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ASTOR. LENOX AML
THE WEEKLY MISCELLANY.
For MONDAY, October 7, 1776.
The MISERABLE Effects of giving Way to Passion and Re
SENTMENT, exemplified in the History of Mr. Eustace, related by John Buncle, Esq. THEN I was a little boy in Dublin, between seven
Ya and eight, Mr. Euftace and his lady lived next door W je to my father in Smithfield, and the two families were
Yg intimate. - Being a lively, prating thing, Mrs. Eu
* ftace was fond of me, and, by tarts and fruit, encouraged me to run into her parlour as often as I could. This made me well acquainted in the house ; and as I was a remarker so early in my life, I had an opportunity of making the following obfervations:
Orlando Eustace was a tall, thin, strong man, well made, and a very genteel person. His face was pale, and marked with the small-pox : his features were good, and yet there was something fierce in his look, even when he was not displeased. He had sense and learning, and, with a large fortune, was a generous man; but paffionate to an amazing degree for his understanding, and a trifle would throw him into a rage. He had been humoured in every thing from his cradle, on account of his fine estate ; from his infancy to his manhood had been continually flattered, and in every thing obeyed. This made him opiniated, proud, and obftinate, and incapable of bearing the least contradiction.
Bellinda Coot, his lady, with whom he had been passionately in love, was as fine a figure as could be seen among the daughters of men. Her person was charming : her face was beautiful, and had a sweetness in it phat was pleasing to look at,
Her vivacity was great, and her understanding extraordinary ; but she had a satirical wit, and a vanity, which made her delight in fhewing the weakness of other minds, and the clearness of her own concep: țion. She was too good, however, to have the least malice in such a procedure : it was human weakness, and a desire to make her neighbours wiser. Unfortunately for her, the was married to a VOL. VII. 158.
man, who, of all the men in the world, was the unfittest subject for her quick fancy to act on.
But, notwithstanding this, Euftace and Bellinda were, for the most of their time; very fond. As she was formed in a prodigality of nature, to fhew mankind a finished composition, and had wit and eharms enough to fire the dullest and most insensible heart, a man of Orlando's taste for the sex could not be without an inframed heart, when so near the transporting object of desire. She was his delight for almost a year, the dear fupport of his life. He seemed to value her esteem, her respect, her love; and endeavoured to merit them by the virtues which fortify love : and therefore, when by his being short, positive, and unreasonable in his dictates, as he was too often wont; and on her being intemperate in the strong sentiments her imagination produced upon the occasion, which was too frequently the cafe; when they seemed to forget the Apostle's advice for a while, That ye love one another with a pure heart, fervently, i Pet. i. 22. and had strifes and debates, which shewed, for the time they lasted, that they were far from being perfect and entire, wanting nothing; then would she, throwing her face into smiles, with some tender expression, prove a reconciling method at once. Till the fatal night, this always had a power to soften pain, to ease and calm the raging man.
But poor at best is the condition of human life here below; and, when to weak and imperfect faculties we add inconsistencies, and do not act up to the eternal law of reason, and of God; when love of fame, curiosity, resentment, or any of our particular propensities; when humour, vanity, or any of our inferior powers, are permitted to act against justice and veracity, and instead of reflecting on the reason of the thing, or the right of the case, that by the inħuence this has on the mind, we may be constituted virtuous, and attached to truth; we go down with the current of the paffions, and let beat and humour determine us, in opposition to what is decent and fit: if in a state so unfriendly as this is to the heavenly and divine life, where folly and vice are for ever striving to introduce disorders into our frame, and it is difficult indeed to preserve, in any degree, an integrity of character, and peace within :---if, in such a situation, instead of labouring to destroy all the feeds of envy, pride, ill-will, and impatience, and endeavouring to establish and maintain a due inward ceconomy and harmony, by paying a perpetual regard to truth, that is, to the real circumstances and relation of things in which we stand ---to the practice of reason in its just extent, according to the capacities and natures of every being; we do, on the contrary, disregard the moral faculty, and become a inere fyftem of passions and affections, without any thing at the head of them to govern them ;---what
then can be expected but deficiency and deformity, degeneracy and guilty practice ?
This was the case of Eustace and Bellinda. Passion and ownwill were so near and intimate to him, that he seemed to live under a deliberate resolution not to be governed by reason. He would wink at the light he had, struggle to evade conviction, and make his mind a chaos and a hell. Bellinda, at the same time, was too quick, too vain, and too often forgot to take into her idea of a good character, a continual subordination of the lower powers of our nature to the faculty of reafon.---- This produced the following scene :
Maria (sister to Bellinda) returned one evening with a five guinea fan the had bought that afternoon, and was tedious in prailing some Indian figures that were painted in it. Mrs. Euftace, who had a taste for pictures, said the colours were fine, but that the images were ridiculous and despicable ; and her sister must certainly be a little Indian-mad, or her fondness for every thing from that side of the globe could not be so exceffive and extravagant as it always appeared to be.
To this Maria replied with some heat, and Eustace very peremp, torily infifted upon it, that she was right. With positiveness and paffion he magnified the beauties of the figures in the fan, and with violence reflected so severely on the good judgement of Bellinda, upon all occasions, pretended to, (as he expressed it,) that at last her imagination was fired, and, with too much eagerness, the not only ridiculed the opinion of her sister, in respect to such things, but spoke with too much warmth against the despotic tempers of felf-sufficient husbands.
To reverence and obey (she faid) was not required by any obligation, when men were unreasonable, and paid no regard to a wife's domestic and personal felicity; nor would she give up her understanding to his weak determination, fince custom cannot confer an authority which nature has denied. It cannot license a husband to be unjust, nor give right to treat her as a slave. If this was to be the case in matrimony, and women were to suffer under conjugal vexations, as she did, by his senseless arguments every day, they had better bear the reproach and solitude of antiquated virginity, and be treated as the refuse of the world, in the character of old maids.
This too lively, though just speech, enraged Eustace to the last degree, and, from a fury, he funk in a few minutes into a total sullen filence, and sat for half an hour, while I stayed, cruelly determining, I suppose, her fad doom. Bellinda foon faw she had gone too far, and did all that could be done to recover him from the fit he was
She smiled, cried, asked pardon; but 'twas all in vain. Every charm had lost its power, and he seemed no longer man.
When A 2