Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

trust, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed, is now my glorious, my unfailing confidence. In his worth alone I expect to siand justified before infinite purity and justice. How poor were my hopes, if I depended on those works, which my vanity, or the partialiiy of men have called good; and which, if examined by divine purity, would prove perhaps but specious sins! The best actions of my life would be found defective if brought to the test of that unbleinished holiness, in whose sight the heavens are not clean. Where were my hopes, but for a Redeemer's merit and atonement ! How desperate, how undone my condition! With the utınost advantages I could boast, I should step back and tremble at the thoughts of appearing before the unblemished Majesty! What harmony dwells in the name of the blessed Saviour! celestial joy and immor. tal life are in the sound. Let angels set to him their golden harps; let the ransomed nations for ever magnify him. What a dream is mortal life! What shadows are all the objects of mortal sense! All the glories of mortality, my much beloved friend, will be nothing in your view at the awful hour of death, when you must be separated from this lower creation, and enter on the borders of the imninortal world.

Something persuades me this will be the last farewell in this world. Heaven forbid it should be an everlasting farewell. May that divine protection, whose care I implore, keep you stedfast in the faith of Christianity, and guide your steps in the strictest paths of virtue. Adieu, my most dear friend, until we meet in the paradise of God.


ON your

conduct in the choice of a husband depends your future happiness or misery, at least in this world, if not in the next. Sobriety, prudence, and good nature; a virtuous disposition, a good understanding, and a prospect of being above the reach of want, ought never to be dispensed with in this matter: where the man is defective in any of these, the woman is to be pitied.

The man of pleasure is as much to be avoided as the illiterate clown; how agreeable soever he may appear to you abroad, he never can be long, so at home; his happiness is

only to be found in variety: the inconstancy of his mind, and the unevenness of his temper, make all his hours un. easy, which are not spent in some one diversion or another; in short, he is ever melancholy when he is not merry. A wise man would wish to marry his daughter to a man of understanding, and other circumstances equal : there is certainly no comparison between a man of liberal education, and one who has not bad that advantage. The unvaried conversation of the latter, soon becomes insipid to a seusible woman; she is disappointed to find, too late, nothing more agreeable therein, than in the coinmon chit-chat of her own sex; and it is happy if the loss of her esteem is not soon followed by that of her 'love: but the reflections of the former will ever furnish him with some new and pleasing discourse; his conversation will improve her mind, refine her taste, and better ber judgment. The female who makes choice of a man of this turn, and with the qualities before mentioned, has certainly happiness in her power; and it ought to be her study to secure it by cheerfulness, neatness, modesty, and a constant endeavour to please. The reason of too many unhappy marriages, is frequently owing to the taking more pains to gain, than to keep the heart of the man you admire; whereas the latter requires all your prudence. Too much familiarity, the least neglect of the rules of decency, either in dress or behaviour, and other such seeming trifles, frequently lose it, past recovery. These reflections have been produced by the conduct of a female whose portrait is drawn in the following short narrative.

AMANDA was a female who to good sense, a fine person, and a great generosity of temper, joined affability, a remarkably engaging sprightliness, a quick sensibility both of favours and affronts, and a heart susceptible of every tender impression : her spirits were indeed rather too great for the delicacy of her constitution, and, more through education than nature, she was rather too fond of dress and diversions: foibles which a sensible man would easily improve into virtues; into neatness and cheerfulness at home.

Blessed with these accoinplishments, Amanda had many admirers : among the number, two only seemed to have any chance; these were Clerimont and Philander. Clerimont had a good person, a liberal education, a genteel profession, an unblemished character, and a moderate fortune, which by his prudence and economy, was rather improved thao lessened, notwithstanding he made with it a genteel appearance. Philander had good nature, a genteel person, a good address, and something very open and pleasing in bis countenance; could sing, dance, and, in short, was quite what is called the ladies' man; but he had no taste either for business or letters, and was so far gone in what are styled the more innocent pleasures of the town, that his life was one continued circle of amusements, and these were pursued to the utenost extent of his fortune.

The passion of both lovers seemned equally sincere, but was expressed very differently to the lady. Člerimont saw in her inore virtues and fewer faults than in most of her sex ; Philander was so enamoured with the charms of her person, that he mistook for beauties even the imperfections of her mind. The one thought her an amiable woman, the orber an angel; this adınired her, that adored her : Clerimont was her lover, Philander her slave. Amanda was now debating with herself which to make the happy man ; but whilst reason pointed out Clerimont, a kind of compassionate inclination strongly pleaded for Pbilander; and at length the slavish adoration of the one, found a readier way to her heart, than all the valuable accomplishments of the other.

Beauty soon fades in reality, but much sooner in the lover's eye; flames und raptures are soon extinguished by possession; it is well if they survive the honey-moon. When these are no more, when love is ripened into esteem, Clerimont, by his reading and observations, will have a thousand ways to make life agreeable both to himself and her, whose happiness may become essential to his own, which Philander has not; the want of them will make life hang heavy at home, and will force hiin to seek among expensive pleasures abroad, that happiness which Cleriinoni can always find withio doors. Amanda will be too apt to interpret, what is the mere effect of Philander's taste for gaiety, into a particular slight and indifference towards her; and this notion once harboured in the bosom of a fine woman, is enough to change the warmest affection into coldness and aversion.

Besides, Philander's passion is not only too violent to be lasting, but it hardly inerits the name of love. Pbilander may scorn and Amanda be amazed at the imputation; but it is not in nature to be really in love with a virtuous woman, and commence an amour with one that is not so, at the same time; if it is, Philander must have much stronger motives than Amanda's charms for his future constancy.



SOBRINA, the daughter of an eminent merchant deceased, being possessed of a genteel fortune (not less than six thousand pounds) on the death of her father and grandfather, fouk no small pains to lay herself out to be useful, exemplary, and benevolent in the neighbourhood in which she lived, and among those with whom she was inore im. mediately connected. Being taught by her religious parents the principles and practice of true Christians, and animated to imitate their virtuous precepts by their pious example, she thought it her indispensable duty to follow their steps, and attend to their affectionate admonitions.

In her twenty-fourth year she married an amiable young gentleman, whose highest ambition consists in going handin-hand with her in the paths of virtue, piety, and benevolence: by him she had several children; and it is her daily and pleasing employ to superintend the nursery, while it is her constant endeavour to instruct the young and tender minds of their infant offspring in the truths of religion; and by the most engaging and successful methods mature experience and parental affection can dictate, to instil into their young minds the love of the Supreme Being.

Naturally averse to the vain amusements of the age, the uninteresting conversation of gay company, and the fashionable follies of the times, she, contrary to the greatest part of her sex, avoids the acquaintance of the polite world, and secludes herself from the fatiguing formalities of visiting and dress, in a prudent attendance on the management of her little family, and the devotional retirements of her closet; free from the superstitious sentiments of fanaticism on the one hand, and a careless indifference respecting reli• gious duties on the other.

Her husband, the bappy partner of her best affections, thanks Heaven daily for the gift of so much excellence and worth, while God himself looks down with complacency and delight on their mutual felicity and connubial bliss.

But is Sobrina without her troubles ? No, the loss of her eldest daughter, an engaging child, together with her own declining health, are the source of no little uneasiness to her and her much-loved Theoron; while anxiety, fear, and concern alternately take place in each other's breast, to prove the impossibility of perfect happiness on earth, and teach them to aspire after a state of uninterrupted, complete and eternal bliss in heaven, where fears and sorrows shall be known no more.


AT the

age when young women are introduced into general society, the character, even of those who have been the best instructed, is in a considerable degree unfixed. The full force of temptations, as yet only known by report, is now to be learned from hazardous experience. Right principles, approved in theory, are to be reduced from speculation into practice. Modes of conduct, wisely chosen and well begun, are to be confirmed by the influence of habit. New scenes are to be witnessed; new opinions to be heard ; new examples to be observed; new dangers to be encountered. The result of very few years at this season of life in almost every case powerfully affects, and in many cases unequivocally decides, the tenor of its future course. Unfortunate are those individuals who, at this critical period, being destitute of the counsel of judicious friends, or too giddy to give it a patient hearing, or too opinionated to receive it with kindness, advance unaided to the trial; and are left blindly to imbibe the maxims, and imitate the proceedings, of the thoughtless multitude around them.

As erroneous opinions and reprehensible proceedings with respect to dress and amusements are frequently occasioned, or in a very high degree aggravated, by the habit of imitation, in things which in themselves, and also in their attendant circumstances, are indifferent, custom is generally the proper guide ; and obstinately to resist its authority, with respect to objects in reality of that description, is commonly the mark either of weakness or of arrogance. The variations of dress, as in countries highly polished frequent variations will exist, fall within its jurisdiction. And as long as the prevailing modes remain actually indifferent, that is to say, as long as in their form they are not tinctured with indelicacy, nor in their costliness are inconsistent with the station or the fortune of the wearer, or with the spirit

« AnteriorContinuar »