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The mighty passion of Love has frequently been known to polish the manners, and give activity to the dullest motions of the soul :
Love is to human nature good and kind,
Soften'd the fierce, and made the coward bold. Boccace relates, to this effect, the story of Cymon and Iphigenia.—Cymon, the son of the governor of Cyprus, possessed an uncommon beauty of person, but was so stupid and defective in the qualities of the mind, so heavy, dull, and degenerate, that his father, having endeavoured, jn vain, by all the arts of education, to reform him, sent him to a poor cottage in a sequestered part of the country, where, being thought unfit for every other employment, he followed, almost in the character of a common clown, the usual avocations of busbandry. Sauntering alone, according to his usual custom, by the side of a wood, he one day espied a lovely female, named Iphigenia, the daughter of a burgomaster of Cyprus, fast asleep in a sequestered thicket on the borders of a brook, in which she had just been bathing. A freshened bloom glowed upon her charming cheeks, the beauties of which were heightened by the posture in which she lay; while her white robe, which only loosely covered her, left her snowy neck, and part of her gently rising bosom, exposed to bis view. The young clown, astonished at the sight of so much beauty, stood for some time leaning on his staff, transfixed and confounded by the power of her charms; but this soul-subduing object at length inspired bis heart with emotions to which he had ever before been a stranger, and filled his breast with such transporting delight, that his latent faculties awakened from their lethargy, and convinced him of the high energies of which he was possessed. Grossly
material as his mind had been formed by the hand of nature, he immediately discovered that the object of his delighted senses was the most excellent of her kind; and when she awoke from her repose, and retired from her grassy couch, the sweet infection had seized so thoroughly on all his frame, that he followed her in silence and timidity to the city, and made his passion known. His father, on hearing of his affection, seconded the suit; and Love so completely transformed his character, that his friends could scarcely believe he was the same person : he became lively, gay, and courteous; rode with uncommon grace and courage ; cultivated the fine arts with unexampled success ; acquired great skill in fencing, music, and dancing ; excelled in the taste of his dress and the politeness of bis manners; and, in short, inspired by his passion for Iphigenia, became the most perfect and accomplished gentleman in the island of Cyprus.
It is the peculiar province of woman, by her native sweetness and tenderness, her soft endearments, and benignant charms, to smooth the rugged brow of care, to soften the harshness, to calm the severity, and to allay the fiercer passions of the other sex ; for it is often found that man, who has to engage in the more acting and bustling scenes of life, seldom brings back at night “ the manners of the morn.”
It is an acknowledged fact, that the influence of Love has in every age softened the sternness of manners, and polished the asperity of nature. It has mitigated the ruder passions ; with the hardiness of man, blended feminine delicacy; and made the stubbornness of pride not merely subservient, but auxiliary to its empire.
The influence of Love extends to every limit of the habitable world. It actuates every class of national existence; the fair European, the tawny Asiatic, and sable Ethiopian. The quivered Indian feels in primitive force the ardour of its power; and, isolated from the refinements of society, is alive only to unsophisti cated nature.
'Love inspires, on numberless occasions, the desire of emulation. Its pervading enthusiasm plumes the pinion of the muse, imparts a finer edge to the statuary's chisel, and nature's tints to the animated canvass. It enriches at once the source of our pleasures, and of our ingenuity.
When sleep has locked the senses in oblivion, Love still conjures up the gay delusion. Fancy revels in the creation of the moment; and Hope, whilst she stimulates to energy and fortitude, entwines the forehead with her brightest roses.
The pursuits of avarice and ambition can never realize such unfeigned pleasure, how successful soever in their termination ; at the best they are but fugitive: whilst the impressions and enjoyments of virtuous Love, unaffected by contingencies, are equally durable and lively.
My sincere wishes respecting my fair countrywomen are, that they would always raise their voices against matrimonial infidelity ; that they would despise the unfaithful husband, as much as they do the faithless wife; indeed, that they would consider vice of every sort as detestable in the one sex as they do in the other: that they would refuse the blessing of their hand to the rake, the libertine, and the debauchee. By such conduct they might soon effect among us a mighty and thorough reformation. Let them but
Hold the rein with judgment, Their influence may once again restore the quiet reign
of virtue, Love, and peace, and yet bring back the blush of folly, And the shame of vice.
VILLAGE Curate. A female stands upon her honour; that once removed, she falls to rise no more.
"Tis said of Widow, Main, or Wife,
The traveller, if he chance to stray,
Tho' distant ev'ry hand to guide,
Moore. Let not the female think her case hard; it must be so,' or the world would be involved in vice, wretchedness, and misery. How much does the happiness of the world depend on female virtue !
The hours of virtuous courtship are most delightful. A first Love creates astonishing revolutions in the manner of thinking, and in the whole nature, of man. A person who never was in Love can form no idea of the bliss which the conversation of lovers affords; while those that have trafficked too long with their heart, lose all susceptibility for the sensations which this passion ought to excite. Having been, or fancied himself, in love with different females, he may not indeed find it difficult to express his sentiments, if a propitious opportunity presents itself; and he generally falls into the toils of some finished coquette, who knows well enough what system of tactics to pursue. She pretends at first not to believe that he is serious, apprehends that the gentleman is going to divert himself at her expense, that the reading of novels has turned his brains; or, if he urge his suit with more importunity, and she thinks it time for her to be gradually convinced that he is in earnest, she beseeches him in the first instance to spare her weakness, and not to betray her into a confession which would make her blush; then the enraptured lover offers to press the sweet charmer to his heart, and protests he is the happiest creature in the world,—but the offended fair one solemnly assures him that she will never permit such liberties to be taken with her, very gravely reminding him that the laws of probity and honour require that he should spare her weakness; thus she dispenses her favours with the most frugal economy, to enjoy the pretty romance as long as possible; and, if nothing will serve to protract the closing scene any longer, a quarrel is called to her assistance, to put off the happy moment at which the last favour is to be granted.
Persons of this class, however, feel no real affection during their amorous dalliance; they laugh at the farce when left to themselves, can calculate with the greatest accuracy how far they shall have advanced in a day or two, and enjoy a sound and undisturbed sleep, notwithstanding the apparent cruelty of their charmer.
The case is different with two young and innocent individuals, who, being warmed for the first time by the genial fire of virtuous Love, wish to communicate their blissful and guiltless sensations, yet cannot take courage to declare by words, what has been so powerfully expressed in the silent language of the eyes. The young man gazes tenderly on the object of his Love; whilst she blushes at the notice she is pleased to have excited. Her looks betray an uneasy and flurried mind when he converses too long, or in