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Wesley on a Country Life

Monday, November 3.--I rode to Brentford from London, where all was quiet, both in the congregation and the society. Tuesday, 4. I preached af Brentford, Battersea, Deptford and Welling, and examined the several societies. Wednesday, 5. I rode by Shoreham to Sevenoaks. In the little journeys which I have lately taken, have thought much on the huge encomiums which have been for many ages bestowed on a country life. How have all the learn world cried out,

O fortunate nimium, sua si bona norint,

Agricolml


But, after all, what a flat contradiction is this to  universal experience! See that little house, under the wood, by the riverside! There is rural life in perfection. How happy then is the farmer that lives there? Let us take a detail of his happiness. He rises with, or before, the sun, calls his servants, looks to his swine and cows, then to his stables and barns. He sees to the ploughing and sowing his ground, in winter or in spring. In summer and autumn he hurries and sweats among his mowers and reapers. And where is his happiness in the meantime? Which of these employments do we envy? Or do we envy the delicate repast that succeeds, which the poet so languishes for?

O quindo faba, Pythagorm cognate, simulque

Uncta satis pingui ponentur oluscula lardo!

 

"Oh, the happiness of eating beans well greased with fat bacon! Nay, and cabbage, tool"--Was Horace in his senses when he talked thus, or the servile herd of his imitators? Our eyes and ears may convince us there is not a less happy body of men in all England than the country farmers. In general their life is supremely dull; and it is usually unhappy too. For of all people in the kingdom they are most discontented, seldom satisfied either with God or man.

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