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man's Name was Monfieur Hoffman, a frank, hearty, jolly Companion; his Father, one of the most eminent Wine Merchants of the City, left him a confiderable Fortune, which he improved by Marrying a French Jeweller's Daughter of Lions: To give you his Character in short, he was a fenfible ingenious Man, and had none of his Country Vices, which I impute to his having travelled abroad and feen Italy, France, and England. His Lady is a most accomplish'd ingenious Perfon, and notwithstanding fhe is come into a Place where fo much Formality and Stiffness are practifed, keeps up all the Vivacity, and Air, and good Humor of France.

I had been happy in my Acquaintance with this Family for fome Months, when an ill-favour'd Accident rob'd me of the greatest happiness I had hitherto enjoy'd in Germany, the lofs of which I can never fufficiently regret. Monfieur Hoffman, about three Weeks ago, going to make merry with fome Friends (at a Village fome three Leagues from this Place) upon the Danube, by the Unskilfulness or Negligence of the Water-men, the Boat, wherein he was, unfortunately chanced to over fet, and of fome twenty Perfons not one escaped to bring home the News, but a Boy that miraculoufly saved himself by holding faft to the Rudder, and fo by the Rapidity of the Current was caft upon the other Shore.

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I was fenfibly afflicted at the Destiny of my worthy Friend, and fo indeed were all that had the Honour of knowing him; but his Wife took on fo extravagantly, that the (in a short Time) was the only talk both of City and Country; the refus'd to admit any Vifits from her nearest Relations, her Chamber, her Antichamber, and Pro-anti-chamber were hung with Black; nay, the very Candles, her Fans, and and Tea-table wore the Livery of Grief; fhe refus'd all manner of Suftenance, and was fo averfe to the Thoughts of Living that she talk'd of nothing but Death; in fhort you may tell your ingenious Friend Monfieur de Saint Evremont, that Petronius's Ephefian Matron, to whose Story he has done fo much Juftice in his noble Tranflation, was only a Type of our more obstinate, as well as unhappy German Widow.

About a Fortnight after this cruel lofs (for I thought it would be Labour loft to attack her Grief in its first Vehemence) I thought my felf obliged, in Point of Honour and Gratitude to the Memory of my deceased Friend, to make her a small Vifit, and condole her Ladyship upon this unhappy Occafion: And tho' I had been told that she had refused to fee feveral Perfonswho had gone to wait on her with the fame Errand, yet I prefumed fo much upon the Friendship her late Husband had always exprefs'd for me (not to mention the particular Civilities I had received from her felf) as to think I should be admitted to have a fight of N 2 her

her: Accordingly I came to her House, fent up my Name, and Word was immediately brought me, that if I pleas'd, I might go up

to her.

When I came into the Room, I fanfy'd my felf in the Territories of Death, every thing locked fo gloomy, fo difmal, and fo Melancholy. There was a grave Lutheran Minifter with her, that omitted no Arguments to bring her to a more compofed and more Christian Difpofition of Mind. Madam (fays he) you don't confider that by abandoning your felf thus to Defpair, you actually rebel against Providence; I can't help it, (fays fhe) Providence may e'en thank it felf, for laying fo infupportable a Load upon me: O fie Madam, (cries the other) this is down right impiety; What would you fay now, if Heaven fhould punish it by fome more exemplary Vifitation? That is impoffible, replies the Lady fighing, and fince it has rob'd me of the only delight I had in this World, the only Favour it can do me is to level a Thunderbolt at my Head, and put an end to all my fufferings. The Parfon finding her in this extravagant Strain, and feeing no likelihood of Perfwading her to come to a better Temper, got up from his Seat and took his leave of her.


It came to my turn now to try whether I was not capable of comforting her, and being convinced by fo late an Inftance that Arguments brought from Religion were not like to work any extraordinary Effects upon her, I refolved

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to attack her Lady ship in a more fenfible part, and reprefent to her the great inconveniencies (not which her Soul, but) her Body received from this inordinate Sorrow.

Madam, faies I to her, next to my Concern for your worthy Husbands untimely Death, I am griev'd to fee what an Alteration the Bemoaning of his Lofs has occafion'd in you: These Words raifing her Curiofity to know what this alteration was, I thus continu'd my Difcourfe; In endeavouring, Madam, to extinguilh, or at least to alleviate your Grief, than which nothing can be more prejudicial to a beautiful Woman, I intend a publick Benefit ; for if the Publick is interested, as moft certainly it is, in the preferving of a beautiful Face, that Man does the Publick no little Service who contributes moft to its Prefervation.

This odd Beginning operated fo wonderfully upon her, that the defired me to leave this general road of Complements, and explain my Telf more particularly to her. Upon this (delivering my self with an unusual Air of Gravity, which your Grace knows I feldom carry about me in the Company of Ladies) I told her, that Grief ruines the finest Faces fooner than any thing whatever; and that as envy it felf could not deny her Face to be the most charming in the Universe, so if she did not fuffer her felf to be comforted, the must foon expect to take her Farewel of it. I confirm'd this Affertion, by telling her of one of the finest Women we ever had in England who did her felf

felf more injury in a Fornight's time by lamenting her only Brother's Death, than ten Years could poffibly have done; that I had heard an eminent Phyfician at Leyden say, That Tears, (having abundance of faline Particles in them) not only fpoil'd the Complexion, but haftned Wrinkles: But Madam, concluded I, why should I give my felf the trouble to confirm this by foreign inftances, and by the Teftimonies of our most knowing Doctors, when alas! your own Face fo fully justifies the Truth of what I have faid to you.

How! reply'd our difconfolate Widow, with a Sigh that came from the Bottom of her Heart, And is it poffible that my just concern for my dear Husband, has wrought fo cruel an Effect upon me in a fhort Time! With that fhe order'd herGentlewoman to bring the Looking-glafs to her, and having furvey'd her felf a few Minutes in it, fhe told me the was perfectly convinced that my Notions were true; but, cries fhe, what would you have us poor Women to do in thefe Cafes? For fomething, continues the, we owe to the Memory of the Deceased, and fomething too to the World, which expects at least the common Appearance of Grief from us.

By your leave, Madam, faies I, all this is a Miftake, and no better; you owe nothing to your Husband, fince he is dead, and knows nothing of your Lamentation; befides, could you fhed an Ocean of Tears upon his Hearse, it would not do him the leaft Service; much lefs do you lie under any fuch Obligations to


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