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For if a familiarity, either of expression or action, takes place in the presence of a thronged multitude, which virgin modesty would blush to utter, or tolerate; can we imagine, from the general complexion of the theatrical character, that there will be no improper, no anti-virtnous intercourse when the curtain drops, and the vail of secrecy is drawn around them?”
Mr. L. “ Certainly not. You reason very properly. You have given a faithful, just, and true account, of an evil, which bad men admit, and good men deplore. But, Sir, in accounting for this evil, have you not made a concession which invalidates the correctness of your general position, that the tendency of theatrical amusements, is to promote the cultivation and growth of private and public morals.” N.
Mr. T. “No, Sir, I have merely assigned the causes of that general profligacy of manners which prevails amongst the servants of the stage, as a reason why you should be more tolerant in your disposition towards them; and not expect the perfection of virtue to grow so near the deadly contagion of the most fascinating temptations." .. .
Mr. L. “I know, full well, Sir, what you intended to do, and also what you have done. May I be permitted to place your leading assertion, and your last concession, in one sentence ?” ,'
Mr. T. “ Yes, Sir, provided you do it fairly,”..
Mr. L. “I will attempt it. The tendency of theatrical amusements, is to promote the cultivation and growth of private and public virtue ; but those actors and actresses, who are employed in this good work, are necessarily obliged to use expressions, and take liberties with each other, which destroy their own virtue, and bring on amongst them a general profligacy of manners. That is, on the stage, they rehearse, and mimic the vices, which they commit, behind the scenes, when the audiance is gone. Does not this prove, that the tendency of their professional duties is injurious to their own morals ?”
Mr. T. “ Have I not admitted it, Sir ?".
Mr. L. “ Yes, Sir:, and proved it, at the extreme hazard of endangering your own position, that the stage is favourable to the interests of private virtue.”
"She fell on her knees and implored forgiveness. Yes, my father, I have been seduced to evil, and now I am betrayed.' She frankly confessed the whole plot, offered to return every letter and present she had received, and promised that she would never suffer herself to be again beguiled from the path of duty."
PRINTED FOR FRANCIS WESTLEY, STATIONERS' · COURT, AND AVE-MARIA LANE.
THE UNHAPPY MARRIAGE.
“Her spirits faint, Her blooming cheeks assume a pallid taint, And scarce her form remains."
LIEUTENANT ORME inherited a very handsome fortune by virtue of his mother's jointure, which he received on coming of age; but such had been his profuse extravagance, before and after he entered into the army, that when he had paid his debts of honour, and the Jew brokers who had advanced him money, he found himself unable to defray the bills of his tradesmen, who were very clamorous for the settlement of their accounts. Various were the expedients which he artfully employed to keep them from carrying their threats into execution, and more than once he resolved on the hazardous experiment of forging a check on the bank of Messrs. E- & Co. but the dread of ending his days on the public platform of death prevented him. At length he resolved on marriage, as the only alternative he could devise, to extricate hiinself from his embarrassments. He first made honourable professions of attachment to an elderly widow, but finding that she had only a life-interest in the property her husband bequeathed, he deserted her without assigning any cause : and then paid his addresses to the eldest daughter of a country gentleman, whom he abandoned
for the more accomplished and the more wealthy - daughter of Mr. Holmes. He, of course, concealed from
her the history of his former life, spoke of the fortune which fell to him by the death of his mother, as though it was still in his possession, and assured her that he had no other motive in view than the honour and felicity of being permitted to call her his wife. Unaccustomed to the duplicity of the world, and judging of others from the high integrity of her own heart, she listened to his overtures with pleasure, and though she proposed speaking to her parents before she ventured to give any decisive reply, yet this was overruled by Mrs. Orme, who
suggested the expediency of deferring it for the present. de You know, my dear," said the intriguing woman, your
papa and mamma, from their peculiar notions on religion, may feel some objection to Charles's profession, and it will be necessary to adopt some plan to reconcile them to it; and as an opening has now been made between our families the Colonel and I both think, that we had better establish a close intimacy with the Elms before any thing is said on the subject."
On her return home she intermingled with the family with her usual familiarity, preserved the same degree of decorum in her attention to religious habits, and at times appeared thoughtful and sedate, which induced her unsuspecting sisters to imagine, that she was beginning to feel the deep impressions of religion on her heart. Amidst all her gaiety, and sprightliness, and aversion to decided piety, she had always displayed an honest frankness of manner when speaking on the subject, which no circumstances could induce her to forego, but now she had a part to act, which required duplicity; and having been tutored to this vice at the Colonel's, she soon became a proficient. As her sister Louisa had made some reference to ber comparative sedateness, and expressed, in very delicate terms, her hope, that it was the beginning of the great change, she resolved to assume a more uniform gravity of manner, that she might more effectually conceal the passion which had taken such strong hold of her feelings. She made no allusion to the scenes of gaiety she had recently witnessed, and in which she moved as one of the most admired figures ; nor did she express any wish to repeat her visit, which rather tended to confirm the hopes of her sister. . : * Jane and I are going," said Miss Holmes, as they were all rising from the dinner table,“ to see Mrs. Kent; will you accompany us, my dear Emma ?” "Certainly. I long to see the old lady. She is a christian I have no doubt, and if her understanding had received the same degree of cultivation as her heart, she would have thrown out the grandeur of religion in a form no less commanding, than beautiful." "I was not aware," replied Miss Holmes, as the rapture of delight beamed in her countenance," that you ever as-, sociated such qualities with the pure religion of Jesus Christ.” “Oh yes I do, and I admire them when I see
them; but they must be blended to produce their full effect.” “But is not the beauty of religion more attractive than its grandeur ?? " It may be, but it is not so commanding. We are delighted with the penitence that sighs, the contrition that weeps, the submission that yields, the hope that animates, and the humility which throws the veil of concealment over its own excellencies; but we are more than delighted, we are overpowered when all these virtues of religion are associated with a mind that can discourse on the doctrines of christianity in a style of speech which bears some analogy to their sublime greatness--and bring down the evideroes which support our common belief with a force of demonstration which infidelity cannot withstand.” “As you admit, that the beauty of religion can be displayed apart from its grandeur, I hope you do not now feel that strong antipathy to the Corries which you have heretofore manifested ; for though they are weak christians, yet you must acknowledge they are pious." "Yes, they may be pious," Miss Emma replied, with some sarcastic warmth of manner, “but who does not regret, that feels one sensation of respect for the honour of christianity, that their piety is not confined within some cloister which the keen eye of public observation can never penetrate? Mrs. Kent exhibits the beauty of religion, the Corries its deformity—Mrs. Kent would make an infidel believe, but the Corries would make a chrictian doubt-she, by the artless simplicity of her instrustions, would
rear the tender thought, And teach the young idea how to shoot;' till the principle of grace grows up laden with the fruits of righteousness; they, by their vanity and selfconceit, their dogmatism, and perverse obstinacy of opinion, would shake the strongest faith which had not taken deep root, and bring over the heart which has undergone some degree of moral cultivation, the destructive vapour of absolute scepticism. Or to speak in plain terms, such christians as the Corries should never speak on religious subjects in the presence of the irreligious ; for if they do, they will confirm the enmity which they wish to subdue, and give a degree of encouragement to sin, which they do not intend.”