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“ Man ! savage man, the wildest beast of prey,
And woman—whom he should protect-destroys." THERE is nothing ought more earnestly to be recommended to the female reader, than a deaf ear to adulation; though it is pleasing, and too often acceptable, when couched in the smooth language of a sensible and designing man.
Flattery is the incense always offered to female beauty, and love the only language that it hears; but there are women whose judgment is not to be imposed on.
Many will no doubt urge, that we are all fond of Aattery; and so grateful is it to our ears, that we are unwilling to consider how fallacious it is; but it is the nurse of crimes. To that do many parents owe the destruction of their daughters; to that has many a fair virgin been sacrificed; to that has many a villain owed a base triumph over credulous innocence.
Mark was the only son of a wealthy baronet in the west of England. Clarinda was the daughter of a neighbouring farmer. He was a man of gallantry and dissipation. Her features were elegant, her person was beautiful, and her skin exceeded the lily and the rose. Mark, froin the respectability of his father, and his proximity to Rusticus (for that was the name of Clarinda's parent, her mother she had lost in her infancy) soon found means to be introduced. Her father was pleased at the partiality shewn Clarinda; he encouraged the visits of Mark, and they were frequent : the poor old man had buoyed himself up with the hopes of a very advantageous match for his only child. Mark was at first disagreeable to her, but flattery, and the intreaties of her father, rendered him by degrees more and more pleasing.
Every meeting he repeated his passion with additional tenderness and fervency. She believed him to be a man of virtue, as he vowed his soul was enraptured with an honourable love. He called her by every endearing name love itself could have suggested. She never before had heard her charms so pleasingly depicted. She listened to it with avidity; it gave her the only vice she knew, it gave her pride; she thought all he said was true: he swore so frequently to the sincerity of his intentions, that she was at length persuaded to believe, that, without reciprocal love on her side, he would be truly wretched. She resolved to encourage his addresses ; partly in obedience to her father, partly out of gratitude arising from his promises of love and friendship; but chiefly from the impression flattery had made upon her unguarded heart ; these considerations prompted her to give him every assurance of her regard and esteein.
Innocent freedoms, with a mixture of the most tender and delicate expressions, passed between them at every meeting : but mark the dreadful sequel! One luckless hour, he found the fair innocent seated in a shady grove belonging to her father's garden, when her mind was fitted to give and receive every soft impression. Alas ! that there are in life these unguarded minutes, when tenderness melts down the soul, and leaves the breast too open to base deceivers ! But such was the time, when, softly stealing to the grove, Mark found her there, and as she sat reclined, he pressed her hand, kissed it with ardency, and begged, with love-beguiling tears, she would fix the welcome day to make him truly happy.
She was greatly affected with the earnestness of his solicitations; she sat pensive; she meditated for some minutes -and
“ She who once deliberates is lost." He saw her soften, kissed her blushing cheek, pressed her heaving breast, and called it the golden minute of his life! Such fondness at this time had an improper effect upon her; and he, base villain ! vulture-like, seized the unguarded opportunity, and robbed the fair one of her virtue and reputation. Hapless Clarinda!
THE shortening days—the sullen clouds, grown dark and ponderous with the gathering rain—the frigid air, that strikés unwelcome on the tender frame (but shews what Albion's sons could once endure) proclaim the approach of winter. See, how the trees (as though they felt a shock like human dissolution) now drop their leafy honours; some you may observe, like feeble old age, hang tottering in the air, till a gentle breeze breaks the tender fibre that supports them, and throws them relentless on the ground; they fall unlamented, when they can no longer delight our eyes; and are no sooner dissolved than forgotten: one summer's beauty is all they can pretend to, whilst the lofty fir, though greatly eclipsed by these gay strangers in the bloom of their youth, yet far exceeds them in the duration of her charins; her beauties are always the same, and perish only with her existence.
A lively emblem this of the instability and worthlessness of all mortal charms; how mutable is the happiness of those thoughtless women, who place all their felicity in admiration! Admiration from whom ? not from the wise and prudent—that were well worth their aim; but from persons light and trifling as themselves, for such alone pay court to polished dust. Perhaps, they pass the bloom of their youth without one serious thought; and what a fund of impertinence do they then treasure up for the remainder of their days! which, when all these gay fantastic visions fade, “when every outward charm is fled," grows quite insupportable. How can they bear the shock of approaching age, which (like autumn by the trees) disrobes them of every attractive grace ?
The perfections we are by the flattering world allowed, whilst we have beauty, too often (at least the praise of them) vanish with it, and leave nothing but malice and envy to fill up the great void of uncultivated sense; they drop like the withered leaves, neglected, if not despised; and, like the path of a swift arrow through the invisible air, leave no traces of virtue and goodness, whereby they may be remembered. How much happier they, who, in the midst of their puerile and innocent amusemnents, experience the effect of a true parental care; 'who are taught " to remember their Creator in the days of their youth, while the evil days come not, and the years draw nigh, wherein they shall (truly) say—I have no pleasure in them;" and are easily informed, before the trifling joys of this vain world have made too deep an inpression on their tender minds, “ that all is vanity!"
Religion, wisdom, and çirlue, are the only permanent enjoyments in this world, and will be our only consolation when we are on the brink of another; beauty is no farther of advantage to us, than it is an embellishinent to sense, and makes virtue appear, if possible, more amiable; but when it is a mask 10 vice, or folly; when it persuades the owner to neglect the attainment of all other accomplishments, the blessing then degenerates into a curse, and we quickly despise the idle flatterer ; in short, “ the praise that is worth seeking after, is attained by solid sense and digoity of mind;" and a truly sensible woman will be always ambitious-not merely of gaining admiration, but deserving it.
THE DYING PROSTITUTE.
Who sacrific'd to man her health and fame;
That proud insulting man can heap, sustains;
Here let me rest my weary, weeping head;
So wan and sallow-chang'd with sin and care;
And free from envious tongues my spotless fame,
I've wept and wander'd inany a midnight hour;
Or sought a shelter from the driving show'r.
Unknowing what to seek, or where to stray !
Oh! whither fled the pride I once maintain'd?
Proclaim thy glories gain'd by my defeat !
Or bloom thy laurels on my winding sheet?
THE TAILOR'S DREAM.
A TAILOR some time ago, who was dangerously ill, had a remarkable dream. He thought he saw, Huttering in the air, a piece of cloth, of a prodigious length, composed of all the cabbage which he had made, ever since he had been in business. The angel of death held this piece of patchwork in one of his hands, and with the other gave the tailor several severe strokes with a piece of iron. The tailor awakening in a fright, made a solemn vow, that if he recovered, he would cabbage no more. He soon recovered. As he was diffident of himself, he ordered one of his apprentices to put him in mind of his dream, whenever he cut out a suit of clothes.
The tailor was for some time obedient to the intimations given him by his apprentice. But a nobleman having sent for bim to make him a coat out of a very rich stuff, his virtue could not resist the temptation. His apprentice put him in mind of his dream to no purpose : "I am quite tired with your talk about the dream,” says the tailor; “there was nothing like this in the whole piece of patch-work, which I saw in my dream ; and I observed likewise, that there was a piece deficient; that which I am now going to take will just make it complete.” His conscience, however, constantly reproved him, and his ever present dream disquieted his mind.