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P.S. I have just now learned by accident, that my nephew, a lad of fifteen, who is come to town from Harrow school, and lives at present with me, having seen one of your Numbers about a week ago, , has already written, and intends transmiting you, a political essay, signed Aristides, a pastoral subscribed X.Y., and an acrostic on Miss E. M. without a signature.

No. 16. SATURDAY, March 24, 1779.

O prima vera gioventu de l'anno,
Bella madre di fiori,
D'erbe novelle, e di novelli amori ;
Tu torni ben, ma teco
No tornano i sereni
E fortunati di de le mie gioie.


The effects of the return of spring have been frequently remarked, as well in relation to the human mind, as to the animal and vegetable world. The reviving power of this season has been traced from the fields to the herds that inhabit them, and from the lower classes of beings up to man.

Gladness and joy are described as prevailing through universal nature, animating the low of the cattle, the carol of the birds, and the pipe of the shepherd.

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I know not if it be from a singular, or a censurable disposition, that I have often felt in my own mind something very, different from this gaiety, supposed to be the inseparable attendant of the vernal

Amidst the returning verdure of the earth, the mildness of the air, and the serenity of the sky, I have found a still and quiet melancholy take possession of my soul, which the beauty of the landscape, and the melody of the birds, rather soothed than overcame,

Perhaps some reason may be given why this sort of feeling should prevail over the mind, in those moments of deeper pensiveness to which every thinking mind is liable, more at this time of the year than at any other. Spring, as the renewal of verdure and of vegetation, becomes naturally the season of remembrance. We are surrounded with objects new only in their revival, but which we acknowledge as our acquaintances in the

years that are past. Winter, which stopped the progression of nature, removed them from us for a while, and we meet, like friends long parted, with emotions rather of tenderness than of gaiety.

This train of ideas once awakened, memory follows over a very extensive field. And, in such a disposition of mind, objects of cheerfulness and delight are, from those very qualities, the most adapted to inspire that milder sort of sadness which, in the language of our native bard, is

pleasant and mournful to the soul.” They will inspire this, not only from the recollection of the past, but from the prospect of the future; as an anxious pa, rent, amidst the sportive gaiety of the child, often thinks of the cares of manhood and the sorrows of age.

This effect will, at least, be commonly felt by persons who have lived long enough to see, and had reflection enough to observe, the vicissitudes of life. Even those who have never experienced severe calamities, will find, in the review of their


years, a thousand instances of fallacious promises and disappointed hopes. The dream of childhood, and the project of youth, have vanished to give place to sensations of a very different kind. In the peace and beauty of the rural scene which spring first unfolds to us, we are apt to recal the former state, with an exaggerated idea of its happiness, and to feel the present with increased dissatisfaction.

But the pencil of memory stops not with the representation of ourselves; it traces also the companions and friends of our early days, and marks the changes which they have undergone. It is a dizzy sort of recollection to think over the names of our school-fellows, and to consider how very few of them the maze of accidents, and the sweep of time, have left within our reach. This, however, is less pointed than the reflection on the

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