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I began in some measure to unravel this scene of iniquity: what I had beheld afforded some clue to my conjectures. My mind began to comprehend the meaning of the mysterious lines in the library; part of which had been explained by what I had heard from Antoni. Whatever obscurity remained in my mind with respect to this adventure, I knew enough, I knew too much, not to foresee it would terminate in a tragical catastrophe, if I suffered it to remain hidden in the darkness of the Cavern. There was no hope that the heart of Olympia, so long harden
ed, would at last relent; every
thing was to be feated from so infamous a woman, to whom guilt was pleasure. On the other hand admitting the possibility of an union between two individuals of such opposite characters, it could only be at the expence of their mutual tranquillity, as well as in violation of every principle of morality.— By such an union the innocent Antoni would have been condemned to admit to his bed the murderer of his mistress; and the guilty Olympia would receive the hand of Antoni as the price of blood for having destroyed her rival. Such a violation of the simple dictates of morality would necessarily excite between them an hatred the more violent, as it would be concealed; and it was easy to determine what would be the fatal consequences of it. In order, therefore, to prevent the dangers of a refusal on the one hand, and the
that subject is the reason of my
remarking on them.
That it is better to marry than not, as it respects every individual, I am not about to determine, butge
nerally speaking I am settled in
opinion, that Matrimony highly conduces to the happiness of man. It is with that as it is with every good thing in this life, which ho longer retains its goodness to the receiver than as he is fitted to receive it. When a person has a bounty conferred upon him and he is not prepared gratefully to receive it, the consequence, as to the effect with him, is a curse instead of a blessing. What is life and all the bounties of heaven, without
obedience to divine command,
which not only sweetens every bitter cup, but leavens the mind into such a lump of holiness as righteously to apply every bounty conferred 2. It is this obedience, and this alone, that renders us effectually happy in the doing of every aCt.
Am I a single person, to marry or not to marry? may be a question,
which rightly to determine, I may
be deeply interested in. I would, however, go about the determination as I, would about any other important change in life. I would endeavour to weigh it in the bal
* ance of the sanctuary :-But how
isit to be done *—All are not qualified thus to weigh and determine. If then they are not, there is but one thing to be done to come to the right decision. If I am dis.
done, is to reverse the means— that is, if by obedience to the influence of the world I have lost the capacity of righteous decision, then cease obedience thereto, and at the same instant, stand open and be passive to every impression and influence of heaven-for on this ground, F conceive man to be an accountable being, to stand capaciated to yield either to the influence of heaven, the wages of which is lite spiritual and peace, or to the influence of the world, the wages of which is death to holiness and happiness. I am well aware that some may
Now agreeable to this doctrine, | which places man in a state of agency, no farther free to act than God has given him ability, and upon which ground he is accountable for his actions—it behoveth him as he values present and future welfate and happiness, strictly to obey the influence of heaven, in all his movements—so shall his decisions be in truth—whether in the important enquiry of matrimony or whatever else in which his present and
future welfare is concerned. This l mode of deciding the question pro- ||
posed, is the most congenial to my feelings; and, as a sufficient director, I would recommend it to others. my fellow probationers for a better inheritance than this, transitory. world can afford. "Now for a moment let us view this glorious picture. Man acting in strict obedience to his creator— all his acts, determinations and decisions would be the acts of God himself. His government could not be called aristocracy or democracy, but theocracy; a govern-ment, if I understand the term, wherein, as governor, God himself presides; under which all the acts of men would tend to build each other up inhcliness and happiness, and fit them for that never-ending felicity prepared for the righteous. —This would not only fit and prepare mer and women to make right and righteous decisions in every important step in life, as well in the choice of a companion, as in, any thing else, but it would
render them. agreeable and lovely.
companions' to each other—it would qualify and prepare them to train up their children in the trust and fear of the Lord. Were all marriages thus entered into, under the holy circumspection and care, tongue could not express, nay, time would fail me, to delineate the glorious consequences that would
ensue, NUPTIAL TIES.
For the Lady's Miscellany.
TO LAURETTA-. Madant.
IT seems as if a Soliliquy of mine, that appeared in a past number, has thrown you into a train of contemplation: I perceive it has ; but, from your own expressions, I am fearful that you are not sufficiently careful to think aright, i. e. we differ in opinion with respect to the sentiments you have suggested, and consequently, one or the other must be in the wrong.
You ask “why the pursuers of. happiness seek abroad for what is within their own bosoms?” I ask, does ever any person seek abroad for happiness when he has it in his own bosom 3 No ; for those who. are born with an easy disposition, calculated for contentment, and whose materials that compose their constitutions are not made up of that acrimony which keeps the heart upon a continual palpation, and the mind upon a torture, and -ewhose principal effusions are neither envy, malice nor hatred ; those are the persons who enjoy life in full, or felicity “as much as we may here expect.”
I am not of the opinion that happiness accompanies us into the world, ge erally speaking ; for I have always understood that there were more children born crying rather than laughing : taking then that to be a probable position, I think that it would be a somewhat difficult task to convince mankind that crying, the consequence of grief, is the companion of happiness; and I can’t bring my mind to believe, that it is in the power ef every one to be miserable or happy at pleasure ; unless all should be born under similar circumstances, their dispositions moulded by the same hand, and should receive like educations. I am, therefore, inclined to believe, that it is the different nurture and formation of the mind in the tender season of childhood, upon which depends in a very eminent degree our happiness and contentment in the after scenes of life.
The question then is, what is meant by happiness : For my own part, were I to define it, I should say it was fileasure unalloyed. Then let me ask how great a portion of our lives do we experience this 2 Yeu will agree with me that the negative or reverse of pain, either mental or sensual, fills but a small space of our existence, when com
pared with the surrounding calamities, and even the slighter ills of life.
Happiness to mortals is like the rays of a glimmering taper to a captive in a dungeon long confined; its beams play upon the soul, and like a phantom in the imagination, creating a hope and fond desire, never to be gratified.
As I never calculate to experience what I have defined happiness to be, it is my wish to be so far removed from the surrounding evils of a dissimulating and vicious world, as to border on the alluring and unalloyed scenes of felicity, upon which my imagination fondly loves to dwell.
No, Lauretta, you are mistaken, in some of your conjectures; I ever entertained the most exalted opinion of the matrimonial state, when each bosom glows with a mutual and fond desire, to please and to be pleased; when integrity and virtue are the ruling passions of the heart, and when each other's happiness is the aim and goal of the united pair.
It would be illiberal to suppose, that men are always the exact prototype of their writings; and that a train of evils, the consequence of long and unalterable habits of dissipation, always led them into that train of reflection which induced them to write ; as it is well known, that the most sweet and amorous
verses ever written, were the effu