Page images

the way.


from the fatigues of their pil- path of reason is better followed grimage. I am not acquainted when passion attracts on one side with that region, but will guide and habit on the other. you to her who is to shew you “ You see how great their em

I saw that multitude pire is by the little paths being divide into two bands, and the always crowded, whilst the high

numerous still continue, roads of reason and religion are with the first nymph.

almost empty and deserted; you Have you well considered may remark particularly the adthings, Salah ?" said the divine vantages they have gained over Being to me. “ That mountain reason. Those they have carried which you see is the mountain of off from religion are soon called existence, representing human back by conscience, its emissary, life. Before mortals come to the which constantly places before knowledge of good and evil, they their eyes the lessons of educarove about in flowery paths, un- tion; whereas reason, aided only der the guidance of innocence: by itself, and often betrayed by but as age makes to germinate pride, which surprises its confiin them the seeds of vice and vir- dence, soon loses its power, and tue, education is watchful over yields to habit. You see how their steps, and her restraints cruel habit draws a chain behind prove exceeding uneasy to them. those whom it has seduced, to When they have attained the shut up from them all hopes of adult state of vigour, labour, and returning." peril, Reason and Religion march I saw in fact some of these at their head to make them pass mortals who had gone astray, over the craggy routes of exist- resolving to return from whence

You see how they are they came at every cry of concontinually harrassed in the mid- science, stretching out their hands dle region of life appetites on to Religion, weeping for having one side and passions on the deserted her paths, ardent to reother, assail them. The attacks turn into them; yet all their of the former are more impetu- efforts proved vain to break the Qus, and the conflicts of the lat- chains of habit, and by that fatal ter more obstinate. Appetites slave they pitilessly remained torviolently drag them out of the mented. good road : Passions first proceed Habit, proud of its conquests, in a parallel path with Reason would often presume to capituand Religion, and insensibly turn late with Reason, who always to the left, whereby the means sustained some loss in her treaof returning by a right bias is ties; for she could only obtain greatly perplexed and embarrass- truces and some slight advantaed. Appetites commonly attack ges, but never complete victories gross souls, and passion takes and an assured peace—the mopossession of noble souls. The ment she thought of Aattering strongest of appetites is lubricity herself with the finest hopes, Ha-the most subtle of passions is bit would rob her of her subjects, vanity. The most redoubted as- and lead them captives in triumph. sault is when appetite and pas. Religion, more imperious, would sion unite their efforts; but the treat upon no conditions ; she had





chains as well Habit; and, the triumphed in his heart for the fall better to secure her votaries, she of a rival ; but the slave of Indokept them exercised in sharp and lence tasted neither joy nor pleapainful labours. Resolution was surés. Gloomy and dismal they necessary for following her, and, seemed to creep along to the garby her' vigorous and forced den of poppies, where Melanmarches, she soon could keep choly shut the door after them, habit at a very considerable dis- continually disturbing them in tance.

their sleep, till they sunk and “ Turn your eyes, Salah” conti- were buried in the abyss of Denued the Spirit, “and behold those spair. who would neither follow Reason “ Remember, Salah, all thou nor Religion. Contemplate their hast seen, and be wise," wanderings, and be wise.”

I awoke at the words, and Some I saw led astray by Am- found myself in the midst of the bition, who continually pointed rocks of Lebanon, at the time out to them magnificent palaces when the birds, emulous with resituated on rising grounds. They doubled notes, saluted the first followed her, and Ambition led rays of the sun. them from precipice to precipice, into which many sunk and appeared no more. They who had escap

AND PRUDENCE, A ed after infinite perils and labours, fell at length under the tyrranny

Mr. Editor, of Avarice, who loaded them with chains of iron, covered with I do not present you the folplates of gold. These chains lowing tale as an original article; were played with and kissed by but, as it is a fact, which, though them till they fell into the cave it occurred in the middle of the of Despair.

past century, is, by no means, inOthers, led on by intemperence, applicable to the pursuits and went in quest of delicious fruits follies of the present day; the suspended on the rocks, to which insertion of which, in your enterthey were invited by the fragrancy taining publication will, I doubt of the perfumes they exhaled; not, prove interesting to some of but most of them had scarce held your fair readers, and will greatthese delicious apples in their ly oblige, Sir, hands, when, the branches they

Yours, &e. R. had grappled at breaking, they were swallowed up in gulphs A gentleman of a philosophic which Death had digged under turn of mind, who chose to reside their feet.

at Cambridgde, where he had Others turned away from the been educated, and when he had road of Reason, into the la- distinguished himself in a parbyrinths of Indolence, yet always ticular manner, by outshining looking back at the track they most of his companions in learnhad left behind, which they in- ing, so entirely devoted himself tended to resume the next day. to study, that all his acquaintance The debauchee sung and laughed thought him incapable of every all the way; the ambitious man other passion. This gentleman

had formed a resolution to live had before been free from, and single all his life, but this re- instead of improving in politesolution, like that of Benedick in ness, her deportment, which had the play, was counteracted by the been unexceptionable, was spoilwantongod, whose power is some- ed and rendered ridiculous by times most felt by those who affectation. Her beauty did not have most called it in question, indeed lose its lustre, but the folly The beautiful Emilia, whose and levity of her behaviour made charms were capable of making it entirely lose its effect. She no an impression upon the heart of more appeared to him to be the a stoic, soon engaged the atten- same Emilia, whom he never be tion of the philosopher, and for a held without rapture; nor could time took him off from the in- her eyes, by affectation rolled vestigation of speculative truths. into a squint, make any longer He was assiduous in his court- an impression upon his heart. ship, and his passion was so far He every day neglected her more from being diminished by repeat- and more, and this was to her a ed visits, that every day he saw matter of perfect indifference, for her appeared to him to be the she could not help conceiving a first. His happiness was secret contempt for her husband, rendered complete by marriage, when she compared him to the and the raptures of the lover, smarts and men of fashion of the instead of being extinguised, re- town. The coldness between ceived new force from enjoyment. them became mutual, and they In a word, the continuance of his were soon agreed in the article of passion fully refuted the remark separate beds. Thus were they livof the poet, that


ing in the same house as if they Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, had been perfect strangers to each Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense. other. Wentworth thought his Philosophers are as liable to eyes had been under the


of make false steps as other men. fascination, when Emilia appearWentworth himself formed a de- ed beautiful to him; and Emilia sign which proved totally de- could not conceive how she could structive of his happiness. He re- ever have a liking for so awkward solved to go to London with his and unbred a manas Wentworth. bride, as retirement had no lon- To such a pitch did the indiffeger any charms for a man who rence of the latter rise, that he was had lost all relish for study, and not even susceptible of jealousy she had frequently discovered an at seeing the encouragement givinclination to see the capital. Our en by his wife to some young felmarried philosopher had not been lows, who were her declared adlong in London, when he found an mirers, and who discovered their alteration in the behaviour of passion for her, in a manner that his wife, which gave him great would have alarmed a husband uneasiness ; it happened with her, who had any remaining affection as it dose with many other ladies for his wife. Jealousy, as Rochewho quit the conntry for the faucault justly observes, is always town, instead of acquiring new born with love; but Wentworth's accomplishments, she contracted love for Emilia had been long a variety of foibles, which she since dead, and jealousy could

not apprehend that her virtue which she at first considered as was in danger and he was entirely the worst that could have befalregardless who had possession of len her. She opened her eyes to of her heart. While thus this her folly and affectation, and her couple lived, as it where, in a person was, as it were, a glass in state of celibacy, and seemed to which she beheld the defects of have made a tacit consent to con- her mind. Then her former sider each other as perfect stran- levity of behaviour appeared to gers, Mrs. Wentworth fell dan- her in the most odious light; she gerously ill of the small-pox; became discreet and reserved in and the little concern discovered her conversation, and the pleaby her husband upon that occa- sures of the town having no lonsion, though there was great rea- ger any charm capable of ento think her life in danger, was gaging her attention, she dedicaa complete demonstation, that ted all her leisure hours to study, his affections were entirely ali- so that her natural good sense enated from a wife to whom he was in a short time greatly imhad once vowed eternal love. She proved by an acquaintance with escaped with life, but the con- books. Her acquired knowledge sequence of her disease was to soon made her shine in conversaher more dreadful than death it- tion; her superior understanding self; she was deprived of what was soon acknowledged by the has been thought by many to be men, though they thought it but dearer to a woman than life

a poor compensation for the loss she was deprived of her beauty, of her external charms; and the and this was to her a source of women who envied her as affliction unutterable. So great beauty, at last dreaded her as a was her regret at losing that wit. The conciousness of her beauty, which was her pride and want of personal attractions predistinguishing perfection. that vented her from yielding to the it seemed almost to justify the suggestions of pride; and as imobservation of St. Evremond, provement in moral virtues was that the last sighs of a beautiful what she had chiefly in view, her woman are less for her life than increase of knowledge was not her beauty.

attended with ostentation ; but Whilst the females whom Mrs. prudence restrained her from Wentworth surpassed in personal indulging in those sallies of wit, attractions, were rejoiced to see which rendered her formidable her vanity thus humbled, and the to all her female acquaintance. men, who admired her before, Wentworth was the last to perlooked upon her as an object of ceive that improvement in his compassion, her husband alone wife which was visible to every could discover no alteration, so other eye ; he thought she had long had her beauty, seen through lost her beauty, long before she the medium of affection, appear- had lost it in effect, and so much ed deformity in his eye. Her was he prepossessed against her, grief was for some time exces- that her mental acquisitions for a sive; but as her understanding time escaped his notice. He was naturally good, she drew the could not, however, continue highest advantage from an event, long insensible to her merit; he



was struck with her improvement rest of their days ; he, completely in understanding, and took plea- blessed in the possession of fansure in conversing with her as a cied beauty, and she, by the recocompanion, when he could not very of a heart once lost by her but behold her with seeming re- folly and affectation. turn of affection ; but, her consciousness of loss of beauty, made her despair of ever recovering the place she formerly held in his To the south of Fort Cumberheart. This made her modest land, on the Hampshire coast, and diffident, and her modesty rises a little knoll of ground, rendered her conversation still from which the adjacent landmore engaging. to him. His se- scape assumes the most pictu rious and philosophical turn of resque appearance. On one side, mind was perfectly satisfied by a gloomy morass deeply blackens the company of one who could the distant horizon ; but to the reason with strength and solidity, right of the fort, the gently sweland had notwithstanding so much ling hills that stretch along the respect for his judgment, that she sea-coast assume fainter tints as never differed from him in opinion. they recede from the view, till at His former passion seemed to re- last they terminate in the deep vive imperceptibly, and so strong blue ocean ; beyond, at the very was the power of delusion, that verge of distance, stands the gibhe at last came to think her as bet

on which the unhappy conbeautiful as

Folly and victs were executed. It is situaaffliction had before made him ted on a bleak desolate moor; and blind to her real charms, and her as the mouldering remnants of internal alteration produced an the victims of justice swing equal effect; he saw in her beau- loosely in the gale, or drop pieceties, which had no longer any ex- meal on the earth, the sea-birds istence, except in his imagination. scream around the spot, anxious In a word, Wentworth became for their prey, and presenting an again the passionate lover, and image of unrelieved horror. When his acquaintance almost thought the day is stormy, the waves his wife had recovered all her dash against the hills, the sea-fog charms, and that her beauty was rolls down their sides, and the restored in all its former lustre. artificial knoll of earth is wet Nothing could equal the joy of with the spray that foams around Emilia at seeing herself again it with resistless energy. The possessed of the affections of her eye of the passing stranger is then husband, at a time when she perhaps attracted to the spot; for thought herself entirely deprived when the lowlands are partially of the power of pleasing ; and inundated, it rears its blue sumWentworth, whose satisfaction mits from the surrounding ocean. was complete, resolved to retire It is interesting to his feelings, with her again to the country, from its utter desolation ; but bewhere she had first captivated his

sacred to his memory heart. This design was imme- while he listens to the tale of diately put into execution, and sorrow connected with it, which our lovers lived happily for the we have often heard in our infan



« PreviousContinue »