that short space which conducted him to his scaffold. But it may in

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