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ners were overpowered by the immediate impulse of my curiosity; I opened the paper, and read what follows ; it was part of an unfinished letter to a friend in town.
You ask what havoc I have made among the beaux at -? Alas ! my dear Bell, you know but little of my situation when you talk of beaux; not a creature one would allow to pick up one's fan within ten miles of us. Having nothing upon my hands, I have struck up a sort of sentimental Platonic flirtation with a Mr. B., who lives within a small distance of our house. I knew his wife at school, and she was one of the first who visited me upon my arrival here. Her violent praises of her beloved gave me a sort of desire to see him; and, I own, I found him tolerable enough in his appearance, and by no means deficient in understanding, but vain of his slight pretensions to talents and very fond of being thought profound. At the first glance I saw into him, and could now twist him round my finger. It is very diverting to observe by what foolish principles your men, who think themselves very wise, are governed. Flatter this man's vanity, and you might lead him round the world. Now I know you will treat me, in return for my frankness, with a lecture upon coquetry, married men, impropriety, and so-forth. Take my advice, my dear Bell, and save yourself the trouble: it would be all to no purpose. A coquette I am, and a coquette I will remain to the last day of the existence of my powers of pleasing.'
“ The paper was there at an end. It raised in me the strongest indignation and contempt for the writer. And I felt so ashamed of my folly, that I determined not to see my dear Mrs. B. until I had made some atonement, by sending you an account of my errors and repentance.
“ J. B.”
- I am,
No. 96. SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 1780.
TO THE AUTHOR OF THE MIRROR.
SIR, “ I AM neither ugly, nor old, nor poor, nor neg; lected; I have a clear conscience; nor have I suffered any calamity by the inconstancy of lovers, or the death of relations. I am not unhappy. The world would laugh at me if I should say
Í happy. But I am not happy. I will tell you my case : I confide in
you seem to understand, what few people understand, that a person may be in easy circumstances, have a clear conscience, and enjoy sufficient reputation, and yet be -no, I will not say miserable,—but not happy.
“I am the only daughter of an eminent merchant. My father made his own fortune; and a very good fortune he has made of it. He married my mother before his situation was so comfortable as it is at present. They are neither of them niggardly. Having wherewithal to live, not only with ease, but with some degree of splendor, they choose, as they say, to enjoy the fruit of their labours. ACcordingly, we live in an elegant house, have a hand. some carriage, keep a good number of servants, and
see a great deal of company. You will easily conceive, however, that the show attending my father's present system of living, and the manners suited to his present condition, do not just agree with his former habits. But this does not signify much. He is a good-natured worthy man; and they must be very captious indeed, who will not suffer his merits to conceal his defects.
“ With regard to myself, my parents having no other daughter, and intending to give me a genteel portion, were determined I should have a good education. “ For,' said my father, ' a young woman of fortune, and of an agreeable appearance, must go into company. You and I, Bridget, addressing himself to my mother, ‘ set out in life in a different manner, but Mary must have education.'
“ So they sent me to a famous boarding-school; and, in so far as my improvement was concerned, they spared no expense. Sir, I speak to you without reserve; and I hope you will not think me too vain, if I tell you, that my education was no difficult matter. I understand music, and had little difficulty in acquiring the French and Italian languages. Indeed the worthy person who had the charge of my education, was well calculated to promote my improvement. She was a woman of family, of fine education, exquisite taste, great goodness of heart, and had shown spirit enough, on the decline of her father's fortune, rather than live a dependant on her relations, to procure an independent, and now she has rendered it a respectable, livelihood for herself. In a word, Sir, I am what they call tolerably accomplished; and you will think it strange, and I think it strange myself, that this should be the source of my uneasiness.
“ It is now some time since I returned to father's house. When I came home, I was received
with rapture. My father and mother adored me. They would refuse me nothing. They strove to prevent my wishes.—Good people! may Heaven grant them peace of mind, and long life to enjoy the fortune they so justly deserve !-But why, Sir, did they make me, as they term it, so very accomplished? They have made a different creature from themselves. I am apt to fancy myself of a higher order. Forgive my presumption; and I am sure you will forgive me, when I tell you, I really wish myself lower. Indeed, Sir, and it grieves me to the soul, I am sometimes impatient of my parents ; but I will not dwell upon this.
“ I told you, we see a great deal of company; and all the people we see are disposed to admire me. • Mighty well,' you will say: ' Give a young woman admiration, and what more can she wish for?'Sir, I wish they loved me more, and admired me less. I am made to sing, and to play on the harpsichord; and, to oblige my father, am sometimes constrained to repeat verses; and all this to people who understand no music, and know no other poetry than the Psalms of David in metre. Indeed, till I became better acquainted with them, I found that, even in our conversation, there was a mutual misapprehension ; and that they were sometimes as unintelligible to me as I was to them. I was not at all surprised to hear them call some of our acquaintance good men ; but, when I heard them call our neighbour John Staytape, a great man, I could not help asking what discovery he had made in arts or science, or what eminent service he had rendered his country? I was told in return, that within these few years he had realised a plum. This phrase was also new to me; and I wished to have known something about the nature of such realisation. Choosing, however, to ask but one question at a time, I said nothing; and soon learned, that, whatever services Mr. Staytape might do his country, he had hitherto made no great discovery in arts or sciences.
" I confess, indeed, that one time I fancied they might have some little notion of books; and when I heard them speak about underwriters, I thought it might perhaps be some ludicrous term for the
“So when they spoke about policies, I fancied they were using the Scotch word for improvements in gardening; and ventured to say something in favour of clumps;— Clumps,' said a gentleman, who is a frequent visitor at our house, she is to be laden with Norway fir. I found they were speaking about the good ship Rebecca.
“ A grave-looking man who sat near me one day at dinner, said a good deal about the fall, and of events that should have happened before and after the fall. As he also spoke about Providence, and Salem and Ebenezer; and as great deference was shown to every thing that he said, and being, as I told you, a grave-looking man in a black coat, I was not sure but he might be some learned theologian ; and imagined he was speaking about Oriental antiquities, and the fall of Adam. But I was soon undeceived. The gentleman had lived for some time in Virginia; by Providence he meant the town of that name in Rhode Island; and by the fall he meant, not the fall of our first parents, for concerning them he had not the least idea, but, as I suppose, the fall of the leaf; for the word is used, it seems, in the American dialect, for autumn.
“In this situation, Sir, what shall I do? By my boasted education, I have only unlearned the language, and lost the manners, of that society in which I am to live. If you can put me on any me