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Page:Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since.djvu/16

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as if in defiance of the bowing cloud. To hear the voice of Nature in passionate strife, and at the same moment to gaze upon her slumbering calmness; to be lost in contemplation upon the moral contrast, then startled into awe by her strong features of majesty; leave the mind uncertain whether, in this secluded temple, beauty ought most to charm, or awe to enchain it, or devotion to absorb all other sensations in reverence to the invisible God.

Retracing our steps to the northern division of Norwich, we find a society remarkable for the preservation of primitive habits. There, was exhibited the singular exam ple of an aristocracy, less intent upon family aggrandizement, than upon becoming illustrious in virtue; and of a community where industry and economy almost banished want. Domestic subordination taught the young to honour the old, while the temperance and regularity which prevailed gave to age both contentment and health. The forty years, which have elapsed since the period of this sketch, have wrought many changes; but some features of similarity remain. That luxury which enervates character, and undermines the simple principles of justice, and charity, has found its ravages circumscribed by the example of those to whom wealth gave influence. An unusual number of individuals, whose first steps were in humble life, have risen to the possession of riches, not by fortunate accidents, or profuse gains, by lotteries or by war, but through an industry which impoverished none,