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penitence but in the atonement made for human frailty by the Redeemer of mankind; and no strength adequate to his weakness, and sufficient for resisting evil, but the aid of God's Spirit, promised to those who seek such from above in the sincerity of earnest prayer.”
From the moment when he had fully contracted these opinions, he was resolved upon devoting his life to the promulgation of them; and therefore to leave the law, and, if possible, place himself at one of the universities. Every argument was used by his friends to dissuade him from his purpose, but to no effect; his mind was unalterably fixed, and great and numerous as the obstacles
he was determined to surmount them all. He had now served the better half of the term for which he was articled: his entrance and continuance in the profession had been a great expense to his family; and to give up this lucrative profession, in the study of which he had advanced so far, and situated as he was, for one wherein there was so little prospect of his obtaining even a decent competency, appeared to them the height of folly or of madness. This determination cost his poor mother many tears; but determined he was, and that by the best and purest motives. Without ambition he could not have existed ; but his ambition now was to be eminently useful in the ministry.
It was Henry's fortune through his short life, as he was worthy of the kindest treatment, always to find it. His employers, Mr. Coldham and Mr.
Enfield, listened with a friendly ear to his plans, and agreed to give up the remainder of his time, though it was now become very valuable to them, as soon as they should think his prospects of getting through the university were such as he might reasonably trust to; but, till then, they felt themselves bound, for his own sake, to detain him. Mr. Dashwood, a clergyman, who at that time resided in Nottingham, exerted himself in his favour: he had a friend at Queen's College, Cambridge, who mentioned him to one of the fellows of St. John's, and that gentleman, on the representations made to him of Henry's talents and piety, spared no effort to obtain for him an adequate support.
As soon as these hopes were held out to him, his employers gave him a month's leave of absence, for the benefit of uninterrupted study, and of change of air, which his health now began to require. Instead of going to the sea-coast, as was expected, he chose for his retreat the village of Wilford, which is situated on the banks of the Trent, and at the foot of Clifton Woods. These woods had ever been his favourite place of resort, and were the subject of the longest poem in his little volume, from which, indeed, the volume was named. He delighted to point out to his more intimate friends the scenery of this poem: the islet to which he had often forded when the river was not knee-deep; and the little hut wherein he had sat for hours, and sometimes all day long, reading or writing, or dreaming with his eyes open. He had sometimes wandered in these woods till night was
far advanced, and used to speak with pleasure of having once been overtaken there by a thunderstorm at midnight, and watching the lightning over the river and the vale towards the town.
In this village his mother procured lodgings for him, and his place of retreat was kept secret, except from his nearest friends. Soon after the expiration of the month, intelligence arrived that the plans which had been formed in his behalf had entirely failed. He went immediately to his mother: “All my hopes,” said he, “ of getting to the University are now blasted; in preparing myself for it, I have lost time in my profession; I have much ground to get up; and as I am determined not to be a mediocre attorney, I must endeavour to recover what I have lost.”
The consequence was, that he applied himself more severely than ever to his studies. He now allowed himself no time for relaxation, little for his meals, and scarcely any for sleep. He would read till one, two, three o'clock in the morning; then throw himself on the bed, and rise again to his work at five, at the call of a larum, which he had fixed to a Dutch clock in his chamber. Many nights he never lay down at all. It was in vain that his mother used every possible means to dissuade him from this destructive application. In this respect, and in this only one, was Henry undutiful, and neither commands, nor tears, nor entreaties, could check his desperate and deadly ardor. At one time she went every night into his room, to put out his candle: as soon as he heard her coming up stairs, he used to hide
it in a cupboard, throw himself into bed, and affect sleep while she was in the room; then, when all was quiet, rise again, and pursue his baneful studies.
“ The night,” says Henry, in one of his letters, “ has been every thing to me; and did the world know how I have been indebted to the hours of repose, they would not wonder that night-images are, as they judge, so ridiculously predominant in my verses." During some of these midnight hours he indulged himself in complaining, but in such complaints that it is to be wished more of them had been found among his papers.
ODE ON DISAPPOINTMENT.
Come, Disappointment, come!
Not in thy terrors clad;
But I recline
Beneath thy shrine, And round my brow, resign’d, thy peaceful cypress twine.
Though Fancy flies away
Before thy hollow tread,
And though the tear
By chance appear,
Come, Disappointment, come!
Though from Hope's summit hurld,
Still, rigid Nurse, thou art forgiven,
To turn my eye
What is this passing scene ?
A peevish April day!
Man (soon discuss'd)
Yields up his trust, And all his hopes and fears lie with him in the dust.
Oh, what is beauty's power?
It flourishes and dies;
Mute, mute is all
O'er beauty's fall; Her praise resounds no more when mantled in her pall.
The most beloved on earth
Not long survives to-day;
Thus does the shade
In memory fade,
Then since the world is vain,
And volatile and fleet,