« PreviousContinue »
lage, however, no one would receive me; and I was preparing to pass the night on the branches of a tree, in hunger, and amid a storm, when I was relieved by a woman, who was returning from the labours of the field. It was at the hut of this female, that my wants were relieved, and my sorrows sung. The female part of the family lightened their labour by songs, one of which was composed extempore; for I was myself the subject of it. It was sung by one of the young women, the rest joining in a sort of chorus. The air was sweet and plaintive, and the words, literally translated, were these : • The winds roared, and the rains fell. The poor white man, faint and weary, came and sat under our tree. He has no mother to bring him milk, no wife to grind his corn. Chorus.—Let us pity the white man; no mother has he, &c. &c.'
These words are formed into verse by the Duchess of Devonshire, and set to music by Ferrari. The song is as follows:
The loud wind roar'd, the rain fell fast;
For him the milk or corn prepare.
Go, white man, go! but with thee bear
Remembrance of the Negro's care. Having said so much on female charms, it may be proper to remark, that mere personal beauty, without the inward adornings of the mind, and the virtues of
the heart, is of little avail; indeed, without these essential accompaniments, beauty may be considered an evil rather than a good.
THE PLEASURES OF LOVE-continued.
What whispers must the beauty bear!
GAY. It should ever be remembered, that beauty is a captivating, but fading flower, which often leads its youthful possessors into many dangers, many distresses. Happy it is for those who are distinguished for their outward charms, when they are sheltered under the parental roof! Happy for them that the watchful
eye regards them with circumspection! Few, in the early period of life, are, insensible to flattery, or deaf to the voice of adulation. Beware of the flatterer : be not deceived by fair speeches. Be assured, the man who wishes to render you vain of your charms, has a mean opinion of your sense and mental qualifications. Remember, too, that a young girl, vain of her beauty, and whose chief study and employment is the decoration of her person, is a most contemptible character; and that the more you are distinguished for the charms of your face, and the graces of your form, the more
you are exposed to censure and to danger.' The rose is torn from the stem in all its pride of beauty; the jessamine is scarcely permitted to blossom before it is plucked ; and no sooner are their beauties faded, than the merciless hand which was eager to obtain them, throws them away with contempt; whilst the primrose, the humble violet, the lily of the valley, and the snowdrop, less exposed to observation, escape unhurt and uninjured by the spoiler's hand.
Learn, fair daughters of beauty, from the lily, to court the friendly shade; and, from the primrose, be convinced that your best security may be found in retirement. If you wish to be admired, be seldom seen; and if you are desirous of having a sincere lover, let virtue, modesty, and sweetness, be the only lures you make use of. You may then, perhaps, by your good qualities, retain the heart which was at first captivated by your beauties, and when time has robbed you of the graces, and the innocent cheerfulness of youth, secure a sincere and tender friend, to console you in the hours of affliction, and watch over you when deprived of those charms that first made him solicitous to obtain your love.
Repine not, my young readers, though your virtues be concealed in a homely form. If you have secured the virtues of the mind, you need not envy in others the beauties of the face. And ye who are decorated with every outward grace, be not vain of such fading externals; but tremble lest they should tempt the designing to lead you into error.
Had you less beauteous been, you'd known less care ;
ETHERIDGE. Neglect not, then, in the giddy hours of youth, to make your mind a fit companion for the most lovely form. Personal charms may please for a moment; but the more lasting beauties of an enlarged understanding, and intelligent mind, never tire. soon weary of looking at a picture, though executed in the most masterly style; and the woman who has only beauty to recommend her, has but little
chance of meeting a lover who will not grow indifferent to a mere portrait, particularly when its colours are destroyed by the subduing hand of Time. Then it is, that modesty and sweetness of temper are to be particularly observed; and the loss of beauty will not be regretted, even by the man it first made your captive.
See, lovely fair! yon blushing rose,
In all life's storms, secure heart's ease. A very excellent writer, (Knox,) of whom a liberal use will be made in the course of this work, has asserted, that plain women are the most valuable. He allows it may be esteemed paradoxical, but that it is certainly true, that plain women are usually found, as the companions of life, the most agreeable. They are, indeed, he observes, for the most part, if not always, the best daughters, the best wives, the best mothers; most important relations, and most honourable to those who support them with propriety. They who aim not at such characters, but live only to display a pretty face, can scarcely rank higher than a painted doll, or a block-head, placed with a cap on it, in a milliner's shop
There is truly something of an irritability in the constitution of women whose minds are uncultivated, which, when increased by opposition, and confirmed by habit, usually produces a termagant, a shrew, or a virago: characters which, from the torment they oc casion, may be said greatly to participate of an infer nal nature. Nothing but reading, reflection, and, indeed, what is called a liberal education, can in general smooth this natural asperity. A woman, who,
by attending to her face, is led to neglect the mind, and who, besides, has been flattered in her youth by the admirers of her beauty, seldom fails, in the more advanced periods of her life, to vent the virulence of her temper, now soured and blackened by neglect, on all who have the misfortune to approach her. Her husband (if she have peradventure entangled some miserable wight) undergoes such torments as might justly rescue him from purgatory, by the plea of having already suffered it. But folly and ignorance are almost as pregnant with domestic misery, as a bad temper. And how shall she avoid folly and ignorance, with all their train of whining, fickleness, fears, false delicacies, vanity, pride, affectation, envy, peevishness, fretfulness, childishness, and weakness of nerves, who has spent all the days when she was young, and all the days she thought herself young, at her toilette, and under the hand of the frisseur? She found herself admired wherever she went, without saying or doing any thing admirable. She has therefore saved herself the trouble of forming a taste for reading, or a habit of thinking. But beauty is a rose which soon withers. She loses the power of pleasing others; but, alas ! possesses none to please herself, which can supply the place of flattery and pretended adoration. As her life began and continued in folly, so it ends in misery. If she married, she was useless at least, and probably tormenting, to her husband. If she continued unmarried, she possessed few qualities to render her acquaintance solicited, and none that could afford her a rational amusement in solitude.
It may indeed happen, that a beautiful woman may be educated with uncommon vigilance; that she may possess a remarkably good understanding, and as good a disposition. In this case, her beauty will be doubly valuable, not only from its real excellence, when combined with a cultivated understanding, but from the difficulty of attending to the graces of the mind, amidst the cares of the person, and the flattery of foolish admirers It is certainly possible, that a beautiful woman may be as accomplished as a plain