gination, and can vary her appearance at pleasure. So consummate is her art, that one could not, for an instant, suspect her of any design in her behaviour; and even at this moment, that an accident has laid open her whole character to me, I should not answer for my resolution were she to enter the room, and smilingly take my hand, as was her frequent custom, with such a mixture of sweet. ness and tenderness in her looks !--I almost fear I should be weak enough to forget that my opi. nion of her is founded on the clearest proofs of her dissembling arts, and stand before her self-condemned, as the defamer of innocence and undesigning simplicity

Luckily I am out of her reach : I left my own house immediately upon the discovery I made of the fair hypocrite's real disposition. I mean to send for my dear Mrs. B. and with her pay a visit to the capital, and there use all my efforts to make her amends for any uneasiness my foolish infatuation may have given her; but first I wished to make this public acknowledgment of it; and, as Maria deserves no mercy, I shall shew her none, except concealing her family name.

For five months, Mr. Mirror, the Proteus-like animal had found out a thousand different ways to charm me. Was I in spirits, she was all life and good-humour; when in a graver mood, I found her all sense and seriousness. If what I had been reading excited in me a tender and not unpleasing melancholy, the sympathetic tear stood ready in her eye. A few days since, upon my reading to her the story of La Roche, so beautifully told in your papers, she wept leaning upon my shoulder; and I own to you, Mr. Mirror, as her tears fell upon the finest bosom Nature ever formed, while her white hand lightly pressed upon my arm, I thought I had never beheld so interesting an object. Mrs. B. came suddenly into the room ;


grave cold manner was at the moment disagreeably contrasted to Maria's animated feelings. For the first time since our marriage, I thought I saw a change in Mrs. B.'s temper, and that she was not the very amiable woman I took her for. She took amiss something I said, and I left the room in disgust. I strolled down a shady walk that goes round part of my improvements : at the end of it I found Maria seated on the grass, with one of my little girls on her lap. She rose at my approach, and, desiring the child to walk before us, took me under the arm, and, in the gentlest terms, expostulated with me on the abruptness of

my manner.

She had, she said, after a vain attempt to soothe her, left Mrs. B. in tears. She acknowledged I had not given her very serious cause of uneasiness, but that a man of my sense should make allowance for the trifling blemishes of a very good woman ; adding, with a smile, • My dear Mr. B. we are none of us angels.' -I was puppy enough to be ready to exclaim,

Upon my soul, you are one.'-I contented myself with saying, "Whoever you marry, Maria, will • have no reason to complain of your temper.'

She blushed, drew out her handkerchief to cover her face with it, as if to conceal her emotions, but

gave me such a look from below it!-A servant appeared to tell us that dinner waited, and we went into the house together.

In the afternoon one of my little girls came into the parlour, where I was sitting alone : “See what • I found in the walk, Papa ?' said she, holding out a paper. I took it from the child, and, seeing it was Maria's hand, was about to go up stairs to restore it to its owner, when my own name written in large characters, struck my eye. My good


manners 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 under• standing, 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. Flat• ter 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 your• self 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.

I am, &c.

J. B.

N° 96. SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 1780..

To the Author of the MIRROR.

BIR, I am neither ugly, nor old, nor poor, nor neglected; 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 I were unhappy. But I am not happy. I will tell you my case: I confide in your feelings; for 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 splendour, they choose, as they say, to enjoy the fruit of their labours. Accordingly, we live in an elegant house, have a handsome 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 educa«tion.'

So they sent me to a famous boarding-school; and, in so far as my improvement was concerned, they spared no expence.—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 shewn 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 my father's house. When I came home, I was received

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