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he quits the chastised summer of our temperate clime for those regions where a perpetual Summer reigns, exalted by such superior degrees of solar heat as give an entirely new face to almost every part of nature. The terrific grandeur prevalent in some of these, the exquifite richness and beauty in others, and the novelty in all, afford such a happy variety for the poet's selection, that we need not wonder if some of his noblest pieces are the product of this delightful excursion. He returns, however, with apparent fatiffaction, to take a laft survey of the softer summer of our island; and, after clofing the prospect of terreftrial beauties, artfully shifts the scene to celestial {plendours, which, though perhaps not more striking in this season than in some of the others, are now alone agreeable objects of contemplation in a northern climate.

Autumn is too eventful a period in the history of the

year within the temperate parts of the globe, to require foreign aid for rendering' it more varied and interesting. The promise of the Spring is now fulfilled. The filent and gradual process of maturation is completed; and Human Industry beholds with triumph the rich products of its toil. The vegetable tribes disclose their infinitely various forms of fruit ; ·

which term, while, with respect to common use, it is confined to a few peculiar modes of fructification, in the more comprehensive language of the Naturalist includes every product of vegetation by which the rudiments of a future progeny are developed, and separated from the parent plant. These are in part collected and stored up by those animals for whose fuftenance during the ensuing sleep of nature they are provided. The rest, furnished with various contrivances for dissemination, are scattered, by the friendly winds which now begin to blow, over the surface of that earth which they are to clothe and decorate. The young of the animal race, which Spring and Summer had brought forth and cherished, having now acquired fufficient vigour, quit their concealments, and offer themselves to the pursuit of the carnivorous among their fellow-animals, and of the great destroyer man. Thus the scenery is enlivened with the various sports of the hunter; which, however repugnant they may appear to that system of general benevolence and sympathy which philosophy would inculcate, have ever afforded a moft agreeable exertion to the human powers, and have much to plead in their favour as a necessary part of the great plan of Nature. Indeed, the marks her intention

with fufficient precision, by refusing to grant any longer those friendly shades which had grown for the protection of the infant offspring. The grove loses its honours; but before they are entirely tarnished, an adventitious beauty, arising from that gradual decay which loosens the withering leaf, gilds the autumnal landscape with a temporary splendour, fuperior to the verdure of Spring, or the luxuriance of Summer. The infinitely various and ever-changing hues of the leaves at this season, melting into every soft gradation of tint and shade, have long engaged the imitation of the painter, and are equally happy ornaments in the description of the poet.

These unvarying fymptoms of approaching Winter now warn several of the winged tribes to prepare for their aërial voyage to those happy climates of perpetual summer, where no deficiency of food or shelter can ever distress them; and about the same time other fowls of hardier conftitution, which are contented with escaping the iron winters of the arctic regions, arrive to supply the vacancy.

Thus the striking scenes afforded by that wonderful part of the ecoRomy of Naturs, the migration of birds, present themselves at this season to the poet. The thickening fogs, the heavy rains, the swoln rivers, while


they deform this finking period of the year, add new subjects to the pleasing variety which reigns through. out its whole course, and which justifies the poet's character of it, as the season when the Mufe " beft exerts her voice."

Winter, directly opposite as it is in other respects to Summer, yet resembles it in this, that it is a Season in which Nature is employed rather in secretly preparing for the mighty changes which it fucceffively brings to light, than in the actual exhibition of them. It is therefore a period equally barren of events; and has still less of animation than Summer, inasmuch as lethargic insensibility is a state more diftant from vital energy than the languor of indolent repose. From the fall of the leaf, and withering of the herb, an unvarying death-like torpor oppresses almost the whole vegetable creation, and a consider able part of the animal, during this entire portion of the year. The whole insect race, which filled every part of the Summer landscape with life and motion, are now either buried in profound sleep, or actually no longer exist, except in the unformed rudiments of a future progeny. Many of the birds and quadru. peds are retired to concealments, from which not even the calls of hunger can force them; and the rest, in,

tent only on the preservation of a joyless being, have ceased to exert those powers of pleasing, which, at other seasons, so much contribute to their mutual happiness, as well as to the amusement of their human sovereign. Their social connexions, however, are improved by their wants. In order the better to procure their scanty subsistence, and refift the inclemencies of the sky, they are taught by instinct to afsemble in flocks; and this provision has the secondary effect of gratifying the fpectator with something of novelty and action even in the dreariness of a wintry prospect.

But it is in the extraordinary changes and agitations which the elements and the surrounding atmosphere undergo during this season, that the poet of nature must principally look for relief from the gloomy uniformity reigning through other parts of the creation. Here scenes are presented to his view, which, were they less frequent, mult strike with wonder and admiration the most incurious spectator. The effects of cold are more sudden, and in many instances more extraordinary and unexpected, than those of heat. He who has beheld the vegetable productions of even a northern Summer, will not be greatly amazed at the richer, and more luxuriant, but still resembling,

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