the deluded daughter of the man to whom he was indebted for the preservation of his life, stood trembling at his door. A gentle rap, after an awful pause of some minutes, procured her admission.— IIer memory recognized the seatures of the servant that opened the door ; but it was not the valet who had attended Doliscus at the cottage---she remembered not where or when she had seen him.

After considerable solicitation the porter consented to call Doliscus from his company, and conducted Amelia into an anti-chamber to wait his arrival. A roar of laughter succeeded the delivery of her message, and the word assignation, which was repeated on all sides, seemed to renovate the

... wit and hilarity of the table. The

gay and gallant host, inflamed with Campagne, was not displeased at the imputation, but observed that as a lady was in the case, it was unnecessary to apologize for a shoot desertion of his fiends and wine.

[blocks in formation]

added to the terrors of a guilty conscience, and, for a moment, Doliscus thought the visitation supernatural. Bnt Amelia's wrong's having inspired her with courage, she boldly reproached with his baseness and perfidy, and demanded a public and unequivocal acknowledgement of their marriage. In vain he endeavoured to soothe and divert her from her purpose, in vain to pursuade her tc silence and delay,+his arts had lost their wonted influence, while the restoration of her injured fame and honour absorbed every faculty of her mind.” * . . .

At length he assumed a different tone, a more, authoritative manner. “ Madam,” exclaimed he, “I am not to be thus duped or controuled. I have the sense of pity, indeed, for your indiscretion, but none for your passion :

I would alleviate your afflictions,

but I will not submit to your fren

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

It is in my mind, and I believe you will not hesitate to acknowledge, that it is almost utterly impossible, to arrive at any fixed standard, or to establish any certain criterion concerning the subject of what constitutes our happiness and misery in this life, upon which we shall be enabled to agree, But as I perceive, from the tenor of your observations, that you have already subscribed to many of my ideas and axioms upon the subject, it now becomes me, to find the only remaining point upon which we differ, and endeavour with a few pertinent remarks, accornpanied with self-evident principles of reason, to dissipate the dark and heavy vapour that hangs over your mind, in order to bring you to a project concordance with the sen

timents that I have heretofore suggested.

In my former communications, it may be, that you have in some degree mistaken the idea that I intended to have conveyed, and I am inclined to think you have, from your remarks ; I did not intend to say that life was naught but one continual scene of misery and woe, without ever being chequered with the softening rays of hope and momentary pleasure. No, Lauretta, that was foreign from my intention; but my object, was to show, and which I shall still endeavour to maintain, not without some reason and experience on my side, that the happiness we enjoy, and which ameliorates and softens the varied scenes of life, is much more transient than the innumerable ills, with which we are constantly surrounded ; and, in unison with my opinion, I have the beautiful lines of the inimitable Shakesfieare, where he says,

O happiness enjoy'd but of a few :
And if possess'd, as soon decay'd and
done !
As is the morning's silver melting dew,
Against the golden splendour of the sun;
A date expir'd and cancell'd ere begun.

You again observe, that you cannot perfectly acquiesce in the definition I have given of happiness, and with a degree of subtility and refinement of argument, I scarcely expected from a female pen, endeavour to draw a line of distinction between the signification

[ocr errors]

of the words. Happiness and Joy ; which I have ever been taught to consider as nearly synonymous, and therefore think. I may with the same propriety say, that a Perpetuity of happiness, is happiness » as the famous Dr. Young has said” that “A perpetuity of bliss, is bliss.” and that the measure of happiness or joy with which we are occasionally blessed, is incomparably small to the ills that we daily expericnce, is very fully illustrated and proved by the language of the same author, when he compares our calculations to mere dreams, only dreamt when awake : and from our very nature, being mortal, we must not look for —joys perpetual, in perpetual change ! of stable pleasures on the tossing wave Eternal sunshine in the storm of life, aS The spider's most attenuated thread, Is cord, is cable, to man's tender tie On earthly bliss : it breaks at every breeze.

And in calling to mind child

hood's endearing hours, a season, when the mind and heart are the least corrupted by the baleful influence of the world and her imagimary enjoyments, it has afforded me a secret pleasure retrospectively to survey those scenes, and while ... Even the sad vicissitude amus'd my

soul, —a sigh wou'd sometimes intervene, and down my cheek, a tear of pity roll; A sigh, a tear, so sweet I wish'd not to


Yes! the cheat was pleasing and the delirium sweet ; but my reflections and imaginations incorrect ; the ills I in youth knew, had long been effaced from the tablet of my memory, while the joys calculated to leave an indelible impression upon my tender mind, still remained ; and therefore left me without any sure guide by which I was enabled to make any just comparison of the evils and the joys, I experienced at that period of my life.

In my soliloquy that appeared in a former number of this Miscellany, were merely expressed the fears I entertained on embarking in the matrimonial state, and whereia I intended only to suggest, the consequences that would naturally succeede in making a good or bad choice of a companion, and as from my sentiments therein portrayed, it may be imagined that I prefered a state of celibacy to matrimony; which, I presume, has been the foundation of the many uncharitable inferences drawn by yourself, and many others from the subject.

Another point you seem entirely.

to have misapprehended, and supposed that my writings. were the productions of a mind sinking under despair, and enervatcd by the momentary pleasures of dissipation, or, not being able to obtain those things which fancy in her airy flights had pictured in my imagination, that I was now indulging

[blocks in formation]

However, as my object in my last to you, was to correct some errors of opinion you have imbibed, and portray to you my ideas of happiness, and shew that a much greater part of our lives are attended with pain and woe, than with true felicity and happinesss ; i.e, in a greater or less degree, not being able to satisfy then, with my observations upon the subject, inasmuch as you have thought proper again to address me ; I have at last endeavoured to reduce our differance of opinion to some fixed point, and with the language aud sentiments of the most distinguished together with my own I hope have been able to convince you of the rectitude and propriety of the sentiments I have heretofore advanced and endeavoured to maintain. While I remain yours, most respectfully,



From my own eftartment.

There is not half so much danger in the desperate sword of a known foe, as in the smooth insinuations of a pretended friend.

Women and wine, game and deceit, make the wealth small and the want great.

said an Irish bystander, do you

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

A respectable farmer having employed a laborer to work on his plantation, observed that the Monday morning antecedent to commencing work, that the man devoured his meal with the utmost voraciousness. The employer remarked it to him, and enquired the reason. “Why," observed the man, “it is written in the scriptures, ‘Whatever thy hands undertaketh to do, do it with all thy might.” “Very well,” said the farmer, “I admire your principles.” The avocations of the day commenced, but the mighty man was found extremely remiss ; ‘how is this 2' asked the husbandman, your actions do not accord with your scriptural words; ‘true, returned the son of earth ; but I just this moment remember another passage, which says “Let thy moderation be known unto all men.”

* That is the smallest horse I ever saw,' remarked a gentleman in a mixed company. “Small,'

« VorigeDoorgaan »