Contentment of a great mind
--In these days of mad pursuit of immense riches and vast estates it is refreshing to read such a passage as the following, from "Memorials of His Time," by that eminent Scottish jurist, Lord Cockburn:
In March, 1811, I married, and set up my rural household gods at Bonely, close by the northern base of the Pentland hills
, and unless some avenging angel shall expel me, I shall never leave that Paradise.
I began by an annual lease of a few square yards and a scarcely habitable farm house But, realizing the preparations of autumn, I have destroyed a village and erected a town, and reached the dignity of a twenty acres laird.
Everything except the few old trees and the mountains are my own work, and, to a great extent, the work of my own hands.
Human nature is incapable of enjoying more happiness than has been my lot here, where the glories of the prospects and the luxury of the wild retirement have been all enhanced by the progress of my improvements, of my children, and of myself.
I have been too happy, and often tremble in the anticipation that the cloud must come at last.
says that there was not a bush in his garden on which he had not hung a speculation.
There is not a recess in the valleys of the Pentland, nor an eminence on their summits, that is not familiar to my solitude.
One summer I read every word of Tacitus
in the shattered crevice of a rock (called "My Seat") about 800 feet above the level of the sea, with the most magnificent of scenes stretched out before me."
What scanty materials for happiness would these seem to frivolous pleasure hunters, and to minds devoured by inordinate ambition.